tv Reflections on Richard Nixons Legacy CSPAN March 11, 2017 9:05pm-9:56pm EST
in 1979, c-span was graded as a public service and is brought to you today later cable or satellite provider. >> next up on american history tv, ben stein, a former speechwriter for presidents richard nixon and gerald ford, reflects on nixon's time in the white house. he discusses energy policies as well as initiatives in israel and southeast asia. he also speculates on what nixon might think of our current political landscape. the richard nixon presidential library and museum hosted this event. it is about 50 minutes. william baribault: good afternoon. i'm the president of the richard nixon foundation and i welcome you to the nixon library on this sunny day. today, we celebrate what would've been president nixon's 154th birthday. he is joined by presidents ford,
reagan and bush. the library has been visited by 25,000 people in less than three months. all thelike to thank generous benefactors who made this new library possible, which and i would be remiss if i informed you that our work was not far from over. there is still money to be raised. i need each of you to sign up for a membership or contribute online. i also invite you to stay engaged with the nixon foundation by signing up for our newsletters and emails on our website. there you can dive deep into president nixon's life and times and learn about our goals.
our speaker today is the most famous economics teacher in america. [laughter] [applause] >> praise where praise is due. his comedic role in "there's "ferristay off -- bueller's day off" has been rent is one of the most memorable scenes in movie history. he also has 17 emmys. seven innings. presently, he writes a column for the "american spectator" and for newsmax, and is a regular commentator on fox news and "cbs in the morning" as well as a frequent commentator on cnn. he has also cowritten nearly 30
books. perhaps less known, he got his start in politics working in the nixon administration. ben's father was chairman of one nixon's panel of economic advisers. he wrote, among other pieces, the message to congress outlining president nixon's proposal for health care reform in 1974. there is no more loyal friend around. we are lucky to have him with us today. ladies and gentlemen, ben stein. [applause] ben stein: thank you very much. it is a great pleasure to be here in this room i've been in so many times.
if it is possible, can we dim those incredibly bright lights, it's like i'm giving -- getting the third degree from the chicago police [laughter] . [laughter] ben stein: first of all, thank so much to the people of the foundation and library, thank you very much. god bless you all. the thought that always goes through my mind, the very first thing, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of god. and let me tell you about why i love richard nixon. not like, not admire him, even though i do like and admire him, but love him. so did my mother and father. in our household, richard nixon was a god. my interest in richard nixon started when i was seven-years-old and he was running for vice president to dwight eisenhower. i read a child's biography of
richard nixon and it said he was picked on as a child and identified with him. maybe every child does. neighborhood, there were a lot of old commies that loathed him for reasons i could not understand, but at that age i made a vital connection about richard nixon and his enemies. they picked on him because he was sensitive. he was a vulnerable human being. he was not tough like ike or mr. trump. he was not a typical politician with a thick skin. he was a poet, and intellectual. and his enemies could sense the pain they caused. like all bullies, they delighted in that pain. at every stage of his life, he was a sensitive boy in the schoolyard, and i identified with that. linked, therely
was something about richard nixon that abhorred conflict. he was a born peacemaker. it started in a big way, after, not before, he was vice president under dwight eisenhower. the main instance joint eisenhower used to defang mccarthy, who had gone wildly off the rails. instrument main eisenhower used was nixon, who did the job with extreme finesse. he with the peacemaker, even when he ran for president in 1960. there are many people, historians way beyond my league, who believes that in fact, richard nixon won the election and it was stolen from him in illinois and texas. they asked daily for how many
votes and they just gave them to him. mr. nixon declined the recount in order to avoid a conflict. it is hard to imagine a modern-day candidate doing that, but it happens. it happened because richard nixon, the peacemaker, refused to make his own ambition more important than his love of country and peace. while out of office, after 1960, 1961, he prepared himself in the future by traveling around the world and meeting world leaders, and learning from them about war and peace. he learned much from charles de gaulle, who he loved and thought was an impressive guy. he thought of him in some ways like him, because he had come to office in tumultuous times. his country in shambles, conflict in the streets and the need for a peacemaker, and they learned how to pull the country together.
he ran against hubert humphrey, who was a genuinely great man, not a bully. cameeal peacemaking genius into play. quote the writer john coyne. let's remember what the 1960's were like. riots and walks, the chicago democratic convention, the accompanying riots, riots at berkeley, the people's park at san francisco and riots at san francisco state, riots at columbia, riots over school busing in boston. still one of the absolutely worst ideas in the history of american education. the assassination of martin luther king jr. and robert kennedy, the war in vietnam and
its escalation, a gift from the two preceding democratic presidents and their liberal think tank advisers, the smartest of the smart, the best of the best, give us this and more in vietnam. on the streets and in the living room, this revolutionary turmoil felt like flesh and blood. the country was running out of control and in this situation the american will hire richard nixon to make peace. and that is what he did. that is from john coyne. again, that was richard nixon, the peacemaker, making peace at home. let's think. there was not one term where he had control of both houses of congress. otherwise the accomplishments would've been jaw-dropping. first and foremost, despite an utterly uncooperative congress
-- well, not completely but mostly uncooperative congress, he slowly but surely ended the war in vietnam. it is hard to believe this, but at the time mr. nixon took office, 300 americans were being per week. -- 300 per week. richard nixon brought the north vietnamese people to the table, -- ofr prisoners at warm war home and ended american occupation of vietnam. please don't record all of this message, if i may ask. just some of it. [laughter] the answer is what nixon said himself. the u.s. effort totally sabotaged by the congress after nixon left office, shows the
world that the u.s. would not be pushed around once it had made up its mind to fight, and we were until congress proved otherwise, a trustworthy ally. saigon fell, and we would have today a huge crisis anyone wanted to fight us again. a generation of peace. that is what richard nixon wanted to bequeath the united states of america, and that is what he did. the real stars and their families are the ones who fought in vietnam and their families. it was built with their sacrifice. we got a generation of peace. let's think about what we got from mr. nixon. he shocked the world by traveling to china to meet mao zedong. he made peace with china. by doing that, he was showing the russians that they could not
win the cold war, and thus made possible the end of the cold war and the end of the soviet union under ronald reagan and george h w bush. he crafted the first strategic arms limitation treaty with russia during the height of the missile race. only nixon could do that. only nixon, because no one doubted his hostility to communism, and because no one love of freedom. iny nixon could end the war vietnam and start strategic arms stocks and treaties with russia. after he performed these foreign policy miracles, he was performing breakthrough domestic actions on a political level. he was creating and made real 80
the southern strategy, which the southern states into the gop camp. this was something no one that could happen, but the haters were dead wrong. they also desegregated thousands, not hundreds of thousands of school districts. when he took office after brown versus board of education, desegregation was very much up in the air. by the time he left office, there was no more segregation. he created the philadelphia plan, the first federal plan to have requirements for minority contracts and workers, and by far brought a bigger piece of towardght a bigger step the american pie to the
african-american and hispanic workers. he wanted to leave a healthy legacy to america, created the largest environmental program in the u.s. history, the clean air act. every american breeds more freely today because of that law. its effects are visible in terms of health and hospital admissions can be seen every day in every city in town. he started the environmental protection agency and used them to start mammoth work on creating more sustainable lakes rivers in america. he also laid the groundwork for later enactment. he sent to congress in late 1973 the very first copy of the national healthcare plan, a plan that was more simple and less expensive than obamacare.
he wanted to identify what americans who could not afford health insurance and then send them a check for health insurance. to micromanageg the health system, but he wanted to make sure no american was left without health care. this was an amazingly far-reaching bill, and as a en the task of standing up to congress, it would've saved lives. senator ted kennedy killed it out of sheer malice. he later admitted he had no reason to do it other than he hated richard nixon and it was a mistake. did he do anything else? yes. he had a plan that included every other element that presidents have you sent.
president obama talking about alternative energy sources, wind power, trying to wean us off foreign dependency after the arab oil embargo. every single initiative since 1973 was based off of nixon's proposal. he made mistakes in the economy, there is no doubt about it. wait price controls force on him -- wage price controls comes to mind. there were serious mistakes, genuine mistakes, but very small mistakes in the currents of history. if all of this was so great, if he did so many great things, why did so many great people in the pundit and academic and hollywood world hate him? this is the key question about richard nixon, and the one that is most depressing about the
human condition. i have a very smart sister, rachel, three and a half years older than me but looks much younger. [laughter] ben stein: she said to me, many years ago, the simple truth about life, your basic human being is not such a hot item. and never has this been more true than with richard nixon. despite all of his accomplishments, he was hated. why? partly again because he was the sensitive kid on the schoolyard and they could read his distress when they attacked him. his pain was like blood to sharks. and drove them wild for the desire with more blood. some say it was his anti-communism. that may be a small part of it. far more, it was a psychological phenomenon. a pal of mine always says, his
enemies hated him because they could hurt him, and hurt him they did and make us lose in indochina and get millions massacred. that was the price we paid for getting rid of nixon. but i want to give you a supreme example of the wildly untruthful, unfair way rn has been painted by the media. every few months, "the new york times" will have on its front page a leak or something, some snippet or tape of richard nixon remark.n anti-semitic the truth is so completely different. he surrounded himself with the and appointed jews to high offices in politics since his first days in politics. he had a jewish general counsel, who is also a very good musician.
a jewish top foreign-policy advisor, the incredible and incomparable dr. kissinger. what else do people want him to do? for him to have a bar mitzvah? it is incredible. yes, he used a few country club cliches in private, but when it came to action he was the best friends the jewish people had ever had. he was, above all else, the savior of israel. the israelis were caught in a vise of their own flat-footedness and a super high-end cap with the soviets. those radars nullified the usual enormous israeli earth. golda my year had already laid
out suicide pills. richard nixon, some confused minds accused of being anti-semi, leapt to israel's defense in a way that no president ever had, acting with the help of dr. kissinger, and lifted the blackbox and rockets were jamming the soviet supplied samson radars. within hours they started showing up on the battlefield and the tide of the war changed. we came very close to nuclear war in the mideast. we were about to surround cairo, and the russians hinted they were about to send paratroops into fight the israelis. nixon saw their bluff and went to defcon two, a state of military readiness, and told the russians that we would use every means to stop in. the russians backed down, a cease-fire was signed among each of the countries, and soon
after, a treaty was signed. no president has done more for the state of israel and richard nixon. not even close. lyndon johnson did not lift a finger for israel. kennedy, darling of liberal jews, did not lift a finger to help israel. only richard nixon. his help to israel was on a biblical scale. i wouldn't care if he used every anti-semitic term in the book, i would not care if you walked around in a gestapo uniform. if he saved israel, he is the best friend the jews ever had. [applause] ben stein: so along comes watergate, and what was watergate? it was the attempted and badly botched cover up, no doubt about it. but we have never learned why the burglars were going to the democratic national committee
headquarters. there was nothing in there that would not be in the front page of "the new york times" the next day anyway. it was not starting a war in indochina under false pretenses. it was not leading us into a world war while we were unprepared. it was not a plot to assassinate the leader of a sovereign state or bringing call girls into the white house. it was a cover-up and lies were told. compared other mistakes presidents have made, it was pretty small. certainly it was not enough to torment a man whose only goal is a generation of peace. the real story of richard nixon is not about what nixon's psyche is like. he was a peace lover. the story of nixon is what led people to hate him so much. that is the interesting story. let me switch gears. i have so much to say about nixon.
i'm going to have to do what my old friend jim bellows does. he was the editor of the herald examiner in l.a. he used to say the way to give a speech is to tell them what you are going to tell them and then tell them what you told them. [laughter] ben stein: here is something that is rarely discussed. what it is like to work at the nixon white house. i started in 1973. i had a pretty good idea that mr. nixon would be kicked out of office. the steamroller of media hatred was rolling along, but i believed in him and i loved him so much, i knew i would lose my job but it did not stop me from working there. the people working there were the most accomplished and dedicated people i have ever worked with. and i worked with some of very accomplished people.
i got to work with a genius at "the wall street journal." and the brilliant comedy people i used to work with hollywood who are not so funny anymore. [laughter] ben stein: people at the white house are the only ones i stayed in contact with over the years. , pat buchanan.ss they don't make them any smarter. my hero, peter flanagan. they were all really amazing. long-term connections with richard nixon -- all of these people have been long-term connections. we had a great research staff. you never hear about them but there was a lovely woman, she
successful lawyer, anne morgan. her father is a rocket scientist working on the v2. maybe we won't talk about that. [laughter] everybody was always available and for they's need needs of staffers. just days before i got there, the uniquely gifted bill safire, a manned of startling generosity in every way, talent exploding off of his lips and fingertips, a super genius. and much missed since he departed from this earth from pancreatic cancer several years ago. here is my neighbor in california and dear friend, the man of startling loyalty and still on the scene in southern california, can can she again. kuchigian.
more than anyone else, john coyne, who i have already mentioned, a breathtakingly good writer and my amusing, insightful, neighbor on the other side of the house. is in the class by himself in terms of interest and knowledge. he is a cynical writer. it has been over 40 years and we are still very close friends. i communicate with them almost every day. their judgment is almost always infallible. they're the only colleagues i ever worked with that i still stay in close touch with, and we all had a great attitude up at the nixon white house up until the very last moments. we believed in it, trusted him. at first we thought he wanted a generation of peace, so we thought it was a slogan he worked into his speeches but we , came to believe that he really meant it. we were deeply grateful that we had a chance to work for a world for peace. none of us had any doubt that he was the best possible man or president. nothing that has happened since 1974 has changed that believe. we saw him as a man of peace and a statesman, but also as an
incredibly kind man, and some powerful democrat said, how could he be a genuinely bad person if he had daughters like julie and tricia? i mean we worshiped him. i especially worshiped him, and especially julie and tricia, and the always elegant mrs. richard nixon. [laughter] in comparison with other recent first ladies. [laughter] [applause] ben stein: anyway, i don't think there ever was a day with my colleagues that i did not feel proud to be there. no one i have ever worked with has ever provided so much laughter and good humor, even in the very darkest moments. we never thought rn was guilty of anything meaningful. his accomplishments were peace and far outweighed anything bad. i had an incredibly special treat, which has been a legacy in my life. my father worked two floors
above me, and i was in a position where i could walk up to flights of stairs without much trouble. to a few hoursup each day eating lunch with him and talking with him. i only feel sorry that my sister did not get to have a similar experience. i was a happy guy at the white house. i had gone from the worst job, trial law, to being a speechwriter and now an immense amount of time has passed. mr. nixon left office, and i stood just a few feet from him. look it up on youtube, rn farewell to the white house staff, and there i am, a much, much thinner version of me, my mother and father sobbing their eyes out, my dear friend pat kaine with tears in her eyes, , and mr. and gave an -- nixon an astonishing speech. you will never hear a more
honest speech in your life. really -- you will never see a real life soul being tortured and tormented in the flames of his haters yet coming out of it with immense dignity and poetry. mr. nixon did not live in the age of covering up his pain and -- in makeup. when the speech was over, i can still recall walking out of the room with tears in my eyes, walking out of the doors of the east room, and then on to the truman balcony to watch the helicopter take off. as i said, i was sobbing. fromuinely fine man, a man south carolina, a man from the textile business, a special trade representative, i think he was 42 and i was 29, so he seemed very old to me. [laughter] he put his hand on my back and said ben, it will be all right. and the white house staff we , white house staff rallied around to help each other. peter flanagan helped me, and i
bartley helped me. he was not at the white house, but he brought me to the white house. and julia and david and i became friends. that same afternoon that nixon resigned, i did something that all of us speechwriters do, which is to meet with groups of high school and college students touring the white house, and it happened to be a group of israeli high school kids, and they were terrified of what would happen to israel without mr. nixon. they still love him in israel, and they should. as i said many times before, he saved their lives. a lot of water has passed under the bridge since he left office
, and the record of his work as a peacemaker is astounding, incredible. i am an economist by training, and economics, as we know it, really no one misses. [laughter] but i am interested in the use of numbers. in the 43 years before mr. nixon became president, about 96 million -- million human beings were killed in wars and revolutions, civil wars, genocide all over the earth. if you count the years from rn's birth in 1913 up until his inauguration in 1969, 126 million people were killed by violence. i do not think any of them wanted to die. in the 43 years since he left office, roughly 11 million have died, obviously way too many, mostly civil wars in the third world. that is still a very large number. the difference between the hundred million killed in the 43 years before nixon took office and the 43 years since then when 1/10 of that number have been killed, that is a glorious achievement. how did he do it?
how -- he was incredible in forming new history. informed in learning history. he did not just learn about the world by watching tv talk shows -- [laughter] not that i am knocking anyone who does it. he read books and talked to world leaders. he talked to mao zedong, josh de -- charles de gaulle, who he admired and or mislead, and he mislead,dmired in or -- in -- in or mislead enourmously, and he read prodigiously. he knew history and about the congress of vienna. he knew there were only three major powers on earth, and perhaps only two superpowers -- the u.s. and the ussr, and only one of the superpowers was a free country. he knew that freedom would not survive, human dignity would not survive without a strong american playing an active role in the affairs of the world. there is an incredibly famous
line it one of the books that every human being must read if he or she is allowed to read, and that is the book "1984," and in it, george orwell says if you want to imagine a future of the human race, it is a boot stomping on the human face forever, and richard nixon said that would not be the world. if he had anything to do with it. he knew there was genuine evil in the world and only the usa could stand up to it. written in france were no longer -- britain and france were no longer major powers. many times i got to visit rn in california after he left office, he would say this thing over and over again. he would say, there is nobody else to do it, nobody else to stand up for the least of humanity in the world except the united states of america. he did not want to retreat in the little america. he wanted a big america that would be well armed and aiming at peace, and a strong america that would not allow communism to expand if he could help it. it was his view that there had to be a power balance. as i said a moment ago, by 1971, there were only three major players, and the strongest militarily might have been the ussr, but it could be counterbalanced by the u.s. and china together. that would be a power balance that would make the russian
leaders always think twice before they acted. when rn offered the hand of friendship to mao zedong in 1972, he created a world in which russia, as it was then known, the ussr, would have to make peace. a strong america and nato on one side and a fiercely independent china on the other. the russians had been, for a long time, hemmed in. the russians are caged and the -- chinese are on the way to capitalism. all with one masterstroke engineered by rn and dr. henry kissinger. the populace of china at that time was very roughly one billion people. about 650 million of them have been lifted out of dire poverty and into something passed in the third world as middle class status.
all links to nixon opening up china. like the nixonng doctrine, which said we would , and itthe ussr expand was for this in many ways that are and rescued israel. he admired israel, but did not egypt, toiet proxy, beat israel. again, a lot of times now, a lot of wonder and the bridge, but what is our world today except the last injunction of peace that nixon leftleft us -- us? yes, we had to leave it -- saigon in a great hurry, but
havede of i thank you, we very few enemies in the world. we have competitors, but nobody seems to want war with us now. the big one is the peacemaker, richard m nixon. history and great power diplomacy, by stealth, strength, and audacity, nixon put us on a path to pax americana, a long stretch of peace enforced by the usa. the path to peace was not just a slogan, it was the real thing. so now, as mr. nixon had in his to the farewell address white house -- i really strongly suggest you watch that. we look to the future. the structure of peace could use some reinforcement, thumbnails believe varnish, but we
in what was created. he put it very simply. poignantly for the era in which we live right this second. politically, he gave a voice back to the silent majority. --se medical americans middle american dismissed by the political elitist that said donald trump to the white house. domestically, there was a host , theograms and policies first clearly articulated national energy policy, and a great wealth of programs that form the basis of today's environmental legislation. we have all lived through and continued to live in the age of
nixon, and our country is immeasurably better for it. an equal genius, and he said of rn's legacy, nixon was a brave, inspired man who loved his country and served humanity. in the end, despite many despite the malice of his detractors and his own shortcomings, to leave a lasting legacy of peace. denied justice in his lifetime, he has been vindicated by history. i cannot hope to do better than thesen did, so i and with thoughts. sleep peacefully in your beds tonight. think of what jonathan kennedy said. for us,od to go to work and to go to work for our great country. be for here, our work must god's -- god's work must be our
richard nixon did that work, and he urged the highest praise. blessed are the peacemakers, because they shall become the children of god. when people ask while i am still toiling for richard nixon, i think of this conversation i had with a friend in the beginning of august 1974 when so many were turning their backs and richard nixon. my friend said something that has been on my mind that is -- ever since. i will never turn my back on the peacemaker richard nixon. thank you for having me here. [applause] ben stein: thank you, thank you very much. thank you very much, thank you very much. you're very kind, thank you very much. thank you very much. you're very kind, thank you very much. if some people have some
questions, it would be my great pleasure to answer them at your leisure. you are going to call on people? william baribault: thank you again, mr. stein. ben stein: you are very welcome indeed. >> president nixon was a great advisor, more specifically an advisor to those holding office. pieces ofeces -- key advice do you think he would give to president-elect donald trump and president obama, for that matter? ben stein: it is interesting. it brings up a kind of quality. we wanted to write a book about what would nixon do, about what we nixon do about all the domestic policy and foreign challenges we face. we wrote a proposal -- i will get your question. [laughter] we sent it to a few publishers, and nobody nibbled at it.
some fellow recently did some research and came up with a brilliant discovery that richard nixon had some interface with a woman who had some interface with another person during the 1969 paris peace auction. that made the front page of the new york times and has become a big, big book. because if it is a slam at nixon, and is published right away. if it is praise, no one wants to hear it. so this is my thought. what would nixon tell trump? get good advisors around you. the fact that they are billionaires does not make them particularly brilliant people. [applause] ben stein: the skill of making money is a totally different skill from the skill of being a diplomat or a general or the head of the pentagon or any skill involved in government. so i think he admires greatly people who make money, maybe even too much, and i think you should be thinking of people who
have more skill in government and more background in government, and i do not believe that a person who is tarnished and ruined by having served in the government. i greatly respect people who served in the government. the great men and women in uniform, and i don't think he should shy away from them. and i think he should take his time and not rush with anything. four years is a pretty long time. also i would say the media -- mr. trump, the media is going to hate you and stop all over you -- dump all over you and treat you like dirt no matter what you do. get used to it and pretend like you are on a far-off planet. they don't even hear you. [applause] ben stein: i think mr. trump should be saying talk to the hand, because the hand don't want to hear it.
william barr about: -- baribault: next question to your left. >> mr. stein, thank you for being here. i have the pleasure of living on the street, so i enjoy this place regularly. as an economist, comets come on -- comments, to mind on the status and stated current economic knowledge and thought. i had -- we have all seen you tangle with a number of people over the years that do not seem to appreciate classical economic theory like you do, and i would appreciate your comments on this day of current economics. ben stein: that is the question. as i said in my remarks, economics is in a shambles. we do not know a lot of things or a lot of things we didn't know do not seem to be true anymore. since the crash of 2008, 2009, there has been almost no inflation. we do not know.
we just don't know. we think it is because people the crash.tized by . frank has strict limits on lending requirements, we don't know what it was. but we see no good reporting on the economy on television at all unless they interview warren buffett. if they get warren buffett on, he knows a lot -- it's interesting. he is a super genius, i am proud to call him a close friend. he is a genius on an incredible scale. but even he does not have an answer to this areas economic the serious economic problems we face. and he has one problem, which is the underclass that refuse to learn skills, refuse to get off their -- refuse to get up, refuse to go to work. how do we get the people to
get motivated, learn skills and , go to work? i do know what the answer that is. i do not think mr. buffett or mr. trump knows what those answers are. i would say that coverage of the economy on television, by and large is pathetic. william baribault: back of the room to your right, sir. ben stein: sorry, sorry. where was the question? william baribault: back of the room to your right. >> thank you. i'm a chicagoan. my father was a democratic recruiting campus for 30 years. i know the democratic party and what it has done, but i am appalled what has happened to california. i feel like we are living in a gulag where the government is oppressing us at every turn. what advice do you have for those of us who want to fight this? not escape it, but find it and -- fight it and defeated? it?efeat
ben stein: give up. [laughter] ben stein: i'm 72 years old, and i think we live in the least free america we have ever lived in in terms of political correctness, the ability to stand up and say what is on your mind. certain topics are completely off-limits, you cannot say the evenall, you cannot m.eathe the i have a son who is 29 years old. he is threatening to report -- if i walk down the street and say while there is a pretty girl walking down the street -- he is endlessly threatening to report me for sexism. [laughter] ben stein: and that is the way it is in america today, and the government has something to do with that, but i think the idea that the government can prosecute you for any kind of political incorrectness is outrageous. it is unbelievable. it is incredible. the wall street journal -- i read a very good editorial couple of days ago about the
a couples in chicago of days ago where those four african-american kids tortured that white disabled kid and make say terrible things about trump, stabbed him and stuck him in a toilet and the , wall street journal very correctly said these should not be hate crime's and hate crime , is a political concept. they should be charged with attempted murder, not a hate crime. [applause] ben stein: i would like to see an end to that political correctness in the government. i would rather be called a -- every day of my life then see the kind of political correctness we have now. >> hi, my dad came over on a naval boat from the philippines. my question. i believe, since i just turned 50, that there is more racial
tension then there has ever been before. like, i had my purse checked out there, and no one else did. my question is that why is that isis -- why do you think that isis, that hatred, why are the children of our country being able to be brainwashed? : i don't know -- >> this is what i think it is, and i am wondering if you think richard nixon would have a light on this subject. ben stein: i think richard nixon would be appalled by any kind of racism in policy. in terms of what people are saying to themselves and themselves and their families, he would want them to be able to say whatever they please, but in terms of racial discrimination in policy he would be horrified. and if it is true that you are , the only person who had your purse checked, that is terrible. and i mean, i don't know why. >> that was my question.
ben stein: oh. our culture heve is more vulnerable now today based on the racial tension and that fear mongering? ben stein: i think there has been a lot of fear. we have been involved in a war against terrorism for 16 years and don't seem to making much progress has been very maddening and frustrating, and i think in terms of racism and stirring up tension in the country, the fact that president obama did not just get up and say look, i'm on the side of the police, that is it. i'm on the side of the police, that is it. the police enforce the law, i am on the side of the police. [applause] ben stein: ok, yes sir. ther. stein, anticipating repeal of obamacare, what is
recipe for replacement? ben stein: the recipe mr. nixon had was a good plan. serving a population, see who cannot afford to buy health care from whoever sells that, and give them a check to buy a policy. i think this idea of breaking everything down into a million pieces and trying to do back -- glue it back together has not worked. william baribault: ladies and gentlemen, ben stein. thank you very much, sir. ben stein: thank you very much. [applause] thank you very much. [indiscernible] >>