tv Book Discussion on Running From Office CSPAN January 9, 2016 8:00am-9:01am EST
"why young americans are turned off to politics." [silence] >> welcome to the westminster town hall 5 years we have engaged in public reflection an dialogue on key issue was our day from a ethical perspective all forums are free to the public and information on upcoming events have been found online at westminster.org and
westminster thf or like us at facebook an town hall forum. my name is tim anderson minister at the church located in beautiful downtown minneapolis and moderator of the forum it's my pleasure today to introduce speaker jennifer lawless a professor of governor in washington, d.c., and the director of the women and politics institute. she describes herself this way, i'm a 40-year-old political junkie. election day is my super bowl. [laughter] the sunday morning talk shows are my favorite reality tv, and my computer search history shows that political wire.com is my most visited website. this self-about political junkie graduated from union college in new york with a b.a. in political science and earned m.a. and p hollywood in
political science from stanford university with funding from national science foundation she has conducted extensive research on elect folks focusing on gender in the process. nationally recognized expert on women and politics and coauthor of the book it still tacks a candidate, why women don't run for office. her latest book with coauthor richard fox is focus of today's presentation. running from office, why young americans are turned off to politics. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to the westminster town hall forum dr. jennifer lawless. [applause] you're up. all yours. >> thank you. >> cockroaches, headlights,
colonoscopies, used car salesman, traffic jams, root canals, and donald trump. [laughter] what do all of these things have in common? they're far more popular thanked united states congress. [laughter] it's true. in head to head matchup and national random sample of americans said that they find that charming things that i just mentioned far more appealing than their representatives in washington, d.c. now, the house and senate mic take solace in knowing they rate higher than playground bully, north korea and meth labs but to be perfectly honest margins were quite close. not just cute little polls that find this to be the case, though. the political climate that has cull mill nateed in most negative attitudes towards congress that we've ever seen. moderate of polling doesn't know what to do with these numberings. not one in five voters trust the government to do what's right.
congressional approval hovers at around 10%. and senator john mccain even jokes that congress is down for staffers and blood relatives approving of the job they do. for decades they have found that although people have never been in love with congress, they at least support their own incumbent. but in 2014 that ironclad reality was turned on its head too. last year, 60% of voters said that they supported replacing the entire congress including their own incumbent. and roughly half of people said that if we were to replace the entire congress that random people walking down the street, they would probably did a better job. it's hard to find any evidence of people that think washington is doing what's right right now. what are the consequences of a political system that's held in such lower regard? what are had implications for democracy when politicians are u viewed so ineffective and pll system so dysfunctional?
how does this bode for the future of a democracy? and what disease it mean for future generationings? well in a nutshell i'm going to argue that washington's dreadful performance over the past two decades has taken a toll on young americans who have come to know politics through this spects call and see mr. speakers and politician as pointless and unpleasant. they see leaders as corrupt and selfish and they have no interest in entering the political arena ever -- but before i lay out this argument, provide evidence for it, and at least speculate as to how we may be able to change this i have to come for the or something i'm a political junkie but as a two-year-old i was according to my parents obsessed with jimmy carter. i loved his name. i was completely enamored by responsibilities and i worried for his legacy. so far as any toddler could. by the time carter left the white house devastated as i was
my political interest remained intact mesmerized in 1908 when the iran came to a close and embarked at the air force base. and i pulled level in the 1984 presidential election when my mother let me go into the voting booth with her. at age 12 i faced a very difficult summer vacation, i had to decide whether to hang out with my friends on watch the arcontra hearing i spent more time with hall than anyone else. by the time i was a junior in high school, i u now my way around a senate judiciary committee hearing like nobody's business i can resite questions targeted at hill. when my college roommate kill home upset about with a breakup with a boyfriend i would be happy when bill clinton finished
delivering the "state of the union address." it was impressed that it was vital to stay a breath of current and government, it was no surprise that i became a political science major. it was no surprise that i got a ph.d. in political science and frankly no surprise that i would actually run for office. i might not have envisioned tag on a popular tin cup bent at a time when i wases a professor and had not yet received a tenure but no question that it was something that i would ultimately do an i was proud to do it. i've thought that government was an effective way to solve a problem . if people who run for office have good intentions, that a political career is noble. and that there could be little satisfying than hearing and then heeding a call to public service so it's from that orientation that richard fox when i both wrote this bock that's also why we're both so disheartened by our results. in running from offings why young americans are turn off to politics, we present results of a national survey we conducted
of several thousand 13 to 25 year olds we asked about them attituding about mr. speakers and current events. career aspirations and political ambitions, and what did we find? we found that 89% of them,% had already written off the idea of ever running for office. and frankly as difficult as it is for me to admit this, it's hard to blame them. the current political system which is really only one they've ever known has turned them off. consider their first political memory for older people we surveyed and interviewed that was the president lying to them wagging finger saying he did not have sexual relations with ms. lewinsky other it was it be lying about mass disruption. experienced a government shutdown they know only gridlock
inefficiency and same sad song played over in the 24 hour news cycle and crazy to run for office. how do we arrive at this conclusion and what can we do about it? that is what had i would like to spend the next 15 minutes talking about. let me begin with a sad state of affairs i'm incredible pessimism. glass is always entirely empty so you should take my remarks from the way i give them. so in october of 2012 right in t of the presidential election we conducted a national survey of 4200 high school and college students so these were young people around the country. we asked them about their political attitudes and aspirations. the the following summer, we did hour long phone interviews with the random sample of 115 of them. and what i'm going to it demonstrate to you is no matter how we asked the question and analyze data story is the same. today's young people have
virtually no interest in running for offices. so we began by asking have you ever thought that someday when you're old or you might be interested in running for office? 89% said no. 11% said it was something that occurred to them from time to time. we said okay, even if it is never occurred to you think about it right now, would you consider running for office in the future? 93% said no. we then thought, okay, this is a problem. but it's because these are abstract questions that weir asking so we presented young people with a couple of scenarios first we said to them if the following jobs all paid the same amount of money, which would you most look to be? and they could choose among a business owner, a teacher, a mayor of their town, or a salesperson. mayor of their turn came in a distant third almost tied with salesperson. we then presented them with another set of options, again assuming that these jobs all paid same amount of money what would you most luke to be?
a lawyer, a business executive, a high school principal which had frankly is worst job in the world or member of congress. member of congress wasn't close and came in dead last. 20 different jobs from lawyer to teacher, to journalist to doctor, to electrician with three political positions and we said check off any that you might ever be interested in thinking about doing. so this is a very, very low before and check off as many as they wanted. out of these 20, mayor, member of congress, and president of the united states placed 17th, 8th an 19th on the list. the worst was the electrician next book will be why people don't want to be a electrician. final amount to get at attitudes to running for office we asked them to tell us what they thought about running for
office. three quotes this is from charlotte high school junior from texas. people in politics, they're squirrely. they say they're going to do somethings but they had don't to it. i don't think the to be part of that. college senior from new york within i'm going into farming. politics is for people who like to bang their heads against the wall. i'd rather milk cows than run for office. franklin a college soft mother from iowa, by the time you are done with politickings your hair has turned gray. i want to keep my hair not gray. i'd never run for office. hard to consider more significant evidence of the fact this generation high school and college students today can think of little that is more unappealing than entering electoral arena as a candidate. identifying this lack of interest in running for office is one thing, understanding its roots is another. essentially, our argument is that the daily lives of young people don't involve politics and it's not because they're
tuned out. it's worst than that. this is not just some naive lack of exposure to what's going in the world but consciencely making an effort not to be engaged because they're turned off. when they encounter mr. speakers they try to minimize exposure and shy away. and this happens in three different ways or maybe it is better to say for three different reasons. so let me just give you a brief summary of each. the first, has to do with family. age the way they experience politics in the household. let me just give you some key facts, now, remember if survey it was taken in the fall of 2012 in the middle of the presidential election, 75% of young people said that their parents never talk about politicses at home. 80% said that they have never had a political discussion with their parents at a meal. 50% said they've never had a political discussion with their parents ever.
5% said they have a parent who ever suggest that they run for office. 2% said that they had two parents which suggested that they run for office. no matter how we look at these questions, it's clear young people are not getting a message in their home that running for office is something they could consider and several of the made point about why they didn't feel that these conversations took place. a college freshman said for example in my family we don't talk about political stuff. washington and politicians are miserable. they're terrible in a million miles away. why should we bother with that? jane a high school junior, my parents never wanted to talk about government stuff. they still don't. when it does come up, they quickly say that system is too broken pay attention to, it's not worth our time or elizabeth a college senior, oh, we do talk about it. we have beg debates at dinner they start out debating about important issues but then winds up condemning whole for being so dysfunctional and ridiculous, in
fact, we with then asked these young people well, what would your parents think if you told them that you wanted to run for office? and their answers were all politically correct they said my parents would want me to do whatever would mac me happy. but then almost follow-up with a sentence along lines of i can't imagine they would think that would make me happy or they would be shocked. or i think they would be sad. they know i can be so much more than that. now, these family dynamics matter because family is the most important socializing agent in people's lives so young parents who's parents encourage them to run for office are five time mrs. likely to have considered it. young people who talk about politics on occasion are four times more likely than those who never have to consider running for offings and college and high school students parents told them they could run are six times more like lie to have thought serious about that
process, and problem, though, is that these families are few and far between. and why wouldn't they be gallop asked a national random sample of adults about the honesty in et uxes of people who work in 22 different professions. that 80% of people for example, thought that nurses had high or or very high honesty. 70% said that they had pharmacist, teachers, doctors and military officer as. politicians they're a little bit worse fewer than 25% of americans rated local office hold terse such as mail your or city councilors on high on ethic and integrity that number cut in half down to 14% for state legislators, and member of congress ethical less than 10% of those surveyed. only people that performed worse than members of congress were lobbyists. so parents with busy lives, many of whom are struggling to get by, likely see little upon the in discussing their families
with with the failure in washington dc and campaign ad on the television screen. it is not a new phenomenon, these recent polls an surveys suggest that now is far worse than in previous generations. and our analysis mawks clear that the ten neuroof plucks is part of the reason and it is a consequences are also far reaching. the second reason, at school with their friends through the media, young people also shy away from politics. let me start with those facts again, in high school, among high school students, 65% report that they've never had a confers with their had classmates about anything political. when we asked about 12 areas of discussion, young people mooght have with their friends, school crush, dating, sports, pooted, entertainment, just 17% said that they ever talk about politics. it came in 12th out of 12th on that list and website use
reflecting similar pattern, social network, music, shopping, sports, entertainment, all garner far more attention from young people than any kind of political or current erchts website. and disengagement again is not by mistake when young people look around the an they look at washington, d.c., they see and they reported to us contention and ugliness, thoughtful detect over issues, calm conversations about issues that made, are alien propositions to them. what they're with their friends they don't want to argue or debate, they don't want to deliberate so politics is off a the table. but they can articulate these thoughts better than i can so again let me read you a couple of quotes this is rebecca a high school sophomore. most of my friends are are big time texters. they don't care about things outside the texting world i don't know what that means. but that's what younger people do. we just don't care about politics we focus on things that matter, place where is we can
make a difference. ashley a college sophomore from los angeles, if i bring up anything more specific with my friends than a simple fact look hey, obama won the election, my friends are like i don't follow and then that makes me want to tell them this is our country an they could care but then they'll think i'm being tag scientistic and we'll fight so i don't. he said it best nope we never bring up politics. politics kills the mood so it is hard to argue with that perception we live in a time when had all national news all national news about politics is negative and combative in tone. it is almost as, though, there's no place for thought of the journal i feel or o positive news coverage. and when media outlets aren't highlighting washington inability to get the job done they're featuring political coverage but often amounts to partisan on both sides of the aisle predictively bashing one another. fox news regularly treats audiences to hype bollic presentations of stories about
barack obama's failures and liberal counterpart msnbc gleefully has stories bashing republican house of represent tvs and then next day and we see the exact same. and it's not only o television that present politicians ineffective late night comedians reenforce messages. jon stewart describes congress this way i'm not saying congress is bad at its job but saying this congress is in a skippy peanut butter. a vote to repeal the affordable care act, jimmy fallon said this, it was mostly a symbolic vote that accomplished nothing or congress calls that, a vote. young people's exposure to politics and current events does tell us that they're not fully aware of what's beginning in the world and that's awesome, and terrible but it demonstrates that they have very lings incentives to garner the kind of
information that would make them more informed consumers. again, though, those few young people who do talk about politics with their friends who do surf the web and final political website who is do follow news regularly, are on average about 6 times more likely to say that they might be interested in running for office. and then the third basic reason that young people move away from politics, is because of the politicians. in general yuck is the word that kept coming up over and over again. again, the facts. six out of seven high school and college students do not think that politicians are at all interested in helping people. four out of five do not think that they're smart or hardworking and young people far more likely to describe politicians as dishonest than honest. corrupt and good natured welcome and selfish e than selfless, and open ended responses from our surveys and our interviews, this sentiment kill out very, very
quickly. some of their perceptions were amusingly inaccurate one young man had for example said that he was concerned about people on capitol hill from what i understand he told us most members of congress where a criminal record. [laughter] another fact that most member of congress have been there for more than 50 years he thinks it is time for some change. but more prevalent than these inaccurate statements were sentiment where is young people think of politicians as self-interested lie or yarrs who are for the corrupt of the system. hypocrites and two faced. one thing to get lgbted and then they turn around and do what's best for their own interest. they seem they're out for themselves, plingses have to lie all of the time that's what politicians do. politicians suck. in my opinion, i don't know how to put it exactly, yeah i do, politicians are liars sound leak they're lying all of the time.
politicians, it's not good. the people themselves probably started out good at the beginning. but then they have to sell out if they wanted to get anything done and then they don't seem so good anymore. so today's young people can't imagine entering a system like that, and adopting traits they perceive as necessary to thrive in. high profile politicians give them good reason to think this. now if we had all day i could chronicle all of the examples of lyings in adultery that i'm obsessed with in congress capitol hill and provide you with salacious details but it's not only scandal and adultery that are the problem. consider representative steve king, so he's a republican from iowa. he dug husband heels in over immigration, and -- in congress challenged democratic senator u.s. senator chuck schumer it a dulse over who really has the phobia. senator majority leader harry reid, frustrated by the millions of dollars that the coke
brothers poured into election. resorted to attack on the senate floor and called the pair unamerican as you can get. ted cruz epitomize by shutting down government because hekdz. everyone though republican colleagues said they were concerned because they had no plan to reopen the government. so although immigration, campaign finance, and health care are all top ukes worthy of debate and dlx thoughtful discussion and progress is often consumed by provocation and historic reached a point where elected officials are criticized when they bhaich behave responsibly. republican county was saying lindsey grahams not republican u enough. receiving a 92 score out of 100 from the american conservative union. he expected to support president obama's supreme court nominee.
john mccain received a similar from the arizona republican party, which condemned his, quote, long and terrible vote with liberal democrats because he voted to end the government shutdown. liberal bloggers berated democratic congressman who cooperated with republicans and mainstream democrats to reduce deficit and dealt coast a popular left leaning blog referred to moderate democrats as a pile of suck. these dynamics lead little incentive for cooperation. i know in this day and age it is easy to eye roll or yawn or gloss over when we see stories of politicians behaving bachelor's degreely but it doesn't mean that public policy doesn't suffer when elected prls can't work together and citizens from developing political attitudes based on this behavior. unfortunately this means that the small percentage of high school and college students who you contemporary political leaders favorly that's a tiny
fraction they're only ones that are interest in the running for office themselves. so what can we do about this? i've pointed a bleak picture. but our political system is built on premise that people will rise up and run for office. we have more than 500,000 elective positions in this country so it's best an bright etion of future generations can think of nothing more appealing than heeding call of public service that, obviously, compromises quality of u.s. democracy. but there's good news. there's a little bit of a silver lining. when we asked young poem their goals for the future, almost 80% said that they cared very much about improving community and improving society up there with achieving professional success getting married and having children they want to mac the world a better place but don't see running for office and serving in political institution as a way to do that. how do we change those mind there are no easy answers and two recommendations that i'm
going to quickly propose are not magic bullets but they try to build on our findings that increase in young people's exposure to politics could actually go along way towards generating interest in running for office. we know that the more you see, the more likely you you are to d something that's somewhat appealing. that's tricky buzz you immediate to wade through a lot of mechanic to finding an elected pcial that you think inspires you to find an example of politicians in a community getting somethings done. but if you're willing wade through that muck you might find a diamond or whatever appropriate metaphor i should have use there had. so let me just conclude today with two of the five reasons we lay out in the book, two of the five recommendations laying out in the book and focus on two because you have to buy the book to find out other three. one easy suggestion is make political attitude part of the college admission ross. primary goal for most 12 to 17-year-olds is to attend
college. 85% of high school students we surveyed said that was their most immediate goal but it's entirely possible right now to apply to colleges even most prestigious and know absolutely nothing about politics or current events. you can't find iraq on a map? that's okay. we've only been there a little more than a decade you don't know the name of the vice president no big deal we'll have a new one soon. you're unfamiliar with which had party controls congress not going to change any time soon, you'll have plenty of time to learn. google it later. why not link political aptitude to the college admission process it could be in the formal of a u new entrance exam. essay or just be a quickie paragraph to submit when you submit your application. the mechanism is almost irrelevant. what would be required letting people know that in order for their application to be taken seriously they need to be able to articulate even briefly some kind of problem, some kind of concern, some kind of issue that
they care about. a similar approach actually has been used in the past when college admission officers made it clear that they cared about volunteering in the community, high school students levels of volunteering in the community went u through the roof. so if we could get colleged a managers officers to value political aptitude among students there's a chance that they would acquire the kind of information an acquire increased exposure that might allow them to finding something appealing in the political process. a second suggestion is something that we call the go run act. whether we leak it or not we luv in the era of the app. upload photo request über, find cheap article detectives, mexican restaurant do whatever yowpght to do with the simple touch an app. young people do. 81% of people under 25 sleep next to their phone in bed. 74% reach for their smartphone as first thing they do in the
morning. and 97% of teens report regularly using phones and smartphones in the bathroom. so there's clearly no activity, no time of day or location that is out of bowppedz as disgusting as some of those might be. so let's attack advantage of this digital world by creating an app that make it is easy how to run for office, what positions exist and what those responsibilities are. surprisingly it is quite tiflt right now to find out, i mentioned there are 500,000 elective offices. there's no clearinghouse or ta-ta base house it is information about what those offices are, what the requirements to return are, what the responsibilities are, or how you even file to get on the ballot. app would allow users to enter address and find out every elected position that represents that residents from presidents of the united states down to dogcatcher. figuring out how to become a cant with would be at your
fingertips. educators could clearly incorporate this into their curricula and young people even least bit curious about how to run for offings would not have to engage in a fact finding megs and might find somewhat amusing to type in ran do addresses to find out what opportunities are. it's easy to access information to showcase that these hundreds of thousands of offices are not at all like what goes on in washington, d.c. we could chip away at that national listens u through people assess the political system. but the end of the day there's no question. our political system has had done a number on young people it is turned them off to idea for running for office and diskowrminged from political leaders an alienated them from even thinking about a career in politics. hearing a new course will be diflght and we have to be createssive but it's the only choice that we have, and we will be. but i would beremiss not to implore politicians to think seriously about the way they do business when our elected
officials cheer failed policy, shut down government accuse of trying to destroy country, engage in more than high perp lee they damage more than the public short-term trust in government. they undermine in the long term future generations, interest and faith in the part of it. and make it less likely in other words if parents will drill politics names into their to the her heads that those toddlers will become politically interested teenagers, active adults and political middle age candidates. people ask me if i'm happy that i lost my election and dodged a bullet. why would i want to be in washington? i can honestly tells you there's nothing i would rather be than in washington. okay except here with you right now of course -- [laughter] there was no bullet to dodge you think that mr. speakers is noble. i still think that heeding that call to public service is best thing that we can do. goal for the future is so make sure i'm not the anomaly, thank
you. [applause] thank you jennifer lawless you're listening to broadcast from wetion minister presbyterian church i'm in minneapolis. my name is tim, heart anderson i'm the senior minister and moderator of the forum our speaker today is jennifer lawless professor of government at university and author of the book, running from america why they're turned off from politics. i want to thank again the cosponsors of today's forum and have been counting library with funding from minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund and online news source. those following on twitter may
tweet questions to us, and we're especially interested in questions from the students from gridly high school that are here with us in the audience today. i'd leak to invite radio audience at westminster church on thursday november 19 at noon when foreign policy expert andrew will explore topic the in dispensable nation, america and middle east. our events are free and open to all and further information found at our website westminster .org and now i will present questions from our audience. first question has to do with -- slicing the data that you received. you see any variation from are say white students and students of color in the material that you have looked up? >> all of the data that i gave you, obviously, were at the aggregate level and some
variation. white students were actually a little bitless likely than african-americans and latinos interested in running office. christians more likely to say that they were interested and among college students women less likely than men to say that they were interested in. although variation is important, it's still hovering around this general 90% baseline of no interest whatsoever. so it's not like results are being driven by one small group of people that are particularly turned off. north or o south, east or west, high school or college, men and women, ethnicity young people are turned off to politics. >> many of us have been watching debate in the primaries for both republican and democrat, presidents candidates do you think debates are doing you muco change the attitude towards politics? >> can you be specific? >> i think these debates are
reenforcing every single word i just talked about. [laughter] [applause] last night after the cnbc debate cnn put together a reel of the highlight it is from the debate and that reel included absolutely nothing about substance, absolutely nothing about success absolutely nothing about getting things done. it was the most amusing barb and aha moment from the debate. it is difficult because in some waits this is what viewers want. we can blame media and blame some of the debate moderators but ratings have been through the roof this time around enwhen donald trump and ben carson said if cnbc didn't regard format an length of time they would pull out. cnbc had to accommodate them because they know that's where they're getting their ratings from. >> how do we countinger the political ideologs proud not to
compromise and willingfully ignorant people who votes for them this was a question from the audience not from me. [laughter] seems to me right now is letting people know that we have a half a million elected offices around the country, and in many of these positions, and in many of these political institutions, people are dong their jobs quite well and they are compromising they are getting things done, communities do thrive, states are being able to advance. the problem is that we look at really bad behavior in washington, d.c. we assume that the people engaged this that behavior are at the present timetive of all elected officials across the board, and that becomes the lens through which we assess government and politics. and so i think one of the best ways to chip away at the idea that -- doing nothing is, in fact, a legitimate method to govern, is to highlight some examples at the state and local level where people do come togethers.
keep in mind several uh-uh thousand elected physicians across country are completely nonpartisan. not only when you votes for people do you not know whether democrat or republicans but the kinds of issues that they're charged with dealing with don't have clear politics, by showcasing smef those examples of success might be a way to get arranged this problem. >> who benefits from turnoff of young people to politics? >> i don't think anyone does. except i guess the people that benefit are body presidents that are excited that they're not going to have more electoral competition and they're going to continue to be in office. if we can't inspire most ation gnat of the next generation to run for office, we're not going to have vacant offices. we're going to have the same old same old, and as a result i think generally speaking, citizens across country wind up suffering. >> have you had the opportunity to present any of your findings
in conclusions to actual politicians? >> indeed. >> if so what was their reaction? >> presented findings to public engamingment at the white house and they agree that things are terrible. we were on a panel with a couple of members of congress recently talking about the book, so two newly women they blamed the media for all of this. we then were also on a panel that was moderated by cnn king he blames members of congress for this. so what we've seen from both media and elected officials is the general sense that findings are probably right. and what we're kicking off in our survey with these interviews is the current state of the affairs. who is to blame is a different question from our perspective, we're happy to blame both of them and just move on. >> you talked about the attitudes and people towards political process and towards
politicians, do young people vote and if so, what moves them to vote and maybe not have good attitude and do they participate in the process? >> we know over time young people have always been least likely to vote. voter turnout in general is nothing too praise ourselves about in this country and for young people it's even lower but that is the one area where we do seem to have seen -- at least sustain levels of engagement where we asked young people about any political activity they have experienced in their homes. they did say about a third of them said that therm going to vote with their parents or parents voting themselveses so that's the one area where there does still seem to be a civic duty attached to. but that's where message of civic and engagement seems to end. whatever is motivating them to vote is not motivating them to -- increase their exposure to
politics more broadly. >> from a students in the audience as youth and government model assembly program, a 1600 student strong mock minnesota legislature, what do you have to say to and about students who are actively involved in politics and have even run for mock offings already? >> that's the best thing that you can possibly do so we know that if you're involved in political extracurricular activities either in high school or college, you're far more likely to develop political bug and sustain it through life. what happens is that young people's involvement in things like student government, debate team, mock trial are low those are not kind of afnghts that most people are interested in pursue as high school students or college students. but when those ingredientsing republic there and you have that exposures you're going to speak
out political acknowledge and information and ultimately run. your goal should be to get as many your friends as many of your classmates to be involved in those activities too. because those activities are a way to broaden their sense of what politics actually is, and what government can actually do. : question from the student in the audience you address current in politics in the home. what can be done in schools to encourage interest? >> when i had mentioned that almost no parents regularly sustained encouragement among their children to run, the parent numbers were actually the highest. teaches, coaches other mentors are less likely to encourage their best and brightest students to run for office in part because it's not a noble profession so if you think kids have the opportunity to achieve you're gong to think about directing them into places where they might actually achieve. the best thing that we can do is encourage teachers and mentors to start thinking about politics
and to start thinking about welcome tomorrow office as a path that should be threetion on radar screen in the future. because if you receive that encouragement to run it doesn't matter the source. that plants the seed and something that you think about later in life. >> we have several questions coming in through the internght, focus on l cost of running a political campaign is that turning off young people to a decision of citizens unitessed make a difference to them? >> you know i wish it did because that would suggestion g suggest they knew what citizens int yewed was. you know, a lot of adults that have preeftionly been politically interested say that the fact that these typical congressional rate now cost over a million dollars, or that superpacks have been invaded our political process makes them decide they're not going to throw their hat into the ring. young people that we survey and interviewed were noting this about the nuts and bolts involved in the campaign or the rig ire of withstanding you know an 18 month race or taking on incumbent or nog like that but
they have this knee jerk reaction to the idea of being involved in politics. it's not like there's any policy but general way that business is conducted. >> is there a country that the us should look to for ways to engage voters especially young voters? >> no. political culture is varying so much. we're never going to be a country that has mandatory voting or sent fines because they didn't show up and vote on election day but what we can do is try and incentivize political interest. that'ses why linking it to the college admissions process is one particular way. but as long as we have this very pull yourself up by your boots strap individualism it is difficult to coming up with any kind of national move. the other i should note is young people turned off to politics even if it's disheartening, it's totally fine for all that keep getting reelected so there are
also -- strange incentives here they don't want to do anything to fundamentally change the system and potentially mitigate their livelihood of success. >> historically young people have been a very involved campaign workers in a political campaign. if they're not involved now, who is running these campaigns? >> so they're involved they're the 11%. right, so you can always going to be able to identify and find some anomaly, some people that are really political junkie some people that rally behind consistents and willing to knock on doors. the problem is that that group of people, that tenth of the young people that are out there, are not necessarily representative of the rest of the country. and they're also such a small sliver it suggests that nine out of ten people feel sufficiently disengaged they don't want to play an active role so it is not worrying that candidate can't knock on doors for them but broadening, casting wire net to
ensure that people from all different backgrounds feel that they can engaming their government. >> narrative that emerged around first obama campaign is young people were suddenly newly nrpgzed in the political process is that u true and what happened to that if it is? >> so that -- didn't appear to be that much staying power. that's a very, very high or baa to place on one person. barack obama single-handedly is supposed to change, you know -- 25 years of congressional dysfunction and socialized patterns that suggest that young people have no interest in politics. so he was a toibl able to enterprise around that election. but consistent messages that suggest remaining engaged vital, useful and beneficial they're not gong to stay. >> number of questions coming forward about why young people tend to get their news these days. this one from a student, as a student i much more willing to get picture political
information from a comedy show than c-span. thinking of the colbert report or o "daily show" how would you recommend chanking presentation of information to uses to involve us more? do these shows do damage to young people in terms of the political process? >> shows don't do damage. we asked people how often or regularly do you watch "daily show" and colbert report only 13% of people said that they watched it even on occasion so young people that are watching these shows are not -- the typical. but exposure to politics even on those shows mawks your more likely to say you're interested in running for office. even though their stats high or jon stewart would criticize and highlight problems, there was also this pretty optimistic under pinning that was that government has the capacity to do better, and with better people in there there might be success. so if we could get everybody to watch nose shows, i wouldn't be
concerned same thing people ask well don't you think that "house of cards" or deep is turning people off? no, if you can follow house of cards you're already very turned on. it is possible that poll results quoted daily feet into the negative attitude self-fulfilling prophesy? >> as long as conversation is who is up, who gains, loss, and as a political scientist zero tension to margin of error things are changing when nothing is actually changing. it reenforcing idea that this is just a game and that this has nothing to do with substance and solving problem. again, it's tricky because you as a candidate want to raise money. and one of the best they thinks that you can do to motivate donors is to high lite that you're hade in the polls because everybody wants to support a withinner so there's
interdependent actors that have to come together and push for a new kind of politics that's very tricky to forget out how to incentivize that. >> you have run for congress or at least in a primary and said it was one of the best experiences of your life. we can assume then you might try again. if you were elected to congress what would you do to make a differs? >> wells let's be careful i don't know -- [laughter] i'm kidding. look, i think the best thing that as far as congress is concerned it is difficult right now. because there are institutional rules and norms that make it difficult for nid one person to change the way people get done actually it makes it quite easy for a small group of people to obstruct and make sure that people don't get anything done and rentes speaker of the house election and materials and days leading up to that had is evidence of that.
important thing to do is vote your interest and vote your constituents interest in a way that you actually have a general belief in the importance of xreez. and that second piece is most important thing. it's totally fine to run a campaign as ideolog and believe all of those thing. but there are 435 members of the house of representatives and either everyone can move a little and maybe something can get done or everybody can dig in their heel and nothing will get done. goal is to make sure you get an outcome as close to what you want as possible but that an outcome matters more than no outcome at all that had seems to be where we've moved away so i would forout come how's that for the most vague political statement ever. [applause] >> it was vague . now can you specifically say on last question what gives you hope about democracy in america?
>> so i've got to believe that this is a swinging pendulum in the last 25 years, this generation has only seen dysfunction and government shutdown and hyperbolling partnership. but over times there's been a lot of crisis and periods of disunderstand that we've gotten through and we have regrouped from. the civil war for example was not a walk in the park. the civil right era not so great but we get through these kinds of things. the problem right now is that reason i'm woirled that i'm not convinced that we have the best group of people ready to tack on that challenge. and that's why the book is trying to incentivize political aptitude and political interest because we can swing the other way as long as we have new voices and fresh ysdz to help get us there. we always have and no reason to believe that we always won't. >> thank you jennifer lawless.
authors recently featured on booktv afterwards our weekly interview program. karl rogge discussed the pornts of williams mckinley 1896 presidential campaign. darcy olson of the gold water institute took a critical look at the new medications must undergo to receive fda approval and world medical association president michael reported on the factors contradicts to america health and wellness gap in the coming weeks pulitzer prize winning talking abouts china discontinued one child policy. former senators tom dashel offer solutions to resolve current state of partisanship in washington. also coming up, e jeffrey explain roosevelt unsuccessful campaign for the nomination, and this weekend, fox news correspondent james rosen looks at dick cheney's time in the bush administration.
>> a man who stood near the political of power in this country for four decades uniquely up through 9/11 and iraq and beyond and you don't stick around at those levels unless you're really good and really effective and i think that's why the left has had such a -- such an obsession with dick cheney you see this in barack obama's comments and called in response to this interview and reporting of it that was widespread worst president of his i have life time a joke there,, obviously, but speaks to extraordinary influence on our time and b, central role he occupies in the universe of barack obama. >> airs on booktv every saturday 10 p.m. an sunday 9 p.m. watch programs on our website at booktv.org. >>warded a slew of honors immediately after the world war,
now other glamorous with her daughter. she was actually being made a days in that picture. but she picked up vairs honorary degrees including one from oxford, university and citation wepght that the degree was given to her for her power to achieveh persevere and that was the popularity in war. that only hadn't -- hinted liberty how crucial she had been, in fact, the chief of is it a fact, who was by no means a feminist by the way that u saw her work clogs up for all of the years during the war, during that desperate time of pooghting for survival against nazi germany. he concluded without any doubt that without the history of winston church hill and of the
world would have been different. why he cam to that conclusion in main but what is strange to me when i saw the book was no one remembers clemen now she's not known anymore, in fact, when i didn't have anything better to do one day i showed a picture of her without winston -- friends and women of the world i said who is this woman? in this bock, anyone -- no one was close to knowing who she was. so she has been treated into extraordinary obscurity. anyways who was she? well welcome she's worth reflecting in this great town that she never had the chance to study for her degree hrs.. and she was born in an age and female undergraduate in britain more than america and been in
the 20th century. her moral, her mother the willful lady eldest daughter had made very, very certain that she wouldn't go to university. lady blash marriage broken down to both sides, disapproved of blue stockings at her name for female graduates. they won her view unmajorrable particularly those who were god at math as you would say math. anyone who could do some incapable of attracting member so she had great hopes for her beautiful daughter. great hope in a title of a wealthy husband that would solve two problems a take the unconventional daughter of her off her hands also hopefully would say the fact that she never had any money and no cash
although -- she was very sort of had grown up being used to let me just show you a picture and rather sweet. she had grown up used to having to go to stores and ask for credit for food with no cash around. sometimes when lady blash they say was unfate of the he's and had 10 at the same time . so anyway shefsz she was rather busy, and -- [laughter] no money to suffer, she was too busy and forgot to put supper on table and all of the events that have an effect, and very young. she was very fearful little girl who found it difficult to make friends. i think partly buzz she grew up into a rackty household. >> watch this and other programs