tv Discussion on Conservatism with Bruce Herschensohn Sam Sorbo and Joel... CSPAN May 6, 2018 7:22pm-9:01pm EDT
>> wasn't to the richard nixon library and museum. book tv is here who were talking with authors about conservatism and what it means today. joining us is sam, not there, educator, actress and model. authored three books including, they are your kids, and inspirational journey. also joining us is joe, senior editor at large have breitbart news. is a graduate of harvard and harvard law schools. his books including how trump on the inside story of revolution, joining us is bruce. he has worked for both presidents nixon and reagan. he is the author of 13 books. he teaches at pepperdine
university. he was in 1992 republican candidate for seven in california. bruce is someone who lived and breathed the republican party for many years. what does it mean to be conservative in california today? >> it means you're in trouble every time we go outside. you have a difficult time getting reservations for dinner. everything is fine except that you are always conscious of the politics. so often you want to go to a place and there's a demonstration. it was at the beginning of the iraq war and there's gonna be a demonstration against the war. i could see it from a balcony very close.
and i was looking at it there's a guy holding a sign saying u.s. out of nicaragua. that was under the reagan administration. he's waving at me. i had the feeling of someone who had it stored from the reagan days and new there's gonna be a demonstration so he grabbed the placard. that's very typical of liberalism in hollywood. >> it's liberalism across the united states. they're not really sure what they're protesting, they just want to protest. the problem is these days were allowing children to protest and are encouraging them to protest
which somehow makes them feel empowered but they have no idea what they're protesting. they're not educated on the subject matter. i see that as a danger. >> of course it is. the first time i saw that was the early 60s were new generation was be given tributes everyday by the adults as if it were a good thing to demonstrate what we're doing in vietnam. is a generation got older they're really taking leadership positions and new very little. >> is my son said, last week you're eating typepad tonight you want to create come policy. >> i was on the left in college and one thing that fascinated me was the history. because of the genuine things achieved through protest there several generations of american
children brought up to think of protests is the most noble form of political process. voting is boring but protesting and waving a placard is exciting, it's how you make real change. i had the same feeling watching our school district get involved. these children don't know what the second amendment is yet but they're protesting on one side of the gun issue. it's difficult as parents especially if you have different views to explain to your children why it's happening and explain what the other side is. my kids seem to understand right away, but i think it put kids in a difficult position. they understood the right and noble thing to do was to join the walkout to be part of this
event. this a tremendous amount of peer pressure's. when it comes to things like school prayer the liberal issue is that if there's a content free and religion free moment of science that creates the moment of coercion. it people did not see the walkout is coercion. in some cases it was required it could be corset. we spoke to the school administration and they let us keep her out of school that morning. i had coffee with her and she a chocolate milk and i gave her a leather bound copy of the constitution. we talked about the first amendment within the second. because the second amendment is a lot for the six rule to
understand. but the right to assemble also means the right not to assemble. it's a challenge that parents face. we've educated children to believe the highest form of political involvement is protests. people who run these institutions and the monsey shop at school board meetings that's what makes democracy work. when he traveled to the united states and see how their remarkable. we've got to the european model when you know politics is happening when he can barricade and shut something down. >> because i gotcha public school model for the government is in charge of educating our children. there's a conflict of interest.
in a society where were in, the government is supposed to be run by the citizenry. the power rests with the citizens. the power of the government to train the citizens and the government has a conflict of interest. the government no longer teaches civics. that's why her children don't learn civics. they think the most noble form is protesting. they're protesting governments. in the government is okay with that that only that, their first go to his that government must fix this problem for me. and that, in and of itself is wrong. they don't see it. so what to do? >> one thing was the creation of the department of education.
the federal government really got involved in extreme but it was just before a small portion of the federal government. . . that was really the format for retaining or changing the system of the school. they just had to be a part of pta parents and children association. that is what we care about the care about the individual school we went to. it wasn't a part of the federal government or a meaningful part, i should say. there was a section of one department but it was -- what was it called? education something.
>> self-education river restaurant spirit that was it. >> sam, joe, do you agree with bruce that it's a bit lonely being a conservative in california today? >> is lonely. the good news is you find each other. it's a lot of fun at the same time -- >> it's like a secret club. >> by the way, one funny thing that happened when president carter initiated the department of education. he wanted a title but he just initiated the department of energy and that was doe and you can't have two doe's and that would, my god, cause the federal government to explode and everything is run by acronyms and initials. someone in the bureaucracy, not as a gag but really meant it, we ought to call it the department
of public education except that the initials would be dop, dope. that was instantly and wisely rejected. >> i think they should've adopted it it's much more at i rest my case. >> it's quite exciting at the same time to being exerted because there are so many alternatives. you can send your children to public schools and via the internet and youtube and places they can learn things. my daughter watches a series called [inaudible] that teaches them see creatures and she learns how much more than she would've learned in school although the schools good thankfully. they're all alternatives and new media outlets so we are not constrained anymore in the same way that perhaps 20 years ago conservatives might've been constrained by the public education system and there's been a movement and of course now that is where the censorship has moved to -- >> of course. >> of course there's an attempt to shut down conservative alternatives but for now they still exist. >> the problem the parents faced with sending their children to school is there working on such
a jet in and through the schools now and so there is you probably saw this the memo that went out in orange county that the schools were going to teach gender -- all of the gender subject matter along with sex ed in schools and you are no longer allowed to opt your child out of it if you thought it was age-appropriate or for whatever reason. however, they did allow you to present an alternative viewpoint to your children in your own home. >> oh, they allow you to? >> this just what and i did a quick video feed on it and i said the good news is they are still allowing you to have your opinions in your home but they
will encroach on that if they can. it is california. >> what is new is not the idea that there can be different expressions of gender or sexuality but what is new is the idea that everyone's idea of gender and sexuality has to change in order for a small, relatively small number of people, to be more comfortable expressing this. my daughter had a friend from class who was excited because her nanny got married to another woman and they had the wedding pictures and was very sweet and the kids were interested in it and that is fine. i think the idea of telling kids that gender doesn't exist is strange. as you put it, almost criminalizing the alternative which tens of thousands of years of human civilization taking the gender does exist is strange and vaguely california. when donald trump rescinded the federal order on transgender bathrooms in public school allowing each state to decide their own policy, california which had just been allowed railed against trump executive order that we will fight this because they want to impose the transgender politics on everyone outside of california that is
the new liberalism what has become utopian movement that doesn't just want to advance freedom or opportunity or equality for the majority or people who have not had it before but want to revolutionize fundamental building blocks of society. that is where it's tough to be a conservative in california. >> the advance their totalitarianism. in fact, there is another bill that is going now that criminalizes any kind of effort to help someone out of whatever their sexual promiscuity or whatever and it actually criminalizes speaking anything against that. i mean, at that point it is basically what they're saying is it's okay to be whatever religion you are but you just can't think that way or behave
that way. >> there is a similar bill also and it hasn't passed to the whole legislator but the idea is that every internet publisher, no matter big or small, has to have a devoted team of the fact checkers or has to be able to have a fact checker so this will put independent new sources out of business. >> it's tremendously burdensome spirit right, and of course the usual way in the old days people checked backs was by writing letters to the editor or by buying a different newspaper but the public is smart enough and active enough in the media to sort out the wheat from the chaff but there is this new effort to impose a censorship on alternatives and it is working its way through the tech companies which are based here in california and to the state legislator which has an almost complete dominance of politics. very briefly right now there's less than a super majority in the senate for the democrats but that is only because from
resignations due to sexual harassment. have those not happened the delegates would be running everything. it's not clear how california republican party recovers. the path to recovery is not yet clear. there is a revival in a position to the new gas tax and there's also a lot of interest in resisting the state laws but the trump administration is effectively become her opposition within company. they sue the state to stop the century state laws which seem absurd to conservatives but we almost seem absurd to democrats 20 years of you senator dianne feinstein craving against illegal immigration same with biller and hillary clinton. but now enforcing the law that is on the books is considered wrong. there are grassroots initiatives between efforts encouraged by the trumps lawsuit against the state of california will see what can be built upon but what is happening in california because america is people are
voting with their feet and moving to more conservative states and moving to more liberal cities if they are liberal and states are moving in these two directions. we are increasing as a country talking past one another. >> joe, doesn't that speak to tribalism and identity politics? >> i don't think conservatives see each other as necessarily travel. identity politics is something more on the left is not absent and i think that the never trump phenomenon is a form of identity politics on the right where people are identifying themselves for the decision they made in 2016 not to jump and that is coloring every decision they make sense force in the way they interpret public events. there is a bit of that but i think that conservatives tend to think of district we think of ourselves as not being part of a tribe but being, in a sense, the norm. >> 300 freethinkers. >> right, it's hard to get us to protest because they want to be left alone to live our lives.
-- >> do you remember i think was the first public debate were they asked all of the republican candidates if they would unequivocally support whoever was chosen and trump was the only one who said no, no, i will support a candidate that i will support. i have to say at that moment i was so overwhelmed with the tribalism that seemed to have entered, right? i said what if it had been some unknown senator from illinois that had served less than a term whose policies we don't -- you know what i mean? how can you unequivocally say yes, i will support whoever the republican nominee is? in fact, when it became trump there were people pledged to support him who that did not because they disagreed with the choice. i feel like to a certain degree we have been pushed in this way honestly from the left that has
become so divisive because their narrative is labeling and so in a sense we have adopted the same labels that the left has coerced the culture into adopting and for that reason we become that divisive. part of it is, i believe, that democrats and republicans agreed on a lot, unfunny pencils, and freedom, on immigration and we agreed on a lot. since basically the communist in the far left fringe has overtaken the democratic party they forced the republicans into this district they forced the juxtaposition of causes and i think that is dangerous for the nation because we have a whole segment now that doesn't believe in the founding principles. >> yeah, just because it. >> i was just great say i agree
also with what you said. one portion i don't. a lot of people in the majors put it in my own terms about myself. i would not vote during the primary. i'm not vote for candidate trump. nothing to do with what he did and i agree with you that what he did was fine. the reason i would not vote for him at that time -- all he knew about him was what he said on television life or the few things that i heard on radio or read in the press, as long as i had quotation marks. i do not like it because i didn't like his characteristics. i don't like a person who, in any way, degrades another human being because that human being happens to be opposed to them. it is nonsense and primitive and i don't believe in doing that.
i don't agree with the person calls another person names like always prefacing a name of a decent human being with the word liar or little or telling about a woman's face that do you really want to face i got in the white house? or ridiculing someone because they have physical disability. i cannot vote for person like that desperately continue. so what i did was i voted for a write-in candidate and the one i voted for i did not realize that in california that calls for a name to be on the ballot even if it's a right in. this is a strange law but anyway i voted for john bolton for president. when i tell people this or told people this they would say, my god, that same as voting for hillary clinton and i said of course it isn't. the only thing that is the same
as voting for hillary clinton is voting for hillary clinton. >> it works because he's a national security advisor now. [laughter] >> anyway, as you might expect i am delighted with [inaudible] it's much more important from the secretary of state. it's just that most people to realize it. get back to that if anyone cares. what did happen as far as the election is concerned is that if i had voted millions of times on election day for trump still would've lost because california is 5 million votes more desperate spirit not sure how that desperate. >> that is voting for -- it was doing something that was just a statement. not for either one of these major candidates. i knew that hillary clinton was going to win. >> that doesn't agree with what
i said. >> no, it doesn't but does make no it doesn't really disagree. >> good. >> and you're right, but let me -- >> yea, you scare me. >> no, no, i'm sorry. >> you can disagree with me though, that's fine. [laughter] >> this is the interesting thing about conservatism in the trump era is that he does so much that conservatives and points to john bolton but he's not part of the conservative brand necessarily. >> and that doesn't bother me but let me go on. since his become president he has initiated and follow through on issues, policies that i am -- >> and appointments. >> yesterday and appointed that are courageous and disapproved by the state department and i know that to be true and i give
this guy, as far as i'm concerned, the policies take precedent over what i consider to be character flaws that i don't want little kids to say i want to be president in a way that he is and of yourself. i don't want that to be something that little kids think about. >> of course, we want little kids to thank you cannot tell a lie. >> but i what i vote for him? if he goes on the way he is going on today, absolutely. i would feel that this guy has done courageous district look at isis. he used the word victory something that was used during the previous administration. he not only used the word victory that brought about a great many victories of isis. >> has he rebranded conservatism? has he now desperate. >> look, a lot of things that were just told you are facts about how i feel and i also
believe that i may be wrong that he did not know much about government and that he did not know much about things that most people of his age would know about foreign policy that were ingrained in their hands as they live through it. i don't think he was interested in those things. >> prior to desperate did you have this experience? when he first announced i thought it was a publicity stunt like i thought that's a bullet way to get your brand out there. >> i go back to what he wrote when he announced. i wasn't sure what to make of it but i wrote that he understands the american voter as a consumer better than any other candidate. >> right with his announcement or a little bit into it? >> with his announcement. he understood that the americans voter as a consumer wasn't getting value for their input for their vote and that is what
enabled him to rise quickly. he understood particularly on the issues of immigration trait that there was a huge market out there that both parties had ignored for policies that placed national interest first. you can make the case as i did and others did that free trade is in the national interest lower trade barriers our national interest but he looked at communities that have been forgotten that i will stand for them. that attracted, i believe, thin bernie sanders voters without getting -- the places that many of the states especially in midwest later went for trump and there was quiet bernie sanders supporters who voted for trump and did not talk to the exit poster that they left the voting place but i think there was something he tapped into by looking at the american voters as a consumer and how that consumer had not been reached in
20 or 30 years really. >> it took me little bit longer but what i identified as donald trump was ability to cut through what i think is the greatest cancer on this nation right now political correctness. he was not having any. once identified that i thought he was the only candidate who could beat hillary clinton. i do not believe any of the others were willing to take the fight to the. in essence, partly your objection him as a candidate spirit no, no, it wasn't. >> he was willing to get dirty. he was willing to play dirty and to pull out all the stops. >> excuse me, but i thought nothing else. >> right, and i'm not arguing with you but i'm saying that is kind of in an odd way as unappealing and i agree with you is unappealing but at the same time they do it all the time. >> no, they don't. >> yes, they do so much negative name-calling and that's why we
sit here as conservatives because we been branded as -- >> i've never seen someone running for the president would speak at someone with a disability and impersonated to the left of the crowd. >> i have seen videos of what is the word i'm looking for? absolving them of guilt and that. >> wait, the one way to absorb the guilt is for him to say i'm sorry i did that and apologize to the person. >> except that he does this a lot. his position is that is what i do when i make fun of anybody including himself. >> wait one minute -- >> in the james comey memos that just came out he said i didn't make fun of that person. >> what, it is partly his mom part how he combated the whole political correctness and it's part what --
>> i feel guilty speaking against him because i'm saying that what he does as president takes precedent over those things that bother me in terms of [inaudible] and when i brought up isis 90 some% of it is gone already and what he is done with israel and saying yes to an embassy in jerusalem and in israel's capital city. what he just did with taiwan that we've had this cursed over taiwan from the carter administration for over 39 years of trading in taiwan's diplomatic relations for the relations with the people's republic of china. and now, now, american leaders have the right and encouragement to speak to the leaders of taiwan and the leaders of taiwan have the encouragement to speak to the leaders of the united states at any time. we are treating them with respect. god, that is in advance. i could go on and on with this.
>> do traditional conservatives have more of an issue with donald trump then perhaps younger conservatives? >> i can't speak for them because i just do not know. my issue with them right now is praise for those things that he is doing. occasionally he will do something that i think is not anything i would applaud for but in this most serious cases and particularly in those cases of the things in which he has jurisdiction the president has jurisdiction over foreign policy and over when he went through the tax relief i was for that but it was advocating it and it wasn't doing it because the congress has to do it. a lot of times presidents come into office and don't realize
this but how many times to be here in those primary debates on day one and they seem like you do it but they can't do it on day one -- >> they been trained by a man who said that i have a pen and a phone. the last president just said i'm going to -- >> well, what republican candidate wanted to be educated by president obama? truthfully. i don't see that as -- >> the setting is the american people think that the president has that much power. >> do you consider president trump to be conservative? >> i do for the same reasons that bruce mentioned. you look at what a person does but certainly is unconventional in his approach and his personality and so forth. i think this is an interesting
discussion that eliminates some of the questions conservatives are asking ourselves and we are asking ourselves whether the ungentlemanly candidate can still be a conservative because the way he carries himself. part of it, i think, has to do with the fact that he's an outsider comes from the real estate world where character treats you need to succeed are different to the season politics character traits but he also iran a family business which is different on the corporate world we have approval from shareholders to more political and more relationship building that has happened in the skills that made them successful in this one arena and made him name are very different from the skills to cultivate in politics yet, at the same time, those are skills that enabled him to be successful. the name-calling can be difficult if your primary opponent and you want republicans to get along you may not even support the other republicans who is disparaging but you would like them to be at the end of the day to get
together and work together. it's hard sometimes to swallow. at the same time, when you look in north korea and basically tweeted his way into a negotiation and were here in the next library this could be as consequential as nixon's to china with this upcoming summit with contractor to discuss the denuclearization of the peninsula. a famous goat trump was treating i don't know if i should call him short and fat because that would be insulting. the media for doubt, oh my god, start a nuclear war with these tweets and at the same time -- >> little rock demand. >> and i think kim jong-un got the joke but my butt is bigger than your button and all these people thought it was so irresponsible and yet there is an art of persuasion and borrowing from scott adams who wrote this fantastic book. >> when bigley. >> yes, he's a friend of mine and he was entranced by trumps
ability to use words and names to frame the discussion. that's a skill set republicans have to learn from because the media are quite hostile to conservatives and republicans in the have skills of their own that are very persuasive that have historically blocked republicans into quarter. trump for a way to box out. there are diplomatic interesting because of it, politically it might not be so conducive to party unity the most are united behind them and even those who don't particularly like him. i think he is a conservative base and what he's done and his record and what he feels in his heart of hearts or in his mind may not be so important. he has in his time that liberal or libertine in some ways further something of that streak in the american conservative them as well. we interviewed david harwood's last week and he said the only liberal left our conservatives. the left has become so far left that you can't call themselves liberals. (among conservatives there is
this traditional conservative value of reverence for tradition in conservatives around the world from any country, tradition is something conservatives take seriously. the particular conservative tradition we want to preserve and united states is a liberal one, freedom of speech and assembly. it's a republican, small are, going off the monarchy and innovation striking out to the frontier these are all small things you want to associate with european tradition which chairs the monarchy in the way of life and things work. american conservative has had a dynamic streak to it and i think comes from that tradition. >> if i may, tell me something i believe is more harmful to conservativism than any of the character flaws that i found in kenneth trump during the primaries. it's something that happened two fridays ago that just really threw me for a loop. first i think is great decision
as well as the ones mentioned taiwan in israel and isis was the one to go into syria and take care of at least some major some of the chemical [inaudible]. and i read things that were said about that and i was praising him and thinking this is marvelous and gutsy and like the courage of the other decisions i feel so highly for but we listen to conservatives and read what they wrote about us and heard some review in the car and watch television and even fox, i found critics of what the president did from what would be considered, under other times,
leading conservative spokespeople. why were they critical? because they do not believe in foreign wars for united states to be engaged in foreign wars. they believe in the use the same remarks and i made the reference to my age but the samuel marx isolationist pre- pearl harbor they were called america firsters they call themselves america firsters. they would speak with praise about our enemies and just don't get engaged in a foreign war. there were these conservatives saying that and it was very surprising to me and if this continues it's a real split of conservative. what would they have said during world war ii and what did they
say during the war against soviet communism and they are all for foreign engagements. to hear them say -- they were adopting the mcgovern phrase during his run for the presidency in 1972 the slogan was come home america. what will they say on fox? are they going to say that on conservatives? if so, we'll have conservatives anymore for foreign policy. it's the one area where president constitutionally has the authority and the one area and i heard the same people say that it's progress that you do this. >> what is the argument? >> conservatives get office because not conservatives
anymore. you become isolationist. that is what and that's what i'm saying. you have turned to libertarianism with the wing of libertarianism and it's a big way that says that we do not want to be engaged in foreign wars. that is something i would then have to say i'm not a conservative that becomes the definition of a conservative. would they felt that way in world war ii? with a felt that way inviting soviet communism? the only time i've ever seen -- the only time i've ever seen the congress take over foreign policy was when we lost vietnam to a quarter years after winning the by the president that -- right, and a foundation in the
library. in the congress suddenly took over by not keeping the word is designed as a nation for south vietnam they wouldn't keep the word and so we lost and they didn't care in this former senator said i have no more regret that i would have had for arkansas losing a simple game to texas. boy, that is some statement. >> think we see this to be talking about play out a little bit pages at breitbart and i agree with you. i happen to come down on the side of supporting what penn central did but there were skeptics and i can't speak for them because not one of them but i did hear a lot of their opinions and i think there is such a weariness in the country
about some of our engagements in the middle east. it dates back to the iraq war and the difficulties with iraq war. i think people simply lost confidence in her ability to be involved in his reasons it has only positive come out of it. president trump did talk about bringing the troops home from syria for weeks before he launched the strikes against the chemical weapons program. i think he shares some of that skepticism and doesn't want to be deeply involved in nationbuilding abroad. >> he campaign on. >> i agree with what you're saying but it does make difference to me because. [laughter] no, i don't think he deeply believes any of these things. i think this is all new to him. this is only to him. he was on a radio show and i heard him god knows how many times in which was for the iraq war. had i heard it live i would have applauded. >> district. >> let me finish. he said i never said that because he believes on what he said on tuesday is of no is not
true anymore on friday and so it's okay to say i never said that as the as kenneth trump and mrs. clinton and even during portions of his presidency i think he talks things that he will take back almost immediately and so videotapes don't exist as though radios don't exist as though nothing exists except what he wants to believe. of course he said that on radio about being for iraq and i was floored but then he now comes back saying he wasn't against that but it was the bushes desperate and thinking knows a darn thing about the iraq war. he knows as much is the guy who's weaving the flag said get out of nicaragua speaking is one very important thing. it was not a success.
at least it was a failure after it was a success. >> under a different president split right, george w. bush eventually to the search thought back to victory and obama pulled out and fell into disaster. i think that is something that trampolines and very deeply, success. something he shares with americans. i don't know that americans have particular concerns or particular views about the answer to the question of how deeply do we want to be involved or perceived. the answer most people want to know is can we win and can we succeed? >> but we fail to define success so long. >> right, so one of the things that was successful about this latest syria rate was that it was very carefully can find the same mission accomplished and there were no fatalities. facilities were taken out but no one was killed in a human right
questions about the strikes. the other thing i think he does believe in and this may be peculiar to him but i'm not seeing other people to ensure the belief but i can't speak for the rest of america. i think he really does have a sense of empathy for the victims of this regime because that was what motivated his first strike a year ago when he was talking about the children and the suffering they had gone through. i think he does care deeply about that and doesn't want that to happen on his watch. he is not writing that offenses i don't care what happens abroad. as part of his american perspective she says i don't want to be involved in overseas conflict these not saying going to ignore terrible things that are happening. >> he's not saying what difference does it make this point? >> no, it isn't because that but that is why his policies have been so victorious. >> be worried about the reaction spectrum worried about the reaction of conservatives for the first time in my life in my recent lifetime and i'm not saying conservativism is taking
an active role in all of this and suddenly go against us participation as if they have no sympathy. i would have to say those people who were former conservatives and i would have to sm would you feel this way about president bush decision to fight israel if people you loved including your parents -- yes, would you feel that way against his decision to knock out those chemical weapon- >> if you had relatives or -- >> if you had people living under the assad regime. of course they were not feel that way. then they -- >> do think it's because there's a part of this that what makes good tv? what makes good entertainment and mind you, the news media is now an enormous present company excepted a conglomerate and
entertainment is or drama is public. i'm a filmmaker and drama is complete. conflict makes, and makes drama interesting. there's a part of me that says who is can those people? your point is taken and i agree with you. i think that conservatives really ought to find ways to unite rather than divide but division is complex and, is interesting. there's a tendency within the news just in general to look for bringing out conflict. that is why msnbc and some of the other stations aren't doing so well because they don't present alternative viewpoints and they don't have conflict. everyone is in lockstep and they're all in agreement. it is much less interesting. part of it, maybe 10% or maybe 50% or maybe more, i'm not sure because i tend to agree with you that the people in the naysayers seem to have a good deal more
trust behind them that they should when criticizing president trump but some of it is due to the fact that it is just part of making for television that is interesting. >> these are people who were for trump even during the primaries and in other words they are history of being for him but suddenly they are against him on this issue. i think the only support and i think if it continues to spread among conservatives, i was a prior, but. >> what if they say shut up in our if they stay quite. >> what if they were wrong. >> that is what -- and apolog apology -- you will make errors. >> part of the definition of a politician is never needs to apologize or will never apologize. >> it is in transport. he does want to apologize and isn't going to. >> i think it is interesting from the discussion that is an
articulation of the interest. aside from the humanitarian interest -- >> excuse me, it can say aside from the market interest. that is the american interest. it wasn't the american interest we would be speaking german and japanese. >> there's another interest which is not the same from that but we have to see an interesting novel with iran taking over syria because then they could exert power not just in the middle east but into the mediterranean which is why the french president is telling trump need to be engaged. he doesn't want to syria that is taking a side in the internal debate but that is the perspective that has not been articulated or explain to americans enough by conservatives. how does being a syria which is a graveyard and a total mess will not the syrian regime but how does involved in the
countering the influence how does that help our interest? i think it does but i think we need to hear that people make that case. >> it's an easy case to make. greater harm will be done to conservativism your people who are spokesperson for conservatives -- >> making the opposite. >> basically writes during our interest is aside from human rights or whatever that is our interest and we are known as the [inaudible] of the world because of what we did during the conflicts in the 20th century. we will not continue them in the 21st century but then will not be -- >> because he is not stopped. >> sam, why are you a conservative? >> why not? [laughter] i'm a martyr.
i am a logical, thinking human being and recognize that this country was founded on conservative as well as in this country is the greatest nation that the world has ever seen and likely will ever seen and has created the greatest prosperity and by prosperity i mean well-being in the greatest growth in the standard of living in the greatest -- we have given the world the greatest gift to our conservative principles through our conservative stance and white ones i think the website? i choose the winning side and it is interesting because whittaker chambers became -- he left the communist party and when he left the communist party is said to his wife, we are leaving the winning side for the losing side because he saw communism in that
day and age and was a member of the communist underground he sought is so powerful there was we cannot defeat it. and yet, he switched over because he understood the conservatism is antislavery and freedom and that is one of the greatest things that you could before and so, that -- it sounds very lofty or whatever but it's simple. i am for freedom. >> very good. >> everything else slavery. >> well explained. >> same question to you. >> circumstances that happen to fall the way they did i spent a great deal of time overseas and when you have the experience and number of countries like south vietnam or south korea or even
parts -- me just take those 21st and then not to get too many examples. people stopping on the street and putting their arms around you and tears and think the united states for what you're doing and crying. they don't know me from adam but all they know is that somehow they know i'm an american. i have yet to figure out how they know it but i was minding my business and suddenly this gorgeous gal, this marvelous human being, is embracing me saying thank you and please thank all the people of the united states. that is happened and countless countries, countless countries. and by god what a feeling.
if they look at times depending on how bad the situation may be in their country they look at the us as the calvary of an old warner bros. film in other words this is the american take the place of the calvary of pictures that i thought was a little kid. that's great feeling. having gone through refugee centers and having them speak with such emotion about the greatness of the united states and not going to give that up and i don't care what the devil happened politician may feel that is something that i want to sustain if we don't sustain it and people will say hundred years ago there was a country that would not allow people to live under dictatorships that to greater freedom. they would say that country was and then look it up the united
states of america. i don't want that. i wanted to be that's what we do and it has nothing separate apart from human rights and nothing separate and apart from overseas to hear and very frankly if we don't fight them overseas we will fight them in the united states. >> joe, you mentioned that you were on the left when you were at harvard why were you on the left in my area on the left today? >> i was on the left on the undergraduate but when i left i was on the right. i had some experience overseas is a rotary scholar in south africa and that changed my mind about a lot of things. being exposed to a country that was enjoined from freedoms but also implementing far left wing policies and seen the results of those policies. at the time i was excited about it and believed it and redistributive policies and
policies for racers our progressive minded and how these policies backfired and how the limited freedom and how they hurt people and that started the process of questioning my prior values. i was concerned to see the result of my political beliefs and practice. i wanted to see the things i wanted to see as an undergraduate at harvard would happen in the real world and less of the opposite happening cost me to go back and rethink. middle east also had a big role for me, 911, looking at how the left seem to ignore the tyranny and ignore the ideology trying terrorism that change her mind. what happened to me was i'm such a believer and i just cannot find a way to make it work and because i believed in the same things and still believe in the things i believed in as a young idealistic student politics can make people's lives better and live better lives that the world can change and make it a better
place and they're all these clichés and i still believe them but i don't believe the state is the instrument for doing it. i think the changes people make and the lives are so profound and so much more profound than anything that a government can do that a community can even do community is important but things individuals do for themselves are most remarkable. i guess the short version to the question you asked why do you consider yourself a conservative because i've seen the alternative and it doesn't work. we talk but american conservatism in particular which preserves the ideals that sam was talking about that is the kind of conservatism that is not only forthright in defending a fundamental principle but also open to the world and open to engagement and being a force for good in the world. i think that taking to its logical extension the alternative which calls itself liberalism but the alternative is deeply destructive testing that alternative or enough of
it, at least, to convert me to conservatism. >> what would bruce, too many work for and you, president nixon and president reagan, will they think of the debates that conservatives were having today? >> i don't like to say what i think someone who passed away would do now that they are not around to say what they would do and so i want to take away with the knowledge that i don't know is the correct answer. but i do believe that it would've been very difficult for either of the two of them, i believe, and i emphasize that. both president nixon and president reagan probably would have done or would have voted for a write in candidate even if their ballot. when the election was between trump and hillary clinton, i believe, and i think one of the
reasons is because they love the president to see why to hear someone continually speak against former presidents is very debilitating and very non- educational children. it should praise them. have you ever heard the bushes speak badly on anyone? they just do not. it is not what they do. president nixon kennedy were friends. they were extremely good friends. in this fiber you will see letters that express that friendship. >> that is from the time -- >> i know. >> if you read kennedy's inaugural address it sounds like a republican. [inaudible conversations] >> i believe jfk would be a
staunch conservative in this time if he had the policies in the international policies and particularly in domestic that he had and the domestic funds if he was present. the greatest speeches of the present was president kennedy's speech in berlin 1963. pardon? >> [inaudible] >> you are not kidding. >> is a that one of the filing which is you speak is german? hoosier political hero? >> maggie thatcher, ronald reagan and pope john paul. >> any arguments there? >> no arguments. >> they were the trifecta. >> would you add? >> i would add president nixon. certainly the most formidable genius in foreign policy that probably ever lived certainly in
my lifetime and you will hear this from people who certainly rank higher than me who were chiefs of state would say someone like president assad would say in the middle east quite well and you what president nixon interest and knowledge of the middle east but in talking about present nixon he said look, i don't i don't know much about asia and i don't know much about latin america and not really definitely with europe and i can talk to present nixon about anyone who is a chief estate of any nation in the world and he knows everything there is to know and president nixon had a habit of having a way to do it every day for two hours in which he did nothing but think.
he would advise you would advise others to have that is a habit. don't do it sitting down because you get simply go to sleep. pace and think for two hours and if it is foreign-policy that is your interest continue to memorize every chief estate and what their foreign-policy is and should be in payment. they could do it and a good what to think about what is going on in [inaudible] and he would know everything there is to know about that. it was magnificent. that has been something that stays with me every school day. i was in absolute genius and he was compassionate to people and very compassionate even to those people who you t opposed.
if you take a look at the two occasions between him and governor [inaudible]. he said i never said one word against present nixon and he said why, because when carol was executed there were demonstrations against me for ordering that execution, murder for those who just don't know. and he said president nixon supported me and here's a guy who beat the president for running for the governor's office and then he would not say a word. look at the record of hubert humphrey, these are good, good people. i want kids to appreciate a lot of the people who iran for president and lost and were
awfully good people. really good people and you never had the kind of feeling that we have had recently and one of the things that i wish president, i wish president would do is praise the previous presidents but rather than condemn them and condemn them almost every turn of the phrase. don't do that. >> joe, would you add to that list we start with sam? >> i have to add andrew breitbart, not just because i work for breitbart because i think he thought the potential for people outside of the establishment that disparaged by the political assessment in saw their potential and saw their concerns is real and gave them the tools to do something about it whether it's our website or other websites injured he said there is in the internet and new technology available could allow
them to compete and andrew breitbart not only anticipated donald trump but on one occasion predicted that donald trump might be the republican nominee is not the president because he saw the way trump was able to use the media to the management he felt that conservatives needed to be able to do the same thing and gave conservatives the inspiration to do it. he endured enormous personal trials, slings and arrows from people in the internet is not a very from the place if you are involved in political discussions especially if you are conservative. anyone on the internet knows that a lot of people who spend a lot of time attacking you. he stood up and defended people who were more timid and maybe had more to lose and said i will be your shield. i'll absorb those attacks and he
continues, i think, to inspire people today. they give us something new politically not just in the united states from the world. we get inquiries from around the world who of people have seen a movie about him or read the website and their excited about the example he continues to provide for someone stood up against the entire might of the mainstream media that i hear voices out there that you are not listening to. this was his carry trump to victory whether andrew agreed with what trump says or does the candidate the same ring that bruce said but he anticipated that fight for conservatives wasn't going to be about republicans versus democrats but about republicans versus the entire culture in the mainstream industry and hollywood and in the nixon library but not far down the road in hollywood which has a complete monoculture politically and with a few exceptions like sam and others come out and are vocal and many don't feel they can be as vocal because there punished that there's this totalitarian mindset in this freest country has ever existed. andrew stood up and said .-ellipsis wait any longer to
find a way to speak out. >> is their model thinking? your actress and is there -- do you have to be careful? >> extraordinarily powerful. it's powerful. i will tell a quick story. i don't know if you know this but when friends of abe which was a clandestine conservative, fairly conservative group, the formed with an hollywood that is where i met andrew. we used to have arguments about -- and the breitbart -- we had friendly arguments because he wanted people in this group to be more vocal because it's leadership in the hollywood community is a leadership role in the culture and therefore in the world really. we are not exploiting the films we used to export that were pro- america but were exporting films that are much less so. anyway, we used to get into this nice argument about being more vocal and i would say no, you
can assist people to be more vocal. it is their careers. in fact my husband's career was online does not going to be vocal. he said to me right for breitbart and i'll give you a voice and you can write under a pseudonym if you want. he encouraged me to be more vocal and i was initially started running for him and i said all right about something not political, right about education. ...
they lose their own personal value because their value is speaking for the checksum but it combines the so-called victim to indefinite victimhood and that is not the message of america or the message of conservatism, and that's what should be appealing and we need to figure out how. even more so to figure out how to message the and get the messe across. it's very difficult to get across because our schools have the message through the school policy for th through the educal
institution. in fact, public school is a socialist institution. we take money from everybody and then we develop something and we redistribute the wealth to the children. you can argue that the cause is good but the methodology is flawed. regardless of that, we have outlawed the indoctrination to enter into the public school. why do you think bernie sanders got more votes than hillary and donald trump combined? the socialism is grandpa with candy. all evidence to the contrary. and astonishing evidence to the contrary, the united socialist
republic, the national socialists in germany come all the evidence, 100 million in the last century and get our children somehow are learning that socialism is grandpa with candy. it's in abomination. they are waiting on that front and that is the very nature because we would lose conservatism because the voice of conservatism would be drowned out. in fact, even more than that, we are teaching job or not to listen anymore. they can't hear the alternative. we are scared. we camped here. it is a micro- aggression. it's so tiny we have to call it a micro- aggression. it's this big thing.
they can't even tolerate their presence in the same space. i keep my politics are facebook lately because i discovered that although flickr is great for finding people who agree with you and facebook is different these are people you've grown up with and people from community oor college and the connection has nothing to do with their opinions or yours, so it can be dangerous but a friend of mine recently put up a post praising a very far right conservative they chased him out of a bar. why can't he said in a bar? this is the idea of people that have different planes of view to somehow be expunged from society. that isn't coming from the state although somehow we have created a totalitarian mindset that is to be common in the countries we
thought. >> back in the day they called it discrimination and it was a very bad thing. this is what happens when they come full circle. imagine being proud of a change to somebody out of a difference of opinion, not for their skin color but the difference of opinion because that is the danger. >> you did commentary for years and years. what were some of the issues you talked about then and do the issue is still resonate today? >> the senator and i would be debating on a commentary and it all depended on fees.
we debated for 14 years until one of the most outstanding persons i've ever known in my life. a great, great man who just died recently. we became extremely good frien friends. he phone called as soon as you get here we will go to dinner and that is the way that it's been. that's the way politics were. >> that's what they were both saying there's not a lot of great communication anymore. do you agree? >> yes. it's done with such hatred and
terrible remarks about the other person. let me put it this way how can anyone see hi emily of an oppont take it when a person is being massacred by the daily television or press or radio? but it's pretty tough to there probably will never see the light that others see of a particular person because that is what is outstanding to that particular person. >> you brought this up a couple of times, social media. does this change politics? >> it is changed in so many ways. ways. it changed the way people
organized politically. one of the campaigns in 2008 was the use of facebook to organize groups and meetings people hadn't had before. it doesn't have to come from the campaign that could come from supporters and obama supporters used to full effect. there was an ability to cut right through the mainstream media filter if you wanted to criticize press before you go to work with the editor or help publish it it goes straight to the choice and you can reach people without having as many filter. in some ways it's also about new
happened. because it suspended the rules of etiquette, they help to coordinate social action and between people who otherwise might be complete strangers and we see that being torn down. it may be started with the last presidency that said opponents were making a common cause shouting death to america i didn't like thinking that because i was now on the side of the theocracy. >> you opposed sending $150 billion of cash to iran? >> isn't that spectacular to one candidate or another but one thing we have to learn how to do is turn off social media. the easiest solution sometimes to these problems when people are being bullied or a tax is to turn off and we would encourage people to do it one way or
another obviously you have to develop a life outside of feasting, take more interest in local politics than local politics and what's going on in their own community and it can be enlightening to meet your neighbors and discover they may disagree completely on abortion or whatever that is that he's is agree that they should still have pony rides at the farmer's market on a sunday morning which could be an important local issue. it was for me. [laughter] >> all politics is local. >> that is the old township idea the idea that people govern themselves because we are focused on social media not just for political reasons and they went to one another and grown-ups and i think that we need to invest in energy into the social fund and it allows us
to do amazing things and remember that it's also an enlivening. >> social media seemed to be a bit of a disintegrator because you are not sitting face-to-fa face-to-face. >> people behind the wheel of a car. they would never say things that if they were on the sidewalk. >> the other thing that you bring up this fascinating and i'm wrestling with this idea that you spend so much time on social media that's time you don't spend face-to-face with anybody and we see people at restaurants sitting across from each other both on their phone's not looking at each other at that word in itself become isolationist just personally this is very dangerous because that isn't who we are as human beings. and i see it as a danger for our
kids growing up that they are learning to interact more than that human beings and also the loss of virtue in our culture we no longer really value virtue. i think that is part of the destruction of the west is to disenfranchise us from the notion of virtue and so as with social media it is easy to become an virtuous than to say whatever you want in any way and passed all kinds of dispersions and disparagement same things. to bring back the idea of virtue and godly characteristics back into the discussion let's talk about why because otherwise why do we obey the law?
because we've been taught that they are good and a representation of our morality that if we are no longer immortal nobody is going to obey the law. first of all, i am noticing more and war of this antipathy, this acrimony. when the thread goes into that e production i just go another way. i disagree with it and i don't
think that it's proper. but i come from a christian viewpoint that everyone is a human being and so i can call to love and after that i can disagree. if anyone wants to educate me, stay away. i'm very happy with the media that exists. but not as much as i used to be that's for sure. >> i will send you a copy. >> okay. that's a deal. i wouldn't know how to use social media, and i don't want to know how. >> is it just because of tim?
it's for things i've lived through d. think people can be successful with social media today? >> they tend to be people others will follow anyway they can do most things without social media but it's how most people especially get their news nowadays, so it's very important i get a lot of stories from social media there are a lot of things people following on twitter might pick up that i haven't seen so i use it as a resource as well. i think you can be successful and i think there's great wisdom in books. there are things you can read
about today's politics reading intthe things that happened 40 r 50 years ago but we miss those because we don't go enough into the previous generations pay think social media is important like everything it is a tool that can be used for good or ill and most important is the knowledge of how to use it so there are unwritten rules of how to do that without going crazy and sam talked about that a little bit how to disengage sometimes and it's usually better than constantly being involved but i think you can live without. president trump doesn't use e-mail but he does use twitter so you pick and choose what you want. >> do you read things that you may disagree with? do you read huffingtonpost or something? >> i burn it, take it in the front yard and burn it. [laughter]
no, of course you have to read dissenting opinions because it's like having a debate in your head if you listen to the other side and you are debating you say that the synthpop or correct and it sharpens the blade. >> i watch see also which is the left-wing cable news network because it's interesting to see what's going on on the other side so that is the channel i have spoken at work. cnn is also now more on the left so you do get exposed to a variety of perspectives. the huffingtonpost is also important. but sometimes i just find out the views by reading them on bradford because in the conservative movement is quite a diversity of views and we have interesting discussions on social media and internally about the same questions that
are facing everybody else but there's a significant amount of diversity in the conservative movement maybe more so than on the left right now and that is partly a function of being in the opposition this anti-trump movement is a unified force but also interesting ideological differences that emerged on the left. the lesso westin has become mord more narrow in its thinking. i got an e-mail from the progressive policy institute before it became a synonym for left-hand they talk about how some of the policies point the way forward for the left. this is an interesting idea because he's reforming the pension system and changed some of the walls about labors of he's a reformer and that's one of the few instances where someone on the left said we
should think about doing something different but it's a stampede to the left. california is now considering single-payer health care even though there is no way the state can afford it is just a complete brush in a bipolar direction particularly on the left in the visceral nature of the reaction but i don't think there's a lot of room for debate. candidates who come out with more central points of view are nothing to survive but it does happen on both parties and we see a kind of split geographically as well as conservatives migrate liberals migrate to cities affair they feel more comfortable politically but i think there's something to be gained from finding people that disagree and the discussions i' i like to wah the most where there's a panel or something on tv they they deliberately pick someone that will disagree it like being part
of discussions otherwise it is just pouring. we need to engage personally with people. >> i disagree. [laughter] >> has the conservative movement and always be disagreeable family movement? >> certainly in earlier days you may disagree on things but they are petty and really not worth talking about. by and large there were a certain ones. it would be difficult to find a conservative who disagree with him and certainly as time went on, president ronald reagan. that was a little bit more like it used to be then it is right
now and it is just very different. in a sense i wish we did this a couple of the psycho prior to the time it' if what i heard conservatives say regarding the decision comes a marvelous decision in my view of the president trump has done and they would hope what encouraged to do as much as necessary and recognize a prime target today that it will be a continued to verbal enemy in everything the u.s. stands for. >> one last question and we'll start with you since we just finished with you. free speech issues going on on the college campuses today you are all active in education,
children an in education. as pepperdine experienced some of the political correctness ths talked about earlier? >> i haven't found this to be true. there's no way i could give an overall impression i wor workedh the public policy mainly on foreign policy so there's no way i concentrate as much as possible of the 99% on foreign policy. >> should they be prevented from getting to the california public school like uc berkeley? >> of course they should be allowed to go. it's absolutely frightening how college students have her come to the decision to say so and so cannot come here to speak. what kind of in educatio educatu receiving. >> what about a left-wing person
got into a conservative university, would he be treated the same? >> it happens all the time. i know it happens. i just read about it and the name escapes me but because it is with the debate between learning and the growth it's similar to faith if it is never challenged what good is it and if your views are never challenged how firmly do you believe them, you will never know sabini the challenge and should encourage the nonconservative spokespersons to appear and vice versa. that is a weakness of the left because they preached authoritarianism and you are not allowed to differ. what is remarkable to me is the youth doesn't understand that and so they support it. that is the youth graduating
from the public education system in the united states that is what is astonishing to me. >> last word. >> people should engage with people who disagree. students suffer when they can't challenge others' views and i think about the experiences i had at harvard as an undergraduate or most meaningful to me they were often the argument i had with students who disagreed with me and i remember for years something as my conservative classmates said to me and my tenth reunion i came back to some of them and said i remembered that discussion we had about states rights and federal government i've thought about it for ten years and decided you were right. they had forgotten about it. have forgotten about it. you will not necessarily convince someone of your point of view or change there is a if you have those discussions you can start to someone thinking about it if not in a deeper way than a different way.
what happened to this country in the 1960s b. kennedy wasn't the same person he was and 61 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 an average amount for someone with their eyes open and appea appeaf time there were people who went through more dramatic changes within bobby kennedy and that's something i go into in depth about how the 60s changed everyone. gene mccarthy and everyone else
in the senate voted for the gulf of tonkin resolution. that was the resolution president johnson didn't used to wage a full-fledged war. mccarthy wanted to go to back a few years later and ended up running for president because the hero of the integration of the university when he was deputy attorney general is nicolas standing in the doorway steamrolling over governor george wallace to integrate university and a couple years later under secretary of state testify and to the foreign relations committee were gene mccarthy is a member and he says he believes the declarations of the war or outmoded and that the president has all of the authority needs to wage war in vietnam at any level he wants to and there is nothing congress can say about it and that was
the moment, that was the statement said. gene mccarthy walked out of the room too angry to even speak about it and he said his chief of staff when he got out of the hole they if i have to run for president i will stop for lyndoh lyndon johnson is doing. so everyone knows about his resume being much more vivid in everyone's mind so everyone knows a conservative or moderate whatever you want to call it to the liberal democrat and there were all sorts of questions about its opportunism was that. it was the kind of experience and enlightenment 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 winning. winning. there was no conceivable public benefit to go to north dakota for anything and he went there to address a convention of indian tribes meeting in north dakota indicated that there is a speed to them it is breathtaking because if you read it and stood up at the reservation where i was last summer during that preservation and if you've read every word with the relevant to what they were doing there that day. he actually quoted chief justice of the hopes for the way the united states everyone here would be able to live together as one tribe under one son and all that so there is much that is in here that i think clarifies that question which is always the central biographical