cultural norms continue. the author contends that american debt placed the country in a procurious position and that regulation and lack of innovation have become hallmarks of the country's business climate. mark steyn speaks at the new hampshire institute of politics and political library at st. ansthum college in new hampshire. [applause] >> wow. good evening. looks like a lot of people happen to be here. [laughter] very excited. everybody here to hear the musical theater critic? [laughter] you think i'm joking. [laughter] one thing you're going to learn tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is that the guy that you're hear to see who is named mark steyn is a disabuser of false notions. most of you think you are here to hear a critic, an author, a
come men at a -- commentator. let me begin we reviewing his life. one unique thing about mark steyn is his very existence is a thumb in the eye to conventional wisdom and to things you thought you knew. mark steyn is from toronto, and like any wise and intelligent person, he got out as quick as he could. [laughter] he -- i mean, as quick as he could, like 16 -- unfortunately, he made the mistake of going east instead of south, so he wound up in london, back and forth between canada and england a little bit. now, can you imagine leaving home at a teenager, bopping back and forth, and, you know, the great british empire, what are you going to do with yourself? so this guy becomes lots of
different things, rock n' roll d.j., musical theet -- theater critic. he makes documentaries. he writes about opera, opera. this guy lives in the woods in new hampshire. here's a culture contribute -- critic. i like opera, and i put it in the car as we travel to go camping to give the kids culture as we're about to kill fish and stuff. [laughter] this is how cultured and varied a background mark steyn has. this is a guy you're going to hear from. now, people will tell you, especially people who don't like mark steyn, say, here's a conservative critic. they dismiss it by saying "conservative critic" that that's something people should
not apyre to be, but as if that's demeaning as if he just criticizes people. that, i think, does mark steyn a great injustice. sure, he's an author, best selling author. by the way, those of you who are here holding copies of his latest book, might be interested to know it was just announced it made -- will debut at number five on the new york times hard cover nonfiction list. [applause] pretty good for a conservative critic, huh? mark steyn, once he bopped around, did his d.j. and theater criticism and documentaries, somehow wound up being diverted into this life of what i think dismissers call a conservative critic or common at a timer.
they are also wrong. again, his life, his work proved them wrong. this guy's not a cultural critic or a conservative critic. he is -- i'm not exaggerating -- a human rights activist. now, some of you might laugh; right? your idea of a human rights activist is somebody who has dread locks, not bathed for a couple days, holding a sign protesting that we need to take money from the free societies and give to dictators. that's what people commonly associate human right activists with; right? well, mark steyn is, in fact, a human rights activist. his writings, his work is dedicated to promoting liberty, to making people as free as they can be, and he doesn't just walk the walk. this is a guy who in writing about issues of freedom, oppression was brought up on
charges -- maybe charges is too strong a word -- brought before the canada human rights commission and accused of bigotry. he said thing about muslims, wrote things after 9/11 about islam, about radical islam that some of the more sensitive people in the islamic community, if you want to call it that in canada, took offense too. they took him for three different human rights commissions. now, we in the united states might find this baffling because we enjoy the freedoms to be able to criticize and call other people out when we think they are doing wrong. in canada, they have a human rights code that says you're not allowed to talk about a group, a person or a group, in a way that would subject it to hatred or ridicule and so forth, so this
group said, hey, mark steyn is making people think bad things about muslims. that he brought him up in front of three different human rights commissions. each time, he was thrown out. this is what i love about mark steyn. when it was thrown out the canada human rights commission, the big national one, they said, look, nothing he said here really rose to the level of, you know, being something we can lock him up for or censor his writings for. although, in cab canada it's frightening there's a human rights commission that does have the power as the people who brought him up to the commissionmented to direct -- wanted to direct him in his publication and what to say. they talked it out, and mark steyn got mad and said i wanted to lose. i wanted to lose it so you would take it to court, a real court with real laws so we could put this notion to rest and free the
people of canada. that's the kind of person that mark steyn is. that's the kind of human rights activism that i think is so critical and so important today and that you're about to hear a lot about. with that, let's please welcome mark steyn. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> thank you, thank you very much, drew. it's wonderful to be here in -- what the hell state are we in again, drew? oh, my state, my state, new hampshire. it's weird, i never recognize the bit with indoor plumbing. [laughter]
we were supposed to get that in my part of the state with the stimulus package, but fell off the truck somewhere up i-93, so we never did. [laughter] he mentioned opera, drew, in his introduction, and it's true, i used to introduce opera on the television a long time ago, and a neighbor of mine up north who does sugaring, and the opera were coming, and i notified him that the opera were making a rare appearance, some opera company in lebanon, new hampshire. he thinks because he's in the woods, he wants to see what the opera thing is all about, and we get a couple tickets, and he's on his way down there, in his pick-up truck with his wife, gets pulled over by the cops for speeding, and the guy asked the driver for license and registration, opens the glove box and three guns fall out, and
it's nots in there. he pulls up the thing in the middle and pulls out another five to six guns. it's not -- license and registration, he knows it's around here smit, piles around the backseat, tossing seven more guns on top of his wife, and the cop is bored and says, okay, forget it. bring it into the police station in whatever it is, the next seven days. by the way, where are you going in such a hurry, and he goes to the opera. [laughter] it's no -- no, no, you laugh. it makes sense to pack heat at the opera. if it's your first night, those arguments can get serious. i want to say something before we get going tonight. if you're from new hampshire and you listen to me very, very, very, very, very carefully, you may just hear a very, very faint
trace of just a little of a wee little accent that leads you to believe that i'm not innative. [laughter] i don't want you to worry about it. it's the malfunctioning in the sound system. we spent all afternoon trying to fix it. the engineers worked on it nonstop, but it's some kind of miswiring. we could not do anything about it. if you go home and catch the speech when it's shown on your television, i'm been digitally remastered into my natural yankee accent. i don't want to distress you tonight. i love this state, discovered it by accident, thought it was beautiful, and thought it would be nice to have a condo for a couple ski weekends a year and a week's vacation in the weekend months. drew asked me how i wound up in new hampshire before we came out. i thought it would be nice to have a ski condo. walked into the realtors and
walked out with a 200-year-old old farmhouse that needed 200 year's worth of work on it. i fell in love with the land, and i walk my dogs every morning, and it never ceases to take my breath away. i fell in love with the land, and then i fell in love with the system of government. i saw what one saw when he told jacksonian new england years ago self-reliance system governing themselves in their own townships. he was smarter than me. e certainly never would have bought my house, believe me. he probably got the ski condo, fully serviced in loon mountain. he's there every february. on the channel 9 ski reports talking about fresh powder, they refer to his wig. [laughter] actually, that's -- a lot of sports bars you play, he just dies, believe me.
[laughter] i came for the sweet land and i stayed for the liberty which kind of snuck up on me, and the liberty is a little in pearl which is what i'll talk about. the book is called "after america, get ready from armageddon." i was going to say it's available in good bookstores, but most closed down. now borders has gone out of business. normally they only stock my books way at the back prompting up the table for al gore's dvd box set. [laughter] an inconvenient truth, the directors cut. [laughter] but this time borders is so reluctant to carry the book at all, they have taken the precaution of going out of business. [laughter] if you go to the big -- the big borders and today's the last day, i don't know whether they
are keeping their ten o'clock closing hour, but if you go to the big borders up in concord, for the first time ever, my book is in the front window because even the looters didn't want it. [laughter] when you're launching a book, you always want a bit of a publicity boost, something in the news cycle that gives you a lift. my books are about fiscal collapse. two days before the release, s&p downgraded america from its aaa status for the first time in history. if you're an author, you can't buy publicity like that. [laughter] you can if you have $15 trillion willing to toss it into the federal treasury, but other than it's expensive. in part of the book i compared britain's decline with what my america might be in for. that's chapter five called "the new britain, the depraved city,"
and two days before my book was published in the united kingdom, the welfare deadbeats decided to reenact my book in the streets of london by burning half the city to the ground. again, you can't buy publicity like that. [laughter] drew mentioned i used to be a musical theater critical. this is like chapter five the musical if you have been to a musical where the cast burned down the set. it's fap tas tick. you can't buy publicity like that. the news cycle moves on and everybody is on the iowa straw poll of presidential candidates, and michele bachmann went up and down the state, waterloo quoting my book and wins the iowa straw poll and quotes my book on "meet the press" so between the riots and downgrades and michele bachmann, i had a great opening week. [laughter] if you read the chapter with the
big nuclear finale, be out of town when we do the publicity tie in for that. [laughter] you don't write a book called after america because you want it to happen. you write it in order to prevent it happening. total societal collapse is not in my interest. if you're an author, the destruction of the banking system makes it much harder to cash the royalty check. i want to prevent the dawn of the post-american world, and i hope you do too. if you're in favor of the post american world, if you're a tenured lefty professor at an american college campus, i don't think you'll enjoy it as much as you think you will. [laughter] i'm often asked by fellow conservatives why i'm being such a hysterical queen about the whole business because if you recall president obama's now forgotten debt commission, i don't know whether you remember them all varied by blue ribbons,
a few months ago they produced a report, the moment of truth, and after that dramatic title, they proposed such convulsive course corrections as raising the age of social security eligibility to -- raising the age of social security eligibility to 69 by the year 2075. [laughter] [laughter] so with wakeup calls like that, we can all roll over and sleep in for another half century; right? [laughter] some of us have been here before. we foreigners know the smell of decay. we've lived it. when we get the whiff of it in our nostrils in america today, that's a very worrying sign. we have a advantage over you natives where the canaries in the coal mine and know what the
smell means. another foreigner who spends the year over the border in massachusetts. last year, nile ferguson, professor at harvard joined such thinkers at the aspen ideas festival as barbara stria's and and james broland and professor ferguson told barbara, "having grown up in a declining empire, i do not recommend it. it's just not a lot of fun actually, decline." he's right. it's really not. you don't want to go there. we'll way on the way there, deep on the climb for one hell of a fall. greece or portugal or iceland, the scale is entirely different. no one uses the "t" word trillion in dublin. that word is unique to washington, and when a millionth trillion cay tas trough fewer troops falls off the cliff, it
hits harder than one in portugal. it's the assumption that american decline will be as comfortable for americans as british decline was for britains when they yielded to the americans after the second world war. dream on. that was the smoothest transfer of global dominance in history. it will not go that smoothly next time round, and next time round is already under way. by 2016, the world's leading economy will be a communist dictator shape. that's in five years time. think about that. if the imf is right, the guy you legislate next november will be the last president of the united states to reside over the world's leading economy, and instead, the preimminent economic power will be a one-party state with a come mewist party presiding over a largely peasant population with no market, no rights, no rule of
law, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, a land whose legal political and cultural traditions are as alien to its predecessors as could be deviced, and it will not mark the end of the two century dominance, but even more civilization will be startling. up like the americans and the british and the dutch and italians before them, the leading economic power will be a country that doesn't even use the roman alphabet. it's very silly to assume that this is just a matter of dollars, cents, and debt to gdp rh owes. when money drains, power drains remorse leslie. the week before my book came out, everybody was very excited about whether we'd reach a so-called deal on the debt ceiling before the clock chimed midnight on august 2. remember all the big fuss about this? august 2 is looming, approaching, august 2 at
midnight. if we didn't reach a deal on the debt ceiling, our coach will turn back into a pumpkin, and air force one turns into a large zucchini can president obama's arugla flops wildly in the wind. i may be exaggerating a little bit. [laughter] the deadline was irrelevant. the problem is not the ceiling, but the debt, and negotiating the deadline to maintain the illusion to 2 a.m. does not alter the fact it is an illusion. put the debt ceiling debate in perspective. there was a dispute between john boehner and the budget office about the so-called scoring of his plan. he said his plan calls for $7 billion of cuts for the 2012 budgets and the cbo says only
using the 2012 budget by a billion dollars. who cares. the $7 billion that john boehner calls a real enforceable cut for financial year 2012 represents what the government of the united states currently borrows every 37 hours. in other words, between now and the time and the end of the week, we will have borrowed back every dime of those pain stakingly negotiated savings. if the cbo's scoring is correct that it reduces the 2012 deficit by just $1 billion, then the cut represents what the united states borrows every five hours and 20 minutes. in other words, in less time it takes to drive from my pad upstate and back and the time it takes to watch harry potter and the deathly hallows parts one and two with a break in between, all the savings of this pain stakingly negotiated plan will have been borrowed back.
$7 or $1 billion. who cares who's rights, it's the choice between dead or deader. the shuffling back and forth of the white house for a quote real inforcible cut of $1-$7 billion -- let me give relevant numbers. within a decade, the united states will be spending more of the federal budget on its interest payments for nonex-military. that's to say more on debt service than on on the armed services. by 2020, the government will be paying between 15%-20% of revenues in debt interest, and defense spending is down between 14%-16%. america, just to get this in perspective, america will be -- is responsible for about 43% of the world's military expenditures. within a decade, america will be spending more on debt interest,
and this is not paying often the principle. this is right when you get your mastercard at the end of the b month, you can't pay the debt. all you do is stay current with the charge. our monthly interest charge will be more than the combined military expenditures of china, britain, france, russia, britain, japan, germany, south dakota d saudi arabia, canada, australia, spain, turkey, and israel. you add up all the military budgets, that's our interest charge on the debt. by 2015 -- by the way, that's if they are at a historic low. if they return to what they averaged in the last 20 years, about 5.7%, america will be spending more than the planet's entire military budget on debt interest. by about 2015, we will be covering the entire costs of the people's liberation army of china. that's what you dies have to pay
for. small businesses in bedford, suburban home owners will be paying for the entire budget of the chinese military, no presence of that in history. the roman empire was stuped in the last years, but they didn't say to roman taxpayers that as a matter of policy, you have to pick up the bill not just for the roman military, but the others as well. if they had, it wouldn't have been so bad because the military's budget was mostly just pelts. [laughter] they would go to bed and still have a better deal than we do. permanence is the illusion of every age. we are not just out sources power, and as american power fades, it's outsourcing the future to have -- a very
dangerous planet. this is bleak and i understand it's depressing scenario. i don't want to give away the ending in the book, but when you do the musical version drew encouragedded, we'll focus with the finale and out of town previews and change it to a happy ending where michellebackman settles down with joe biden to have a community of organizer grants in chicago. it will warm your heart. [laughter] until we close the deal with this on that particular project, let me say being grim, it starts with the money, but never stops there. i'll spell out where a post american world leads. a is for addiction. we spend too much. it's a spending issue. the united states joined the rest of the western world in voting itself a lifestyle it was
not willing to pay for and indeed can never pay for because when you spend $4 trillion, but you only take in $2 trillion, the federal government model, you can never close that gap with revenue. when government spends on the scale washington's got used to, it's not a spending crisis, but a moral one of the there's nothing virtuous about caring, compassionate progressives demonstrating how caring and exration gnat they are by spending money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born. we are looting the future to bribe the presence and looted the future to such an extent it's not clear we have one. that's what fiscal conservatives miss. it's an a green shade r. the multitrillion debt issue is not the problem, but merely the symptom. this is where i disagree with mitch daniels and some others.
it's not about balancing the books, but rebalancing the structures of society. r is for redistribution. leftists often talk about redistribution of wealth, and redistributing from the future to the present, you redistribute wealth that is not yet been created. wealth that does not exist. meanwhile, day by day in this republic, we see an unprecedented prans fer of resources from the productive class to the obstructive class. much of this wept does not -- wealth does not exist, what are we redistricting? liberty. a rule by regulators of bureaucrats and social engineers. just this week, the forelly golden state of california, a broke jurisdiction whose government and dependency class drives of what's left of the
productive class to flee the borders. the state announced just this week its burping priority is it needs to regulate bed shoots in motels and hotels. it will be illegal under the california sheet regime -- [laughter] for motels and hotels to put non-fitted shoots on their beds so there will be a sheet regulatory regime with sheet enforces kicking down room 73 to check their incompliance with the california sheet regime. you can try to resist, but they'll kick the sheet out of you. [laughter] there's an aproxy quotation to describe the way pass vieses assume the soldiers are there to defend. people sleep in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on
their behalf. ha! says the state of california. people sleep peaceably in their beds because only the state agency of state regulation stands ready to do violence to inkeepers with not elastic sheets. [laughter] by the way, if there's any ku klux klan members here tonight -- [laughter] i know you tea party guys -- [laughter] i know what it's really about, so if there's any cue cluck clan members here toned, you're planning on flying in for a lodge meeting in california, you will need a fitted sheet, okay? [laughter] [applause] when canada -- when canada decriminalized homo sexuality, one said the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, but california says oh, yes, we
do. if you are con sue mating your same-sex marriage on a noncompliance sheet -- [laughter] and so it goes. i was talking, i was talking to an undocumented immigrant and he says that california is already a by-word for sheet government. [laughter] these are not trivial things. they represent the remorseless redistribution of liberty. 7-year-old julie was selling lemonade in portland, oregon when two officers demanded to see her restaurant license which would have cost her $120 and when she failed to produce it, these officers threatened her with a $500 fine. she's a 7-year-old girl. they also made her cry. now, when i read these stories, there was another one, there's another one in the papers just the other day, u.s. fish and
wildlife, an 11-year-old girl in virginia had rescued a woodpecker from the clutches of a cat, nursed it back to health before releasing it, and and agent of the united states department of fish and wildlife arrived along with an escort of virginia state troopers to deliver a $535 fine to the little girl who rescued the woodpecker for the federal crime of transporting a protected specie. she transported it out of the mouth of the cat who was eating it! serve the cat with a $535 fine for illegally transporting the woodpecker down its gullet. [laughter] these are not small things. two officers shaked down the girl for the lemonade fine.
officers from two agencies, federal and state, makes the 11 -year-old girl cry for rescuing the woodpecker. they should be ashamed of themselves. this is not a small thing. they do not understand the relationship between the citizen and the state. when i read these stories, i'm reminded of saudi arabia's religious place. the commission for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vices. in this case, our religious police, the religion they enforce is state power. perhaps like the fierce bearded men, the cheerless schools of permit stand could be issued with whips to slay the great school sinners in the street. way they do in jeta. when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade and then watch the state enforcers turn it back into sour fruit.
ask yourself this -- it's exactly the same thing as gun control. gun control is not about give ups, but control. woodpecker control is not about birds, but control. lemonade control is not about lemonade, but control. if a second grader cannot sell home made lemonade in her backyard without permits, what aspects of your life can the government regulate? more and more americans, law has been there by regulation, rules not legislated by representatives accountable to the people, but invented by an activist bureaucracy, much of which is less of either political party. remember congress stripped provisions for end of life counseling, the so-called death panels out of the obamacare bill. sebalius put them back. why shouldn't she? the new law contains 700
references to secretary shall, another 200 to the secretary may, and 139 to the secretary determines. the secretary may and shall determine pretty much anything she wants, quotes at random. the secretary shall develop all health care components that shall include tooth level surveillance. tooth level surveillance. that phrase is hitterto unknown to human history. [laughter] but it's in obamacare. george iii never went in for tooth-level surveillance. [laughter] if the stories about george washington's wooden teeth were true, that would have killed the american revolution right there and then. i'm not sure gadhafi goes in for tooth-level surveillance. colonial subjects to dentured servitude in a mere quarter millennium. [laughter]
[applause] m is for monopoly. i mentioned a moment ago the aspen's ideas festival has great thinkers so i would like to cite another great thinker, george harrison of the peoples. he, in a wide-ranging ramble, detoured out of the harry fish and the british version of the u.s. anti-trust division, and he goes, you know, this is the thing i don't like. it's the moaks notary monopoly's commission. kodak is cleaning the market of film, and the government is in there saying you can't monopolize, but when the governments monopolize, who sends in the monopolize commission to sort that one out? that is one of the most brilliant observations on government that has ever been made. there was an old joke in britain
at the time, why is there only one monopolize commission? [laughter] it is, in fact, an incisive observation on the nature of government. we wouldn't like it if there was only one automobile company or breakfast cereal, but there can only be one government which is why in george's words when the government monopolizes, it should do so only in very limited areas. that's true of national go.es when they govern more 300 million people dispersed over a continue -- continent. it's worse than that. it's not just a monopoly of power. right now we have rule by monopoly of ideas, the most dangerous of all, in fact, the one of gray matter as it were. take, for example, our
so-called -- we're ruled technically a cartel of conformcrats who empowered pose a sterile monopoly. the day after president obama's election, michael hailed him as "probably the smartest guy ever to become president." why would you say such a thing? i mean, other than an impressive talent for self-promotion, what has he ever done? even as a legendary thinker, what original thought has he ever expressed in his life, and yet he's the smartest guy to become president? he's the presidential historian so he should know because he's a smart guy too and lending a hand, another smart guy, david brooks hailed the incoming add administration as a collection of supersmart egg egghead.
if a foreign enny attacks the united states during the harvard yale game over the next four years, we're screwed. [laughter] he was right. over a quart of obama's political appointees had ties to harvard. over 90% had advanced degrees, and yet we're screwed anyway. how did that happen? what kind of supersmart guys all think the same thing? we are governed by conformcrats who live in a self-promoting bubble and cannot see anyone other than a racist, terrorist, or a mentally-ill lunatic like paul williams getting fired from npr, they say, oh, we're just going to send you to the camp and lie here, let the men in white strap you, and you'll soon be feeling better.
the "new york times" recruits staff by sending editors to higher people. at the african-american journalist convention, the women's convention, the hispanic, the gay convention, it recruits on the basis of diversity of race, gender, orientation, every diversity except the only one that matters, diversity of ideas, and if anyone can use new ideas now, it's america's wretched elite ruling class. [applause] a is for artero -- the shortest answer to president obama. yes, we can. no, we can't. have you tried to?
the environmental impact study, put that on the end of yes, we can. america is seizing up. i cite the most obvious example in the book, the ten year hole in the ground in lower manhattan that should shame every one of us here because destroying those buildings is something america's enemies did to us, leaving a hole in the ground for a decade is something we did to ourselves. the empire state building, thallest in the world back threne was put up in 18 months during the depression. where's that's spirit today? what can you do in 18 months today? at that ten year hole in the ground in lower manhattan is profound and eloquent in what it says about american sclerosis. g is for global retreat. as powers learn, the price of big government at home is a smaller presence abroad. first comes reorientation and the shrinking of the horizon. after empire, britain turned
inwardment between 1951 and 1997, the proportion of government expenditure on defense fell from 24% to 7% whim the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22% to 53%. that's before tony blair's new labor government came along in 1997 to widing the gap further. i'm sure, you know, for that 53% welfare spending, you saw what a bang for the buck they got on your tv screens this last week. when they spent that within living memory, the city in flames on our tv every night governed a dpift of the earth's surface and a quarter of its population. it inverted priorities and spent all of that money on its nanny state charges at home with what
spectacular results you can see if you booked a trip to london in the next six weeks. good luck with that. that's the same trajectory every great power -- you can have entitlements as home, or global reach abroad, but not both. you can see it now with our war in libya. i don't know how many of you remember the war. it was in the paper for 48 hours. it's still going on out there apparently, and then it fell off the screen. i believe it's in the book of records. there is that to be said for it. the president spent the first month the war telling the american, oh, don't worry. we're not running the show, along for the ride, just go to the meetings. the point of the war is on a need to know basis, and we don't need to know. it's not a war, but a stoke limited action. they eventually announcedded, so
reluctant, that the new comnder of soap limited action was general bushard, a canadian general. i'm a canadian, and i didn't know we still had generals. [laughter] i said on fox news that week that as much as i like the idea of canadian military commanders randomly invading muslim nations -- [laughter] i really feel the gig should have gone to a mexican general. [laughter] after all, president obama had pretty much spent the previous month insisting that this is a job americans won't do. [laughter] [applause] war is hell, but scope limited action is purgatory.
bejink, teheran all enjoyed this in libya, an area in which the global order maker of the last 60 years not only can't enforce its will, but no longer makes any serious attempt to do so. they are looking forward to that world. e is for engineering, and the idea logical social engineering of our education system would be regarded as child abuse i think in any other age. aside from its other defects, it diverts too many americans into frivolous unproductive activity while our competitors get on with the real work. in 1940, a majority of the u.s. population had no more than a grade eight education. by 2008, 40% of 18-24 year olds were enrolled in college, in a world in which the typical american is almost twice as old by the time he completes his education as he was in 1940,
spent over twice as long in the classroom, and got twice as much attention from his school mom because the pupil to teacher ratio is half of what it was a century ago. education is the biggest single structural defect in the united states right now. no country needs to send a majority, never mind all as president obama's ambition, all of its children to college, and no country should. not every child has the aptitude to benefit, and not every child who has the aptitude wants to or need to. most who wind up there, college is a waste of time, money, and life. teachers lack to teach, and lawyers pretend it's a qualification. we have a trillion dollars. american individuals hold a trillion dollars just in college debt. that's the equivalent of a g-7 economy. just in one small boutique niche
market of debt. you'll recall by she ascended to the thrown of first lady, michelle obama worked for the united states of chicago -- jiewfort of chicago hospital. he was taken on by the hospitals to run "programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, staff diversity, and minority contracting". sheit was a booming industry in america. in 2005, just as her husband was coming to national prominence, by strange coincidence, the happy coincidence by which the ruling class in chicago are often blessed, she received an impressive $200,000 pay raise and appointed vice president of the community of exterm -- external affairs in charge of managing the hospital's diversity program.
mrs. obama famously complained that america is just downright mean, and you can see what she's getting at. she had to make due with a lousy $316,000 plus benefits for a job so necessary to the hospital that when she quit to become first lady, they didn't bother replacing her. [laughter] these corporate america -- that's what she boasted she did, yes, indeed, leave corporate america and get a nonjob as a diversity enforcement officer because that's where the big bucks are. go to the kansas river to our neighbors in vermont and if you talk the college students, the ambition of them is to work for "non-profit". it sounds nice, doesn't it? the entire state of vermont is a non-profit. [laughter] [applause] ben and jerry's used to make a
ton of money making ice creme, and then they are a non-profit, and it worked so well they were bought by the dutch. i can't when. ben approved the deal and jerry didn't or whatever, but the one who liked it said wholly independent subsidiary. it's something like that. [laughter] the other guy just gets on with all the non-profit stuff now. the entire state of vermont is a non-profit. so is america, actually. when you're $15 trillion in the hole, you're the all-time champion non-profit of non-profits. president obama now wants the rest of america to follow in his and michelle's footsteps. this is the diversion of too much human capital into wasteful and self-indulgent activity. they don't do it in china or india, and eventually those differences will tell which is my next letter. d is for decay because that
formula, the governmentization of more and more of our people is a recipe for disaster. admired up dependent sigh and decline, much of the united states is on a fast track in america where there's a privilege, corrupt elite preed siding over a vast swamp of poverty, and that leads to the next stage, d is for dissent gracious. we're are the highly singular united states of america. no advance society has ever tried hyperregulating direct rule for 350 million people. will it work? is it more likely that increasingly compatible jurisdictions and social groups will conclude that the price for keeping 50 stars in the flag is too high. a post-prosperity america will fracture not just on ethnic lines where there's millions of poor white americans and black americans on the one hand and millions of poor illegal americans on the other and there's no jobs for either, and
i just mean cultural tensions. it's not clear to me that when this country is no longer the world's leading power that the people of dear born, what they call mission afghanistan want to stay in the same quality of the gambling gays of fire island. it's more basic. if you take a retired federal bureaucrat in her early 50s, retired on fantastic unsustainable pension benefits and health benefits and enjoying the early years of what is in effect a 30-year holiday weekend, she lives at 26 elm street. the guy at 24 al empowered street went to the same school, but doesn't get the weekend. he goes to work at his hardware store every day until he drops dead to fund the lavish retirement benefits of his neighbor and a retirement that he will never know. those two people cannot coexist
in the same street anymore than they can in at thens or in london. another chasm, young versus old. what's left of american youth will be taxed to the hilt to pay for the retiermt and medical kill of a baby boom generation who enjoyed a life of american prosperity that their kids will never know. look at the flash mobs, the glee ram page at the wisconsin state fair and ask if there's more or less of that in a post-prosperity america. o is for open season. i said earlier, find if hard to imagine a world without america, but the russians, chinese, and others don't. they are making plans for it. for 60 years the american security umbrella absorbed the wealthiest nations on the planet for payer fir their defense. they are used to it. the united states army lives in germany. if you like the welfare system like many do, good for you. you're paying for it because you freed up the german military
budget so they can pin thinker swords into welfare. we want to live like the swedes without a sugar da dictators. we live on a plan et where north korea helps iran and they props to share nukes with sudan. north korea doesn't just have a low gdp, but a gdp that is not statistically measurable. there is no gdp. all they export o nuclear technology and knockoff viagra. you can want measure the gdp, but it's a nuclear paver. we face the prospect of a world in which the wealthiest societies in history from norway to new zealand are incapable of defending borders while third world basket cases go nuclear. how long down that arrangement
is going to last? on that kind of planet, it's not hard to figure out what comes next. n is for nukes away. just giving you -- i just spelled out letter by letter, the thesis of my book. a, akicks, r, redistribution, m for monopoly, a is for sclerosis, g is for global retreat, e is for educational social serges, d is for decay, d is for dissent gracious, o is for open season, n is for nukes away. and put them together it spells? armageddon. from state regulated lemonade sales to nuclear devastation to fiscal ruin to planetary ruin. if you don't want that to happen, get serious, demand your
candidates get serious. it's not just about putting john kerry on a congressional supercommittee to report back about raising the age of medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 in the year 2050. there's not going to be a 2050 if that's the best kerry can do. the best he can do is win nantucket and that yellow hugging spandex -- [applause] boy, that got a bigger cheer than the topville stick. [laughter] don't be cruel to john kerry. he thinks that butt hugging yellow spandex does wonders for his figure. he should win nantucket until 2050 doing the least damage out there. let's not make land fall until 2050 and we might get out of this thing.
those on the receiving end of the kerry's genius need to understand it's knot about mid century, but mid-decade, about right now. the united states is still different. you know this, and in the wake of economic meltdown, the decadent youth of france rioted over the most modest of proposals to increase the retirement age. elderly students in britain attacked the hair to the throne's car over attempts to avoid appointmentless university costs. everywhere from us land to bulgaria, they demand the same thing. why didn't you, the government, do more for me? america was the only nation in the developed world where millions of people took to the streets to tell the state i can do just fine if you control freak status would shove your stimulus, your jobs bilks and multitrillion bills and stay the hell out of my life and pocket.
that's the -- [cheers and applause] that's the america that has a sporting chance. even as america's spending government outspends not only america's ability to pay for it, but by some measures the planet, even as if follows britain into the dank pit of transgeneration until dependency and a failed education system and unsustainable entitlements, even as it makes less and less and mortgages the future to rivals for cheap chinese trinkets, many americans and friends. on the right assume base thaw are american, they are i understandlated from the consequences. i have this with my friends. from fox news last week when you can't argue that we didn't deserve the downgrade. you can't seriously argue that this nation was aaa with $15
trillion worth of debt. my friends on fox news, the most right wing guys in the american media say, what do you mean? of course we are aaa, better than that. we should have an aaaa status for us. these are loser countries, the 18 countries in the aaa. they are loser nations. they can't compare with us. we need to understand we are not aaa. when you got $15 trillion in debt, you can't be aaa. when you have fen times that in unfunded liabilities, you cannot be aaa. the great british led -- well, he was an unremarkable man -- [laughter] forgot where i was there. the topville stick gets a big cheer, and the roads cheer gets cheers in south africa. i got to remember. [laughter] i took the wrong pill before i
walked on. [laughter] the deplorable british imperialist -- [laughter] distilled assumptions of generations that to be born an englishman was to win the lottery. george turned the thought around to turn to ruling class, too smart to see what's coming. do you think, he wrote, the laws of god will be suspended in favor of england because you were born in it? in our time, to be born a citizen of the united states is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and as britains did in that day, too many americans assume it will always be so. do you think the laws of god will be suspended in favor of america simply because you were born in it? think carefully about that question. when you live in the north country, when you live in a state where the weather spends six months of the year trying to bug les life out of you, one
thing you understand is the fragility of civilization. now, back in the spring, i was walking on an abandoned road behind my house with my two boys one morning when we noticed a huge mama bear rearing up in the trees up to our left, and just ahead of us we noticed one little cub and behind us, another little cub, and we were in the middle. [laughter] my boys were excited. [laughter] a little scared. that's the way i feel as we embark on this critical half decade. i feel excited, but a little scared, and i wonder if our society still has the survival instinct of that mom bear protecting her cubs. if you disagree, don't wait for a messiah to descend from the heavens on a tuesday morning in november. we tried that in 2008.
we entrusted a multitrillion dollar enprize to a guy who never created a dime of wealth in his life, and we were surprised for some reason it didn't work out. this time, it's up to you. ordinary citizens need to do this year and next year as they did in 2009, 2010, and move the meter of public discourse. in my book, i quote millson freedman who says don't elect the right people to do the right thing. create the conditions whereby the wrong people are forced to do the right thing. every time -- [applause] that deserves -- [applause] there should be nothing controversial of that. every time you see obama go and give a speech and someone is taking the precaution of loading up some lame boilerplate into his prompter about how we need to get our fiscal house in order
and control the deficit, the only reason he's even pretending to care about it is because the meter of public discourse was moved in 2009 and 2010. he's the wrong person being forced to pretend that he wants to do the right thing. let's keep thing the discourse until the wrong people are forced to do the right thing. ..
>> when they realed it wasn't, they went into general stark mode and cried let's mold. it's harder to live the live free and die spirit when you have the slow ratchet effect. which is in stable societied unthreatened by revolution or war always the way that liberty falls. traded away to the state, incrementally, painlessly, all but in perceptively. sounds like a battle cry. we'll win or die trying. in fact, it's a prosaic statement of the obvious, of the reality in our lives in the prosperous west. you can live as free men, but if
under sex" discuss their book and took booktv viewers phone calls. >> how does the partnership come together? how did you get started? >> well, when i wanted to find out if history with the founding fathers and other presidents they had the same kind of sex scandals. once i decided that i wanted to do the book, i thought that it was only natural to hook up with my friend david, who is a professor at columbia and knows a lot about the subject matter. very bright and as co-author he'd been fantastic to work with. i think i got a great part.
no one has wrote this. the publishers tend to be conservative and only interested in politics and policy. they are not interested in sexcapades, so to speak. we know that's an interest that has preoccupied america forever. what we've done is we've scored a great deal of research, documentation, and we have followed the lives of various measures of first ladies, mistresses, lovers, to see not just the curiousty about the sex lives, but to see how the relationships actually affected not just domestic policy, but foreign policy as well. there's a surprising number of cases that were able to reveal
just that. >> host: this is an interactive part of our day. we'd like to have your questions by phone or send us a tweet at booktv. and our phone number is 202-585-3886. mountain and pacific 202-853-8883. what's the scope or sweep of history? >> we go from the founding fathers, and putting monica lewinsky in the grand sweep. we like to think it was recently with monica that the political parties throwing the dirt at each other, and revealing the sex scandals. that turns out not to be true. they were turning that at the beginning of the pub tick. >> -- public. > host: to be included, it has to have affect of the history. >> that's right. we weren't out to dig up dirt about the presidents or first
ladies. we were out to show the things that historians considered personal was important. we how the sexcapades had an impact. >> host: you have a message for today's society. can you tell me what you are trying to say to americans about the way they view the sex scandals of politicians? >> well, we -- other than the survival for the strongest single, we haven't jolt -- we haven't got it set. it has a huge effect. we use it to communicate with mediums. the one that i'd like to do is the representation to the whole nation would be is lighting it up. like the europeans have a much different reaction than we do.
we have a view knee jerk reaction about sex in general. and in injury, they automatic assume that politics is how the system works. why do you think they take three hour lunches? i don't mean to sound facetious, you know, it's true. they have a great deal essentially to learn how to deal with it than we have. but i think that, you know, careers are destroyed over sex. i don't think that that should always happen. hypocrisy is very dangerous. but we have found no evidence in this book that would indicate that a president was good or bad because whether they had active libido or not. don't get me wrong, if you can
manage two wars, you should be able to sleep with whoever you want to. but there's a certain amount of discretion. >> host: within the last 20-30 years, there has been a level of acceptance. look at the scandals, it's the ones attached not just with personal lives, but some other wrongdoing that eventually takes people out of office. in other words, politicians can survive sex scandals. >> politicians can survive sex scandals. david vitter, the senator from louisiana, won his last election in a landslide victory. it is possible right now because americans have gotten more and more used to sex scandals involving the politicians. ultimately, we argue that's a good thing. because it will enable us to stop talking and obsessing about the sex lives and politicians and start focusing on what really matters. >> what make it is so bad is not
just the new orleans and washington, d.c., but he was mr. absence in the senate. and when you have somebody that that hypocritical of getting caught up in a sexual escapade, it makes it even worse. >> host: instead of talking about this conceptually, before we go to phone calls, lines are busy, what's your favorite story? >> eleanor roosevelt white house. it was complicated, he had his girlfriend living in a bedroom next to him, she had her girlfriend living next to her. the american public didn't obviously now any of this. the fascinating thing about the story that missy lahan,
franklin, and eleanor's girlfriend turned out to be influential to what led to the second world war. it's an important piece which has been long ignored by historians. >> host: let me take a caller and then we'll hear your favorite chapter. caller from auburn, alabama. you are on as we discuss "one nation under sex". go ahead. >> caller: thanks. i want to thank you for all of your good work. one of your buddies, woody harrellson that played you in the movie, i know that online porn plays a big part in his life. how much does it play if yours? >> you say online porn? >> host: that was his question, yeah. >> huh? >> that was his question. >> you know, we have a web site, i never go on it. it don't play much of a role in
my life at all. it's true that much more material is available now because of the internet, but it was never level before that technology came into use. it's quite pervasive now. >> host: is that a good or bad thing for society? >> huh? >> host: is that a good or bad thing for society? >> i think it's a good thing. in free speech, you don't draw the line. i don't think pornography should be able for children. but we couldn't limit everyone to reading little red riding hood. the parents have to watch what their children are doing. but we can't restrict for adults. it's wrong to do that. >> host: the book says sex, lives, and politicians and america's reactions to it. next from providence, rhode island. you are on the air. >> caller: hi, can you tell me
how has the book been received so far? are you surprised at it's reception? >> well, so far we have had great reviews. everybody who's read it, it seems, has had something positive to say. that's not to say there aren't people that resent that we are telling the stories about the heros of america. but the important thing is neither of us are trying to tear down the heros or make them seem like they weren't important figures and good figures. we are just trying to show that their lives were a lot more complicated than what you were taught in high school and college. >> host: you are a member of the academy at a professor at columbia? what's the reaction of colleagues that your project? and, in fact, your co-author? >> supportive. i teach at columbia, we have a long history of being very supportive of at terntive voices. they understand it was a huge opportunity to work with somebody that not only had a
different perspective on history an academic historian, but also made history himself and is an important figure in the bill clinton chapter. >> host: larry flynt is talking about his friend. did your relationship predate the book? how did you know each other? >> we had known each other before. but it was working on the book when we became good friends. >> host: what was the phone call like? >> i was in my office, doing a little work, all of the sudden i get a phone call from larry flynt saying i have a business proposition for you. that was it. when can you come to l.a.? i'll be on the next flight. i flew out not knowing what he had. when he proposed the collaboration, you know, i got to do it. and the rest is history. >> host: why had you had your eye on him? >> i had become aware of some programs that david produced for the history channel on the same subject matter.
the one in question president lynn con's -- lincoln's sexuality. i was intrigued, so i knew he was familiar with the subject matter. i knew it would be sensitive, even though we were dealing with historical figures. david is very bright. i just thought it was the right person to do the book with. >> host: now let's hear your favorite chapter or story in the book? >> really, i love the whole book. i love what we did on ben franklin. i was fascinated with woodrow wilson, mainly because of him having a stroke and his wife hid it from the press and congress from three months. i just felt that was fascinating. but the one that really -- that really, really, i think, gripped me more than anything else was the warren harding one, because i couldn't believe that somebody
that was such a goofy guy, he was not right at all, elected to the white house, he used to try to talk to him about the tax code. he said i don't understand anything about taxes. don't talk to me about that. the only thing that he was interested in is how many women a night he could bed in the white house. and there's an old saying that the difference between harding and wilson was that wilson liked the brothels of paris, and harding like the whore houses of columbia, ohio. i think there was a lot of truth in that. one thing i want to say about harding was that, you know, when he was picked to run for the senate because at a picnic north of columbia, they see him leaving an outhouse. the two political optives, isn't he a handsome looking man?
he would make a marvelous senator. they ran and asked him about the presidency. when he got elected, one the first things he wanted to do is change the national emblem from the eagle to the chicken because they said there was more chicken than eagle. >> host: next call, las vegas, you are on. go ahead please. >> caller: hi, everyone. i just wanted to say that -- >> host: hello. >> caller: -- this is an attempt by mr. flynt to normal ize deviance of bill clinton. his deviance had nothing to do with sex, it had to do with the chief law enforcement officer in the united states engaging in perjury and obstruction of justice, and evidence of this, of course, is that president clinton was the first president to lose his law license because of his perjury and obstruction of justice.
so this attempt will, you know, just be a way of larry flynt of normalizing himself. >> well, i would say that's not accurate. what we were doing is we were telling an important story in the case of bill clinton in which this trial, this national saga over sex captivated the public mind and distracted us from a serious threat to america. one of which was al qaeda. in the 9/11 commission report, the commissioners flat out lay it out that monica lewinsky scandal distracted the administration and kept us from doing what we should have been doing, protecting the american public. rather than focusing on the silly sex scandal. >> but you are never going to convince everyone on bill clinton. everyone is going to have the pros of cons on why he was a great president or why he was as the gentleman said, a dove --
deviance. people are going to be arguing that. >> host: any political sexcapades you left out because they couldn't be substantiated? >> we had important tapes, including audio tapes, including high ranking politicians that we wanted to use, but we couldn't because it was recorded in one party safe. you have to have the permission of both parties to use the tape. we couldn't public them. well, we would have definitely been sued for it. so we decided not to. >> host: any others? >> well, you know, there's always been plenty of rumors about all presidents and first ladies. in fact, in many cases, we go back and debunk some of the
develop sit and how they shaped american history. >> host: what's the insans of the debunking. >> jay edgar hoover wearing a dress and being a transvestite, that was started by one of his enemies and been promoted ever since. the problem with the rumor, story, or pseudoscandal, it distracted from the true scandal. he used the sex file on every congressman, senator, supreme court justice and president to basically control the federal government over the 47 years that he served as fbi director. here was a bureaucrat that undermined the constitution using sex. that's the true scandal which i don't think we've still comes to terms with. >> host: booktv covers two days of las vegas festival of
books. right now featuring david eisenbach and larry flynt. >> caller: yes, hello, calling from the other end of the america. mr. flynt, i was the executive producer for the film on hamilton as you appeared in as you may know. and the reynolds affair, which would go under the early american sex scandals, would you say, al alexander hamilton. >> absolutely. that along with jefferson fathering the children with his slave girls. those two were the first two scandals in the beginning with the towning fathers. >> host: can you tell us more? >> in the case of hamilton, they discovered that hamilton had a unique financial agement with a man named james reynolds who hamilton was paying for the
rights to sleep with his wife maria reynolds. and the democratic republican found out about this and proceeded to try to defame hamilton and derail his plan to create the national bank by exposing the sex scandal. but the thing -- opening up the sex discussion, boomeranged on jefferson. because the federalist dragged out the story and that jefferson was fathering his own slave children. what we see here is that the founding fathers themselves were not above using each other's sex scandals to score political points. in fact, it's part of the long tradition of american politics. >> go back to your -- your thought of if we weren't so focused on this, we would spend more time on the important issues. seems that we've had important issues throughout the country's history. yet people do like to talk about them. >> host: -- >> well, the interesting thing is during the late 18th century,
the lives of jackson was in the press. it was fair game. it was in the 20th century when you have the emerge of the national security and state and professionalism of journalism, journalist start to see themselves as part of the englishment and there to protect the elites. the sex discussion, while it's well known that john kennedy, franklin roosevelt had their affairs, it doesn't make it into the press. it was the time period in the 20th century that we don't have all of the sex scandals to distract us from the true problems at hand. >> host: you write about another change in the 1970s regarding politicians and sex, larry? what happened with our country then in the 1970s? you suggest it's another era where americans attitudes towards politicians of sex changed once again. >> well, i think the reason why it changed, and david can elaborate more on this is after the cold war, the press changed.
they no longer protected roosevelt or eisenhower, or whoever, maybe they weren't doing anything. but as far as their private lives with they protected them. and then after -- after the world war, we were not that way anymore. they just didn't do it. that changes a lot on the political landscape, as opposed to how the press dealt with the personalized politicians. >> host: >> in the 170s, you also have the sexual revolution which made people more comfortable about the topic. in the 1970s, what would have been a sexual harassment with paula jones and bill clinton. we had the huge change in american social amour rays, it was kept secret and it became part of the national dialogue. >> host: let's add one more decade. how did that change americans?
>> well, the rise of the conservative movement coming off of sexual liberation of the 1970s now suddenly introduces gay rights, abortion, the social sexual issues into the political discussion. jack kennedy never had to talk publicly about gay rights. now all of the sudden everybody has to. everybody in politics has to. this also leaves the republicans or the conservatives that are leading the charge vulnerable. because if you are going to say, you know, you are against gays getting married and that you better make sure that your own marriage is on the up and up. >> host: we have five minutes left with the two authors. next is california. hello, caller, you are on. >> caller: yes, hello. i would like to say i've been a big fan of larry flynt for a long time. thank you for everything that you have written. i just am so excited about your book. i have a son. my question was i have a 14-year-old son. he's pretty mature for his age.
and my question was if you thought his book would be appropriate, but he's an avid historian, he's very mature. after listening to the stories, it's so historical that i believe it's a perfect book for a budding historian. >> as far as the book goes, i think it's very much proper for a 15-year-old. i would like to add to that, you know, publicking house for well over 30 years. i have helped a lot of teenagers in puberty, not that they were legal to read the magazine. but that's the way it happens. >> host: this is the last call from hollywood, florida. you are on. >> caller: hi, two quick comments. i want to compliment mr. flynt, going back to the clinton/lewinsky, he offered $1
million to flush out republicans and a lot of important came forward on livingston and his wife approached and said he was going to try to get back together with the husband and appreciate if she wouldn't publish the material. with the whole clinton/lewinsky thing, it was not perjury because it was completely immaterial. it was consensual affair. having the affair would influence the criminal case. you just can't ask that, ken starr's behavior was much more inappropriate. thank you. >> obviously, they felt very much about clinton the same way they do about president obama at this time. they wanted to get rid of him, and they were willing to do it any way that they possibly could. and i think from the time that they -- efforted were -- efforts
were started to prosecutor clinton, they were totally out of control. and like i said earlier in the show, i think people are going to be discussing the decades to come about pros and cons of how bill clinton was treated. >> host: you are on quite a tour with this book. unusual in publishing these days, by the ways, it's one the imprints of mcmilon publishing. why are you spending so much time talking about this? >> as a professor, one of my main goals in life is to introduce history to new audiences. if it takes something a little salacious, spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, great. i think this is a primer about anyone that's curious about history. you are going to learn a lot more than just about sex lives, you are going to learn about economic policy and politics
throughout american history. >> host: i want to close with one more story. we are closing the civil war period, you have a civil war story. >> james buchanan, the president who had a 32-year love affair with the senator of alabama, the slave owner who indoctrinates with a romantic notion of the slave owners being good. james brings that into the presidency in 1856 and does nothing. he encourages him with his pesttivety. and when lincoln takes over, the americans have to go through a civil war that costs over 600,000. >> host:w