tv After Words CSPAN November 27, 2014 8:00pm-9:04pm EST
>> columnist for the hill. this week syndicated columnist cal thomas and the latest book what works commonsense solutions for a stronger america. he argues that solving the country's problems start with looking at what works in the past, discarding politics and listening to voters. this program is about an hour. >> host: we are joined by cal thomas on the new book what
works, commonsense solutions by a stronger america and sean hannity. that tells you a lot about this book. >> guest: he's a very good friend of christine harper collins, which is publishing the book thought that he would be a very good person to have a right the foreword. nancy pelosi wasn't available. >> host: this is intended for a conservative audience. >> guest: isn't liberal or conservative, republican or democrat. we have challenges that affects everybody regardless of their political background or persuasion. >> host: but if you had a sean hannity, he's a quite popular figure among the hard-line conservatives. >> guest: sure he is but we try to reach out in the book and naturally i believe conservative ideas provide the best solutions to the problems facing america but if a liberal comes up with
an idea that actually proves itself and lives up to the state of objective designed for it, i am for social i'm for social security and medicare and all these programs and the democrat administrations but i just want to take a look at them to see if they need to be updated for the modern age and improved if they are not working we need to revise them or get rid of them. >> host: the thesis of this book and i'm going to come back to that idea because it is one that deeply within the book, it's what works, what actually works and what do we know has worked in the past commonsense solutions that come from the past and in some sensecome not only from the political realm but for you from your deep faith. >> guest: there is an old testament that says anything that you have been done before has been done before. so i'm not thinking about living in the past i'm thinking about looking into the past to see what has worked up dating as
much as necessary and moving forward. if you go to another country for the first time you get a guidebook or a google paris france to find out the best hotels are in restaurants and places to be avoided. these are people that have gone before us to scope out the cities and recommend the best places for us. they understood human nature at least as well as the creatures of their day and created a constitution that established boundaries for government of liberty for its citizens. we have exceeded those boundaries, those constitutional boundaries and that's why it's so many of the problems and challenges we have today. >> host: in previous books you have to remind the readers you are not saying disengage from public life. but people get that perception given your emphasis on simply focus on the individual capacity and individual responsibility, look away from government and i
don't let the government meet your needs look to the individual and look to god. >> guest: the founders saw power delegated from the people to the government, not government overpowering us and that's why it's growing so big and dysfunctional. they think everything is working well and we have to keep pouring more money into it and growing the government ever bigger. the great writer and friend has written, i have a card i carry around. he's as much of the social history in the of the world over the past three decades has involved replacing what works with what sounded good. now our friend is on the fly on fox and i cowrote this book into a column for usa today and it acknowledges that many of the social programs were begun in
good faith in the lyndon johnson administration, the so-called great society. but he acknowledges we didn't take into consideration human nature that getting people a chance and providing women with checks when they have the bees out of wedlock was not only good for them but for the country. we moved a long way from the inaugural admonition ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country create >> host: so you believe people should remain engaged in government and politics. >> guest: absolutely or i wouldn't be writing my column for the last 30 years. but you shouldn't expect more out of the government and its candy liver and a glass of your self then you can be never. things like character and virtue and integrity cannot be installed by government. these are moral and spiritual issues and you can't add up interrupt adults at the table. you eat with a knife because it might have been easy.
you have to be taught certain things. conducting yourself these are all things that have to be taught. and i think personal responsibility and integrity looking for your self and the government as a last resort, not a first resource is what will improve any life and country. >> host: i get the impression that you think that liberals who in fact would be overly reliant on government and don't have some of these virtues that were just described, personal responsibility wanting to work and succeed and contribute. >> guest: they have these character qualities but the problem is so many of my liberal friends even though they may have those qualities look to the government to repair what is wrong with people who don't have this character qualities. we know what the problems are. a stable family is the best
anti-of a stable home and i people being able to take care of themselves. we know this. they did a study on the effect of divorce and children. she studied over 25 years and we know that divorce harms children. some of them survived that many of them don't set these are things i explore in the book. if it's a liberal idea and promotes the general welfare, then i'm for it. just because it's a liberal or conservative idea that we shouldn't pay attention -- >> host: in the book use a president obama, and i think you would describe him as a liberal. >> guest: no question. >> host: you said he took advantage of the human instinct of envy and greed in order to get elected. >> guest: i think we see that in the constant statements about income inequality is running on
the large corporations and businesses who employ an awful lot of people who pay an awful lot of taxes and instead of building people up. calvin coolidge said you don't improve the week by tearing down the strong. i want more people to be rich and the rich and more people to be independent and more families to be stable. all of these things, who could be against that president is out there and a lot of democrats. what you penalize you get less of. >> host: you have a background having worked for jerry falwell and then in this book. in the office of the faith and public service i might be misquoting the title but he's written a book and he talks
about how the president reads dalia meditations and descriptors and talks about other people in the city in washington, d.c. and the federal government who do the same thing. but you say that he's off when he comes to his message because what he talks about is the idea that the government should care for people who are in need as opposed to individuals and if you make it seem as though he's saying god wants us to have compassion and therefore obama and the liberals think that means government should be compassionate and you are saying no. >> guest: i'm saying it ought to be a last resort of the first resource. the government can be addictive with each route when you rely on the check rather than yourself. in britain where i spent a lot of time in the uk for three or four times a year the dalia mail did a story on a family three generations of people that have never worked and that have been on their version of welfare public assistance not only have they never worked but they
didn't expect to have a job and when they were told by david cameron's administration they should start looking for work they were offended. the kind of addiction, not everybody that many people that the government brings. i don't question the president's faith. that's not my business but in certain areas that are out to be a connection if you read the scriptures every day about human life and marriage you can disagree on the defense budget and still not be in danger of going to hell. the scripture teaches that to carry over into your public policy. the governor of new york at the speech a number of years ago. when it comes to the death penalty or murderers that he
doesn't accept it when it comes to abortion for the innocent unborn. i find that to be an incredible inconsistency. >> host: of course many people on the right are for the death penalty even though they oppose abortion. so they are caught in this trap. >> guest: sometimes. but the difference is when you have a convicted murderer, somebody that has taken the life of another person that is different than an innocent unborn child but never that never had a chance to take a breath of life much less to do anything -- >> host: i ensure that am sure that the people, the planned parenthood people would talk about the life of the living woman. but let me just ask you going back to president obama and the of the quintessential prototype of a liberal in your book, your point is while the government can be compassionate they don't want it to be compassionate. you want it to wanted to focus on what works and therefore you're talking about individuals having the responsibility or i
guess christian, jewish, whatever their belief. having a sense they should be compassionate but compassionate but it's up to the individual, not the government to take care of the poor. >> guest: let me go back to another book that newt gingrich handed out to everybody in congress as i recall. it is the tragedy was the tragedy of american compassion and it was written by marvin lansky. he went back and looked at the major religious institutions, the jewish, christian groups who care for the poor as a first responsibility. and they are caring for the poor they required some kind of response in other words if you were poor because they were a drug addict or a quality that you enter a program to get rid of your addiction and then we are going to help you but you're not going to sustain you and your bad choices. if you were having babies out of wedlock with no husband or father in the hope he launched into a check to do that because
it wasn't her fault but we won't continue to allow you to have kids out of wedlock and send you a check and the whole point of the institutions of the time was to reform these people so that they would lead a better life that would be better in the end for themselves. now they have been replaced. they've retreated to the sidelines by government, and it's become what i call a pre- version of the 21st on the government as my teeth i shall not want and i walked through the valley of the shadow of poverty and they comfort me with an ebt card. >> host: it's interesting looking at this you talk about the expansion of the entitlement society as you described is something that is a republican refrain but then i think to myself as i'm reading there is no reference to the fact we went through this horrible recession people now call it the great recession in reference to the great depression. and as a consequence of that, not only has there been more reliance on the public safety
net including entitlements that we've done but we've done things like bailout the rich. if you get the power back again we are going to drain the swamp. and instead she built a hot tub. i just don't think the government is the first resource. take a look at the recession. what was the primary reason for the recession. the government was spending too much and a lot of the big companies like gm and others because of the union pressure to ratchet up the benefits and entitlements they had no hope in paying because the union pressure and threats of strikes so when you get to the point that the gm lets take one example that we could no longer afford based on how many tigers they were selling to be of use benefits of the crisis ensued and the same in the treasury department. print more money. never come to the point you tell people you know we can't do this
anymore. it's like a college student that goes off to college and he or she is on a budget and they blew it in a way of living in the first weekend of fraternity parties or sorority parties in the call on and the an attack with a hangover and say i'm out of money. send more. if you do, you are a fool because you were and bulging in the beaver that has isn't the biggest interest. >> host: as i understand it's a cause of the great recession was in fact that we have a housing bubble and it broke. and people on wall street were engaging in high-risk maneuvers and investment instruments that proved to be collapsing and caused wall street to implode. >> let's take fannie and freddie is an example since you brought that up. why did the housing bubble occurred and why did it explode? it's because the president over several at a vast regions of both parties wanted it to be able to get up and say under my administration more people own their homes than ever before.
that is a very worthy goal but if you were handing out money to people with bad credit and who have income levels that cannot be sustained if it is balloon mortgages after seven years, the method problem and too many people came to expect they should be able to live in a nice big house when they didn't have the income to sustain it for part of it as a political problem and part of it is a moral problem and part of it as an economic problem and does three things you're absolutely right. if anybody saw the hbo film i can't remember the name of it now that it's portrayed all of this. everybody was living beyond their means. everybody was greedy. everybody wanted to make more and more money and everybody was willing to cut the corners in order to do that. so this isn't just a left and right, republican and democrat thing. as they used to say we are all in this together and have a certain amount of culpability for what happened. >> host: but the narrative was
eventually all about the government overspending, individuals making bad decisions and in fact what you see if you look at the housing industry and what happened there, and you look at what we know happened on wall street, it seems to me that you have a lot of very wealthy people and people who are acting as lovable as individuals. i'm out for myself. i will get a charity that i'm going to make a lot of money. a lot of that behavior hurts the country. >> guest: i would would have let them collapse. it's not just in bulging into subsidizing the poor. it's indulging in subsidizing the rich. >> host: but i don't see that in this book. >> guest: the editor took out a lot of stuff. i've said this to my colleagues during the failure and the business business in the bush administration and the in the last interview, one of the last presidential george w. bush did
with me before he left office he said at least i stuck to my principles. and i said what about bailing out a ig. he said what would you have done and i said i would have stuck to my principles. failure is a great teacher. i learned a lot from it feeling. i've been fired. one time i had to go to the unemployment office 26 weeks ended up 99 as it is now to get an unemployment check that failure is a great teacher from those that will learn from it. the best thing that could have happened to wall street or gm is for them to have failed and to restructure under the bankruptcy law to reestablish themselves. >> host: you understand when wall street "-end-quotes, you are attracting pensions and the entire financial structure of america would have been greater. people in the congress, the bush
administration as well as the obama administration were all in a financial calamity. he we asked the american people have to come together to resolve this. >> guest: you have the players did spend a lot of money to democratic politicians. on the right, republicans, you've got wall street come you've got the big corporations and he's sending us money to politicians. when the objective is to only get reelected as it so often is with something like a '90s some percentage rate in this town, when that is the objective instead of doing the business of the people, you're going to have dysfunctional non- working government. so, i become a political environment of us. i believe in recycling trash and politicians for the same reason because each in one place for too long begins to getting fouls well. there is a disease you can with the highest motives and best ethics and it doesn't take long to get corrupt to get them out before they catch it. >> host: i think most americans agree with you and
there was a poll recently that was 54% of americans say -- >> guest: don't we elect them then. that's not the reality. >> host: you speak about about termites and solutions for a stronger america. and when it comes to the kind of basis of the financial structure and the government taxes what you say is what has worked is always low taxes because according to kaus comments, the gospel according to you, if you lower taxes that results in more receipts for the government. in fact the government gets more money. but what about the contrary point which would be the taxes are pretty low right now under the obama administration and under the clinton administration and under the bush administration. so i made -- >> guest: it's a combination. it's not just the taxes. it's the spending.
that's what has asked out of whack. even when they hold all three branches of government, the spending needs to increase. maybe a little less than when the democrats. but let's go back to woodrow wilson in world war i. right after world war i, the taxes were finally cut and we had the roaring 20s. okay there were other problems that led to the great depression. i understand that. but coming after that we get to 1960 and the famous economic speech about cutting taxes. there was a rash of new revenue because people were taking their money off of safe havens and bringing it back into the marketplace. we have trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines now. guess the stock market is at an all-time high that unemployment especially for the hard-core unemployed and those looking for jobs for many months continue to be without work.
we saw a slight uptick in the unemployment rate because more people are starting to look for work again and have a slightly increased level of optimism that calvin coolidge when you and i have more money to spend br going to spend it or invest it and that is what creates the jobs. ronald reagan did this come even bill clinton who went down to speak to a group of houston businessman right after the tax increase that he helped push through congress and as you probably is that you probably think i raised your taxes too much. so do i.. there is a case of having it both ways. >> host: you remember under clinton we had not only the same tax rates that we have now in fact they were a little higher but we had a surplus. >> guest: the democrats led by the president were cutting the defense spending on some of what
most people would agree particularly in the age of terrorism and now the rise of china and the nuclear program even the president announced he wants to cut the military and others are getting this message the united states doesn't have the will or the wherewithal to stand against iran's around the world so clinton cut the defense budget and when you cut spending and maintain a certain level of revenue you're going to get a balanced budget and a surplus and that's what is happening in the states. i have a whole chapter in the book on what is happening in the states. we have indiana, louisiana, georgia, a lot of states doing fantastic job spellings in budgets committee assessed the state constitutions require them and i wish we could have been at the federal that at the federal level but also the policies. in indiana they send people checks when they have enough money. this is amazing to me. they say we need all this money.
the federal government of course if you haven't spent it all spend it all because your budget might be cut next year but in indiana they send you a check what a remarkable thing. >> host: that brings us to another topic that you addressed in commonsense solutions which is big government and you quoted rush limbaugh at the big government is terrible and you wrote in the federalist papers and all the rest but then you have to somehow explain to me how is it that you can save social security, medicare, these things seniors rely on that's a good thing and you are a big fan of the defense spending and of course the founding fathers were not about international use of our military. >> guest: thomas jefferson would find that difficult. >> host: the initial precept is that we have nothing to do with it.
>> guest: there's still a strain of that today that this may surprise you and we agree on this there are a lot of weapon systems and planes and ships that the military said that they don't want and don't need and can't because they are built in the district of the congressmen so and so they get built anyway billed anyway because it makes him or her look good and creates more jobs. this is the kind of wasteful spending and talking about. they are both culpable on this. i think what we need is something that came to the commission during the reagan administration or the base realignment closing commission during the clinton administration. but an outside group of integrity and former members of congress that come in and do a complete audit of the government from top to bottom every agency of the government, has a charter that created it and has a purpose. if it isn't fulfilling that
purpose or isn't doing it within a reasonable budget, it should be cut or eliminated. let's take head start. this came in with the highest motivation. there are now three head start. there's early head start, and handstand regular. why do we have the other two, because the first one wasn't working. this second one wasn't working. the doctor in the heritage foundation has done a tremendous book on this on the social programs that don't work. he has found that by the time a child goes through at these programs is in the fifth grade, all of the benefits that might have accrued in occurred in the first few years of his or her life are gone. usa today had a recent lead editorial which said head start as best is mediocre. so if you doesn't work or it's something like social security which is never intended to be the kind of program it is today,
it was intended to be a safety net and insurance program, but we have added all these bells and whistles to make the metaphor and that's why it's become dysfunctional. the initial idea was a good one but politicians at stuff and it becomes dysfunctional. >> host: this brings us to one of the interesting chapters in the book about education because basically you're saying they are always talking about these people that know too little to rely on election. co. -- religion, and cal thomas comes out and what works why ladies why do you send kids off to these big-name schools, harvard, yale, stanford and the like use a smart parents shouldn't be sending their kids to those schools. >> guest: let's look at this debate is going on on and is continuing between the governor of new york into the new york
city over the charter schools. we know that during his campaign he said he was going to basically end of the charter the charter schools and the major rivalry with this woman named moskovitz that is a big proponent of it. now andrew in a speech a few days ago if he had assured me the words you get into tony decided i would have said it would have been a conservative republican. he said we spend more than any other in the country on public education. yet he said we are number 32 in the commission in math and reading and others that everybody would agree are absolutely required. associate saying we have to have the school choice in this area. what i'm saying and then again i'm going beyond the universities of some of my liberal friends are against the choice and especially for the poor and minority children we have a reversal of george wallace standing in the
schoolhouse door to keep african-americans out more than 50 years ago. we all know that a good education is the ticket to a child's success and competition improves every one and so all i'm saying is let's have a choice in education and what's left parents decide which school is best for their kids and wife also tell parents if you don't want your kids to have the country undermined the don't send them to colleges and universities that do that lex >> host: that's why you say don't send see don't send them to the best colleges in america in terms of the competitive marketplace where you see people with money, they send them to harvard but you're saying here don't send them because you
belief one of them challenged some of the presets of religious things? >> guest: i co i heard about this woman that called him where she's getting some kind of indoctrination about the pilgrims and the early: -- columnist that somehow the native americans were people that were at peace with themselves and each other and these horrible europeans invaded and gave them syphilis and gonorrhea and stole their corn and killed other end of this is what is being taught in crazy movie taught increasingly taught in crazy movie in the government school system. most parents don't hear about it. it's not always in the textbooks although it is then some. we are living in an education model created a 19th century. i'm all for diversity. this is supposed to be the great melting pot you will have people
with different backgrounds, religion, race all that and i'm not opposed to that idea. however what are they being taught and if it violates a significant faith and values and beliefs of a significant number of people who are paying for their taxes they ought to be able to have the choice of sending their child to another school private or religious that reflects the views. >> host: before we take a break let's take a moment and saying challenging the orthodoxy is bad in your view and having them learn how to think critically? >> guest: i'm not co. i'm not thinking critically over time. i'm exposed not only in the newspapers which i write into the television i appear and billboards i see all the time but when you have each loyalty to train them properly and get them to the point they can make
a critical decision and you have to have a certain foundational belief in the purpose for living and am i just it might just here to get an education to make money and buy stuff or do they need a spiritual dimension and that is what is missing in a lot of of our government schools. >> host: harvard is not a government school. >> guest: but i'm talking about public-school -- >> host: >> guest: harvard, dartmouth, yale and princeton were founded on biblical principles, some of them principals and missionaries. if you go there now that's gone. i don't remember, but i remember him saying that he was president of harvard more than a century ago at least it should be expected of a harvard graduate to learn to pronounce the name of god without embarrassment. >> host: we are going to take a short break and be back with what works commonsense solutions for a stronger america.
>> host: at the end of your book you wrote what have come and i'm quoting, the equipment of testimony and church where we can start showcasing people who once lived in poverty and despair and counsel sufficient because they embrace the historically sound principles. >> guest: i made a speech in the buck to kansas chamber of commerce 18 months or so ago and
sam brownback now the governor of the state has created some tremendous business friendly programs. many states now do not have a state income tax when years ago it was only two. north carolina and florida. many of them are realizing that this becomes an inhibitor to prosperity. now i do say inspiration for what by motivation followed by perspiration improves. the whole metaphor of testimony, time and church is meant to convey the attitude i once was blind but now i see i grew up poor but now i'm a ceo. ben carson has been in the news a lot lately at johns hopkins
hospital. a perfect example of how people can overcome by your circumstances. >> host: you have an entire section of people who would give this testimony and you tell their stories so rather than have me pick out one or two i. don't you pick out one or two. >> guest: she had an accident when she was 17-years-old swimming and struggled with despair and the meaning of life and taught herself to paint by sticking a paint brush in her teeth and has created a lot of wonderful things, works with handicapped people was behind
and pushed for the americans with disabilities act and has been an inspiration to people who do not have physical challenges. there are a couple of african people who grew up in horrible circumstances you couldn't even imagine if you were writing a work of fiction and they manage to managed to come to america where they saw opportunities where they are independent and prospering. we are just going to sing the song we are going to tell you. people that either never had a job or a weber hamburger flippers working a minimum wage.
the stuff that we would take for granted that but they've never been taught they followed the one woman into a job interview up to the door. she went in, play all the things she learned, came out and was in tears not because she was rejected because she got the job, the first time in her life she felt she had to value. nobody told her this before. you're black, joe black, female coming within the ghetto, your life is going to be lousy vote for democrats. that is the message so many get. so if we can have more inspiration and people telling how they overcame that i think we've will inspire an awful lot of people. america has always been a storytelling nation. >> host: but do you think that is from the fact that there is a growing inequality in times of income in the country that when you look at the harsh realities into the top 1% and venus occupy
movement at the top 1%. and the increases in the country over the last ten years and by consequence has been a declining middle class and increasing numbers of people in poverty and when you pulled up the exceptional people and say this person so you can do is to come a time. >> guest: they've been talking about income inequality and i wrote a column in which i stated i had a deep dark secret i had headed from public view. it's true there've always been people that made more money. you probably make more than i do. but it doesn't affect me. the fact that you make $2 i make
1 dollar doesn't mean i come to you to find out how you made the $2. income isn't fixed for everybody for life. if there's only one bowl of food at the dinner table and i take more than you but might be unfair. it might be satisfying to your hunger but if i ask the cook to bring more food you can make the recipe to make your own affair. as a perfect donald trump makes more than i do has nothing to do with my income level. i used to interview a wealthy and successful people. i didn't envy them i said what did you study in what is your philosophy i might want to be like you someday but the attitude is if you make more than me it's not fair and so i have to drag you down but that doesn't build me up. where are the poor people better off and because of higher taxes or are they getting a direct check if donald trump towards you or me pays more taxes so they are not improving their lives or saying for three years
i got this government welfare check and now i'm ceo of the ceo of my company. you never hear that. >> host: you have a situation where maximizing opportunity for all and when you look at the reality of the income distribution charts in the country now they are becoming in terms of who is gaining wealth and opportunity even in terms of the schools and the children they get to go there tends to be the rich and they are getting more and more of our money and if you look at wall at wall street's big returns are in wall street and so it sounds as if he were being in different to people that are struggling to get themselves out of poverty and onto the ladder of upward mobility. >> guest: when i was in the army i made $99 a month and i was working in new york city. we had no car, if you are not married you took the subway and when it wants to 15 cents people screamed and yelled about how they were going to be able to
afford this. i never envied people. i said i'm going to be better someday. i'm going to keep working at it. i was 37-years-old making $25,000 still struggling taking public transportation to work we had one car. >> host: it sounds like you're celebrating individual virtue. even when somebody is ripping off the system and watching a collapse you say ignore that and let's go back. >> guest: you will see i didn't think that they should have been bailed out with taxpayer money. they should have been allowed. i think people responsible should have paid the biggest price, not the investors or the employees. if they didn't go to jail and some of them could have afforded him the lawyers they should have been forced to pay back some of the people they injured.
>> host: but if they had no money and they were going to collapse the entire system if you roll back the tape i said that i come back to the idea that if you don't focus on the idea of what the afghan american people can do to try to correct some of the flaws in the way that we live. the position is directing the human mistake is the gain you're not going to do it. >> guest: the government cannot force me to stay married to my wife to be an example to my children, to have a musty and integrity and my professionalism of those are moral and a spirit to issues that come in another place. the government can impose certain penalties if i break certain laws but it cannot force me to be moral and virtuous not that i am, i'm just saying. so. >> host:
>> guest: there was a bishop that stood up at the 1999 prayer breakfast and asked the question how do we define a football field by its boundaries. we've exceeded our boundaries morally, economically, and we wonder why we have these problems, huge numbers of incurable us tvs, so many babies born out of would walk and over 80% of them were aborted in the jesse jackson used to say this is the white man's answer to the welfare problem. >> host: 80% of the abortions are among the minority. black, hispanic, but you should also note 70% of the population is minority so it isn't as disproportionate.
this is what happened in britain if you look at the nhs. there is a chapter in my book called fewer versus care and i'm all for that government spending more money to find a cure. if we can find a cure for alzheimer's disease. they are retiring and you're going to save a whole lot of money from having to treat people with alzheimer's. you see the people on panels and you can call them whenever you like the d. naim people care and surgery because it costs too much money and they are fooled by the art contributing enough to the government.
life has been cheapened in one level of the unborn and now the challenge is idea the other level, the unwanted. >> host: of the heroes that you cited in the book is none other than john calvin thomas. so, your story for you is an example of this virtue. explain. >> guest: i had two parents that stayed married. i had a brother that died a year and a half ago with down syndrome when he was born in 1950. children like that for institutionalized are not or not expected to live beyond their 20s. my parents said they are not going to do that so he would be 60. that was an example of compassion that i carry with me to this day.
my contention is that just getting a handout it is about getting a hand up. i'm not going to tell you the things i've done because that would sound self-serving but you'd be surprised a you would be surprised a lot of the things i do for people monetarily, relationally and others but that goal was always to help them improve their lives or to become independent and functioning individuals not just to say there is a guy with a sign on the road i will give him a few bucks so he can go off and do whatever he wants. you roll down the window and say it is the work for food, and they don't see that in a way anymore. they say i have a job you want to cut my lawn, now it's easier to get the money than to do the rest. but we have redefined compassion and my story while i was fortunate to grow up in a two pair and how i worked very hard. i flunked out of college my first year my father called me in and said i've been happy to support you all these years but
these used to these years but if you go back you will pay you her own way. when i pick my own way i got serious and my grades went up because it was my money that i was spending. today's attitude that he flunked out of college lets send him a check with no price to pay so that taught me a great lesson and failure is a wonderful thing if you learn from it but if you just accept the idea of victimhood, one of the court at fox news spoke of the society a few years ago he said if you think of yourself as a a pick them, you'll always be a victim but if you think of yourself as a success eventually you will be one. >> host: you talk about having been taken down by many newspapers as you desire to write a column but then here comes one editor that says let's give him a chance. why don't you tell that story? >> guest: in the lyndon johnson administration i was a copy boy and went over to the
white house and that was to be a very engaging young man and hoped he would be finding the same enemy. years later i wrote a column in a book called burning censorship from the left and so i wrote a column about it and i set it off to what i thought would be the least likely to print it in an times and it's framed on my wall as a historical document and they read another one later on in the "washington post" printed about into the la times. they said what's going on so he contacted all the we contacted all the syndicates and my background was broadcast and they all turned me down so the publisher at the la times i called him up and i said there is good commentary particularly in the social and cultural issues to get peoples attention even more than the economics. he said he might be right. the next time you come to la i will set you up at the meeting
from the syndicates people that we that they could own decision. so i went out there and mess with them and they miraculously i must say offered me a chance to do two columns a week and in april it will be 30 years and one time i don't know where it is now but it was if not the top in america that but i never take no for an answer. i never took rejection as the final word. there's an old song barbara cook sings on others it's not fair you start player you finish. >> host: you mention in what works that johnson is a liberal. >> guest: he's a liberal democrat but he is committed to diversity and pluralism. i dedicated the book to him because he opened the door for me and my life changed because of him. i had dinner with him recently in atlanta, he and his wife. they are great people. this is what has happened. i mentioned this in the book. nobody knows anybody in washington anymore. we are all bold liberal,
conservative. yes i do it for communication i know. we are all groups on, african-american, latino, when, men, or straight we are all identified by labels and nobody gets to know each other. so when we become very close personal friends i know about his family life, his kids come his desires and frustrations and he knows about mine because we look beyond the labels but there is a lot of money and political power keeping us divided. solutions to problems her fund raising. i asked a fundraiser in my naïveté have come you never never send out a positive letter and they said you can't raise money on a positive. how devices is that? that? if you v. are no longer the united states of america we are the divided states of groups and that is what is harming us i think on many levels. >> host: but this is to is correct about one to wreck that i one of those incidences which is the hard right.
>> guest: i have many liberal friends who are authors and columnists and i pay attention to what they are saying. in the book i say look at it as a liberal idea and if it is living up to its established. if it's doing people do. we have exceeded those boundaries and that's why the government has become dysfunctional. >> host: the book is part of an argument of fragmented america you have a forward by sean hannity "-end-quotes limbaugh" limbaugh extensively and note mark levin is the big talk radio. these are people in the book and there are no liberal ideas including social security that you say you like or medicare. >> host: >> guest: this is a counter argument to much of the problem we are facing.
if if i thought the government was working well and functioning well and promoting the welfare and i thought that attend amendment was being lived under and all rights not specifically delegated to the federal government would be reserved for the states and the people, if i deleted all of that i wouldn't have written the books of this book so this is a counter argument to what the left is saying about the government is the solution to all of our problems. if you turn into the show on fox on saturday night he's a libertarian and goes a little further than i would but he basically deconstructs these programs and mostly the attitude of people turn to government first like a religious cult that matter the proof and the bbc is incorrect. people continue to believe in it and i think the government has replaced god. now we turn to the government and we wonder why it's not working. >> host: you say liberals are the ones that turn to government
even though clinton said the era of big government -- and you hear obama saying we have to do more in terms of building the family and individual responsibility. >> guest: i'm all for that but talk is cheap. >> host: in other words the audience it seems is the conservative hard right may be as unix. evangelical. >> guest: i don't see myself as hard right. if you want to ask one of my favorite writers of all times he wrote a brilliant columns for "the new york times." did i agree with everything of course not but that doesn't mean his skills and abilities i still think he's one of my favorite of all times. i like to read two things every day my bible and "new york times" so i know what each side is doing. i have friends on all sides but this is a counterargument. it's like medicine that doesn't taste good. you might not like it but it's good for you. read the books to understand the arguments but give me the
evidence. tell me what i had to start programs are not producing what they should. tell me why they are over 40 different literacy programs in the federal government that overlap for counter one another. why do we have that and why is there so much duplication of the federal government programs when none of them seemed to be producing the desired results that's why i want another commission to go go through top to bottom i don't care if it was a liberal or conservative idea of one of the things i mentioned in the book on the circuit is let's take the abstinence education. this was big for the evangelical right. we are going to teach people to be virgins until they get married. that is a noble goal however the program isn't working so if it isn't working, get rid of it and that is a conservative evangelical program. >> host: that isn't in the book. i'm saying the finger is pointed at the liberals. >> guest: they are the party
of government and they've added a lot longer. conservatives want to put the government back in its boundaries. it's like a river and its boundaries it's wonderful. for sailing, fishing, swimming, whatever but there is a flood destroys property and sometimes lives. >> host: when we think about solutions and looking back at traditions and traditional america and god in the evangelical sense or as directing us all and every moment almost predestination if you will, to question then becomes how does count on this think about the rising number of minorities in america were now we see more and more muslims in america pacs in the book it doesn't seem like you have a very welcoming attitude towards the muslim community. >> guest: this is a nation that began on the issue of religious freedom. those that came from and glenda didn't want to stay and i
certainly don't want the government telling me how to worship or if two. so i am all for that but i do think that if you're going to be part of america and you come from another country even a different religious background you have to be part of the pluralism. you can make your case in the public square will be the system but i don't think that you can impose all of it for government and through government and that includes my point of view on everybody that doesn't agree with that i think that these are one out in the marketplace. certainly in civil rights and doctor king, ralph abernathy, others i went to the i have a dream speech and i was a copy boy at nbc into changed my thinking on a lot of things regarding the race because i didn't really know any people other than that made that my printed wait until i started playing basketball. i knew about them but i didn't know anyone as a fellow human being.
so i am all for muslims in this country, jews, christians and the rest but i do think that there is a there's a great fear particularly among the radical islam that there are certain people who want to infiltrate us and undermine us and i think that we saw these guys came in and took the training in florida and other places on how to fly airplanes. they were not discriminated against. they were given the same license anybody else else with the defense we have to be careful and clearly the radical islamists come out of the background taught by the eu moms that they are god wants people that don't be leave as they do to be dead. i'm all for people having complete freedom who don't agree with my religious or political worldview. i found increasingly that a lot of the extremists in that religion don't and they have a responsibility to speak up and isolate people who feel that way. >> host: what comes through in the book is a kind of discouraging view about what islam, especially muslims in
america are up to so the question is how would you deal with it? >> guest: the government as a primary responsibility and for what they know they are dealing with it monitoring of the mosques and tony blair when he was the pastor of england. they are approaching hate and not just hate that insurrection or want to bring down the british government and felt like they got the commander to do so. he tried to deport them especially those that were connected with some of the extremists. i think that a candidate when he was unable to deport any of them. i think we have a serious problem. we want everybody to come to america under the law and an orderly fashion and used to have people in the polls, the germans and others that came and assimilated. they wanted people to learning
polish, they wanted them to learn it. now we are hyphenated americans. one of my favorite lines she said i'm not an african-american. i am an american. yes, she gets it. but they are all hyphenated. we are parts of the subgroups and that is the kind of thing harming the country. >> host: when it comes to the civil rights movement and the distinction between doctor king and doctor abernathy and al sharpton into the different reverends that you acknowledge if you go back to the founders embraced slavery in the constitution and the history in the country when the legal segregation was the law, you say that's wrong that change was needed but in most other areas you don't embrace change and you don't embrace the idea of us working as a community to improve the quality of all of our lives.
they understood rights had to be put outside the reach of government. doctor king appealed to that. >> i am talking about in this book, commonsense solutions that predate. well,. well, geez, so does slavery, oppression of women. >> we could go on for an hour about that. slavery and denial of civil rights are moral issues primarily. yes, lyndon johnson helped force that particular part of the country, and not just the south into an attitude and with the pictures on television, and i was working working for nbc with reporters, including a guy named charles quinn who came back and told story and help
sear the conscience of the american people that this was not just wrong legally but morally. morally. black people were entitled to the same rights, not because the government was going to give it to them or should, but because they enjoyed the same in doubt inalienable rights as every human being. >> government had to enforce equal treatment. government was an important instrument. >> again, not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, there is reason for government. government needs to needs to restrain what the theologians call central people. that is the purpose of government, a biblically established institution that has its limitations. the founders want government to be with sne