America's Place in the World

Born in 1960, Wes Boyd co-founded the public policy group and political action committee, with his wife and business partner Joan Blades. Founded in September of 1998 as an online petition in response to the Clinton impeachment controversy, currently counts more than 3 million members and utilizes email as its primary means of communication.'s technological savvy was aided by Boyd's computer background. In 1987, Boyd and Blades co-founded Berkeley Systems, a software company based in the San Francisco Bay area and best known for the "You Don't Know Jack" online trivia game and marketing the whimsical "Flying Toasters" screen savers. Boyd and Blades sold Berkeley Systems in 1997 for $13.8 million and turned their attention to progressive grass roots political action. Prior to Berkeley Systems, Boyd authored software for the blind and visually impaired and worked as a consultant and programmer for the University of California. The pair lives in Berkeley, California.

  • Transcript


Wes Boyd: The United States is a beacon for the world. And in the idea that . . . in the idea of freedom, the idea that liberty is a fundamental principle in how we operate our economies, in how we operate our power . . . how we run our power relationships. And so the United States has to figure out how to operate as a _______ power without losing that ability to be a beacon. And this is . . . this is a very hard problem. It’s not been done before when one country has so much military power, but the rest of the world is coming up economically and culturally. How does that have a happy ending? And I think we’re gonna have to be very smart to figure that out. And . . . and approach it with great humility.

Recorded on: 7/5/07