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tv   Panel Discussion on William F. Buckley  CSPAN  December 28, 2015 6:13am-8:01am EST

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let's wrap up with this. mage, did bill buckley make you laugh? did you ever fight with him, or did you mainly just reason with
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him and really get into it? >> by the time i was on speaking terms with bill buckley i find it was simply wonderful. i mean, there was no difficulty. and i was, several times on his television show. >> remember well. >> and that was was something wonderful to watch because he never ever even slightest disturbance, but he would whisper to me, this guy is a moron. [laughter] or you take the next one, yes, i can't stand him las. [laughter] >> i recall viewers the
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examiner. >> i was. >> and they would gossip about afterwards. he was so, he was so, he was so creamy a person to have a regular relationship with. >> norman, did you challenged with the bill, ma i mean come in person? >> as a matter fact i did, quite a lot. and often through letters. one of the last letters i got from them after a long letter i had written, i guess it was an e-mail, i don't know, chiding him for calling me out. i was expecting a detailed response. i had gone into minute particulars. a significant e-mail saying it always saddens me when i displease you. [laughter]
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how do you like about what? >> isn't that great? who could ever think of such a thing? >> just one other little anecdote. one year the bilderberg conference, everyone must know what that is -- >> you are one of those? >> no. what happened was, it was being hosted by conrad black. and conrad looked at the guest list we accepted the invitation to host a saga was not a single conservative in there. so he rounded up the conservatives he might be able to include and that added up to bill buckley and me. so we went there, and it was an incredibly boring, i mean, crowned heads and prime ministers and foreign ministers ncos. at one point bill left the cd which had been assigned and came
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over to me, and he was in hysterics. i mean, he was laughing hysterically. i said what's the matter, what happened, what happened? he said -- i won't tell you the name of the person who sai saids to me but a very, very eminent person said, said to bill, you know, i have been, he said, proudly, to every one of these conferences for 44 years. and bill broke up and said, you know, the idea of thinking is wonderful to be at this conference for 44 years. anyway, as everybody knows he was a lot of fun, and apart from that dismissive e-mail i got from him, we did joust, both said our stuff through the mails. i'm not famous for my humility
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so i will brag and say i think i even had some influence on and over certain issues. in fact, i'm sure. >> i know that's true. we're going to have a little shift change here, a shift of panels. it will not take very long. thank you so much to the stellar couple, norm podhoretz and midge decter. thank you. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> we're going to begin our next panel in half a minute. so if you please take a seat. we have seats up front, anyone who -- anyone who is in the back, please feel free to come up front. our second panel will be moderated by the editor of "national review," rich lowry. >> good morning, everyone. before i do anything also want to thank the institute, manhattan institute, encounter books or republican "the unmaking of a mayor" and our esteemed publisher jack fowler who conceived and executed this project of thanks much, jack. [applause] >> j. mentioned in passing the possibility of the running for mayor, and this is an idea that
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has been thought of before. might long, but you of the conservative party actually suggested it to me a long time ago now. might estimate of many good ideas. this wasn't one of them, but i didn't really think about indicating a little insight into how professional politicians operate. because during the time when i was thinking about this, they got into the newspaper and is in my apartment building in union square. i was going down in the elevator and this woman in elevator recognize been said are you rich lowry? are you thinking of running for mayor? i am rich lowry and i am thinking of running for mayor. she buttonholed in the mail room and she was unsure the only conservative who lived in my building. and, unfortunately, was a little bit mad. she regaled me with all these conspiracy theories about the clintons, both of which i agreed with that you can find in my book legacy. i thought this conversation was going quite well within as
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without part she asked me, i'm curious, which are position on rent control? as anyone who is a reader of "city journal" knows, when control is one of the worst socialist boondoggles known to me. i was about to explain this to which he said, the only reason i ask is because i live in a rent control district. [laughter] if you oppose rent control, you will never ever get my vote. this distinctive panic gripped my gut. i knew i was losing my only voter in manhattan, so i said rent control is a very competent issue. [laughter] i think we would need to form a blue ribbon commission to study the issue, and certainly if there are going to any changes to the red controllers in new york would have to grandfather in everyone currently living in a rent controlled apartment. she was quite satisfied with this answer. i walked down the street to the
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supper quite pleased with myself. i was a little like barack obama in the 2004 democratic convention. i've got game, maybe. i am lebron. i'm good at this. then i realized i've just been thinking about for office for 72 hours and i've already sold out. [laughter] that's when i realized politics is best left to the professionals. i think one of the things that must have been so electrifying about the buckley for mayor campaign is that it was an introduction for so many people to bill buckley's dazzling personality. we are conservatives. we believe in ideas. we think rightly that ideas move the world. but there's no underestimating the effect of charisma in public affairs. john adams who could be a pity some of the gund wrote a letter once the site roughly that george washington gets all these prized positions just because
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he's a foot taller than everyone else in the room. that obviously was too grudging but there's a little something to get. people are drawn to them for at least in all by him. bill buckley had the same quality. my introduction to in came through his long running program firing line when he may not have been a foot taller than everyone else but he felt that way. as soon as i learned he edited this magazine that review i ran out and had to get a copy. that was my introduction to "national review." soon after i started smuggling "national review" into my classroom. what playboy magazine was to most well-adjusted teenagers out that era, "national review" was to me. i think one of the most amazing things about bill buckley's campaign 50 years ago is just how contemporary it feels. bill would instantly have
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recognized bill de blasio's new york as the embodiment of his action that liberals don't care what you do, so long as it is mandatory. by the issues in the book are so familiar you are tempted, although i know it's not true, but you are tempted to believe we have made any progress at all. it's about taxes, crime and welfare and, yeah, the cavs desperately trying to preserve and exploit their monopoly. and, of course, media bias. i have to see his coworkers learned that bill buckley was also on top of conservative policy issues all of these issues come an advocate of by -- bikepath, i was crushed ice and by pass with the cost of the frivolous -- howard dean in 2004 explain he left his church, the episcopal church in burlington because it had a post a bikepath. and he said that the churches
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opposition to this bikepath was a very godlike. we chose me to wonder, what is god's position on bikepath? is there a verse in leviticus about them is that explains what this is? but every time that this is one of the areas were built is pressing, almost every time i'm run down by a biker on a bikepath i think that you have always gone the full buckley and made the damn thing elevated 20 feet above the city as he wanted to do? we going to talk about this point about how pressing it was. i think the one thing maybe he wasn't so precedent. in the afterward the making of american rights how the republican party potentially could dissolve into factions that would adequately doctrinaire, inadequately led, insufficiently thoughtful, improvidently angry, self-defeating sectarian. i think we would all agree there's no way that could
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happen. we are joined this morning by two wonderful urban experts, public intellectuals, and contributors to what i very fondly consider second finest publication in the english language, "city journal." steven malanga and fred siegel. we are going to talk all the bit about this political and policy consequence of bill buckley's campaign going forward, and steve, why don't i start with you and what you share some thoughts about the impact of bill's campaign on the politics and policy of new york city and other urban areas? >> one thing i'd like to start with, we talked a lot about the political setting and also simply the mood of new york city but it's important to understand the national study at the national mood at the same time.
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because buckley's book is actually managed to be about both conservatism at the national level and at the local, the thing when i read and do read this on kind of astounded when i read the book at our longish he was -- wonkish on local liberal policy. but there was a different picture nationally, that is of course this is 65. johnson had been reelected. he had a virtual majority. this was the beginning of the war on poverty. this was the sense there were circumstances in washington, this is we could spend money on solving a particular problem. a very different approach and different feeling than the feeling in new york. 1965 was the year of the passage of medicare, the creation of a national endowment for communities, and for the arts, and the legal services corporation which was created 262 public lawyers would go around the country suing public
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officials. the beginning of the professionalization of reform. today we might call it the institutionalization of -- the national mood is we're going to fix everything including the city. sargent shriver predicted at the time that he could completely eliminate poverty within 10 years. and lbj himself said about cities that we are going to invest in urban renewal and great cities of spacious beauty. the thing is that when i tend to read the book i always think, was buckley more worried about the fact that lindsay might succeed in new york and become a national figure and drive the party to the left, or was he more worried that lindsay would become mayor and be totally inadequate for the job and destroy the city? you see both of those threads running through it, in particular one of the things that lindsay almost created really which is the most
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disturbing thing for an urban myths, this sense that the problems of american cities, and we would hear this reverberate for the next 30 years, the problem with american cities can only be fixed by intervention from the federal government and the state. the notion of the incomparable city arose out of the. this reverberate all the way down the david dukes, and became a platform for people to blame republican president for not doing enough for the city. it was giuliani of course we can't reverse that icing the cities are the center of innovation in america. why can't dissolve the own problems? so buckley actually mightily fought mostly about that. if you look at it in kind of a grand way, he said that lindsay sachin was nothing more than the federal government is going to bail us out, and, indeed, before lindsay was elected mayor, state
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and local, state and federal aid with 27% in the city's budget the president has done it was 50% budget. so the irony of course is that none of the social problem talked about in 65 was cured by any of this money, and then -- broke to boot. like a double bogey. buckley instead talked about local solutions to a degree that didn't take much of what giuliani did. i wrote down some the items of his agenda. just to give you some quick ideas because they will seem awfully familiar. first of all of eternity abdicated to eliminate rent control. unsurprisingly. but he talked about want to expend the police force, tightening probation of parole. and the opposition to what was then a civilian review board
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which is going to oversee the police department. on wall street he talked about wealthier to work, which is what giuliani did in the vigorous campaign to verify wealthier eligibility and root out fraud. this is something chilly and he did and what he did is of course he was just created from the "new york times" but merely by asking people to come in and verify they were who they were, hundreds of thousands of people dropped off the welfare rolls. buckley did other things. he really was longish. express bus lines, freeing taxes to pick up more taxes. on housing, not only ending rent control but opting out of federal urban redevelopment programs that robert moses effect in reducing the cost of new housing i ending the monopoly. if you look at his agenda, the
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one area that buckley didn't anticipate largely, the future was on education. this was a crucial area and he was grasping like many other people. although friedman had raised the issue of choice for schools. i didn't think of something that resonated but buckley said about schools was number one, we ought to look will control. that was number one. the second thing he said was schools should not be essentially for experimentation, and the kids should not be subject to the social engineering. he was talking of course about a lot of programs to essentially integrate the schools in ways that kids remove all the around the city. but otherwise much of what we see as the urban agenda of rudy giuliani is actually the nucleus
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of it is in buckley's book. and he had come to articulate a strategy. he articulated a strategy for conservatism, and he struggled as with all that said, try to kind of, deprived of their philosophy which doesn't focus on simply giving things to people. how do you respond to that? and one of the things, the way he described it was, my agenda is guided by the principles of a free and passionate society, free and compassionate society, respectful of the rights of individuals, the limitations of government and the needs of the community. i think that is probably one sense apparatus described what we tried to communicate. so i'm going to stop there. >> stephen, i'm asking you to explain to his the innards of the bill buckley for milk --
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mayor campaign. but if you talk to certain urban experts at the time, which you have heard of these ideas? with it at all in the ether, or is this bill buckley's intuition coming up? >> obviously all ideas kind of have a background in a certain kind of philosophy. and when buckley talks about things like, crime is the crucial issue right now because we can't have a city where people are afraid, and the first order of government is civic order. that was something that was more widely accepted than i think and sometimes subsequently. in the late '80s and the '90s you said those things, you are accused of promoting law and order. i don't know, one of the things that i know from history of
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lindsay, that lindsay denigratee people who use terms like law and order, including buckley. in 1968 he compared them to people who are trying to bring a prague spring to america. analogizing between this whole the army in czechoslovakia and, you know, occupation by police in our neighborhoods. this was at a time when lindsay took over, there were 680 murders in new york. there were 390-5510 years earlier. by the time he left office over 1200 murders in new york. he continued undercut the police themselves with this kind of philosophy of reactive, passive policing. buckley did this, in some ways talked plain sense.
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the difference is that his solutions were free market solutions come if you will. and that i think struck people as unusual. you know, how can we govern using the principles of the marketplace? >> so if i were a conservative in 1965 and i decided to think were the heart about urban problems, would i be likely to come up with something like this agenda, prior to the advent of them at an institution? >> the irony is i think institutions like the manhattan institute were sometimes better to put these ideas forward and reemphasize them over and over again until the time is right. again, what i would do is have a uglies ideas in 1965 just seem sensible, which is one of the reasons why the reporters came to like him. because he was talking sense to
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them especially about crime. and lindsay's responses, lindsay, it was the most vacuum his agenda you could imagine. buckley said at the time you have to speed when these agenda, not believe it. and then he said, and i love this line. he was actually quoting from a literary critic but he was referring to someone else, but he said to try to see consecutive thought and logic and lindsay's agenda, you're going to have to settle for consecutive pagination. spent so at-large held was just rejecting the piety of time in favor of what was widely recognized, didn't have the late expression? >> absolutely. one of the things that's most
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distressing is by the late 1980s those things with buckley what it said were commonsense, the first job of government special local government is to ensure the civic order, had become code words. so by the time, they just make sense. >> fred, let's get you in your your thoughts on the impact of bill's campaign, and, obviously, feel free to bounce off anything state said. >> the buckley campaign follows the goldwater debacle. conservatism is in the tanks. its collapse. republican party has collapsed. buckley was a pick me up. his attitude, the way he carried himself was a wonderful tonic for people watching this. i think the important thing is to understand, the existence of a world that no longer exists or
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a world of technocratic liberalism were the assumptions were that experts could really solve virtually any problem under the sun. and if you didn't agree with those experts, you're a racist. during this campaign, steve is right, a lot of it was common sense, and describing buckley this kind of a neo-nazi. they always pointed to the fact that buckley is opposed in 1960 civil rights act. a mistake on his part. his opposition was based on the notion that the federal government had become too powerful. that's it. but the city doesn't local part, crime doesn't explode until later in the '60s. lindsay intentionally expands the welfare rolls. we have a black male unemployment of 4% in the late
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60s. he wanted it to be much higher to be joking, but it was a joke. decoration of the welfare culture of the low class had not yet occurred. the school conflict toward the city apart. it was over like a civil war. i won't bore people in explaining out, it was a post but it occurred in what. but when it happened people were forced to choose sides. most of the new york intellectuals chose the side of a black nationalist who taken over the schools. there's a fellow who would want to log in undistinguished career as full professor at the university of massachusetts teaching education because he done so well in new york,
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destroying the schools do is thought to be ideal to teach other people how to do it. when it took place that was simply, now, i have to acknowledge at the time and living in new jersey it is not so far away. i still have relatives come and i'm trying out for the college football team. i was larger than. but i felt as i felt in my relatives because when they got on the subject, sat around the table and the subject came up, it was warfare. people couldn't speak to each other civilly. it was so intense. the idea that white teachers were purposefully miss educating african-americans so as to keep them down took hold. it's still there now. can i jump -- is all right if i
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jump to giuliani? >> absolutely stupid let me jump all over the disaster of -- >> too much ground to cover spent in the late lindsay years, the city lost a half a million jobs. happy million jobs. that's larger than the population of most american cities. some people argue it's 600,000 but it's an enormous sum. the city lost a half a million. there's a quadrupling out well for and the schools have collapsed. it was quite a set of accomplishments. the rudy campaign for me was personal because it was a lot of fun but i was editor of the "city journalcityto at the timen the giuliani campaign at the time. dedication of the "city journal" would, i would come on run pashtun run over, and outcome rediscovery debt. people would sit down and it was a know was exciting but steve is right. a lot of what people were
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talking about came out of the buckley campaign. some things have changed. the deacons administration exacerbated the problems of riots. that was a very 65 it was there by the end of the lindsay. it was a bit and 65. we were sitting around the table and talk about welfare, the bike lanes, the city come hereafter remember in 1990 for the city was on the verge of bankruptcy. literally on the verge of bankruptcy. you know, dinkins have brought the city to bankruptcy but he threatened mario cuomo, if you allow the financial control board to take over, i will play the race card. so cuomo backed out and giuliani was handed a.
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so giuliani would quickly on welfare reform as a fiscal matter. people like what buckley said. they like the idea of welfare reform which is in the air at the moment but it was a matter r of this is a nice idea to bring people to work in the parks. this was a matter of necessity. it had to be done. welfare rolls have do to reduce. the city budget had to be reduced. this is just informal, people sitting around talking. the things they cannot come to giuliani campaign most excited was the fact that buckley talk like the fact that moynihan was picked this up except affected new york% more to washington that he got back. this was a revelation. new york liberals believed washington was a source of semifree money. id we're sending more than we're getting back was inexplicable except for the fact major interest groups did better, while on this view, the teachers
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union. welfare workers did better on this deal, medicaid. people who spent, and the city as a whole. the city as a whole lost a so many interest groups gained. there's a wonderful metaphor that buckley used of this guy being black and white crisscrossing funds from one place to another. i was the case. and it's still the case. i was in a conference call yesterday with people in washington about is to come. senator buckley's new book was one of the things that was mentioned. but what people were talking about this is fantastic, one of the things they were talking about was this fantastic chart listing all the antipoverty agencies in washington, over 800 of them, and trying to figure out how they relate to each other. what grabbed the giuliani people was this image of money is
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costing. why are we doing this? we have to solve our own problems. we are not going to get help from washington, and that made liberals crazy. i say this on the basis of personal conversations and i think on platforms with people. they didn't boo me but they did it is. >> try harder, fred. [laughter] let me ask you on race. our race relations better or worse today? it seems obvious that are better that we seem to be talking ourselves into convincing ourselves that they are worse. >> i think that's right. the contract is up ideological, of crises over a nonexistent great epidemic on -- weight epidemic on crisis, white policeman who supposedly -- is our contrived controversies, created by the end of the obama years.
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the sense is if we don't get it done now it's never going to get done. but there's no continuity. because in each case crises was a source of liberal empowerment. so in the case of, i disagree all of it with mitch and norman and i will dock as i say that. the city as a whole, crime had risen but it was getting like it would be five years later in 1970. the reason i say this is the "herald-tribune" in 196 1964 ret have long since of articles on how new york was a disaster. get out of a century was the message. it was a contrivance. that contrivance helped elect lindsey. is a similar between lindsay and
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bill de blasio. bill de blasio cut elective our because all the articles in the "new york times" about stop and frisk, even though stop and frisk had already been dramatically reduced. it did make it into the times on paragraphs 29 page 32. at the that that the reforms they called for had largely already taken place was beside the point they were letting off steam. now, lindsay had won narrowly in a three way race. the velocity of won narrowly in a three-way race. the three-way race with the blosser was a private of which was despite the best efforts of joe. believe there was a general election and there never will be another giuliani. let me explain why. this goes back to buckley. buckley was a master at deconstructing the tensions of technocratic liberalism.
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that liberalism doesn't exist today. that technocratic liberals believe that they can prove that the programs work. they don't do this. they don't do this. they are accused of people who oppose them up racism, sexism, whatever. in what you have today is what buckley called the john birch of the. let me read something. this is brilliant. the left today is a much like the john birch society. lindsay was famous reading the john birch society out of the conservative movement. one of the best things he ever did. it the birch fallacy. how to define the birch fallacy, buckley once asked what the fallacy i said is the assumption that you can first objective consequence. we lost china to the communists
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therefore the president of the united states and the secretary of state wish china to fall to communism. so today they are suffering in the inner-city. that suffering is assumed to be intentional. someone wished this to be the case. that's the version. another version is very big on city council. i do how many people are aware, the city council is way to the left of the blosser. applause you is at least stuck with bratton, thank god. we are hanging on by that thread. a doctrine of implied suffering. a doctrine which is a version of the birch society. if they are suffering so much of what that suffering to have occurred. it's there because which lowry and the "national review," brian anderson in the "city journal"
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wanted it, wanted something to take place. you can't argue with -- and this is not designed to argue. so what i would say it is built buckley was brilliant in deconstructing a rational enlightenment version of this. the left became anti-enlightenment, postmodernism. some of you may be family with, there's anti-enlightenment, anti-modern. the crazies on campus. they have been taught that there is no rational. on the one if we have no rational basis for, judgment. the other and my judgments are right, and they are right because they flow from my identity. so i think buckley would be puzzled by what came. he was a master at deconstructing one kind of
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liberalism. both driven by democracy. this great a new kind of liberalism and also a liberalism that the national. in which you don't have to make arguments. it up to argue in terms of cause and consequence forget to argue in terms of your virtue and the malintentioned the people you are denouncing. so you notice any of these issues on campus, somebody didn't do enough, the dean engaged in implied racism because he didn't react forcefully enough, therefore he must have wanted african-american students to do better. forgets about the factor may be a mismatch, the students accepted to college is that maybe were too hard for them. all that is thrown out the window. what i would argue is we need a new bill buckley. the old bill buckley, the bill
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buckley who is a guide for so many years, i guide for the giuliani campaign, that bill buckley doesn't apply to this world. he wouldn't have anyone to argue with. i will end with this. black lives matter is marching down the streets, and my youngest son has two good police work, discovered this for the "daily beast" that the black lives matter people with the people who were shouting kill the cops, kill the cops, which they've been denied. now i think i'm going to talk to them i say you do know that the number of african-americans killed by the police has declined dramatically over the last 25 years. if so, why do you think this is such an issue no? their response was, doesn't matter. i feel, i feel that it it's
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gotten worse. what, i don't care what you say. just get a site, move. there's nothing to see you, move along. it was terribly upsetting, but you can't argue in a rational way. this goes back to the double game of postmodernism. the arno foundations, my truisms are ready to. what that ends up with is okay, i'm going to impose myself by virtue of force. not necessarily armed force but the force of federal regulation. or the force of campus regulation. we are just going to shut you down. now i will shut up. >> thank you. i went to one more question to steve and then open it up for questions from the floor. giving you and fred and norman engage talk about the rise of rudy giuliani, it makes me wonder come makes me wonder, is it true you have a crisis in new
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york to get good governance as long as it is a slow, steady that doesn't scare the horses, that it's going to be the liberal status quo because first of all new york is a very transit paco -- people forget, those of us who have been here, many people in this room have been your we remember. we remember vividly but what happened to john people never experienced it. they simply don't know. that's number one and those are the same people who, as further described, what they are learning in our educational system is essentially to what feels good ought to be the policy. and again if you read buckley, the think about "the unmaking of a mayor" that i find so interesting is him trying to struggle to say the people this is why conservatism makes sense,
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although he is not saying it in that way. this is why people who promise to give you stuff are not your friend. one line he draws out which, yeah, certainly becomes obvious to new yorkers at the time was always look a gift horse in the mouth, you know? so this is a problem that we face. you said, it's so interesting what you just said is do we need a crisis to have good governance? what i would say is do we need a crisis to a conservative government? that's what i worry about the very, very difficult and even many of our editors, i'm sure you've experienced this, older editors for older children will tell you their kids say, dad, the cops, but dad, the cops. it is very difficult. we seem to go through these particular cycles and we are clearly forgetting many things
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from just 20 years ago. i don't know the solution to that except to keep saying look at how things were. a movie festival of all those movies, escape from new york, you know? was ever a movie version of sandler's planet? but clearly this is what we face trying to describe and remind people what the world was like. it's very difficult. >> questions? yes, sir. [inaudible] >> herb london. fred, you raise an interesting question about change that has occurred in the way in which liberals tend to respond and she made the point that buckley, they need a new buckley.
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what precisely are you getting at? i am curious about this because it seems to me if there is a new argument, what is that new argument? what would buckley say about the liberal agenda can no longer online on evidence or truth. so what is the argument that can be made on behalf of the conservative position? >> your argument that has been made on behalf of a defensive position is that feelings are not the basis of policy. evidence has to be. it has to be, we have to argue for modernism, argue for a return to the enlightenment even if the campuses have given up completely on this. at a completely hostile to it. you have to talk a certain amount of comments is picked a
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place where you see this take place right here in new york is always the question of the homeless. people might think that cops are evil sons of that they don't want homeless people urinating in front of their porch. and they want something done about it. so the commonsense question, why has this happened? arguing back and policy to a commonsense argument, and empirical argument, and enlightenment argument, a modernist argument. i think it's very difficult i think when we get from the national stage it will be very difficult for anyone to live a kind of buckley -esque critique because the specific policy failures of the current national administration is so massive that they will probably be tied to those specific phase, obamacare, syria, iran, et cetera, et cetera. aif i had my druthers i would
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want a local and national buckley, someone who could conduct himself. i still remember my relatives, were all to the left of john lindsay. my relatives were thinking this guy is weak, this guy is funny. this is all but of what we see with donald trump or donald trump is a reagan democrats bill buckley. he's going to say what i mean. his version of humor doesn't have any of the width of bill buckley, but it's sort of talking against are taking the revealed wisdom of the moment. i'll shut up in one second. this attempt by obama -- >> keep talking as long as you don't say anything in favor of donald trump. [laughter] [applause] >> i'm just kidding. just a joke. i love donald.
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[laughter] >> i think he's the greatest vaudevillian ever to run for president. [laughter] i'm sorry. i lost it. >> can i just say something but i think the response is easier at the local level. some of us spent a lot of time looking at local government. when bad policy for enjoy the local level, that is the time when you get reform first. and i would point out that we have seen this around the country. it is not coincidental that there are 30 republican governors around the 31 republican governors that what, 22 states now have republican governors and legislatures. what's closest to people is the level of government that ceases to reform. we see more reform at the local level in this country that i
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think people would imagine. translating that into a reform on nationalism is harder, but one of the way she do that is you have a party that actually captures the statehouse. i bought that going into this election, but maybe not. but i think things change first at the local of a. it's on the ground up. i don't know if that's a high iq view or just me, you know. spirit of the questions? all the weight in the back. >> i wanted to ask for someone who is a conservative with libertarianism meaning it was, those of us who feel for the right of the individual where we are concerned about several asset forfeiture and the army of federal bureaucracy with s.w.a.t. teams and the searches that happen, warrantless
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searches, and you were saying wait a minute, what's happening with our police department, and have those concerns trying to say, well, what are the rights oof the individual, they are getting out of control, event black lives matter and those folks come along and sort of squash with their rhetoric and their terms they're using to what you are saying to the john birch are, outside of the left, and all of a sudden as a law and order person yes, i am in favor of communism in spite of to respect the police but i have these concerns, where does that leave those of us who want to see some reforms with sort of a police state with, special on the federal level and these warrantless searches? you know, now where does that leave us because we are not, we want to defend the police with the black lives matter crude and with his anti-police movement,
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by get theirs reforms that are needed. you can get all these wordless searches and throwing stun grenades that name of small children and shooting dogs and before the searches out what's happening, what was uncovering what was happening in wisconsin with the police and the prosecutors against scott walker's political supporters. where does that leave us court how do we counter that? to work in a civil libertarian land but when status quo black lives matter. >> first of all, buckley handled this in the book when he talks about the rise of civic disorder in new york. he talks about the surest way for people to lose the rights of the to be trampled on is, in fact, when government doesn't do its job and we have civic disorder. it is a balancing act. if you read the constitution it has the grants, grants emergency powers in case of emergency. so the surest way to lose our
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civil rights is in a situation where we don't govern effectively as a people call those kind of emergency measures. buckley talks about that in particular. these, neither the left nor the right has i think any exclusivity on trampling on rights. we are seeing it from both directions. good, solid governments is one of the things, sensible government that for instance, doesn't look at, it was very interesting, writer from "mother jones" of all people, right, made the point we should stop laughing at republican governors who say right now we have to reconsider the immigration issue because sensible americans look at what's happening in paris and said maybe we ought to at least ask, are rescreened these people aren't made we got to stop and check. maybe that takes since. that's what sensible people think. we could write endlessly about
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both sides of the equation in one form or another want to trample on rights. this is what good sensible government is meant to avoid, and even the founders put, wrote into the constitution emergency powers. and buckley clearly was worried about the descent of new york into disorder. and he addressed that specific issue. if you think because lindsay was consulate bringing up, if you think that what i'm talking about trampling on rights, waiting to see what happens when crime gets out of control in new york. >> can ask you both something else and then we will come it hasn't, but it's important. we have another anniversary that moynihan dashed back to either of you any folk that we can check the unraveling of the family? >> first of all, lindsay bury
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des moines and for the second time. we all know what the response to moynihan and 65. four years later when nixon is elected he makes daniel patrick moynihan his advisor and tries to revive this idea. lindsay comes out and says, the notion that the legitimacy of the breakdown of the family poses crime is ridiculous. help to bury more enhanced support for the second time. fred, you can say much about this but we are at the point now where we are beyond just simple solutions to the. this is a cultural revolution that is no longer about a black family as window. it's about hispanic family and the white family. charles murray's book on this is i think illuminating. and there is no government solutions to this. it is rather a recognition of the problem and a sense that
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this is bad for society and for kids. it's a big, big, long, long road back. the book the dream and the nightmares, the 60's legacy to the underclass is very much about what happened when attitudes change among the upper class first, and they have the resources to recover, a the underclass, and i would add the blue-collar middle class, don't have these resources to recover from things like broken families. and we are seeing the impact of this. so i think it is unquestionable but it is astounding we still debate this issue rather than try to address it. >> the ironic situation is the upper-middle-class refuses to preach what he practices. what it practices is strong families, enormous attention to children but it will not preach that because to preach that is to be critical of someone else.
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that would indict them come and begin one of the racism, sexism, et cetera, et cetera. so the most important thing that can happen that might provide some stop to this plea is to put, the deconstruction of this postmodern frame, so much of the upper-middle-class has bought into. the other thing that comes out of this, the lady talk about wisconsin reminded of it come is the instance polarization that has produced a. so the democratic party now could not win without the votes of single women. that was the cartoons but julio last month. welfare mothers are made to the government, kind of serial monogamy that they engage in. the people who live in states where married families are still predominate, wisconsin, they are
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moving, utah, are moving in the other direction. so we are having this terrible polarization because we were not able to deal intelligently and also with the moynihan report. let me bring up a word that has been mentioned before. i see my wife over there, and the word is feminism. feminism has certain virtues. she kept turning the that means when people ask for the mrs. and they're selling something on the phone i say there is no mrs. abruptly and hang out. but feminism is another basis for not being able to talk honestly, not being able to talk about empirica empirical outcom. in wisconsin i don't people realize this, in wisconsin progressivism was this commission that could be brought together to investigate election fraud. the name of the commission, they had midnight raids on knocking down the doors and they come up with nothing.
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the only one who's covered this is "the wall street journal." what's this about? if it's been in the "new york times," i admit i read the times less and less as i shifted to an online subscription because i couldn't bear to pay so much. if these things come to the floor, we have a chance of achieving some progress. i worried if hillary clinton is elected, all the problems that steve and i talked about will be big into the body of politics where longtime to come. i worried about it for myself but it worried about it for my grandchildren spirit of thanks, but i just want to leave everyone with one last buckley quote. he wrote in a letter to henry kissinger what must've been a very despairing moment in the cold war, that our task is to bring hammer blows against the bell jar that protects the
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dreamers from reality. the ideal scenario is that by pounding from without we can't affect resonances which will one day crack through to the impulses of those who dream within, bringing to light the circuit that will save the republic. and 50 years on our task is to bring those hammer blows, please thank steve and fred for joining us this morning. [applause] >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at some authors recently featured on booktv's "after words," our weekly interview program.
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