LTC (ret.) Alexander Vindman Receives Truman Award for Exceptional Moral Courage in Public Service

TruCon2020 concludes with conversations on climate change, election disinformation and security, and the future of US relationships in the Middle East

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Truman Center for National Policy hosted the final day of its annual conference, TruCon2020 leading the day by giving LTC (Ret.) Alexander Vindman its inaugural award for Exceptional Moral Courage in Public Service. Other featured speakers included Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Fellow, The Wilson Center; U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA); Sherri Goodman, Senior Fellow at the Wilson Center;  Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (WI)

After receiving Truman Center’s inaugural award for Exceptional Moral Courage in Public Service, LTC (Ret.) Alexander Vindman said, “We need leaders who accept the personal responsibility to do the right thing at the right time, and even sometimes when it’s the wrong moment, individuals who recognize that if they want things to change then they must catalyze that change. These are the leaders we should demand. These are the leaders who will help us turn the page on this dark chapter in the nation’s history. When we do, I hope for a public-service revival, in the spirit of President Kennedy’s injunction, ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ As we persevere through this crisis, we must shed apathy, defend our institutions, support our professional public servants and serve the public ourselves.”

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said, “I am convinced that the Russians are prepared to do anything and everything in order to get this president re-elected. And knowing that President Trump is going to be sidelined from normal campaigning over the next two weeks, it may mean that a massive, multi-layered, octopus-like Russian interference operation is going to ramp up. I think we all need to be cognizant of that. We all need to be taking steps to try to make the American people understand what is real information.”

Regarding possible disinformation during the upcoming presidential election, Nina Jankowicz, Disinformation Fellow at The Wilson Center commented “One of the reasons election observation is so important - and it’s done systematically, where you have coverage of the entire country -  is because one incident that happens in one polling place or even tens of incidents, that doesn’t mean that the entire process has been undermined. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of those isolated incidents coming out. If you look at coverage of previous elections where much less has been at stake, I would caution people to really understand the context of the election that’s happening.”

When speaking on how to combat climate change, Lt. Gov. Barnes said, “Even with a new administration we will have wasted four years, four critical years. It's going to be important to double down on the previous commitments we’ve made because science suggests that because of inaction we obviously have a much shorter window to solve this problem. We can’t sit here and wait around. What we thought was enough when the Paris agreement was signed is wholly inadequate at this moment, so we have to come up with Paris 2.0 that will be sufficient for us to stave off the worst impacts.”