tv Panel Discussion on Politics CSPAN March 19, 2016 2:00pm-3:02pm EDT
talks about her interest in working with the afghanistan women. >> after september 11th when the spotlight turned on afghanistan, american women, including myself, saw women who were marginalized and worked out in an idea of a government that would forbid half of its population from being educated was shocking to american men and women. .
>> good afternoon and welcome to the eighth annual tucson festival of books, one of the largest book festivals in the country. my name is ron barber. i am glad to see such a big crowd. must be a lot of political junkies in the room. raise your hand. i thought so. me too. that is why i am glad to moderate. we want to thank c-span which is broadcasting this panel live. also booktv and cox communications for sponsorship of the venue. the presentation will last about an hour. the last 15 or 20 minutes we will reserve for questions and
answers from the panel. we ask you to hold your questions for the end and we will give that a full 20 minutes to your questions. right after the session the panelists will be available to sign or autographed their books which will be on sale. go to booth number 153 sponsored by the university of arizona bookstore. books will be available in that location. if you want to meet the panelists, samara klar will do an interview with c-span following the session so she will be late to the book
signing. but hold on, she will be there in due course. because you are enjoying the festival, i assume you are. it is one of the real treasures we have here in tucson and i want to acknowledge, think he is still in the room, bill biden was here a minute ago. [applause] be change bill and brenda are the critical players in making this happen with lots of members of the steering committee. but we have to acknowledge the great work they have done. because you are here and i hope enjoying the session and the whole event that you will be a member of the fence of the festival program, you can make a tax-deductible donation which allows the programming to go on, free of charge to the public and the next morning is turn off your cell phone. donald trump is calling in. they decided to disrupt it.
>> it is like meet the press or something. >> a strange year. >> but unlike meet the press we will go on with the scheduled program. >> let me finish about the friends of the festival program. if you make a tax-deductible donation it allows to continue without charging the public and as you probably know, the festival donates thousands of dollars every year to local charities and that is another reason to donate. it has become -- you can go to
the student union south ballroom where you can go to the website for the festival. the warning i should have given myself, out of respect for everyone in the audience, turn off your cell phone, put it on vibrate or turn it off entirely for the duration. it is my honor and pleasure to introduce our panelists can have this discussion story. next to me is ari berman, political correspondent for the nation, and investigative journalism fellow at the nation institute. he has written articles with magazines like rolling stone and the new york times. you may have heard him, someone told me they heard him on npr today so he is a contributor to msnbc and npr. next to him is john nichols who is coming back to the festival. he was here last year and i was a moderator for his panel too.
john is a reporter and a writer with many publications. the one we are discussing today is john nichols. this is a very provocative book about where we are in our democracy. last but by no means least is samara klar. did i say it right? she coached me how to pronounce her name. assistant professor at the university of arizona and the college i graduated from. it was a time of great excitement and being in the political science department was exciting. samara klar is assistant professor and one of our three panelists today. a little about the books. "people get ready: the fight against a jobless economy ad a citizenless democracy" is written not only by john nichols
but robert chesney. it talks about where we are, the economy of our country is going, big money in politics is taking us, the potential we have, unemployment at staggering levels if we don't take steps to change the way the system works. ari berman's book "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america," i love john's book and ari berman's too but this when i found particularly important. it is about what happened before and after the voting rights act was enacted in 1965 when lbj was president. it is a history i had never heard before. it was my honor to serve in
congress with john lewis, one of the most incredible people you can ever meet. john was very modest. everybody talks in congress about that. this book talks not only about john and all the other members of the civil rights movement, the importance of their work, also what has been happening since 1965, the attacks on the voting rights act, to scale it back, diminishing and so forth. that is particularly important issue to be considering, knowing that we have states across the country where restrictive laws on voting rights are being enacted, arizona obviously is no exception. i want to welcome you all and thank you for being here and i want to pose the first question to each of our panelists. did i not mention -- thank you.
bad moderator. independent politics, samara klar is professor here, "independent politics: how american disdain for parties leads to political inaction," what we know about arizona and the country is the fastest growing group of registered voters are people declaring no party. we call them independents but there is a wide range of views. what that means for the future of political discourse and political action in our country, the embarrassment people have to be described as partisan and how that plays out in conversation and how people actually vote. thanks for that prompt. let me start with ari berman and
ask him to give you an overview of his book beyond what i said and each panelist in turn to do the same, but when they are doing it, talk about the implications of their work, their book for what is going on in our country right now. it has been an extraordinarily challenging and different kind of election period, as a student of politics i have never seen anything like it. do you all agree? pretty incredible what is going on. i would like these panelists to talk about their theme or perspective, what it says about where we are. >> thank you for the kind introduction, great to be on this panel. usually when we are together i can't get a word in so i have to get everything in now. >> time is up.
>> thank you for sticking it out. the last session of the day. you have been in many panels, this is my first visit to tucson. i thoroughly enjoyed the book festival, the hiking at the tacos and everything else. it has been nice to be here. my book is the history of voting rights since 1965, the most important piece of civil rights legislation of the 1960s. i began covering the issue of voting rights after the 2010 election when many states flipped from blue to red or became a lot redder and we began to see a wave of new voting restrictions, like making it harder to register, cutting back on early voting, requiring strict forms of id that you never needed in any previous election. purging the voting rights, disenfranchising -- half the states in the country passed new voting restrictions after the 2010 election. it wasn't getting any coverage. so the first national reporter to cover this, first for rolling stone and then the nation
magazine. i covered this issue all the way through the 2012 election when florida eliminated voting on the sunday before the election when african-american church hes, we saw six our lines and president obama when he was reelected said on election night we have to fix that but what happened after the 2012 election, the supreme court struck down a key part of the voting rights act, the centerpiece of the voting rights act that says those states with the longest histories of voting discrimination had to approve their voting changes with the federal government, that part of the law blocked 3000 discriminatory voting changes from taking effect from 1965 to 2013. it was an extremely important part of the most important civil rights law of the 1960s and at that point i decided i wanted to
write my book because i knew this wasn't just dry history, wasn't just telling the stories of people like john lewis but the fact that people were living this in their lives all over again. john lewis told me he felt like history was repeating itself, he was fighting for things he thought he had won five decades later. just to talk about where we are in 2016 because this is relevant to my book, the 2016 election is the first presidential election in 50 years without full protections of the voting rights act, the first presidential election since the supreme court gutted the voting rights act. as a result, 16 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first time, very important swing states like wisconsin and ohio and north carolina and virginia, so there has been so much coverage in the media over who people are going to vote for and what the polls are going to say but i have been asking a different question which is will every eligible voter be able to cast a ballot and i am very concerned that they will not be
able to so when you talk about the direction of our democracy, the theme of this panel i don't think you can talk about the direction of democracy without talking about what is happening to voting rights. last thing i will say is there have been 20 presidential debates, the issue of voting rights is not come up. that is a national tragedy because i don't believe this is a fringe issue or a side issue. i believe this is one of the most fundamental issues in the 2016 election, whether you are democrat or independent or republican, you should be committed to seeing that everyone who wants to vote will be able to in 2016. [applause] >> let's ask john the same question, a little about your book, what it means, what what you are saying means for the 2016 presidential, and races across the country.
>> if you don't have ari berman's book, get it. if you don't have point -- samara klar's book, get it. i have read both and they are fabulous. you have the money, they are really vital books. let me tell you about mine. i will modestly suggest that because -- we wrote a book about the 2011 campaign. we didn't know we were doing that. three years ago, media and
democracy, we were going to write the next book about the democracy. and some that up once more. than i was over in europe, in conference because in europe they are interested in media and democracy and invite you to talk about it. and dealing with technological change, digital progress and automation and i was struck by the fact that everyone was talking about eliminating jobs, how we were going to progress, companies were going to make more money in the next stage of
our digital and automation advancement by getting rid of immense numbers of workers and that can sound very esoteric so let me sum it up. how many saw time magazine and the cover story was on the driverless car? the driverless car worked, we have been to google and seen them. thousands of driverless cars are on the road already. you can be on the road and the past by a driverless car with a blind person at the wheel or a
95-year-old woman in the front seat talking to each other as the car drives by. this is working. it is an effective progression and it will go so big in the next we 10 years. the number one job for men in america is driving. they drive trucks, cabs, buses. women do too but men, a disproportionately big job for guys. they used to do things like manufacturing and mining but we have eliminated those jobs. as a result driving is big baseline work. starting to go through other industries we found example after example of automation changes that are going to
eliminate massive numbers of jobs and interestingly enough, the media in this campaign, talk about voting rights not coming up, we are talking an issue that is huge, not just bells and whistles, new iphone 17, an issue that is huge, that is not discussed by our media is what everybody with immense wealth and power discusses all the time, that this will be the major issue of the next 25 years in this country, the critical issue. so we thought we were really bright, going to write a book about all this and anticipate the future and our editor, a brilliant woman said the only thing we are troubled by his you have this dystopian view and you think when the stuff starts to hit and people become conscious of it they might go to very extreme places politically, some places in the past when moments like this have come you had the possibility of fascism and things like that, rabid, horrific dangerous responses lose rather than looking at the big economic and social changes
taking place you have politicians blaming others like immigrants or something like that and we said this is dangerous moment coming on. and our editor -- got a little too extreme so then we said okay, we warned you we were going to have to throw trump at you. and the fact of the matter is we did not anticipate donald trump but the truth is if you go to a bernie sanders rally you are going to meet 18, 19, 20-year-olds who grew up marinated in this technological progression, they know all about it, they know more than some of the ceos know and they know it's potential and it's reality. they look at the future with immense concern, fear, uncertainty, they see a future in which they have a very hard time imagining how they will pay for their student debt, how they will get a job, how they will begin to approximate the existence of their parents or grandparents so the idea of a socialist, trying to organize a little bit more functional and rational and humane economy seems rather attractive and they are not scared by the s word. then go to a trump rally and you see a 58-year-old guy laid off from his auto plant job and retrained to work in a warehousing job and the work he
was doing is being reduced because they have a robot that does it. that guy at the trump rally doesn't know it but he has got the same concerns as the kid. they are politically opposite and they won't vote the same way. that there is some parallel here, there is and where they are ideologically but there is a parallel in what draws people to very unimagined responses from a few years ago. we will talk more about this. this is either the last election of the 20th century or the first election of the 21 stoop century. we will make choices that will
either end and year of not dealing with fundamental issues which will not be avoidable in a jobless future or we will begin to address this year and get ahead of them enough to have the rational, humane, decent responses that are possible. that is the edge we are on. this is the most important election of your life. i know you are told that every four years. it was a fantasy in the past and is a reality now. [applause] >> samara klar loves canada and tucson, you have the audacity to let this young guy with all these progressive ideas, what is
wrong with you? could you -- [applause] >> talk about your book and the implications for the 2016 election. >> i have lived in tucson three years so i am happy to be here and i thank you for hosting this panel. i will give you a brief description of my book. as many of you know, the largest number of people in the electorate are independents, many of you might identify yourselves as independent. we have more independents than democrats or republicans and more independents than we have ever had before so this is a big phenomenon in american politics, this drive of the independent voter. i have a co-author on this book, we decided to investigate why so many people call themselves
independent. is there something unique about american politics that makes people want to separate themselves from the parties and are there broad consequences for the american political system? we found there is a growing negative stigma associated with the democrats and the republicans. people are ashamed to be associated with either party because of two things, this increasingly negative coverage we see of politics in the media, when you turn on your television, look at the internet news every day, you tend to see partisans yelling at each other, screaming at each other, fighting, stubbornness, aggression and most americans do not want to be associated with that. instead of associating themselves with the negative organization a huge number of organizations are calling themselves independent. the secret among independents is they truly support a party, and all independents support a party but 80% vote for the same party year after year. when you ask if they prefer a party they will admit you either prefer democrats or republicans and generally only vote for that
party. why do they call themselves independent? it is this negative stigma associated with partisanship. the problem is this negative stigma discourages people from participating in a lot of the activities parties need to win, things like admitting who you are supporting in public, putting a yard sign on your lawn, wearing a sticker, encouraging your friends to vote. the same motivation that drives people to call themselves independent -- it is important to have grassroots activism. we are seeing a turn towards nonestablishment candidates. people are rejecting the establishment partisan candidate in terms of candidate to make them feel they are no longer supporting the same party they are tired of seeing on the news. what is the implication for this election? pretty self-evident. we have seen this monumental
turn toward what we think of as outsider candidates, donald trump, bernie sanders, even ben carson and ted cruz, candidates that are not associated with the establishment. we have argued this is because people are sick and tired of washington parties and don't want to be associated with either of them. [applause] >> let me start with ari berman and the implications. i encourage you to read all of the books, for me your book was particularly important because of my own involvement, and attempt in congress to change
the decision the supreme court made about the voting rights act that i was cosponsor of that is languishing and hopefully will one day emerge but i want to ask you to talk about the rise of the south after the voting rights act, the rise of the south, historically a democratic region in our country to one that became republican and sent republicans increasing numbers to congress. talk about what happened and how that occurred and how can that be reversed? >> when we first met, ron told
me he lost his election in 2014 by 157 votes. anyone who thinks voting doesn't matter, 157 votes. there are three times as many people in this room right now. your minute case study -- you are my new case study why voting matters. it is interesting what happened after the passage of the voting rights act because on the one hand the south did become a lot more republican. on the other hand the voting rights act enabled the election of moderate white democrats like jimmy carter and bill clinton who would not have been elected without the voting rights act and enabled the election of the first african american president who carried three state in the old confederacy where he would not even have been able to vote in 1965 more than likely. it is too simplistic to say the voting rights act turned the
south republican but there was certainly a very large backlash not just because of the voting rights act but because of related pieces of civil rights legislation in general. if you look at american history after the civil war there was this remarkable period of reconstruction when we had integrated government in the south for the first time, people who were enslaved became the first black senators and governors of states like louisiana and mississippi, 22 african-american members of congress from the south during reconstruction in the 1860s and 70s and that's bond a vicious white supremacy backlash where we saw whole taxes and literacy tests and property requirements and gave us jim crow. it was called redeeming the white south. i think something similar happened after the passage of the voting rights act where millions of people were
registered. in a place like selma, alabama where only 2% of african-americans were registered to vote before the passage of the voting rights act and all 67 county judges to get on the voting rolls. that is something they would not have been able to do had they faced the literacy test. you had thousands of african-americans registered in days because of the voting rights act and the voting rights act shifts the power dynamics. you have got people like andrew young and barbara jordan and john lewis elected to congress which was unfathomable in 1965 but there was a significant backlash against that and the right began organizing, organizing in a lot of different ways. they began organizing first on the local level when they realize there were more conservative whites than newly registered african-american voters and people like george wallace in alabama played that
up. it was locally. then it moves to presidential politics. they realize they could swing the states that had always voted for democrats by appealing to the conservative white backlash vote and made a determined effort to get the voting rights act and they failed to get the voting rights act, they failed to get congress to authorize or the executive branch to got it so they turn to the courts and made a determined effort to change the complexion of the courts over a 50 year period so we moved in 1966 on the first anniversary of the blood he sunday march the supreme court overwhelmingly upheld the constitutionality of the voting rights act in an 8-numone decision and 47 years later the
supreme court gutted the voting rights act. it wasn't so much the country had changed so dramatically during that period though it had changed dramatically, what happened was presidents like richard nixon, ronald reagan and george w. bush had a -- had appointed justices on the court and the strategy that had begun as a backsplash in 1965 was able to capture a majority of the republican party to the fact they could do the things five decade later they were unable to do after the passage of the dra in the 1960s. >> your book is loaded with provocative but insightful quotes. i would like to share a couple of them with the audience and ask you to expand. you say the gadgets are new but
the power relationships are old. you say it is -- capitalist society by its nature prioritizes profit evolve for the better. you talk about how polling shows vast majority of americans leave business too much control over their lives and too much influence over government. we have two candidates, one democratic and one republican, both are appealing to that notion. people feel big business,
corporate entities have too much influence. i heard on tv they interviewed voters at trump rallies or sanders rallies, i might vote for trump or i might vote for sanders. how is that possible? that you would have that dilemma? what is similar about these candidates's appeal? what is different and what it might say about the electorate? >> ron is one of the rare moderators who read books. let me suggest the wonder is he knows the issues. let me suggest the answer to your question is one that takes us to a place beyond candidates. i cannot imagine two people more different than bernie sanders and donald trump.
they are often opposite ends as individuals you could find some height variation or something, but they are completely different and their supporters are almost completely different. supporters of bernie sanders are disproportionately young, they are working class but members of the working class who never got a lot of chance to work and there really is a difference. the trump backers relate a lot more to a lot of the issues samara klar is writing about, they are furious, so angry. if you go to a trump rally will
find trump backers hate their own party more than they do the other party. that is an amazing concept. this is why trump has done so well. the rest of the candidates say i can't wait to get at hillary clinton. trump says i'm going to bash on you guys for a while and everyone is like okay. crowd love that because they hate, they despise the leadership of their party. it is not so true on -- sanders folks are not as pushed out. what is this thing drawing people toward responses that would not have been discussed in the past?
it is the circumstances, not the candidates. i know that is a jarring thought for anyone who has watched media coverage of this campaign which has been lifestyles of the rich and political. it is a totally ridiculous, the worst coverage of the campaign i have ever seen in the history of my life. [applause] >> it has heightened when candidate, trump, to a level that is absurdly high and because trump is smarter than a lot of people in media he knows even if it is negative coverage it is still coverage. and he made himself the center of this thing. >> at the heart of this is beyond candidates and beyond -- our economy is radically changing. we are going through changes that will be more jarring than the industrial revolution in its first or second stages, there is no question of this. eric schmidt of google said two
years ago this is going to be the big issue, what we have to deal with. everyone in the know knows this is the issue. the only other -- i acknowledge candidates and the media, is always the last to know. the people are kind of on to this thing and are pushing the limits out very rapidly but without any attempt by our media or political elites to put it into context. until that happens you will see this poll. here is the bottom line of it. this is the worst news i will bring you today. it is on you. you have to fix this. if you are going to wait for a candidate to lead you out of this, it won't happen. eugene set 100 years ago if i could lead you into paradise i wouldn't do it. if i can lead you and someone else can lead you out. the fact of the matter is the dynamic of where we are is going to define our political future. what you have to demand is a
deeper better debate than we are getting. you have to scream and yell and beg and push and fight for it. some of you may vote for candidates on either side or you may find people who become vehicles for this but the key thing is to make the corrupt and dysfunctional center which always tries to avoid issues start to talk about the fundamental issues of our time. until that happens you are going to have campaigns that become more volatile and more extreme because people won't hear anything in the mainstream politics of their time that reflects the reality of their experience. i close with one final thing. we have gone through this before. 200 years ago in the first industrial revolution you had luddites and their first response, brilliant wonderful working-class people who responded to a change so jarring they decided to break the machines. they were put down, didn't succeed but they kept thinking how do we deal with this? they became -- they demanded democracy reforms that brought them politically to the table. the answer to this moment is not a new apps or technological fix or political party or candidate. the answer to the time we are going into is dramatically more democracy that says you, the petri have a right not just to make decisions on elected a right to make decisions about
the shape and scope and character of our democracy and our economy. if we don't have a say in the future of our economy than our future is going to be staggeringly dire not just economically but socially. >> on that light note, thank you. john always tells it like it is. >> going out to organize. we are not going to wait until the end of this panel. they are going to fight right now. >> speaking of organizing and how people identify themselves when i ran for congress, one third of the voters in my district for independent. independent now, no party affiliation, our second in registration in the state of arizona. i want to quote a couple things from your book which i thought were interesting. one by paul krugman who i love. by and large the vast difference between parties these days, independent voters are basically confused, clueless people. and another quote from your book, political operatives who believe independents can be
persuaded are wrong. if that last quote is correct what does that mean if they are not persuadeable? from my perspective as someone running for office those of the folks to go after. you know who your base is in each party, go after the independents because that is how you win races in competitive districts. tell us why they are not persuadeable. >> the vast majority of independents have a preferred party and always voted for that party and they know who they will vote for. 7% of americans are independents with no party preference. well over 90% do prefer a party. the reason they won't come out and say it is they don't want to be associated with that party. we find americans actually think independents are more trustworthy, independents in the mass public. more physically attractive and more likable so people want to be known as independents, not partisan. so it is counterproductive for media to spend so much time focusing on independents when independents are not there to persuade, they know who they are voting for. they are not confused clueless people, they are informed voters very engaged with politics, they just don't want to be associated
with either party. >> and may be more attractive. all independents who think you are attractive raise your hand. anybody that feels the independent is not attractive? >> so many things to discuss. i went into a quick lightning round before getting to the question and answer, i want to focus on antonin scalia. there was a quote in your book i was just -- i shouldn't be astounded but here is what he said. the voting rights act is a phenomenon called perpetuation of racial entitlement. i read in your book that john lewis was sitting in court when he made those statements. i can only imagine how shocking that was to him. what can you say about his demise and potential for a new justice depending which president gets to do it in terms of the voting rights act and other laws that govern how people get to vote? >> that comment by antonin scalia, i was sitting there -- you are kind of behind a pillar, looking around trying to figure out which new yorker on the
court is talking. scalia out of nowhere is talking about why the voting rights act is so popular and instead of ascribing it to the fact that the voting rights act brought millions of new people into the political process, or relating to the fact that it is the most important piece of civil rights legislation of the 1960s, instead of talking about the fact that it made the us a democracy for all our flaws he instead said support for the voting rights act was attributable to a perpetuation of racial entitlement. he said people have talked about this when in fact he was the only person that ever talked about it. the courtroom gasped and john lewis was in the front row and i kept thinking how is john lewis reacting to this? i interviewed him the next day and he told me he nearly cried. someone who has been arrested 40 times, nearly killed on many occasions, he nearly cried when he heard this. right after that, three days
after that john lewis led a civil rights pilgrimage to alabama with members of congress and i was on that trip and we re-created the march in selma where john lewis was brutally beaten by alabama state troopers and i thought of all the things congressman lewis went through to get the voting rights act past, nearly died to get this law passed and here you had a justice of the supreme court talking about this law as a perpetuation of racial entitlement and i thought it was so important to tell the story of how someone like john lewis made it to congress and how someone like antonin scalia made it to the supreme court. that is a prelude to saying i believe the supreme court is the most important issue in the 2016 election. we say that every election but now it is true. now it is true. because i have lived with a conservative supreme court my entire life.
the burger court, the rehnquist court and the roberts court and the court has moved steadily to the right from the 1960s onward since the retirement of earl warren. i believe that has been the biggest impediment to progressive change in this country, the right wing drifted supreme court has undermined democracy more than every other issue. i believe it is no coincidence. [applause] >> no coincidence they gave us the citizens united decision and the voting rights act getting. this is a supreme court that believes they want to make it easier to buy an election and harder to vote in one. that is why the stakes of the 2016 election are so high. it is great that there is a robust debate between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, very healthy for democracy but the difference in terms of who bernie sanders or hillary clinton appoints on the supreme court compared to ted cruz or donald trump or john kasich
would appoint to the supreme court is enormous. talking about either having a justice scalia or a justice so you soto mayor. the difference between those people are so dramatic the stakes of their election are so high. [applause] >> the decisions are pretty important with major ramifications for our country but the 2000 election, bush versus gore, was another decision to change the direction of the country. i can only imagine if it did not happen. i want to ask you a little bit about the reference in your book to fascism, neo-fascism. a lot of words thrown on about what is going on particularly in the trump campaign. where would you go with that? is it a neofascist movement? do you think trump is appealing to that blind obedience fascism often requires?
>> not necessarily. people would like to have simple answers on that. a lot of our media loves to blame the people. after you blame the politicians and after you blame the people usually everyone is pointing at each other and that works out well, you could not possibly point to your self. one of the greatest journalists of the 20th century, one of the greatest media critics in the start of the 21st century, the guy who wrote the media monopoly died a few days ago at the age of 96 and what he predicted was as we dramatically consolidated our media, as we replaced civic and democratic values with commercial and entertainment values, as we started to cover our politics as a sport and a
theater rather than something incredibly important to the people, very quickly you would see the rise of master manipulators using the dumb beast character of our media and feed little bits and pieces as they rose politically. you can look at history and say in the past, neofascists or authoritarians have taken over the media and use it as a tool to advance their political goals. i suggest -- the takeover of the media didn't have to occur. we have a media that fosters a fully dysfunctional politics in america. it is a disastrous media. unfortunately people do fit into roles. there are things that happen at trump rallies that are so
jarring and horrifying and unsettling but such a group think, we need to say this is unreasonable, what is going on is unreasonable. to treat donald trump seriously when he sits there and said things happen at rallies, it is the bernie sanders activists are the problem here. i saw a couple weeks ago donald trump on television and they asked him about tweeting a mussolini quote. instead of saying i am ashamed and horrified, it was a mistake, he said it was a good quote. rather than saying people following this guy, how are they behaving? it is awful and a serious issue, we ought to be saying this man, no matter where he is coming
from, if he is too much of a fool to not know that mussolini was the ally of adolf hitler in the advancement of a genocidal war against humanity and a war in which hundreds of thousands of americans sacrificed their lives and body, sits there and says i care about veterans, mussolini got off a good quote now and again. that is the point the whole of the media system, this isn't biased, this isn't opinionated journalism, it is a fact. you are too cruel and unusual to be the president of the united states of america. [applause] >> let me give samara klar a
chance to answer one question. in your book you talk about lack of interest in bipartisanship, with so many people registering as independents, since they are abandoning the traditional party, why aren't they calling us to be more bipartisan? i tried to do this with a group of 20 people doing bipartisan work. tell us about that. the movement towards independence for voters and why people are not calling for more bipartisanship? >> one of the troubling findings we threw from research. and voters around the country, when independents what they want from their representatives most people say compromise.
they ask their congressperson to work with the other side, ultimately when people i told their congressperson sacrifice their principles to reach a compromise, they do not want their own person to compromise, they want the other party to compromise. it is a problem for american democracy. independents are pretending they don't support the party they do support but they will do very little to help that party. they are calling for compromise but compromise, when it occurs in democrat and republican any surveys and experiments, equally guilty of this, they are very disappointed to see their own representative compromise. they leave compromise means the other party will make sacrifices. until people are willing to actually sacrifice their own party's principles we will not achieve bipartisanship. >> that is very helpful.
[applause] >> if you are interested in asking questions, ask your question briefly so we can get as many people as possible. >> i appreciate what the panel has been talking about. i have been trying to psychoanalyze my own reactions to this campaign season, politics is my number one hobby. i have always been interested, talking politics around the kitchen table, my dad worked in a union, grew up a democrat, now i think because there are only 5 or 6 huge corporations owned by billionaires and run by multimillionaires they are running the campaign just like a reality show. it came to me last night, it is a reality show. my wife loves reality shows. i get sucked into them. my first question a couple months ago was do you think someone is going to slap
somebody in the next episode of this reality show? i realized i was kind of getting off on that. now the same with this campaign. they couldn't be trivializing the issues more, the media. the media has abandoned informing the people. the one thing is we have great sources of information, not like there is no way to learn but myself, i get sucked into the mainstream media, give them hours of my time that they do not deserve. my question is about trump and the way he is skillfully playing up the violence, and escalating it, offering to pay the legal fees of the old guy that hit the black protester. the violence is getting worse, the media is going to love it. it is a reality show. very quickly, i am concerned about the safety of these
candidates, someone will bring a gun. if there is a way to clamp down this maelstrom that has come up. >> here is the bottom line. can't we all just get along? our media system, literally incapable of dealing with this, it is offensive and here is the bottom line. the only way out is to go to the big issues. you cannot have debates where moderators ask you have something the other day about trump's hand size, what are you referring to?
this is such trivia it is an insult. you become stupid by watching the debate than if you didn't watch them. and bottom line is this, journalists must understand the duty is to their bosses. their duties to the people. underpinning democracy in america, the fact is there are people at trump rallies who could rise to a higher level, a higher discussion. i don't expect donald trump will take them there but i would hope our media would be forcing it to the higher level. i believe hillary clinton and bernie sanders try. here is the bottom line. we are not discussing fundamental issues at the core of this campaign. this trivia will degenerate
toward uglier and more volatile places because if you are sick and go to the doctor, before you go you are filled with fear, tension and concern and you are open to any possibility. i don't care what the doctor tells you, no matter how dire your diagnosis is, once you know the diagnosis, once you know the problem you can address it insane and realistic ways. all the media is doing is keeping us in a place where we have not gotten to the doctor yet. this is going to get more and more dangerous and i have to blame the media for a lot of this. >> brief question and we will go to it. >> i heard on democracy now, any state with a republican governor or secretary of state with voting machines could flip the
election in 60 seconds. any comment? >> i am more concerned about the laws that changed than the voting machines quite frankly. i am more concerned about the laws past by republican state legislatures and republican secretaries of state, and not worried about the voting machines. >> how do we get the media to respond to the issues you are talking about? >> pick the shows that you like, that you think tell you something useful and you invest in them as people. you support public radio stations, support democracy now, you tune into those programs across the board. on cnn i saw a fantastic
interview with orin hatch about the supreme court. a good show can be everywhere but you need to start making a lot of noise about those who are doing it right and you need to absolutely object -- the only thing democratic is whether we vote in an election. we can object to a media that fails us and we should be making a great big noise. i don't mind writing letters, petitioning, demanding and you know what will happen? there are wonderful journalists, people who went in like i did. people who love journalism and know it is the underpinning of democracy, we must call our remaining journalistic class to a higher level and we must say to those who own the media let the journalists cover an
election, let's start covering politics and issues and get rid of the silly little game show they have created. >> we have time for one more question. >> my question is about the independent voters. i am very offended to hear called no party people, i would like to know what you think it will take for the parties to take responsibility for the fact that people are leaving as if they were sinking ships? instead of calling names when people leave a company, generally the general analysis is what is wrong for the company? when do the parties go what is wrong with us? >> that is a really great analogy. the parties are to blame for the departure of partisan or at least their move towards calling themselves independent. "and then all hell broke loose"
>> as a mention independents are not going to volunteer. they will not go to banks because they don't want to support the negative parties. i think this election is a turning point for both parties finding they are used rhetoric to bring in the parties and lost moderates and independents. rallying the base is less of a strategy than long-term strategy of appealing to the independent voters. >> please join me in thanking our panelist. before you leave, i will just remind you that, if you want to become a friend of the festival, please do so. if you are interested, this is a