BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

IN GOOD CONSCIENCE

October 01, 2020 Dana Lewis Season 2 Episode 11
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
IN GOOD CONSCIENCE
Chapters
3:13
Rose Gottemoeller
18:53
Loree Sutton
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
IN GOOD CONSCIENCE
Oct 01, 2020 Season 2 Episode 11
Dana Lewis

Nearly 500 former National Security Officials sign a letter, saying President Trump is unfit for office. 

Trump has told militia's to "stand-by" but failed to denounce them.   He has threatened not to allow a peaceful transition of power in November. Critics claim he is someone who may be one of the largest dangers to American Democracy and the rule of law, ever to have been in The White House. 

People who normally stay out of politics are speaking out to support Biden, or they say there may not be a democracy in America after November.

On Back Story Dana Lewis interviews Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Sec. Gen. of NATO, and former U.S. Brig. General Loree Sutton, two of the many leaders who signed the letter urging voters to get rid of Trump. 


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Nearly 500 former National Security Officials sign a letter, saying President Trump is unfit for office. 

Trump has told militia's to "stand-by" but failed to denounce them.   He has threatened not to allow a peaceful transition of power in November. Critics claim he is someone who may be one of the largest dangers to American Democracy and the rule of law, ever to have been in The White House. 

People who normally stay out of politics are speaking out to support Biden, or they say there may not be a democracy in America after November.

On Back Story Dana Lewis interviews Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Sec. Gen. of NATO, and former U.S. Brig. General Loree Sutton, two of the many leaders who signed the letter urging voters to get rid of Trump. 


Speaker 1:

I want to make sure the president , can you let them ,

Speaker 2:

You finished, sir, [inaudible] rash . The left. Will you shut up throwing things up? You were a Senator and the worst, whereas America has ever had. Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups ? And to say that they need to stand down and not [inaudible] stand back and stand by. Hi everyone. And welcome to backstory. I'm Dana Lewis to quote former anchorman. Dan, rather after the debate, people in America need to take a shower after hearing all that. And here's what struck me. Trump has in the past, in , in the debate and continues after the debate to lay the groundwork, to discredit the U S election because the Steeler good line, he will put a bullet in the country before he gives up power columnist . Thomas Friedman, who I know wrote our democracy is in danger more than since the civil war, more than after Pearl Harbor, more than during the Cuban missile crisis. We're seeing the greatest voter suppression enterprise ever mounted in this country led by the president of the United States. He said, because there are so many mail in ballots, which typically feature democratic voters by the way, which won't have been counted on election night. Trump will try to claim victory and then you'll use the Supreme court to try to reject those ballots. And the fight could go on for months. A bi-partisan open letter signed by nearly 500 national security leaders, including such noteworthy names as former defense secretaries from both parties, two former national security advisers , a number of past secretaries of the military service branches and various members of the intelligence agency brass has been written endorsing Democrat candidate, Joe Biden, because they essentially fear that the nation is in peril. Here's one of them general Chuck Boyd retired, former Vietnam prisoner.

Speaker 1:

I spent 36 years in United States, air force, almost seven of those as a prisoner of war and Vietnam. Since my return, I've been a Republican, but quietly I fervently believe that military officers should not get involved in presidential politics. Even when retired this year is different. Donald Trump's assault on the rule of law makes the democracy possible, has been so egregious. I'm decided to speak out. We have an alternative. If we want a working democracy in 2024, we need to vote for Joe Biden this year on this

Speaker 3:

Backstory , a couple of those who signed that letter on why is it really that dire in the America of 2020 California now and Rose Gottemoeller , uh , is a distinguished lecturer at Stanford at the center for international security and cooperation. Before that Rose, you were the deputy secretary general of NATO. You were the undersecretary for arms control, verification and compliance, where I know you from the chief negotiator on the strategic arms control treaty, which in case most people don't know governs more than 90% of the weapons on the planet, nuclear weapons on the planet Rose, you signed this letter along with about 500 former military officers, security people. It doesn't seem, and I've known you for a while . It just doesn't seem like something that you would normally do. You tend to stay out of politics. That is very true. Dana. I think of myself as being a technocrat and someone who focuses on the technical details that I'm trying to get policy, right? And that's always been the way I've thought about my role, but I will also say that this is a moment where people need to step forward. And I think he will see among the military officers, the diplomats, the security specialists signed this letter, that there are a lot of people like me, people who have felt that their duty to stay out of politics, to be the military leaders, the technocrats that now people are saying Trump is unfit for office, and we need to do what we can do to ensure that Joe Biden is elected the next president. Why is he unfit for office? Well, there's a lot of evidence out there at the most recent being Bob Woodward's book. And , uh , for me, the most heartbreaking thing is his treatment of the coronavirus pandemic and how he seemed to realize way back in January, how serious this was going to be. And yet he kept talking it down to the American people. He said, again, yesterday we are beating this virus . We are over at , uh , we've reached the peak. Um , all the experts say here in the United States that we have not reached the peak and in fact could be facing another very bad bout this winter season coming on. So, you know, the man is really irresponsible and does not talk the truth to the American people. I was just listening to, I mean, I went down that list and looked at some of the names and there are some, a lot of very impressive people on there. And I was just listening to a video that a retired general Chuck Boyd made, who was an air force general, and he's a former Vietnam prisoner, a Republican for life. And he said, we may not, if you don't vote for buy it and have a working democracy in 2024 now, is that melodramatic or do you really think that's, what's on the line?

Speaker 4:

It's, what's keeping me awake at night. These days, Dana, you mentioned my long work on nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons, arms control. They don't keep me awake at night because I do feel like , uh , we and the Russian Federation have worked hard over the years, Soviet union earlier to put these systems under control and to deter each other, to have a balance so that we are deterred from trying to strike each other. Thank God with these horrific weapons, they don't keep me awake at night. What keeps me awake at night is the thought that in 2024, our democracy could be damaged profoundly. And that is truly a worry that I have at this time.

Speaker 3:

Trump has said when he was questioned about a peaceful transition of power, we'll see these questions mail in ballots. And this sounds like a president who's bent on keeping power regardless of the election results. Or do you think the media is making too much of that? Do you think that once the numbers come in, if it's convincing or if it takes a couple of weeks to count all the postal ballots that you know, Trump's bluster , uh , will , will go away and he'll accept the result, or do you think he may not?

Speaker 4:

Trump was clearly a great showman and he loves to keep the audience guessing. And so he'll always do the ultimate , uh, to keep , uh , the , the , um , news cameras focused on himself to keep the news cycle focused on himself. And I do think that's part of what is at work here. And he started it with his debates with Hillary Clinton, way back in 2016. We're having our first presidential debate here tonight in the United States. And we will see how it goes. I'm very much hoping that, of course it will go well for Joe Biden. And I think he will certainly be well prepared, but the point is Trump will repeat these kinds of things again and again, but at the core of my concern is the fact that he has no regard for the rule of law. And he has no regard for the constitution, the constitution of the United States. So where I take comfort at the moment is in the fact that the Republican congressional leadership has stepped forward, including Mitch McConnell, who has been a great ally of Trump's so far as, as leader in the Senate, but he has stepped forward and said, we will have a peaceful transfer of power. Uh, and I think that these are important messages and give some comfort, but still the bottom line is Trump does not believe in the constitution.

Speaker 3:

I'm shaking my head that I'm even asking you about it because I would interview you in Moscow before the Carnegie center. And we would talk about Russia's democracy and ballot stuffing, and were the elections real and would Putin know, give up the vertical power and suddenly we're talking about it in America. What does that say about the center? That the system that you can have a president in there who may be, we'd never encountered a personality like this before? I think that's fair to say is, is the personality strong enough to derail the system? I thought the checks and balances in American democracy, democracy were so much stronger.

Speaker 4:

It's shocking. Isn't it. As how quickly we could come to look like a Putin's Russia or some here, even in the United States are recollecting the 1930s in Germany. I won't go back far. I do think that our system of checks and balances has , uh, a , uh , strength to it that now will have to prove itself. There's just no question about it, which is again, why I take comfort from the strong words that are coming from Capitol Hill, from our congressional leaders, including on the Republican side. And , uh , of course our court, the Supreme court is keeping , uh, keeping quiet about this that's right and proper. Uh, and the fact that , uh, you know, Trump is working hard to put his appointees on the courts and to make sure that there is a majority , uh, of a more conservative view . But nevertheless, I do believe that the court , uh , would stand up for us constitutional , um , prerogatives as well. And , uh, the , the , uh , appointee who has been put forward by president Trump is one who says that she takes a very strict reading of the constitution. So I would hope even if she should be already on the bench at the time of such a crisis in January, that in fact she too would be standing up strongly on behalf of the constitution.

Speaker 3:

Oh , I hope you're right. Rose. I mean, it's, it's startling to me that we could have chaos on election night with two different candidates for the presidency, claiming that they were the winners and , uh, you know, some kind of stalemate that could go on for weeks and weeks and potentially, you know, a month or two.

Speaker 4:

Well , I think the experts have been right Dana to underscore the importance of not focusing on election night, per se , because of the fact and it's right and proper with all the pandemic , uh , raging in different parts of the United States, including in the Midwest these days, which was spared earlier. But now sadly is suffering its own share of hotspots in my own state of Ohio and, and up in the upper Midwest and Wisconsin and so forth. So exactly they want to be safe. They want to cast their ballot by mail, and that is right and proper. The president himself cast his ballot by mail in Florida. And , uh, so I think it will be important that people do not either panic or rush to on election day, but wait, let the balance be counted. It could be several days afterwards, this is normal enough. And I've seen it across the democracies in Europe now as , uh , as Malin voting and other forms of , uh , voting have taken place during this pandemic that sometimes the word is not there on the actual election day. It takes a few more days or maybe a week, but , uh , in any event, that's the message that's coming through. Clearly from the experts here, don't focus so much on election day. We may not know , uh , for several days or a week or maybe two weeks who actually will be the president of the United States,

Speaker 3:

You know, watcher of, of, of history and politics, political science. Here's a media question for you. What should the media, you know, people like me, what should we be doing on election night? Because if it's clear,

Speaker 4:

The results are unclear.

Speaker 3:

We shouldn't be carrying claims to victory or should it

Speaker 4:

Well far be it for me to advise them what to do. But , uh , I would just take that same caution that , that I just, I just articulated that is that it will be important , uh , to see carefully how many votes have actually been counted? Uh , not how many votes have been cast by the time we reach , uh , midnight on November 3rd and , and then , uh , say, all right , let's stand back and wait and see where the final vote comes in. It will be very unsatisfying for the media. I know, and I have heard several express frustration here in the United States that it's not going to be the same kind of , uh, you know, cliffhanger on election night that everybody loves because the ratings are so great. But , uh, I think it will be important to let the process unfold. And it will take some time. Okay .

Speaker 3:

Couple of quick questions, and then I'll let you go. The , um, in your role at NATO, you, no doubt have been to these moving ceremonies , uh , in , in Norman ,

Speaker 4:

In France , uh , for world war one and world war II .

Speaker 3:

Um , do you believe the reports in the Atlantic that , uh , Trump, when he was fired

Speaker 4:

To go to , uh ,

Speaker 3:

To a Memorial service in 2018 said, I'm not going to go and honor those losers.

Speaker 4:

Oh, Dana, it's so hard to, to believe that because there's such horrible remarks. Uh , but I will say I was at NATO at that time. It was the hundredth anniversary of the end of world war II. In 2018. I was the deputy secretary general of NATO. All of us, the leaders of NATO, both civilian and military were fanning out because there were many, many ceremonies and Belgium is, you know , right at the heart of where world war one was fought. And so it still is a living event for many Belgians and for many belts in the city . So we were really doing everything we could to represent NATO across these ceremonies. So every one of them was wrenching and really made you realize how great the toll of this war for the countries of Europe. And then when I heard that Trump wouldn't go to the ceremony because he would have to drive in the rain and it would be raining. I was shocked. I thought really that . So I don't know if he made those remarks. I cannot tell that, but I will tell you that I was very shocked at the time that the president of the United States would let a little rain deter him from paying , uh , honor to the dead , uh, in France. So I , I was very shocked indeed. And he , he paid a price. He got a lot of bad publicity out of that. And so that's what he pays attention to the next day. He did head off to another ceremony to try, I think, to make amends. But to my mind, it was too late. He'd already showed that he had no, he had no concern or regard for , for those who had suffered.

Speaker 3:

Do you have concerns that America could back out of NATO if Trump is reelected?

Speaker 4:

Well, you know, it's interesting. I think NATO has done a great job and I always give a huge amount of credit to my old boss. So secretary general, rather a young Stoltenberg because he , uh , went out of his way, I think, to , uh, to develop a good relationship with , with Trump and really has used Trump , uh , to do what the NATO allies have promised to do since 2014, to raise their defense spending 2% of GDP by 2024.

Speaker 3:

There's no one for ripping up agreements, whether it be the start treaty or whether it be agreements with , uh , with Russia or , uh , you know, and, and NATO, I mean, yes, he's put pressure on them, but some people feel he could back out of the support for NATO. I mean, and in America is no doubt the strongest pillar.

Speaker 4:

Well, I'm saying yes , uh , with Trump, it's not easy to predict the future. There's no question about that. But I will say, I think that his attitude toward NATO is different today than it was when he first came to NATO in may of 2017. And I think now looking back on that short, we had a one day short meeting at our new NATO headquarters. And that's when he publicly raised doubts about , uh , the U S commitment to article five. But since that time, I think that , uh, his , um, his role in raising the expense , uh , defense expenditures in , uh , NATO countries has made him feel that, you know, this is something I want on. So I don't think he has the same attitude today as he had back in 2017, we will see , uh , if I'm right or not. But I do know that I could, I could see that his attitude was changing. For example, we were in Washington , uh, in April , uh, in , uh, 2019 to , um , commemorate

Speaker 5:

The 75th anniversary of NATO's , uh, um , establishment 70th anniversary, rather forgive me. And, you know, Trump received , uh, the leadership of NATO in the oval office, a young Stoltenberg, and yeah , he was as usual rough in his criticism, but he was feeling also proud that he'd gotten NATO to pay up. Maybe he understands the Alliance a bit better than he did when he first came to office. Rose got to molar . Thank you so much. You're always generous with your time Rose. I really appreciate it. My pleasure, Dana . Good to see you. Good to see you. Will you commit here today for a peaceful transfer of power after the election?

Speaker 6:

Well , we're going to have to see what happens. You know, that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster. And do you commit to making sure that there's a piece we want to have get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very transferable , I have a very peaceful, there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation.

Speaker 5:

All right . Lori Sutton is a retired Brigadier general than the U S army. She was the Army's highest ranking psychiatrist and also commissioner of New York city's department of veteran services. And she is also a candidate for the mayor of New York. Hi Laurie . Hi Dana. Good morning. Good morning. And you'll have to tell me, when is the election in New York for the mayor? Is that 2021? That's 2021. The democratic primary is on June 23rd with the general then following the November, but New York city politics being what they are, the primary is really the main event. Tell me why did you sign this letter saying vote for Biden? What's the idea of ex military people who normally do not endorse political candidates doing just that? You know, these are not ordinary times. And I actually, as a career military officer, I've been studiously, nonpartisan apolitical my entire life. All I was a registered independent and I , uh, I feel very strongly in this moment in this time. Uh, we have to stand up, we have to stand up and we have to , uh, we have to , uh, take stands that wake up Americans that point to all of the erosions in our institutions , um, and all of the , uh , provisions, the bulwarks of democracy, which I think are at risk here. And so for me to sign up on that letter, it was a very important statement. I wanted my name to be heard that this is a time for ordinary people to stand up during this extraordinary time and , um , let their views be known. It's extraordinary to me watching this

Speaker 3:

From overseas in London. So many Americans are talking about the threat to democracy. I mean, I've spent my life covering elections in places like Belarus and Russia and Afghanistan and civil Wars. And the idea that you're actually talking about it in the American Homeland, that your democracy is that threat is astounding to me. Do you think that there's some melodramatic notion in there or do you actually fundamentally believe that the democratic process is on the rails?

Speaker 5:

I fundamentally believe that everything that we have worked so hard to build and not from a partisan perspective, but from a citizen's perspective over the last 200 and almost 50 years could come off the rails in this period of time where after all just , uh , this week we , um, we saw a debate that was like no other in which a hate group, a domestic terrorist group was told to stand by. Uh, we, we have seen time after time , um, uh, elected officials, both in Congress, as well as across the country who , um, you know, have gone back on, on, on basic positions that they held basic standards of decency.

Speaker 3:

Well , I mean the whole issue right now seems to be mailing ballots. I mean, in addition to, you know, Trump firing up militia groups and, and , uh, people who he should be absolutely denouncing and distancing himself from, and I'll ask you that. But right now he seems to be laying the groundwork for saying that the mail in ballots, which everybody is relying on and you're a doctor would know because of COVID-19, there are going to be a lot of them and he is going to try to discount them on election night. I mean, that's, that's election kale .

Speaker 5:

Well, it's very clear. And I think that we will continue over these next four weeks. We will continue to see the seeds of that chaos and that effort to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of Americans , uh , as to whether or not their vote will count. And , uh , if they do go to vote in person, whether or not they will , um , encounter resistance or intimidation at the , uh, pole station

Speaker 3:

General, Chuck Boyd, a retired former Vietnam prisoner is one of the people who signed that letter. He's always voted Republican. And I was watching his video where he talked about that if you don't vote against Trump, now you may not quote, have a working democracy in 2024 unquote,

Speaker 5:

These, these are the judgments of seasoned leaders. As you said, these are not , um, political ploys. They're not , uh , this is not an, an action, certainly that or any of the people on that list took with any intention of scoring points or somehow gaining personal advantage or stirring up controversy. It's a time to stand up and be counted. And I think that's what you saw from that list is very serious people recognizing the gravity of this situation and deciding to take action

Speaker 3:

Less than 500. And I see some of the comments , uh , after you, you and others of that list of almost 500 have posted their names. You know, a lot of people are saying you don't speak for the military and you may be a very small percentage of , of the military and you don't speak for us. Some of them, there were a lot of people there that were applauding your signature as well.

Speaker 5:

Sure. No, it's , we're , uh, none of us signed that letters thinking that it was going to be a popularity contest, but it's an important discussion to have an important debate to have. And if it can wake people up to pay attention to what's going on and to make their informed judgments , then it will have been an effort. Well, spent

Speaker 3:

The debate, told the proud boys, stand back, stand by. How do you interpret standby?

Speaker 5:

Well, I think you need look no further than to see how the proud boys interpreted it immediately on social media. Yes, sir. Mr. President standing by, I think the message is very clear and it's not just this one message during this particular debate. There have been messages throughout the last three and a half years. And I think if you look at how Michael Cohen has described the ways in which the president communicates and sends messages , it's very, it's very clear that this is another one of those instances, which didn't just start this week, but actually throughout, in fact, before the election in 2016,

Speaker 3:

What influence did the reports in the Atlantic have on you that suggested, you know, in 1929, 2018 in France, that Trump wouldn't go to a Memorial calling us soldiers buried their losers?

Speaker 5:

Well, I'm very disturbed by that report. I will say this in a time like this, this moment in which we're living, where the emotions and the, the , uh, the divides are so sharp. I, I think that it would have been better for whoever that source was to either come forward and put that comment on the record or not make it because I think it's just, it hasn't solved anything. It's, it's just , um, created more division and more dissent and more frankly from the president's perspective , uh , more , uh , distrust in , uh , the media. And so I think that was an unfortunate decision, whoever that person was that they didn't just come on the record and say , uh , directly what it was that they heard purportedly from the president.

Speaker 3:

I want to give you a bit of a right hand turn because, and , and it's, it's , uh , an interesting question on my part, but it's something that I've thought a lot about because I've done stories on Q Anon and different things that are happening in America right now. And actually some of them are worldwide as well, but because you're in psychiatry, is there a medical explanation, do you think for this adoption by so many Americans , um , you know, almost a kind of paranoia maybe because they've been locked down in COVID-19 that , um, you know, mainstream media is the, is the enemy , uh , Democrats are, you know, pedophiles, keeping people locked in their basements. Um, the election is being stolen. Uh , we have to stand up and that motivates some of these militia groups as well. I mean, some pretty crazy stuff out there, but with some very big foundations and followings.

Speaker 5:

Yes. And I think , um, if you go back, I look at the president as a problem, but he's not the problem. I think that the problems that we see now that are really coming to fruition have really been those that have been , um, growing over a period of years. I think , uh, you know, we have on the right, we have a whole segment of the country who over the last 20 years or so have seen their identities sort of be lost. The manufacturing jobs have gone to globalization. Uh , they feel disparaged by the elites on both sides of the aisle. Both parties, I think have been , uh , guilty of this. And they feel like the America that they grew up in, they don't, they no longer recognize it. And there's an identity , um , issue here that is very, very deep, the bane of resentment and anger and rage that the president has been masterful in, tapping into. I think on the left, you see an entire generation , um, let's take AOC as an example, and the generations that she represents their entire living memory of growing up our country has been at war. They've seen the failures of the financial system in 2008 and 2009. There's been nothing about , uh, the, the free market capitalist system that we fought so hard four years ago , uh, as allies there's been no, no living memory for them, that capitalism as the most powerful engine for creating wealth that the world has ever known, they have not seen that in operation in a way that would convey , um , confidence or trust. And so I think that leaves us with these two extremes. Um, and you're seeing now with the fear that has been generated and understandably so with the COVID virus. And so people are being very reactive as opposed to, you know, being in , in what we call our resilience zone, where you can respond, where you can sink and you can reason instead what you're seeing, both with the advent of cyber bullying and social media and all of those sorts of things we're living in a world that is bathed marinated , if you will, in fear and toxic , um , uh , toxic rhetoric that demonizes the other that deeply ,

Speaker 3:

And this information on such a wide scale that, I mean, look, I'm a media person, and I think I can generally navigate somewhere close to truth, but it becomes more and more challenging for me as well. And I think for a lot of people that a lot of Americans who are tapping into that social media and all of them generally are because they're locked in their homes during a pandemic and it gets very murky and there's a lot of smoke and mirrors, and it's hard

Speaker 5:

For them to understand what is truth and what is not well. And if you look at the history of, you know , fascist movements, authoritarian regimes, revolutions from a past history, you see a very common pattern where , um, fear , uh, takes root in a society. And that a strong man authoritarian leader will then systematically erode trust in the institutions and the free press and the judiciary. And you see all of that. And , and of course it's been supercharged by now technology and the ability to connect in real time. But I think if you look at, for example , um, uh, Putin in Russia has provided an absolute playbook on how to systematically in an , a very compressed period of time peel back the institution of democracy and lay bare , uh, a very , um, uh, disturbing, very disturbing reality.

Speaker 3:

KGB is very good at that. And I don't think they ever had a really good planted democracy and they kind of look to the American model. And now a lot of countries that have looked towards American democracy as the model are beginning to question all of that, but , but coming back to history and those leaders who have taken advantage of that confusion and disinformation, and I mean, you're pretty well saying that president Trump is doing that, that he is laying those seeds and he is also trying to reap the rewards .

Speaker 5:

I think that's very clear.

Speaker 3:

And that's why this letter of yours sends a message out to people saying what, as, as people who have been leaders, you're , you're seeing what to American

Speaker 5:

Wake up, take a look, get informed, decide for yourself. I'm not telling you what to think, but I am saying that from my perspective, in my experience, I'm very, very concerned. And I see this as being a real , um, it sounds cliche, but it's, it's , uh , it's a crucible , uh, um, crossroads for us as a country. And, and part of the reason Dana that I'm I'm running for mayor is that as I have seen , uh, these factors in these conditions and these, these dynamics take root over the last several years , uh, particularly dating back to , uh, you know, 2018 where we, you know, the political system in our country, our city, at least with AOC , victory just really tore the existing , uh, status quo apart. And I watched as career politicians, you know, ran for the far left, trying to Curry favor with the DSA, the democratic socialist I saw , uh , the rhetoric take on a very charged cruel mean , um, uh , and D meaning tone of, of demonizing entire industries of, of D meaning wealth in the wealthy. And , um, I, I, I kept asking myself as I saw conditions in, on the street with increased violence and the seriously mentally ill and all of these factors coming together. And this was even before the pandemic said, where's the leadership going to come from that can unify our city and lift us up and move us forward. And I didn't see it. And my, my , um, my bedrock conviction Dana, is that as our city, as New York city goes, so goes much of our country. And as our country goes so much, so goes much of our world. And so I, I, I feel a distinct call to duty call to action, to apply every bit of the leadership and the experience that I have gained over the decades since I first started out , uh , as a second Lieutenant in the army. And I'm bringing that to bear and giving new Yorkers a choice.

Speaker 3:

Well, I know a Brigadier generals and former Brigadier generals can move mountains. I've been around them in Afghanistan and Iraq. So I, I , uh , I don't underestimate you in any way, but I would just final question to you. And that would be, is there a way, is there a path back to a more civil America after this, after this election, whether Trump wins or Biden wins and both sides cry foul, and it may be fought in the courts for weeks and potentially months , uh, and it could be fought in the street even, and at polling stations, what is the road back to, to kind of, you know, a more healthy America and democracy?

Speaker 5:

I think there is a road back. Uh , if the president is reelected, I think the message is very clear that the nation will have spoken , uh , in favor of law and order of bringing back safety and security to our streets, to our neighborhoods, to our schools, to our workplaces, if a vice president Biden wins, then we'll be in for another set of challenges, but I will work to bring people together to find the areas where we can agree on. And that's great have to be able to come together with respect. I guess that's what I would , um, as much as anything want to bring back to the public domain, into the marketplace of ideas and to this incredible city that right now is really struggling , um , in search of a champion, in search of a leader who will put the city first. And that's what my life of leadership has been as a career public servant. And as someone who has led in combat someone who has led during times of extreme life and death circumstances, this is a time Dana where our career politicians, many of them just simply lack the capacity to lead in times of life and death crisis. They've never, they've never had to do that before. The best of them do have a set of core values, which they apply to their personal lives and apply to their professional decisions and public life. But for those who lack that core set of values and convictions, if they, you know, if your lens in leadership has always been the lens of politics, you are unprepared and inept and incapable to lead under these circumstances.

Speaker 2:

Laurie Sutton. Great to talk to you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Dana. And that's our backstory on what's going to be high drama in the U S just in case you haven't already had enough drama this year in your life more is yet to come. Thanks for listening. Try to keep your sense of humor. I'm Dana Lewis, subscribe to our podcast and I'll talk to you again soon.

Speaker 5:

[inaudible] .

Rose Gottemoeller
Loree Sutton