<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/l6vXR5iqReE?start=786″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>me to this point so I I do think it’s12:33a it’s a good bright line to draw John12:37Jefferson knew that part and this is in12:40your book all these codes about12:42partisanship I mean he was pretty12:44dedicated to engagement and political12:47issues but what would he think of the12:49type of partisanship we have now at this12:52moment I think he would recognize it12:54honestly he once said divisions of12:58opinion have convulsed human societies13:00since Greece and Rome divisions of13:03opinion were the oxygen of a free13:06government I’m a skeptic of the a13:08prevailing scholarly view that the13:10founders had this vision of a one-party13:14one-party state and we would all be on13:17Olympus with powdered wigs and13:19solving problems they may have had that13:22vision we all had that vision and but13:26they understood reality oh if you if you13:28worry if you’re worried about or if youdoubt me about whether they understoodreality read the Constitution which isentirely about reality constitute ifJefferson was an Enlightenment documentthe Constitution is a Calvinist documentas looms we are all Despres sinful anddriven by appetite and ambition andwe’ve done everything we cansince then to prove them right so I13:55think you know this is a the Hemings the13:59story about Sally Hemings was first14:01publicized in 1802 and we with all love14:07and respect to a net we don’t know that14:09much more than that first piece doing it14:20wasn’t seen as a historical or cultural14:22document it was a partisan attack yeah14:25you know right and and continued during14:27that you know during his presidency and14:29in a few times afterwards there’s been a14:32big debate recently coming out of the14:34New York Times 16:19 project how much do14:37we need to revise our concept of the14:39founding of this nation do you think14:41that makes sense or has it gone a bit14:44too far the pendulum is historians have14:48been writing about this down for quite14:50some time but what we haven’t done as14:54much as to think about what that means14:55for us today14:56that the legacy of slavery is still with14:59us there’s a tendency there has been a15:01tendency on the part of many people to15:03say oh well we knew that but that’s over15:05I think that’s the that’s the15:07contribution of the magazine of 1619 is15:11not to tell us something many things we15:14didn’t know but to say there is a15:17connection to this that is continuing15:20you don’t get rid of hundreds of years15:23of slavery in a century or so and we15:26really don’t get going as legally full15:29citizens until 1965 the passage of the15:32vote15:32that’s not in the history you know15:35that’s a blink of an eye so they even in15:37total blink of an eye in history and15:39thinking that this stuff is all in the15:41past has been the problem and that’s I15:44think that’s what the project was trying15:45to do is to say no this isn’t over John15:50I was struck I believe it was the15:54remarks at the signing of the Civil15:56Rights Act and in July July 2nd 196416:00Lyndon Johnson grounds his remark at the16:04bill signing not on Philadelphia but on16:07Jamestown it which which I was struck by16:11talk about a complicated figure well you16:16know were the Democratic nominee for16:19president is a 77 year old white man who16:25was the vice president of the first16:28african-american president incredibly16:30loyal and eulogized Thurmond and16:33Eastland you know so well if you’re16:36looking for simplicity if you’re looking16:38for straightforward figures good luck16:42I don’t know who they would be I think16:46what an it just said is absolutely16:47essential I have a theory16:49aboard Walter with this I think16:51privately actually that we’re only a 6016:56year old nation right the country we17:01have right now the polity we have which17:04is soon going to be majority diversity17:07whatever phrase it is was really created17:11in 1964-65 not only with the Civil17:16Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act but17:18with the Immigration Act yeah which17:20totally changed the nature of the17:24country and so no wonder this is so hard17:28no wonder we’re having such a ferocious17:30white reaction this is kind of the 1830s17:35in a way and so it’s not to excuse it17:40but I do think it explains it a little17:42bit and this idea of Prague17:45and I know it sounds tinny to people and17:48look if you look like me you can talk17:49about progress right I’m the boring Lee17:52heterosexual white southern Episcopalian17:54right I mean things tend to work out for17:56me in America so I stipulate that but18:00but it’s simply the lesson of history18:04that we are in fact a better country18:09than we were yesterday doesn’t mean18:12we’re perfect doesn’t mean we stop up18:15but our are enough of us devoted to18:21doing all we can as citizens and as18:24leaders to try to create a country that18:27more of us can be proud of and if we are18:30then let’s get to it yeah and and I18:34would throw in women the changing role18:37of women from the 1960s and this is18:39that’s a good point I wouldn’t I agree18:42with 60 years again a short time in18:47history where everything everybody’s18:49sort of in place it’s like Ken Burns18:51said that he found it difficult to call18:53talk about the Golden Age of baseball18:56and there were no black players in the19:00major league how do you how do you do19:02that and this is a similar situation19:04where you have blacks legally allowed to19:08vote and those rights are protected I19:11mean there’s issues with voter19:12suppression but sort of on paper19:14equality is there and it’s hard is19:17wrenching for people who have had you19:20know power who are used to a certain19:23hierarchy a certain way things are were19:25or they think about their grandparents19:27or good old days it’s hard to get used19:29to all of that and so you’re right19:32there’s no wonder that there’s a people19:33Annette gordon-reed Jon Meacham thank19:37you for joining us to be here19:42[Music]19:50[Music]19:53you
directly ahead of his own political
interest and you know he his great
regret is saying read my lips
Dukakis told me a great story about
their post-election courtesy call and
he’s there standing there talking and
Bush says well I certainly can’t raise
taxes in the first year and Dukakis is
like this guy just kicked my ass saying
he never raised taxes and he’s talking
about in the first year you know it was
it was an amazing moment but I think he
redeemed himself at every point and he
knew in some ways talking about ninety
two after the budget deal after the
triumphs of the first Gulf War he he had
a sense that the work of his presidency
if that up to that point was over yeah I
think the work of his life was over if
you look at it I mean biographically you
23:50else he wanted to go to the UN Nixonwanted him to work for Haldeman he sendsbut Bush brilliantly intuitively againappealed to Nixon’s class anxieties andsaid well mr. president I’ll do what youwant but nobody up in New York is makinga case for you and I could go up there Iknow that world I can do it so here’sthe son of a failed grocer from YorbaLinda being told by the son of a Polishsenator from Connecticut that he can goup and represent Richard Nixon in thiszip codethat appealed to Nixon Bush understoodhow to reach Nixon so Nixon thoughtabout it while Bush was off getting hisoffice calls him back in and says noyou’re going to the UN the next job wasbeing Republican National Chairmanduring Watergate what second prize buthe and that’s the origin if you want todraw a line to the wimp factor becauseNixon decided Bush wasn’t really toughenough because Bush wasn’t willing to goout and cut every Nixon enemy throat andso and he talks about he says he thinksI’m not oh he thinks I’m not a killeryou clearly admire President Bush youknow really admires you was there anymoment as you’re working on this andyou’re writing this where you cringethat’s it boy I wish I didn’t know thatyeah I wish he had I think he committeda sin of pride in picking Dan Quayle itwas his first executive decision to bemade totally on his own since he went onthe ticket with Reagan he never sat downwith Jim Baker and Atwater and ales andmossbacher and Nick Brady and said hereare the choices what do you think hewanted to surprise them because hedidn’t want to be handled and I justthink yeah vice president Quayle wasvery kind to me in this project he’s alovely man more prepared than peoplegave him credit for at the time althoughwas better allowed it will to call thata bad roll out like calling the secondworld war and unpleasantnessJesus God listened to youyou really have gone GMA is a big
Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove again and again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.
Is there some place where digital democracy can
contribute to the good as opposed to what I think it
tends to do now, which is reinforce preexisting biases.
I’m speaking in vastly oversimplified terms.
But one of the things that the digital revolution has made
You can make yourself heard anyway, whether it’s in
comment sections, or Twitter, or Facebook, whatever it is.
Every man is a pundit now.
And that’s great.
But with power comes responsibility.
And so as FDR once said, simply screaming from the
rooftops doesn’t help us a whole lot.
So is there a way to harness this amazing tool to create,
what one would argue, could be a more
constructive political dialogue?
I would hope so.
And I think we’re not even halfway through this, right?
These are the first moments of this.
And so I think you all–
I don’t mean to preach at you– but you all have a hell
of a responsibility here.
I mean, this is Google.
Some guy last night in Seattle asked me where he could find a
particular letter of Jefferson’s, and I thought he
meant the idea.
No, he meant the letter, the actual one he’d written.
And so I said, well, I don’t have the date off
the top of my head.
He said, well, do I have to Google it?
I said, well, if you have to ask, then yes you do.
That’s a key thing.
So you’re a verb.
So you’re one of the key cultural landmarks of the age.
So I think that there’s an enormous responsibility there
to try to figure out how do you use this immense sea?
How do you channel it into productive ways?
So I should be asking you all this, is my point.