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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  November 13, 2016 7:00am-8:01am EST

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♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: theodore roosevelt once said this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in. the 2016 presidential campaign has challenged this country's sense of unity as perhaps no other campaign. it was an election defined by both some progress and some unprecedented controversy. the race marked the first time a woman, hillary clinton, secured a major party's nomination for president. donald trump's unexpected candidacy roiled the republican party and ignited sharp emotions across the ideological spectrum. the race also raised important
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questions about the bitter divisions that plague our country and how they might influence our collective future. an esteemed group of panelists consider howto this election might shape this nation's legacy. from boston, presidential historian doris kearns goodwin. with me in new york walter isaacson, founder and c.e.o. of the aspen institute. jeff greenfield of politico and "pbs newshour." weekend. kurt andersen, host of wnyc's "studio 360" and cokie roberts of abc news. i make this point to our audience, we are doing this on monday afternoon before the nation votes on tuesday. we do this not knowing who will be elected president. but we do this in the spirit that the problems and the challenges are the same for whoever is elected. we have significant challenges. it is an important time. and i've asked these people to come here and think about the future regardless of who holds
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the oval office. i begin with walter isaacson. tell me where you think we are, walter, and whatever the new president -- whoever the new president is, what are the list of challenges that he or she faces? walter: one of the things that's happened now is that really the first time in our history, our parties are so ideologically divided. and it used to be the liberal republicans or conservative democrats or whatever. and you didn't develop a partisan bitterness to the other side. i think we've demonized the other side in politics. and that's going to be the thing that has to be healed. you know, it really does demand saying ok, i'm going to try to do a team of rivals as doris would say or whatever. and i just think that the other thing that we're seeing now is a rise of populism that's become sort of a poisonous angry populism.
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we've seen populism ever since andrew jackson to the present. but this is a new form of populism. charlie: a different populism than we've seen in europe -- weird things is -- things happen. like in 1968, all across europe and the united states, you sort of had the notion of to the barricades. from hungary and the czech republic to france to england, to the united states, you have a populist and sometimes nativist revolt. cokie: but it's not just partisan divisions. what we see sitting here on is enormous gaps between men and women, between whites and nonwhites, between rural and urban. between college educated and noncollege educated. and our last abc poll, there were 97 points difference between white evangelicals and those who don't identify with a religion. these are great fissures in the american society right now. >> they have one common element.
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they are in some sense perhaps not racially but the others, between those who are comfortable in the new world and those who are not. between people who are surfing this new world and people who are feeling drowned by it. they may be feeling drowned by everything from racial resentment to cultural dislocation to the fact that they've been left behind economically. but that sense that they have been left behind, i think, helps explain in part why throughout this campaign, they were so immune to the normal kinds of information that would have driven them from a guy like donald trump. charlie: that's why it's so imperative for leadership to convince them that you're listening. >> one of the pieces of leadership that can happen, and i can see the minority of the republican party who were not donald trump supporters, the jeb bushes, the mitt romneys of the world, a good number of conservative intellectuals and columnists who have -- among
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other things, adhered to a reality-based version of the world. to me, that's the greatest shock and fear i have about what this campaign has shown us. and what isn't going to be healed tomorrow or the next day is this sense that people are entitled to their own facts. that my version of reality is my version of reality because i want it to be. and we've had a candidate, that is donald trump, who has -- who has dined off that, who has served that, who has legitimized that to an extent i didn't really imagine was possible. this is not an altogether new thing. he didn't create it but he has made it an acceptable posture that i don't -- i can have my own version of the truth. cokie: a piece of tape where he says something and he says he didn't say it. charlie: and it doesn't matter. let me go to doris kearns who
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joins us from massachusetts. doris, you've considered and continued to consider the question of presidential leadership. so what's required and is it possible to heal these divisions that everybody has spoken to? doris: one of the most important things somehow is to make the american people believe again that people in political life can do things that will make the country better. i mean, you've got this changing america of people have said. a lot of people are frightened by the change, by the pace of the change, by the changing minorities getting more power and more numbers than eventually than the whites are going to have. there are answers to some of these things. but it's going to depend upon the people of the country believing that politicians can make a difference. and that's what's lost. when you hear some people say that democracy, 20% of young people think democracy is not a good thing or more people are pessimistic about the future of our country, just keep remembering winston churchill who said people declare that democracy is the worst form of government and yet it's better than all the others that have been tried. you need again a politician to be a merchant of hope, to be able to mobilize the country, to do the kind of massive investments and do something about the inequality, the
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squeezing middle class. but we've had gridlock for such a long period of time. looking at politicians and that's one of the reasons trump won because people didn't like politicians. they've lost their faith in them. charlie: but won the republican nomination. doris: won the republican nomination. you have to somehow be able to instill again, and i think going to other people whoever wins is able to reach out to the other side, show that congress can work again and not be in gridlock. jut so that it can begin to develop that sense that the country can make its own future. that's what we've lost and in a country like america that was always the abiding sign of us that we could make things better. think about f.d.r. when he runs, it's that middle of the depression. it's horrible. much worse than anything is now. and yet happy days are here again. sign because he's contagion. this election has produced a contagion of pessimism and we have to turn it around to our
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normal american optimism once again. charlie: jeff greenfield is shaking his head. i don't know whether he it's because he's pessimistic or simply a skeptic. jeff: i am pessimistic. and thinking of f.d.r., one of the things perhaps you know a little bit more about this than i do, doris, is that when he came in the country was ready to anything. if he wanted to be a dictator, people like william randolph hurst was saying please, go ahead. that's 180 degrees from where we are now. and one of the reasons i am pessimistic is that come january, whatever the makeup of the senate is, to try to imagine either the new president or the new congress crossing the line given the pressures on them from their base is to me to create almost an illusion. in other words, i know what the words are that everybody thinks they ought to say. but the minute that the base of the republican party says to their leadership, you've betrayed us before and we know what sean and rush are telling us and if -- if somebody wants to cross party lines for the democratic side, and the sanders-warren wing says no, no, now you're a corporate centrist, the difference between -- charlie: like in the campaign.
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jeff: the difference between where the parties were then and where they are now, and the belief that the other side is not just wrong but evil, has permeated this political system. and that's why i'm -- that's why i'm a pessimist. cokie: i hate to agree. [laughter] >> there's a first time for everything. cokie: not that i hate to agree but that set of facts but it's true. and yes, we're past mitch mcconnell say his goal is to have barack obama defeated. but -- and maybe and he paul ryan and hillary clinton will sit down together. i think she certainly if she's elected will reach out to them. i don't think there's any question about that. charlie: she's hinted at that. and telegraphed that. cokie: paul ryan is under attack. by his own party. and the senate is very much up in the air. and it's very hard to see people
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being willing to risk their own political lives in order to do the right thing for the country. charlie: how do we come to these deep divisions? was it somehow that the congress became polarized and fed off of this? and you had gerrymandering and all of that and redistricting, is that the essence of it? cokie: a big part of it. charlie: people were worried about their primary rather than they were general election and didn't have to be moderate, more extremist. >> let me say something about cokie's dad. i grew up in new orleans where cokie's dad was a congressman. and he had to represent a big old district of new orleans that had whites and blacks and suburbanites and labor and everything else. and he was somebody who was able to pull together in the early 1960's, civil rights act and everything else. and after he and then your mother held that seat, they redistricted it. and they had a gerrymandered district -- cokie: while she was there. >> gerrymandered all on the left and suburban district all on the right and you got i think david duke. and you got people who went to jail.
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and that type of thing destroyed the bipartisanship. cokie: and to -- that example also shows you, bob livingston who was the person from the suburban district which had been a third african-american before the gerrymandering. so he voted for the martin luther king -- he voted for open house and martin luther king holiday and all kinds of things and he could say to the white people who were very conservative in his district, it was david duke's legislative district, look, i've got to do this. i've got all these constituents. and then it became all white, it pushed him much farther to the right. and he'll talk about that. and so that's what's happened. the left has become -- pushed to the left and the right has been pushed to the right. they don't speak to each other. they don't know each other. they don't live in washington. and -- charlie: come in on tuesday and fly out on thursday. >> can i say something on behalf of optimism? expectations are so low right now that i think we have to remember that these problems were created by people.
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we created those kinds of reapportionment things and we can have different kinds of reapportionment the next time the census comes around. we've created a campaign finance system where money is poisonous. we can change that. now, whether or not the leaders are going to be able to mobilize public sentiment which is on the those things to be changed is another question but even doing little things, the -- suppose hillary meets with republicans right away and suppose she says like linden johnson did i'll have every single republican to the house in -- over to the white house in the first six months of my presidency. there will be such a sense of happiness at the perception that maybe it will sort of flood the reality to a little degree or at least give a little bit to it. we got to hope. we can't just assume that we're not going to do this.
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cokie: a lot of them just say, i won't go to the white house and i certainly will not have my picture taken with her. >> and one reason -- let them say that in public and let the invitations go out and let them say i'm not going. and let's see what the american people feel about that. there's still a dignity to this office of the presidency that i think we have to hold on to and made known that these invitations have come like every sunday night you have a sporting event. you have some people over. you drink with these guys. and then they don't come and let's put a list down of the people who say no to the president of the united states. >> we're all old enough at this table and in boston to be nostalgic for the time in louisiana and in washington when it was different. well, the thing that is never going to be changed -- i don't believe and can't be changed by an act of political will is how the media are different today than they were a generation or two ago. the degree to which every ideological stripe can have its own version of reality reinforced on television, on radio, by the internet, is not going to change. so i don't -- you know, unless -- in some implausible way americans just stand up and say no, we're going to return to the fair consensus era, i don't
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think so. i think we're -- we're cooked on that -- in that way. >> you can drive this point, i think, i guess at the end of this we will all be heading for the hemlock. charlie: i think not. jeff: but facts are facts. inauguration day, 2009, as robert draper i think recounts, a group of republicans and conservatives met at a washington steakhouse and said what are we going to do? and they said we are not going to give him anything. and in the face of that obstructionism, which at one point the democrats thought was going to help them as doris outlines, the republicans won two mid-term sweeps. and so from the point of view of how this plays out, civility is a sign of weakness to turn john kennedy on his head. the people who now are in control, and people like norm ornstein and man have argued this is asymmetric and true of both parties but more on one side. that if -- that if the republicans see that on the congressional level they have succeeded by doing what doris
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thought would not -- we're not going to cooperate. we're not going to sit down and he's a legitimate president. i would love to believe -- if aaron sorkin could write the next six months, i would have some hope. but i don't -- i don't see -- charlie: west wing ii? jeff: i don't see the mechanism. and maybe somebody can convince us. charlie: and is there a way -- >> and then the question is, in -- as we have been thinking for the last year and days, and hours about the possibility of a trump administration, i have often thought, well, if that were to happen, would the democrats remaining -- if they controlled the senate or didn't, would they somehow behave differently than the republicans in a similar position? would they not be obstructionist? i don't think we can bet on that. would they suddenly say ok, yes, we'll -- we'll confirm your nominations,
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president trump. i don't think so. i think it is a new -- it is a new situation. now, again, you know, nothing doesn't need to last forever. but these underlying media conditions which give great incentive to people on the extremes to remain on the extreme. cokie: special media. >> i included all together. >> the way out of this which doris can talk to, i think is almost impossible. but every 50, 75 years it happens which is some major realignment. it happened with teddy roosevelt and taft and the split in party and the progressivism. you have a real hunger in america among republicans of the sort of established school of republicans and some centrist democrats who say, this is wacky. and i haven't been able to figure out how it happened. but some realignment of parties -- charlie: in london, in great britain for a long time.
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and some party other than the tories. cokie: walter, you're involved with organizations that are very central to that goal. and that is the one place that i do see some hope. is that there are now several institutions that are really working to try to punish people for not coming together. and -- i know you haven't been yet. but hang in, walter. and i think that the -- and i do think that there are -- there are some voters who are fed up with the fact that nothing is going on. >> that's what we always hear. cokie: ripples of hope. ripples of hope. jeff: here i go again as ronald reagan may have said to me. if you asked the country, do you want bipartisanship? do you want a cooperative political system? the overwhelming majority will say yes, they even say yes they would like to see a new political party. but people also say they want to exercise more -- watch documentaries and eat broccoli. how they behave in the voting booths has not yet borne that out. maybe there is -- there are
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people who i respect who do think at this point the disaffection may be sufficient that some kind of new political force can emerge. cokie: that new political force is called women. and -- yes. because women -- >> hooray. charlie: how can women -- cokie: in legislative bodies they do come together and we have lots of data on this much more than men do. charlie: because they listen? cokie: they cooperate with each other. they particularly do on issues of having to do with women, children and families. but on other issues as well. they talk to each other. they listen to each other. and they behave. charlie: was it you, cokie, that once famously said that covering -- it's good that you were the -- the mother of a 2-year-old because it helped you cover the senate? cokie: right. [laughter]
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>> the other thing -- doris: i think cokie is right. the number of women who vote are greater than men and going to college, med school, law school, if those collaborative qualities of having to meet the demands of family and working life, etc., and they get more into politics then maybe there is -- that's -- you've just given me another ripple of hope. i'm there. cokie: doris, i'm glad. charlie: and as i've traveled around the world whether from china to europe to russia they're all asking us what's gone wrong in america? that's their question. >> but there's something jeff said earlier which resonated with me, talking about the world. which is drew faust said history about change, those who resist it and those who like it. and the resistance from modernity from the muslim world to the united now states, is a major trend of the 21st century. charlie: the resistance to --
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>> globalism. cosmopolitanism. charlie: globalism. cokie: a lot of it has to do with technology and the fact that the whole world is being affected by technology. at the same time. and, you know, like the industrial revolution. where everybody had to leave the farms and go to the cities or go across the ocean. and everything that they had done was no longer valued. home manufacturing particularly which -- when it was women's work. and it was -- it was incredibly disruptive to use the modern term. and that's what's happened with technology. and so with people not having the kinds of jobs they used to have, not having the kinds of lives they used to have, and combine that with the cultural changes and the demographic changes, they look around and say, i don't recognize my life.
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♪ jeff: in an effort to find some optimism a few months ago i asked one of the key economic players in obama's first term -- all right, i'm giving you a magic wand. what do you do with the 50-year-old displaced steel worker? and he said, i can't do anything for that person.
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his kids i can do something with if we had an apprenticeship program and used the community colleges the way they do in germany and other places, i can do something about people. but the people in late middle age who have been displaced are going to have lives lesser than they had. because the new jobs, and he was very candid about this, if you want to tell a displaced 55-year-old steel worker a great job, a home health care aide to an 80-year-old incontinent woman. charlie: what's the responsibility of the government to that person? jeff: is in a guy right or are there some things you could do beyond the kind of pieties of retraining? one of the things about the democratic party owns is the -- for 25 years telling these people you lost your job in the steel industry but we'll retrain you. it's a big cultural challenge to -- charlie: part of that is because of technology. cokie: it's all technology. charlie: not the cause of displacement but also you got to learn skills that have to do with things you aren't even familiar with. fewer jobs. may be
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that aspect ofed technology and automatization. we have -- not that the machine overlords will take over but this time it may be different. that the -- >> we don't have any data points that show that, though. it's amazing -- charlie: and doris we will come to you. >> kurt has the exact right question but what always surprises me is there are more and more jobs and we've seen this in the numbers recently where we've had enormous amounts -- charlie: are they jobs that people trained for? >> no. i think there's a displacement and -- but i don't think that total number of jobs ever since the weaving machines came in in the 1840's, people have been saying that there would be unemployment. and we're not seeing it this year. >> i hope that's correct. charlie: and considered full employment. >> and to what jeff was saying the next generation that -- the children, the sons of the manufacturing workers who are displaced need to be convinced and it's a great cultural challenge that being a nurse is not a woman's job solely. charlie: doris. yes. doris: i wanted to follow up on what cokie said.
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the industrial revolution does give us a parallel to some of the fears we have today. i mean, think of it then. as you said, people are moving from the farms to the city. lots of immigrants are coming in from abroad. the pace of life has sped up so much that people feel we don't know the country anymore. all this technological change is taking place with telephones and telegraphs. and yet -- and there was populism and there was anxiety and there were demagogues as a result of all that. and yet eventually that got channeled into the progressive part of the republican party and teddy roosevelt and change took place in a rational way and things began to feel better. so now we've got very similar situation with the technological revolution, with the globalization, with people feeling the country's changing beyond what it wants to see it doing. fear of all that. and they still got to believe that leadership somehow, if it gets mobilized, can channel those fears and anxieties into a positive direction. we did it -- just as bad as the industrial revolution and those changes were as big to those people as the changes we are feeling to us now. and yet we somehow managed to
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move through it. cokie: i agree with it. charlie: when was that? 21st century? doris: late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. there were strikes in the cities. there were riots in the cities. there were hunger strikes. there were marches. the unions were just beginning to make their way felt. and there was lots of immigration and lots of resistance to immigration coming in from abroad. and people were losing their whole sense of belonging to themselves on a farm. the gap between the rich and the poor had suddenly emerged. people are seeing millionaires when before the richest people were some doctor on a hill and your own little farm town. it was hugely disorientating and disrupting and yet somehow it got channeled through leadership and the party structure into positive form. and we're feeling it again. cokie: and you have to live through it. so you get the next generation and the next generation. and i really do think that's the big hope. >> and another hopeful data point. if you look at all the polling that goes on, people under 45 and certainly people under 35 and 30, this great polarization
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between "i can't deal with modernity and the new face of america" and "i can," is not there. cokie: and also we're talking about a majority-minority population. you know, that is a huge change. and i live in montgomery county, maryland and used to be the whitest of white suburbs and now minority majority. and it's -- and you have a very different america for young people. jeff: put this on the table as well. one of the things that i have actually sympathy for the political classes, the nature of what they're dealing with. so you start with the mobilization -- leading up to world war ii and starting in 1940 through 1973-74. we had the greatest economic expansion and growth broadly ever. i think annual growth was 4% a year. so if you came out of that world, everything was better every year.
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club,ow, the christmas money in.little more homes were more affordable. you were a white man. jeff: granted there were people left out. absolutely. that's why we're talking about that disaffected class. since 1975 the annual growth rate over the last four years has been much more like 2%. and how does a political leadership talk to a disaffected group when in fact what you are going to tell them if you're honest is we can't have that again? charlie: it's also why they have a new term called the new normal. the new normal is 2% is not going to be 4% and nobody thinks it will be 4% in the near future. >> and basically in 1974 because you pick that date is sort of when two things happened. personal computers come into existence, and basically the internet starts to spread. the networking of things. and so not only do you have a slower growth rate, but for some people, it's really, really
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good. and some people it's bad. >> that's what was meant at the beginning. and the thing that you were talking about around the world. between the people who were riding this new world and i would think to be candid pretty much everybody in this conversation is comfortable with this new world. and people who have felt overwhelmed. >> and we haven't talked about what this election cycle has done to and within the republican party. now, are these fissures that will be papered over quickly? or are they -- is it a major coming apart? just look at the issue speaking about globalization of trade. i mean, until five minutes ago, the republican party was the free trade party. cokie: ours was hillary clinton. >> hillary clinton, exactly. jeff: and every president since her better hoover. >> and now? how does the reconsolidating
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republican party establishment in the legislature and elsewhere, how do they feel about trade now? how do they feel about free trade or trade deals? charlie: all the conversation about trade can go to the question of jobs. that's what it's about. those people -- against trade are believing that trade and trade as it is practiced today means it means the loss of jobs. cokie: except in new orleans. >> and when you talk about the people who are comfortable with modernity and into technology and they realize that their jobs come from being part of a global market. cokie: and our exports are fastest growing part of our economy. >> but they don't say i can buy cheap stuff at wal-mart so i'm happy to have no job. >> immigration, trade. charlie: and sort of the idea of globalization. cokie: that's the only place the republican party has got to figure itself out is on immigration. and what trump has done in terms of alienating hispanics, might party.ry the republican this incredible, wonderful turnout of hispanics in the last -- over the early voting period.
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and we are expecting tomorrow it might also be high. charlie: it is a independent factor in this election. cokie: and, you know, this is the right reaction to somebody being offensive to you. go vote. and go say i'm going to -- with my vote show you what i think about that. and you look at 2012, when the republican party understood it seemed that they had to break out and reach out to the immigrants because that's the future. and then somehow this took it away from it right now. and i -- jeff: go ahead, doris. doris: can i make one other point? it was said before like montgomery county used to be all white and is now more diverse. the more we get people living in diverse areas, the more that they brush up against fellow citizens. the more they are willing as we've seen to open up acceptance to gays and lesbians in a way that had he hadn't before because they know them and see them. then that whole brexit idea that people were just living in places where the others were the others and as we become more diverse, as we're seeing now in florida, and north carolina, and other states, then you got to hope that somehow that desire, and that fear of the other will
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lessen. and that has always been the critical thing about america. jeff: maybe what we need is a new land grant program where lincoln established and you take millennials and move their coffee houses and their bookstores into these rural areas and -- instead of 160 acres give them low interest loans. doris: that's actually not crazy. jeff: i'm saying. charlie: we look at populism and the tension between urban and rural and people from the rural areas want to come into the urban areas to find a job. and you have more party control there. and more state control there. but they have some of the same kinds of tensions. >> the interesting thing is when things happen like this, globally. and then you get this sort of yearning for the outsider. and even -- i've read the bully pulpit and love it. in some ways, teddy roosevelt facing this exact same type of period, almost does it a-as an outsider talking about a squared deal for the american people.
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and that's where i think something that donald trump may have done for us which is maybe outsiders, especially very wealthy outsiders, can, you know, howard schultz. whatever. can say why not me? why not me? and it could possibly open the way to new people coming in. jeff: i think politically that is a really important point. i for some reason went back and read a once famous play called state of the union. and the hero of that, played by spencer tracy, is a businessman. he built the airplanes that won world war ii and wanted him to run for president. and he winds up saying i paid for this microphone and i'm not going to speak your cliches. but the idea of an outsider who bothered to inform him or herself of the issues, and reached across party lines, and talked in a way -- aaron sorkin fantasy. but there's something to it. cokie: and coming together instead of dividing. >> that's the howard schultz fantasy some of us are having. charlie: is that where ronald reagan got that phrase? in new hampshire. >> wondering that, too. jeff: maybe a hell of a coincidence. i don't know.
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but the point of it is walter is right. the impulse -- and i thought in some ways the whole trump phenomenon was like a hollywood liberal fantasy turned on its head. the outsider, the plain spoken -- and speaking truth to power. but in a way that no rational person might recognize as truth. but there is something about that impulse that drove him as close as he -- as he may have gotten to this job. cokie: and actually it is a quite wonderful american moment to think about that. that whatever happens, we're making history here. and the notion that somebody can come from the outside with every newspaper in the country, with the exception of two, you count the ku klux klan, three. again -- against him. charlie: and be close at the end. cokie: and all of the intelligentsia of conservative writers against him. and the former presidents of the republican party, and all of
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that, and still be so revered and so close to being president if not president, i think that tells you something -- charlie: what does that tell you? cokie: that the people do govern. the people rule. >> and yearning for an outsider. >> and maybe democracy is not all it's cracked up to be. jeff: go ahead. you took donald trump in a different form you had something special. someone i know said about her late unlamented husband, "we could hav ehad a great life if only he'd been a different person." and in some sense with trump, you know, there's wisdom there. charlie: donald trump has always said i didn't create this movement. this movement was there and i
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enabled them to sort of see something in me as their carrier. cokie: there's no question that people feel that the political system has let them down. a lot of the people who supported mr. trump. and it has. i mean, it hasn't answered the needs of a lot of those people. and yet i still just -- i worry about the idea that we need to look outside. and why can't we hope that somebody who cares about politics and has been a state legislator and maybe been in the military and comes in to public office that the political system can produce the people we want? otherwise, we're just undock the idea that politics is an honorable vocation. so i still worry about looking -- as an outsider we have to look at someone who cares about politics that comes out of -- charlie: is it a belief in public service rather than simply seeing politics as a place for ego aggrandizement? doris: exactly so. and maybe they've been in public service in a different way. and -- than just in politics or electoral office. at least they believe in that. cokie you said this a long time ago that the fact that people are not going into public service and politics now who were in the military in the same numbers that they were in after world war ii and the korean war. means that we don't have that sense of a common mission that people have already accomplished by being in the military that they're bringing into public life.
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so maybe there's national service that has to happen. and there are things we can do. we just can't give up -- we can't give up on the political system and just hope for some white horse guy to come in. somebody who has new ideas and grabs a -- the reins of leadership. doris: the followers have to let them lead. charlie: exactly. jeff: have we been in a time before where leadership has been challenged so viscerally and immediately? that's what i was talking about f.d.r.'s first days. when everybody said come on. we got to pull together. because we're in trouble. and even going back -- just one small example. so the bitterest supreme court fight we've had in my memory was clarence thomas. 1991. 55 democrats in the senate.
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charlie: bork was first. jeff: ok. but the one thing that the democrats never even thought about. filibustering. it wasn't done. no -- and they could have easily -- but at that time, 25 years ago the thought of using that weapon in that way was literally unthinkable. and now, you know, that's the way we govern or don't govern. >> there are so many things we have discovered in this cycle and lately. that oh, that wasn't done yet. it wasn't -- it wasn't unconstitutional. it wasn't legally impermissible. but that wasn't done. and so much of what has been said in this presidential campaign. well, that's just not done. you know? and we have stepped over so many lines in that way. cokie: i always hate to put too rosy of glass on the past. there were lots of things that were done. and in fact, the house of representatives used to be able to filibuster. and on the war of 1812, they were filibustering against the war of 1812 and the only way it
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ended was when someone threw a spittoon across the room and it made an enormous noise. and probably was thoroughly disgusting. and everybody stopped talking. filibuster was deterred. >> wouldn't have a gotten into that war of 1812. cokie: we needed to. charlie: are we experiencing parallel to what we're finding in our politics? i'll preface this by saying in a conversation with president obama i quoted him as saying we have the finest military and we got the best economy. we've got the best science. we've got the best technology. but all of that may not get us there because of our politics are so broken. jeff: one of my favorite journalists james fallows, the issue of are we in decline? and most of our institutions are strong and can fix this but our political system is the single biggest impediment to moving on. charlie: the academy is strong. military is strong. business is strong.
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cokie: i have a lot of faith in the young people and the young people can come in and fix this. >> women and young people. cokie: women and young people. you all can go home. [laughter] charlie: we all want to be on the island. cokie: they are so diverse. and that's the way the country always renews itself is through wonderful waves of immigration, of people coming in from everywhere. and with new ways of looking at things. and a deep affection for this country that they feel very strongly about. and i think that's -- that's our great hope. is the continuous wave of immigrants. jeff: what happens to the disaffected? cokie: we die. we go. a generation goes. all of us go.
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jeff: eventually i assume that's right. >> could you have a populist party that splits off? and we say that these are the angry, disaffected populist -- jeff: the nativist population. >> bernie sanders -- tea party -- >> the reality-based party. and the -- not that sanders isn't reality based. and -- twitter. [laughter] >> but you have a left wing party, a right wing populist party and you have the middle. >> in our dreams. >> john kasich and hillary clinton party. >> but paul ryan and hillary clinton party. charlie: let's go back to america. is 21st century not be america's century because of the rise of china and asia? go ahead. >> the president said we have everything going for us. and by the way, even unemployment is low. we are creating -- charlie: philanthropy. >> and editing the genome. we're inventing all sorts of new things that will change everything. and our politics is -- has gotten in the way.
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and it's almost because the structures of politics have fallen apart. the notion of political parties have lost control. the notion of the senate being the senate has lost control. charlie: the notion of political parties -- jeff: that's one of the central lessons of this campaign. is that that so much of the theory about how political parties work, even in this age, i think it's -- it has been thrown into a cocked hat. not that just trump engendered a hostile takeover and i don't think there was a single member of the governing wing of that party that was for him. but it's also that none of his policy positions, if they happen to coincide with the republican party, it's by accident. and the -- the guardrails or the trip wires, that normally you would have thought of would have stopped this, like if george wallace had been the leading candidate in 1972, the democratic trip wires would have stopped him. he never would have been the nominee. >> we sort of had that on the democratic side. which is that the d.n.c., according to the hacked emails and everything, said ok. let's try to help get this thing done and -- with hillary.
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that was actually a good thing. that's what a party should do. >> bernie sanders, i know bernie sanders. he is no donald trump. ♪
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doris: we're on to something important which is the parties need to re-establish control. if they mean anything at all, having some sense of influence on the nominating process. i mean, it all happened because of my guy teddy roosevelt in 1912 when he wanted to beat taft who had the party delegates behind him because he was the sitting president and introduced let the people vote and a primary system happened. for a long period of time the primaries went out and came back in again and the superdelegates still represented as they did on the democratic side the party on the democratic side holding some power. republicans made a decision some years ago, four years ago that they were going to reduce the number of superdelegates and have to vote like their states voted. i think we need to think about do we really want the primaries? i know this doesn't sound democratic. but do we want the party leaders to get consensus and mean anything at all to have a little bit more control when the decision is made as to who the nominee is? and in 1912, when the fight got so vitriolic between teddy and taft "the new york times" wrote an editorial if this is our first experiment under this new primary system, we sincerely
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hope it's our last. this is a mob. people from abroad must be looking at and blushing what we appear to be and that could be written today. >> since 1968 and 1972 is when this more democratic small d democratic primary system emerged. the same time, the very same time, that the decline in faith in institutions began unabated. >> i don't think -- >> the observations of the media happened. all three perfect storms. >> so -- >> kurt's point about the decline of faith in institutions, also a global thing. i mean, in england, you -- great britain, you were not supposed to have sort of referenda and pure democracy. things were supposed to be done in the parliament. and now that are finding that out. charlie: a referendum on -- >> and finding out who controls things in great britain? is it parliament? which is the way the constitution says. or is it the sort of referendum, primaries -- jeff: i think that's so central to this. there was one little data -- a
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phrase data point. and piece of information. so if i'm right about this, and i think i am, so last year was the hottest year on record. that's not opinion. it doesn't tell you why. climate change. who knows what? it turns out that -- either a significant minority or majority of trump voters do not believe that last year was the hottest year on record. which is one step short of saying so two plus two is four? cokie: and happens all the time. where there's a lot of data that shows the more you show people data, that says that vaccines do not cause autism, the less they believe it. and we just living in that world at the moment. because people have very strong views. >> entitled to their own facts. charlie: and said you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. >> what do we make? it's a related fact that in this election, for the first time since polling began, college educated whites are voting -- are -- the democratic presidential candidate is
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winning college-educated whites. hmm. is that because college educated people are more able to see the empirical truth than noncollege educated? >> go on twitter? >> bring it. >> talking about twitter. and the notion of anonymity and being able to say really brutal, bullying things, anonymously, did not exist in our society. charlie: that's what happened in our politics this season, too. it wasn't anonymous. it was said out public in ways we hadn't heard. >> and not in a dog whistle way in its racial -- >> foghorns. jeff: i also -- charlie: the coarseness. of dumbing down. coarseness. jeff: one of the trump people when they were asked, well, comey said there was nothing in the emails and they said on the record, yeah, but it damaged her. there was a time -- cokie: say privately. jeff: we know it wasn't --
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cokie: in terms of this -- getting to the party leaders being in charge is not going to happen. you don't put the toothpaste back in the tube. and the more -- the more that you have democracy, the more that you have democracy. and the -- >> democratic convention in 1968. charlie: i know. connecticut. senator from -- senator from connecticut. cokie: 1976. charlie: 1968. cokie: my father was platform chairman. in 1968. >> and as kurt said, 1968-1972. jeff: in this point cokie, warning about nostalgia is very useful. back then, the idea that the nominee of the democratic party had never contested in a primary and sailed in on the votes of leaders, that was not considered a good thing. that was considered a bug to use -- cokie: hubert humphrey. charlie: we have had in the last several years, you know, more conflict between law enforcement
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and african-americans. whether it's more or we know more about it, but here is a racial conflict and we just had eight years of an african-american president. and yet there seems to be, you know, a rising of that tension at that level. are we making no progress? cokie: oh, sure we're making progress. again, i think we do know more about it. and i think that what's happening is in police departments around the country that there's a lot of effort to -- charlie: and a lot of these police departments where they had this happen, the police chief, is african-american. cokie: right. but i think there's a lot of realization of this. and people are making an effort to educate police departments and the citizenry and a lot of good will around this even though you think you're going through a bad patch. doris: and i think when -- charlie: what it has done is caused us to re-examine the legacy of slavery.
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cokie: that's a good thing. >> and the great accomplishments of civil rights. as great as they were were legalistic accomplishments. and half a century later we're still working on it and hugely a matter of we're aware of it because everybody has a camera in their pocket. and that's a good thing. painfully good thing. cokie: i agree. >> about technology. jeff: the edelman documentary on o.j., one of its most important points to cokie's point is it documents going back all through at least the 1940's incidents where african-americans were killed by los angeles police without accountability. that's one of his explanations for what happened at the o.j. case. so the idea that -- i agree with you that in the age when everybody has a smart phone and we see it more, but the idea that has been a rising phenomenon i think is belied by the facts. cokie: but very important that we know it. charlie: and something good may come out of it that we know it and recognize it. doris: during the business about
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police brutality and mr. trump said to the african-american community things were worse than it's ever been for you, worse than 67 years ago. that's not true. not only the events in the cities have gone on without accountability but worse than before blacks had the right to vote or when they were discriminated against in the south and couldn't go into a bathroom on the street? we have to not let this shadow of what we imagine is happening overtake the reality of what actually happened. charlie: you could argue that big city governments has failed to address some real simmering problems. cokie: but he said that -- doris: the inner city has problems of education, of mobility, of wealth, of everything together that makers it hard to deal with the city's problem. but things are certainly better than they were 50 or 60 years ago. >> and nobody benefited -- the astonishing reduction in violent crime in america in the last 25 years, nobody has benefited more than african-americans. cokie: but what he was saying, when he said you never had it worse, he said that in white communities.
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and he said it in poor white communities. and look, you and i and to some degree you, you're younger, grew up in the jim crow south. we know exactly what that was. that was saying you guys, you know, there's somebody who -- and you're still better than them. that's what that was. >> the notion that this brought out racism in our society, that this campaign, you were allowed to play on racial hatred, that to me is the most shocking and depressing thing about this campaign. charlie: one of the questions that's being asked is somehow did the campaign legitimize the nativist in some of the worst elements? >> yes. charlie: because they were -- yes. >> that's the part of the -- jeff: most shocking. that's what i mean by the trip wire. doris: and also legitimize feelings about race and legitimize feelings about women. the coarsened dialogue allowed all of that to come out and people might have been feeling it internally but they can say it publicly. every night we see it, we see it on the internet.
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that's the lasting impact and one of the places i feel pessimistic about the nature of this campaign. cokie: the violence against women that whole business she doesn't have the stamina. that whole business of women are weak. she's -- >> and they're nasty. if they're argumentative. >> this campaign has actually given political correctness a good name. i want to go back to saying you're not supposed to say those things. and because -- and shakespeare taught us, we have become the mask we wear. and so if we are not -- if we just say no, even in locker rooms, we don't say that about blacks and we don't say it about women. then we're a better society. >> political correctness we can all cite our examples of oh, my god. too much political correctness. but there is a question of civility, decency, and that -- don't throw that baby out with the bath water. jeff: erasing the line and calling people by wretched, awful names and that's not political correctness. doris: 19th century terrible things were said against each
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other in party structure and wasn't on television every night so young kids could hear it. ♪
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