In today’s episode, Rick and Sam are joined by Senator Gary Hart, who has served the nation for over 50 years in numerous capacities, discussing the rights and responsibilities of being an American citizen in a democratic republic. Senator Hart has written that “there are a thousand small ways to distinguish the true citizens and patriot from the lowly opportunist,” and the conversation explores themes such as finding a distinct national purpose, restoring civics education, identifying and dedicating ourselves to our commonwealth, and finding pride in public service.

For over five decades, Gary Hart has dedicated his life to public service. Senator Hart was first elected to the Senate in 1974, having never before sought public office; he represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1975-1987. During his time in the Senate, he served on the Armed Services Committee, where he specialized in nuclear arms control and was an original founder of the military reform caucus. He played a leadership role in major environmental and conservation legislation, military reform initiatives, new initiatives to advance the information revolution and new directions in foreign policy. He is widely-recognized as among the first to forecast the end of the Cold War. In 1984 and 1988, he was a candidate for his party’s nomination for President.

Since retiring from the Senate, Senator Hart has been extensively involved in international law and business, as a strategic advisor to major U.S. corporations, and as a teacher, author and lecturer.  He has also continued to serve the nation in various capacities. He served as chair of the Threat Reduction Advisory Council at the Department of Defense, was vice-chair of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, former chair of the Council for a Livable World, chair of the American Security Project, and co-chair of the US-Russia Commission.

Senator Hart also served as co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century. The Commission performed the most comprehensive review of national security since 1947, predicted the terrorist attacks on America in 2001, and proposed a sweeping overhaul of U.S. national security structures and policies for the post- Cold War new century and the age of terrorism. Most recently, Senator Hart served as the United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. 

Senator Hart holds a doctor of philosophy degree (D.Phil.) from Oxford University and graduate law (J.D.) and divinity (B.D.) degrees from Yale University. He is the author of over twenty books.

Sam Scinta is President and Founder of IM Education, a non-profit, and Lecturer in Political Science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rick Kyte is Endowed Professor and Director of the DB Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. 

Music compliments of Bobby Bridger- “Rendezvous” from A Ballad of the West.

Additional Information/Reading:

The Hart Center for Public Service website: 

Viterbo Lecture Featuring J. Drew Lanham: