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MAGA: Stranger Than Fiction (with Brad Thor)

September 17, 2023
Notes
Transcript
Fellow never-Trump Republican Brad Thor joins Tim this Sunday to talk his new thriller novel, “Dead Fall.” They also discuss the decline of the GOP away from freedom and towards populism, the horror that would be a a second Trump presidency, and President Biden’s handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

Buy Brad’s new book here: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Fall-Thriller-Scot-Harvath-ebook/dp/B0BHTNRQQQ

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    Hello, and welcome to the Bulwark next level Sunday show. I’m your host Tim Miller. I’m here today with my friend Jonathan Last victorious Last. Hello, JBL?
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:17

    Hey, buddy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:19

    I brought you here. It was just me on the interview of Radethor, but I brought you here because I have a couple of items that really require you. Here for the intro. And so we’re gonna get to those for a second. Just sit tight with me for one second.
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:31

    Okay. But for the listeners who are coming, Brad Thor is our guest. He is a number one best selling New York Times thriller offer. Number one. I never got to number one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:41

    So two of the three people on this Show will have been New York Times bestseller list people. That is so cool.
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:47

    And he’s done it several several times, actually. He sold twenty million books, which is slightly more than why we did it. And, you would see his books at a vacation home near you if you’re not a thrill or read anytime you’re at a vacation home, look at their book list. And I guarantee there’ll be a Brad Thuller book there. He’s also a member of the, Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell unit.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:08

    If that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will, but we’ll talk about that on the putt.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:12

    I did not know that about Brad. That’s fascinating.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:14

    So just one thing for the guest, Brad, is, he’s a conservative and he was a prominent figure in right wing media, not like JBL commie right wing media, like real right wing media, in addition to his fiction writing before Trump came along. But unlike others, when Trump came down an escalator, he didn’t waiver. He didn’t bend the knee. He didn’t start writing megabooks with transgender, bud light, swelling, bad guys. In fact, he kinda did the opposite as, as you’ll hear about.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:40

    When I asked him how to introduce him, he described self as a proud anti populist and Bulwark fan. Alright. So I appreciate that very much. That said, he’s definitely to the right of, I think every guest we’ve had on the Sunday show, and I think that’s a good thing. We’re gonna need people like Brad to beat back the Fascist threat.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:56

    We can’t just have handsome chomsky eyed surfers like Adam Brody, the thing more people
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:02

    like that. What do we get Jason Miller?
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:04

    Yeah. I don’t know. Jason Miller. I don’t think Jason Miller. You’re right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:07

    That’s what I’m saying. It’s you have to find it’s challenging because
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:09

  • Speaker 2
    0:02:09

    I know I’m kidding.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:10

  • Speaker 3
    0:02:10

    to find a conservative who is also a person of integrity. Brad is that. So, anyway, JBL, I vote you here for two purposes. The second purpose is fun. The first purpose.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:19

    I just I want you to do the school principal thing in case any of the liberal listeners get triggered by anything, what do they need to do?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:27

    Do not make me pull this car over. Look, if you go to the triad comments section, which is my opinion, the single best comment section anywhere on the internet, it is because we adhere to a very simple rule. Commentss should have at least two of the three following qualities. They should be kind necessary or true. The best comments are all three.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:57

    Every comment should at least hit two of those. Right. And, you know, be your best selves.
  • Speaker 4
    0:03:03

    Be your best selves. But, hey, if
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:04

    we’d love to hear feedback, honest feedback, critiques always welcome, but just be your best selves. Okay. Before I get to Brad. I did wanna pick your random one other thing, and just give folks a little candy. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:13

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about all week. It there’s been a lot of And I think some of our some in our among our colleagues, some maybe even myself, frankly, there’s been a lot of concern about Joe Biden recently. And a lot of times these little narratives bubble up at a particular time. There have been columns written about this. David Ignatious.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:31

    There have been people on Morning Joe. Bill Crystal and James Carmel had a great podcast on this topic where pro democracy, people of good intent are starting to have a little bit of concern about Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. They’re starting to get get their undies a little wet, and they’re expressing those reservations right now before they feel like it’s too late. There’s something interesting though. I haven’t seen any of those for about the fact that Donald Trump is wanting were high married by fifty points.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:00

    There had been any Fox News monologues about how this is the moment to stop Donald Trump or Ben Secret Podcast or our senators. I admit Romney’s gone now. Any of the remaining senators, John Thune. People keep telling me about how John Thune is gonna carry the torch for the normies. Have have we heard him speak about that?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:17

    We’ve gotten exactly one, and that’s Chris Sanuno. First of all, you can’t write about this because I, in the fifteen minutes, before we sat down to take this, had started Friday’s newsletter. And, you know, maybe can I just read it to you?
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:30

    Maybe I’ll just read it to you. Hold on now. That lit literally the purpose of me bringing this to you. Was that I just kind of wanted to steal a couple of your takes so that I could write about this next week, but you you’re saying you’ve beat me to it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:41

    I’ve I’ve already started writing it. And with, you know Let me hear. So on the one hand, Donald Trump has, never won the popular vote, is the first incumbent president to lose reelection in his generation, is twice in Pete, is massively unpopular, is currently facing ninety one counts of felony indictment.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:57

    And as a lunatic
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:57

    republicans on
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:58

    the funnest face.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:59

    Talk about his like, stability, like, in these little hush tones, again, except in Chris Sununu, who goes all the way to the other side. It was like, Donald Trump can’t possibly win. Right? That they just, though, you’ll occasionally get a murmur on background while we are worried about him in the general election. And when Nikki Haley at the debate mentioned that that he was unpopular, everybody booed him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:18

    When you look at the polling on what Republican primary voters think, they think he is at the strongest bet to win the presidency, and that he’s gonna beat Biden in a landslide. On the other hand, we have Joe Biden who got more votes than anyone who’s ever run with president, has this large record of popular bipartisan legislation with extremely low unemployment, Americans at peace, our alliances are strong, and Democrats are fucking desperate to get him off the ticket because they think he’s going to lose to Trump. And I, you know, in a weird way, I’m not goofing on them because I think both parties might be kind of right because here is here’s the depressing, dark JBL. I had thought the the Trump was a coin flip to win the election. I put him as slightly more than a coin flip now, and to not I don’t mean steel collection.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:06

    I mean, like, just win the electoral college fair and square. Oh my god. And I feel like This
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:11

    is so sweet of people’s candy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:13

    I feel like this is where we are headed. Cornell West is gonna run. I’m sorry. Cornell West is gonna take a few votes from Biden. Is it gonna be a lot of votes?
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:21

    I don’t know. Could it be twelve thousand votes in Georgia? Sure. Sure. Shit could.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:26

    Yeah. And, this is This is really, really dark. Here’s why I’m actually not so worried about it. Any country that would look at these two, and make it a coin flip and be like, yeah, no, no, let’s go back to that other guy who killed, like, an extra four hundred thousand people in COVID by telling people to inject bleach into them and Unemployment was, like, sky high under him when he left, and the economy was in shambles. And, you know, old and he attempted a coup.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:55

    He attempted a coup. Yeah. Let’s just go back to that. You know what? We fucking deserve it, and I do not believe then that there’s anybody other than Joe Biden who would magically turn voters into sensible people.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:07

    We’ll leave it to you to take the candy and turn it into coal, but I I wanna just go back to candy for a second because we’re gonna have plenty of time to kind of bat around that concept that, you know, we deserve another Donald Trump term. Here’s my thing. It’s like, I keep being told you know, over on the dispatch. Don’t like to talk about the closet normals. I what did this be the moment for the normals to come out of the closet?
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:31

    And it is pretty jarring and just focusing on that for getting the general election. It is pretty jarring that we’re standing here four months from January. Mitt Romney is retiring. And and, like, literally, I was on way too early this morning. I and so I’m a little bit punchy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:46

    And Jonathan Lamir says to me, who is gonna carry Mitt Romney torch in talking about the dangers of Donald Trump. And I couldn’t come up with a name. I couldn’t come up with a fucking name. Their forty nine Republican senators shouldn’t forty of them be holding a press conference that’s like, guys, Like, this is an extreme danger. Like, we are walking into the gates of hell right now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:09

    Like, can we put the brakes on this there be one Fox Primetime host? I keep Remember remember all the stories about Rupert? There was a little spade of people worried about Trump’s stories like last year. Remember, Rupert really worried. Rupert’s worried.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:21

    I can’t Rupert put one fucking host in Primetime. That’s like, guys, should should we consider the alternative here? Should we maybe take another at Nikki Haley take a walk around the park with her. Nobody’s doing that. There’s no one left.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:34

    You Hewitt can’t do it. Nobody?
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:36

    Let me throw this at you, Tim. There is a much greater chance that a Democratic senator will enter the general election to challenge Joe Biden and cost Democrats the presidency, then there is that a Republican senator will publicly say I can’t support Trump. That’s just true. Either Joe Manchin or Kristen’s cinema has a very large chance of actually running for president on the labels
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:03

    Do we count Murkowski or she in the packs? I don’t think she’ll vote.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:06

    No. But I don’t know if she’ll say it though. Right? Believe me, I think very few of those senators will actually vote for Trump They’ll vote for Biden or they’ll leave it Bulwark, but they will all pretend publicly that they’re there for Trump.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:20

    Yeah. I just I’m just flabber guy. I hear you. I’m just it’s just gumsmacking. I think, you know, sometimes we just get into our little, and it’s like, Tim, are you surprised that they aren’t standing up?
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:30

    These people have been cowards for knowing it Like, no. I’m not surprised by this, but sometimes you just gotta take the lens back and just look at everything instead of being in the daily new clinical, maybe kind of, like, give yourself the men in black pen treatment and think, like, how would I think about this moment if I hadn’t lived the last decade? And it’s, like, I think what I would think about this moment is this is fucking insane that there’s nobody saying anything. Like that all of the premise for all the Joe Biden bedwetting articles Like, there’s still five months. Like, this is our last time.
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:00

    We really should think about this right now.
  • Speaker 5
    0:10:01

    What
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:02

    if he just replaced Kamala? Right? That’s fine. Yeah. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:05

    Like, there are these, like, we still have a little time. Like, you know, we’ll stop doing this. We’ll get on board at Thanksgiving, but, like, I when we have this window, shouldn’t we think about this? Like, all of premise behind all those articles is true times a gazillion for Donald Trump. This would be the time for people to be like, guys, I know he’s up by fifty, but, but, like, really, really shouldn’t we be reassessing this?
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:25

    I mean, are we sure about this? And either on the practical side about him not winning or hurting their public party, but but likely, more importantly, unlike the, can the country survive? Are we sure?
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:36

    But, Tim, this is the same thing that we saw with the New Mexico governor’s gun executive order, where the Democratic governor does something that is unwise, even though it is in line with general Democratic political leanings, and a whole mess of prominent Democrats and activists even rush out to say, nope, this is bad. You can’t do that. When Republicans do it? I mean, do you remember how hard it was to get Glen Youngen to say that the Texas abortion bounty law was not something not that it was bad, but something he wouldn’t do in Virginia. And it took months.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:12

    It took months to get him just to say that. This is the category difference between the two parties and why the sort of both sides journalism stuff is just utterly broken at this point.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:24

    Okay. I’m not on Charlie’s punt. I guess there’s people listening on Sunday. I wasn’t on on Friday. We’re taping this Friday morning before you write your tryout.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:31

    Hopefully, we gave you some grit for that. I had to get this off my chest. It’s a little bit longer than our our normal intro, but I hope people enjoyed that. It was a good intro long intro, if you will. Up next, Our friend Brad Thor, New York Times best selling author.
  • Speaker 5
    0:11:45

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:45

    Brad Thor. I hope you guys enjoy it, but first, take him a little acid tongue. Peace off. Hello, and welcome to the Bullericks next level Sunday show. I’m your host Tim Miller.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:12

    I’m here today with Bulwark fan and, you know, that’s the most important part of his bio. But, also New York Times best selling author, twenty two books, most recently Dead Fall, which was on the best seller list. I’ve only had one book in the best seller list. We’re not gonna do a compare and contrast on the on that. Scott harves series.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:31

    The man, the myth the legend Brad Thor, who’s coming at us from Paris for this interview. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Thank you, Brad, for coming to hang out.
  • Speaker 5
    0:12:39

    Oh, it’s it’s my pleasure. I got delayed coming in. So I came right in from the airport. Right into the apartment and set up to do this with you. So this is fun.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:46

    Perfect. So you can go get a good meal out in Paris after this is over. You’ll have earned it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:12:51

    Gay pur wait, can we even say gay puri or will we get canceled in Florida? This episode won’t show.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:55

    We can say gay puri on this podcast for sure. I don’t I don’t know about everywhere, but on this podcast, good. That that is a nice transition to a point that I was gonna make. I just wanna come clean on this, Brad. I I’m not a thriller reader.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:07

    And I think it might be the gay thing. I don’t know. You you’re you’re the one who has book signings. I don’t know if it if it stereotypically feels like a lot of gays are showing up to your book signings, but I’m gonna suspect no. You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want.
  • Speaker 5
    0:13:19

    No. It’s fine.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:19

    So I that’s what I’m gonna blame it on. My experience with you was twofold. I I feel like I’ve known you as a Twitter personality kind of a conservative commentator, Twitter personality, I’m just for any any liberals who are gonna get worried about this. He is good. He’s an ever trumper, so so, you know, you can calm down.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:36

    So I was I’d experienced views that conservative Twitter personality. Then I’d experience of you as, you know, when I had Airbnb at the beach, I would see your I would see Brad Thor books, you know, on on the on the table. One. But I I hadn’t read a lot of them. And so for listeners who are like me who kind of are coming to you clean, who are not one of the many, many, many people have bought your books, why don’t you just give us your origin story for how you got into writing thrillers, and then how you started to sort of become a political commentator as well.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:05

    So I grew up in Chicago, went to a very small liberal arts high school, progressive liberal arts high school called Francis Parker, Anne H. Was a classmate of mine. God rest her soul, who just passed away not too long ago. Billy Zane, was a senior and a buddy of mine, the actor, Green lantern Titanic. It was Billy.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:24

    No. Billing’s name was the phantom. It was Brian Reynolds. It was Green Land’s time. Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:28

    Sorry. I can mess those two up. But anyway We need
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:31

    a JBL on here to correct your to correct the record on comic book stuff.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:35

    Straighten it out. But, like, Daryl, Hannah, Jennifer Beals, we had a lot of interesting come out of Francis Parker, and go on to Hollywood and and do need things in the arts. So, I grew up, the arts were something to make you better around it. They were not a career My dad had gotten out of the south side of Chicago with the US, marine corps. My mom had been a flight attendant for TWA in the glamour days in the sixties, and she Paris, New York, New York Paris.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:59

    And I went out to the University of Southern California for college as a business major and hated it. Absolutely hated it. And I took a test that’s I think they call it the strong inventory now. It used to be called the strong Campbell Personality test and scored off the charts for writing and publishing and decided that what I wanted to do. And, when I graduated college, I did the the thing no American had ever done.
  • Speaker 5
    0:15:20

    I moved to Paris to write a novel. I’ve never been done by an American now. And, I got a couple chapters into it, and I quit. I was afraid of failure. What would happen if I wrote a crummy book, and I couldn’t get it sold, whatever, And so I had had this idea for a TV show that I wanted to do a travel show because I thought travel made me a better American, and I’d done a lot of get a backpack, that kind of a thing.
  • Speaker 5
    0:15:41

    So I pitched. I came back from France, and I’ve lived in Greece for a summer intended bar. I came back in pitch public television. I’ve got this idea for a TV show for eighteen to thirty four year go to Europe on a budget because at that time, Rick Steve’s was like the only game on public television. And so they loved it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:15:57

    We did it. I was the producer writer and host. And then fast forward, I get married. I’m on my honeymoon, and my wife and I are having a drink somewhere, in Italy, and she asked me a question. Probably you wanna ask potential spouse before you try to not.
  • Speaker 5
    0:16:11

    Yeah. It it was, what would you regret on your deathbed never having done? And I said writing a book and getting it And she said, okay. When we get home, you gotta start spending two hours a day, making that dream come true. And that became my first novel.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:25

    What a woman.
  • Speaker 5
    0:16:26

    Yeah. Very lucky.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:27

    Thank god for that. Yeah. So I wanna get back to kind of the writing process stuff towards the end. But so the books themselves mostly are, I I think you call them faction. It’s a lot of stuff that’s happening in national security world, foreign affairs world, So talk to us about that, how you kind of got into that world and sort of how that led to you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:46

    Also, you know, being kind of a commentator on national security affairs, and then eventually, actually, literally being asked for advice from the government about this sort of stuff.
  • Speaker 5
    0:16:55

    Yeah. And it’s funny because, yeah, like, people haven’t read a Brad fourth roller before. It’s James Bond, Tom Clancy. It’s very international intrigue, and I try to find something that’s happening in the world of kind of geopolitics to act as the background that everything gets set against. So, Steven King once said that you should write what you love to read because that’s where your passion is.
  • Speaker 5
    0:17:16

    And I I believe that’s true. And so I grew up, particularly in the summers stealing books from my parents. When they would set a book down on the porch, at our cottage in Wisconsin, they’d finish a clancy, a lovelum, a le carre, I’d steal it, and I’d read it. And I always love these books, and I always knew that if I was gonna write a book, that’s the genre I’d wanna write in. So that’s what I do.
  • Speaker 5
    0:17:33

    And I say faction is what I do because you don’t know where the facts end and the fiction begins. So, I think I was one or two. I was very early in my career. I think my first book had just come out when something got put together by the government called the analytic red cell unit, and it was put together at
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:52

    the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Speaker 5
    0:17:52

    And they realized that nine eleven and as you and I are recording this, and I’m over in Paris, and I’m assuming you’re in New Orleans. Yes. So I got this call, and it was like a scene out of a movie I’m hiking. We were living in the mountains of Park City, Utah at that point in time, and I’m hiking with my dog in a place where I get no bars on my cell phone. And all of a sudden, the cell phone rings, and I get asked to come to DC, and be part of this program.
  • Speaker 5
    0:18:17

    And so what it was is bringing creative thinkers into DC from outside the Beltway to help the government think three or four steps ahead of the bad guys. So it’s people like me, Michael Bay, the director of the Transformers movies. Yeah, it was really wild. And they put us in there in and had us dream up scenarios. You know, there were points in time where you thought they were giving you clues that they couldn’t figure out how to put together.
  • Speaker 5
    0:18:39

    Like, if you had a pair of, you know, air jordans from, like, the mid eighties, and then you had a train ticket that should have gone this direction. And then a cell phone that was bought in Jakarta, and all the stuff in a bag and dropped in a canal in Amsterdam. How much you connect these wild stuff? But being the son of a United States Marine, it was an honor to be asked serve my country, not by picking up a rifle like my dad did, but by using, you know, my, my creative power between my years.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:05

    Yeah. And so I was listening to an interviewer doing where you’re talking about this. And it’s not just a red cell program, and, and we might go down that rabbit hole a little bit more in a minute, but also do a lot of interviews for these books these throw those books, you have to speak to people that are in intelligence agencies. You gotta learn about how the diplomatic process Bulwark, in a deep way for for these books to have a sense of realism for somebody that is, you know, whose dad’s orbit is an outsider. And one thing that you said that caught my attention, you’re actually on a in the Secret Podcast.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:33

    This was a while ago, and I noticed the host kinda themselves a little bit when you said this. And it was the deeper I get into this, the more thoughtful and intelligent the government works at least on the diplomatic and intelligence side. So I basically, you know, what your your take was, you know, for all of this discussion about all the incompetence and the lack of trust that we have these days in our institutions. Like, the more you’ve kind of dug in and and interviewed, the more you’ve kind of been blown away by like how there’s like a lot of competent. Isn’t saying the government’s perfect or whatever, but you just take that wherever you wanna take it about how what your sense is for that having, you know, kind of dug into these in institutions a little bit.
  • Speaker 5
    0:20:11

    So you’re you’re hitting me very close to home because it’s the whole Tom Nichols’s death of expertise in, the whole populism thing, right, where there’s this erosion of trust in institutions. And, listen, when I got asked to join the analytic red cell unit, that’s the most forward thinking and aggressive program I’ve ever seen the federal government engage in. And I was so proud to be part of it. It was just amazing. They were honestly doing everything they could.
  • Speaker 5
    0:20:35

    There were no holds barred making sure we didn’t have another nine eleven. So the deeper I got into that world, whether it was on the diplomatic side, whether it was on the intelligence side, the special operations side, the more books I wrote, the more doors were open to me. And the more people I got to meet, and I really do believe that, Tim, that these men and women that are out there doing particularly some of the nation’s most dangerous business are some of our absolute best and most committed because they’re not doing it for the paycheck. That’s for damn sure. I mean, they love what they do, but they’re doing it because they believe in the mission, they believe in the people they’re serving with.
  • Speaker 5
    0:21:06

    So I found that the deeper I got in, This is pre twenty sixteen, pre maga, pre populism, which is so corrupted so much stuff. Not everybody. I’ve been proud of some people’s behavior, and I’ve been absolutely shocked by other peoples. I’ve actually lost friendships with people who are members of Congress. Because I’ve just said, you know, you’re basically you’re an asshole.
  • Speaker 5
    0:21:27

    Yeah. This is about an oath to the constitution, not to mango mussolini. So I’ve been shocked on the political end, but I continue to be heartened by the people that I meet who are actually doing the boots on the ground day to day stuff that required to keep the nation moving and secure to keep it going forward.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:44

    Yeah. That makes me wonder. You know, so then when Trump comes in, Jude Pad relationships in this world. The book, I guess, it’s not really surprising. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:52

    The, like, National Security oriented Republicans were attracted to your book. And, you know, as I said, you started doing some commentary. You talked about that on Fox. And so you had these relationships, you know, and then some of them think we can, we can put Congress creditors in a bucket for a second, talk about them in a minute. But the people that, like, went into the Trump administration, I always thought this was such a tough question.
  • Speaker 5
    0:22:13

    One of my best friends became the national security adviser.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:16

    Yeah. So that’s what I wanted to ask you. What did you think about that? Right? Cause at some level, I thought going in being Robert O’Brien, we’re talking about like becoming national security adviser.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:24

    Yep. You know, that’s one thing. I guess I’d rather have Robert O’Brien there than Corey Lewandowski or whatever as national security adviser, you know, but then other people, I felt like didn’t have as good of a rationalization for going in. And I thought even the Robert O’Brien of the world, you know, over time end up kind of getting corrupted. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:41

    You think you are moving Trump to the same world and actually, trump’s kind of moving you to the crazy world. So I’m just curious what your thought about both your friend Robert, but also just in general about that concept.
  • Speaker 5
    0:22:53

    Yeah. So I think Robert did a fantastic job. It’s interesting. Robert and I were neighbors when I was in college. I mean, we go back that far, which is really interesting.
  • Speaker 5
    0:23:01

    We stood on the roof of my apartment building during the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict. Keeping a watch because we’re above a Airwan health food store and anything that had a cash register was getting, like, looted and then burned, which meant our building would have gone up. And so we’re all taking shifts I think Robert did a very good job, and I think it’s because Roberts has an ability to put his ego aside. Robert realized his job was there to advise president of the United States. It was not to not to try to mold him.
  • Speaker 5
    0:23:29

    He here’s your menu of options. Here’s you rank them, all that kind of stuff. And, of course, I don’t have Tom Secret Podcast clearance. So there’s a ton of stuff that I’ll never know that happened in the room and that kind of stuff. But, you know, Robert saw that job through right to the end.
  • Speaker 5
    0:23:43

    And, you know, look at how scary the Department of Justice was getting right there at the end where they were trying to put Jeffrey Clark in. And, I mean, who knows what kind of you know, you had the thing with Flynn, where Flynn lied to the FBI, and he was found guilty. I mean, he was kind of the original national security adviser. So I I have to tell you I would rather see Robert O’Brien do that job. And listen, Robert’s a really good guy.
  • Speaker 5
    0:24:03

    He’s a deeply religious conservative Mormon guy. I mean, is as honest as day is long. I mean, you really could not pick a better person to serve in an in an administration in any capacity in my opinion better than Robert. I mean, he really understands the position. It’s not about him.
  • Speaker 5
    0:24:19

    It’s about the administration that he’s serving. So I was proud of the job he did.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:23

    Yeah. On the other side of that, though, is, you know, you know, you get after what happened enough yet. Park, obviously That was terrible.
  • Speaker 5
    0:24:29

    Yes. That was horrible.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:31

    Yeah. Then, obviously, you get January six. And then it’s like, so let’s do a little mini red cell program here. But this is about domestic threats not foreign. How would you feel about that if Trump god forbid wins again?
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:41

    Like, what do you do then? Can you really go back in? And and feel good about serving in that administration, but on the other hand, don’t we, do we almost need, like, do we need an actual state. They’ve been imagining a deep state for a long time, but do we need deep state spies to go in there, to try to save the republic? I mean, what, how do you game a situation like that out?
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:02

    I so that’s that’s interesting. I think it’s funny because for the longest time, we’ve heard the left talk about the electoral college and how, you know, it’s not fair. And, you know, I always remind my friends on the left of two things. I always tell them that the word democracy does not appear anywhere in the founding documents. And then I also love to stick the shiv in and break off the handle on Mitt Romney.
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:23

    I’m like, you know what? Thank god. We never got Mitt Romney. The binders full of women. Remember what a terrible guy meant Romney was.
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:29

    I should, you know, this is this is what happens when we catastrophize politics. It really gets us to a place that All of us took for granted. We’d never get there. Right? The system was gonna hold.
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:37

    The courts have done extremely well. So back to your question about, you know, let’s say Robert O’Brien. If he gets tapped. Does he go back and serve again as a national security adviser? I don’t know.
  • Speaker 5
    0:25:47

    I can’t answer for Robert. I think he did a really good job. And listen, Roberts, the Iranians tried Robert in absentia in, in Tehran for being involved in the Soleimani hit. So he’s still under threat from Iran. So he he sacrificed a lot for the country.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:04

    I know him personally, and I have the utmost confidence in in who he is. He’s one of the guys. Yes. I would like to see if god forbid Trump got elected again, I would be able to sleep much better at night knowing Robert of Ryan was there advising him, as his national security adviser. Straight up.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:19

    And if he calls you and he says, Hey, I need a I need a PR adviser to come in.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:24

    No. No. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:26

    No. I probably last like one scaramucci.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:29

    One scaraboochie. Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:30

    Because I can’t fluff the guy. Yeah. And I won’t fluff the guy. I mean, and I and I’m friends with Anthony. And, you know, the guy, oh, and the thing about he throws perfect spirals and stuff That’s like Kim Jong un level.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:39

    And when they went around the table and they were all saying why they were so honored to serve, it’s disgusting. We as a you know, is that old line that people get the government they deserve? Well, the fact is the majority of this country does not deserve another Trump administration. We haven’t done anything wrong. To deserve that.
  • Speaker 5
    0:26:55

    And I hope I hope it doesn’t happen. But regardless of who serves in that office, I want them to have the best people, the most talented people for that job. And what ends up happening, because Trump is such a buffoon, is that a lot of the a list people won’t serve
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:10

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:27:10

    And so that hurts the country. That’s another reason not to elect Trump because he can’t attract all of the top talent. He can get some talent But then you get a lot of c and d listers that make Kathy Griffin look like she’s an a lister because because they’re they they wanna sniff the throne. They wanna get close power. And some of these people, like the kraken lady Sydney Powell and these people are never ever gonna get near to a White House ever again in their lifetimes.
  • Speaker 5
    0:27:34

    And this was their shot. And so there was that allure power corrupts and absolute power corrupts. Absolutely. And it attracts those remora, you know, that wanna just suck on.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:43

    Well, hopefully, this is like a game theory thing. I always struggle with. And I’ve gone back and forth with many people, and I’m just always interested to hear your different points of view, because, like, I was kind of of the view that, these people shouldn’t have gotten in. And that everybody should have gotten to see the, you know, full trump and maybe that would have protected us in the future from taking risks like this. And, you know, let Trump do it all the fucking crazy shit he was gonna do and not have, like, John Kelly’s in there kind of, like, sometimes restraining him, sometimes going, you know, protecting him for his worst Thanks.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:12

    K. But I actually think that that argument has been weakened by January sex. Right?
  • Speaker 5
    0:28:16

    Because And Mattis.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:18

    My theory of the case was once we see the true nature of the beast
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:22

  • Speaker 5
    0:28:22

    We’re gonna wake up suddenly. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:23

  • Speaker 3
    0:28:23

    wake up. But then we saw the true nature of the beast and not very many people woke up, it seems like.
  • Speaker 5
    0:28:29

    What? Ninety one indictments now were up to, four arrests. I mean, listen, this is this is a this is a cult. And I I wish I could remember who pointed this out, but all. Cults end badly.
  • Speaker 5
    0:28:40

    So I don’t want it to end badly for the United States. And I think some of the good people like a Kelly, like a Mattis, like a Robert O’Brien who went in and served did it out of that sense service, you know, who wanted to go in and do the right thing for the country. And, you know, there was that whole thing about keeping guardrails on Trump, but I listen, I’ve been exactly where you were too about saying this guy’s got a flounder, but it’s the price of the floundering. Yes. I want Trump to absolutely have his his political career wrecked by his own behavior.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:07

    But who pays for it in the end? You know, it’s the rest of the country. So at some point, there has to be a sense of Yeah. That guy down the street beats his wife, and it’s none of my business. But, you know, I’m gonna call the cops on that guy.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:19

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:20

    I and
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:20

    it’s a that’s a terrible analogy. I was reaching for something. I’m gonna blame the jet But at some point, you do have to do the right thing. So I have had solution there, but I draw the line at like what Mike Pence did, which was constantly kinda covering for them and all that kinda stuff. Right.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:35

    You know? So there is a line. And
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:38

    good day.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:38

    Yeah. Yeah. There is a line there that I we can say people should be on this side and not on that side. And I just think as good a man as I I believe Mike Pence is at his core, he’s somebody that I think did a bad job in there.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:50

    What did you think about? So Pens gave his speech recently, where he talks about how right now we’re in this battle for the soul of the party.
  • Speaker 5
    0:29:58

    Talking about conservatism versus populism. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:00

    Conservatives versus populism and doing a little bit on here about, like, Actually, Mike Pence, your your name was on the bumper sticker on the populate side of the war. It already happened. Like, it it’s been it’s been going on nine years now. Yeah. Now you wanna switch teams and that’s fine.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:13

    I’m just curious your take on this. Obviously, you fall on the more traditional conservative side in this. Are you as, pessimistic? Was maybe me and JBL about that. I mean, I I’m basically of the view that that war is over and that, like, maybe in a generation or something that the party might turn back over.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:29

    But but for the foreseeable future, the popular side is one and their old classically liberal side of the Republican party is dead. Where do you kind of fall on that discussion?
  • Speaker 5
    0:30:37

    Charlie says the same thing. Charlie thinks we’re a generation from from shaking this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:42

    I won’t try to take that from you. Everybody deserves a little bit of hope.
  • Speaker 5
    0:30:44

    A little bit. If it was JBL, I know he’d be going real, real dark on me. Trying to
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:49

    do that.
  • Speaker 5
    0:30:49

    Listen, I think populism is a cancer. And, Donald Trump is a demagogue, and going back to even Cleon of Athens, the founders were concerned about demagogues. In fact, there’s a reason that, George Washington, he was very involved after he left office, particularly right after when a new president was being elected because he was very worried that after his term and particularly after the revolutionary war, that we were a very weak country that could be taken advantage of by a demagogue. So the perils that a nation can face at the hands of a demagogue, we’ve known about ever since our founding. So I don’t know how we weed that out.
  • Speaker 5
    0:31:24

    And I think social media is the one thing, obviously, the founders could never have seen coming. These people have isolated themselves into silos where they’re only talking to people who think like them, and they’re only getting their news that people feed in from Newsmax and OAN and that kind of stuff. And what we also have is people who know better. Sarah does her triangle of doom thing and everything. But there’s this whole thing where if we were better able to reach these people with truth, you would hope we’d have a better outcome.
  • Speaker 5
    0:31:49

    But these are also people that rushing out to take Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine because they didn’t trust the COVID vaccines. I I just don’t know that some of these people are waitable enough of them. And it’s crazy to think that the next election could come down to fifty thousand votes in a handful of counties.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:05

    Kind of people getting their own silos on social media is something I wanted to ask you about, actually. Because I think in a weird way, you, in theory, at least, could be uniquely positioned to kind of be a person that has an ability to slowly help a couple of people tiptoe away from the abyss. And and I say this because not entirely, I assume that, you know, you’d built an audience that had a lot of conservative readers, and I, and I, so I assume that you had trump voters.
  • Speaker 5
    0:32:34

    Number one’s two? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I would never open a delegate test and hang a sign that says, no lax New
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:39

    Jersey, of course.
  • Speaker 5
    0:32:39

    I I am open to every
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:41

    Of course. Of course. Everybody. I just mean by the nature of your career.
  • Speaker 5
    0:32:45

    I The material attract. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:47

    There’s certainly been let’s just put it this way. Some people that voted for Donald Trump read your books, and that’s that’s good thing. We don’t want people totally silo And my point is that those of us who have come from the pure political world, like, the Magvoter is a lot of times gonna point their finger at us. It’s like, why for our whole campaign was based around real people explaining why they weren’t voting for Donald Trump because Donald Trump voters don’t wanna hear from fucking DC consultants telling them what to do. Alright.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:10

    We’re we’re literally the worst possible message and so since you are kind of like this writer and and you’re out of thrillers and you kind of commentate it on on politics, like in some ways, maybe these folks will listen to you. And so anyway, I’m just curious. Like, have you had any experience from that? If you had readers say, screw you, Brad, I’ve never read you anymore. Have you had people been like, man, kind of appreciated hearing your perspective on this because my whole world was all mega people.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:35

    Anyway, what what’s your experience been on that?
  • Speaker 5
    0:33:37

    So I think if Andrew Brightbark came back from the dead, he’d be shocked to see what his site has turned into, to be honest with you, you know, with the influence of Steve Banning there and everything. Brypart had a great line, which is politics is downstream of culture. You used to say that all the time, all the time. Politics is downstream of culture, and it’s true. So I’m an entertainer.
  • Speaker 5
    0:33:55

    So my job first and foremost is to entertain my audience. But if you close one of my books smarter, then I think I’ve done my job as an American. If you’re questions. And I’ll give you an example. And I know we’re gonna talk about the new book towards the end of the podcast, but I actually put into the new book.
  • Speaker 5
    0:34:09

    One of the things that I’m most concerned about politically, which is this siloing So I actually have a part of the story that’s about, because I say this all the time. Any chance I get that the Russians, the Iranian, the North Koreans, and the Chinese loved on all of our cultural fractures here. There are pressure points that they can push on to turn us against each other. So if you’re in a Facebook group, If you’re in your silo, your guard is down because you think everybody thinks like you. So when the bad guys try to inter inject disinformation and things like that, you are highly susceptible it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:34:39

    You don’t have antibodies to it because you’re just trusting every it’s like, you know, the old guys that they used to forward every email they got without check too good to check. Sort of the thing. So And
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:47

    it literally happened. There was that fake Tennessee Republican Party account, and everybody thought it was the real Republican party. It was the Russians.
  • Speaker 5
    0:34:53

    Yeah. And I live in Tennessee, and I use to spar with those assholes. Oh, I hated those guys. And I said, this can’t be so I don’t wanna turn people away from my book. Okay?
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:04

    It’s an interesting phenomenon because during Barack Obama, the right was all united. You know, we didn’t have all of this in fighting and all that kind of And if you were right of center, you were welcome on Fox. Yeah. But then stuff happens and it’s a different world because people are narrowcasting. They are the same thing with the, you know, the New York Times firing conservative people because the newsroom, the young twenty somethings get upset there.
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:27

    It it’s it’s the danger of fan service. Right? So you wanna be very, very careful. And like I said, I try to put in issues that I think liberals should be concerned about independence, Republicans, be you a MAGA Republican, be you, you know, a Judge Bush Republican, I think that when when Al Qaeda targeted Twin Towers, it wasn’t because it was full of Republicans. You know, if they ever come back and try to hit the subway system, it’s not gonna be because of Democrats.
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:49

    They’re not gonna say, let me see your voter registration, and they say, oh, you better take the bus today. They were out to kill Americans. So I think regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, you should want a healthy functioning democracy. We don’t have a healthy functioning Christie now. I mean, you’ve got guys like Tommy Tuberville, you’ve got Rand Paul.
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:08

    I mean, doing stuff that, you know, a decade ago, even, we would have thought was even, just as outrageous as it is now. But we should want America to do well. So, yeah, there’s a reason they come for the writers and artists first. Right? When they take over, they’re out to do the purges and stuff.
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:24

    It’s because we do find clever ways to get those messages across and stuff like that. But Again, I’m trying to write a an entertaining book, but also warn people of stuff outside the fiction that is a clear and present danger.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:36

    Generally, like, when you are out doing the book sending, are people do they give you feedback about your non book stuff? Are they like, I saw you doing this? Or, you know
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:43

    Every day on Facebook. I mean, you do well, not the non book stuff. I mean, you’ll get people that say, oh, that’s interesting. Like, I created something in DC called the commodore yacht club. Where there’s this whole crazy conspiracy that the Russians spun around this thing.
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:56

    And it’s built on pylons. Okay? There’s no basement. It was kinda comet ping pong showing, you know, the pizza place and the whole pizza gate thing. It was making fun of that sort of a thing and showing how stupid it is to fall for this stuff.
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:09

    Yeah. Because people are lazy. Okay? I I don’t think so many people that say, is it George Kepler for the Daily Show that comes out, interviews all the Trump’s worth. He’s fantastic.
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:19

    He’s fantastic because it’s like the fact. So I like to play with that stuff a little bit in the book. But not I don’t wanna harm. I I don’t wanna tease people. You don’t
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:27

    wanna beat people over the head with it. I get it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:28

    Exactly. Exactly. I I wanna show, hey, this stuff is dangerous and put it into a good white will throw right. And if I can do that, then great. That’s a bonus for me as an American.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:37

    Well, we we should almost do, like, a test. I don’t know. You’re willing to do the red cell Graham. We need, like, a never trumper red cell unit. I feel like that in some ways, you’re just a softer way to just kind of casually get, like, just a dose of sanity.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:50

    Right? You know, if we’re if we’re gonna dump somebody
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:53

    Have Sarah hire me for a focus group. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:55

    Have Sarah. That’s what I’m saying. Because if you don’t if you we dump the Charlie Sykes podcast straight into these people. You know, they’re just gonna get pissed. Okay.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:02

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:02

    But, you know, maybe through maybe we need some short stories, some little metaphors
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:07

    Well, it and what’s the old Christian thing?
  • Speaker 4
    0:38:09

    Go to where they at and bring them to where they need to be. You know what I mean?
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:12

    I I can do some parables And I also think that one of the things we do at our own peril as moderate centrist I mean, I have gotten a lot. I’ve I’ve always been socially inclusive Yeah. My conservatism was always small government and spending.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:26

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:27

    Like with tons of gay friends. I I mean, I I just don’t care about that stuff. I think America is the place where you should be free to do what you wanna do.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:33

    The writing program in USC, you met you met gay people. That’s that’s surprising.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:38

    I lived in LA. I lived off campus. I mean, I came to Paris. I’m staying in the Maray. You can’t get you can’t get more dead center gay and gay paris than the Maray where I am now.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:47

    So I think globalization did leave a lot of people behind. I think we as a nation were not thinking what happens when these products are being made over seas for less money, and these jobs no longer exist for these people who have been in some of these jobs, their families generationally. You know, we have a big problem with recruiting in the military now because some of the grandfathers and fathers who have been in the service or the grandmothers and mothers who would normally be encouraging the next generation to sign up are saying, ah, they’re too woke now. Don’t do it. So, you know, we we do things that we may think are good for whatever reason, but we’re not good at looking at full implications of what might happen with these things.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:23

    Yeah. That actually takes me, so I wanna kinda go around the horn, a couple of political issues that sorta overlap with themes in your books. One of them is what you’re about right there is this, that kind of idea that the military is getting too woke. You know, everybody kind of chimes off on
  • Speaker 5
    0:39:36

    Poetry on ships.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:37

    Yep. There’s poetry on ships now. Watch out. You know?
  • Speaker 5
    0:39:40

    China’s gonna eat our lunch.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:41

    And the navy might go gay. You never know. But, you know, then there’s some more serious discussion. I mean, Millie obviously discussed about need to care about white rage, you know, in that hearing, that created a lot of white rage in response to that comment. But I I don’t the military isn’t my world.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:56

    Right? So you talked to a lot of military folks to do prep for these books. So I’m just curious your take on that critique. Is there anything to it? Is there nothing to it?
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:05

    You know, where do you fall on that?
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:07

    So I talked to a lot of people that don’t like it, that are career military people. They don’t like this. People, by their nature, are resistant to change. Right? People don’t like change.
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:17

    And so this is pretty dramatic change.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:18

    There are a lot of military people that liked don’t ask don’t tell and didn’t wanna change that, and that turned out just
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:23

    fine. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:24

    You know?
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:24

    It turned out just fine. I and I was always with Dennis Miller with this. It’s like, I don’t care who you sleep with. As long as you’re in the fox hole and you know how to run your rifle next to me, that’s all I care about.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:32

    Right. That’s
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:32

    all I care you do in your bedroom is your business. And I’ve always been that way. I’ve, you know, two people wanna be married. What do you care if it’s two men, two women? In a country that prides itself on freedom, we should not wanna limit the freedoms of other people.
  • Speaker 5
    0:40:44

    But I think what you’re seeing, again, I talked about the globalization and jobs for certain groups going away. I think, again, with not changing, we we have to change though if we want an all volunteer force. Right? We have to go to where these people are and bring them in and encourage them to serve. I remember watching a piece on a maroon recruiter, and the marines are fabulous.
  • Speaker 5
    0:41:04

    They meet their numbers all the time. And one of these marines was talking to a kid, like, in Compton or something like that. And, oh, why would I wanna be a marine? And he’s like, when I pulled up, I heard you listen to shaggy. Did you know Shaggy was a marine?
  • Speaker 5
    0:41:15

    And the kid’s like, no way. You know, and so that was going to where that particular kid was at, right, using pop culture, all that kind of stuff. So I think that as our numbers go down, we have to be creative with how we recruit. And I think it’s important. And I think if you don’t like change, I’m sorry.
  • Speaker 5
    0:41:31

    Life has changed. It’s gonna constantly be changing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:34

    You know, sometimes you just need to step back and think about common sense a little bit in this discussion, and it’s like, okay. Who are they recruiting Right? They’re recruiting teenagers mostly. Right?
  • Speaker 5
    0:41:42

    Mhmm.
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:43

    Yep. Folks there in their early twenties. And so sure. I mean, they’re they’re Certainly, some young mega kids that really don’t like all the woke stuff, and maybe it would turn them off. But, like, if you were nineteen right now and you’re thinking, do I wanna join the military or not?
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:55

    Like, do you think that poetry on ships is gonna be the thing that it makes your decision, or do you think maybe the thing preventing people from being in the military is that there’s just not a lot of pride in what, like, the military has done Jonathan Last quarter century. And if you’re nineteen years old, all you’ve experienced is the the back half of the Iraq war, all of the problems with that war, you know, all of the deaths that you’ve you’ve now seen the retreat from Afghanistan was handled poorly Now this funding of Ukraine, which I want to get into next, that seems to be kind of working, but that hasn’t been our boots on the ground. Right? And so you look at this and and you’re like, Why would I? These guys are gonna send me into fucking falluja for a unclear mission.
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:33

    Right? Don’t we think that the recruiting problems has been more based on the way we’ve been waging wars the last two decades and not, you know, whether, you know, there are a couple generals reading critical race theory pamphlets.
  • Speaker 5
    0:42:46

    I can’t imagine that you with Iraq and Afghanistan going on that you would ever walk into a recruiting station not thinking I could end up over there. I mean, there’s no way you could not have that be part of your process. So it’s interesting. So particularly the nationalist populist right does not like the stuff that the Department Defense is doing. They’re so woke and all this kind of stuff.
  • Speaker 5
    0:43:05

    Yet you guys are eroding one of the prime reasons to serve is is patriotism and the pride in serving and in institution and being part of something greater than yourself. And so it’s kinda tearing it down at both ends, which is which is unfortunate. Because even if you got rid of all the wokeness, This is the problem. This is why culture wars are so stupid is because each side thinks they’re losing, and there’s no way to tell when you’re winning. That’s the problem.
  • Speaker 5
    0:43:30

    There is no end to the culture war. Always gonna be something else that pops up. I mean, it is the biggest waste of time and energy, to be honest.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:36

    Take a w.
  • Speaker 5
    0:43:37

    Exactly.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:37

    Making Kelly yesterday was tweeting complaining that the US Open Tennis final was woke because there were Moderna ads and they sang America the beautiful instead of the national anthem. And I was like, American, the beautiful and pharma ads are woke now. Like, this is, like, like, what is even what are we fucking talking about anymore at? You know, anyway.
  • Speaker 4
    0:43:55

    Yeah. And happen to be friends with Meghan, and I like
  • Speaker 5
    0:43:57

    her a lot. And I just don’t know. Is it fan service? Is it serving that audience? Giving him that red meat they want.
  • Speaker 5
    0:44:03

    There was just some big thing, and I I’ve known venture Bureau for years, and there was just the thing where they were saying that, the whole rape thing ought to be treated as seriously as Eugene Carol’s claims. Is it Danny Masterson? Who was it that they were comparing it
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:16

    to? No. I think they’re comparing the fake Obama gay story to e g k.
  • Speaker 5
    0:44:19

    That’s what it was. Yeah. That you dismantled on the Bulwark.
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:22

    Claries and Claire.
  • Speaker 5
    0:44:22

    Exactly. Yeah. Which is I mean, the Egeon Carol thing has been said. She had all those contemporaneous account She told people that it’s been adjudicated in front of a jury and all this stuff. I just think that the hardcore Magorite just wants to be entertained.
  • Speaker 5
    0:44:36

    They don’t wanna be challenged. They wanna be told that what they’re thinking is right and that the way they see the world is right and everything’s terrible. Listen, nothing fuels the clicks like rage. You get people angry to get them out to the polls, and you get them angry to keep tuning into your show. I mean, we’ve joked around about that fox logo, that bug being burned into TV sets.
  • Speaker 5
    0:44:55

    Because people just don’t turn them off in the retirement homes and other places. So it may take a generation not only to get the poison out of the younger bloodstream, but to get some of these older people, I don’t know that you’ll ever reach the older ones. I think there’s a lot of them that, unfortunately, we’ll never get back to sanity.
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:10

    Let’s talk about to Riverville for a second. You know, I just wanna put a cord in the machine, like, ran about him first. But, but secondly, it I don’t know if you’ve had any conversations with military folks. The thing I don’t understand is Why aren’t even conservative military folks more mad at him? I I mean, like, isn’t there frustration that we can’t go about the business of the country right now?
  • Speaker 5
    0:45:28

    We’ve had three service heads come out and say as much. So I mean, you’ve got people in there. So there’s at least on the professional military side, there is a history of not getting involved on the political side, not saying anything. Yeah. You know, it’s that whole thing.
  • Speaker 5
    0:45:43

    You know, Kelly didn’t say anything even after he left the Trump administration, Mattis didn’t say anything. And, you know, we really could have used a lot more of that, but there’s that there’s that tradition there that that is a kind of a sacred thing. You don’t cross that line. Listen, Tuberville’s a jackass. This is the problem we have in this country.
  • Speaker 5
    0:45:59

    There are a lot of kind of norms and, traditions that we would follow. And all it takes in this case is one guy like Tuberville to screw everything up. So I think we’re learning now that as much as we wanted to trust people to operate in the best interest of the country, we’re gonna need to rejigger some stuff in Congress because the fact that Tuberville can hold up all of this stuff and can imperil the nation’s readiness and national security. It’s terrible. And the guy really is, and it’s not a very, deep pool of competition.
  • Speaker 5
    0:46:27

    I mean, well, it’s actually The pool’s not deep, but it’s very crowded at the shallow end. I mean, he really is one of the dumbest guys in Congress. He’s not the I I don’t know if we could award him the dumbest, but there’s a lot of competition for the title.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:39

    It is a competitive category. Yeah. But I I think he’s even got Marsha Blackburn by the nose.
  • Speaker 5
    0:46:44

    My senator, Marsha Blackburn. Yeah. Box of rocks.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:47

    Yeah. I forgot you’re in Tennessee.
  • Speaker 5
    0:46:48

    I’ve moved ten years ago from Chicago.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:50

    You know, I’ve had just by coincidence, a couple of Tennessee folks on the Shunkle where you Johnson is running against Marsha Blackburn, I get this question about Louisiana, having just moved here. At times, do you ever feel like, man? Shit is getting actually to a point where the laws are being passed or are a little bit too much to tolerate. And I do what what’s your take on just kind of the local, you know, because for a while, a lot of this stuff was confined to national politics. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:13

    Right? And I and I feel like really it’s been the last two years, not that there weren’t always dumb bills and then fucking every state right of blue. Right? But it’s been particularly acute about state legislators advancing really far right cultural policies. What what’s your feeling about that?
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:27

    Like, just being around Tennessee? Is there any backlash to that starting to happen among your, you know, community?
  • Speaker 5
    0:47:34

    Well, no.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:35

    Not really.
  • Speaker 5
    0:47:36

    Not really. I mean, if you’ve got a daughter who may need to get an abortion, it’s an issue now. You know
  • Speaker 4
    0:47:41

    what I mean? Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:47:42

    And if you’ve got particularly gay or transgender children, it’s an issue now. Right. I mean, it’s a it’s a big deal. So, you know, we left Chicago because the violence was increasing, and my taxes never decreased. They kept going up.
  • Speaker 5
    0:47:54

    So I felt like I was living on an island because I’d have to sell the babysitter. Don’t take the kids to the beach too many gangs down there. Don’t go to the zoo. Too many too much trouble there. So I was paying more and more money for a bit of property in the area of Chicago that I could enjoy.
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:06

    It was just getting swallowed up by all the bad stuff in Chicago. So it’s like, what’s my alternative? I moved to Tennessee for more freedom, particularly, no taxes and and very light hand on business and things like that. So what’s my choice, Tim? Where am I where am I gonna move if I leave Tennessee?
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:21

    Where am I gonna strike a balance. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:23

    Now Tennessee is coming from your freedoms from the right. Can’t find an LASIS.
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:26

    They’re like book banning and stuff. I mean, it’s it’s nuts, and I certainly don’t wanna go to Florida under Ron DeSantis. So we’ve gone nuts.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:33

    Colorado is a nice balance. I wish I could live there. My home state, Jared Polis is a nice centrist governor. It’s Spencer Cox doing alright on Utah. Something in the water in the mountain west.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:42

    Maybe we used to live there. No, I feel this way too. I sometimes our liberal listeners get mad at me. They’re like, how could you boot to Louisiana And I’m like, well, first, you know, let’s let everybody make personal decisions to themselves. But, you know, I came from Oakland.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:54

    Leave two bullet holes in our house.
  • Speaker 5
    0:48:56

    Oh, I didn’t know that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:57

    And the prices of a different neighborhood in the Bay Area are just not on the level of what a podcaster can afford. You know? And so I, you know, I lie California. I don’t have anything against it. I loved living there for a few years, but, you know, everybody’s gotta make decisions.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:11

    I’m not really that interested in living in the suburbs. I was able to move to a place that, you know, I mean, Orleans went eighty five percent for Biden. So it’s not like exactly, you know, I don’t like I moved to become David French’s neighbor out there in the AR fifteen church.
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:22

    David, David isn’t my neck. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:25

    Anyway, you gotta find balance and all this stuff. Yeah. One more thing before we begin to book stuff. I’ve heard you said you don’t want your kids being TikTok. Tiktong’s another one I just struggle with.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:33

    I’m on it. I feel like I have to be just — Not
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:36

    my parting.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:36

  • Speaker 3
    0:49:36

    because the nature of my work. Right? I’m also not really that worried about the Chinese buying on me? Like, what? What are they gonna know that I’m interested in basketball and day and pop culture divas?
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:46

    Like, Okay. Alright. Chinese. Now you got me. But anyway, what what would be the case against it?
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:53

    How how worried are you about
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:55

    So I thought it was important for me as somebody who’s in entertainment, kind of the one foot in entertainment who’s also concerned about politics of the direction of the nation. I thought it was important to take a very public stand against TikTok and the dangers that they pose. And so, my kids weren’t allowed to have it. They’re adults now. They don’t have it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:50:12

    They chose not to have it. So I wasn’t worried that the Chinese might be gathering information from my kids per se, but I was concerned about what could the Chinese push informationally. I you know, you control the medium, you control the message. Right? So if they wanna be doing stuff that is kinda contra to our interests in the world or something like that.
  • Speaker 5
    0:50:31

    Could that stuff make it into the feeds? And I’ve just never been a big social media guy anyway. That was an easy pick. Just it’s the CCP’s, social media site I’m like, okay, that’s one less one I gotta worry about as a parent. Now I gotta focus on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:45

    So Fair. So the most recent book, Deadpool, takes place in Ukraine. And your book are really on the news, right, and and almost even pre news sometimes. Right? You’re trying to look into the real national security threats.
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:56

    So people that are reading and are kind of experiencing something that in relationship with what’s actually happening in the world from a national security standpoint. So I wanna hear about the book. But first, just wondering if you could just grade how you think that the Biden administration’s been doing on Ukraine?
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:09

    I’d say I give them a b plus, to be honest with you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:51:11

    That’s pretty good.
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:12

    I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.
  • Speaker 3
    0:51:15

    I’m
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:16

    a big fan of giving them everything they want and then sending backups of all of it. Listen, it’s the moral case. If you don’t like war, you want this war done as soon as possible. There’s a lot of Russian kids who are losing their fathers, wives losing their husbands just like in the Ukraine. I’m not saying the Russians are a habit harder.
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:33

    But what I’m saying is is that from a moral standpoint, we shouldn’t wanna see anybody else die in this for Putin. I mean, there’s like plenty of kids, who don’t have fathers now on both sides. And it’s just it’s horrible. So to make that happen, to end this war, we should be giving the Ukrainians everything they need. And they’re not gonna win it unless they have their superiority, which is why I’ve been a big fan of giving them the sixteens for the longest time.
  • Speaker 5
    0:51:54

    The attack on his missiles we’d hoped would be really good, and the Russians have been good at jamming some stuff. They need a lot more mind removing equipment. There’s a lot more we could be doing for them. And listen, we’ve now seen that Russia’s a paper tiger. The kleptocracy over there has hollowed out their military.
  • Speaker 5
    0:52:08

    So we should want to see a stake driven through their heart, the Chinese would like this to drag on and would like us to keep supplying the Ukrainians with stuff out of our stockpile. The the Chinese would love that. So this thing really needs to come to an end. And we we make it come to an end by just overwhelming the Russians via the Ukrainians.
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:25

    Yeah. I’m taking a B plus, by the way. One of my, kind of non political college friends asked me this weekend to, you know, some of them are kind of like, how are you daughter, like, know, they knew me as a college republican. They’re like, what happened to you? You know, and they’re like, do you like Joe Biden?
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:37

    And I was like, I don’t know. I think I’d probably give him a b minus, but That would give him the best grade of any president of my adult life. So sometimes you can just take people lessons where you can get them these days, Brad. You know, there’s a lot of there. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:49

    So so we’re just gonna do a b plus speaking of it’s gotta worry you a little bit that the top three well, maybe Nikki’s passed them now. But let’s just say about seventy five percent of the GOP vote share in the presidential primary is for people that I assume you would give their Ukraine policies somewhere between D and F and and Ron DeSantis and Ramaswamy and Trump Like, what is your just reaction
  • Speaker 5
    0:53:11

    to that? What you mean to hold on. Were we talking about Ron DeSantis? Yeah. Look at each way on the debate stage before his hand goes up to see where all the other modes are.
  • Speaker 5
    0:53:18

    Yeah. That’s a that’s a profile encourage. Listen, I really believe that we should stand up for democracy, particularly in the case of the Ukrainians. I mean, the Russians invaded them and real quick piece of history that listeners and viewers might not know of when the Soviet union broke apart, a third of their nuclear arsenal was in Ukraine, and we begged the Ukrainians, please let us help you get rid of these weapons. We’ll help dismantle them.
  • Speaker 5
    0:53:42

    We’ll help get rid of them. You can’t maintain them and you can’t secure them. We were afraid one of those would get stolen or more would get stolen and used against our allies. You against us. One could be lit up in New Orleans or Minneapolis or Sarah Longwell, wherever.
  • Speaker 5
    0:53:57

    So the Ukrainian said, yeah, we’ll do it, but we wanna promise from you that we are never gonna lose a square inch of our sovereign territory if we give up these nukes. So we said, fine. And they said, okay. And it’s called the Buddhist memorandum and we signed it. And they said, get the Russians sign it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:54:11

    And this is in the nineties pre Putin. And so what happens? Twenty fourteen Putin goes into the Dombas, and he takes a slice. It was very much Francis Fukuyama said that history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. And what Putin did going into Eastern Ukraine is very similar to what Hitler did in Czechoslovakia.
  • Speaker 5
    0:54:27

    I’m going to protect ethnic Germans and Putin’s protecting Russian speakers. It’s so similar. So this idea that we would not live up to commitments as Americans that all we do is kick Putin out of the GA. That’s why we have a g seven now. It’s because we kick the Russians out.
  • Speaker 5
    0:54:42

    Got a harshly worded letter from the Obama and a handful of sanctions. And all that did, as it did with Hitler, when he got, when, Neville
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:50

    Chamberlain and the Republic of France and Fashas Italy,
  • Speaker 5
    0:54:54

    gave in on the Sudanland in Czechoslovakia, but didn’t slick Hitler’s thirst to just empower them and just encourage them. So I think a lot of people don’t know that part about history that we promised Ukraine, get rid of the nukes, and we’ll make sure Russia never overruns you. Nobody will overrun you.
  • Speaker 4
    0:55:10

    I’m glad you brought that up.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:11

    I brought up the Buddha pest memorandum a lot when the war first started, but, you know, you can only say stuff to people in the face, but it’s it’s good to bring that up. Reremind people. But, anyway, I got I got his directed. I’m sorry. I did talk about tiny d, and, and all of a sudden, I got away from where where we were going there.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:26

    So tell us about the book Deadfall takes place in Ukraine. What’s the premise?
  • Speaker 5
    0:55:30

    Okay. So I grew up loving, like, great World War two thrillers, like Alastair Mclean, where Eagles Dair, which is a great movie with Clinton Swood and Richard Burton, And I love band of brothers, present day. Band of brothers, saving private Ryan fury with Brad Pitt, where they did the whole tank thing. And I always said I’d like to take my series protagonist And by the way, if you haven’t read a Brad Thor book before, I tell people they’re like the James Bond movies. You don’t need to have seen any of the previous movies to go right into the theater and see the latest one.
  • Speaker 5
    0:55:58

    So what I did with Deadpool is I wanted to have an American aid worker disappear kind of behind enemy lines in Ukraine and the Ukrainians don’t have the manpower or the wherewithal the finder. And, so the US decides we can’t send a whole team in because then it’s gonna look to Putin like we’ve now committed the war. So we’re gonna send our tops by in, and we’re gonna let him try to find this woman. And he’s got one thing he’s gotta do. If she’s alive, bring her back, if she’s dead, kill everybody responsible for it.
  • Speaker 5
    0:56:27

    And so that’s what the story is about. So it’s set in Ukraine. It’s got a lot of cool Ukraine stuff. But it’s supposed to be, again, take it to the beach, take it to the lake, it’s a edge of your seat white knuckle thriller. That’s that’s the goal.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:38

    Alright. This takes us to rapid fire. Which is gonna be a lot of your book stuff. And so for people that do wanna just pop right back in to a Brad Thor book somewhere in the series, what I was curious of is Which one are you the most proud of? Which one do you look back and think, man, I really nailed it that time?
  • Speaker 5
    0:56:55

    Well, I I tell it’s like, which is your favorite child? You know? I’ve they’re all my favorite places.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:59

    That’s an easy question for me. I hear you.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:01

    It’s easy question for you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:02

    JBL also names one of his child. It’s a favorite. Maybe not the best analogies for this flash.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:07

    Is that his favorite? Because he talks about flash all the time.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:10

    No. It’s not flash. It’s not flash.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:11

    Oh, wow. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:12

    Sorry, flash. You’re number two.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:14

    So you know what? I had a reviewer say that what Brad Thor does every year is he scales Everest, but a different face of Everest. So it’s different technical climb every year. So every book I’m excited about, and I I love them all. I actually cannot pick a favorite out of all of them because each one Oh, come on.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:30

    I I can’t
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:31

    I’m not inside a favorite then. Just that you’re, like, speaking as It’d
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:34

    be most controversial.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:36

    No. No. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:36

    No. No. Where you just you felt like that you were clicking on the writing side of things. Right? Like, and I can just speak for myself.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:42

    Like, I looked back. It’s eighteen months now at my book. And I’m like, man, I wish I would have done this different or that different. And I feel like if I written twenty two that at some point in the twenty two, I’d look back at one of them and think, you know, I really kind of feel good about my writing in that one. I guess that’s my favorite story, but that on the writing side, I I I did it I’ll
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:59

    tell you a couple of years ago, I did a book called Backlash.
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:02

    Okay.
  • Speaker 5
    0:58:02

    And it was unbelievably hard. Scott Harvey gets grabbed by the Russians. They are actually gonna render them to their own version of Bulwark site in Russia, and the plane goes down in Siberia. And I had to write a book about a guy trying to escape the Russians, and there wasn’t a team for him talk to and all this kind of stuff. And I really, really, stretched myself as a writer in that book.
  • Speaker 5
    0:58:22

    And I was really afraid that the marketplace wasn’t gonna like it, and it was one of my most popular books ever. Took a lot of risk.
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:28

    That’s cool. You know, since you kind of are in this oeuvre, what’s another contemporary that you think is really just nailing it I always like to ask people for other recommendations of other other books.
  • Speaker 5
    0:58:39

    Another contemporary who’s just nailing it. I there’s there’s a lot of guys
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:44

    It could be television writing too, even if you’d prefer that.
  • Speaker 5
    0:58:48

    You know, it’s funny because I take a lot of inspiration from television writing too. Like, a big Ray Donovan fan. It’s just very, very well done. Of course, billions in succession are also excellent. I was a big West Wing fan because of the dialogue.
  • Speaker 5
    0:59:00

    I thought it was very snappy and and well written. And I’ve always been a mamet fan. So with my one of my favorite movies is Ronan, and, Mamett came in to do the rewrite on Ronan, and it’s just so good. So but I there’s so many of my contemporaries that are that are crushing it today, whether it’s Jack Carr. I’ve always been a big Steve Barry and James Rollins fan, although they’re not kind of in the same space that I’m in.
  • Speaker 5
    0:59:23

    They’re a different kind of thriller, but kind of in that military espionage realm. I do like Jack Car a lot. He had a lot of success on Amazon Prime with his show that, became a real cultural badge of honor to support that show. I thought he rode that way very well. You know, there are a lot of people in Hollywood that didn’t like it, but it’s done very well with other people in the country.
  • Speaker 5
    0:59:44

    And I’m I’m okay with you know, product doesn’t have to be for everybody, but I think there’s a certain part of the country that’s been ignored for a long, long time by Hollywood. So now something does well out of Hollywood that plays right of center. I think that’s good. I think there’s plenty of space in the sandbox for everybody to play.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:59

    Sure. So you do kind of trying to look ahead at potential threats. So what’s one potential threat national security wise? You don’t think people are talking about enough when you sort of look out there.
  • Speaker 5
    1:00:10

    Well, I keep coming back to social media. Because I do think that’s where we are. I I think at this point, we are our own worst enemy in many senses. I think, we are doing, in some cases, irreparable harm. To ourselves, to our fellow countrymen and women.
  • Speaker 5
    1:00:23

    I don’t wanna see another nine eleven have to happen to bring us all back together again and remind us that we have more in common, than than we are different in as Americans. So that’s, you know, I look at the Chinese or, you know, the Chinese are pretty scary. The Russians less so. We’ve seen the Russians, the Iranian always have a potential to be a problem. I’m stunned by kinda how, Islamic terrorism is just kind of, you know, I hate to say it because tomorrow something could happen.
  • Speaker 5
    1:00:50

    You
  • Speaker 3
    1:00:50

    don’t wanna jinx it.
  • Speaker 5
    1:00:51

    We don’t normally walk out worried about, you know, somebody leaving a backpack at a cafe. That that stuff is just and I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know. But, yeah, so I’m I’m more worried about what’s happening in the interior of the country, us kinda citizen against citizen. January sixth is one of the most terrifying things.
  • Speaker 5
    1:01:09

    I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
  • Speaker 3
    1:01:10

    Those of us who are never trumpers, who came from a conservative background. They have done a particular amount of self searching sometimes, you know, I always look back and think, man, if Donald Trump’s election to the presidency changed nothing for you. Then I’m I’m like, I don’t know. We can’t really connect because, like, if if it, at least, didn’t make you kind of reflect about the state of the movement, but also the country and the democracy. So anyway, I’m just always curious for you, was there anything that, in particular, that you’ve changed your mind on or looked back on and and had a different different vantage point now than maybe you did in twenty fifteen.
  • Speaker 5
    1:01:45

    So this is this is something that’s weird. And I don’t know if our our our left of center audience is gonna fully appreciate this. But I make no bones about the fact that I was a big gun guy.
  • Speaker 3
    1:01:55

    I was
  • Speaker 5
    1:01:55

    a big gun guy. I love to shoot guns. You know, I’m from a military family. And so I always liked them, and I liked to buy guns, and I had a lot of guns. And then I watched those assholes show up at the capitals, particularly in Michigan, walking around with their long guns and stuff like that.
  • Speaker 5
    1:02:09

    And I realized that guns had been so fetishized. And I’m like, you know, that’s it. And I sold off a ton suddenly, the appeal in my my enjoyment of that is kind of a
  • Speaker 3
    1:02:20

    you sold your own guns.
  • Speaker 5
    1:02:21

    I sold my own guns. I had a lot of guns, and I said, this is ridiculous. And I was embarrassed by what I saw at those capitals. That intimidation of lawmakers by bringing firearms like that, I don’t care that you’re allowed to do it. You know, there’s a lot of things we’re allowed to do, but is the right thing to do.
  • Speaker 5
    1:02:35

    Is that really how you wanna argue your point is menacing with firearms like that? So, yeah, I got rid of a I didn’t get rid of all of them. Didn’t get rid of all of them. I still got some. And I love them, but I was just like, I’d gone overboard with how many I had, and that just ended it for me.
  • Speaker 3
    1:02:50

    Yeah. The culture around it feels unhealthy,
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:52

    at some point. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    1:02:53

    I, I,
  • Speaker 5
    1:02:53

    I no longer enjoy it as much as I did. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    1:02:55

    I, that would be similar for me. It’s funny because guns has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but it does in the way of sometimes you know, in any group, right? You get caught up in, oh, if that group is part of your identity, there are certain things, certain elements that you have strong associations know, like, for you you mentioned earlier, like, I feel very strongly about smaller government or whatever more freedom. Right? And then there are other things you have kind of weaker association with that you’re like, okay.
  • Speaker 3
    1:03:18

    Well, this is my team’s for this. So I’m gonna add that to the list of things that I’m for. And that’s really where I was on guns. Right? I never was somebody that bought a lot of them, but it was kind of like, well, you know, that’s part of the checklist.
  • Speaker 3
    1:03:27

    And so it was really even before Trump was really new town for me that I was like, this is this is crazy. I I need to change my my thinking about all this. Okay. Final rapid fire question. You know, I know that fiction writers don’t always like suggestions from other people, but might There’d be a potential book where Jack Harvath gets assigned to, I don’t know, go undercover at a decaying, country club for rich
  • Speaker 5
    1:03:54

    people, maybe somewhere in South Florida. And, you know, do the one thing
  • Speaker 3
    1:03:54

    that the country needs, which is kind of take out a potential threat from the inside, you know, who might want to lead the country again in the future Might that might might made a made a plot somewhere along those lines be interesting for Jackarita.
  • Speaker 5
    1:04:14

    This is why specifically I do not take ideas from the outside. I did not take ideas. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 5
    1:04:22

    That is not on my, not on my list of potentials.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:24

    Alright. Well, anyway
  • Speaker 5
    1:04:25

    I’m looking to keep my audience. I’m looking to shed audience. I’m looking to build audience.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:30

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. In
  • Speaker 5
    1:04:31

    case anybody at Simon and Schuster’s watching the podcast. I’m a builder. I’m not a shutter.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:35

    Yeah. Okay. I don’t I don’t know what you’re telling me. That would have, turn anybody off. Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    1:04:40

    Brent Thor, thank you so much for doing this. I appreciate you for supporting the Bulwark and and and listening to us, feel free always to chime in if we if we’re getting something right or wrong, and, godspeed on on your work. Oh, actually, one more thing for us to think I heard in another podcast that you said that you had a dream group that was gonna get normies into primaries. And literally, me and Sarah Longwell did that group in twenty nineteen, twenty twenty. It was called center action now.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:05

    It was on the democratic side. It was under the radar, but the whole point was to get centrist to go vote in the Democratic primary. This was when there’s concerns about Bernie. And we didn’t tell who who to vote for. Yep.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:15

    We weren’t like putting our finger on the scale for anybody, but it was just like was like, hey, if you are a suburban mom or dad that is, you know, kind of non political
  • Speaker 5
    1:05:25

    Go vote in the primaries.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:26

    Go out and vote. Like, pick whoever you want and and try to push you in. I think that’s such a great idea. And so maybe
  • Speaker 5
    1:05:32

    Do you remember the title? I said it should be called primary responsibility.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:36

    That’s good.
  • Speaker 5
    1:05:36

    That’s what the group would be called.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:38

    I’m saying so we have a dormant group out there. So if you if you ever get writer’s block
  • Speaker 1
    1:05:42

  • Speaker 3
    1:05:42

    To revive it.
  • Speaker 1
    1:05:43

  • Speaker 3
    1:05:43

    and decide You wanna get into the political world. You call me and Sarah. Okay?
  • Speaker 5
    1:05:47

    I will.
  • Speaker 3
    1:05:47

    Brad, thank you so much for doing this. My pleasure. Enjoy Gay Perry. And, we’ll see everybody on Wednesday for the normal standard, regular, next level debauchery with me and JBL and Sarah Longwell up.
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