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tv   Joseph Tartakovsky The Lives of the Constitution  CSPAN  May 5, 2018 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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about 250,000 back up to where they were historically a 50% and closed some of the most egregious loopholes in our tax code like above several commotion abled billionaire investors like warren buffett to pay a lower tax rate than his executive assistant. if we do those two things, it would bring not only balance back into the tax system overall, the day would raise enough revenue to be able to lift 20 million people out of poverty overnight. ..
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an old friend of mine and a brilliant scholar will be joining me to discuss the book. jeremy, back to you. >> i think i'm here because, it's on. it's saying shout into the microphone. >> i think i'm here because the last chapter of this really fine book is about justice scalia and so that someone from the scalia law school to talk about it. the book is fun. the author's son. i will say just a little bit about the author of the book and if he has some selections i
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guess from the book. joseph tartakovsky probably known to many of you here has been associated with the fairmount institute. he has a law degree from fordham and he was deputy celeste -- he lives in san francisco. he was born in the soviet union, right? he's one of those people who have strong reasons to appreciate what the constitution has done for us in america and my summary of this book before he gets his own account of it we have to appreciate that the constitution is not just the work of the original framers but of many generations since then and it culminates with justice scalia and respectful and grateful for his contributions.
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>> jeremy. thank you to all of you for coming in the rain and thank you to c-span for covering this and thank you to the claremont institute and brian williams for hosting. i know the claremont institute wanted to do an event for a new author with a book on law they had a hard decision to make to be made or james comey. [laughter] i'm really happy to be doing this for the claremont institute. i've been involved with the claremont institute for a long time because the claremont institute, an organization might view has been more committed to sustaining the philosophical principles behind this country and in fact you are here to suggest he may be part of that mission as well. there are people that think that is a nice thing to do to sit around and talk about the
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constitution. i happen to agree. so very american thing to do and is one of the reasons why i wrote this book. i wrote this book because i wanted to figure out or myself how it was that we have now entered our third century under the united states constitution. it's an extraordinary thing. france a country that is like us makes false claims about having lost to the banner of world liberty has had since the timer constitution took effect five republics, to napoleonic empires one monarchy and every one of them was a different constitution and yet here we are under the same text. what i have found is it's not just the text. it's a constitutional culture of the spirit of constitutionalism, a way of doing things traditions without which i guarantee the
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text would be meaningless. we know because this is what happens in other countries, i was actually living in russia in 2002 when the state took over the last independent tv station. they have a guarantee of free speech and free press but they knew exactly what our framers had in mind with the first amendment. the king sees the printing presses. you know what the extraordinary thing was is the russians didn't care because the state already on the mass media so they have the right text but they do not have a culture that makes it a real thing. this book has 10 people from before the founding to the present in very different circumstances. a lot of judges and president and journalist but what they had in common, they all did
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extraordinary things that teach us enduring lessons about how we have created and preserved freedom and it seems like a very good time for these lessons. what i thought i would do is just tell you about three of them and what they teach us today and then we will continue the conversation with jeremy and and continue the conversation with all of you. the first person as alexander hamilton who teaches us that for a constitutional culture to survive the people have to have trust in their government and the government intern has to deserve that trust. hamilton was of course the island orphan so poor that a local judge had to buy him shoes for his mother's funeral to come to the united states and join the war effort, 21-year-old artillery captain recruited join
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george washington's inner circle officers years after the war would remember george washington and distinctive utterance was called colonel hamilton. call colonel hamilton and the later becomes george washington's principle adviser during the first two administration's. hamilton was unusual. the founders were good on trusted power and distrust of government. we are pretty good on that today but hamilton was unusual. his preoccupation with building up the government in building up people's faith. this was a difficult thing to do i don't think there was a more political time in the history of the 1790s and hamilton proves it. hamilton was a political spillover from the fight by aaron burr. it aaron burr and he had been friendly. they did a court case together but they were political rivals.
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we remember that aaron burr told hamilton does anybody remember in what capacity aaron burr's day job was? the vice president of the united states and the principle cabinet member of the washington administration. and we were a small country wedged up against the ocean. we didn't control the sea. we had to empires and it look like we are going to war with france and england and in 1797 it look like we were going to war with france again. let me tell you two things that hamilton did that show how devoted he was to this idea that we have to have a government that we trusted that we believe in. in 1797 the president builds up an army of look that like we are
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going to war with france. george washington would be the presumptive head of the army once again. writes a letter to the war secretary james mchenry and he says do not let any democrat, do not let them into the army of officers. they will betray us. you would have to be a pretty old man to contradict george washington on how you build an army but hamilton writes a letter to mchenry and says washington is all wrong. if you do this the army will become a part of the institution and half the population will not see that the army is there. hamilton was right. in the tradition of an apolitical army that's been with us ever since. has anyone heard of maria reynolds? she was the stormy daniels of the 1790s.
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[laughter] as george washington was writing the rumor started in congress saying hamilton was taking payments from the sky james reynolds. hamilton writes no political corruption here. it's just that he is the husband of the prostitute that i've been having an affair with. that's why i am paying him this money. he needed people to know that he was a corrupt spouse but not a corrupt official. being the corrupt official would undermine the work you did in washington. he needed in all costs cost to preserve the integrity of the administration. but they tell you about ida wells barnett a woman who teaches the lessons that all americans, not just judges and not just james wilson fellows in
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constitutional law have a role to play in sustaining our constitution. no one shows this better than her. she was a black woman torn a in 1862 in mississippi. the event that changed her life was a lynching of her best friend in memphis. she had in a teacher at time but she started writing editorials against the sadism and brutality of lynching. she started doing it on a national scale and she becomes the most important crusader we have ever had. at the peak of her fame in the 1890s she was second to frederick douglass in her fame as a black public intellectual. she not only wrote about these things but she pioneered criminal defense techniques to when a black man was arrested she would go to the jail and get the facts and find out if he had
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been coerced or if she couldn't get there herself she would send a white pinkerton. she did this after a terrible tragedy called the delay massacre of 1990 where 100 black farmers and members of the family killed by neighbors. back she discovered it was so horrifying that they have set the execution date for six black man. they set the execution date but no one bothered to set a trial. they decided to take a long shot at the supreme court which at this point in time had barely lifted a finger against the lynching in the south. and in 1923 in a case called moore versus -- the u.s. supreme court did one of its first ever humanitarian interventions. this is america, we are not doing this. or rather cause was women's
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suffrage. i don't think there's a clear example of how ordinary americans create the constitutional change than the story of the women's suffrage. we notice the 19th amendment that can prevent people from voting on the basis of sex. it was first introduced in 1878 in congress and it was introduced in congress annually every year and failed every time for 42 years until 1920. what changed? it was activists, mostly women talking to their brothers, fathers and uncles about the right to vote for women. with the suffrage struggle it actually came down in one amazing moment to one person, harry burns.
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in 1920 like three-quarters of the state surrounded by a constitutional amendment in 1920 that was 36. by the summer of 1920 the fight was now in tennessee. tennessee was poised to become number 36 and the legislatures deadlocked. lobbyists from all over the country flooding and all the shenanigans you could possibly imagine and then this guy named harry burns, a 24-year-old from tennessee breaks the tie. he later reveals that he did so because he got a note from his mother. she said dear harry, i have noticed you haven't said anything. be a good boy in vote for suffrage and they did and 20 million women got the right to vote. he was confronted by his mother had been educated and she was going to go never having voted for anyone in her life.
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this is one person who made all the difference at the right place at the right time. the last person i will tell you about is justice antonin scalia. i give him the last word in the book because nobody made the argument longer or more eloquently than the constitutional government acquired faith in rule and the democratic process. he was sounding the alarm against what he saw as the supreme court in case after case deciding things that had been the preserve of the people democratically. welfare prison free speech. what really got him was a social question. the issue that was cited as the
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ultimate example was the death penalty may be because here's an instance where the constitution clearly provides for a report that it been so systematically chipping away. this issue will go away. just last month he may have seen the president call for the death penalty for large-scale drug dealers. turns out that under current, under the current constitution allowed the unconstitutional because the supreme court had said under the cruel and unusual punishment clause you can only take a human's life if they themselves take a life. i don't think people know about the case on which that proposition rests. it's an example of the danger of constitutionalizing cultural questions. the case called cocoa versus
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georgia from 1977. he was a georgia inmate serving multiple life sentences for the rape murder. he escaped from prison breaks into the home of alameda and alvin carver ties him up and earth and this question for the supreme court was king george execute him and the court said no. this was the court's reason. for the victim of the rape life may not be nearly so happy as it was before but it is not over and normally it is not beyond repair. the court never said how it knew that alameda was not harmed. she was 16 at the time and she had just given birth. but we know today that some never recover. one of our initiatives was to
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test rape kits. many in several states have thousands of untested kids. many are surprised that women don't want to know. they have spent too many years trying to deal with the pain. and yet by that decision the supreme court took away the right of americans to change their mind on this question to say that maybe we can show that even the threat of the death penalty could deter 1000 by the man who does as much social and individual harm as murder we don't execute rapist and we never did. we are seeing our culture change at this point right before our very eyes. this is what they warned about. let me say one last thing and then i will stop. a few friends have been able to read the book and i've got her criticism.
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the one thing that i keep getting told is that the book is too optimistic. i'm too optimistic. of course i'm optimistic. i'm an american. we are all americans. this is who we are. how can you not be optimistic when this is our country? we have had 56 presidential elections unbroken even to the civil war. when the diggers of my book came from europe to tell europeans about our country. he came in 1886. you will not believe that there is this country that went through a civil war and its constitution doesn't even have the smell of fire on it. the constitution through two world wars and depressions large and small and pandemics. through a complication with the soviet union.
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and it puts an incredible strain on written constitutions. historically most constitutions do not survive these are they just don't. it's our past we should be proud of that. if we can put 200 years under constitutional rule then i think we can survive trump's tweets and even a few muller indictments. i'm sure because we have had longer experience in the arts of preserving freedom than any people in the history of this planet. we have taken to heart the assertion of a pennsylvania framer name john dickinson. we said it is not our duty to leave wealth to our children but it is our duty to leave liberty to them. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> so i'm just going to ask our author to questions about the book which hopefully will prompt the audience to follow up with their own questions in a few minutes. maybe you would like to say something about how you selected what you concentrate on. not lincoln, not james madison, not earl warren, not franklin roosevelt. maybe you can explain how you came to this. >> you feel you pay all this money and all you get is 10 people. how about cameos? madison, louis brandeis, a lot of people but i needed to pick people that went from the
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beginning of our history to the present. i wanted people who i thought teach us lessons that i think are in need of some restoration. i tried to pick people who have been lost to history or who have or who are remembered that i think misunderstood. hamilton come woodrow wilson. i needed to have people that were diverse to show the history of our constitution is not just the history of the importance of court cases are a series of constitutional interpretation set of the justices or senators. it is a story about america and i found the only way is to use
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the method by the greeks and romans the romans. you pick a few people and you follow them on their dentures they like and see what kind of picture you can paint about a larger civilization and try to tell people the unknown stories. i had to make a lot of hard choices. >> i was struck that they are presented in pairs but they are either all americans, or are foreigners. doesn't really seem that you are meaning to transfer. what's the logic of presenting them in pairs? >> sometimes you find interesting contrasts. justice jackson for instance was the most eloquent defender of fdr and the new deal and the court-packing plan.
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if you take the same justice jackson said in the things that scalia said in a take away their names you will not know who is two. both of them champions of this idea they let the people decide. social security or economic questions. history is surprising like that. conservatives today the emphasis is on reducing big government but in the long-term constitutional perspective for the first 100 years of our existence the conservatives were the ones trying to build up the government. james wilson, hamilton, washington, daniel webster, henry craig, abraham lincoln.
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they were the ones in favor of strong vigorous energetic central government. they were the one promoting the government building up an economic life. he was not a strict constructionist of these things i find can be limited when you compare and contrast in that way >> one more question. you end with this pairing up jackson and scully appear to want to ask you about scalia who is of all the figures that you cover the one who could have known about all the others and did know about them. would you say yes he had the most kinship with justice jackson or is there some other figure that you found most inspiring and i will just mention that i was in his chambers once in a portrait of felix frankfurter and i asked him is that the predecessor that
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you most admire decent oh no, he is terrible. [laughter] maybe you have an opinion since you have read up on scalia's life. which of these figures do you think he would have said was his favorite predecessor not necessarily on the court? >> far be it from me to vendrell acquires justice scalia. people said he was a hamiltonian or the hamiltonian on the court. he was not averse struggles. he was like justice jackson and his humor and modesty. i actually only realized after i wrote the book that almost all of the people in the book are immigrants. justice scalia's parents were
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from sicily. there is a talk-show host the ones came out that justice scalia's grandfather was the head of the new york fascist party. a radio show host on the left and that's what enabled me to know that was probably not true. his grandfather was a former labor who came to this country headed advanced age and never learned english. and the two founders alexander hamilton and james whitman -- sold maybe scalia just mergers often various ways. >> at the good segue to end the book with. maybe the audience has
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questions. >> thank you. you find a lot to celebrate in the american system and i agree that you are an optimist but can you talk about the darker side of the american legal system and the trial lawyers who shake down companies and the prosecutors who care more about convictions. can you talk about this? >> you know that i have known them for a really long time, since i was a kid. i do and there is a lot of darkness in our history. that's in the book too by the way. if the sink is shipping, if a ship is sinking the guy is screaming his head off is not
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helpful in saving anyone. some of these relate to the constitution and some of them don't. you know it is a fact that something like 99% of criminal cases did not go to trial because people plead out. sometimes it is. constitutional law has a large consequence. i believe what we called the rights revolution and criminal defense giving ever greater rights in making trials ever harder never more expensive than putting this enormous pressure on prosecuting. as far as i can tell you can do two or three criminal trials. when the criminal trial takes six months or a year you have to
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force people to sign plea deal so our constitutional law is designed to help criminal defendants, to put more in prison and for longer terms as a result. judges legislating the bench, that is why scalia is inerrant big problem. to what extent a judge can reach a question legitimately and this is their job at some point to answer the legal questions. tocqueville said his political question seems to end up a legal question. we have been doing more and more of that. it's hardly the fault of the other political branches. i noticed controversial issues sometimes people rail against them but a few years go by and they say the court has spoken and they let the court get away
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with it. that is the start of an answer. >> would you care to elaborate and what since woodrow wilson was -- and remember who is in office. >> yes if i can be provocative for just a moment. i thought every story has to have a villain and that's by the way how i got to woodrow wilson. the mind behind the administrative state. i spent some time with him and i found that he did not say in to all of the things for which he is guilty. the soviet union was rehabilitating someone after he had been charged.
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woodrow wilson to give an example here are the three things the three enduring legislative accomplishments of woodrow wilson. the federal trade commission act , the antitrust act and the federal reserve act. that's what he did in his first term and a second term was all world war i. i haven't met anyone who wants to undo all of those. the federal trade commission act was demanded by the business community in america. what i find what we think is the administrative state is something along and coming. we could trace back to hamilton. hamilton had the first administrative regulation. also lined woodrow wilson if you try to understand him as he understood himself which i tried to do in the book he had
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extremely flattering things to say about the founders and what he was trying to do was actually to restore what he thought was their vision. they may have been wrong about that but i will give you one example of what woodrow wilson did. he thought, he wasn't a critic of the separation of powers. he was a critic of the separation of powers is a practice in 1880s which was a time of astonishing congressional dominance. who can name the president between grant and mckinley? this is a time when -- this was a time when the speaker of the house was more powerful than the president. the president was so weak that it was considered unconstitutional for the president to visit the congress in person.
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nope president had visited congress in person since jefferson. jefferson stop the practice. he would talk to the congress from the throne and for 113 years no president went to congress and wilson shatters the tradition in 1913. his argument was why should i do this? the constitution has a clause that says the president shall from time to time to recommend measures to the congress. jefferson did want to do it. if it's good enough for george washington to go to congress i can do it. congress flipped out when he came. someone introduced a resolution that this was a constitutional interference with the power of that legislation. but he was a tradition breaker in that way. sometimes it makes more sense.
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serve. >> many people have observed that scalia was against justice is inventing lot of whole cloth and you would see not only the supreme court but other courts as well. this phenomenon you must have noted in your studies when did it start or why did it start? >> it depends who you ask ray thomas jefferson began with john marshall. where on earth did john marshall find a bank in the constitution? we know that some members of the constitutional convention thought it wouldn't get the votes so they waited. it has always been difficult so i think it start from the beginning. think john marshall had a good
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case. george washington said i need an opinion on this. gets one from hamilton and one from jefferson and jefferson says you need to read this thing there are five things. hamilton knew that because the war power in the financial management power. i think what is new about today is it's essentially a social question. the court would weigh in on what was plausibly connected to the constitution and now we are ever more imaginative. with every decision and that's why you have to be very careful. kong -- congressional laws come and go. the constitutional decisions will last forever.
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>> i would be remiss if i didn't have you elaborate on the death penalty. historically we know people african-americans in prison have been imprisoned at a much higher rate than people who have been executed i think historically publicly a higher% of african-americans have been executed and often it was found that they were innocent. i just wanted to comment on our excursions into other countries to the decades. often sometimes interrupts in wars and conflicts. those people even though they have had people killed by
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hundreds and thousands they often decide to move on and to create an amnesty and to not follow through and execute those people who had done certain things to bear their members. now they had done that in argentina and south africa. i'm just curious to see why america, you mentioned the death penalty. i'm thinking they go to other countries in this complex erupts. they decide it's not go through with the final sentence and just forgive. i think that's really important and especially in her own
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country when we consider the amount of lynchings and such that have occurred. >> i'm very thankful for the comment. the unequal application of the death penalty is one of the strongest reasons and i have my own reservations about it. it's very hard. the death penalty has all but been -- there's someone on death row that's been asking to be executed and it just won't happen but your point is the right one. i was simply making a point that the questions you raise, you make the point i think. they are unresolvable. they are questions of society has to decide for themselves and my illustration is about to be left to the people to answer
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these profound questions. >> is this on? here's a question we have to think through. i'm a friend of scalia's for 40 years. taking seriously the central -- to the decoration. lincoln and the first in ro explain why the rule of the majority are the operational form of government. it took the principle to be there which you regard as an inescapable truth. i'm not clear that is the truth. the declaration couldn't be good it was one of those things that had to be embraced. the difficulty for him you
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simply have the rule of the majority not drawn from the principle that the majority. it could simply be that the majority rules because it has the power. scalia sounded very much like that in explaining majority rule. what is your sense of that and do you take that seriously? >> it's an internal problem in constitutional life. there will be sometimes when the majority has to have its way and there will be sometimes when it's the court's duty to defend a minority against the will of the majority. we will never be free of attention but i personally have learned to live with it. and i think scalia was scarred by what he saw.
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just too much freestyle philosophizing and i think he thought it was safer to have a better chance of reigning in the judges. >> i would add that i read in this book the line from scalia which i hadn't encountered elsewhere but maybe can identify the source. it doesn't prove anything that everyone thinks you are wrong. when did he say that, do you remember? >> e i think he said it, he wasn't maybe shaken by your logic. sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes that's a bad tang but it's always a scalia thing. >> i think we have time for one
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more question. >> what time did we start? amanda will let us know. >> i go back to hamilton and his treatment of constitutions. he was very kind to the one in new york and also the aspect that richard brookhiser talked about with me a few years ago that he was a monarchist and that he would probably overthrown the constitution if he could have. i wonder if you would comment on how you see him in the light of that accusation. >> i tried to rebut that scurrilous accusation my book. he made an old judge speech during the constitutional convention and he proposed the president particular be
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appointed on good behavior for life. it wasn't as crazy as it sounds today. the senior members of the united states senate like a patrick leahy or diane feinstein how long have they've been, since the 70s or 80s? you can serve the court effectively. i don't think he was a monarchist. he was in favor of the government so strong that it struck some americans. it looked like monarchy. people would say that george washington may you reign long over us. some people were so sure that washington was going to be art king which was the president
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that we knew. and one of this draft speeches may be one of his inaugural messages of the congress he takes care to point out that he had no children to worry about hereditary rule. he was a servile which is so interesting to me because this is a war veteran with english blood. hamilton thought it was curious that he was accused of this. one thing that he said related to what i said before he said this is a bad tendency calling the "washington post" ration the monarchy. stop calling it the monarchy jefferson because it's not. the way to produce a monarchy is to say we are either going to
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have a king or -- the president he imagined is rather like a president we have today. hamilton envisioned a president -- tweeting was not yet available but hamilton would write off debts and bright optics under pseudonyms to the first op-ed. and then he would write his own stuff and need say i need some copies. hamilton's -- hamilton said come to my office late at night. they would sit down and he put down his pen and which is start talking. he would stop talking and editor would say he would transcribe it and put in the paper. that's as close as you get.
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>> the constitution is a great thing because we have had one since the beginning to that's not quite right. the articles of the confederation before that and there were things in it that were found to be unenforceable. that's my very brief comment. what things would you recommend going forward that would help us to retain constitutional order that we have inherited? thank you. >> the articles of confederation were not the governments. they did not create a government. it was like a treaty. there was a united nations rate could send your delegates and they would debate just like at the u.n. today. on the amendment in question, i am an amendment skeptic because it seems dangerous to start tinkering something that has served us so well.
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there a lot of problems that we have in their amendments to fix them. you have a lot of amendments but you don't have the constitution. this is what happens in states especially those out west where i am from. i'm from california where anyone can amend the constitution pretty much. california has 500 amendments. it has destroyed the character of the california constitution. it is just a big code. i've litigated constitutional crisis in california. the california constitution provides for the taxation rate for nonprofit golf courses. when you do this sort of thing it becomes not the broad charter power but a confusing passage.
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there are interesting ideas. randy barnett says three-quarters of the state can override the law of congress to acquire a majority of judges to be required. i've never found anyone that i'm really ready to seize upon right now except requiring the purchase of my book. >> can you talk a little about the tension between constitutionalism and democratic culture particularly interested by alexis de tocqueville? >> he s.. alexis stokes hill was the tyranny of the majority and he meant this as an insult of americans deciding democratically and people are afraid and overwhelmed of hated
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minorities. i do find de tocqueville, tocqueville was very good on -- he wasn't good on the institutional questions. he didn't pay attention to our institutions. tocqueville didn't talk about all the early americanism row roads banking literature universities. it's a reflection and it's in the turn one. he was much rougher in his day. there were a number of cases where the courts were protecting people but i think there is no way around it which is why you vote to have people. that's one of the points on why you need people that are educated and believed these things. they are not ready to go to
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citizens throats and obey the right to take away their property. we actually believe there's a certain way of life. we do think. we respect property rights. de tocqueville went on to say why is it unlike in france that you have the carpenters and the bakers and so many more than the rich bankers and if they don't pass laws. they don't even out property rights like they were doing in france. de tocqueville actually have the chance to become a framer in the second french republic and an attempted a constitution to tocqueville was there and he said i can teach you the way of americans. he said you cannot have a constitution when you have a
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convention that is made up of anarchists and socialists and a king. there's too much room between the french party and you could not get something workable. but in america we have succeeded because as much as we disagree about the founders at each other's throats they agreed on these institutional fundamentals and we have elections and if you lose you try again. you respect speech and property. we have a commonality escort. it was enough to have us cohere so that is part of the majority it's been very good for us. >> before we conclude that like to say two things in the book. one of them is i was really
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impressed by your confidence in saying and tocqueville got a lot of it right but he was wrong about this, this and this which is not just a mark of you trust your judgment that you don't write like an academic. you don't have this anxiety that oh way someone will object. it's very readable and it's confident without being overbearing. it would be hard to say what the dash of the book is. you give each of the figures you talk about their due and draw people in to why they are interesting and why they contributed. as you were saying earlier it's a sort of unpredictable lift on obvious things. it's not the mt. rushmore of
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biographic sketches. it's really a fun read and a very valuable contribution particularly at a time like this one not so many people are feeling quite so confident about the country as you are and it helps people to become again. >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> i'm happy to sign books in the back. we have a credit card if you want to help me pay my way back to california. thank you so much for coming everybody. [inaudible conversations]
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>> the manufacturing industry mostly making what we call things they use by other industries as opposed to consumer products and the liberal building the narrative depends on to the world system needs rail and that's what the iron and steel industry grows up on but eventually machinery armaments american naval power and even the civil war and the great modern merrimack. so it's economically important.
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it's symbolically important you know the great age of iron, the eiffel tower which was made of iron which was a great symbol of this new age and any countries i think had come to believe that you can't have full sovereignty and economy unless you have an iron and steel industry. it we comes the biggest most capitalized industry in the united states and out of the gross tons of fortunes that have never been seen in the country before. combines and so it's symbolic but also technically and economically and the scale of these places. >> with regard to steal and machinery one thing that was eye-opening for me was you all heard about the beginning and i
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had realized the main purpose of the worlds fair to introduce people to machinery and manufacturing. >> it's a set piece in the book but you can't resist it. in 1876 when the united states government the 100th anniversary of the declaration of independence there's this big world's fair typing in philadelphia. the centennial exhibition and this building of machinery with this gigantic steam engine which then runs shafts and belts and pulleys and this gigantic room full of machinery and they opened the fair with president grant and the emperor were still who just happened to be around at this moment are the two of them turn the steam valves. and a very odd way it celebrates
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the decoration of independence. it has nothing to do with the declaration of independence except the notion of national greatness. where did national greatness come from? it utterly transformed. .. the >> up next on booktv is "after words," facebook cofounder chris hughes discusses plans

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