tv Discussion on Government CSPAN March 31, 2018 3:46pm-5:16pm EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> we look at the good and bad aspects of american democracy. >> hi. welcome to this session of the festival of the book. in case i get this -- like an airplane in case you are on the wrong flight, you're about ready to land in democracy, good and bad governments so this is your last chance to get off this plane if you're in the wrong
place eye. brian in the department of history the university of virginia and the co-host of sinned indicated podcast, out of virginia humanities called back story and i'm delighted -- [applause] >> please silence your cell phones. let's see. even though you're silencing your cell phones you can tweet about this event at #va book2018. looking out at the audience it's obvious you all use instagram. but anyway issue want to
thank -- a special thanks to all of the sponsors of the festival of the book, and i want to acknowledge the city of charlottesville as an event sponsor and for letting us use the halls of government here. i've got the gavel, anybody gets out of order. this program is being broadcast on the city's government access channel, charlottesville's own tv 10 and is being streamed live on the city's facebook page page,@charlottesville city hall. >> thaws best is recorded meese raise your hand and wait nor a volunteer to bring you the microphone. we're not done. evaluations. please fill out the program evaluations. this allows the festival to -- continue to bring you the
outstanding programming that it does. you can fill out a paper evaluation before you leave or you can complete it online at vabook.org/survey. please support the festival authors and our local booksellers by purchasing a book today. the authors will be available at the end of this session to sign those books. now, i think we have taken care of our business. and i'm afraid that it all the time we have today. [laughter] >> i'm going to order -- introduce our guests very quickly because each is really a superb scholar with multiple books and surprises. so i will say that david gold field is the robert lee baily prefer of it has at the university of north carolina charlotte. he has been there since 1982.
he is the author of many books. i will just point out, "black, white and season: america aflame, howl the civil war created a nation and, of course, the gifted generation that he will be talking about today. nancy maclean is an award-winning scholar. she has written on a -- like david on a very broad range of topics. she wrote a book that i -- all her books are terrific but one that i use in my graduate teaches pie, freedom is not enough. a book about the klu klux klan, in charlottesville, couldn't be a more timely topic, and of course she is here to talk about democracy in chains.
nancy is the william h. chase professor of history and public policy. so, without further adieu, i'll turn things over to david who is going to talk about his book for a few minutes and then nancy, and then we'll discuss among ourselves, and then we'll open the floor to questions. >> thank you very much. it's a great pleasure to be here in virginia and particularly in charlottesville. the genesis of my book came in 2011 when the 50th anniversary of the 1961 class of zoomual j. killedden high school held its reunion and as a member in fact of that class? the audience this afternoon, and she'll correct anything i say about that class. as with most new york city schools at the time, the school
reflected its neighborhood. it was primarily working class, i guess you could aaspirational middle class. we had some housing projects, public housing in the district, and we also had some tenement walkup neighborhoods in the district as well. what struck me about that class was not only the upward mobility but the kind of upward mobility of these working classes students from working class familiesment one of the people i talk about in the book helped develop the intel processor. another student helped to develop the rape kit that is used in most law enforcement agencies in the country and in fact the world. another of my subjects was the first woman to head her own bank in 1975 in new york city.
so, these were trail blazers, even though their backgrounds would not have foretold such good fortune. one of the commonalities of all of these people --eye 20 to 30 people in the book. certainly not a scientific same. but i wanted to tell their stories as completely as i could. one of the commonalities was the role of the federal government in supporting their aspirations. not in guaranteeing their results but in opening up opportunities for them. for example, research scholarships, educational support, and also legislation that related to discrimination. my high school was primarily and in fact over 97% according to one survey -- primarily jewish and italian.
and i came across a letter from the president of harvard university to his admissions director and said this year we're going to admit ten jews and five italians into our freshman class. so, back in 1945, this was a very, very different country. a country that was run and ruled by white protestant men primarily, and a country that placed on the margin immigrants, sons and daughters of immigrants, especially they were roman catholic or jewish, and women as well, they were on the periphery, and of course, african-americans. so, when i tried to do in the book is weave these individual stories in with the broader story of public policy, how did the government create essentially a new nation in the 20 years after world war ii. i focus on three presidential
administrations. harry truman, dwight d. eisenhower and lyndon b. johnson, you'll notice i skipped somebody there and we can talk about that during the q & a. it's interesting but all three men shared a number of characteristics. one they came from a region that you could call the middle border. not quite south, not quite west and that characteristics of both and they also exhibited a desire to be released from those characteristics, particularly the southern portion of those characteristics. they all grew up not necessarily in poverty but of diminished circumstances. they all throw of them had very strong mothers. this was extremely important. for example, eisenhower's mother attended college at a time when it was very rare for women to
attend college. lbj still wrote lovingly to his mother as late as the 1950s. and harry truman's mother supported him because his father was a ne'er-do-well, essentially. everything his father tried turned to ashes. they were -- they had different political perspectives. eisenhower's family were solid republicans in abilene, kansas. he had been born in texas. one of his brothers was named abraham lincoln eisenhower. giving you an idea of the political orientation. harry truman grew up 150 miles to the east of the eisenhowers and grew up in a confederate family, and a very southern environment. in fact, his mother was very
proud of the fact that as a young girl, she had stomped on a copy of harriet beecher stowe's uncle tom's cabin and win he went to the senate, he introduce hid wife he noted this fellow never saw republican until he was 18 years old, and bess truman said, he wasn't missing anything. so, give you some idea. but early on they were exposed to politics. harry truman still remember the democratic national convention in kansas city, in 1900 and thrilled to the oratory of the boy ore at the, the grate commoner from nebraska, william jennings bryan and dwight d. eisenhower was surreptitiously a
fan of the great commoner, william jennings bryan as well and eisenhower, when he became a military officer, in the army, and of course no officers are allowed to expression their political opinions, but i did find a letter from eisenhower to one of his colleagues in 1933 where he was very upset with fdr because he wasn't going far enough in the new deal. he says, government should do everything. should own everything. take over the banks. and of course if that had gotten out in 1952 when he ran for president at the huge of the cold war, d-at the height of the cold war that would be the end of it. lbj was a feign of william jennings bryan. what happens i should have tight milled book the sons of william jennings bryan. when he came to washington in 1932 as an aide to congressman
from texas, he would sneak into the senate chamber, just to hear hughie long, the louisiana king fish, and wrote it's a great idea to give every american family what today into woo be the eye with -- would be the equivalent of $90,000. share the wealth. all three of them has the idea that the least of, if we support the least of us, we will be a greater nation for it. i call it the commonwealth ideal and they believed very much in this ideal that if we can have an equitable society, we can have a great society. and when you look at the policy of truman, eisenhower and lbj, you'll see this reflected.
don't want to turn this into a wonkish session, but let's take civil rights, for example. now, truman was not a natural at civil rights. as i said, he was steeped in confederate lore but the first president to address the naacp convention which he did on the steps of the lincoln memorial in 1947. the first president to send a entire civil rights package to congress since the reconstruction era. ...
>> and took a greyhound bus from ft benning to his home in south carolina, an african-american, former african-american soldier. and on the way up to south carolina, he, at a rest stop he decided, well, i'm going to go into the white restroom. he was arrested, and the sheriff took him to jail and gouged out his eyes. and truman heard about this. and he said, well, we've got to do something. and his attorney general said, well, we can't. this is a state matter. and that would become the genesis of what ultimately became the 1964 civil rights act. immigration. at the time, sweden and switzerland took in more refugees and immigrants from the war-torn areas of europe than the united states. and that says something, because we were under the law of the
1924 immigration act which stated, which established quotas particularly against emigres from southern and eastern europe who were primarily roman catholic and jewish. i title one of my chapters "to hell with jews and jesuits." it was an exact quote from a congressman at the time. he was unsuccessful -- truman was unsuccessful. but eisenhower surreptitiously with executive orders expanded immigration and, of course, lbj is 1965 -- lbj in 1965 changed the quota system. the country of greece was allowed 320 immigrants in 1945. great britain was allowed 40,000. just to give you an idea of the ethnic prejudice involved in that. and lbj changed that as well.
in education, of course, the g.i. bill expanded under harry truman and particularly under dwight d. eisenhower. harry truman submitted a bill for universal health care. we're still waiting for it, right? [laughter] but johnson is got the next best thing with medicare. housing and urban policy, we didn't really have an urban policy before the truman administration. and you started the first public housing program. in terms of the environment, the environment first became a cause with mamie eisenhower and then with dwight d. eisenhower. an interesting thing, just a sideline on mamie eisenhower, she was actually the first integrationist in the white house because eisenhower took office in january of 1953. in february of 1953, mamie eisenhower was given the task of hosting or developing a list for
the white house easter egg roll on the white house lawn. and she was horrified to find out that invitations only went out to the white schools in washington d.c. washington, d.c., of course, was highly segregated city at the time, and she thought that was terrible. and so she sent out invitations to black schools as well. and that was the first integrated white house easter roll. just a little insight, i think, into the eisenhowers. and eisenhower, of course, was instrumental in changing the federal judiciary with his appointments which was crucial in the civil rights movement. and we can talk more about that. in terms of infrastructure, the interstate highway act, 1955, was the largest and still is the largest infrastructure project in american history. and finally, gender equity. we all know the, both the
perception and the reality of the role of women in american society in 1945. but beginning particularly in the eisenhower administration and the lbj administration, lbj appointed more women to higher office than any other -- all previous presidents combined during his term in office. and you can bet lady bird saw to it as well. these were some of the gifts that were given to our generation. and a poll in 1961, over 90% of the respondents said that they believed in our government, that they believed that government was doing good. and in 2014 that was down to
about 13%. so we've fallen a bit. and i talk, in the last part of the book i talk about that fall. yes, civil disturbances in the cities, vietnam, watergate, the transformation of the political party system, all of that played a role. but particularly from the reagan administration on, the great political scientist theodore lowy said the last democratic president we had was richard nixon. and, you know, obviously, that's -- some dissonance there. [laughter] but nixon, if you look at his housing and urban policies, if you look particularly at the fact that he was the environmental president, give you some idea. it all began to go downhill with the reagan administration in 1980 and has persisted downhill ever since. america used to be first to the
future. we're no longer that way. in terms of health care, in terms of leave for maternity, in terms of childcare, in terms of patents, in terms of innovation we're down somewhere around 13th to 14th according to the oecd, right around slovenia. whereas we used to be number one. and people say, well, yeah, you know, but there's been technology and globalization. yeah. well, sweden in 2016 had a gdp that grew twice as much as the u.s. did. and sweden has very strong government component. so we live in an era not only where government is weaker, but government is skewed toward the benefit of the very few. and this is our position today, and how we got there, in a
sense, is the story of this book. thank you very much. [applause] >> and now for something completely different. [laughter] >> i just want to thank david for his book, and i am hoping that i'm going to be able to get down there and get one in time after this, because i think it will be the perfect tonic to my own research. and as i was reading about david's book, i realized that my husband -- who was born in 1952 -- is the last of your grouping. and he regularly talks about what it meant to him to come from a blue collar, chicago, working class family and be able to go to college and be able to have access to all of these things that are not there now for our young people. so i very much appreciate that. and i very much appreciate the thought that went into putting us together on a panel, because we are almost like a photo and its negative in terms of the stories that we're going to tell. mine is a particularly virginia
story, and it's actually a story that starts in charlottesville, so i thought i would begin with a reading, short reading, from the opening of my book. as 1956 drew to a close, colgate whitehead darden somewhere, the president of the university of virginia, feared for the future of his beloved state. the previous year the u.s. supreme court had issued its second brown v. board of education ruling calling for the dismantling of segregation in public schools are all deliberate speed. in virginia outraged state officials responded with legislation to force the closure of any local school that planned to comply. some extremists called for ending public education entirely. darden, who earlier in his career had been the governor, could barely stand to contemplate the damage such a rash move would inflict. even the name of this plan, massive resistance, made his
gentlemanly virginia sound like mississippi. on his desk was a proposal written by the man he had recently appointed chair of the economics department at uva. 37-year-old james mcgill buchanan liked to call himself a tennessee country boy, but darden knew better. no less a figure than milton friedman had extolled buchanan's potential. as darden reviewed the document, he might well have wondered if the newly-hired economist had read his mind. for without mentioning the crisis at hand, buchanan's proposal put in writing what darden was thinking. virginia needed to find a better way to deal with the incursions on states' rights represent by brown. to most americans living in the north, brown was a ruling to end segregated schools. nothing more, nothing less. and virginia's response was about race. but to men like darden and
buchanan, two well-educated sons of the south who were deeply committed to its model of political economy, brown boded a sea change on much more. at a minimum, the federal courts could no longer be counted on to defer reflexively to states' rights arguments. it was not difficult for either darden, nor buchanan to imagine how a court might rule if presented with evidence of the state of virginia's archaic labor relations or its efforts to buttress the power of reactionary rural whites by underrepresenting even the moderate white voters of the cities and suburbs of virginia. federal meddling could rise to levels once unimaginable. james mcgill buchanan was not a member of the virginia elite, nor was there any specific evidence to suggest that for a conservative white southerner of his day he was uniquely racist or insensitive to the concept of equal treatment. and yet somehow all he saw in
the brown decision was coercion. find the resources, he proposed to darden, for me to create a new center on the campus of the university of virginia, and i will use this center to create a new school of political economy and social philosophy. it would be an academic center, rigorously so but one with a quiet political agenda to defeat what buchanan called the perverted form of liberalism that sought to destroy their way of life, a social order as he described it built on individual liberty. a term with its own coded meaning that darden understood. the center, buchanan promised, would train a new line of thinkers in how to argue against those seeking to impose -- and i quote -- an increasing role of government in economic and social life, people like those individuals that you've described. he could win this war, and he would do it with ideas.
some may argue that while darden fulfilled his part, he found the money to establish the center, he never got much in return. buchanan's team had no discernible success in decreasing the federal government's pressure on the south all the way through the 1960s and '70s. but take a longer view. follow the story forward to the second decade of the 20th sent -- century, and a different picture emerges; one that is both testament to i buchanan's intellectual powers and, at the same time, the utterly chilling story of the ideological origin toes of the singlemost powerful and least understood threat to democracy today, the attempt by the billionaire-backed radical right to undo democratic governance. so -- [laughter] people coming to a panel like this in the city council chambers, i'm sure, pay a great deal of attention to public life. and having paid attention to
public life over the last several years, you have heard a great deal, i'm sure -- and read, probably, a great deal -- about the fortune that charles koch and the donor network that he has assembled of billionaire and multimillionaire donors have been investing in order to transform our politics in america. and this has been brought to our attention by great journalists, above all jane mayer and her book, "dark money," but others who are doing really important work as well. my book tells a story that is not part of our public conversation yet, but it is a story of the ideas that have lately made that money so effective. and, in fact, charles koch boasted at the most recent donor summit that -- or seminar i guess he calls them now, that he said we have accomplished more in the last five years than i was able to accomplish in the last fiftiment so he's been funding -- fifty. so he's been funding these ideas for a long, long time looking for the right ones, but he finally found some that could
hem him achieve the breakthrough in the way he has long hoped to. and what i found is that the school of ideas that are being used to affect this transformation originated here in charlottesville, in fact, in the economics department beginning in 1956 when james buchanan set up that center, built a team that worked through 1968 -- left in a huff, that's another story -- and then spent the rest of his career in ore virginia public institutions; at virginia tech through the 1970s and then going on to george mason in 1982 where his ideas and his former colleagues are represented dominate the economic department there, something called the mercatus center and what is now called the scalia school of law. so it's an interesting story, i think, and it's very much a virginia story, and it might also be of interest to you at this writers' festival that i did not set out to tell the story that i did. i did not know who james
buchanan was when i started to work on the research that became this book in 2006. i had never heard of him, so if you haven't, don't feel bad, most people have not. and i also had not heard of charles koch. because for most people back then, in 2006, if you were not in the fossil fuel industry -- where his name is well known -- or in the libertarian movement where he's long been the leading funder, you probably had not heard of koch either. in fact, i am a social historian by training, and i look at the history of social movements and their impact on public policy. and what i started to research in 19 -- [laughter] going a little too far back. [laughter] what i started to research in 2006 was actually the story of the state of virginia's response to the brown v. board of education decision. and its massive resistance to brown. and particularly i was interested in the school closures in prince edward county, virginia, that i found the stories about in the archives the american friends service committee.
and i was so shocked by that story and embarrassed that i had not known it as a historian of social movements and of the south that i began to research it and quickly found that school vouchers -- tax-funded school vouchers -- were crucial to that massive resistance and that milton friedman, the famous free market economist, had intervened in 1955 in the full knowledge of how his ideas would be used. so i started to research that story, but this buchanan kept appearing in my peripheral vision. he appeared in 1959 just as a moderate, a movement of moderate white parents was sweeping virginia that my friend wrote about years ago. he's our nation's leading expert on, wrote a brilliant disserration on that moderate movement. -- dissertation. it was led by white clergy, mothers and other dissenters, and they were trying to save the schools from the privatization brought on by massive resistance. and james buchanan's new center
at the university of virginia issued a report in 1959 leveraging the authority of their discipline and buchanan's stature as the chair of the economics department of the state's flagship university in order to try to undermine the case that the moderates were making. and he actually sent the report that he produced to try to discredit this moderate account to a number of virginia legislators, and the cover letter said they were issuing this report letting the chips fall where they may. and that phrase stuck with me. and i knew i wasn't going to leave this man as i tried to figure out how a fellow educator could do something like this. then i went on to find out from another footnote that his what came to be called the virginia school of political economy had had a more lasting impact on chile under the peen they tick today to haveship.
buchanan was brought in to advise on a constitution, a constitution that a subsequent president has criticized for its authoritarian trammells and said put locks and bolts on what government can do. to the point that chileans now are losing faith in democracy because they cannot make democracy work for people in the way that david was just describing that we saw in the u.s. at mid century. the last thing that derailed my book -- [laughter] and set me off on another route was moving to north carolina. in 2010. just before the 2010 midterms. and the 2010 midterms in north carolina brought into both houses dominance in both houses of the state legislature a new crop of tea party republicans, radicalized republicans who were following this kind of
libertarian counsel and who were actually funded heavily by a man named art pope who has worked with the kochs, with charles koch since the 1980s at least. and what i saw happening in north carolina -- and it was deeply unsettling -- is that i saw buchanan's ideas being applied to effect these very, very radical changes that shifted north carolina from being a beacon of moderate public policy, progressive initiatives, etc., in the south to being a laboratory, being boasted of as a laboratory for this radical-right project. then as i saw my story start to change seeing this unfold before me in north carolina, i then in 2013 after james buchanan died finally managed to get access to his papers at george mason university that were housed in what is called buchanan house archives which was his last working office. and when i got in and saw those
papers, everything that i was beginning to suspect -- [laughter] about the way his ideas were being used by this network of now hundreds of organizations funded by charles koch and his fellow donors, i saw that i was, in fact, correct. and that this was happening. or and the papers, i have to tell you, were absolutely helter-skelter. i mean, they were under the stairwells, they were in the hallways. they moved in boxes, nothing was organized. he didn't believe in filing. he had left several institutions in a huff. his favorite assistant didn't -- it was crazy. but in these files i found documentation of all of this, and i also learned how charles koch and some of his top, most trusted operatives in the various organizations he funds had cooperated with faculty in george mason's economics department with the then-dean of the law school, with the provost and the president and with the board of visitors of the george
mason university which was then dominated by figures including ed meese who had known buchanan for many years and many other names you'd know from the right, but i don't want to waste the time on that. but anyway, so i, after that, began writing a very different one from the one i set out to do about virginia. and it is, basically as i've said, the story of the ideas that more than any other ideas have undermined the kind of trust in government that david was just describing, the kind of trust that is foundational to good public policy. and there are actually books about trust, political trust that show americans have not surged to the right in what they want or what they'd like to see in their society. but what has happened is they ono longer trust government to do it -- no longer trust government to do it, and government is the only body that can do things like stop -- take action on climate change, stop discrimination, provide for retirement security for seniors.
all of those kinds of things that we look to. and that trust is exactly what buchanan's school of thought -- also called public choice economics -- took dead aim at. and, in fact, buy canna in a 2007 -- buchanan in a 2007 documentary said that when he had set to work in 1956 here, that the idea that elected officials serve the common good, that they generally believed, or at least most of them, that they were advancing the public interest, those ideas were dominant. and he actually said in this documentary, he said that's what i wanted to tear down. that's what i wanted to tear down. the hypocrisy of those officials saying they are acting in the public interest. now, naive me, i didn't know much about libertarianism when i set off to understand all this. but as i read more and learned more, i found that he simply did not believe that we could talk about any kind of collective in
an honest way. and he didn't think that we could look at politics in a way that would take people ott their word -- at their word that they were acting in good faith. and he said instead we should understand all elected officials, all agency staff, all trade unionists, civil rights act, anybody in public life we could only understand them as individuals pursuing their own rational self-interest which he understand in venal terms. the elected officials only cared about getting reelected, the climate scientists only care about getting federal grants, the public health -- somebody else has taken his ideas and said the reasons doctors test for lead is because it chemos them in their -- keeps them in their jobs. so anyway, these are the ideas that buchanan spread, these very corrosive ideas about how to understand politics.
i will say that there was some value in some of these ideas as a your riskic tool, and i've since talked to people in political science in particular who think, you know, there's some good hypotheses here, some things we should follow through on. and i think that's totally fine, but what i watched happen with buchanan in particular and the team that he drew around him and that is now not to only at george mason, but part of this wider diaspora, what i saw was something very different. i saw a set of ideas that have congealed into a dogma. a dogma that simply assumes that all public actors are acting in bad faith and that tries, in his terms, to the tear that down. and so those ideas have spread, they are toxic, i think, to our public life. i think we've all observed that particularly in the last few years. but there's something else about buchanan's ideas that were very important that we need to understand to understand our world right now.
and that is that he advised those people on his team, the business funders that he would bring, corporate funders he'd bring to his centers, the elected officials that they trained at his centers, congressional staff and so forth, all these people. he said if you don't like the outcome of public policy over a long period of time -- and here you have to understand that libertarians didn't like the 20th century public policy. exactly the kinds of things david described. so if you don't like the outcomes of public policy over a long period of time, he said, stop thinking about who rules. stop thinking about the particular individuals or even the political parties and instead think about the rules. because he said the rules encouraged continuing tax and spend behavior even by figures like ronald reagan, george w. bush, etc. so he said if you want to see radical change, what you need to do is think about how to change the rules. so that's what he did in chile
with the they lay january -- chilean constitution. that kind of constitution is coming to america thanks to the koch donor network and officials who have now lined up 28 of the 34 states heeded to call a constitutional -- needed to call a constitutional convention. everybody's talking about donald trump's tweets, our distracter in chief. [laughter] but anyway, so these ideas that buchanan had about changing the rules have been essentially weaponized since 2009 in particular. and we have seen that weaponizing in, particularly in the 30 states that are now dominated by this cause to the point of what the democracy alliance calls electoral stranglehold where we've seen in our own north carolina, as people did elsewhere, but the most extreme gerrymanders that we've seen in our history, extreme in a sophisticated gerrymander, voter suppression,
measures to undermine public sector unions, particularly teachers' unions, to stop action on the environment and climate change and so forth. so that is going on in the states. in washington, d.c. we've seen one of our major political parties turned into a delivery vehicle by this cause using the threat of primary challenges to make republican elected officials accountable to the donor network rather than to even republican voters. and we've also seen through all of this, essentially, the conditions that enabled the election of donald trump. i do not believe for a moment that donald trump would be president of the united states today were it not for the ideas spread by buchanan and the think tanks which he worked for decades, he and his colleagues, and also if it were not for the radical rules changes that they have affected in state after state in the country. so just to end, i will say that i think all of this has created the most profound threat to
democracy, at least in my view as a historian, that we have seen since the 1930s. and i think this period is very much like the 1860s or the 1930s in the sense that we have very strong anti-democratic traditions and forces in our culture who can be quite determined at some moments. this is one of those moments. and i do believe what happens over the next few years will be absolutely decisive for future generations and for our planet. so i'd really, really urge people to stop watching those, following those tweets and start looking at what else is going on in our system. because this koch agenda is moving through under the trump administration with incredible velocity through federal departments, agencies, the courts and the like. so i guess i'll just end there. and i wish that i weren't such a depressing counter to david's brilliant book. thank you. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you, nancy.
okay. one question i had when i was reading both of your books, ironically since you're talking about a major economics figure was about economics. and so in your case, david, i'd love for you to address the obvious fact that the very period you're talking about was a rather unique period for the american economy in global context. the economic basis of both our allies and our enemies had been devastated. one of the programs that you talk about in terms of republicans and democrats coming together is the marshall plan to rebuild the economies in europe
and a is similar plan in japan; friend, foe. are there over ways to explain the gifted generation, or -- it's already a really big book, and it's already -- [laughter] no. you already take on a lot. but for the purpose of this conversation and putting your good ideas into context, how much should we consider the years between, you know, world war ii and exactly when things turn downhill, as you put it, as in part awe contribute bl -- attributable to the naturalization of america's place in a global economy? and my question for you, nancy, is to what extent are the ideas of the buchanans and the kochs
embraced by the working class people that david started out talking about in the '70s, in the '80s, many of whom were hardest hit by really very sering changes in the economy? not all for global reasons, but for domestic reasons as well. >> context is extremely important, brian. of course, the context of the period 1945-1965 is very different from the global context today. the real question to ask is how does public policy respond to this context. and public policy in the u.s. in the '40s, and '50s and '60s responded to this context with a rather high marginal tax rate of over 90% during the
eisenhower administration with an array of government programs designed to spread opportunity at its widest. dwight d. eisenhower almost ad nauseam, if you read his papers, you see this comment over and over again. he probably went to sleep at night muttering it. he was fond of saying that, quoting abraham lincoln, government must do for the people what the people cannot do for themselves or cannot do well for themselves. he was constantly telling his conservative republican colleagues that this is not the 1890s anymore, but this is the 1950s, and we need to, we need to do that. fast forward to 2017, 2018, and ask we have a total -- and we have a totally different global situation, obviously. but again, there are countries that can negotiate globalization
and technological revolution, countries such as germany and sweden. if you look at the statistics and the rankings that o to ecd puts out -- oecd puts out, you'll see that the u.s. is in the middle of the pack somewhere. the key is to be nimble in public policy, to use the government to address the contextual issues both globally and locally and to devise public policy accordingly. we haven't done that. we haven't done that because particularly since the reagan administration we have used government to devalue public policy except for a relatively their row segment of the population that -- narrow segment of the population that nancy has addressed. >> okay, great. nancy? >> yeah. i would say a couple things and one that i didn't mention but that's very important, i think
the single most important finding of my research is that the architects of this effort -- particularly i'm talking about charles koch is and james buchanan -- both of them understood that libertarianism was a permanent minority cause that most people did not want. as soon as people understood what that libertarian dream world is, most people back away from it and reject it and would try to stop it. so that is precisely why they turned to a more what i call a stealth plan, and i believe i have plenty the evidence to -- of evidence to show that's what it is. so part of that stealth also involves not being candid with people about what they're actually working for. and i think we see this play out in the elections and in the kind of information that's out there. i'm actually on the mailing list of americans for prosperity, so i get all this stuff, so i can say, you know, they're issuing these bromides but not telling people where these big policies are going. i think that speaks to your question about working class voters in a kind of oblique but important way.
first of all, i do think that there has been something that's gone on since the election of donald trump that is interesting in that it seems like the blame -- [laughter] for the problem that we're confronting has been outsourced on to working class people, particularly white working class people because we know that black working class people and latino working class people did not vote for this administration. but even among the white men who are often thought of as the architects of this, there's actually or very good research to show that's not the case. my own colleague at duke in the sanford school of public policy went to the national election survey and found that 75% of trump voters were people who were higher in the income spectrum, as republican voters are, right? and so he said that essentially what happened is that trump motivated the traditional republican base, and hillary clinton failed to in a big way. that plus the kinds of changes that we've talked about with voter suppression and all the rest are pretty important. now, does donald trump attract
support from significant numbers still even though not a huge percentage of white working class men in you know, absolutely, he does. and i think, you know, there's been much ink spilled on that. sometimes i think not by people who are willing to think about the depth of our racial divisions in this country, right? and the way that blame can be shifted onto other groups by people or who are, as you say, in pain many of them or who are just angry because they feel like, you know, they'll talk about it, their own citizenship has been devalued by giving it to more people. people are pretty clear about what they think, we just have to listen to hear or what they're saying. but i'll say also to contextualize in that as i was doing the research and writing the book and coming closer to the election period and everything else, was thinking what is the matter with these libertarian thinkers? first of all, almost none of them are historians, but they cannot see that the world they're trying to bring into being is like the interwar
period, right? where the market was.comuate -- dominant, where public institutions couldn't respond to the very real needs of the people, and you were polarized between the right wing and communism. so i very much did expect that if these policies came into play, we would eventually see this kind of polarization. what i didn't realize is that it would come so quickly, that bernie sanders -- a self-described socialist and a jewish socialist from brooklyn at that -- would become now, and by at least the last information i saw, the most trusted and respected elected official in america? like, who would have predicted that before all these years of unresponsive government? and on the other hand, someone like donald trump and all the demons that he has summonedded up that you have seen here in charlottesville. so i absolutely believe that many people are feeling pain as a result of a deeply, quickly changing society and economy. and as david said, our public
policies are not responding to that and, therefore, we should not be surprised when we see the kinds of things that we've seen coming up because that's exactly what happens when government fails to address the needs of the people. >> thank you. and one other question that i had when i was reading both of your books, because you really do deal with the same period. i like that metaphor of a photographic negative -- >> yeah. >> -- that you were talking about. but that period what was also exceptional about that period was the consensus about a common, life-threatening enemy. and i'm just curious to know what each -- how factoring in the cold war, this common enemy about which there was incredible con seven discuss -- consensus, i know i feel a lot closer to people that i might be ambivalent about if we both face
a common enemy, right? and i'd love to know how factoring in the cold war context which extends for much of the period that you're talking about -- and, nancy, this is the first part of your book -- how that affects your argument. >> the -- most of the people i interviewed for the book the cold war, obviously, was there for them, but it wasn't something that they talked about or thought about on a daily basis. they were concerned about their families, they were concerned with excelling in school, with getting into a good university, with getting a good job. the code more was always in the background, and even though we had these ridiculous nuclear drills where we dove under desks, it was, you know, it was a diversion. it wasn't something that was
over our heads that really worried us. but it did worry our political leaders. lbj said frequently, you know, this 1924 immigration law is killing us abroad because the soviets are going into places like africa and asia and particularly eastern europe saying, hey, this is how americans treat people of different ethnic backgrounds, different religious backgrounds, different colors, you know? they may promote themselves as a democratic society, but they really aren't. so the 1965 immigration law really was of cold war origins. and certainly, lbj was very sensitive to the fact that civil rights. one of the things that he noted in his correspondence was -- and eisenhower noted this particularly too -- was how the
soviets were showing films of the edmund pettis bridge in selma, the march from selma to montgomery. said this is america, this is how they, they treat their people. so it was very much prevalent in public policy but not as much in the minds and the daily way of going about life of americans at that time. >> and, nancy, you talk about the peace dividend, that this is not -- i don't know that it's the turning point -- >> it's one of them, yeah. >> it's a turning point in your book. >> yeah. how does -- go ahead. how does the end of the cold war -- >> oh, interesting. okay. so i would say, too, perhaps the surprising answer on the earlier story in that buchanan was, had very much an enthusiastic economic liberty. he was much more conservative on foreign policy so himself was
anti-communist but actually didn't talk about it very much and never turned this public choice lens on to what eisenhower called the military industrial complex. >> no, that's not part of the government. >> yeah, exactly. it's interesting, it was only focused on domestic programs whether it's social security or civil rights or environmental protection, you know? is to echo -- all these other areas got the attention but not the military. and there's an interesting article that i came across in a libertarian journal saying, pointing out that libertarians weren't obsessed with the communist threat, by and large. these were the original isolationists, right? they tonight think the united states should have fought during world war ii, and hay thought the soviet union would fail on its own. leave it alone, it'll fail on its own. so they tonight actually want to wage the cold war. and this writer was saying -- who was, himself, a libertarian -- that they were not interested in
anti-communism, they were interested in anti-commonnism against, exactly, the kinds of people you're talking about rising through these public policies. they had not themselves, norred had their parents, earned the money to pull themselves occupy. so it was anti-commonnism. and charles koch, actually, he broke from the john birch society over the vietnam war in 1968. and the cato substitute was originally very much against, you know, many u.s. interventions abroad. really kind of interesting differences on questions of foreign policy. and by the way, donald trump's foreign policy these days is in some ways, i think, redolent of that old right that wanted to go it alone, etc. i mean, it's more complicated than that -- >> it might have changed a day ago. >> i know, that's true. that's true. [laughter] but so the last thing though that you raised is they did start to feel urgent about this
in the 1990s. buy p can man himself wrote one of the things that alarmed him without that external threat, how are we going to keep people from looking too much to the government. that plus the emerging recognition of climate change and global warming was very frightening to libertarians like charles koch and the motor voter act that brought more poor people into politics was another thing that happened in the 1990s that was a kind of precipitant to all of this. so foreign policy's kind of out there, but i think not as important or -- for this particular cause as these domestic considerations. >> great. well, let's take some questions from the audience. if you would raise your hand, i'm going to -- yes. you,er is, in the blue -- you, sir, in the blue shirt. if all wait for -- right. i've picked the person farthest from you guys. [laughter] i'm sorry. the if you would wait for the
microphone to come around. >> is this on? >> yep. >> okay. >> this is actually a question i sent you in an e-mail after i read your book and was so, i don't know, inspired or scared by what you wrote -- >> thank you. [laughter] >> -- was you trace very effectively the organizational skills of charles koch and how he's gathered these people in these different institutions. and some years ago i realized the right had way outorganized the left in terms of intellectual discipline and things like that. and i wondered if there's any incipient counter to this. don't tell me the democratic party, because that ain't it. [laughter] but who is out there prepared to take on this movement that you've described? >> thank you, and i hope i answered your e-mail. i might -- >> [inaudible] >> oh, i will get to it. it's a triage ward at this
point, because i'm getting so much mail, and i'm teaching full time while i'm traveling every week, so it's a little nutty. but, yes, i have actual been, i've been on the road since august every week traveling around the country, various places and talking to lots of people. and even though i have, you know, a very stark story here, i'm actually quite inspired by the people that i'm encountering and what, and and the efforts that i'm learning about out on the road. what i'm seeing is that across sectors of progressive politics people are understanding that this is really an emergency, that it's an all hands on deck emergency, and they're also understanding that their previous strategies are not working and that they have to start thinking differently. they too have to start playing a long game, they too have to think about an inclusive framing message and, you know, attention to that and also develop new alliances that could get to that better future. and also change the rules of the
game back to a pro-democracy agenda, right? undoing all these radical rules change. i have seen that, actually, across labor unions, across teachers' professional organizations. i was just with national social work leaders, amnesty international, their board, the national council of churches, center for popular democracy, like, just -- indivisible. there are so many people in so many walks of life coming from so many commitments who understand this is not normal, and it's not even the kind of right that we had seen since the 1980s. this is qualitatively new, and it is a very, very acute and dangerous moment. and with that, they are really doing all kinds of efforts to inform people, to engage them, to begin to build new bonds. so if there are people like yourself -- and i feel terrible that i haven't gotten back to you -- who are concerned to do things, i would just say there are so many ways to get involved, right?
if everybody in this room just thought about who they are, the networks they have, the resources they have, the skills and talents and the passions and what could they do with that to be part of this difference to protect and renew our democracy, i think it could be really quite astonishing what could happen. and i will say that those two other moments of really serious threat to democracy in our country ended up being moments that democracy was radically renewed, right? so the confederacy threat in the 1860s which was profoundly anti-democratic at its core or ended up setting off of a war that became a war for emancipation that ended up bringing us the 14th and 15th amendments as well as the 13th and, you know, a real transformation in public life. same thing in the 1930s. the kind of property absolutism prevailed for a time. there was a lot of scapegoating, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. but one of the things that the new deal did was to recreate public hope, right?
and to give people a sense that their government could actually do things for them that were important and help them to recommit to their society, to one another and to that model of democracy that david's talking about. so it may sound strange, but i actually do feel hopeful if people take this seriously and act on their knowledge and help to share it with others. >> just let me add briefly to your question. >> he has responded to your e-mail, by the way. [laughter] >> yeah. you can -- please, send me an e-mail. [laughter] the role of the state is to maintain a balance in public policy, not privileging one part of society over another. good government strengthens each citizen and with it the nation many. the gifted generation is the abiding proof of that maxim. the policies to regenerate the nation and the people are well known. the accomplishments of government in the decades after world war ii provide a blueprint. what is lacking is leadership to
implement the policies to grow and energize the many, the commonwealth rather than just the few and the people to demand it. and what nancy's indicated, this is going to come from the bottom up. don't look to the democratic party. this is going to come from the bottom up. >> yes, sir. >> this question may be heresy to all of you. but it's to all three. looking back historically to what nancy was talking about n1966 -- in 1966 bill strong was a moderate that was elected in 1970, holden was a moderate that was elected. those were both virginians, both theoretically under the influence of both darden and their successors as well as buchanan and maybe even kilpatrick. so the question is, is democracy better served if we don't have conservatives and libertarians
and liberals and socialists; but, rather, if we have moderates? [laughter] >> please, go ahead. >> i -- >> [inaudible] >> oh, okay. so i teach the history of social movements, right? and their impact on public policy. and i believe, i profoundly believe based on that teaching and research and history that social movements have created much of what we value in america, much of what is best in this country. and so i firmly support anyone's, everyone's ability to argue for their views, to try to persuade others, to try to get majorities to agree with whatever they're promoting. and if those majorities agree, then we can call that the common good and the public interest and promote public policies that advance that agenda. what deeply troubles me about this cause that i'm writing about is not that they have ideas different from mine -- and i think we do actually need a functioning two-party system. and i think conservatives do
bring some valuable ideas to the table that are worth paying attention to, you know, as we try to change things headlong. i think the same things about libertarians. there's some really good reasons to be skeptical of government overreach, various things like that. so i think all of these ideas have a value in our public debate. but what has been so disturbing to me in doing the research on this book is finding a cause that understands that it is not going to persuade the majority of the people, not anywhere near the majority of people. and is instead deciding to rig the system to advance its project without being honest with the people. and i saw that beginning with buchanan and his strategy for social, transforming social security in the 1980s where he really laid that out. and it's something that the right has been acting on since. and now it's being applied to the whole society. so what i want is honesty and openness about what people are trying to do and engaging in the battle of ideas in a good faith
way that i am not seeing coming from this cause at this point because the donor network has become so determined to transform the ground of our public interactions. >> if you look at the three presidents i talk about, they would view themselves as moderates. and they said so. truman believed that he stood between the crazies on the left and the troglodytes on the right. [laughter] eisenhower, eisenhower felt the same way. in fact, he was getting ready to leave the republican party because he felt it had become too conservative. in fact, he called his public policy, he called it the middle way which is moderate. lyndon b. johnson frequently used the phrase middle of the road to define his public policy. our system of government was founded on the principles of compromise. we have these balance of powers, and it functions best when there
is compromise. which is usually in moderation. if you look at the great landmarks of legislation that we've had in the 19th, 20th centuries, you will see they're not perfect. they are compromises. and over the course of the years, they've become better and better in addressing the needs of society. not anymore. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you. this question, i think -- >> [inaudible] >> oh. is this better? >> yes. >> thank you. i think this question is primarily for mr. goldfield -- >> [inaudible] >> there. all right. but also i would love to hear your comments as well. so you've mentioned a couple times the 1924 legislation about
immigration, and i've read a theory that without that legislation preventing immigration we could never have had the social, the progressive social legislation that followed after wards. in other words, without having a homogeneous society, you could not have then the progressive legislation that followed. i don't necessarily buy that. but -- >> that would be wise. [laughter] >> but as i watch, as i watch the things happening right now in europe, there is a little bit in me that does kind of think, well, you know, things are looking a little complicates.
and i'm curious what your thoughts are as we do become a more diverse society how we tackle becoming more diverse and presumably moving in a more progressive direction at the same time. >> i'll be very quick and simple on this. diversity is our great strength, and the progressive legislation that you noted was supported in some cases formulated and implemented by the sons and daughters of immigrants, if not the immigrants themselves. immigrants bring new perspectives into american society and new ways of doing things. and, for example, had trump's
ban on travel from certain muslim countries been in effect, steve jobs' grandparents couldn't have come into the u.s.. so i'm not saying that we should necessarily have open borders, but the 1924 immigration act was a travesty. it was, it was formulated and implemented for ethic and racial prejudice i shall reasons, not for any economic reasons, and it did do this country any good in terms of innovation or progressive public policy. >> and i would just add in terms of progressive legislation, it's not just that harry truman found religion when it came to reversing some of his cultural predispositions. it's that millions of african-americans moved from the south to the north where they actually could vote, and they
did support progressive legislation. and nancy's written about that. after will -- [laughter] >> i have a question -- >> what. >> yeah, go ahead. >> oh, you're selecting? that's great. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> i thought i was in control here. no, i'm not actually al hague. [laughter] >> this question follows up, i think, really right where we're talking about. despite what all you talked about what we did in that generation, i grew up and know them very well. the fact that we didn't, progressive legislation at the same time excluded blacks specifically. i'm thinking of just yesterday we had a book on the color of money, and before that i read the color of law. the fact that scott, medicare, housing, all or thes of
government things specifically created the conditions that allow blacks when they try to be part of this more whites feel, oh, you're giving them special privilege so that more people think why notes are given fairness rather than being treated badly for blacks. how do we change that so that can actually be progressive for actually getting every citizen equal for the. >> well, you're absolutely correct. when measures during the new deal like the federal housing administration, social security and other new deal measures were first implemented, the thing is we live in a federal system. ..
i look upon our experience with race, certainly it's tragic in many aspects but it's like a journey. a journey moving from the ideal as enunciated in the declaration of independence. we held those truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and it's an ideal. we have not reached that ideal but we are a much longer way down that road from 1776 to 2018, and what we must be is vigilant to ensure that there are no further detours along that road to the fulfillment of that ideal. >> i'll now answer my answer on moderation. there are moments in history
where moderation does not suffice, and for lyndon johnson, to support the photoing rights answer, was not a moderate act. that was i would say a radical act for somebody in lyndon johnson's position, coming out of the democratic party, and that -- he knew he was going to lose the south, he did, but that probably had more to do with allowing african-americans to take advantage of some of the progressive legislation to be included, because they had the vote. sorry, i didn't mean to cut you off. >> well, lbj often said that, we already have that law, it's the 15th amendment, this 1965 voting rights act ratifies that 15th amendment. so from his perspective, it may not have been as radical -- it was certainly radical in its impact.
>> okay. one question -- one more and really, really quick answers. >> okay. >> including myself. >> i will make the short. nancy, i'm going to bring it to the present and the things you're worried about. you did not mention the concern about, say, what facebook is doing, et cetera, et cetera, in changing data and manipulation. could you just address that briefly? >> well, i will writingle out in the seasons of saying i'm a historian, my contribution is through the research and archives i have done here but i will say i share your alarm, and i thing that our technology has gotten way ahead of our capacities and that there -- the fact they were classifying people as neurotic, people would be mobilized to go to the polls
us frightening. we should identify the people who were so identified and bring them into the fight democracy. it's a bizarre thing. will say -- what else -- something closer to home which is that the story i tell here about james buchanan and his -- particularly colleagues at virginia who were intervening in massive resistance. i do not believe they were primarily motivate by racial an animus to african-americans. they weresell loss of the property that property should be supreme and you shouldn't interfere with people's rising property and that the federal government had no business doing things like passing the brown amendment and other things. but they were willing to exploit that white supremacy in order to move this agenda in a very
calculated way, as lieu kanaan said, letting the clips follow where they're may. there's a group called judicial watch on the right that has been endorsed by vice president mike pence, also supported by ed meese who is part of the group i describe since reagan was governor, and they were sending it regular mailings and i know this because we are on the list. they were sending out regular mailings in the runup to the 2006 election saying do you realize your election is about to be stolen by millions of illegal aliens? that was the phrase. that is purr incendiary button pushing, people who are fearful, see things change egg, don't pay attention to the news, don't have clue the last thing undocumented immigrants would do is try to vote. they're just trying to earn a living. don't want to get caught by the
state. they're not going to be going to the polls and droves. voter fraud is a myth but being promoted aggressively by these people who are trying to rug the rules in their favor, so i think you're absolutely right that we need to pay attention to these manipulations, even as that is not my research didn't go into that area but i share your concern. >> great. well, we have made it through an hour and 20 minutes with no fake news, and we have ten minutes left for book sign examination i hope -- signings and i hope you will sell out all this books and order if they sell out. i want to thank our panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> c-span, where history unfolds daily >> here's a look at awe authorized featured on "after words," the weekly program that includes best selling nonfiction books and guest taber viewers. sarah mcbride discussed lgbtq rights and her life as a transgender person. economize brian kaplan argued against college for everyone. and former u.s.a. today
yesterday for in chief improved another work places. and then senator tim scott and trey trey gowdy will talk about their time in congress, and james swanson. >> lbj thought martin luther king had be trade him over the vietnam war and caused great division. also, he wanted to expand the mission to economic justice, and also not just blacks. everyone, poor white, appalachians, hispanic, others, the great irony of james earl ray's life is impoverish life, his lack of education. james earl ray the boy was exactly the kind of person that martin luther king would have wanted to help. the terrible irony. then he had big machine for the summer of 1968. wanted to organize a nationwide poor people's campaign.
and have poor people of all races converge in washington, and live in a tent city on the mall, and protest for economic justice and economic rights. and so he was broadening the movement. one thing people should remember, too, he was so conflicted and overcome by doubt in '67, '68, '66. he would, is tight much for one man to do to bear? sometimes he said you just run the movement. take it over. i'm out. he did it in memphis. i'm out. he and then came back. so think of the pressure he was under. and it was hard for him. >> "after words" airs on booktv every saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific time. all previous "after words"-available to watch online on our web site, booktv.org. >> what i trace in here is what
happened to this country in the 1960s. bobby ken was not the same person in 1968 than he was in 1961, and no one in the country was. there were segregationists, in 1961, who were not segregationists in 1968. when you look at what happened to people's opinions and their view of the world, bobby kennedy is someone who changed, i would say, an average amount for someone with their eyes open in that period of time. there will people who went through much more dramatic changes, much bigger pendulum swings in their lives than bobby kennedy did and that's something i get into in depth but how the '60s changed everyone. gene mccarthy and everyone else in the senate, except for one senator. voted for the gulf of tonkin resolution. that was the resolution
president johnson used to wage full-fledged war. gene mccarthy wanted the vote back few years later, gene mccarthy ran for president because nick catsenback, the hero of the -- he was standing in the doorway, steam-rolling over governor george wallace to integrate that university. a couple of years later an undersecretary of state and testifying to the foreign relations committee where gone mccarthy is a member, and he says he believes declarations of war are outmoded and that the president has all the authority he needs to wage war in vietnam at any level he wants to and there's nothing that congress can say and that was the moment, that was the hearing, that was the statement in that hearing mat thad gene mccarthy walk out of the room, to angry to ask
a question and said to his chief of staff when he got into the hallway, if i have to run for president, i will, to stop what lyndon johnson is doing. so, everyone knows about -- bobby's resume is much more vivid in everyone's mind. so everybody knows that conservative or moderate whatever you want to call it democrat bobby was in the 507s could the liberal democrat and the questions but opportunism, and what was that. the tuned of experience and enlightenment that people were going through in the 1960s. before the assassination, summer of 1963, bobby goes to north dakota, which jfk lost and had no hope of ever winning. there was no conceivable political benefit for bobby kennedy to go to north dakota for anything, and he went there to address a convention indian
tribes and he delivers a speech to them in north dakota, that is a breathtaking piece because -- if you read it, and if you stood up out at standing rock at the reservation where i was last summer, doing that demonstration and read bobby's speech, every word would be relevant to what they were doing there that day. and he actually quoted chief joseph, who gave a speech in 1987, about his -- what chief joseph's hopes for the way the united states would all -- everybody here would be able to living to as one tribe, under one sun and all that. so, there's much in his evolution that is in here that i think clarifies that question which i think is always the central biographical question about bobby. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org doering. >> this weekend, on the c-span
networks, tonight, at 9:20 p.m., on c-span, a debate own the suit by a mechanics couple against a colorado bakery for refusing to make their wedding cake, from in the national constitution center in philadelphia. and sunday at 6:30 p.m., daniel mark, chairman of the u.s. commission on international religious freedom, on the current state of religious liberty in the u.s. and around the world. tonight on booktv, c-span 2, at 10:00 p.m. eastern. on "after words," james swanson talked with "associated press" writer about events letting up to the assassination of martin luther king jr. and sunday at 10:00 p.m., second lady karen pence and her daughter share the story 0 of fir family's pet ran, marlin bundo tonight, on lectures in history, tulane university professor on moonshine drivers and the origins of nascar, and
sunday at 8:00 a.m., landscape historian about the annual white house easter egg roll which began in 1878. and the changes that have been made along the way. this weekend, on the c-span2 networks. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to this afternoon's gilbert lecture. my name is jed and i'm the professor from computer science and public a fairs and the director of the center for information technology at princeton and i have the or of entree dusting our speaker, brad something i. i want to thank everybody who helped make this possible. thinks to dean emily carter, and