“How Do Democracies Fall Apart (And Could it Happen Here)?” Session 3

106:04
ultimate question and one of the maybe
106:06
before answering and I’ll be brief I
106:08
invite people and this is may be
106:10
responsible y’all should just say to ask
yourself what are you trying to
accomplish here if what you’re trying to
accomplish is how do we strengthen the
left that’s one answer and you’re saying
how do we try to strengthen democratic
norms that’s quite a different answer

and there’s been a tendency to blur them
the way I’m not on the person with the
left at all so I’ll just give you four
Myositis me you wanna strengthen life
the way you do it is by ramping up is by
building a coalition of minorities
that’s that’s the best democratic
mobilization build-up racial antagonism
black lives matter those because of the
the big the reason that Hillary which
the reason the 2016 election was
abnormal was by the normal political
science indicators Hillary Clinton
should have won fifty three percent of
106:52
the vote the fact that she got forty
106:54
eight is abnormal she lost five points
106:56
in a very common friendly
106:58
environment why failure de mobilized
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black voters partly because of voter
107:02
suppression partly because she wasn’t
107:04
offering them much of anything Medicare
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for all that that’s how you build the
107:09
left but what you will discover when you
107:12
do that is the candidates who leave that
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will be Trump’s of the left not as gross
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for example like Bernie Sanders who was
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good at his job
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yeah they won’t they they will be norm
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travelers they will do things like
107:30
Obama’s executive actions to in his
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second term that’s what you’ll get that
107:36
is a way to a more social democratic
107:38
United States it’ll be an ethnically
107:40
driven way if what you want to do if
107:42
it’s it but if your question is how do
107:43
we build democratic norms that’s a
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different question and then and and then
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you have to say this is not about party
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advantage and that means that some of
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the people you have to address the
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things that are driving the corrosion of
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democratic norms what do you think was
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you would you be a butter he said why
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did you why did you vote for trouble and
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by the voter said well you know I’m just
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really disappointed and what is happened
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to my personal living standard I’ve been
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at a way wage increase in twenty years
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saying you are so greedy and
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materialistic don’t you understand that
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money is the root of all evil hi Colin I
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caught you like order you delay aside
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these crass okay but that is the sermon
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that they get if they say I’m happy that
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my sis my neighborhood which used to be
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a hundred sailors percent
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english-speaking now has 30 percent
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English second language learners in my
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children’s school and that will happen I
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went to a school in North Carolina what
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does research in Oakland 20 in 2007
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where family reported the change from no
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foreign language speakers to 30 percent
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over the course of their through
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children’s time in that one school
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district if what finally what is
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bothering and do something about and
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take them and take the grievances
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seriously I’m the trumpeter Jose
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trumpeter is deeply at a stop but I had
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a big impact on me the job that seems to
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me that Democratic systems get into
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trouble in two ways
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one is when you put populist muses the
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people identify the problems and the
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people offer the solutions
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bad lead ISM is the the people identify
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problems the elites tell them they’re
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wrong about them and offer other
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problems and other stages also bad
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listen to the problems then then use
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partisan competition to compete to offer
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responsible solutions but do not read
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the problems on court any anyone else
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want to pick up any of that well there’s
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several questions that are basically
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about the connections between populism
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and presidential ism to what extent are
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they some kind of you know symbiotic to
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mutually encouraging or one one
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producing the other or yeah I’m going to
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be very brief this time but I’m gonna
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make myself even more unpopular um if
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there’s one thing but all of political
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scientists seem to agree on over the
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last thirty years so that it’s all about
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institutions right and and it’s not
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clear to me in the case of populism but
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it is now obviously the particular way
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in which populism plays out in different
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countries is shaped by institutions but
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when you look around these different
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contexts what is striking is that
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populism has found a way of expressing
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itself here for a presidential election
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there threw a party was very strong in
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Parliament there through you know a
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popular referendum across all it is very
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very different institutional context so
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while I think was obviously things to be
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said about hyper partisanship about
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anger about the fact that the political
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system is blocked because of all the
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veto powers and all of those things the
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United States what’s striking to me when
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you look at international perspective is
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how little of the experience and the
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variation of populism can be explained
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by institutions
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just add you know Viktor Orban era Diwan
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came to power as Prime Minister you know
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you go down the list and so to me what
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this suggests is that old debate juan
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linz his question actually in some ways
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it was answered I think by Adams
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students a chaemoo I don’t know if you
111:25
stood but he answered it about a decade
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ago you know that it’s not presidential
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ism or parliamentarism per se there’s
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selection issues which create the
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outcomes we see and to me that suggests
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a much more micro focus in terms of our
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research agenda can I pop in I wrote a
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book about mandates and presidential
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mandate claiming and my argument in the
111:45
u.s. context is that populism is a
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rhetorical strategy for presidents to
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deal with the legitimacy challenges to
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an incredibly powerful and problematic
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institution and the conditions of
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partisanship so I think this there’s
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something separate there about populism
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as as a rhetorical strategy
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well so here’s one that this says it has
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david firm’s name at the top but that
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may be a rhetorical sleight making
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America great again would require
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strengthening the welfare state which
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many voters interpret us giving handouts
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to blacks and Latinos these voters are
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also the most vulnerable to
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anti-immigrant and xenophobic appeals
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would your concessions work question
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mark did at one point endorse the
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lowering of the age would qualification
113:17
for Medicare I think to 55 I forget that
113:20
was one of her 972 policy proposals and
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one of the things I has always been a
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theory of mind about campaigns as if you
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have 1972 policy proposals you don’t
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have any if you have four you don’t have
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any if you have two you’re testing
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people’s memory so if you yeah I think I
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think generally I think you see
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throughout the that the United States
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needs a thicker Social Insurance network
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Europe needs a thinner one we need ways
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of financing it that are not too
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provocative and you need you need an
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offer but the offer the offer works
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because it’s an offer to the politic if
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if the offer is to the planet then the
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offer is going to break down to the tone
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of its own way so I think actually the
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two thing when you talk about it is not
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that this there in this it is not a
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contradiction that you have a policy of
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thicker social insurance and higher
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borders those two go hand-in-hand and
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that’s one of things by the way that
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people want to break the welfare state
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they understand that very well that’s
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that’s why you find libertarians are
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very committed to open borders because
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they know with
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orders your welfare system your social
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service system cannot work and that’s
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why they’re favored so a question for
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for Emily and perhaps also Yasha there’s
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a deals party with social media
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how can journalists deal with the
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particular challenges of covering the
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Trump presidency a that so much is
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happening such that many important
114:54
stories get neglected and be that Trump
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manages so often to dominate the news
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cycle with tweets that derail attention
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from substantive and timely issues
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sometimes this seems to me like Trump’s
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main talent is that he has taken his
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reality television show and turned it
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into the news that we consume all the
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time that is an inescapable and there’s
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a kind of fire hose and in fact there
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are all kinds of teasers you know you’ll
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we’ll see soon he’s sort of using all
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those strategies that served him in this
115:29
different role to great effect and it is
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a huge challenge for the media you know
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we cover everything it’s just that
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people can’t really keep up and it
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becomes harder and harder to know what’s
115:39
important the 972 points
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kind of hold in that era as well you
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know one part of the media that I
115:48
probably should have mentioned and
115:49
didn’t it’s obvious is that um you know
115:51
the right-wing media has become has
115:55
taken on such a role in fueling social
115:57
media in covering the president in a
116:00
different way and I think that again
116:03
that puts pressure on the mainstream
116:06
media to become kind of a different
116:08
animal and responds in a way that were
116:10
not particularly well suited for um I do
116:15
think one thing the mainstream media has
116:16
doing been doing better at is covering
116:19
fake news as fake news as opposed to
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ignoring it even last year you see a
116:25
fake news story you just sort of like
116:27
act as if that’s you’re not gonna touch
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that as opposed to trying is realizing
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that it’s out there being consumed and
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needs to be debunked and it’s always
116:36
tricky debunking also you know spreads
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misinformation too but I think we’re at
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the point
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given how people are consuming news how
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difficult it is to tell on Facebook
116:46
whether the source you’re looking at is
116:48
credible or not that the mainstream
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media has a responsibility to be
116:52
engaging in these stories that we used
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to see as beneath us yeah so I mean
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i-i’ve been thinking through sort of the
117:02
different notions of truth and lies we
117:04
have right so those this pair of
117:07
concepts that were very popular a few
117:08
years ago so Stephen Colbert’s
117:10
truthiness and when Harry Frankfurt on
117:12
which is basically saying the
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problem isn’t isn’t any more of a sort
117:17
of straightforward lies for problem now
117:19
that people are sort of indifferent to
117:20
the truth and we don’t quite know how to
117:21
deal with that and that’s different from
117:24
the straightforward lie because at least
117:26
there’s a how Frankfurt ones at least
117:27
Valaya pays it kind of tribute to the
117:29
truth right I actually think that that
117:31
in retrospect is really naive that
117:34
compared to what we have now
117:36
that sort of child’s play but what you
117:38
see and I think the first place where I
117:40
observed it actually was Italy and a
117:42
silhou Bella’s kony but I think Donald
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Trump is completely following that part
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of Paris Coney’s example it’s it’s it’s
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over frating the public of so many false
117:52
claims and with just so much spectacle
117:56
and with so many things going on that it
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becomes impossible for people to
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ascertain what’s true or not because if
118:03
you have a normal sort of attention span
118:05
to politics which is to say a fraction
118:07
of that of what most people in this room
118:09
whose life it is to study politics half
118:11
you just cannot no longer it’s the
118:14
opposite of what David was saying what a
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policy promise it’s not one lie that is
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defining of your presidency you do 10
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lies a day and so nobody in the you know
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in 98 percent of population don’t have a
118:25
patience to try and figure out with
118:27
details on each of those claims and so
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all you can do is to trust the people
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whom you trust and if you’re on the
118:34
right that’ll mean you know Fox News or
118:36
to the right lad and if it’s on the left
118:38
it means you know the kinds of things we
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must be probably consumed right and I
118:42
think there’s a difference between those
118:43
two I’m not saying but we’re the same
118:44
but but but I at this point don’t have
118:48
the time and the patience to go through
118:50
every claim and
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make my own assessment as to whether
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Donald Trump is actually true in bout
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racist things he claims a happening I
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simply assume that they’re false because
119:01
he has managed to over freight the
119:03
system so much but there’s no other way
119:05
of dealing with that I’m a diving is a
119:06
fundamental attack on the very
119:08
possibility of having a truth based
119:11
discourse or a political discourse in
119:14
which truth sort of negotiates how we
119:16
should act though we haven’t quite faced
119:18
up to conceptually much less in terms of
119:20
our response to it can I say something
119:22
very brief about this very brief yeah
119:24
it’s a question actually you know Trump
119:26
has a big Twitter following but you know
119:28
when you tweet something it might get
119:29
retweeted I don’t know ten twenty thirty
119:32
thousand times it’s nothing like Kim
119:34
Kardashian right so my question is why
119:36
is it that every tweet is news why is
119:39
the mega the megaphone is actually the
119:41
New York Times printing you know
119:42
treating his tweet as news and I wonder
119:45
how you guys think about that so it does
119:48
seem that the subject no I’m sorry
119:53
oh you want an answer to that well
119:57
you’re gonna get the penultimate worries
120:00
well and also this is just like
120:01
everything turns into my trying to
120:03
answer for the New York Times right I
120:04
don’t even work on the news desk but
120:06
look the president is making statements
120:08
right I mean I don’t know if you all
120:10
notice the Twitter account that turns
120:11
every tweet into an official statement
120:13
but ridiculous as it is that is what
120:16
they are and so then you have to make
120:18
judgments as the news desk every day
120:21
that covers the president well which of
120:23
these really matter and that is hard to
120:25
do there is no question that there’s all
120:27
kinds of chaff with the weed but that is
120:30
a tough decision for a journalist to
120:32
make something the president says
120:33
something provocative isn’t newsworthy
120:35
the problem with the refusal to stay
120:39
away is we have things like you know the
120:41
four days during Puerto Rico where
120:43
Puerto Rico is a nun television because
120:46
there’s no electricity there and it’s
120:47
very hard to get images and instead
120:49
we’re having some made-up fight about
120:51
you know Colin Kaepernick and Steph
120:53
Curry and the and black athletes which
120:55
is simply divisive it’s that is tough
120:59
for journalists to push back on
121:01
and one sentence I know this is will be
121:03
to your question the fact that the
121:07
statements don’t matter is why they
121:09
matter so when the President of the
121:11
United States the commander-in-chief of
121:12
the Armed Forces says with an eight and
121:14
a half minute gap in between to give the
121:15
Russians lots of time to get off a
121:16
nuclear missile response I am about to
121:19
announce a total and complete ban on dot
121:22
transgender soldiers in the military and
121:24
then the military says thank you for
121:26
your helpful comment we certainly will
121:31
take it into consideration
121:33
and give it to and the military’s
121:35
actually no we thought it over we’re
121:37
sticking to our original policy because
121:39
it’s tweetIn that’s astonishing that’s
121:41
an amazing thing and the fact we have
121:44
this decision of government where the
121:46
president proposes ideas from time to
121:48
time and the Secretary of Defense
121:49
determines whether they’ll become
121:50
government policy we we are out of time
121:56
I would just say that I think it’s
121:58
fitting since we are a university that
122:01
the subject of truth is where we’ve
122:04
we’ve ended up we are after all our
122:07
basic mission is the creation and
122:09
dissemination of knowledge and you know
122:13
some might might go so far as to say
122:15
that the the movements within
122:19
universities to question whether it’s
122:21
possible to actually generate nevermind
122:23
disseminate knowledge have have created
122:27
part of the intellectual and ideological
122:29
terrain that makes what we’ve been
122:32
talking about for the last five minutes
122:34
possible and perhaps in addition to
122:37
being public intellectuals are coming
122:39
out of our our ivory towers and speaking
122:42
in the public sphere we might want to
122:45
pay some attention to the the recreation
122:49
of norms of truth-telling and truth
122:51
seeking within our own institutions but
122:54
I want to thank everybody for
122:57
participating and particularly the
122:59
people have done all a tremendous amount
123:01
of work to come here
123:04
thank you all very much indeed
123:06
[Applause]
123:11
[Music]

David Frum, “Trumpocracy”

David Frum, former White House speech writer and senior editor at The Atlantic, discusses his book, “Trumpocracy”, at Politics and Prose on 2/7/18.

tonight speaker is David from one of the
00:09
company’s leading conservative
00:11
commentators he’s a former speechwriter
00:14
and special assistant to George W Bush
00:17
and he’s a senior editor at the Atlantic
00:22
Trump aqua C is his ninth book and in it
00:26
he examines the first year of the Trump
00:28
administration in Trump’s demand for
00:32
public and private flattery in his
00:34
expectation that the press be complicit
00:36
rather than objective in his paralysis
00:39
of the state by failing to stop it as
00:43
well as filling the ranks of his
00:44
administration with incompetence and
00:46
self secret David Fromm sees evidence
00:49
that in his words we are living through
00:52
the most dangerous challenge to the free
00:55
government of the United States did
00:57
anyone alive has encountered please join
01:00
me in welcoming David Collins
01:09
thank you very much thank you to the
01:12
many friends here when a deep deep
01:14
pleasure history of politics and froze
01:16
like I think most of you I have spent
01:18
hundreds of hours usually on the lower
01:21
level and the children spoke some cake
01:23
and it’s um it’s nice to be here at the
01:28
microphone and not expected to buy cake
01:33
because we are also in a central
01:39
location of this new era here paces away
01:42
from the common Pizza where the nearest
01:46
please a lot because but the nearest
01:48
grace and mercy that would have been the
01:50
site of one of the most horrible
01:52
massacres of children the American
01:54
history and I the gunman I he had this
01:59
moment of rationality maybe even witness
02:04
even something more than that where he
02:06
did not commit a terrible crime you’d
02:08
come to Camille but but for that this
02:11
would be a central ground and it is a
02:13
reminder that lies disinformation there
02:19
this is a story that can be written in
02:21
blood as well as in tears um I don’t
02:26
want to depress you I think about though
02:27
every time I Drive past that corner I
02:30
want to think instead about having a
02:34
story that Norm Ornstein sometimes tells
02:36
as a way of understanding a little bit
02:38
my bonafide ace on this book I mean I
02:40
have this problem which is I like
02:42
everyone on television predicted that
02:43
Donald Trump would lose the election and
02:45
when I go back on television office
02:47
trumpets they will throw that in my face
02:49
and say why should why should we listen
02:50
to you because you got the prediction
02:52
wrong so norm Ornstein often tells a
02:54
joke about a friend of his who was a you
02:56
see astok a gambler on the ponies and
02:59
there’s someone who belonged to his
03:01
father’s generation in fact he the story
03:03
takes place in the 1950s to be precise
03:06
on May the 5th of 1955 that morning Norm
03:09
Ornstein father’s friend woke up at 5:55
03:11
a.m. took the 5th Avenue bus down to his
03:14
office at 55 pine we proceeded to go to
03:16
work as a bookkeeper balancing the books
03:18
the books of the company was working on
03:20
did at lunchtime ultimately balanced at
03:21
55
03:22
million 555555 on each side of the
03:26
ledger broke for lunch had a ham
03:28
sandwich and a cup of coffee that cost
03:30
five dollars and fifty five cents at the
03:31
local restaurant and he realized God was
03:33
sending him a sign he went to his bank
03:37
withdrew all the cash in his checking
03:38
account $555 took a taxicab to the old
03:42
Aqueduct Racetrack put everything on the
03:44
fifth horse in the fifth race who
03:47
naturally finished fifth so it’s not
03:56
enough to read the signs correctly
03:59
there’s a work of interpretation here
04:00
and that’s what I got wrong Tran policy
04:04
is not the story of a man it’s the story
04:06
of a system of power one of the problems
04:09
I have in speaking about this book and
04:11
I’ve been doing a lot of speaking and
04:12
thank you for listening has been that
04:14
whereas in times past a good book talk
04:17
like a well made man suit could go five
04:20
or six uses between cleanings now the
04:22
pace of events is such that you you can
04:25
never speak in the same way twice there
04:28
was always news today’s news is the
04:31
staff secretary of the White House has
04:33
resigned because of very credible
04:37
allegations that he physically abused
04:39
beat two of his ex-wives and a third
04:41
woman as well I think one of the ways to
04:45
think about this is a way of reminding
04:46
us that the con that attitudes about the
04:50
sexes are at the basis of the system of
04:52
power that is Trump och recei it is
04:54
again and again true that you discover
04:58
that people in this administration
04:59
people in this presidency I don’t mean
05:01
the administration because there are
05:02
lots of people who are doing the
05:04
country’s work at the Department of
05:06
Defense and homeland security and
05:08
housing and well no not Housing and
05:09
Urban Development
05:10
that’s a sinkhole
05:13
but but in other places and they are
05:16
Schedule C federal you know political
05:18
appointees and they are doing proper
05:19
work and we thank them for that and we
05:21
it this work has to be done and it would
05:23
be worse if the work were not being done
05:25
but in the White House in the presidency
05:26
we have seen person after person caught
05:30
in front after a front based on
05:34
something that is really wrong campaka
05:36
see is a system of power it is not just
05:40
the lurid personality of the president
05:42
it is the connection between this
05:44
president and the rest of the White
05:46
House it is the empowerment the pact
05:48
between the president and his party in
05:50
Congress it is the support that is given
05:52
to the president by Republican donors
05:55
many of whom do not like him at all and
05:56
it is above all resting on the bond
05:58
between the president and the largest
06:01
minority group in the country which is
06:04
that compact group of people who like
06:07
Donald Trump because not because of what
06:10
he is delivering in material terms but
06:12
because they see in him a reaffirmation
06:16
of core their core ideas about who
06:20
should be on top and who should be
subordinated the essence of Donald Trump
the man is cruelty
and one of the things
that I think that we have to face up to
06:30
ourselves about the species you know the
06:32
Romans built the Coliseum about the year
06:34
70 and it stood and actually their
06:37
regular shows there for the next 400
06:38
years as I understand their shows twice
06:41
sometimes three times a week they were
06:43
almost always sold out and over so for
06:46
400 years you could put set bums in
06:48
seats in this giant auditorium to watch
06:50
human beings hack themselves to death
06:52
with swords and clubs and people came to
06:55
see it and that’s something we need to
06:57
face about ourselves we are not as some
07:01
are horrified by cruelty but some are
07:03
fascinated by it and some are enthralled
07:05
by it and some are energized by it and
07:08
that is the spectacle that Donald Trump
07:10
has offered the country I want to talk
07:13
today because I’m going to speak very
07:15
briefly and then take a lot of questions
07:16
so I know this is very energized crowd I
07:18
want to talk not about all the bad
07:20
things that you all know and many of you
07:22
know them better than me but about the
07:24
signs of hope
07:25
that I
07:25
springing up about us because the
07:29
biggest surprise to me in the tour I’ve
07:32
done to promote the book has been this
07:37
seeing something that I believed in but
07:40
hadn’t seen before which is this
07:42
extraordinary level of social energy and
07:44
social mobilisation people say what can
07:48
we do in a time like this well you’re
07:49
here you’re here and and you’re not here
07:52
to hear me because believe me I’ve been
07:54
in the store a lot and no one was good
07:58
nobody particularly cared what I had to
08:00
say about anything you’re here because
08:03
the times you’re here because of each
08:05
other because that you draw strength
08:07
from each other at a time like this that
08:09
Franklin Roosevelt spoke of the courage
08:12
of national unity and we are building
08:15
toward a kind of sense of it’s still
08:18
very contested but at least three fifths
08:22
of the nation is building toward a
08:23
spirit of unity about what is acceptable
08:24
and what is not so here are the signs of
08:27
hope that I see in this processing the
08:29
first is Donald we have lived for a long
08:32
time in frozen politics imagine a Rip
08:35
Van Winkle in the year 1990 or a time
08:37
traveler who can go forward in time or
08:39
back the time traveler steps forward in
08:41
time 25 years from 1990 to 2015
08:44
rubs the sleep out of his eyes and asks
08:47
who’s running for president Bush and
08:49
Clinton what are they talking about Oh
08:52
Iraq and health care and the deficit
08:54
that doesn’t sound like anything has
08:56
changed oh by the way who’s the biggest
08:57
jerk in Washington Newt Gingrich
08:59
nothing’s changed
09:02
nothing has changed the country’s
09:05
changed in 1990 there’s no internet in
09:07
1990 China is poor in in 1990 the Cold
09:10
War is just barely behind us the country
09:13
has changed but the politics are frozen
09:14
now imagine that time travel are going
09:16
backwards 25 years from 1990 its 1965
09:20
the cities are ablaze with riots the
09:23
most powerful man in Washington is the
09:24
head of the afl-cio that was a trade
09:27
union association that organized workers
09:30
and helped them yet anyway people here
09:32
may remember followed by J Edgar Hoover
09:35
and there were conservative
09:38
segregationist Democrats there were
09:40
liberal Republicans it was a different
09:42
world in a dynamic country like this
09:44
things do not stay frozen normally the
09:46
way they were in politics between 1990
09:48
in 2015 whatever else Donald Trump has
09:50
done he has thrown the jigsaw puzzle of
09:54
American politics up into the air and a
09:56
new pattern will land a pattern that
09:58
maps better to the country then the
10:00
frozen politics of the past quarter
10:02
century where the same people often
10:04
literally the same people but the same
10:06
configurations of people talked about
10:08
the same things in the same way even as
10:10
the world wildly changed around them
10:11
Donald Trump has forced this country to
10:14
confront a series of issues that it was
10:17
easy for people in the privileged or
10:20
successful parts of the country to
10:21
ignore this terrible drug crisis that is
10:24
left that has killed more Americans now
10:26
than the Vietnam War what is happening
10:28
to middle class wages the this the
10:31
crisis of despair and loneliness if you
10:33
do polls and I’ve become interested in
10:35
polls that ask questions like do you
10:38
have a lot of close friends and that is
10:40
like a straight line drop from 1970 to
10:43
now I saw pull the other day that asked
10:45
the question have you been outside the
10:47
home in the past 24 hours and the
10:50
proportion of Americans who say no it’s
10:51
on a voice on a rocket rise that in a
10:54
country that is more alienated night
10:56
it’s easy for those of us who live in
10:59
cities who are connected who feel a
11:01
sense of purpose not to see this
11:03
Donald Trump has forced us to see it and
11:07
that’s a gift
11:08
Donald Trump has changed has forced
11:11
people with
11:13
political affiliations that look
11:15
increasingly to me old-fashioned what we
11:17
used to cook the part of what we used to
11:19
call the left when we used to call the
11:20
the right to take reckonings of ways in
11:23
which our politics had been have become
11:24
obsolete I ventured that in a place like
11:27
this if I were speaking four years ago I
11:30
would have accounted a lot of resistance
11:32
and maybe more if I had said that people
11:34
like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden
11:35
are not heroes today people understand
11:39
what they were doing and who they were
11:41
doing it for and they understand that
11:43
threats to your country come not only at
11:44
the form of rockets and tanks but also
11:47
in the forms of subversion and espionage
11:49
and these new kinds of cyberattack and
11:52
that those who stand on the frontiers of
11:55
the country to guard it against these
11:56
clandestine attacks are defending you
11:57
just as much as soldiers sailors and
11:59
Marines are defending you and we have
12:01
seen I think an awakening on the liberal
12:04
side of the spectrum of an awareness of
12:06
the importance of this kind of this form
12:07
of national defense meanwhile my side of
12:10
the political spectrum we’ve had a vice
12:13
of being kind of understanding of the
12:17
little unfairness of life as says just
12:20
part of the price of being human the
12:21
bumps along the road what Donald Trump
12:23
has taken all of those casual cruelties
12:25
in the casual brutishness and and the
12:30
disregard for women and the indifference
12:32
to people with problems and and has
12:35
taken it and put it on a Jumbotron in
12:38
front of the nation and a Jumbotron that
12:40
is on display 24 hours a day
12:43
illuminated by this the push tweets of
12:46
the most tweeted man on earth look at it
12:49
look at it look at it do you like it do
12:52
you like it and a lot of people who
12:54
would have when it was on a very small
12:55
screen said man say I I don’t like that
12:58
at all that’s horrible to say I won’t
13:00
put up with it anyway John one of the
13:02
gifts of Donald Trump is he’s told he’s
13:04
made America’s friends around the world
13:06
who often have a difficult relationship
13:08
with the United States understand what
13:11
it means when America steps away from
13:13
its leadership role when America says ok
13:15
we are going home we are going to be in
13:17
word and how our friends around the
13:19
world are left alone what a terrible
13:22
time to be a citizen of South Korea what
13:24
a terrible time to be a citizen of a
13:26
stone
13:26
you had protection that you once counted
13:30
on and that is now now looked like
13:33
something you can’t count and you are
13:35
suddenly forced to confront a world in
13:36
which its meaning and its structure
13:38
heaven have been kicked away a gift but
13:42
out of that they get the understanding
13:44
of realizing there was a world order and
13:47
that backed by the United States and it
13:48
did do mostly good and we need it back
13:51
and maybe if we can get through this
13:53
passage together that we and the
13:55
Americans together can build something
13:58
new in which the United States finds
14:00
again a constructive role for itself as
14:02
the under girder of this world order I
14:04
think that I see a gift in Donald Trump
14:07
in that it’s so often said that
14:09
presidents make us appreciate the
14:12
qualities they they lacked that you know
14:17
Barack Obama for whom I did not vote he
14:19
had many good qualities but the people
14:22
who loved him best said you know that
14:24
the the first hour of an Obama analysis
14:27
was fascinating the second still very
14:30
very interesting but by the time you got
14:33
the sixth or seventh hour of that in you
14:35
know powerful analytic intelligence you
14:36
know somebody here needs to make a
14:38
decision and so we have now the opposite
14:41
someone who makes decisions on the
14:44
toilet without any information what we
14:49
have we have seen Donald Trump is forces
14:51
to confront is the importance of our
14:53
mutuality our common identity as
14:57
citizens of kindness of respect for each
15:00
other and a recognition of the the
15:03
preciousness not just of some but of all
15:05
you know one of the reasons I think I’ve
15:07
called this book the corruption of the
15:09
American Republic is because it’s so
15:10
many people are implicated in what has
15:13
gone wrong not just Republican members
15:15
of Congress but so many more it’s a
15:19
crisis not just of this Republic but of
15:21
democracy worldwide because you see
15:24
across the developed world this
15:25
democratic recession that began in about
15:27
2005 there’s reduced the number of
15:29
democracies and turn countries like
15:32
Hungary into outright authoritarian
15:34
states have put countries like Poland on
15:36
the downward path I’ve seen the
15:38
percentage of the vote that
15:40
the neo-fascist party in France double
15:42
between 2002 and 2007 teen that seen a
15:45
neo fascist party be Commerce’s the
15:47
second largest party in the Netherlands
15:49
that has seen this
15:51
authoritarian populism re-enter the
15:53
German parliament Federal Parliament for
15:55
the first time since the war something
15:57
that these makes no uncomfortable
15:58
Germans least of all but this in this
16:03
global crisis of democracy we also have
16:05
to confront something about this country
16:08
democracy is not a light switch that is
16:10
on or off it is not true that if you
16:14
that automatically if your democracy
16:16
begins to deteriorate the next thing you
16:17
have is a democratic breakdown like the
16:19
1930s that doesn’t happen again
16:21
nothing will happen again like the 1930s
16:23
but what we are seeing is this big
16:26
question about the country and here’s
16:27
where I’ll end and throw it open to your
16:29
questions this country is changing very
16:36
fast and in a way that has left many
16:38
people stranded it is becoming more
16:41
ethnically different at a time when
16:42
relations between groups are more
16:44
contested
16:45
we have seen a breakdown in
16:46
relationships between men and women if
16:48
you look at people under 30 not only are
16:50
fewer of the married or living with a
16:52
person of the opposite sex than ever
16:54
before in the history of numbers or
16:57
recorded numbers but if you ask the
16:59
question have you had sexual a sexual
17:01
relationship with somebody in the past
17:02
three months that too is at the lowest
17:04
point since before the sexual revolution
17:06
began that we have this crisis of
17:08
aloneness in America might talk about
17:10
that in the book but people are
17:13
responding to this there’s some people
17:15
some of our fellow citizens are
17:17
responding to it by redefining what it
17:20
means to be American in a way that it
17:22
excludes a third of the country and they
17:24
are defined they’re creating a new
17:26
concept of democracy where what matters
17:29
is not do you have a majority of the
17:30
vote you have a majority of the nation
17:32
but you have a majority of that part of
17:34
the nation whose grandparents belong to
17:36
the American ethnic majority and that is
17:38
how democrates how politics is
17:40
legitimated by whether you have a
17:41
majority of the proper Americans without
17:43
regard to all of the so-called proper
17:45
Americans without regard to all of the
17:47
others that is going to whatever happens
17:49
to Donald Trump that idea is going to be
17:52
a lasting
17:53
idea for the 21st century that and it we
17:56
come I think it has already become more
17:58
explicit than ever before it will become
18:00
more explicit again and the reaction the
18:03
defense against Trump policy the system
18:06
of power is for people good will to
18:09
insist on the broadest possible
18:10
conception of citizenship the broadest
18:12
possible conception of Rights based on a
18:15
kind of a new understanding of mutuality
18:17
and new reaffirmation of the centrality
18:20
of the bond of citizenship not ethnicity
18:22
not religion
18:24
but that the the belonging to that
18:27
American community precisely because
18:30
it’s kind of arbitrary who is and who
18:33
isn’t it you take all you remove all of
18:36
the things that have that have been
18:38
familiar to the human animal brain and
18:40
substituted is something higher a
18:42
concept of citizenship of mutual of
18:44
belonging because of the desire to
18:47
belong and the willingness to share and
18:49
protect your fellow members of your
18:52
national community let me pause there
18:53
take questions thank you for your
18:55
attention
19:01
thank you for talking I recall sitting
19:04
in this room several years ago listening
19:06
to Lewis Lapham talking I don’t remember
19:09
what book he was promoting but he was
19:10
tossing that rather casually I thought
19:12
this idea of the end of democracy and I
19:15
remember sitting here seeing being sort
19:17
of flabbergasted at the idea that that
19:19
couldn’t even be in the realm of
19:21
possibility so during the Q&A; I asked
19:23
him what he thought most likely would
19:25
replace it and he said some form of
19:27
oligarchy possibly my question has to do
19:30
with the fact that I think a lot of
19:31
people adopt their political positions
19:35
fairly young and hold on them hold on to
19:37
them through their live so my question
19:39
is do what do you think of this poll
19:40
recent poll two-thirds of Millennials
19:43
have indicated that it is not essential
19:48
to live in a democracy that’s the
19:51
awesome UNK survey I cited in the book
19:53
Josh a monk is a German political
19:54
scientist now at Harvard who got a big
19:56
grant if you ask people across I think
19:58
it doesn’t have countries is it
19:59
essential to live in a democracy and
20:01
among people born in the 1930s something
20:03
like 90% said yes and among people born
20:05
since 1980 something like 25% said yes
20:08
and he just because the results are so
20:11
incredible he asked a follow-up question
20:13
because one of the things about callings
20:15
you can’t assume that the people you
20:17
asked the question to understood your
20:18
question and the same way that the
20:20
people who wrote the question did so he
20:22
did a couple of follow-ups and one of
20:23
them was well how would you feel about a
20:25
government led by a strong man who could
20:28
cut through ordinary politics and he
20:30
found that that was the opposite that
20:32
whereas people born in the 1930s almost
20:34
100% said no that among Millennials
20:37
again about it a big chunk not a
20:40
majority we’re prepared to say yes and
20:41
rising over time so what’s going on
20:44
there part of it is just distance from
20:50
world war two and in the Cold War and a
20:54
lack of remembrance of what non
20:56
democracy looked like you can imagine it
20:59
looks like a charismatic leader if you
21:00
don’t remember the last time we tried it
21:02
that way we as a species but I think
21:06
it’s also this that for the 3040 years
21:09
after World War two democracy was not
21:10
just a system for protecting citizen
21:13
participation as citizen right
21:14
it also delivered an endless stream of
21:17
miracles to ordinary people people who
21:19
had been hungry during the Depression
21:21
walked into their kitchen and there was
21:23
a refrigerator and in the driveway was a
21:25
car and there was a vacation and you
21:29
could afford to go somewhere away from
21:31
home and you had a pension and health
21:34
benefits and it worked it was magic and
21:39
even if you didn’t quite understand how
21:40
it worked you could certainly reckon
21:41
with the results and then it stopped
21:43
working and you still had the right to
21:44
participate in the production of your
21:46
rights but a lot of people were looking
21:47
for where is the magic where did it go
21:49
and for people born later that you can
21:52
see that that’s true I think my answer
21:55
to the Lewis Lapham question would be to
21:57
understand democracy is not a light
22:00
switch that is on or off it’s a modern
22:02
dimmer it’s more and less and what is
22:05
not is when we as we lose it we will not
22:08
see it suddenly collapse will for a long
22:10
time be arguing over whether anything
22:14
has changed at all but what we will see
22:17
is somewhat fewer get to vote one of the
22:21
things that I think modern authoritarian
22:23
leaders have understood was the the
22:25
among other things the authorities in
22:27
the 1930s they just were uh NECA nama
22:29
chol they overdid it you don’t need to
22:31
cancel elections even get the same
22:33
results by identifying the six points of
22:35
people and you don’t want to vote and
22:37
fighting on some way to stop them and
22:38
then you continue with the election you
22:40
don’t have to suppress the press you
22:43
know let the New York Times in the
22:44
Washington Post print whatever they like
22:45
they’re their readers you know are not
22:47
important to your project anyway go to
22:50
Facebook and manipulate that and if you
22:53
can manipulate that and that is
22:55
certainly what goes on even not only and
22:57
hungry but even in Russia were until
22:59
extremely recently The Prestige written
23:01
press was allowed to be more or less
23:03
free but television was controlled so I
23:07
don’t know what to call this new system
23:09
where it’s established I call it
23:11
repressive kleptocracy whereas where
23:14
it’s rising I call it authoritarianism
23:16
probably we need a jazzier name and then
23:19
any of that but but it’s a real thing
23:21
Esther over on this one
23:23
is either is there a second mic yes
23:26
thank you okay all right so my questions
23:28
is somewhat two-part but so so it seems
23:32
as though that the ecosystem for which
23:35
this you know us versus them is kind of
23:38
getting whiter is that there are more
23:40
people who think about them versus us
23:42
and I mean I use the example of for
23:44
instance what with this whole Nunez memo
23:47
okay
23:48
there’s been this back and forth and
23:49
even though you had like you know the
23:51
National Review they did their big you
23:53
know against Trump you know thing before
23:56
the election but I’m seeing like you
23:58
know like like quite a few of their you
24:00
know top editors and writers we’re like
24:03
you know in support of the new Nance
24:04
memo and I’m even seeing like you know
24:07
there’s like that double speak that
24:10
Trump does that you’re saying like some
24:12
of the Republican Congressmen are doing
24:14
that too in terms like oh well you know
24:16
I support the institution of the FBI but
24:19
you know we really got to do something
24:20
about you know really I do something
24:22
about you know the way this thing was
24:23
was carried out so I’m just saying that
24:26
you know even as a liberal or as a
24:30
conservative if you want to get to more
24:32
of a of a we it seems as though it is so
24:36
strong out there this this no it’s us
24:40
versus them is that how do we give back
24:41
to we and us that’s such a powerful
24:43
point I totally agree with you here’s a
24:46
something else I worry about with it the
24:48
Nunez memo it’s really Shawn a lot on
24:49
something one of the themes of the book
24:51
is even if you the nice it’s gets
24:54
through all of this more or less happily
24:55
they’re going to be some enduring
24:57
consequences and the Nunez memo and was
25:00
happening to the House Intelligence
25:00
Committee symbolizes this the United
25:04
States has spent the past half-century
25:06
putting tighter civilian and
25:09
congressional control over the national
25:11
security state over the military over
25:13
the FBI and the CIA and that has rested
25:17
a lot on the willingness of those
25:18
extremely powerful and secretive
25:21
agencies to work with Congress because
25:23
they went through the tremendous
25:24
scandals of the 1970s and out the other
25:27
end of it they realize we will be more
25:29
legitimate and more secure if we keep
25:31
Congress in the loop and not just report
25:33
to the executive but report to a House
25:35
and Senate intelligence
25:36
committee and when those for the half
25:38
century that those committees were
25:40
established they were a special prize in
25:44
Congress you didn’t just not just
25:45
anybody got all those committees it was
25:47
a ret work form of recognition for the
25:49
most public-spirited most intelligent
25:51
most hard-working most conscientious
25:53
members of both houses and they by and
25:56
large they honored their very few leaks
25:59
out of those committees I don’t I can’t
26:01
remember one maybe there’s been one I
26:02
can’t remember they have kept secrets
26:04
and the result has been the agencies
26:05
have shared information
26:08
what Nunez did was a breach of the basic
26:12
logic of how those committees are
26:13
supposed to work you have to ask
26:15
yourself if you’re a younger person at
26:19
the FBI or CA watching this that can I
26:21
share with Congress the way we did for
26:24
the past 50 years or do we need to
26:26
rethink that those agencies are always
26:27
trying to slip the leash away from
26:29
civilian control you know ask yourself
26:31
this
26:33
the president’s Daily Brief how
26:37
informative do you think that is today I
26:39
mean that under past presidents usually
26:41
three four sometimes five people would
26:43
see it the president would see it
26:44
usually the vice president always the
26:46
National Security Adviser are always the
26:48
chief of staff in the Bill Clinton
26:50
administration the first lady saw it
26:51
that was a redacted version was shared
26:54
with former presidents but the former
26:56
presidents didn’t get the full high test
26:58
stuff so four or five people Donald
27:01
Trump is apparently sharing his brief
27:02
with 14 people and he’s told the
27:04
agencies I want one page and lots of
27:06
pictures and they know that if there’s
27:09
anything really spicy in it he will
27:11
blurt it to the first visitor to the
27:13
Oval Office he wants to impress so he
27:16
wants you to leave stuff out he’s asking
27:18
you to leave stuff out it’s a lot of
27:20
work to put the stuff in together too
27:22
many people are seeing it including the
27:24
president’s son-in-law who you have a
27:26
lot of questions about if you’re a
27:27
member of an intelligence agency
27:28
I bet it’s become a lot less informative
27:30
than ever before how do you make it
27:32
informative again because these agencies
27:35
don’t they have a lot of Secrets and
27:38
it’s really on them whether they share
27:39
yes sir
27:41
hi I’m an American high school American
27:43
history teacher and until recently I
27:46
think I could have offered up an
27:48
explanation of Republic
27:50
and conservatives with which a
27:52
Republican or conservative would have
27:53
agreed and I guess recently I’m
27:56
flummoxed by the direction of the party
27:58
and so my question to you is what is or
28:01
may emerge is sort of the North Star
28:03
modern Republican conservatism after the
28:07
turmoil we’re seeing now yeah
28:09
I see three futures for the Republican
28:12
Party the most attractive is also the
28:16
least likely and that is that out of
28:19
defeat and the need to reorganize and
28:22
reconnect with new kinds of voters it
28:25
emerges as a modern right-of-center
28:28
business oriented party like the British
28:32
conservatives of the German Christian
28:33
Democrats or the Australian Liberals you
28:36
know every society has those who have
28:38
more to lose than to gain from politics
28:40
and those who have more to gain than to
28:41
lose and both are entitled to
28:43
representation you may identify with one
28:46
side or the other but you recognize that
28:47
the other exists and the people have
28:50
more to lose them to gain want a
28:52
political party and they have won in
28:54
almost every democracy historically the
28:56
Republican Party was that here and it
28:58
may go back to being that that party
29:01
would be radically de Ethne sized you
29:03
know that the the question the question
29:07
about the weird thing with the
29:08
Republican Party of say ten years ago
29:10
was why that people who you might think
29:17
would vote Republican because their
29:18
interests didn’t because they felt
29:20
insulted that you know why is in Indian
29:24
American one’s ten hotels like why isn’t
29:27
he in the Republican Party I’m dead like
29:29
God he just wants you to speak politely
29:31
to him and then he’s got a lot in common
29:33
with the historical vote we’re the
29:35
lesbian partner in an accounting firm
29:36
why isn’t she you know with her high
29:38
income of a Republican or the you know
29:41
perfect you know professionals of
29:42
different ethnic backgrounds you know
29:44
why aren’t they that was always the
29:46
question I mean not you know no party
29:49
should get a hundred percent of the
29:50
voter want it there are a lot of people
29:51
who shouldn’t be high school history
29:53
teachers probably are not going to be
29:54
Republicans but that’s why you have
29:57
competitive elections so that’s one
30:01
future a second future is that the party
30:04
continues on the path it was before
30:05
Trump and that is a highly economically
30:08
individualistic party very plutocratic
30:10
that can appeal to that cannot win a
30:13
national majority that has a lot some
30:16
ethno-nationalism it just enough to
30:18
energize a base not enough to be a
30:20
majority and that that party then
30:22
becomes competitive mostly at the state
30:25
level and as a party of congress where
30:28
it basically exercises a veto over the
30:31
majorities that democratic presidents
30:32
can summon and that was the path the
30:34
party’s been on since and from 2010 and
30:37
until now a veto party that would backed
30:39
by forty three forty four percent of the
30:41
country but there’s another future that
30:43
donald trump has pointed to and that is
30:45
the and the future you see of the right
30:47
parties in europe of an a party of
30:50
ethno-cultural assertion by down by less
30:54
educated white americans backed by the
30:56
country’s political elite and that’s the
31:01
path it’s on now and that path may work
31:04
politically but it doesn’t work as a way
31:06
to govern the country and it doesn’t
31:08
work and it although it pushes the
31:10
democrats by the way in danger in
31:11
directions that are also very dangerous
31:12
because one of the questions that
31:14
doesn’t get it asked enough and maybe
31:16
this is a crowd to offer this hard
31:18
teaching to the democrats have two
31:21
futures ahead of them one is they become
31:23
they become the eisenhower party the
31:25
party of the big american is you know
31:28
middle you know unlike eyes now slightly
31:32
lift listening for the left but that you
31:34
know adds to its traditional base the
31:38
people who voted for Romney but not for
31:40
Trump I talk in the book about what
31:41
happened the state of Pennsylvania where
31:43
Trump and Pat Toomey both got 1.2
31:46
million votes almost exactly the same
31:48
number of votes but but to me ran two
31:50
hundred thousand votes ahead of Crump in
31:52
the well-to-do suburbs of Philadelphia
31:54
and Trump ran two hundred thousand votes
31:55
ahead of to me in the area to
31:57
de-industrialized areas around
31:59
Pittsburgh and mining country and those
32:01
two hundred thousand votes are probably
32:05
more available than ever to a Democratic
32:07
candidate especially the women and you
32:11
can imagine such a Democratic Party but
32:12
you can also imagine a Democratic Party
32:14
that looks at what is that follows the
32:16
same pressures
32:17
that has taken the labour party in
32:19
England where it is going or in Britain
32:20
and becomes a party of ethnic identity
32:23
of its own kind it more in thrall to its
32:27
activist base more energized and I think
32:30
that’s the way at least the Democrat the
32:32
22:20 primary candidates are betting the
32:35
party is going and although that may
32:37
possibly work I don’t think it will but
32:39
it may possibly it’s again no basis to
32:41
govern the country yes over there I’m a
32:44
little afraid my question that might
32:45
seem unrelated to the rise of Trump and
32:47
his electoral victory by a tiny margin
32:51
but I think it is related how much do
32:54
you think the rise of this nasty
32:55
populism in the United States and even
32:57
more in Europe is due to the
33:00
unwillingness of responsible leaders in
33:04
both parties to consider the threat of
33:06
Islam to Western values well I think the
33:12
failure to cope with mass migration is
33:15
an is the proximate cause of one
33:18
exception what is that
33:20
but-but-but-but the reason we are so
33:24
sensitive to Muslims in particular is
33:26
that the countries filled they’ve lost
33:30
control of their borders and where
33:33
countries feel they have lost control of
33:35
their borders you get these populist
33:36
reactions I mean if I were giving this
33:38
talk in 2014 and I was asked which are
33:41
the countries that have been least
33:42
susceptible see this kind of movement I
33:44
was at Canada Australia and Germany and
33:46
then Germany had this huge influx in
33:48
2015 and suddenly the alternative for
33:50
Germany their version of this kind of
33:52
politics is in the national parliament
33:54
had the board I mean as a phrase I often
33:58
use is if liberals insist that only
34:00
fascists will patrol the boat the
34:01
borders then the voters will hire
34:03
fascists to do the job that liberals
34:05
won’t do but I I think it’s an illusion
34:08
to believe that there is something about
34:11
Muslims as Muslims that makes Muslims
34:13
inherently dangerous ideology you know
34:20
one of the things I believe about all
34:23
religions is it is really kind of
34:25
amazing our ability to make relate to
34:29
model God out
34:30
upon ourselves if we want to be violent
34:33
we will find whatever our tradition a
34:36
lot of opportunities a lot of
34:38
instructions to be violent if we want to
34:40
be kind we can find it and no religion
34:44
is a very plastic thing and I speak here
34:48
someone who was Jewish that for much of
34:51
our history that we found a more
34:54
comfortable refuge in the Islamic world
34:55
than in the Christian world that ceased
34:57
to be true it became more comfortable
34:59
and there are things that are going on
35:01
in the Arab Muslim world in particular
35:03
because their mothers I mean the largest
35:05
Muslim country on Earth is Indonesia
35:06
where there was very little of this kind
35:08
of radicalism but there are things that
35:09
are going on in the Arab Muslim world
35:11
that are very concerning
35:12
but if country if citizens feel that
35:15
their borders are protected that they be
35:17
they react differently than if they feel
35:19
their borders are not protected so first
35:23
off I just want to say it’s always great
35:25
to see a fellow Canadian down here thank
35:26
you and solan question in Europe senior
35:30
editor at the Atlantic and earlier this
35:33
week more Canadian coverage that’s not
35:34
very high
35:36
the dairy board does not get nearly
35:38
enough attention there was an article
35:42
this week from Jonathan rau-chan
35:43
Benjamin witty that’s called boycott the
35:46
Republican Party and they’re both you
35:48
know very nonpartisan but the idea was
35:50
to deal with trumpism in the short term
35:52
people should be voting down about a
35:55
crop in every office well against
35:58
Republicans for Democrats so just as a
35:59
Republican I wanted to know how you felt
36:00
about that well it’s funny raising that
36:01
because I was on a panel with Jonathan
36:04
and Ben this morning Jonathan is about
36:07
my oldest surviving friend I haven’t we
36:09
have been friends since the fall of 1978
36:11
he would wince if I gave the actual
36:14
numbers but there’s just no blinking it
36:15
is true and Ben has a friend of
36:18
long-standing so here’s what I would say
36:19
to that and I said I said this is what I
36:21
said to them I understand why they are
36:26
led to feel the way they do and they’re
36:27
both neither them is a very partisan
36:29
person and Jonathan is always very
36:31
insistent that George HW Bush was the
36:32
greatest president of his lifetime and
36:34
the one he voted for most
36:35
enthusiastically but I have a one-word
36:40
answer and that is California that
36:42
America’s most dynamic and
36:44
the state is a one-party ecosystem and
36:47
that even if you’re a liberal and
36:49
especially if you’re not is not good for
36:51
anybody so when people say why are you
36:53
if I lived in California where my two
36:54
older kids I mean we may end up there I
36:57
would be voting for Republicans for
36:59
state assembly and state Senate for the
37:01
familiar reasons you know more you know
37:03
I prefer a government that offers lower
37:05
taxes and fewer services so there are a
37:08
lot of places at the local level where
37:10
in fact one of the ways one of the
37:12
reasons we’re in trouble you all know
37:14
the saying all politics is local but a
37:17
couple years ago political scientist
37:18
whose name I forgot wrote a book called
37:20
all politics is national and because he
37:22
was observing this the rising
37:24
correlation between votes in state races
37:26
and the approval rating in the state of
37:28
the present so I you’d like the
37:31
president you don’t like the president
37:32
why does that determine who should be
37:34
the head of the Nebraska assembly but in
37:38
fact it was rising and I think one of
37:40
the ways to be healthier is for people
37:42
to affirm you know the distinctly
37:43
federal nature of the American system
37:45
and it doesn’t do for the Democrats to
37:49
two-thirds of the seats in both houses
37:51
of the California Legislature that is
37:53
not healthy one thing it does it leads
37:55
to the replacement of party politics by
37:57
factional politics which are always more
37:59
secretive do you think that
38:08
gerrymandering is a big factor in I
38:14
guess the kind of recalcitrant attitudes
38:19
in our representatives or okay
38:24
gerrymandering sure doesn’t help but in
38:27
in the list of American of its one of
38:30
the important things and the ills of the
38:32
American legislative system along with
38:35
the increasing difficulty that people
38:37
find in casting a vote in in many states
38:40
also with the the rising role of money
38:44
although I probably have a different
38:45
view of that than most people in this
38:47
room do I see the rising rote role of
38:50
money in politics not as a cause of our
38:53
problems but as a symptom you know in we
38:56
know very little about how elections
38:57
were financed before
38:58
1975 and we know almost nothing but how
39:01
elections were financed before 1930 it
39:03
was until the 70s it was legal to give
39:05
campaign donations in cash and that is
39:07
how Lyndon Johnson financed much of his
39:09
career and we have no idea who gave him
39:10
that cash
39:11
but but one thing we do know which is
39:13
that the elections just used to cost a
39:15
lot less and the reason they cost so
39:17
much less is because even if you had a
39:19
lot of money what would you do with it
39:21
you could buy radio and TV ads but when
39:24
it came time to get voted to register
39:27
voters and get voters to the polls you
39:28
relied on unions if you’re a Republican
39:32
you relied on women from the Protestant
39:34
churches you relied on other kinds of
39:37
associations you didn’t have to they did
39:40
it for nothing or they did it because it
39:42
was part of their identity because they
39:43
belonged to a group what the Koch
39:45
brothers when they spend all those
39:47
hundreds of millions of dollars they’re
39:48
spending them not on advertising but on
39:51
replacing the organizational work done
39:53
by institutions that just don’t mobilize
39:55
people anymore
39:57
if you had those kinds of healthy’ that
39:59
healthy associational life you wouldn’t
40:01
have to spend money to get people to the
40:03
polls people would do it for their
40:04
neighbors for their partisan reasons the
40:06
collapse of the parties and the rise of
40:09
these these this massive expenditure is
40:11
a consequence of the weakening of the
40:13
associations of Americans one to another
40:15
so I don’t see a ready solution to all
40:17
of that I mean the gerrymandering
40:18
problem on its own is a pretty easy
40:20
problem to imagine a fix for you know
40:22
you you say you pass a amendment to your
40:24
state constitution that says the seats
40:26
will be allocated by a Board of retired
40:27
judges and that’s that’s easy to fix
40:30
but the obstacles to people voting and
40:33
above all the collapse of associations
40:36
that make money indispensable to getting
40:38
people to vote that’s not so easy to fix
40:40
as a journalist and as a former White
40:44
House message crafter what do you make
40:47
of the performance of the current White
40:50
House press office in their role of
40:53
normalizing many of the extraordinary
40:57
things that are coming out of this
40:58
administration for example most recently
41:02
glossa fiying the trees and comments as
41:06
a joke and also the irony that it
41:11
a woman who’s out there up front
41:14
defending him seemingly with gusto I
41:17
watch the show as you do and think I
41:21
think you know you could get a job at
41:25
some nice tobacco company somewhere you
41:29
don’t have to do this I think a lot
41:37
about I think a lot about the White
41:39
House staff and what different people do
41:41
because their roles their their role
41:44
their situations which are genuinely
41:45
tragic where we need to have a National
41:48
Security Council we really do and people
41:51
have to undertake it and yet it’s also
41:53
inevitably true that if you take it you
41:55
will be corrupted and there’s something
41:58
very tragic I mean likes like a
41:59
existentialist novel with people have to
42:01
sign up and even the people with the
42:03
best will have to sign out and accepting
42:05
that they will be worse people at the
42:07
end of the experience than they were and
42:09
but but that but there are lots of jobs
42:11
you don’t have to do at all nobody and
42:14
if somebody has to be you know sistent
42:17
Secretary of State for East Asian
42:18
affairs and and we are worse off when
42:22
there isn’t such a person but you know
42:24
white house consumption without a press
42:26
secretary in no particular person the
42:28
country’s not losing anything you know
42:29
if you don’t and you look at it why are
42:35
they doing it I mean that I in the book
42:36
I talk about I have a debate with Elliot
42:38
Cohen that I reproduce not a debate but
42:40
a discussion with Elliot Cohen who many
42:41
of you may know and we talked about this
42:44
question of should you serve the
42:45
president in a personal capacity not in
42:47
national security capacity and I I my
42:52
reaction that is you know maybe if you
42:55
get if you get the call maybe you should
42:57
consider it but you should understand
42:59
that you will be put into a position
43:00
where you were asked to do something
43:01
wrong that’s almost inevitable and you
43:03
have to know yourself and know whether
43:05
you will be able to say no and then you
43:07
have to consider this that if the person
43:09
hiring you we’re certain is you that you
43:11
would say no to the wrong thing you
43:12
would probably not be offered the job
43:15
I apologize in advance for my
43:17
light-hearted question you can use one
43:20
question can you reflect a little bit on
43:22
your relationship with the mooch and
43:25
also also did you know that he went to
43:28
Harvard you know one of the things I saw
43:32
this you know when he said that one of
43:35
the things I did not say and I’m not
43:37
sorry about doesn’t mean it was an
43:38
inside joke was I think you mean to say
43:40
he went to law school in Cambridge okay
43:45
so he’s my new best friend um okay yeah
43:48
it’s a jokey question but let’s say
43:50
something serious about this I mean it
43:51
is amazing that this person had a
43:54
high-level job in the White House even
43:56
for a very short time that just and you
43:59
see this again I mean with the terror of
44:01
the much more serious and more terrible
44:03
story of the staff secretary that the
44:05
absence of self-command that you have
44:07
people in the White House who could not
44:09
get a visitor’s pass I mean literally
44:11
said Sebastian Gorka had an open arrest
44:14
warrant from the government of Hungary
44:15
and for a gun violation and this guy is
44:18
walking around in the presence of the
44:20
president someone who has a you know and
44:22
he has by the way some gun violations in
44:24
this country that any other even once
44:26
strongly committed to gun rights would
44:28
say you know a person with a problem
44:30
with guns shouldn’t be close to the
44:31
president so so that would that was an
44:35
extraordinary thing you know the
44:37
question I asked him a question about
44:39
his financial dealings and basically if
44:43
you were asked question you know you’ve
44:45
done some things and they look kind of
44:47
dubious um explain why if you’re talking
44:51
to someone who is a sort of a normal
44:54
person they would be able to bury you
44:56
with their information because I know
44:58
I’ve done a little bit of research as
44:59
you would understand before I ask the
45:01
question but obviously he knows a
45:02
hundred times more about his own company
45:04
than I do he should have been able to
45:05
crush me and the fact that he lost
45:08
control of himself I think answer the
45:10
question in the eyes of America
45:12
obviously this is a very sensitive
45:13
sensitive subject on the other hand look
45:16
here’s the here’s on the plus side I’m
45:18
not a housewife I’m not a real housewife
45:20
or a phony housewife or any kind of
45:21
housewife I’m not a celebrity to be on
45:23
the recipient of a TMZ rant that is
45:26
something that I never
45:27
thought would happen to me and I owe
45:29
that to the mooch good evening speaking
45:34
earlier you mentioned the last page of
45:35
your book that one of the antidotes to
45:36
the Trump movement is conciliation
45:37
that’s one of the words you use
45:38
conciliatory and so far we’ve seen on
45:40
both sides of the aisle Democrats have
45:42
the resistance movement Senate Democrats
45:43
have overall just by changing today you
45:45
know typically been recalcitrant to
45:47
anything this administration has wanted
45:49
so my question really is does the
45:50
antidote to Trump conciliation come from
45:52
both parties or is it one that can be
45:54
resolved by one partisan or one party or
45:56
the other I was thinking more of the
45:58
attitude of individual people and that
46:05
so in Congress Congress has its own
46:08
rhythms and its own dynamics and I think
46:10
was incredibly foolish of a Democrats to
46:12
be drawn into the government shutdown
46:13
and when they were the trap that was so
46:16
obviously waiting for them instantly
46:19
sprang sure they shut down the Congress
46:20
for over two issues children’s health
46:22
and daca
46:23
the Republicans instantly surrendered on
46:25
children’s health health as if the
46:27
Democrat as they you could have
46:28
predicted if you thought about it for
46:30
even two minutes in advance or as if you
46:31
were not driven by your 2020 primary
46:34
competitors and so the Democrats shut
46:36
down the government for illegal aliens
46:37
and that was the story that the
46:39
Republicans wanted from the very start
46:40
and the story that they got so that’s a
46:43
story about just having a little bit of
46:44
of prudence and not being in thrall to
46:46
your 2020 candidates in your democratic
46:48
base but the conciliation means more I
46:51
think you know as the we have completed
46:58
the recovery from the crisis of 2009 we
47:01
live in a country in which in the
47:03
successful parts of the country life is
47:05
really kind of a maze and there are
47:08
opportunities and there’s work and the
47:10
food’s great and until we get submerged
47:13
beneath the onrushing oceans you know
47:16
like the cities are or ggest they’re
47:18
incredibly safe you know it’s a striking
47:20
thing that that places like New York and
47:23
Boston and Washington to a lesser degree
47:24
and becomes so much safer than the
47:27
heartland of America I mean I was I was
47:29
in Louisville Kentucky the other day and
47:31
they have a crime rate suddenly 14 times
47:32
higher than that of New York City that
47:35
it’s an incredible an incredible thing
47:38
and of course the drug drawback epidemic
47:40
is senator did the
47:40
middle of the country and lesson the
47:42
coast so the conciliation means that the
47:46
advantage parts of the country need to
47:48
understand what is going on in the rest
47:51
of the country and just generally that
47:53
should be our approach to politics as a
47:55
story I often think about in terms of
47:57
political communications those of you
47:59
who remember the 1992 election may
48:01
remember the third debate between Bush
48:04
Perot and Clinton the town hall debate
48:06
moderated by Carol Simpson then at ABC
48:09
they took questions and the questions
48:11
have settled the election was the this
48:13
is the I feel you’re paying moment a
48:16
woman was called on an older woman
48:19
obviously not very well educated and
48:21
obviously extremely nervous at being on
48:23
television for the one and probably only
48:26
time in her life and with a quavering
48:28
voice she asked I’d like to ask each of
48:29
the candidates how you have been
48:32
personally affected by the deficit panic
48:37
no one’s personally affected by the
48:39
deficit and I’ll cut the story short
48:41
Bush flubs the question Perot gives a
48:43
characteristically insane answer and and
48:46
then Bill Clinton steps forward with
48:49
that huge body of his and said and says
48:51
to them I will answer your question but
48:53
first I have a question for you how have
48:54
you personally been affected by the
48:56
deficit and as she answers it becomes
48:58
clear that either she forgot or else she
49:01
never knew the difference between the
49:02
deficit and the recession that was
49:04
taking place at the time and once Bill
49:07
Clinton understood what she was asking
49:08
out 400 feet into center field but it’s
49:15
important to remember that the language
49:17
of politics is a second or third
49:19
language for most of your fellow
49:20
citizens that it is hard for them to
49:23
tell you what is on their minds and they
49:26
use words that they’ve heard from other
49:29
people they’re trying to express
49:31
themselves in ways that they hope will
49:32
be intelligible to others and or and
49:35
when they use their private language
49:36
their own language it often seems rough
49:38
or crude or insulting or insensitive and
49:40
so the challenge for those with
49:43
advantages in life is to hear the
49:45
question behind the question and to be
49:48
able to understand what people are
49:49
really concerned about with a language
49:51
doesn’t come easily to them
49:53
thank you I was wondering if you have
49:56
suggestions on how we could find
49:58
conservatives who don’t identify with
50:00
trumpism so that we could form
50:04
communities in person there’s no because
50:06
I think associations are broken yeah and
50:08
not focused on politics but protecting
50:11
rule of law and our norms that’s a great
50:15
question I think to some degree it is
50:17
happening I mean there are such
50:18
discussion groups I know I’m participant
50:20
in a couple of them here in Washington
50:22
right now Trump has the glamour of
50:25
apparent success and that is especially
50:27
true after the passage of the tax cut if
50:30
he looks a little less glossy I think
50:33
you’ll hear from more of these people
50:34
but the place where the work can really
50:36
be done most fruitfully is at the state
50:38
level and where I think it’s possible
50:45
especially in the one-party states like
50:49
California that I think that we’re going
50:52
to need to see work between reform
50:54
minded Democrats who are not Tammany
50:55
Hall people and their Republican
50:57
opposite numbers to try to say how do
50:59
you do in a state where things are as
51:01
lopsided you deliver good honest
51:03
government and make sure that elections
51:05
remain competitive not for the sake of
51:07
the Republicans but for the sake of
51:08
those states yes sir David thank you for
51:13
coming tonight so I have a question
51:14
about symptoms and causes so you know
51:18
we’ve talked about Trump being kind of a
51:20
symptom and not so much cause the sick
51:22
current system we talked about
51:23
gerrymandering being kind of a symptom
51:26
and not a cause or or dark money being a
51:28
symptom and not a cause of the system as
51:30
a student of politics in history can you
51:31
talk a little bit about what some of
51:33
these causes are it might be um you know
51:35
I mean I read your piece on the seven
51:37
guardrails of democracy
51:38
I’m reading Nixon Ilyn right now and a
51:40
lot of this seems pretty similar so if
51:41
you could share some some of the causes
51:43
you’ve seen and maybe talk a little bit
51:45
about that well I think the the master
51:50
causes of trouble in this in this kind
51:52
of this new situation and we always have
51:55
troubles by the way so we do but this
51:56
new situation are the following the
51:58
first is the slowdown of that economic
52:00
growth since the year 2000 there’s less
52:02
to go around the next is the aging of
52:05
the baby boom
52:06
which means that the people who are now
52:08
in their 60s are arriving the point
52:10
where they’re going to make the biggest
52:11
claims on the state at exactly the
52:13
moment when they feel there is less to
52:14
go around and so much of the Tea Party
52:16
and things like that should be seen as
52:18
the baby boomers are the white baby
52:20
boomers they’re sort of their last
52:22
hurrah of their role in politics making
52:24
the politics of group generational
52:26
assertion of their claims on the state
52:30
immigration and rising ethnic diversity
52:33
which is always difficult to manage and
52:36
which governing elites have tended to
52:38
think is easy to manage is automatically
52:40
managed I think the end of the Cold War
52:42
which has destroyed a lot of the best
52:46
habits of American elites especially in
52:50
Congress of give-and-take because the
52:51
country was engaged in in a generational
52:54
in this kind of epic struggle and and
52:57
then this and it’s not driven by the
53:01
economy that’s connected by this kind of
53:03
cultural collapse in the face of
53:05
globalization in the middle of the
53:06
country which has left people gripped by
53:09
a despair and looking for solutions the
53:11
best description I’ve ever heard of a
53:13
trump voter is a successful person in an
53:16
unsuccessful place that the unsuccessful
53:19
people give up on politics they they
53:21
don’t they don’t believe they can make a
53:23
difference but imagine like the vice
53:26
president of the high school the vice
53:27
principal of a high school and the coach
53:28
of the football team in a small town
53:30
facing deindustrialization he believes
53:33
that he can make a difference and he
53:34
believes things your members and things
53:36
were better and he believes the things
53:37
should be better but he sees nothing but
53:40
worry around him and he’s ready to
53:43
embrace extremist answers and into that
53:47
steps demagogic figures Trump in this
53:50
country are the people in other
53:51
countries thank you thank you thank you
53:55
for an interesting talk the founding
53:57
fathers were suspicious of the pure
54:00
forms of government kingship aristocracy
54:04
democracy because they thought that each
54:08
of them had characteristic flaws and the
54:11
floor they saw in democracy is that it
54:14
tends to throw up populist demagogues so
54:19
they designed a system of separation of
54:22
powers to control that my question is is
54:26
it going to work well they wrote a
54:30
system of government and it’s been
54:32
written rewritten and rewritten again I
54:35
think one of the important of the
54:39
benefits of a really close study of
54:41
history is you come after a while to
54:43
know these people as people you might
54:46
have known in your own life and that
54:48
there’s this there’s this way of talking
54:50
about the founding generation as if they
54:52
were demigods and by the way as if they
54:54
were all one thing people talk about the
54:55
founders forgetting they hated each
54:57
other a couple one of them killed
55:01
another and and and then another one
55:06
tried to hang the one who killed the
55:07
other and they and through the Civil War
55:11
and through reconstruction we rewrote a
55:14
lot of their system and the New Deal we
55:15
rewrote it again
55:17
and while we inherit the system and it’s
55:19
continuous that the answers there’s a
55:26
the the answers are in us we can’t just
55:30
look backwards but I’ll tell you one
55:31
thing that they did anticipate is that
55:33
there’s a lot of discussion in the notes
55:37
of James Madison about the 1787
55:39
Constitution about the risk of
55:41
corruption in the presidency they were
55:43
intensely aware of this problem and they
55:47
had seen it they had seen Republic’s
55:49
snuffed out in their time in 1787 you
55:51
know the Polish Republic was about to be
55:54
carved up they had seen Sweden which had
55:57
a kind of which was a monarchy that I
55:58
did republic ripped apart by the
56:00
intervention of foreign governments in
56:01
his politics and the thing they worried
56:03
about a lot was the United States
56:04
comparatively small and weak in poor
56:06
country with three powerful neighbors
56:07
Spain France and England on the in the
56:09
Western Hemisphere would they try to
56:11
bribe the president and at the at the
56:14
convention they talked twice of what the
56:16
example of charles ii he was the King of
56:18
England and Scotland at the time of the
56:20
grandparents and great-grandparents of
56:21
the authors of the Constitution who took
56:23
bribes from the King of France in order
56:25
to allow the King of France to make more
56:27
on the Netherlands without England
56:28
intervening and who surrendered land on
56:30
the continent to France and the Charles
56:33
second example the corrupt president in
56:35
the pay of a foreign power that is
56:37
something they thought about a lot and I
56:39
think their remarks have some
56:40
instruction to us because I think that
56:42
is the part of where we are now that
56:43
would not surprise them
56:44
it was 230 years good run but the
56:48
problem did eventually show up I think
56:49
this is the last question I want to tell
56:51
you I really enjoy your appearances on
56:53
Bill Maher thank you very much I think
56:55
you saw the last one I thought you were
56:58
very principled and didn’t you say you
57:00
had voted for Hillary and I wrote that
57:02
um you know one of the things that has
57:04
been a rule of mine I have no illusions
57:07
about how interesting or not interesting
57:09
my personal thought processes are but I
57:11
do feel that when you’ve taken any
57:13
position in public if you change your
57:15
mind about anything you owe the eleven
57:17
people who care some kind of account of
57:20
why you’ve done it so so I wrote I did
57:23
vote for Hillary it was a difficult
57:26
thing to do I wasn’t actually I was not
57:28
in DC on election day I cast an absentee
57:29
ballot and got in the mail I filled it
57:31
out and then it sat in my outbox for
57:33
about five days as I hesitated but in
57:39
the end I believed you know I have a lot
57:40
I have a lot of problems with her maybe
57:43
others do too but I believe in the end
57:47
two things about her one was that she
57:49
was a patriot and the other was that she
57:55
would she knew the job because one of
57:59
the things I’ve really come to believe
58:00
is there such a thing as being good at
58:02
the job of president independent of
58:04
whether you’re delivering the right
58:05
answers I’m just do you have the ability
58:07
to run a meeting where you make sure the
58:11
the most junior and least important
58:13
person the meeting always talks first do
58:15
you know that do you know how to manage
58:17
the staff process do you know who did it
58:20
had a staff and administration so I
58:21
believe she knew all of those things and
58:23
I also believed and this is one thing
58:26
that I try to impart to my conservative
58:27
friends one of the habits of mind of
58:30
people on the right is the belief that
58:31
we’re always five minutes from midnight
58:34
on the tipping point which are Paul Ryan
58:36
gave that speech and I believe politics
58:39
never ends and when you lose it’s the
58:41
setup to the time you win and when you
58:43
win is the setup to the time you lose
58:46
that you have to play for the the long
58:47
game and the belief and what threatens
58:50
democracies maybe almost more than
58:51
anything else is the belief that this
58:53
moment of decision is so important that
58:55
anything anything you can do to win is
58:58
worth doing because you will never get
59:00
another chance and we have to preserve
59:02
the system which makes sure there’s
59:04
always another chance and that you know
59:06
in a under president you don’t like your
59:07
present your rights are still protected
59:09
and under president I don’t like my
59:11
rights are still protected and that we
59:12
can continue to follow these rules
59:14
together for decades and centuries thank
59:17
you so maybe you’re gonna have a
59:20
following well I didn’t really ask a
59:22
question I just I thought that was the
59:24
I’m sorry all right sorry III don’t mean
59:29
this to be patronizing but why are you a
59:32
Republican what attracted you to two
59:35
conservative principles I’m not putting
59:38
that I’m not saying you can’t be
59:40
principled but yeah you don’t seem like
59:43
your average I’m a pretty weird do
59:47
generally sir but why am i Republican
59:51
I’m first on the core question of are
59:56
you someone who has more to lose from
59:57
politics than to gain I’m that person do
59:59
you are you someone who is in the are
60:01
you concerned with markets and business
60:03
and private property that that’s me do
60:05
you want to see the private sector
60:06
bigger and the public sector smaller yes
60:08
if I said if I live in California I be a
60:11
very enthusiastic supporter of the
60:13
Republican Party of California against a
60:15
Democratic Party that I think cost too
60:16
much but one other thing that and why
60:19
I’m especially Republican now because
60:20
these are like they’re proud in any the
60:22
history of any party they’re proud or in
60:24
less proud moments and like it was 1864
60:26
up here and there’s 2016 down here but a
60:32
political system doesn’t work very well
60:34
if there’s one party committed to
60:36
democratic norms and only one party you
60:38
need to and I think that those of us who
60:40
believe in both conservatism and
60:42
democracy are more needed than ever
60:44
inside the Republican Party and you
60:45
should run to where the trouble is not
60:47
away from where the trouble is that’s
60:49
true
60:52
thank you all we actually have one one
60:57
final oh I’m sorry
60:58
I bungled that this is a follow-up to a
61:03
previous question tonight concerned
61:05
about religious fundamentalism in its
61:09
influence of America I share that
61:14
concern very much and I don’t like the
61:17
way religious fundamentalism is emerging
61:22
in politics I don’t like the granting of
61:26
religious freedom to corporations or to
61:29
freedom of speech for corporations
61:32
especially with political financing I
61:35
really don’t care for so-called
61:41
self-appointed religious evangelicals
61:45
supporting a child molester wackadoodle
61:50
judge in Alabama all right again he said
61:54
I’m really interested in what you think
61:55
about if you could assess the move
61:59
currently underway in gathering steam of
62:04
religious fundamentalist Christian
62:07
Sharia law okay okay well let me say
62:11
you’re in for a treat because you have
62:14
now in office the least religious
62:16
president in American history running an
62:19
administration in a White House that is
62:21
less hung up on religious morality then
62:25
they do everything I mean it’s just
62:27
unbelievable you know when Hillary
62:34
Clinton was asked that question the
62:35
debate is there anything good you can
62:36
say about Donald Trump she answered I
62:39
like the way he raised his kids which is
62:40
an answer she might want to take back or
62:42
rethink but here’s the thing I can say
62:45
that is good about Donald Trump is that
62:47
he’s not a hypocrite that he never
62:49
pretended to be a good man and he’s not
62:50
a good man he doesn’t pretend to be
62:52
otherwise and he doesn’t protect their
62:54
people who around him he will tell you
62:55
that he’s religious he’s so obviously
62:56
not but here’s the thing that is
63:00
happening the Trump years and I think
63:01
Trump himself is going to accelerate
63:02
this that he
63:04
in the 1990s if you surveyed American
63:06
religious attitudes you saw a country
63:08
that was dramatically more religious
63:10
than any other developed country I mean
63:12
Americans 90 percent or whatever was
63:14
believe in God believe him life after
63:16
death
63:16
huge huge huge overwhelming almost
63:20
unanimity answering religious beliefs
63:23
then when you observed religious
63:25
practice what you two saw was a country
63:27
that didn’t look that different from
63:29
other developed countries where if you
63:30
looked at how many people went to church
63:32
or other behaviors there’s this huge gap
63:34
between what Americans said and what
63:36
Americans did and in the 21st century
63:39
that gap began to close and close very
63:42
very fast and you saw this huge increase
63:44
in Americans who said they had no
63:45
religion you didn’t see a decline in
63:47
Americans going to church that was a lot
63:50
of people had been sort of weekly
63:52
religious before identified as religious
63:54
without doing it stop doing so and I
63:57
think that trend I’m guessing the people
63:59
like Roy Moore and the attitude of
64:01
evangelicals to Donald Trump may
64:02
probably accelerate that and that you’re
64:05
going to see a more validly secular
64:06
country in future whether that’s a good
64:08
thing or not however I really have to
64:10
question because religious faith as a
64:14
way of guiding individual behavior is a
64:19
POW is the most powerful tool we talked
64:22
I talked with general last question but
64:24
Islam of it at religion as an ability to
64:25
bring out the bad it’s also force that
64:27
can bring out the good when we wish it
64:28
and when we lose it and we are losing it
64:31
fast
64:32
I think we’re gonna lose something
64:34
something precious and that religious
64:38
people I think one of the ways that
64:40
younger evangelicals will speak about
64:42
their about the the grams and the fall
64:45
Wells is that they have failed them is
64:46
that they have seen religion as a system
64:49
of political power and not as an
64:50
inspiration toward greater goodness and
64:53
kindness and in human beings
64:55
[Music]
64:59
[Applause]
65:13
you
Up next
AUTOPLAY

Four Lessons From Israel’s Clash With Tlaib and Omar

The best way for Israel to strengthen its hand is not by waging war to the utmost against its opponents, but by maximizing the number and range of its friends.

On Thursday, Representative Rashida Tlaib requested and received permission to enter the state of Israel to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank. “This could be my last opportunity to see her,” she wrote, on congressional letterhead. “I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”

Today, Tlaib reversed herself. If she cannot promote her political views, she will not visit. “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,” she wrote. “I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in—fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

The Weekly Standard is gone. But the future of conservatism is bright.

With the closing of the Weekly Standard, an influential publication that many considered a respectable, center-right, alternative to more pro-Trump outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, and the continued ostracization of “Never-Trump conservatives” from the Republican Party, many wonder who, if anyone, will carry the torch of prudential conservatism while President Trump occupies the White House.

Just last week, a group of prominent intellectuals and political figures including Maryland Gov.

  • Larry Hogan,
  • Bill Kristol and
  • David Frum

gathered for a conference at Washington’s Niskanen Center titled “Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump.” The underlying assumption of the conference: It’s time for moderate conservatives to regroup and reconsider their relationship to a Republican Party that has been overrun by populists, nationalists and demagogues.

As someone who runs an organization founded at the time of the Iraq War with the aim of changing the direction of American conservatism, I can sympathize with their efforts, but I fundamentally disagree on their diagnosis of the problem. In the long run, both the conservative movement and Republican Party will be better off for having had Donald Trump shatter the combination of neoconservatism and Reaganism that held the political right captive and blinded since the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan was the statesman that America needed for his time, but the clock had run out on many of his policy prescriptions and it took a “hurricane,” as the Niskanen Center conference described it, like Trump to wake up conservatism — and America.

.. I need not provide an exhaustive list, as Time magazine’s October cover story by Sam Tanenhaus, “How Trumpism Will Outlast Trump,” did a good job surveying the landscape that includes thinkers such as

  1. Julius Krein at American Affairs,
  2. Daniel McCarthy at Modern Age,
  3. Yuval Levin at National Affairs,
  4. Michael Anton at Hillsdale College and
  5. David Azerrad at the Heritage Foundation.

.. What does this new program for the right entail if not a return to the neoconservatism of the George W. Bush years? It’s time for Republicans to embrace a “Main Street” conservatism that prizes solidarity over individualism and culture over efficiency. America needs a foreign policy that serves our vital national interests by securing the safety and happiness of the American people. This means putting an end to the regime-change and nation-building experiments that have devastated Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya; ending U.S. support for the Saudis’ involvement in the Yemeni civil war; reclaiming our national sovereignty; and prioritizing diplomacy over intervention

..  On domestic issues, especially when our country is bitterly divided along partisan lines, we must decentralize both political and economic power to bring it closer to the people. This would allow local and state governments greater flexibility to address their unique problems, letting California be California and Texas be Texas.

.. Regarding the problem of economic concentration, conservatives should stand up to the crony capitalism that has protected big banks and defense contractors, and revisit antitrust enforcement to prevent corporate monopolies from stamping out competition and entrepreneurship. And finally, conservatives should adopt a cultural platform with a renewed focus on civic education; implementing economic and social policies that strengthen families, such as paid family leave and an increase in the child tax credit; promoting vocational training as a dignified alternative to traditional universities; and working toward an immigration policy that better balances economic and cultural concerns.

.. When searching for a prudential conservatism today, it’s best to ignore the advice of those who brought us the Iraq War, the hollowing out of our industrial base and our broken immigration system. The future belongs to conservatives who take Middle America seriously and actually care about the systemic problems that drove the Rust Belt into the arms of then-candidate Trump.