« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1345 - Jason Kander

2022-07-04 | 🔗
Jason Kander was a rising star in national politics. In fact, he was staging a run for the Presidency and got the thumbs up from none other than Barack Obama himself. Then the roof caved in. Jason tells Marc why he needed to put everything on hold in order to treat his PTSD, something he’d been suffering since serving in Afghanistan eleven years earlier, but also something he wouldn’t allow himself to confront for more than a decade. Jason’s new book is Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck next what's happening, what the fuck, oh crats, what the fuck publicans whatever? What are you doing? Are you cooking, Are you crying? Are you crying and cooking anything to celebrate is today day, we celebrate half of this country's in. pendants from reality the other half's independence it's from democracy because of that we doing. Is there anything to celebrate all was today, some idiot could set the irish state of california, on fire by accident. What's happening. I don't mean to be negative, but at the very least it seems people should get together and at least with other people being with other
people is important, I think, being alone at the keyboard is half. If not Eighty percent of the fucking problem with people's brains right now get out in it. The people out, there are hobbled by what they Taking to their head in terms of how they interact with other people today is a day disorder. It down. If you have plans with people be nice, go if you didn't think you were going to go to the party go to the party, find the person that you can talk to that? You can open your heart a little with come on, get some love folks. If you can have a few apps eat some bad food, and then get to the keyboard later, whatever, but don't don't quite kate, your loneliness, by sacrificing the way you think, because yours just tumbling down too many rabbit holes. Fourth of July. I'm cooking
I'm recording this yesterday, but I'm prepped, I didn't know I was going to cook talk to jason Kander today. I Jason kander is actually the former secretary of state of Missouri and after the? U S, senate in twenty. Sixteen he's an we better, and it was an intelligence officer in afghanistan and in twenty. Seventeen Barack Obama called him the future of the democratic party. Why is he on the show? Now? First of all I talked to him before jason sudeikis. In touch with the guy. In twenty seventeen, cuz candy was starting up a podcast and he wanted to get some feedback that he was also starting up a campaign for president, but I didn't know that at the time and then went south for the guy. For jason, the ptsd, suffering from for eleven years, was overtaking him. He was kind and by depression and suicidal thoughts. So here put everything on hold. In order to
with the help he needed now he's got a book coming out invisible storm, a soldier's memoir of politics and ptsd, and I talked to a lot of people. The impact of trauma and their wives and how it affects them moving forward, but never from the perspective of a terry veteran so as a lot of insight about the reality of a life dedicated to public service. So I mine in today's today as the as the country crumbles, what's talked to a guy that has dedicated his wife and a lot of it to to civic duty, service in general, It would be appropriate, I'm about to cook a pie. This was yesterday and I've just I've rubbed down a large brisket, it was so weird cuz, I'm not I'm going to a party planning on bringing a pie. A chess pie have a great recipe for southern chess pie. That was the plan, bring a pie
I sell food and they had this perfectly trimmed whole brisket, and I was like oh, my god that things beautiful I'm gonna buy. in freezing and I'll use it. When I know when I have a party or something I just wish, I never seen such a perfectly trimmed whole brisket whole foods, or anywhere really, I fucking, bought it and I texted the wife of the dude. whose house I'm going to. I have a briskly, you want to bring it she's like yeah, I'm going to do my pulled pork, but bring a brisket will have both and like fuck yeah. We will send that guy get up. If I, if I probably been up since five smoking, a brisket, making big decisions getting all into the food prep man getting onto the food prep not for celebration, maybe for like who knows when the fires will come? Who knows how long this, this government looks like the one we grew up with. when that we aspire to be, but
I do not going to be spending time with people, I enjoy people. I love. and all I can say to you is that you know, despite how horrible everything is, you know if you have an opera I need to spend time with people you like today and you're not doing because you're sad go, do it don't fuckin, don't cry and cook for yourself go cry with people and have someone else cook for you, take a minute? Thank our sponsor simply say for supporting this episode of the show and speaking of thanking, simply safe. That's what you'll be doing when you set up their home security system, and why will you thank simply saved number one? It's fast we set, in about thirty minutes. So we can thank them for saving you time number to its comprehensive. You can get full coverage for inside and outside your home. We got some ocean sensors, some glass break sensors entry, sensors and you can add indoor or outdoor cameras to your system. You can do all of it number three it's affordable,
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you and I have texted on and off over the years, and I remember you saying that the euro listening to this showed it to get through the air. They trauma I mean it. He s deep process. Is nice till I listened to somebody who's talking about their shit when he asked dealing with my shit yeah, the average you're, so yeah, and you also, I dunno. If you remember this, when I started my podcast, you like a real. It was a super helpful it was only a half hour, but we talked yeah and I remember a just as I was. I can start in this. My guess he adjusted The show- and I like- and I listened marin can you- and this is an and you said something that I've thought about a lot because I'm not like not naturally good interviewer, and you said you find a thread and you just pull the thread
if the thread's gone and that's really just what I do and it works out. It works great. It's huge whether it's a weird thing, but you learn to identify it. You know, and you can you can find it if you're like thinking about when you're I like doing research or trying to talk to somebody me, but usually it happens when you talk to somebody where you realize, there's a tonal shifts amount yeah and you can just kind of move through it. Well, You told me that the other thing you said was, I was really struggling with outside, like before I had like announced that I was not going to be running. For so you know, I was also having to deal with the whole. You gotta make would you have to be about issues and all the stuff and who is really saying that your kind? joint thier earmarked henshaw constituents. I would say more, like my consultants and probably me driving myself to think like I had he. I ordered this idea and so there I'm I told you I was like yeah I get in these conversations. I think they are going to be about one thing and- and I find something interesting, but it's not what the episode history about and Hugo will do.
record your intros before or after you active people I was like after and you go. then why? Don't you just decide with the episodes about then- and I remember thinking yeah, that makes a lot of sites, as related data have to act the fact you don't forget like no fuck this one. I really wanted to talk to him about this, but I didn't I was like whoa super interesting thing. You just said, but that's not actually what we're here to talk about, and she said well I mean, but does happen in the world of politics. For sure I mean, like I've talked to a quality, general juggler what they want to matter, what their ass the it's kind of an amazing thing in sea. Does it their legs it? are people that are very good at it. Where you just sit, you ask him. One question be like that's what I'm thinking about what okay I pictured, as I remember, robocop viagra rubber cap had like when they would show you through rubber the eyes and you'd see there drop down menu come down, so it when I was if he uses a politician, it was like there was a drop down menu. It's like you'd be asking
question but looking at my drop down menu. To think about which question do I want to answer, and how can How can I can bendis into their questions about a little bit. How do I make the listener? Forget that that's not the in question at all like in their lives the skill I write a year once you can fake that but it's weird because you, I don't know this stuff, there's. No, I think things today then also want, when I think about how you know there was pressure I knew from. I mean in two thousand. Sixteen You ran right air for Senate that there was. No obama was like when it came down to like. What's the democratic Benjamin. I look at this one guy here. Yet this guy is one guy on the bench, this candour guy in Missouri and then and then that's when the spiral happen. Yeah I mean. I know that then back. Then I was like oh this. Is it
it might be that yeah run for president yeah, like oh I'm, just covered earlier work, so that by chronology of that part of it was that you would run for send it right there and you lost, but not by much you did that amazing ad yeah that got everybody like it says. if you are assembling a gun with a blindfold done as a Democrat and an unnamed for gun control right right right, it was. It was genius right, but then every democrat it. Oh my god, this guy knows that Activists are like an anthropological experiment. He's got their attention and they can kind of get it yeah yeah. No, that's your right. It was like so he had to set it up. I lost my state by nineteen on the day that I lost by two point: eight so, which meant a whole two people voted for tromp and then voted for me, liberal ass right, so the people like how How did that happen? What's the magic you gotta get a gun in a blind well in the
the thing was just like. I was just saying: well, I'd say the same stuff. Say. I just say it like somebody from where I am from rio yeah and I think people I would like a more complicated answer, but that was that was Firstly, it I just seems like. There is a way to talk about this stuff without, but I mean we don't t get into a what politics has become an and in that type of I language. We can talk about whatever you want. That's listen to your show! No, but I mean, but it's sorta, like I've, been to your state we appreciate yeah and you know and like the other guy does centred Josh, always scary guy to me is very much like a scary guy and like, but the thing that scares the most about him. Just in talking up of exact, easy, highly educated, intentionally, scary gandia. That do you know he's calculating and now he wants to maintain and hold power, and god knows what? happens when a guy, like that, gets it Holly is a guy
I doing an impression of a guy who you would want to be. The What I mean is like, like there was a moment in Josh how campaign for senate, where he like tweeted out some photo of himself and said like sometimes you gotta give a speech in the back of a pickup truck or whenever I remember clearly castro's upon. It was like that's a flatbed truck and to me. That's josh, holly, right right! There's this guy, like I got no problem with the fact that he's very highly educated and all those things I gotta pee, with him, not being to decide which world he wants to live in. He wants to be the educated guy who uses the five dollar words, but he also wants to pretend that, like today, I asked him today, you know what do we do about mass shootings and he's like and he's? I. I don't have an answer to that question because obviously he doesn't want to say like anything about guns, so he has to pretend it would never occur to him. He has to play dumb about things which I think is kind of right but light, but what he doesn't play dumb about is is very repressive and destructive. Culturally right I mean yeah
so it's scary. I agree yeah, but but like What happens you're way? How We recognise the pressure that was on you. You reaction to it that you would possibly be presidential hopeful, presidential hopeful thousand twenty twenty. How did you just a guy who uses a smart guy in jewish guy and I'm not going to characterize it in certainly certain which I do. But I How do you know you're losing your shit, not because of a fear of expectation, or or insecurity and and in instead it's ptsd yeah. What's that realization widely? How did you know you were you fucking yourself, You know what I mean like you didn't know for like the longest time like I'd say eleven years, I I you know it's well, that's the thing is the army. does- and I wrote about the soto in the book, but I I kind of wish I'd, gone into a little more there's this necessary form of brainwashing right, like where
The moment you get off the bus for basic the message to you is, you know What you're doing is no big deal right, ground, india? What you're doing is no big deal and then you go and you deploy what you're doing is no big deal and nets? necessary because, like for me as an intelligence officer to keep going into these rooms that I might not get out over for somebody else, do some other job. If you don't believe that way, you're doing is no big deal if you're not going to do it The problem is, nobody turns that off and so whether you're thinking you're going to run for president like I was, or you know, you're doing any other job if you're struggling with this stuff, but you've, got it on good authority from everybody. You ever met in the united states army that what you did was no big deal. Well then, what's going with you can't be ptsd, because you do not piteous lights. Are you a year you're in a way? It's it's some sort of gas.
yeah, it's a yeah. It's like it's an indoctrination. I mean that's like right. Well, that's the repetition with marines and then also like, I think I imagine as to serve as the military has evolved. There's there's an element of like this is the job yeah. It's right, there's it's freshen me up for sure, but it's everybody knows something someone who did more than that right and his long it in which every you, you show me a medal of honor recipient, and yet I will tell you about somebody who did more than that it doesn't matter and also the the language around trauma in general is expanded. Now It seems that you know it. Is the word here whether it's always started out with with military ptsd. But now it's like you know bad. We parent people victims abuse. I mean everybody. He's got a mild peter. I would imagine the entire culture post covet, which is sort of the dry love my new our. Then there is ptsd from I mean we were but we're all going to die right for months what it could be that
car accident losing somebody like you know. It's anything that you can get stuck on, and you know people always ask me, like other veterans, asked me, why does it happened to this person and that person and I'm like? I have no idea what you but you but you're, a sort of manifested in terms of what became aware of it. You're stopped you from your political career yeah. I got to a point where you the way I talk about. It is rock bottom is the international capital of fucks left. To give- and that's I saw it wasn't sometimes I have the time. I know I should give myself more credit. I made a choice. It was right for me and for my family and all that, but the time I was like well, I'm done now. You know it was like- I can't I can't keep going- I'm exhausted and I was I was scared because I was having suicidal ideation at that point and it and
I just got to a point where I was like I'm I'm afraid of tenuous, I was afraid of not continuing, because I didn't know what my life would be like. It was the only thing that was going well for me was my professional life but I also I just came to power, I didn't feel I had a choice and once I called the vet crisis line and talk to somebody who spoke to me with a towel. it said to me like, oh, I guess, I actually sound like everybody else who calls this number, whereas, as if I'd been telling myself right? Well, I'm not like everybody else. I didn't earn it when it, but when they talked to Me- and they didn't seem in in any way either impressed or underwhelmed shirt. I tried my right. Oh, I guess this happened. I guess that's me the idea and it was very upsetting, but there is also a part. In particular, when I was diagnosed that was you know, like anything else, it's good answer odd, because the v treated the the condition that same way they treating you
I've been the army. This happens. This what you do He has nothing it right, yeah, but the VA was like, but we know what to do about this. Right, which is the difference between the v a and the army right, is that I mean I'm saying what the the the the thing that caused it, oh sure, yeah the the thing they they just keep telling you that this is just what it is right. yeah. I said that this is normal. This is normal normal. Then you got ptsd and they're going to yeah. This is like. Oh did we not mention that same government that domain yeah yeah, no, that's exactly right, which in that case was comforting, because then you in a chair, and he talked to somebody who never is like that's weird right. Of course you know I mean I can't like I mean I yet I mean I have to imagine it's their primary issue. in terms of how they approach it because you they're, you know you you're, not you, as you said that your case was whatever the context was in how you experienced by some people, get a drug can somebody like don't make it. Some people do kill themselves, so you will never come
out of it. Joe What was the treatment? Did you and I emdr that was the next option like so I did cognitive processing therapy and I did pronged exposure and then was told early on like we're going to try these and then, if we don't make progress These were gonna doing empty are, and I am also open to at some point I may do the india have you done it yeah when I mean what yeah I mean it's one of those things where you're like is this working, but I I mean it, but they have success with it. Yeah- and you know I did it for once it when when passed in a few months after that, when I was specific, I think it helps if it's specific, if it's broad the tricky like it was just like my childhood was bad. If you can lock into an event that you can, identify as as from a trigger or the trauma, and you kind of process back from that? I think it does something, even if it's just the process of making the connection
there there's a way it. You know whether the buzzers or the light movement, whether that's doing it or or the actual methodology I don't know, but my my my it is a practitioner I got hip to it. then I'd then later I did it with somebody around the winds death. Who were what I think has the similarity between it and cognitive processing and prolonged exposure. Is you gotta go through the trauma like that? That's really right! You can't it's not yeah it. He got it. they're right and that's that's. When I had been avoiding for eleven years. As I what I found, It is the only way out is through, but primarily because you didn't think your experience in combat wasn't was worthy of having this particular element. Yeah at first there was like a hundred per cent of what it was and then over time it was Well, I don't think that I earned quote
earned pts yeah right, but I also was like nah well now, I'm in politics so like even when I got to the point where I was like. I should like I, I filled out paperwork at one point for the v eight, but an answer. All the questions honestly cause I was worried about. Amelia got again, I want to be commander in chief like pretty soon the current or achieve have you no recital ideation right, like that's a glass ceiling, I'm not really in a hurry to break and magic. They all do in moments the ethnic. Maybe I dunno lincoln and are sure so the treatment took how long I was about five months and yeah, and it sounds like a five month, weekly treatment course but like leading up to it, though, if your wife was pretty like I mean why? Oh let's go back, I mean because so your family, how many you got brothers and sisters yeah? I got a younger brother and then I got like a massive. What we call unofficial, foster brothers, like kids, who were in the house growing up. My parents took yeah, really yeah, so
kids are your your? Your parents were in what what was there so my parents met as juvenile probation officers and then my dad was a cop part time, and then he had like a security business and see I love the seat. Just because, like you know, people have the wrong idea about. Juice well before you make me out to be two blue collar uncle also is like a broadway composer. So that's alright. Everything to theirs working class jewish element like as a jewish passing jewish kid there's, idea of exceptionalism, which is true, but I remember when I worked in a deli in Boston, you know You guys, will come in these old men and there was like you know what jewish cop you do with plumber these guys. Don't you know that come up, but they were. I mean, probably first generation guys if there was a jewish working class at one. Oh sure we weren't always just elitists liberals from hollywood judge. People here were right, yeah and how'd your parents,
if you hadn't wait, you see your great uncle is abroad. What like a big broadway compose? Yes, as rides always funding for me too. I, like my dad. you know. He made the choice to do this public service yard, but then like His sisters are composer and then, like brother lives out here and and was in the entertainment, be really tell his father's brother. I saw his others brother is the broadway composer. John came the candour in air, but she audio and we ever as a big here near nearer, can still around still writing man, his house, you he's now. You just turn ninety five, while his leg if you met you'd, be like this. Dude is late 70s I think, as working on the show for next year, lives in the city. He I do He and his husband, Michael Albert, live up in Ulster oscar but but day they go back and forth the I added pandemic they pretty much almost into what did you do your grandfather do so popular cheap? He was in,
basically, he was a businessman who wanted to do a lot more than that, but he was like he turned around the family, chicken business, which I never really understood other than my dad explained that once saw where they had an assembly line where they had to slit the throats yeah chickens. Yeah dad was like. I don't want to be in this business. My grandpa didn't either and turned it around so that and get other and then spent the last twenty years of his career as the development director for the lyric opera if Kansas city, which is all he ever really wanted, was to be in the arts, but he wasn't, he wasn't artistically inclined, You come from you'll like how many generations of Missouri innovation. My kids are six, then kansas city, which is pretty rare for jews, were saying: well. How did they get there originally so down to a milwaukee down several general. I dunno my grandpa wrote a little thing for us once he said in the beginning, It was the word and the word was meyer, because meyer candor was the first how's the gang gander in Kansas, who made it to the midst. Eight. They went to the mid west yeah and I don't He he knew the whole lineage and I got to look back through it but like
yeah, that's basically, I think it came from my somewhere in switzerland awry. Oh really, there's like a candle river there. No something so they came over like early on in almost in the in the in the wild west. I think we can I have been in the? U s for this gotta be like ten generations now right cause. I think a lot of them came over on a land deal to farm the midwest. You know when, fifth generation and jewish in a town like kansas city like, every jew. I knew growing up was my cousin,
or something and so would, and so I knew the community cause you go to temple and they all there. Yet when I didn't even hardly go, I'm jewish, I hardly went to temple, weddings and funerals here so like when I went to school on on the east coast. All of a sudden I was around all these jews who would be like hey, you're, a jew and I'd be like yeah, I sure am or whatever. That is, I'm learning right now right and so the funny thing about it is so. My wife who we met were seventeen. She came as a refugee of anti semitism in ukraine, her family when she was eight, and so I always and I jokingly said in order to marry a jewish girl from Kansas city I to be safe. I married an immigrant yeah, but the funny part about that is my grandfather was the president of the jewish vocational servitor jewish family services, which was like the resettlement agency in Kansas city. He the one who I prioritized, bringing these Jews, from the soviet union into kansas city and then His grandson married one
ukrainian in oh yeah, yeah. They are there all here, yeah out here. My god so do they have family there now no family, but they know some people and sorry that's been. It's finishing cause like they're looking at and it First time I've seen them sort of a really acknowledge like that. There's things going on there still, because up until now, it's always been like well that place didn't want. Wanna didn't want us that place. in the soviet union. Yet arm and now you know we're cut to date. The jewish president with seventy percent of the vote, and so it's like It doesn't so change their view of what it came from, but they feel more. to do it now. I think here is my wife is like she's like. I was born in Kansas city. She wasn't invited to her she's like I got enough, I'm not gonna deal with that to arise in which I get kids, yeah yeah, two kids, see a grown up in kansas city and am
How'd I mean how was did you deal with antisemitism semitism really. Now, because I mean you know you would everyone the same way that you, when you're a If the french find a thing about, you make fun of emea, but nothing real. I dunno like in Albuquerque yeah, probably very similar right, like people didn't know enough what a jew was to know how to be anti semitic. Yeah. You know, oddly, that's still sort of prevalent to yeah. not knowing what use are here is if there is a wide swath having dumping accuse, accused me of not knowing what you around me too, because of the it's I I get it yeah. There is definitely a thing, but my parents and grandparents dealt with it, especially my grandparents, but for me I was like I mean, The catholic high school, so is my brother. for me. That was like. I was a really good way to get your dad's attention like yakima out on a date, so it was fine here and the priest like they wanted to convert the I think it's kids and they figured. I was beyond their match, so I got left alone. So what
were you doing as you were growing up, though I mean what, when did politics become sort of a vision I mean? Did you have other ideas? For yourself I mean what were you driving to? I was going to play center field for the camps, or else have heck yeah those areas as playing baseball, and that was my whole life and then really just through that and yeah, it was simple, I was like that's and you are good played in high school college. I played school I was, I was good. I was like became readily apparent that navy, maybe not going to be on the yeah like about about sophomore year. I was like I really like baseball and I'm pretty good. I don't think going to be making a living doing this, and then debate came along, so I kept doing baseball bat I realized. Oh I'm pretty good at this, and, like I did get scholarship offers for that for debate. Yeah, I didn't stupidly. I ended up going to college that had neither a debate nor a baseball team have an american university, and indeed yeah, yeah, yeah and then a sudden we started a little debate team. My brother and I for like a year
and then realize, like hey we're in the nation's capital, where there's a lot of other stuff to do, and you want to come We are rather year when my my unofficial renders knock at yet like something that may say your parents were like a really weird termed throw around, but I'm so used to unofficial, foster brother it didn't come through the foster system. My folks would probation officer years, they just said like okay, come live with us very much like there is their deal like they they like. I had carried home, come at our house, you munched explained it like because illegal had friends whose families were struggling in one way or the other and It wasn't even like we sat down at the table and my parents were like hey we're thinking of MEL. a standard like coming to her. They were like so can it be here now we're like great with their? How many you talk it over the course of time. The three or four the different times, but our yeah. So when I refer
If my son gets really confused by this, when I refer to a coup, his uncles are here and, unlike all, my brothers are interesting with how old we, though, like because, like I mean to build that bond into accepted, I mean you must have been pretty young, I mean yeah, it started when I was in elementary school and then just like, and- and a couple of kids come in through elementary school and then high school, while and yeah and they're. I mean they're almond other groomsmen at my wedding and my closest friends. Still it's amazing yeah and both are you folks, though I still yeah, they still work, yeah might well my dad is. Might so my dad has like an upper neuron issue, but he's able you do at home. Like a version of heroes, I, but it's like long course, and instill drive and walk and talk, but it's labored here and he he's a he private pilot me. Buyers and sellers are points, so he can do out of it. Every mail and meaner. They always apply. The pilot husband likes
it was like his way of rebelling when he was in reform school. I think when he was like sixteen, he went to reform school yeah. My dad's got like a whole other great story. You know that he was the the like, the rebellious kid who became a cop and then hook, and then I think, became like a rebellious cop, I'm not sure, oh yeah and then but yeah. He he. So he does that and then my mom she stopped working when I was real young and raised us, and they got this use, but you know it they make it to every one of my kids games. Every one of my baseball games can I still play- and I see yeah got a shot I mean in my mind deep in my the recesses of my mind now yeah man I play in an over thirty wood, bat league, and I think about it way too much. My wife would tell you I talk about it when way too much kissing, but it's nice to if you've got a good sport and get healthy sense of competition yeah. I think that's important. I don't have that everything
threatening yes? Well, I mean yeah it was me until I found baseball again. I thank you yeah yeah yeah, so so the debate thing led to an inch involved. If you didn't have them. Do you came back from the war? I had an interest in. I had an I had it. a somewhat interests, but it wasn't like my family. It would tat we would talk. Paul it takes a dinner like my parents look service, oriented and media. We would talk about the news and then yeah debate. Like policy debate in high school, I actually, first thought really good. At giving speeches. and then I realized- oh no, I I actually like I'm really into this stuff, this policy, stuff and and- and and it was in college. When I realize like oh no, I want to run for office. I didn't know what the hell that meant idea. I want to run for office and then the law school. I was like. Alright,
show me do and I kind of figured out what that would look like and we'd move back to kansas city, what changed, with going to afghan stand, was the political science major before that everything so like I saw politics as is like a game. It was just now I couldn't play baseball anymore. This was If I knew what I thought and you went to law school yeah, I did. I stayed in d c, went to georgetown, so you got a law degree and everything yeah. I got a law degree. Your lawyer, recovering lawyer like I have to sit. fifteen hours in the last forty five years would be the biggest boon for lawyers and ever and I would miss the whole thing is the worst kind of law. It's like everyone's suing everyone, because that's what people do not a worm at stuff, a there's, a lot of performative stuff and but also I I didn't really like being a lawyer that much I was just. I had a political science degree and I was like well now. I guess I do this a right as your woods. Then, when I went to Afghanistan, that was the first time I'd ever been on. The receiving end of
decisions made by politicians yeah that, like negatively affected by law, was like. Why did you go to afghanistan at all? Like you were set up? You know it seems, like you could add a life Without that yeah. You know for me, it was. I was in dc when nine eleven happened and I'd grown up. My my grandpa had it in an elegant, buddies, grandpa right been ordered to you know, but I guess to me it just always made sense like there's a war, you go and really that's and it wasn't I wasn't like from a military family right. I just public servants, yeah and I think and I don't think they intended like if you had gone back in time and been like. So, if you can You in this direction he's going to the army, I'm not sure that my parents were similarly we added up. They were soon for me, but they knew like you're not me out of it, and so nine eleven happen and I was like well, I'm gonna go I do this so though, and then I mean when you,
You do the training you do do where were you ideologically with that, though? What will I was your posed to the war in Iraq right, but I mean but when nine eleven happened, where did your brain go in terms of where we stood as a country? I you know it is you feel, but I fear you are so much more simple them right here is like we were attacked, I hadn't gone into this phase of our of our. Mark where everything was a fight, and I felt like we were fact we're going to war go to war against the people were attacked us and I so I still you you, you weren't down a kind of lefty wormhole with you is lane blame chickens coming home to roost where it was it was it saturday driven any of that now I was like people. My age, like clearly men. My age are going to go and who the hell am I to be like, but I don't. I shouldn't have to it's just how I saw it and and so then, but it was a choice. Oh, it was one hundred percent a choice. and professors
My school, for instance, would look it like at the time I was on crutches cause. I hurt my knee and I had to get surgery and and physical therapy to go into the army and they looked at me like. I was an absolute crazy person. I like you, if you're convincing the army to take you there, but to me it just made sense. I don't know. If I'd been nah miranda amid em. Maybe I'm a totally different choice, but at that time it seems to me I think the war in Iraq made any sense, but I also was like by that point, was training to go and I was like, while some of these people on friends what they're gonna go, how am I gonna? Be I'd better, go I'll stay and but it was when I was there. I saw one nine eleven happened. I was twenty, oh come, and so I was what would you for two as a military aged mail here right like or in other countries as they call she went to ask you when you get back got to know, I went to law school while he did rotc. So I instead, right becoming like an army lawyer. I did the training to become an officer wives. I in law school
Ok soon listed, you did our own history and then you in law, school and then, and then you got so thereby more been going on for a while. Yet so I got, there are six ok if their stand and her and ninety, but by that time, what the hell you educate yourself around, what might have was educated already. I know that I like, twenty nine eleven habits, but it's just sort of like the politics around the afghans. This damn war were dubious. I don't at that time I still felt like where this mission still centre right light, but that said, it story, A good question The frame of mind I was in at that point was like yeah. It was a guy who was thinking he was going to run for office, but really so that was he was there, but I was like more than that I was at that point. I was a soldier right at that point like to me, I was thinking much less by that point about the politics of it all and much more like my job and am I doing what they eat
other people around the right, rotc thing started that that you get. Did you get a job to do? This is normal and will get a job to do and it became her and I it was who I was became. My identity, like I, went from being like a law student who did our t c to like by the time I'm in intelligent school, getting ready to go at my I'm an army officer. That's at b, I was at your choice. You could specialize yeah. I chose a rotc, or what well as a reservist you, which is what I was going to be you can sort of. If you find a spot, that, where they need, you they'll send you to the school. For that thing I and I, and so I didn't want to be a lawyer in the army, I felt like there was it'll, be plenty of time to be a lawyer to share, and I thought I could. well good job as an intelligence? I had this idea that sounds so corny but like in my head- and I still believe this like- I felt If I did my job well, I could help other people get home safe and back then it was that simple to me. I don't I never got. Opportunity to feel like I achieve that, but I think most people don't, which is the problem. So when
okay. When you say that was what you wanted to do, going into being an intelligence officer. How did you think that that fit we, what? What did you think was the going to be the result of your work. Yeah. That's a good question! You because, like you go you go over. And you have an idea of like what war is going to be here and then like most other things, it's not bad at all, like that's not what it is. so when I got there not in the trenches now not anymore world war is not that kind of war anymore right, and you're, and even then you in your mind's eye like in the movies. They never show guys just sitting around bored you know, or which is part of it, or with hot or cold, are usually in in a large tent, like structure and then all of a sudden they go out in a jeep and you're hoping to what is it an id? Is that what it yeah doesn't blow you up right and so that I expect you know like hoping that I don't blow up guy.
my fear that that I got that. But I guess you know emergence officer like doing telling her school and they they teach. You are these things and they go you'll, never to do this, because europe's and the tenant, your lowering after you'll never get do this, or that I show up the thing about war is like the person in charge of a unit. They just got to work with it. got so. I show up and there like, ok, well have this job in this job. One was like an analyst to work. The night shift was, we need somebody to go out and figure out who of these people in the afghan government, military who of them are like we corrupt and are working with the enemy and and we need many figure that out, but we also need somebody go out and find out information, and I was what twenty five years old and convinced I was bulletproof so, I didn't hesitate. I was like yeah that job I want that job. Oh so you're going in sitting down with people with a translator yep there. That was my leg. So are you still in?
your translator and is, and I and so it was me and salon like bebop and around, and ironically I don't know if it's ironic but like me, coincidentally, salami. He it spent most of his time in the u s in Kansas city. So we were like just Stu Kansas city guys bobbing around to sneeze at american army, regular guy. No, he was a contractor. He was in his like late fifties. Then a high end had by the time I got there, he'd been back in after I stand for a few years. You know like three years already so, what's a day to day one of the stories like you, you're, going out in your you, get an did I did this. We know me this guy developed a relationship with this guy and he'll. Give us information on person who, we suspect is working with the taliban. this province. Orders is run and drugs along the heroin. I wear this regional by you, Are you not solving country wide problems necessarily, but in your province or what?
Have you call it? This is the job wolf, yes and for me, I was like in this weird spot, where I was sort of at the top of the chain, because I was working with the director of intelligence and his job was to tell it. the general in charge. The ambassador and people like that hail. People were working with the highest level. Here's what there the upturn in rio, its books, the armed, I'm accepting that. Might my boss, my commander over there, he referred it's and so like in intelligence. You have other stuff that ends in take signals, intelligence, guys who listened stature? He made up the I heard it from somebody thug aunt, and yet he described it as later it. Me, you were building relationships with thanks in order to get information on other thugs rice. That was my job. Yet here. Ok, so I was convinced like that's not combat. I went to meetings now it took years and it than therapy later, for somebody to be like see,
or by yourself in the most dangerous place on the planet for hours at a time nobody knew where you were and nobody could come and save you with people who might want to kill you or could kill you yeah many people, you travel with just you and so on, usually just me and so on, and you were you were told it would be safe. No nobody ever reside can save for the site where we need. We need to find this out, so you re to fire yell a year, you much you always know where the exits are you you have a plan. You know Many guys are in this room. How many guys are between this room and my vehicle? I take all three of these guys and oh yeah, so you don't know if you're walking into a taliban trap, necessarily right, yeah or or there's all sorts of other bad actors, narco traffickers and different terrorist groups- and you know stuff like that You talk all these people making friends, man that was my gig opium movers, yeah yeah inspiring terrorist groups, yeah
mean or just people who were like they could get paid a lot by one of the groups. I mean you, you'd be worth a lot you know, and so you just constantly. aware of your surroundings and it's it is brings all of your senses to bear. You know. I talked to Chris hedges years ago. bout wars of force. It gives us meaning which seem like? You know that that is sort of the zone of trauma. Dealing with that. You know you're at you, you're in such a hyper cortisol, adrenaline state all the time that anything else seems less than, and you you build up as what kind of hyper vigilance that you you can't shake and and ukraine you crave and you you and also come to understand it. You know like it's. It's simple right. It's! I I describe it, I don't. I don't really play golf much but, like this analogy, works like a golfer
yeah they're glad they got like eight clubs in their bag right and a whole different distance, they're, gonna selected frent club. That's like regular life, then you you go to place like Afghanistan. You need like three clubs like one is anger. One is fear, one is boredom. and then you come home and you're supposed to start using all these other clubs? Again It was much simpler and brain understood, only really needing the three and you're, also worried. If I start using these others, somebody might kill me. because your brain is learned. That's what I had to learn it there, because my brain had learned that if I let my guard down the debt like I might like That's what I learned in Afghanistan is that if I let my guard down, I will be kidnapped and killed, and and- and I just had to do- a lot of work and therapy to unlearn. Did you always get kidnapped and killed at no? I constantly thought I was going to be didn't see that happening to people I know
when I think about it. No, but it's like every day I mean you, you Obviously you hear about it because people, they don't say it's going to be for cobble when I went from other places. They don't say it can be safe, but what they do say is this: is it Happened to this person rises, what you know and its me. Fortunately, it was for the most part, not people, I knew personally, but you know they just you're aware That is happening, but you hear bombs in the distance yeah you Occasionally you hear that, and so how long were you there? I was only there for months, which was another reason why I kept telling myself she yeah, that's nothing. I couldn't couldn't be ptsd and have shit. You know, because then I got buddies. Who I did multiple tours tourism spent years there and and so then you're telling yourself. Well. How can how can I, claim the mantle of ptsd if either, if they there, yeah and then you find out later like none of them are ok, ripe and taking the financial later. I mean it? I mean it's a big shift. You know, I mean no matter what time
are you're doing I mean to to operate that much have to manage at much fear yeah and in the thing is it at the time you don't recognize it is fear like it first, when I first got there, it felt like fear and then after a while, it's like you said it's your job and it's what people around you are doing and its credible. What can become normal can imagine, and then also I kind I I short well, that's the thing I was Edna how it be in jail. I gotta get away with. It brought an end exactly and like if you feel it Particularly in my gig, where I was often times, wearing a uniform grow. didn't like in the army. Anything. That's not the same as everyone else's instantly. The coolest thing ever so like a guy, doesn't aftershave and that guy is wearing, like you know, a great fleece. That guy must be it ninja like a hit some days? That was me and I felt like a cowboy and there were moments.
If that were really scary, where I realized, like oh I'm, sitting, I'm sitting down with this person, I realize who the person is halfway through. This is a person. Oh we're investigating this person. He knows we're investigating him yeah. This might be a trap all that stuff and of the other things that that happened, that at the time you think they're normal, and then as the years go by like in a convoy and at the time there was a thing where suicide bombers were jumping under vehicles in demanding themselves here and I'm in a convoy, and am I mean like these? passenger seat. So next to the driver, yeah and- and you feel somebody under the side, were really slow moving traffic when it happens, state of instinct, you pop your rifle and you zero leon and you look right and you're ready to fire, but thinking I got time at all here and fortunately for me right before I did. I realize like it was a little boy when I got so it can be
little stuff like that, where you like, you can't help but think about how that could have gone so that's the sort of thing that would visit me every night in my nightmares, but mostly it my nightmares were where I did get kidnapped and killed the thing you're most afraid The thing that I spent, even among their trial reform, minded in what you go back to kansas city yeah, come back and go within two weeks, I'm back at my law firm trying to care about writing legal memos for corporate client, and when did you first, when you do your first political thing, so I came back in earlier seven and I I started running for the state legislature in august of seven. I really started I'd like announced, but I really started running and asked sir wasn't long. I got in looking I got right into distracting myself is what I did we learned the term over functioning yeah. I guess that's what I was doing yeah, I call it sure. That'll, you know,
it did for me. They used to call it working really hard supposed to be. Experiment are always busy, I'm always busy man, yeah yeah. I mean, and that was me because it was now. I look back and I realize like What I wasn't going to do was spend time with myself constantly and the my thing of seeking redemption, which You know there's an element of with trauma. In I've learned that there's an instinct to redeem yourself, but then, when you add onto that sort of the survivors guilt part of the military anyway, I'm ready yourself how I thought well for me that here's a story, I would tell myself I did for months. I friends who are still there. There were people who went got there, they were there and they were still there when I left like salaam- and there were you know so I'll redeem yourself to them. Yet an end to myself, because I am I hadn't done enough right.
and really I recognize now there was no nothing I could have ever like. I tried to go back at one point: yeah really yeah. There is no way actually ever would have felt that I had done enough and it was only like through therapy and everything that I realized ago. I actually did quite a lot didn't just deliver. You got sent home, My tour ended and and yeah, and I remember so it's a long story. In the weeds and boring the bass, but version is. I was part of like a pro. It was like an individual augmenting from a unit where I get sent in to fill a spot for latvia, and most of those doors were actually like three months, and I stayed a little extra time sets words we have guilt that you didn't do enough and that you know you met guys over there that uses as in a tougher situation than you and dating get out. and and then you know, and then just the sort of adrenaline loss
You know you no longer engage. I think that was really that the nature of of of what two hedges about a million years ago, as you say, the eldest son, you you just here and in life, is not operating at that level its eye, You just imagine sitting offer fucking I remember when a partner came in and was like this is important and we both We, both kind of knew. I wasn't going to be there long. When I go. Is anybody going to die and we kind of look at each other, like yeah, I'm probably going to get a new job like I wasn't like fire, but it was like this is not so then I left and I became a trial lawyer for awhile, and that was more fun. It was. It was more fun than that. You know like real clients and feeling like. I was doing something good to me. I was that's what a soldier would do, he would represent work. P heard, got hurt and, and so two things it was what you just described. It was this is not the journalist
now, the meaning adrenaline, but I thought in my head, meaning right and then the other part was. I had to prove to myself- that I wasn't irredeemable and end for me. That became I have to get into politics. I have to make these huge changes and that will be worthy of what was right, Also, that's what drove you initially that you know that if what you're telling me you went into the service because you wanted to get people out or help people out there. there was a there was in there right You grew up in a public service, civic service household, where people help people premium put on that which in a liberal way right, yeah yeah. So so then yeah. I guess that, in light of that you just kind of picked up the agenda again, yeah, but also you brought up sorry that you know that you're out the other end of policy, so that also an incentive. It made me very righteous about it all right
what was the turn of events on that like? When did you realize that? Oh, you could change policy in terms of like this? Isn't writer like this is screwed, So I remember the first thread that I drew between the two was remember being in afghanistan, and you know the first thing you know at that time. It's like wow, pretty much. None of the vehicles I'm in are armored like almost every yet you know, and- and that was if you've met me- you I think doing an america sure, sure we're talking about young people were sending people. They were sending stuff to armoured cars. Exactly right, that's remember yeah, and so so that was like very clear but then other stuff like is through really dangerous if the tories were, we were supposed to have helicopters, but they would say, and I even know if this was right. They I would say as well most equipment in Iraq, so you're going over the road and out- and I just member thing, like. Oh, this is what it's like be on the receiving end of polluted.
We driven decisions right right and I never no politician could have made a decision that took food off my family's table or anything grown up. So that was the first time for me and then I can put it together right, yeah and I come home and- and I was already going to run, but now it had changed my thinking. So I remember at the time a bunch of people had been cut off medicaid in my state yeah, and it was being crowed about by the republican governor at the time as this great accomplishment and budget cutting, and to me right or wrong. I saw it get through line I was like that is that that is just the same as sending people without armor that they need an hour in credit for something that's just hurting people who are already hurting and So, by the time I got to the legislature, I was just Every Republican I met was donald spelled until proven otherwise so angry. I was on a mission and in how was it that you, the legislature in Missouri at times briefly, but not
I mean I did two terms and I ran for statewide office. So no, you know like I am I started running for say office in my second aren't right for secretary of state. So I I pretty quickly like in my first term I got a few things done. Nothing major cause. I was in the minority party and I felt really stymied and that sounds like a nightmare, so you gotta, wait if you have the thing that people don't really realize it's like who the fuck want to do politics now: we're finding that, like you know like the, the level of corruption possible and just craven, behavior and and and short term grifting. and whoa bomb low money, drifting yeah we've been here. I don't think it's ever been different, but anyone who is who, as you know I user, ideologically progressive its. why would they even fucking bother? And I imagine, you've asked yourself these questions someone's got to do something, but I
doesn't seem like anyone's got, follow through and it seems like there's a generation of of sort of self serving people. There's there's a lot of progress. is he a bit, but I mean like there's still a lot of really great people doing things, but, but I think it's definitely true about what you're saying is we are at a moment where so much cynicism or maybe the word is like there is so little progress into your point on that we talented people are like? Well, I'm not going to do it make the world better. I'm not going to do it they're doing it over here, yeah yeah, but but also they're there. It's it's pretty out in the open. Now that there's a fairly organized ideological move towards minority rule in a shameless way that there is, you know a a fascistic element: that has been in hiding that dead turns out to be most of the republic agenda for thirty years well and its worldwide right now. That's that's that
connection, I think we don't make often enough in america or mean autocrat india, like we think of it as like trump ism, but that's trump isn't you're a most places, we have under the otter that's right. Like ukraine versus food- and you know it hungary, turkey, and all these places where china yeah well there's this balance get a battle going on between turkey. Exactly like this, see pack in hungary like so we as americans, like to think of everything, is like this is our thing, but no, We are whatever our thing and sadly most americans are going like. What are you talking about right we are a battleground in this. It's worldwide fight yeah and I and so in in one way like. Hopefully that is animating to a lot of people, but the problem is: is that it also can be really defeating yeah, I dunno. If it's explained, really. I don't know that most people feel the urgency. I think that most people, if people I I've, decided this.
If people are okay, they're, fine, it's enough, they don't have to engage in civic, responsible almost on any level and no complaint about paying their taxes, even if their good people- but you know it suddenly becomes plain in usually it's too late yeah, I just don't want to be. I mean the already loading people onto trucks who are suspect do not be americans like so, if trucks are already in use. It really comes down to who operating the trucks. That's grim! You know what saying well yeah for long time I tried to really try and stay sunny and optimistic about it and be like now organ it was really when I was I very much in the fight with let america mode where's, the organization I had started and everything, and so what the have read and also I was still in my own way, this idea of myself and I hadn't gotten any treatment yet so like this is if I
in this fight. What was I right? And I'm not saying like that? Therefore, mental health has everything to do with why you're in politics, but I am saying that now it is for me not to have a much more sober, look at it and say like yeah, it work, to a place where, if we don't, I have big changes. It's just gone It really really is going to get harder and harder to make big changes. It's going to get horrendous, so you you like when you came close with the after this he s a year on the trajectory by so would not we're back where we started that now you know what what the moment where you're like I observed the suicidal ideation process it just got to the point where I remember I remember just saying I don't wanna do this anymore. I was it all the time. So I because you can manage your brain yeah and look. I was basically running for president because I was
in in the course of about a year I was given speeches and forty cf states. I was in iowa and new Hampshire. All the time gave you know this. the moment where I knew something was really wrong? Was I gave the keynote speech: nashua new Hampshire, at the Mcintyre Shaheen dinner, which is like the it's. It's like the big annual democratic night right where like the year before me. I think the keynote was Hillary Clinton and the year after me, it was like Joe Biden and when those years it was Elizabeth Warren and then this year was me, so it was like this was the event. This was the bike you were if you were the guy yeah like it was live or how c span road to the white house and stuff, and I dunno if I was the guy. This is our hope of it, but it was my moment to to audition for that. we have to have their own go like okay, he is or is not the guy, and I I crushed it like it crushed it and I knew I'd crushed it, and I felt
and at that time, in my life like and this approach, probably something you can relate to as a performer who is dealt with mental health stuff, I felt good when was performing and no other time that means you might be doing the wrong reason right and died and know that then I just thought I must continue to be your forming an order in my case, fighting the good idea gauged in this way, and and This point. I had needed dosage to get higher and higher and higher for it to work, and so now I give this huge speech, keep killin, yeah, yeah and and and with bigger and bigger stages, and at this point have also like I've, sat down with obama and he's at least been when encouraging about the idea of me running this, so I'm like I should the right where I want to be its the zenith of my professional career and like the others,
today I get an a I go to get on the plane to go home and the tsh guide checks my id and he's like. Oh, it's, the next prison, the united states so like I should be there right, yeah and again on the plane and the endorphins just drop out of me and I feel just as empty as I had felt before, and that was the first time that I was like okay, something may be really wrong cause like if this last twenty four hours. Then some, he's really wrong and and I went to got invited to go, give a speech in hawaii, so my family and I went to hawaii and I actually slowed down for a few days as it's hawaii church and I realized like I'm exhaust, all the time because I didn't sleep. I had terrible nightmares every night and I didn't sleep I was you're going to art of everything the nightmares been kidnapped and killed, yeah nightmares, sleep prowess and all that fund stuff cheese. He I was no fun
but I didn't know. I just thought: that's what, after a while you're just like, I guess this is what I am you forget that you didn't used to be like that and then a campaign manager at the time abe boy. I was like so what? If I, what if I didn't run and he well, you ve got back home run from air and I grew up, that shit like a life raft, I was just like. Oh in my head, I was like that's going to fix everything. I'm go home and go to the visa and I'm become mayor and I'm going to do great things for my neighbors sitting, go where you can go deal with the shit. You have the right to myself. I wasn't ready to tell myself it was ptsd, but I was ready to say somethin wrong. I should go to the visa ass. He thought might be depression by port, but he s like I was like. Maybe I just need talk to somebody very them out and nowhere the area, but I was again redemption. I'm going to go and I'm going to bike the crime rate and I'm in my hometown that we just argument figure generation there. I can get results
results. I can see him as I kept telling myself I'll, get results and I'll see a and start a run for mayor was going great like me, but you know, if you are, if the president decided to run for mayor like he really should be the front runner from hair like otherwise. What are you doing? Well, that's. The other thing is I like it it's another layer of pressure on yourself now you can have to deal with you- I just disappointed the fucking the old boys network knows about to deliver me to the big house or a big, the big yet or like and a more basic level kiss your name on it, because when I used to say to my wife all the time is, I feel like I'm disappointing everyone. So as I am appointing my son because I'm not around I'm disappointed, but am also? If I am a round, am disappointed junior I go in your own. Stay wider and ruin for mayor nobody's, like I'm sure, he's busy, because they know you live in town you're supposed to be everywhere and, Kansas city has a violent crime problem, so I instantly being hyper vigilant and having the soldier mentality protect people. I
researching in urban violence. I'm not even mayor yet and I'm runnin for it like it sheriff like I'm stayin up. I can't sleep because I'm thinkin about people get murdered and you ve never nightmares and have a nightmare and so that's win and then I didn't kill. I didn't keep my promise to myself of going to the viewer, because I got So, at the questions no mike, I still want to be present and I might add, an answer eyes like I can't you I knew you weren't ready. You knew you could eat like yes, be one of who things with me. I wasn't in the service. Was it I'd, have to ask what is my fear now and at that point. My fear was slowing down cause then I'd be It just be me and my fear me and one hundred- and so I and then that's where the campaign's going
I got the mayor. Yeah like I I you know you don't usually get to run for mayor of kansas city and talk about it on like late night with Seth meyers, where he was unfair. The advantage I had by having already had this platform, so it I should have been, and I kept telling myself. I should be thrilled at this boys want name recognition I like one hundred percent face recognition and people would drive down the street and honk like mayor yeah, though I can vote for you. I'd knock on a door to a voter they'd come out with my book and be with my first book. Can you sign it was like I should because I never been anything but the underdog. Until then I should have loved it, but I was but dayton life. Did you think I do know that the big shot the democrat machine was sort of way with us, a kid you so close now. He was gonna fuck. A fucking mayor, oh the headline on cnn dot com. The day I announced was Twenty twenty candidate, jason kanner announced this fort dot dot dot. Mayor scenario just now get this all other weird. Shame the appeal
as door mine you and, like you said this sense that in my doing this, for the right reasons in my acting out of fear, because I'm afraid of where I write me an answer- Oh then, it out and ok, really good story soap. So since the truck and along, but not here, and I'm increasingly, you know when think a burden to my family and all these things. So this story doesn't start out funny, but it is funny. So I finally go to the villa and I I go in there and, of course, I'm getting recognized a lot which in this case it you know not my ideal. It's not like that best place to be well known, is where you're showing up because you're suicidal at the vienna summit polemics. Shut down everything I sit down with this guy who's doing my paper work for me and I'm answering his questions. Questions and he's like seems like. Maybe you need to see somebody today and I might yet So he takes me down to emergency. I answer
two more questions. Next thing. I know I'm sitting in this windowless room with like a stainless steel toilet. The nurse is sitting there here with her back to me. She leaving. I shall turn her back when I got a p, but there's a suicide watch and I'm in rubs that are four times too big to have taken away all my possessions and everybody's. Kind of recognizing me to do a double take, unlike a little humiliated and probably a lot www by it and then Psych resident is brand new psych resonant comes end to talk to me whose, like I guess, he's on duty at the moment, and it's pretty clear right away that he doesn't have any idea who I am and first like big relief, and we're talkin like thirty minutes, and I tell him my symptoms and stuff that I'd never really talked to anybody about, and then he we're wrapping up and he's going to. Let me go home. I had said I got to go pick my son up right. I think he figured was not going to kill himself today is nothing playing and he goes do you have like a particularly stressful job or something and I go home and politics and he's like what does that mean side, contrary to explain it
and he goes well. Has it been like It's really stressful. As you know, however, long as like, well yeah I mean I I was, I was getting ready to run for president now. You know I'm running for mayor, but I'm going to quit that tomorrow and start hopefully getting help here and he he goes. wait a minute remain you're gonna run for president may. He was present of what am I of the united states now remember- I'm sitting there with like my arm it's wrapped around my knees and like pajamas. They gave me that are way too big, and he goes he's like what. What does that mean? You were gonna run for president as I I was going to iowa and new Hampshire live. Given a lot of speeches raising money, he goes on, who told you you could run for president and now MIKE pissed that this guy is no. He doesn't believe me, and so I go. I dunno man, I dunno what to tell you. Like, I spent an hour and a half with obama in his office. He seemed to think it was a pretty good idea and this dude takes beat and then he goes how
often would you say it is that you hear voices, and that was my first day at the v a and the next day I announced that I was stepping back from everything and he had no idea who you are now. I think Let me go home so either he googled me or somebody was like you know jason kander ea. So something said like that: he's not a crazy person, that's hilarious! I mean he maybe has a crazy person, but he's not that way. It's humbling, oh for sure, yeah, so So then you pull out of the race, the drop out of public life. I drop a peep, dramatic yeah like and then like people would see me out your hand aside grow beard when we're a hat just to see you in the whole thing we're just because it wasn't even it was just like small. it is a small city, so the people are just like well ave. Well, the yeah. The worst part was that everybody was awesome, when they see me, except to everybody, when you tell the world,
I'm suicidal every He feels like it's their job to make sure you don't kill yourself, sir, so you like maybe feelin just because we find in your pic and like other countries in the euro should store, and somebody reason they like the supervisor, because and then you have to control them like I'm, really. Ok, I'm just picking out of a car owners, and that was in so that yeah. I grabbed the beard to look like. like me to be less often regulated with them. When they do recognize, you re let himself go where it was the reaction was like that's jason kander. He I know they didn't say that, but it was like what it felt like like I felt like they were seeing a ghost and then I felt like. I had to project like no, no, no I'm going to be okay. When I didn't know if I was going to be okay, I like how you take your shake that shit. yeah you do cognitive, cognitive processing, therapy and and prolonged exposure. I've ever done. Drugs exposure Tat, it was so far processing therapy. What people think
It's like you know, analytic talk therapy you're like yet having my symptoms explained to me: I go to school right. You ve done it may be different choices, yes and, and then prime. Exposure was the really shitty part which was said there and tell the stories I had avoided telling or thinking about recording, like with my therapist record a voice memo on my phone of it, be like forty five, side of close, my eyes, heat questions as if he never heard the story, and you know it. would like re experience. I would get likes united, sweat and routing houses with Salam and and yeah, and all that and like my adrenaline, would spike like real and you'd. Like you, you go into it's like a fighter fight, you're and, and then my work during the week was to put in my head don't listen to the voice I had recorded cause. Mazur wasn't allowed to do anything else, and just listen to it and then do it again the next week,
and it would unlock other parts of it than I had kind of act away. So you hear your voice and where you were have when you're going through it yeah and us, but also your myself tell the story, and it would. And then it would, unlike other details of the story, and so then I had to come back in time and again that sort of like the empty are unaware, I think so, just without without the lights in the end, what sort of like where he had now with where he started, do if you is a process of it, it's like you go through the thing so that the actual list to yourself, even though it any if you barium darting deemed yard anything. There seemed your people that I know it's a specific aim with lights or buzzer's if you buy, but in the sense that your kind of reach entering the trauma zone over and that's what I meant earlier. You still got go to it yeah, and so I would do that and then over time. I remember the first time that I came in and said to my therapist. His name is nick, I said hey. Can we do
news story, because I'm bored with this one- and he was like great boredom- is the goal like and that's what I realized like. Oh, the whole idea is to no longer have this have a grip on me. and I'd been avoiding it for so long and here's the one interesting things was, I found it. that the reason, a big part of the reason I was having the night terrors, was because I spent my all day trying to fit If all these intrusive thoughts and memories and not think about him and then was asleep. My guard was down and They would all rush in, because my brain's like we're dealing with a shit, no shit and then, when I started doing this, is that your idea is that with the ideology, I learned that in hot therapy, yeah and and and like for years, although I even wrote in my first book like the way I deal with it, cause I didn't call it ptsd This was a guy got some issues, but nothing right in the first book and I wrote I just don't watch war movies or movies about kidnapping whatever, but that that wasn't really working, because
actually needed to watch those and process that stuff so that at night I didn't and it turned out, like once I started doing that nightmares decreased a bond, it's interesting to because you, like only hold it in your brain like airy, don't acknowledge its like the truth as you you got through it. So, like the more you process it your processing it from the from the place. The guy that made it through as opposed to the I still in it exactly yet. My great uncle said to me when I started therapy. He said the composer yeah he said therapy just getting a master's degree in yourself and it was the smartest things, what do you do it that degree anything you want yeah yeah you and you joy. Your life is rather right where most of the time will great man- and I all allow this is all in the book- yeah yeah. So the book is just basically my journey to post traumatic growth set against the wild, adventure of you know: undiagnosed psychic
if you're disorder, while you're running for president just your standard garden, variety coming of age, tale of a young kid from Missouri, yeah and- and you know, and now like I work at present national expansion of this non profit, the deals with veterans. Witness and veteran suicide veterans, yeah and busy it's a great way for me. do public service and I'm still in politics like I, I have applied still mature momentum- we're on a participant budget majority, fifty four, but I'm not like, I don't feel like I gotta run for office in order to be making a difference. what do you think about like mean you'd be probably gonna, I might one day yeah and I'm not trying to be cagey like I did difference now, is I used to constantly obsessively plan about the future, and then I didn't have to be in the intolerable present. and now I'm enjoying the present- and I might maybe I'll do that one day but, like little league an
baseball and I'm doing this work. should I care about it veterans, community project and I'm home, I'm enjoying the shit out of it, and so you know maybe one day like when you leave. that one day that that that party that wants to save the world, I can jump back into some world saying yeah, wouldn't right now or we're going to need it man, we need it yeah, so things hard nokia, russia. I ve, spend all this time resting and thinking thanks for talking jason. Thank you jason candor. That was good his book. the boss, Norma soldier's memoir of politics and ptsd, is available tomorrow. Joy wherever you get books also you can check out jason's non profit by into veterans, community project dot, org. So listen, folks We're going to do something new here. we're going to handle this part of the show a little differently alright
we're going to do like a little preview of what's coming upon the show this week and what people can expect in the new bonus content on w tia plus just hang I'll tell you in a minute. okay, listen to me, here's what's going on on Thursday show jerry stahl jerry stahl, many people know he is the author of permanent midnight about five or six other books he's one of my best friends he's got a new book coming out called nine hundred and ninety nine, then that's an I n n e, I n and e. I n yes, he's coming out with a a fun romp through a through the concentration camps, that the subtitle sub heading is one man's tales, depression, psychic torment and a bus to of the holocaust. Can we count on jerry for the deep dark and I don't think we've had the full. Conversation treatment, and I talked to you.
of time. We hang out we eat. When he comes with me. We do you, he watched me do comedy and I've ear you got me throat through some of them most go times of my life. And it was great it was great to us in talk to him in on the mike's for the long one. Yet so look forward to that, happening on thursday. If you sign up for a cast plus we'll have our first bonus content posted, which will be me and my produce brendan giving you some behind the scenes details about classic episodes of the show and here's a little teaser, a little taste Of a meme brendan, ripping not just the common complaint of taking something Attica x, it said we didn't solicit that unites, not what we're doing. I mean happens, which it did with SAM elliot. It's like I I really thought he was going to say like I love them over, I may I, rather than take
I asked it because I like the moving I felt I would make me sam combined about a western and then like. I was like wow, ok it was such an innocent question. I could not believe it and then all of a sudden in the eyes of quick they world in the press, like I said I'm up about em like I did nothing, no end in sight, We we we wouldn't want that to be a a thing we do because of it. I'll be perfectly honest, is we we've been told? There are guests who won't come on the show now because of that interview, so it doesn't help us If you want to come, see me live, I will be in vegas on friday and saturday, joy, fifteenth and sixteenth wiseguy has in a way I'll be dynasty typewriter for two shows saturday and so they joy twenty third in twenty fourth, albeit just for laughs and much all for my gala on Saturday July, thirtieth also be doing. Solo shows up there on July, twenty eight and twenty nine. More to come on those that I've got
it's coming up in august and september in Columbus, ohio, indian was Indiana Louisville, kentucky lincoln nebraska damone iowa. I was city, iowa, tucson, arizona, phoenix areas, a boulder colorado and toronto ontario, canada, then over I'm in london, england and dublin. Ireland go to w. Pod, dot, com, slash tour for all dates and ticket info. Hopefully I'm going to get laura bites to come with me on. Some of them gigs, because I gotta start tightening up guy star dude whittling it down to about seventy minutes from the hour and a half from the ninety plus I'm doing now again, please folks, listen, listen to me spend time with people today. If you were thinking about isolating okay, okay,.
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Transcript generated on 2022-07-16.