tv After Words CSPAN December 25, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
an immigrant family, a afamily, a classic immigrant experience in many ways. i learned a lot about my family. >> if you could commission somebody to write your family history, i am sure you would do it. i have to say, one minute of listening to my father's voice speaking, reading or speaking extemporaneous extemporaneous ly is worth a thousand pages of biography. the fact is, nobody like
him. i'm not a lot of smart people to my work with people all the time,time, i have never known anyone who could hold a candle to him. hearing his voice brought back, brought him back to life in a way that moved me deeply. and you can write and read all the books that you want about this guy, but you can never really bring them to life in the way that i'm talking about. i have been close to him, to have learned from him, as my patterns of speech formed by him command the great gift that i value. >> and we have been talking with adam bellow, a division of harpercollins.
>> thank you for having me. >> book tv is on twitter. follow us to get publishing news, scheduling updates, author information and to talk directly with authors. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. it is christmas. tonight we want to bring you a free programs from the last year. his book is the conservative heart, how toheart, how to build a fair, happier, and more prosperous america. former missouri senator takes a look at the influence of religion on politics. tonight the life and career.
>> arthur brooks, you have written an exciting and important new book, the conservative heart, how to build a fair, happier, and more prosperous america. it is great to be with you. i read this book and started tabbing and making notes. you seem to have struck a chord here that i think is going to be an important one
for the republican party. how to deal with some of the internal changes that are occurring within the party, and you talk about the party becoming again a party of aspiration. what do you mean by that? >> people talk about republicans and conservatives as being angry all the time. if you look at the television, if you watch what is happening with the candidates, especially people like donald trump right out of the gate, they sound angry. if you don't know any conservatives, they don't have that many conservatives in the family. they just no what they see on tv. they see these guys yelling and screaming. i guess they hate people. when i became a conservative when i was studying
economics it was because i realized the conservative ideas of the best ideas for lifting people out of poverty. 2 billion people out of poverty with free enterprise ideas. it is incredible what has happened. if conservatives themselves can't. >> the idea of putting on a different face showing who we are, expressing what we believe in a manner that is welcoming and inviting all comeau what are some of the steps you think we can begin, everyone out of the gate sort of falling into these camps of this or that whether it's donald trump or ted crews are others who had strong things to say at the beginning of the presidential cycle, how do you begin to change that?
>> we have to remember our purpose, not just as republicans. i am a political independent. to remember our purpose is people, never to fight against particular policies. my purpose and policy analysis is not to fight against things but to fight for people. this is what people have in common. the answer to that is not billionaires. that's what we talk about.
>> i was fascinating for me. you give these examples of how people live with their lives, deal with issues and problems. you talk about it from a very human aspect, not political, not calculating and the more you talk about grandma your i particularly enjoyed where you say it might start with monitoring fiscal policy plus a healthy dose of labor market liberalization and you going to the technical stuff. at the end of the day you talk about how the world is changing and how you adapt to the change and what you do to make it work. how do you express that when
these examples are people's lives in their stories, how do we as a party, how does that relate to those individual stories in this changing environment? >> each one of us. >> that's going to rub some people. >> it is. if we remember that, that is the moral consensus. we are supposed to be good samaritans, fighting for other people, and the people we are supposed to be fighting for our those with less power than us. liberals might talk about more big government solutions and we can be on the other side of the table saying i agree with you and we have actually authentically conservative ideas about the dignity of work, limiting the safety net only to the indigent. that is where we start.
>> i want to put a check point there. i want to get back to this idea about the dignity of work and the value of work. we can begin to learn from it and implement, to see this new party of aspiration and you talk about be a moralist, fight for people, not against things, get happy command i have always said that is a key part of it. you make the point, get happy and meeting. still all the best arguments which is something i learned to do, go where you are not
welcome. i emphasized every time we met my get out of your comfort zone, beware your not wanted. say it in 30 seconds and break your bad habit. of the seven unnecessarily which is the most important of which is the most important jump off point. >> the one that i think the biggest mistake that we make love the one the trips people up the most is the one that should be the easiest. it is astonishing. >> it is appalling. >> the greatest country in the history of the world.
visceral reaction, but how do you talk about something like that in a happy way. >> remember the reason for the policy. conservatives get apoplectic. it's because it seems like such an aberration from the american idea of doing things a relatively simple way. it is bureaucratic and twists incentives around. and so the result is they are fighting against obama care. remember the thing you don't like and don't fight against it, fight for the people who are being hurt. reagan was a warrior, happy warrior because he was a warrior on behalf of people who needed him. a lot of progress is watching us. and nobody in my family
voted for reagan. eight people. that's how we got elected. nobody knew. >> mathematically impossible. >> remember what was written. bill clinton rarely fought against things. he fought for people who needed him. >> which is why when he went through his travails and impeachment as number stayed relatively high is people remembered that he was a fighter for them. i saw the context of what was transpiring. that is kind of how i look at what happened with something like benghazi where the seriousness and gravity of the matter, the
way that the party came out talking about it was much more political. we did not bring the emotion and the feeling of lost. we just went immediately to the political. even along the spectrum of something that is really important to something that is political like the impeachment of the president , how you handle it still matters. >> let's go back. he was going through a terrible time. he brought it on himself which of course he did come up all, all was going on is that republicans were fighting against bill clinton and the things he stood for. thisfor. this distraction is making it impossible for me to fight for the american people. we have to remember, fighting against things is not even interesting, it is not worthy of us as leaders.
they have to ask ourselves, ourselves, do i care about the people who are being adversely affected grandma using their plight as an excuse? if the answer is the latter we have to examine our own conscience and redirect our energies. >> education reform, a lot of people watching us care a lot. >> we can all agree we have an education system that is inadequate to train people, girl to be a part of the workforce. virtually all the kids were adversely affected. someone needs to fight for the kids. that's boring. and that's a worthy thing to director energies toward.
you can see it were a little bit is fear. talk about your journey to the right, this movement and your choice and refer to the gap. so was that the moment of explosive recognition, there's something else out that need to be thinking about? worded it began and how did you end up to the.where it out telling the story and relating back to the journey. i wasn't interested. i was a musician.
>> a lot of work. >> and i was lucky. >> a guitar player. i married a girl in barcelona. she dropped out of high school. a parallel track which did not bode well for the future. moved to the united states in the early 20s. she was speak very much english. said something to me, this is the greatest country in the world for people who want to work. i do know anything about the
united states. these were minimum-wage jobs. she worked a minimum wage job for three years. taking college classes. that that had a profounda profound impact on me because it was the optimism of the emigrant, and i was seeing it through the eyes of somebody had just come into the country. i was studying economics, and the main question i had had forever was about poverty. have always been keenly interested. he had this experience two. when you 1st saw a real poverty, remember this picture in sub-saharan africa about my age. how is that possible. it haunted me and stayed
with me. i learned what happened to the boy more or less. i could not no him for sure. what happened to the world's poorest people. and i learned 80 percent had been eradicated. i had no idea. 80 percent of the number of people living on a dollar a day or less and gone away and i learned why. it was not the un world bank it wasit was globalization, free trade, property rights, the law and entrepreneurship american-style free enterprise spreading around the world and ceilings that were open for free trade. it was american conservative ideas that pulled 2 billion people out of poverty.
come to my country and experience real opportunity with no education and then i discovered that the ideas of american conservatives lifted up the world. they talked as if all they cared about was money. i became a political conservative which led me to where i am today. we have a moral obligation to save the next 2 billion people. >> we clearly have a problem with immigration. as i articulated today you go back to what the bush administration and a framework laid out which is dissipated and fell apart and then picked up again by the gang of eight in the house and senate, some
compromise the fell away and we seem to be in the space where the immigrant story is not one of aspirational entrepreneurism and taking advantage of the opportunities that this country offers, but from the perspective i articulated, is taking advantage of the country, avoiding your responsibility, trying to get welfare. how do you create a counter narrative of aspirational story? the gop articulated itself as the party of assimilation so given the trajectory, how do you make that turn in light of the narrative you describe that speaks to the
story. >> there were a couple of things. at the general level the gop can get its mind around how we think about immigration once it makes the turn. and that's going to take a visionary leader. anger is easier. anger is all about fear. aspiration is the way to go. that will see through. the systemic remedy. the 2nd thing is republicans and democrats
need to stop thinking about immigration as if it were one thing. we need an incremental approach. they don't want progress. pull the band-aid off. think about the things we need to do. high skilled immigration. the average high skilled immigrant creates five jobs for nativeborn americans. the 2nd thing is the guest worker program. they can make real progress going down the list is a good way back from your personal journey to the.where you talk about practical help. what is that, what is a mean
mac i had flashbacks to yes we can, keep hope alive, hope and change. politicians in the political system talk about, it's almost a 10-cent word. you gave it a new emphasis and talk about in terms of being a practical help. >> hope, from hope and change, it was really all about i hope the government will help. >> very well put. >> i hope i hit the lottery. you can hope all you want. you know the government largess is outside your control. hope is empowering.
we talk about hope things that are out of your control it disempowers you and cuts your dignity. the traditional understanding is two parts, it can be done and i can do it. that's the hope of my great grandparents coming to the united states same i hope as i can be rewarded for my hard work and merit. >> that's the part in the book are you related to the american dream. >> that is the pursuit of happiness intertwined intimately with the concept of hope is in it can be done and i can do it and if i understand it can be done and see how i can do it that's where the pursuit of happiness starts. >> you talk about a thousand little thrown off by this in the book where you referenced pope francis and talk about you know this
weariness and aging which goes back to what i mentioned before about grandma europe in that part of the book. is thatbook. is that also part of this hope narrative or is that a different approach that you are looking at with the pope francis idea of how we make ourselves accessible and how this thing plays itself out. >> pope francis gets a lot of press for what he says about capitalism and the environment. >> pope francis talks about a society that effectively snuffed itself out. just too tired to carry on. is the one who coined the term. you think about it and have a lot of family in europe.
you meet these people in their 40s, the 30s and 40s and there is even a word for it, not studying and not working. they don't have jobs or educations,educations, typically live with her parents, no religion, no romantic relationships and ged's, video games. it is horrible and depressing. thank god for the internet. this is effectively what leads to a society to stop involving and making progress. he had a captured audience of european leaders. european commission in brussels and gave this speech and it was just only silence, wagging his finger. >> he does that quite a bit. >> is a side of him that people don't quite understand or get. i listen to a lot of folks
who rail for him and conservatives who rail against him. doctor and otherwise he's consistent and then making the point that you just did, take a look at what is happening through the policies and the actions your checking or not taking which i thought was pretty fascinating, how you work that in to this narrative of a political process and party changing itself. i thought that was very well done. i am curious than moving those pieces around as you have and looking at the political landscape, what it means for what it's looking like my how does an institution like american enterprise institute, how did those institutions feed the beast are not?
we have seen a number of organizations, and i don't need to name them that are perpetrated this sort of narrative, this negative narrative. it's a great fundraising tool, but then you have others that have been trying to lift the conversation into a new space. the political process has to deal with that as well. >> that reflects the problems. a lot of people, thousands of people watching us right now how frustrated with washington dc. bitter, acrimonious:bitter, acrimonious, nothing is getting done, and people will say what you have to do is the political parties need to agree with each other more. any more liberal republicans and conservative democrats. like it's back to what we talk about. what you need is
a moral consensus around which both sides more or less agree, fighting for opportunity. that's thethat's the moral consensus, and then the competition a policy ideas is to offer policy ideas that can actually help execute that idea that there is a moral consensus. if you don't have a moral consensus, don't discuss the moral consensus than the policy differences become a holy war which is a problem. let's not forget these are policy differences and we are agreeing on something and if we can do that we can make progress without pretending they had to agree with each other. >> that seems to be a big stumbling block. use the idea that is important for me: the one word avoided using because
it has become so polarizing is compromise. so the word that i think seems to work best in this political environment is consensus. i'm asking you to take what you believe and bring it to the table of conversation. they guidepost for the argument because you're putting it all on the table. a lot of times are breaking them down and trying to make them not just relevant but understood. avoid the confusion that leads me to not like you because you have a different position. how do you see that playing itself out as we go into
ronald reagan did make that excuse. and both of those guys were pretty optimistic. so governing through division and pessimism has led to a dangerous phenomenon, and oppositional pessimism. you can see the most pessimistic divisive republicans that came from the obama era which means we need visionaries, conservative visionaries. >> with the formula you offer? what are the elements in the 215 or so pages of the book that you would pull out and focus the visionary on to begin the process because for me it's all about the process of evolution, how
you evolved from where you are to this new space and environment and whether or not your willing to do it, but what are some of the things you would pull out? what other aspects of this that you had in mind. >> the most important thing to remember is we are fighting for people. if there's one thing that helps us it's realizing we are trying to create hope. >> governed on pessimism and division. he did what pessimist
>> is just hard to do, much harder to govern them campaign. >> if you are saying to me that you have got to govern with the sense of providing the hope, do i have to keep that myself? >> the vision of your optimism through the relationships. you done a lot of chief executive things. the 1st time we met he did not know me at all and invited me over because you are a relationship guy. that is what good leaders do the only way you will be able to elicit flexibility from others is having a human to human relationship. that's why governing is hard work and the management that comes in the leadership that comes, your job mine are.
three season as liabilities to manage? if you're an optimist and see assess to develop in the conquest of this incredible adventure you are developing relationships that you can. >> i love this race and i will repeated and give due attribution. help is important, hope is essential. what you're saying in terms of that aspirational waiter
who is going to get out there and talk about that that's where they get tripped up. i get tripped up on the idea of help. they lose sight of the fact that the hope is the essential elements all of that. >> absolutely. parents do this, too. how my going to set my kid free. when your thinking clearly about your children that is really how government officials should be thinking about it. >> and so i'll give you an example. >> this is from pure social science.
faith, family, community, and work. we need a president this is what can i do today to get out of the way of americans practicing their faith creating disincentives for people who work. >> values matter. then you talk about and focus on jobs and pay equity and things like that in a section of the book i
thought was interesting in chapter three and title it pushing the bucket. what is that? the title and i read through the chapter, okay. what is that. >> i do a lot of fieldwork for the book. i'm ordinarily looking at data. this was based on fieldwork where i tell dozens of stories. there's one place i went to, it's called the doe fund, homeless shelters specializes in men mostly in their 30s and 40s have spent a lot of time in prison. this is the population of people we throw away our society, the people who are hardest to deal with, men without families been imprisonment are currently homeless. this place was started by
couple in the georgian harriet mcdonald. through the ministry on a sanctified work their wealth and put their lives together. they are cleaning the streets in his blue uniforms they get paid for in that goes into a savings account and they have to pay child support. and then they migrated other were programs. i met a guy named richard who have been in the program for one year. never had a job for an apartment, cell phone, car.
after one year he pushes the bucket and benches a program for learning how to be an exterminator. he had just gotten his 1st full-time job. happy? he pulls out his iphone. i'm thinking of hope. he says look at this e-mail. the buses to him, emergency bedbug job east 65th street, i need you now. said so. he says look at this, i need you now. that isthat is the pursuit of happiness, being needed. >> creating real value. >> to have your value recognized. >> absolutely. >> going back to one of the underlying themes of the book, that is what we used to talk about as gop, something that was of value that we put out there and pushed. you take the story, take this chapter were you talk about pushing the bucket and
viewing people's assets, liabilities and then flashforward into the recent conversation i got what they were saying. you talk about work as a blessing, and this is a value proposition that the party should expound. a lot of folks took that the wrong way sort of passing is a negative when in fact it is not what he was saying. he was trying to get around to the point undertaking appear about recognizing the value, the fact that you're cutting back on time,
employers changing the definition of full-time work to meet arbitrary federal standards so that they don't get penalized and have to pay extra. at theat the end of the day people want to work or value the work. >> very unfairly characterized as being callous toward poor people. >> they should just work more. >> we have two big unemployment measures in america. the people who are looking for jobs for can't find them which has been going down. the problem is what we call use x which adds in people who are and voluntarily underemployed. people who want to work more but cannot in this is the problem, people who want to work harder and get ahead cannot do it, and someone
has got to fight for these people. we need a system that allows people to work order. you and i have a certain peemack, how how do we get ahead? by working harder. the people who are well educated and come from families who value education and have good ethical standards, if it is just for us, poor people they can't get ahead by working harder, what kind of country is that >> and a lot of that work ethic is rooted in the community. a laundry worker here in washington dc for 45 years making minimum wage raising her kids, butkids, but the work ethic never dissipated and was instilled in me and my sister and it is amazing how we have transitioned to a point where that ethic is not recognized are appreciated, you have people who think the poor are lazy. i don't know about you but
how many people this morning and said all i want to be his poor. >> who says i will make us to see me a welfare check is a paycheck. i know about the soft bigotry of low expectations, but the right has to examine its own conscience. too manytoo many times i have heard republicans and conservative say people just want their free stuff. i would prefer to get welfare.welfare. there has to be somebody out there, but i don't know them. i have never heard somebody who does not want to work. we should afford the same standards of dignity for everybody. forfor the left to have this is wrong, but it is wrong for us to say they simply don't want to work because it's not true and it's not helpful and it's going to kill the republican party.
>> i agree. that is the perfect transition to what ii thought was a fun part of the book because i self identified from purchase movement to social movement command this for me was exciting. the readers will enjoy the way you tell the story and the way you create the narrative. you start out talking about our early founders. a revolutionary. pushing the envelope, sometimes to my own detriment. >> i will interview you. >> tie-in to newt gingrich, all revolutionary, and it
starts with sam adams, as you noted, the original tea party organizer and does not require a majority to prevail but an irate minority keen to some brush fires in people's minds. i thought that describe so much of that revolutionary spirit, and you go on and talk about how the tea party jolted the republican party and all movement and i thought that also, that contract, that revolutionary idea, talk us through your thinking where you get in to
the sense of social movement they started lots of societies. you can have one against an unjust law, mothers against drunk drivers. it started out as a protest movement and it was hugely importantusually important to do so because it was based on rebellion against injustice and a lot of good things start this way but fizzle out. that is an important distinction. then having a strong moral overlay trying to become majoritarian movement.
if it is not david versus goliath is not that interesting. >> outnumbered but he wins anyway. ultimately your goal should be to be a majority. vanquished and moved on to understand how society can be better. >> a couple different examples. the march on soma, the important elements of a protest movement. such a visionary because he understood and his goals for everyone to say i can't believe we used to do that which is where we have gotten today. we can't believe jim crow laws and indian-american
woman governor with an african-american senator who was born poor together lowered the confederate battle flag from the top of the south carolina statehouse to the cheers. that's what they did by moving from protest to social movement fighting for all people in the common consensus. >> what is a conservative social justice agenda? what does that look like for you in the context of the fact that we have the voting controlled by republicans in the senate. you have concerns about voting rights, how states are implementing, the shootings that have occurred how does a party influx
begin to address a conservative social justice agenda? you have rand paul trying to read the area little bit. >> when you say social justice it's automatically here he is liberal, but it is important to appropriate the language. social justice is important. using authentically conservative justice. but it starts with values which is any dose. it's very important we talk about these things is a gift as opposed to a cultural. they talk is going to beat you over the head with my morals. but to say no, i hope my
kids to high standards because i want to have the best life. >> poor children because we are our brother's keeper. second is help. one of the things i talk about his republican conservatives need to declare piece on the safety net right now, the publicly funded safety net. messy government spending. the idea that we can help people who are poor that we don't know because of capitalism, the 1st time in human history as possible. for people who are indigent, the poor and needy, and the safety net and that becomes unsustainable in the case of greece which has imploded.
a mistake. entrepreneurship is not about rich people. it's about building your life. we have not gotten too far into the weeds. we talked about the licensing that her poor people. if you want to be a realtor takes you hundred 35 hours to get your license. great entrepreneurial thing. if you want to be a hairdresser columba) do nails in your living room which is a typical 1st job when you required to get a license with 1,500 hours of education and go to school for a year, costs about $16,000, that's discrimination, anti- poor behavior.
>> you have to know how those chemicals work. >> education reform warriors which is all about immigrant -- integration and choice. but more work for people who don't have college education but want to work hard. it takes five weeks to get gutters put on your house in this country. we have to be able to do better location and especially helping people to build their lives entrepreneur will pushing the ethos of free enterprise all the way down to the bottom. >> with this new game where do you see us at the end of the cycle. this was the prescription as far as i'm concerned.
how does this man get into my head. he articulated what they felt as been missing. i'll leave them for you read. and you should, but i'm left at the end with the question looking at how this is unfolding now where do you see this going? if it all fits right now the way you describe it, i get it. where dowhere do you see this, how do you see this playing itself out in this current cycle in this book being on the table as it should be, what is the take away at the end of the day? >> this is a manual for conservative optimism. we have reason to be optimistic.
it is irresponsible for us not to be optimistic. this is a manual for how to project optimism and talk so that people understand your optimistic. if it works in the republicans and conservatives in general matter what party they belong to be seen as aa much more aspirational force and will break out of the shackles of the pessimistic that we have seen. they will experience incredible victory. ..