When Failure is Not an Option

Host, Ken Harbaugh, interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the choices we confront when failure is not an option. Choices like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats.

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Anne Nelson: The Secret Influence of a Right-Wing Political Coalition

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Anne Nelson is an award-winning war correspondent, playwright, and author. Her newest book, Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, details the influence of the Council for National Policy, a powerful right-wing political coalition.

Find her book here: Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right

Learn more about Anne here: anne-nelson.com

Follow Anne on Twitter here: @anelson

Ken Harbaugh:

Burn the Boats is proud to support VoteVets, the nation’s largest and most impactful progressive veterans organization. To learn more, or to join their mission, go to VoteVets.org.

Anne Nelson:

So it was saying to the true believers among the fundamentalists, "Don't look at his behavior, don't look at what he actually says, because we're not judging the man for himself, we're judging him for what we can do with him."

Ken Harbaugh:

I’m Ken Harbaugh, and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions. On Burn the Boats, I interview political leaders and other history makers about choices they confront when failure is not an option.

My guest today is Ann Nelson. She's an award-winning war correspondent, playwright and author, and her recent book, Shadow Network, about a powerful right-wing political coalition, has renewed resonance with the events of January 6th and the ongoing insurrectionist impulses of the Republican Party. Publishers Weekly called Shadow Network an absolutely momentous piece of investigative journalism. And there's a lot in this book and in your subsequent research that I want to ask you about, welcome to Burn the Boats.

Ann Nelson:

Thanks so much.

Ken Harbaugh:

We need to go back quite a ways, at least in political time, to the founding of The Council for National Policy. Can you tell us about the CNP? Who comprised its early membership and what it set out to do?

Ann Nelson:

Yes, The Council for National Policy had its roots in the South and a group of fundamentalist ministers who were objecting to integration in the 1950s and '60s. So, they began to push back and look for political maneuvers where they could resist the liberalization that was happening in American society, not just about civil rights, but about women's rights and other areas of our life. And so they got behind Ronald Reagan, and when he won in 1980, they seized the opportunity to found The Council for National Policy the following year. And it brought together fundamentalist ministers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, as well as people in the fossil fuels industry, many of them from Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. And they developed a long range strategy to take over the country, even though they realized that they did not have public opinion on their side. And very early on, they put together a coalition of political strategists, Paul Weirich was one, Richard Viguerie was another, and media people such as the people who owned Salem Media, a big media consortium, and operatives who dealt with organizations with big memberships, like the National Rifle Association. And they focused on States where they could tip the balance of the vote by doing really intensive work in these States. And working through the Senate and the Electoral College to push an agenda that ran contrary to the majority of public opinion in the United States.

Ken Harbaugh:

So I want to talk about their philosophical approach to politics, to democracy, you talk about them working to tip the balance of the vote. In Shadow Network, you described an organization that isn't really seeking to expand the tent of supporters by persuasion, but rather discover those hidden pockets of like-minded potential voters and just bringing them to the polls. Is that a fair description?

Ann Nelson:

Yeah. Well, I've studied this group. I've lived with these organizations now for some four years. And when you look at the electoral map of the United States, you've got states that are certainties such as New York and California that are going to go to the Democrats basically no matter what. You've got other states that are going to go to the Republicans no matter what, Republican states such as Nebraska, Oklahoma, et cetera. So the future of our country is largely dependent on a group of maybe seven or eight swing states. We've seen Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona as states that can go either way. Now, you also have this issue about turnout, the United States has relatively low turnout among Western democracies.

So what these strategists learned was that if they could motivate certain blocks of voters in the critical states and the battleground districts, they could tip elections, even presidential elections, such as 2016 and Donald Trump by slices of the electorate that might be 12,000 votes in a state, which is tiny. So then the question is: How do you go after specific blocks of voters and influence them heavily to raise the turnout and to tip the vote in their favor and also to suppress the vote for the Democrats? So that's been the strategy, and for many years, they've relied on the churches and networks of pastors and churches to do this. They have access to church directories, they've recruited pastors for their organizations by the tens of thousands. They've inserted electoral materials in church bulletins, right? You go to church, you open up the bulletin and after the hymn is a voting guide. And the other thing that they've done is lured people away from their actual interests, like how do we have clean air and water, how do we have good schools for our children, with invented emotional campaigns.

So to start, they invented this term, which is a pseudo term, it's partial birth abortion. It doesn't exist, it's not in the medical textbooks, but they invented it because it evoked strong emotions. And they promoted the lie that Democrats support abortion up to the day of birth on demand. And this is just simply not true. But then you've got another factor here which is a mass die off of professional journalism in a lot of Midwestern and Southern American States. So you don't have the hometown newspaper doing the corrective on the front page about what the policy really is. You have these people in church being lied to and then literally driven to the polls to support these initiatives and these candidates.

Ken Harbaugh:

Ann I'm really intrigued in that failure of local journalism writ large across the country, and I believe I've heard you describe it as a colony collapse of professional journalism. Can you give us a little more detail on just how thorough that collapse has been at the local level and why it's such a big deal?

Ann Nelson:

Well it has been absolutely devastating. And I've had a historical viewpoint on this, I was teaching at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in the 1990s, and it was the golden era of American journalism, newspapers were making a lot of money. And people really felt that local newspapers and local broadcasters could make a big contribution to their communities. You also had active state house reporting, and that is critically important because we've got 50 states and a lot of our national life is determined in the state houses.

So what happened?

Well, there was a double whammy. First of all the journalism industry was caught unaware by the digital revolution, and a lot of the ad revenue that supported it and made those record profits were siphoned off by digital platforms such as Google and Facebook that use the content of journalism organizations and profited from it, but did not contribute to the revenue streams.

So the newspapers started laying off reporters, the newsrooms shrank incredibly quickly. Then you started having a mass die off of the newspapers themselves, and we've now lost some 20% of these local newspapers. You also have a disappearance of local radio news, a lot of radio stations across the country now don't have any news at all, and certainly no local reporting. So then you had the double whammy of 2008 and the economic crisis and real estate ads fell off the edge. So you've lost something like a third of the state house reporters who were supposed to be serving the watchdog function at a state level in the last 20 years. It's a calamity. And what you've had instead is this incredible growth of bad actors driving digital platforms that are promoting falsehoods and politically manipulative information in the guise of news.

Ken Harbaugh:

So we've always Had that though, right? The difference is there isn't a fourth estate, like there used to be, serving as a check on that misinformation. Your book starts with a story of you driving in the South and listening to, I'm going to guess, AM radio and thinking it's just a regional oddity, but realizing later that, "Wow, this is how a massive part of the American electorate gets its news."

Ann Nelson:

Yeah. I would argue that it is a qualitative difference because back in the day, if you look at these political movements and where they started out, it was Richard Viguerie, Billy James Hargis, and direct mail. So that means you had to assemble a list of addresses, you had to pay for the postage, you had to do the whole physical effort of mailing things out, which is what the John Birch Society did, which is what the radio preachers did. With digital platforms you have very, very cheap replication. So you can go to millions of people, literally, at next to no cost, and then it also can go viral and it can also be leveraged through cell phone apps, and that's what they're doing, right? So compare stuffing the envelopes to pressing a button and reaching this viral audience instantaneously.

Ken Harbaugh:

And you couple that with the collapse of local journalism and the accountability function that they perform, and there is very little to challenge the misinformation that you document.

Ann Nelson:

That's right. And it's led to this incredibly tragic polarization in our country where what they've done is try to demonize the people in the United States who read professional journalism, who have gone to college, who correspond to fact-based reporting and science.

Ken Harbaugh:

Are those the elites?

Ann Nelson:

Well, they could call them that. And they criticize people who live on the coast. They criticize people who live in cities as though they're the enemy, and our country can't survive like that. You even see it on a state level where people in college towns in these states and in state capitals are demonized simply because they're fighting for clean air and water in their state legislation.

Ken Harbaugh:

They don't just demonize, they work to disenfranchise. Wasn't it the head of the Republican State Legislature in Wisconsin, who said, "Well gosh, if you just take the cities out of the vote, we'd have the majority."

Ann Nelson:

That's right. I think that in some way that's their strategy. How do you remove the coastal areas and the cities from democratic representation?

Ken Harbaugh:

You rightly focus on the swing states and bring up this point that American democracy really hinges on a handful of geographies. And you talk about Ohio as being an early test bed for that, for and I think this is a quote here, "Activating certain parts of the electorate and repressing other parts of the electorate." Why did they pick Ohio? And what were some of the techniques they used?

Ann Nelson:

Well I think that Ohio was desirable because one of the leading members of The Council for National Policy, Ken Blackwell was Ohio secretary of state at a very critical moment in our national electoral history. And if you read the chapter in Shadow Network about Ken Blackwell and the Ohio elections, he tried every gambit in the book to swing the election in favor of the Republicans. And he was even charged with misbehavior in his oversight. And it was things like challenging reports on voting based on the weight of the paper stock, just everything that you can possibly imagine. Now, the real power that this organization and this group of organizations have achieved is through the networking.

So they've got major donors who will pay for the different operations, the DeVos family from the Amway fortune in Michigan is one, you've also got the Bradley Foundation and various others who pay for this initiatives, pay for the media and then link it to initiatives by other members of The Council for National Policies. So one of these was Jerome Corsi who invented the whole Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry. And it did not hold up regarding factual reporting, but it was pushed out on their media. It was amplified in the political campaigns, and it was a major factor in John Kerry's defeat in combination with the machinations in Ohio.

Ken Harbaugh:

So let's fast forward because Trump was not the CNP's top choice. In fact, he wasn't even on their list originally, but he has been an incredible agent for them since his election. What was their initial thinking in the Republican primary and how did they accommodate the outcome?

Ann Nelson:

Well, The Council for National Policy still has a very strong contingent of fundamentalist voices. Some of them Southern Baptist pastors and others from other areas of the fundamentalist and evangelical world, and Trump was not of their tribe, shall we say. He was a womanizer, he had a lot of business issues that involved dishonesty, he used profanity, so he was at the bottom of their list. But the problem was that the top of their list was Ted Cruz, and Ted Cruz was so challenged in terms of charisma that he was able to get a certain distance in the primaries and no further. Whereas Donald Trump was riding this wave of reality television, celebrity, and his own bizarre magnetism, which played out in the crowds. And by May of 2016, The Council for National Policy people had to realize that it was a choice between supporting Trump or living with Hillary Clinton. And they chose Trump. They held a big meeting in New York City, and they gathered some thousand supporters, many of them fundamentalist pastors and others from state level organizations and had kind of a presentation of Trump where he learned a few of the lines and did some photo ops with some pastors, and he came out of it with a deal.

Now, The Council for National Policy had lobbied other presidential candidates such as George Bush the First and George Bush the Second, and said, "We'll support you if you advance our policies and you use our people in your appointments." But they more or less reneged. They worked with Democrats in some cases, they appointed moderates to their cabinets and they were big disappointments. Trump really didn't care about policy or appointments, so he was happy to sign on. And what he offered was their involvement in selecting Supreme Court justices, and other federal judges, as well as their policy guidance in major areas of social policy.

So one of those, for example, was the issue around trans people in the military. The Pentagon didn't want to deal with it, they said things were actually not broken, but this group was very anti-LGBT from the start and the ruling on trans in the military was very important to them. What Trump got in return was their war chest, because he didn't have one and they had money. And he got their ground troops in significant states where they sent out members of their partner organizations like The National Rifle Association to do door-to-door canvassing, and this pushed him over the edge by only 80,000 votes for the electoral college, that's nothing on the national map, but it was strategic and it was well executed.

Ken Harbaugh:

So that initial accommodation of Trump was political opportunism at its most cynical. But you get the impression reading about the leaders of this organization and certainly the rank and file that they have become converts to the cause. I mean, there are true believers among them now in Trumpism. Can you talk about that and about this idea of Cyrus, a president being perhaps not a man of God, but an instrument of God.

Ann Nelson:

Well, yes. Any of your listeners who went to Sunday school might've learned about king Cyrus of Persia. And when the people of Israel were in captivity, he was sympathetic, and he was described as not a man of God, but an instrument of God. And so there were members of The Council for National Policy circle who sold Donald Trump in this way. They actually made these fake gold medallions with a profile of king Cyrus next to a profile of Donald Trump and they hawked them online. So it was saying to the true believers among the fundamentalists, "Don't look at his behavior, don't look at what he actually says. You can disregard the notorious recording of him talking about grabbing women by the pussy. Don't worry about that because we're not judging the man for himself, we're judging him for what we can do with him."

And at the moment that's become a little complicated. I continue to track their media and their conferences fairly closely, and I would say that there's not a division but a kind of reboot where they're trying to cover all their options for 2024. They haven't rejected Trump, but they're also entertaining other possibilities such as Ron DeSantis of Florida, Nikki Haley, a few other people. Because the thing about this organization is they'll go with plan A, but you can rely on them having plan B, plan C and plan D in their pockets. And this is critically important in looking at 2020, because they played through a whole repertory of these plans leading up to the 2020 elections, involving state level politics and manipulating state legislatures. And now, leading into 2022, they are going back to that playbook and going through all of these stages again as we speak.

Ken Harbaugh:

Can you remind us with some specificity what this movement got out of the Faustian bargain?

Ann Nelson:

Well, so one thing that The Council for National Policy got was the ability to have three of their partner organizations really create the list of nominees for the Supreme Court under Donald Trump. And these organizations were The Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society, and believe it or not, The National Rifle Association. Now, as a citizen, what the National Rifle Association should have to do with nominating Supreme Court justices? I do not know, but that was the case, and it's been documented in various national publications.

So you had these nominations that were the most conservative nominations that this country has seen in many decades, you had three justices who have the potential to tip the courts for sometime to come. You also had a raft of federal judges nominated and confirmed by the Republican Congress at other levels of the circuit courts and the appeals courts, nationally. So we're having a reshaping of our national legal environment as it's happening right now by these judges who have been appointed. You've also had other issues such as the trans ruling in the Pentagon, which has now been rescinded, but it was disruptive for our military and it was disrespectful for people who were serving who had not committed any infractions other than their identity. And you had a series of appointments, including members of The Council for National Policy to critical areas of the Trump Administration. So one of these was Charmaine Yoest, who is a lifetime anti-abortion activist who was appointed to Health and Human Services in charge of public information, now that is a very strategic appointment. You also had Ken Cuccinelli, another appointment to immigration which is again, a very strategic position.

Ken Harbaugh:

So the upshot of all of these strategic appointments are the implementation of policies or the threat to norms and established case law that were really fundamentally unpopular. I'm talking about things like open carry or the looming demise of Roe v. Wade or the diminution of civil rights, trans rights, none of these things particularly popular but still able to be affected by the work of the CNP to secure these appointments. That's the fine point, right?

Ann Nelson:

Yes. And I would go further and say that it's about an assault on civil and political rights that have been advancing for the last 150 years. Because what they're doing is creating a paradigm that's about state's rights, and countervening The National Will and the role of The Federal Government. And by the way, on the economic front, the big, big target has been the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency because the fossil fuel industry doesn't want any regulations. They don't want any limitation to their profits, and by the way, they also don't want to pay taxes. So Trump's tax policy was another big win for this organization. And the incredible number of rollbacks on environmental protections was a second enormous win for them. And the Biden Administration is having to scramble to restore the protections that were in place before Trump. So this is just an assault on our entire notion of our civic life.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, this is where I wanted to go, because it speaks to the fundamental conflict which it's about democracy itself. And the approach that CNP has taken to securing its interests, which is leveraging the ballot box, but in a way that is fundamentally anti-democratic. You talk about the path to theocracy through voting, I might editorialize a little bit and say the path to oligarchy/theocracy through voting, because the policy CNP is advancing successfully are not democratically popular, but they're still getting through.

Ann Nelson:

They have two fundamental pillars of their beliefs. And one is connected to this religious notion of dominionism. Many of the members are dominioness and they go back to this verse in Genesis saying, "You shall have dominion over all of the creatures of the earth." And it's this idea that somehow they are entitled because of their personal relationship with God to rule over everybody else and everything else. So if it means trashing the environment, well, they get to dominate the environment. If it means trashing civil and political rights of other people, that's because God told them to. It's quite explicit, and it's kind of a religious excuse for a form of dictatorship.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yeah you write, and I love the way you phrase this about just this thing, in the book you say, "A sizable contingent of fundamentalist believe that God has chosen them to impose his will on the nation." That's it, right?

Ann Nelson:

It is, and it's centuries old. It's one of the fundamental concepts of Calvinism in it's unrefined form. And they're just trying to move it ahead into modern times when it is in conflict with all of our other social and democratic values. And of course it benefits them both economically and politically, they don't have to worry about people who just disagree with them because God tells them that they're right and everyone else is wrong. But the other part of it, I want to go back to this idea of state's rights, because right now the focus has moved from what they were able to achieve in Washington under Trump, to what they can achieve at a state level. And for example, in the paperback of my book there's a new chapter about leading into January 6th, over 2020. And there were videos of their meetings that were actually published by opponents online where they lay out the idea that they have to try every maneuver in the book to thwart the popular vote if Trump looked like he was losing. Now, one of the stratagems that they were pushing was to get bills passed that would pass the certification of the state level vote from the professional designated officials who were supposed to certify the vote to the legislators.

So let's unpack that. Let's say that you're a voter in Arizona and the majority of Arizona voters voted for Biden and the election officials, who were the equivalent of Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, certify those votes through counting them correctly. And a bill could say that the legislators get to overrule that. Now, as it happened, 30 of our 49 state legislatures are controlled by Republicans. So if these bills, and this is just one maneuver of a whole handful of voter suppression bills and bills that advance their interests over those of the citizens, they could capture the American electoral process through state level legislation.

Ken Harbaugh:

Ezra Klein writes about the doom loop of democracy, which is his phrase to describe what you're talking about. And if I could summarize it in a longish bumper sticker, it would be this idea that Republicans have figured out how to hold onto power through minoritarian manipulation, gerrymandering and these other things you described that becomes self-perpetuating and trenching their own power while further losing popular support. Do you see that last part happening as well, the bleeding of popular support while accreting political power?

Ann Nelson:

Well, certainly I see a loss of popular engagement with both parties. I think the Democrats and the Republicans have taken our politics to a different place that's not healthy. And I do think that part of the problem is the erosion of the information, right? Because if the majority of voters are not well-informed about what the policies actually are, how on earth are they going to make good decisions when they go to the polls? So the debate has been moved from highly symbolic issues where trans rights, which I support the rights of all citizens, and certainly including LGBT populations, but it's become a marquee issue involving 1% of the population where you've got vast numbers of people who are unrepresented in the national debate. So that is a distortion, and it's a distortion that the Republicans and these organizations that are not directly part of the Republican party are exploiting. They're exploiting them to stir up emotion, to stir up fear, stir up anger and distract people from talking about their actual wellbeing.

Ken Harbaugh:

You describe a movement that has, in some way, stopped caring what the majority of Americans think or want. They are secure in their own righteousness. And back to this idea of being chosen to impose God's will, there is less of an attempt to persuade a majority of voters than to secure the loyalty of their own tribe to the point where they can retain power with a minority share of the vote. That first part is what I want to explore with you, is the right giving up on democracy?

Ann Nelson:

Well, I think it's getting up on civic life. I've been shocked many times over by what I have documented in my book and the follow-up research. So one example is their response to COVID. And you would think that a public health emergency could unite a country because everybody's interests are at stake. And yet what you have, which is in the new chapter in the paperback, is a telephone meeting between The Council for National Policy and the Trump campaign saying how do we create a misinformation campaign around COVID that will open up the country prematurely and make people feel that hydroxychloroquine is a cure and a prophylactic, so you don't have to worry about it. And then they advance this campaign and they open up Trump rallies that become super spreader events, and starting with my home state in Tulsa. And then they go on to promote this campaign across their digital platforms and press their Republican governors to reopen when COVID is spreading like wildfire and killing hundreds of thousands of people. So you have this absolute disregard for public safety that I find, frankly, shocking.

Ken Harbaugh:

Likewise. And that disregard for the truth, I think you see again in the perpetuation of the big lie and the way the network has been deployed in its surface as well. Can you talk about what was going on inside the White House, after the election, and then the run-up to January 6th and in particular that December 18 meeting, and the CNP connections to that?

Ann Nelson:

Well, I feel that the absolute moment of crystallization was the telephone call between Donald Trump and Brad Raffensperger in Georgia. Raffensperger was a Republican state official charged with certifying the vote in Georgia. He went to every length to count the votes correctly, and it was not the outcome he wanted, but what he found was that Biden had won Georgia indeed by some 11,000 votes. And they counted and recounted and triple counted and that was the result. Well, what you had was Trump getting on the phone with Raffensperger, along with Cleta Mitchell, who is a high ranking member of The Council for National Policy, and she's a lawyer who is expert in challenging electoral outcomes that are not to their liking. And Trump bullied Raffensperger and referred to Cleta Mitchell and said, "Find me 11,000 votes." And Raffensperger said, "They're not there. I can't fabricate votes for you Mr. President."

Now, in the aftermath you've had Raffensperger personally threatened, his family has been threatened, and there has been an ongoing situation where election officials in Georgia have been driven into hiding by threats against their lives and against their families, and you have this going on in other states, too. So you have this overt practice of trying to pass voter suppression bills in Republican legislatures. You also have a subterranean process where people are being threatened online, and in other ways, for simply carrying out their duties in democracy. This is going on in multiple states, it's going on on the state level, it's also going on down to the school board level. And you've got various paramilitary groups emerging, where ... Again, I don't think that there's a hierarchy where there's command and control at the top. I do feel that the disruption is being sewn across many platforms, and that the goal is to disrupt our entire process. And it's showing signs of working.

Ken Harbaugh:

The culmination of this of course was the attempted insurrection on January 6th. I want to talk about the postscript to Shadow Network, which delves into the high ranking military connections to this, and the push by Michael Flynn and others to have the insurrection act invoked and the cashing of weapons by the Oath Keepers on the outskirts of DC awaiting an order from president Trump, this nearly came to a head.

Ann Nelson:

Yeah. And again, I would like to steer people away from the idea of a hierarchical organization with command and control. I have great hopes that the congressional investigation can give us a better understanding of everything that happened on January 6th. But my current understanding is that some high ranking military veterans, and we're talking about flag officers, generals and admirals, are part of this movement. And what they want to do is stimulate support for this movement at a local level. So, as I said before, right now the focus should be on state houses and it should be state houses and maybe a dozen states, that's where the action is going to be for the next year. You've also got these disruptive influences, and I believe that Flynn and QAnon are part of this, where you just seed this set of ideas promoting insurrection across mostly digital platforms. And what I understand from very highly placed investigators is that the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys and so on, when they have veterans' connections, they're not the elite troops, they're the cooks and the truck drivers who want to feel that they are taking part in something important.

So I think that it's moving forward, it's going to be very, very important to look for the underlying strategy and where you have connections. So one of the most important sets of connections is between the veterans groupings, whether they're the elite flag officers or they're more of the ground troops, and local law enforcement officials. This is crucial because you're going to have local sheriffs and peace officers who will be in charge of election safety in the midterms. You'll have various people who will come forward to 'safeguard' polling places, especially for African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities. And we have to figure out what they mean by 'safeguard', are they safeguarding the voters or safeguarding the outcome? That's what's in the works right now.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, there's certainly so much more to dive into, we would love to have you back. I am equally hopeful that the commission moves forward and exposes a lot of what you have referenced, but we'll have to keep our eyes on it. And we end every episode of Burn the Boats with the same question: What's the biggest, bravest decision you've ever been a part of?

Ann Nelson:

Well, it's a decision I've made in a cyclical way, maybe three times in my life, and that's to speak out. I'm a rather scholarly person, and I'm very happy pursuing my scholarly interests. And when I was a young reporter working in El Salvador, living among the death squads, I became a public voice for international human rights. And after September 11th, I wrote a play called The Guys, I became a public voice for supporting our first responders and having a rational foreign policy. And right now, speaking out on these subjects is not always comfortable for me. But I also have written two books about the Anti-Nazi Resistance in Germany, and I don't feel like I'd live with myself if I were among the people who stayed silent when their country was in crisis.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well thank you for speaking out with me today, and it's been an honor having you.

Ann Nelson:

Thank you. It's an honor to speak with you.

Ken Harbaugh:

Thanks again to Anne Nelson for Joining me. You can learn more about Anne and all her works at Anne-nelson.com, and find her on twitter at @anelsona. Make sure to check out her newest book, Shadow Network: Media, Money and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right.

If you enjoyed today’s episode of Burn the Boats, please rate and review us on iTunes - it really helps other listeners find the show.

Thanks to our partner, VoteVets. Their mission is to give a voice to veterans on matters of national security, veterans’ care, and issues that affect the lives of those who have served. VoteVets is backed by more than 700,000 veterans, family members, and their supporters. To learn more, go to VoteVets.org.

Burn the Boats is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. Our producer is Declan Rohrs, and Sean Rule-Hoffman is our Audio Engineer. Special thanks to Evergreen executive producers Joan Andrews, Michael DeAloia, and David Moss.

I’m Ken Harbaugh and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions.



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