Skip to main content

tv   2018 Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture Hillary Clinton  CSPAN  May 12, 2018 5:00pm-6:31pm EDT

5:00 pm
never forget it. it can take a lifetime. thank you so much. [applause] >> you watch this and other programs online @booktv .org. [applause] >> i am suzanne, ceo of pan- america. [applause] i am also proud, former deputy assistant secretary of state hillary clinton. ...
5:01 pm
>> it was through richard holbrook, a former boss and a force of natures who was determined to get her elected. i'll always be grateful he pulled me into that campaign. fast forward three years later, i was working at the state department when devastating news came. holbrooke had suffered a catastrophic aortic rupture during a meeting in secretary clinton's office. he was rushed into surgery, his colleagues, friends and world leaders held vigil. when the worst happened, there were a group of us standing in a quivering clump in the hospital lobby crying, hugging and reminiscing. in walked secretary clinton. it was after nine at night. that day she'd held meetings up in ottawa and hosted the entire
5:02 pm
washington diplomatic corps for a holiday party. after comforting the family, we expected she'd be whisked off to rest and mourn in private having just lost one of her closest aides. instead, she stayed with us, a ragtag group of bereft former staff at a loss for what to do. secretary clinton then demonstrated to all of us her acumen in a crisis. let's all go to a bar, she said. [laughter] and for hours she sat, she had us all laughing with the tale of how he once emerged from a cabin on her plane wearing a pair of footsie pajamas. she then coaxed the most junior aides to tell their own silly stories, how did you first meet him? they was patient, curious, empathetic and totally engaged. she focused not only on her own grief, but all of ours. when we considered asking her to
5:03 pm
come, i revisited a memo that collected her human rights accomplishments as secretary of state. it was 24 pages long with detailed specific and consequential achievements on every region of the world. [applause] rereading it brought tears to my eyes thinking of the progress now in jeopardy and in what might have been. just last week the term reproductive rights was expunged from the state department's annual human rights report. this memo included a whole section on protecting internet be freedom, a then-novel concept that hillary clinton made mainstream. she established it as a globally recognized human rights through groundbreaking speeches meticulously constructed and argued. there was a chapter in the memo on lgbt rights where she did the
5:04 pm
same proclaiming gay rights are human rights at the united nations for the first time. [applause] there are points in there on defending free speech at the u.n., in europe and in the muslim world, on protecting human rights defenders and, of course, advancing women's rights. i was privileged to work on some of those efforts like rallying recalcitrant governments to tackle homophobic violence and prejudice and forging compromise to blunt calls for a global ban on insults to religion. her leadership was instinctive and unclinching as when a florida pastor threatened to burn a quran triggering riots. she condemned it yet recognized that the first amendment did not allow him -- allow for him to be prohibited or pin you
5:05 pm
shoulded -- punished. no record's perfect, but there can be no question that her efforts helped secure the freedom to write for tens of millions world wild. [applause] worldwide. her approach, deeply researched, tightly reasoned statements martialing facts, potent words invoking precedent and history all to advance rights is at the essence of pen america's mission, to use our powers of speech to enable and safeguard those of others. the idea that words can change the world and that the freedom to write underpins all over liberties. all other liberties. this room is living testament to the power of words. in february 1860 abraham lincoln came to this very stage to give the distinguished lecture that launched his national political career. his was the inaugural freedom to
5:06 pm
write lecture long before there was a pen or an arthur miller. his address became famous not for his charisma, nor his fancy turns of phrase. as his law partner put it then, no former effort in the line of speechmaking had cost lincoln so much time and thought as this one. he'd gone and examined the views of 39 signatories to the constitution about slavery as profound an issue of rights as our nation has ever confronted. he analyzed their statements and actions to mount an airtight case that the founding fathers recognized the federal government's power to regulate slavery in new territories. so now, at a time when the media, facts, truth and words themselves are being debased, lincoln's echoes remind us that when we come to events like the pen world voices festival, it's not just to listen and learn,
5:07 pm
but to be stirred to action. in 2018 the freedom to write is not just a tagline, but a rallying cry. hillary clinton and abraham lincoln share a doggedness, a craving for justice, but perhaps above all a readiness to give forth every ounce or intellect, hour of research and increment of energy for what they believe. at times like these, we depend on those who have that innate, unrelenting courage to help summon the same from deep within the rest of us. to use their words to kindle our conscience. as lincoln said here, let us stand by our duty fearlessly and effectively. neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us. now, hillary clinton knows something about that. [laughter] he went on. let us have faith that right
5:08 pm
makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. let's face it, our faith in this country that right makes might has been shaken over the last 18 months. but as lincoln points out, that cannot be a static article of faith. it's, rather, a call to duty. as defenders of the freedom to write, we in pen america's community have a duty to stand vigilant, to storm the barricades, to mobilize others, because the more we rouse, the more robust our defense. at the end of lincoln's cooper-union address, the controlled exploded into wild cheering, waving hats and handkerchiefs. with that image in mind and no further ado, i offer our former senator and secretary of state,
5:09 pm
hillary clinton. [cheers and applause] >> thank you! [cheers and applause] thank you, all. thank you very, very much. [cheers and applause] thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you. it's such a great honor to be here, and i want to start by thank suzanne. i've had the privilege of
5:10 pm
following her career over the years including, as she said, working alongside her at the state department. and you will not find a more passionate champion for human rights, free expression and diplomacy. and i'm thrilled that she is at the helm of this important organization at this time. you know, in just a few minutes after i complete some remarks, i'm going to have a conversation with someone else who shares that passion, chimamanda ngozi adichie who will be -- [cheers and applause] who will be talking with me about some of the issues that are on all of our minds because this pen world voices is particularly important this year. it should go without saying, but i'll say it, celebrating and
5:11 pm
protecting the power of the written word is more important at this moment than anytime in recent history. and this year's theme, resist and reimagine, goes right to the heart of why we are at such a critical time. you know, i was thinking as i was preparing to come here tonight about the namesake more this lecture, arthur miller, a longtime pen leader, who said so many important and thought-provoking things. but one in particular struck me because it had such a vivid image. the apple cannot be stuck back on tree of knowledge. once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more not less. miller wrote that in 1964. now, that was long before the
5:12 pm
internet, social media, cable news, but it was during another tumultuous time in american history. and while he may not have envisioned all of that technology and the changes in delivering information, the sentiment still applies. seeing more has its challenges. today the constant barrage of information swirling around us can make it difficult to focus, digest, prioritize. but it also opens up the world. and the more we see, the more we are able to recognize and appreciate the increasing complexity of the problems we face. and hopefully, find ways to solve them. consider what happened at a starbucks in philadelphia a few weeks ago. someone witnessed aning
5:13 pm
injustice -- an injustice and took out a phone to document it. finish -- millions of views later, it got the world's attention and sparked a very important public conversation. now starbucks is going to close 8,000 stores and hold racial bias training for 175,000 workers. now, that won't fix all systemic racism, but it is certainly a positive step. arthur miller also said, "i think the job of the artist is to remind people of what they have chosen to forget." that's what starbucks is doing, that's what the people in this room and your members across the country do every day. you help us see more and remind us of what we have chosen to
5:14 pm
forget. through plays and poetry, journalism, books, essays and articles, you shine a light on the human condition, help us understand more about the world around us, challenge us to understand views and experiences different from our own and remind us of the importance of evidence-based facts. [applause] you know, you are artists and truth-tellers, and that may not always make us comfortable. in fact, sometimes it is your job to make us uncomfortable. and as someone who's been on the receiving end of some of those books and essays and articles over the years -- [laughter] i can attest to that.
5:15 pm
but it does bring to mind that quote that we all learned in school which we probably should pull out and display prominently, you know, voltaire's i disapprove of what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it. so the mission of pen, to defend free expression, has never been more urgent. we are living through an era of unprecedented threats to free speech, open discourse and rights of marginalized communities. according to freedomhouse, an organization dedicated to protecting free speech and human rights around the world, 2016 was the lowest point for global press freedom in over a decade. 2017 was one of the most dangerous years on record to be a journalist. eighteen journalists were
5:16 pm
killed, and a record number were imprisoned. as we gather here tonight, there are 189 journalists in prison around the world. and the stories are chilling. in myanmar, two reporters are being held without bail for investigating the brutal genocide of the pro-in ya people. in mexico, journalists covering the country's drug war have been killed and imprisoned not only by drug cartels, but by corrupt officials. in turkey at least five news agencies, 62 newspapers, 16 television channels, 29 publishing houses and 24 radio stations have been shut down since the coup in 2016. and wikipedia has been permanently blocked. in china journalists face some of the harshest and most
5:17 pm
sophisticate censorship anywhere. and in russia a journalist who had been investigating the country's military activities in syria died mysteriously after falling from the window of his fifth floor apartment. the latest incident in a disturbing pattern. putin's russia is an epicenter of a cowardly war on the free press that has had dangerous and deadly consequences for democracy. all because putin and his fellow dictators are afraid to brave the scrutiny that a free press brings. they claim they're being strong, but their fear of being challenged proves the opposite. only brittle regimes and dictators are so afraid of being challenged. but need i say this isn't a problem that's relegated to other parts of the world.
5:18 pm
right here in america press rights, journalism and free speech are under open assault in the most perilous position i've seen in my lifetime. i loved when suzanne was talking about lincoln's remarkable speech here in cooper union in 1860 where he did go back and research our founders, those who debated and wrote and signed the constitution. well, those founders spent a lot of time talking about the necessity of a free press. thomas jefferson famously said, "our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." ben franklin, writing for the pennsylvania gazette, said that freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government. when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free
5:19 pm
society is dissolved. and john adams called the freedom of the press essential to the security of the state. well, today we have a president who seems to reject the role of a free press in our democracy. although obsessed with his own press coverage, he evaluates it based not on whether it provides knowledge or understanding, but solely on whether the daily coverage helps him and hurts his opponents. he has referred to the media as an enemy of the people. he has suggested that broadcast licenses of some news networks should be challenged. he wants to block the sale of cnn to at&t for the same reason. and he has repeated hi threatened amazon -- repeatedly threatened amazon because jeff bezos also owns "the washington post," a newspaper defying the odds and showing what many
5:20 pm
thought was a dying business model can be a with good reporting -- can be a success with good reporting and the innovative use of technology. now, given his track record is it any surprise that according to the latest round of revelations he joked about throwing reporters in jail to make them talk? and it doesn't stop there. this administration has also tried to gut the national endowment for the arts, the national endowment for the humanities, the institute of museum and library sciences and the corporation for public broadcasting. as suzanne has pointed out, the reason for doing this can't be fiscal since combined they make up less than one-hundredth of 1% of the federal budget. instead, these attacks on the arts and humanities are a clear attempt to undermine the american ideals of self-expression, knowledge, dissent, criticism and truth.
5:21 pm
and perhaps one of the most jarring developments, one that should set off alarm bells for anyone concerned about freedom of speech, was the announcement just a few weeks ago that the department of homeland security will given monitoring the activity -- will begin monitoring the activities of reporters and media professionals. it's not a coincidence that copies of george orwell's "1984" and margaret atwood's "the hand maid's tale" are flying off the shelves. it's a warning. for anyone who thinks our country isn't vulnerable to propaganda or attempts to suppress free expression, you only have to look at the 2016 election which was a case study in the weaponization of false information and outright lies against our democracy. we now know that russian agents
5:22 pm
used facebook, twitter, google, youtube, even pinterest -- [laughter] i still am trying to figure that one out. [laughter] but they used these very well-trafficked sites to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not only to hurt me, but more importantly and and lastingly, to fan the flames of division within our society. they posed as americans pretending to be gun rights and black lives matter activists. they even held phony demonstrations. now, the russian disinformation campaign was successful of in part -- successful in part because america's natural defenses have been worn down over the years by powerful interests that want to make it harder for us to distinguish between fact and fiction.
5:23 pm
and it's been abetted to some degree by the way politics has been covered. we are living through an all-out war on truth, facts and reason. when leaders deny things we can see with our own eyes, like the size of a crowd at the inauguration -- [laughter] [cheers and applause] or when they refuse to accept settled science when it comes to urgent challenges like climate change, it's not just frustrating to those of us who try to live in a fact-based universe -- [laughter] it is the beginning of the end of freedom. and that's not hyperbole. it's what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. they attempt to control reality
5:24 pm
not just our laws and policies, but our thoughts and beliefs. this really matters because if our leaders lie about the problems we face, we will not only never solve them, we will no longer know what to believe. it matters because it undermines confidence in government as a whole which breeds cynicism and anger. and it does matter because our country was founded on those principles of the enlightenment, in particular the belief that people possess the capacity for reason and critical thinking and that free and open debate is the life blood of democracy. we not only shouldn't, we must not abandon these fundamental ideals. instead, we should revere, protect and promote them in everything we do. for years america has led by
5:25 pm
example when it comes to free speech, a free press and protecting the first amendment. the fact that our leadership is going backwards sends a message to the world that maybe these rights aren't so sacred after all. potentially opening the door for authoritarian regimes to go even further than they already have knowing america may not be there to push back and serve as that example. the good news is an open, inclusive, diverse society is the opposite of and the ain't dote to a -- antidote to a closed society where there is only one right way to think, believe and act. i saw this firsthand as secretary of state. places on earth that have an open free press and where journalists are safe even when taking on powerful people, those are are places where women and
5:26 pm
minority groups are safer, environmental concerns are addressed and democracy is stronger. that's why we made advancing human rights, freedom of expression and internet freedom priorities. i believed then and believe even more fiercely today that this is where america needs to lead. and since we don't have an ally in the white house, we have to do everything we can as citizens. earlier this month we saw a tangible example of the decline in independent news sources across the country when the sinclair broadcast group -- the country's biggest owner of local tv stations -- required hundreds of affiliates to recite the same on-air editorial about one-sided, fake stories. yet we know, and research has shown, that local stations bought by sinclair actually
5:27 pm
reduce their coverage of local politics because their goal is to shift the ideological tone of their coverage to the right. and in this case, in support of the current administration. but it can't only be journalists who stand up and speak out. we all can do more. we can subscribe to newspapers, we can call out actual fake news when we see it and speak out against it. we can support libraries and schools that teach media literacy to young people and empower them to be thoughtful readers and consumers of news. we can support innovative ideas like the report for america initiative, a new collaboration that draws on programs like the peace corps, americorps, teach for america and public media and aims to help get 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years.
5:28 pm
and for anyone who's wondering what more we can do, pen america has put together a fantastic list that should be required reading for everyone who is worried. i find that when one is worried, finding some action to take does diminish the worry. because these are hard times for everyone who cares about democracy and human rights. but despite everything, we've seen some very courageous reporting. journalists in many areas are rising to the occasion. you know, when the latest pulitzer prizes were given out, we saw how journalists had transformed our martial conversation and sparked massive social change. american journalists have cast a bright light on sexual harassment and assault, exposed corruption, brought attention to attempts by this administration to erase data on everything from
5:29 pm
climate change to women's health. journalists have pored over financial records, bills and tax returns when they can get them to inform and educate people -- [laughter] about who is running our country. and some media outlets have even taken the brave step of publicly examining issues that plague their own newsrooms and their reporting especially during election season. now, this is laudable and very important because we know are some recent studies -- from some recent studies what the alternatives look like. the study of media coverage by harvard's berkman kline center and the columbia journalism reviews analysis have done a good job in documenting the coverage of the 2016 campaign showing how the mainstream political coverage was influenced by the right-wing media ecosystem and other factors to depart from normal journalistic standards. our longest standing scholar of
5:30 pm
the relationship between the presidency and the media, professor thomas patterson, called the false equivalency in the coverage corrosive and says the relentlessly negative news has had a leveling effect that opens the doors to charlatans. now thankfully, in the races since 2016 coverage has been more straightforward and fact-based perhaps because the races were close and inhemptly more exciting -- inherently more exciting. but i believe it also reflects an effort to avoid the errors that helped mr. trump to the white house. and i hope we'll see more of this in the years to come. ..
5:31 pm
tellers calling attention to what is happening in our world, especially because of the rise of strongmen, who are curtailing freedom and democracy. one is reporting on abuses by the russian government and another is exposing human rights violations in georgia, another has been a sounding the alarm for years about what is happening in turkey and its rising tide of authoritarianism. the fourth is calling out corruption in china. each of these remarkable women described the repression they face the threat of physical danger in the grave personal risks but their commitment to standing up to free speech, expression, free press, equality and ideas that are considered by powerful people to be subversive radical and even dangerous is
5:32 pm
unwavering. no matter what they face they have refused to give in or allow their voices to be silenced. and so must we. my good friend and predecessor, madeleine albright,. [applause] has just published a book called fascism, a warning. madeleine knows of what she speaks having, as a child, to first flee from the nazis in czechoslovakia and after the war returning home only to have to flee from the communists. she believes in the to the marrow of her bones the importance of educating ourselves about what happens when freedom is slowly eroded. professor timothy snyder at io
5:33 pm
wrote the first, a little book shortly after the election called on tyranny. his expertise is in the former soviet union and eastern europe particularly between the first and second world wars. he had just come out with a new book called the road to unfreedom. these are not alarmist people. these are thoughtful, scholars, public officials who have given great thought to what is happening in our own country. so, just as arthur muller wrote all those years ago have to seek a strength to see more, not less. we have to find our voice and in whatever way we are most comfortable to speak out. suzanne quoted the end of
5:34 pm
lincoln speech and it is worth hearing again because although that was a very different time in our country was facing the most serious crisis in its history the words of warning and the call to action should be heard and acted upon today. he ended his quite scholarly more than one hour speech about how the federal government had the right to control the spread of slavery. by starting a paragraph saying human nature doesn't change but human actions can. he ended that glorious speech by saying let us have faith that wright makes might. in that faith lets us to the end dared to do our duty as we
5:35 pm
understand it. if nothing else think about your duty as you understand it. for those who cherish and practice the freedom to write, think about how best you can use your talents, skills and experience in fulfilling your duty on behalf of freedom and human rights and on behalf of the bedrock values of the united states. for the rest of us, do not be intimidated or bullied into not speaking. i've had some experience with that, as well. i know, for sure, that everyone's voices need to be raised at this time. and so, i leave you with a note
5:36 pm
of gratitude for the extraordinary work that penn does and a big thank you for all you do each and every one of you to protect the essential freedoms that underpin our country, our society and our democracy. do not grow weary. be sustained by the energy that the truth can give you and as the theme of this conference reminds us resist and reimagine because i have no doubt we will get our country back on the right track. thank you all. [cheering and applause]
5:37 pm
[applause] [cheering and applause] >> now, i'd like to briefly introduce chimamanda ngozi
5:38 pm
adichie. [cheering and applause] she is the author of the novel purple hibiscus which one the commonwealth writers prize, half the yellow sun which one the orange prize, americana which won the national book critics circle award and her most recent book feminist manifesto and 15 suggestions published in marc march 2017. chimamanda ngozi adichie. [cheering and applause] >> thank you it is such an honor for me sitting here with you and i have to say that when i said hello to susan backstage i had
5:39 pm
to try very hard not to get emotional. i almost feel like getting emotional now. i think your speech is proof that he would have been a damn good president. [cheering and applause] >> i think the source of my feeling emotional and it is just thinking that i can't believe that this is what we don't have and i can't believe what we have instead but i want to start -- [laughter] i want to start by talking about in your memoir you wrote that and i'm going to quote here, i'm not the sort of person who routinely pours out her deepest feelings and i'm hoping that this evening will be different. [laughter]
5:40 pm
but that you'll pour out your deepest feelings were to me but more seriously i wondered about that because i realize that what you were describing with is the certain reserve is a nature but i wondered whether you think that you might have had to develop that reserve even if you hadn't been born with it because of the experiences you've had at thas a public figure. >> i think that's a good way of asking the question because i do think it's a combination perhaps my innate reserve and my temperament and the experiences that i have had which have, by and large, no grounds for complaints but have been somewhat taxing and in the political realm quite brutal from time to time but i think it is also the age in which i was
5:41 pm
raised and became a young woman and it is hard to separate out all the different factors so although i was fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to follow my interests and get an education and to speak up yet, in the atmosphere growing up in the 1950s in the early 1960s that was challenging for a young woman and so we were pretty much taught from an early age that the worst thing you could do is if you're going to try to be competitive and go farther and in my case, my mother or other people's experiences would lead, you can't show your emotion. you can't be angry and you can't cry and you can't do a lot of the things that are natural human responses and, in my book,
5:42 pm
what happened is i have a whole book called on of being a woman in politics and i used examples not only out of my own life but others as well so trying to walk that line is still more challenging than women and my own experiences and temperament i'm sure added to that. >> just before the elections wrote a piece about you and if you hurry i like to be -- when i sent out this piece it was titled why is hillary so widely loved. i will read -- [applause] i want to read two very short paragraphs. we do not see often enough the people who love hillary clinton, who support her because of her litigation, rather than her own qualified opinions. who empathize with her yet, millions of americans, women and
5:43 pm
men, love her intelligence, fierceness and they feel loyal to her and they will vote with enthusiasm for her. [applause] humans change as a group but history speaks to who she is. the millions who would meyer [inaudible] she speaking boldly about making the impossible possible and the gail lost student and the lawyer walking with the children defense fund and the first lady trying to make health care accessible for all americans and there are people who love how cleanly she slices through policy layers and how thoroughly she digests the small print and they remember
5:44 pm
that she 12 terms to be my state senate pursues not only well-regarded but known to get along with republicans. [laughter] shocking. [laughter] they have confidence in her and there are people who rated the media on her behalf who see the outrage she receives as unfair. they are people who in a quiet and human way which are well and the people who when hillary clinton became the first person to be the president of the united states will be from joy. [applause] when i was struck by how much back and forth happened particularly with the title.
5:45 pm
i was told we can have that title and i said why can't we because it's an opinion piece and that is what i think. i remember being struck and i mentioned the people who rage at the media coverage and i'm one of those people but until then i cannot quite realize how much it just seemed to be insidious and in the end that title has changed because somehow i was silenced uncensored. i want to talk to you about how did you keep going on? seriously, knowing the constantly discourse around your candidacy became about ability for example and who liked and who doesn't like her and i kept thinking who the hell cares? she is qualified. [cheering and applause] but even that continues and even now that you're not [inaudible] they said usually said something
5:46 pm
in india about [inaudible] and you cannot. you said something very different in context but it seems to me the repeating untruths about you it means that somehow it takes on a certain kind of potency and i wonder about you and i read the news and i think is she okay and how is she customer really? tell me about that. >> to some extent this is a bit of a mystery to me, as well. now, for 25 years ever since i have been in the public spotlight nationally there have been a very conservative effort to just, you know, attack me, spread falsehoods about me and the like which i knew was going on in which it does take a toll,
5:47 pm
not only on me but they take a toll on people's views about me because when you have so much absurd lies being propagated about you you come to know that even when they are easily despicable there is a lingering doubt people have and i have not done and i will, you know, say this clearly and i feel it that i have not done or figure out a way to combat that effectively. i felt so terrible during this last campaign with so many people who supported me literally had to hide their support. they joined groups on facebook and immediately a swarm of russian bots and other critics
5:48 pm
would descend upon them and make terrible accusations against them because they were supporting me and it moved into a hidden sanctuary so people can say i support her or i agree with her and i don't quite know why i provoke that kind of and so much of the accusations about me are so absurd and in retrospect when i wrote my book and looked at the research enough people believe him they believe the most outlandish, ridiculous stories that i was running a child mac ring out of the basement of a pizzeria and you laugh but people believed it because it was, as i said in my remarks and it was delivered in
5:49 pm
the people in the smart milliliters behind that new might be affected. just the other day i looked in an ohio state analysis about what were the three stories that led people who had supported president obama to either not vote or staying at home or voting for a third party or maybe even a voting for trump but most state home or didn't vote for the party. the three were that i was dying, a very constant theme and you may not have seen it but it was very much in the atmosphere and the second was that the pope had endorsed trump and the third was that i was supplying weapons to isis. now, why do people believe that?
5:50 pm
partly because those stories are delivered in a way that looks like news. i don't blame voters or people who receive that on their facebook feed or their twitter account or however they receive it thinking i don't know but even when country information is presented like i am still her here -- thankfully, i'm still here. [applause] and a pizzeria and not even have a basement. [laughter] you just have to wonder how do we stop this and obviously i'm concerned not just because of me but because of we are living in a time when information can be so powerful and if it is wrong or intended to influence you to do something that is not reality
5:51 pm
-based but based instead on propaganda that is a problem we have to deal with going forward. >> it seems to me that the reason you chose to speak and i'm still glad he made that choice. [applause] i want to talk about the connections between free speech and feminism because we talk about the speech here and it's important to talk about the dramatic and political examples but what about this idea that often the response you get is one of silence where constantly people have since the election you need to be quiet and you need to go away from talking about people on the right in the left and often people on the left who should know better and -- [applause] and i can't help but read that as a feminist issue. as a feminist who doesn't and
5:52 pm
there are some things that are not maybe two things in the world but. [laughter] this one in particular i'm struck by a lot of the narrative and what when your book came out for example and i took my time in a red and i found myself being disappointed and people on the left should know better. that the democratic party needs to face forward to the future and you need to go away and the promise of thinking maybe we could ask ms. clinton if she could bring the 66 million votes that she brought and then whoever could bring a few more so the point being i'm so happy you're not being silent. i want you to talk, if you could, about that decision not to be silenced and also how you deal with the constant barrage of attempted silence.
5:53 pm
>> i found this very curious because to the best of my ability no man who ever lost a presidential election was told to shut up and go away. [cheering and applause] and, you know, i'm glad they weren't because each had points of view and experiences that were worth hearing about and so i've given a lot of thought to this and i do conclude and as i say i write about it in my book that there is this long, long history of trying to silence women. literally in literature in the western canon goes back to the odyssey where penelope is holding the whole country together while odysseus is taking his time getting back
5:54 pm
from the wars and she is raising their son and telemarketers is a very there's a telling scene where all of the usual courtiers and others are hanging around hoping that she will finally decide that her husband is dead and mary one of them so they can take over and he is now about 17 and he's a young man and his mother comes down as she always did to greet people and listen to their complaints and continue being the glue that held the country together. and her son, telemachus, greets her by saying mother, go back upstairs, speech is not for women. the really terrific classic professor, mary beard, who you
5:55 pm
may know but if you don't, look her up -- she had just written a book about women in power in which she traces this whole line of being quiet and don't speak up. for everyone who said that was just a hillary clinton problem in the people who are be interviewed and they would say of course, i would vote for women just not that woman. and now in the last year half what have we seen? elizabeth warren ordered off the floor of the senate by mitch mcconnell. i was at the senate for eight years and i never saw that. she was reading a letter from caretta scott king about jeff sessions and he told her to stop and she had every right not to
5:56 pm
stop and when she did not he literally had her taken off the floor and one of her male colleagues, a very good guy, another democrat senator, came to the floor and he began to read the letter and no one said a word. or pamela harris who was doing her job in cross-examining jeff sessions and a committee heari hearing. [applause] basically he was told to stop talking. don't do that. this is not about one woman and one election but this remains a very serious challenge to women speaking out and speaking up and trying to assume a position of power and influence. when i hear that i hear the echoes going back thousands of years and i hear the unfortunate belief that people still have that women voices are not particularly appealing and that women words are not particularly important and in my case it was
5:57 pm
also because a lot of those same people who said don't talk they do not want to face what happened in the 2016 election. getting me off the stage as a way of ignoring everything that had gone on and i come at it very differently. we don't understand what happened in that election we are doomed to see it repeated in future elections. [applause] i think it is accommodation of factors at work. >> i sense a fundamental optimism about you. [laughter] [applause] are you optimistic about where what and where america is going? i asked that because of where it is right now because i think quite personally that there's been great damage done to america's monocle of authority
5:58 pm
and that my feeling is that it will take a long time two men that even if this president goes away. i want to know whether you are optimistic and if you really think there's reason to be optimistic? >> i am fundamentally optimistic because i believe that there is enough strength in his audience not only in american institutions but in the american people to see us through this. but don't take anything for granted. i agree with you that our moral authority and therefore our leverage in the world has been diminished and that is a precious resource that we are squandering. it will take a long time to win it back. are bigger underlying problem is the divisiveness in our own country and the unwillingness
5:59 pm
for people to work together to try to solve problems and to find common ground wherever possible and you have said that yes, i worked with republicans well and i did because part of the time i was in the majority and part of the time i was in the minority. i thought my job was to further the interest of the people of new york and so what i tried to do -- [applause] was two, if you know, , if not find but create the common ground. one funny anecdote i got elected in november 2000 trent the senator from mississippi who was then the majority leader for the republicans gave an interview and said, maybe lightning will strike her and she will not show up. ...
6:00 pm
>> needed my help after katrina to rebuild the gulf coast, so on a lot of really important, critical issues that didn't raise everybody's ideological partisan hackles, we were able to find that common ground. it's much harder now. i mean, i talk to my colleagues on both the democratic and the republican side, and it's really difficult. when you have a president you you don't know what he's going to tweet, to do from day-to-day, to have any kind of strategy from either the republican or the democratic side, so you do the best you can. and i wish we'd have more people
6:01 pm
say enough, enough of this partisan nonsense. we have some biggish -- big issues. we're moving into an era where automation and robotics are going to wipe out millions and millions of jobs. we are totally unprepared for that. we are moving into a time where health care has still not been resolved so that people can afford it and be able to access it. we're moving into a time where with the rise of these strongmen, america's interests are going to be undermined and certainly what we stand for already is. so there's a long list whether it's climate change or human rights or anything else that people should be focused on and should say i'm not going to vote for people who believe come to to poise is a dirty word -- compromise is a dirty word, i'm not going to vote for people who put their commercial, ideological or religious interests in front of the interests of the united states of america and our efforts to -- [cheers and applause]
6:02 pm
>> amen, amen. amen. so you describe the president -- it's difficult for me to say the name -- [laughter] the inauguration speech quite beautifully in most recent book, you described it as undimmed fury, which i thought was quite lovely. i mean, if you can describe things of that sort as lovely. of. [laughter] but i wanted to, and so in thinking about you going to that inauguration, god bless you. i wouldn't have. [laughter] but i, so just in looking back, what do you think about the fact that 52% of white women voted for this president? and i say that because we knew he had shown us what he was, we
6:03 pm
knew, we i knew about -- it wasn't just the access hollywood tapes, it was also just a way of being and doing in the world. and i think a lot of democrats in this country, many of them -- those who stayed at home -- were so sure that you were going to win. and so i think they could afford to be blase about this. i remember reading that journalists were so keen on bobby kennedy that they overcompensated by being overcritical. and in some ways i think the democrats who stayed home were like, oh, she'll win, nobody would vote for him. but then people did vote for him. and a majority of women who were white voted for him. i ask you this, because you're a white woman -- [laughter] but also because it is written that many of the women she spoke to when she was campaigning for you during your first campaign for president, many of the white
6:04 pm
women who were opposed to you were very similar to you. they were educated, they were middle class, they were about your age and that she was struck by that. and in reading about trump, i wondered if these were the same women who would vote for him. and she writes, gloria steinem in her lovely memoir, she tried to humanize you to them. she's cold, she's too ambitious, she's all of those things. do you think about that? i mean, is that something that -- >> yeah, of course i do because, you know, white women writ large, all white women have been steadily voting republican for decades. and i actually got a slightly higher percentage of white women than president obama got. and so white women have moved toward the republican party for a lot of reasons.
6:05 pm
i think in 2000 and 2004 there were reasons that had to do, especially in 2004, with the 9/11 attack. in 2008 and '12, president obama had an amazing campaign and turned out so many people of color that the fact that white women weren't voting for him was not as salient. in my case, i actually got a majority of college-educated white women. and it was, i think, exactly because these were the women who were most worried by what they'd seen of trump during the campaign. but for other women, particularly women who gravitate in presidential elections toward the republican party, there were a combination of explanations. they didn't believe he'd be as
6:06 pm
bad as he said, they thought it was all political rhetoric, they thought that he would bring real change. and when you -- and as i say in my book, when you run to succeed a two-term president of your own party, it's always an uphill struggle. so i think there were a number of factors at work in that. but what we have seen with the energy coming after the election starting with the women's march and going into the political races of the last year and a half, we've seen college-educated primarily, suburban women moving away from the republican party because of the performance that they have now been able to -- >> to live. >> -- watch, yeah. [laughter] >> you wrote that two of the most difficult decisions of your life were staying married to bill clinton and running for senate in new york.
6:07 pm
would you include running for president? >> yes. yes, yes, i would. [applause] you know, i had, i had not even thought about running for political office myself until 1998 when senator daniel patrick moynihan said he was going to retire. of and immediately people started calling me from new york asking me if i would run because giuliani had said he was going to run, and my friends in new york thought, well, you know, he are attract a lot of attention -- he will attract a lot of attention, he will get a lot of money, and we've got to have somebody that can, you know, compete with that. and i said no for months. i thought it was, you know, a really far-out ideas. and i told this before, but it really was the turning point because delegations of new
6:08 pm
yorkers would come and see me, and they'd say, well, if you run, we'll give you this support. but i felt very uneasy about it until i was actually in, i was in new york, and i was going to a school, a high school here to help launch a series about women in sports. and my friend billie jean king and others were there part of the program, and the title of the series was dare to compete. and so when i -- i was introduced by this young woman, she was, i think, the captain of the volleyball team or basketball team. she was, you know, very fit and happy and terrific looking and gave a really nice introduction of me, and so i went up and, you know, i had to look up, and she had to bend down -- [laughter] so i said, well, that was wonderful, thank you for that very generous introduction. and then she said to me, tear to
6:09 pm
compete -- dare to compete, mrs. clinton, dare to compete. [laughter] [applause] and i felt like all of the, you know, all of the worry that i'd been having, you know, i had to face them. and i'd been somebody who had encouraged women to run for office, i'd supported a lot of women candidates, i was really proud of them, and now this young woman was telling me that. so i eventually i decided to run. it was a great, it was a great campaign. and i loved being a senator for eight years. and then something similar started happening around 2006. people began coming to me and saying, you know, you should think about running for president, you really need to think about this. and, again, i was pretty, i was pretty unconvinced. i thought, you know, i just can't even, i can't think about this. and again though, people kept sort of confronting me. and i kept -- i had to say to myself, do you not want to do it
6:10 pm
or are you afraid of doing it. and i concluded i was kind of afraid of doing it. and so if that were the reason, then i was going to be somewhat hypocritical going around telling everybody, particularly women, get out there and run if i was afraid to do it. so i began to think seriously about doing it. [applause] >> you've also made many choices for love. in reading about your life, i was thinking about what if you hadn't gone to arkansas very early on, and i find myself -- i should say that i spend a lot of time being very protective about you, and in my mind i call you my auntie, so you're auntie hillary. [laughter] i spend a lot of time being protective of auntie hillary, and when people talk about your personal life are, i find it very irritating. [laughter] and having read quite a bit
6:11 pm
about your own life, i think you have a marvelous love story, i really do. [applause] and it seems to me that you have just this wonderful friendship. however, i have to say that i'm guilty of being interested in your personal life. [laughter] and the one question i have about that is about your twitter account. on your twitter account the first word that describes you is wife. and then i think it's mom and then it's grandmother. and when i saw that, i have to confess that i felt just a little bit upset. and then i went and i looked at your husband's twitter account, and the first word was not husband. and i wanted to ask, first of all, if this was your choice, if this was something that you wanted to do or something that maybe somebody thought would be a good idea for the campaign. and if it's your choice, whether you think it's fair for me to have been a bit annoyed by it. [laughter] >> well, when you put it like that, i'm going to change it. [cheers and applause]
6:12 pm
and, you know, i mean, there is always this -- for me, i'll speak for myself, but i think it's broader than just me -- there's always this internal conflict when you are very committed to your relationship, to your family. in my case, you know, parents and siblings and, obviously, my husband and my daughter, now my grandchildren and all. and your own identity. and how you both feel about yourself and describe yourself. and, you know, yesterday i went to barbara bush's -- or saturday i went to barbara bush's -- yeah, that was yesterday, right? [laughter] i went to barbara bush's funeral and, you know, she gave a very heartfelt speech at wellesley
6:13 pm
in, i think, 1991 in which she said, you know, at the end of the day it won't matter if you got a raise, it won't matter if you wrote a great book, it won't -- you know? if you are not also someone who values relationships. and, you know, she got a standing ovation after there was a lot of, you know, concern and some protest about her being invited to come speak. and i thought a lot about that because it shouldn't be either/or. [applause] you know? it should be that if you, if you are someone who is defining yourself by what you do and what you accomplish and that is satisfying, then more power to you. that is how you should be talking about your life and living it. if you are someone who primarily defines your life in
6:14 pm
relationship to others, then more power to you and live that life the way barbara bush lived that life, you know? and how proud she was to do it. but i think most of us as women in today's world sort of end up in the middle wanting to have relationships, wanting to invest in them, nurture them but also pursuing our own interests. and i loved the picture of senator tammy duckworth coming onto the floor of the senate with her little baby -- >> yes. [cheers and applause] >> -- in her jacket. and to me, that sort of summed it all up. and she is both. she's a mom, she's a senator, she's a combat veteran, you know? she is somebody who is trying to integrate all of the various aspects of her life. and, you know, that's what i've tried to do for a very long time. and it's not easy, but it is something that i've chosen to do, and i think it's best for
6:15 pm
me, so i'm going to keep doing it. but i am going to change my twitter handle. [cheers and applause] >> i think, i think what -- if you, may i suggest what it should say? [laughter] i think the first thing should say -- [laughter] i think the first thing should say she'd have been damn good president. [cheers and applause] [laughter] and then mom and then wife. [laughter] so do you remember, so i've been rereading all your books. do you remember susie o'callahan when you were growing up? she was a little girl who bullied you. and you came in crying to your mother. >> i did. >> and your mother said to you, go back there. if she hits you, you have my permission to hit her back. >> that's right. [laughter] >> and in reading that, i thought about mostly are your most recent campaign and whether you -- did you hit back often
6:16 pm
enough, do you think? >> i now think i didn't. and in the book, i write about that one particular incident where he was stalking me on debate stage, right? [inaudible conversations] and, you know, here is one of, you know, people are always saying, well, you know, you need to talk about the mistakes you made. and, you know, i've been pretty forthcoming about that. but one of the mistakes was that it was really difficult to figure out how to deal with the first reality tv candidate in a reality tv campaign. you know, i've been around people who have run for president, i've supported them, obviously, married one, worked for another. so i was used to what was the norm, although you update it with technology, you do a better job of communicating. but the norm was, you know, you lay out what you're going to do, you defend it, and at some point -- usually in the
6:17 pm
debates -- one of the questioners will really try to pin you down. like, okay, you say you're going to get to universal health care coverage, how are you going to do it? we didn't really get a lot of that in this campaign because the overwhelming story was my candidacy and his behavior. and so we were always trying to figure out how do you break through are. and on -- break through. and on that debate stage i remember so well sort of thinking, what do i do? i did practice to say what i wanted to say in the short period of time you're given, and all of a sudden i know what he's doing, he's trying to intimidate me, but he's also sending a message to the audience that, you know, this is what a president looks like, a guy who is going to overpower people and, you know, be dominant. so i'm thinking, well, do i turn around and i say, you know, back up, you creep? [laughter] [cheers and applause]
6:18 pm
but, you know, by then i'd had enough experience that, you know, the coverage of it would have been, we, she can't take the pressure -- well, she can't take the pressure or she got angry. i say things in a normal tone, and i'm always a amazed when the press say she was so angry. i think, you haven't seen anything if that was angry. [laughter] so i was really struggling with it. and i concluded as i was, i think, expecting myself to, okay, you just have to be calm and in control because ultimately what the country wants is somebody who is not going to be blowing up in the oval office. they want somebody -- >> well, you would think. [laughter] >> -- who is going to be able to deal with the problem. that didn't work out so well. but i did think about that. >> i remember thinking people
6:19 pm
would say e-mail, e-mail, e-mail, i remember thinking half the people don't know what the hell they're talking about. and it just became repeated, and i did sometimes feel maybe your campaign needed to just, i don't know, maybe there's no answer. what you've said is true which is that things are repeated so often that they seem to start being almost true. and i found it so strange, this is rubbish. anyway, i want to ask you whether you're aware of how much of an inspiration you are to many people. and i mean that -- [cheers and applause] and i say that, you know, it's a serious question which is because the real curse is seeing some of the misunderstandings that have gathered around the person. i think in your case, you know,
6:20 pm
just the most benign things often in the media is given an ominous coloration. and i wonder if maybe that sometimes blinds you to what is another reality which is that you mean so much to so many people that your just being -- when you come on tv, my parents live in nigeria, but whenever you're on tv, my mother will say -- [speaking in native tongue] and it means great one or sort of warrior. [cheers and applause] and my mother is five years older than you are. for women of her generation, so women of my generation, for women in between across the world, i remember after after the geneva conference the idea how women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights just resonated so widely. and i ask you this because i think it's important -- i hope
6:21 pm
the answer is yes, but if it's not yes, i hope that you remember. i hope that you remember actively how much you mean to so many people, so many people. [cheers and applause] i do. i think your life, that your life sort of as a public figure starting from when you were first lady in arkansas, in some ways it's sort of like a crucible of all the issues that affect women. i was reading about your name, for example, how you had to take on clinton because somehow i guess if you didn't, then your husband wouldn't have won with the election or something. [laughter] but really, and issues of, you know, what is a woman's place, and what does it mean. and it seems like your life has sort of been a crucible for all of that. and whether or not those things are resolved, i think there's been a bravery which you've dealt with many of these things that continues to inspire people. so i just want you to remember it, please, especially when the
6:22 pm
bullshit happens. [laughter] [cheers and applause] >> well, you know, i very much appreciate your saying that, and it is part of the reason why i'm still out here talking so much, because -- and writing and doing whatever i can to stand up. because i really don't want to disappoint people who supported me, who look to me and particularly young women. and for me, that is all about how we keep a sense of solidarity in some difficult times and how we stand up for each other. so i am, i'm conscious of that. i'm often a little embarrassed by it, but i'm grateful for it because -- >> don't be embarrassed by it. >> no, i am a little because i
6:23 pm
feel so blessed that i've had all these opportunities, but i also know how hard it is because i've lived it. and as people tell me their stories or tell me that i've encouraged them, i always say, well, you know, just stick to your own truth, stick to your own path and don't let people knock you off of it. because i had to learn many years ago to take criticism seriously but not personally. because there are a lot of people, and particularly when it comes to women whether it's the corporate world or academic or professional or political, there are a lot of people who really still have trouble accepting a woman in authority and, therefore, they are always looking for ways to denigrate and knock her off her own track. so i try to -- and i wouldn't
6:24 pm
be, i wouldn't be a good example if i, you know, kind of gave up and went, you know, off into the woods forever. [laughter] i did have the come out of the woods. [laughter] and so when i did, i thought, okay, you know, this is a new chapter, and i'm going -- i've got a lot of, a lot of feelings about what's happening, and i'm going to keep talking. so that's how i try to deal with it all. [applause] >> we hope you keep talking, and -- [applause] speaking of the woods, i remember when you were sighted in the woods a few times, and i started to think about going upstate new york to wander around in the woods and hopefully meet you. [laughter] but i'm happy that i ended up meeting you here and please keep speaking and please keep -- you look so great, hair on point, makeup on point. keep doing. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. [cheers and applause]
6:25 pm
[cheers and applause] >> a look now at some books that are being published this week. former defense secretary donald rumsfeld recounts the presidency of gerald ford in "when the center held." in "three days in moscow," fox news anchor bret baier chronicles ronald reagan's efforts to end the cold war. "brothers of the gun" details experiences during the arab spring in syria. robert f. kennedy jr. in "american values."
6:26 pm
also being published this week, author and publisher conrad black reflects on the life and political rise of president trump. michael pollen shares his research on how psychedelic drugs are being used as medicine. and in "to end a presidency," lawrence tribe and joshua matts explore the history of impeachment. and best selling writer david grayburg on finding purpose in your work. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> here's a look at some authors recently featured on booktv's "after words," our weekly author or interview program that includes guest interviewers. facebook co-founder chris hughes argued for a guaranteed income for the working class. journalist ronald kessler reported on the inner workings of the trump administration. and david corn and michael
6:27 pm
isikoff described how russian hackers attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election. in the coming weeks on "after words," former defense secretary donald rumsfeld recounts the presidency of gerald ford. retired u.s. marine corps lieutenant colonel kate german know will detail gender bias in the marines, and jerome corsi will argue there's an effort to thwart the presidency of donald trump. >> for the conservatives who, you know, are patriots -- and i think, again, one of the startling points of my book, "killing the deep state," is the recognition that there's this division such the true patriots on the conservative side want to preserve the constitution. it isn't a, it isn't a racism, it isn't a xenophobia. i mean, i don't hate islam. i marched 200 miles after i
6:28 pm
wrote "atomic iran" in 2005 with the muslims, the iranians who were wanting freedom in their country, and almost everybody in that march was muslim. so, you know, i've argued that it's a complete -- as your book points out -- smear on those of us who want to have a conservative position that's duly recognized as appropriate because we're patriots and that we're called xenophobes and all these other deplorables by hillary clinton shows the division. and i think that this deep state bureaucracy, the coup d'etat within the state department, within the fbi and cia, within, you know, this whole justice system reflects this internationalism. >> "after words" airs on booktv every saturday at 10 p.m. eastern and sunday at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific time.
6:29 pm
all previous afterwards are available on our web site, -- "after words". >> you're watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's our prime time lineup. first up tonight, peter rubin discusses virtual reality. and at 7:30, a look at the strained relationship between president dwight eisenhower and supreme court chief justice earl warren. at 8:50, sally kohn explores where hate comes from. she's in conversation with former cnn chief political correspondent canty crowley. then on booktv's "after words" program at 10, journalist jerome corsi argues that there's an effort to thwart the presidency of donald trump. he's interviewed by investigative journalist sharyl attkisson. and we wrap up our prime time programming at 11 with former secretary of state condoleezza rice and stanford's amy zegart discussing global insecurity and the future of american
6:30 pm
diplomacy. that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv, 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. television for serious readers. and now peter rubin of "wired" magazine reports on virtual reality and the impact it'll have on entertainment, work and human emotions and interaction. he's in conversation with second life founder phillip rosedale. >> well, those were some terrifying steps. hi, everyone. hello. [inaudible conversations] thank you so much for being here. >> this is great. i have never gotten a chance to do this, to be at a bookstore, at a book event. >> join the club, man. >> this is your fist time? [laughter] >> like


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on