Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 88 – General Wesley Clark on Democracy, Climate, Technology & Leadership
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 88 - General Wesley Clark on Democracy, Climate, Technology & Leadership

In this special episode, General Wesley Clark discusses the rise of fascism and authoritarianism within democratic governments, the essential imperative of civic engagement, the climate crisis, technologies and innovations addressing the crisis, and the important role of entrepreneurs and organizational leaders amidst all this complexity.

General Clark discusses the process of great leadership – which is necessarily grounded in service to others: (1) gain trust, (2) establish legitimacy, (3) take responsibility the “right way” (4) delegate authority, (5) define strategy, (6) monitor and know the details, and (7) adapt and modify the strategy. He also discusses how important it is for each and every one of us to “be a good citizen”(!) and that it is up to each of us to restore harmony to American politics.

He understands and articulates that, instead of riling people through fear and hatred, national leadership is needed to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and innovate technologies to mitigate the climate and ecological crises. Recognizing that capital is “sloshing around” on the sidelines, while increasing numbers of Americans are beset by avoidable poverty, policy leadership is now required at the scope and scale of Franklin D. Roosevelt (CCC and New Deal) and John F. Kennedy (Race to the Moon) to overcome the complex and systemic challenges we’re now facing.

General Wesley Clark retired in 2000 from his position as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, where he led NATO operations in the Balkans, and managed NATO military and US military engagement in some 89 countries. His military awards and decorations include the Ranger tab, US Defense Distinguished Service Medal (5 awards), US Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards), Silver Star, Legion of Merit (3 awards) Bronze Star (2 awards, and Purple Heart. He has received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US Department of State Distinguished Service award, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, Commander in the French Legion of Honor and some twenty additional foreign awards.

Since his military retirement he has been a businessman, author and commentator. Since 2010 he has chaired his own boutique investment bank, Enverra. He has served on numerous public and private boards, including boards for major US private equity firms. He has his own consulting company, Wesley K. Clark and Associates. Altogether, he has worked with more than 100 US and overseas companies in the energy, infrastructure, security, and financial space, as board member, consultant, banker or advisor. His work has taken him to Europe, China, Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa. He is currently on one publicly traded company board and several private boards.

General Clark specializes in small companies and in start-ups, where his leadership skills and business experience bring the most value to entrepreneurial efforts. He has worked with wind, solar, electric motor, and battery companies, as well as in various consumer products.

General Clark is a 1966 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated as Valedictorian, with an engineering degree and concentration in national security studies. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford for two years and received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also served as White House Fellow, 1975-76 in the Office of Management and Budget. He is a graduate of Armor Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Distinguished Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, 1975, where he received a Masters of Military Arts and Science, and a 1983 graduate of the US National War College. He has received numerous Honorary Doctorate Degrees.

General Clark is a strong believer in public service. He is the founding Chairman of City Year Little Rock, a former member of the Little Rock airport Commission, a Director of the Atlantic Council, and works with various think tanks on important policy issues. In his last effort he Co-Chaired the National Commission on Grid Resilience.



(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Community Podcast.

Today’s episode is with General Wesley Clark.

Good afternoon, General.

How are you?

Good afternoon, Aaron.

Great to be with you.

I appreciate being with you as well.

General Wesley Clark retired in 2000 from his position as NATO Supreme

Allied Commander Europe, where he led NATO operations in the Balkans and managed

NATO military and U.S. military engagement in some 89 countries.

His military awards and decorations include the Ranger tab, U.S. Defense Distinguished

Service Medal, U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit,

Bronze Star Awards, and the Purple Heart.

He has received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, U.S. Department of State Distinguished

Service Award, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, Commander

in the French Legion of Honor, and some 20 additional foreign awards.

Since his military retirement, he has been a businessman, author, and commentator.

Since 2010, he has chaired his own boutique investment bank and Vera, and has served

on numerous public and private boards, including boards for major United States private equity


He has his own consulting company, Wesley K. Clark and Associates.

Altogether, he has worked with more than 100 U.S. and overseas companies in the energy

infrastructure, security, and financial space, as a board member, consultant, banker, or


His work has taken him to Europe, China, Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa.

He is currently on one publicly traded company board and several private boards.

General Clark specializes in small companies and startups, where his leadership skills and

business experience bring the most value to entrepreneurial efforts.

He has worked with wind, solar, electric motor, and battery companies, as well as in various

consumer products.

General Clark is in 1966 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point,

where he graduated as valedictorian, with an engineering degree in concentration in

national security studies.

Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he attended Magdalene College Oxford for two years, and received

his bachelor’s and master’s in philosophy, politics, and economics.

He also served as White House Fellow, 1975-76 in the Office of Management and Budget.

He is a graduate of armor officer basic and advanced courses, the Distinguished Graduate

of the U.S. Army Command in General Staff College, 1975, where he received a master’s

of military arts and science, and a 1983 graduate of the U.S. National War College.

He has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees.

General Clark is a strong believer in public service.

He is the founding chairman of City Year Little Rock, a former member of the Little Rock

Airport Commission, a director of the Atlantic Council, and works with various think tanks on

important policy issues.

In his last effort, he co-chaired the National Commission on Grid Resilience.

General Clark, it’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to visit with you today,

and we’ve got a lot to discuss, obviously, and especially in the context of what’s happening

currently in our nation with this upcoming election.

And I know, given your role at such the highest levels of military command in the European

theatre, you understand the context of a history there going back through the 20th century

that has seen the horrors of what fascism can bring to societies.

And that, unfortunately, is now, again, a pertinent issue, not only here in the United States,

but in many other countries around the world.

And I was wondering, General, if you could kick us off here by commenting on what you’re

seeing from your perspective in terms of this rise or new rise in fascism.

Well, first of all, thanks for the introduction.

I hope there’s a little time left to talk.

After all that, Aaron, I’m concerned, and we have a president who has authoritarian tendencies.

And maybe he’s joking, and maybe he just does it to make controversial statements, but

lots of people like it.

Studies show that there’s a strong minority of people in the United States who really

don’t understand democracy or don’t want democracy.

They want somebody to get out there and, no, force people to do what they want them to do.

That’s sort of human nature, but that’s what the United States Constitution was set up

to prevent.

And what we’re seeing is a slide into authoritarianism, one party control.

We saw it the other night with, like last night, I guess it was Amy Coney Barrett was appointed

to this and confirmed in the Supreme Court.

She’s hearing cases today, it’s been less than a month.

And boom, she’s in there.

And there was nothing the Democrats could say or do.

She’s actually confirmed by, I guess, the slimmest majority of any Supreme Court justice

in maybe 150 years.

It’s not a good sign for democracy.

And this is what really that’s what’s in stake in this election.

Are we going to have a democracy?

We’re going to have contending parties, different points of view, give and take.

We’re going to have checks and balances in the Constitution.

Or we’re just going to have a leader that tweets out something that he hears.

And so if this is now my policy and if you don’t like it, not only will you leave,

but I’ll discredit you and try to destroy you and your family.

And then it’s not the way that we believe America should be.

And hopefully, the American public, the voters, roll express reviews, it’s a week from


Yeah, general.

And of course, we are going to be expediting the publishing of this episode.

And so it’ll probably be the 24 hours or so that we’re going to be able to get this


Thanks to the team.

And maybe we’ll get a couple of people to listen to either.

I think everybody’s made up their minds.


I mean, the ones who haven’t, the indecided voters that I’ve been on with, there are people

who watch Fox News.

And they don’t necessarily like Trump, but they believe the Fox News mythology about Joe


And they think Vice President’s more manly, I mean, sorry, the Trump is a more manly man

of the makeup and the fake hair and all that stuff.

And so what we’re hoping for is some of the people who watch your show haven’t voted


And they will go and vote and vote early if possible and do not send in any mail-in ballot.

It’s too late.

It’s too late.

Don’t mail it in.

It’ll be wasted.

Go in person to the polling place.

Yeah, that’s really great advice.

Bring about with you.

Go in place.

Yeah, I appreciate that, General.

And the other day, you and I were speaking about some of the backdrop to why we’re seeing

this rise and fascism.

And I want to just pivot for a minute, thinking about things over in Europe.

And as I recently shared with you, I have a master’s degree in German studies and did

it relatively deep dive into what happened during the 1930s in Germany.

And the horrors of the Second World War brought by the Nazi party were brought into power

essentially through a democratic process, which is of course a response.

It started with burning the Reichstag down, which was not a mistake.

It was not an accident.

It was done deliberately.

At least that’s the suspicion of most of the historians.

And it paved the way for the kind of confusion that led to a new government.

And Italy, fascist Mussolini, was brought into power democratically.

So the fact that democracy worked and put someone in, democracy can’t work, and the person

leaves when he’s voted out.

And unless there’s a system that allows contending opponents, viewpoints, and a free and

fair election.

And what we’ve done in Russia today, of course, is not free and fair elections.

We just saw Alex Navalny poison with nerve agent that he believes would have put on his clothing.

He just happened to touch a glass.

And that’s why they were able to get it out of the glass.

He thinks it was put in his closet.

And the Novichuk nerve agent is a new nerve agent.

So violation of the prevention of chemical warfare treaty.

So it’s illegal by international law.

No new weapons were supposed to be developed, and existing were supposed to be destroyed.

So Putin violated that, and he’s using it to knock off his opponents.


No, it’s a dangerous war right now.

And the United States has historically been an island, a safety of openness of transparency

of where people could say what they thought and believed, and not be fearful of it.


That’s what’s at risk in disillusion.

What are you seeing out there that is giving you some hope that our voters and our institutions

will potentially withstand this current onslaught?

Well, there’s lots of early voting, and that early voting is not balanced.

I mean, that’s people going to polls.

So I mean, they’re not, that’s about half of the total vote has been requested for early

ballots, but some of those people are going to the polls and voting anyway, so that’s


We know most of those people voting earlier are Democrats, so that’s a good thing.

One of the things I like is the recent state of news stories, which have undercut the


So there’s a story by the FBI that, you know, there’s no truth about any of these rumors

not under Biden.

I mean, Vladimir Putin doesn’t even believe the rumors, apparently.

And the Wall Street Journal said that Trump’s tariffs, that that’s baloney, those tariffs

have not helped America, and there’s another story in the Wall Street Journal that says,

Hey, those industrial jobs, he promised, they didn’t come back.

So at the level of people who know the facts and read, there’s plenty of evidence out

there from the lookout, say, President Trump’s policies, it’s not only his objectionable

personality, it’s not only that he’s an authoritarian and a threat to democracy, but his policies

don’t work.




On their face and with the facts, it’s not looking good.

And, you know, I’m curious, given the role that the United States has played in the world

over the last at least half century as a stabilizing force and a democratizing force, assuming

that we see a new president out of this election, what does it take to restore our stature

and reputation in the global community?

First of all, I think you have to restore greater harmony in American politics.

I think, you know, you’re, we’re like kneecapped right now because there’s so much friction

and anger, and I expect that to continue for a while after the election.

And I don’t think you can necessarily appease it by simply going to the Republicans in Congress

and saying, please work with me and I’ll give you, you know, six or nine months and a,

I’m sure you’ll come around and be nice.

I think it has to start by really some strong economic policies that reach out to the actually

to the white working men and women in the Northeast States who have suffered for 30 years

as a result of trade dislocations and are not brought into the economic system.

So I think you’ve got to start by rebuilding the economy.

You’ve got to figure this is going to be a political opposition.

When America starts growing jobs and returning to a proactive economic policy with government

leadership, investment and infrastructure and new technologies, well, people around the

world are going to sit up and take notice.

Some of my friends would come in from overseas and they’d say, gee, I was just in Beijing

and a beautiful airport.

I just landed at LaGuardia.

I thought I was in a third world country and of course LaGuardia is being fixed, but

it’s a slow, slow process and what’s really happened to us here in your student of history.

I mean, when Ron DeWankin came in and made a joke, many jokes about government.

He was the lead of the sort of less delegitimate government leadership, a bunch of, you know,

for righteous bureaucrats in Washington.

And the jokes were like, hey, you know, the 13 worst words in the English language are

I’m from government and I’m here to help people who say, oh, that’s so funny.

Yeah, yeah, I got inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Office of Safety

and Health.

And yeah, I didn’t know.

That’s really funny.

Or he’d say, government’s like a baby, you know, you put food in at the top.

You know what comes out at the bottom.

And I mean, it’s, it was funny.

It was dead serious and the people that followed him have taken it further and further and


So we got a man like President Trump, who he’s asked about COVID and said, do you take any

responsibility for the U.S. government’s response?

He says, I take no responsibility.

What kind of a president is that?

He wants to lead it to the governors.

He wants to blame cities.

He wants to blame the opposing party.

He’s the president of the United States.

He’s responsible.

But of course, he’s in a party that’s for 40 years, de-legitimized the role of the federal


So I think the start of restore national leadership abroad is to restore the credibility

of the United States government.

Yeah, it’s really interesting.

And of course, all of this is taking place with the backdrop of the climate crisis and

the ecological and biological crisis that we’re facing as a global community.

And that presents, of course, massive challenges as well as opportunities and I suspect.

You may have some ideas about what this infrastructure technology and job creation policy framework

might look like and could look like in the near term.

Well, first of all, let me say the climate crisis is real and it’s actually more urgent

than we believe.

You know, at every stage in the climate modeling, we’ve underestimated the actual impact.

We’ve tried to be conservatives, there’s not be alarmists, let’s don’t scare people, let’s

don’t be radical.

And yet, if you look at the radical computations out there, I saw one today that shows it

by 2026, you could have run away global warming with a five degree centigrade change because

the positive feedback mechanisms.

There’s more heat in the atmosphere, therefore there’s more water vapor, water vapor itself

is a warming agent, it reflects the infrared radiation boom.

And so I don’t think that extreme cereal is possible, but I do think that actually the

people who question science are probably right during the wrong direction.

The science is pretty clearly established that this climate change is man-made, where

at the bottom of a solar cycle there’s no extra solar energy coming out.

We should be in a cooling phase in terms of the Earth’s position in orbit, but we’re


And this is a really urgent issue.

Now, what can we do about it?

Well, first of all, you have to understand why we’re here.

You’re a government that’s basically slight liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That’s what we said in the United States, but from founding fathers,

red John Locke and political philosophy, he said it’s life liberty and property.

They didn’t want the king expropriating their property.

In other words, it’s about the acquisition of wealth.

And so we’ve got big companies in the United States.

They’re very powerful and they have an extraordinary influence on government.

And those companies are in the energy business.

And it’s very hard to get them to change because they’re focused on maximizing profits

from what their specialty is.

Not bad people.

These aren’t bad people.

They go to work in the oil industry or utility industry or automobile industry.

They’re just trying to earn a living.

Take care of their families.

Put their education to work and grow up and be a good citizen for most of the cases.

But it’s the institutional pressures.

So we know we’re operating against this.

It’s a real drag.

And yet there are dozens of new technologies out there here.

Everything from ways to enhance the efficiency of solar panels to ways to move power,

ways to conduct electrolysis with a third as much energy requirement,

ways to take salt water and convert it into fresh water and use it.

I mean, there’s so many different technologies.

And right now there’s a lot of money chasing these renewable energy technologies.

Because the investment community has learned that they’re going to have to find ways to employ

good money.

They despite the fact that so many people in this country haven’t gotten wealthier

and that the income distribution is so inequitable.

We’re sloshing with money.

It doesn’t know what to do with itself.

You can’t leave it in a bank account because you’re not going to get 5% on it.

So you can’t buy US Treasury because you’re not even going to get 1%.

So what are you going to do with that money?

So my friends on Wall Street are telling me about these.

What they call a SPAC, a SPAC, a special purpose acquisition corporation.

And they’re outcloming the marketplace for ways to deploy 100 million,

200, 300, 500 million.

That’s good, depending on how they use it and what their requirements are,

they will drive up the price of renewable assets.

It’s not clear that they will invest in the startups and the new technologies.

That might be too risky, but it’s movement.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing.

It shows that the financial sector is aware of the urgency of the problem.

How do SPAC differ from private equity funds in their behavior in the marketplace?

SPAC is a pool of money and investors put it in and there’s a group that forms the SPAC.

They go to the big banks and say, if you give me $300 million, I’m a very good

experienced investor and I will deploy for you.

I didn’t return, I want like 10% or 15% of the upside and I can’t tell you what I’m going to

invest in because it wouldn’t be a SPAC if I did that. Under the securities exchange

commission regulations, but give me six months and then if you don’t, when I bring it through,

you can vote on it and if you don’t like what I’m proposing, you can get your money back.

I’ll pay you if I don’t do a good job. That’s what the SPAC is.

This is kind of like the next generation and it’s not quite as bad as the two in 20 terms

who saw it with a lot of the hedge funds. It might be the same thing. It’s just a different way

of doing it. Interesting. I’m so curious to given that you do so much with early stage and

entrepreneurial organizations and leaders and your work in the military obviously is leading one

of the largest bodies in the world with thousands upon thousands of people. What was it like

making that transition from the big business if we can call it that of the United States military

into the realm of the smaller, more nimble early stage companies? I had to learn business

and business is a little bit different than the military. Even though you know in the military,

you have a budget that people work for you, but you can’t in the military you’re in a government

system and so you don’t own that company. You don’t just go into work one day and say to someone,

I’m reorganizing and I don’t need you. I have a good life. I can’t do that in the military.

I had an argument launched with the man who was the owner of the Louisville Courier Journal.

We were at a dinner and he said, I was a four-star general. He said, General, who do you think

has the most power? You or me? I was still in uniform. I said, well, you know, I’m in the military.

If we give the order, people will risk their lives and go into combat. He said, yeah, that’s true.

He said, I can’t order anybody to do that, but I can fire them. And I can keep them from getting

another job. Good God, really? And so that’s one of the differences. The other difference of

course is that in the military, you don’t actually have to earn your budget. We call it a budget

like a household budget where your mom gives you an allowance and says, okay, don’t spend it all

in one place. In the military, you’re given a certain amount of money you have to use. In business,

you have to earn those revenues. So I had to learn that process and all the wrinkles to it.

So that’s why it’s been so exciting to be in the private sector and see that at flight.

And I’ve been with some big companies too. You weren’t in the big companies, but most of the big

companies that got great leadership, they know what they’re doing. They don’t really, when they want

a board, sometimes they need it, but sometimes it’s there for window dressing. It’s there to assure

the investors that there’s some oversight that the investors can’t exercise. So they put these

named people in and they hold them accountable for the investors. It’s a sort of in local

parenthesis, you know, for the CEO. But in these small companies, we’ve got people who are really,

they really need help. They need relationships. They need coaching. They need to know about money

and banking. So pretty exciting. Yeah, it really is. Well, one of the topics that we spend a lot of

time focusing on here at the Yoners community is leadership and community leadership in particular.

And I’d love to hear your perspective on what’s needed in these times in terms of leadership at

all different levels of society, whether in the corporate realm or the realm of community service

and NGOs. What do you see as the defining characteristics of the types of leaders that we need

more of today? Well, I’m not going to tell you duty on or country because that’s a good watchword

for military people, but it doesn’t translate that easily into the private sector or government

or NGO sector. Let me put it this way. Here’s what I think leadership’s about. Here’s

about service to others. So to do that, you have to first gain your trust. So you can do that

by the hiring process. You can do that by your resume. You can do that by the way you carry yourself

and talk to people. So it’s about gaining trust. It’s then a matter of establishing your legitimacy.

You have to either know or learn quickly the elements and the factors and the environment and the

processes with which you’re working and leading people. If you’re constantly in the dark,

they may have expressed the hiring process. You may have come in with a good reputation, but

if you make a bunch of dumb statements, if you act like you never heard where Tokyo is located or

you didn’t know about Pearl Harbor, you lose your legitimacy. And then it’s a matter of taking

responsibility the right way. The leader is responsible for everything the organization does.

So you can’t be blaming people, especially not publicly. Every time something goes wrong,

you have to ask yourself, what happened? Now, you have to, as a leader, delegate authority

to members of your team to make decisions, to act in their own spheres of responsibility.

But you’re the ultimately responsible party. So you have to accept that responsibility.

Then you need a strategy. You have to have an idea of where you’re going with the organization.

How does it do its mission? What kind of service is it going to provide? And how do you get it there?

And then you have to monitor, know the details, and modify the strategy for success.

That’s basically those of the steps in leadership.

That’s great. They work in the military as well as in private sector or government or NGO.

Yeah, as an entrepreneur myself and the consultant who works some with other organizations,

that modifying step that trades that loop of running back through the process over and over again

is one that intrigues me quite a bit because, of course, we’re living in a world where

technologies are rapidly changing. Rules of the game are often changing.

New opportunities and threats and risks emerge quite quickly. So that ability to be agile

is essential, right? Well, you know, what you see in private organizations is, first of all,

you see a lot of tendency to financialize the leadership. Because when you’re sitting around in

the company and the guy says, oh, I know how we can make all money on that. Do A, B, and C,

he’s the expert at the money. And the money is the ultimate, you know, it’s the ultimate

output of the company. So if you’re not earning money, you’re not going to be in business very long.

But I like companies where the top people are technically competent.

Did they come up through the operations route or the technology route, not just the financial

route in the company? Now, on the other end of it, at the startup stage, usually you have

technology people. And there you have to be careful because these people often don’t understand

how to bring other people together here. They often love their technology so much. They don’t

want to let it out the door. And so how to convert that technology, how to protect it, but at the

same time, grow a company, how to take investors in and so forth, that’s the missing piece at that

level. Yeah, yeah, that’s the great to hear about. Let me remind our audience that this is the

Winner’s Community Podcast. I’m your host, Aaron William Perry. And today we’re visiting with

General Wesley Clark. I want to give a quick shout out, actually speaking of some companies and

organizations making a difference to some of our sponsors and supporters. And this includes

Earth Coast Productions, the Litch Family Foundation, Alpine Botanicals, Purium, Earth Hero,

Vera Herbal’s Growing Spaces, Soil Works, Earthwater Press, one percent for the planet, Dr.

Bronners and Waylay Waters. And also want to give a shout out to all of our individual monthly

supporters out there in the Yoners community who have joined our monthly giving program. And if

you haven’t yet joined and you would like to, you can go to Yoners.org and click on the Donate

button and set up the contribution you’d like to make on a monthly basis. So a great deal of

gratitude to everybody making this podcast series possible as well as our Yoners community

mobilization work for stewardship regeneration and sustainability. And General, I want to,

again, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit with us. And

we’ve got a few more minutes before we need to sign off. And I want to ask you, given that you’ve

been focusing so much on technology as it relates to helping address some of the climate crisis

challenges that we’re facing. A few more question. A, what technologies are you most excited about

at the moment? And then B, do you think that it’s technology itself that is going to get us

to where we want to be as a society or is there something else besides technology we need to be

thinking about? Well, I think there’s a long way to go in solar. I like the hydrogen generation

technologies. We’re going to need some transition fuels. So we’re not going to do this overnight,

no matter how urgent it is. It may take us 50 years to get off hydrocarbons. I know we say carbon

neutral. I like technologies, therefore, the full carbon out of the atmosphere. That’s one of the

things we’re going to have to do to make this successful. It’s not just about not using carbon. It’s

about taking what’s up there from pulling it down. And then I also like the kinds of technologies

that will take the, let us use carbon and then take the carbon out of the exhaust stream. And there

are technologies like that. So, so generate energy and power without carbon. If you use carbon,

take it out of the exhaust gases. And then pull greenhouse gases like methane and carbon

out of the atmosphere. Those are the three sets of technologies. There’s a lot of work being done

in this, but you have to, you have to have financial support to take the technology and make it

real. And you can’t have the government has to provide that support, but it can’t provide it

all in with the expectation that every government investment is going to be successful.

So, Solinder was a really bad example. And it was used politically to destroy the process.

But nobody can qualify. So, you’re always going to have some missteps in this. And you have to

look at this. There’s a lot of thought right now about how the government does business. And

one of the, one of the mistakes we made over the last 40 years in this country is we put government

investment into things, but we let the private sector have a little profit. And you don’t give

the dividends back to the public sector. You know, the internet, microelectronics, lasers,

all that stuff was, it was all global positioning. It was all done by the government. And yet

of these companies start off and they use it Google and all the internet companies are not paying

the US government for that. They should. US government should have had a stake in those companies.

In the same, it’s the same thing in the health space. The NIH sponsors research, people at

do it, get to patent it. And then they keep other people from using it. And the government gets

nothing. So, as we move forward, we have to think about this. We think about this the right way

than this will help us deal with the larger social issues of income distribution and wealth

maldistribution. Yeah, absolutely. Which obviously has tremendous impacts on people all over

the place and also our society itself as a whole. Right. Right. Well, General, I am so

grateful we have this opportunity to speak with you today. And I just, I want to make sure before

we close out to open it up to you. And if there’s anything in particular, you’d like to say to our

YonEarth community audience or anything else you’d like to share about the work you’re doing,

it would be great to hear that. Well, I think the big thing, the message I’d like to leave with

the audience is just the importance of this election. And and and the work after the election. We

have to keep American democracy fresh and alive. We need young people engaged. We need to make

sure the government works for us. I don’t mean George W. Bush, like I’m going to give you back

your money. I mean real leadership, like FDR did, like Kennedy did with the with the space program.

Not the kind of leadership that says, I want the government. I want young people to go into

government to be confident that they’re serving the public. You’re right to stay in your whole

career. But to be there and be a public servant is a noble occupation. And you should do that.

In uniform or out of uniform and to pay attention to the larger trends of politics and concerns

in the country. Be a good citizen. Take your education and use it and grow throughout your

lifetime. So you have a lifetime of service to others. Absolutely beautiful. I’m just writing

a couple of notes here. And well, you got them on you got them on tape. This is true. This is

true, General. Yes. And I’ll do a little summary in our show notes when we publish this.

Well, thank you so much, General Clark, for visiting with us. It’s really appreciated.

Aaron, thank you. I’m going to pleasure. Thank you.

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