tv Open Phones with Bob Graham CSPAN November 19, 2016 10:45am-11:26am EST
>> first i need to learn how to read color that would help. >> there is a guy, a fellow new yorker recently elected president. a friend of mine wrote a book about him and told me all the books in the house are fine, leather bound binding with nothing behind them. the first would be reading almost anything which >> 9 was when they get questioned, swear to upholding the constitution. >> we have time for one more question. no more questions? no more questions. we will end on that. thank you so much to all of the authors. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> you have been listening to pamela paul, editor of the new york times book review talking about terry mcmillan, dave barry, jay mcirnerny and maria semple. coming up in an hour from miami, you hear from actors and author jane alexander about her book wild things and wild places, but in the meantime we are pleased to be joined at the miami book fair by former florida governor and senator bob graham, his newest book is called america, the owner's manual. you write in your book you thought donald trump was a fad that would ultimately pass. >> obviously that part of the
book needs to be revisited. the rest of the book holds up pretty well. in a sense the fact that he is not a fad makes the fundamental point of the book which is that there are a lot of americans who are extremely concerned about what has happened to them, they feel they have been left behind, they haven't been listened to, they have been discounted and they use the 2016 election as an opportunity to passé ballot for a candidate, also to make a statement of protest of their condition and what we are saying is as a citizen of the united states don't have to depend upon who gets elected president, mayor, governor, you have a possibility of making a difference if you are passionate, and if you are persistent, and give multiple
case studies of americans who have made a difference by applying those principles. >> do you think the dissatisfaction with the political system is legitimate? >> yes in the sense that i believe there is a disconnect between persons in elected office and the general public. interesting to me there were 20 people who ran for president. only 2, donald trump and bernie sanders, seemed to have heard what the people were saying and based their message around what they understood people's concerns to be. that is a serious commentary on the rest of the political class, so out of touch with what a substantial number of americans had as their number one
priority. >> senator graham's new book america, the owner's manual, you can win, talking political participation in the first segment, you would like to participate, 20 numtwo-748-7200. 748-801 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones which we are alive from the miami book fair. what is the difference between serving as governor and senator when it came to being able to connect to people and their concerns. >> easier to do as governor because you are in the state all the time, dealing with issues that put you in direct contact with the people. a quarterback on the football team, as us senator you are little removed, workplace is 1000 miles from where your
constituents live, don't have many opportunities to be with them. i describe that as being the athletic director of the college or high school. one of the things i did in both positions, governor and senator was to do work days. i spent 400 days during a 30 year period working directly with the people of florida. that was not only a way to learn something about what people did to earn their living but you learned a lot about what was on people's minds, you can take that information directly back to your office in tallahassee or washington and put it to work. >> you have been office for 10 years, has the political level of vitriol or partisanship
changed in those 10 years? >> it was on a downward spiral during my last years, that is one of the reasons i decided to retire in 2005 that spiral has tightened in the last we 10 years and this presidential election i hope is the bottom of that spiral and we will start to come out of it. it is tough, it will require people to be less ideological, more willing to get to know and listen to the views of others including their colleagues in congress or the state legislature or wherever it might be. dirksen senate office building 719 in your book america, and owner's manual you quote the university of chicago, the death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination or ambush, it will be a slow extinction to
apathy, indifference and undernourishment. >> guest: i believe those words are as true today as they were when he spoke some 60 or 70 years ago. what america, the owner's manual, is all about, is telling people, you can make a difference. fight city hall and when. if you are passionate, any she you care deeply about, mothers in sacramento, california, some of whom had children killed by a drunk driver, passionate about the issues off of the streets, they were skills, understood what it will take to do that. who had the levers of power and how to influence those evers of power and where persistence, without 40 years later, the number of deaths attributable in the united states is half what
it was, those were women who were passionate, skilled, persistent and made an enormous difference. >> host: you have been in elected office, how do you tailor your message to them? >> guest: the president sets the tone, if the president is bombastic, you can expect the rhetoric in america, on a high level environment. also the things the president talks about, race relations in america, it will tend to keep that on the agenda, individuals,
institutions, churches, businesses, governments at all levels. if the topic is ignored it is likely to be off of the public agenda. the governor of the state, president of the united states sets the tone. >> host: back to the book, america, the owner's manual, note reason to treat opponents with anything but respect. >> guest: the reality is in our system the only way you are going to eventually achieve your objective is to convince other people that it is a wise course of action and if you consistently disrespect those other people, ignored their views, you are not likely to be successful in convincing them as to the wisdom of the position that you wish to take. in politics there are no permanent victories or defeats was the last chapter of america,
the owner's manual is you won, you lost, what do you do next. the person that was your adversary a week ago may be your strongest supporter on the issue of today. the 19 why do you think you had such a great longevity in office, eight years as governor -- why did you not do that? >> guest: you mentioned the first three. i was very fortunate to have this beautiful lady accept my offer of marriage and we are going to be celebrating our 57th anniversary shortly, a wonderful experience but now we have four daughters, one of whom is in congress and has been by her mother and not too distracted by her father and she is going to
be running for governor of florida in 2018 so -- >> host: did she announced that or are you announcing it? >> i said i think she is going to be running. it is her decision. her name is gwen graham and she is a congress lady from the second congressional district of florida and has done a fabulous job and i think is looking to put her next area of public service. >> host: bob graham is our guest on our first call comes from joseph in new york. please go ahead, you are on booktv. >> caller: hello, c-span, hi, mister graham, how are you today? >> guest: good, where is your town in new york? >> caller: on the eastern tip, the middle of long island. how is florida?
how is the weather? >> guest: fabulous. the temperature is in the low 80s, blue sky, puffy white clouds. i know your town is a wonderful place to live but if you need to take a break come to florida. >> host: did you have a question for senator graham? >> guest: those are policy questions. >> caller: it is a two part question, a book based on donald trump, and any chance meetings you may have with donald trump in the future? >> guest: it is not based on donald trump. we started writing this book a year ago before all the activities through which we have just been engaged. we were talking about what we
thought challenges facing america one of which being there were so many people dissatisfied. 86% of republicans according to appeal all six months ago said they were dissatisfied with their relationship with government, and the vast majority of those endeded up voting for donald trump. he has tapped into that feeling. our book is designed to get people who feel that way an alternative. you don't have to go with who is elected, you, citizen, can make a difference if you are passionate and persistent. i hope i have a chance to have that conversation with president-elect trump. he calls florida his second home and i look forward to having him in our state on a regular basis during his presidency and on one
my question is i know you've dealt with the 9/11 commission and my question will get to that issue. hillary clinton took a lot of heat for the benghazi issue, the way i look at that, she had four hours to deal with something taking place halfway across the world. now on 9/11 it a came out there was a daily briefing-- >> tell you what, we are joseph, edward, we're going to hear from senator graham.
i'm sure you hear about the 9/11 commission and what should be released? >> i don't believe that president-elect trump has made a definitive statement as to what his position will be on this, but his general support for the concept of transparency letting people know what the government is doing i think should release to what is an enormous trove of additional information about the 9/11 hijackers while they were-- in one community. the others lived in new jersey, virginia and frankly, most of them. 13 lived in florida. we know very little who they dealt with. who was giving them support, what were their streams of
financial support and i hope that that information all available will be made open to the american people as early as possible in the new president's administration. >> host: senator graham, when you hear the term right wing conspiracy, do you agree with what edward had to say? >> i think that's over the top in the sense of the word conspiracy connotes that people have got ten together and agree on a course of action. i think that people in america have come to a similar conclusion, such as that their government is not paying attention to their concerns, but i don't think that was the result of millions of people colluding together to do that. it came out of millions of people's genuine experience. >> host: do you think the republican party has got tn more conservative generally and the democrats have gotten more liberal generally.
>> guest: i think that both parties have less pragmatic, less atuned to the things that are really making a difference. in my opinion, and the gentleman talked about policy analysis. what has been disrupting our economy is not so much immigration or trade agreements, which got most of the attention in the campaign, but rather, globalization and new technology, and neither of the candidates in my judgment did an adequate job of saying if those are what are really causing our loss of jobs and the lack of progress in terms of the quality of jobs that are remaining, in terms of salary and other benefits, what can we do about the issues of globalization and technology. >> host: our next call for governor graham, senator graham, comes from marilee in albuquerque.
hi, go ahead. >> caller: good morning, and thank you for having me on the air, senator. my question concerns the problem that we had in this last election and looking forward to future elections, the question of voter suppression. what seems to have happened in this last election, according to the accounts that i've read, was there were basically two kinds of voter suppression. one was various kinds of intimidation at the polls themselves or confusion created before people got to the polls, but the other one was voter suppression being made legal by creating unreasonable requirements for voter i.d. and so forth in states that had republican majority legislatures. it appears this is a very one-sided issue. there doesn't seem to be any doubt that republicans are moving toward more voter suppression and democrats are trying to open the polls to
more people, but as voters find themselves turned away from the polls, it becomes harder and harder to get a majority to move in a different direction. so what is your comment. >> host: thank you, marilee, let's hear from governor graham. >> guest: well, i hate to say this, but this has not been just one party's burden to carry. for a long time, particularly in the south, there were many barriers to african-american access to the polls. my father, while he was in the state senate, sponsored the bill that repealed the poll tax in florida, which had been one of the principal restraints on voting by poor people, whatever their background. i'm a strong believer that having the most open voting is what democracy requires. if we're going to truly be of, by and for the people, all the
people need to have access to the vote. i think the bulwark of assuring that has been our federal courts in the last few months, they have overturned if many state's efforts that appeared to try to achieve suppression of voting, so that puts an additional spotlight on one of the president's responsibilities, which is the recommendation not just for the supreme court, but for the federal courts at all levels and i hope the public is asking the question of these nominees about what will be their commitment to seeing that all americans have an opportunity to participate by voting and using their citizenship rights in our great democracy. >> host: let's hear from robert in philadelphia. we're talking with senator bob graham, "american, the owner's manual" is his newest book.
go ahead. >> caller: hello senator graham. the previous caller pretty much stole my thunder, but i have a question. the level of discourse seems to have been corrupted by a commercial media. i remember a time when there was nonstop policy debate. now we seem to have muscling. what request -- mud slinging. and what can we do to get to the policy? it seems where the level of discourse has gone in this country. >> guest: thank you, sir. i think the answer is not to try to have the government become a censure of of what happens on networks on cables or in print or other media, but rather, to encourage and support an alternative voice and frankly the fact that you're watching c-span this
morning, i'd say congratulations. this is the kind of media in which you'll get a discussion of policy with moderators who ask tough questions to see that you stay on track and are communicating at the level that c-span expects of its invitees and you, as the audience expect. so, support quality media and you'll get quality discussion of policy. >> host: well, over the years, senator graham, you've always been willing to come on c-span and talk with our audience and we very much appreciate it. in your book, "america, the owner's manual", tbefore you decide which reporters you want
to contact, so the media can be used as a partner? >> i don't mean in a corruptive sense that you're trying to get the media to inappropriately support our cause, but if you know, for instance, in your local newspaper that there is a reporter who is consistently writing about the topic that you're interested in, let's say it's health care, and you have seen an issue in your community that you believe deserves the public's awareness and attention, that's the reporter that you want to go to talk with. what we're suggesting in the chapter on how you-- how do you relate to the media is to be smart about it. pick the media and the specific persons within the media who are most likely to understand the cause that you're advancing and have the public confidence
when they write about it have their opinion respected. >> host: rocky, from idaho. >> caller: hello. >> host: you are and we're listening. rookery, where is post falls, where in idaho, where, what part. oh, yeah, way up. >> caller: yeah, way up here north. >> host: all right, rocky, go ahead. >> caller: well, i might be off kilter here, i just got into the program, but anyway, trump was elected because of his stand on immigration, it looked like that would be finally someone that would pay attention to what usually has been blase', but other politicians and instead of prisons, doesn't scare them. they live better in our prison than the third world country that they come from and thought
about, maybe we should build prisons in third world countries to send bad criminals to. >> host: rocky, let's hear from somebody who has served. governor, i heard somebody say yesterday that miami is the worst of what's wrong with america and the best of why america works at the same time. the best and the worst is all right here in miami. >> guest: well, i don't know what the worst is they're talking about. i'm very proud of this community. i just celebrated my 80th birthday. i was born in a hospital here in miami, so i have literally lived here my entire life. i grew up in a miami which was a very nondiverse miami, heavily southern. that's why i have a little bit of a southern accent. and it is become a great international city and i'm proud of the model that miami represents of how you can
accept people from around the world and in a relatively short period of time have them both maintain the things that they admired about their previous culture, but also become a fully, 100% functioning american participating in our democracy. i think that's a lesson that miami can teach to other cities in and miami that are undergoing the exact same transition. >> host: a close election, but florida went for president-elect trump. what do you say to people here who are concerned about immigration? >> what i say is, one, we should be proud of how well the process has worked here in miami. miami would not be the vibrant international city it is today, but for the large number of
immigrants who have come over the last 50 or 60 years. second, i would say that i think some of the lessons that we've learned is be tolerant of people who are proud of their culture and want-- don't want to completely jump into the melting pot. they want to keep some of their individuality. that adds to the attractiveness of a community. right within 100 yards of where we're sitting there are book stores selling books from peru, argentina, all over asia and europe, because they have an audience here in miami. >> host: next call for senator graham is karen in rockaway beach, oregon. karen, good morning. you're on the air. go ahead. >> caller: hi, thanks for taking my call. senator graham, could you please address what are the most effective ways that
citizens can use our time to make a difference. >> host: thank you, karen. >> guest: first, have your eyes and ears open to see problems. there frequently issues in your community that go unnoticed and therefore unattended. secondly, when you've identified an issue that you really care about, not just something that you're doing to punch a resume' for college and say i did this degree of community the service, but something you really care about, then that is where you need to consult with america, the owner's manual. it lays out a course of action, starting with understanding and stating the problem. a few minutes ago, i talked about mothers in sacramento. they defined the problem as
being mothers against drunk driving. a very powerful and way to communicate with their goal was going to be. then you need to be sure that you've done the research and find out the facts. they found out, for instance, a lot of the drunk drivers were young drivers so therefore they made one of their priorities raising the drinking age from 18 to 21. they convinced people that was an appropriate step because they had the facts upon which to base that. those are just the first steps in a process that led them to enormous success and i suggest if you applied them to the issue that you wanted to change, you would have a similar outcome. >> host: let's hear from alex right here in miami. hi,' lex. >> caller: hi. hello, senator. >> hello, alex. >> caller: nice to meet you.
my question is, what advice do you have for young people that want to get more involved in their government and serve and policy. >> guest:. >> host: alex before we get the senator's answer, have you ever participated in politics? have you volunteered, anything? do you vote? >> yes, i'm 19 and interterned for my county woman in the county. >> host: thank you, alex. >> well, alex, congratulations, you have developed some political awareness under the umbrella of two really outstanding public servants. congratulations to you and congratulations to them for giving you that opportunity. i would say you're on the right path. continue to look for opportunities to learn and serve encourage your school. what--
are you a student at this time? >> i think that alex is gone, senator. >> guest: well, if you're a student, i think one of the major contributors to this lack of appreciation of government has been the fact that we've stopped teaching civics in both the high schools and the colleges to the great detriment of the country. so i would say one thing that you might take on as a cause is assess how well is civics being taught in the institution that you're attending and through groups within the student body, encourage more and more substantive civics. i describe a lot of what's being taught and there's not much of that as being spectator civics. it teaches you to sit in the stands and watch what's going
on, but doesn't give you the skills to actually be a participate. we ought to be teaching participatory civics so that when the course is over the students will be ready to go on the field and start to be an active, engaged player in the game of democracy. >> host: senator graham, what's the bob graham center for public service in gainsville? >> the bob graham center is celebrating its 10th anniversary, it's a place where we're trying to encourage increased civic engagement. we're trying to encourage the next generation of public and civic leaders in florida to be well-prepared, to take on those responsibilities and if i can say so, not to immodestly, i think we're doing a very good job on all of those fronts and
i'm extremely proud to be associated with the bob graham center for public service. >> host: at the university of florida. >> guest: my alma mater. >> host: is florida small enough that you're still in contact with your predecessors, jeb bush and the current governor rick scott at all? >> well, you mentioned jeb bush. jeb has been asked by texas a & m university to do a special program on the role of governors in our system. and he is asked me to be a participant, which i was very honored and pleased and it will allow me, among other things, to continue what's been a very good relationship with somebody i greatly respect, jeb bush. >> host: do you ever talk to rick scott, the current governor? >> i do, occasionally. obviously, he's very busy and engaged, but when i-- when there's something that i care a lot about, which tends to fall in either the area of
education, economic development, or the environment, i'll pick up the phone and give a suggestion. >> host: when is that texas and am event? it sounds like something that c-span might be interested. >> guest: that's in january. >> host: in january. we've got another caller. elaine, and bob graham. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm interested in wondering how the book that you wrote addresses racial inequality and minorities using the system to make change and especially what you think in terms of how the black lives matter movement is working in this country to make change and how things in your bock might address making change for them. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: our book is not a
book that price to propagandize on any part of america. rather, we're providing a guide to what any american, whatever is the cause that makes them passionate, how they can come closer to actually making change. but as an example, we use many case studies and one of the case studies that we use were the african-american football players at university of missouri. after the incident at ferguson when a white police officer shot a black man, there was a great deal of turmoil in missouri. the students at the university of missouri didn't feel as if their university was giving adequate attention to the concerns of african-american students and the football team decided that it was going to
play a role in that, and so, a few days before one of the biggest games. year, they declared that unless the university would address their concerns of racism and get a new president to execute those new approaches, they weren't going to play, which would have meant the game would have had to have been canceled. well, they used timing to their advantage. if they'd done that in may, they probably wouldn't have had much impact. doing it in the middle of the season, they had enormous impact and were able to accomplish both objectives. so whatever your cause, you will find that the principles in america, the owner's manual, will help you get to the solution that you want. >> host: who is your co-author chris hand. >> guest: chris has been a long
time friend of mine. chris, a graduate of princeton, he came to our office in washington and became our chief speech writer, a very tough job for chris to try to make me a little more understandable and hopefully even eloquent. and then became the chief of staff to the mayor of jacksonville, where he had a lot of experience in fighting city hall. we were together on this project for a long time. >> host: let's hear from jerry in rhode island. you're on book tv on c-span 2. >> caller: good afternoon. i wanted to talk-- a person called up a little while ago and talked about the right wing conspiracy what i believe he's talking about is the political machine that's completely controlling the republican party. grover norquist, rupert murdoch
and the koch brothers. and murdoch controls the media machine and norquist controls the individuals and got them to throw out article 6 of the constitution, sign a pledge to him and the koch brothers control the local political structure in all the conservative states from top to bottom, getting justices-- >> tell you what, jerry, let's talk to somebody who has been in the political system for many years and get his perspective on whether or not an individual, a group can control, another group of people like that. >> guest: well, as i said in answer of an earlier question, the word conspiracy which sounds as if people have come together and conspired to follow a common course of action. i think is over the top. i think the people that have listed for their own reasons,