tv Discussion on the Republican Party CSPAN May 13, 2018 4:45am-5:47am EDT
sykes life coverage on booktv. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome to the tenth annual tucson book festival if you were here with us in gallagher hall and watching us live on c-span today. i am the executive director of the national institute of civil discourse here at university of arizona. thanks the tci advisors for sponsoring this session. [applause]
the presentation will last an hour time for q&a and immediately following the session craig shirley will participate in a booktv interview just outside this building. kathy and charlie will go directly to the book sale tent to sign books. in fact every book that is purchased at the festival goes to literacy programs this is the perfect time to do that. we hope you are a friend of the festival family and if not please join. out of respect please turn off your cell phones. a quick introduction, today we have an abundance on our panel three outstanding authors all who have written several books and each of the books they talk about today come from distinctly different genres. kathy kramer the director for
public service at the university of wisconsin madison her book on politics of resentment rule consciousness in wisconsin and the rise of scott walker is a superb example of quantitative and qualitative research to understand voters. many of you recognize charlie sykes from his time on msnbc started when his name came to our attention by conservative radio talkshow host in milwaukee wisconsin he has written a polemic how the right has lost its mind.
a reagan biographer is presenting two books ronald reagan and every authorized biography the making of a reagan conservative. [applause] i will start asking the authors and the impact they hope it would have. >> it is a joy to be with you all. i am a scholar of public opinion with the conversations that i have liar people
getting things wrong or making the choices that they are? in my mind if you take that to the extreme we are not capable to have that democracy so instead of asking what are they getting wrong how are they understanding their world? so the book is focused on wisconsin but people in rural small towns research was in wisconsin and to listen to people so i wrote the book so look at what the small places in my state to understand the feeling that many people have about not being respected and
overlooked how that comes from real experience hoping for something better i hope the impact it would have to understand this concern of feeling like you deserve more wanting better for yourself people would understand not from people deserved to be treated this so i want to have a broader understanding. >> why did you decide to write this book? the mick actually started working on the book before the election with a different impact basically it
was this book trying to figure out what the hell happened? what the hell happened to people that i thought understood or had certain values that we saw played out in 2016 as part of a conservative movement for more than 25 years going from william after buckley junior to sean hannity that is not a renaissance. [laughter] [applause] that is a disaster. movement that goes from ronald reagan to donald trump has taken a very strange turn. frankly as i sat there and watch this happen in real time i was struggling what is going on. is this radical continuity?
was this a cartoon version? is this a hostile takeover? with a healthy conservative movement that is harder to sustain the dysfunction in the conservative movement was clearly a pre-existing conditio condition. [laughter] but my dissolution and to work very closely with the conservative leaders and 2016 was like invasion of the body snatchers one after another may be not so bad to embrace this narcissism.
may be this con man is the era of ronald reagan and maybe it's not so bad. you have this compromising values i can tell a lot of you are as old as i am i am old enough to remember when republican actually said character matters. do you remember that? that moment there was a moment i was watching cable television and education secretary says get over your moral vanity i will use the word i was actually thinking that he wrote the book of virtues the book of freaking virtues and now donald trump
so to watch a movement that claimed it was about fiscal restraint and small government and free trade in american exceptionalism that would be offended by the idea russia was attacking our democracy remember when conservatives thought that would be a bad thing? but now we saw an embargo by people that i worked with then you get diverse desire and things that you want and you conservative judges and tax cuts and regulatory reform but then you find out the cost is greater than you expected. so i sat down to answer the book what did i miss? what did i ignore?
what just happened and because i started before the election leslie out the preconditions for recovery and even afterwards to say what is the future of the conservative movement? is there a conservative movement that will not be tainted or talks a fight or morally repugnant? and that is still the ongoing process even watching the conservative movement on a rolling basis to enable and acquiesce to a was unthinkable a couple years ago. [applause] >>host: you have been a
dedicated reagan scholar and author and you clearly made a shift of focus on newt gingrich so share with us why and what impact you hope to have with your last two books. >> sometimes i think i write books to keep off the streets and out of the pool halls. but reagan and gingrich has been very misshapen and misrepresented by history by conservatives and liberals so it was my idea and dedication my friend said right what you know about we worked with him for eight years we were there from the beginning of the revolution the rnc the election and reelection my wife ran c pack every year and reagan was there it is not what it used to be you actually used to have panels and intellectual debate about
missile-defense and balanced-budget versus tax cuts. [laughter] but both men are and were controversial and because of that that invite disinformation so i wanted to write about reagan because his legacy was in danger of slipping into your relevancy. my books are not open i in interviewed everybody from carter to mondale these are works of history not opinion. everything is documented and annotated. so i find them compelling figures of history with reagan because the reagan revolution truly was a revolution against the established order and the status quo but there is a
dialect to american presidential history every generation or two there is an upheaval against the established order starting with jefferson and adams with the sedition act then jackson with bank of america and lincoln and roosevelt institution of the trust and roosevelt with the institution of wall street and then reagan the washington institution the small part also banks but also anti- washington and regaining power to the american people in trump falls in a dialect that makes the 2016 election very interesting. trump himself may not be a figure of history andrew jackson at 150 years for a decent biography to be written about him by schlesinger and it may take 150 years to be written about donald trump and
set aside his flaws, which are many and character flaws which are many but his election in it of itself, the nomination are important in the standpoint of history. but reagan remains a compelling figure of history even trump does not understand him the other day he attacked him in pennsylvania on his trade policies he was free trade that it is a fundamental misunderstanding of his trade policy at his core he was anti-communist wanted to beat the soviet union at his core he knew free trade with china and mexico would strengthen our alliance and economies to make them much more resilient to communist takeover as a
soviets were trying to do in central america and nicaragua so for trump to attack reagan on trade is a fundamental misunderstanding also reagan understood going back to his time at eureka college that during the depths of the great depression many people believe it was aggravated by republican congressman and senator to create huge trade barriers to the importation of goods but all that did was send the united states deeper into a deep depression. eureka college explained to him that the depression was brought about was made much worse by that so thereafter he was very much a part of free trade. it isn't just about free trade at the cheapest price but also national defense and making alliances with people you want
to join with you to oppose aggression or subversion as the cold war the soviet union in this case so the reason i write reagan books and i continue in my next book right now i'm finishing a biography of george washington's mother who is a fascinating figure of history completely misunderstood nobody has ever done a biography of her who was america's first first lady i am enjoying this so much but after that this will probably be in search of reagan i got my idea from my old friend who is the official biographer of churchill who did in search of churchill and this would be to address the misunderstanding mischaracterization of what reagan really was who at his core was a child of the enlightenment according
mode -- quoting pain and thoreau a small l libertarian champion individual rights and privacy and dignity and this has been misunderstood in the 30 some years of the presidency that is why i write these books and why continue to write today. [applause] >>host: shipping line -- shifting to go deeper into content so with our founding fathers and documents that were built into the nation they created some intense conflicts one of those was world and urban that has changed over the centuries but is still held deeply with us and clearly in the last election it was an extraordinary wake-up call for the entire political media establishment who basically completely lost touch so in your book you do an
extraordinary job of a concept called world consciousness tell us about tha that. >> is just a fancy social science term for a sense of identity was a small town person they are saying i identify as a real person but people like us or people around here or places like this but that identity combined with a sense of not getting their fair share or one was attention, resources and respect it sounds like this. now picture me doing this research. twenty-seven committees from across the state big places in urban and small-town rural
areas driving around the state in my volkswagen jetta with the wisconsin accent a social scientist walk into a gas station and i say hi i am kathy. from the university of wisconsin madison do you mind if i join you? they welcomed me in for the most part very nice and friendly and opened up to me but at the same time they are telling me all the decisions are made in madison and communicated out to the rest of us and we have no say in regulations that are affecting our lives so they don't give us our share of attention sources talking about talks taxes they spend are tax
dollars on themselves are in milwaukee we don't see them in return and in light of the presidential election was a feeling of not getting one's fair share of respect because people were saying those people making the decisions affecting my life they don't know what they don't know what life is like in a place like this and they don't even like us they think we are uneducated or racist and sexist and homophobic and is normal phobic and they felt they deserved more so in all of those ways identity ours on the short and of the stick that is rule consciousness. [applause] >>host: charlie when i read your book i was struck by a quotation that you alluded to this in your first remarks so
what did you specifically learn about how it happened? it was based on the belief of limited government, individual liberty, free market, traditional values and civility. and now finds itself embracing bigotry, political and transients, demagoguery and outside falsehoods. what did you learn how we went from there to this? >> that pretty much summarizes it. [laughter] how the right lost its mind how? the conversation i also talk about when i sat down after the election basically asking each other how did this happen and he made the .1 of the things we learned fiscal
conservatives free-trade conservatives this intellectual brand was much smaller than we thought it was. a lot of these beliefs were piecrust then over a larger more dissatisfied political base that is one of the things that i learned one of the things i talk about in the book that politics has shifted to become more tribal and that explains what is happening. using the term colt of personality you know what i'm talking about but a lot of the conservatives i hung around with talk about american exceptionalism and what conservative ideas of empowerment and dad approach to inclusiveness for paul ryan before donald trump to realize
we were under the impression politics was about ideas and policies. in fact it is increasingly becoming more and cathy's book makes this very clear it is more identity and tribal loyalty we are pulling back a lot of the explanation is how do you go from the party of ronald reagan the shining city on the hill we are welcoming people from all over the world the author of the mud of the most sweeping amnesty ever going from that to donald trump building a wall that mexico will not pay for and they say were fine with that? it is a shift to tribal loyalty that if something
makes liberals heads explode i must be for it if it causes tears so we have negative partisanship built in for many years partially during the obama years and democrats have their own version of this that is their problem they became very clear what they were against but not sure what they are for some and the guy comes on the scene insulting everybody and is willing to scapegoat people initially just taste but they were willing to accept it also those various gatekeepers who betrayed the movement whether talk radio or fox news the role of the media changing the way conservatives process information and that moment when it really hit me in 2016 and i say this somebody who was in conservative talk radio which i thought was a good thing that we created an
alternative reality to delegitimize fact based historical media to the point we now really are two nations we don't really communicate like donald trump or other people are immune to information or fax we are post- factual political environment that is so fundamentally different than what we need for a democracy. one of the tidbits i continue to be fascinated by is when ronald reagan was president people think the nostalgic high point of conservativism there was not the robust conservative media infrastructure we have no on -- now. no rush limbaugh or hannity or
fox news or breitbart. he could act in the environment he was able to talk to democrats and discuss ideas in the environment not ranting push for power and ratings and quips that has contributed that is not a simple answer or a simple question. >> but really those media only came to be through the 1990s and post- reagan. >> rush limbaugh did not appear till the final moments of the reagan administration he did not have fox news until 1996 breitbart 2006 think of all the things we have now that did not exist back then so the political environment is very different. >>host: craig clearly your
biography delves deeply historically and in a way we see that intensification and polarization recall hyperpolarization and the complete loss of civility in politics one of the interesting things that you point out is that the beginning of polarization goes back to 1964 nominating goldwater or when the democrats nominated mcgovern so this is all accelerated but there are some streams of history you could add to the conversation that would be valuable? >> so to address charlie's misinterpretation of reagan on amnesty but one thing that has been missing from this conversation is the absence of the discussion of hillary clinton when she called
millions of americans baskets of deplorable's that sealed her fate that confirms kathy's point about rural america or maybe even suburban america feeling alienated that she was the out of touch elitist that the two parties for many years operated in the state of equilibrium that if the democrats nominated adelaide stevenson you would take the more conservative if they nominated understand it is subjective but the more liberal john kennedy then they would pick the more conservative linda johnson which both is a fallacy. the same thing with the republican party.
if republicans nominated in picking a conservative running mate or gardener was considered more conservative eisenhower would pick nixon nixon was perceived as more conservative so the reason was there were many elements of both parties republican party is more simple to understand because basically more modern and conservative elements the others because of southern democrats so was a more complex formulation but the changes beginning 1964 with goldwater breaking through the establishment gets the nomination.
. . . . if you think over time is that in 68 the republican's were unified and the democrats were divided. seventy-two the republicans were united in the democrats divided. seventy-six democrats were divided and the republicans were united in 80 the democrats were divided and republicans united. the united party tends to go on to win in the fall election and the dividing party goes on to lose sole purpose of the convention is to send a message to millions of voters that we are unified and we have the solution for what bothers you or ails you.
sixty-four, barry goldwater should've poked nelson or bill scranton or some other moderate republican to produce a unified convention in order to at least have a fighting chance against lyndon johnson in 1964 which was nonsense that the country would not stand for three presidents in 11 months. they were not vote against party of the martyr presidents. he picks the little-known congressman from buffalo new york, bill muller and goldwater was asked at the time why he picked bill muller and he said because he paces off lyndon johnson. [laughter] which probably was the case. goldwater knew he had no hope of winning whatsoever so he was going to run an ideological holy quest. this sends begins to process redefining the two parties and
that sends them into the party but conversely conversely moderate democrats into the republican party so for instance john connolly the democrat becomes a republican and strom thurmond becomes a republican and john lindsay, the republican from the democrat and other cases where liberal republicans joined the democratic party. this starts a long process. it's extenuating by mcgovern in 72 because again, mcgovern is the nominee logic dictates he should take a more conservative running mate but of course the convention is a disaster because of eagleton and he was also a liberal and in the sense because the process of sending more
conservative democrats out of the party and attracting more liberal republicans so bite 1980 and after both parties have pretty much nominated only right of center are mostly right of center nominees and the democratic party is nominated mostly or all left of center nominees so we have now the polarization of the two parties that didn't exist that used to have conservative democrats and republicans so they could talk to each other in compromise. today you have these two polarized parties that too don't talk to each other except to yell at each other and that is where we are today. i see good things to it and bad things to it in compromise can be a good thing. not always. >> will get to where i am wrong on immigration. >> yes,. >> don't want to get to the point. [laughter] >> you should be taking notes.
there will be a test. >> okay, guys. kathy -- >> the fundamental misunderstanding of reagan's amnesty bill was done in the shadow of the cold war. reagan was not going to hand mikael gorbachev a huge pr bonanza by forcefully evicting 500,000 americans from illegals or guests whatever you want to call them from the united states when he's lecturing mcgill good job on the virtues of freedom and democracy. that was number one. number two is that many of these refugees, not all, but many had fled communism in nicaragua and cuba and also we had a wet foot policy where we accepted communist immigrants from communist countries who are looking for political asylum in the united states. to say that reagan and i go through this all the time there's a misunderstanding and it's much more sophisticated then you were previously.
>> that is your cue, charlie. [laughter] >> i wasn't sure what question you asked him but it had to do with stability. [laughter] and when perhaps when we engage in that. at some point maybe we'll talk about the role newt gingrich played in all of that because as you go back i also have gone back historically and what were those moments and what was the recessive gene and conservatism that popped out in donald trump when you're talking about a george wallace or pat buchanan or the way that newt gingrich had to pacifier politics so deeply and i'm not sure if i'm referring to but the final speech where ronald reagan gave to the country and as i read this you imagine donald trump saying anything remotely like that -- is that i've spoken of the shining city on my political life but i don't know quite make it what i saw when i said it but in my mind it was a tall, proud
city built on rock, stronger than oceans, teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace, a city with freeport that comes with commerce and creativity and if there had to be walls the walls and doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here and that is how i saw it and see it still. i apologize for my lack of sophistication and understanding but that strikes me as a vision of america and a vision of immigrants and free trade. it seems completely alien to much of the politics and the political rhetoric that we have today. [applause] >> the title of our panel was what is the future of american conservatism and we will come to a question to all three panelists about how do we get to
where we are where we want to be. i also want to acknowledge that would be quite possible to put together panel very similar to this in terms of where liberals are today. our focus is clearly because of what we're doing but the dilemma for both parties is deeply entrenched at this point in terms of the inability to be respectful of each other is human beings. i'm going to ask kathy, and only kathy, specific question and now wait -- you took that the family that i meant it. [laughter] usually did. >> we are just getting warmed up. [laughter] >> is an element that she learned after she wrote the book and returned to those same coffeehouses and gas stations to talk with people who had voted for trump to discover whether they felt that what they believed trump would do whether he had delivered. in terms of the depth of the disengagement of millions of people from our system i think
what kathy learned is very important for all of us to hear. >> i asked folks so, now that donald trump is elected president what you expect to be different around here four or five years from now? what will change? almost universally the response immediately was nothing. nothing will change around here and what are you talking about? one guy even said look, we've been living in poverty for decades we keep telling you that and don't you hear us? residential elections don't affect us or our communities. what it said to me was even when people feel like their candidate one these folks were still feeling so disconnected that it wouldn't change their mind and one thing i want to for other
that i heard and i didn't hear from folks in small towns and rural communities but in the many different people i've had a chance to spend time with since the election was that i want to bring to the attention that that sentiment a feeling so disconnected from your government and so unheard an invisible is not unique to rural wisconsin and it's not unique to rural america. we hear it in so many different places in this country that sentiment of i'm not getting my fair share of attention of resources or respect and it's something that is in many pockets of the country. it is very sobering to me. you. >> thank you. [applause] >> one final question to the panelist and will open it up to you. our goal here was to take a look
at what is the future of conservatism and the question i will ask could apply to both liberalism and conservatism. the way to frame it in a way that i think is how we see it at the institute of many americans are thinking about whether red states, blue states or purple states -- what do each of you believe it will take to reestablish the social norms of civility and respect in our politics? anyone of you can begin. >> sure. that time when i wasn't falling asleep in high school physics i remember the professor saying power cannot be destroyed nor created but only moved around. that is what we're talking about today is that a lot of people believe and this is the nexus between elizabeth warren's beliefs and my beliefs or
conservatives an intellectual or libertarian conservatives. there is too much power concentrated in many people believe in washington and in corporate america and wall street and various institutions and that it what what donald trump represented and that he understood or at least is campaigned was that people were yelling at the sky because they perceived that the power had been taken away from them by big government and big corporations. i perceive that, you know, we are now the third most populous nation in the world and we have over 300 million people. behind only china and india. this is a broad country and vast and diverse and it's an antiquated idea and this goes to civility.
to think that you can govern this country from one corrupt city by the potomac river and that the only solution for everything for more efficient government and civil discourse, more power for the individual is to return power, 21st century federalism to return power and authority to the states and localities and ultimately the individual where the individual has more input in their own government practices in their own behavior and all those other things is that simply impractical and this is the failure or this is the conservatism and that's the other thing -- everyone needs to understand that there is a distinct difference between the republican party and the conservative movement. the american liberalism and democrat party tend to blend together more closely although they separate at times. conservative movement has been very distinct apart from the republican party for 40 years and resulted in the republic and
party was the dominate was gerald ford for the conservative movement was behind ronald reagan but even when reagan became president the conservative movement sometimes broke with ronald reagan. anyway i got off on a tangent but that's a central point for you to leave here is to understand that conservatism is american conservatism is timeless if you believe in individual rights and freedom and dignity and privacy because it stems from the individual and the american conservatism is derived from the enlightenment. if you want to lower, i think, the amount of vitriol and if you want to lower the amount of yelling and screaming and hatred and nastiness is to give people back power and take it away from the elites of corporate america in government and that's the best way to bring around civil discourse. thank you. kathy mark. >> i would recommend to bring
back civility and respect to our democracy that we establish a better ethic of listening and encourage listening. by that i fully acknowledge that right now it's not safe for everyone to listen to their opponents. take for example i will just take for example the very obvious existence of racism in this country and because of that it's not safe for some people to listen to those who think they are something less than human but i do think listening is extremely important in a democracy because basically what a democracy is as a form of government in which we are making decisions about each other and about how to govern and guide the lives of other people and if we are doing that with very little understanding of the humanity of the people whom we disagree with we are in for a wealth of pain which i
think is what we are experiencing right now. i advocate listening not so that we all watered down our opinions or moderate them but that we clarify our own opinions and see people hold different opinions as fully human and as fully human as we ourselves are. [applause] >> i want to reinforce what kathy just said in the listening is important but the question that you asked though i don't know what it will take to restore it. it is urgently important and it's not just a matter of good manners. you cannot have a functioning democracy if you are not willing to talk with one another and listen to one another and acknowledge the humanity and legitimacy of other people's points of view and that is what we're losing. i sense that rather than things getting better they are getting worse and i think it's urgently important that we have the kind of dialogue were having today.
to have a center-right and centerleft bill to talk with one another and to respect one another is very, very important because we don't do that then we will pull further and further into our own corners and frankly i do think that culture matters. the politics affects color and culture and the rhetoric of the president is having an effect on the level of civility. i am watching how many of his supporters and followers are modeling his behavior on social media and in personal interaction and that's one of the moment you step back and there's a debate, by the way, on the right particularly whether or not civility is a sign of weakness and whether or not talking about civility is simply a code word for surrender when what you should be wanting to do is smash your face and win. there's a i recommend a very thoughtful piece by david french in national review where he makes the case for civility and
again don't make the mistake of thinking this is simply good manners. it is the lifeblood of democratic debate and dialogue. >> thank you, charlie. [applause] in the remaining time we have we love to take questions from you in the audience. there it microphones on both aisles and we ask that you keep your question really short so that we, in fact, can take several of them. start. >> thank you for being here in trying to clear muddy water for us. i have a question and something i don't understand. i understand fiscal responsibility and taxation and global conservatives but in their certain issues i do not understand how they became conservative or liberal. abortion and why aren't more opposed to it and why aren't there more conservatives in favor of choice?
things like control why aren't there more conservatives want a stronger gun control and more liberals want to be armed. these don't seem to be issues that fall into liberal or conservatives but the conservatives have taken the one side and how do we get there? >> i will take that because we talked about this in dinner and i had a head start here. part of it is because choosing the sides where ideology has become the fixed-price menu where you have to take everything on the menu. what is a flat tax have to do with your opinion on gay rights for example? what does your position on free trade have to do with your position on guns? there are overriding principles of small government but one of the liberating things i think for me has been to realize you don't have to agree with everything. you don't have to check every single box. you could exercise independent judgment on a lot of these things. you ought to have principles and the timeless principles that i
think have citizen in good stead but this is part of the problem. in politics in particular if you are a democrat you must buy all of these positions and if you're a republican you must buy all of those. if you could break the ice and begin to have a conversation where people go okay, i disagree with you on this but agree on this and may be unwilling to give on that. >> thank you. i'll go to the next question. >> i agree with what you said fundamentally but i'm pretty much confused because it seems like the trump nationalism is going towards let's make the rich richer yet catherine, what you described is they want respect and more resources and more attention and it seems like it's a dichotomy going in different directions. the fundamental question i have is what do you see as the importance and the role of money in politics and the conservative
movement is going with that. >> kathy, want to take that first? >> briefly. i guess the answer i will give is to help explain why the folks i describe might be voting for a candidate who doesn't look like he will do much to bring resources to these type of communities. as i said these folks are not expecting much to change in their community with the trump presidency but instead what they heard was someone said you have a right to be upset and you do deserve more and it is their fault and gave people targets to blame, concrete targets to blame. immigrants, muslims, urban elites, he wasn't saying i will bring more stuff to your community but saying i will drain the swamp and do something completely different in changeup the slow resources that you don't think it's fair.
>> greg, we've, it -- >> i like to go back to this gentleman's question. >> please, keep it short. >> generally they break down on the concepts of freedom and justice which are the two organizing principles in the two-party value system for the public in party is generally organized or these conservatism generally organized around the concept of freedom hence the second amendment or freedom for the unborn individual or other issues like that is that but it's not perfect and it's imperfect because there are exceptions. justice has become the evolving organizing philosophy of the democratic party and the conflict always is that the freedom for you to make a dollar but the redistribution to text you and give it to another individual is how you perceive it and they will always be in conflict with each other. one man's concept of freedom conflicts often with another man's concept of justice.
generally it's not scientific or specific but it breaks down to those two concepts. >> how many people here are in favor of freedom? [laughter] how many of you are favorite are justice? [laughter] >> that's meaningless. you didn't ask them anything. in an abstract sense they would it would be something but. >> it meant something to them. >> oh, you are a talkshow host. [laughter] >> moving on. the gentleman on my left. [inaudible conversations] >> you spoken in middleton -- >> i thought you look familiar. great to see you. >> i have another what will it take question. we've established that we have a dangerously narcissistic post literate which i thought was interesting case of arrested
development in the white house. >> this has been hashed and rehashed. >> what will it take for our other wisconsin, paul ryan who i think we had a high level of pride in and what will it take for him to say was that 10% corporate tax right and is that all it will take for me to debase myself and to turn away from the values that i am supposed to support? what it will take? >> i like you, charlie, we will start with you. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> and very good friends with paul ryan i describe my relationship now as we are taking a break from the other and we are seeing other people. [laughter] the gates poem that the the left
lack conviction because the right art [inaudible] i think he's a fundamentally possible man who was made a bargain that i'm willing to overlook things and willing to enable in order to get certain things in his agenda. i understand that and understand real politics there and i'm not sure he do the same thing if he wasn't speaker but the problem with that is that the price gets higher and higher in higher. what profit does it for a man to gain the whole world if he loses a soul but for tax cuts? for lower marginal rate? i still think and hold out hope that i generated unfortunately a controversy when i had a moment of candor within your transporter is that i'm only getting sick and tired of saying that paul ryan must really be upset about this or be thinking about this because of who he speaks out but remember he was one of the few people who is
willing to draw a line and speak out in the primaries. i don't know the answer to your question. it's heartbreaking to me to watch what ryan and other republicans have decided to rationalize that have been willing to do it again we haven't gotten to the fourth act it. >> i apologize but i think we have time for only one more question and we are generating more questions but we do have to keep this tight in terms of time. >> i have a philosophical question about conservatism in general. the idea that i believe newt gingrich was proposed something very similar to what is now the affordable care act that went and became romney care and also, to apparently in the 60s the republican party or conservative area of the party they proposed
a universal minimum income at one time as a means of not having to deal with all these various different social programs and i'm wondering how that evolved to be against all these various different things at the present time even though you know that kind of thing solved problems even for them on the conservative side. >> conservatism has been evolving over many years but you are absolutely right. in 1971 the nixon administration proposed a minimally guaranteed household income which caused a split in the republic party. the group became known as the manhattan 12. they met at bill buckley's townhouse in new york city and signed a letter announcing they're split the nixon imagination led by bill buckley, jeff bell, stan evans and others. this is beginning of the break with richard nixon even before watergate.
as far as the healthcare, yes, heritage administration and newt gingrich signed onto an early version of what they later opposed but again he was one of the things that you compel people and it's a violation of personal freedom but compelled to pay for healthcare even though you might perceive it's for the better good. that was one of those tricky issues the republican party was wrestling with and of course, pharmaceuticals and others were involved in contracting money and healthcare operation so it got very, very muddy and it's pretty well set now and its concept of freedom versus justice as the to organize the two philosophies of the two parties. >> if you are really short and one person can respond given this minute and a half we have left. >> in your discussions with rural america in wisconsin i assume most of those people are european descent people, other words, whites. i'm from an all-white state, vermont, no cities largest city
is 60000 people and in my state we perceive that many of the voters in other parts of country found the trump slogan of make america great again were in fact responding to an appeal to make america both white again and question again. could you confirm or deny that and i'd be interested in that. it's a question for you resear research. >> how many seconds? >> it's in a great and important question. no doubt that racism was a part of these conversations at times. but i am pausing because it's complicated and i wanted to be compensated meaning that i don't want you to hear what i have to say as all these people are racist and that explains her views. yes, there is racism in their views and there's racism in suburban and urban views and the
way race works in this country is through pretty much everything so their attitudes about the economy and being overlooked in being disrespected and yes, it's partly intertwined with her sense that it used to be the case that a white person like me had a good quality of life and seems to have gone somewhere and i'm not sure where but if someone is coming along and telling me it's the fault of people with different skin color in times that can be a compelling story. it is too simple though to say that what drew people to donald trump was racism and a desire to have a white country. that is just not accurate for the views of the people shared with me. it's much more complicated and bigger than that. it's a sense of the life i thought i was working towards that i was playing all the rules in order to get is no longer
available to me and there is many, many things that play into that sentiment and thank you for raising racism because we shouldn't ignore it. [applause] >> i think the phrase the kathy used about the situation we are in is complicated, is very big and we are in a time in which not only our political leaders but many media personalities are in fact modeling this kind of instability and disrespect that keeps us divided and unable to experience one another's community. institute has initiative called revise ability where we the people will have to push back against the kind of modeling that we are seeing and we hope all of you would go to that website, www. revive stability .org and help shift this norm.
thank you all very much both here in the room and it c-span. [applause] remember, the authors are signing at the patent. credit will join them in about half an hour. on the and we have been live all we can. we have several more hours of the best coming up and we are pleased joining us now is one of the authors speaking at the last panel and this is craig surely, his two most recent books are about newt gingrich and ronald reagan. craig surely, is her anything about the republican party their conversation they're having about it self when reagan was president for george w. bush wat