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tv   Book Discussion on The Quartet  CSPAN  September 2, 2015 8:00pm-8:59pm EDT

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change the nature of the party? i think that is unlikely. >> let's go to next and i proplast it will be more lightning round. >> i am jack from chicago. my question is is there a specific policy issue that will affect the election? >> policy? that is nuts. are you joking? let's go to the practicing on this. >> the right to life issue is a motivator. we see tax policy being talked about. but it is more personality now. >> to make this quick i agree. >> what will be the most debated
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issue in the fall campaign? >> middle class income. and that is a real issue and really important. >> immigration. i don't know it it will get in the fall but that is a real concern. >> hi, i am anna, i had a question going back to where you started from, donald trump said something in the public debate that got caught off which was it is a broken system. he said that in response to show he dealt with bankruptcy in his own company. he said it is not abuse and said i useed the law to my own advantage and it is a broken system. he is the only republican and the only candidate besides sanders to mention the idea of a breck n system.
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is the unwillingness or inability of the republican party candidate to mimic trump's tactics in ability to understand social media campaigning or is it more so an unwillingness to abuse the system and in doing so acknowledge it as broken? >> you know, that is a fantastic question. if you look at the field, on paper they all look like they are people running against the system, right? mark rubio, ted cruz, rand paul, they ran against the establishment and were going to do it differently. ted cruz was going to take it to washington and talks about doing that currently. you have governors that are not part of washington, right? that was the message. scott walker. everybody says i cannot do this but you can do it here. the system is broken. you don't have people who are standing up there saying yay
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status quo, yay establishment and i cannot wait do that and work within the system. they all ran saying the system is broken and that is why i ran a different kind of campaign. >> i meant the familiar financing system. >> oh, oh. >> you mean wall street? >> a bit of bight -- both but mostly campaign finance. >> you hear druchonald trump ta about the corruptiveness of donations. if you go go to a sanders rally it is a huge part of his speech. >> the thing that is so interesting about donald trump is no body could have created in him in their worst nightmare of republican candidates. he is saying i am beholding to no one, money is corrupt, jeb bush is behold to the guys who
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gave him money. that is one of the other at t tributes. he doesn't take any money. he is not going to make the campaign finance system his issue like bernie sanders is but he said america used to be great, it is now in the toilet and i am going it fix it and make it great again. >> have we had a successful candidate who didn't run against a broken washington? >> i don't remember anyone running for president that did run against washington. >> hillary clinton is running against washington and the system. >> obama broke through early on -- we talked about politics is not working. politics is broken. we tie that to hillary as part of that and based on the top of
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their pyramid messaging was her experience in the way we flipped it upside down. but the politics has been broken and you have to run against a broken policy. >> thank you. >> hi, i am sarah royal, and i am from massachusetts and my question is about joe biden. if he does decide to get in the race what affect do you think he will have on the democratic side and do you think he can win? >> does anybody give joe biden the shot at winning the nomi nation? >> i do. >> make your case. >> the joe biden from eight years ago is not exactly the same joe biden. there is something to be said about his eight years standing beside obama and helping him fight the fights he has been through.
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i think he has gained a lot on that. i will say if in fact he can make the case that he is more u authentical candidate there is sump hope there. she is by far the frontrunner but don't count him out. >> your poll that is in tomorrow's "washington post," but was an abc poll -- it was very interesting. it showed it builds on the poll that came out with 60% of people described one word as liar. and that showed that she is loosing support among mrn
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millennial and women. what you are talking about with black lives matter and i have always questioned whether or not blacks, hispanics and asians were the key for the 2012 election whether they will turn out for hillary clinton. that is still the question. if there is a fracturing of those core voters, i am not saying it yet, just the beginning cracks. he is very well loved. there is a great deal of affection for him with the death of his son. i have done 19 presidential debates, general election debates and seven vice president debates and i will tell you is american people want like their president.
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and people like joe biden. >> i think he is a little low in the polls. >> i think his base is in the green room of washington. it is so unscripted. >> that is right. >> elizabeth warren wanted to be on the ticket with him in that secret meeting. >> more about elizabeth warren than it was about joe biden >> i am marissa. we have been talking a lot about the domestic issues that are important to the campaign but my question pertains more to foreign policy. given the fact there is isis encroaching upon turkey and the recent iran deal with important
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in the future, which candidate do you think would have the greatest impact and be able to best handle the foreign policy issues? >> well it should be hillary clinton, the former secretary of state. but the interesting thing about foreign policy is at least until donald trump came along foreign policy was the number one issue for republicans. it is unusual it would be at the top of the list for oo presidential election. the republicans don't have a good alternative. they say the obama foreign policy has been a disaster but they with the exception of lindsay grahm they don't have a well, thought out, clear alternative. and it is easy to say, you know, the world is on fire, obama can't fix it, but they will have to come up with a solution. i think being secretary of state counts for something.
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>> republicans are going to nominate someone hawkish and say whatever bush did i will do the opposite versus clinton who is more -- this will be the most dramatic difference between the two candidates, no? >> i think on domestic policy there will be dramatic differences whether it is immigration or it could be changing through the course. hillary clinton hasn't done as many interviews as the other candidates. have you noticed that? >> we don't have a hundred percent clear issue where she is on the issues now. we know when she was as secretary of state and she said theoretically she supports the
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iran deal. we don't know what is going to happen with isis and syria. we know she has been hawkish in the past. so it may not be -- there may be a way in which she is not -- she is obviously going to be divinidifrn from her republican opponent but may be further to the right than the president. >> i think there is a republican foreign policy in dealing with the issues that you have. it hasn't been fleshed out but it is peace restraint. you have peace in the world for having a strong nation who is respect respected, armed forces were nowhere where they could be. there should be a focus there. the individual issues are not fleshed out but i think that is the common core.
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>> let's know to the next question. >> i am kendric chang and i am from honolulu, hawaii, the same place obama was born in. >> the republicans don't agree with you. >> what hospital? >> we are not sure you are supposed to be here. >> is hawaii a state? >> in the end the general election is decided by the electoral college, is the any chance it will expand in the future for more states to be competitive? >> i don't think so. >> do you think any new states will be added? >> not many. florida, ohio, you can go
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through the list and they are the pivotal ones. when are we going to see california? i don't think that will happen. >> i think we, the obama campaign, came in and quite frankly some of this was from dean but no one gives dean credit for it -- >> dean does. >> on election night, we will not be sitting around waiting for results of one state to come in. and so i mean putting those states into play and putting money into the planning states like virginia and north carolina, you can back a couple years and we spent a lot of money. will georgia get more play? we did a couple polls in georgia. georgia is a state that is in place but it cost so much money you take away from other states. money is a problem with putting more states in place but i think
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you will see that the battleground -- if i am a republican, i think you have to bro broaden the battleground, if you think about loosing florida two times now. i don't know a lot of maps that get your guys to the white house, and it has guy unfortunately, without florida. so you have to broaden the map. >> you have to add minnesota and michigan to the playing field. >> i think they would. but wouldn't you put wisconsin in the mix? >> sometimes it doesn't work to expand the map. >> the battleground changed over time. there was a time when iowa, new hampshire and nevada were not part of it. >> i would add arizona. >> i think hang health care and both presidential nominees will spend money -- hillary clinton -- in arizona.
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>> there wasn't a dollar spent by romney in 2012 in pennsylvania and i think that changes. >> i am from kansas. if trump runs as an independent, what steps do the gop take to prevent that split from handing the election to the democrats? >> it is catastrophic. >> yeah. >> that is how you really feel. >> it is catastrophic if you split the party and he has the resource do is get on the ballot. it is extremely difficult to get on the ballot. we have to keep him in the party. and somebody has to beat him. >> are any of these pledges that states are asking to be on our ballot you have to pledge you
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will support the candidate is that legal? >> he said sure, signs the pledge and -- >> that is sorry looser laws >> what is their recourse in >> when bucannon who ran as a republican, moved and there were sorry lawsuits. >> he could not get on the ballot in general election states. >> given the political environment why are we not seeing more independent candidates? somebody brought up '68. '68, '92, '16 feel similar scheie are not talking about others -- and we -- why? >> john anderson and ross perot
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and other candidates tried to make the third party work and it doesn't. it splits the vote. i think there is a great reluctance. >> you are talking about a billon to run for president. you are talking about a billion. >> that is a lot of money for a billionaire e even. >> let's go to the next question. >> hi, i am matthew lee from florida. frank touched upon this lightly and i wanted more in depth analysis. assuming trump makes it through and he is one of the candidates where do you think the republican voters who didn't support him who will they flock to? if he doesn't make it and runs as an independent where does the average republican trump supporter go? back to the republican party or keep going and follow him? >> that is a good question and i am not sure.
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you see ted cruz, he is very trying to close it down, so he is hoping that if mr. donald trump doesn't succeed those votes go to him. i don't know. i think they will split and i am not sure there is one place they will go. if he stays in the race it is down to the wire. he is going to be effective and i am not ready to declare he is not going to fizzle out down the road. he may but that is true of the other 16 and they will fizzle out. >> let's say he gets the nomination and the republicans do don't like him drift back to the nominee of the party. whether that happens this time i don't know. >> we saw it with the quote unquote bad nominees, tea party,
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whatever. most republicans come home. and democrats come home no matter how divisive. remember the pumas for the democrats back in in '08. >> the question is will blacks hispanics and asians turn out in the same numbers and be as excited about hillary as they were obama and turn out out in record numbers. in florida and iowa, they were close races and it was demographic concentration using social media by the obama campaign that pulled them over the line. turnout is the big key. >> do any of you think clinton versus bush makes them create a high turn out environment?
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what you see in 2010 is a 16 point turn outdifference. i don't care who your candidate is if you have 16-pooped differences in the prestincts you are lost. do you the difference between the base? 1 pooped # points. we got our tails kicked.
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we have to energize. look what happened in maryland, montgomery and turnout was lower than the city of balt mother. if you cannot get a big turnout and voters don't make a bigger turnout democrats don't do well. >> you think the 2014 turnout is a predictor for 2016? >> if you have a turnout difference it is problematic. >> how are you doing? i am drew lawrence. >> two more questions. sorry about that. you and whoever is behind you it better be a good question to be the last one. so focus. >> my name is drew lawrence and i am from massachusetts and i work on social media and i tweet
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all of you so i will refresh my twitter. i think to me the biggest elephant in the room is that we are at an event called campaign 2016 and it is september 2nd, 2015. from what i understand the campaigns have been getting longer since president kennedy. i was wondering in your respective field this has affected the fields and what is the biggest affect on the political system in general? >> we love it. >> no, it has been no vacation. >> i think one of the attacks is that the commission on presidential debates is dealing with it right now. i think on election day 2012, 41% of the voters already voted. so the question is do we move the debates earlier? they traditionally have been in
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october. do we move them before people start voting online and by mail and so forth to impact? the conventions moved back. their goal was to shorten the campaigns and this is a four year campaign. >> i would say, i think the effect is every debate in congress is now a political campaign. the biggest change in my 25 years, there used to be the odd year was the governing year, the was a governing year in washington, now we have a gov rng month, it is february of the odd month. and that is it. how facetious. >> i agree. >> if you politicize that that is why you are wondering why you can't do compromise.
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campaigns are aspirational so everything has to be aspirational and perfect and it good is the enemy of the perfect and that is why we see what we see on capitol hill. >> gefb-- good evening, i am lo davis from new jersey. so my question is more for the med media, looking at what we talked about with the kardashians and the discourse is shifting from these defined ideas that people can believe in and latch on to to sort of border wall and things with twitter and social media schillings washings what
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is the role of social media in elections? is there an avenue for media to inform and shape the debate or is the rule indexing solely up to candidates? go >> good question. >> i can back to donald trump. donald trump made the media -- it is funny, i hear this. we are on the way to being irrelevant or we are too relevant. i cannot figure out if we are a dying thing or have too much power. but i view it as a spread offense. and this is what trump perfected. but the whole idea of the spread offense is you just put up a five wide receivers and you will have a mismatch. stru trump is talking all of the
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time. gaps at 9 a.m., calls another at 9:30, your opponent is all over the place trying to tackle you on this issue and you went for the end zone on the other issues. my question is when are other candidates going to figure that out. >> i don't know if others can. he is a media creatures. that is where he lives. i am doing this story this week about and i have been asking people about the legacy of trump and someone said today he is going at a change the way campaigns run. i don't know who is going to be the next trump-like candidate. >> kayne west. >> yes, kayne west. >> he already announced for 2020. >> but you know the twitter wars he is running with jeb bush. you could make the argument he is laying a media trap that scott walker went into and maybe it was fatal.
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would we have talked about a wall on the northern border if it wasn't for donald trump? i don't think so. >> cornell, you brought it up first. how about the statement that trump will change the way campaigns run. >> i think it will. you have a lot of establishment people shaking their head and wanting this to go away. but i think this is for better or worse a lot of the politics in the future will look like reality television than campaigns in the past. i don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing but you better master it. >> is there hope for changes? >> changes to what? to go back? >> to go to a time where we could discuss great ideas and details and how things will be accomplished. >> there will also be some obscure website where you can do that. >> by the way, the good old days
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were not so good. >> no, the good old gdays were not so good. you want to start thinking back. the question is will you use the tools for good or evil. i hate to be that black and white. just move forward. >> we don't define in america how somebody should vote. we let you pick it on their hair or their issue position. so you are trying to constrict it to this is how you should decide it. it is pleuristic and let anyone decide it anyway they want. >> all right. well, thanks for the good question to end on. big thanks to -- >> not going to let you end quite yet. >> i want to ask you chuck, and everybody else, how many of you guys in this room are thinking about or considering going into the politics or political
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journali journalism or something related to the public sector? what piece of advice based on where we are going do you think the reality show is changing? >>
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>> 80% of campaign spending has been directed toward advertising. i would say learn how to shoot a commercial, learn how to do it well and if you do you can make a lot of money in politics. that is rapidly changing. the big money makers and i am speaking of money because i know your generation, the big moneymakers in politics are increasingly going to be the people who figure out how to take what we have been doing on television and do it in the social media space. because the circle for money that is -- if money spending on campaigns the biggest circle would be on television advertising. but that is shrinking and moving. we spent a lot of money on
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social media space. if you figure out it, get good at it, you will bow working for a long time on future campaigns. >> i would say -- regardless of your dream being in the electronic or print media, work on your writing. work on your writing. it is a lost art. i think those of you who can put down on a piece of paper, or ev on your laptop, in a sophisticated way you will get a leg up. >> got it. i was going to say that. >> no more than 127 characters. >> the other thing is don't get too distracted by all of the
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shine and it is fun covering a campaign but the best jab i had was coverering congress and i learned more than i could have sitting on a campaign bus travelling through the same thing and hearing the same speeches over and over. i learned about what candidates really do, you get the on the ground exposure. it is not as glamorous and you don't get the exposure dryou do when you cover a campaign but you will understand politics and campaigns when people talk about information because you will have been steeped in it. it will make you much better as a political reporter. >> i agree with everything that has been said especially the writing and covering congress. the majority of people that
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cover presidential campaigns cover congress. there is something to be said for getting there. and the other thing about the media changing and i have no idea what the direction will be but there is always going to be a need for great content. really well reported, well written content. i mean, that is never going to disappear. >> let me thank you all. let niasia ellme say, first, th conversation this evening, and i am not sure which was better, what you guys said or what you guys asked, but this is a demonstration of the power of the brains and the place and the institutions here. every single person, i cannot tell you how proud i am, that
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every person on this stage is affiliated with our school and you. and they are because they believe in you and the future. and that is a powerful and wonderful thing. and i thank you for that very, very much. i would like to ask you in the audience to join me in thanking this panel and thank you for the talk. good luck in 2016. be safe and well. special thanks to chuck todd who raced over here. do me a favor, tweet, facebook post, instagram, tell your parents and everybody to watch "meet the press." we are all helping chuck lift his already terrific ratings even higher. thank you all.
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> we have been bringing you books on prime time. tonight we are looking at joseph ellis look at when and how the united states became a country. and then dana perino talks about her book: "and the good news is...: lessons and advice from the bright side." and then evan thomas on "being nixon," about the life and career of richard nixon. jost jose effs eave ee -- josep
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about his took "the quartet." he talked to stacy shift. >> we are pleased to welcome joseph ellis, acclaimed author and historian who recently retired from the ford foundation professor of history at mount holy oak college where he taught courses in america history since 1972. joseph ellis has published over ten books including a book that won a national book award as well as his book founding brer brothers that won a pulitzer prize. he wrote "the quartet" recently which you will hear about tonight. our moderator for the evening is stacy shift. in 2000, she received a pulitzer prize for her book and won
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several other literary awards including george washington book pride and the book award for franklin, france and the birth of america. her most recent book, cleopatra, was one of "the new york times" ten best books of 2012 as well as number one national best seller. she is working on a new book, the witches, regarding 1692 saal salem and looking for her to return next winter. so sign up for our brochobreau e and you will get the wonderful news. before we begin, please turn off your cell phones and note that photography is not permitted except for our house photographer. please join me in welcoming our
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wonderful guest tonight. thank you. [applause] >> good evening. hi, joe. >> i think we should go on the road with this. >> let's see how it goes. >> this is a radical book you have written. you reminded us the continental army raised the idea of nation later on. >> imagine that. we get a national government before a nation. >> let me back track a little bit. as you see it, the post independence pre-nationhood movement doesn't bubble up from
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the people. it is composed of a grope of those from the core ideas of the american revolutiorevolution. what do you mean by that? >> oh, boy. i can answer that. if you think about the argument that the colonist made to justify independence, the resolution of independence richard by richard henry lee and votes on july 2nd wrote these colonies are and have every right to be independent states. that was the resolution for independence. we did not rebel against britain as a nation. we rebelled as a series of independent states. and if you think about the arguments they have been hurling at parliament from 17655-1775 they are argument for the sovereignty of their state
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legislatures. parliament can't rule for us. the most famous speech in american history has a mistake in the first clause. four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth a new continent of the nation. >> you said that wasn't a mistake but propaganda. >> i don't want to sthat because it is the only way he can justify the civil war because if he is wrong, and unfortunately he is wrong, the confederacy has a legitimate argument to succeed. we don't create a nation. we create a confederation. so they don't have the moral
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argument on this and we can forgive lynn -- lincoln unless you think it is a bad idea he won the civil war. but in 1776 and at the end of the war in '81 when the treaty comes in '83 history is not moving toward nationhood. all of the forces are moving toward the creation of a kind of europeanization of north america. america is about to become a version of the eu. >> who is greece? >> georgia. >> you have a group of
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collaborate collabora collaboraters that see this and is urging a reunderstanding of the american revolution? >> right. according to the rational for the rebellion, no nation state is possible. any powerful central government is far away from you and therefore doesn't represent your interest. if you are looking for the real seeds of the tea party -- it is the notion that, now in the revolutionary era they are saying we are not represented in parliament and they are not. but the anti-federalist will argue any central government, even one where we elect people,
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doesn't represent meechme. patrick henry will say if a tox is proposed and of the virginia delegates vote against it and it passes we are taxed against our consent. the average american is born, lives out his or her life and dies within a 28 mile radius. they don't think, and i know you don't believe this but they didn't have i-phones and don't communicate with each other and don't think nag nationsally. they think locally. it is going to have to be larger and they think if one representative in the house represents 30,000 people which they did in 1788 that is not
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really representation. some guy like ted cruz thinks i get this. you know? and it is also quasi paranoid. namely that any cluster of political power at a far away place is almost inherently tratical. >> you just through the yoke of the british sov . it is well reasoned paranoia. >> that is right. >> you mention the words republic. the words republic and democracy have different meanings that this juncture. >> we don't become a democracy. we become a republic. >> we are so disillusioned already. >> it means demographic
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behavior. the constitution is a p pre-document founded on a poplar bases and poplar opinion but then poplar opinion has to be filtered through several lairs of deliberation because that is the deference between a democracy and a republic. friend of the public, right? and like, the public is never different from the people. the public interest in 2001 was let's not get in involved in a
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land war in the middle east. we are going to do it because it is necessary to satisfy poplar opinion. the founding generation is a pre-democratic generation and a natural situation. hamilton is a bastard and comes back from franklin. but the american republic is a republic. it is not a democracy. and we have to get over the assumption that democracy is always right because it usually
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isn't. >> which is something your force on here clearly realize some of them because they have been reading through crazy list but i want to go to your title because we are talking about the fabulous four. you mention the late polly matter would have kwifharped on title. let me do this now. this is like a conspiracy what these four men are doing >> for a while i had coo in there. >> really? >> but if you keep looking it up, it implies violence. >> plus it is a foreign word so you don't want to do that. >> originally in french it is a blow.
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it is a bit of a conspiracy. i have spent 35 years of my life writing books unt the founders saying they are flawed creatures. they are not super men. tongues of fire didn't appear over their head any time during the constitutional convention. they are all people who have discernible weaknesses and if they were perfect what in heavens name would we study them for because we would have nothing to learn from. you can meet at gratifying ventions and this group of people did the follow things.
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they instigated the party. they recruited washington without washington it will not work. washington says almost nothing throughout the convention but if he is not sitting there this isn't a legit thing. they set the agenda in the virginia plan the first day of the convention which is a radical genagenda. it is illegal because the mandate from the con federation congress is to revise the articles. >> not to replace them in >> they want to replace them. and washington has said to madison there is only one reason to try this. we go for broke. better to fail at the right cause than to just do something that is not going to make any
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real difference. so talk about me being radical, he is radical. they lose fights in the convention and it is almost structurally. wh it is built into the in the groups there. there is three groups. those that don't want to change anything. they boy caugcott the conventio. the people that want radical reform. and people that want change. the second group controls the small stakes and they can block anything. so the big compromise is with
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they come up with representation by stake in the senate and population in the house. anyway, i don't want to get -- one of the things i disagree wi with polly mayor, god rest her soul, is she wrote a wonderful book about the process. if you want to know what happened in every argument in western new hampshire and why some guy thinks we will succeed and go with vermont, she has everything in there. i say the most important thing to notice about ratification after you have been through all of this is there is no pattern. every state is different. they do not know how to have a
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fashi national conversation. they can't think nationally. they think locally. those are the only arguments that make any difference. washington is thinking nationally, madison is, and jay is a new yorker whose stock is going to go up. not just because of me but his pa papers are coming out. >> let's go back to what motivates these men. is the reason these particular groups of people are thinking nationally have something to do with how young they are? >> partly. the average ange is 42.
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the biggest interest is officers from the continental army. there was a group of others that served in the confederation congress. they have seen the problem and the revolution and the post war from a larger level than the state or local level. and that is big thing that distinguishes them. if you do a shaclass analysis i marxist way one thing that shows up is the people that oppose the constitution are wealthier than the people that support it. >> that is an interesting point. you identify three things that are motivating. these men on a dprgreater plane. when they can see above the local interest and one is debt. in 1781, congress asked for $3 million from the state and get
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$ $31,000 in revenue. >> that is democracy. >> what roll does that crippling debt play in what is about to happen? >> big role. we have no credit. the american republican is a great thing. it a banana republic. the european bankers regard us as not worth investing because we cannot pay our dbt ebt. we have a $40 million kept /* dedebt. no way to pay it all. because the states want to retire their debt but they stay is warorse than that. you ever hurt of robert marsh? he is a villain in a lot of the books about -- he is a robber
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barren. it is really silly. but this guy marth was probably the wealthiest guy in america. he becomes superintendent of finance. and like a perfect storm happens and the freefnch comes up from e caribbean and they say we have them. if we can get the continental army and trap them they are ours. we don't have the money to take the troops down. some of the generals are wearing loinclot loincloths, they haven't been made in two years. what does it take to get them
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down? $687,000. he writes a personal check and that is how we won the battle with yorktown. same thing for the continental army when it was about to be disbanded. there is no money to pay them and he said i will write a check and everybody get $50 and he writes a $500,000 check. >> how did that follow true to what happened at the convention? >> it is fairly clear if we are going to be to a viable republic we have to have a federal government capable of managing the economy and taxing the states in ways that are not voluntary but obligatory. >> who was the mastermind behind that insight? >> hamilton. the bank,

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