tv 2016 Presidential Race and U.S. History CSPAN October 4, 2015 2:00am-3:01am EDT
about the 2016 president torres at federal hall -- the 2016 presidential race at federal hall. this is an hour. we embark our 10th anniversary in 2016. we are poised to embark on a series of of vents. in the first 10 years, we shared the role in the invention of america. history from the indigenous peoples to the dutch colonies. the revolutionary war to the first seat of government. we are gratified to have had the support of the community trust.
we welcome c-span, who will be sharing the evening with viewers across america. the making of the president, 2016, well preview the election. ourchallenged post to therator, he is correspondent for the new york times. since 1992, he has hosted the new york times close-up, a series on new york. of severaluthor thes including the story of rosenberg case. only in new york. books taking aim at our city.
the history of new york in 100 and one objects. hughes and pfizer it -- he is an advisor to the committee. please join me in welcoming sam roberts. mr. roberts: thank you for coming and for our panel to participating. this is less a debate than a conversation. --she pointed out, that this the challenge is to look at the race through the rich history. the history of hamilton on broadway, we don't care about history. we are consumed with the present.
universitya professor likes to say, history is for losers. he looks at places where it is celebrated. places like jamestown and plymouth. their past wallow in because nothing much happened of their next. no offense, as he points out, but jamestown would have sank into the mud. cameirst written reference after they landed. i have been covering new york for 50 years. he says something else that maybe i took for granted. in new york.s if it did. here in thist
spot. embodies that beginning more than federal hall. what distinguished new york from the rest of america was its dutch roots. the dutch did not come here to escape religious persecution. or to pro lofa ties. you can call it power. indifference. whatever it was, it defined in new york and america. at this spot, right here where peter's angerg, a person was acquitted in 1735. he called it the morningstar of liberty which revolutionized america.
stamp act, 250 years ago, it convened. he was the mayor of new york. he drafted a declaration of rights. demanded no taxation without representation. not even most new yorkers know this for 18 months, the giving in 1789, new york was the nation's first capital. washington was inaugurated here at this site on this stone over there, gripping the railing that you can see in that room holding the bible. washington, by the way sfarmed
out of the chamber one day when senators postponed their debate on a treaty. they didn't object to the treaty but couldn't hear over the noise. washington never returned to the senate after that. some things, i guess, don't. congress debated slavery. fleshed out the bodies of laws and the government from the bare bones of the constitution. congress approved 12 amendments to the constitution. 12. the first two signaled their priorities, congressional pay and representation. if that one would have been ratified, we would have 6,000 congress members now. the remaining 10 which were ratified, became the bill of rights. and then we were lucky.
thanks to hamilton, they all packed up and departed for a southern march. it was not a swamp but a march. and looking to life ahead in philadelphia, abigail adams said it won't be broadway. tonight at the site where history happened, we bring you the historical context and diverse prospecttives. gail collins joined the "new york times" in 199 , the first woman to hold that position. and author of "america's women" and "when everything changed" older ting a book or women. peggy noonan, form earl speech
writer for president reagan. author of seven books and her book "the time of our lives." will be published in november. woman, the black warmth of the sons. the epic story of america's great migration. a panel of historians conveeped and concluded that the founding fat thors were inventers and compriseors ap i would like to ask the panel, giveen the way the government is working these days, if the founding fathers it back, with they get
right? ladies? >> they had no clue. , but the re i agree context was so totally different, they would come back and see all of these women running around. thomas jefferson, i would love hointhoipt or carly feern. it's hard to put it in context and extraordinary people for their time. but i don't see the founding fathers were the best. >> they were all fathers. many of them were married. >> one thing about it. this was my older woman thought.
asking them to come over from england and kept saying things like anyone of a good dispossession under the age of 65 would make a wonderful wife. and i thought that's the last time it came up. > what do you think? the government we have now was working the way they envisioned? >> i think that some of the founding generations are not insignificant number of them who walk these halls, were not at all certain that the united states of america, which they were business i inventing, would a, endure shall, b, endure as a dem.
230, 240 years later, they might think, well, that worked. but after that, i would think ey would see the rampant disfunction, discord and very in coherent washington and they would be confused by it. if they look at the 2016 election, they would see things that would astound them. ey would see a number of leading candidates who have nor experience in elective office running for president of the united states. they would see other candidates whor i think the founders in a germ sense and who ared and those are professional
politicians, those who went into politics who worked for years in some profession or some honest work and then as good citizens decided to leave the field go to washington and do public service by representing their state or their congressional delegation and serve for a limited time and then go home and leave washington and be a normal american citizen. i think they would be shocked by the november isness by some candidates and shocked by that byitics is a job and shocked the political consultants and hocked by super pacs and billionaires. all that hamilton would say, what is a billionaire.
so much would be start rling for them. t the biggest thing would be that in a republic. >> given that most of our founding fathers were slave holders, they would be stunned and i think speechless to know who was actually in the white house right now. [applause] >> i don't think they wouldn't be able to comprehend the possibility of the people who have been who were brought here against their will, by hundreds of thousands and our first president, he was a slave holder f hundreds of enslaved african-americans. it was a difficult thing to come present hepped the idea that people, that 10% could be a
mainstream into the society of a whole. it would be incomprehensible they could have imagined a person of african-american descent would be in the white house. host: would it be surprising that it took so long and now that he got there, being held to a higher or different standard as president because he is black? >> i think they could not comprehend the day when it would happen. understanding how they would have thought about that. is emind us that this hallowed ground and how intertwined the issue and the economic and the enslavement was to the count friday and to new
york. we are on wall street. wall street was named after a wall ap was built by enslaved africans. a lot of people don't realize that. and on this street, the wall was built of laws by the enslaved people. 1700's, this was a mart ter that were not sealed as commodities. very much intertwined and part f the foings of our city and country. and charleston, courget carolina was ar port that was being sold and those who were arisk to be sold and represented on this
very state. host: we talk about it being compromises. eric caintor wrote in "the times" he never heard ofal football team that won by throwing hail mary passes. what is the ability to solve problems incrementally, to take baby steps and make small comprise mess than and do it in a way. nd you wrote scorpion tongs, that was a long time ago that things got worse to talk civily to esh other. >> you make the point.
when he was running for , his nt, he kept saying maid, his ambassador to russia and wife was an i will legitimate mate child and on and on and on. god only knows what they would have thought. i don't know that in terms of character there's any difference. they had the moment right now. and remember in congress, the uy that got the senator, the cane. south carolina. always south carolina. always been this crazy streak and we are in a moment in which the crazy streak and what's going to happen, the people who are doing this will lose.
and once they figure this out, things will calm down. >> what happened? >> i think maybe in the past 25 years, certainly in the past 10 or 15, a number of things came together, all of which had a negative effect on things. one, everybody in politics got max mallist. they couldn't put forward a modest bill ap say this modest bill will do something. and it's small and we are in agreement. let's put it forward. nobody wanted to do that anymore. everything is max mallist. you can't have a peace by peace immigration bill.
no. it's got to be huge. so that happens. i think we are living in a time because of our media, more and more of our candidates can and will be car is matic. but they aren't legislators. that is what is going on. legislative inability to move things forward. things that have happened, there are so many people making so much money on the divisions that drive us crazy. left wing people in groups and right wing people in groups. they are going to their own bases and getting them mad and getting them frustrated and saying, you right write that congressman or senator.
finally, america has been undergoing something culture rally something of the big sort. people who are like-minded are more likely to be living together in places like new york and texas. people who are like-minded, navigate their way towards media towards comfort or back up their biases. all of these things have the effect of putting daggers in the idea of compromise and going together and taking a chance and trusting the other guy. , it would be or easier now than any time in our
country's history. people can find comfort and on swell elevision that can up. and there are studies among the ogy call scientists, very thing that drives everybody crazy. it's the idea that instead of mple being convinced of anything, we are looking to confirm what we believe. and they can buildup because people are looking in this echo chamber for things they believe already. and when in fact, we are creating more of a confirmation by the people who are planting themselves in things that they
know. this confirmation bias is in new studies, new information that on one side would say, you must believe what we say. and he we are going to access. and one piece that has been confirmed. >> i think there is a little bit -- i don't have this thoughtfully thought out, but i feel as an american there is a slow-mo french revolution going on where everybody hates every establishment. hey hate the political
establishment and hate the media establishment. they hate all establishments, but the u.s. military and their own doctor, is the impression i get. that means everybody who's trying in their own way to help america run knows he is constantly under threat. >> what we already believe in. then what we make of alan of columbia who says of donald trump is a first in american politics, a candidate with no belief system other than the certainty that what he says is right. how do we account for that?
, i truly believe -- just for the hell of it so we could have a debate. and we the media and we were doing all that stuff and i belonged to the group in high it was all about not wearing strapless dresses. and then we evolved. we totally didn't believe that anyone in authority could be trusted. we totally didn't accept anybody in authority. and it evolved into the politics a very era, and you had crazy time of politics in which the democrats, the left, were
very unwilling to compromise, very unwilling to work the way things used to work in all of that, and i remember when bill clinton was running the first time, talking to one of the super left politicians in new york city and saying how can you be for bill clinton, he is such a compromiser, and she said i am tired of losing. the democratic party changed at that point. i argument toward be that right now the thing we have is not a political problem, it's a republican problem. that's the whole we hate everything, we hate everybody. we are not going to compromise. we are not going to do anything. it's actually not the two parties being crazy. it's just one party right now. i am not trying to have a fight
here, but i am going there. i am of two minds on that, or maybe more than two minds of that. there is a lot of feeling on the republican side that they have been trying to compromise for and at the 50 years, end of the day, they look back and it somehow always got worse. spending on higher. taxation got higher. regulation got higher. the power of the government to intrude into your life became bigger. so they think wow, where did we get by compromising? has is a time when america fairly serious problems that we are all familiar with. i understand those. people in the tea party would say look, now is the time when
you just have to start getting tough. at the same time, i look at a speaker of the house who navigated his way as well, i as a human being could the past few years, who has such record,vative voting who led the republicans in congress to a great victory in ,010 and continued it in 2014 and he essentially is leaving because he is tired of handling, hisan no longer handle feisty, rambunctious, and in ine cases distractive -- and even some cases ignorant base in congress. i don't know how to balance these two shots. -- two thoughts. i have great sympathy for
republicans, by which i mean conservatives. but to lose a man who was so making a deal feels not good at all, and i rue it. you also say the gap between those in government and those who are governed has grown and also pretends things that are not good. can you tell us what you mean? peggy: i forget. what was i talking about? what you on the spot for once. >> you are talking in the context of immigration. right.right, right, >> i remember. sam.: thank you, i shouldn't have put you on the spot in that way. -- america's is
, america has political leaders, our congressmen and senators, the people who populate the federal government -- i am going to repeat something i said before. they used to live normal lives. they used to experience the normal harassments of life in america. they work jobs. they got a paycheck. they had no specific or great status. they knew what it was to be just normal and then they would go into government. i mean, i am being very general. we can all see exceptions, but they go into government and they sort of thing normally. i don't see that happening in government now. entire,re, -- i see an for a few generations, a governing class. come up through the to thesess, go
fabulous school, and want to be in government for the rest of their lives. they are detached from normal people. they have not been in touch with the fears and anxieties of normal people for a long time. -- andinton once said this is not to pick on clinton, but it's the anecdote that comes to mind. the new990's, he told yorker that he had come to understand in some new way that crime in america -- this was in the early 1990's, like 1993 or was experienced as a harassment and daily executive -- daily anxiety by many americans. i thought, he is president of the united states, why is that just occurring to him now? why did he realize that for the last 20 years? it's because for the last 20 years he had been living in a
limousine as governor. he had not experienced normal life for 20 years by the time he got to be president. this is bad. if i could change it, i would. but we all would. sorry i answered so long. i was looking for my point. it takes time sometimes. sam: this is the place, as we where race was first debated. as isabel has written in her and wrote in the new york times last year, if events in the last year have taught us anything, it's that is much progress has been made over generations, the challenges of color are not locked away in another country or confined to a region, but persist as a national problem and require the commitment of an entire nation to resolve. if bill clinton or barack obama nation toet the
honestly confront race, who can? isabel: i think it takes more than one person. this is something that goes back the arrival of people of african descent in and the creation of the system of enslavement that existed anywhere in the world until that time. this is the foundation on which our country was built, and we are still dealing with it. i ,ften say, just remind people enslavement lasted for far, far longer than the time that african-americans have been free. of us alive today will see the moment at which we reach neutrality, at which we are equal, because it was 246 years
of enslavement and so many far fewer years of freedom. that enslavement went on for 12 generations. greats do we have to add to grandparents to get to that generation? that's a very long time. it is so much bigger than one person. often the first question i will get from europeans is well, there is an african-american president, why is this going on? this is much more than one person. it is an american challenge, not just one person's responsibility. sam: we have held barack obama to a higher standard. what about a woman in the white house? gail, you have written about women in politics, obviously. margaret sullivan, the public
editor of "the new york times" pointed out that we have full-time reporter to cover the clintons while other candidates, she says the sea shall he, have been spared that particular blessing -- she says facetiously, have been spared the particular blessing. are we treating hillary clinton differently? isabel: yes -- part yes, we are, in because she might be the first woman president, but also because she is hillary clinton. she had a life in the white house. she left the white house and became a senator. secretary of state. she was married to the president. you would lookat at her differently. it doesn't mean you judge her politics differently. i think we will once we start
having debates and things quiet down a little bit. -- i love this. i have to tell you. this has been so interesting over the past few months, but i think she will be judged as a candidate like everybody else. people will be trying to decide -- they are not going to elect her because she is a woman. never vote for women because they are women. becausete for women they agree with their positions. she will be judged but i think it will be ok. sam: will people not to vote for her because she is a woman? more women vote than men. but donald trump is ahead in the polls. obviously, there are people out there that are not making reasonable decisions right now. i think partly that is because it's summer, they are bored, and they like entertainment. in the end, people chose barack
obama not because he was black, but because they thought he would be better. they thought the stuff he would be doing would be better than the stuff that had been going on in washington. peggy: can i ask a question? sam: sure. peggy: this is an unanswered political question of our time, and it is something i have pondered. i will throw it out you and see if you have an opinion. in 1988, i was working for george h w bush when he was running for president. his pollster was a really talented, professional, sober person. he was telling me -- we were in his office. we had been there to talk about something, and the conversation alighted in two recent polling he had done. he told me a bunch of interesting, offkilter stuff that for some reason i will -- i askedt, such as
him, what countries do americans really like and not like. i was just curious. and he said americans still don't like the japanese, but they like the germans. go figure. but that's a degree in. he told me about his polling on caucus, and heo said women are going more democratic -- mike dukakis, and he said that women are going more democratic and men are going more republican. that was something that was sort of cliche by then. and i said why it that? why do women vote for democratic and men more republican? and he said we don't know. then he said he thought it had something to do with the price of things, shopping. women are concrete. they are in the stores. they are seeing what happening in the stores and they are worried about prices and the economy.
and they are more interested in security. that was his guests. he didn't know the answer. women have been voting more democratic and men more republican in our lifetimes. do you have an opinion why? gail: studies suggest it tends to be because they like the stuff that democrats do. they like more federal spending on education. they like social security. they like obama. the like the idea that country is providing a safety net for everybody, including their families and everybody else's families. they don't tend to like people they think are going to get usi?
isabel: no, i don't. gail: i don't have a good opinion either. sam: what do you think? just don't know if it is sexist and i am going to get myself in trouble, but it seems to me that women have a greater life,of the essentials of it ising in brooklyn, and more likely a man who will say let's build the brooklyn bridge. it meaningful to live there and make life possible. they want stability. they want the essentials of life. and they want to build from there. but its power that says let's build the bridge. and powell roebling
that says let's build the bridge. 16 republican candidates for president debated for something like five hours. i looked through the transcript of the federal news service and could not find a single mention "urban," "s inequality," "housing," or "crime." moderating a presidential debate, what questions would you want to ask? isabel: moderating a five-hour debate? or any length. was at the reagan library debate. i am a sure i had ever seen a presidential debate before.
it was so interesting when i saw. for one thing, the candidates have a way of finding out where the staff is and talking to the staff. i hadn't known that. during the commercials, they are to drink water and hug somebody. they go into the audience, hug and touch, shake hands. they go very much to the family. it struck me for the first time -- i just saw them as a bunch of individual operatives, and i thought they are lonelier and more insecure than you know, and they are all looking for support. ted cruz keeps his eyes on his wife and she gives him this. i think your observation is an example of the disconnect that we are seeing
unfold even as recently as the last few days. aboutrrent discussion is wements by jeb bush about are not going to give free stuff to african-americans. that is a message to people who are willing to hear it. just looking at it from an historical perspective, because the politics is really not my wheelhouse, but from an historical perspective, i wish everyone could think about the magnitude of that message, the magnitude of stating that african-americans might be free stuff. historically, it's a stunning suggestion for anyone to make. and the reason is because african americans, as you know, been enslaved and did nothing but work to help build
,he country for 246 years followed by 100 years of jim crow segregation in which many african-americans in the self or working for the right to live on the land they were farming. they were sharecropping and not even being paid. so much of our history involves african-americans giving the country free stuff, meaning free labor, and that is the overarching history of our country when it comes to the exchange of goods, services, blood, sweat, and tears on the part of americans who have not been and can respected as americans for much of our -- acknowledged and respected as americans for much of our history. if i were in a position to ask theone to speak about statement and what that actually this day,nd even to
the statistics show that african-americans, when they look for a job, an african-american with a clean record is less likely to be hired van a white american with a felony record. -- savannah white american with a felony record. whites a study -- than a american with a felony record. this is a study out of princeton. so even when african-americans attempt to find work, there is unconscious bias. challengesome of the the give the lie to a statement about free stuff. matter how high unemployment is in america, it's always higher for african-americans. historically, it has been, but , there areit may be always more african-americans nonworking.
so if there is 20% unemployment, 80% are working. so where is this trope coming from and why are we so quick to be deceived by these statements that misrepresent an entire group of people in our country? sam: you talk so much in your book about the migration to the north. we talk about immigrants and where they are coming from, now from asia, south america, instead of europe. are blacks going to be the indelible immigrants in this country? often talk about the fact that we live in a cast system, which is something that accustomed tonot speaking of ourselves in being in. system is an artificial hierarchy. in our country, it is based on race. system actually began
in the north, in massachusetts, began as well.nt it was an institution that was refined, you might say, or course and, in the south. as long as we have an artificial aree system in which people presumed to have certain characteristics based on what continue toke, we see the situation -- 2014 was a unleashingar of this of attacks on african-americans. eric gardner was a metronome -- there is a metronome of names. we have literally, with our very eyes seen american citizens killed, beaten, shot before our very eyes. it's stunning. as i was preparing -- i have been out of the country talking about this, and people outside i ame country will say
terrified to go to the united states. there are guns everywhere. we seal these videos of americans being shot. -- we see alling these videos of americans being shot. and it is stunning to see videos of people being killed. gale, a question for a candidate? gail: i was thinking about the magic question idea. the idea that there is a magic question you can ask. i regret that i was not clear about explaining my great tax policy. it doesn't work anymore like that, and i am not sure it ever did. george washington had political issues. time a reporter wrote down what they said in congress
and wrote down -- they were horrified. they were shocked. when people started following them around when they were giving speeches, they would stop talking because they were so horrified by the idea, because it was so unfair that somebody would write down what you said and put it in the newspaper. , you can't ask a magic question. you can't do it because they know how to answer all the magic questions. what i am looking forward to, and what works -- what we were talking about with jeb bush. if you could confront him with that statement, he knows what to say now and he would fix it. if you could surprise him the way donald trump was surprised -- once in a while they will get surprised by references to things they have actually done. and that's like an end to debate
thing. it's like two or three people yelling at each other on the stage. it's not going to happen now. but my answer is there are no magic questions. sam: do you have one, isabel? you don't have to. isabel: no. i like surprise questions that can elicit thought. i asked a candidate -- it was off the record, so i won't say his name -- sam: who are we going to tell? well, c-span is here. he may be watching. he probably is. i said to him -- he was telling me where he stands on isis and syria, and islam. isent, can i ask the said -- said, when you think about foreign affairs and geopolitical
things, who do you read? who do you go to for guidance and information on a new thought , and what books on history do you go to? i was surprised and surprised because i was actually saying please tell me how you think and where your thoughts come from. i won't name him in part because his answer was poor. imagine a question that requires a thought for an answer. speaking of which, we have time for about two thoughts from the audience, if anyone has a magic question, not a trick question. if not, i have more questions to ask. does anyone have one? >> when you are all discussing
lean democratic, none of you brought up the right to have an abortion. don't you think that's essential ? i mean, i know so many women leanare conservative who democratic because of that one issue. you are understand what saying and i think it is true, but women leaning more democratic and men leaning more has been going on for longer than these current conversations. it has been an older political story. when we talk about why women do this, there is something in this, i think. women are dealing with the essentials of life, and when they see somebody come along with programs dealing with the essentials, they are more likely to be sympathetic.
they can look at the other side sometimes and hear words like competition, competition. you know, it's all about competition. and they might be thinking to , competition is good. it's part of american life. we like that. sports.ll playing but first, take care of the essentials. i think that's part of what going on. sam: anyone else have a question question mark s, ma'am? question? yes, ma'am. what in your thoughts and in your plans that you are putting forth here for the american people is really going to the lives of the children and your grandchildren and your great grandchildren? that's a heavy
responsibility. isabel? isabel: i think that's what most people believe they are actually doing. i think people are seeking to do that on all sides of our political spectrum. i don't think anyone is doing anything specifically because they do not want their children and grandchildren too well -- to do well. i think they just disagree on how to do that. gail: can i go back to the abortion thing for a second? sam: sure. what has fascinated me all along about the abortion issue is so freighted with class. you can do all most to planned parenthood or an abortion clinic , and middle-class women are going to be able to get abortions. the whole fight we are having now is actually a fight about the rights of poor women, and to
tilt in one it does direction. i don't know that there are many conservative women, even the the right toeve in abortion, who are quite as concerned about that class. maybe i am wrong. maybe i am underestimating them, but that has always been a thing. this comes up in debates. the american people want abortion rights, but they are about tweaking it. you have candidates saying i know believe a woman who is ra -- ihould have an abortion don't believe a woman who is ra
ped should have an abortion. it's still the same principle. but that scares people. get so much done if washington worked better in that area. public opinion is very much against third trimester abortion, late term abortion. i mean, france doesn't have late-term abortion. other civilized nations don't. gail: but what we don't have, particularly in the republican say i are people who will don't believe in late-term abortion. i know believe in abortion passed the first or master. so i want to get a whole fleet ,f family planning out there
get birth control to people so that this isn't an issue. sam: similar to finding common ground on mass incarceration and things like that. are a resident of florida, ohio, virginia, or north carolina, you are all but an invisible voter in 2016. whereing states are candidates are spending their time and money. what about the rest of us? peggy: it's absurd. the last presidential election took place apparently in ohio and florida. nobody else's vote mattered. that is astonishing to me. mattered a little. indiana mattered a little. this is something about that is too strange and very unsatisfying. and you never see candidates go cities our great
anymore. i mean, they go through and shake them like an atm at fundraisers. this, but weeve has to have real political rallies, huge campaign rallies in new york city in the garment district. my gosh, the first political rally i ever went to was in 1964 for lyndon johnson. as i remember, its buildout of madison square garden. he was talking about the issues and riling the crowd. it was exciting. it is astonishing to me that nobody who runs for president has to come here. we should make new york -- we should surprise people now and then and start to show a little more republican support. just have an election and vote republican. they will start to think new york is in play and they will come here and treat us with respect and have a rally. we could all plan this.
this is something we could compromise. head fake every presidential candidate. joining us.ou for peggy noonan, isabel wilkerson, the l collins. -- gail collins. books by the panelists are available in the bookstore as you exit. to those of you with tickets dinner, please join us on the second floor. use the stairs or the elevator. thank you so much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> sunday, on q&a. new upreme court's
term. >> the supreme court dealt with it. marlborough versus medicine. -- madison. basically, he, probably deserved some remedy. the remedy it goes beyond the power of congress, the authority of congress. the supreme court was going to strike down that law. if this is something the court had never done before. active congress unconstitutional. &a."uncer: on c-span "q supreme court debuts landmark cases.