Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part interview with Mr. Sorrells. Part one, in which Mr. Sorrells and our correspondent talk about his reasons for running for Lt. Governor, and the various problems with the current establishment, can be read here. The interview took place over Zoom on Friday, September 10, 2021.
Garrit: Ok, so moving on to your specific policy positions, let’s first start with Covid, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates. I mean, Covid has dominated the news cycle and the political discussion for well over a year now. As you know, and have talked about, Biden has mandated vaccines for, I believe, all federal employees?
Aaron: All federal employees, all companies that work with the federal government, and any company with over 100 employees.
Garrit: Yeah, so we’re seeing a push, here at UT, we are seeing a push for vaccine requirements to attend the college and for mask mandates. They had a little rally a few weeks ago in front of the tower. You were also talking, at the event in Austin where we met, a few weeks ago that one of the reasons that you entered this race was because you took your son to the hospital and they wouldn’t administer treatment because you weren’t wearing a mask. Is that correct?
Aaron: That is correct.
Garrit: Ok, so first off, what will Lt. Governor Sorrells do about the push from the federal government to institute vaccine mandates? Also, what are your thoughts on vaccine and mask mandates in general?
Aaron: Well, what we need to do is, from my viewpoint of being lieutenant governor, would be to get the legislation done that we’ve asked for. If we get the legislation done that we’ve asked for, we would have medical freedoms, we’d have religious freedoms, we would have the individual rights that we deserve, we would have control over our lives. If we had pushed for that legislation properly, then there would be no more, the only thing different that we would need to do at this point that we haven’t addressed so far because obviously, we’ve never in our lifetimes had to deal with anything like this right? What we would need to be doing right now is looking at a modification. If you have a strong enough Governor combined with the Lieutenant Governor, you probably don’t need to, but what we probably need is legislation that comes in and says: “I don’t care if you or your company is outside of the state of Texas; if you work inside the state of Texas, you are not allowed to enforce these policies on [your] employees, the citizens of Texas. I don’t care if you’re the federal government, I don’t care who you are, you are not allowed to force this on our citizens.” So the federal government can say all they want, but you can’t enforce it. And if we find out you’re enforcing it, then there’s going to be a major penalty to your company, or even further. And so we probably need to be working on legislation like that, that makes states matter again, because we’ve lost our state sovereignty, and we’ve lost our rights and all these battles. And so we need to get back to providing those rights back to the citizens. There are no things in our Constitution that would protect an overreaching federal government, other than just pretty much saying, no we’re not going to do it. But if we wanted to make it to where we could attack back and sue these companies and do things like that to make them pay for what they’re trying to do to people that live inside our state, then I think that’s what we need to do for the current type of situation. But other than that, 95% of this would have been handled if we just passed religious freedoms and we had just given people back their ability to control their medical rights and all the things that that we deserve as an individual. But you know, that would be my stance right now and what I think we should be doing.
Garrit: Okay, so would you extend the ban on vaccine mandates to any business, whether they be public or private?
Aaron: So, here’s the deal. Here’s how this works for me. Business rights don’t exist— individual rights exist. If I own a business, I have the right as an owner of that business to make that decision. I’m allowed to make a decision for my business and my well-being. If I don’t want you in my business, then I have that right as a business owner to say I don’t want you in my business. But when your rights try to trump my rights in the form of sticking something in my body and telling me what to put on my face—you know, you can tell me what to wear, and you can say that you want business casual and that you need me to be professional— you don’t have that right anymore. So it’s not about a business’s rights. It’s about an individual’s rights. Individuals run businesses. And that is the thing that we keep getting into a fight over is business rights. It’s hilarious because the business doesn’t have rights, the individual owner has rights. Then you get into corporations. Well, are they corporations inside the state of Texas? That goes back to what I said a minute ago, right? Well, if you’re not inside the state of Texas, you don’t get to tell a person who lives in Texas what they do. And that’s the problem is this whole idea of the federal government where we’re all one big union now— no we’re not. We have 50 states for a reason. We have states’ rights, and what we do in Texas, you can’t control from California. So, if we get back to focusing on individual rights and giving people their freedoms back and their ability to stand up for what they believe in, you solve most of these issues.
Garrit: What would you say to employers that may be fearful of more government intervention—similar to what we saw during the pandemic—as it relates to vaccines?
Aaron: What do you mean?
Garrit: Yes, as you were saying, “businesses don’t have rights, individuals do.” There may be some individual business owners that may be fearful of the government coming in and telling them that they can’t require vaccines for their employees. So, what would you say to that?
Aaron: I think as long as it falls, I mean, we already have laws in the books that you can’t discriminate and things like that. And outside of that, the business as a whole is irrelevant. It’s all about the person who runs it. I, as a small business owner, have the right to tell my employees where they need to be and what time they got to be there. I have the right to say I need you to dress professionally. The business doesn’t have that right. I do. I have that right. My business is nothing. The business beliefs and the standards I run my business off of, everything I do is based on me. I’m the president of the company. Nobody made the business for me. So, everybody should be able to defend their business and their property rights as an individual owner, but I will not support anything that anybody tries to do to force a business owner or an individual to do something that is outside of their medical rights. You can’t dictate medical decisions. You can’t dictate life-altering decisions on another individual. You can’t tell me to go jump off a bridge because I work there. So, you don’t own me, you can’t make me do something detrimental to myself and affect my ability to live my life and protect my family and protect myself. And that’s where we have to draw that barrier. We need to get back to thinking about individual rights. Now everything boils down to limited federal government, states’ rights, individual rights, and ultimately individual rights override everything. I mean, the whole point of the Constitution was to give us freedom and give us the ability to be ourselves and own property and do the things that we want to do to be a free society.
Garrit: Ok, moving on, the border is always a big issue. Governor Abbott certainly talks a lot about it. Pretty much every gubernatorial candidate has made it a top priority. Where do you stand on the border? What is your plan?
Aaron: So, plan for the border, I don’t know until I get in there and see what’s going on. That’s going to be the hardest thing. But ideally, we need to go in, we need to, you know, I got told again, the other day that we don’t have the budget for the border. Well, the federal government hadn’t done their job— they refuse to do their job. And a lot of the money that we don’t have for the border is spent providing benefits to illegal aliens. And we spend the money on orphans because they’re bringing their kids over and we spend it trying to fight human trafficking and all the horrible things that are going on at that border. If you want to be a sovereign country, sovereign state, then you cannot let people invade your country at free will. We’re openly allowing them to flood the borders, bring in whatever it is, and nobody’s going to stop them. And so we don’t have a choice, we have to get to that border and finish the wall. And we need to start deporting people that get in here. We need to stop allowing them to come here and then give them a $400 ticket and drive all over the country. We effectively have the human trafficking/slave trade going on at the border. I mean, we’re pushing people into being abused their whole life. So it has to stop immediately. But ideally, I don’t know what needs to be done exactly because nobody knows where the money’s going, and we don’t know what they’re doing. We’ve got to find out what is already being paid for by the federal government, and where the money is going. We need to go in and audit every bit of the money that’s been probably wasted on something else and get the money back to where it belongs, which is defending our border and defending our citizens.
Garrit: Continuing with the issue of money, you’ve expressed interest in abolishing property taxes. I’ve talked to Senator Huffines about this, but there are a lot of people, particularly in the media, that say abolishing property taxes is impossible. They say you can’t cut property taxes because you won’t have any money for anything else. So, what do you think of that? What is your plan for property taxes, and what specific spending would you cut?
Aaron: Well, let’s go with this first, property taxes need to be removed. We don’t live in a free society when we don’t own our property. I’m not a free person. If I don’t pay for my property, then the government comes and takes it away. Then when they’re allowing people to keep coming in, and escalating our house prices, we sure as heck can’t let this keep happening. I don’t care what the cap is, it’s still too high. I keep being told the same thing “we can’t do this” and “we can’t get the money in.” Well, you know what, there’s a lot of people in this country living on a budget every day, maybe we should learn to live like that. Maybe we should stop blowing money where we shouldn’t blow money. We should stop funding pet projects and doing all the things that we do in our government and providing tons of our money to the illegal aliens. Maybe then we would have the money to pay for things. But I don’t care what the excuses are for how we can’t get it done. You cannot continue to have oppressive property taxes that do not allow people to own their homes and their land. And I don’t care what the solution is from there, but we have to get back to where we own our land. So ideally, yes, we’d want to move to consumption tax. We’re going to have to figure out a distribution method to make sure certain percentages are going to education and whatever other programs there are—that all need to be worked out. That’s going to take some people, a lot smarter than me, when it comes to the actual finance side of things. But anything is possible. Ultimately, we have to realize that we need to live on a budget, and we need to stop spending. Education Reform drains a lot of our money and needs to be taken away. We need to overhaul that system, and we need to remove a lot of the bloated spending that goes on there. Every system needs to be audited—we need to find where we’re just wasting money. I would like to see something, like a constitutional amendment, that says we can’t spend, say, more than 80% of the previous year’s intake. The rest of it must be left in a fund for emergency purposes and things like that. And that way, just like when your budget is at your home, you have a savings account that protects you from things that go wrong. Governments should pretty much go on the Dave Ramsey plan. That’s what we need to do, and it can be done. I want to own my property and so does everybody else.
Garrit: What are your thoughts on the James Younger case? Ending gender modification on children is another big issue. It’s also a legislative priority, so naturally, nothing gets done. What are your thoughts on the situation and what do you think needs to be done?
Aaron: It’s child abuse. That’s what it is. I’ve been following my case for a long time. It’s child abuse. Gender modification on children is child abuse, plain and simple, there is no way around it. If my son walked up to me right now and told me he was an elephant, we would laugh at him and say, “you’re not an elephant, you’re a human being; walk away.” But now my son could walk up and say, “I’m a girl,” “oh, let’s cut off your privates.” No. That would be considered child abuse at every point in our history until now. And it’s not about those children. It’s about, once again, sowing division and creating hostility in our system. That’s what it is. They just keep finding another button to push to try to destroy Christian values and destroy the way we live. That’s all they care about. So, it has to end, and it needs to stop now. We have the majority in both houses of the state legislature and there’s no excuse for why banning gender modification on children didn’t get done. And I believe the House moved it down to like 1400, position 1399 or something in their priorities—finding out if people were veterans in prisons was more important than ending child gender mutilation. What they’ve done to James Younger is unconscionable, and I hope to God he ends up winning and stopping that because it needs to be ended now.
Garrit: Ok, stepping away from your policy positions now, if Abbott wins his primary and you win your primary, how do you see that playing out?
Aaron: Yeah, so there is going to be a fight. You know, Abbott is ingrained in the system. As long as Abbott’s there, and the rest of the establishment is there, if we don’t fire enough of them, then he’s going to fight me tooth and nail across the board. There’s no way to know how that’s going to go. The best thing I can say is, it’s going to be a hell of a fight. And I’m not going up there to make friends. I’m not going up there to be nice. If you want to be friends, we’re going to be friends on the point that we’re protecting the citizens and being the public servants we are supposed to be. If you want to keep doing backroom deals and playing the dirty way, then it’s going to be long-term. I’m not going up there to write new laws, I’m going up there to remove them. I’m going up there to get our rights back and whatever it requires me to do to fight that battle I’m game.
Garrit: Ok, that’s pretty much all that I have for you. Do you have any concluding words as we end this interview?
Aaron: Yeah, I mean, since you’re publishing this, obviously the biggest thing we need to get to everybody in the grassroots conservative movement and even into the general Republican voters of Texas is that the establishment thinks we won’t fight. They think that we will continue to sit our butts at home at the primaries and that we’re not mad at the Republicans—that we’re only pissed off at Biden and the Democrats. Then we’re not going to do anything until it comes to the general election. And I don’t believe that’s true. But we need to make sure people are actively engaged to get out and vote at the primary. We need to finally stand up with our voices and we need to make them heard. If even 5% to 10% more of the general population votes in the primary, it’s mostly going to be people that are on our site that want to see real change, that want to see the conservatives and true Republicans back in the office. If we get those people to the polls and the primary, we will make the change we want to make and we need to actively make that change. We need to stand up for our rights as Texans. We’re getting to a breaking point, and if we want to see change, then people need to go and vote. And we’ve got to get people motivated and hold them accountable to go do the things that need to be done to make the difference. So hopefully, they will. And then I think if that happens, I will easily take Patrick down.
Garrit: Well, thank you so much. I enjoyed interviewing you today. You have my support and I wish you the best of luck in your campaign. Everyone make sure to check out Aaron Sorrels’s website at sorrells4texas.com.
Garrit Blizzard is the Editor-In-Chief of The Texas Horn. He is a senior studying government at the University of Texas at Austin. Garrit enjoys reading, listening to music, and discussing politics and economics.