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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 13, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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life changing. >> the freedom is unbelievable. >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is what innovation looks like. >> ...can affect and surpise us. >> i feel like we're making an impact. >> let's do it. >> techknow, where technology meets humanity... >> only on al jazeera america. >> the advanced word was the president was going to deliver a different kind of state of the union last night. and for the first two-thirds of the speech it looked like that was less than an accurate warning, and then he returned to the themes that featured broadly for his run for the white house, a desire to transform american politics, and he admitted that he wasn't able to pull it off in his first two terms. if that falls to younger americans now, can they pull it
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off? are there enough youthful optimists? it's the "inside story". welcome to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. the late new york governor, mario cuomo famously said, you campaign in poetry, and you govern in pros. he carried out for much of history, it has been one of the achieve executive's duties, comment october state of the union. he started in prose and ended in poetry. >> the future we want, all of us want, opportunity for our families, rising standard of living, a sustainable peaceful planet for our kids. all of that is within our
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reach. but it will only happen if we work together. it will only happen if we can have rational constructive debates. it will only happen if we fix our politics. >> just a few moments later, he succeeded to the politics that were a hallmark of his career hadn't born fruit. politics in washington are still endlessly contentious and shockingly unproductive. >> democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise, or when even basic facts are contest. or when we listen only to those who agree with us. our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention. and most of all, democracy
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breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn't matter. that the system is rigged in favor of the rich, the powerful, or some special interest. too many americans feel that way right now. it's one of the few regrets of my presidency, that the rancor and the suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. >> barack obama said that he won't be in office to see the change, but he promised to work on it from outside of the oval office. so today, we're going to accept that fixing american politics is a long-term project and talk to the people who will be running things in 10, 20, 30 years. i want to welcome david bernstein. the ceo and cofounder of run for america, and the author of fast future, how the millennial generation is shaping our world. elizabeth, secretary of the
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republican national committee. stanley gates, vice president of the phi beta sigma fraternities chapter. and alicia, of the youth services opportunity projects. last night, ran flu disappointment and hopes for the country and put them off until a later time when you're sitting there saying, he's talking about me. >> to be the best of what he started. so it's on us to go through it, and up to us to continue what he started, and in building the economy as he.. >> i'm going to guess, elizabeth, that college republicans don't look at obama as a moses, necessarily, unless it's the one that brought the ten plagues to egypt, but when you heard the president's call,
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both for different politics and his knowledge. that it was going to have to wait for some future time, did you say that he's talking about me? >> i think definitely throughout the speech, i respected what he had to say. he admitted the failure of his administration to change the tone politics in our country, and i do think that it's up to our generation. as someone who works with college students across the country to get them involved in politics, i have seen that millennials are tired of the same rhetoric, and they're not as political and idiol, and in a lot of focus groups that the national republican committee conduct, millennials care more about policy issues and issues that impact them. they want to see more pragmatism in politics and also rhetoric. >> david, are they up to the job? >> well, you know, ray, i think that they absolutely r this is a generation of people who are deeply committed to this very cause. you remember this is one of the things that inspired so many
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young people to be supportive of then senator obama, and young people who propelled him to win the iowa caucuses, and the iowa nomination, and to win his election in 2018. an2018 -- in 2008. and for a lot of them, it's a reminder of their responsibility. because these are people who are trying to had change policy, and things in their community and education and want environment. but in a lot of ways, we have had an absence from the direct political arena. this is a generation where many say that they're not interested in running for office, and that's one of the frustrations of this administration. a lot of people thought that the energy of the president would inspire people to run for office, and obviously that's one of the things that we focus on in america, but its time for this generation to step back into the political arena, and they're certainly more than up
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for the job when they do. >> well, alicia, when you work with young people and guide them through service opportunities, it's not politics in the way that we think of it, but it's a political choice, isn't it? about how you see yourself in society? >> yes, okay. when you phrase it like that, i believe that it's the political choice, but i think that just young people and people in our generation, as she said, when a lot of them don't wants to be involved politics, i believe that it's more that they wants a collective effort. working together to make changes as opposed to just being the face of a larger institution. >> that function politics is an idealistic goal, and we're at the point where politics that
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works is something that we dream about. maybe an illustration of how bad things have gotten already, but when the president listed some of the big changes in his years in office, like marriage equality for one example, he was talking about issues with lopsided support for millennials. will demographics plus time build elections and debates haven't in stay with us, it's "inside story." >> will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation? turning against each other as a people? or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, in what we stand for. and the incredible things that we can do together?
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>> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. we're looking at the president's state of the union address, not just for proposals or legacy burnishing, but for a call to action that made up the final portion of his address. a kind of love poem to america, and an acknowledgment that there are still deep disagreements about the future of the country and a lament that we were not better at handling. >> i see you, the american
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people, and in your daily acts of citizenship, i see our future unfolding. i see it in the worker on the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open. and the boss who pays him higher wages instead of laying him off. i see it in the dreamer who stays up late at night to finish her science project. and the teacher who comes in early, maybe with some extra supplies that she bought because she knows that that young girl might someday cure a disease. i see it in the american who served his time, made bad mistakes as a child, but now is dreaming of starting over. and i see it in the business owner who gives him that second chance. the protestor, determined to
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prove that justice matters. and the young cop walking the beat, treating everybody with respect. doing the brave, quiet work of keeping us safe. >> now, that was very cleaver speech craft if nothing else, pointing out the shared interest between worker and owner, and student, and the tribute to the police, controversial players in a heated argument over law enforcement and the treatment of black americans. four young citizens are with me for this program. and david bernstein, when you look at the political attitudes of young millennials, are they very different from the people decades older than they are? >> they actually are quite different, ray. it's one of the things that makes this generation really stand out and one of the reasons why it's such an important voting participate.
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and millennials are on the way to making up one-third of the lectorate as they come of age in this election, and these are the last few waves of that happening. and this is a generation that obviously has not only -- is overwhelmingly in favor of issues like gay marriage, but that's led the way on those issues. we have paved the way for older generations to be more accepting on that issue in particular, and there's a much deeper sense of frustration with the polarization in washington among people in this generation. there is, i think, less trust, very little of trust, and congress' approval rating, 9% across the board. and what young be patience, live in the most inner connected world we have had. and we see all of opportunity around and opportunities to change the world. and they're not in politics so, the sense of fixing the system.
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and how we fix the stem, which the president talked about very well last night, everything from campaign finance reform, more in this that any other policy issue. >> david, i want to show people at home various millennial opinions, and aivist majority favor background checks for gun ownership, and a large majority transition to green energy, and a large majority support use of body cameras by police officers, and a majority support reducing the sentences for non-violent sentences. elizabeth, are millennials of different parties more like each other because they're cogenerational than republicans and democrats that are odor? >> we know that they are more
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the same. and millennials decided the past two presidential elections and they will the next one as well. whoever is going to win needs to care about the millennial vote. but however, with millennials, the number one issue that they care about is the economy and jobs, and the second is college affordability and debt. so while social issues that you brought up are important to many people, when it comes to voting, young people care about being able to have a job after they graduate and graduating with less be debt. so whoever the candidate in 2016 is that's going to win will have to appeal to them in not a pragmatic way, but in a way that makes sense. >> you know, al ish a. young ever voters have been the dog that doesn't bark. they talked about and promised that they're going to make a
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big impact. and we heard david talking about it a minute ago, but yet they have underperformed as voters. do you see that changing? are you a voter? >> i am a voter, and i do agree that a lot of people choose not to vote a lot of times, it's out of -- it may be out of -- they don't have a candidate that they care for, or they're kind of indifferent. i see a lot of indifference in a lot of students. and then also, that yeah, i do see it changing though, with education, and just getting them more involved in understanding how much of a voice that each voter does have. and i believe that it can change. >> so as being elections approach, stanley, is there organizing on a campus like yours to make sure that the turnout is higher than average? >> yes, there is.
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actually, my chapter of fraternity, we work with a lot of naacp members, and democrats and on campus, and make sure that the people know what they're voting about, just the politics. we had viewing parties last night of the state of the union. and we try to make sure that people know on campus what they're going to vote for, and what they choose to vote for. we have voting drives to register them to vote. just to make sure that they have the opportunity, even though they are away from home. >> the president acknowledged that things that he was asking for were going to be hard to pull off. and the work will be done by americans often dismissed as whiney and entitled. of course nobody really on the program. are they really ready to do the heavy lifting the saving the country? stay with us, it's "inside story".
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>> welcome back to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. the president did all of the things that you might expect would wiped up his political opponents. he took credits for accomplishments they hate, threw their scorn over policies right back at them and said basically, you're wrong, and then the tone of modern politics, the necessity of changing the way that we get the country's business done. on the lookout for youthful optimists for what he sketched out, if they exist. and i think that both sides of the argument can marshal the ammunition. there's plenty of evidence that suggests that the big battles will stretch out into the future that americans have lost the knack of wisdom and common cause, and some of the generational battles are close to over.
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my guests are all at work in their various ways. elizabeth, are the kids that come out for the parties on campus a different cut of person? are they putting themselves forward where a lot of their peers are choosing not to be involved? >> i think that there is a divide naturally between people that are more engaged and those that are indifferent, as alicia brought up earlier, but college republicans have worked in the different election cycles to find students that care about our political views, or care about the economy and jobs, and having affordable school, and good education, and getting those people out to vote as others brought up earlier, but we need to do it in a way that is different than reaching traditional voters on cable news, network, with ads on tv, and the newspapers. we're using new formats, such as pandora ads and youtube adds
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to target young people and get them to the pole polls that's relevant to the millennial generation. >> the president was very very idealistic about this country, talking about people being clear eyed and big hearted. but if you look at the way we argue and watch tv and listen to the radio, it doesn't sound very clear eyed and big hearted, does it? >> it's partnership, and there are not a lot of people willing to work together for whatever reach, but that's one of the things that we need to get back to, to reach the american dream. but partisanship, you're not going to be able to do that. and that portions millennials to go out, and we see the
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partisanship in washington, rather than people working together. >> you know, alicia, i tell my own kids that if i was getting started now, i would find it very discouraging. you talk about people who are apathetic and alienated, but are there people in their 20s that are not sure that they're going to be able to make it? >> i believe that there is, but just serving through ysop, and going out and serving people and getting to know people on the streets, and in college, there is hope. so there are many students who feel like, you know, they might not make it, but there's a hope for a better future as the president was talking about. >> you're working in poverty communities, right? >> yes. >> but there's still hope there? >> yes. >> that's good to know. >> david bernstein, is the
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coming of age during the great recession going to put a shadow over this generation for maybe longer than we're realizing? >> you know, one of the things that we're seeing about this generation, although they have been deeply affected by the great recession, their optimism about the future has not been diminished. the people in this generation, say they know that they won't make as much money as their parents did, but they think that they will have as happy or happier lives than they did. so the quality of what people are looking for and what they're seeing has been redefined. and i think that the great recession has helped us do that. and the generation is primarily calling itself to service, and we to the serve, whether it's in government or our communities, or important key social issues. and this is a generation that stands better impacted than any
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other to create the biggest impact on the world in the next 20 years. >> do you tell your own parents that you feel like you're going to live happier lives than they did? they might be actually glad to hear that, because people my age worry a lot about people my age, and the attitudes starting their careers and their familiesing and getting going in life. are you going to go home now and tell your parents, don't worry, i'm going to be happier than you are. >> i'm going to tell them that, and they will have a smile on their faces to know that i'm going to live just as good or better than them. >> i think that that's the goal, to have a better standard of living than your parents, and with the economic policies, we'll be able to have a better future for the next generation. >> alicia. >> i too hope that. >> . >> i hope that it all comes true for you all. and naturally, the people letting the side down don't get
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invited on programs like this, so we don't talk to those not hodding up their end of the bargain. but i want to thank my guests, david, elizabeth, stanley gates, and alicia. i'll be back in a moment with the final thought on the coming generation, the coming politics and the next america. stay with us. it's "inside story". the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you.
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we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. >> it's one of the cheapest applause lines in the world of talk radio, political rallies and letters to th the editor. for one american generation to disparage another. the so-called great american generation putting down the boomers, and the boomers putting down the genexers. as a student of history, i know what nonsense it is. everybody plays the hand that they're dealt by history. boomers didn't have the dust bowl and the depression, and they sure had vietnam.
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and the cradling belief in institutions, so your conclusions on whether millennials can handle the circumstance, are probably already shaped about the ideas that you hold about the country, regardless of how old you are. if you think this country always eventually figures it out with its great genius for selfer repairing institutions, it might be easier to conclude good times are ahead. if you've already come to the idea that some very old chickens are coming home to roost, that americans have left themselves painted into a corner, your prognosis is probably drearier. as the father of three millennials, kids that i adore and admire, i find myself comforted. they don't have some of the ludicrous baggage that some people my generation are carrying around, those civil wars that never seem to end. i think that we're going to figure it out. and on the eve of the powerball
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can only ask, you want to bet? i'm ray suarez, and that's the "inside story". >> this is aljazeera america, live from new york city, i'm tony harris. it was a mistake. iran releases the ten u.s. sailors, and a video of one of them apologizing. an unflux of migrants with the rival of thousands of cubans, losing ground, a talk show host, smiling on people since obama became president, and a $1.5 billion jackpot. what would you buy with all of that money?

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