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bible conservative christians make reading the american revolution a religious act. now, these readings of the american revolution begin and end with principles. not just in interpretation but usually in structure. the american patriots bible published by thomas press in 2009 begins with the seven principles of judeo christian ethics which readers were told were the core beliefs of our nation's founding fathers. when those men "gave us documents such as the declaration of independence and others they had to lean upon a common understanding of law government social order and morality. it is not necessary for the importance of these principles that they be uniformly representative of the revolutionary public opinion or even the founders as the author is quick to point out. the important element is they are guiding principles. the authors of this text continue whether each of the founding fathers was a christian is not the issue.
their writings, statements, and votes evidence that the majority of them embrace these great principles for the basis for a civilized nation. as might be expected ped godgecal tests america's providential history written in 1989 has its list of seven principles of liberty in the conclusion. the list is not original but rather is taken from a widely cited and circulated work by slater teaching and learning americans christian history. if we try to sum up the principles that appear across all of these different texts and distill them into a common core conservative christians generally agree that the principles, the true meanings lessons and motivators of the founding era were high level of protestant devotion and strong protestant institution god's covenant with the american people, the powerful flowering
of an undefined liberty. this can be personal or economic liberty. and the faithfulness of the founding fatsers. because they motivated the economiccal event of the american revolution they must be applicable to public life today. so how does the american revolution look when viewed through these principles? what is the history of the era? the dominant traits that must be noted first is that it is nonchronological. guided by a focus on principle, conservative christian historians are generally more comfortable writing in a them atic or topical vain rather than using a narrative or chronological approach. thus the massive biography of george washington moves through warren as he appeared in a series of rolls in a topical fashion. such as low churchman vestryman or soldier. his primary goal is to focus on his character as it appeared in different situations but the consequence is to take the man
out of time. michael novak in his book on two wings uses a similar strategy when he frames -- his heading for the substantial section in the book ten questions about the founding. and david barton's highly influential wall builders website avoids narrative in favor of narrow topical questions and answers that move seamlessly between different time periods. despite this nonnarrative approach the key moments in the christian reading of the revolution can be teased out. the story begins with the pilgrims and the puritans. indeed the founding of plymouth becomes the first act in the revolutionary war. the narrative leap frogs to the americanings' conflict with great britain focuses on public prayer and personal piety of leaders. the crisis endured by washington's forces at valley forge because it brings these two different trends together
is the pivotal moment of the narrative. from that terrible winter write ers turned quickly to the revolution's fulfillment in the constitution almost ten years later or more frequently to topically organized analyses of the guiding principles. the prominence of the puritans to the american founding emerges from many sources. america's providential history a textbook for home schoolers has a chapter entitled the pilgrims a model for christian character. then covers and concludes with the summary section tideled biblical reformation in governments that clarifies the preceding confusion of colonial organization. we can see the dominance in every single colony, the authors claim. the puritans then provide their best evidence. a joint statement made by all the northern colonies in 1643 quowled just as well have been made by all 13 colonies they
claim. it stated we all came into these parts of america with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our lord jesus christ and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace. civil government is a reflection of church government implying by this assertion that this is the meaning of the entire colonial era. the revolutionary war functions as a climax rather than a primary narrative in the enormously influential 1977 work the light and the glory, as its authors use roughly half of their pages to describe the pilgrims and the puritans. the story regularly shifts in time between the search for meaning in the present and a richly elaborative narrative including the color of the wake behind the may flower, and even fiction liesed dialogue.
the reader is invited to lose herself in the drama of the past. this continual telescoping between past and present between noable and unknowable details creates highly readable prose but it also obskews the temporal illusion between the 17th and 18th century. describing the may flower compact they provide a perfect example of how using principle alters the framing and texture of the events. write that the pilgrims drafted a document that was pragmatic realistic and expeedyent yet it also "embodied the same principles of equality and government by consent of the governed which would become the cornerstones of american democracy. this analysis is immediately amended as the authors assert that the true origin can be found with the ancient hee
brews before heeding forward in time to quote the declaration of independence opening line. the authors demonstrate the centrality of the pilgrims document to a history that stretches from pibblecal times through the enduring influence of jefferson's words to our presence. interestingly the document itself and the question of what specifically is meant by principles of equality emits language that stresses submission and obedience of the king is not part. reading this kind of text is really quite exhilarating as the author is invited to make comparisons between why we disparate moments in time and vary documents that resonate quite deeply but your attention is forced to connecting the principles between these different moments rather than invited to engage in any more plodding narrative of history how is this particular document framed within its particular
moment. we can see this process again if we look to where the narratives go next. from the puritans we jump to the warriors of the revolution. and i should note that this means that we often jump over the declaration of independence which of course is a sacred text is treated separately in a topical fashion rather than situated in its immediate pragmatic context of grappling with the complexities of making the step of separating from england. the warriors have two primary characteristics. first, a culture that valued public prayer and its clergy and second leaders who valiantly and successfully struggled as men to live up to the great responsibilities god had given them. michael novak in his book lists seven events that revalley the power of the second wing. the first wing is liberty and the second is humble faith. each shows in his argument that
faith was a primary motivator of the american revolution. now, for this analysis to work one must remember that what is being motivated is not specific historicing action such as anger over the massachusetts port act or frustration with an occupying army but rather the american founding in its greatest terms values like principles become actors in history. in his declaration novak lists the declaration of independence as one of his events that show faith in the founding era and he argues that the declaration of independence is itself a prayer and he makes this argument by telescoping back to the compact. so doing the exact same connecting that has been done in the other direction jumping forward. so the various elements of the cannon are then continually reenforced through the repeated appearance. the second characteristic is the piety of the nation's leadership.
george washington the ult matt founder offers perfect material for this narrative because he was intentionally silent on most subjects of religion. the bible has a brief section discussing washington's character but rather than offer examples the authors focus on the dilemma of how a man of such greatness can even be known including glowing retellings from after his death. having constructed a devout and sober leader in washington, valley forge interpreted the great crisis becomes the central moment of the revolutionary era. it brings together the character lessons embedded in the teaching about washington. the importance of prayer, the key role of faith through difficult times. marshall and man well and countless other retellers account of a story familiar to many americans of washington bowing his head in prayer at valley forge. though the great man sought privacy he reportedly was seen by a neighboring quaker who
then spread the word. the story of the general kneeling in the snow in valley forge is of a man who in a time of crisis turned to his faith and bible to act decisively. it has led to some of the most widely reproduced artistic images of the revolutionry era expressing the core meaning of the nation's defining moment for many americans both within the conservative christian community and also beyond it as well. and that core meaning is that in this case a nation was united in a time of trials behind a christian leader who looked to god. by retelling the story, christians assert the importance of that ideal to our own era and with these truths established the nation is founded. after valley forge after washington prays we have very little narrative of what happens. at this point the war ends and we jump usually to topical reframings of the constitution or the application of the
principles that have been elaborated to the present. so what's left out? of course many of the complicated moments of the revolutionary era are left out. the most obvious one is slavery. the substantial portion of the american population not on board with the patriot movement. but there are other elements of the popular imagination of the american revolutionary era that are also left out of this retelling that make the christian narrative particularly important. the boston tea party. these are messing from the telling because they don't fit within the guiding principles the autsdzrgs want to promote. the constitutional convention and the ratification process. this last one i think is often when i hear academic historians talk about the founding era and how it appears this one is particularly surprising because the ratification process probably provides the best evidence of christian voices seeking to shape a christian nation.
but that piece of the story is the left out. these owe missions are not a problem, however because the meaning is clear, transcend nt and timeless. and must be. conservative christians have canonized the founding era and historians have described it as a period repeat with moral meaning and eval waugs that strategically minimizes not only conflict but historical process in favor of positive and useful meaning. the application, here we should think of the present tense a love of liberty and a unified nation favored by god. the current applicableability of these principles provides a purpose for studying and until they are universally embraced they also provide the need to repeatedly study and contemplate the era. the purpose is not to gain
knowledge but to bring about prayerful change. the ritual and repetitive circumstance larlte of this process is no more problematic than when it is applied to reading of the christian scripture. this is history as religious practice as much as it is religion as a political act. and the allusion between the two provides an important intertwining between the religious and political. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. good to see you. i'm going to take a few minutes and talk about pipeline and protestants. in early 2012, amid the unprecedented heat of one of the strangest brings in history, barack obama set out for oklahoma to jumpstart an energy tour. the politician had work to do.
he seemed unfazed by the blistering temperatures and torrential storms that made march the like july. at a rally in cushing, oklahoma, obama talked about energy. he laid out his plans for america's future. first came the trivia to folks who drill the nation's crude, then an appeal to their vote. over the last three years, i have directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. we are opening up more than 75% of our potential or resources offshore. we have quadrupled the number of operating rates to a record high. we have added enough new pipeline to encircle the earth and then some. obama's statement for an all of the above energy strategy came last. the plan was four fault. more jobs, oil development and infrastructure, more drive towards renewable energy and care of the environment, and
more domestic production and less dependency on foreign oil. we have got to have a vision for the future. that is what america has always been about. that is how we have to think about energy. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. as policy, this beach had a few incongruities. do americans truly get more of everything with little cost? how might an open-ended energy call that the earth? republican democratic naysayers questioned the president speech and pondered whether all of the above would result in none of the above results. to be fair, obama's talk was boilerplate, designed to rally troops.
his speech also illustrated his thinking. when he won the democratic primaries in 2008, he predicted that in his administration the ride to the oceans and the planet begin to heal. in cushing, admitted evidence of rising waters in a wounded planet, he preferred to boast about pipelines and circling the earth. his broader record further reveals uncertainty. in the struggle over transcanada keystone pipeline, which inspired his oklahoma visit, he has spoken for and against the enterprise, urged construction in some sections, the late another's, paused for environmental reassessment, and in. it is too simple to highlight this disjointed mess. his conundrums are products of profoundly complex circumstances.
define neat partisan categories, culture war, blue red divides, energy politics drawing into collision multiple ideas. in other words, energy politics are totalizing an existential. it has always been that way, especially with oil, my focus for today. since the dawn of their oil age, americans have you the black stuff is more than a source of feel. it has defined their diet and sent them to war, allowed regions to flourish and others to fall, generated anxiety about america's place in this world and its people's prospects in the next. considering oil's ultimate significance, it is no far reach to conclude that present-day energy politics, in which obama is embroiled, carry religious way. this is what i would like to conclude, i would like us to conclude today, that our
struggles over pipelines represent a clash of competing carbon gospel stemming from place, terms, and the histories and visions of their future that frame the political possibilities. an order to nudge us to this conclusion, i will glance very briefly at four gospels, evidenced in obama's speech. the four points i just highlighted. all of which are pressing on obamas current struggles with the keystone debate. i will highlight there are awakening, the moment this new thinking, new imagination about pipelines and oil him or and mentioned a few profit suits at these and the motion. i will posit the end for some appreciation of the president's dilemma. first, first crude awakening that which stimulated a protest against the petrol machine in defense of possessive
individualism. at the heart of obama's work is the attempt to help petroleum's underclass. their cries for access to the economic promises as oil and protection from oil companies reverberate with the familiar populist beat. if you look at recent struggles over the pipeline in the dakotas, we see ranchers joining native americans to protests the way in which land is being taken from them. this is combined with anxiety over jobs, just how many jobs will or will not be created by the pipeline. these entwined concerns bring together an interesting and curious coalition of activists have made oil patch locals of all political stripes, ranchers, native americans, a
hesitant majority convinced only two things, that oil companies cannot be trusted to care for the land and labor pulls they seek to tap and that local people deserve the fruits of the development that is disrupting their soil. in this rhetoric, the echo of disquiet that has reverberated for over a century which takes us back to the first crude awakening in the earlier 20 century, which raise the disquiet and created an attending gospel of protests against petrol capitalism. in the early 1900s, americans came to term with their energy revolution and its first victims. as we know, those who have read history textbooks, the first victims were those rank-and-file producers and locals who struggled under the weight of john d rockefeller's standard oil. a developed baptist, rockefeller was evangelical in his view. besides deeming his extraction of crude oil the dental, he
believed that his corporate ventures where ask of do -- ask of redemption. this christian certainty gave him a courageous persistence and capacity for you think and strategic firms, that also a messianic self-righteousness and contempt for those shortsighted mortals who made the mistake of standing in his way. the mortals saw it differently. their champion was a journalist whose name we all recognize from textbooks as a woman who destroyed the standard trust. what is less appreciated is the degree to which in this moment her actions grew out of a wrestling with god and the ghost of her youth. i don't have time to walk us through her history of fascinating biography, someone who has been raised in western oil country to methodist parents, someone who took our methodist face seriously.
she was part of a movement which was located just an hour away in new york. it is through her experiences in western pennsylvania, her father was an oilman whose spirit was crushed by the rockefeller machine, she started to look at journalism is a possibility to combine her faith, her familiar history, and work that into us deeming critique of standard oil. we know the rest of the story. by 1904, she pushes the history of standard oil, which identifies rockefeller as the man who symbolized all that is wrong in national life at that moment. the ultimate conclusion to this is the supreme court's ruling of 1911, which dismantle standard oil. the other legacy here, the one that she would be quested to future generations, all boils rank-and-file was a doctrine of possessive capitalism. when fighting rockefeller, her work stressed the peer quality
of the local patch in which he grew up. it was not a condemnation of petrol capitalism. she writes, they look forward with all the eagerness of the young who have just learned of powers through the years of struggle. they would need their own needs. there was nothing they did not hope and there. her faith in oils first-generation mirrored her belief in the goodness of the church in the human ability to better society through smart application of biblical rinse apples. it also massed turk that petrol capitalism had to remain egalitarian if it were to thrive. free competition was there it in. she theologized -- he came to understand the struggle with standard to protect the values of small scale production by individual labors.
she would write, god gave man the land, but man has to use his hand and brain and its cultivation before he can feed and clothed and sheltered himself. it is the partner ship of the two, land and labor which produces wealth. because of rockefeller, labor had become dependent on capital. though she could not imagine it at the time, her countering ethic of individuals would endure among men and women like her parents for generations to come. it leads to a second and third crude awakening that i will glance over briefly. standard was not defeated. it was fractured and the 34 different companies that in fact in a fitted from the diversification. in the 1930's and 1940's, and this moment of chaos in east texas, where new oil and a boom is bringing over production to
the awareness of the federal government that the new deal is deciding to work with major companies, to create some sense of order in the field. the standards of new jersey, california, new york are going to team up. the secretary of the interior in the 1930's and 1940's to bring order to the fields. there were others who were going to frame a new vision of what i would call a civil religion of crude in the mid-20th century. government working with major oil companies could encourage expansion of both christiandom and a gentler democratic oil kingdom to the rest of the world. william eddie was one of the spokespersons of this
vision. he writes in 1940 as he was trying to open up saudi arabia for a wrong coast standard of california, we who believe in christian them serve the only to touch our tanking we need to cover ourselves which herrity and then when ever we walk we shall find her cells on holy ground. three years later as a consultant for california standard he was surveying arabia for crude, five years later broke from the deal between saudi's king and americans president aced on his mutual trust. his was a firm belief that an accu medical, big liberal religion could usher humanity into a new age. the religious fervor behind this message has abated. as witnessed in obama's cushing's beach, it's his options about washington's dominion over petrol reserves bring the federal government into the regulatory position that we see today.
obama's gesture to this petroleum benevolence and a closing acumen of gold we forgot splicing, i think we see the remnants of the second crude awakening today. a third awaking really follows chronologically in the 1950's and 1970's, the rise of the wildcat oilman we are familiar with in texas. wildcat was a response defensive to what the american government was doing partnering major oil companies with washington to open up foreign fields. it was defensive in the sense that independent oil producers here in the southwest especially felt that their vision of their industry was being challenged. a number of prophets stepped up to this point to champion the rule of capture. a very evangelical ideology.
one of them was robert kerr, a hopeful, optimistic wildcat or as oklahoma's governor and senator in the 1940's and 1950's, he labored to meet independent oil's needs and carry the mantle for the dispossessed, i'll be at a wealthy dispossessed, working all of his connections to give small produces the protections they deserve. what is interesting here is how robert kerr, a prominent southern baptist, was able to fall his politics and his interest in the protection of independent oilman with his faith in the ability of individuals to approach scripture and christ on their own terms, much as the same way they approached minerals. there was also a harder edge to this wildcat christianity that emerged in the 1970's, connecting the fear of people, the fear that america was losing its ability control its most buyers resource, losing
you just have your day full allotment of c and d. those leading this kind of crude awakening are environmental activists who faith was boltstered by obama's stirring speech during the '08 national convention. among them t no one is more earnest that bill mckibben head of 350org, and one of the most popular jeremies against global warming. he became an author/activist and then an activist in 2011 just as the keystone crisis was emerging. in his mind the keystone
crisis. since then has led marching through washington through new york city just a month ago. with each step forward as an activist, he has been a more deliberate and reaching back into the repostories of scripture and back-to-the-land spirituality. it mirrors his muck raking ida tarbillion that blends love of the bible with awe of nature's mysteries and a transcendent view of ter est yell things. through his writings activistism, he managed to stir up a new constituency of activists. i think an interesting one. young evangelicals, many coming from the oilpatch, itself including from texas. oilpatch pentecostal and baptist youth have journeyed to washington to stand with mckibben with nuns and
indigenous communities. in other isolated moments, they have traveled to nebraska and texas to chain themselves to bulldozers pray on pipe and youth phase ii subvert oil's order. they see this as a great revival brewing of the kind witnessed in the 19 the sentcentury led by charles finley. mckibben would disagree with the way in which zealous evangelical young people are looking for the next revival. in his estimate, the fires are already burning bright. barack obama, you might say sense the heat of these four revivals, these four awakenings. his charge is mistaken fold, living with the legacy of several crude awakenings carbon goss pels his is a tough task that demands a sorting out which is why his all of the above energy policy has been a path of convenience and why it could be
his successors dilemma, too. >> that's a misleading conclusion as well because change is surely coming. keystone's final decisions are impending. it's destiny and the consequences for the people on the plains should be decided soon. all the more, it seems now that pipeline supporting republicans have taken control of the senate. according to several warrant insiders and pundits, the keystone was seen as the big winner on tuesday and one of the most heralded until g.o.p. circumstancels. they have promise today make the pipeline a priority daring him to vet 0 it. whether lost or won it is only the tip of mountain warfare between multiple parties, all of which hold deep convictions about the proper place of oil and energy in our new millennium. mckibben's carbon free campaign may lose the keystone fight. wildcaters may win. his movement for reform is forcing many north americans to a place of reconing where carbon
emissions, global warning and is concerned. even as the koch brothers and their lobby have raised the ire of american liberals, in alberta, home to the oil fans, it's green salvationist billionaires who will have seen threatening to the order. among the salvation is billionaires of whom the angry canadians speak are the rocker fellers and pews, who's foundations are leading a wider anti-tar-sands campaign and in the case of the former divesting their oil holdings it following the lead of mckibbens' organization. rocker fellers abandoning petroleum. pews shunning the oil sands that they created in 1950s. such are the striking signs of revolution that would surprise ida tarbell and worry john
walvord. historians shouldn't be too surprised. change is what we write about. so, too, contingency and the needing necessary of tidal analyst i can categories. a quick glance in the 21st century century oil should remind us of that. we are privy to a host of characters and dynamics that don't necessarily line up with our conventions of religious and political history. the spiritual clamty of oil in these moments created flashes of insurgence that really shattered familiar binaries conservative liberal, evangelical, non-evangelical and bound the rye lunchous and non-religoutside with shared ethics of faith, custodianship. the degree to which they will disrupt our familiar narratives and categories and produce major religious political realignments going forward is a question yet to be answered. what is striking finally, is the way in which those locking arms
over pipelines in protests have kind of created a transcendent ambition and worry for many americans over the issue of oil. we short-change our histories of modern america when we don't calculate the deep structures and meaning that those living in oil-rich zones measure the length to which they will go politically to protect their rights to these encounters. we fall short by not allowing for dense complexities in the relationship. no conspiracy of interest bill oil versus the people. oil, we've seen has a way of eliciting die virg events imaginations. for rockefeller t industrial america's life blood. for tarbillion, the excrement of the delve, work and family patterns of time and the nation's nation's proper engagement with the world. it is in the contestation within oil culture we can identify the prompts for some of america's most profound political and
religious turns. thank you. [applause.] >> thank you for being here. in the 2012 presidential election, both candidates fastidiously avoided mr. romney religion. religion nevertheless spilled out hot everywhere. the obama campaign fumed when romney in a nod to protestant evangelicals told sean hannity, mr. obama wanted to make america a less christian nation. asked about the statement, romney said he wasn't familiar with what he said but quote, i stand by what i said whatever it was. tellt even with such non-statements about faith in the air, neither could quite take mormonism head on.
those official silences stood intention with a wave of immediate oklahoma obsession that conjured a mormon moment so-called, filled profiles. church of latter day saints and members. is there a relationship between those u bic wit us to media discoveries of mormonism and the political silences surrounding it? this morning, i contend the specific forum that american engagement with mormonism has long certain, that of the expose encourages reflection within the study of religion and politics about the meanings of religious secrecy. what can we say about the repeated keeping and disclosing of mormon secrets or put more crassly: what does it mean that americans have long abandoned that mr. romney account for his underwear. journalists in the 2012 were
thrust into the basic paradox of this history. is mormonism an exon theic creation with strange rituals or is it the quintssentially american e lunch on patriotic if bland church extolling large families and capitalist achievements? it is mormonisms libmitlimitality. it is seen as christian and not quite christian, as a religion and somehow more, or is it less than one? today, i offer secrecy as a key fulcrum for that limitality. the secrets have thus help constituted as a classcatory problem but at the same time mormon secrets have helped make a distinctive mormon people possible. seemingly in this light, the consequential effects of secrecy
give us more than details to round out a religion's historical portrait rather than they provide us the gritty mechanics of power, itself how it is constituted and contested. since mormonism's impulses run into the teeth of our scholarly and democratic projects they beg important questions of both american politics and those of us who study them. many religion traditions acknowledge some kind of hidden knowledge just as sake res space can income secrets and mark membership in a mecca, so it has been with the mormon temple's spatial restrictions. but during periods of social or political strain religion secrets can signal danger. this was true of the earliest christianity where the supremea arcane kept the faith and drew
sub verge. in america, the same with mormons, with roman cathlics. in the 20th century with black sec. s such as the nation of islam and the church of signology after world war ii and muslims after the september 11, 2001. more mormon mormonism, the historical almost accidental presence of secrecy blossomed as the tradition entered agenerative second stage in the 1840s when church leaders put secrecy at the church's administrative and sacramental core. political strategies polygamist marriages, temple rituals, by 1850, mormonism teemed with secrets. through this sub stratum,
mormons redefined christianity, family sexuality, time and human bodies themselves. indeed where mormon conceptions of space and time had earlier worked on the access of a holy city and a milenarian countdown, the 8040s set the project a new footing. the temple had suffered as the accessix mendi but now the saints' own bodies formed the holy of holies within the sacred spaces. appropriately mormons doned clothing for the rites and wore special under clothing thereafter. mormons could scarce jetson their secret things without pulling the foundations out from under some substantial ritual and theological structures. it is not surprising, then, that ex mormons have known, have long known exactly how to leave or exactly where to strike. the secrets were just waiting to
be exposed. secrecy is thus functioned as a lever for mormon identity marking passage ways into and out of the religion's beating heart. mormons prize their pioneer temples for their rough-hewn beauty and the sun-baked towers of will that have called them up from the desert floor but given the history i am narrating here, their similarities of form speak an all together different sermon. they are, after all, each castles and ci. adels that they call defiance recystance and entrenchment. they understood their relationship to outsiders of one of colonization and the temples seemed to mark a line in the great bassin sand. what emerges from the cycle of secret keeping and expose is a
cultural script an american political ritual that has continued unabated to our time. time permits consideration of some of the most memorable iterations but only in brief. 1890: as the 1880s' anti-polygamy crusade wreaked havoc, accommodations were made to put off the seemingly inevitable with 1300 mormons imprisoned, many more disenfranchised and church property in federal hands, they hoped for a workable middle way. only when back-channel communications warned that the temples, too would be subject to federal seizure did the great accomodation come. the u.s. secretary of interior sent word in august of 1890 that he would not abide the earlier gentlemens' agreement sparing the lds temple and the church president's famed polygamy manifesto came days not weeks
later. even polygamy which mormons have sworn could not be given up without wrecking everything turned out to be expendable when compared with the maintenance of the sacred places. 1904: some lds leaders maintained a program in the decade and a half following official disavowal, some 300 secret marriages at least. a more con genial supreme court but quiet resistance went hand-in-hand with public integration strategies at the same time including utah election of reid smoot to the u.s. senate. the hearings offered the concealing expose drama on a grand stage. before the senate committee came an academy to rehearse the temple's vengeance oath for the gathered senators to judge. had senate smoot compromised his
national loyalty because of his mormon temple vows. church president joseph f. smith, nephew of the founding prophet took the stand to answer the church. one senator press quote suppose you should receive a divine refvation telling your people to do something which would be their duty to be obey. he fired back quote, they would be at liberty obey just which they pleased. there is absolutely no come pulse. both sides learned the script and knew their lines. 1919: the national reform association had helped lead the anti-polygamy crusade, though its main goal as stated by the association was a constitutional amendment declaring the nation an explicitly christian one. even after the -- after the polygamy concession, though nra leaders charged that mormonism still threatened the nation. for several years, nra plum cyst
crossed swords with the mormons' bright young thing apostle james e tall imagine among the first mormons to receive a ph.d., had earned an academic reputation as a geologist and had become the phrase gentlemen they are lodgean. in 1912, he published "the house of the lords" which offered the complete description of mormon temple worship today but the book had been prompted by a scandal. ant antagonist threatened who had taken photos of the interior unless paid a hefty ransom by mormon leaders. 258 imagine suggests preemptive publication of temple images and was tasked with writing the accompanying text. this is the if you live in a place where a new mormon temple is built, there is now tours for non-mormons to go through. >> that's a direct result of
this kind of proactive sensitivity about temples. the resulting back and forth, in 1990 when tall imagine showed up at the third-world conference in pits pittsburgh, he was eventually allowed to speak to the association for five minutes amid the hail of hiss. but the speaker following suggested he be stripped to reveal his temple under garments bearing the marks of his quote treasonist oath did. the crowdhemmed him in for an hour before he was able to slip away. 1982, since world war ii, mormon members had swelled such that protestants had noticed. the new found growth was noticed in dramatic fashion with the 1974 dedication of the temple north of the nation's capitol. situated rather conspicuously on the maryland beltway, the temple mimicked the salt lake temple with a shiny, motted earn and some said gawdy update that many saw as an unmistakable presence.
conservatism did mormonism no favors with protestant evangel evangelcals who responded with an invigorated counter cult movement that targeted the latter latter day saints in particular. energetic ex mormons had a movie "the god makers" whiched became a touchstone for evangelical opposition. the film complete with spooky music and wonky segments was condemned by the anti-defamation league and the national council of christians and juice but effects were substantial. the film billed reenactment over the erie auto effects track, a voice introduces viewers, an authentic, firsthand, ever on film reenactment of the secret
mormon temple ceremony. 2009: basking in the glow of the so-called mormon olympics in 2002, many latter day saints took on the swagger of an acceptable american faith. the 2008 election cycle and the lds's church's involvement in the 2008 marriage equality initiative cured that. several outlets agreed hbo's decision to portray the ceremony in a 2009 big love episode had something to do with the church's california political activism activism. it provided new answer for the right with the gene triple honor voicing the comfort many mormons associate with temple worship but the particular election from the ceremony formed a conspicuous poke in the eye indeed for mormons as they ran to the rawtest rit yuldz nerve. 2012: during this most recent mormon moment the political
ritual played out in new media and on platforms seemingly grand earn ever but it remained a recognizable performance still. in one of the more memorable enactments of the routine, a reporter after showing clips of ex mormons reenacting the by then discontinued penalty oaths, asked for an explanation from the lds apostle after being reminded of their discontinuance, the interview pressed but wouldn't mr. romney have taken these vows in the past before the changes to the ritual? quote: that sounds masonic, sir. it sounds masonic. not a long thereafter, and right on the cue in this recent moment appropriate media format just days before the election progressive blogger andrew sullivan posted footage of the entire lds temple ceremony secretly filmed by an exmormon. the film's subtitle brings us full circle to that worst-kept secret of the 1840s, quote,
never before seen videos of secret mormon temple ritual. in conclusion: secrets, sacred, ritual expose, i offer these words as a story line for minority faith in america. a generation ago, nair tichz of u.s. religion were crafted as tails of pluralism a recordy but loveable marketplace much individual making spiritual choices. the hist rerecounted here as to a generational chorus. this is mormonism, the ways political and social worlds have chipped away at its secrets. it's a reminder that the keeper and telling of secrets pushes scholars onto unstable ground. how should one study or narrate what partsans either want to keep hidden as an article of faith or exposed as an act of democratic righteousness?
scholars of religion journalists and political commentators, it seems to me my profitably seek that space between. aboo and fetish with regard to the secrets. ideally, we steer clear of both the zealot tree of determined secret keeping and the zealous come pulse to expose. at very least, we must position ourselves so as to better explain what is at stake in the keeping and the exposing across time and in the present. thank you. [applause.] >> morning. continuing with the theme of outsider religion candidates religion candidates outside of the white protestant mainstream and merge that line of inquiry with another kind of more theoretical turn in american religion history.
for the last several decades, scholars of american religion history have had a definitional crisis defining religout without reference to metaphysical terms. it has occurred to scholars if religion is a slippery analytical category if the definition seems to look different to the united states, for example, than in india or turkey. what about those categories that are defined in relation to religion? what about secularism always defined t therefore not also conditioned, variable by time and place. so, i am taking these two story lines, one about minority religion candidates, and one about variations in sicklarism and want to talk about protestant secularism which i think is the american iteration that matters to me. i was empowered by janet jacobson and ann pel grin i that it had developed from christian
and european origins was universal and fully separate from christianity. i accepted as my starting point today the idea that what appears universal constitutes seclarism. i will refer to that as protestant secularism. many are offered genealogies of this john lordis an story in the early 19th century, cultural redemption a literary historian cho charged from the founding to the present, and within protestant secularism scholars have noted politicians and others interested in commerce or political stability have tended to distinguish between good and bad religion by how effectively a practitioners honor the boundaries between internal
trans formation. john kerry did this for the pew religion lumping a very set of practices together emphasizing the distinctive work of religion happened within the walls of the individual psyche. it doesn't have to be a religion per se kerry explained. it can be a philosophy, a way of life buddhism hinduism. : . for many organized religion. for many it is not. i will suggest this to you respectfully, no matter what religion or philosophy organized or otherwise people adopt, they almost all have a golden rule within them. if you are a lunch at matly practicing almost any of them practicing them well you will tend to be a pretty good citizen and a pretty good person. adherence -- kerry's words. may have doingmas of their own but they translate them into reasonable argument or more universal values when engaging those outside of tradition. adherence of bad religion n
contrast, do not register a key change as they switch between these internal and e terrible domains, as if he isington put it: good religion is good in the measure it tends toward inindividualsibility or unobtrusiveness, protecting a neutral space in which converted and insiders and aliens may do the work of commerce and goverance. the irony is that outsider candidates in the united states history have enthusastically supported what is essentially a protestant system. catholics, mormons, black protestants have reiterated the same boundaries of protestant secularism which don't always serve their religion interests, per se. what i hope to do today is basically take some of the lessons of 23esing itdon and orsi and modern and others and apply them to the most foundational central actors and their national life presidential candidates. these other books i have been talking about and scholars tend to write about either deep, careful readings of literary
texts or works through hugely abstract analyses of new machinery and new-print culture. i am saying the story they are telling about protestant secularism is clear and revealed in the most highly studied actors presidential candidates. all i am doing is taking this narrative and applying it to a different context. it begins as almost every narrative as thomas jefferson, in our context. from thomas jefferson to the remarkable cluster of outside region lincoln candidates in the 21st century, presidential hopefuls have done a dispropportional amount. to some extent osifyinging a flooul concept. they have fought against any form of religion coercion have encouraged the faithful to use reason in public debate whatever their doingma, announced a quality of opportunity for people of authtake pictures under a
decentive protestant shell and remained a witness that good religion belongs in the individual conscience as an incubator of values. thomas jefferson set the pattern for candidates outside of anglo-american protestant traditions but shared more in common with his fellow evangelical citizens and most historians are prepared to acknowledge. it's the tolerant towering figure in nearly every tarrant county, texas of church/state religions, he did pen some of the scholarly writings stat fractured for religion freedom but it's not cementats semantists. the riddle in jefferson's case is how swung who did not self-idea as a protestant certainly a conventional one could nonetheless give words and legal form to the core conventions, generations protestants have embraced as their own. the sage of monticello mock christian doingmas and was unremitting in the cal vannism
priest craft leading many to characterize jefferson as somehow more secular or modern than his peers. he was no orthodox christian, he was nonetheless common sense scottish philosophy and took the posture of 19 century evangelicals, modern in the 18th century instead of 30 or 40 years earlier. jefferson did trace a similar route to a modern evangelical secularism before the proceed protagonist did so without the stimuli of new machines. on matters of morality he accepted the idea of a moral sense as much a part of the man as his leg or arm through which any individual could discern fundamental, self-evident moral truths, given from morality by truth claims about natural philosophy, he depicted reason as a divinely appointed tool with which any come use reason
to unseat all false gods and this is key, i think, to en shrine true religion had xlim indications for the religious and secular in the united states as evangelcals would do later in the 19th century, he advocated what we conceive of as secularism. i thinking of the voluntary principle not to destroy christianity but individuals to exercise nature's god. an elegant and insightful side step around the debate of the meaning of jefferson's wall of separation metaphor joh a. n neme explains the subtle distinction between protecting free thought for its own sake and for the sake of facilitating the spread of tryue or good religion. he believed erecting a wall neme has suggested, he could protect free inquiry and aid the process by which a purified crist i can't knowty housed in
reason rather than faith would become america's civil religion. the operative sentence actually follows the famous wall image. when the jefferson offered the hope that quote, adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation on behalf of the rights of conscience i shall see the progress of those sentiments which tends to restore to man all of his natural light rights convinced he has no natural right and opposition to his social duties here jefferson verbalized a tenant of the american version that truly free minds will discover only such religion sentiments that will render them more useful as citizens. as a political candidate, sitting president, retired 7 yornior statesman, he left evidence of his sob session of crafting response to christianity that both con formed to reason and inculcated good citizenship. his opponents in the election of 1800, seized upon jefferson's published remarks in the notes on the state of virginia to argue that the candidate was
dangerously indifferent to the maintenance of protestant christianity as a de facto national religion. he had used strong language to make his point that quote the legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are inyearous to others almost taunting, that it does me know injury top for my neighbor to say there are 20 or no gods. he is smart from this criticism. also eager to find common ground among cantankerous political parties. this is not only the context for the damagebury letter but the context for which he said about in sight to the answer how far reasons could tameke him. he works out this syllabus as a merit to the doctorins of jesus he males to benjamin rush in 1803 confessing in his cover letter to be a christian and the only sense jesus wished anyone to be sin sir lee attached to doctorins in preference to all others ascribing every human excellence
and believing he never claimed any other. over the following years, he cut and pasted extracts from the goss pels in four languages to make the fill on the me of jesus a little known predecessor to the jefferson bible. he was clearly investing in discovering a way of approaching religion that would nod light to sectarian conflict in government. there is more to say about jefferson, the essential incite here is he personally sxworingsed and le in. . his pen to support a version of sec secularism secularism. he protected space for, for protestant religion activity engagement with texts and the inner transformation and volume terri association and communities of the faithful. at the strove to make reasonableness a good religion and struck out violently against any attempt, even private ones to constrain another's conscience. in september 18, '00 letter to rush, he laid out this proposition most clearly: pledging to use all of his power if elected president to fight against attempts to introduce
religious establishment, he said it better action of course i have sworn upon the altar of god eternal host acrety. ierny. members or representatives of my knowledge minority religions followed his pattern of advocating for space at the table in a way that actually en trenches protestant interests in the version of protestant secularism. john kerry, barack obama, three residents candidates operating outside of white property 1259 tradicians affirmed using strikingly parallel language. they have used a bully pulpit or at least their relatively privileged spots on the campaign trail in the 24 hour media cycle to define good religion in jeffer sownian terms as that which produces internal transformation, involves only voluntary association, is consistent with reasons and prooumdz to enforce any distinctive moral code. under fire or suspicion from white protestant voters kerry
action romney and obama delivered at least one land mark religion speech billed as such, analyzed as such in which they have adescribed using rather precise terms religown as a private exchange which translates into politics by expanding the believer's sense of the public good. moreover they have offered nearly identical definitions of good and bad religions slightly more capacious than jefferson's but really congruent in terms of their thought process. kerry will definitely do kerry depending upon time, we will do romney f kerry addressed his commitments on october 24th, 2004, when he and bush were deadlocked at 49% each. he chose to give his speech in ground zero for the democrats defeat in the 2000 election, on sunday no less. the democratic nominee walked a delicate tightrope quoting scripture r50e78d but underscoring his distinctive religious experience was
internal and more profound impulses toward the common good were the only external marker of his faith. he prayed and wrestled with cath catholicism but was able to terrorism resultingly in a sense of hope and belief in a higher purpose purpose. at the rhetorical center, he quoted from james saying it is not enough my brother to say you have faithing when there are no deeds. faith without works is dead. kerry used this verse as the great pivot from private experience to public action. for me he went on that means having and holding to a vision of a society of the common good where individual rights and freedoms are connected to our responsibility to others. it means understanding that the authentic role of leadership is to advance the liberty of each of us and the good that can come to all of us as we work together. while kennedy dispelled propertystant concerns a roman catholic president, he felt compelled to revisit the issue. roman cath lijz were obliged to
live moral lifeves but not to enact on others the policy positions advocated by their church leaders reminding his auditors of the convenient controversy that had committed so much ink over the summer when bishops debated whether they should bar kerry from communion. several local bishops, three, maybe four decided they would bar kerry until he repenaltied of his pro-choice. he said i know there are some whom say i must take public positions okay issues like a woman's right to choose or stem cell research that carry on the tenants of the catholic church but trialing scruplusly to adhere to these boundaries kerry demured. i love my church. i respect the bishop did but i respectfully disagree. my task as i see it is not to write every doctorin in law. it is not right nor possible. kerry reinforced the protestant secularism that will
characterized politics since jefferson. republicans nominated add candidate from the outside the fold when they put mitt romney up for the highest. romney reiterated his faith, not completely silent but he made a signature statement earlier during the republican primary four years previous facing a primary field that included mike huckabee an outspoken baptist, he attempted to lay to rest his membership in the church of the latter day saints. he refused to address what he called his church's distinctive doctorins, but he did reample a model of protestant secularism and placed them in good religions. he used different anecdotes but echoed closely all of the lines of the broward county speech saying romney led off his discussion by assuring the merge people he would never allow
religion authorities. no listener missed the homage to kennedy's speech "no authorities of my church or any other church for that matter will exert influence on presidential asituations. their authorities is theirs and ends with the affairs of the nation begins ". vowed he would guard against any legislation in the distinctive transferrins. i will put no doctorin of any church above the plain duties of the office and so far rent authority of the law, he promised. romney continued. every religon has its own unique doctorins in history. these are not basis mvrp for criticism but a test of tolerance. he returned vir bratein to kerry 1kri79 at this point. it is kind of startling proclaiming a primary purpose of faith was enlarging believers' sense of the common good and welcoming within the fold of good religon all of the traditions willing to forebear from the final particularities of the ballot box. i believe every faith i have encountered draw did adherence closer to god, before catalogue
cataloguing what he thought were catholicism, evangism. it is important to recognize while differences in theology exist between the churches in america, we share a common creative moral convictions, he assured listeners and with the affairs of our nation are concerned, it is usually a sound rule to focus on the latter, on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. sol the intention of this is not new ways of understanding church/state relationships. the most prominent actors in our shared experiences have acquired and reindescribed to secularism and note the ironies that those have defended those just as energetically [applause.] at this time i would like to open up the floor for a couple
of people to ask questions. i also just want to remind you that all of our speakers will be here for the entirety of the day. i am volunteering them. i am certain they are willing to talk with you during the breaks before and after if you have questions that you don't get a chance to ask during this formal time. and, also just a quick note. if you would like to ask a question, we have a couple of guys here who have microphones. please allow the microphone to come to you and ask your question into the microphone so that we can all hear you and so that the recording can also pick you up. does anyone have a -- would like to start with a question? got one over here. >> hi. a question for kate which i thought was a fascinating paper, and you touched on some of the things that the people you looked at left out of their view
of history. unless i missed it in the talk they left out the first amendment and, you know, the religious freedom clauses which makes sense because it's a tricky thing today to deal with but they left out the great awakening which would seem to fit in with their version of history quite neatly. and a quick follow-up: do these books, thinkers today, these people who are looking at the foundingera, do they and into the colon y'all era grapple with the problem of theocracy, which is something people in the colonial era thought about, pilgrims and puretans do but it's something prevalent in the political thought of from the ref oration into the 17th and 18th centuries. >> thank you. the question the first great awakening got left on the cutting room floor. it is a an essential moment and george whitfield because the goal is to find men who
exemplify the process. george whitfield can play that role as the zat evangelist. there has been some public conversation where some conservative pundits have argued he is america's spiritual founding father to use the title of a recent book and he should be elevated to a particularly high level and including attributing to george whitfield the concept of the new birth, which obviously far pre-davis george whitfield some have come out and pushed back on that a little bit, but, yes the great awakening and whitfield are seen as central events. in terms of theocracy and the first amendment, those are not discussed with any significant depth. i think it's because of the focus on principles. so, if liberty is the principle of the foundinger foundingera, it is embodied in the first amendment. it's right and we apply it to subsequent moments. the complexities that might come
out of what the first amendment the process of creating the first amendment. different readings, those are addressed within a culture wars context and the culture wars context is usually a little bit off to the side of this discussion because it's so admittedly political. it's not centrally promali. ized. >> hi. i have two questions. one for kate and one for spencer. my first question to kate is: if the length between -- i am very interested in this link between moses or the ancients is recallites and -- israelites and the may flower compact and how they linked them. i would be curious. i don't know if you know this. i mean i don't know how much you read in to it but how exactly they justified that link.
a little more specifically, i would be curious and for spencer, you talked about the col colonization of mormons and it makes a lot of sense, given their oppressed status their history of oppression. do they still, i am curious as to how that -- has that dialogue changed as they are attempting to become the american religion and how they talk about the oppression in the past and somehow becoming more all-american sort of part of the mainstream and trying to be included within that protestant mainstream. can you speak to that alleges? >> on the issue of moses and the mayflower compact, the immediate political context is that the texas state board of education standards for 2010 which are now leading to text books whiching mark will be talking about later this afternoon addressed --
require that connecting of moses as an storage thinker for the creation of the united states and so this is something that texas teachers are grappling with right now of how to put moses into a process that by any reading, he was at least very distant from. so, the connecting happens in part through the may flower compact and it happens in two ways. one is that if moses is seen as a law giver and the may flower come packet is seen as an original law that creates a union, so law then goes to foundational constitution and then is connected to our constitution. so, the process is through that and not actually through any of the specific content of any of those documents. the mayflower compact doesn't hold up to that scrutiny if you look at the text. there has to be a description of the document rather than an examination of the document. the other way this happens, i think, is through the internally refer
referential nature of this k about faith in the founding and that's that the same documents appear over and over and over. and if you dig into the footnotes and many are very well footnoted. if you dig into the footnotes, they refer back to each other consistently and never to an outside academic scholarly discussion of the con text of the investigation of the mayflower compact because they are avoiding any of the reading that would look at that more plotting narrative. for people who are steeped in this reading of the american pounding and it's reiterated regularly in sermons and any number of contexts there is a self-evident connection between moses, the mayflower compact the deck collaration of index and the constitution. and the different moments of their creation really isn't even relevant. so, it's just through repetition, i think, is the primary way. >> on mine briefly, it could be a long response but kind of a brief point is that it's a
tension filled moment for mormons given their history. in part this history, the sense of kind of persecution in the past is tightly woven into modern mormon identity such that they kind of expect to be misrepresented or misunderstood in public something like the book of mormon musical is just an eye roll of here we go again. snappier tunes but the same old lyrics. they expect mockery. >> fits with the kind of representation of the past. and it might be in a kind of risoma. ic way in mormon conservatism this memory of, you know it becomes kind of western in a way, too though, you know, distant federal power, heavy-handed for us. here our own ways. >> that's kind of there, but they have to be very careful with that because too long into that story and it's about polygamy and, you know, that
doesn't work very well because it ends up sounding a bit like a defense of polygamy which mainstreams have no interest in. they have been running for polygamy for over 100 years. they are good at that kind of flight as well. complicated. the end. >> i want to keep us on time for the rest of the day. so again i encourage you as we take a short break here between panels find our panelist. ask a question if you have one for them but in the short break, feel free to get a little more to eat or drink or find the restrooms or out the door or and to the left. we will convene here in a few minutes for our second panel. thank you. [applause.]
next, a discussion about the future of the conservative movement and live at 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "warble journal." the 114th conference graphs in. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2 and track the g.o.p.-led congress and have your say as event did unfold on the c-span networks c-span radio and c-span.org. new congress, best access on c-span. next, a discussion about the future of conservatism with a panel at the university of chicago's institute of politics on what they call "reform conservative coupled applying conservative principles to today's problems. they looked at the challenges facing the 2016 republican presidential field including how to appeal to younger voters. this is just over an hour.
>> republicans won a sweeping electoral victory last november yet many americans struggle to identify with an affirmative party message. the g.o.p. has assembled the most soughtaf policy wofrningz to tell us how they think that the republican party can close this gap. these leaders collaborated to write room to grow an manifesto that makes conserve testimony work for the middle class. commentators refer to the intellectual resurgence of the republican party they are referring to our guest today and i have no doubt you will see see why. our first panelist is andrew kelly, director of the center on higher education reform at the american enterprise institute who researches policy including financial aid reform. doctor kelly is a prolific author who is from the journal
of education to "the atlanta ibd kwuld, the hedge hog fellow and variety of 7 ario edit oral positions, chief among them as editor of national affairs. he served on the policy of the bush white house and earned his ph.d. at the university of chicago. he recently blirnd the great debate, thomas paine and the birth of right and left. a veteran capitol hill staffers and the policy director for the yg network which published the room to grow he isages served in senate and house leadership including senior advisor to roy blunt. she served as executive director of the nonprofit national review institute. her husband a 7io editor for the national review a columnist for bloomberg and a visiting fellow one of the most prolific commentators in washington and his work can be found in "the new york times," "wall street
journal" and many, many other places. he sefshtd as an iop fellow in 2014 and we are thrilled to have him back. last but certainly not least, our moderator, megan kurlingdz who writes on economics, business and public policy. she is behind the popular blog asymmetric information in the new chicago business school alum. she is a fall fellow. as you see a ton of talent. please join me in welcoming the participants [applause.] >> so i am going to start off by asking you a question. 2014 was a great year for republicans. right? we had maybe not a tsunami but a decent sizeable wave. i see we as a nation not personally as a republican. why does conserve testimony need to be reformed? why not keep on keeping on?
>> a conservative view. >> i think that one feels republicans should have learned from recent years the mid-term electorate looks different from the presidential electorate and you can be very good at without having what it takes to win presidential elections. for a couple of reasons. one is because it's easier to get people to let you apply the brake patterns than if is to get them to give you control over the steering wheel. presidential elections, i think the pubs thinks that is steering wheel elections and they need to know republicans want to take them somewhere they want to go before they will do that. >> the obama metaphor about driving a car? >> yeah. the other thing is that there is a demographic distinction between who terms out in mid terms and who turns out in
presidential elections where, for example, you have mid-term electorate older and wider. in rooebt years, that demographic distinction has taken on a much more partisan cast than it used to p we realize a structural future of our politics where economics tend to out perform in mid-term and democrats in presidential elections. those fine with having congressional majority. it's easy to keep the house majority. it's a little harder but doable to take a senate majority. you have to reach further if you want to form a governing sense which is what i would be interested in. >> i go to you since you are the yg network, fearless leader. what is reform conservatism? is it a bunch of different ideas? is it merely a sense that we need to reform conservatism and
let's do it or is there a coherent core here a philosophy? >> right. i think we are very comfortable in the conservative tradition. i don't think we are in that sense offering up anything new. the principles that conservatism has established a long time certainly over the last few decades are principles that we are comfortable with and feel need to be expanded upon. i think what reform conservatism is is the effort to the apply those principles to the problems that we face today. so, you know, where conservatives or republicans have often had an agenda that focuses on laying down the top marginal tax rate. right? which was, you know, pre-reagan con fisk cat tory and we are talking about a 70% rate and there was a real urgent need at the time to bring that rate down. you know reagan saw that need, and he prioritized -- applied the conservative principles that we believe in to that situation
and said, look. we need to bring this rate down you know,drantatically and he did and he was effective. partly because we were successful, a lot of our agenda has become rather out dated. we haven't been responding to the challenges of our day. sol reform conservatism is trying to bring to bear the principles that we believe in to the particular policy challenges that we face as a nation today. >> so could you talk a little bit about what other policies the republicans aren't addressing or aren't addressing effectively now and need to be? >> i don't dislike the term. i think of it as a reforming conservatism. our target is not conserve testimony. our target is the government and the nation's challenges and what's required to address those
is a lot of public policy. so, it is applied conservatism. what that means in practice it seems to me is a modernization of conservatism's understanding of the challenges the country faces. i don't think it's a change in how we as conservatives, need to think about solving public problems. i think so it's a change in what we understand those problems to be. so, if as you say, in 1981, where a lot of conservatives like to live the problems had to do with hyper inflation and with high marginal income tax rates. today, the challenges have more to do with the consequences of globalization for working americans. they have more to do with stagnating wages. they have more to do with the pressures that middle class families confront to the extent that we want to talk about tax reform i think that the tax burden is especially heavy as a result of payroll tax and not the income tax for the most americans and it means thinking about how conservative ideas
need to be applied to contemporary challenges. the most difficult thing for both parties now i think is to see the press, look beyond the to do list they have had for such a long time and to actually think about what the country's to do list ought to be. a lot of democrats like to live in the mid 'signatures, a lot in the early '80s because those are times when it seemed like they had something real to offer in the countryside, too. the country doesn't live in either of those times. you can't pretend that they do. the fact both parties are trying to pretend is ideal so many americans are frustrated with politics. >> look at the things that reagan got done. he lowered taxes. on regulation? not so much. >> yeah. >> so i actually wants to go back there. hi. and talk a little bit about republican anti-intellectualism. this is a charge that gets leveled a lot, is that they are
rather than having an education policy, rather than -- just sort of reflexively anti-the academy and all that represents including coming up with policy. you talk a little bit about that? is that fair? >> i think it is. when i think about the sort of traditional, well-worn talking points on higher ed, one is faculty and perm missive norms. this started with reagan as governor of california, hi take on berkeley. he described the orgies that are beyond description or something, the way he described campus. sot it was a recruiting device. >> precisely. >> that's always been a part of the discussion. and rightfully so. you are going to look on a college campus and see the departments of under enrolled majors as ethnic stud i recognize and that's going to be something to a mainstream conservative that is going to be not something they are interested in or interested in
subsidizing for that matter. >> that's one of the traditional talking points on it. for me, that's a symptom of a much larger problem. right? >> a market that doesn't function effectively so consumers can say i don't want to go learn from a professor that's going to fill my mind with all sorts of nonsense and things that are going to make my parents blurb. right? but instead, your only choice these days frankly as an up and coming high school graduate is to go off to a four-year college and enroll in a place if you want to get ahead and enroll in a place that happens to be populated with that type of faculty. again, not the function of a market that will reward that kind of behavior and that sort of product because, you know, there are -- there is not broader array of options open to
people. i think we get bogged down in the politics, the sort of hand-to-hand combat. right? over liberalism on campuses and we lose sight of the fact that that's a symptom of this broader problem. >> so is that prevent be republicans, though from having the kind of resources that as policy advisors, the democrats can draw deep into the academy and republicans have a small handful of republicans, conservatism at any given university? >> i think the question of anti-intellectualism and the right is very complicated and important question. it's not as simple as a lot of people make it out ton be. conservatives are more intellectual than liberals. liberals wants to be understood as practicing mattists. conservatives wants to think of themselves as having a philosophy. at the same time, there is this attitude about the academy and the actual academy, which justifies that. >> i don't think reagan was
wrong. >> not only here in chicago but in a lot of other places. i do think that that has meant, as you say, have not been able to draw on the academy in the say same way. so generalists with essays about public policy a lot of the people who write for us are people who ought to be academics but aren't think tanks when they would rather be teaching. there are people who are on wall street when they had rather be academics and intel he can't annuals because they think they can't because they are conservatives. in some cases, they are right. i think in a lot of cases, they are not right. but that is an attitude that's pressure length on the right and why conservatives tend to rely more on think tanks and liberals more on universities. i think there is a huge advantage in that to the left. universities just seem to or more credibility than a think tank that's understood to be a political actor, but it is a reality. i would say my own attitude
about the academy is different from a lot of conservatives. i think there is an enormous amount of very valuable work being done in social sciences. there is -- what there is not in today's academy in the way there used to be is the just amaidsing generalist the extraordinary learned intellectual that even through the 1960s and into the '70s we saw in the american academy and played a big part actually in the development of conservatism in america. >> person is hard to find now. >> person would have a hard time getting and keeping an academic job. >> that's a fault of the university and not better for the university than for conservatives. there are a lot of great specialists. i don't think it's right to see the academy as a kind of sea of useless humanity. there is a lot of work being done and useless inanity. >> like journalism. >> that's right. >> so some issues that are like
the big issues people are talking about right now: healthcare immigration, inequality family formation, climate change. which of those address effectively and which of them doesn't? do we not yet have a -- >> one dimension of reform conservatism is an attempt to supply politically effective answers for conservative about the issues most americans care about. it's in part that involves reoriginating the conversation to the issues most americans care about. interestingly, if you think about the conversation in washington, d.c. over the last two years, how much of it has been about immigration or inequality or climate change? issues that on a good day will get a combine 6% the american public saying that's the top issue that congress ought to be
thinking of. the issues that americans really want to focus on are the bread and butter concerns about the cost of living about wage stagnation. healthcare is definitely one of them. but, you know, they don't think about -- they don't think about it in the issue in the ideological terms that the left and the right do. they like smaller government. it's not their top priority getting smaller government. they don't like inequality. it's not at all a high priority prior to for them. what they want is a wider standard of living. >> that's where i think we are -- which i think, you know, i have my. i think it's easy for political activists and act orders to get caught up in the issues that an animate us and lose sight of the
issues that are of concern to the people. >> why does that hatch? why do we end up focused on the extremes? >> partly, you know, the folks that screenam a lot in the washington get the most attention. right? so you got big part of your base that are concerned about certain issues that the general public isn't that worried about. you know i think it's the case with the inequality issue in particular. i think that's something that i want to say it's somewhere around 3% of the public says that's a top issue for them. you certainly see more than 3% of the news coverage i think on that issue. at this the kind of thing that we beltway types just tend to respond to each other a whole lot. >> in fairness if you are a journalist living in new york or d.c. with hedge fund managers
you know. henry. >> yes. actually t income mobility. is that a big issue for people do you think, and is it distinct from income inequality? >> i think one of the more interesting things we have seen over the past year, year and a half is a pivot on the part of democrats as well away from some of the rhetoric around inequality and towards rhetoric around opportunity. i think that's a much more appealing frame to most people. and i think you can't have a conversation about that today without talking about education and particularly what happens after you graduate from high school. >> how much can we? i feel like we have been pounding it at gets more kids through college, getting fewer kids through high school. we have been pounding away at this sort of we need more trained workers like this is an evergreen from every political campaign forever and ever and ever. what do we do now different than
what we have been doing, you know, with the insanity of trying to do the same thing over and over again trying to get different results. >> sure. the interesting thing is both parties have been guilt of that of this problem 679 democrats' national inclination is to try to solve the problems of schools and colleges from washington. right? they can't do that. they can pass laws that ask the bureaucracy to write rules that are supposed to impact states and colleges do their work. george h. -- george w. bush fell into the same trap with no child left behind a very prescriptive attempt to fix schools from d.c. i think that what my colleague and i try to lay out in "room to grow" is a different way of thinking about the federal role and it is the an i think sys to devolve it out to those cloviser
on the ground who can solve problems and as he says in his wonderful chapter, allow people to true trial and error figure out problems they face in their lowell area, their school districts and their particular school. have washington kind of retreat from that but bear in mind the need to create space for problem solvers to do their work. >> so i want to ask you. you have said some great stuff about this about leaving more space between the federal government for all sorts of -- or local governments for institutions that aren't the government and viewing instead of in modern political discourse, we tend to view this either the big federal government maybe a little bit government and everything else is this individual sphere and there is almost nothing in between. republicans have long talked a great game about decentralization and bush's signature achievement, the iraq
war and no child left behind which are both these -- i mean first of all why don't republicans put their money where their mouth is? and how do you change that? >> i think part is thinking beyond des-lucien. it gets to your prior question about the subjects we take up. in some ways,olution. it gets to your prior question about the subjects we take up. in some ways,. what subjects ought to be taken up? >> not up to us anyway. but in thinking about how to approach public problems. i think there is a great difference between the left and the right in america on the question of how to approach public problems where there is an inclination on the left as you say and it's rooted in progressive thinking and seriously, i think a lot of con contemp raerm conservatives don't wrestle with that that we ought to think about american society of consisting of individuals and a state and that the role of the state is to
enable those individuals to live the lives they want to lead. it's a very appealing idea. conservatives emphasize in what happens in the space between those two, the individual and the state where our families are, where our civic institutions are, religious institutions where the market economy is and where levels of government below the federal government are and we emphasize that not just because we don't like the federal government but rather because it seems to us that that's actually where people thrive, that that's how you solve problems is hand-to hand and face to face and as much as policy is problem solving, it's going to have to be able to address people's concerns where they are. >> means there is an important role for government but the role for government is a supporting role an enabling role to enable those institutions and the state between the individual and the state mediating institutions to help people solve problems they have. and i think if you think about how things happen in that state, conservatives often talk about
this in terms of market-oriented policies and turns some people off because it seems like we are just saying just put money in the middle of it and it will work out. it's not about money. it's not about a market in that sense. it's about market as problem-solving mechanisms. you think think about it apart from markets. if you think about how you solve problems from the bottom up, you allow people to experiment with different solutions, allow people who need help to choose from among those options and you allow the options that aren't chosen to follow it. >> that's how markets work. markets create an enormous creative incentive. there is a huge reason to try things look for little marginal improvement. the consumer has a lot of power and can choose among options, the one that suits their needs and things that don't work go away. government programs don't work this way at all. regulation does not allow for experimentation. there is a solution. it's prescribed generally. the people who are receiving a service don't choose among options and failures never go
away. we vote for head start again even though we know and everybody agrees that it doesn't work. a lot of what people are calling reform conservatism seems an effort to move from that latter kind of welfare state to the more market oriented model. it's not about markets in the sense of money. it's about a way of solving problems that enables those i knowstitutions to function. it enables people to driefrnt things, allows people to choose from among options and enables failures to fail. >> that's what school choice is. >> that's what the conservative approach to healthcare looks like. >> that's what our higher education looks like our welfare reform ideas look like. if you think about how does that apply to space x where there is a problem to solve, it seems to me that's more of a way for us to be useful than which problems should we look at and what the conservative solution, a different way of think being how government ought to solve problems. >> if i could add megan, this
creativity is much more in step with the times. it's interesting that i think liberals are really out of step because these technocratic top-down solutions don't tend to yield the kind of creativity and the kind of flexibility that american consumers could enjoy, you know, from the private sector from civil society. so where, you know, the rest of our lives have become more customizable and leanner and a much more responsive to individual concerns. the government continues in this non-responsive top-down way that is not -- it's really interesting that, you know, that conservatism is where there is room for creativity. >> let me ask shifting gears a
little bit the big movement in conservatism that has been noticeable is the tea party. how much do they contribute to this in the the establishment versus the tea party? and is the tea party about this kind of, like opening up space, experimentation experimentation, et cetera, or something simplee and different? >> well, i think that i wouldn't say the reform conservatives that i myself in the tea party or the establishment can't -- on the right, i think each has elements of the truth that the meet us quite there? >> which element? >> the establishments tends to be realistic about achieving things but different in the end but the reverse set of dye virg event devices for the tea party. i am struck by the extent to which the division between tea partyers and the establishment
just doesn't have any policy content to it at all. i think tea partyers have a healthy reaction against the idea of a republican party that is just solely about keeping the fortune 500 happy. they don't have a lot of ideas of healthcare higher education, but the establishment doesn't either. so one of the reasons i am hopeful that the basic dividing line on the republican side, the one reason i am hopeful, i think at some point, candidates after an 8-year presidency have to run on something. some of our ideas will catch on. >> you are the education guy. you know what the kids these days the yutes.
>> yeah. >> this has big a big thing is that the republicans, are a rammesh was talking about, increasingly democrats are the party of the young, minoritiesesh was talking about, increasingly democrats are the party of the young, minorities. republicans, unfortunately, many of those people have a low -- rapid mortality rate in their near future. so is there hope? i mean is this the sort of this inc. that speaks to these, the sort of thing where you can actually, because my understanding is like you pick up someone when they are 24 or pick up someone the first time they vote, you realize they have their vote forever. how do you -- what are the issues that speak to the kids these days? >> i think on the higher ed side in particular i think it's tough for republicans now mainly because democrats have turned this in to student loins in particular student debt into a campaign issue. essentially, if you listen the
fair shot agenda elizabeth warren, as soon as her refinancing student loan refinancing bill went down didn't make it through, she went to kentucky to campaign against mitch mcconnell since he is siding with millionaires over students. and democrats are giving young college educated people -- they want to give young educated people strategies a strategy we have seen for two consecutive elections. we want to give you lower interest rates. we want to allow you to refinance your loans. >> that's a stimulus package for the college educated. right? it's a tough thing to answer on the part of republicans. i do think -- i think that there is a population in the middle sort of not necessarily the youth vote but early 20s and mid 20s, people who have some college and no degree. right? they often have debt.
they have been let down by this system. and they need something. they need some option that is not as time-consuming and expensive as a full college degreend and, you know, they need something. i think that's a segment of the population. it's big. you know, it's 20, 25% of the country that could easily be wooed by some of the ideas that we talk about in the book. more flexibility, the ability to jump into higher ed and out quickly. when you need new skills jump back out. we will help you pay for some of that. those ideas, i think, are very compelling, could be very compelling to that group. >> ramesh? >> i want to jump in to make a broader point which is i think there is a mistake a lot of people think about politics often make which is to slice the electorate into these demographic groups in a misleading way. often in the 2012 election there was a lot of talk about how republicans were doing poorly among groups: hispanics
single women action young people and top a lesser degree white working class white voters without college degrees and then the -- when you do that people think then jump thinking there is a group specific reason that needs to be addressed. so, the contraceptive mandate, same-sex marriage. those play a role. they absolutely play a role but the thing that people often under estimate is that each one of those groups is more economically in than the national average. each of those groups is having trouble getting good jobs having trouble affording health insurance and in many cases having trouble paying off student loans. each of those groups they put economics at the top of their list. so even if you were to solve those group-specific problems if you don't have a compelling message on the bread and butter
concerns you are going to understand perform with each of those groups because they are a needier group. >> it's interesting to look at f.d.r. picked up basically the african-american vote which has been much more republican and despite the fact that he did nothing on civil rights. right? he picked up huge proportion of that vote by answering economic needs but they were especially hard hit by the great depression. so, the feeling he was doing something about their needs was e special live... >> the one thing that i would add to that is especially on the higher ed side a lot of the policy proposals democrats are putting forward are fundamentally regressive. they reward the krej educated. they want states to spend more on higher education but that doesn't go to students who need it most. right? it goes to the flagship campuses with the smartest kids where they are going. that's ideas, to call that out and say this isn't right. we want to do something
different. >> let me ask one last question. how much headway is this making in washington? do we have a reform conservative presidential candidate who is coming sometime, you know? >> well, i certainly hope so. >> that's certainly one of our goals, i think is to affect that field which is bigger by the day. you know there have been a few champions on the hill that we take particular -- we pay particular attention to. >> can you name names? >> yeah. mike lee in the senate is a phenomenal idea generator. he's got -- he is talking about everything from higher ed to taxes to healthcare. so he's just a really phenomenal talent in the senate. new blood in the senate. marco rubio has been outstanding. also, introduced a lot of legislation, working on more. in fact, they are teaming up at the moment on a tax proposal we are looking forward to.
paul ryan has been doing some good work in the house so i guess i have made two potential presidential candidates there. we have gotten guys that have been around a long time too, warren hatch gave a great speech on constitutionalism that fits very well into the themes that we have. so, i think that some of the more talented politics in washington are paying attention to this because there has been a vacuum so long on policy that those who are interested in trying to come up with an agenda and move the ball forward, there are frankly not a lot of places to turn. we are happy to fill that vacuum obviously. courage, there is alternates of i think, interest has been generated just this book we didn't expect the kind of attention we got. and i think it was, you know, remarkably successful for being a pretty modest effort. >> that's what you get when you get smart guys like this working together on a project. >> well, on that happy note i
am going to open up the floor. there is a mike that we will circulate. please speak into the microphone. also please raise your hand so i can call on you. >> hi. this is interesting. my question is regarding the last topic that you were talking about, specifically about paul ryan. i can't remember, you know, paul ryan running for president. the speaker, giving a speech on the house floor would chart tables and low-tech and i guess these reform conservatives having that. >> do voters need charts? >> i would say one thing quickly and i will turn it over to these guys. my sense is that, you know this
smarter guys are going to be running for president know that they can't keep doing more of the same. it just hasn't been successful. you know the last presidential election was there wasn't much of a conservative agenda offered. i think that's fair to say. so i think that those who are looking at, you know how many sielingz has it been we haven't won the popular vote? >> six? >> you can't continue this. the formula is not working. so i think that the smarter ones are going to realize there is something in common here we need to, you know we need to develop a more regressed, you know, agenda. ther thing is i really think it's important that conservatives, you know, because of what we believe in limited government and we are sort of often portrayed and often portray ourselves as being anti-government, there is a sense a lot of folks don't want to get too in the weeds on policy like that's a
non-conservative thing to do if you know too much about hhs then we have suspicions about you. and i think that's wrong. we've got to confront that you know. ryan has an excellent reputation in the house among his colleagues. i think that's for good reason. they recognize something in him. he is doing the hard work of policy making and understanding the problems that, you know we face today and the situation we find ourselves in which is like a bloated government full of, you know a gazillion programs that need reform. and somebody's got, i mean if you want to dismantle that if you want to change that if you want to reorient that you've got to understand it. and i think ryan is a popular guy nationwide, you know, with the conservative base. so, i think that intellectualism doesn't conserve me. >> no plans to issue "room to
go" as a pop-up book? >> slide show. >> anyone else have anything? >> i think it's a good question. it seems to me that there are a couple of questions it brings up. i think first of all, that the part of what we are trying to do is not so much to find a candidate who will be a champion for these ideas exactly as a whole but to enrich the policy conversation on the right in general. so different candidates can take different ideas from among these and can take this way of thinking and try to approach the public with it. i think that it's very strange that the model of paul ryan has not been followed by other members of the house. >> uh-huh. >> it's been successful for him. it got him on the presidential ticket. he did it basically by being a nerd. >> that's what he did. it's not actually that hard. he picked an issue, became an expert, you know, it took him awhile and he's very smart. but plenty of people are smart. he dec