Good morning everyone! Today I’d like to take a second to introduce a new guest on the Bialog, Tom Ufert. Take it away, fellas!
Thanks for joining us today, as we start the second stop of the Tom Ufert, ´Political Craps´ book tour. Today Tom has taken some time out to answer a few questions about himself and his newest book, Political Craps.
- Tell me a little about yourself?
After many years of coping with personal adversities—a broken home, family turmoil, 5 divorces in my immediate family, a disabled mother, her attempted suicide, the resulting “adoption” by close family friends, juvenile sexual abuse, conflicts over sexual identity, alcohol/drug/sex addictions, and 3 disabilities—life’s trials and tribulations have definitely made me a stronger person. My positive attitude and intrinsic faith in God have made the difference between coping and capitulation. My excellent education and professional experiences have provided me with a unique perspective in dealing with people and society’s systemic mechanisms to achieve great success. Since my youth I have been drawn towards public service and living a fulfilled life of making a difference. People have generally referred to me as inspirational and unrelenting in my efforts to serve a higher purpose. Personally, I am humbled by those bestowed accolades for it has always been my contention that I am who I am…dedicated, honest, loyal, and patriotic. I’ll grant you, many of those attributes have become more genuine as I’ve grown older and certainly because life has forced me to come to terms with my faults and inequities.
- Political Craps is very different to your first publication, what drove you to write it?
Definitely, Political Craps is a far cry from my first book, Adversity Builds Character! In that first book I sought to lay bare with stark honesty many of the personal struggles my life has had to endure in a bold effort to demonstrate that life is naturally hard, but the human spirit is uniquely capable of rising above the fray and reaching great heights. Intransigence, dysfunction, and partisan gridlock in the American political landscape over the last several years threaten to unravel the core foundations of America’s democracy. Public tolerance and civic apathy are at the heart of why I am deeply concerned that this intolerable status quo is seriously in danger of becoming the norm. As long as I have a breath to speak out and the mental capacity to formulate an opinion, my quest to instil in others a yearning love for this country and what we stand for shall not die. Political Craps is my personal call to action for my fellow citizens to stem the tide of America’s potential fall from grace as the world’s defender of democracy. Action must begin at home and a renewed sense of civic pride is paramount lest we forget from which we came. Failure to address America’s paltry and increasingly unresponsive leadership class through informed civic participation insures our doom to become hypocritical has-beens in the trash heap of history. That is why I wrote Political Craps—Americans NEED to #GIGI (Get Informed Get Involved) and STOP the #Crapsification of their rights!
- In Adversity Builds Character you talk very openly about your life and the way you were heading. Had the events not unfolded as they did, would you still be involved in politics today?
Let’s be perfectly honest…I’m still involved in politics, just not on the front lines or in the field as I once was! Certainly, had the triple play of my physical challenges in 1992 not seriously crippled my healthful wellbeing, I’d probably be heavily involved in the daily activities of American politics first hand, maybe even as a candidate for public office. Even after the onset of my disabilities I was heavily involved in former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk’s U.S. Senate campaign. That just goes to prove my point…if I can do it from a wheelchair, anybody can and there’s no excuse. The reality is that because of periodic onsets of fatigue my personal integrity and concerns for my health prevent me from misleading the voters that I could adequately serve their needs as an elected official. Therefore, I’ve been granted an alternative outlet for my civic participation through public speaking and writing.
- In your mind, what is the biggest fault with US politics today?
There is no single fault but rather a caustic combination of developments that are contributing to America’s current political dilemma. Career politicians, the massive increase of unregulated campaign contributions, the intransigence of partisan gridlock, the decline of moderate political partners, and a transitional economy from industrialization to Informationalization are all factors that have created a combined sense of disparity and ineffectiveness in the American electorate. Voters today feel less connected and incapable of making a difference than they did only a generation ago. Magnifying this trend is the societal adherence to individual greed instead of community service. Today’s society is more focused on “me the person” rather than “We the People.” In many ways economic struggles to make ends meet have forced people to turn insular rather than cooperate together for change and reform. Political correctness that concentrates on demographic singularities such as “African-Americans,” “Hispanic-Americans,” “LGBT/hetero-Americans,” etc…erodes the communal concept that first and foremost “we’re Americans!” In the end this country is in serious need of a reality check!
- What message are you hoping people take away from reading Political Craps?
THEIR VOTE COUNTS and only by getting informed and involved (#GIGI) can they guarantee that concept is a reality and not just a dream! I spent six months on the internet gathering 230 sources of books/reports/articles and 73 images/charts/graphs/photos to illustrate the fact that excuses of ignorance and apathy are unacceptable in this, the information age. Furthermore, not only do citizens have an obligation to hold candidates and elected officials accountable, but as voters they have to hold themselves accountable! If you’re pissed off and dissatisfied with the way things are today, then get off your butt and do something about it!
- “A government by the people, for the people.” What does this mean to you, and what needs to change to make it so.
This is the core foundation of what America is all about, what we as a nation stand for, and what the rest of the world admires us for. It infuriates me when people moan and complain about how rotten our political system has become and yet do absolutely nothing to change it. WE HAVE THE POWER AND WE NEED TO EXERCISE IT AT THE VOTING BOOTH! I specifically set out to write Political Craps to hammer this point home as the nation approaches the midterm elections in November. Recent public opinion polls by CNN and the NY Times show that “this congress is the worst in our lifetime!” This begs the question “what will you do on election day?” Will you send the same do-nothing lackeys back to Capitol Hill, vote for change and reform, or sit on your butt and do nothing? On November 12th, the day after the election, whatever the results, will be of our own making. It will either be “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” or another two years of “elected representatives” that emulate the will of the nation—we just don’t give a damn!
Tom Ufert “is an inspirational voice in our troubled times.” He received his bachelor of arts in political science and history as a scholarship recipient from Centenary College of Louisiana. Tom is a former Rotary International graduate Fellow who attended Australian National University in Canberra, ACT, specializing in East Asian political affairs and was a White House Fellow nominee. He is a former Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern and constituency aid for two former United States members of Congress. His past services for 11 political campaigns on both sides of the aisle were highly valued by former Louisiana Governor Charles “Buddy” Roemer, Henson Moore the former assistant chief of staff to U.S. Vice President George H.W. Bush, and the recently retired U.S. Trade Ambassador, Ron Kirk.
At age 23 he was the youngest artistic Board Chairman in the United States as head of the Shreveport Summer Music Festival. Mr. Ufert has served as a member of two other 501(c) three charity boards including his beloved fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as well as the community advisory board for his former rehabilitation hospital. Over the years he has acquired extensive customer service experience in the food and beverage, hotel, insurance, home security, and pharmaceutical industries. His professional memberships include Phi Alpha Theta, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Worldwide Who’s Who. In recent years he has worked tirelessly as a volunteer fundraiser for numerous AIDS charities in his community and served briefly as the community affairs liaison for Legacy Founders Cottage.
Tom Ufert, a native of Louisiana, now resides in Texas. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author for his second book On The Roll Again, his first book, Adversity Builds Character received high acclaim with numerous 5 Star reviews, as has his newest release Political Craps. In fact all three books and several of his essay booklets have garnered distinction as Amazon’s Top 20 Best Sellers. Perhaps Mr. Ufert’s greatest claim to fame is that every book he sells contributes directly to charity through his charitable book entity Stand Strong For Others.