2539 Durant # 3
Berkeley, CA 94704
2 April 1980
Dear Governor Brown,
You are quite right quitting the silly primaries but that doesn’t mean you won’t be president this time. You are the only candidate so far with a clear stand on nuclear. That alone may draw half the voters to you alone, if sufficiently strongly emphasized — in the last 4 weeks before the election. A man like Walter Cronkite or one like Jack Anderson, if they appeal to you and if they will, by stressing this fact in appropriate fashion on TV and in the press many times a day for 4 weeks is enough to turn half of the voters or more from any “winner” to you. More important: People who would not have voted will come out or the woodwork and vote.
I have tried to reach you through my friend Russell Schweickart. I don’t know if he has conveyed my messages.
I am a graduate from 67 countries’ sciences and idiocyncracies and have been able to reach any American audience, make it stand up and whizzle and scream in face to face with me, or making them phone or write by mass effect when I talk on radio or TV, more now at my age of 84 than before. Therefore I have delusions as to what the public likes and will do. Russell once said you would commit political suicide by following my advice. Wilson Clark, present on that occasion, said no, he thought I was right.
Another of your brilliant ideas was military draft for the over 50. In World war II I had to browbeat my way into the services at 44, finished up at 49, a better soldier and airman than when entered at 44, drafted and published the brilliant plan to kidnap Hitler, put him down in a Scot apple orchard and let talk to his heart’s desire to newsmen. The British Cabinet was enthused, but Franklin Roosevelt turned us down with: “No, the Germans must be beaten so they know it.” To which British general C.C. Fuller replied “The 56% of Germans who never voted for Hitler do not need that lesson. The rest cannot be taught and do not matter.” But Roosevelt was the boss. Apart from this , the British had a dogma: All people on critical missions must be under 35. They came to change that dogma right around. You are right that the over 50 (or over 40) should be drafted. And I can tell about that — and other viewpoints you may have.
I don’t think we can risk another four years with either Carter or Reagan. We need above all to start an energy policy now. We have 10 non-polluting, cheap, fast-to-build energy systems ready to go with no more research required. This is my specialty. I am an engineer, worked on OTEC (Open Cycle) since 1948, know the nine other ready systems too. We may chose one, six, all ten, whatever Carter has had all the chance to see, learn and act. He hasn’t understood.We may go down to chaos — pull the whole world with us. Except if you…
PS: The inflation is 70% energy-caused. My top economist friends: Dr. John H.G. Pierson, ret. UN Advisor, Harvard’s John Philip Wernette — Leon Keyserling — can handle all that.
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