Bob Zadek, lawyer and radio show host, is an enthusiastic supporter of TFAS. He is a passionate libertarian devoted to economic liberty, free markets and personal responsibility. Zadek discovered TFAS while reading blogs, something he enjoys doing during his rare leisure time.
“I support TFAS because it furthers the instruction of very important issues that that are not otherwise being adequately taught,” Zadek said.
Zadek is troubled by the high school educational system because “it captures kids when they are young and exposes them to one point of view and then they’re hooked.” It is more indoctrination than instruction, at least on issues of American history and economics. He said that it is important for American youth to see a balanced perspective and he’s confident that libertarian and free market points of view, once presented objectively, will usually prevail.
I support TFAS because it furthers the instruction of very important issues that are not otherwise being adequately taught.”
Zadek first uncovered his political views upon reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead in his late teens and quite naturally he found himself identifying with the ideals of small government, free choice, personal responsibility and self-reliance. This, along with Joseph Ellis’ Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (which started Zadek on a lifelong study of the founding of America) had a great impact on his ideology.
“Once you start reading the founders, you are almost instantly committed to America’s First Principles because of the times, the philosophy, everything about it is so engrossing and it just captures you,” he said.
Zadek was raised in a fairly hands-off household and learned from a young age that what he wanted, he would have to achieve on his own, with little support from others.
“I didn’t feel deprived, I was fine and I was comfortable,” he recalled. “I simply learned that I was going to rise and fall on my own without much safety net,” he said. “That’s just the way it was.”
Zadek has found this to be true in all aspects of his life and various careers.
“All parts of my life have always been driven by self-reliance, the ability to rise and fall on your own merits, rewarding success and punishing failure,” he said. Zadek has had his share of both, just as all entrepreneurs have.
These concepts are reflected in both his law career (at Buchalter Nemer) as well as his radio show. “If I don’t produce, I don’t eat. I will prosper if I do a good job and I will not prosper if I don’t do a good job,” he said. Zadek carries these values into his personal life too and said that every part of his life is an extension of these core beliefs.
“I have always rejected any safety net. The trade-off seems to be a surrender of autonomy, and that is simply not worth it,” Zadek said.
Of the many issues he discusses on The Bob Zadek Show, his favorites are immigration and welfare reform because of their common goal of encouraging and rewarding self-reliance. Immigrants, he said are the ultimate entrepreneurs, hoping only that their determination and honesty will help their family have a better life.
Zadek said education can conquer apathy, and without education the country is lost. He said TFAS contributes to this cause by instilling the need to care in students.
“If you don’t care, you don’t exist,” he said, adding that people need the proper information in order to be effective and productive. “TFAS reminds people or students that they have to care.”
Additionally, he said young people must learn how the system works, and then pick and choose the authority they’re going to reject. He believes rebellion is healthy, but only after people have the information to know what to rebel against and what not to rebel against. He stresses the importance of people, especially young people, getting involved by using any skills they have. Whether it’s teaching, making money, writing, or simply voting, everybody has to find a way that they can be most effective.
“If you are committed to anything, in my case, libertarianism, you try to figure out how you can help matters along, in whatever way you can contribute most effectively,” he said. “The day you stop trying is the day you start dying.”
Zadek currently resides on his boat Laissez-Faire in Sausalito, California.
Zadek’s talk show broadcasts live on Talk 910 AM every Sunday at 9 am. Find out more about The Bob Zadek Show at http://bobzadek.com/.
Written by Ania DeJoy, Spring 2014 intern.