Bill Morris Transcript

Interview with Bill Morris, a charter member of the Denton County Republican Tea Party, conducted at his one-story ranch-style brick home in at heavily treed neighborhood in Denton, Texas on July 2, 2010.

Interview Time: 69:13 A.J. Bauer: Okay Bill, so starting out what year were you born in? Bill Morris: 1929 AB: And kind of tell me a little bit about your life story — have you always lived in Texas? BM: No. My parents were — lived in Texas and they went to Chicago on their honeymoon in 1928 and dad was a high school band director. And he went to Chicago, and they went on their honeymoon and he took a course at VanderCook School of Music, just for the summer school. At the end of the summer — this was 1928 — at the end of summer they took an exam to teach in high school and he got the highest grade so they gave him a choice of schools. So he says, ‘Well, I’ll just teach a year or two and then we’ll go back to Texas.’ That was 1928 — a year or two in 1929, you didn’t leave a job. So, they stayed through the Depression, through World War II and in 1950 they declared the honeymoon over and moved back to Texas. And I was born in 1929 and I was 21 years old when they moved back to Texas. AB: That’s a long honeymoon! That might be a record! BM: So — but he was a band director, so he had his summers off, so he came to Texas ever summer. So we were raised as Texans in Chicago, and so in 1950 I moved back to Texas. [Phone rings, Bill excuses himself to get it.] AB: You were saying you moved back to Texas in 1950. BM: Yes. I graduated from high school in Chicago; I went to junior college in Chicago. I worked a year at Armand Company down at the stockyards and then in 1950 we came to Texas. And they came down and dad taught at Southwest Texas State Junior College it Uvalde, Texas, but I went straight to Hardin-Simmons University where I was a junior in college. I graduated in 1952 from Hardin-Simmons in Abilene, Texas and then was I was a Texan — although at Hardin-Simmons I was nicknamed “Yank.” AB: It’s hard to wash that off. BM: No, it was fine. I didn’t mind. It was a term of endearment. AB: So, what led you to Hardin-Simmons? BM: My dad was an alumnus of Hardin-Simmons and it was a Baptist school. We were members of a Baptist church and I wanted to go because it was a Baptist school and because my dad went there. AB: What did you study in school? BM: I got a degree in accounting, with a side major in history — because I enjoyed history and accounting is what I made my job. So I enjoyed history more. AB: Right, and you had to make a living — history is not a good way to make a living. BM: Right, but I enjoyed accounting. AB: Are you retired now? BM: Oh, yes. AB: How long have you been retired? BM: Since 2001. I’m 80 years old — I was nearly 72 when I retired. AB: That’s a long career. BM: Well, I went to Hardin-Simmons, graduated. Then I was in the military service for two years. AB: What branch? BM: Army — drafted. I then went back and got my master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin — majored in accounting. And then I went into public accounting. I was in public accounting with what was then known as a ‘Big 8’ accounting firm for 10 years — 1956 to 1966. At that time I decided I wanted to go be a teacher — so I went to Michigan State, got my doctor’s degree — graduated from there in 1970 and then I’d been at University of North Texas teaching accounting from 1971 until I retired in 2001. That’s pretty much my career. AB: So you’ve attended a lot of schools. BM: Oh, yes. I attended summer school at the University of Colorado; I took a night course at Northwestern when I lived in Chicago. Went to Hardin-Simmons, University of Texas at Austin, Michigan State. AB: A lifetime student, right? BM: Well, I was in public accounting for 10 years. AB: And, what would you say is your first political memory? BM: I voted for Stevenson back in 1956. AB: Do you remember what drew you to Stevenson? BM: He was a Democrat — he was governor of Illinois running against Eisenhower — that was 1952, I’m sorry. 1952. AB: So, that brings me to my next question, what’s your history of party affiliation? BM: Well, I voted for Stevenson in ‘52 and ‘56 — he’s a Democrat. I joined the Democratic Party — stayed in the Democratic Party until 1984 I guess. However, I started voting Republican for president with Goldwater, Nixon. Then I voted for Jimmy Carter. And then I — and I was really a Republican in my philosophy but I stayed a member of the Democratic Party until 1984, I guess. And then I basically joined the Republican Party. And I attended the party precinct and county and state conventions. And I found the Democratic Party is quite different than the Republican Party. It was real boisterous and so on; the Republican Party was more sedate. AB: So you mentioned that you voted for Goldwater and your philosophy was... BM: Well, the reason I voted for Goldwater was because Johnson was leading the country by a big majority and I just wanted to cut down on his majority — I wasn’t really for Goldwater. I just wanted to cut down the majority for Johnson. So that was more an anti-Johnson vote than a pro-Goldwater vote. And if I had it to do all over again, I would vote for Hubert Humphrey instead of Nixon. However, I would not have voted for — in ‘72 I would not have voted for McGovern, but I would have voted for Humphrey. If I had it to do all over I’d vote for Ford instead of Carter. Those are the only changes I would make. AB: So philosophically you said you were more along the lines of the Republican Party despite the fact that you stayed in the Democratic Party. What kept you in? BM: Just recognizing that free enterprise, business — and then in 1980 when Reagan became pro-life — I’m strong pro-life. And what happened — the Democratic Party under McGovern became more socialistic and anti-Christian. It became secular humanist — that’s what it did. And the Democratic Party has been a secular humanist party ever since. And that’s been my objection to them. Now, in local and state election I’ve voted for a lot of Democrats — but at the national level I’ve been strictly Republican. I don’t have any objection to voting to voting for Democrats — I’m not a doctrinaire Republican. AB: So, getting back to your personal political philosophy — you mentioned free enterprise, you mentioned very pro-life and that religion is very important to you. Kind of expand on that a little — what would you describe as your personal political philosophy? BM: Well, okay — smaller government, lower taxes, the typical Tea Party agenda, you know? And I’m opposed to a lot of what — I was for Bush. I’m strongly for Bush, but he did some bad things. First of all he didn’t veto spending — the big spending that they did when he was president — and he could have. I’m still a fan of Bush. AB: And what would you say are your top political issues? BM: I don’t know. I would say today the biggest problem is the amount of spending and debt that we’re in. That’s the biggest problem. But I’m for jobs — Reagan knew the answer to jobs. If you lower taxes — particularly among business — and what business demands, if they’re going to spend money, is stability. And with the president, we don’t know what he’s going to do. Uncertainty is the cause of the depression — we’re going to go into another depression. And raising taxes — tax increases — you know Bush’s cuts in 2011 are going to go out. Also on immigration — I submitted in 2007 to all the candidates for office — Democrat and Republican — my views on immigration. And it’s about a four-page thing and I said first of all you’ve got to seal the border, second is then you’ve got to register all the illegals, give them benefits — however no illegal can ever become a citizen. That way they can never become a political block. Now, children of illegals could become citizens, but not adults. That’s part of what I think they ought — if you bring them in, register them, make them legal aliens, give them all social security and so on — make them just like citizens but don’t let them vote. Then you would solve the problem. Also, I believe strongly in a guest worker program. All those things we need to do — and submitted this to all the candidates — I sent one to Burgess, I sent copies recently to Cornyn, Hutchison, same thing, recommendations. But, what’s his name? Anyway, he said the problem is the Democrats don’t want to seal the border because they want the Mexicans to be a voting block — so they want amnesty. The Republicans don’t want them voting but they want them here so they can hire them — cheap labor. And he said both of them are hypocrites — and I thought that was wise. So we’ve got an impasse — and those poor people in Arizona. They’ve got the worst. I saw recently that in El Paso, across in Juarez there were murders and a shooting at a courthouse in El Paso. So we’ve got to do something — it’s a question of national security. AB: Your proposal is interesting — so under your proposal you’d give them benefits, social security and things like that but not the vote. Why not the vote? BM: Because I don’t want them to become a voting block. See, for neither Democrats or Republicans — and as punishment because they’re illegal immigrants, they came in. They get all the benefits but they don’t need to vote — their children can vote, so. Of course if they’re born here they can vote — but even minor children of illegal aliens, they can vote. AB: If they were voting in a block — what about that block is a bad thing? BM: Well, it’s a temptation for — of course the Democrats think that they’d vote Democrat. It’s a temptation to make it a voting issue. But if they can’t vote then it’s not a voting issue and you’d solve it on another basis. AB: So it takes the politics out of it? BM: It takes the politics out of it. But most of them are hard-working people and they should be just like any other person coming over. AB: What would you say are the most important characteristics in a political leader? BM: Character. Incidentally my candidates for 2012 would be Huckabee for president and Palin for vice president. They say Huckabee probably won’t run — but he’s who I voted for last time. AB: In the primary? BM: Yeah, in the primary. AB: What about Huckabee do you like the most? BM: First of all he’s a religious man — strong religious convictions. He’s been a former governor — he did a good job as governor. And he has character and I think he’d be a good president. AB: And how about Palin? BM: Same thing — I wouldn’t want her to be president. But I think if she was vice president, served four years at vice president, maybe she’d be good for president. AB: So she needs more time? BM: She needs experience. Yeah. AB: So you mentioned Huckabee’s religious background. BM: Both of them — strong religious convictions. Pro-life — both of them pro-life. AB: That brings me to my next question, which is what role does religion play in your life? It seems to play a pretty big role. BM: Oh, yes. I was baptized when I was 12. I was converted when I was 21 at college, so I was re-baptized when I was 45 so had believer’s baptism. Are you a Christian? AB: I was raised Catholic. BM: Catholic. Well you think you’re Christian or not? AB: Some people don’t define that as Christian, but I think it does. BM: Well, do you believe in Jesus as your personal savior? AB: Yeah. BM: Well then you’re a Christian. AB: So when you say you were baptized at 12, what denomination was that? BM: Baptist. I was ordained a deacon at about 26 years old in the Baptist church. I’ve been a deacon all my life since then. I’ve been active in the men’s ministry. I’ve also been active in the prayer ministry. We have what’s called invitation helpers — I’ve helped organize that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Baptist church — but when people come forward to join the church, instead of voting them in right then, we have what we call invitation helpers. We take them out, we council with them, visit with them, ask them to give their testimony, and then we visit with them and then we vote them in the following week or so on. And those people are called invitation helpers — I helped organize that at our church. So, we make sure — to join a Baptist church, you can just join — you have to be baptized by immersion. It’s pretty easy to become a member of a Baptist church. AB: You mentioned you were converted at 21 and re-baptized at 26. BM: At 46, as a deacon. AB: Is that something that happens often in the Baptist church? BM: It’s not often, but it’s not rare either. AB: What caused you to go through the process of being baptized again. BM: Well, I became convinced that baptism is believer’s baptism — well you can’t have believer’s baptism if you’re not a believer when you’re baptized. So, in other words, in the Bible baptism always followed conversion. Well I was converted — see what happened when I went to Hardin-Simmons, I was confronted with the fact that I knew about Jesus — I knew he was God; I knew all those things, but I never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. So I did that at college, when I was there. And so then when I was 45 — deacon of a church — I figured well, I wasn’t baptized as a believer so I figure I’ll be baptized again. AB: How important has your faith been in developing your understanding of politics? BM: It’s hard to assess. Since my faith is important to everything in life — how do you know? It’s just the background of everything in my life. AB: Switching gears just a little bit — what kind of music do you do you like to listen to? BM: I like the old favorites of the 1940s and 50s. I like — well, I like church music — the old hymns. I don’t like the modern church music. I like country western — the old country western is okay. I do not like jazz and I don’t like a lot of modern music. AB: How about movies or television? BM: I don’t watch movies or television — well I watch television, but Fox News is my station of default. AB: Mostly news programming? BM: I watch news most of the time. We do watch Matlock — it comes on at 9 o’clock in the morning, so I watch him. And we used to watch Bonanza coming on at 10, but it doesn’t come on at 10 anymore. They’ve got Gunsmoke coming on so I watch that. Those are the only shows I watch in the morning. My wife, she watches USA Today and all those things all day long — so we watch different televisions. But, at 6:30 we watch the game show — that’s one thing we watch together — Wheel of Fortune. That’s been her favorite for years so I watch it with her. I watch the 6 o’clock news on Channel 11 — same station so we turn to it. AB: Channel 11 is CBS right? BM: CBS. AB: And, how about books? Do you read for pleasure? BM: I read some. I read Sarah Palin’s book. I do not read fiction — strictly. I’m reading right now Michelle Malkin’s book — I forget the name of it. I don’t read a lot. AB: In your life, what are some books that you think have been formative to you — best books in your life? BM: I read, when I was a kid, I read adventure stories. Sherlock Holmes. But I haven’t read anything like that in years. AB: Changing gears again. What does it mean to you to be an American? BM: What do you mean? AB: So, when somebody uses the word ‘American’ to describe themselves — they say, ‘I’m an American’ what does that mean to you personally? BM: They’re an American citizen — probably born here, most likely. They, well, at one time the Judeo-Christian values system was one of the major characteristics of ‘American.’ But now with secular humanism coming along we’ve got a divide in the country. But I think of ‘American’ as someone who has Judeo-Christian values system and also a Declaration of Independence is strong. We are, what’s the quote? We’re life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, one nation under God and so on. Someone who believes in the Constitution. And that used to be taken for granted years ago — it isn’t anymore. You didn’t have to express it, it was just kind of understood when I grew up. AB: What, being an American? BM: I mean those things I described. Nobody even articulated it — it was just understood. Now that’s why you have Tea Party coming along — want to get back to what we were like. Are you familiar with David Barton? AB: That name rings a bell, but I can’t remember from what. BM: He is the most renowned scholar in the area of what our forefathers believed in terms of their Christianity. And he’s gone back and researched the beliefs of our forefathers and is probably the most renowned — and they all had what we call a Judeo-Christian values system. And that’s where they came up with the Declaration of Independence and so on. And they believed in separation of church and state in a different sense than today. They just didn’t believe that Methodists or Baptists or something like that shouldn’t be the state’s religion. What they did believe is that Christian values permeated the government. AB: Kind of the inversion of that question — what would you consider un-American? BM: You mean if someone living in this country is un-American? AB: Right, that or just the value, either way. BM: Well, foreigners [laughs]. AB: I guess that was an easier question than I thought. BM: British. French. They’re un-American. AB: So un-American is literally someone who is not American. How do you get your news? BM: Primarily on television. AB: And you said Fox is your station? BM: Mostly. But I’ll listen to network news — like I listen to CBS news. I’m sorry, actually during the day I listen to radio — not watch television. And I listen to Salem Network, 660 — Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and what’s his name that comes on at 10:30? Oh Bill Bennett. I don’t listen to him very much because I don’t get up early enough. And what’s the other guy — Mike, what’s his name, he comes on between 8 and 11 — 660. I listen to Salem Network. I listen to more radio during the day than I watch television. AB: So you mentioned CBS evening news is the evening news that you watch. On Fox are there any shows in particular that you watch? BM: Oh I watch O’Reilly and Hannity and Greta van Susteren. I watch the 5 o’clock news with Brett Baier. I occasionally — if I turn on the TV I’ll watch Neil Cavuto, but I mostly listen to the radio then. And what’s his name, comes on at 4 o’clock? AB: Glenn Beck? BM: Yeah, Glenn Beck. I agree with Glenn Beck but somehow I just have trouble listening to him. AB: I’ve heard that from a lot of people actually. BM: I like what he says but I have trouble listening. He had a great show yesterday and I watched it instead of listening to the radio. He had a bunch of Christians, including a Catholic priest. He had some secular Christians — Ralph Reed and others on there, as well as some preachers. It was a great program yesterday. But most of the time I like what he says but have trouble listening to him. AB: What about they way he says things makes it so hard to listen to? BM: Just the whole show. I enjoy the interaction when he and O’Reilly get together. Have you ever watched that? AB: I’ve seen a couple of clips — I don’t own a television. But I’ve seen some clips of the back and forth, it’s funny. So before cable news where did you get your news? Did you have a specific network that you watched growing up? BM: I can’t remember. I had a stroke three years ago and my memory for details prior to that is just... AB: I understand. BM: I’ll give you a story. I had a stroke three years ago — and the following Thanksgiving. My family lives in Knippa, Texas. Do you know where that is? AB: No I don’t think I’ve heard of it. BM: You’ve never heard of Knippa, Texas? I’m surprised [laughs]. It’s a little town 70 miles west of San Antonio. And great grandfather Knippa, he ran supplies during the Civil War and went down to Mexico and brought them up to the Confederate Army. And he came through Uvalde and Knippa on the way to Mexico. And he just loved the land. Well, in 1880 he bought 10,000 acres — grandfather Knippa. And he gave 1,000 acres to each one of his 10 kids, and one of his 10 kids was my grandmother Kessla. And my mother grew up in Knippa. And my mother and dad ended up acquiring through buying from brothers and sisters about 6 or 700 of those acres. And so, when my mother died, I originally had a brother and three sisters — my brother was killed in an auto wreck when he was 21 — he was 10 years younger than me. So I had three sisters and they all ended up living in the town of Knippa. And so that’s sort of the homestead. And I have 160 acres of land there right now. And so, anyway we always go down there Thanksgiving. So we were down there visiting my sister and brother-in-law, who’s a Baptist preacher out in Sheffield, Texas, do you know where that is? AB: It sounds more familiar than the other one. BM: It’s way out in west — you know where — it’s on Interstate 10, it runs out. Anyway, way out West Texas. He has a church out there. Anyway, we were visiting down in Knippa and it was a Wednesday night and we was telling about my giving a presentation earlier in the year — same year — on giving my testimony about how I became convinced of the inerrancy of the scripture — it was a 10-year process. I said I don’t remember giving it. I just didn’t remember giving it. The next night, I was looking over and I saw this outline — and I said, hey this is a neat outline — all this stuff. And the next night I remembered that was my speech. To this day I still don’t remember giving that speech. AB: Memory is such a tricky thing. BM: Well, with the stroke. Incidentally, I do believe in the inerrancy of the scripture. AB: Even if you can’t remember the speech. BM: Yeah, I do. And incidentally and one of the things leading to my believing in the inerrancy of the scripture was, I read in 1972 — I picked up a book called Creation Science by Henry Morris that talked about how the Bible is true with regard to origins, and that believed in the literal — 6-day creation, and the scientific evidence for the Genesis flood and so on. Well I believe that. So I believe that the Earth is a young Earth. However, I listen to John Ankerberg on Sundays. Have you ever listened? You ought to listen to that. AB: Where do you listen to it? Is he on the radio? BM: He’s on TV. He’s on Channel 2 here — Christian station. I listen to him, Jay Sokolo. I listen to other things besides Fox. But anyway, he had Hugh Ross on — and Hugh Ross is a Christian and he believes in the Big Bang theory and the old earth and the earth is 13 billion years old. So it’s interesting to listen to conflict between that. AB: What are your impressions of the news media generally? BM: Well, most of it’s liberal and biased. AB: Have you always felt that way? BM: Well, I don’t know if I’ve always felt that way, but I have for a long time. I can’t say always. I don’t think it was as biased 30 years ago as it is today. AB: Why do you think it’s gotten more biased? BM: Because it’s been influenced by secular humanism. We have a cultural divide in this country between secular humanism and Judeo-Christian values. And I think it’s showing up in the media — it’s showing up everywhere. AB: After all of that we’re going to switch to the Tea Party a little bit.... So, when and how did you first become aware of the Tea Party movement? BM: I attended the Tea Party, I guess it was July 4 last year — over in the city hall in Denton. I’ve always been interested — I’ve never been active, but interested in what they’re doing. And when I got e-mails about the meeting I decided to attend. AB: Do you consider yourself a political activist? BM: I don’t know what a political activist is. I’m not one of these that’s so active that I go around campaigning on doors and stuff like that, but I have attended all of the county conventions and stuff — I don’t know, what’s a political activist? AB: It’s a good question. BM: I’m more active than most people, but I’m not a party hack or anything — not that I have anything against them. I use that term, but I appreciate the work that they do. AB: What are your impressions of the meeting the other night, with the Republican Party and the Tea Party merging like that? BM: Oh, I enjoyed it. I’m going to join and attend. I think the movement is headed in the right direction — where it’s headed, it’s trying to straighten up the Republican Party. Because I think the Republican Party has gone astray, but I think it’s the only hope. The Democratic Party is a secular humanist party, so I have no hope for it. AB: And so when you go to those meetings, what about them appeals to you? BM: Well, first of all I’m a social being. I like being a member of groups. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Love Languages or not. AB: I’m not. BM: Well mine is being with family and stuff — anyway, so I’ve always enjoyed being on committees. I’m not one to be chairman, but I enjoy being on committees. That’s a rare breed nowadays. I’ve always been a member of the men’s group at church — active in Sunday school and all those organizations, so I just like to be a member of groups. So that’s one thing. AB: So the social aspect of it — meeting with other people. BM: Sure, meeting with other people, seeing what they believe, talking and so on. I enjoy about what people believe — I enjoy this discussion we’re having now. I enjoy sharing ideas — now, I people say I like to argue, and it’s made people mad at me, including family members. AB: I’ve been there. What was the primary factor that got you to come out to Tea Party gatherings? I know you said your first one was last July 4 — I know you’d said you’d gone to several party conventions over the years — had you ever gone out to one of these political rallies? BM: No. I don’t know, I was just intrigued by it — just wanted to see what it was all about. Like I said, everything I’ve heard about the Tea Parties has been favorable to me. I would hate to see them try to become a third party — it would be totally destructive. Ross Perot elected Clinton. So the idea of the Tea Party influencing the Republican Party sounds good to me. AB: I know one thing that a lot of the Tea Party groups have tried to do is focus on fiscal conservative issues at the expense of social conservatism or religion. BM: That’s okay. AB: You’re fine with that? Have you noticed that as well? BM: That’s okay, because if they get involved in social conservatism they drive people away and we need to get back to fiscal conservatism — I don’t think we’d lose our social conservatism in the process, as a Republican Party. But I don’t want — there are lots of fiscal conservative Republicans, and if we get too involved in social conservatism we drive them away. AB: And why do you think that is? BM: Because they’re not socially conservative [laughs]. That’s easy to explain. As long as they don’t become dominant and influence the party to become socially liberal. AB: What would you say are the main values of the Tea Party movement that you’ve seen? BM: Holding the Republicans’ feet to the fire, I guess. AB: How long have you felt that the Republican Party was going astray? BM: Well I felt when Bush was president that they — when they took control of Congress and then voted for big spending bills. As long as — I thought Newt Gingrich was great when he was in charge of them and when Clinton was president and they balanced the budget. Clinton is a smart guy, he cooperated with them, and together they ran a good government. He was a smart politician. AB: So, assuming that the Republicans take the House and Senate in the Fall, which looks kind of likely, do you think a similar thing will happen again? BM: No. AB: Why not? BM: I don’t think Obama’s the same kind of guy that Clinton is — he’s not a smart politician. He’s an avowed liberal — a doctrinaire liberal, and I don’t think he’ll bend. So we’ll have conflict rather than cooperation. That’s my view. It’s too bad. See I think Obama was naïve and inexperienced — we elected a naïve and inexperienced guy. He’s a smart guy, but he had no experience — naïve, doctrinaire liberal. And he’s doing — to me he’s exhibiting as president that he’s never been an administrator, he doesn’t know how to administrate anything. He’s a good speechmaker, good politician, but terrible administrator. He has no experience as an administrator — and that’s illustrated in this Gulf Coast thing [referring to the BP oil spill]. AB: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions of the Tea Party movement? BM: I don’t know. I don’t know how people conceive it. AB: I mean, so two of the main allegations — things that other people have said are misconceptions — are it’s often accused of being angry and the other is allegations of racism as well. BM: I don’t think either one of them is — it’s just, people that are afraid of it, they make allegations just to try to denigrate it. I don’t think they have any foundations. They’re just political. AB: And why do you think they picked those two? BM: People believe them. AB: So those are most of my formal questions, but I have a few follow ups on previous questions. You said you were drafted, were you in Korea? BM: No. No, my military story is one of the Lord leading. I was drafted out of Abilene with 30 other guys. We took an IQ test. It was the same test I had in a psychology class at college. I got a perfect score. I was put in charge of the guys going up to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. That just meant that I got to carry all the stuff. Then at Fort Sill processing center, where they decide your future in the Army, I was immediately indicated I was an intermediate speed radio operator — because I had been in Boy Scouts and I was an Eagle Scout and all that stuff. And so I knew Morris Code, and I went to talk to this processing guy. He was talking to me and says, ‘oh, you went to Hardin-Simmons did you? Yeah, I went to Oklahoma A&M. Did you know rodeo guy so and so, Yeah! Oh, let me see here.’ He says, ‘oh you worked six months in accounting yeah? You took an accounting degree, okay.’ Next thing I know the 29 other guys got sent to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas and I got sent to Fort Riley, Kansas. And I was wondering why I got singled out when all my buddies of the week got sent to Fort Chaffee. Well, I was there about six weeks up there in basic training in Ft. Riley and I found out I was going to finance school. And he had changed my MOS, sent me to Ft. Riley and then to finance school in Indianapolis. So I ended up going to finance school. And at the end of finance school — there were 120 guys at finance school, and it was a 16-week course. And we learned how to process — pay the troops and all that stuff. And, but then they took a test and 120 guys and out of 120 orders came down, and you got to choose on those 120 orders based on your rank and class. Well, I was about 7th in the class. And they had two posts going to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. And I said, I’ve got it made — most of these guys are Jewish, from Brooklyn — they’re not going to want to go to Texas. So I’ve got it made, I’m going to Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Well, there was one exception — the ones they wanted to keep at the finance center, they chose and I was one of those. So I was in Indianapolis. Well the finance center was in St. Louis that they were going to send us to, but I had a lieutenant there and he got some guys to get me changed to go back to Fort Sam Houston. Somebody looked and said who changed these orders and so I was sent to St. Louis and the finance center. And some other guys were sent down to Fort Sam Houston and they were there for a few months before being levied over to Korea. And I was over in St. Louis, in the finance center. And our job in the finance center — see they were building a brand new finance center in Indianapolis. At the one in St. Louis we were to learn the jobs in St. Louis and come back to Indianapolis and train the new civilians, and that was my job. So we spent the summer in St. Louis, transferred back to Indianapolis. We trained the civilians in Indianapolis — and I’d been in the Army a little over a year. So then at the end of about — sometime in November, the general — they declared by edict that the civilians were trained, by government edict. So we were surplus. Well, at that time, the general in charge of the finance center and the colonel in charge of the post at Indianapolis were cross-wise. And the general says I don’t want your MPs coming into my finance center, and they said we’ll take these surplus guys to direct traffic and guard the front of the finance center. So that’s what we did. So I had a shift seven in the morning until noon — I directed traffic outside from 7 to 8:30 and read a book and guarded a blocked door until noon. So that went on. Well, it came Christmas and everybody went on leave — but my wife was expecting a baby. So I said, I’m going to stay on and when the baby is born I’ll take my leave then. Well, Nancy was born December 30th, so I took at 15-day leave December 30th. Well, the other guys came back from leave and the general and colonel kissed and made up and said we don’t need you and sent all those guys to Fort Sheridan in Illinois to process people out of the service. I wasn’t there. I was out on leave, so I came back and they scratched their head — they said I don’t know what to do with you, just go back to the department you were in before and just help them out. So I did — I went back there and sort of helped them out for the rest of the time was in the service. So that’s my story of the service. AB: It’s a pretty fortuitous story — at least you kept out of Korea. BM: I enjoyed myself, and the interesting thing was that was January, and I was there until October 17th when I was discharged. So I was there and there were jobs that none of the civilians knew how to do but I did because I was back there — so it was a good thing I was there and could help them out. And then what happened was the supervisor of the department was incompetent and manipulating the records and they found out about it. And the warrant officer over the whole division — he was so mad he insisted on firing the supervisor. Now this was government service, but he would not let him resign, he insisted on firing him. Well then they didn’t have any supervisor, so they put me — it happened to be a sergeant there and they put him in charge of personnel and me in charge of processing. So I was there and I was in charge for a month or so, then they hired a new civilian chief and he took over. Another things is, when I went to St. Louis I had taken a 15-day leave. Most people took 7 day leaves, and when I came back to St. Louis they said the job we had for you is gone. You know anything about IBM punch card machines? No. Do you think you can learn? Yeah, I can learn anything. So they put me in the IBM section — so I learned IBM punch cards — I didn’t know anything about them. I spent my time running cards through punch card machines and reading manuals and learning how they work, and became pretty proficient at punch cards. So when I went back to Indianapolis, my wife was expecting a baby, so she couldn’t work, and so I got a part-time work, doing what? Running punch card machines [laughs] at night. So I had a part-time job at night and then when I was home on leave and came back and got a part-time job I did that until I got through the service running punch card machines. But I wired panel boards up for my church and my private records and stuff — just something to do on the side. So that’s my military experience. AB: That’s a great story. BM: So I can’t claim I’m much of a veteran but I spent most of my time working with civilians. AB: The other kind of filling in details question I had was that you mentioned that over the last 30 years that you’d seen a rise in secular humanism and that’s kind of when the conflict you’re talking about or division began. Why do you think that arose when it did and how do you think it’s grown? What do you think has made it so predominant or so powerful? BM: I can’t say why. All I know is guys like, well, they just took over the Democratic Party. I think — you know I believe in a literal Satan, and he’s going to use any method he can. So it’s a move of Satan. So I can’t say why it came when it did but I think the country — well, during the Baby Boomers — they call the generation of World War II the greatest generation that ever lived. But they did a lousy job of raising their kids. They were too indulgent and so they raised indulgent Baby Boomers. So that made a generation of people that were susceptible to all kinds of things — so I don’t know. And the Baby Boomers are still running the country. I think Clinton is an example of a Baby Boomer. I think the next generation was not the same way. AB: The generation after the Baby Boomers? BM: The generation after the Baby Boomers, yeah. They weren’t quite as — you know —they infiltrated the academic institutions. Academic institutions are all secular humanist. [Bill’s wife arrives home and says hello.] AB: We were talking about the infiltration of academia? BM: Yes. They’re all Baby Boomers and secular humanists. AB: I think those are all the questions I had, is there anything else that I should have asked or you’d like to say? BM: No, we’ve been pretty thorough. [After I stop recording, Bill mentions he doesn’t think he would have gone to the Tea Party meeting if it wasn’t the Republican Tea Party. I turn back on the recorder.] BM: I think it’s more than say Dallas or place like that. Maybe they’re not mixed up with money and politics, you know. But it’s the reason why we had the Tea Party out at the — did you attend that? AB: I was up in New York at the time. How did you find out about the one on July 4 last year? BM: E-mails. AB: Through Republican Party-type friends? BM: Yes, Republican Party e-mails. See I would have not known about it. AB: When you say you can’t tell whether you would have gone one way or the other, why do you think the Republican... BM: I want to see the Republican Party take over the Tea Party philosophy. And I think most of the people there felt the same way. AB: So you see the Tea Party, then, as more of a — kind of the glory days of the Republican Party? Is it something to go back to or something that’s never existed? BM: No it’s never existed before. No I think, back in the old days the Republican Party was established in the East — it was too aligned with big business. And the Rockefellers and those type of guys — that was not an attractive Republican Party back in those days. Reagan came along and he started changing the mold of the Republican Party quite a bit. I voted Republican prior to that time — but he’s the one that molded it in the more modern terms. They were never pro-life until he came along. And you notice most of these conservatives, they always refer back to Reagan. He’s the godfather of the modern Republican Party. — Interview conducted by A.J. Bauer —

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