Greg Wright Transcript

Interview with Allen Tea Party member Greg Wright at his home in Allen, Texas on July 15, 2010. Interview Time: 61:27 A.J. Bauer: So, starting out Greg, what is your year of birth? Greg Wright: 1953 AB: Are you from Texas originally? GW: From Dallas. AB: And tell me basically a brief trajectory of your life. GW: I went to Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, Catholic university [laughs]. Bishop Dunn High School, St. Elizabeth’s grade school, actually I had two years in public school — that was fifth and sixth grade. Then from seventh to 12th I went back to Catholic school, which was Bishop Dunn High School, and then I went the University of Dallas where I got a degree in physics. [sound of cats meowing and collars jingling] Oh come on cat, stop messing around. Then I went to Washington University in St. Louis where I got a degree in electrical engineering. AB: So the first was a bachelor’s I assume? GW: And a bachelor’s in, I, my father was sick so I got a BS-EE at Wash U. I was going to go for a master’s but I didn’t finish it. AB: And what was your career trajectory after that? GW: I went to the real world. I spent a year in Ft. Wayne, Indiana working for United Technologies. This was in the early days of microprocessors, so I programmed the [inaudible] microwave oven — first ovens ever to hit the market. And I moved back to Dallas, where I went to work for MossTech [laughter], which no longer exists. AB: When did you return to Dallas? GW: 197 —it had to be the fall of the year — had to be late ‘78. AB: And have you been back in Texas since then mostly? GW: Yeah. AB: And still working in high-tech sectors mostly? GW: Well, until I got laid off. Now I’m trying to start my own business — I have two patents, though. One patent was worthless — another company got it — and this other one is solar energy, which I’m working on. AB: So your own business in terms of doing contract work or? GW: Trying to and selling energy contracts now — I can talk to you about that a little later. AB: What would you say is your first political memory? [He smiles widely] Big grin. GW: Lyndon Baines Johnson — Great Society [laughter]. I remember it well. AB: What about the... GW: Vietnam War. I lived through all that. The Cuban Missile Crisis — I lived through that. AB: And so in particular about the Great Society and Vietnam — do you just remember them generally or do you have specific memories attached to either? GW: I remember what became known as the projects — the welfare system — putting people — giving people housing and then they proceeded to destroy the housing they lived in because they didn’t have to actually earn anything to get there. So all these — I remember all these — especially after I got to college — I remember all these housing projects being torn down because they became rat-infested hell holes [laughter]. AB: So not a positive impression of the Great Society. GW: No, not positive. Very negative. AB: Do you remember the first time you ever voted? GW: I voted for Richard Nixon. AB: Which year? GW: I was in my junior year of college I think — I’d just returned from Rome. I spent a semester in Rome. AB: A study abroad kind of thing? GW: Study abroad, yeah. So that had to be — when was that, ‘74? Well it had to be ‘74 because that was the year of the election. AB: So one of his victorious years? GW: Yeah. AB: And so, do you remember what turned you out to vote in that election? Was it just that you turned 18? GW: Yeah, I turned 18 and — it was the draft. Because I was something like number 13 and he was going to cancel the draft [laughter]. AB: So highly motivated. GW: A highly motivated thing! Not go to Vietnam [laughter]. AB: I imagine. You mention Vietnam, what would you say Vietnam played in your development? GW: I thought — up to that point, well Korea, I guess that was before Vietnam, but — I saw no reason — Johnson was running the war from his office; he thought he was smarter than all the generals and it turned out he was an idiot. And he lost the war — and we could have won that war, which really torqued me off! AB: Right. And so, the next question is, what’s been your history of political affiliation? GW: Conservative. It started very early. AB: When did it start if you can pinpoint it? GW: Well, my father was very conservative. He fought in World War II, and he came back — that was just what he was and I picked it up from my father. AB: So, did you family talk a lot about politics around the house? GW: Not really, except to — you know, my father didn’t like what was going on, for obvious reasons — at least obvious to me. AB: Well, for the sake of detail, what reasons? GW: Well, you know, the Great Society — he was against that. He was against what was going on in Vietnam. I guess World War II was the only war that we really actually — up to that point had actually determined to win and actually won it. AB: So, in terms of party affiliation — have you always been a Republican or? GW: At one point I thought I was a Libertarian because — but then, different elections like Ross Perot when he kind of screwed — third parties, I don’t think are good for the country, because it just splits the vote three ways, and that’s not good. But at heart — and that’s why I joined the Tea Party basically, those are the tenants I live by. AB: So in terms of affiliation then — did you ever join the Republican Party? GW: I’m a precinct chairman, in fact, now. This is precinct 157. The Tea Party got me involved — there’s a lady that used to work in the White House and she lives here now. Tracy Hancock. And she pulled me into it. [to the kitten] Hey kitty cat, we’re doing an interview. [laughter] AB: “Kitty cats” never care about interviews. So let’s see — what would you say are the most important values to you in a political leader? GW: Most important value is honesty. Is there a number two? [laughter] AB: That’s up to you. GW: Yeah, honesty, integrity. Basic — I guess Christian values. Thou shall not lie; thou shall not steal; thou shall not murder; thou shall not this, that and the other thing. AB: And you mention that you’ve been a conservative basically forever. Do you remember a point at which you realized that or became self-aware as one? Or is it something that’s just always been with you? GW: Ever since I was a kid. I think my father got me pointed in that direction. AB: Did you ever have any questioning of it or was it pretty steadfast? GW: Pretty steadfast. AB: And so, switching gears ever so slightly. You mention Catholic school — what role does religion play in your life? GW: It’s very strong. AB: Are you still a Catholic? GW: No, I changed religions to — it used to be known as the Worldwide Church of God, but it’s not anymore. AB: Does it have a name now? GW: Yes. [pause] I’ll have to go look it up. They just changed it recently. AB: Kind of explain for me... GW: Grace Community International. That’s what they call themselves now. AB: Were you born Catholic or did you just attend Catholic school? GW: I was born Catholic. AB: Kind of explain for me the change in faith for you. GW: Well, I went to Rome. I started studying prophecy and that sort of switched gears for me. I said well — and it’s still going on. In fact we live in a more dangerous world now than we ever did during the Cold War. AB: Right. GW: And you know, I think we are living in the end times — and I mean picking dates and things like that, I mean I don’t know when it’s going to all blow up in our faces, but probably during our lifetimes [laughter]. AB: When you say you think now is more dangerous than any time during the Cold War, to what are you referring? What’s the great danger now? GW: World War III. It’s going to start in the Middle East — we’re going to have global financial collapse. It started in Greece, it’s going to spread to Europe — the Euro’s going to fall apart. It’s going to spread to the United States — we’re bankrupting ourselves. You know, it’s a lot of the same stuff — a lot of the same conditions that existed before World War II in Germany. AB: When did you start becoming interested in prophecy? GW: Oh, college — late high school, college. No, I’ll tell you what — it got planted very early in me. What happened is in grade school, it was Monsignor Burns, you know, Mass and one Sunday he got up and read Matthew 24 and I was like, whoa, what’s this all about? And that’s what got me interested. AB: So what role does that play in your life on a daily basis and what role has that played in forming your political beliefs? GW: Personal life — I live expecting it to happen, but I didn’t get here by being stupid. So I do the best I can, but I know it’s coming. And I try to warn people from time to time — my brother, etc. Look, look at the signs guys. I think Israel’s going to attack Iran — it’s just inevitable. And that’s going to start a war in the Middle East, it could expand to a regional war and then bla, bla, bla, it just takes off. You know World War I got started by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand — it didn’t take much. And you know, the conditions are right — some event is going to trigger it — I’m not sure what. AB: How does that shape your political beliefs? GW: Right now I’m trying to — I’m a member of the Tea Party, a member of the Republicans. We are trying to — I view Obama as a Marxist — pure Marxist. He is trying to destroy the U.S. economy and it’s intentional. So my goal in life is to try to stop him from doing that. Hopefully we’re going to take Congress back in November — that’s crucial. If the Republicans can take control of the House and Senate we can pretty much shut him down and then in 2012 he’s fired. AB: A lot to unpack there — there’s more political questions coming up — but one more question in this vein. How do you think your life would be different — I mean in what way would you live your life differently if you weren’t so convinced that the end was near? Does that change the way you approach life or is it just kind of something you... GW: It’s always on my mind, but I live my life to be the most productive person I can — try to make the world a better place rather than a worse place. That’s the goal. And whatever happens beyond my control is beyond my control. AB: I guess the thing to me that’s interesting there is what’s the incentive to make the world a better place if it’s just going to end beyond our control anyway? GW: Well, because I don’t know when. AB: So keep it nice in the meantime? GW: Keep it nice in the meantime — as long as you possibly can. AB: That’s kind of a tangent, but I’ve never talked with somebody who’s believed that so strongly. It’s very interesting. So, slight transition, what kind of music do you like? GW: Classical. I do like rock n roll, a lot of rock n roll. AB: When you say rock n roll, what do you mean? GW: Oh, jeez, it’s hard to say. Lots of different varieties. AB: I mean older stuff or contemporary? GW: Yeah, it’s changed over the years — of course I remember the Beatles showing up on the Ed Sullivan show. And it’s obviously changed a lot since then. But from every decade I’ve got my favorites. AB: And so, what about television. Do you watch television? GW: MmHm. AB: What kind of shows do you like to watch? GW: I watch Fox a lot — Glenn Beck, of course. I think he’s waking America up to a lot of stuff that’s historical that isn’t taught in the schools — which is very good. I watch the Science Channel. I watch the history channel a lot. I’ve gotten much more interested in history in my older age than I was when I was in college — when I didn’t really pay attention a whole lot. But history’s a lot more important to me now. Let’s see, what else. Science fiction — the SciFi Channel. It’s better to say what I don’t watch — I’m not interested in sports at all, so I don’t watch the sports channels. AB: So of all those channels — would you say the history and science channels more than news or news more than history/science? GW: About 50/50. AB: And, how about books. What do you like to read for pleasure and what are some books that have been foundational or fundamental to your life? GW: Okay. First question, what books do I like to read — non-fiction, history, philosophy. AB: Has that always been the case? GW: No, when I was deep into science and physics I’d read math books and science books. Quantum mechanics and really deep stuff like Einstein’s Relativity Theory — which I actually understand. [laughter] AB: But recently, when did you start turning on to history and philosophy? GW: I guess really starting around Gulf War I — the early 1990s. I said, hmm, what’s going on? And then there was Gulf War II and just — oh, another thing that was really — Jimmy Carter. Carter — I hate that moron! But, he brought us stagflation. I was one of the guys standing in the gas lines and then the end of the Arab oil embargo and the American Embassy when Khomeini came down from Paris and took over and he completely screwed that up. He was just a disaster, so I started paying attention a lot more then. AB: And, how’s for some books that have been particularly important to you? GW: Well, the Bible of course. The oldest book ever written — it’s a collection of over thousands of years. Other important books — actually there’s one book that’s non-fiction that’s called Coocoo’s Egg. AB: Coocoo’s Egg. Do you know who? GW: Let me go upstairs to my library, I’ll bring it down. [Greg heads up stairs and returns with an arm-full of books.] AB: See, this is why I like coming to people’s houses — they come out with all these stacks of books and I’m a bibliophile. GW: Not necessary of importance — Wilson. AB: Wilson, The New Freedom. GW: This was a college course at Washington University. AB: Medieval Technology and Social Change — Lynn White, Jr. GW: How things developed. AB: So, explain to me a little bit — when you bring the Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom and Medieval Technology and Social Change — what about these books in particular? GW: Well, this goes back to the Stone Age about how things progressed throughout human history. You know, we used to be either hunter/gatherers — a bunch of farmers or hunters. Then they developed into cities. Then they developed the plow and they did all kinds of stuff. And now thousands of years later we’re here. AB: So you just like that big scope. GW: Big scope, big scope, yeah. Woodrow Wilson — Glenn Beck talks about this a lot, and we read this in history class, but he started the progressive movement. AB: So is that New Freedom book a book you’ve picked up recently? GW: That was a college course — I need to go back and re-read this. I haven’t read this in 30 years. AB: What else do you have? GW: This is another college — Democracy in America. The Federalist Papers. The Two Faces of Islam. AB: Stephen Schwartz. GW: This is a book I picked up in St. Louis. AB: None Dare Call it Conspiracy. GW: Things haven’t changed in a long time. And I didn’t even know this guy existed — Rules for Radicals. AB: How did you hear about Rules for Radicals? GW: Glenn Beck. I’ve printed off a lot of stuff I printed off on my computer that I can give you. AB: Yeah, that’d be great. GW: Art of War, philosophy on how to fight wars. This was my father’s history book, I’m sure it’s out of print, but there’s a lot of good stuff in here. AB: The Heritage of the Past — Easton. ‘61 — Stewart Easton. What else do we have? GW: I actually almost met this guy — it’s a true story of espionage. AB: Okay, Clifford Stoll. GW: It’s a true story — it actually happened — it’s a really interesting read. AB: ‘89 — oh and Differential Equations. GW: Yeah, that was one of my favorite courses in college. That’s an excellent differential equations book, and I have applied numerical methods and how to solve equations that can’t be solved this way in computers. AB: So, a very eclectic selection of books. Obviously now with the Tea Party and Glenn Beck and things like that Tocqueville and the Federalist Papers are pretty important. Did you always see them as important? GW: Yeah, yeah. This was a college course and Tocqueville was too. So that was at the University of Dallas. AB: So changing subjects once more — this is kind of a fifth grade essay question — but what does it mean to you to be an American? GW: We are the most powerful nation that’s ever existed on planet earth — bar none. [laughter] Even Rome, I mean Russia — actually Russia held up the saw for many decades, they couldn’t even begin to compete with us and Ronald Regan knew it and called their bluffs and bankrupted the place. Star Wars I thought was silly at the time but turned out to be brilliant — brilliant poker. Freedom. We’re the last bastion of freedom left on the planet, pretty much. AB: When you say freedom, unpack that a little more me — what do you mean by that? GW: Bill of Rights, the Constitution. We have lots of rights here in this country that you simply don’t have in other countries. Right to free speech, right to bear arms, you know, go down the list — right to private property. AB: So, there are other countries that have those kinds of rights, right? GW: Yeah, but not all of them — not like we do. AB: And kind of the inverse of that question — what does it mean to be un-American? GW: Obama. The Progressive movement, communism, socialism — show me where it has ever worked anywhere in the world. The worst example I can think of, of Communism, would be North Korea. You’ve got Cuba; you’ve got Venezuela. Of course, Iran is a dictatorship — a religious dictatorship. It’s very dangerous. Israel, on the other hand, is probably closer to us — even England has lost so many privileges and rights it’s... AB: Let’s see. Do you feel a stronger identification with your country, your state, religious group, ethnic group, class, etc? GW: I think religion, country, family. Well, actually religion comes first and then family and then country. AB: And why that order? GW: Well, God is the creator of the universe — the way I look at it — so he’s number one — he’s it. Without God we wouldn’t even exist. Country, people — like I said we are the most powerful, free-est nation that’s every existed on planet earth, but that’s being destroyed right now and that’s what I’m going to try to stop. AB: So, getting into that. What freedoms are being destroyed currently? GW: Capitalism. The freedom to — I don’t know how to put it — the free market system is being destroyed, systematically. People joke about it’s not General Motors, it’s Government Motors, because the government actually owns the place now. And that’s what... AB: Well, but the government doesn’t actually run the place. GW: Yeah they do, behind the scenes. They can do whatever they want — if they don’t like something they can come in and say hey you can’t do that. The labor unions and the banking system — the Federal Reserve, it just goes on. AIG they took out of play. No, they’re systematically trying to take — I’m convinced they would try to take control of BP if they could. AB: And, what’s your primary source of news? GW: The Internet and Fox. I don’t watch the ABC, NBC, CBS anymore — I haven’t in years, literally. AB: When you say Internet, what sites do you frequent? GW: Drudge Report, World Net Daily; I do searches on political issues. I can’t remember what the url is. AB: But that’s the Heritage Foundation? GW: Heritage Foundation, yeah. And sometimes I even go to MoveOn — just to look a the other side and keep up with what’s going on over there. I do that too. AB: And before the Internet where did you primarily get your news? GW: Before the Internet? Wow. That was before cable, so Fox didn’t even exist — so it was NBC, ABC, CBS. PBS — the lower channels. AB: And so, why don’t you watch those anymore? GW: They’re liberal — I don’t trust them. I don’t know, they’re propaganda machines. AB: And did you feel that way before you had seen Fox News and the Internet? GW: No I kind of went to sleep — a lot of us went to sleep and just trusted them. I do remember one experience — I came from Rome and there was some stuff going on in Europe and when I came back to the United States, what showed up on the national news was entirely different than what actually happened [laughter]. AB: What are you referring to? A specific event? GW: Yeah, specific events, but I can’t remember in particular precisely what — it was over 30 years ago. AB: You just noticed a discrepancy? GW: Yeah, big discrepancy. And whenever somebody — a newspaper’s done stories, which is incredibly rare — that’s wrong. That’s not what happened. AB: So when Fox News came around and the Internet came around, how did that impact your news watching and your beliefs in the media? GW: I just gravitated toward it over a period of time. I trust them much more than I trust the major new networks or the newspapers. The New York Times is going under — they keep sending me, well subscribe to the New York Times. I say, yeah, when hell freezes over. AB: Did you ever have confidence in the New York Times? GW: Decades ago, but it’s changed dramatically — I remember this one guy he got in the New York Times — he’s a black guy — and he created all this fictitious stories and one time he got caught up in one of his lies and finally go fired. AB: Right, Jason Blair. GW: Yeah. AB: So would you say Jason Blair was a factor in you turning against the Times? GW: Yeah, it’s just — the other thing is — it’s just that they’re. I haven’t looked at them in a long time but Glenn Beck talks about them and Hannity talks about them and what reality is and what they report are just two different things. I mean, I have more respect for the National Enquirer now than I do for the New York Times [laughter]. AB: Well, they did get the John Edwards story. GW: That’s what I was thinking about! They actually did something that was true! AB: Right. First time. And so, I don’t know if I — I’ll ask the question although I think I already have a good idea of the answer, but what are your opinions of the news media? GW: Mostly — well, I don’t completely trust Beck — I don’t always, in fact a lot of times I don’t agree with — it’s not Hannity it’s — who’s on before Hannity? AB: O’Reilly. GW: O’Reilly. I think he goes off in the ditch sometimes, and I just don’t agree with him. But I trust Fox a lot more than the rest of them — and the Internet, Drudge Report and things like that. And I do my own research. AB: Right. GW: I mean, I would never be reading this book [holds up Rules for Radicals] if it hadn’t have been for Glenn Beck. I remember — in fact I got. These are all the –isms on one page — it’s a farmer that has two cows. AB: Oh yeah, I think I’ve seen that. That’s — interesting. GW: But Bill Ayers — I remember Bill Ayers from the ‘60s. AB: Did you follow the Weather Underground when it was around? GW: Yeah, I did. And who was it? Patty Hearst? AB: Yeah, that was different. That was the Symbionese Liberation Army. GW: Right. I followed that. AB: What was your opinion of all that while it was going on? GW: I thought they were insane. Cloward and Piven they are apparently the cornerstone — I didn’t know this but I’ve been doing research on them. And boy, these guys, they really. And here’s one of the things I found [sorting through paper]. Columbia University, Cloward and Piven, I had no idea who these guys were until Glenn Beck started doing some research. AB: I’ll definitely read through that. So what are your opinions of journalists? GW: Most of them aren’t worth the power to blow to hell [laughter]. AB: Why do you think that is? GW: They just make things up — they lie, they misrepresent, they slant the news to their own political philosophies. AB: When you say they lie and make things up — why would you think they would lie or make things up? GW: I don’t understand their minds — I can’t get inside their. You know I don’t lie about anything — I guess I sleep much better at night [laughter]. AB: So turning to the Tea Party movement then. How and when did you first become aware of it? GW: It was the second — it wasn’t the Fourth of July, it was Memorial Day — it was right, pretty much right after they got started. And Obama was... AB: This was last year? GW: Yeah, and Obama had just been elected president — and people started waking up, saying oh what’s he doing. He promised change and nobody ever thought — that’s the first question I ever asked, ‘What kind of change are you talking about?’ But he never discussed that. And Hitler promised change and by the time he got done changing things nobody was happy about it! [laughter] So I picked up on that almost immediately, and that’s when I went to the demonstration downtown in front of City Hall and said there’s something seriously wrong here. And then on the way home, I ran by a table that was the Tea Party asking people to sign up so I said, “okay, I’m signing up.” AB: So in terms of political activism and rallies and such — was that one on Memorial Day the first rally you’ve been to ever? GW: Yeah, pretty much. AB: And what motivated you to go out then as opposed to, say, 10 years ago when Clinton was president or some other time? Or during Carter, for example? GW: I was too busy in college — I just didn’t pay attention. I was — I thought he was an idiot. I do remember I was at Washington University at the time, and there’s a church in the center of campus, it’s a big campus — it was called Graham Chapel. And the candidate, Jimmy Carter — I was going to the library, which was behind the chapel, and this girl was sitting out front and I’d heard a little bit about Jimmy Carter, and she said why don’t you come listen to Jimmy Carter. I said, not interested [laughter]. AB: So, what kind of went through your head before you went to the rally — because there’s a big difference between saying I disagree with what’s going on and going out to a big rally, right? GW: I saw the country going hard left and said this has got to be stopped. Like I said, Obama never did fool me — I picked him up as a Marxist from the beginning — and he started talking about all these grandiose... And Joe the Plumber. I remember Joe the Plumber asked him some stupid question [laughter] and he said the price of gasoline and energy policy and we’re going to pay a lot more for gas. The guy — he’s anti-American. He would be who I would use as a great example as being anti-American. He hates this country for whatever reasons. AB: Why do you suppose he hates this country? Not trying to put you in his mind, but what gives you the impression? GW: Just what he does. The way he behaves. Well, he went on his apology tour. I said, we don’t have anything to apologize about — why are you doing this? We have given more people more freedom than any nation that’s existed on planet earth. And I mean we’ve gotten rid of dictators and thugs around the world — the latest being Saddam Hussein. And when he was hanged I celebrated. AB: And so, your feelings about him being anti-American has more to do with his attempts to ease relations with Europe and... GW: No it’s much deeper than that. He surrounds himself with Marxist-Communists, criminals. He is — the way I look at it he and his Czars are the same thing as Al Capone and his thugs. He wants to radically change this country — he’s stated that over and over and over again. Nobody listens — I did. He wants to destroy the democratic system in this country. I think he’s hell-bent on doing that. AB: Why do you suppose he wants to do that? GW: He wants to turn us into a communist paradise, or socialist paradise. Europe is getting it because they finally realize it doesn’t work, but he’s still thinking oh the right people just haven’t tried it yet. He’s convinced that he’s the right person. AB: So you said you pegged him early as a Marxist — does that mean in the primaries even? GW: Yeah, the primaries. Yeah, when he started showing up on TV. AB: And who did you support in ‘08 — I assume you had somebody you were backing in the primaries? GW: Well, I voted for McCain because — it wasn’t pro-McCain, I wasn’t crazy about McCain either. But it was more anti-Obama [laughter]. AB: So did you support McCain in the primaries? GW: I didn’t vote in the primaries that time. I didn’t get into primary elections until I started getting associated with the Tea Party. By the time I voted, he was the candidate. AB: Was that just — he was already the candidate by the time Texas voted in the primary, but were you following the primaries? GW: No, not at that time. I’m following them much more closely now. The state houses and the federal elections — because this is the year of redistricting, and that’s extremely important. So I’m getting pulled into all this — I’m learning the political system. I didn’t even know who the precinct chairman was until I became one [laughter]. I’ve got a map of the precinct upstairs if you want to see one. AB: That’s fine. So if you had to pinpoint one factor — one primary factor that motivated you to go out that Memorial Day — is that just the first rally you’d heard of? GW: Well, it was the first rally I’d heard of and I can’t remember who told me it was going to — somebody told me. And I said okay I need to start getting involved in this because, even before — long before Obama got elected I called him Jimmy Carter II or Jimmy Carter on steroids and he hasn’t disappointed. I said I lived through Jimmy Carter once, I’m not going to again. AB: Do you consider yourself a political activist? GW: Now I do. AB: So, like you said, you weren’t really paying too much attention to primaries before. Have you ever been very interested in politics before, or is this the first time? GW: This is the first time because, I was deep into science and engineering and didn’t pay much attention to politics — but now I do. AB: What would you say are the main values or goals of the Tea Party movement? I mean I know the card. GW: The card. Bring us back to the Founding Fathers. The Constitution — Constitutional values. Turn the clock back to what this country used to be, not what it is now. AB: So you say turn the clock back to what it used to be. When... GW: Before! I would, well it’s been a long slow progression. The progressive party, apparently, historically, got started in the early 1900s. And it’s just been a slow decline over the decades. The government has just assumed more and more and more — it’s kind of like the camel in the tent thing. If you put a camel in a tent it fills up the tent and the eventually you’ve got all the camel in the tent — well the camel is 90 percent in the tent [laughter] — two-thirds. AB: So — I mean there was great prosperity after World War II, throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, pretty much until the ‘70s, and then there was prosperity again in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. What — when you say it was a slow decline, what are you referring to? GW: As far as loss of freedoms — massive increase in government regulations, massive increase in government control that has happened very slowly over the decades. I remember the EPA getting started; I remember OSHA getting started, and all these government agencies. Now he’s creating all these other government — it just keeps growing. It’s like, there was a movie called The Blob, it’s like the Blob [laughter]. AB: I’m aware of the Blob. It creeps, right? GW: [Silence] AB: So you mention OSHA and the EPA — do you feel those are net losses between the two? Do you notice any benefits from either agency? GW: No, they interfere — greatly. I saw it as an engineer over many years. One wonderful example is they shut down the San Joaquin Valley — one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world to save this stupid little minnow. Well I’m sure that minnow will probably outlive all of us. That’s what they do, they go to a court — a liberal court — declare some critter or bug or minnow endangered and they use that to shut down whatever they want to shut down, and it’s just insane. I would go to these guys and say, have you ever heard of a fish farm? You want to save the minnow — they raise catfish over at the lake [laughter]. You don’t shut down the San Joaquin Valley — that’s insane. And then unemployment shot out the roof 30-plus percent. Everybody got — and they were irate, and had every right to be irate. But that’s the crazy stuff that they do. AB: What about the Tea Party do you feel the media consistently gets wrong or misapprehends? GW: Well, just in the last few days they accuse us of being racist — well, we’re not racist, we’ve got all races in the Tea Party. Now, if they really searched they might find a racist. Just like O’Reilly said, every nation, every organization on the planet has its — I mean the police department, you have bad police. So there’s probably some people — I don’t know any. Some of my best friends are black. AB: Why do you suppose the allegations of racism? GW: It’s an attempt to discredit us. It’s not going to fly, but that’s what they do — that’s Saul Alinksy, discredit. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, they just make the accusation and try to discredit you. AB: I guess are there any questions I haven’t asked you yet or is there anything else I should know? GW: I can’t think of anything really. I’ve lived — I’m 57 years old — I’ve lived through a lot of American history, I mean all the way back to — I remember when we went off the gold standard, I remember when we went off the silver standard and now we’re on the paper standard [laughter]. Which, if you know anything about the Weimar Republic — people used to carry deutschmarks in wheelbarrows because they were worthless! And that’s happened since then — I Googled hyperinflation and where else has it happened in the ‘90s do you know? AB: Well, I know Zimbabwe has had... GW: Zimbabwe. They actually had a $1 billion note — you could buy three eggs with it. The currency literally became worthless. I think we’re in danger — we’re so far in debt. The paper money isn’t worth anything — we could go into inflation and then hyperinflation. Keynesian economics has never worked wherever it’s been tried — ever! You cannot spend your way out of debt, into prosperity — it just.... I mean that’s just counterintuitive. AB: But the logic behind Keynesian economics isn’t spending yourself out of debt, it’s spending yourself out of depression. GW: Yeah. AB: Taking on debt to fund the refueling of the economy. GW: Yeah, but it makes the money — if the money was backed by gold, things like that — but it’s backed by nothing. There’s nothing stopping the government from printing as much money as it wants. AB: Right. To what do you attribute the post-war boom? GW: Well, a lot of people came home — the wartime effort and the military industrial complex and all that stuff. I’ve got to say though, there was huge needs for housing, there was huge needs for stuff because we came out of the war and we were drained. So there was this huge need, and that drove the economy more than anything else. And right now we’re at a point where we don’t have these huge needs — look at this house. Cars. So everybody was thinking the same thing — we’ve got to get the economy going again. And the government was actually on your side. I mean even business leaders are starting now to say he’s anti-business — really? When did you figure that one out? [laughter] AB: And earlier you’d mentioned, when discussing what is American and what isn’t — you said that freedom was something that was American. Do you see freedom as being something that’s equally distributed among citizens in the United States? GW: If the government would get out of the way, yeah. AB: What do you mean by that? GW: Affirmative action, all these other programs that shouldn’t be. Everybody should be given the same opportunity — in that sense it’s a level playing field. If you can figure out a way to go out and make lots of money, have at it. AB: Do you think that minus affirmative action we’d have equal opportunity? GW: Well we went through slavery and all this other stuff — it was an attempt... But every time the government gets involved in leveling the playing field it fails miserably. In fact, it makes things worse, ergo the housing projects. Miserable failure — they figured they’d give these people place to live and it would be fine. No they wouldn’t. AB: Well, I don’t think I have any other questions, is there anything else you’d like to add or anything else you’d like to show me, I see you have some documents? GW: The education system — and I know because my ancestors came from Prussia. You might find that interesting reading. It’s how — and I remember — it was called the dumbing down of America. Public education in my view, and I spent the first 24 years of my life in private schools and public schools — Washington University is a public school — everything else was Catholic. If I had to sit in a classroom today, just auditing, I would probably be astonished at how little, how horrible the public school education system is. I’m all for vouchers. I’m all for home schooling. I’m all for — I would kill the NEA, I would destroy it. AB: Do you have children of your own? GW: No. That’s the only reason I’m not involved in it. AB: So your perception of education is that it’s been declining? GW: Oh, yeah. AB: To what do you attribute that? GW: Ted Kennedy. The government. It’s intentional. It’s called the dumbing down of America — liberals want everybody stupid so they can control them. That’s typical, and that’s kind of what that article is about. AB: When you say Ted Kennedy, there, in particular. Why? GW: Because of his education bills and everything else. He is literally, intentionally, because he’s a liberal, trying to destroy — he doesn’t want. You get really — well I fell through the cracks, he didn’t get to me. And you can see that reflected in the TV shows of the ‘70s — what was the name of the show, John Travolta was in it? It was a sitcom about the schools? AB: I’m not familiar but I have a very limited knowledge of television. I’ll look that up though — John Travolta? GW: Yeah, it was a sitcom. AB: I’ll look that up. GW: They were just sitting in the classroom horsing around — they weren’t learning anything. I had excellent math teachers in high school — I mean the guy had a master’s degree in math, he was really good. You just don’t see that anymore. They get out of school they can’t read they can’t write. I remember at Washington University I actually knew people at Washington University that couldn’t read! How? AB: So, your allegation that the liberals want to keep everyone stupid — do you think, are liberals stupid or do they just want people to be stupid? GW: They think they’re the elite — they think they’re the smartest people on the planet and they know how you should live and you don’t. And that gets into the freedom thing — they want to control your life — and that’s communism, socialism — they want to control your life as much as they possibly can because they think they know better than you. AB: So, if they want to keep people stupid and dumbed down — what’s their intentions for keeping power in the long term? If they keep people stupid, how do they regenerate new liberals? GW: I don’t know. It’s a self-defeating philosophy — but they don’t look at it that way. AB: Why do you suppose liberals want to control people? GW: That’s who they are — they’re control freaks, for whatever reasons. I don’t understand. But there are lots of control freaks — you see it in the business world too, you see it in the education world, you see it in government — everywhere. AB: A question I forgot to ask earlier — what are your top political issues? GW: Fixing the economy by getting the government out of it. To me the less control the government has over the economy the better. AB: What inspires that belief? GW: Look what’s going on. AB: So the current crisis? GW: Yeah, the current crisis. We’re spending ourselves into oblivion. And this so-called stimulus package hasn’t stimulated anything — it’s created lots of government jobs, but the private sector’s dying. AB: Okay, so economy. What’s another. GW: What’s number two? I’m drawing a blank right now but I know there’s a number two. AB: Economy’s a big one, it incorporates a lot. GW: That’s the major one — number two is probably so distant. Well there’s, I guess foreign affairs. And I learned this from Johnson — never put a liberal in charge of a war — ever. They’ll screw it up every time. And that gets into my philosophy of warfare. Never get involved in a war unless you intend 1) to win it, outright and then 2) come back home as fast as you possibly can. Win and come home. AB: What was your — as you called it earlier, Gulf War II — how did you feel that war went? GW: Well, we did what we should have done in Gulf War I — got rid of Saddam. And I remember Gulf War I and then we had 10 years of flyovers — God knows how many billions of dollars that cost. We should have gotten rid of him in Gulf War I — we were staged to do it. And then 10 years later, oh, I guess we need to go back and do what we didn’t do in Gulf War I. That was pretty obvious to me. AB: I think that might be all I have unless you have anything else. GW: No. I don’t know if you’ve read the Communist Manifesto, but there’s a lot of similarities. [Greg hands over a stack of papers]. AB: What is? Oh this is the Communist Manifesto — oh a short summary of it. GW: Yeah, I actually have that upstairs too. AB: Where does this summary come from? GW: The url is down there at the bottom. Oh that’s mine. It comes from — looks like it’s from a libertarian site I went to. AB: I’ll see what they highlighted. Great. Do you have any questions for me. GW: No, but if you want to participate — you’re going back to New York in? AB: Right, July 24. GW: Well, I’ll give you this — if you want to join the capitalist system, become a capitalist pig. We sell energy contracts in New York — you can look at the information there, that’s my Web site. And you can eventually get your energy for free if you build your network. AB: It’s called Ambit Energy? GW: MmHm — they’re growing faster than any other country in history, in fact they’re going to beat google to a billion dollars faster than anyone else. AB: So you’re a part of this company? GW: Yeah. AB: What’s your role? GW: I’m a consultant — it’s classic network marketing, except it’s much more aggressive than I’ve ever seen. AB: Yeah, I’ll take a look. — Interview conducted by A.J. Bauer —

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