Sept. 30, 2020

No Better Friend – Fighting for Others in the Battle for Freedom – with Kevin Nicholson [Ep. 38]

No Better Friend – Fighting for Others in the Battle for Freedom – with Kevin Nicholson [Ep. 38]
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“No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” is a phrase often attributed to the United States Marine Corps.  We salute those in all branches of the military who enter combat on our behalf to protect freedom and defend us against all enemies.  How can we serve others and do this in civilian life? Kevin Nicholson is a battle-tested Marine, business leader, and volunteer President & CEO of No Better Friend Corp. He chronicles his journey from a leader in the Democrat Party to someone who once ran for office as a Republican, and to one who now gives generously of his time and resources to empower and prosper others through a conservative organization he founded to promote America and our Constitutional values and principles. He shares with Linda his hopes for our country, and we are reminded once again that ideas have consequences, elections matter, and freedom is a precious gift we must protect.  Listen today!

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Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author ofProsperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.


My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit


Thank you for joining us today. Kevin Nicholson is with me as our special guest and Kevin serves as the volunteer President and CEO of No Better Friend Corp, while also continuing to work in the private sector. He is a father of three, a businessman, and a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Kevin, a Republican candidate for the US Senate in 2018, created No Better Friend Corp and ran for office for the same reason he joined the Marine Corps while America was at war because America is worth fighting for. 


Born and raised in Wisconsin, Kevin’s path to conservativism is not typical. He served as the National President of the College Democrats of America in 1999 to 2000, didn’t like what he saw inside the Democrat Party, and decided to take a different path. He went on to run his college newspaper, worked as a cowboy in Wyoming and got married, joined the Marines, had children, attended graduate school, and now works in business. Kevin met his wife Jessie while attending the University of Minnesota, where he received a Bachelor of Arts. After serving as a Marine from 2004 to 2009. Kevin attended Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business for his MBA and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. When combat tours and higher education were done, he and Jessie chose to return to Wisconsin to raise their family. So, with that introduction, I welcome you, Kevin, thank you for being here.


Kevin Nicholson:  Thanks, Linda. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.


Linda J. Hansen:  Yes. Tell us more about your time growing up. Where did you grow up?


Kevin Nicholson:  That’s a good question. So, I was born in Milwaukee Proper. We lived there for the first – well, actually only for the first 10 months of my life then we moved to Europe for a little while. I lived in Holland for several years, moved back to Wisconsin, transited over to Wauwatosa, to Seattle for a couple of years, and then eventually we were resettled in Mequon. And Mequon from like age, I want to say, 10 on through high school. So – and that was stomping grounds. My entire family, like both grandparents, sets of grandparents, lived in West Allis, and that’s kind of like the root of where our family came from, so.


Linda J. Hansen:  That’s an amazing history. I didn’t know that you had moved around so much as a child. I’m sure that helped prepare you for a great worldview in a sense.


Kevin Nicholson:  Adaptability. Yeah, I know, when you have young kids, I think, you know, I hear from parents are like, “Oh, my gosh. We got to pick the perfect school district and live there forever because I don’t want everyone and my kids to move.” And it’s like, “Well, you know, part of this thing in life like kids become – they learn from experiences.” And I definitely think my early experience and like having to figure stuff out, see different things affected the way I view the rest of my life that you can do different things. You can figure it out. It’ll be okay. And so, yeah, it was not a bad way to start, so.


Linda J. Hansen:  Yeah, that is great. And now you went on to college and tell us your path a little bit. I mentioned it in the introduction.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yup.


Linda J. Hansen:  But what made you choose your degree choice?


Kevin Nicholson:  Yup.


Linda J. Hansen:  And then also the Marine Corps things? We’d love to hear that?


Kevin Nicholson:  Sure. So, I went to Minnesota because I wanted to run track there. I ran the 200 to 400, and I thought it made sense at the time and I wanted to run Big Ten. And so that was my thought. I thought I had a shot to walk on at Minnesota. My senior year track championship in Wisconsin did not go as well as I thought. I ran at the state meet but didn’t do as well as I thought and kind of revisited this thing, like does it make sense to run collegiate track? I decided not but I was still going to Minnesota, and it all worked. I’m glad I did. I ended up meeting my wife, Jessie there who is from Minnesota, actually the southern part of the state, but I got involved in stuff, too. 


And I was – you know, did student government. It was kind of like a – in some sense at that point in my life, it was a replacement for athletics, right? It was something different to do. And as I got involved, I realized this is stuff that I had heard about from my grandfather ever since I was a kid about politics, and so on. And it very much plays into my story because he was an old FDR Democrat. And so, I would spend my weekends with him walking in West Allis through McCarty Park, if you know that area right off Blount Road. And we go on these long talks and he talked to me about union politics. He was a lifelong mason in construction and big stalwart of the Democrat Party. So, I would hear from him his thoughts on politics, which – I love him. I would, of course, grew up to disagree with him, but he had very, very pronounced opinions. 


And as I went to college, I’m like, “Well, I’ll get involved,” and yes, Student Government, and then eventually, as you referenced the College Democrats, and ended up being elected National President of College Democrats at age, whatever it was, 19, 20. And I didn’t really know up from down. I didn’t know about important issues that I was being put on TV to talk about, whether it was not knowing economics or not knowing finance, or not knowing just like the way the world really works. But I thought I knew a lot of stuff back then as a young person, as many – frankly, as many young people do, but I had a lot of growing up to do. 


And when I went to Washington – I had not yet graduated from college, but I went to Washington still as a student, and I really didn’t like what I saw. I mean, I’ll be honest, it was I guess, it’s ‘99 going into 2000. So, there was a presidential election and Clinton was President, Gore was running against Bush. And so, I saw a Democrat Party, which was already changing into what we see today, which is obsessed with identity politics, finding ways to separate people from each other. And, you know, again, here I am, 20 years old at the time, I don’t know a whole lot, but I know that this is bad for the future of the country. And this is not even, you know, whatever economic disagreements I might have with my grandfather’s vision of FDR’s party and I do differ with various approaches of that earlier Democrat Party, too. What was coming next was bad for the country and it was going to separate us and rip us apart at the seams. You could feel that.


So, as I left Washington, after what was a one-year term, I closed that out. I came back to Minnesota where I actually took over the school newspaper at the time, which was not an insignificant shop. It was like 150 people. It was like fourth-largest publication in the state of Minnesota, did that for one year, learned actually a fair amount about business, which was good experience, learned not to trust the press which was a very useful experience for the rest of my life, and at that point and this kind of gets to the other thing you alluded to, is, you know, I’d done these two things back to back. I was a bit burned out and I decided it was time to do something different before I completed school and joined the Marine Corps. So, I went out to Wyoming and I worked as a cowboy for not quite a year at a small ranch.


Linda J. Hansen:  I think that’s just amazing. Tell us more about that.


Kevin Nicholson:  It was a great experience. I don’t think I’d be where I am today, for better or worse, if I had not done that first. I – you know, I wanted to do some physical. I wanted to do something where I knew I’d have housing. So, that was like my two buckets like – and yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  Did you have food? I mean, food and water and housing? Yeah. [Laughs].


Kevin Nicholson:  Oh, yeah. I just had room and board. Yeah. You bring up a good point. I mean – and I need someone to make the food.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  Because I myself cannot actually make food, which is a sad statement, but true. That’s not true. I can grill a steak. But if it’s beyond flipping a steak once, there’s really nothing else that I can produce.


Linda J. Hansen:  [Laughs].


Kevin Nicholson:  But in any case, yeah. So, I thought, “Okay, this kind of limits me, too.” So, the list I came up with was cowboy and lumberjack, because those are two things that provide housing and food, and you just show up and they’re like, “Yeah. You go do what you do.” 


Linda J. Hansen:  [Laughs]. 


Kevin Nicholson:  But what I did do is just at this point, there was like an agricultural job service I signed up for and they shot like a weekly update like, “Here’s the ranches in Wyoming, Montana, Texas that are hiring with phone numbers.” Right? And I called up my boss, my future boss, and I said, “Hey, I’m interested in doing this.” He’s like, “Can you ride a horse?” I’m like, “I have rode a horse, like at camp when I was five, maybe eight. I don’t know.” And he’s like, “All right. Do you smoke and drink?” I was like, “I don’t smoke. I drink moderately and I’m over 21, Is that okay?” And he’s like, “Yeah, that’s okay, I guess.” And with that, I headed on out. And sight unseen, remote part of Wyoming, very western part of the state, 7,000 feet of elevation, small cattle ranch where Charles Price and his wife, DeeAnn, live and worked extremely hard over the next however many months, and did become much better riding a horse, but more importantly, really saw agriculture from the inside for the first time in my life. 


And it was a great experience, great education, tons of hard work for anyone, and I don’t pretend I’m a farmer but I can tell you, farmers are business people. They are mechanics. They are economists. They are doing so many different things that keep those multi-prong businesses afloat, but most people don’t understand it. I will always be grateful I saw it from the inside because I think there’s too many people in policy and politics who love the backdrop of a farm in a campaign ad, but maybe don’t understand why farmers face the challenges they do. 


And I do feel like I least saw that from the inside to some extent. But great experience, American West is what it is. It kicks you in the butt and you learn a lot from it. It’s extremely harsh. Boy, the temperatures in the middle of January and 7,000 feet, the air is so thin that you’d wake up in the morning, and you’d start at like 4:00 and it’d be six zero, 60 degrees below zero. It was insane. And by noon, it’d be like 28. So, the temperature swings were enormous and the animals can handle it. And I just learned a lot about the way agriculture works in America and it was a great experience.


Linda J. Hansen:  That’s great. I think a lot of young people would benefit from doing something like that, you know, taking them outside of their comfort zone, learning an entirely different culture, industry, a way of life. I mean, there’s so much of that we can learn from right here in the U.S. and the farming, ranching community, mining, everything. I mean, it’s hard work. It’s very hard work and you’re right. Farmers do not get the respect they deserve. And ranchers – I mean, we all go to the grocery store and expect our food to be there. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  And someone is doing that and so we do salute to all of those who produce our food.


Kevin Nicholson:  Absolutely. And there’s just not enough kids that are doing 4-H at this point to understand like the immersion of, like, how difficult it is to raise an animal, to raise a crop, and to deal with the existential risks of weather and economics, and commodities and then bad policy thrown into it. And it’s probably take us down a different vein, right? But like, as I traveled – we were just at a farm in Fond du Lac last week, and I talked about this is many decades of bad policy that have led to an environment where Wisconsin farmers have a hard time selling their products outside of this country because of pricing controls and places like Canada. And likewise, those countries then have a much easier time importing their products into our markets. 


And so, our farmers get squeezed from both ends and then they get told, you know, “You should like free trade. It’s a good thing.” And from there – these are smart people. They don’t want to be patronized and their attitude is, “Well, this is not free trade. This is manufactured trade. It’s just not strategic.” And so, where Wisconsin farmers have been squeezed, Wisconsin manufacturers have been squeezed, it’s been a long time of bad policy by people in Congress, and they are aware of it. And that’s why at some level today, when they hear whether it’s President Trump or others push back on bad trade policies, it really does resonate because they understand the importance of accessing markets, and so on.


Linda J. Hansen:  That’s a really good point. And it’s okay to take us down a path of policy because that’s actually why we do what we do, is to impact policy to help people. So, after your learning experience at the ranch, tell us what came next –


Kevin Nicholson:  Sure.


Linda J. Hansen:  – and led to your current position.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah. So, it takes a couple of other weird turns, I guess. It – yeah, I came back. After the year in Wyoming, I finished school. So, I had I think a semester and a half or something left wrapped up, got married to my wife, Jessie, and then shortly thereafter joined the Marine Corps. And I – that was 2004 I came in. I was in until 2009. The Marine Corps as an officer – I came in as an officer and commissioned as second lieutenant. You don’t always have complete control over what’s next. You have some degree of control. I’d always thought I was going to enjoy it and I had planned to join the Marines for a while. I thought I’d get a Law Degree someday and I come in as a lawyer, and be a JAG in the Marine Corps, and life change, right? 


And the war had started by that point and I decided I wanted to go ground combat. Combat Arms in the Marine Corps is a – it’s a series of occupations that you can choose from. And I liked Combat Engineering because I felt as a young officer, you got a ton of control over your unit. And also, too, you were very much in the fight and so, it was a good opportunity. And I kind of pursued that path and it worked out. 


They sent me to Iraq in ‘07 with a platoon of ex-outstanding Marines and we were in Al Anbar Province. And so we were out near Al-Qa'im and Rawa, two lovely places that I recommend no one ever visit, right along the Euphrates River, which, you know, we actually were there as things kind of turned from bad to good during the troop surge, and we actually saw the atmosphere improved by quite a bit. Later now, all that ground that we gained, the fight that we had was largely thrown away. By the way, the whole thing was treated strategically and happy to talk about more than that later. 


But yes, so we were there and then I went to Afghanistan in 2008. Was there through ’09 and there, I led what was called a Counter-IED Team. So, it was like a quick reaction force that dealt with the IED threat and that’s improvised explosive device. And at the time, in that part of Afghanistan where we were, Kandahar Province was – actually our little area of operation had the most IEDs per square mile of anywhere in the world. That was a no-no, certainly in Afghanistan. And so we had a very busy mission and we – our whole mission was to get out there. If someone got struck by an IED, we dealt with it. We recovered them and then our real goal was to go out and get the bomb makers, and get them off the battlefield, and we did that. 


So, that was – yeah, so I was there until 2009. Came home, kind of had a quick reset by then. We had one – our son had been born. My first daughter was on her way and we moved to – I had been admitted to Dartmouth for business school while I was gone. I still remember getting that notification. It was like right before admission and had absolutely no emotional impact. Like, I mean, it was good. Like – I was like, “All right. Well, we got something next at least,” but it was like – it really – in that environment, that seems so far away, right?


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  Like the idea of, “Yeah, I’m going to go to school in New Hampshire,” seems very bizarre.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. 


Kevin Nicholson:  But we did. We came home. We sold our house right as the housing market was cratering. We got out right beforehand and then one of many near-misses I guess, and headed to New Hampshire, sight unseen. Well, I went to Dartmouth like once for a visit, but we had no clue where we’re going to live until we showed up, and that was culture shock. Suddenly, I was in the Ivy League and people were worried about things to me that I didn’t think they should be worried about. I – it was good because there was another group of veterans there, too. Many – I don’t think anyone was quite like as quick out of combat as I was, but good people you could connect with and talk about like, “Hey, this seems really weird.” [Laughs].


Linda J. Hansen:  It is a culture shock. Yeah. I haven’t experienced it myself, but having a son who’s a Marine –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah.


Linda J. Hansen:  – it’s quite a culture shock for a lot of people. So, first of all, thank you for –


Kevin Nicholson:  Especially that place.


Linda J. Hansen:  – thank you for serving and thank you to your wife, Jessie, because it is a sacrifice. A Marines’ family and military members, my first responder, law enforcement family, they all serve well in a way.


Kevin Nicholson:  Oh, they do. You’re right.


Linda J. Hansen:  So, you know, thank you for being on the front lines, but thank you to your family for supporting you.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah, I couldn’t do without because you have to have family who can do so much. And yes, it oftentimes falls in the spouse, independent of you, and that’s certainly been true as my career went on, too, that I tend to be so busy and on the road, and so many things happening that if Jessie couldn’t handle a lot of moving parts, it’s just in a way. And that’s certainly, I think, we learned that in the military, it was critical. But yeah – no, I landed in Dartmouth and suddenly people were complaining about the food. And that was a real hard time for me. I was like, “What’s wrong with the food?” Like, the food isn’t that bad. Like – first off, like someone cooked it. So, that’s a big step in the right direction. But it was like one of those culture – like –


Linda J. Hansen:  It didn’t come out of a little packet in a – right?


Kevin Nicholson:  It didn’t come out of a packet. Yes. There’s no dirt in it. So, these are all big, big, you know, benefits. But, you know, business school is okay. I wasn’t – it was not particularly exciting. It was like something that was good for me to do to set up the next step of life, right? Because I was a Political Science undergrad, which was whatever – it is, what it is.


Linda J. Hansen:  Is that where your passion was?


Kevin Nicholson:  When I was 18, yeah, as I thought about the world, but I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking how does this, you know, go to the next – I guess I thought I was going to law school when I was 18. Here now, I knew that I wanted to go to business school. I remember that conversation happened actually in Iraq. I was on the phone and my wife talking – it literally sounds like she had mailed me an LSAT book, which I did not have time to study. And I was like, why did you send me an LSAT book? She’s like, “Well, you should be getting ready for you to take the LSAT when you get back.” And at that moment, a rocket hit [laughs] inside of our base, and I said, “I got to go.” Click. So, I went, “You should be studying for the LSAT,” boom, and then me saying, “I got to go,” and then I hung up. 


But it kicked off a process whereby we decided business school made more sense. It would set up a platform to go into the private sector in a way that made more sense, and so I did that. And I eventually ended up adding a second degree with Harvard through a joint degree program in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. So, the two degrees were done concurrently, so yeah.


Linda J. Hansen:  That’s amazing. It’s quite a journey that you’ve had and then in your business –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  – background before you ran for Senate. Tell us more about that.


Kevin Nicholson:  Sure, and it continues today. So, I’m coming out of – or while I was in business school, I had never heard of McKinsey. McKinsey & Company is a consulting firm, but I – when it came time to do our internship after our first year, I went through the process with a number of different companies and I actually really wanted to work at Harley Davidson. That was my goal and it was in part because they give you a free motorcycle to use for the summer intern. And that should not guide your decision but it seemed very logical at the time.


And I was in – on the phone with guys at Harley, some of whom had gone to similar schools, and also were military by background, and Harley’s internship process ran behind many of the big consulting firms that come to the schools. And a couple of guys at Harley actually said to me, they’re like, “Hey,” and I ended up getting an offer from McKinsey, which is considered to be the kind of the gold standard. And they said, “Hey, no, go. Go do that. It’s the right thing to do and then if you want to come to Harley in the future or any number of other places, it’ll be an opportunity.” And it was their advice that actually led me to do that.


In McKinsey, I did all sorts of stuff and worked on operations, do due diligences to help value potential purchases in the future for various clients that were looking to potentially purchase companies. Did that kind of work for about three and a half years and then from there, I went on to my current firm, which is named ghSMART, and we also help investors due diligence on companies that they might potentially buy in the future, so.


Linda J. Hansen:  So, this is what you do in the private sector now –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yup.


Linda J. Hansen:  – besides your volunteer position here at No Better Friend Corp.


Kevin Nicholson:  That’s right. Yes. And that has continued all the way through ever since and I’ve never stopped working in the private sector even during my Senate campaign. And so, yes, I think that actually, that’s incredibly important, right? Like, whether you’re running for office or anything like – just to understand the way the world works, there’s not enough people in public life. Our schedule – ours, meaning my wife and I, our team is extremely intense. Like I am –obviously, not right now with COVID, but I travel a ton for work. So, we run a tight ship, like we have staff meetings at No Better Friend that we’re meeting that I’m engaged with clients. In a normal world, I might be on the road right now. Obviously, everything’s virtual to actually in some ways makes logistics much easier. 


But then, you know, I’m getting out of work meetings, and we’re hopping in a car and we’re headed up to Green Bay or to La Crosse or Eau Claire. My wife and I volunteer our time to no Better Friend. Our staff is full-time, but that’s an important thing for us, right? Like we are – I think, in so many ways, and I’m sure we’ll talk about in more depth, but No Better Friends’ emphasis on everything from education reform to protecting innocent life. These things matter to us. I feel good about making money in the private sector, and then be able to give back time and effort this way, and to have impact in our community.


Linda J. Hansen:  That’s amazing and that’s really a gift that you’re giving to our community, our state, and our nation. Well, really the world. So, when we fight for freedom, we fight for freedom for the whole world. So, thank you. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Absolutely, absolutely.


Linda J. Hansen:  Thank you for doing that. So, what led you to start No Better Friend Corp? And I love the name.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah [laughs].


Linda J. Hansen: You know, you can tell you’re a Marine. Yes [laughs].


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes. The mom of a Marine should love that name. Well, I ran for the United States Senate in 2018 and I lost my primary. And, you know that didn’t –


Linda J. Hansen:  Oh, you should – I  don’t mean to interrupt you, but I’m going to interrupt you in the sense that what began the transition. You talked a little bit before that transition from Democrat because you did run as a Republican –


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  – for the United States Senate. So, what were the policy differences there just briefly?


Kevin Nicholson:  Oh, sure.


Linda J. Hansen:  We can go back to them a little bit, but that led you to do that, and then we know that that experience is also what, you know, pivoted your idea in terms of No Better Friend, so.


Kevin Nicholson:  A hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  Yeah, so what exactly had you switched?


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah. Well, I mentioned this, in 2009, I was with the College of Democrats. I mean, I did not like what I was seeing at that time and I mentioned identity politics in particular.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.  


Kevin Nicholson:  And really, I did see this as a recipe for disaster. You cannot have a country of 300-plus million people who all look different, who at some point came from different locations, and expect them to be together as a people if you’re going to spend your entire election cycle to election cycle reminding them of why they’re different and why they should not like each other. And I mean, boy, if you were to describe 2020, in any given way, that would be it, right? 


Linda J. Hansen:  Exactly.


Kevin Nicholson:  And is this our future? And that – I mean, that’s a legitimate question that we have to decide now as a society. Are we going to put up with this garbage coming from political actors for the rest of our natural existence? And my answer is no and I won’t tolerate that. But I saw this when I was 20 years old and I couldn’t have articulated the way I said it, but I knew I was uneasy with where this was headed.


Linda J. Hansen:  You had a feeling in your gut. Yeah.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah. And well – and very much right, like I saw it from the inside. And so, I mean – but you got to remember, I left that and this path I’ve articulated really did take me away from politics. And so, like I wasn’t involved in political stuff. I was running a newspaper and working as a cowboy, fighting as a Marine, right? 


Linda J. Hansen:  Mm-hmm.


Kevin Nicholson:  It was funny in my primary like the big obsession with trying to prove that I used to be a Democrat, which I was honest about and I started every darn speech with, became so comical to us because it was such a – first, it’s a dumb issue and you just start off with, and second, like at one point, we shared a picture of my wife and I behind John McCain when he came to Wilmington, North Carolina when I was in the Marine Corps. So, I was in my civilian gear. I’m not in uniform. You’re not supposed to be.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  Because I thought John McCain was the right candidate, like unequivocally. And you can have all the differences you want with John McCain at this point in our history, but the point is between him and Barack Obama, he was the right choice, right? And so, there I sat and that, you know – and again, now going back to graduate school, I think what I was able to do, and actually did a ton of research on public finances, and was able articulate what I knew in my gut when I was 20, which is like the policies and the ideas of the Left have bad conclusions, And they are financial. They are economic. They are cultural. And this is where I think at this point – and I’ve lost my grandfather since, I gave his eulogy when he passed. I didn’t obsess at all about our political differences such that they were, but where I think we could sit down and I’ll say like, “I love you. This is why I disagree with you,” right? 


Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.


Kevin Nicholson:  And there’s reasons. It’s about outcomes and it’s about I don’t think these ideas pan out well for you or your neighbor, or that guy living across town whom you’ve never met. I just don’t think they work and I did take the time in graduate school to publish a bunch of stuff that was roundly also ignored in the primary. I get it. Politics is filled with cheats and liars, and scumbags. And they will say anything they can to get ahead. And usually ahead means I want to take a commission on a TV ad, so if I can run an ad attacking you, even if it’s completely disingenuous, I’ll do it. Those same people would lick the bottom of a shoe if they thought it would give them an extra penny, right? Like, you just accept that for what it is. 


But like, in my own evolution and how I intellectually got to where I am, like, I had to go through the process. I had to understand the math. Like, when I say that healthcare is what will bankrupt us, I’m not saying because it makes me, you know, I read it in a sound – or excuse me, a talking point given to me by somebody else. I read the talking points. I give it to the consultants that work for us. Like, here’s the economics behind health care. Here’s why it’s so disastrous. Here’s why we need market forces in healthcare and I spent time studying this. Am I a PhD in healthcare economics? No. But have I spent time and put – like grind into this to get it? You bet I have. 


And so, yeah, whether it’s in any – like I’m talking about economics and finance. I’m talking about culture. I mean, I was talking about my time in the Marine Corps, right? Like, I – it certainly made me aware of reality, which made me more conservative, right? Like, understand – and I’ve said this so many times since to people that are criticizing the country today. You want to criticize America and say it can be better? Go ahead, but then benchmark it against the rest of the world. And so I have fought –


Linda J. Hansen:  Exactly.


Kevin Nicholson:  – in countries where, unfortunately, children get murdered by adults because of their ethnicity. Like, I am aware of that. I know what happens. It’s not just happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at China’s record on human’s rights. Look at what happens in countries like Pakistan and India. So, let’s be honest about America, what it could do better, sure. I’m all about having that conversation. But I also want to say it’s the greatest human institution in all of history, and has launched more freedom and prosperity than anything else man has ever himself created. And so, to me, again, I think that aligns perfectly with conservatism, and I hear nothing from the Left that even sounds remotely like that anymore. And so, again, in terms of political affiliation, I mean, it’s just, to me, it’s pretty obvious, like why I feel the way I do,


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. And that’s why you started No Better Friend Corp.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  And tell us again the goals of that and what you hope to accomplish with that on a day-to-day basis, and then some long-term goals that you see with No Better Friend.


Kevin Nicholson:  Of course, and yeah – well, yeah. And so, I ran for the Senate. As it was, the establishment in the Republican Party in Wisconsin really came in hard and by establishment, I mean like the statewide existing elected officials worked really hard to undermine our campaign. Didn’t work out so well for them as they found out as they all got their butts kicked in 2018 in the statewide. And in part, it’s because and I should actually take a step back, so I lose my primary. They all lose the statewide election. The legislative races, fortunately, did well. And then people came back to me and said, “Okay. We can’t have another 2018.” This included people who supported me, included people who did not support me. And my answer was, “Well, one thing we could do is we could launch a group that’s meant to expand the reach of our movement.” Right? And to talk about our ideas in a bigger and greater way and find ways to pull people in our movement. 


And none of that is about soft-pedaling what we believe. None of it’s about trying to moderate it or not be conservative. It is about saying, “Let’s go to where people are. Talk to them about what we believe.” Find the issues, certainly where we do agree, and at least start the conversation there. And then you can talk about some other stuff where maybe currently you do disagree, but you can actually still change people’s mind. And so, No Better Friend was founded on that basis and it is operating today throughout the entire state. We’ve got an outstanding team who’s working on this full-time. And again, Jessie and I volunteer our time, but we’re everywhere.


And we have a group of pillars that we’re focused on, but that allows us to cover a lot of different stuff. One is promoting policies that encourage economic growth. Well, so much of it all starts with growth, right? If our economy – we as conservatives believe, and I say this all the time, we’re not jealous when someone else does well. We’re happy. And we also know there’s a net benefit to many people in society doing well for themselves and accumulating wealth.


Linda J. Hansen:  Yes, a rising tide lifts all boats. 


Kevin Nicholson:  It is and it does, and it really does. And I think one of the greatest lies of the Left in the media is, “Well, that’s not true.” Well, no, it is true and it is – it leads to greater community investment and that can include investment in schools and churches and parks, and quite literal things. It could also mean just people that are more invested in the future of their community at a higher level, right? So, I always remind people, “Hey, you want to talk about climate change?” I live in Wisconsin. It used to be covered by glacier. Yeah, the climate is changing. It’s always been changing. It always will be changing. I’m open to discussions on what the human impact could be.


Now, set that aside for a moment. If you’re Tony Evers or you’re Elizabeth Warren, and you’re going to come to me and tell me we need to defossilize our energy grid in somewhere between 10 and 30 years, then I’m going to come back and point out the fact that, no, we don’t have the technology for that. You’re just literally making things up at this point and throwing darts at a board. Two, if we did what you said, we literally couldn’t turn the lights on. You would plunge people into poverty. And the fact that we have a Press Corps who’s not capable of actually analyzing the math – and I wrote a piece of this and American greatness, like, the math is very clear. You cannot do this. We’re not close to doing it. 


So, at the very least every time someone says de-fossilize our energy grid, it should be followed up with a census as a policy proposal that would plunge the nation into darkness. But, of course, it’s not said. So, so many school kids and frankly, just voters hear this and they’re like, “Okay, maybe that’s a possibility,” but it’s not. And so we as conservatives need to be out there saying, “We want cheap energy. We want cheap, clean energy, which can be natural gas, which we have a ton of here in the United States, which is better for the environment, does burn cleaner, and yet creates cheap energy sources for people to go out and fuel their life with.”


Linda J. Hansen:  Exactly. I’ve done a lot of work with energy, regulatory reform, especially in the world of nuclear. So – and new generation nuclear, the small modular reactors, and my listeners will know I’m a fan of molten salt reactors because they also produce the Molybdenum-99, the Moly-99 medical isotope as a byproduct of energy production. So, it’s a win-win.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  They can take all these different energy sources. It’s clean energy and it can help oil, you know, natural gas, coal production, all to be done in a more efficient carbon-friendly fashion, too. So, I mean, it’s a win-win. But oftentimes, the activists do not discuss it, it’s only wind and solar, and they don’t realize the counter effects that that brings –


Kevin Nicholson:  The limitations.


Linda J. Hansen:  The limitations –


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  – and detractions of those as well.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right. Right, exactly. 


Linda J. Hansen:  And so you’re right, that is economically not great and sends us to a path that is really not productive for the growth and well-being of our citizens.


Kevin Nicholson:  And it’s the way we need to approach these issues to say we want cheap, plentiful energy, and we want it to be clean because it benefits the greater amount of people on the planet. And we believe that prosperity leads the worlds with less conflict and more opportunity. And that’s big thinking. It’s true. It’s strategic. It’s what our kids should be learning in school and they’re not. And I think that’s a real problem and that’s why we message on this.


Linda J. Hansen:  And you talk about school –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yup.


Linda J. Hansen:  – choice issues as well. So, you have the economics, energy, school choice.


Kevin Nicholson:  School choice is another one of our big pillars, education reform. I’ll run through them all quick –


Linda J. Hansen:  Wonderful, great.


Kevin Nicholson:  – and then we can come back and circle through, and talk in-depth if you want. 


Linda J. Hansen:  Super.


Kevin Nicholson:  But, as well market forces in healthcare, which I alluded to –


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  – including things like price transparency, and then encouraging a culture that embraces and protects innocent life, and then also to a strong national defense. 


Linda J. Hansen:  Including the unborn.


Kevin Nicholson:  Well, that’s exactly what I meant. Yes. And we can talk more about it if we want to. Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  [Laughs] Because I just want to, you know, make sure people know because I just think that’s fantastic, protecting life. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Absolutely.


Linda J. Hansen:  From conception to death, to natural death.


Kevin Nicholson:  And we do. We’re good friends with Wisconsin Right To Life and Pro-Life Wisconsin. We also do some very tactical things ourselves with crisis pregnancy centers around the state, and we can talk more about that in a minute. But our last pillar is a strong national defense and your son’s a Marine, you know this, he knows this. It’s the idea that a strong strategic national defense actually stops conflict before it starts, and that’s the whole idea here in that I live in a state. We live in a state where people don’t want war, conflict, and understandably so. So, the question is not, “Do you like war?” Of course, we don’t. The question is, “How do you actually stop it?” Part of that is a strong national defense used strategically in order to stop conflict before it actually initiates.


And, look, I think we should all learn lessons coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I think I wrote a piece recently for the hill where I talked about how if you really trace back the course of these two wars, and you see how over that time, the existence of this war – these wars have allowed the American Left to radicalize and also allowed the media that supports them to radicalize. In so many ways, it leads to the election of Barack Obama, who I think fundamentally did his part certainly to radicalize more people and to, in so many ways, undermine their confidence in their country, which I mean, if you – it might have been smoother in how he delivered it, but he said it often and did a lot to undermine Americans’ confidence in their country and their belief in it, in so many ways, has led us to the current dichotomy that we have politically today. And so, I believe you need to be careful about when or you start conflict. But the bottom line is that you can strategically prevent conflict by having a strong national defense that’s used intelligently.


Linda J. Hansen:  As Reagan said, peace through strength.


Kevin Nicholson:  Through strength, peace. It’s common sense.


Linda J. Hansen:  And my old boss, colleague, mentor, Herman Cain, he used to say, “Peace through strength and clarity.”


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes, and he’s right.


Linda J. Hansen:  And clarity, you know, and he was always one to, you know, focus and simplify messages, as did Ronald Reagan. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  But you bring that peace through strength. And we could see that now and how that would be beneficial on our American streets right now in particular cities that are dealing with unrest and anarchy right now. So, your thoughts regarding the defund police, as a as a Marine, tell me your thoughts [laughs].


Kevin Nicholson:  Well, you know, the day after the officer-involved shooting occurred in Kenosha, Mike Koval for Madison police chief was actually here in this room. We were doing a podcast with him at that point. And it was just a coincidence, it happened the day after that. And we had a couple – I think, we had a good impactful conversation on this. And I’ve not been in law enforcement. He obviously spent his whole career there, right? And one of the things I said was, “The reason that we have investigations following incidents like this and the use of force in both the military and law enforcement is to instill discipline and standards within forces that have to use physical force and violence at times.” And that’s done – again, it lets everyone know on the respective force that if you have to go that route, it’s going to be investigated, it will be done transparently and professionally, but it again helps to maintain standards and discipline.


It also lets people know that are being policed or even local nationals in combat that there’s accountability, which helps increase trust and then it also just overall improves behaviors. Now, again, in the hours after the officer-involved shooting in Kenosha, what I – Tony Evers came out with a statement that basically said that he did not know what happened, but then went on to basically blanket accuse all law enforcement in Wisconsin in one way, shape, or form of being a racist. That was insanity. And anyone who has ever walked a half step in the shoes of someone who served in law enforcement and the military knows that after an incident like that, whatever your initial take is after seeing an initial video, it is a response that clearly dictates – first, I pray for everybody involved. I hope that everybody is recovered and I pray for their families. Second, there’s going to be an investigation of what happened by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. It needs to be followed through professionally and transparently, and I eagerly await the results of it. And third, do no harm to each other and stop rioting immediately.


Linda J. Hansen:  Do no harm.


Kevin Nicholson:  That’s what he had to do. And he was incompetent, incapable of doing it. He is surrounded by people who don’t understand these things. And it’s so far beyond them apparently to simply say, “Let’s get an investigation done, so we understand fully what happens and obviously ensuring accountability, and go from there.” There’s nothing wrong with saying that. It’s not hard to do. So, that in and of itself is an absolutely what Evers did, did encourage the further rioting and what happened in Kenosha, the damage the loss of life, everything. He encouraged it by encouraging people to lose faith in society and law enforcement.


Furthermore, you asked specifically about defund the police, look, I – in the days after George Floyd’s death, we had some conversations here with – at No Better Friend helped to host with a series of black clergy leaders in Milwaukee and Madison, and elected officials, including Senator Ron Johnson and Robin Vos, and also, too, some Democrats who joined as well. And, you know, to a person everybody said, “We need the police in our neighborhoods. We in fact host them at our churches in order to better relationships. We, of course, would want accountability, but no, we don’t want the police defunded.” 


We want to make sure there’s a good relationship. We want to make sure there’s accountability. We want to hear ideas and how to improve things. All of which are reasonable. And I think anyone in law enforcement would say that, but the idea that then you have these absurd leftist, crazy political actors out there trying to put disadvantaged communities in greater harm is insane. And that really is what they’re doing. They’re putting the communities that already face challenges in a worse position, and literally putting kids who have to walk to school in a more dangerous neighborhood in order to achieve their political objective. What you really want to blow this whole thing out is greater control over people.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. As we talk about policy, I want to just take this back a little bit to policy because these policies have affected businesses.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  And policies that affect businesses affect families, individuals, and as with Prosperity 101, I always try to help people make the connection between policy and paycheck.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  Like basically what happens between boardroom and breakroom and things creating that connection, but also helping people understand that the government really is –there’s nothing government-funded, it’s only taxpayer-funded. And so, you know, we –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  In order to fund any of this, we have to have healthy businesses to fund our government and then fund, you know, all the services. So, if we have anarchy in our cities and businesses close, the tax base goes down and so, everyone loses.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  It’s like you said, we’re hurting everyone. But this really didn’t start just this summer. It didn’t start in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd’s unfortunate incident. It happened in classrooms decades ago.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  It began in classrooms decades ago. So, I also applaud your approach towards helping with school choice and education reform and, you know, making sure that we’re educating our children properly. So, thank you. No Better Friend has such a great breadth of issues that they attack, but it’s really the issues that truly help American families, and when America prospers, the world prospers.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right. And we set an example for us, the world, and I appreciate you saying that we chose the principles and pillars that we did because I think they’re foundational. And if you get these things right, everything is moving in the right direction.


Linda J. Hansen:  Exactly.


Kevin Nicholson:  And education reform, a big part of that. In the days and weeks after the death of George Floyd, one of the things I press people on that were saying, “We need to do something. We don’t know what to do.” I kept saying, “Well, you know, get behind good education initiatives because it helps everybody of any color, background, or anything, right?”  But particularly, if you want to go into disadvantaged communities, it’s a great way to help change the trajectory in kids' lives. 


And we promote school choice programs in Wisconsin, not because I think it is the answer for every single student child, but because I think that it changes the marketplace in education. It takes kids and the worst-case scenarios in certain traditional public schools, gets them into completely different cultures, and literally changed their trajectory immediately. So, it’s not a 10-year wait to supposedly fix a traditional public school because kids don’t have time to wait for that.


So, that’s the reason that we push that. We actually – in January of this year, which now seems like it was 15 years ago, had a rally at the capitol in which we got a thousand kids to show up, mostly Black and Hispanic from Milwaukee, from Madison, Kenosha, Racine, I believe Green Bay, too. But they showed up to celebrate the school choice programs that were sponsored and supported by Republican legislators who are all there to support them, the Vice-President even flew in.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. School choice started here in Wisconsin.


Kevin Nicholson:  By Tommy Thompson.


Linda J. Hansen:  By Tommy Thompson. Yes.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yup. And it was a great moment and then as I tell everyone, incredibly enough, the – Governor Evers left the building, ran away from a thousand kids who showed up to celebrate their education. Usually, a politician would run towards that photo op, but he left and the Democrats, as the kids were still in the building, kicked off a news conference to say we need to end these programs. And that is because the teachers' unions that fund the Democrat Party with our tax dollars by the way, right? They see this as competition to their cash flow, right? And it’s not about the kids. It’s not even about the teachers. These teacher unions are political entities that exist and they own the Democrat Party in so many different ways in our state in particular. And they see these programs and their success as a threat to their personal livelihoods and their influence, and we need to call it out for what it is and we need to be out there fighting for kids as conservatives.


Linda J. Hansen:  Absolutely, absolutely. And when we fight for our kids and help them have access to better education, we’re really fighting for the future of our country as well. 


Kevin Nicholson:  A hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. I have always been interested in education and making sure that employers educate. I mean, obviously school choice and especially as a homeschool mom, I was, but my passion to help employers educate employees about how policy issues affect their jobs. We can do so in a very non-partisan way. We can do it very matter of fact. What would you say to these employers who may be realizing that their employees may be choosing to vote in a way that will actually decrease their ability to be employed by that company? So, so many times employees have no idea, the policies of the people that they’re voting for, they just vote by emotion. And so, what would you say to employers who have an opportunity to impact the lives of their employees?


Kevin Nicholson:  Well, first of all, I know there’s a number of employers throughout the state and I do know individual companies who actually do bring in speakers to speak on policy and to speak on the impact of like, “Okay, here’s a policy suggestion and here’s how it could theoretically affect our market and what we’re going to do going forward.” And I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Again, these are private companies. They can do these – or even publicly held, they can pull in people to actually talk about policy implications, and to just simply educate people. There’s – so, I strongly recommend that. I do recommend that company leaders take more of a long-term look at the world and instead of falling into whatever the fad is of the moment, and I think we’ve seen way too much of that over the past six months, think longer about the society that rear the success that they personally enjoyed and that their company requires in order to be successful.


Linda J. Hansen:  Well put.


Kevin Nicholson:  And well – and you brought up Kenosha, and I’ll tell you, I spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Kenosha a week ago, I think, or two weeks. I can’t remember anymore. We’ve been everywhere. But we were in – I was in Kenosha. I spoke on the Lincoln Day Dinner, and I had at least a couple of people come up and telling me still – minimum, too, I think three stories, people saying the local business owner I know who had their business physically destroyed will receive an insurance payout on that to some degree. It’s not going to cover what they need and they’re not in a position to restart. And boy, if that doesn’t lay it out there, right? Like now, literally, we’re talking about a town in Kenosha. It’s not that big, right?


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  Individual businesses are moving out It will negatively impact everybody there and –


Linda J. Hansen:  Well – and actually, it goes even farther than that because you mentioned they have an insurance payout. So, when an insurance payment is given, there’s a ripple effect to that.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  That, you know, we all pay our insurance premiums, you know, insurance premiums rise. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the insurance world after this summer of riots and business closures, and all this destruction. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  It’ll be really interesting. That affects all of us.


Kevin Nicholson:  A hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  And it affects all of us, because then these businesses do not have their tax base coming back into, you know, the government. And so, our services, our parks, our schools, our law enforcement, you know, everything is depleted in a sense, because these businesses are not there providing revenue.


Kevin Nicholson:  You’re completely right and then, you know, there’s also just like what is the ecosystem that would lead someone to invest in something, right? Investments are not made in isolation. So, in one sense, we’re talking about the destruction of existing businesses, which may or may not be rebuilt. There’s another sense, which is, you know, I get it. 


The mayor of Milwaukee wants to build a train. He thinks that that’s going to get like young tech entrepreneurs move to Milwaukee, which really makes no sense. Like literally, that rationale was proposed by saying like, if we have an NBA team and a train operating in Milwaukee, then that will, of course, pull in all the entrepreneurs. No. But having safe communities with good educational resources for families, like, yes, that does pull in people who are trying to build lives and are willing to make investments.

You can’t put the cart before the horse. You have to think sequentially and logically. And I would say this, Republicans and Democrats who sometimes make misinformed decisions on what’s a good infrastructure spend. In my mind, a good infrastructure spend is putting money into things like schools and roads, and safety that create an environment and a canvas on which any number of different industries can grow organically.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. It allows for human flourishing.


Kevin Nicholson:  Exactly. And safety is a huge part of it. And how many people are making decisions to move based on what they’re seeing right now? You can read the newspaper every day and say that there’s people leaving New York because they’ve got resources, mobility, and all like – maybe it doesn’t happen as quickly in some other places of the country, but people are making decisions like that and it will have long term effects, which is why you dial the clock back, I want to say 40 years, 50 years, I feel like even Democrats would have got this. You don’t want to encourage people to turn on society and –


Linda J. Hansen:  Your grandfather would have understood this. 


Kevin Nicholson:  He would have understood it a hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  That tells a little bit, I mean, think of John Kennedy, you know.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  John F. Kennedy was a Democrat, too. And so, when you look at these policies, they weren’t so different. So, why depart in the years past? So, I tell people, this is not your grandfather’s Democrat Party anymore. You know, it is very, very different. And so, if we need to take these policies moving forward that really help people. We need to really look beyond. I mean, we obviously – when we go to the voting booth, there’s a way we have to vote. There’s people associated with parties, but we have to look at it as beyond party or even personality and say these are the policies that help us grow economically. These are the policies that can help keep our families safe.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  These are the policies that can help America become or stay the leader of the free world.


Kevin Nicholson:  A hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  Yeah.


Kevin Nicholson:  And there was a point I think – I mean, the question is, can a Republic create the amount of prosperity that this one has and for many people to feel that they will not feel the downside or the repercussions of bad decisions? And there, I mean, particularly the policymakers, right? Who feel – they feel clearly on the Left, but also to some that are Republicans feel that that there is such a buffer of wealth built up in this country that they can do a lot of really stupid things, and get away with it and not feel the immediate effects. And so many years of doing that, from what do you – national defense to health care policy, right? Has led us to a situation we never really should have come to. And now –


Linda J. Hansen:  It’s a tipping point.


Kevin Nicholson:  Really and it is.


Linda J. Hansen:  It is. It’s a tipping point.


Kevin Nicholson:  And I – you see in my Senate campaign all the time, and I – what I think was missing in some – we won every poll in that Senate campaign. But I think also you had a Republican President, Republican Senator, Republican House, Republican Governor, Republican State Senate, Republican Assembly, and people felt kind of good about where the world was at. I think what I felt was there’s a great sense of unease in this country and we had our – media is not on the side of conservatism by any stretch of the imagination, and we have to be thinking about beyond just this current state. Where are we 10, 20, 30 years from now? How are we messaging about building a strong society that benefits everybody? Our ideas do lead to that. We just need to articulate it that way and not let others misinform what our intent is. And we need to quadruple down on that now because we are in a bad spot as a country, and we have to forge a path forward.


Linda J. Hansen:  I really believe that employers can be part of that. Employers can be community organizers in a sense and not so much to vote for a certain candidate but to really help understand these principles. And, you know, a politician thinks of the next election but a statesman thinks of the next generation. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  And so, if we can get – like you mentioned, these business owners, too, to be thinking more about the next generation with not just the bottom line of their business, but what this means to our country and to the freedom of the world, this will be great. And I tell people, too, you never know who you’re educating. We’ve talked a lot about education and conservative principles. And I’ve mentioned this in my podcast before, but Ronald Reagan was a liberal, you know – so, you were in good –


Kevin Nicholson:  Back in the day.


Linda J. Hansen:  –  you were in good camp, and he, you know –


Kevin Nicholson:  And he needed to talk to some other people. [Crosstalk].

Linda J. Hansen:  [Laughs]. Yeah. He was a liberal – before he worked at General Electric. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  And it was his time at General Electric. So, an employee education program is basically what changed his worldview. So, I always tell employers –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yeah.


Linda J. Hansen:  – you never know if that dishwasher in the back of your restaurant or someone working your assembly line isn’t going to be a leader of the free world that will provide, you know, freedom for millions of people. So, we – that’s the thing about education and about these policies that encourage growth and flourishing, and freedom and liberty. We cannot have prosperity without liberty.


Kevin Nicholson:  You’re 100% right. And yes, sharing good ideas will never be a bad thing. 


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  And yes, you’re correct that this is the country where you can go from washing dishes to leading the free world. And so, yes, we should be constantly espousing things that help people grow and help our economy grow, help the world grow. You mentioned Ronald Reagan’s evolution, I get – you’ve heard a political PolitiFact. “PolitiFact,” the – whatever clown show operates that particular institution, I remember in the campaign I said once and I’m not going to remember the ages exactly, more like Ronald Reagan was a Democrat until age X. But I’m not going to say what it is because this will get PolitiFact that someday, but I said he was a Democrat to age X and then became a conservative and eventually, a Republican, because that, too, was an evolution –


Linda J. Hansen:  Evolution.


Kevin Nicholson:  – and become a conservative, and then to say, “Yes, I’m a Republican,” for him. And I think PolitiFact within a week or two came out with a correction, that in fact, it was not age X. It was age X plus two years and, therefore I was mostly wrong or something like that. That clown show also corrected me when I said that the Iran deal sent billions of dollars in cash on pallets on a plane to the Iranian government. And they said, “No, that’s not true. It did not all go on pallets. Some of it was digitally transferred.” And so, therefore, I was mostly wrong. But that tells you that’s how crazy our media is. 


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  And those jokers are writing for publications like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel –


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  – which used to be held up as like legitimate newspapers. But when you write things like that, that should tell us as conservatives, like you just need to punch through that noise. 


Linda J. Hansen:  Right.


Kevin Nicholson:  And you got to tell the truth and offer them –


Linda J. Hansen:  And we all do. We all need to be doing that. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  Because what you mentioned, as far as the media is a lot. The cause – part of the cause of what we’re seeing in our society now, too, is that people are not getting the full story. 


Kevin Nicholson:  A hundred percent.


Linda J. Hansen:  The truth is being filtered to them. And it’s not fair to our citizens and it’s not fair to the world really, because they’re watching America change in a sense before their eyes –


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  – and we need to stand up. So, this is a pivotal election and issues matter.


Kevin Nicholson:  Absolutely.


Linda J. Hansen:  Ideas have consequences. Before we close, we’ve gotten a little bit longer –


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes.


Linda J. Hansen:  – than our typical interview here. 


Kevin Nicholson:  Sure.


Linda J. Hansen:  But I’m so thankful for your time. You’ve had such great, great insights. What would you say to people? Anything that you have as a closing comment in terms of employers, educating employees, or just this whole idea of making sure we help people understand conservative policies actually help not hurt our society?


Kevin Nicholson:  Sure. Well, I mean, I think – one thing I’ll close on is a message of hope, which we tried to do in our own podcast in our current season. We’re at – we’re talking to all sorts of community leaders and we asked them what they love about America. We talk about problems, challenges, and struggles. But then we also say, “Hey,” on a, you know, high note, like what is it that gives you hope for the future? And what I’ve been amazed at and we talked to people with incredibly varied backgrounds, from veterans and business people to pastors in Milwaukee, to you name it, right? Like everybody in between and not one of them has missed a beat to say like, “I have hope in the freedom that this country affords not just me, but everybody. And this place is so unique and is worth fighting for.”


Linda J. Hansen:  It is.


Kevin Nicholson:  And I think what your listeners should keep in mind is that you might feel in isolation right now, but yet understand that the vast majority of Americans do feel that way. They are upset about any number of things that they’re seeing in life. They want a different environment than what they see currently in which to raise their children. But if that hope and that spirit is there, then we should all feel good towards the future. And then you make the case about, you know, what can employers do to help further that along. My push to them is like, “Hey, think long term. Think about how you can get good ideas in front of people that should be policy-wise and otherwise, and help to better the environment that we’re in right now.” 


And that does – again, it doesn’t mean jumping on board with social fads. It means, you know, those folks are well-paid for a reason. They’re supposed to have more insight into all the moving parts of life. Bring that to bear. Don’t just do what your, you know, PR person is telling you to do to get the news off your back tomorrow. Think about like what it takes to grow the country in which your company exists. And that is not always easy to do, but again, that’s why they get paid the salaries they do.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right, exactly. Well, being a Marine wasn’t easy either. 


Kevin Nicholson:  No, they didn’t pay you big bucks either, so [laughs].


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. And, you know, but we all have to do our part to keep America free.


Kevin Nicholson:  Right.


Linda J. Hansen:  And it can be lost in one generation. Our freedoms can be lost.


Kevin Nicholson:  Yes, 100%.


Linda J. Hansen:  So, if people would like to contact No Better Friend Corp and potentially learn more about the issues that you’re involved with, and learn more about you, where should they go?


Kevin Nicholson:  They should follow us on social media first off on Twitter and Facebook, No Better Friend Corp on both. So, just do a Google search. Do a Google search for just No Better Friend Corp. It will populate with our website, too, But I urge all that. Follow us on social media because if – certainly, if you’re in Wisconsin, you’re going to find us all over the state. We really are operating all over the state and if you just go to our website, you’ll see our social media feeds. And you also find out like our upcoming events and the things that we’re going to be doing in a court of state near you, not too long away.


Linda J. Hansen:  Right. Well, and I know our listeners are all over the country and some from other parts of the world. So, please go to the website and find out and you can be inspired. And maybe, just maybe this movement can grow in other states. So, we would love to see that. So, if you’d like to reach out to Kevin, please do so. And you know that you can find us at and please remember to be informed, involved, and impactful in behalf of the freedoms that we fight for in America. So, thank you for listening, and thank you, Kevin.


Kevin Nicholson:  Thank you, Linda. God bless and thanks for having us.


Linda J. Hansen:  Thank you. 


Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don’t forget to visit to access the entire podcast library, to order my newest book,Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book,10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Paychecks. 


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