Home » News » Liberty + Leadership Podcast – Ron Hart On The Power of Laughter

Liberty + Leadership Podcast – Ron Hart On The Power of Laughter


Join Roger Ream ’76 in this week’s Liberty + Leadership Podcast as he speaks with political op-ed writer, former investment banker and TFAS alumnus, Ron Hart ’81. Roger and Ron touch on a range of topics from how regulations and priority changes have negatively impacted the financial industry to his career as a standup comedian. They also discuss what it was like growing up as the son of a policeman, his career in wealth management, and how today’s younger generation is afraid to laugh.

Ron Hart is an op-ed writer, a private investor, and serves on the boards of a number of institutions. He spent most of his career as an investment banker and wealth manager at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citi. Ron is a former member of the University of Tennessee’s Board of Regents and authored the book “There’s No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler,” which received the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award for Humor/Satire. Ron is a former member of TFAS’s Board of Trustees and was a student in the Public Policy + Economics Program track in 1981. He received both his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of Memphis.

Episode Transcript

The transcript below is lightly edited for clarity.

Roger Ream [00:00:00] Hello and welcome. I’m Roger Ream and this is the Liberty and Leadership Podcast, a conversation with TFAS alumni, supporters, faculty and friends who are making a real impact in public policy, business, philanthropy, law and journalism. Today, I’m excited to be joined by Ron Hart, author of a widely carried column that combines political observations with his sharp wit. It runs in over 50 news publications. Ron has had a successful career in the investment world where he was regularly ranked as a top investment adviser, and he is a proud TFAS alumnus. Ron participated in a TFAS program in 1981. He served on our Board of Trustees and continues to be a generous supporter. Today, Ron and I will discuss his diverse career, how he approaches writing political commentary and some other topics. Along the way, we are sure to have a few laughs as we tackle some important subjects. Ron, I’m looking forward to our conversation today. Thanks so much for joining me.

Ron Hart [00:01:09] Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Roger Ream [00:01:13] Well, I would like to start at the very beginning. The beginning, that is, of Ron Hart. Where did you grow up, Ron?

Ron Hart [00:01:21] Still haven’t, but really, Columbia, Tennessee essentially. Small town. My dad was a policeman, and with the railroad, he got transferred there, and it was a great towns. Part of Nashville now. Be part of Nashville, you know. You went to Vanderbilt, you understand? What is happened with Nashville? Is growing like crazy. The old saying about Nashville is that they feel the dreams, they will come. Nashville didn’t build it and they came.

Roger Ream [00:01:48] They came anyway.

Ron Hart [00:01:50] No infrastructure there. So, I’m in Chattanooga.

Roger Ream [00:01:53] Columbia’s become a bedroom suburb. It was appropriate, you were conceived and born there, in a bedroom community.

Ron Hart [00:02:03] Saturn got their GM, came down with the autoworkers couldn’t change it for a while but there’s a beautiful downtown, very authentic. Authenticity abounds around the town, so if it can maintain that, I think it’ll be a nice bedroom community of Nashville.

Roger Ream [00:02:16] How did that upbringing in a small Tennessee town shape your values?

Ron Hart [00:02:22] It’s basic. Maybe not Norman Rockwell, it was more like country and rough and a football team was half African-American, half redneck. We got along really well. The school was average, you know, it was pretty rough at times. I used to kid, we had the only high school paper with an obituary column. So, he learned pretty quickly. I sent my kids to private schools when I could, but I kind of regret in many ways that they didn’t go to some level public schools because there’s a certain naivete about a kid who goes to private school all the way through about people and who to trust, who not to trust, etc.. I think we all do it when we can, but I had a very good experience there.

Roger Ream [00:03:07] Well, my father was a minister, so I get asked a lot what it’s like growing up as a preacher’s kid, but you were a policeman’s kid. Did that have some impact on you growing up?

Ron Hart [00:03:18]  He was president of the FOP. He actually was a part of Bull Connor’s administration or policeman for him in Birmingham before he moved to Columbia and he got a bad taste of that a little bit but he was a good cop.

Roger Ream [00:03:34] There was greater respect for policemen back then.

Ron Hart [00:03:38] I just helped start the Chattanooga Police Foundation, which supports police. I lived in Atlanta after the Rayshard Brooks situation and the city was torn apart. You saw what happened with George Floyd up your way of the north, what happens with the cities. So, you don’t support the police at the margin, the city can fall apart. So, we’re trying. We raised some money to do that.  Bob Corker has helped us a lot, here in Chattanooga. He is former mayor and U.S. senator. We got the Chattanooga Police Foundation started about two months ago to support the police, to let them know we have their back. You have to have the police’s back, because they don’t work for a whole lot of money. When they step down, criminals step up. I studied in Memphis, where I’m from, went to school there a little bit, and then in Atlanta.

Roger Ream [00:04:27] Well, let’s talk about that. You went off to University of Memphis. Tell me about your experience in college. How was that? Did you have any particular courses that had particular influence over you or activities on campus?

Ron Hart [00:04:41] I think the ability to work and go to school is important. We all had jobs. I was in a great fraternity and I’d say 90% of the guys in the fraternity worked somewhere. I worked in a clothing store. So, you work your way through school. But then tuition was not near as high as it is today. My parents really weren’t helping me much. Their view back in the old days was: “You’re 18, right when you get work, you out the house.” So, I got out and it was good. It was inexpensive, and if was kind of a party school. I used to jokingly say they would accept tuition. They would have a cover charge every semester, and you would stamped your wrist and get in. But we had a good time. We learned a lot and we had a had good group of guys of which I talk to at least one of them every day.

Roger Ream [00:05:27] Well, tuition was much lower then because they didn’t need to have all these counselors on staff to help the students when they felt unsafe and threatened by others, right?

Ron Hart [00:05:39] I’m on the board there, too. I see what you’re talking about. There’s a lot of pushback. The board is very scared. Every time we have a board meeting, the people that talk to us, talk about how diverse they are, what they’ve done. They’ve got the first this, they get the first that, and there’s no metrics around really what they’re doing for the kids. It’s just their own personal virtue signaling about who they hired and what they did. It just got a little old after a while. It is a university, it’s a big university, and it’s going to have the left-wing agenda there, and what do you do about it? I mean, just try to ignore it and grow strong from it, and there’s something like TFAS comes in.

Roger Ream [00:06:20] Yeah, well, it’s tough as a trustee to have a lot of influence. I know from experience I hear of other trustees, but I think the extent you can ask the right questions at the board meetings, which I’m sure you do, and asking about how much intellectual diversity they have on campus, in addition to all the other types of diversity they measure and see what kind of responses you get to that.

Ron Hart [00:06:41] The outcomes with the test scores. I mean, no one wants to talk about those. This is truly any woke corporation, right? If you become woke, you don’t have to talk about your earnings, your sales, your market share. It’s going to be a detriment to corporations. You look at Target, Budweiser, of course, all these corporations are trying to do this. It has not helped their stockholders in the day. They are should be about the stockholders, and when the left takes over any organization, as you’ve seen academia or whatever, the outcome is never good.

Roger Ream [00:07:09] Now, when you were student there, you somehow heard about The Fund for American Studies program. I guess we were known then as the Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund, hadn’t yet changed our name, but how did you hear about our program when you were student at Memphis?

Ron Hart [00:07:27] I was student body president and Governor Sundquist had become a friend, Don Sundquist, who was involved in your board at some point was involved, and he said: “Go to this,” and so I end up getting out there. I got the scholarship, you guys helped me out. I think Don who was clearly the influence at Lancaster, I think had gone the year before. The year after my high school buddy who was at Vanderbilt at Lancaster, went to, so, you know, word of mouth a little bit and a little bit of influence by the governor.

Roger Ream [00:07:59] How did the program influence you? You had an internship, you took some courses, you probably built some friendships that have lasted during your career. Talk a little bit about that TFAS experience for you.

Ron Hart [00:08:11] It was terrific for me. A lot of good friends from there are still, Sadler, of course. Bobby Tutor is a real good friend. I got a job at Goldman Sachs out of school, and I end up getting Bobby hired. He did a lot better than I, he made partner at Goldman.

Roger Ream [00:08:28] He was a guest on a podcast I did a few months ago.

Ron Hart [00:08:31] Yeah, he has done very well. Bobby’s a great guy. Friends like that. I mean, a lot of good friends over time. Other people of us also stay in touch.

Roger Ream [00:08:46] You had an internship. Was that was your internship on the Hill?

Ron Hart [00:08:50] It was with Bill Brock

Roger Ream [00:08:53] The Senator?

Ron Hart [00:08:55] What it happened was, as they say, you know, Watergate happened around this time, and then the Democrats swept the Senate after Watergate. Jimmy Carter became president, and he lost his Senate seat in Tennessee, either to Jim Sasser or Al Gore. I can’t remember which one.

Roger Ream [00:09:13] I think it was Jim Sasser, as I recall.

Ron Hart [00:09:17] Sasser took a seat, and it was a purple state back then. We had Al Gore before that and his dad, etc. So, those are Democrats, who are actually Republicans today. So, Bill Brock was out without portfolio and President Reagan appointed him U.S. Trade representative. So, I worked there.

Roger Ream [00:09:39] Ron, I never have asked you this. How did you develop your interest in what became your career and managing money and investment industry? You said you took a job at Goldman Sachs, but that was after business school, right?

Ron Hart [00:09:52] I got my MBA, I went to work for them. Well, I just had a keen interest in it. I worked in the cotton business in Memphis and I was not an Ivy League MBA, which is rare for them not to hire Ivy League MBA. So, my boss sold out and kind of brought me to the big house to run his money, and the Goldman guys call on him and the manager for the Southeast met me and went to him, said: “Do you mind if hire him?” He came to me and said: “You got to do this,” and I didn’t know Goldman Sachs from A.G. Edwards or anyone back in the day. It just didn’t register with me, I didn’t know what they were, was a big deal. When I kept interviewing, bring me back to interview, and I finally tell him, I said: “Look, bring me back one more time, I need to clock in.” We jump that pony on the nose. So, one of the stories that got around about the job thing was, they asked me how I was different than the rest of the harbor and all the people that they had, and I said: “Well, I’ve been to a cockfight, I’ve seen a man bite a man’s earlobe off in a in a bar fight, and I spent a night in the county jail. Other than that, not much difference,” and that’s circulated around the hallways about the differentiation. You know, you get in the type of corners where’s 5000 people going at 25 jobs, you kind of have to differentiate yourself, ad that truthfully was, I think, a differentiator. Then the test scores were good.

Roger Ream [00:11:12] When you got the job there, you moved to New York?

Ron Hart [00:11:16] The first year or two, you go to New York and then southern region was in Memphis at the time, which ultimately became Atlanta. So, I go there to southern office back then.

Roger Ream [00:11:25] Well, you’ve had a very distinguished career in the world of investing. I know among your honors being named as a Barron’s top 100 advisor. In the course of your career, you no doubt witnessed tremendous changes in that business. You know, a lot more government involvement, government regulation, no doubt, a lot more bureaucracy in paperwork and companies to comply with that. Was that a major adjustment to you during your career?

Ron Hart [00:11:53] Well, it wasn’t way at first. I think Liar’s Poker and some of the old books that Michael Lewis wrote kind of fully reflected the industry. It was rough and tumble. We did the best for our clients and then it got so regulated that we really couldn’t do the best for your clients. You had to really see why all the time. So, I saw what government over zealous regulation does for an industry, and it didn’t help. You know, Lehman went under and, you know, under the debacle and the regulation blurred some fundamental misdeeds by people. Look, Bernie Madoff, I mean, he was heavily regulated. They were in there all the time, supposedly watching him. He didn’t have any money under management. So, I mean, they step on ants and elephants jump over the fence, and I jokingly said when I left the Wall Street, Elizabeth Warren had taken over the last four or five and I turned my business over to my daughter, Hollis, and my team there. So, I walked away two, three years ago and turned the business over to her, the capable hands. She’d been with me seven or eight years. She’s the executive director now at Morgan Stanley and I kept coming in, you know, once a week, and I realized they didn’t need me. Kind of sad.

Roger Ream [00:12:58] I do want to talk some about your column but let me ask you a question about something you just said. Do you think all that regulation, you mentioned Elizabeth Warren came in and meddling in the investment business and then you mentioned Bernie Madoff, do you think many investors, it gives them a false sense of security, they figure, well, the government’s regulating all this, so I don’t have to do any due diligence on my own part, I’ll just give my money to this person, is promising these great returns, and I’m sure it’s got to be on the up and up because government’s keeping an eye on everything?

Ron Hart [00:13:29] Well, the reason these big corporations often volunteer regulation and I think you heard Mark Zuckerberg do it before the Senate said regulate us, regulate us. The reason they like that is because the barrier to entry for a competitor becomes becomes insurmountable. Right. So Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, the ones that are left are heavily regulated. But think of it as there been an upstart investment banking firm in 20 years. There isn’t. The compliance, the cost to do it is so high and they stop talking about performance for your clients. They moved it. I was always about performance, doing well, performing for clients, including myself. And it became important to me that I would do well, pick the right stocks and do well for people, outperform the market. That became nothing they wanted to talk about anymore, nothing. So, the performance suffered, the fees became oligopolistic and people kind of left their fees in there, and it just became less about the consumer, more about complying to regulation and the demands of Elizabeth Warren or the loudest voice in Congress. It wasn’t funny anymore. I mean, there’s absolutely no metric on how well you did for your clients. You know, even in the Barron’s, they at one time your performance was a part of it. When I made the Barron’s list your reputation was a part of it and that became a metric they took out. So, if you’re in the investment business, how can your performance not be a metric for what you’re doing and it was lost under regulations.

Roger Ream [00:14:57] Well, so a number of years ago, you took to writing commentary and writing it with a combination of kind of libertarian perspective with your biting wit and sense of humor, kind of in the style, I think, of P.J. O’Rourke. What kind of led you to start doing that, and hat was what was kind of the spark? Was that something you always wanted to do?

Ron Hart [00:15:26] I always loved LePage’s works. I think I met him during your program and you met him as a guest speaker or met him at Cato events and he became my email friend and he blurred my book as a good friend. He was getting up in his career and he wasn’t doing as much column work. So, what you found is with humor, right? It’s been the sole province of the left started from the McCarthy hearings, the writers were TV shows to Conan to Jimmy Fallon, to all the left wing, all the left wing writers on Daily Show, for crying out loud. They’re all left wing and their jokes are tired. Trump’s fat, Trump’s orange. It’s just mean, not very creative. So, there was a big void on the right, someone right of center making fun of the left. No one was doing it, and I’ve made enough money where I could be canceled and made enough money, that will get to me? I don’t work for big network, etc. So, I was able to write funny things about the left that others were not willing to do. I took Trump on to some degree as well, but most of my stuff was fun to the right of center or libertarian views of things. So, that’s where I did, and I feel a big void there. Name another funny right of center writer right now.

Roger Ream [00:16:42] Sadly, P.J. O’Rourke passed away and isn’t with us anymore. I was tempted to ask you, you know, how you find your material, but then I realize just pick up the paper every day and there’s a lot of material now for you to write about.

Ron Hart [00:16:56] You know, I was joking about this Trump thing and arrest and indictment of undocumented classified documents, and there are so many people who have classified documents in D.C., as you know. I said in the column or on the radio show yesterday: “What important information they possibly have? Something like Joe Biden’s nap schedule?” I mean, what is it that they could possibly have, that important, right? Adam Schiff, if he gets any information and there’s a glaring TV light, he’ll run to the camera and tell everybody. I mean, there’s no Senate intelligence. There’s not really nine secrets anymore. I’m sure that troop movements and things like that are very important during war, and I get that a little bit. But about Trump, this is clearly a political prosecution, it’s really at the core of what’s making Americans mad right now. It’s not that they like Trump, it’s that they just don’t like the government, and he represents the best spearhead, I think, to take on the deep state as we know it today.

Roger Ream [00:17:54] So, you’re saying in Senate Intelligence is an oxymoron?

Ron Hart [00:17:57] Exactly.

Roger Ream [00:18:00] The latest column you wrote, while it had a bit of humor, it was also, I think, a very serious and important tribute to the greatest economist of all time, Adam Smith. In June, we observed his 300th birthday.

Ron Hart [00:18:17] Exactly.

Roger Ream [00:18:19] That was a good column, and you even quietly put in there that you learn some about him at TFAS program in summer of 1981, which we appreciate it.

Ron Hart [00:18:29] I’m afraid to out you guys too much.

Roger Ream [00:18:32] No, don’t worry about that.

Ron Hart [00:18:34] It’s like, you know, Caitlyn Jenner found it easier to come out as a transgender person than as a Republican, but yeah, it was informed very much my opinion about economics. I always had a keen interest in economics, but really, the way your professors, the professor at the time we were there really did a great job of illuminating what Adam Smith said and what he said is timeless. On the occasion of his 300th, I just wanted to remind people about that. It was just basically quote Ayn Rand’s money speech for people, which I mean eloquent way to talk about capitalism for people. I write 52 columns a year, supposedly, so if I’m traveling or if I need to take a week off, I have these evergreen columns I put up and Atlas Shrugged’s Money Speech is one of them. I think kids need to hear that. It’s really not being taught in school.

Roger Ream [00:19:34] Thanks for correcting me. I think I misspoke and said Adam Smith’s 400th birthday. You’re right. 300th anniversary of his birthday in June. Well, one thing in your recent column about Smith, it really tied back to your comments about what’s happening in the investment business because he recognized mercantilism, the businessmen at the time, getting together to conspire, to set prices and protect themselves from competition, and what he wrote about 300 or 250 years ago in the wealth of nations, is exactly what we’re seeing in not only in the investment industry. You pointed out that those areas of our life that are most heavily controlled and regulated by government are the ones where we see the highest price increases.

Ron Hart [00:20:24] Yes. Healthcare, cable TV. High rate college educations are going up twice the rate of inflation when the billing rate could be paid for. They are a monopoly because you can’t create another Harvard you can create another University of Tennessee, can’t create another Vanderbilt. So, it is a monopoly, essentially oligopoly, if you think about it. Those buildings are 100 years old. So, it’s not like they have a big capital expenditure program to build their buildings. So, the only cost is these climbing walls and these professors and administrators that run the cost of education, of course, out of the touch, out of reach for a lot of people, and the liberal indoctrination that they give to people makes people wonder really question out. I question often my columns of why should you pay that for college education? You should be an article of faith among middle class people like me, that you want your kids to go to college. But now I think it’s okay not to not to send them. You don’t need $40,000, $50,000 a year student loan debt to read Chaucer and have interpreted to you by a hairy leg woman in Birkenstocks, who’s a leftist. I mean, why do you need to do that, and when you’re out, how valuable are you as their employee? What is your skill set, right? Clearly, there’s room for arts, a liberal education somewhere, if you got money, is the most luxury. But as a practical matter, you know, I think these online or these junior colleges where you actually learn a skill are more valuable than they’ve ever been.

Roger Ream [00:21:57] Your column is carried in large papers like the Orange County Register and I’m sure in a lot of smaller papers, but do you get much unsolicited feedback from readers? Are they able to contact you? I don’t know if you carry your email address with your column.

Ron Hart [00:22:11] Yeah, it’s good. I like people. They’re very nice people. I got a letter today from an older lady, who she had not thought of Adam Smith in a long time and she read Wealth of Nations. It’s nice. I mean, 90% is positive. A lot of them are professors. It’s carried in Chattanooga, so Swansea University is right up the road. So, I get these eight paragraph letters from the Swansea professors that read them. You don’t know what they really said when they’re over with you until they didn’t like your column. But they talk in these long prose that they like. I stop reading after two paragraphs every now you’ll get one like that. And since his humor right. So it’s not like some old you know, I always tell people there’s more truth in humor than there is fact and something’s not funny. And that’s there’s a tinge of truth in it, right? So they’ll say, well, you know, if I joke about, you know, Biden’s nap schedules one as well, he really doesn’t have a nap schedule. That’s a class. Of course it is a joke, right? Yeah. So people try to take it literal literally. The humor of these young people, I know you see them all the time. They’re so scared to laugh at things these days. They’ll look around the room to see if you can laugh or not. I do the stand up in Florida on Saturday night, and it’ll be people our age, Roger, that will be there 40, 50 years, and above. Kids are afraid to laugh. You see it with Chappelle and Joe Rogan and things that have happened with humor and is not good for the country when you cannot make fun of the powerful and you can’t laugh at things, right? Kevin Hart, his career was almost ruined over the comments he made 10, 15 years ago. So, it’s a written about. It’s just not good for the country. Even Bill Maher and other, you know, traditional liberals, including Jerry Seinfeld and others, they said they won’t play college campuses anymore. So, this young group of people are kind of humorless. They’re scared. They’re looked around to see what’s acceptable, to say or laugh at. The manhood and rough and tumbleness of this generation has been watered down.

Roger Ream [00:24:13] Yeah. No doubt the impact of the COVID lockdowns have only made it worse with young people.

Ron Hart [00:24:20] Yeah, no doubt. The highest ranking marine in Atlanta came in and spoke to us this week and he said that in the past, the U.S. Marines, 25% of the country could pass when it took only 25% capacity to get what it takes get in the Marines. No, it’s 19% because they’re overweight. They’re not passing the test. Two years of lost education, test scores are down 9%. He said it’s 2 million people in the military, and they’re not meeting their recruiting goals. So, as a result of laziness, atrophy, cell phones or whatever it is, test scores are down. These are metrics that have held up over time. This is a  the Marine Corps old storied program, and this is a great data point to show. I’m sure higher education masked their poor performance and all the games they play with their tests, but the Marine Corps is a pretty standard deal. It’s down nine percentage, he said and the recruitment goals are way, way below where they need to be.

Roger Ream [00:25:23] Well, that’s very troubling. Very troubling.

Roger Ream [00:25:27] Just a few more things I’d like to ask you about before we’re out of time. But your career is mostly investment banking. Your work and with your column has added a different dimension to it. You’ve been a well-rounded guy. I’m always amazed at the I’ll call them celebrities you’ve gotten to know in your career, whether it’s athletes, politicians or business leaders. You know, a lot of them. Do you have any guidance you’d give to young people say in our program this summer about how to have that kind of career where they can experience a diversity of experiences like you’ve had?

Ron Hart [00:26:12] Put yourself in situations where you meet these people – A. B: These kids today, you ask them to get in touch with somebody and they say: “I’ll reach out.” Reach out mean send them a text or send them an email. Call them up and say: “I want to go to lunch.” Do the interpersonal thing. I think the cell phone and the Internet has made kids very nervous about engaging one on one with people. So, talk about what’s interests them, not yourself. Kids can be narcissistic. I think we all can. But this generation, with the selfies and all that goes on the online wants to be the influencers is narcissistic.

Roger Ream [00:26:54] Well, I do think what you said just now is very valid. I was thinking today, you know, I need to tell this generation of students to put themselves in situations where they’re uncomfortable, where they aren’t in a safe space, be willing to be challenged by others ideas, being around different kinds of people with different experiences. And don’t feel threatened by it, learn from it.

Ron Hart [00:27:22] Kids don’t want to risk at all. I’m used to do with my kids. My kids turned out well. I have three kids. One’s doctor, one run my business and my kids are doing it relatively well given the situation. But where I did say to them, when go to dinner at least once a month, maybe once every two weeks, I said: “what do you failed at that this week?”

Roger Ream [00:27:44] What did you fail at?

Ron Hart [00:27:47] Meaning, you tried, right? So, you got to try to make it happen. But what did you failed at you means did you try something failed? Because that’s more important usually than success.

Roger Ream [00:28:01] So many people learn from mistakes and so many great entrepreneurs. It’s mistake after mistake.

Ron Hart [00:28:09] There’s no shame in that. I’m at couple venture capital board and I always remind people is something about baseball. You get 300 in baseball which means you strike out 70% time and you’re Hall of Fame, right? I’m on a couple of venture capital funds. We have 20 companies in our portfolio. We know ten year goes zero, but the ten that do well will be three, five, six baggers that will care the performance of the fund, you know, 20, 30% type of returns. It’s just the math of what happens. But you can’t be afraid of failure. I mean, that’s the main thing you got to try.

Roger Ream [00:28:40] Yeah, well, in fundraising and in sales they say, you know, you need nine no’s before you get the yes yeah, and you get one or two yeses out of ten, you’re on your way to success.

Ron Hart [00:28:52] I think your programs in D.C, the way you do it with the cut through the parties and the dinners and stuff, I think it does open up a lot of social context if they probably don’t get other places, because I think fraternities and sororities are good for people.

Roger Ream [00:29:04] Yeah, we do. We do lots of events where they can interact with professionals. Small groups to big dinners, like you said, where they have that opportunity to put themselves out there. They have to walk up to strangers and say: “Hi, I’m a student TFAS program this summer, and I’d like to introduce myself,” and people like that, professionals like that.

Ron Hart [00:29:26] The language can be a lot tighter too. Using the word amazing every other word, or they use the word literally. I’ve written about that as well. I mean, like using the word like, every other words, if they tighten up their language, I think a lot in this is would be important for them, especially interviewing with older people and they work with their generational, family members and friends. Just watch your language, don’t use word amazing. Everything’s not amazing, right? Your Panera sandwich at lunch was not amazing. Using the word literally and like all the time and this up top thing with everything they say sounds like a question. The language is something that should be constant and this up talking it just means a very smart person. The otherwise very smart people but language is imprecise and this is kind of frivolous to think the older people take don’t take you seriously as you should be taken.

Roger Ream [00:30:24] Well, Ron, it’s literally been amazing to talk to you today.

Ron Hart [00:30:28] Like, it’s the best thing I ever done, like, like, like.

Roger Ream [00:30:30] Like, it is. But no, thank you so much. We’re proud to have you as a TFAS alum, proud of your support of scholarships for students that has enabled so many students to attend our program or otherwise wouldn’t have done so. Congratulations on your success. I’ve listened to one of your stand up routines, I guess, on YouTube, and you’re saying you’re doing another one in Florida.

Ron Hart [00:30:57] I’ll be on The Huckabee Show on July 15th. We prerecord it because he’s going on vacation. Mike Huckabee does a great show. So, if you get a chance, watch him. He’s a good egg.

Roger Ream [00:31:16] All right. Well, keep at it. Keep getting your humor out there. The way things are going in this country, we need to laugh a little bit about it.

Ron Hart [00:31:24] Thanks for having me.

Roger Ream [00:31:24] Thank you very much. Thank you for listening to the Liberty and Leadership podcast. Please don’t forget to subscribe, download like or share the show on Apple, Spotify or YouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast. If you like this episode, I ask you to rate and review it. And if you have a comment or question for the show, please drop us an email at podcast@TFAS.org. The Liberty and Leadership Podcast is produced at kglobal Studios in Washington, D.C. I’m your host, Roger Ream, and until next time, show courage in things large and small.

About the Podcast

TFAS has reached more than 46,000 students and professionals through academic programs, fellowships and seminars. Representing more than 140 countries, TFAS alumni are courageous leaders throughout the world forging careers in politics, government, public policy, business, philanthropy, law and the media.

Join TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 as he reconnects with these outstanding alumni to share experiences, swap career stories, and find out what makes their leadership journey unique. With prominent congressmen, judges and journalists among the mix, each episode is sure to excite your interest in what makes TFAS special.

If you have a comment or question for the show, please email podcast@TFAS.org.

View future episodes and subscribe at TFAS.org/podcast.


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