Skip to main content

tv   Dan Kaufman The Fall of Wisconsin  CSPAN  October 14, 2018 3:36am-4:58am EDT

3:36 am
and vacationing. this gets into the white savior complex and looks at volunteering at the local level and then international trips that families take to teach their child but their child's own privilege but how that inned a vert tently is object identifying and exploiting the people they're encountering. gets to into a poverty tourism stuff. i think with what you're getting at. that its the theme of the book. >> any other questions? all right, well, are re done? [applause] >> hello.
3:37 am
i am fred wade, the president president of the madison institute. i want to welcome you here this afternoon tiered partnering with the festival to present this event. for those of you not familiar, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that presents programs and issues of public policy each year. if you'd like to learn more or the more aware, you can go to our website. we have a sign-up for future e-mails if you like to do that. i want to thank the madison public library, the madison public library foundation and on behalf of the institute, supporting what we do and the foundation, the charitable arm of the capital times.
3:38 am
it's an honor to introduce dan kaufman who was a madison native. grubb. the 1980s. he is also a musician. he has written for the new york times magazine, the new yorker and the nation. the best review of his book to date is one by bill leaders. he capsulized is what the book is about as he's eventually telling how the movement grew during the century. and the way that legacy has been dismantled and transformed since the governor was elected in the legislation in its wake. perhaps the most summery of that was a review by elizabeth. basically said wisconsin has
3:39 am
been transformed from a progressive action into " showcase for right-wing ideology inquiry. i will introduce dan kaufman. please give them a warm welcome. [applause] >> thank you. it is quite amazing to be here for many reasons. i want to thank the wisconsin book festival and its director for bringing me back to madison, my hometown, to speak about this new book. i also want to thank the madison public library for creating this wonderful event. it is a bit of a trip to be speaking in this building where i worked as a page 30 years ago. i was a high school teacher then. spending my afternoon checking
3:40 am
material out for my patrons. vhs tapes. that tells you how long ago it was. i first began dreaming of a glorious escape to new york city i did manage to make it to new york. i quickly got a job in my field shelving books at the strand bookstore. a year later i was lucky to move up to take a job at the new york topic library. i just want to say that that high school library job was a form of my education. i encountered riders. continuing to inspire me to this day. one day my own book would appear in the stacks by another high school student dreaming their own dreams.
3:41 am
the origins of this book began one saturday morning in 2011. i awoke to find an e-mail from my mother. as i mentioned, i grew appear. my father taught at the university. i would not be standing here today without exceptional schoolteachers. in my mother's e-mail that morning, she described arriving home from the state capital at 1:00 o'clock in the morning. she had waited with hundreds of others to testify. all but eliminating collective bargaining rights. walker's actions barked away for demonstrations at times exceeding 100,000 people. an occupation at the capital. fourteen democratic state senators for illinois to block the forum. all of which failed to prevent passage of the bill.
3:42 am
for my mother and many like her, the beginning of a year-long battle. an effort for the new york times following the wisconsin into a story of how dark money to national donors and conservative organizations help to dismantle the legacy in every area. labor rights and environmental protection, voting rights, government transparency. the title toppling the states traditions. over the past seven years, wisconsin is seen one of largest declines of the middle class of any state in the country. a 30 year high. among the worst in the nation. the university of wisconsin madison has fallen for the first time out of the ranking for the top five research schools.
3:43 am
one study estimated that the states population which deterred from voting in the 2016 present old does presidential election. >> i think it is because wisconsin once had what any citizen may admire, even covet. clean air and water. transparent government. good public schools. a strong tradition of labor rights for its workers. because of those attributes, the state became an attractive target for national conservatives. he and his allies could do it anywhere. if conservatives cannot tolerate estate, what kind of future is therefore the american citizen. also detailing the national political implication.
3:44 am
signaling his intentions for the measure. as many of you may remember, two weeks earlier walker had met privately with diane hendrix. a billionaire donor to the campaign. the documentary filmmaker. asking the governor if there was any chance we will ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions. assuring her wisconsin would change. asking if wisconsin never become a right to work state tiered walker responded enthusiastically. we will deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions. since 2011, the union density had fallen by 40%. that is the same percentage as alabama.
3:45 am
four decades it had been solidly republican. after the 2016 election, transform any of the electric was there. did not lay the groundwork. but the march 2011 sign a back 10, a dramatic reform of public sector labor laws by wisconsin scott walker certainly did. to understate it, it has been enacted in a dozen more states. the party will cease to be a competitive power in american politics. the effect of laws like the electric have left an even deeper scar in wisconsin and nation's electorate. the intention to divide the state citizens was announced in the 2011 inaugural address. no longer live in a society where the public employees are the has and taxpayers that foot
3:46 am
the bills are the have-nots. donald trump has a different demeanor than walker. he is still similar politics even as he employs different victims and perpetrators. in reporting this book i was grateful for the inside of the university of wisconsin political scientists kathy kramer whose own book delve deeply into the roots of walker's appeal against rural wisconsin. the effect after the 2016 victory. i went into my fieldwork asking about immigration because i thought it often brings up issues to the social class which is what i was interested in. it never came up. i think we see the sanctioning much more clearly after the election. some of those things now sanctioned are now for bidding. now they are on the surface. kramer mentioned an incident last year. a girls high school soccer match in elkhorn, the teams were in
3:47 am
the middle of a match when a small group of fans began shouting racist chance. donald trump build that wall, they yelled at the african-american and latino players. the girls too distraught to continue walked off the field. one of the girls was cradled in the arms of one of our assistant coaches for good 15-20 minutes. he believed the girls on the team would be scarred forever by the experience. he knew he had been. seeing the impact on the skids is something i will never forget he said. kramer, the legacy of divide and conquer politics is profound. how do you turn that around, she asked. the kinds of people who care about what has happened have already taken sides, for life. they know who the enemies are. how do you turn that around short of a world war or great depression? are to my struggle now is a question of whether we really have a mock receipt.
3:48 am
i believe that there is a role for ordinary people to do something about what is happening. i'm hoping so. i think so. if that is the case, what do do we do? how do we ensure we have leaders at stand on flatbeds and say, hold on, do not go at each other's throat because there is a better part of us here as opposed to you are right. she pointed in the air towards an imaginary enemy. they're the ones. the fall of wisconsin takes a deep look at wisconsin's past year to having something to offer to us in the present moment. one of the people in the book is named jim leary. he devoted his career to exhuming that past. since the 1970s, leary has been unearthing the forgotten music and folklore of the immigrant and native communities and brought his findings the songs of french-canadian lumberjack, ironworkers and mexican farmhands to hundreds of small gatherings.
3:49 am
like when i attended last year in the small town in wisconsin. the 65-year-old with the ponytail and bushy eyebrows, he hopped on a small wooden stage and began running through a playlist that recounted states history through labor songs like the awk appellate cranberry song. a lighthearted homage to solitary among cranberry diggers one critic in his review of the fall wisconsin says it like this, the music of the past, not its future. i do not believe that is true. i included that scene and others like it because i think they offer an important insight in the past and the present. the same reason i included the testimony of two remarkable wisconsinites who were confronting political challenges, not unfamiliar to our own era. in 1873, the chief justice of
3:50 am
wisconsin edward g ryan gave a commencement speech to the graduating class at the university of wisconsin law school. controlled by the railroad and timber industries. they decided to would run for office and they control the legislation that was written and past. a new dark power, ryan told them the accumulation of individual wealth seems to be greater than it ever has been since the downfall of the roman empire. the enterprise of the country are aggregating vast corporate congregations of the capital. boldly marching. not economic conquests only, but for political power. this talk issued a chilling morning that marked one of its listeners. fighting bob forever. the question will arise and arise in your day that perhaps not fully in mind. which shall rule, wealth or man? which shall lead?
3:51 am
money or intellect? who shall fill public stations? educated and patriotic freemen or the futile corporate capital? another historical lesson was given by woodcarver. who in 1910 became the first of milwaukee's three socialist mayors. at the time children may be forced to work 16 hours a day in a factory. a worker killed on the job might leave his family destitute because of a program of worker's compensation to not yet exist. in these memoirs, describing a vision for milwaukee's democratic socialist. some eastern smarties called eyes that socialism he wrote in his memoirs. he went on. yes, we wanted sewers and the workers homes. we wanted much. oh so much very more than sewers we wanted our workers tapped your air.
3:52 am
sunshine. planned homes. we wanted living wages. we wanted recreation for young and old. we wanted vocational education. living a life of happiness. we wanted everything that was necessary to give them that. playgrounds, playgrounds, parks, lakes, beaches, clean creeks and rivers, swimming and wading pools. social centers centers. reading rooms. music, dance. song and joy for all. that was their democratic movement. that pragmatic idealism is worth remembering now. perhaps the conclusion like viewers describing the fall of wisconsin that are hopeful. perhaps the people whose stories form the heart of this book. by and large ordinary citizens. the people, these are people
3:53 am
like mike. the chairman of the bad river tribe lake superior chippewa. an enormous iron or mine a few miles from its reservation. or union ironworker and labor activist whose challenge paul ryan galvanize progressive movement. a wedding photographer who led a one-woman campaign to recall the senate majority leader. or former republican state senator who was leading a bipartisan effort to rid wisconsin of gerrymandering. they embody the democratic ideal etched into wisconsin. democracy is a life and involves continual struggle he wrote in his autobiography. it is only as thorough as every generation. love democracy. resist with all their might encroachment of the enemies at the ideals of representative government can be nearly approximated. one other person i wanted to
3:54 am
highlight was a bad river tribal elder named joe rhodes. now well into his 80s. i would like to read a little bit about roads. a chapter called the seven fire. afterwards i would be happy to answer any questions. like many other bad river children of his generation, joe attended st. mary's. a catholic mission in boarding school where the reservations administration center. his mother sent joe to school as a day student was also a st. mary's graduate. she had tried to go to the public schools in ashland, but there was no bust transportation then. she tried riding the train. she was late for school every day. they raise hell with her for being late. finally, she and her cousin found a way to go to boarding school. st. mary's was founded in 1883.
3:55 am
part of a wave of native american boarding schools whose assimilation goals were enforced with corporal punishment and other cruel means. 1892 speech george mason university, richard henry prep an army officer in civil war veteran who founded one of the most influential of these, the carlisle indian industrial school, outlined his vision for native american education. a great general had said the only good indian is a dead one he told the audience. in a sense, i agree with with the sentiment. it only in this. all the indian there is in the race should be dead. kill the indian in him and save the man. st. mary's exerted a great influence on the tribe. by the time rhodes attended, it had become less repressive. we did do powwows and dances he said. social instead of spiritual. the school discourage native languages, ceremonies and religion. he is still scarred from the
3:56 am
school suppression of his native identity. they used to tell tells only had an immortal soul. nothing else in the natural world had a spirit. my mother would take my brother and me out to the ceremonies back in the woods. we would learn from elders that everything in the creation had a spirit. that was one of the first conflicts of the gradeschool kid that i trouble understanding. the wolf was a blood brother. solis and catholic geology. the reason for that, the wolf is always vilified in the western tradition. european literature, you can go all the way back to children's fairytales. red riding hood, three little pigs. then you get into some of the adult tales. the wolf is one of the most powerful symbols of wilderness. that is why they want to exploit it as a resource. they can do that in good biblical conscious. he called his use with great fondness.
3:57 am
living with traditional grandparents. i grew up in the time of kerosene lamps, outhouses he said. the water from the -- it was clean enough to drink then. as was water from lake superior its self. spending time outside with his grandfather was most important. a master hunter who taught him how to set traps. gathering medicinal plants and harvests. his grandfather did not become a u.s. citizen until 1994. until the citizens act was passed. 40 years old. fighting against all of this corruption that was happening. that made an impression on roads who had become one of the mentors in the fight against the mines. his age, voice and scientific it and traditional knowledge made him a persuasive person.
3:58 am
heading upstairs to the empty floor. believing the battle to retain the national heritage is being waged on two plans. a temporal one in a scientific argument. events like the passage of the bill can be interpreted as part of the mythology. during the man mining site, an analogy between a monster. the wind ago. she tack. a comparison occasionally echoed in public speeches. the ghosts of lost force to each human flesh. the spirit of greed. the more they eat, the hungrier they get. they ran through a litany of the changes walker had supported.
3:59 am
promoting mining. gone from just a few sites to a hundred. removing many of the hilltops in the process. a study by pierce at the university of wisconsin eau claire showed that area surrounding mining sites contain levels of tiny particulates. far exceeding the epa threshold. another worry of the opposed 6000 farm trying to build near the shore of lake superior. the farm would generate millions of gallons of untreated liquid manure runoff threatening to pristine water sheds that feed lake superior. the reintroduction for the first time in a half-century of a wolf in wisconsin. four decades the wolf was listed as the state endangered species until the department of national
4:00 am
resources fostered a rebound. a target wolf population significantly below to sustain the animals long-term stability. wiggins and rhodes are well-versed in scientific cases against his policies. he has a degree in biology. they also see the dangers oligarchy. in prophecy they tell us we are living in the age of the seven. he began telling the version of creation. the world was created by the great spirit according to the greatest vision of all time, he said. first, the physical world then the plant world, the animal world and last of all the human world. let's skip part of that. it takes a long time to tell that. let's go to the human world where the great spirit came down to the earth and took particles and dust from mother earth placed it in the secret shell. breathing life into it.
4:01 am
the great spirit then lowered from the sky world. down to meet his mother. took my pen. which means the original people. in my notebook. his mother was mother earth. for the first steps taking on mother earth stood up and briefly demonstrated a dance. when we bring the shakers and percussion instruments in, we commemorate that sound out of the darkness of the void. even before the creation. pausing as a waitress refills or cup. thank you. the great spirit looked down into the darkness. the only thing was the sound. the great spirit decided to send it out. all over the darkness. all over the universe.
4:02 am
in doing so the great spirit extended a great deal of energy. after sending those ways out over the universe. the great spirit laughed. while in that deep sleep he was to experience the greatest decision the universe had ever known. seeing the four orders of creation. also felt all of these human emotions that went along with it when the great spirit woke up, he decided to create everything that had been experience in the vision. at the onset of the creation, everything with your energy or we might say pure spirit. four everything to take on a materialistic form. the great spirit remembered that sound that had been heard even before the creation. rose tapped on the table. the sound had risen. the great spirit created all of these things.
4:03 am
the word for heartbeat and drum is the same, he noted. when we use the shakers, these percussion instruments, we are commemorating the sound that was heard even before the creation. lowering down to meet his mother. asking to go out and walk the earth. a name all things in the garden was created. expressing loneliness. did not have a companion. that is a wolf. to be his companion. walking the earth together. they were companions. they became blood brothers. the great spirit spoke to them again. the wolf, original man, stood in the presence of the great spirit. the great spirit spoke to them.
4:04 am
in many ways the two of you are like. when you take a mate, it will be for life. your social order will be very complex. given the totemic system. the wolf was given the wolf test there were prophecies in. from this day forward, i'm going to put you on separate paths. this leads up to our prophecy. i talked about these different ages. maybe just prior to when the berlin wall came down. rose laughed. i don't know exactly when it happens. the great spirit spoke of a fork in the road. right now all humankind is standing at that fork in the road. we will be confronted with the choice. one fork in the road which said
4:05 am
to be a hard service. we see that as the fast lane. highway that pollutes and upsets the natural bounds. the more natural path. it depends on which choice the humankind makes as to what will happen when the next new age is ushered in. this is where the wolf comes in. whenever human beings encroach on a wolf territory, the wolf retreats into what we know as a wilderness today. a very powerful symbol for what little wilderness we have left. you may no longer have a place to retreat. if that happens, you will soon pass out of existence. you will become extinct. you, if your brother passes out of existence, you will soon follow. you will die of the great loneliness of spirit. you, if you pass out of existence, all other humans will soon follow.
4:06 am
the wolf as was the fate of the human race will be the same. before i left ashland, rose returned to the prophecy of the seventh fire. he has been given a very special gift. we use the word for that gift. loosely interpreted it means medicine. also encompassing the knowledge and wisdom of how to live in harmony for the four orders of creation. that is at the very foundation of our native spirituality. it is a different worldview altogether. along with a gift is powerful that comes with the great responsibility. we turn and we look back. one and ancient knowledge. we pick up those sacred bundles
4:07 am
that are fallen by the wayside because of persecution from the u.s. government and missionaries trying to release their identity. our responsibility to educate. harmony and balance with the natural world. returning to the idea that humanity, it was at a perilous crossroads. these corporate window goes have no respect for the natural world. the motivation is based on greed when they acquire more materialistic possessions than what they can spend in generations then they get into power and control. which is even worse. rose laughed darkly. that is where your democracy is threatened, he said. that is what is happening right now. i will be happy to take questions now. [applause]
4:08 am
>> we will open up the questions in the room. it will be far away for those of you in the back. we will use this microphone for questions. we encourage you to come up and ask questions. we will open it up to questions from our viewers. coming up to the microphone and thanks again, dan. >> surely there's a question out there. >> only halfway through the books. what i am wondering is can i have an ending? >> some viewers described it as hopeful. i get this question asked a lot.
4:09 am
i think there was the impulse, of course course to be honest to the facts of what has happened. i also see that my protagonist, the heart of the book refused to give up, despite after defeat. that is one element, i suppose, of hopefulness around the book. you can see their persistence. each one of them continues to insist on restoring wisconsin to its previous ideals. i think by documenting that persistence and chronicling it, i think there is an element of hope as long as people remand remember that the state does not always have to be so divided and so empathetic 02 science and common sense. in the spirit of representative democracy that persisted here. many many other places.
4:10 am
there is an element of hopefulness. politics included. i think it is unclear what the future will hold. i just want to say thank you for writing this book. i just got to the part about janesville. the neighborhood paul grew up in the first campaign i've ever donated to. i think it is really important that people like him running. i wanted to ask you what your thoughts were. ab you've addressed this in your book. articulate how we can combat that. just your thoughts on that. >> good question. good point.
4:11 am
it is not a spoiler. paul ryan lived in a very wealthy section of gainesville. one of the things i found the most interesting, and somewhat disturbing, he has forged a self-made theology around his background that has contributed to his efforts to attack the medicare program. using that money to attend college. to help pay for it. i think that's a great thing. as many of you know, he's been attacking the welfare system. working a high school job at mcdonald's and a few other odd jobs. as saying e centrally that lifted myself out and anyone can just as a lack of will.
4:12 am
a philosophy that helping people through government programs, somehow robs them of their agency. he is exaggerated quite a bit. leaving a significant inheritance. his extended family is one of the richest families in the area he has kind of forged a blue-collar persona. he often talked about his brown bag lunch. taking a tour on his harley to wisconsin every year. simply an effort to politic in
4:13 am
his forthcoming campaign for governor. he also went to parts of iowa. yes, i think that mythology is very powerful for both sides. a union organizer that i met when he was very obscure labor activists that was involved in this desperate campaign to organize the fellow ironworkers against the right to work law. i think randy has elevated the issue of why congress, there are only three tradespeople in congress today. that would be the fourth. people talk about diversity which is a great thing. racial gender diversity. not many people talk about class diversity and politics.
4:14 am
it is an important thing missing from the perspective of our politicians. >> i have not read your book yet you must read this book. they will say why? i want to give the elevator speech. why did wisconsin fall. if you have to answer it with one point or three points. i know there are many. in your opinion, and thank you for writing the book. i cannot wait to read it. can you bring it down to one or three things? >> i will bring it down to just read this book. justin brief. you know, wisconsin progressive tradition has been eroded for a long time. with the introduction of money politics. with the supreme court case. 1976. continuing to pace.
4:15 am
the key party wave of 2010. a very conservative republican often driven by powerful infrastructure that had been in place since the 70s seize power for the first time. for the first time since the late 90s and the first time in year. and, that, is pretty much it. a lot of these policies are drafted by national organizations. documented in the book. they have created a program to transform states and to a kind of libertarian model. a specially attractive target. i just briefly mention, a lot of the states, the erosion of support had been happening for a long time.
4:16 am
outgoing democratic governor jim doyle left office a few weeks before walker was inaugurated, he bragged to her reported that he had more public employees than any other governor in history. no prominent politician saying these people do great work. they invest in our infrastructure. raised in a very long period of time. both parties, i think, have hired a national trends. very little public investment in the united states. that was being played out in wisconsin as well. the schools get worse and people get angrier. the ones that can draw their students to private schools and so on. it is a war on the public fear that is been going on for a long time.
4:17 am
read the book. >> good afternoon. anna totally outset across country event is a little while ago where paul ryan was present. i think he must have had a family participant or something at the event. it just kind of funny that someone mentioned paul ryan. i want to ask the optimistic question. what are things that make you possibly on the other end are pessimistic about the potential this may change in wisconsin. >> the biggest impediment is a limitless amount of dark money. i mean, it is not the only determinate, but in close elections, it could really swing the bounds. i don't see that abating, especially with the court now the way it is anytime soon. i do not know how that gets on tape old. it is not everything in a
4:18 am
populist campaign. can raise a lot of money. they have been very successful through grassroots means. i think, ultimately, there is far more money on the right. i think one of the reasons wisconsin had a progressive tradition is a band donations to candidates a long time ago. he did not institute a lot of the laws like the workers compensation. including direct primaries, this was new. really important to opening up the process to people. he really felt in that quote that i read earlier, active citizenship is eccentric. this is why i highlighted these people who are really just
4:19 am
citizens. with the exception of a democratic assembly woman. they are just citizens. they had an unusually strong tradition. there's a lot of people still committed to that here. i suppose that that is the optimistic side of it. >> i'm a former public school teacher that was very present in all of these protests. it inspired me to now be at all school public affairs. i know what my perspective is. i'm wondering within the context of everything you studied, public school teachers are so much part of the affected group. i know from kramer's book, somehow have become part of the enemy.
4:20 am
>> i think there's a bit of fatigue from hollowing out. there's a lot of school closings including an elementary school in his home district in wisconsin. in elementary school just closed people have to fund school through these continuing resolutions. it is a little bit like what happened in kansas. not quite as extreme. you have this libertarian ideology. staff stops functioning. the roads here are a perfect example. kramer also highlights some interesting psychological studies in this australian journal that shows even after
4:21 am
cutting a perceived enemy down, you don't actually feel better. in this case taking away higher wages and benefits from the teachers. she documents how there is still this resentment. i do think that a possible antidote, if a political party, that is why read the statements at the end, went back to a tradition of universalistic programs that might help anyone, i mean, it was instituted during a period of intense economic insecurity and you had a group of politicians. you also had rural communities. some places the only people with health insurance might be the only people that work at the school.
4:22 am
i think that that kind of politics of resentment can flourish. >> thank you so much for writing this book. i moved to wisconsin about a year ago. working at uw madison, no less. i was speaking to a labor organizer over the summer who was very act been preparing for the gubernatorial elections upcoming. he said that while the democratic party was very motivated to participate, what they were finding was republicans were also very motivated to participate in the upcoming elections. the polling was barely even. especially optimistic of some sort of landside victory.
4:23 am
that is a general sense we have. one of the things that strikes me is a reason for this. public goods when investment disappear 10 to erode kind of slowly. what he has he done that is really that. wondering from historical examples from the book. people you are talking to. a way to recover language. what public goods offered to everyone. rather than special interest groups. >> i talk a little bit about that.
4:24 am
they did have a platform to attract a lot of people in wisconsin. they can be very effective. a lot of economic insecurity. look at alec and some of the model bills. it could be just this particular law might chip away $40 million. our goal is to dismantle public education. what we do is have vouchers. that has proven very successful.
4:25 am
it was originally limited to 300 students. now you have a bill in wisconsin that will make universal vouchers in 2025. i think that that is significant change. they were only able to do that by the situational thing. he is a due politician. he sensed maybe it was going to far. maybe he restored some funding to the public schools. a soft underbelly of his support people were getting really concerned. i think it is a also the
4:26 am
conservative media that can amplify this message. you sought in the kavanaugh hearings effectively done to kind of flip the sentiment. they showed the palm trees. they transformed into a riot. maybe just watching that. they're working very hard. they don't have some of the benefits of the people there. it seems it is a clear path into that resentment. especially when there is no counter message. >> it seems like there is a natural component to the story. there was a story in the new york times not long ago about how the coke brothers have
4:27 am
supported or created americans for prosperity. americans for prosperity was very involved in the rise in wisconsin from a nobody to governor. since he's become governor, he has basically gotten along with their line of thinking. i guess the question i have, how we as ordinary people can look at this story. a look at these corporate wolves and what we as individuals can do when we don't have resources of the coke brothers behind us. unfortunately, i am just a journalist. i am a chronicler. my job, i felt, was to document this and highlight these stories
4:28 am
. what it happened to wisconsin through these people. who stories i think were quite compelling. i do not have the answers and would not feel comfortable suggesting any. i do think that hidden in the book, you know, people's efforts , as well as the history that had come before, are very informative as it said in the opening remarks. when i uncovered the material about edward ryan, it was amazing that they had struggled with, perhaps, even more corporate control over the legislature at that time. it was even chile reformed. it took a lot to get it. i think that there is always that possibility being precluded did not think that it was hopeless. he would just go out and speak
4:29 am
for hours on end. and tell us, i mean, it's trickier trickier now in a lot of ways. because of the infrastructure in the conservative media. i do not think it is impossible. i just have not seen a lot of people articulating a similar type of message. when they did, the sanders sanders campaign, an elderly man in the 70s, not exactly a dream candidate for political consultants really catch fire. i think that that kind of message, which was really not that distant from fdr's new deal you look at the most successful democratic president in the 20th century. franklin roosevelt. there is no question. look at what he offered.
4:30 am
they still have not been able to destroy. why? it helped everyone. eventually. most of those came from wisconsin. some people have said the new deal was just a wisconsin idea. drafting the medicare program. there is an important legacy. >> i enjoyed your book. thank you for writing it. i'm curious what you make of it on the national stage. how that might be interpreted. how you use the things that were achieved. >> it was kind of a question --
4:31 am
plus, donald trump was the first republican candidate. people forget that in addition to the nativist and racial resentment, he also railed against free trade agreements and defended social security and medicare. very unusual for a republican president. the rest of them, more or less -- i'm not saying trump did do things. i guess you would call it the conservative vision. limited government in this kind of rhetoric. i think the failure -- i do not think people thought there should be a border or fence between canada. in the united states. there were obviously mishaps and mismanaging. i think he was one of many
4:32 am
people that had this philosophy. they all failed. keep all, there is disputes between the coke others in trump on the core issue or the tax bill in feeding money to the wealthiest, they are incomplete alignment. the epa is ran by an act number. scott pruitt. this is that same agenda. in 2016 when i was reporting the book, vice president pants came to the meeting that i was at. basically to reassure her that trump was one of them. i think that walker's failure signifies that there may be is a hunger for more popular
4:33 am
investment. he was not attacking the safety net during the campaign event. this unusual narrow victory. also over the republican field. >> we will get to those as well. right now we will turn it over to book tv. >> if you are watching us on book tv and have a question for dan kaufman about all of wisconsin, the numbers numbers are on the screen. you can dial in now. for those of you in the east and
4:34 am
central time zone (202)748-8021. if you are in the mountain and pacific time zone and like and have a question, you are more than free to come up to the microphone. dan kaufman, this is a state that has elected both baldwin and scott walker at the same time. what does that tell you? >> also elected mccarthy twice. >> there you go. >> it has always been, to say that it was always thoroughly progressive would be misleading. this bipartisan spirit endured for a long time. particularly around issues of voting rights and transparency. always had a clean government for a long time. that was adhered to largely by both parties. the late 60s, the republican
4:35 am
governor with the one to institute collective bargaining rights for all employees. even tommy thompson created a new low income health insurance program. also set aside a lot of plans for conservation. i think the real shift came when the politics were more nationalized in 2010 two-party wave. they were not really about the forces in wisconsin, per se, but these national forces. >> was asked the audiences. is there anyone here at the wisconsin book festival in madison? who voted for donald trump in 2016? [laughter] anybody vote for scott walker? this would not be a representative crowd. >> not at all. >> is madison different from the rest of the state? >> oh, yeah. [laughter] there is a famous saying by lee dreyfus.
4:36 am
madison surrounded by reality. that was adopted as a t-shirt. a proud monitor. i think madison is the center of the university. there is not a state university that has had more of an impact on its populations in the university of wisconsin. that tradition goes back to the late 19th century. a lot of these reforms were drafted i professors there and there was an eco-'s calls the wisconsin idea in which there was a kind of moral obligation for the universities faculty to help the citizens of the entire state. :: :: :: ::
4:37 am
4:38 am
>> there was a campaign in the 70's that had been rebuffed to just that so i think that the support for unions as income inequality has risen to astronomical heights and you also saw teacher hikes, there hasn't been a lot of work
4:39 am
stoppages in a long time. >> wall street journal editorial, anybody see this? don't rush the stage, i'm just reading for the journal. governor scott walker's collective bargaining reforms have saved wisconsin from becoming a fiscal basket case like illinois. and a new study suggests they are improving student learning as well. [laughter] >> it's right here. >> i know the journal is 100% accurate. i would say two things, one there's really excellent research by doctor thesis in florida, i'm forgetting the name that actually show it is opposite. what has happened since act 10, there's a free agency that is happening in wisconsin, schools, lower-performing poorer school districts are losing teachers to wealthier district who is can
4:40 am
pay more in benefits, so some people might be doing slightly better but across the board this person had shown toast scores of math and science have gone down. they might lose their physics teacher all of a sudden and not be able to replace the person, there's a shortage, tremendous shortage of science and math teachers in particular, the other outcome has been a tremendous decline in people that wanting to into teaching, the university of wisconsin has seen a two-thirds decline in people pursuing education degrees, so i think no offense to the journal but i think that's not entirely accurate. [laughter] >> next call for dan kaufman from virginia. >> hi, how is it going? i just would like to ask, you probably already talked about
4:41 am
this but i didn't see most of the lecture but just how how did wisconsin flip sides on being liberal state to conservative state, is it going to switch back to liberal? [laughter] >> thanks, david. not sure about the second part, that's always unknown. i think it was both long coming and also very fast at the same time. as i mentioned a lot of this erosion of support for public institution that have been going on for some time, decades really and then in 2010 it happened quit abruptly, you had ambitious governor who was in a sense auditioning for powerful conservative who famously took a prank phone call impersonating david koch and there was a lot
4:42 am
of position on the right at this time, and i think he went about trying to go further than what had happened before with act 10 instead of just negotiating wage and benefit cuts he wanted to undermine the principal of collective bargaining and he boasted about how this was going to -- in prank phone call how it's going change course of history and compare to actions of ronald reagan's break of air traffic control union. in a sense it did change history. inspired similar action, just last year iowa passed similar measure to act 10. i think it's changing the political culture to a degree, not all the way but to a degree of these places. >> the name of the book is the fall of wisconsin, conservative conquest of progressive and future of american politics.
4:43 am
chris is in michigan, chris, you're on book tv with the author dan kaufman. >> greetings, i was curious to know if the author thought that as a population of citizens we may have lost the capacity to vote in our own interest, simply because it seems as if we have become increasingly tribal and a lot of times it appears that we are just ingesting the messaging that people with adequate money puts out spin on what they want, the messaging to be interpreted as and to mean, so that was pretty much my question.
4:44 am
>> i think voting against one's interest it has to be clear that somebody articulating your interest on one side. i think there's been a lot of disaffection, a lot of nonvoting that has kind of determined the outcomes of recent elections, for example, in 2016 donald trump actually received 6,000 fewer votes in wisconsin than mitt romney had but hillary clinton received hundreds of thousands fewer than barack obama had just 4 years earlier, part of that is new voter id law but a lot was just unclear message, i think, also failure to campaign here, so i think people votes has to be to inspire people to vote and has become these impediment to voting are not insignificant but they have to be inspired to vote and there was very little energy around, for example, her campaign. i'm using an example, i remember
4:45 am
talking to head of uaw who in 2008 was turning away volunteers for barack obama's campaign and 8 years later was dragging people who he knew were voting for trump. as far as voting against interest, kathy kramer talks about, i see her point. i think it's hard to tell someone that and it's not entirely accurate, again, had 5 large campaign rallies in wisconsin at each of them he railed against nafta, other free trade agreements that had hallowed out eastern wisconsin as well as defended social security and medicare. one democratic state senator told me in some ways trump ran as a democrat, not -- all aware of racism and so on but to ignore the other side of it is
4:46 am
really to miss something. across the midwest has really created a context for messages like trump's as well as bernie sanders'. i think it's gone from that people are looking for stronger remedies and i think, you know, on the one hand republicans have a more robust infrastructure to amplify messages which plays to narrow victories but, i think, governor walker point to lower unemployment figures, it's really deceptive ho how people are doing, wages have been stagnant for decades and that is not changing and a lot of the jobs that are replacing the old
4:47 am
union manufacturing jobs are jobs without benefit and not family-supporting jobs and that has created context for support for someone, you know, what trump was -- was selling. >> gloria in boulder, colorado, hi, gloria. >> iwas wondering if dan kaufman and his conversations with people around the state of wisconsin had an insight into why the teachers of that state helped scott walker. he ran more or less of union buster and astonishing following election especially outside the state to see reports that teachers had helped get him elected, thank you. >> i don't know if there were that many teachers, there were that many union members, i don't
4:48 am
know the breakdown. as far as walker in his first campaign, he did not run on destroying collective bargaining rights, he, in fact, he said to newspaper that that he would use collective bargaining to negotiate wage and benefit adjustments and cuts. that said, he did use divide and conquer and he would praise, for example, the building trades in a lot of his speeches, allies in the support for his mining bill and like trump he's been able to please the labor movement to peal off significant portions of what might be democratic coalition. he won a third of union households in all of his elections and that is divide and conquer, at the same time attacking act 10 and price said after him, he told me that after the right to work bill was
4:49 am
instituted, people from his local came up to him and apologized for voting for walker because they had believed that and they kind of thought teacher and public-sector union is a different kind of union when really what bries was saying was the idea that they are trying to attack and not the union itself and that proved to be true. >> now, for the audience we have about 5 minutes left, if anybody has a question, please come up to the microphone, we would love to hear it from you, jean in north carolina. >> hi, my folks were in germany after world war 2 and you could have people there that hitler was not that bad of guy and just misunderstood and with that propaganda and conservative media like fox news do you think we would have functioning democracy in the country? >> i never say never.
4:50 am
[laughter] >> i don't know. i mean, i certainly think it's possible and there are pockets erupting all of the time, but, yeah, i think the conservative media is very effective at setting terms of the debate and has been doing it very effectively for a very long time, but i don't know the answer to that question. i mean, in a sense, you know, the united states was born -- it was never democratic, i mean, there was slavery, women were not allowed to vote. there's been incremental movements towards fuller participation and it was big part of that. and now receding a bit, but there will always be a battle for that, you see the battle over voting rights again and that is troubling but at the same time as many people who refuse to accept return to that particularly people in the south who were denied voting rights during up until the 1960's and
4:51 am
i think people will always fight for those ideals but i don't know if it ever has been a completely democratic system. >> and here we have a question from somebody madison public library. >> thanks, you kind of just responded my comment, question that i was thinking that we just had a report about a tipping point that we have 8 or 9 years before our climate reaches a tipping point and kind of feels a little bit like this election might be a tipping point just in terms of what you were talking about with voter suppression and gerrymandering, if we can't get some of the legislatures and congress changed this year even our vote is what's going to counteract money and what will be thing we can use to fight
4:52 am
back against it, i guess? >> yeah, i think it's a critical period, i was devastate by the un report, not something that seems like you didn't know but to be confronted with the reality is severe and, you know, there's the examples of how extreme has gotten, you know, the book is filled with them, tia nelson, gaylord nelson's daughter, barred from speaking the words climate change at her job managing a state florist in wisconsin. it is really critical. this election, i think, all elections in the context of climate change are incredibly critical because we are running out of time. and the moves that president trump has made have been really extreme to actually accelerate this process, so, yeah, very critical election. >> are you still writing for the
4:53 am
new york times magazine and the new yorker? >> yes, i am. i'm working on some more pieces which i won't talk about right here but yeah, for the new yorker i have been writing a lot. i wrote a piece about the governor's race in wisconsin coming up and also essay about labor day. >> and his book that we are talking about is the fall of wisconsin and donald is calling in from alaska, did i get that right, donald? >> no, but that's close. i'm a teacher here in alaska and one of the things that -- i see this going on in the future to be a big political issue because kids don't have money, they don't have homes, if they don't have homes, they don't have good jobs and so forth and so forth. [inaudible]
4:54 am
>> did anyone catch what he wanted to talk about? i heard education, teacher and then we lost him. maybe about homeless students. >> homelessness question. i mean, i think it's part of the erosion, the homelessness, there's a huge housing crisis especially in places like new york and los angeles where housing has become so unaffordable and even a lot of working people, people working full-time jobs sometimes more than fiems jobs cannot afford to live. huge issues. i guess it's an issue in rural alaska. >> is there income disparity in madison, wisconsin? what's the reason? >> well, i think it's growing, the decline of the labor movement. now e, in the 50's people were in the unions, there was a lot more equal, there's also the
4:55 am
corporate executive didn't make several hundred times what the average workers made. a lot of it was the labor movement. >> all right, time for one more call and this is lou in henderson, nevada. >> hi, thank you for taking my call. i had a quick one, there seems to be similarity between what happened in wisconsin and what happened in montana, the move destroy collective bargaining and the concept of unions in montana resulted in a politician being busted and he was taking illegal contributions that were funded by conservative groups who had an agenda, they we wanted to destroy unions, they we wanted to get this guy in office and they gave him a format and a background and a bunch of workers to work for him, this was all funded illegally. is that similar to what happened in wisconsin or is this a
4:56 am
completely different can of worms, thank you very much? >> there's some similarity, i know the story of montana briefly. there was a criminal investigation into governor walker by the milwaukee da, the john. doe investigation and ruled against groups that had been accused of funneling money for reelection campaign during recall but during the course of that documents were leaked to the guardian newspaper that uncovered a lot of this relationship people like sheldon given to wisconsin club for growth and has been actively legalized and gotten rid, so yeah, it's similar but different and montana has also been very
4:57 am
dominated by legislatures from alec, and there's a new film that i haven't seen which is excellent about dark money about montana story. >> the book is called the fall of wisconsin, the author is dan kaufman and he's been our guest on book tv. conversations] >> training and technical assistance coordinator, i'd like to thank all of you for attending this talk today with donna freitus to speak about her book, consent on campus. organization made of 53 rape crisis centers across the united states, we provide training and technical assistance of those doing

25 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on