tv Senator Ben Sasse Delivers Remarks at the Steamboat Freedom Conference CSPAN November 26, 2016 10:08pm-10:57pm EST
my kids are here. it does not look like they have showed. i want to tell a story because we will talk about a modest -- a lot of pessimistic step. .- stuff when i decided to run for senate we were worried about where to raise our kids. i live in a small town in our outside of omaha. it is a town i grew up in. when i was a kid, everybody in d out in thebuffe summer to walk beings. how many people know what that is? how many people know what d castling corn is? i will not explain, i am not a geneticist nor biologically equipped to explain how colonization is advanced. on twitter trying to ssling cornt deta
was and how you end up with mixtures of seed corn. i reform to court -- corn as bisexual and i set off a debate on twitter. i will not explain in technical terms what it means to be that ed, whatds to be detassl you want cross pollinated corn so you predesignated male and female roles. a lot of kids in the eastern part of the state have been shipped out to the fields in the taslle corn and it is ugly and painful work. you meet up at the local junior high or the local elementary in theand get bustout morning, depending on how far the bus will go. when you arrive to deep tassel. that hasaking the corn
male and female parts and you are removing the male parts so it can be fertilized by the part of the corn that still has the tassel you are cross pollinating it with. rows that you will pull the tassels out of, having irrigation so that they get stuck. the field may have flooded. you may stand in water that is in gold or knee deep in by 10:00 a.m., a will be 100 degrees outside. right now when you are standing in water that was pulled out by this irrigation underground, it is freezing cold water. the corn is cold in the morning. anddress in sweatshirts ready-made ponchos, a garbage bag that you tore holes in. you wondered through these fields and start out freezing cold, and your buddies will tackle you into the corn. you will and up soaking wet on your whole body. by 10:00 a.m., you will have mold and mildew under your hefty bag. you will ditch your hefty bag and sweatshirt.
will endur -- as guys up shirtless. with the corn drying out at 100 degrees at 10:00 a.m., it will cut you wide open. you will break out with something that looks like poison ivy or zits it is corn rash from your face to your neck two-year -- to your neck. your mom will announce that you are not allowed back in the house looking like that. often you fall asleep by 4:00 in the afternoon and usually 12 hours until the next morning to do it again. here is the tragedy with technological development. we have machines that are great at getting 97% of tassels. beef wonderful for the that is fed these corn. nebraska is the largest cattle state. take that texas and oklahoma. [laughter] it is wonderful for a lot of things, except for the decline for needing a lot of
kids to do this. the work ethic that used to come corn is nowsel link a seven to a 10 day thing. worried when were we decided to run for senate that our kids would miss too much time in nebraska. we decided to continue to live in nebraska and i would commute every week. forth between dcn nebraska and i take whatever of our three keys -- kids that melissa is sick of. our girls are 15 and 12 an hour son is five. i take whichever one mom is tired of as my travel buddy. we are worried that this by local life and this existence that they have would mean they would not have enough opportunity to do hard work. they would miss the season the shorter that it has become. to take my 15-year-old daughter and shipper off to a ranch.
cow calfcipated in a season. there are three phases of a towels reading. to 110 born at 50 pounds. they go to 100 pounds to eight or 900 pounds grazing, then phrase -- phase three is the last 110 days of life when you go from 913 pounds. phase, thatrst cow/calf season, there is tons of work to do on a ranch. it is a unique moment of labor demand in march, or march or april. our kids are pretty well behaved. i'm glad they are not here because i was going to point them out and talks about the parts that are in are not will behave. we still have kids, hello corey. my 15 are all just a ride. -- just a ride.
we decided to shipper off so she can help off -- help out. up at 530 or get six every morning because of work to be done with a be cows are born. 9:00ok them all night at p.m., 3:00 a.m., you have to match mom to baby to know came from whom because there is a difference in price if you cannot trace who came from where. you have to tag them, ask any them, there is a ton of work to do. shipped our daughter off to work in this operation in north-central nebraska this year. this had nothing to do with me being a u.s. senator. i told you i would till you could just before bed does. this had nothing to do with me being a senator, this had to do with me being a dad and worried about the work ethic that my kid was or was not going to get right now. we live in a time when work in
the home places more separate than at any point in human history. we shipped her off because i am dad. we have a good relationship with our kids, and the travel back and forth with me. when my daughter was away for a month, i knew i would miss her. we texted a good bit while she was away. probably three or four times a day i would get a text from her factors teenage girl ick that was too good to pass up. i ended up creating this #on twitter, #from the ranch, i would take whatever she sent in. something about pregnancy check at lunch. i will not explain, but you wear a glove to your shoulder, you can figure it out. thathing about the dogs were wild ranch dogs that became her pet dog over the course of the month there. what would happen when do with castrate certain cows or what
happened to a placenta. a word that is not often use on twitter. [applause] ] sen. sasse: i would tweet out #from the ranch and whatever my daughter told me. over the course of the next six weeks as a travel nebraska to speak at those clubs that jennifer mentioned in her introduction, anywhere i would go in nebraska, we are in the heat of a really disruptive political time. of chaos, lot discourse and thanks about the political season. i wanted to speak about policy, not politics. and politics were likely to come up everywhere i went in nebraska. almost no one in nebraska wanted to talk about policy or politics at all. it turned out that the #from the ranch that i did on twitter had gone sole viral in some increases in nebraska, the only thing anybody wanted to talk about was my daughter on the ranch.
they wanted to talk about how their kids could suffer too. [laughter] out, thee: it turns things that are more important more than politics, is important to them than politics as well. trying to figure out how to raise their kids well. trying to figure out where to get their kids work ethic. anxiety about the segregation that the kids that are coming of age. whether or not we are passing the meaning of america, which does center on the work ethic and whether or not they are going to understand why the rotary is the center of american life, is vastly more important than american politics. i think that is still deeply true across the country. little bit today about some of the political cultural moment we are at, and talk a little bit about the moment of economic disruption and transformation we are at. is, i think deep in the heart of the american people, there is still a sense
that what binds us together as a people, is not primarily about the compulsorily power of the federal government. america is much more about country music lyrics than the federal registrar. i think people still understand that deep in their heart of hearts, even if we don't have much language to talk about it together. i will talk about it today. the title of our hour is the american idea after 2017. there are two things i want to flag in that title. the first one is, the american idea. let's talk about what the american idea is. second of all, i want to flag that number 2017. i am not here in any way to talk about the presidential election of 2016. the things that the presidential election of 2016 are showing us issues and a lack of cultural transmission or cultural amnesia that we have got as much deeper than any
other presidential election. we believe a decent amount of our time for question and answer, but i want to preflight what i am interested in talking about. it is something much bigger than who occupies the white house, or who presides over one third of the federal government from generate 2021. i will talk about three topics. i will talk about what the american idea is. second, i want to talk about why this is a disruptive moment. not the residential election, but the era in which we sit. the last 20 or 30 years and the next 20 or 30 years. we live in a uniquely disrupted moment. it will get larger. i am a historian. what that means is you are a killjoy of parties. when people tell you this is truly unique the moment we are at, the historian's job is to say actually, there is more continuity and discontinuity.
we are not that special. we tend to think that our moment is unique because the arnett -- narcissist and at this moment. in this case, we are going to something historically unique. i will talk about the economic this at large is affecting almost all of our institutions. the disruptive moment that we are going through, i want to segment and segregate a few different subsets of what this looks like. third, i want to talk about what a national agenda would look like, if we were having that larger conversation about what things we need to do together as a people, and what subset is amenable to political solutions. has to bean idea contrasted with something. ideas should be contrasted with identity. is historically unique.
america truly is exceptional. one of the tragedies of the last three or four years of this presidency was that moment, i think it was in 2014, but it echoed things that was set in 2011 and 2012. when president obama was asked if he believed in america exceptionalism. you can see the president's wheels turning. the obvious look on his face was, no of course i do not believe in america exceptionalism, and i don't the that is a legitimate political answer. i don't the game supposed to say i do not believe in it. he paths for a second and said, sure with a shrug of the shoulders. sure, i believe in american exceptionalism. the same way as believing greeks believe in greek exceptionalism. that missed the entire point. an intended humility.
he did not want to say yes so that we think we are better than other people, that has never been what it meant. america exceptionalism is a historical claim about the american founding. america exceptionalism is the understanding of the fact that late 1700s,d in the and in particular in 1787 and 1788 in philadelphia at the constitutional convention, was truly unprecedented in human history on any mass scale. our founders were making in anthropological answer. they were saying something and even. old, eric our founders were saying, almost everyone who has come before us in human history was wrong about the nature of governance. think about that. is notrican founding about a war that started in the early 1770's, it is not a bout a district met with the brick in particular.
it was about working out a document that finished the declaration of independence and site, wet ideas that think most people in human history have been wrong about the nature of governance. we think they are wrong about the nature of governance, because they are wrong about anthropology. they do not understand the dignity of people. the american founding was a that rights come from god the in nature. government is our shared tool to secure those rights. government is not the author or source of any of our rights. people have not believe that in the past. people in the past set the world looks broken, they were right. it looks like people want to take away your life and liberty, therefore we need government. we need government, probably the keene is the guy who is truly free because he has a monopoly on violence. if the tree -- king is truly
free, everyone is a dependent subject. he had to wait for the king and his benevolence to tell them what rights they had. thismerican founders said, gets it wrong. government does not precede the people, the people proceed the government. americans, it, we should be we americans in the 20 teens. we americans were supposed to pass this on to the next generation believe something different. we believe people are created with dignity. we think people are created with unalienable rights. we think the government is a project to secure rights that people have. not the center of meaning. it is a necessary tool. putfounders, they did not it in these exact terms, but it is useful when you pass it on to isr kids or grandkids, it useful to have two different pictures in your mind. two giant white boards of an
island surrounded by an ocean, and an island surrounded by in ocean. you try to think how to be labeled the rights of people and powers of the government. the right way to think about this is different than most people thought about prior to 1788. ,here were greek city states great experiences with liberty and early modern periods in switzerland. these are places that have populations of 25,000. we are a nation of 320 million. in our founding we were 4 million. this is a big, bold claim about the nature of people and rights. government is derivative on that. our founders said, throughout human history most people thought the island was the rights of the people. the ocean was the limitless power of the government. creed americans, are a
that was founded is to say that that picture is exactly wrong. are the a numerator powers of the government. the ocean is the limitless rights of the people. [applause] think about why the constitution is the most successful political document ever written. quiz, whye given a would you tell your kid, what is unique about the constitution? just cause in your mind. what is unique about the constitution is that it is an exclusively negative document. it is not that interesting. the constitution is interesting because of how limited it is. the constitution is finishing the work of the declaration of independence, which declared that people have an inalienable rights. the constitution says, we are going to define what powers the government has.
come first, and the people come together to define the government's powers, not wait for the government to give us rights. the constitution is an exclusively negative document. it gives the government power. where those powers and, the inres were the island arise with the waves begin. the constitution does not give you any rights. he says, what you mean? we talked about all these greats right. how does it not give us any rights? thee rights are outside of document. our founders did this on purpose. all of our kids should understand this. why are all of the rights that we have, the constitutional rights, and amendments to the document as opposed to in a court document. the constitution and the bill of rights in particular, exist so
that we can teach our kid why those rights that we have, that predate government, are not things that the government gives us. whetherrnment's debated to list rights at all. they decided that we should not. just list thed most important ones. they settled on a compromise, which was to list 10 of them outside of the document to say, these are the things that are truly invaluable, just if you need examples. they said let's list the most important things for us. the first amendment will be the prime place. what is the most important right? what is the first amendment? it is a dog's breakfast. the first amendment is a giant larger list. the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the right of grievances. rights, this big web of speech, religion, the right to
protest the government when the government is wrong. they listed all of these things as coequal first. then the second amendment says, government does not give you the right to defend yourself, government exists for you to secure yourselves. where did the ninth and 10th amendment get you? ,t is another way of screening there is no end to this list. they say, if there is any right you -- we did not list, you still have that right. if there are any powers that were not explicitly given to the government, the only government that can ever possibly exercise them are states and local governments. the ninth and 10th amendment is a way of referring back to the say --t document to document to say there is an ocean that is limitless. those are the rights of the people. we live and a time when we have not passed on that meeting at all. people fundamentally do not
get this. i cannot hear to speak in any partisan way today, but before this year began, my view was that most of the democratic party was post-constitutional, government was from the tragic barney frank quote turned into the democratic national committee at any 2012 election? he said government is just another word for those things we choose to do together. no it's not. community is the word for the things we choose to do together. government is another word for compulsory powers. government has the ability to take your freedom, tax you, do all sorts of things that constrain and limit. government can never give life. government is not the thing that defines community. tocqueville, when he came to america, the founders knew they
were creating a culturally plural environment and believed in the dynamism of individuals, entrepreneurs, and community, but they did not have historical examples that showed this would work out the way it did. in the minds of europeans, we are religious zealots at the end of the earth, a bunch of weirdos. we sort of when this works in the 1770's and but the british 1780's, are really distracted. they are at war with france, they have a crazy king, they they don't care so much about securing us so they hire german hessians. they never think the battle is over. in the european mind the war of 1812 is like soccer extended time. the war of 1812 this winter ultimately going to put down the rebellion. we finally secure our revolution in 1814. 20 years later, there is unbelievable economic dynamism.
europeans cannot make sense of it. they had no idea why this was happening. they thought, who are those weirdos who we just thought wanted to worship god in their own way and fight religious -- theological battles, now there is this dynamic economy. there is a transportation revolution, a canal revolution, pre-industrialization, but it wasn't the way old cottage industry worked in the past. there is economic vitality in the new world. in the 1830's, europeans wanted to make sense of it. tocqueville, if you own the democracy in america, the book do not read it cover to cover. , it is boring and redundant. shred it and leave it in five to eight page chunks around your house like a magazine articles. that is how it was written. if he was writing travel reports
to europeans on how to make sense to make sense of economic dynamism in america. they said why are these religious zealots so entrepreneurial? what drives this economic innovation and creativity? tocqueville said i will make sense of it. i will go and write back. since they have economic dynamism they must have the best bureaucrats. he went to washington, d.c. to find the center and the meaning of america. he says, this place is a swamp with people that are not innovative or interesting. not much has changed. [laughter] he says i have to figure out how to make sense of the real meaning and center of america. there are 25 states and he travels to 2/3 of them and says i've found the meaning of america, it's the rotary club. the rotary club did not exist
but the proto-rotary club did exist. the centers of volunteerism and entrepreneurialism is not for profit, also not for profit, the steamboat institute, the way social ventures and philanthropy were organized. it is not just that we had theological disagreements, it is that they were going to build particular local institutions, churches, and synagogues. ultimately the meaning of america is found in the fact that the europeans used to think there was a continuism between -- continuum between isolationism and collectivism. there was statism and there was isolated isolationism. if you cannot believe in large government, you must not believe in community. tocqueville says that does not make sense of these people's experience. they believe in a huge space for civic minded communitarianism, but it is voluntary. it turns out the meaning of america is persuasion, love,
building a better product, or creating a better service, persuading someone to marry you, or persuading someone to join your church or synagogue. there is a civic mindedness not compelled by the government. today, we live in a time where arguably the most horrifying stat you could use is that 41% of americans under 35 today, 41% under 35, tell pollsters they think the first amendment is dangerous. how could the first amendment be dangerous? you might use your freedom of speech to say something that hurts someone else's feelings. actually that is the whole point of america. there are really big things that our forefathers and foremothers disagreed about, and they formed
a community where those really important things, those pre-political and trans-political things, more important than politics, can be haggled about by people that are voluntary agents with souls and wills that cannot be compelled at the end of the gun to believe something differently. you cannot compel people to innovate and create new jobs, services, and technology. that has to come from a wellspring of motivation, interest, love, a desire to serve a neighbor. that sense of what america means we have done such a terrible job of passing that on to the next generation that president reagan, before he was the republican governor of california reagan, ronald reagan came out of the labor union organizing movement that traveled the rails to explain america to factory workers said in any free republic you are one generation away from the extinction of freedom.
if you don't pass on the people that are going to rule, if you don't pass on the inheritance of what america means, you will lose it. that is what is happening. what is happening in the country is we are reaping the fruit of a decision, sort of, a drift in the late 1960's in the midst of lots of disagreements. some of it really important. obviously the civil rights movement, the vietnam war led to important debates. lots of debates that were not as important as narcissists thought they were at that moment. much cultural chaos and contention in that time led to a decision to stop passing on a shared civic sense of the american idea was. we are two generations into an era of kids raised with historical amnesia. at the exact same time, we are migrating across one of the
greatest economic disruptions in human history. again the historian in me is cautious of saying anything sweeping like that, but we are going through arguably the largest economic disruption in recorded human history. that word is important. there are four kinds of economies of the macro level. hunter gatherers, rise of agriculture, rise of the big tool economy, mass of urbanization, immigration, and industrialization, and whatever we are entering now. hunter gatherers, settled agriculture, industrialization and the big tool economy, and this. what is this? sometimes we call it the knowledge economy, the digital economy. sociologists call it the postindustrial economy. it's another way of saying we
don't know what to call it. if this was industrial, this is the postindustrial economy. meanss what it really when the rubber meets the road where american families live. it means jobs are no longer permanent. it used to be the case, hunter gatherers, farming communities, think most of industrialization, you did the jobs your parents and grandparents had done. in the case of hunter gatherers and farmers, there is no such thing as job choice. there was becoming 7, 10, and 12 and taking on more and more responsibilities to earn your keep. with industrialization we had a pretty massive disruption. lots less disruption from hunter gatherers to farmers, but we don't know what that looked like. but 1820 to 1970 was a disruptive time. as the father of 15 years old
and 12-year-old girls, i understand why people were scared. 15 to 25-year-old males roaming across the landscape with crapity -- would scare the out of me. if you think about urbanization and mass immigration, what was happening from the end of the civil war until world war i was a bunch of people working on the farm to doing a different kind of work. i will not nerd it out with too many stats, but one is 86% of americans worked on the farm at the end of the civil war. 86% of the people. by the end of world war ii, 60% of americans live in cities. think about that change. 85% on the farm to only 40% in 70 years. what happened is people left the farm. farming technologies became more productive and you did not need as many workers. and there was the rise of the big tool economy, push and pull to the city. people were scared. one of the most disruptive times in american liberal -- life is
is progressivism. it is not much more than the response of trying to remake society in an era of mass industrialization and the rise of cities that people have not known before. it turned out to be not as disruptive as people thought. once you got to the city, you got a new job which you had until death or retirement. there was an inflection moment where 15 to 25-year-old males lost their job on the farm and moved into the city or left italy and ireland and came to new york or boston. but once they got here and they got a new job, they had that job until death or retirement. the social capital that used to be in the village, that tocqueville talked about in the 17 of the 25 colonies that he visited, that tended to be replicated in urban ethnic neighborhoods. what's happening now is wholly different than that. the rise of suburbia, the hollowing out of mediating
institutions is mostly an echo of the job change that's going from an era where as recently as the carter administration -- i was born in 1972. my learning to ski moment was at the end of the carter administration in 1979 or 1980. in the carter administration average duration at a firm was still 26 years. think about. people changed jobs occasionally, maybe once. what do think the average duration at a firm is? four years and getting shorter every decade. we are entering an era where we are going to have to create a society of lifelong learners. no one has ever done that. we will have to create a culture where 40, 45, 50-year-olds who see their economy and jobs evaporate, they will have to be
retrained and have the will and tools, social network, to get another job. right now, that doesn't happen. by and large when you are 45, 55, and you are downsides come -- he mostly never get employed again. if you think about qualitative survey data, not polling that says do you think the country is on the right or wrong track, but survey data where a pollster says i want to talk to you for 15 minutes and tell me the top three or four things you are worried about. in new hampshire and you asked people what they were worried about, nowhere on the top 10 was anything about prescription drugs. today, in new hampshire, what are you worried about? you don't guide them. what are you worried about? opioids are number one. the number one issue in new hampshire when you ask what they
are scared about, it is drug abuse in largely middle-aged populations. that is not accidental. related to the moment we are at. we are going through a kind of economic disruption where there are lots of wonderful opportunity. do not hear this as exceedingly pessimistic. it is sort of framing up an agenda conversation. we are going through a time where lots of mediators, if you think about the history of the travel agency business or stock , brokerage, music publishing, the way you get your news, what is happening as middlemen and middle women are being taken out of the equation. in many cases they were just facilitating transactions. not adding value, and you will get transparency and higher quality, lower cost stuff. and a lot of other industries we don't know how to price for things that matter. editing is a function i would argue is worth a lot. i'm not just saying that to
pander to wall street journal people in the room. i actually think going from a world with too much central control of three media channels, to a world where it is everyone everywhere can offer stuff, what is likely to happen next is not higher quality journalism. we will have higher volume journalism and some will be good. another thing that will happen is people segregate ourselves into lots of channels that are having more conspiracy theories coming to flour than before. -- flower than before. people will silo themselves into an echo chamber of things they already believed. that is not a healthy place to be. that conversation in journalism, media, and information technology is already coming. you can see it on college campuses. where people do not have to encounter an idea they did not agree with without a trigger warning.
it turns out if you do not encounter ideas to you to that already know, i don't know why your parents are paying tuition. that is what education is. it's having to wrestling with ideas you didn't know or agree with. i think it is important for us to distinguish in politics political polarization, which is a big problem, but also political disengagement, a bigger thing that is happening among us. we tend to think because washington and political nerds are addicted to assuming the jersey you wear is the most important thing in determining what your policy position is on any given topic, and we are mostly political nerds here. we are not representative of 320 million americans. we already know what teams we think we belong to. if you think the biggest problem in america is the other
political party, and the political party you are a part of probably has all the answers if you could vanquish the other people from the field i have , people to introduce you to. washington, d.c. doesn't have good answers now. the magnitude of the challenges we face the moment of disruption , we are entering is not just one side is right and the other is standing in the way. or the other side is enlightened and the other is retrograde, it is we don't have the right policy conversations for the magnitude of most of what we face. most of the challenges are not easily reducible to core republican platform positions or democratic platform positions. i will name two or three and then you can tell me where i am wrong. i think if you tried to make a national agenda at the political level of what is urgent, what is important that we are not tackling, we do not have a national security strategy for
the age of cyber and jihad. we have had a view of geopolitics since the 1640's. we have had a view of national security about state actors. let's be clear. the march and wants to be taking advantage of this moment. china once the turn the south china sea into the south china lake. there are lots of state actor problems out there. what is really disruptive over the next 20 to 50 years for us is that lots of national security is not primarily about the interplay of 200 nationstates that have a monopoly on violence in their own territory. if you spin the globe, look at the borders, and treat them like we are equal in terms of being nation states, we make a mistake, because only two thirds of those countries control their territory. about one-third of the countries on the globe are more like
afghanistan, or syria, libya, or lots of places in north africa where there may be some entity that has more power than anyone else -- think the taliban on the eve of 9/11 -- but we were not attacked by the taliban. we were attacked by al qaeda. which exploited the vacuum of uncovered spaces in the territorial borders of what had been afghanistan. and a lot of what is coming in the world, which is tom friedman's world is flat, is accelerating every year with miniaturized nuclear technology, and the kind of global and i.t. technologies we have, and how rapid and easy our transport systems are, and how easy it is to have forged documents. we are headed toward a world -- where the distinction between al qaeda and the taliban is a distinction all americans understand. not just policymakers. a lot of the dangers and threats we face are from jihadi motivated people that will self radicalized in place and create terror networks instead of
have to go somewhere to be trained. we don't have a national security strategy for the age of cyber jihad. i am not his to talk about the presidential campaign, but it is ironic the republican party a year and a half ago -- you would have bet the party i am part of wanted to take entitlement reform seriously. . 15 of them would have given credible, honest, verifiable answers about the entitlement crisis we are facing, and we ended up in a place where the republican party is appearing almost as indifferent as telling the truth about entitlement as the democratic party. i will not parse the numbers. the l.a. thing i will say is if you are one of those folks that likes to regularly cite the $19 trillion number, the public debt number, we should go back to the drawing board because the $19 trillion number is almost irrelevant. $19 trillion is the sum total of intergovernmental transfers and the publicly held bond debt. the number that matters is the
unfunded obligations, and it is more like $75 trillion. even when we try to be serious, we use a number that is less than one-third of the real number we have to tackle. third, and finally, the topic we talked about a little bit -- economic disruption and the policy implications -- cultural, societal and familial and social network implications of figuring out how to navigate a world of lifelong learning and job disruption are far more important than policy responses, but there are a bunch of downstream policy responses in the k-12 space, higher education and jobs -- job training. we are not at any of these conversations. they are not there. the american idea that we have to pass along to the next generation is when we get to this new, disruptive fourth world of the digital economy, what will entrepreneurship look like? what will cultural pluralism and a robust defense of the first
amendment look like? what will it need to be able to say the meaning of america is still centered in institutions that look like the rotary club, where people actually live, they know and love their neighbors, and where they actually want to do good, and not where tribal labels about a distant fight in washington, d.c., that isn't anywhere near up to the task of the moment we face. that is the challenge before us. >> on the next washington journal, clarence page talks about 2016 election and shares his thought on the legacy of president obama and the future of the democratic party. also, a look at what to expect from a trump presidency and republican-controlled congress with henry olson of the ethics and public policy center. as always you can join the conversation by phone, facebook and twitter. washington journal live everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> if james madison is the architect of the constitution,
george washington is the general contractor. if you have ever build a house, you know it looks like with the general contractor has in mind and what the architect has in mind. >> sunday night, edward larson talks about president george washington's role in unifying the country and ratifying the first federal document in his new book "george washington, nationalist." >> they wanted to recruit washington. hamilton had talked to washington before about democracy stuff is not going to work. you should be a king. washington believed in public -- >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. >> former cuban president fidel castro has died at the age of 90. his five decades of power that began in 1959 after the overthrow of then-president batista made him one of the
longest-serving heads of state. in 2006, he seated his power to his younger brother before formally resigning because of health issues. next we will show you an address fidel castro gave to the cuban national assembly a few years after stepping down from office. at the time he also answered questions from members of the assembly. this is an hour and a half. [applause] [speaking spanish]