tv Book Discussion on In the Arena CSPAN May 29, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
coast. to find out which other cities made amazon's top 20 list, look for the article on businesswire.com. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. welcome to the heritage foundation and our lewis lehrman auditorium. we welcome those who join us on our heritage.org web site an owl of these occasions. we do ask that last courtesy check that our cell phones and our other noise-making devices have been muted as a courtesy to our speaker. our internet viewers are always welcome to send questions or comments simply e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org and, of course, we will post the program on the heritage home page for everyone's future reference following today's program. hosting our event is dr. james j. carafano who serves as vice president of our katherine and shelby column davis institute for national security and foreign policy. he is also our e.w. richardson fellow. he's a graduate of west point and a 25-year veteran of the army, serves as an adjunct professor at georgetown university and has served as visiting professor at the national defense university. he serves on the board of trustees with the marine corps university foundation and the advisory boards for the west point center of oral history, the hamilton society and operation renewed hope. please join me in welcoming jim carafano. jim? [applause] >> well, thank you for coming to what should be really an extraordinary event. pete's not only a great friend, but he defines the definition of a great american.
graduate of princeton and harvard, we won't hold that against him, he served in the u.s. army, right? which is another mark in his favor. three come -- combat tours, right? >> three tours. >> two bronze stars, extraordinary career in the public sphere including now working with pox news. so having put his life on the line, i'm not really sure what possessed him to write this. but i think "in the arena" is both courageous, dangerous and certainly politically incorrect. in the world in which we live, you would deem to write a book about who are we and who we should be, it just seems something quite old-fashioned and distasteful to address anymore. but for those of us who have kind of walked around the island in the potomac and walked by the roosevelt statue and seen some of the quotes and remember not
just his legacy, but the legacy of people who thought, you know what? maybe this really does matter. deciding who we are is kind of quintessential to being a republic and a democracy, that maybe there's not a better time for this book. and, certainly, i applaud pete for taking it on and coming here today to share his thoughts. pete's going to talk, and then we'll take q&a, and pete will recognize his own questions, and we'll to do that until the end of the hour. when we get to q&a, if you would wait for the microphone -- raise your hand and wait for pete to recognize you, and then you wait for the microphone so folks listening online can hear the question as well, and if you would just state your name and afilluation, that'd be -- affiliation, that'd be awesome. sometimes we start late here at heritage, but we always end in time. [laughter] join me in welcoming the author of "in the arena." [applause] >> well, jim, thank you very much. the heritage foundation, i'm grateful for this opportunity. you got the book early, you read
it, you engaged with it, i appreciate that, and offered to host. thank you very much. this feels like a family reunion, basically -- [laughter] in this audience, and i thank all of you for being here. so many wonderful faces, people that i've known and worked with and folks online, thanks for ticking with us. first -- sticking with us. bunch of people i want to thank, but my former colleagues at concerned vets, i'm grateful that you're here. i who wrote this book from 4-8 a.m. many mornings while working, while running cva. and it was, it was what we did at cva that was an inspiration for me. i think you'll find in the pages of the book that it's a call to action that is exactly a call to action that is the organization. i appreciate the work you continue to do from jay and bill and caroline and sarah and tao and dan and will and sean, amber and emily -- [laughter] kevin, fred and even my brother, phil, who's in the front row here.
[laughter] i want to thank all of you. and, of course, who was with us early on, kate pomeroy. kate was also a inspiration for me to write this book. she told me you've got to write it, you need to write it, and i took her advice, and i'm glad that i did. kate, thanks for being here. i also want to thank my very good college buddy, nat hoops, who is here and is acknowledged as well in the book. this book literally would not have happened without nat, without him teaching me how to think and write and argue in college and pulling me back from the brink of some absurd things i put in the pages of publications. nat was the content editor of the princeton torrey, and for good reason. nat, thank you for your help on this project. it truly would not have happened. and so many others that are not here, my wife, our boys, gunner, boone and rex, who i dedicate this book to. i always get laughs out of that. yeah, they're great names, good southern names up in the north. [laughter] my parents, my brother nate who
is a man in the arena himself x. then i also want to recognize david who is a very good friend of mine who was a fellow traveler of vets for freedom, an author himself and also encouraged this project from the beginning. to the book itself, when i was in iraq and afghanistan and guantanamo bay, i carried with me a quote in a black frame. i always hung it up wherever i was, and it was teddy roosevelt's man in the arena quote. if you open up the first page of the book, you'll see it. it's the quote. it's not the critic who counts, it's the man who's actually in the arena who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best in the end knows the triumph of high achievement and if he fails, fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither
victory, nor defeat. it's a famous quote, many of you have heard it, many of you probably are motivated by it as well. this book aims to ask those questions of the american people today. this book is not about my life. i'm not audacious enough to believe i should be writing a biography at the age of 35. i'm not a state senator from illinois. [laughter] this book is also not about teddy roosevelt. of course, it channels his historic speech, but it's not about him. i'm not attempting to litigate his life as a conservative. i am very aware of his progressive lurch and what he gave us in 1912 in the candidacy and presidency of woodrow wilson. to say that teddy roosevelt as an american failed while daring greatly, is generous. so this book is not be about me, it's not about roosevelt or litigating his -- where he is on the political spectrum. it is a call to action. it, to me, is meant to inspire, motivate and remind americans of every generation what makes
america special. and that it is worth fighting for. and some of us carried a rifle, and many in this generation still do, but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. and it's our job to instill in every generation principles that perpetuate what is, as you all here know, an experiment, an experiment in human freedom. you see, if the 21st century isn't an american century, then the 21st century will not be a free century. it's just a fact. you look around in the world today, there are threats loom, ideologies around the world are quite different than ours. and to quote something i put in the book throughout is the phrase "history is not over." "history is never over." and all we have to do is look to western europe to realize when you decide to gut your military to pay more your welfare -- pay for your welfare state, you have a tendency riding the wave of
history as opposed to shaping it. if getting off to a good start is important, then no one is more responsible for the 20th century being an american century than teddy roosevelt. a guy who charged up san juan hill, who sent the great white fleet around the world and who really was the chief agitator for american involvement in world war i. if you remember, woodrow wilson wanted peace without victory which would be, i think, quite difficult and would be a very different-looking peace than what we have today. in many ways the 20th century was an american century on the back of teddy roosevelt. why then -- as i think about it, when i read the entire roosevelt speech, that's when i really woke up to the power of quote. the quote itself is powerful. the quote itself is motivating. but it is in some ways, there's no value assertion in the quote. it's being in the arena, right? but what is the arena? where is the arena? what does it mean? what i write in the book is it's
not your arena or my arena, there is the arena for this exceptional american experiment that was gifted to us 240 years ago and has to be perpetuated in every single generation. we all know the quote, the reagan quote, we're never more than one generation away from extinction. you have to fight for it in every generation. it doesn't get passed to the next generation in the bloodstream. a beautiful quote, but a stark reminder and a more difficult reality on a daily basis. you see, the quote man in the arena is just one quote of the larger speech called citizenship in a republic. and roosevelt gave it in 1910 in front of 3,000 elite, french elites at the university of paris, the star bonn. star bonn. and when i read the speech for the first time after just looking at the quote and never thinking about the context, i was blown away. in many ways it is sort of un-pc before there was pc. it, to me, struck me as the road map of what we need in america
today in order to restore our republic. why should i stand up and declare what i think the direction of america should be when instead i could channel a fantastic speech, a historic speech that has timeless resonance today and reminds us of the very inget cents of -- ingredients of republics that are required in every generation no matter what. no matter whether we have twitter or facebook, the ingredients, the basic seeds of our republic are the same. he posits a very simple thesis. he says, the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. think about that. the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. not great rulers or even great citizens, necessarily heroic citizens in every moment. good citizens that on a daily basis in a gritty way, in a personal way understand what it
takes to keep and make america the greatest country in the world. you see, good citizens are the only antido it to big government -- antidote to big government. and as list history shows us, good citizens who understand why america is exceptional and special, they are the thin line between freedom and tyranny. they're the ones who understand that our american experiment truly is exceptional. not because we're proud or boastful, but because we understand that this american experiment when it was first started was just that, an experiment. in fact, europe sort of laughed at us and said, a piece of paper? a constitution is what's going to stand between you and a tyrant? you're going to hand over power peacefully? there was this sense that it just wasn't possible, yet our founders reminded us that our rights come from our creator and not from government. they understood a balance of power which checked the fallen nature of humans, our pride, the tendency toward tyranny and ambition. they understood freedom of religion as opposed to freedom
from religion. they understood amendments like the first and the second are indispensable to free peoples; the ability to articulate speech and ideas across the spectrum which roosevelt talks about powerfully in the speech. true tolerance is tolerating very dissenting and differing opinions. that's tolerance. and the second amendment, the right to bear arms and protect yourself. and they also understand we're a country of laws, not men. if men were angels, we wouldn't need these types of arrangements. so he talks about good citizens and good patriots in the speech. good citizens at home and good patriots in the world. and that's really the breakdown of the book, is -- and it's intentionally in that order. because i talk about a lot of what i talk about on fox and elsewhere is foreign policy and the military and national security. you look at the world today, and there's a lot to talk about. but you can't talk about american leadership until you talk about restoring and maintaining citizenship. if you don't understand who you are and what you believe and you don't educate that in every generation, then you can forget
about attempting to be the leader in the world or attempting to project power in controversial and difficult places. you need to shore up, you might say, the home front first. see, what is a good citizen? it's not just voting or jury duty. it's not protesting necessarily -- those are all ingredients of what we do in republics, of what citizens do. of course, you know, voting and all those things are good. but roosevelt points out that it's the gritty virtues, the civic virtues. he uses the word "efficient" which is usually a word we look of when -- think of when we think of lightbulbs. who are you as an individual and what do you do before deciding how others ought live. and he uses the first principle is work. earned success, the willingness to keep a job and provide for your family. the second is fight, a strong and virile people, he says, a masculine spirit for men and women.
strength, vigor and power, holding your own. you see, we're a bike helmet culture when we should be thinking about the barbarism of female subjugation in the middle east. we teach our kids to be wimps. and we need to be willing to stand up for and fight for the things that we belief in whether it's on a battlefield or here at home. the third ingredient he talks about is large, patriotic families. demographics. roosevelt wrote and talked about demographics in this speech. the anecdote i use often is of an afghan interpreter that i pent time with in afghanistan. -- spent time with in afghanistan. not a radical, young kid. he's in the united states today. he would risk his life for me, and i would for him. and we were talking about faith, religion, christianity, islam, and he said, pete, it is inevitable that islam will rule the world. the prophet foretold it. we're having ten kids, and you're having one. and there was powerful point januaries in that phrase. and -- point januaries in that
phrase. when you look at western europe, i mentioned they're gutting their militaries to pay for their welfare state. when you forget who you are and you don't demand allegiance and assimilation from populations that separate themselves, that's how london becomes -- the most popular name in london becomed mohamed for newborn boys. and for us to think things like that just go away with willful blindness. and so western europe whether it's 25, 50, 75 years from now is going to look very different. and that's not an anti-muslim phrase or statement. it's a reality that because they don't do integration, because they haven't done that well in western europe, they're not the melting pot that america has been so far, they're going to have massive cultural clashes as we have already seen. and then things like the migrant crisis only accelerate problems we see there. as many of you know, europe in some ways is a preview or could be a preview of america, and the second chapter of the book is
about france and what we can learn from france that was a, frankly, formerly great republic that decided to give away its status by making very intentional decisions at home. and america can learn from that. now, we have massive advantages that our revolution was very different than theirs, but we still have a lot to learn. the fourth aspect which you could put first in good citizenship is character whether it's faith or believing in something greater than yourself. george washington said in his first inaugural, you know, religion and morality are indispensable supports of a republic. rip out faith, and then you wonder why we get what we get in our culture today. i'm not talking about social conservativism, and in the book i -- as a former ardent -- well, i still am a social conservative in many ways, but on campus in college, you go to war, you learn some things, you see some things, and you realize there's other things in my mind that are a more important priority. i'm not talking about pro-life issues. i think that's a fight that
conservatives should continue to fight and win every day of week, but i think we on to access over things like same-sex marriage, and it inhibits our abilities to talk about the real challenges facing families, the real challenges facing parents and kids in our culture. then he talks about after you focus on yourself, looking outward. and he talks a lot about equal opportunity which should be, needs to be the lode star of conservatives and republicans. the left, of course, is the party of equal outcome. if we are not the strident -- we don't strive daily to be the party of equal opportunity, then we will miss the mark. and i think it's fair to say republicans and conservatives have, in many ways, missed the mark on that for a long time. talking about things like marginal tax rates when people's mindsets are very different, and they're seeing these massive shifts in our economy and the way their lives are lived. we have to have clear eyes about attacking that and approaching that. and that means not just unburdening regulations and problems for those -- or pushing
back against dependence for those at bottom, but also making sure those at the top play by the same rules. it's the regulations, it's the tax code, it's the lobbyists that, of course, rig the system so that those at the top are able to game it to their advantage and, in many ways, block out those who would otherwise have social mobility. the left talks about income inequality all the time. what we should talk about is social mobility. the ability to rise. the ability in this country to are every opportunity that your parents or others had in previous generations. so you have to start with citizenship. he also talks about what undercuts good citizens, and it's a citizenry focused on rights instead of dutieds, citizen -- duties, citizenry that believes man is perfected or perfectible and you urge for utopian ideas, that there is no right or wrong. of course, we see that on the battlefield today.
take, for example, the abu ghraib prison scandal which was terrible, but there's no reason why "the new york times" had to put it on the front page 32 straight days in a row. there is no home team p in america. in many ways it's passe to say that america is good or passe to say that i'm an american and, therefore, i support the causes that we undertake even if they're difficult ones. and in many ways often controversial and open to dissent. and the fourth is class warfare. and roosevelt talks about, he says at end of the republic is at hand when class warfare commences which is what we've seen in many ways whether it's left/right, black/white, male/female, young/old, we've seen classes and yennedders pitted against -- genders pitted against each other which is toxic to the body politic and to citizenship. so you start with citizenship because without citizenship, you can't create the good patriots or be the good patriots on the
world stage that you need to be. you guys have all seen the -- i don't know if you've seen the bumper sticker think, think globally, act locally? it's a popular environment album per sticker, and i think roosevelt would rip that off and say think globally -- think locally, act globally. meaning, remember who you are and be willing to act globally in defense of those principles which are indispensable, that america is good, america is worth fighting for, america is truly exceptional and america has been a force for good in the world. and, oh, by the way, winning the wars that we fight is a good thing. roosevelt talks about this in the speech -- in the speech. are we a people willing to prevail? sounds like a basic, simple question, but already critical moments, and i write in the book iraq in 2005 and 2006 and then the surge in 2007, 2008, and i see some people here who are a
part of vets for freedom. the line of freedom and tyranny is often times decided in those really difficult moment when half the cup or a lot of people want to take a politically-expedient route and say let's set a timeline for the war. it's been difficult, it's been controversial, it's been costly, let's puff smoke and leave this difficult battlefield. and the other half says, no, this is the exact moment when you need to be willing to double down, you need to be willing to take the fight to the enemy. and i've never been more proud, as i write in the book, on january 10, 2007, when george w. bush announced the surge in iraq and did the right thing in the face of massive public pressure, doubled down to defeat a vicious enemy. he said: the future of our security depends on the battle in the streets of baghdad. and ask yourself today if he was right. and, unfortunately, of course, he was. and the surge did work, and it was successful, and al-qaeda in iraq was largely defeated, political progress was happening. by february of 2010, joe biden was declaring iraq a great
achievement of the obama administration. such a great achievement that he just happened to visit again four, five days ago with political chaos unfolding. you see, they took for granted the stability and the gains that were made through gritty decisions in a dark moment and assumed they would perpetuate themselves without understanding how central defeating islamists in iraq was to their narrative and our narrative. are we the paper tiger that osama bin laden said we were? will we retreat from every difficult conflict if we're scuffed up? or are we able to show the resolve of our forefathers and win the wars that we fight. and that's not a call for endless nation-building or fighting every bogeyman on the horizon. it's a recognition that the lesson we should learn from the last 15 years, the lesson we should learn from iraq is that resolve works. not that all these middle eastern wars are terrible and, you know, let's nation-build at home, fortress america, that's
it. we should -- and the difficult part is, of course, the narrative on, in the republican and the democratic party in many ways is moving in the wrong direction. to just unlearn everything we learned in those conflicts. and what i basically do over a couple of chapters in the book is make the case that the iraq war is a war we should learn from about what to do in the right moments as opposed to run from. and i think republicans and conservatives should stand confidently in every forum they can and point across the aisle to hillary clinton and barack obama and joe biden and say you're the reason isis has proliferated in iraq and afghanistan. it was american retreat that created those seeds. and it was your policies that advanced chaos in the region. and there's any number of -- there's, obviously, it's a more complex situation when you unfold every layer of that. but, ultimately, it was a lack of military will and a lack of political engagement. we simply decided that we were over iraq. and that's because today we
have, as roosevelt warns about in his speech, the first president of the united states who considers himself, first, a citizen of the world. and roosevelt talked about that in 1910, warning against those who see themselves first as citizens of the world, whose international feeling for humanity swamps national feeling. in fact, he said those -- citizens of the world are usually the worst citizens of their own country because they point out a humanity and the amorphous things we can do for them without focusing on what makes, in the republic's case, their country great and why it's worth fighting for. i call this a coexist foreign policy. another bumper sticker, you guys have seen that coexist. does it make you throw up in your mouth a little bit too when you see it? [laughter] yeah. that is an example of his mindset. it's not that coexisting is bad. coexisting is good. but coexisting is a means, not an ends. just like engagement is a means,
not an ends. but for this administration, he's, you know, when asked about his doctrine, he said it is to engage. engaging is not a doctrine. engaging doesn't mean you necessarily understand who you are or what you believe in. and so what you have is a series of progressive elites who went to school at places like princeton and harvard -- and i, you know, a lot of us know, a lot of little obamas. wonderful people but big believers in the state, big believers in humanity and what we can accomplish if we just build another international institution. except then they're eventually forced to emerge from their utopian, ideological cocoons, from their safe spaces and their trigger warnings and their solidarity marches. and what happens when the world still doesn't want to coexist with a leader as progressive and culturally sensitive as obama? what if isis, instead of wanting to coexist, is chopping off the heads of christians? or what about the islamic state
is pushing gay men off of a five-story building in iraq the same day that the white house is lighting up the white house in the hues of the rainbow in solidarity? what if they don't want to exist? coexist? what if instead of hitting a reset button, the dictator in russia is redrawing the lines in eastern europe? at that point their mind reads does not compute. because they're not on campus anymore in the graduate student lounge. they're the commander in chief. and the things that they learned on campus that were supposed to lead to a perpetual peace, well, it turns out the bad guys in this world with very different ideologies are aren't interested in coexisting or engaging on those levels. rather than calling -- so rather than calling out real threats and abject evil or, heaven fordid, confronting them, obama, clinton, kerry and others, they look around for the mutual
understanding mediation groups they so self-righteously facilitated as graduate students. except they don't work. they seek the impossible global consensus. they work for peace agreements that have no attachment to military realities on the ground. they declare the need to negotiate without preconditions. they unilaterally withdraw from wars without caring what happens, just end that war. they dismiss growing threats as the jv and unignarly declare no boots on the ground. they apologize profusely for past sins. they send nonlethal aid when it's the lethal stuff that's actually needed. they seek the moral high ground by leading from behind, and they declare the use of violence, of course, just so 19th century. they try to coexist with a dangerous, fallen, backward world and, surprise, surprise, it doesn't work. so the red light over the last seven years -- the result over the last seven years is surges and withdrawals, negotiations, high-stake raids, and it's
utterly incoherent and unknowable because they don't understand, because america's leadership doesn't believe in america and doesn't believe in the use of american power as a tool for freedom and security in the world. we get incoherence like the bin laden raid and then the bowe bergdahl swap. we get a white house that the world simply doesn't recognize. so as good patriots after seven years of obama, what do we need to do? we need to unapologetically lead, be willing to acknowledge that without america there is no leader of the free world. and, again, it doesn't mean we have to be the policeman in every corner, but we'd better be the world's sheriff with a big, shiny badge willing to say our security and our interests are important to us, and our word matters, and we will back up our allies and stand up to our enemies. we need to be willing to crush the islamic state and unleash hell on them by loosening rules of engagement and recognizing they're a vicious enemy. the longer they exist, the longer that black flag flies,
the more vulnerable we are on every front. we still speak for freedom, and as i talked about before, we need to be resolute and willing to talk about things like the iraq war. the book talks about comparing iraq to afghanistan to libya. i didn't serve in libya, but i followed it closely. and i went to afghanistan wanting to believe we could surge there the way we did in iraq and see a different can outcome. afghanistan is biblical times with ak-47s and what you can accomplish in afghanistan is very different from what you can accomplish in iraq. of course, this administration cynically told us that was the good war and surged there never actually believing in that cause. you read the memoirs of secretaries of defense, they were never invested there, which is a moral sin. to send men and women to a war you never believed in. and, of course, when you ghei that speech about the war, you told the enemy you were going to leave minute you did. it would be a joke, but it's not funny, and that's the problem.
the problem is we also have an electorate today seduced by the idea that american disengagement is what's necessary. so i try to take on some of the trends today on national security and foreign policy and explain why, as practitioners of the 9/11 generation, of course, there's difference of opinions across the spectrum. there's a reason to be proud of what was accomplished even if today the outcomes are worse than murky in many places. i used to -- i want to close by saying i used to say as it pertains to the book and everything else that i fought so that my kids don't have to, that i put on the uniform or carried a rifle so that my kids never would. that's just not true, and i don't say it anymore. i served knowing that my kids will have to as well. and maybe they'll carry a rifle, or maybe they'll carry a balance sheet of a capitalist or a patriotic report or whatever it is, but every single generation is going to have to contribute to this generation at every
back of the book that talks about single recommendations. it is not meant to be a conservative cart blanch. i wrote about citizenship, american leadership, and opportunity in five categories that i think will go a long way to restore those. i want to thank you for being here. i want to thank you for being in the arene in different capacities. i see people fighting for the things american represents. it is a difficult fight and demoralizing and a lot of uncertainty but i would encourage you to go back to historical documents to be reminded what the country represents and the men and women who had the courage to speak
themselv themselves. so read the back first and trigger warning; it fight cause you to enter the arena if you are not already. any questions, friendly and/or otherwise? yes, ma'am? >> if you are committed to answer a question like this. i was wondering if you could give us ideas of your thoughts about donald trump's insistent that the war in iraq was a mistake. are you able to co. -- comment on that. >> sure. i have commented on national television about it several times. i take issue with his characterization of the iraq war. i think this book is a pushback against that narrative. i don't think we should call in with the code pink, move on view
of the war. it may feel expedient to answer that way, but i think it is more politically powerful and principled to argue if you don't like how we got into the war, finishing it properly is important and that george w bush surged with a successful strategy and this president gave it away. if you want to look at the carnage of iraq and syria it hangs on the neck of barack obama and hillary clinton. it took jeb bush a week to figure out where he wanted to be on the issue. there have been few moments when i am proud of republicans on their views of iraq. i can only think of one and marco rubio said ike wasn't a mistake and i remember thinking
saying someone finally who won't cave in to that reality. hopefully the reality is, the next commander, trump or cruz, is willing to unleash total war on the islamic state. i take issue with the way people characterize ted cruz or donald trump whether it is carpet ba bombing or uncuffing the enemy. their focus is destroying the islamic state. carpet bombings is if we know the head quarters and where it is we will bomb even if there is homes nearby. or if we are seeing fuel trucks leaving we will not bomb them with leaflets we will bomb the oil trucks. it is a position of disposition for sure.
>> mr. sean riley. >> how are you doing? >> doing all right. >> the question i have is you talked about the social issues and you said, you know, on some of them, maybe there is some kind of possession, and i don't fully disagree with that, it seems like marriage has been fought and water under the bridge in a certain sense. then you mention the illumination of the white house especially with the colors. there is a lot of the world that doesn't agree with the united states on that issue. when they look at the way that is being litigated in the courts and lack of magnimity of the victors in those struggles, they are motivated to push back
against us. when our foreign policy looks like we are going to be promoting those sorts of things against their will it seems like we can't ignore the social issues here at home especially in light of that. >> that is a really good point. i would also note the hypocrisy of divesting in north carolina but investing in other places where homosexuality is illegal. whether you think it was lost or won, it was lost in the culture long before it was anywhere else. it it almost field -- there was
a legit argument like kids out of wedlock should be a focus but instead we are dismissed by the media or left as bigots and unable to make core arguments that need to be made. yeah, does that mean that is the way the whole world looks at that issue? absolutely not. there are plenty of conservatives that look at us sideways and it affirms the immorality of america. that is a balance and i don't think it is a point of emphasis at any level. i don't think we should be trying to make a big issue here and attempting to impose it on anywhere abroad as well. mr. daniel hoops who also was my bunk mate for four years.
we did sleep in bunk beds. >> thank you for the book. it is fantastic. talking about citizenship, i think one of things a lot of us outside of the book, political fights we continue to have on the role of government, the iraq war, social issues and so forth, i think one of things a lot of us feel troubled by is the breakdown of overall social cohesion in the country and whether it is too much time starring at the phones rather than talking to your neighbors or whether it is just like the schools and citizenship isn't being taught. citizenship is more than just voting it is also about engaging with the broader community in a way that says i care about my community. i care enough to want to know my
neighbors. i guess one of the powerful things is what got you inspired to talk about citizenship where you grew up in minnesota? >> as i was writing and researching and thinking about this, i never not of my parents as political or politically involved. they were not partisan. we didn't talk about the republicans and democrats in high school. in college was the first time i was introduced to ideology. when i started looking into it i realized what good citizens my parents were. they worked hard, never asked for handouts, my mom watch dog the pta.
i could not go to certain things at certain times because she was paying attention to things in the classroom. i make the case for large patriotic family and they raised a family full of boys they told to be competitive, go out there and dust it off, and love your country. i wasn't from a military family but i absorbed it from going to the memorial day parade and watching the vets walk down the street, the world war ii guys and their uniforms and the vietnam and the korean and gulf war guys. the whole city stands, the whole city is there, everyone is saluting and clapping and it ends at memorial park and we are
memorializing those who gave their life in this county town in minnesota. they didn't sit there preach or beat into me read the constitution. it was sort of -- which is part of learning citizenship -- but it was an infused sense of what it means to be a productive citizen. and roosevelt talked about character and the reminder there are things greater than you and that someone, in my case, batted a cross to redeem you for the sins you will have in this world, was something i carried with me and reminded me who i was in this fallen world. those are the way more important ingredients than making sure my kids get to go to princeton or harvard. the more important piece is
whether or not they come out of childhood and school and everywhere else as good citizens. i am from a public school, a big believer in public schools, but i worry i will have to deconstruct eight hours of what they learn in school something different. we find a way to pay a modest tuition to send them to a christian academy up the road from us. we drive them and they learn about faith and civics and they learn the classics. they may not have a great basketball team and football team, liberty is not known for its good iron skills but the world today is much different than the assumption in small town forest lake, minnesota you will get infused with the values i was. i think our educational system, and media, have been captured by
relative moralism whether it is progressive eelites who have a different view. how do you infuse citizenship in a public school level because it becomes political about teaching the founders and the founding documents. in a world today where different people control that curriculum, you can see it spinning into a different narrative. my recommendation is founding documents and talked about reading the constitution, the declaration, the federalist papers, and discussing those is a great place to start. i talked about home schooling. one of the recommendations is making home schooling more robust. when i grew up you met home school kids and thought they were weird and not socialized. but that is not the case. i know so many wonderful home school kids who are wonderfully
grounded, wonderfully educated and amazing citizens in this country. if the public schools are not an alternative because you feel like your kids are not being educated how you want we should make it more streamline. there is a lot that goes into the education of the formal nature of citizenship and roosevelt wrote about virtues of every day life which are not sexy or cool on facebook but really important. >> peter sullivan. we are crowd funding here for
better businesses. talking about influencing culture, i remember going through my marine core training, i would to the mall on the weekends at the height of the iraq war and there was a little sense of public awareness of the veteran community. all volunteer military, which is great. but seems like families i know no one is in the military or ten cousins or uncles who served. how do we influence that culture to keep the red-blooded americanism alive? >> i am not a fan of required serving but i do talk about a moral robust sort of decision point through selective service. this idea that what if we made that little envelope you send back when you are 18 meaningful so you are making a real decision about do i want to
serve in the military, do i want to do this, and here is the benefits. bernie sanders is running around talking about free college. the military gives away free college. there is plenty of ways we could incentivize through the tax code other others real service and investment so kids are making decisions, and it is honored that you took the step to be part of the minute man core where maybe you are not in the military but how many know people who are wonderful patriots and would make sure they stay physically fit and they would say i am prepared to go if my country needs me. the step before the draft. i think a lot of people would do that because they will feel skin in the game to say if that big moment comes i am ready to carr yashgs a rifle for my country.
you talked about vets which is a passion from me and people are here from concerned vets. a lot of what i talk about is entitled crony classes protect what they have and prevent meaningful change from happening. a lot of the work i have done and others here have done is at the department of veterans affairs and there is no better example of the crony status quo than the va. the efforts i was involved in are met by a brick wall for those who are supposed to be for things that reform systems that are broken. here we are two years after the scandal and things are no better, in some places they got worse, vets have a choice card but no choice. no one is being held accountable at the va. the white house has no interest
in this. the va is stifling reforms. bob mcdown -- mcdonald is a nice guy but he is not getting much done. let's make sure those people are held accountable and if they are not doing a good job they are fired. government unions have a grip on that. then it is special interest. and talk about establishment that or this. special interest exist everywhere including in the vet space. it is traditional veteran service organizations in wasserman who are unwilling to change and want to play nice with everybody at all times that stifle things like basic choice and accountable and then they impugn and attack their opponents at every turn.
that is what the left does. it is always another five million for the va will fix it but it doesn't. if you want fun reading read a 29-page document that is a hit-list of everything i did in my life. they don't want to argue the meri merits. they just want to attack the opponents and privatize and shut it down. it is hard to be a good citizen in that environment. you can take that example throughout every spectrum and level of government. every place you will meet resistance and there is a critic and you will fail again and again. all they want you to do is quit. all they want you to do is quit. at every level. the school board, the local government, the v.a.wants us to quit. everybody wants us to quit because we can keep our jobs,
live fat and happy and nothing changes. people are ticked off because nothing every changes. what this book, i hope will help do, is remind people the fight is worth it. you will never get it on the first try, first year, never the first bill, it is going to have to be the sustained iteration of the truth of what works and then the advocacy behind it. and having the courage to believe in america. not power from those who have a new idea of what it means. i think a document like roosevelt's speech is a great pathway to remind us of that thing. >> let me ask the last question. other than fixing the v.a.what should we be doing for our veterans? gl i think the first thing is
and we talked about it here in this auditorium before. recognizing and raising awareness about issues facing the veteran's community without st st stigmatizing them and saying they are broken or damaged goods. it is empowering them through education, opportunities, small business and financing. it is recognizing these guys and gals are going to be the future leaders and rebuild our country and our communities, our civic organizations, our schools. they are the core people in america that understand what it means to serve something greater than themselves. they have been in an arena in places that were difficult with a public that didn't support them. they found a way to get it done and get done quite successfully. i am confidant them and their
families and those who come around provide a nucleus of the types of folks that are going to go out there and make sure the 21st century is an american century as well. it is not going to be your neighbor who is, you know, down in the basement, playing worlds of war craft and watching tmz. they are not going to do it. they have no idea. they are sort of just existing in this country without a sense of where it comes from and why it matters. it is going to have to be those who do. if we do so tepidly we will get steam rolled. if you don't educate and remind yourself what makes this place special you will get steam rolled. education up front is the beginning and vets have shown that in one capacity. >> before i ask you to join me
editor and chief of the forbes magazine and the author of many books that focus on politics and economics. power, ambition, glory compares great leaders of the ancient world with modern business leaders. and money in which he argues for a return to the gold standard. mr. forbes appeared on booktv to discuss his latest book reviving american >> the rut we are in today which is having profound implications around the world and bad economies lead to bad politics and we see that everywhere around the world. it comes from mistakes. the nice thing about policy errors is they can be corrected. those errors can be corrected. that is why we where wrote the book reviving american and focus on three big reforms. obviously there a lot of other things that have to be done but you have to have priorities. we prioritized health care, a new tax code and getting our
monetary system back on track for the first time in almost half a century. >> steve forbes live sunday june 5th noon eastern time. >> so i call this work the social life of dna after the work of a fellow anthropologist that suggested by falling things in motion we can illuminate the social contacts. if i want to understand why genetic ancestry testing was significant for individual identity but beyond thes things as well perhaps i could do it by following forms of genetic analysis around. so the way in which forms of
genetic analysis travels and the way the tests are put is something else i will say something about. we think of forms of genetic tisting and analysis in these domains. researchers, regulatory bodies, social scientist, distinguish between medical genetics, forensic genetics, ancestry or recreational genetics, and genetic analysis that might be used in court. what i found usually with ancestry testing is the way individuals understand genetic testing blurs the boundaries. genetics have a social life and power because they can work alone in all domains at the same
time. a woman said we think breast cancer runs in my family and now i understand my genetic test the difference between the mother's side and father's side i have a better understanding what the genetic doctor is telling me. martin said i was never interested in genetic science until hearing about the geneology test. i wanted to learn everything about genetics after taking the test and reading science magazines and journals and those sorts of things. what i want to suggest briefly because i want to tell you more about the social travels of this company i studied over a decade is that one category of genetic testing draws authority with other domains and individual's experiences about one form of testing legitmate the broader
form. for those of us interested in health disparities, for african-americans and some communities of color, the genetic ancestry is a threshold moment where people are first thinking about genetics like martin, or people like sarah who have not experienced a clinical or medical encounter that is formed by her experience with genetic testing. so we need to understand dna and how people think about it if we want to understand how it is important and how we can use it with ethicacy. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. "after words" is next on booktv. former inmate, shaka senghor,