tv U.S. Senate Sen. Orrin Hatch Farewell Speech CSPAN December 24, 2018 6:28pm-7:02pm EST
he is retiring after seven terms. minutes.0 sen. hatch: thank you, mr. president. for more than four decades i've had the distinct privilege of states in the united senate, what some have called, greatest's deliberative body. speaking on the senate floor, debating legislation in committee, corralling the support of colleagues on compromised legislation. the moments i will miss. these are the memories i will cherish forever. this body is the experience -- is to experience a singular feeling, a sense that somethingpart of bigger than yourself. a minor character in the grand is america.at
no matter how often i come to lecturn, iis experience that feeling again and again. if i'm being honest, i also feel sadness. heart is heavy because it aches for the times when we actually lived up to our reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body. longs for the days in which democrats and republicans would meet on middle ground rather than retreat to the partisan trenches. waxingy say i'm old menc, yearning, as often do, for some golden eggs that never existed. they would be wrong. senate i've described is not some fairytale, but the reality once knew. having served as a senator for can tell yours, i this particular thing. theys weren't always as are now.
i was here when this body was at best. i was here when the regular order was the norm, when was debated in committee and when members oneed constructively with another for the good of the country. i was here when we could say without any hint of irony, that world'smembers of the greatest deliberative body. certainly changed. over the last several years, i ofe witnessed the subversion senate rules, the abandonment of order, and full-scale deterioration of the judicial confirmation process. polarization has ossified. good luck is the new norm and like the humidity here, partisanship permeates everything we do. both the left and the right,
the bar of decency has been set over it is jumping no longer the objective. theo is the new name of game. how low can you go? seems, is always lower. all the evidence points to an unsettling truth, the senate, as is in crisis, or may be in crisis. the committee process lies in shambles. regular order is a relic of the the and compromise, once guiding credo of this great institution, is now synonymous with surrender. since i first came to the senate 1978 -- 1977, rather -- the culture of this place has shifted fundamentally and not for the better in my opinion. here there used to be a level of congeniality and kinship among colleagues it was hard to find
anywhere else. counted democrats among my very best friends. lockingnt we would be horns in the senate floor, the next, we would be breaking bread together over family dinner. my unlikely friendship with the late senator ted kennedy embodied the spirit of goodwill to collegiality that used thrive here. teddy and i were a case study in contradictions. a dyed in the wool liberal democrat. republican.lute but by choosing friendship or party loyalty, we were able to the most important and significant bipartisan of modern times, from the americans with thebilities act and religious freedom restoration act to the ryan white bill and children's health insurance program. these were really important were able to work
together even though we differed widely on politics. nine years after teddy's passing, it's worth asking, relationship like this even exist in today's senate? polartwo people with opposite beliefs and from vastly comerent walks of life together as often as teddy and i did for the good of the country? or are we too busy attacking each other to even consider other side.ith the mr. president, many factors currentte to the dysfunction but if i were to identify the root of the crisis, be this. the loss of comedy and genuine good feeling among senate colleagues. thedy is the cartilage of senate, the soft connective tissue that cushions impact opposing joints. but in recent years, that artilage has been ground to
nub and i think most all of us feel that. it.e seen we've actually seen it happen. become bone ons bone. against eachte worth increasing frequency and with nothing to absorb the friction. we hobble to get any bipartisan the senate floor, much less to the president's desk. and itn is excruciating entire nation. we must remember that our dysfunction is not confined to the capitol. it ripples far beyond these everyto every state, to town, and to every street corner in america. senate sets the tone of american civic life. we don't mirror the political as we make it. it is incumbent on us, then, to the culture in a positive
keeping in mind that everything we do here has a trickle-down effect. if we are divided, then the nation is divided. if we abandon civility, then our will follow. and so to mend the nation, we mend the senate. we must restore the culture of compromise, and mutual respect that used to exist here some respects.in both in our personal and public veryct, we must be the change we want to see in the country. butust not be enemies, friends, though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. the mystic cords of memory will when again touched by
the better angels of our nature. but thee not my words words of president abraham lincoln. heartfelt pleaa he made to the american people long ago on the eve of the civil war. lincoln's admonition is just as timely today as it was then. there were a time in our history to heed the better angels of our nature, i think it's now. callan we answer lincoln's to our better angels? in the last year, i have devoted significant time and energy to answering that question. today, i wish to put flesh on appeal.s of lincoln's i challenge us to rise above the today'sdivisiveness of politics. it is to tune out the noise and to reason. that's choose a patience over
over feeling.ct it is to reacquaint ourselves corewisdom by returning to principles. to offer aw me prescription for what ails us politically. to share just a few ideas that, when put into practice, can help us not only fix the senate, but put our path. back on the right heeding our better angels begins civility. while our politics have always underlyingtious, an commitment to civility has been together the held tenuous marriage of right and left. the steady disintegration of
public discourse has weakened intomarriage, calling question the very viability of the american experiment. as the partisan divide deepens, one thing becomes increasingly clear, we cannot continue on the takent course unless we meaningful steps to restore civility, the culture wars will push us ever closer to national divorce. do well to remember ist without civility, there no civilization. indispensablee political norm, the protective wall between order and chaos. but more than once, that wall has been breached. consider recent events, the pipebomb plot in the midterm election, the terrorist attack in charlottesville last year, the shooting at the .ongressional baseball practice
these are stark reminders that rhetoric, if left to the ferment, becomes violence. requires thatlity each us speak responsibly. that means the president. that means congress. and that means everyone listening today. we live in a media environment that favors outrage over reason hyperbole over truth. the loudest voices, not the wisest ones, now dictate the public debate. for evidence, simply turn on the tv but be sure to turn down the volume. media deserves some culpability in creating this environment by adopting outrage are business model but we complicit when we use words to
provoke rather than persuade, to divide rather than to unite. we only make the problem even of ourhen the object discourse becomes to belittle or to disparage the deplorables. if you're looking to convert side,e to your humiliating them is probably not the best nice start. who among us would make friends who wouldame person make him a fool? pettiness is not a political strategy, it is the persuasion, which should be the aim of our dialogue. to better angels call us
persuade with better reason, to inspire rather than incite. embracel on us to civility. in addition to embracing avility, we must rediscover forgotten virtue, one that lies at the heart of our nation's founding. pleurallism. pleurallism is the adhesive that holds together the american mosaic, the idea that we can be our differences, not divided by them. we can bel society, polar opposites in every respect but sill associate freely with one another. i can be white, conservative, and christian and my friend can black, progressive, and muslim. but unitedifferent precisely because we are united be different.o
that, in a nutshell, is pluralism. pluralism is the alchemy that makes out of many one possible. which we haves by the able to weave together disparate threads of a diverse society more successfully than on earth.nation thehe heart of pluralism is understanding that our country of built not on a collection common currency markets -- a commonistics but on purpose. when we approach political pluralistrom a perspective, we recognize that the majority of our ofagreements are not matters good versus evil but good versus good. pluralism acknowledges that there is more than one way to achieve the good.
accordingly, it seeks to accommodate different conceptions of the good rather otherit them against each adversey of pluralism is weo sum politics which embrace at our own peril. politics views life prism, an absolutist filtering all nuance and recasts orrything as an either fallacy. of thinkinged way renders every policy squabble as nithian struggle for the soul of the country.
if the republican tax bill be armageddon. if a democrat takes the white house, it will be the end of we know it. prophecies never come to fruition. betterng the call to our angels requires us to reject in favor ofitics pluralism. it requires us to make room for nuance and to see our differences not as competing, but as complementary. nowhere is the pluralist needed than in the fraught relationship between liberty and lgbtq rights. know, i've made religious liberty a priority of my public service. of all of the hundreds of pieces passed --tion i've and i've passed a lot during my
42 years in the senate -- the i'm most pleased with and the one that i hope will the define my legacy is religious freedom restoration act. is aious liberty fundamental freedom. highestves the very protection our country can provide. at the same time, it's also important to take account of other interests, as well, lgbtqally those of our brothers and sisters. we're in the process of working the rights between our religious community and lgbtq brothers in america. there are some who would make adversaries. in my opinion, this is a
mistake. pluralism shows us a better way. that protecting religious liberty and preserving lgbtq individuals are not mutually exclusive. can find we substantial common ground on these issues that will enable us to both safeguard the ability of individuals to live lgbtqfaith and protect individuals from invidious discrimination. we must honor the rights both of believers and lgbtq individuals. to find a path forward that promotes fairness all. my personal religious belief that and i surely want to live up to those beliefs. we were ableate, to strike such a balance with
utah compromise, a bipartisan anti-discrimination both strengthened religious freedom and offered lgbtql protections to the community. no doubt we can replicate that success on a federal level. oft's why it's one -- as one my final acts as a u.s. senator, i challenge my colleagues to of compromise way on this crucially important compromise that is true to our founding principles, that fair to all americans. better angels invite us to walk the path of civility and to ofrace the principles pluralism. but above all, they call on us to strive for unity.
before president lincoln us to our better angels, he warned that a nation itself cannott stand. that warning is especially our time.n dividedur house is as as at any time since the civil war. each year red and blue america drift further apart. as progressives move to the coasts and conservatives retreat hinterland, to the center of the country, we're finding a of difficulties have arisen and they're not easy to solve. we increasingly sort ourselves geography. we also sort ourselves by media dais catered to quiet our cognitive dissonance and confirm our preconceived notions.
it's a sad consequence of the information age that americans now live in the same city inhabit completely different worlds. to give. has the status quo cannot hold. these are or should always be of america.tates that name has always been more aspirational than descriptive. ideal tost gives us an strive for. to achieve the unity that is our namesake, we must reject the politics of division, starting politics, identity politics is nothing more than dressed up tribalism. is the deliberate and often unnatural segregation of people into categories for political gain. tos practice conditions us
define ourselves and each other which weoups to belong. in other words, the things that divide us rather than unite us. when institutionalized, identity politics causes us to lose sight of our shared values. in time, we come to see each other not as fellow americans, united by common purpose, but as opposing members of increasingly narrow social subgroups and this begins a long descent into intersectional hell. better angels call us on to byist identity politics recommitting ourselves to the american idea, the idea that our immutable characteristics do not define us, the idea that all of us, regardless of color, class or creed, are equal, and that we can work together to build a more perfect union. when we heed this call, we can
achieve unity and ideas, not resume their rightful place in our public discourse. mr. president, this is the last will ever make from .his lecturn that, as a senate, as a nation, we listen to our better angels, that we recommit ourselves to restore civility to the public discourse, that we wholeheartedly the principles of pluralism, and strive for unity by rejecting the rhetoric of division. we heed our better angels, when we harken to the voices of virtue, to our very nature, we our tribalnd instincts and preserve our democracy for future generations. that we may do so is my humble prayer. mr. president, before i
close, let me parting words be gratitude.f there are countless people that butrsonally need to thank first and foremost i wish to thank the good people of utah. without you, i could have accomplished nothing. reforms that i have helped to pass in congress have effortbeen a joint drafted by me under constant you.nce from people like in that sense, the legislative legacy i leave behind is not mip, -- mine, but ours. that goes for my colleagues here, as well. representing the beehive state has been the privilege of a lifetime. thank you for allowing me to do so for 42 years. long time, the longest service of any republican. likewise wish to thank my family. and ourwife, elaine,
six children who have stood by me through thick and thin. wish to thank my congressional colleagues especially leader mcconnell and countlessan and the servants, including my friends on the democratic side, as well. i've had the privilege of work -- working with all these focus for many years, friendships i will treasure forever. i wish to thank my protective 28-plus men and women who have worked day and night to keep me safe over the years. these officers are like family to me. as all of you know, a senator's only as good as his staff which is why i need to recognize mine today. committee staff is unequaled. rice, it has helped me accomplish things i never could have accomplished on my own. wish to thank i my personal staff, the countless have served alongside me over the years.
ablese of you, i have been to pass more bills into law than any legislator alive today. thank you. you all. let me just take a moment to them personally. staff, nedy chief of sandrinn, i am ending this term crescendo of legislative activity having introduced more bills this congress than any time during my senate service. in the last two years, we've also enacted a historic number bills into law. thetaff has not let up in final stretch, not one bit. we have been a legislative very end. to the thank nedot to sandrinn for his efforts in that regard. i've had many chiefs of staff all of them but i fork i saved maybe the best last.
my utah staff also played a critical role in my legislative success. bon,e thank you to melanie sharon, ed riley, heather barley, cally nixon, jessica dean, matt hurst, nathan jackson, courtney breakerhoff and emily wilson, as well as others who have served me. in d.c., thank you to matt jensen, james williams, matt whitlock, ruth montoya, celeste sam lyman, brandon chestnut, kristin mcclintock, diane browning, heather clausen, jeff rickgan, will holloway,
katundy,iley, abdul lane, carey lynn ma machalky. and samantha rowls. this is the best staff on capitol hill. inish to thank my father heaven who's allowed me to serve much longer than my detractors have hoped. each time i walk into this theber, i'm humbled by symbolic significance of it all a passage ofded of scripture, one of my favorites, him much is- to
given, much is expected, or much is required. me so much.as given in return, i've tried to give i could.uch as beste he will accept my efforts. before i get even more would note that this is a final floor speech, not a final goodbye. now, i will nom longer hold office but i will continue to hold a special place all of you, for all of my colleagues. look forward to continuing these special friendships even the senate.'ve left i want to thank everybody in the staff, all of the members, all of the law people, all of the people who have provided us with and ability. i want god to bless all of you. may god bless the senate and may
he bless the united states of america. that, mr. president, i yield the floor. [applause] [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national 2018]satellite corp. announcer: tonight on c-span, memorial services and funerals for former first lady barbara bush, senator john mccain and president george h.w. bush. among the speakers was former biden.esident joe john and i received two prestigious awards. last year when i was vice president and one immediately after. for our dignity and respect we showed to one another we
received an award for civility in public life. a college in allegheny county puts out this prestigious award every year for bipartisanship. john and i look at each other and say, what in the hell is going on here? [laughter] no, not a joe. i told senator flake, that is how it is always supposed to be. you got an award? think about this. getting an award for your civility. getting an award for bipartisanship. john, in allegheny college with thousands and there, the senate was in session, so he spoke first. as he walked off the stage and i walked on he looked at me and said, joe, don't take it personal, but i do not want to hear what the hell you have to say. [laughter]
>> you can see all of the former vice president's remarks and other speeches from the funerals and memorial services for former first lady barbara bush, senator john mccain, and former president george h.w. bush tonight, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> this is day two of the "washington journal" series with auor