American Consequences - September 2021

Bernie Sanders doesn't even smoke pot. He never did. And he liked country music. situations. I’d have to say all sorts of moral and ethical things to say to my younger self. “Be nicer to your mother,” and such. But “shut up” would rank high. Buick dealership. I grew up with cars. And I opened the hood of mine just f***ing mystified. And along comes somebody with a 12th-grade education and bingo – you know ? AA: The best piece of advice? P.J.: “Shut up.” It applies in so many “

But most of us hippies didn’t have a lot of time for the Bernie Sanders types. They wanted us to go out organizing, knocking on doors. I went to school in Southern Ohio. You show up at someone’s door with your long hair and your bellbottoms asking a person to sign your petition – you could get your head blown off.

AA: Any parallels between Woke and MAGA?

P.J.: You have a framed and unframed vision of life. And a sane person has an unframed version of life, knows that it goes off in all directions and dimensions. But some people want everything to fit into a frame: ultra- religious, ultra-patriotic, ultra-Leftist. The big thing they have in common is a framed viewpoint on life. They think they’ve got the answer to everything somewhere in that frame. And even though these social trends get weaponized, they’ll fall out of style.

AA: And knowing when to leave.

P.J.: Yes, knowing when to leave is a first cousin to “shut up.”


AA: Any words for aspiring politicians?

P.J.: Get a set of principles and stick to it. I mean, we’ve seen it work. Of course, it doesn’t always work. It can cause you to lose the election, or it can cause you to lose the primary. I mean, it’s a little scary to do. But you see it work for people like Dr. Ron Paul or – for that matter – AOC. John Boehner. Bernie Sanders. You know, get a sense of principles. Stick to them. People will – even people who disagree with you – admire you for it. And it just makes it easier to answer questions for a straightforward reason: because you aren’t lying .

AA: Who’s the brightest person you know? Other than yourself? P.J.: You can leave me out of it! There’s a guy at AEI who occupies the Henry Went Chair at the American Enterprise Institute named Nicholas Eberstadt. He and his wife Mary – who’s involved with the Hoover Institute at Stanford – they’re scary-smart. I did have the honor of meeting Milton Friedman. He certainly needs to be on the list. There are so many people out there that are so f***ing smart... I mean, I opened the hood of my car – and I grew up in the automobile business. My family owned a

American Consequences


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