Our Political Landscape - The Lincoln Project - November 18, 2021

Our Political Landscape: The Lincoln Project

November 18, 2021
The Great Hall

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We are happy to be partnering again with the Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service to bring you this event. The Leavitt Center on Southern Utah University's campus serves as an interdisciplinary core for leadership training, citizenship education, humanitarian service, and public policy research.

This week we bring representatives from The Lincoln Project to share their experiences working in politics with the campus.


On November 18, SUU's APEX Premier series hosted its last event and speaker of the year: Reed Galen from The Lincoln Project. The university provided extra police security because it was a political and potentially polarizing topic.

The Lincoln Project started two years ago and it was created by lifelong Republicans. Galen had worked for the Republican party for more than 20 years, which included working for George W Bush.

"I left the republican party in 2016 right before Trump got the nomination," said Galen. "If this is where the party I spent 20 years working for is headed, just count me out."

Galen and his co-founders created The Lincoln Project two years ago because a "lot of very earnest republicans did not like Trump and did not want him to get elected. They didn't want to see him reelected but they weren't really willing to do the things necessary to defeat him."

Galen said that he and his followers do believe to this day that Trump represents "an existential threat to American democracy. The republican party is no longer rooted in those fundamental tenets of individual liberty."

After being questioned if Galen and his team does this project for the money, he explained, "getting the noose on my door is not worth the money. We are a group of people who did this because we believe in it. We do everything legally, morally, and we will continue to do that."

Galen explained The Lincoln Project's mission and main idea "was to tell republicans, (specifically republicans who felt the way we did) we understand you don't like the party you are a part of, we understand that you are not democrats either, but what we are asking you to do is to join us in this time come with us, join with us, lock arms with us. We may not be a political home, think of us as a political Air B and B — you don’t have to stay forever. Stay long enough to make a difference."

By creating ads to get their point across, Galen said that the "fundamental part of what we want to do is move people with emotion. Politics is an emotional endeavor."

Getting attention from Trump and getting personally attacked on Twitter, Galen said that the purpose was that "we wanted to cut off an angle of attack that Trump and his campaign would use against Biden."

Social media plays a key role in The Lincoln Project. Galen explained that they "use social media as a tool because we knew that that’s where the people that we wanted to see it to drive the message further and wider, that’s where they tend to sit. The crazier the thing that pops up on social media, the faster and deeper it spreads."

The Lincoln Project’s goals for 2022 "are to ensure that democrats maintain their majority in the US house, to grow their majority in the US senate and to ensure that democrats maintain or gain the government in more conservative states."


Audio Transcript