American Thought Leaders

40 Episodes

By: Jan Jekielek

At a time when our nation is portrayed as increasingly polarized, media often ignore viewpoints and stories that are worthy of attention. American Thought Leaders, hosted by The Epoch Times Senior Editor Jan Jekielek, features in-depth discussions with some of America’s most influential thought leaders on pertinent issues facing our nation today.

Clyde Prestowitz: How Communist China Entrapped America’s Elite, from Washington to Wall Street
Yesterday at 1:01 AM

Nearly 20 years after China was admitted to the World Trade Organization, China has not become more democratic or free. And Western capital has ultimately only strengthened China’s communist regime.

“We were fooling ourselves,” says Clyde Prestowitz.

Prestowitz was a leader in the first U.S. trade mission to China in 1982, and he’s served as an adviser to four presidents, both Republican and Democrat. He is the author of “The World Turned Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership.”

By investing in...

Vivek Ramaswamy: The Unholy Alliance of Big Government, Big Business, and Woke Dogma
Last Tuesday at 3:07 AM

“The biggest threat to liberty and prosperity in this country” is the “new marriage of big government and big business,” says Vivek Ramaswamy. “It is this new woke industrial complex… a new Leviathan.”

Ramaswamy is the founder of several successful companies, including Roivant Sciences, and author of the new book “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.”

It’s crony capitalism 2.0, Ramaswamy argues. And the biggest beneficiary of all is the Chinese Communist Party, he says.

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Conrad Black: Can the US Recover from Its Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal?
Last Saturday at 4:36 AM

As doubts about America’s leadership grow among its allies, can the United States recover from its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan?

We sit down with Conrad Black, once one of the world’s leading newspaper publishers and author of several presidential biographies.

What can the United States learn from its eminent statesmen of yesteryear? And should the United States be concerned about a new China–Taliban alliance?

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There are still...

Konstantin Kisin: In a Society Gone Mad, Don’t Be a Useful Idiot

“That’s one of the things I learned growing up in my early years in the Soviet Union … When society goes mad, it’s your job … to be honest and truthful about what’s going on.”

In this episode, we sit down with Konstantin Kisin, the London-based co-host of the “TRIGGERnometry” podcast and author of the upcoming book, “An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the West.”

We discuss our current political moment, from vaccine mandates to the spread of critical race theory.

“Do not suspend your own judgment...

PART 2: Dr. Robert Malone on Ivermectin, Escape Mutants, and the Faulty Logic of Vaccine Mandates

In part one of this American Thought Leaders episode, mRNA vaccine inventor Dr. Robert Malone explained the latest research on COVID-19 vaccines, booster shots, and natural immunity.

Now in part two, we take a closer look at repurposed drugs like ivermectin and how a universal vaccination policy could actually backfire—and bring about the emergence of vaccine-resistant escape mutants.

At their core, vaccine mandates are not just unethical and divisive, but also “impractical and unnecessary,” says Dr. Malone.

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Dr. Robert Malone, mRNA Vaccine Inventor, on Latest COVID-19 Data, Booster Shots, and the Shattered Scientific ‘Consensus’ (Part 1)

“We need to confront the data [and] not try to cover stuff up or hide risks,” says mRNA vaccine pioneer Dr. Robert Malone.

What does the most recent research say about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines? In this two-part episode, we sit down again with Dr. Malone for a comprehensive look at the vaccines, booster shots, repurposed drugs like ivermectin, and the ethics of vaccine mandates.

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There are still companies like American Hartford Gold, that value freedom of speech and honest discourse—and are spo...

Michael Shellenberger: Reports of a Coming Climate Catastrophe Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

“If you make your graph tall enough and you cherry-pick a particular period of time, you can make anything look scary. It’s really what they don’t show you,” says longtime environmental activist Michael Shellenberger.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres recently said a new U.N. climate change report was a “code red for humanity.” How should people understand the findings of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report? When it comes to heat waves, forest fires, and sea-level rise, what are journalists today often not telling us?

Shellenberger is the founder and...

Ex-Special Ops Michael Brewer on Heroic Rescue Efforts Airlifting Americans, Afghans out of Afghanistan

“He was being actively hunted by the Taliban… They had hacked his phone.”

As escape from Afghanistan becomes more perilous, groups of ex-Special Operations are working together with people on the ground in Kabul to rescue Americans and their Afghan allies and airlift them to safety. “We’re tracking over 3,000 individuals now,” says Michael Brewer, a U.S. Army Special Operations veteran and a seasoned hand in counterterrorism intelligence.

He and his team, a loose collection of interested parties known as Project Archangel, are working around the clock to rescue as many as they can. More informati...

Johnnie Moore on the ‘Human Rights Catastrophe’ in Afghanistan and the China, Taliban, Pakistan Alliance

As the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has eagerly exploited the crisis to discredit the United States, says Johnnie Moore, a former Commissioner for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

And with the Taliban and Pakistan at its side, the CCP is “creating a new axis of collaborators against the Western democratic order,” Moore says.

The Taliban’s takeover will also wipe out decades of progress in women’s rights and religious freedom in Afghanistan, Moore says.

Moore is the president of the Congress of Christian Leaders. Fo...

Lee Smith: Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal the Culmination of 20 Years of Corruption and Failed Leadership

Afghanistan was a “20-year-lesson in how corrupt our leadership has become,” says journalist and Epoch Times columnist Lee Smith. In 2011, he authored “The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.”

“Did the United States go to [Afghanistan to] impose gender studies throughout Central Asia? … Or did it go to give gender studies professors a job?” Smith asks.

Smith breaks down why he believes the U.S. mission in Afghanistan spiraled into “an enormous offshore laundering operation.” And now, “the counterterrorism mission has been turned on American citizens,” he says.

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Vietnam War Reporter Ronald Yates: Is Afghanistan Withdrawal a Repeat of Vietnam?

“I thought it was bad in Saigon. This is even worse,” says three-time Pulitzer nominee Ronald Yates, who witnessed the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Yates has also reported firsthand from Afghanistan under the Soviet occupation, and for three and a half years, he did military intelligence work with the U.S. Army Security Agency.

Thank you American Hartford Gold for sponsoring American Thought Leaders.

There are still companies like American Hartford Gold, that value freedom of speech and honest discourse—and are sponsoring shows like ours.

North Korean Defector Yeonmi Park on Communist Tyranny and ‘the Suicide of Western Civilization’

“How do you fight to be free when you don’t know you’re a slave?”

I sit down with North Korean defector Yeonmi Park, author of “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.”

We discuss the North Korean regime’s brainwashing tactics, the parallels between her experiences in North Korea and what she now sees in America, and the “suicide of Western civilization.”

Park’s memoir recently made it into Amazon’s weekly list of 20 best-selling nonfiction books, nearly six years after she published it.

Thank you American Hartfo...

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier: How Critical Race Theory Is Undermining the Military

“I spoke up and said we need to remove the politics from our military environment. And I was relieved of my command,” says Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier.

How has critical race theory made its way into the U.S. military, and what is at stake? We sit down with Space Force Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lohmeier, author of “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military.” Soon after he spoke about the book publicly, he was relieved of his command, and his status in the military remained uncertain—until recently.

Thank you Amer...

Michael Yon: The Incentives That Caused a Global Migrant Crisis, from Lithuania to the Darién Gap

“They’re dying in that jungle in huge numbers.” Longtime war correspondent Michael Yon has been tracking the migrant crisis from the Darién Gap in Panama to America’s southern border. Record numbers of people from dozens of countries are making the harrowing journey north through the Darién Gap, says Michael Yon, but “almost all of them have no case for asylum.”

On the other side of the globe, the Belarusian regime has weaponized migrants to cause a crisis for Lithuania and the European Union, Yon says.

Michael Yon has been at the frontlines of num...

Michael Yon: The Incentives That Caused a Global Migrant Crisis, from Lithuania to the Darién Gap

“They’re dying in that jungle in huge numbers.” Longtime war correspondent Michael Yon has been tracking the migrant crisis from the Darién Gap in Panama to America’s southern border. Record numbers of people from dozens of countries are making the harrowing journey north through the Darién Gap, says Michael Yon, but “almost all of them have no case for asylum.”

On the other side of the globe, the Belarusian regime has weaponized migrants to cause a crisis for Lithuania and the European Union, Yon says.

Michael Yon has been at the frontlines of num...

Antonella Marty: How Socialist, Communist Ideology Took Over Cuba, Latin America

“Communism destroys the incentives. It destroys the most important essence of the human being … liberty,” says Antonella Marty, director of the Atlas Network’s Center for Latin America.

At FreedomFest in South Dakota, we sat down with Marty to discuss the spread of communist and socialist ideology in Latin America—from Cuba to Venezuela to her home country of Argentina—and the connections between socialist regimes, terrorist networks, and violent crime.

Harvard Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff on Vaccine Passports, the Delta Variant, and the COVID ‘Public Health Fiasco’

“Those who are pushing these vaccine mandates and vaccine passports … they’re doing so much more damage to vaccine confidence than anybody else,” says Dr. Martin Kulldorff, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists.

In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Kulldorff for a deep dive on COVID-19 immunity, vaccines, the Delta variant, and why he believes the global COVID response has been the “biggest public health fiasco in history.”

Dr. Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a biostatistician and epidemiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He helped develo...

An Antidote to Socialist Education for Kids—Connor Boyack and Daniel Harmon on the ‘Tuttle Twins’

“Through storytelling and beautiful illustrations, we tell the time-tested virtues that made our country great: entrepreneurship, free markets, property rights, personal freedom, the golden rule,” says Connor Boyack, author of the “Tuttle Twins” books.

Since the pandemic started, books sales have shot up as more parents found themselves looking for educational resources for their kids.

Now, a cartoon series is in the works, says Daniel Harmon, showrunner for the show and chief creative officer at Harmon Brothers. “We became the number one crowdfunded kid show in world history,” Harmon says.

At FreedomFest in South Dakota...

Warren Rothman Tells His Harrowing Story of Being Detained and Beaten in a Black Jail in China

“They’re kicking and punching me, my legs, my back, my arms…” In this episode, Warren Rothman, a Yale graduate and previously a lawyer at an elite law firm, shares his harrowing experience of being secretly jailed and beaten in China.

Rothman, an American citizen, says he was hauled from one black jail to the next and forcibly given shots and pills of unknown substances—all for reasons unknown to him. He is the author of “Kafka in China: The People’s Republic of Corruption.”

#China #ChineseCommunistParty

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the ‘Siren Call’ of Socialism and Why Businesses Should Stay Apolitical

“Socialism has been tried 41 times in the last 100 years … and there are exactly 41 failures,” says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, author of “Conscious Capitalism.”

In this interview, filmed at the FreedomFest in South Dakota, I sat down with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to discuss the deceiving allure of socialism, his philosophy of “conscious capitalism,” and why Nordic countries are actually not socialist, contrary to what many may claim.

#JohnMackey #WholeFoods #Socialism


Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts: Biden Admin’s 30 By 30 Conservation Plan Will Devastate Small Farmers

The Biden administration’s ambitious 30 by 30 conservation plan “has to be a land grab,” says Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

Currently, 12 percent of U.S. land is protected. To reach the Biden administration’s goal of 30 percent of land in conservation by 2030, “they’d have to add on 440 million acres or the equivalent of nine states of Nebraska,” Ricketts says.

In this episode, Ricketts explains why he believes the plan will be devastating to small farmers and ranchers and ultimately drive up the cost of food.

#PeteRicketts #Biden #Conservation

Naomi Wolf on Censorship, Vaccine Passports, and the Reversal of ‘My Body, My Choice’

“I can’t believe that the left, with its long tradition of fighting for free speech” is “just giving [that] up,” says feminist author and journalist Naomi Wolf.

Wolf, a longtime liberal and former adviser to the political campaigns of both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, breaks down the dangers she sees inherent to vaccine passports and a “scary marriage” of government, big pharma, and Big Tech censorship. “We’ve reached a kind of digital Stalinism,” Wolf says.

Wolf is the founder and CEO of, a platform helping people engage in the democratic process. This episode w...

Dave Rubin: A Growing Alliance Against the ‘Cult’ of Woke Ideology

Woke ideology “infects every system that it’s in,” says Dave Rubin. “There’s no woke enough for the wokesters.”

At the recent FreedomFest conference in Rapid City, South Dakota, we sat down with Rubin to discuss an alliance of free thinkers—from classical liberals to religious conservatives to libertarians. There’s an opportunity for diverse groups to unite against the onslaught of woke ideology, Rubin says.

This week, Rubin will be announcing the title of his next book, right before he disappears off the grid for a month.

Jaco Booyens: Trafficking Epidemic Fueled by Lockdowns, Police Cuts, and a Porous Border

Sex trafficking has spiked during the pandemic, as kids and teens in lockdown spend much of their waking hours on social media where traffickers and pimps can easily reach them, says anti-trafficking activist Jaco Booyens.

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, traffickers are exploiting U.S. border policies and children are being “sold like cattle,” Booyens says.

Police funding cuts have compounded the crisis. Departments targeting trafficking tend to be small and highly specialized—and they’ve been the first to go in the defund the police movement, Booyens says.

In this episode, Booyens br...

Reggie Littlejohn: 2022 Beijing Olympics Will Be a ‘Genocide Games’ and ‘Propaganda Bonanza’ for Chinese Regime

“We’re talking about rampant forced abortion, forced sterilizations… the execution of prisoners to harvest their organs for transplant. What does it take to say we’re not going to honor this country by participating in their Olympic games?”

In this episode, we sit down with China human rights advocate Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, to discuss the campaign to move or boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

We also discuss her secret underground network saving the lives of baby girls and elderly widows in China, the forgotten victims of China’s one-child po...

Kenny Xu on ‘An Inconvenient Minority’ and How the Push for Equity Is Dumbing Down America

“They claim to be attacking white supremacy, but really, they’re attacking meritocracy,” says Kenny Xu, author of “An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy.”

Asian Americans are penalized for working hard and held to much higher standards than their non-Asian peers in the admission processes for America’s elite universities, Xu argues.

Now, the push for “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is expanding beyond universities to virtually every aspect of American life. Schools are abolishing programs for gifted and talented students and lowering standards to get failing students to pass. And ther...

How to Challenge Big Tech Censorship–Rep. Buck, Rep. Steube, Mercedes Schlapp, and Harrison Rogers

From Trump’s recent class-action lawsuits to antitrust legislation, what are the different legal avenues currently in play to challenge Big Tech? And what can the average person do to deal with big tech censorship?

At the CPAC conference in Texas, American Thought Leaders sat down with ACU Foundation Senior Fellow Mercedes Schlapp, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.), and HJR Global founder Harrison Rogers.

#BigTech #Trump #Section230

Rep. Brian Babin: The ‘Shell Game’ on the Border and the End of Title 42

“Processing and facilitating the release of illegal immigrants into the United States—that's what they consider to be progress,” says Rep. Brian Babin. He describes a “shell game” on the border in which crowds of migrants are shuffled from one facility to another without solving the root problems.

We discuss the border crisis, the reversal of Trump-era border policies, and what Rep. Babin expects the end of Title 42 will look like.

#BrianBabin #BorderCrisis

Gordon Chang on Chinese Drug Warfare, Military Buildup on the China–India Border, and the Crackdown on Didi

The Chinese regime “is intentionally killing tens of thousands of Americans each year with fentanyl,” says China analyst Gordon Chang.

In this episode, we discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy of drug warfare, the military buildup on the India-China border, the likelihood of an invasion of Taiwan, and what the Chinese regime’s crackdown on Didi tells us about the inner workings of the regime.

#GordonChang #China

Kyle Bass: The ‘Cancer’ of China’s Digital Currency

“Imagine a currency that almost has a mind of its own… It knows your account data, knows your birthday, your social security number, where you live” and exactly what you like to buy. And all of this knowledge would be sitting in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

In this episode, Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management, breaks down the threat of China’s new digital currency and how the regime could force countries to use it. “They’re so good at exploiting every crack, every nook, every cranny…

They take our openness, and they explo...

Heather Mac Donald on the Black Lives Matter Paradox & the ‘Poison’ of Identity Politics

“The only black lives that matter to the press [are] those handful that are taken by a cop,” says Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops” and “The Diversity Delusion.”

In this episode, we discuss the rise in crime, the demoralization of police across the nation, and the “infection” of identity politics. Every institution and every meritocratic standard is being torn down, Mac Donald says, for having a disparate impact on blacks. It’s “a recipe for civilizational stasis and regression.”

#HeatherMacDonald #Police #IdentityPolitics

Dr. Robert Malone, mRNA Vaccine Inventor, on the Bioethics of Experimental Vaccines and the ‘Ultimate Gaslighting’

Dr. Robert Malone, mRNA Vaccine Inventor, on the Bioethics of Experimental Vaccines and the ‘Ultimate Gaslighting’

Dr. Bret Weinstein: ‘Perverse Incentives’ in the Vaccine Rollout and the Censorship of Science

‘You Can’t Kill the Idea of Freedom’—Mark Simon, Former Apple Daily Exec, on Its Forced Closure

How the CCP Weaponizes Global Healthcare as a Tool of Influence—Cleo Paskal

Cleo Paskal explains how the premier of the Solomon Islands' Malaita Province, Daniel Suidani, stood up to Communist China, and how his case offers an example of how the world’s engagement with China has led to the Chinese Communist Party having undue influence on the global health system, which the the CCP can use to punish political dissidents, both domestically and internationally.

How Multilateral Organizations Became Proxies of China's Communist Party—Cleo Paskal [20210622]

Sohrab Ahmari: Critical Race Theory Has Rituals of Traditional Religion—But No Forgiveness | CLIP [20210615]

Many in Scientific Community Fell Into Communist China's Trap—Laura Harth on Wuhan Lab Leak Theory [20210614]

Lara Logan: How to Wade Through Disinformation & Fake News

Europe's 'Green Transition' Tied to Forced Labor, Human Rights Abuses in China—Laura Harth | CLIP