tv House Session CSPAN December 30, 2014 10:00am-4:31pm EST
>> this year is the 10th anniversary of c-span's q&a. we are featuring one interview from each year of the series over the holiday season. telling the story of how he became gash came to the u.s. as an illegal immigrant and became a brain surgeon. remember in public speakers who died. starting with howard baker. in a 2000 seven interview looking at his congressional career, and his time as chief of staff to rep -- to ronald reagan. >> when i was first elected majority leader, when i first
went on the floor that day, the first thing i did was go over to bird. i said bob byrd i will never know the rules of the senate like you do. i'll make you a deal. i will never surprise you, if you will not surprise me. he said let me think about it. he came back later that afternoon and said ok. and we never did. i think that tradition has carried on. i think dole adopted that point of view. the system, and the rules of the senate are such, that there's plenty of room for disagreement and controversy. to do so within the framework of organization without sneaking up on your adversary. >> some of the interview with
former senate majority leader howard baker airing at 8:00 eastern 5:00 pacific. news from the pentagon planning more cuts for benefits for troops and the 2016 budget to be submitted to the white house in february. military pay and benefits cost $185 billion in 2011. that decreased by $8 billion. that was mostly due to the reduction in active duty and reserve troops. you can read more at thehill.com. in november elena kagan spoke at her alma mater talking about her career and time behind the bench as -- at the supreme court. [applause]
>> welcome, folks. my name is stephen macedo, assessor of politics and human values at princeton. i hoped to instigate the event, brought to you by the university center of human values, in its 25th year. also brought to you by the princeton university public lectures led by professor eric gregory. i want to thank the university staff involved and reuter who is managed every detail. elena kagan, princeton class of 1981 has had a distinguished career at the university of law at the university of chicago and a harvard, and was a member of the executive branch of the united states as a policy advisor to bill clinton. and the government's lead
advocate before the supreme court under president barack obama. she served -- she served as the dean of harvard thought school where she gained a reputation as a brick builder and that famously fractured institution. kagan has emerged as a leader of the liberal wing. she is considering -- continued efforts as a consensus builder. also very notable are her hunting trips with justice scalia. they shoot skeet, and other things. [laughter] as former vice president -- has former vice president cheney been involved? if he is, stay behind him. it has been said that the role of the supreme court is to speak
about justice on behalf of the american people. it is written and a wonderful book on the constitution and american democracy constitutional built government built by the princeton president . he is one of the leading authorities on democratic constitutionalism and the supreme court. i can think of no other two people i would like to hear converse on just as in america than the two people to my right. join me in welcoming princeton president and supreme justice. [applause] it is great to be here. >> let me start by thanking you for being here. i think you can tell by the audience how thrilled we are to
be able to welcome you back. thank you for making time. >> it is good to be back. i was thinking of the last time and that was my 25th reunion eight years ago. i spent a part of the afternoon walking around princeton. and seeing all of the new things on campus. it looks fantastic. >> you will be back for your next major reunion, too. woodrow wilson came back when he was in the white house. it may give the marshals a case of the letter flies. anytime we can get you back, we would be delighted. he wanted to hear us talk about the court and constitution. before that i want to give you the opportunity to clarify rumors about hunting trips with justice scalia. he won a say what that is about? ain't -- >> is a funny story. i grew up in new york, and we
didn't hunt on the weekend. when i was nominated you have to do courtesy visits with senators . the hearings on tv are the tip of the iceberg. you have to wander around and talk to senators. i think i did 82 of them. it was striking how many of the republicans and democrats wanted to talk about the second amendment. about guns. there are rules about what you can ask at these kinds of sit downs. there are rules about what i can say. they knew they couldn't ask me direct questions about what i thought of particular cases or issues. and come up with proxies along the lines of: do you hunt? [laughter] i went through countless of these interviews. the answers were so pathetic no
. do you know anyone who hunts? not really. [laughter] i was sitting down with the senator from idaho who has a ranch, and is a great hunter. he was telling me about his hunting, and how important it was to his constituents. i understand why. and why many senators would want to know these kinds of things. i was feeling punchy, it was late in a day my 93rd interview. i said, senator, if you would like to invite me hunting i would like to come. this look of abject horror passed over his face. i realized, i think i've gone to far. i said senator, i didn't mean to invite myself to your ranch. i will tell you, if i'm lucky
enough to be confirmed, i will ask my colleague justice scalia to take me hunting. i grew up in new york without this experience, but he understand why it matters. i will commit to do that for you. when i got to the court, i went over to justice scalia's chambers and i told him the story. he thought it was hilarious. i said, this is the single promise i made in 82 interviews. he said, i guess i have to let you fulfill that promise. he is very generous. he started with skeet shooting. then, we did the real thing. a couple of times a year, we shoot quayle, doesn't, and we once went to wyoming were i shot a deer.
, you're going. -- we are going duck hunting in mississippi next month. i'm a competitive person. if you put a gun in my hand and say the object is to shoot things, i am like, all right. let's do it. >> you would have been confirmed by a larger margin if you would've been able to say that. before you are a supreme court justice or hunter, you are a student on this campus. how do you remember princeton? >> i love princeton. all of you folks who go here are very lucky if it is as good now as it was then. i expect it is better. i was a history major with fantastic professors. i often think about how many of the faculty were so generous with their time. whether it was an out of office
conversation or my thesis advisor that i saw a little before this and him nervous he is in the audience, i keep thinking he will take up his red pen. >> we have repealed the grading policy. [applause] >> t edited my thesis, four times. it is the place i feel that i learned. whatever i know about writing, i learned here. i have friends that will be my rents until i die. i had extracurricular activities . i spent an enormous amount of time at the daily princetonian. i thought this was the greatest place. i feel very warmly about it. and warmly about what it did for me.
>> did it occur it when you were here that you may want to be a supreme court justice? >> not even one thought? that that would be a cool thing to do? >> i talked with some students earlier, and a woman asked, did you know you wanted to be a lawyer? i had to admit i did not. law did not seem interesting or exciting. my father was a lawyer. now i look at what he did, and i understand why it was so deeply meaningful. he was not a courtroom lawyer. as a kid i didn't get what was interesting or exciting. i went to law school for the wrong reasons. kind of i didn't know what i wanted to do and i wanted to keep my options open. i got there, left it, and was
glad i made that decision. even then, life takes you on different paths. if i come back, at my 20 victory union, last time i was back it was eight years ago. if someone asked what is the next thing? i would've said i'm going to be a university president. this, it is a good example of the way that life works. life is long and takes lots of twists and turns. you can't know what you will end up. >> are you enjoying it? >> it is a good gig. if you had said to me and law school, you have a chance to be a supreme court justice, which
you take it? i would've said yes. >> you did a for two extraordinary george's -- it's ordinary judges. can you say how those experiences shaped the justice you are today? >> they shaped the person i am in the lawyer i have been. it is not like in the last five years. i suddenly started thinking about those two. they had a very long-lasting impact. judge -- who is getting the national medal of freedom next week. that will be wonderful. he had an interesting career, ending up serving in all three branches of government. he was a judge a congressman from illinois before becoming a judge, then when he left the bench he went into the clinton
white house. which is how i got into the clinton white house. he called and said come work for me again. on a lot of my life since has been shaped by that experience. he knew all kinds of things about how law and government worked. he was also the world's most decent human being. i learned a lot about that too. justice marshall, that was an extraordinary experience. 27 years old in new york. it is a heady experience generally. you have clerked on the supreme court. it is a heavy experience. you are young, and then you're in this institution where the cases you have been reading about our being decided. it is a trip. in addition, you are in thurgood marshall's office, an icon of
american law, the person who i think is the greatest 20th-century lawyer. and, he was a storyteller. he was nearing the end of his life. he turned 80 the year i clerked for him. it was an old 80. looking back on his life, and however much of a storyteller he had been, he became more so. he is to walk into his chambers, and reese to talk about the cases and do our work. then at a certain point he would segue into stories about his extraordinary career lawyering at the trial appellate criminal cases, constitutional cases, and being at the forefront of everything that was important in a very significant
time span. eradicating jim crow. he was sunny, that he told the stories have a point. we got that. if he wanted to spend the year, at a relatively young age talking to someone who can tell you something about justice, that was the man to do it with. i will be very grateful, all my life, for that experience. >> let me fast forward from your time as a law clerk to your arrival back at the supreme court as a brand-new justice. where you welcomed, hazed? looking at things new or familiar? >> a little bit of both. i will tell you how they hazed me. there is a particular role for the junior justice. the junior justice is the junior
justice and referred to as the junior justice. you have a couple of different jobs. first, they put you on the cafeteria committee. it is not a very good cafeteria. it is the opportunity they have to haze you all the time. this food is a very good. >> that counts. >> the second thing is when we go into conference, it is just the 9 of us. we don't bring in clerks or assistance. just us. someone has to do two things. first, someone must take notes so you can tell people what happened. i take notes. that is the junior justice's job. the junior justice has to answer the door.
when there is a knock on the door. if there's a knock on the door, and i do not hear it, there will not be as single other person who will move. they will just stare at me until i figure out, i guess someone knocked on the door. these two jobs, notetaking and door opening, they can get in the wave each other. -- the way of each other. >> even one sounds like a lot. >> you might say, why do people knock on the door? knock, knock. i won't name names. justice x forgot his glasses. justice y forgot his coffee. so i am popping up and down.
what was funny, with all that said, the warmth with which i was greeted by all my colleagues was very striking. this was my first indication of that. my confirmation vote happened the middle of the afternoon. in the united states in july. i say that because the chief justice was in australia at the time. whatever it was here, it was 3:00 in the morning there. the moment that vote occurred, and i watched it in the attorney general's office with my colleagues there. one of the assistants came into the room, and said the chief justice is on the line for you. he said, i just wanted to be the
first to welcome you aboard, to congratulate you. he said, i guess we're going to be spending the next 25 years together. which is a little scary, really. i said, really, only 25? he, and everyone else has been very warm and welcoming. from the start. in a way that is to a great credit to the institution. it is a great institution. one of the things what i got back it was striking how little it had changed. i had served their 25 years earlier. it was remarkably the same institution. using the same processes and procedures. almost sometimes a little laughably.
in 25 years there has been a communications revolution. it seems to have passed the supreme court by. but also in great ways. the institution operates officially and collegiately. my first day on the job, the chief justice met me and took me around to the different offices in the court. the clerk's office, the library the publications unit, and the staff that makes the place run. every place i went into, someone said, i rumor you from and you were clerked -- when you were a clerked. -- when you were a clerk. i was a little nervous about that. what was i like, then? it didn't seem very surprising, in the way it all operated. it was very warm and welcoming.
>> let me ask you about how you interact with the justices. with your colleagues outside of conference. when you don't have to take notes or open the door. a little about that communications revolution. you have a legal issue or a concern about a particular opinion that has been circulated how do you talk to your fellow justices? are you putting your feet up in stephen breyer's office, like you would with colleagues at the harvard law school? are you writing e-mails? >> you often write rather than talk. that makes sense. especially if you are commenting or criticizing a printed piece of work or opinion. it often takes a writing to
explain exactly and precisely what you mean, and why you think something needs to be fixed, and how it should be fixed. the precision you can get in a written memo is much higher than if you walked in put your feet up, and said here's what i'm thinking about. a lot of the communication, most of what has come out is in writing. people will say, i really hope to join you but there is this aspect of the opinion that i don't agree with. here's a way that would make people comfortable. we literally send these memos someone from each staff has a chamber's aide whose job is to walk them around the building. >> they are still being walked around the building? >> e-mail has not hit the united
states supreme court. that is ok. >> i find that a little astonishing. at this point we have a set of lawyers, all interacting with colleagues, by e-mail. >> part is an attachment to tradition, and another part is that it encourages -- there has been e-mail so that i have sent where i've hit the send button and have thought, what did i just do? >> i try not to, but sometimes i do. >> there is deliberation writing a memo. in the worst-case scenario, you have a little opportunity, as someone walks out the door, to say weight stop. -- to say wait, stop. that is part of the way we
communicate. different ones of us talk more. i am a schmoozer. i like to talk. i think i would be lonely if i didn't. i wander around. i talk to people. sometimes it is about opinions, sometimes it is about life. i go into -- did you save steve breyer? steve breyer and i are on one side of the court. the card that may be worn between our offices. we go back and forth and talk about things that strike us. >> that is reassuring in a way. i would ask questions about how you decide cases. i thought before doing that, and particularly since in 30 minutes we'll have time for people from the audience to ask questions that it may be good to begin what sorts of topics you think are fair game in conversation
like this one. or questions that different colleagues have had different positions about. david scooter was unwilling to do any of these appearances. harry blackmun was famous for telling stories about his school. what is your view of boundaries? >> we speak best when we speak through our opinions. i intend -- i tend -- certainly i will not talk about any pending cases. i tend to think we put our opinions out there. the whole idea on how we operate is we give reasons as we make a decision. and those reasons are the the
statement we can come up with about why to do a thing, and are unlikely to be improved upon as you do the lecture circuit. it doesn't mean i won't talk about past opinions that i've been a part of but i tend to like talking about the institution and how it operates more, as opposed to particular issues or opinions. >> let me start with a question that may have been asked in 85 of those 90 interviews that you had. and the confirmation process. how would you characterize your judicial philosophy? >> first i don't think of myself as a grand philosopher. i think of myself as having views on how laws done best. about constitutional interpretation. about statutory interpretation. you bring those who used to the table when you engage with the
case with a particular set of issues and facts. it is a very back and forth kind of thing. it is not, here is my philosophy, and i apply it to everything that comes before it. it is not as top down as that would suggest. even saying that, it depends on what kind of philosophy. i may have one thing to tell you about a statute. you are interpreting the constitution, or a different set of things about how you interpret the constitution. what do you want to hear about? >> the constitution and the equal protection clause and the due process clause. and you get these grand abstract classes, how do you approach them? >> this is hard. when i think about a statute the first thing, and the most
important is clear. when you go to the constitution and think about those kinds of clauses and those kinds of clauses speak in abstract even vague terms, not all the constitution does this. if the constitution says you can't be president unless you are 35, you know what that means. but when the constitution says you are entitled to due process of law and equal protection of law, trying to give that content meaning, it can't be done by just staring at the words. how do you it? one possibility is you try to figure out what the drafters thought that it meant and what it would have meant living in that time and for the constitution it is 1789 and you come up with a list of
practices, here's what they thought that this prohibited and here's what they thought did not prohibit. i think that's not a good way of going about the enterprise. and one way you know that, it leads to results that are simply untenable. what do the framers think that equal protection meant or not meant to desegregate schools or masogony laws. -- it did not mean misogyny laws were invalid. we know those things. and any things that get you to results that get untenable can't be a good method. but one of the reasons why some people are attracted to that and this is really important, is that did they think it provides a way of discipline for judges. they say i think this and it's
my personal values and personal preferences. there have to be ways of confining the inquiry and it's not going to be that, it will be something else. what are those things? you start with the original meaning. there is in some sense we are all organizationalists. it is important to what the history over time has been. it's not the history over a particular moment but the history of our republic in a certain sense. we had not these clauses but an interesting case involving the president's recess appointment power.
and justice breyer's opinion was how much does it look at the broad sweep, and how this clause has worked in our country for two-plus centuries. that's important. and i, myself, am a big precedent person. some people call it a common-law constitutionist. but i think hard about the way the law of interpreting the due process clause or equal protection clause has developed over time in case after case after case after case and try to think about the principles that have emerged in all of those cases. and that is not departing from
precedent where it's set, but partly trying to understand what has underlay all of that precedent and how the principles that have emerged over many, many decades thinking about these provisions, apply in a particular case. >> another phrase that gets thrown around when people talk about judicial philosophy and that is judicial restraint. do you consider yourself an advocate for judicial restraint and what does that concept mean to you? >> yes, sometimes, but no, other times. this is one of the hardest things about being a judge, you have to know what judges should not be getting into. you have to say, i have my job and it's not this, it's not a legislative job, not an executive job and to let those institutions do what they are supposed to do and what they do a whole lot better, you have to
let them operate in their spheres, where they have confidence and legitimacy. a very significant part of any judge's role, especially at the highest court, is to decide when a particular act, a legislative act or executive act goes too far, goes beyond the boundaries where the law has been set where in the law or the constitution and you can't abdicate that rule. it is an important part of why you are up there. when a legislature dose something that violates the best understanding, as it's emerged over many decades of say, the equal protection clause, you have to say, sorry, you went too far, and that's part of my job
and that will involve invalidating a piece of legislation. but it's appropriate for me to do so. >> let me ask you a more specific question about how it is you that consider that justices can consider the relationship between the court and the political branches. suggestions have been made that supreme court justices ought to think about the political reaction or the backlash that a particular decision might generate and arguments that justice ginsburg published, the supreme court moved too fast when it decided roe versus wade or the court's use of the all deliberate speed formula in brown versus education. there was an article published by david cole urging the court in gay marriage cases not to move too fast. is that something that justice may think about and should in these cases? >> i don't want to talk about it
in any particular issue, but i will say this. it's super rare that the justice -- the justices do or that they should. you have to apply the law as best you can. and probably in most cases these issues don't come up at all or if they come up, it's not worth thinking about. if you said to me, is it ever worth thinking about some of these things, i don't think i would say no to that. it seems to me at least some part of being a judge -- you say what makes a great judge, there is something about sort of wisdom and wisdom might say something about the kinds of issues that you are talking about. but i don't want to -- i think
for the most part, when we think about the sort of questions you are talking about, aren't fettered any way, and you have to have a lot of humility about your ability to know about any of these kinds of predictions, this is the way it will turn out, that's the way it will turn out. and you know, we have one job to do, which is to apply the law as best we can. that job is really hard. there is going to be differences of what it means in a given case. but it's differences in the realm of legal interpretation. and i think -- i think we should be wary of going beyond that.
>> a lot of people today when they look at the court, see a court that seems more polarized among liberal-conservative fault lines than in the times we clerked, do you agree with that judgment about the court and if so, should we be concerned about it? >> so, i think people overstate it. and one think to think about this, how much we agree on, we actually agree an incredible amount of the time. hard to get nine people to get agree on anything. last year, all nine of us agreed 60% of the time, which is quite something, because we only decide the hardest cases. almost all of our cases are ones that have produced splits in the lower courts and notwithstanding that, all nine of us unanimously decided on the right answer. and add to that, you have a lot of a-1's and 7-2's.
but not divided along the stereotypical lines. but all of that said, it is absolutely true that in some number of cases every year and we do about 80 cases a year and let's call it about 10 cases and often these are the 10 cases that are the most profile and no getting around that, that we are going to split on pretty predictable lines. four of us who think one thing and four of us who think the other thing and we wait and see what justice kennedy does. [laughter] >> it's unfortunate now. there has been that kind of split for a long time that
people have not been able to say has anything to do with republicans and democrats, bus folks like your boss, the person you clerked for, justice stephens was appointed by a republican president. now people can talk about it as though it has something to do with democrats and republicans. i don't think there is a single one of us that experiences law in that way and experiences what we are doing. it doesn't have to deal with politics in the way you would find across the street and in congress. but it has to do with the kind of issues we were talking about more, judicial methodology and
how you read some of these very abstract provisions in the constitution. and there is no getting around the fact that we are split in that way in some of those cases. they tend for that reason not to be the cases that i most enjoy. but i love it when he were -- when we are really all in there trying to persuade each other and you know that persuasion is possible, and that you know that that kind of stereotypical split is not going to happen. that's like the most fun part of the job. >> a lot of people would think the marquee cases are the most fun part of the job. >> my first conference, and walked in and there were two cases on the agenda and one was a high-profile case, won you
knew was going to be on the front page of the "new york times" once we decided it and the other was a dinky procedural case. some are important, this one was dinky. [laughter] >> and the high-profile case and it was a 5-4. the way we operate is we -- it starts with the chief justice and he goes first and reminds us all what the case is about and gives us his views and he says i vote to reverse or affirm and goes around in seniority order. there is a rule that says that nobody can speak twice before anybody speaks once, which is a very good rule, but -- and then after that, we can, if we want all break out in conversation together and it's not stylized and just kind of all talking
together. this high-profile case came in and everyone wept around the table and said his or her bees -- his or her peace and got to me and i said my peace and the chief justice who runs these things incredibly well said, ok, i support this and he went onto the next case. and the next case, we did the same thing, went around the table. everybody had like somewhat different views and it wasn't clear where we were agreeing or disagreeing. but at any rate, the first case took us no more than 10 minutes, the next case took us 40 and i walked out and i thought, if they were a fly on the wall, they would say what is going on with these people, 10 minutes on this and 40 minutes on that. but as i now have been there, it makes all the sense in the world, that there are the
occasional cases where you kind of know that there is not going to be a lot of persuading done in the room. everybody walks in and has a certain view, experienced people, they have seen the problem more of before and you say what you think, but if you keep say on what you think, it's going to annoy and it's important that we don't annoy each other. but when there's real persuasion that can be done, everybody really pitches in and tries to do it. as i said before, that's the most fun part to me. >> let me ask you one question and prepare the audience, we will be going out to you for questions. so here's the last one, a week ago, paul krug map wrote a "new
-- paul krugman wrote a "new york times" piece accusing the court of being corrupt because of its willingness to take cases that attack affordable care act. hygiene not want to ask you but the cases, obviously but i do want to ask you about how americans should respond to that accusation. any reason to worry about corruption at the supreme court? >> no. [laughter] >> there is not a day in my job that i have ever thought that anybody was not doing everything that they do in utter, complete good faith. and you can disagree with people and you will disagree with people. but everybody is trying to get it right. and everybody is incomplete good -- and everybody is in complete
good faith and that is ridiculous language, honestly. when i was solicitor general, i would argue with the court every sit-in, but i would go and watch the court whenever the people in my office argued. i just sort of watched about 70% of the cases. and i used to think, man, this is how an institution of government should operate. and people saw it. day in and day out. all these people, who are coming to the bench, ultraprepared, really having thought through things, really understanding the issues and the arguments. and asking really penetrating, excellent questions and just trying to -- trying to persuade each other as we sit on the bench, but also trying to get it right. it's an institution of
government that really works. and i could not disagree more. >> i'm very glad to hear you say that. i have studied this institution for most of my life and i have often disagreed with it and with particular justices on it, but i believed all cases are deciding on good faith. justice kagan has been great. and i want to remind folks that what should be coming from the floor are questions, questions and with a question mark sometimes the raising of a voice are typically shorter than the answers that you expect to hear from justice kagan. with that sort of reminder or warning, i don't know if we have someone at the top. i will say one of the things
about this stage, there are bright lights. back row, all the way at the top. introduce yourselves. >> i'm a freshman. my question is, should, in your opinion, foreign or international decisions have bearing on any kind of rulings on the supreme court? should you cite these international decisions? >> this is the kind of -- this issue is a lot more heat than light. there are a lot of people who feel strongly about this and i don't understand why. sometimes everybody agrees that we should look to international law, foreign law, in deciding particular case. if you deciding case about a treaty, it's important to look to international law and to look to foreign law about how that treaty operates. i take it nobody would disagree with that. and what some instead think is
that one should never look to foreign law with respect to peculiarly domestic issues. and you know, on the one hand, i kind of think -- the way i see some of my colleagues do that, i don't quite -- i think it's kind of mischaracterized that nobody in our court would use those decisions as binding or that they are precedent or anything like that. but they are more using those decisions in a way you might cite a law review article, like, here's what somebody thinks and now i'm going to tell you whether i agree with that or not. so i think on the one hand that people get a little bit spun up about this more than they
should. but i will say on the other side, this, is that, you know, i don't think i have actually cited one. and there are times when i had the opportunity to do so when, you know, maybe some other person who was writing the decision might have. and i think the reason for me is, i think we have -- we are trying to interpret our own constitution and our own laws. and we have a very rich constitutional tradition and also in some ways a distinct constitutional tradition. if you can't find grounding for what you do in our own laws, you shouldn't be doing it. and the foreign sources come in,
just to gild the lily, if you will. and i guess my choice has been not to use them that way, not to use them at all, but to use my best judgment about what our constitutional tradition and what our constitutional cases indicate. and unlike lots of countries -- there are new countries that look to older countries' laws, but we have a pretty long tradition. for me, that's kind of enough. and i tend not to, and i'm pretty sure will continue not to except for when there is an obvious reason because of the
law or case involved some question of international or foreign law. >> let me say, there is a hand in the middle here of this section, can we get a microphone there? >> it blinds you. >> introduce yourself please. >> my name is katherine. and actually, i'm a huge fan of notorious r.b.g. if anybody heard the phrase before is ruth bader ginsburg. >> i'm a huge fan of her, too. >> i was watching an interview the other day where she was commenting on the hobby lobby ruling and she said that she thinks that historically, the supreme court has had a blind spot when it comes to women. and i would like to know what
your reaction of is to the gender politics and do you think it is stabilizing, progressing what are your thoughts? >> you are putting me in a tough position there. i had to choose between one colleague and some other colleagues. i don't think i quite want to do that. and i'm trying -- you know, it's a good question when i need to figure out what i'm going to say. look, i think -- you know, that's a case in which there are -- i mean, it's actually a perfect example of the way even when the divide in this kind of 5-4ish way that we did in that case that it is important to understand that there are strong arguments on both sides of the issue.
so, i, myself, do not think, are you with women or not with women kind of case. the question of how far religious liberty extends, there, it was under a statute rather than under the constitution, the question is under the statute and when people should be able to opt out of general commitments, is one of the most difficult areas of constitutional law and one where people spoke pation naturally on -- feel passionately on both
sides and have a right to talk passionately on both sides. i don't say blind spot or not blind spot. i look at a case like that and say, this is what makes constitutional law so hard, is there are clash in values and principles at work. and in that case is a perfect example of it. >> why don't we go down here to avoid blind spots in our own eyes. >> talking about blind spots -- [laughter] >> i'm a sophomore. you are often in the dissent on a lot of critical opinions. do you have the frustration of not getting your way and the majority, is that outweighed of sense of history of writing the dissent and ruled into the majority like plessy versus ferguson? professor robert george said who got an a in constitutional law is sitting on the supreme court.
i am curious if that is true. >> i can guarantee you it's not true. [cheers and applause] >> but your question, is it hard to lose, is that what your question is? of course it's hard to lose. i just told you i'm a competitive person. i like going out shooting things. i was recently -- there was a big convention, a convention of all the a.m. at judges and someone asked me what is your thing about your time on the court and what is the worst thing? and i thought what is the worst thing, coming back from conference and not being in the majority on an issue that you think is important and you have strong views about. and the days i come back from
conference in that position, you know, sometimes i could punch a hole through the wall. so, is it mitigated? is it sort of mitigated by your opportunity to raise a fierce dissent, not really. [laughter] >> but i enjoy writing dissents, except for the fact that they are in dissent, which is annoying. i like writing them for different reasons. different kind of dissents and the ones in the important cases where you do feel in the way that you said, i'm writing for the future, that i hope that this issue will remain on our legal agenda, so that some years down the road, people will come back to it, and if not, overrule
this case, you know, go in a different direction with respect to with respect to constitutional position it. when you are writing a dissent like that, you know, you do feel -- a little bit of a sense of responsibility. i want to make the best case i can. so our audience in the current state understands what's wrong with this opinion and also to some future audience understands what is wrong that opinion and maybe that will include five members of the supreme court. and, you know, and i do think about those things, how do i convey to people, what's so wrong about what my colleagues have done, how do i convey in a way that suggests what the options are for the future.
>> look up top, we have -- couple of them here, but a person who has a grayish-greenish shirt. i'm making things difficult for our runners. >> i'm a law professor at the university of iowa and a member of the institute of the advanced studies. >> you are a ringer. >> you look very young. >> the chief justice has said some things fairly dramatically about the role of scholarship in his decision-making in references to approaches to 18th century bulgaria and so forth and i would like to ask you what you think about the conversation between the legal academy in general and the court? do you read things that academics write about the laws
do they influence your decision-making process? >> i think he is right as to one thing, that there are just many things that law professors write about that aren't particularly relevant to us. that's ok. we aren't the only audience for law professors. law professors should not think of themselves as supreme court clerks. often, law professors are speaking to legislators, to real-life practicing lawyers. law professors are speaking to other communities within a university you want the legal historian to be speaking to the other legal historian. there are a whole range of audiences ear than the supreme
court. and that's not only inevitable and that's how it should be. it would be a much narrower conversation in our law schools if the law professors were commenting on the 80 cases that the court takes every year. now, so -- that's the fact of the matter that for many law professors there is no dialogue, but that's ok with me and it should be ok with them i guess. there are people who do really engage with what we do. and i often find things that are coming from the law professor world, whether an article or you see people blogging about these kinds of things and not writing full length articles but going on a whole number of sites and talking about the kind of cases we get in the issues we see. i sometimes think that what is
written there is very useful and very interesting leads me to think about things i have not thought about. i suggest some other things are at issue in a way that i think is valuable. i think it's a pretty happy story actually that law professors are not just focusing on us to the next and that they focus on us. i think they are contributing to the dialogue. >> down here, if there is a question in the front row behind the camera? >> hi, i am kennedy and i am a freshman. my question is two parts. what was the toughest decision
you have been a part of? which decisions are you most proud of? >> i will tell you the toughest one, it was earlier in the day and it was a case about violent video games. i will preface by saying i am usually pretty good at decision-making. i work hard and i read a lot and i think through things i hold and i talked to my clerks and other justices. it is not as though i may snap decisions, but i am not usually an agonizer. i get on the information i think i need and make a decision. i do not a lot of hamlets. [laughter] but this one case i did, i was all over the map on. everyday i looked up and thought, i would do a different angle or i was in the wrong place.
it was a case about whether kids could buy violent video games without their parents permission. which everybody thinks, that's easy because kids can not go to violent movies. the movie system is a private system and not a government system. california had passed a law that says kids can buy violent video games. it do not defined violence all that well which was a problem. even if he had, there might be other problems, first amendment problems. i have to say, everything -- it should be that you should not be able, if a parent doesn't want her kids to buy violent video games, it should be the parent -- efficiently that this law is ok. i cannot figure how to make the
first amendment to make this ok. the distinction, that's usually a higher subject to stricter scrutiny within a very good evidence not of the kind no one would normally need that the viewing or playing a violent video games was harmful. and so i cannot make it work under the first amendment doctrine that we have and have had for a long time. i kept going back and forth and we ended up being sort of 5-4 on that important issue. i was in the five that said that the law should be invalidated. that is the one case where i think i'm just do not know. i just don't know if it's right. what did you say? proudest of? i don't -- i'm not -- like which of your children do you like
best? you are proud of. i am not going to give a talk one. >> right in the very front here. >> i'm a freshman. after here to talk about the respectful of different opinions that you guys take pride in on the court, i was wondering how you think you can apply it to the political sphere of spreading respectful disagreement? >> i would not presume to say. [laughter] i am like into this little institution it may be it is better because it is a small
institution, very personal institution, only nine of us and we know each other super well. and -- i -- i -- you wish that all of government -- what i really experience this institution today and there are great friendships and that there is an enormous amount of respect even in the face of disagreement. you wish that were so in all parts of our government and honestly, you got me at how to make it happen. >> let me look up, my eyes have recovered enough from the light. a head right back there under the bright light again. there we go. >> i didn't even see these. >> my name is isaac.
i am wondering how the court thinks about presidents -- precedents. >> i do not know what policies the ability so i will save my answer for precedent. we taken really seriously. precedent, predictability is an important value of the law. people should be able to rely on the law should not feel as if he keeps changing depending all gets to the particular court is a moment in time. part of the way to prevent the court's politicization. and finally, it is part of what i view as a kind of judicial humility which is important that even if you think something at one moment in time, the facts that others that have gone before you thought something
different should be a constraint on your. -- on you. you may not be right they might have been right. and so i think, it's important for that reason, too. it cannot be the only question that you asked when it comes to reverse a decision was not a good decision or a bad decision? if that was the case, then the doctrine of precedence would have no real force. it has to overrule precedent and there has to be something more than that it is wrong. next to the a variety of things. if you believe that the doctrine all around the president has
-- the president is out of whack with the rest of the legal universe. it could mean that the world has changed in some fundamental way that makes this precedent work differently than anybody ever thought it would. it could be because the precedent is unworkable in the sense of administering that you lay out a rule and expect judges to follow. and it turns out it is a very hard line that you have strong the judges -- drawn and judges are all over the place. it can be any of those things or more. there has to be some really good reason beyond the fact that i think they got it wrong that would lead you to overturn something. i am sure there are times in the years i served as a judge where i will vote to overturn a decision, but i hope it happens pretty rarely.
>> yes? >> hi. i'm a freshman here. you spoke about one justice has -- ivy league institution. when loretta lynch was nominated for attorney general, i began to wonder where she graduated from. i looked it up and she has not one but two degrees from harvard. what did you think this says about the accessibility of education institutions of graduate students who attend elite colleges? is it fair to students who do not graduate from these elite schools that this type of essex
-- this type of accessibility is not available to them? thank you. >> i am a little bit of partisan of harvard law school. [laughter] when loretta lynch was nominated, i thought, ok another one. [laughter] but, that said, you raise a serious question. is there are asked -- there are aspects that everybody focuses on with all of our institutions, people always think about racial and economic diversity in people always think about gender diversity and sometimes people talk in the court of our religious diversity as well. but there is this a way in which the court is an incredibly un-diverse courts. one way has to do with where we
all went to law school which is even more than you say. 1/5 of us went to harvard and five of those graduated from harvard in one graduated from columbia. and three -- privileged everybody is a harvard/yale person. and just as real is extremely coastal court. if you count up the number of hours, the number of life years we have all spent on the -- it is superhigh. [laughter] a couple of people from california, justice kennedy is from california and justice breyer grew up there. and then a lot for easterners, a lot of new yorkers specifically.
as though this institution is seeking -- speaking to us? i think that is important. i do not think any of these metrics of diversity have all that much to deal with how we decide cases. -- and this is one way that this court clearly does not. you hope for it to be different. i have got to tell you a story. i will tell you a funny story. i hope senator reed was not mind my telling you this. when i got nominated, you go through and they are ordered in this rank kind of way. that meant the first person i spoke to was senator reed, the majority leader of the senate.
i walked into his office and he said to me, "delighted to meet you." i told the president "i need two things in a supreme court justice. you are one of them." [laughter] i said, all, hope that isn't all that important. i said what are the two things. the first when he said we have to have somebody was never in a court of appeals judge. i was not a court of appeals judge. check. he said, i told the president we cannot have any more harvard or yale people. i definitely do not make that one. [laughter] >> you didn't say i am a princeton person? right into the center. -- that would be the wrong answer. right into the center here. >> last one. make it a good.
>> my name is alex. i am a master student at the woodrow wilson school. i want to go back to the issue of health care for a minute and just ask you about the process around it. there were so many different opinions, different source of -- different sorts of coalitions and justices joining, can you talk about the roles that justices -- sort of a wheeler and dealer within the court of informing these coalitions and how it works? >> i will not talk about that is. but often, things and do not break down neatly. sometimes, as i said a lot of the times, we all agree. but when we do not agree sometimes it breaks down easily and sometimes it don't.
sometimes it breaks down particular issues. sometimes we fracture so there is no -- we try very hard not to have that happen because when that happens, we do not spend good a coherent signals to lower courts about what they should be doing. there is a lot of trying to prevent that sort of fracturing. if the chief justice is exceptionally good at this, trying to figure out when we are not altogether and trying to figure out how to get five people to say something so we can actually speak coherently in a case and the judges dependent on our guidance. but, that's sometimes hard. offered in these cases have a lot issues into them. often people things different things -- think different things about different issues. trying to figure that out does take work. it is work that we engage in in conference and out of conference as well.
sort of trying to guess to at least a majority. >> i speak for everyone here is that we have high expectations for this event if you waited better than we expected and we hope you return frequently and we welcome you back with open arms. >> it feels absolutely wonderful to be here. >> great to have you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the new congress will start
the new year with 247 republicans, the largest gop majorities since 1938. there will be 188 democrats. the senate, with republicans now in the majority, will have 54 republicans, 44 democrats and two independence, bernie sanders and angus king, who are expected to caucus with the democrats. the house will have 81 veterans and the senate will have 21. of those, 23 house veterans served in the most recent wars in iraq and afghanistan, well three senators served in the same conflict. dan sullivan, tom cotton and joni ernst. house speaker john boehner issued a statement today on congressman michael grimm's
decision to resign from the house, saying representative graham made the honorable decision to step down from his seat in congress. i know that it was made with the best interests of his constituents in the constitution in mind and i appreciate his years of service in the house. supreme court justice samuel alito and former florida governor jeb bush discussed the bill of rights of the national constitution center in october. the center originally put an original copy of the bill of rights on display, along with copies of the constitution and the declaration of independence. the conference began with marks from the president, jeffrey rosen. [applause] >> i am so glad to welcome you tonight. justice alito, governor bush, and governor and mrs. corbett, tony marx, david rubenstein, honored guests.
ladies and gentlemen i am jeffrey rosen. i am the president of this wonderful institution the national constitution center. and those of you who have been here before no the national constitution center is the only institution in america chartered by congress to distribute information about the constitution on a nonpartisan basis and it is hard to imagine a more exciting milestone than the one we celebrate today. 225 years ago in october of 1789, george washington sent to the state 13 copies of the bill of rights. 12 of those copies of the bill of rights survive. one is returning to the adelphia . it will be displayed in the george h w bush gallery, which
we will exhibit and it will open to the public later this year. this display of the bill of rights is made possible thanks to an extraordinary agreement between the commonwealth of pennsylvania and the new york public library and governor corbett and tony marx, the president of the new york public library, are here tonight. the exhibit, which you will see after the show is thrilling. it includes a stone tablet given to us by david roman stein as well as a first printing of the constitution. and it tells the story of how the promises implicit in the constitution were finally codified in the bill of rights. there is an exciting interactive exhibit that will allow visitors across the gallery and online
across the world to click on the bill of rights to see antecedents and follow the spread of that liberty around the world. the new gallery will be a focal point for three years of debate and education about the meaning of the bill of rights at the national constitution center online, and around the country. and i'm excited to announce that the foundation has awarded a generous three-year grant to debate the education surrounding our founding documents. we are so grateful for their generosity and patriotism. [applause] i am also thrilled to announce that in partnership with the college the national constitution center will create the best nonpartisan interactive constitution on the web. we will commission materials written by the leading
conservative and liberal constitutional scholars in the country. it will be supervised by a board cochaired by the founders of the federalist society in the american constitution society btw think conservative and liberal groups. we will ask them to debate the issues in our town halls and our we the people podcasts that are building any wonderful national audience across america. the museum of the people. america's town hall and the center for civic education, the national constitution center is the one place in america where citizens and students can hear all sides of the constitutional debates from the center of american life. so, this is an exciting moment and it is a time to start celebrating. it is also a time for familial celebration. we are especially thankful to
our friends and donors who have made the george h w bush gallery possible. they are in the gallery. they include william j and kill it -- hillary rodham clinton. their friendship is a model for the bipartisanship the national constitution center exemplifies. it is now my principal pleasure and privilege to introduce the chair -- governor jeb bush told me that his father considered his service to the national constitution center to be his most meaningful post presidency service. governor bush succeeded him as chair and his passion and commitment to educating children of all ages about the founding documents has helped to cement our exciting collaboration with the college board, and we started really a thrilling
restitution debate series and he is a model for non-partisan and patriotism. i am honored to stand with governor bush to honor his father tonight. when it came time to name the new gallery, his many admirers decided immediately that it should be named in his honor due to his patriotic devotion to the national constitution center and the united states of america. we are so grateful to governor bush were taking up his father's example and for his engagement with the national constitution center. we are delighted that tonight he is joined by his son jeb jr. please join me in welcoming to the national constitution center governor jeb bush. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all very much. thank you. if you can't get fired up about
the declaration of independence and the bill of rights after listening to geoff's speech, you need to go back and get fired up. because the enthusiasm for what jeff brings to this job is just extraordinary. hopefully we will get a few more visitors to come because of this historic arrangement with the new york public right -- new york public library and the state of pennsylvania. tell your friends and neighbors to come, because it is important for cash flow purposes that we have people to come visit. learning about our heritage and our past is something that i think we lacked in our country to be honest with you. jeff leaves that we need to reengage with our heritage in a way that makes it vital and
alive into the 14 so that people believe that we have a set of shared values. i can tell you the issues that seem so intractable today, it values that we talk about enough. going back to our history, understanding what it was, the genius of the founders, and what they created here, and how we apply it to everyday life matters. learning about our past through the constitution is another important element of what the national constitution center does, and the debate that jeff is a master of, bringing people of disparate views to be able to debate their points here and across the country is another element of what we do. i am honored to be the chairman of the national constitution center. i have to tell you, we are honoring my dad today.
i will tell you he is near-perfect in my view. i am not objective about this. i think he's the greatest man i've ever met. [laughter] my dad called me and said, president clinton, it is time for him to leave as the chairman of the national constitution center. i'm not telling you to do this but you should consider doing it. here i am. [laughter] all it took was a hint to suggest that i do this. of course i did. he was wise. this has been an extraordinary experience for me. i want to thank the board of trustees and donors them in a possible for this exhibit to be funded. it is an honor for the bush family. justice alito is a joy to be with you. take you for being here. out of a very hectic time to come celebrate this, it is special for us. tony marx, thanks for coming.
thank you for sharing the document. we won't say whether it is a new york bill of rights or a pennsylvania bill of rights. i will not get into that mess, but i just did. [laughter] david, thank you for all you do. david rubenstein has been incredibly successful in his life. i'm not sure everybody understands the full commitment to his generosity, not just with money but he is writing the editor of the exhibit here. thank you for your commitment to our history and heritage. a lot of people talk about this stuff. david has put words into action and made a huge difference. [applause] i am truly honored to be here to represent the bush family in this honor. my dad is 90 years old. he can't walk anymore.
but he can fly and jump out of airplanes. what he did on his birthday. he has a joy for life. still to this day. and he loves this country with all his heart and soul. this honor would be a big deal if he was here, he would get emotional. i want to lessen my speech. there is some dna problem amongst bushes, when we talk about personal things, we cry like babies. [laughter] i know for a fact that my dad would be extraordinarily honored. he is honored, so is my mom, that this designation has been given to him. all bushes across the land, the next order i'm giving them is to come in to see it. thank you all very much. [applause] [applause]
>> thank you so much. beautiful words. it is now my pleasure to introduce governor tom corbett the 46 governor of the commonwealth of pennsylvania. as governor and attorney general of the keystone state, he helped negotiate the historic agreement that allows the new york public library and the commonwealth of pennsylvania to take turns displaying the bill of rights over the next hundred years. the governor is joined by the first lady, susan corbett. you spoke eloquently last week at our award of liberty medal. for preserving our founding documents, your passion is appreciated. please join me in welcoming governor corbett. [applause]
>> thank you so much for inviting us here today. having a little opportunity to get together on what is an event that i have been looking forward to for, how many years? five years? i think it should be noted steve came to me five years ago when i was attorney general and said how would you like to get the bill of rights to pennsylvania? i'm game. from that point forward steve did a great job of really representing the commonwealth of pennsylvania in the discussion. i'm so glad that we were able to reach an accommodation that we share it. we share it not just with pennsylvania, not just with people from new york. but with all the visitors that
come to philadelphia and new york from around the world. why do they come? they come to see what is really the embodiment of what this country is about. and that is freedom. freedom is not a new idea. if you think about it, freedom is new in the grander scale of the time that we have had this world. even though it is 225 years after it was written into law, the concept that was rather new at the time, is still new in many areas of the world. it's a concept of our natural inheritance. the bill of rights has survived two centuries. it has been the touchstone of our citizenship and the genius of our founding fathers, and the undeniable truth that we are born free. this acknowledgment stands as a shining contrast to other parts of the world.
we see it today. extremist do prowl the globe. professing that there view of nature endorses tyranny. hours does not. -- ours does not. they silence dissenters. we do not. they deny education and personal freedom to women. we do not. they hate the concert that individuals know what is best for them. that is why after crafting our constitution that explains the structure and the function of our government, the constitutional convention crafted ended up with 10 amendments to make sure the same government that protects social order would not suppress personal freedom. the framers of the bill of rights didn't invent the rights , rather they recognized the essential freedoms of speech the press, religion, personal property, human dignity already
existed, that we continue existing in the core elements of human society. the genius of madison and mason and their colleagues was to understand every person is born with those rights, the rights record in those first 10 amendments are every child's inheritance to exercise, and every governments obligation to honor. these are god-given rights. we are born with essential freedoms no government can take away without becoming illegitimate. governments are seized by men who respect only their own power, and honor only their own beliefs. silence the voices that question them, grabbing industries for their enrichment, are illegitimate. that has not happened in the united states. even people who would use freedoms to destroy society have not succeeded in erasing the
understanding of the heart of every man, woman, child. that freedom is the natural order of things. the bill of rights is our framers discovery of this truth. a truth written in language as impactful today as the day our forefathers created the document we are enshrining here today. it is my pleasure on behalf of the commonwealth of pennsylvania to thank you for joining us, to have the public library of new york joining with us, sharing our freedoms that written down in a document that is 225 years old. people from around the world are going to come and see, that will immigrate to this country and become citizens of this country because they believe in this constitution, and those 10 amendments. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you governor, for that superb encapsulation of the natural rights philosophy of the founding. we are grateful for your engagement with the constitution center in your negotiations with our friends at the public library. it is now my special pleasure to introduce tony marx, the president and ceo of the new york public library, working with the commonwealth of pennsylvania and the national constitution center, helping shepherd the agreement that brought us here today. tony believes the new york public library is an educational constitution. to spread the constitution education. we are here to celebrate the new york public library public
spirit, coming to this agreement because of our joint interest in displaying the bill of rights to the public. when the constituting liberty exhibit opens later this year, citizens and pennsylvania, new york and around the country can be inspired by the document and learn about the ideals it embodies. please join me in welcoming tony marx. [applause] >> thank you. it is good to be here in this fabulous city in the commonwealth, to be in this fabulous facility, and partnering with you all. i understand president clinton , when he was chairing the board
of the national constitution center, suggested as the current share governor bush, it's other has to be a way for all citizens to enjoy this document, that we should find a way to make that possible, to share it in that sense of public demonstration. here tonight, we celebrate the bipartisanship and agreement of the public interest of clintons and bushes together. i want to thank our trustees and donors who have made this exhibit possible through their support of the library and the encasement for the bill of rights. i want to thank my team at the new york public library has been working tirelessly around-the-clock through weekends, for months now.
the library has been a great steward of this document for over a century. we continue to be great stewards of this document. we are pleased to can be shared and viewed here in philadelphia as well. we will be putting it on display at the new york public library together with all of our treasures, for anyone to see. we hope every school child in new york will come visit, our not just this, but our copy of jefferson's declaration of independence, these documents are not just artifacts of history, they are movers of history. when i came to the near public
library, i asked about our collections, i was told about this document. i said i'm the president, i want to see it. they took it out. my first reaction is exactly the first reaction every one of you will have, and every citizen in school child and tourist will have, which is spine tingling. to have the sense, that george washington looked at this piece of paper, approved the copy, and said, send it out for ratification, so the people of america could decide on their own rights. there was a second reaction i had when i took a careful look. i have a phd in political science. i looked at the document and i said i don't know, i think you have been had. i'm pretty sure there are only 10 amendments.
this piece of paper has 12. it took seeing the document for me to learn, and i am sure i will not be alone, that we sent 12 out for ratification, and only 10 survived. if you read it carefully, and we have the best preserved copy there is. the ratification process got rid of the two stupid proposals. if not for that process, we would have at a bill of rights that ensured a congress of 6000 members. that would have been good. [laughter] and, in the bill of rights, a guarantee of how much the members of congress would be paid. that surely deserves to be in the first 10 rights. this document teaches. it teaches how democracy works. it teaches at its beginning that
democracy can make the right decisions. collectively, we can separate the two that don't belong from the 10 that we celebrate today. we hope that this display, and the display for this document, and its related documents around the country will continue to aspire generations to learn, to debate, to respect. i am not a governor. i am not a justice. i'm a citizen. i know one thing. if history tells us one thing, in the decades ahead, there will be hard times. there will be crises, there will be fears. they will challenge our beliefs.
if the display of this document in some small way here in philadelphia helps to remind us to hold to those truths, to those principles and rights that will see us through whatever dark days may come, and what we do here today will be well worth while. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much tony. we are thrilled by our collaboration. thrilled to share this joint commitment to constitutional education. it is now my great pleasure to introduce my friend and co-author, david rubenstein. here is the story.
david rubenstein has generously lent us a stone declaration of independence. perhaps he will tell us about the prominence of that store -- historic copy. he came to the national constitution center last fall. i decided to interview him about the relationship between the constitution of the declaration of the bill of rights. i have never that him before, i did not know what to expect. our conversation was so riveting. he has such a gift for explaining the ideas that animate these founding documents to his students of all ages. we decided to transcribe the conversation and to write it up, to use it as the script for the exhibit you will see. this is the real reason i have gathered you. to use it as the introduction to our national constitution center pocket constitution and create a pamphlet we will distribute in the gallery and online on our incredible site that will make this available to students across the land, so they can
read in clear language about how the rights were implicit in the constitution and codified in the bill of rights. i have so enjoyed being your co-author, and i'm so grateful to you for your patriotic philanthropy and your engagement with the national constitution center. please join me in welcoming david rubenstein. [applause] [applause] >> last weekend i have the honor at the smithsonian to interview a man named jim buckle. you may know of him. he was the pilot on apollo 13. you have seen the movie. i asked him, did nasa know 13 is an unlucky number? i went through the apollo 13. you have seen the movie. i asked him about apollo eight.
apollo eight was the first time that any human had ever left the orbit of the earth and had gone into another being's orbit. they orbited the moon. some of you may remember this. at the end of 1968, a difficult year. he and his copilot became the man of the year for time magazine. as they went around the dark side of the moon, they came around and saw an earthrise. no one had ever seen earthrise before. they saw the earth in its beauty, it's blue and white. no human had ever seen the earth in that picture before. from 240,000 miles away. he put his thumb up and realized that the thumb was able to block the entire earth. he realized how small and insignificant the earth really
is. what is the likelihood that life would exist on any one planet, any one solar system, any one galaxy? as i thought about it, i thought it is similar to bringing 57 human beings together, in philadelphia, for four months, and telling them to come up with a new way to govern this country. the odds were about the same. one in a billion. one in a billion there is human life somewhere else. one in a billion you could get people to come up with a new system of governing that is still operating more or less. before the constitution was developed, there had never been anything like it. since then, there has been nothing like it. we are still operating largely through that constitution. i think that constitution, because of its guarantees and
the structure of the government, enabled this country to become what it has become. we own gratitude -- we go gratitude to those 57 individuals. think about this. they were told they had to stay most of the summer. they did. three of them did not sign it. why didn't they? randolph from virginia. mason from virginia. if not for that process, we -- it would -- it was agreed under the perception there would be a bill of rights. james madison set upon a member
of the first house of representatives. he drafted 39 amendments. 12 of them got through both houses. they ultimately went to be approved by the states. they became our system of government. without those bill of rights our constitution would not be what it is. it is a unique set of freedoms and rights. i think all of us are privileged to live in a country that has these rights and these freedoms. i think everybody should think about how unusual it is that in a country like this, all of us who have risen up from modest circumstances could rise up and do what we have done. protected by the freedoms in the bill of rights and the extraordinary system that the constitution belt for our government. the constitution had a fatal flaw. in addition to not having a bill of rights, it did not have an adequate way to address slavery. we stafford -- we severed the consequences and the civil war occurred.
that is the exception aside. it is a terrible exception. the constitution is an incredible living document, one that has given us the country we have. i would like to talk about the declaration of independence, like the constitution, tried to do something the same type thing. they both try to overthrow a government. one peacefully, one by violence. the declaration of independence was drafted by thomas jefferson. he was given 17 days to do it, and he did it in the last three or four days. he waited until the end. he gave it to his committee to edit. it was edited by the demand back on, john adams and a few others. he waited for it to be voted on. on july 2, the second continental congress voted its independence and john adams wrote home to his wife abigail
said, today will be the day that we will and -- remember in american history forever. july the second. that was the day they voted to be independent. they took up the document that thomas jefferson had drafted and mutilated it. he said you because he did not like to talk. as president he made one public speech. he was not a good speaker. he never spoke in public and he did not speak that day when they were mutilating that document. he later sent it to his friends and said don't you think my document is better? they went next door to a printer named mr. dunlop. would you print up 200 pages so one can go to the king of england, one can go to george washington and they can go to the states and people will know why we will be independent. the most famous sentence occurred in that document.
people did not realize that in the time. it later became the guiding spirit for the constitution, the guiding spirit for our country. we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. the idea that all people are equal, while not true at the way they were living at the time, but the concept that all people could be equal was a guiding principle that guided our country and, while we have not achieved it perfectly, we are making more progress than any other country of our size or type. it was thomas jefferson who drafted
it was safely stored. it was fading, so they made a 200 perfect copies in 1832. they are called stone copies after the printer, mr. stone. there are 35 of them left. whenever you see a copy of the declaration of independence, you are seeing a stone copy. it is a perfect replica. made by a process that is not expendable today, but took a wet cloth to the original declaration of independence off half the ruining the original declaration of independence. but they made a perfect copy. now people can see it. the declaration was designed to overthrow the government, the constitution was designed to overthrow the government in a peaceful way. let me conclude by making two points. one, i have the privilege of
knowing many people who have served as president of the united states. i worked at the white house for one and have known a number of others. i have gotten to know george herbert walker bush. i would say, he is, by far, the nicest person who has ever served as president of the united states. the nicest person i have ever met. i have thought about that. he is the nicest person. the nicest single person i have ever met. he is a person who has enormous generosity, enormous compassion, extraordinary talent. a person who is that we would call a great american. had he been around in the 1700s he would have been a founding father. there is no doubt in my mind he would of been the kind of person the states would have said, you have to go to the second continental congress. you work on the declaration of independence. you work on the constitution. he would have been a spectacular founding father.
i want to pay my respects to him , because he is a man extraordinary and what he has done for our country and the kind of person you can say, what are the founding fathers like? if you got to know him, you would know what a founding father is like. i would like everybody to do what they can to remind people of the great history we have in this country. i like to call it patriotic philanthropy. reminding people and places like this, that it is important to give. time energy, money. we cannot let our children and our grandchildren not know about our history. so few children know about the history of our country. so if you know about the american revolution. so if you know about the hill of rights, the constitution declaration of independence. it's sad. to the extent that any of you have time, energy, money and can contribute back to the country in giving awareness of these kinds of things. the constitution, i would regard as page a philanthropy --
patriotic philanthropy. when john kennedy gave his inaugural address, you remember what he said. asked not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. that is as true today as it was then. he ended that speech by saying, with history, the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love. knowing that here on earth god's work must truly be our own. have to recognize that on earth today, god's work in my view is reminding people of the great freedoms we have the cause of the constitution, bill of rights, and extort every country we have. i think we are doing god's work on earth. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you for that passionate defense of page about it philanthropy, that beautiful tribute to president bush, and david mentioned that there was one wrong that had to be righted in the original constitution and that was the slavery. i am about to put david to work again. the 13th amendment, which turns 150 next year, abolished slavery. he has agreed to loan us the 13th minute, we will have another conversation, and it is important to its relationship to the bill of rights. we will publish another pamphlet and here is what i want to do. create the only gallery committed to the constitutional legacy of reconstruction in america. we will have three copies of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment, abolishing slavery, guaranteeing equality and giving african-americans the right to vote. we will combine them with civil
war artifacts from the civil war museum. i think it will be thrilling to teach americans that the reconstruction amendments are just essential as the bill of rights. it is now my great honor to introduce our keynote speaker justice samuel a alito. he is the 110th justice of the u.s. supreme court. any third second, he sat before becoming an associate justice. he is a devoted friend of pennsylvania and of the third circuit. he gave a keynote address at our circuit conference last spring that was one of the funniest after-dinner speeches i have ever heard. he is coming to us from new haven where he participated and what sounded like a raucous panel at yale law school involving justices thomas and sotomayor. he was asked come according to
the washington post, what was the most inspirational book you have ever read. he said he keep to inspirational books on my nightside table, my grandfather's son by justice thomas and my beloved world by justice sotomayor. [laughter] excellent line. he is respected and feared by supreme court advocates, because he is the one who asked the most pointed and relevant questions from the bench to get to the heart of the case. we are honored that he is here tonight with his wonderful and vivacious wife. we are absolutely honored that he has agreed to address us tonight on the subject of the bill of rights. please join me in welcoming justice samuel a. alito. [applause]
>> thank you for the wonderful introduction. thank you for inviting me here. it is wonderful to be a part of this celebration. this is a great event. when i was invited, i leapt at the opportunity to come. what came to my mind, where a number of connections between things that are relevant to tonight's event. i will speak for a short time, but i want to talk about some of those connections. the first are personal. i hope you will pardon me if i begin with a couple of personal connections to tonight's event. this has been an important night for me in the work that i do for many years. i have been deciding cases involving provisions of the bill of rights. i have been looking at pocket
versions of the constitution. i have taken it on faith that their version of the bill of rights is actually what was adopted by congress and ratified by the states. today, i had the opportunity to look at an original and to verify that there are not any discrepancies. [laughter] another personal connection is that in 1990 i was appointed to the united states court of appeals for the third circuit. a wonderful court which is headquartered right across the street by president george h debbie bush, and i am grateful to him for giving me that opportunity. as a result, i spent a lot of very satisfying days in this historic city and in this historic part of the city. i learned something interesting personally during my confirmation. n period.
it had a few high points. a newspaper hired a genealogist to do a genealogy of my family and one of the things that was discovered is my paternal grandmother and my father, who was then six months old, came to the united states through philadelphia. they landed here just a short distance away. at the port of philadelphia. philadelphia is meaningful to me for those reasons. those are personal connections. i want to talk about connections between what we are celebrating here today, which is the exhibit, an original copy of the bill of rights. and today's events. what i want to talk about is connections between the bill of rights and two great historic american cities and connections between the bill of rights and
the president. you can probably guess which cities and president i am going to talk about. the first of the cities is new york, which is connected to this event, because the new york public library has very graciously loaned its copy of the bill of rights to the exhibit here. i'm sure we are all very grateful to that great institution for allowing that to happen. there is another very important connection to the city of new york. new york was our nations capital in 1789 when congress adopted the amendments which later became the bill of rights. and sent those amendments to the states for ratification. new york can claim the title as -- as the birthplace of the bill of rights. the other city is philadelphia where we are. where a copy of the bill of rights is going to be exhibited in the national constitution
center. philadelphia has deeper connections to the bill of rights. most of these have already been mentioned. they bear repetition. the seed that became the bill of rights was planted here in 1776 when the continental congress adopted the declaration of independence. as we all know, and as david rubenstein minded us, the declaration of independence proclaims that every person has certain unalienable rights. the bill of rights codifies the promise of the declaration of independence. it codifies unalienable rights that are precious to us as americans. the bill of rights also represents the completion of the work that was done across the street in independence hall during the hot summer of 1787. that was where, the body of our
constitution was adopted and sent to the states for ratification. we all know the story. when the body of the constitution was completed there were those who thought that it was not complete. that the new, more powerful federal government that was created by the constitution would threaten the liberty of the people, and therefore thought it was imperative that there be explicit guarantees of rights in the constitution. on the other hand, there were those who thought that the structure of the new government framed by the constitution, the limitation of federal authority, the separation of powers, the system of dual sovereignty provided better protection and sufficient protection for the rights of the people. those of of those groups were powerful, and ultimately what occurred was a compromise. the constitution was ratified,
but it was ratified on the understanding that a bill of rights would be probably framed and adopted. that is what happened. today we can see that both of those groups were perceptive. on the one hand, the government has grown to a size that the founding generation could never have imagined. the bill of rights is what we needed to keep the federal government and state governments in check, to make sure they do not violate precious individual rights. at the same time, however, without the governmental structure that the constitution created, the bill of rights would be like an arm without a body. constitutional provisions protecting individual rights are worse than useless if they are not backed up by a governmental structure to enforce those rights. that brings me today -- the third connection between the
bill of rights and the city of philadelphia. by the time the first 10 amendments were ratified, the national capital had moved from new york to philadelphia. it was here, right across the street, that the supreme court heard its first cases. it met in a brief session in new york and adopted internal rules, but after that, the capital moved to philadelphia, the supreme court moved to philadelphia. the supreme court heard its first cases across the street in the summer of 1791. it was not long after that, in the mid-1790's, that the court began to hear arguments about the provisions of the bill of rights. they were put into operation. this brings me to the president to whom i referred, i do not think it is a mystery who i am talking about. george herbert walker bush. what is his connection here? we have witness the unveiling of
the president's -- president george h.w. bush gallery. there are two other connections i want to talk about. the first is a curiosity that relates to things that have been discussed. the amendments we call the bill of rights were sent to the states for ratification on september 25, 1789. congress sent 12 amendments to the states, but the states originally ratified only 10. amendments 13-12. we have been reminded that the first two do not seem to fit in with what we know of the bill of rights. the first one, which concerned the composition of the house of representatives is still out there. it has not been ratified and probably never will be. [laughter] the second, which also does not
fit, as we were reminded, had a different history. it was finally ratified by the requisite number of states on may 7 1992. 200 plus years after it was originally sent out by congress. it has to do with congressional pay. it provides that if congress gives itself a pay raise, it will not take effect until another election. we know who was president of the united states on may 7, 1992. that was president george h w bush. that is the connection between him and the bill of rights. the second, also concerns the date. it is much more than a curiosity. president bush was in office on the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the bill of rights. that was december 12, 1991. he took that occasion to point
out something that is very important. mainly, the connection between our bill of rights and the rights of people everywhere. for a long time, what our constitution gave us, a declaration of rights that actually had teeth. that is what is unique about our bill of rights. it has teeth. it is put into operation. it is enforced. for a long time, that concept was an odyssey. for more than 150 years, the idea that a legislative act is void if it infringes the right of the people found very few adherents anywhere else in the world. world war ii, where president george h to leave bush bought with great distinction as a pilot, change that. the enormity of the evil that
was perpetrated by the third reich, often under the veneer of legality, prompted people throughout the world to rethink the question of rights. the american idea of an enforceable ill of rights began to catch on. after the axis powers i got the democratic constitution that protect human rights and provides for judicial review of the constitutionality of government acts. after the collapse of the soviet union and of the warsaw pact during president bush's term in office, the newly liberated nations of eastern europe olive suit. in his proclamation on the 200 anniversary of the bill of rights on december 12, 1991, president bush noted that the principles enshrined in the bill of rights and inspired the advance of freedom around the
globe. when president bush issued that proclamation, a great event in the history of human rights was just three days away. i am sure that this event was on president bush's mind when he issued that proclamation. on december 15, 19 anyone, the soviet union was officially dissolved. president bush was able to say in his proclamation, that "today we stand closer than ever to achieving universal respect for human rights." 23 years later that universal respect for human rights may not seem quite so close as it was in 1991 but the promise of the bill of rights and doers. i hope that this display of the bill of rights will help, if only in a small way to move us closer to that goal.
when visitors look at this document, i hope the experience will lead to a greater appreciation of our constitutional rights and that it will inspire the public to work to preserve those rights. constitutional rights, the precious freedoms that are protected by the bill of rights are always fragile. always threatened. the judiciary and others in government have a role to play in protecting those rights. as a great jurist, a new yorker named leonard hand once wrote liberty lies in the hearts of men and women, when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. may this exhibit fan the flame of liberty in the hearts of all that see it in the upcoming years. thank you very much. [applause]
[applause] >> thank you so much for that inspiring substantive speech. which so thoughtfully explore the relation between the structural provisions of the constitution and the rights that were enumerated. i love your metaphor of an arm without a body. and reminded us about the influence of the u.s. constitution on constitutions around globe. as an illustration about how the constitutions of the post-world war ii powers adopted u.s. provisions, you now have the opportunity in previewing the constituting liberty exhibit, to check out the rights interactive you can click on the american
fourth amendment and see the general douglas macarthur cut and pasted it into the japanese constitution and the language is almost identical. we are excited about the project. this has been a thrilling evening. to unite thoughtful people from all perspectives across the country to visit learn, debate and most important participate in our shared enterprise of constitutional education and celebration of the documents that bind and unite us as americans. the constitution it declaration, and the bill of rights. i will welcome back the members of the philadelphia orchestra to play their beautiful music. raise -- please join us in previewing the gallery and thank you for joining us for this magnificent evening. [applause] ♪
♪ >> this year is the 10th anniversary of c-span's q and a. we are featuring one interview for each year of the series over the holiday season. today on his memoir of the coming dr. q. telling the story of how he came to the u.s. as it immigrant who could not speak much and became a brain surgeon. that is tonight at 7:00 eastern time.
at eight eastern, remembering public figures who died this year. starting with former senate majority leader howard baker and a 2007 interview looking at his career in congress and time as chief as staff to ronald reagan. that is tonight at 8:00 eastern time. coming up tonight on c-span2, books about richard nixon. at 8:00 eastern, elizabeth drew talks about her book washington journal. reporting watergate and richard nixon's downfall. then pat buchanan with the greatest comeback, how richard nixon created the new majority. and john dean and rick perlstein on their books the nixon dissent and the invisible bridge. next, the future of conservatism and the challenges for the republican presidential field and 2016 with national review
senior editor -- they are among the panelists at the event hosted by the university of chicago. >> republicans won a sweeping electoral victory last november yet many americans struggle to identify with an affirmative party message. to tell us how they think how the republican party can close this gap. these leaders collaborated to write "room to grow," a manifesto for a reformatory agenda that makes conservativism work for the middle class. when commentators refer to the intellectual resurgence of the republican party, referring to our guests today. i have no doubt you will soon see why. our first panelist is andrew kelly the director of the center on higher education reform at the american enterprise institute. he researches higher education
policy including financial aid reform. dr. kelly is a prolific author whose work has appeared in publications ranging from the american journal of education to the atlantic. yuval levin is a fellow at the ethics and public policy center and holds a variety of positions chief among themmed tore of national affairs. he served on the domestic policy staff of the bush white house and earned his ph.d at the university of chicago. he recently published the great debate, thomas payne and the birth of right and left. april ponnuru is a veteran capitol hill staffer and policy director for the net whork wii published the room to grow essays. she served in both senate and house leadership including as senior adviser to senator roy blunt of missouri. previously she served as executive director of the nonprofit national review institute. her husband, ramesh ponnuru, is a senior editor at the national review, a columnist for
bloomberg view, and visiting fellow at the institute. ramesh is one of the most respected commentators in washington and his work can be found in the "new york times," "wall street journal," and many other places. ramesh is a fellow from 2013 and we are thrilled to have him back. last, but certainly not least, our moderator this evening is megan mcardle, a bloomberg view columnist who writes on economic, business, and public policy and is behind the popular blog asymetric information. she is currently completing her term as an i.o.p. fellow. we have a ton of talent here today. please welcome me in welcoming the participants. [applause] >> so i'm going to start off by asking you a question, ramesh. 2014 was a great year for republicans. right? we had maybe not a tsunami, but certainly like a decent, sizable wave. i say we as a nation not personally as a republican. why does conservativism need to
be reformed? why not just keep on keeping on? >> first of all, it's okay to say you're republican if you are. well, you know, i think that one thing republican should have learned from recent years, that its mid-term electorate looks very different from the presidential electorate. and you can be very good at winning elections without having what it takes to win presidential elections. that's for a couple reasons. one, it is easier to get people to let you apply the brake peddle than to give you control of the steering wheel. presidential elections i think the public thinks of as much more steering wheel elections and they need to know that republicans want to take them somewhere they want to go before they'll do that. >> so the metaphor about driving the car. >> right. yeah. >> the other thing is that there's always been a
demographic distinction between who turns out in mid terms and who turns out in presidential elections. where, for example, you have the mid-term electorate is older and whiter for example. in recent years, that demographic distinction has taken on a much more partisan cast than it used to. we now i think have a structural feature of our politics where republicans tend to out perform in mid terms and democrats in presidential elections. you don't need to reform anything if you're a republican who is fine with having congressional majority. it's easy to keep the house majority relatively speaking. it's a little harder but still quite do-able to take a senate majority. you've got to reach a little further if you want to form a governing center right majority in this country which is what i would be interested in. >> april i am going to go to you. since you are with the yg network fearless leader.
what is reform conservativism, yuval? i mean, is it a bunch of different ideas? is it merely a sense we need to reform conservativism and, ok, let's do it? or is there some coherent core here that is a kind of philosophy? >> i think we're very comfortable in the conservative tradition. i don't think we're offering anything new. the principles that conservativism has established for a long time certainly in the last few decades are principles we're comfortable and feel need to be expanded upon. i think what reform conservativism is is the effort to apply those principles to the problems that we face today. so, you know, where conservatives or republicans have often had an agenda that focuses on bringing down the top marginal tax rate, right, which was in a pre-reagan -- we're talking about a 70% raise. there was a real urgent need at the time to bring that rate down. you know, reagan saw that need
and he prioritized -- he applied the conservative principles that we believe in to that situation and said, look, we need to bring this rate down. dramatically. he did and he was effective. partly because we were successful, a lot of our agenda has become a rather outdated. we haven't been responding to the challenges of our day. and so reform conservativism has tried to bring to bear the principles we believe in to the particular policy challenges that we face as a nation today. yuval, what are the core policy challenges republicans aren't addressing now or aren't addressing effectively now and need to be? >> well, i agree entirely in what april said. i think it's important that -- i'm not sure where the term conservativism came from. i think of it as a reforming conservativism. our target is not conservativism but the government and the
nation's challenges and what's required to address those as reform of our governing institutions and a lot of public policy. so it is applied conservativism. and what that means in practice, it seems to me is a modernization of conservativism's understanding of the challenges the country faces. i don't think it's a change in how we as conservatives need to think about solving public problems. i think it's a change in what we understand those problems to be. and so if as you say in 1981 a lot of conservatives like to live there, the problems had to do with hyperinflation and with high marginal income tax rate, today the challenges have more to do with the consequences of globalization for working americans. they have more to do with stagnating wages. they have more to do with the pressures that middle class families confront. to the extent we want to talk about tax reform i think the tax burden is especially heavy as a result of the payroll tax and not the income tax for most
americans. it means thinking about how conservative ideas need to be applied to contemporary the most difficult thing for both parties now i think is to see the present. to look beyond the to-do list they both had for such a long time and actually think about what the country's to do list ought to be. a lot of democrats like to live in the mid 1960's. a lot of republicans like to live in the early 1980's because those are times when it seemed like they had something real to offer and the country saw it too. the country doesn't live there in either of those times and you just can't pretend that they do. i think the fact that both parties are trying so hard to pretend is why so many americans are frustrated with politics. >> i look at the list of things that reagan got done, you know he lowered taxes and regulations , not so much. >> yep. >> i want to go to the end of our -- back there -- hi. >> hi. >> and talk a little bit about republican anti-intellectualism.
this is a charge that gets labeled a lot is that there -- sort of rather than having an education policy, sort of reflectively anti the academy and all of that represents including coming up with policy. can you talk a little about that? is it true? is it fair? >> i think it is. one is, lefty faculty and permissive norms on campus. this started with reagan, as governor of california. this is his take on berkeley. he described orgies that are beyond description or something. that was the way he described what happened on campus at berkeley. >> which also served as a recruiting device. >> right. that has always been part of the discussion. and rightly so. you're going to look on a college campus and you're going to see these departments of, you know, underenrolled majors ethnic studies, women's studies and so on.
that's going to be something to a mainstream conservative that they're not going to be interested in or interested in subsidizing, for that matter. that's one of the traditional talking points on it. for me, that's a symptom of a much larger problem, right? and that is a market that doesn't function effectively, so that consumers can say, you know, i don't want to go learn from a professor that's going to fill my mind with all sorts of nonsense and things that are going to, you know, make my parents blush, right? instead, your only choice these days as an up-and-coming high school graduate is to go off to a four-year college and enroll in a place -- if you want to get ahead -- enroll in a place that happens to be populated with that type of faculty. but, again, that's a function of a market that rewards that kind of behavior and that sort of product, because, you know
there are -- there's not a broader array of options open to people. and so i think we get bogged down in the politics, this sort of hand-to-hand combat over liberalism on campuses. we loose sight of the fact that that is a symptom of this broader problem. >> is that preventing republicans, though, from having the kind of resources that as policy advisors, the democrats can draw deep into the academy -- economy and the republicans have a small handful of republicans, conservatives at any given university? >> i think the question of anti-intellectualism and the right is a very complicated question. it's not as simple as a lot of people make it out to be. in a certain sense conservatives are much more intellectual and there thinking about politics than liberals. liberals want to be understood as pragmatists. at the same time, there's this
attitude about the academy and there's the actual academy which justifies a lot of that. >> i don't think reagan was wrong to say that. >> not always here in chicago but sometimes. and in a lot of other places. i do think that that has meant that, as you say, conservatives have not been able to draw on the academy in the same way. so i run a quarterly journal of essays about public policy. and a lot of the people who write for us are people who ought to be academics but aren't. their people who are think tanks when they'd rather be teaching on wall street. the reason is they think they can't be academics, because they're conservatives. in some cases, they're right. i think in a lot of cases they're not right. but that's an attitude that's very prevalent on the right. that's why conservatives seem to rely more on think tanks and liberals more on universities. i think there's a huge advantage for that on the left, because universities seem to offer more credibility as a think tank. but it is a reality.
my own attitude about the academy is different from a lot of conservatives. i think there's an enormous amount of very valuable work being done in the social sciences. what there's not is the just amazing generalists, the extraordinary learned intellectual that even through the 1960's and into the 1970's, we saw in the american academy. and they played a big part in the development of conservatism in america. that person is really hard to find now. that person would have a very hard time getting and keeping an academic job. that's a fault of the university and has not been any better for the university than it has been for conservatives. but there are a lot of great specialists. there's a lot of good work being done. and there's a lot of useless things and that's just the nature of the thing. >> thankfully, unlike journalism.
>> of course. >> i'm going to throw out a list of issues that are kind of like the big issues people are talking about right now. health care, immigration inequality, family formation climate change. which of those does this address effectively and which of them doesn't? do we not yet have a -- >> well, one dimension of reform conservatism is an attempt to supply effective, politically effective answers for conservatism about the issues that most americans care about. and in part, that involves reorienting the conversation to the issues most americans care about. that was an interesting list that you put out there. i mean, if you think about the conversation in washington d.c. over the last two years, how much of it has been about immigration or inequality or climate change? issues that, on a good day, will get a combined 6% of the american public saying that's
the top issue, that congress ought to be thinking of. and the issues that americans really want to focus on are the bread and butter concerns about the cost of living, about wage stagnation. health care is definitely one of them. they don't think about it, these issues, in the ideological concerns that the left and right do. they like smaller government. it's not their top priority smaller government. they don't like inequality. it's not a high priority for them. what they really want is rising standard of living for people in the middle of the income spectrum. you know, i have my own views about each and every one of the issues that you discussed. >> you're kidding? >> no. but i think that it's very easy to, for political activists and actors, to get caught up in the
issues that animate us and lose sight of the issues that are of foremost concern to the people. >> april, why do we end up focused on these things? >> partly, it's the folks that scream the loudest in washington get the most attention. you've got big parts of your base that are concerned about certain issues that the general public just isn't that worried about. you know, i think this is the case with, you know, the inequality issue in particular. i mean, i think that's something that -- i want to say it's somewhere around 3% of the public says that's a top issue for them. but that is certainly -- you've certainly seen it in more than 3% of the news coverage. it's the kind of thing that we, inside the beltway types, just tend to respond to each other a whole lot. >> in fairness, if you're a journalist making a modest sum and living in new york or d.c. with hedge fund managers, it's a very pressing issue.
you ever tried to get your child into a really good preschool? >> higher income is not rich yet. >> so andrew, actually, income mobility, is that a big issue for people? >> one of the more interesting things we've seen over the past year is actually a pivot on the part of democrats as well away from some of those rhetoric around inequality, around toward rhetoric of opportunity. i think that's a much more appealing frame to most people. and i think you can't have a conversation about that today, without talking about education and particularly what happens after you graduate from high school. >> realistically, i feel like we've been pounding get more kids through college. we are fewer kids through high school. we have been pounding away, we
need more trade worker. like this is an evergreen, from every political campaign forever and ever. what do we do now different than what what we have -- the insanity of trying to do the same thing over over again and get a different result? >> i think the interesting thing is that both parties have been guilty of this problem. democrats' natural inclination is to try to solve the problems with schools and colleges from washington. they can't do that. they can pass laws that ask the bureaucracy to write rules that are supposed to impact the way states and local districts and colleges do their work. george h.w. bush -- i'm sorry, george w. bush fell into this same trap with "no child left behind." this is a very prescriptive attempt to fix schools from d.c. i think that what my colleague and i try to lay out in room to grow is a different way of thinking about the federal role. and it is the antithesis of centralizing power over decision
making in washington and to send it out to actors closer to the problem on ground, who can actually solve problems, and as you've also seen, in his i wonderful chapter, allow people to, through trial and error, figure out better ways to solve the problems they face in their local area, their school district and their particular school. have washington kind of retreat from that, but bear in mind the need to create space for problem solvers to do their work. >> you've said some great stuff about leaving more space for institutions that aren't the government and viewing, instead of the -- in modern political discourse, we tend to view either there's the big federal government, maybe a little state government, and everything else is this individual sphere, and there's almost nothing in between. republicans have long talked a great game about
decentralization and all the rest of it. yet you look at bush's signature achievements, the iraq war and "no child left behind," which are both these -- first of all why don't republicans put their money where their mouth is and how do you change that? >> yeah. i think part of it is thinking beyond this question of evolution exactly. this also gets to your prior question about the subjects we take up. i think, in some ways, the place where we can be most useful is not in deciding what subjects ought to be taken up, because that's not up to us anyway, but in thinking about how to approach public problems. i think there's a great difference between the left and right in america on the question of how to approach public problems, where there's an inclination on the left, as you say, and it's rooted in progressive thinking, that's very interesting and serious although i think a lot of contemporary progressives don't really wrestle with that thinking very much, that suggests that we ought to think about american society as consisting of individuals and a state.
and that the role of the state is to enable those individuals to live the lives they want to lead. this is not a crazy idea and it's a very appealing idea. but conservatives emphasize what happens in the space between those two, between the individual and the state, where our families are, where our civic institutions are religious institutions, where the market economy is and where levels of government below the federal government are. we emphasize that, not just because we don't like the federal government, but rather because it seems to us that that's actually where people thrive, that that's how you solve problems, is hand to hand and face to face. it's going to have to be able to address people's concerns where they are. and that means that there is an important role for government, but the role for government is a supporting role, an enabling role, to enable those institutions in that space between the individual and state, that space between the individual and space, mediating
institutions to help people solve problems they have. and if you think about how things happen in that space, -- but it's not about money and markets in that sense. it's about markets as problem-solving mechanisms. you can think about it quite apart from markets. if you think about how you solve problems from the bottom up, you allow people to experiment with different solutions. you allow people who need help to choose from among those options. and you allow the options that aren't chosen to fall away, to fail. that's how markets work. it's true. markets create an enormous economic incentive for things to work that way. there is a huge reason to try new things. the consumer has a lot of power and can choose among options the one that best suits their needs. and things that don't work go away. government programs don't work this way at all. regulation does not allow for experimentation. there's a solution and it's prescribed generally.
the people who are receiving a service don't choose among options, even though we know and everybody agrees that it doesn't work. a lot of what people are calling reform conservatism seems to me to be an effort to move from that latter kind of welfare state model to that former more market-oriented model. it's not about markets in the sense of money. it's about a way of solving problems that enables those institutions to function, that enables people to try different things, that enables people who need help to choose from among other options and that enables it to fail. that's what the conservative approach to health care looks like. that's what our approach to higher education looks like. it's what a lot of our kind of welfare reform ideas look like. how would that apply to spacex? it seems to me that's more of a way for us to be useful than which problems should we look at and what is the conservative solution. it's a different way of thinking about how government ought to solve problems.
>> i think this creativity and the markets that you all are talking about, it's just much more in step with the times. it's interesting that liberals are really out of step, these sort of technocratic don't tend to yield the kind of flexibility that american consumers can enjoy from the private sector, from civil society, where, you know, the rest of our lives has become more customizable and leaner and more responsible to individual concerns, government continues in this sort of nonresponsive, top-down way that is not -- it's really interesting that, you know, that conservatism is really where there's room for creativity.
>> so let me ask you, shifting gears a little bit but not entirely, you know, the big movement in conservatism that has been noticeable in the past few years is the tea party. and how much do they contribute to this? you know, you get the establishment versus the tea party. and is the tea party about this kind of like opening up space, experimentation, et cetera, or are they something simpler and different? >> well, i think that -- you know, i wouldn't say the reform conservatives or that i myself would fall squarely in the tea party or establishment camp on the right. i think each has elements of the truth but neither is quite there. >> so which group has which element? >> well, i think a party tends to be more realistic about means, the means of achieving things, but sometimes different -- in different as to ends. and you've got the reverse set
of virtues and vices for the tea party. i am struck by the extent to which the division between tea partyers and the establishment just doesn't have any policy content to it at all. and i think the tea partyers they have a healthy reaction against the idea of a republican party that is just solely about keeping the fortune 500 happy. but they don't have a lot in the way of ideas about, well, what exactly are we going to do about health care, about higher education? but the other doesn't either. one of the reasons i'm sort of actually hopeful, having just sketched this rather dismal picture, the one reason i'm hopeful is i do think at some point, candidates, particularly presidential candidates, after an eight-year presidency, have to run on something. and nobody else is offering some maybe some of our ideas will catch on. >> so i'm going to just skip -- you're the education guy and the youth.
i figure you know what the kids these days are up to, the youth. this has been a big thing. what we were talking about earlier is the idea that increasingly democrats are the party of the young. minorities and single women. republicans have everyone else. unfortunately, many of those people have a very low, you know, very rapid mortality rate in the near future. [laughter] so is there hope? i mean, is this the sort of thing that actually speaks to this? is this the sort of thing -- my understanding is that, look, you pick up someone when they're 24 or you pick someone up the first time they vote, you're likely to have their vote forever. what are the issues that speak to the kids these days? >> so i think, on the higher ed side in particular, i think it's tough for republicans now, mainly because democrats have
turned this into student loans and student debt -- into a campaign issue. it's at the center of the agenda. elizabeth warren, as soon as her refinancing student loan refinancing bill went down, it didn't make it through, she went to kentucky to campaign against mitch mcconnell and said he's siding with millionaires over students. and democrats are giving young college-educated people -- they want to give young college-educated people subsidies. this is a strategy we've seen for two consecutive election seasons. we want to give you lower interest rates. we want to allow you to refinance your loan. that's a stimulus package for the college educated, right? and it's a tough thing to answer on the part of republicans. i do think that there's a population in the middle of -- not necessarily the youth vote. but i'd say like early 20's and
mid-20's. people who have some college and no degree. they often have debt. they've been sort of let down by this system. and they need something. they need some option that is not as time-consuming and not as expensive as a full college degree. and they need something. i think that's a segment of the population that's big. it's 20%, 25% of the country that could easily be wooed by some of the ideas that we talk about in the book. more flexibility, the ability to jump into higher ed and out, right? quickly, when you need new skills, jump back out. we're going to help you pay for some of that. those ideas, i think, are very compelling, could be very compelling to that group. >> i want to jump in to make a broader point. i think there is a mistake which is to slice the electorate into these demographic groups in a misleading way. so after the 2012 election there was a lot of talk about
how republicans were doing poorly among three or four groups in particular, hispanics, single women, young people and to a lesser degree white voters without college degrees. and then when you do that, people then jump to thinking there's a group-specific reason that needs to be addressed. so with these single women, it's the contraception mandate. with the young people, it's same-sex marriage. those play a role. but i think the thing that people often underestimate is that each one of those groups is more economically insecure than the national average. each of those groups is having trouble getting good jobs, having trouble affording health insurance. in many cases, having trouble paying off student loans. and each of those groups, when you survey them, they put economics at the top of their list. and so even if you were to solve those group-specific problems,
if you don't have a compelling message on the bread and butter concerns, you're going to underperform with each of those groups, because they're needier groups. >> if you look at fdr, basically took up the african-american vote, which has been much more republican, despite the fact that he did nothing on civil rights, right? he picked up a huge portion of that vote by answering economic needs, like they were especially hard-hit by the great depression, and so the feeling he was doing something about their needs. >> the one thing that i would add to that is on -- especially on the higher ed side, a lot of the policy for both of the -- that the democrats are putting forward are actually fundamentally regressive. they reward the college educated. they want states to spend more on higher education, but that doesn't go to students who need it most. it goes to the flagship campuses where the most affluent kids in the state are going. there's a window here for
republicans to call that out and say this isn't right. we want to do something different. >> let me ask april one last question, which is how much headway this is making in washington? do we actually have a reform conservative presidential candidate who is coming sometime? >> well, i mean, i certainly hope so. that's certainly one of our goals, i think, is to effect that field, which is bigger by the day. you know, there have been a few champions on the hill that we pay particular attention to. >> can you name names? >> yeah. mike lee in the senate has just been a phenomenal idea generator. he's got -- he's talked about everything from higher ed to taxes to health care. so he's just a really phenomenal talent in the senate, new blood in the senate. marco rubio has been outstanding. also introduced a lot of legislation, is working on more.
they're in fact teaming up at the moment on a tax proposal we're looking forward to. paul ryan has been doing good work in the house. so i guess i've named two potential presidential candidates there. we've got guys that have been around for a long time too, who are interested in this stuff. orrin hatch just gave a great speech on constitutionalism as well. it fits into the themes we have. i think some of the more talented politicians in washington are paying attention to this. there's just frankly not a lot of places to turn, and we're happy to fill that vacuum obviously. so, you know, we're encouraged. there's a lot of interest that's been generated. this book, we didn't expect the kind of attention we got. and i think it was remarkably successful for being a pretty modest effort.
but that's what you get when you get smart guys like this working on a project. >> on that happy note, i am going to open up to the floor. there's a mic that will circulate. please speak into the microphone. also, please raise your hand so i can call on you. >> hi. thank you so much for coming. my question is regarding the last topic that you were talking about, specifically about paul ryan. i can't remember who -- is paul ryan too smart to run for president? this picture of him giving a speech on the house floor with charts and tables. not like ted cruz. i guess my question is, is that a real trap, you know, that these reform conservatisms can fall into, and how do they combat that? >> do voters hate charts? [laughter] i'll just say one thing quickly
and i'll turn it over to these guys. my sense is that, you know, the smarter guys who are going to be running for president know that they can't keep doing more of the same. it just hasn't been successful. the last presidential election was -- there wasn't much of a conservative agenda offered. i think those who are looking at -- how many cycles has it been now that we haven't run the popular vote? >> five of the last six. >> right. you just can't continue this. this formula is not working. i think that the smarter ones are going to realize there's something in common here. we need to develop a more rigorous, you know, agenda. i think it's really important that conservatives -- you know because we believe in limited government and we're sort of often portrayed and often portray ourselves as being like anti-government, there's a sense
that a lot of folks don't want to get too in the weeds on policy, like that's a nonconservative thing to do, if you know too much about things then we have suspicions about you. i just think that's wrong. and we've got to confront that, you know. ryan has got an excellent reputation in the house amongst his colleagues. i think that's for good reason. they recognize something in him. he's doing the hard work of policy-making and understanding the problems that we face today and the situation we find ourselves in, which is like a bloated government full of, you know, a gazillion programs that need reform. and nobody has got -- i mean, if you want to dismantle that, if you want to change that, you've got to understand it. and, you know, i think ryan is a popular guy nationwide, you know, with the conservative base. and so i think that intellectualism doesn't concern
me. >> so no plans to issue room to grow as a pop-up book? >> yeah. exactly. yeah. >> slide show? anyone else have -- >> i think it's a good question. seems to me that, well, there are a couple of questions it brings up. i think, first of all, that part of what we're trying to do is not so much to find a candidate who will be a champion for these ideas exactly as a whole but to enrich the policy conversation on the right in general. so that different candidates can take different ideas from among these and can take this way of thinking and try to approach the public this way. i think it's very strange that the model of paul ryan has not been followed by other members of the house. it's been incredibly successful for him. it got him on the blessed -- last presidential ticket. he did it basically by being a nerd. that's what he did. and it's not actually that hard.
he picked an issue, became an expert. you know, it took him a while. and he's very smart. but plenty of people are smart. and he decided that he was going to make a name for himself by offering concrete policy ideas. it got him very far very quick. he's still quite young. he's about to become the most important committee chairman in the house, way out of seniority, because members just think yeah, of course he should be chairman of the ways and means. it's strange to me that there are a not a lot of other back benchers who think that way, thinking i could become an expert in this or that. it's not happening a lot. i think it ought to. >> well, it's not entirely unprecedented, of course. you've got kemp, who really authored, you know, tax reform from a back bench, not even on the relevant committee, if i remember correctly. you've got tim who authored welfare reform also, so it's been done. it can be done. i disagree. i think it is hard. it is hard work, maybe not for you all, but for the rest of us,
it's hard work. but, you know, it's what you're elected to do, right? it certainly is a task. >> i would just say i've been personally very impressed by his work on education in particular, and i think to make a broader point, i think april is exactly right, that there's this suspicion of understanding policy details and the nitty-gritty on the right that is sort of bizarre to me. it seems to me to be a critical ingredient of efforts to rein in the federal role in a way that's productive. and if you don't, you know -- if all you want to make is blanket claims about doing away with things that never go anywhere, we're not going to get very far. >> you know, the first two years of the obama presidency, there was a lot of talk -- and subsequently too that republicans have become the party of no. i was very for that at that time. it was far superior to being defined as the party of me too
but maybe a little bit less. and i think that it became more important to develop an alternative agenda and present it in 2011, 2012. but it was not crazy for other people to think, you know, why are you against an incumbent president -- i think there was a lot of evidence that that was a mistake. but there would have been a natural tendency to turn towards formulating an agenda as you got closer to the end of a two-term president. i think you're going to see that happen, for example, with senator cruz, who, by the way, is extraordinary in terms of sheer brainpower. i mean, you may disagree with him. but listen, i've been arguing with him for 20 years. he's a smart guy. and i expect that he and other people are going to develop a
positive agenda over the next couple of months, because it will just be kind of bizarre to run in 2016 without one. >> i think the last few months have been very different from the last few years, in my own sense. there's a lot of policy ferment on the right. there are more politicians getting to that point in their speech when they should offer something, and thinking, i should offer something. [laughter] >> the first step. other questions? >> how much do i have to worry about rand paul's influence on foreign policy? secondly, pew did a study that found conservatism has never been less popular among young people than it is today. my theory is the fact that republicans can't stop talking about the 80's. you mentioned a lot of younger republicans. they have a photo of ronald reagan. it's all reagan. and i don't know how you win
younger voters when you can't stop talking about days before. i'm wondering when we're going to move on. >> he was great in "bedtime for bonzo." >> kids love that one. i think there's an enormous generational difference between conservatives. in some cases, it's a real philosophical difference. people over 40 are very different from people under 40 and how they think about the constitution, the role of judges. very interesting thing. i think even more than that, there's a difference between people who remember the reagan years and people who know stories about the reagan years. on the whole, not in every way i think that younger conservatives are more constructive and more inclined to think about policy and the ways we're talking about it here, because they're more inclined to think about the present. and less inclined to want to repeat the ends of the sentences that people started in the 80's.
the beginnings of those sentences were great and we should start our sentences that way. we should have the same principles, the same commitment to the constitution, the same belief in america, the same optimism, but what it means now has to be a response to what is happening now. that's the first door. and i do think that is changing some among younger conservatives. but it's going to take a while. [inaudible question] >> i don't see how we're going to do better than younger people. >> nature has a way of dealing with that. these are going somewhere. >> are you saying they're going to be cold? >> you know, evolution. look, i think that a generational shift takes time, naturally. that's what it is. but the fact that it's the younger people who are thinking more creatively and the older people are not is a good thing because among the democrats, for example, i think the opposite is happening.
there are still a lot of people who remember why the new democrats were necessary and maybe are themselves kind of in that mold still. younger liberals tend not to be that way. and they're a lot less realistic and a lot less constructive. i'd rather be in the situation of conservatives at this point looking to the future. >> i was just going to add, i think that there's a dimension to this sort of crony capitalist corporate welfare side of this debate that i think could appeal to people who would normally maybe shade to the left, saying, hey, wait -- and this has been a big talking point. >> i wanted to get to that. >> they've been all over this and our colleagues. that, to me, is just this natural issue for people who are sort of suspicious by nature of big business, right? to sort of line up behind some of that stuff. so i don't -- i'm not as pessimistic, i would say. >> i am an unapologetic invoker
of reagan. he was the most successful republican president of the last century, more politically successful than any president since him in the sense that, look, our last three presidents have all taken office with their party in control of congress and left office with their party completely out of control of congress. and the white house flipping as well. so we should learn from them but we should learn from the real reagan, not the mythological reagan. one of the points steve makes -- he's written a two-volume history of reagan and his times -- is that reagan rarely made it a big selling point with the public at large that he had a program that conformed to conservative philosophy, even though we largely did. he had a program that developed from conservative philosophy but he advertises to the public on the basis of its practical advantages. you're going to have lower crime
rates, lower inflation, so on and so forth. and i think a lot of today's reagan invokers don't follow his example. they just drop his name. >> they're much more concerned with ideological purity and sort of, i think, maintaining this standard. i mean -- >> reagan was an innovator. >> right. it also goes to what rameesh was talking about, where there's this difference between the tea party and the establishment. i mean, so much of this is tactical and, you know attitudeinal. unfortunately we've gotten to this place where a lot of our conservative players -- the people who much came up with many of the ideas, and are much more concerned with these tactical fights than they are with developing policy. it's interesting. >> that's how you end up with the debate season we had in the presidential primaries last
time, where a lot of the time it's a competition of who can say it louder. >> right. >> you call it the party of goldwater versus the party of reagan, liberty versus the party of actually talking about people and how all of this affected them individually. >> it was also really uninteresting, for people who were interested in policy, it was just really uninterested. it was an creative. >> when 999 is the biggest policy proposal -- >> it's not a good sign. >> other questions? plenty over here. >> thank you. the book mentions making tax cuts for families where they need them most. what would that look like in practice? and do you think there's any room for maybe incentives for mothers who want to stay at home to raise their children, incentives for families to operate economically in the way that they see fit instead of punishing women who want to stay home, women or men who want to stay home and have single-income families?
>> well, you know, the cost of raising families has increased. and the tax code does, i think a very poor job of recognizing the extent to which raising children is an investment in the future. i mean, we say that as a kind of rote sentiment. but it actually is financially in part an investment in the future of the country and in our future taxpayers. and i think the tax code ought to recognize that fact. i don't believe we should be providing incentives for mothers or fathers to stay home with the kids. i do think we should be enabling families to make the decisions they want to make, whether that is -- you know, a lot of government subsidies in the child care area flow towards commercial day care. that is something that a lot of families like to use. however, it is in general the least favored form of child care
for american families, and i would say, if you extend the -- expand the child credit, which is a very popular proposal with almost every group in the american public, you are allowing people to make these decisions. does one parent want to scale back to part-time work and spend more time with the family? do they want to use it to purchase child care, supplementary educational services? you leave those choices up to the families by providing them with tax relief. that, i think, in a certain sense, a very traditional conservative answer, and it ought to be provided in this form now. >> a traditional conservative answer is not being directed to the right question, where the problem that exists now is different from the problem that existed 35 years ago. when you think about how to provide people with tax relief today, what does middle class tax relief look like? it doesn't just look like lower marginal tax rates. for most people, the payroll a
tax is a huge tax burden. and for many americans, almost most, it is the only tax burden they actually have at the federal level. they don't have an income tax liability. but conservatives do not talk about the payroll tax as a target for tax relief. and try to kind of shield it off from conversations about tax credits and tax reform. it should be at the center of those discussions. >> just to be clear, the child credit i'm talking about would apply against the payroll taxes, so it would be a form of payroll tax relief. >> exactly. it's very important in that sense, because you have to talk to people about problems they face, not just about an abstract economy out there. >> if you get really rich, you're going to be paying more taxes. >> it's a better incentive to get rich. well, ok. there's a tendency in general for conservatives to talk about the economy in very abstract terms. it's not crazy. it doesn't matter. economic growth has to be there as a foundation for everything else to work out.
if we don't have economic growth, then a lot of the other problems we have become much worse. and a lot of the solutions we offer are insufficient. we do need it but we also need , to help people with the problems they face and to help them what we -- help them understand what we're offering in terms of the problems they face. >> they did some polling on many of the ideas found in the book. and it was remarkable, on expanding the child credit, not only was it overwhelmingly popular with the public but with so many of those demographic groups, it did really, really well. for example, you might not intuitively think that, you know, single women would care that much about expanding the child credit for, you know -- which we've sort of described as being for families but would certainly be applicable to women who have children without a spouse at home. wildly popular with single
women. very popular with minority groups. you know, it's one of those questions that gets to those economic concerns that underlie a lot of the insecurities that are felt most acutely by these demographic groups that we worry about in electoral politics. >> we have two questions in the back. the one on the right first. >> this is about the conservative anti-intellectualism you were talking about earlier, so excuse my interpretation of what you were saying. what i heard that is that the market that encourages the students to go off to college is dominated by liberal thinkers in getting degrees that aren't very important. what would you say the correction for that is, whether or not that's an accurate depiction of what is actually happening? >> i think that's a fine paraphrase of what i said. i would probably only add to that that i think part of the problem is that people can't
tell what the value of a particular degree is, and what -- you know, whether it's going to pay off in the long run, down the line, partly because we don't have that information readily available to them. so, you know, markets are such that there are always going to be people who want to buy that silly major, right? these people are going to just do it. i think the republican governors, for instance, one in florida comes to mind, have sort of made a mistake about making this "we want more s.t.e.m. majors and less anthropologists," right? to me, that sounds more like central planning in bucharest than it does like a market-based response. but i would say, what i think the federal government should aim to do is to inform consumers in a way that allows them to make judgments about the product
that they're investing in. and simultaneously, to lower barriers to entry, to let in new providers who are offering a different product. right now, the accreditation system, the accreditors that come to credit chicago, they probably go to credit chicago state. probably the same group. and they both probably bear the same seal of approval. at the same time, so it keeps chicago state in business. not a very good college. at the same time, it keeps out somebody who would want to compete with chicago or with chicago state that may be offering something different that may not be, you know, staffed by traditional faculty. these are examples of the policies that have been in place for a long time that are actually preventing consumers from making informed choices and from competition and preventing competition from taking root in this market in a way that drives cost down and drives quality up.
so yeah. >> in the back row, there was another gentleman. >> this question is somewhat related to that one. primarily directed to mr. kelly. you had said earlier on that part of the problem with higher education is students are often choosing to study things or forced to study things that don't make any sense or studying nonsense. you said -- yes, fill their heads with nonsense. part of my question is, how is it that students starting out can distinguish between things that are nonsense and ideas that really matter, particularly in the liberal arts or certainly areas of social sciences where part of the purpose of education is to be able to make those kind of distinctions to begin with? i guess my worry is that conservatives take a market-driven approach. you talked about making investments in majors to see how they pay off. but i was wondering if there was anything within sort of reform conservatism that recognizes the
intrinsic value of knowledge and the potential nonmarket values of knowledge and that having market-driven solutions could degrade and devalue the very important nonmarket values that come with higher education? >> speaking as an english major, i really want to hear the answer to this. >> so i should have prefaced my comment about nonsense by saying i was a history major and took plenty of classes that didn't equip me to be a think tank wonk like i am now. i'm not one who choose -- chose superrationally what they were going to do with their time in college. what i would say is that i think there's a distinction. so what i -- where i would draw the line is there's a distinction between what the government is going to subsidize and spend money on, especially in the case of student loans right? as a lender, the federal government wants to ensure that
the money they're lending out gets paid back. that's a fiduciary responsibility of the taxpayers. i think, above and beyond that a market would reward -- a proper market would reward a lot of the nonpecuniary benefits of higher education that you're describing. people will have tastes for that. so i think those things would still exist. but as a taxpayer, the question i have is whether i'm subsidizing, you know, and lending money to people to study things that i'm going to wind up being on the hook for when they default. that's where i would draw the line. i think taxpayers have a slightly different interest than students themselves. i think you raise an excellent point. and we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that education is about more than just earning power. it's about creating an educated citizenry. it's about creating art and music and all sorts of other wonderful things. i just get concerned when the federal policies that we have
currently encourage investment in any program at any price and don't -- you know, and don't distinguish between things that have value in a labor market and don't. >> i have a slightly different perspective from andrew but i think one that's complementary. i think maybe the biggest problem with the way our society and our government to approaches higher education is that we essentially tell people that if they don't go to a traditional four-year collegiate institution, they're losers, especially economically. they're not going to be successful. and i think that is misguided, inefficient and just plain cruel. and one of the secondary problems that has arisen from it, i don't think it has done no favor to the ideas of a liberal arts education. so i think not only do we need to keep in mind that knowledge and reflection are intrinsic
goods, i think actually in a way decoupling the economic imperatives from these institutions actually ends up helping. >> let me say too, i entirely agree with that. and i think it's important to see that people who want to defend the liberal arts -- and i would say i studied political philosophy in college. and then to become more practical, i went to the university of chicago. [laughter] i have a lot of experience with people calling things nonsense. i don't think that academics who worry about liberal education think enough about the fact that the insanity of the business model of the university is a huge problem for them. the fact that we now have a system that is economically unsustainable and so under constant economic pressure means they're the first to go, because the fact is, liberal arts education is understood by our
society as something like a luxury item. that's a mistake to some extent. it's not entirely a mistake. i think, even if you think properly about the place of a true liberal education in the life of a democracy, i'm in agreement that it is something that will interest a few and it is very important that those few have access to great education. it is not what everybody will be interested in, and that's okay. the question is, how are those few going to have access to great liberal education? and i don't think it's going to be in a system that is under the kind of pressure that our higher education system is under now. and part of what we're talking about when it comes to reforming higher ed is to make the system more sustainable by making it answer people's needs and wants better than it does know. -- does now. some of those wants are going to involve higher education and liberal education, the kind of liberal education that you would get here and other places. it's very important to some people. that means that it is a market that will be served. and we shouldn't simply think of it as a market in economic
terms. but i don't think of markets in general in purely economic terms. markets are ways of allocating resources and allowing people to find what they want. and some of what people want is this kind of, a, an educated citizenry. and b, access to truth and to beauty and to the sorts of things that a lot of people at this university seek. i think that today's higher education system is the enemy of those people. and they need to see that. they're going to be the ones who have to go first. and the kinds of solutions that andrew offers, i think, could be very good for liberal education. they involve allowing people to seek what they want to make it sustainable economically. there's no getting away from economics when we talk about higher education. >> i think this is the last question. since we haven't -- sir? >> here in cook county, we had the lowest voter turnout in
about 70 years. this was echoed in other places in the country, especially if we're talking about a market approach. how do we know what citizens want, if so few of them are participating in the process? how can we really make accurate statements about what we're going to do in the future or where we're going to go if so few people are interested in participating? >> would we know even if they did participate? anyone want to -- >> it's a great question. i think our democratic system is a way of legitimizing government power, which is essential, necessary. it's why our government is a legitimate government. it's not necessarily a way of figuring out what everybody wants. there are other ways. it's one of the ways we have to figuring out what everybody wants. other ways include markets. other ways include everything we do in society. they're always pursuing what we're after. obviously our political system -- well, maybe it's not obvious. but to my mind, our political system would work a lot better if more people participated.
i think republicans have been very bad about this, and have at least allowed a lot of the public to have the impression that they want fewer people to vote, which is nuts and shouldn't be what they want. that's not to say if everybody voted, we would know what everybody wants. you're voting among two options, neither of which is probably what anybody wants. [laughter] our system is never going to be a way of answering that question. but it is a way of answering questions about what our government should look like. i think more people should be involved in offering those answers. people in public life should want more people to be involved and more people to be voting. that should be everybody's goal in a democracy. >> i would just add, i think this is partly why it's critical, why some of the market-based ideas are critical for people being able to express their preferences, because if you have -- you know, if you have low voter turnout and one party wins, and they happen to be a part of the one that wants to impose the "one size fits all" policy option uniformly
across the entire population you have a huge segment of the population that yes, maybe they didn't come out and vote, but now they're being stuck with something is that doesn't necessarily match their preferences. it's just another avenue for people to vote with their feet and have their preferences met by their government. >> obamacare is a good example that never had majority support in the country. never has. right? >> and to close with something we were talking about earlier, to the extent that washington and the political class in general is talking about things that are of intense interest to the political class but not as much to the public at large, i think that becomes less of a reason for people to get interested in vote because they're not being offered anything that makes them want to get up. >> none of the above is not a crazy decision in our political system. >> our goal, i think, should be growing our total numbers. when you hear a lot about, you
know, that we need to win more women or we need to win more -- whatever segment of the population, my response to this is always, no. we just need more. we just need more votes. doesn't really matter where they come from. and one of the most obvious ways to do that is just to grow the pie. and i think there's just a lot of votes out there that we're not asking for. >> on that note, i think this has been a great panel. thanks to all of you guys for talking about this for an hour and 15 minutes. [applause]
>> the new congress will start off the year with 200 47 house republicans, the largest gop majority since the 1928 elections. there will be 180 eight democrats. republican commerce and michael grimm of new york says he will resign effective january 5 after pleading guilty to tax evasion. the senate, with republicans in the majority, will have 54. 44 democrats and two independents. bernie sanders of vermont and angus king of maine who are connected to caucus with the democrats. 102 military veterans, six fewer than this congress. the house will have 81 veterans in the senate, 21. of those, 23 served in the most recent wars in iraq and afghanistan while three senators serve in the same conflicts.
former secretary of state hillary clinton talked about empowering women in business and the potential impact on the global economy. female business leaders from several countries, including the wife of the former british prime minister discussed their efforts in helping more women participate in business. this is hosted by georgetown university. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. it is a pleasure to welcome all of you for joining us for this very special event. today we celebrate international council on women's business leadership, previously established i the state department and not relaunched here at georgetown's institute for women's peace and security. on this occasion we have the great pro glitch of hearing
reflections on the power of women's economic participation from the founder of the council the honorable hilary rodham clinton. it is a pleasure welcoming hillary clinton from the campus. -- to the campus. first, i wish to say a few words about the council. the international council on women's business leadership was founded by secretary clinton during her tenure as the 67th united states secretary of state. the mission of the council is to examine the most pressing issues as they pertain to women's economic participation. members of the council include prominent local women leaders to the private sector government civil society. we will have a chance to hear from this englishman numbers a little later in the program. the issues the economy will focus on our with the mission of
the university. the economic empowerment of women, emotion of gender equality, equal access to capital and markets and the building of capacity and skills all reflect our tradition of social justice thomas commitment to equal opportunity and dedication to the common good. these issues are at the very heart of how we at georgetown can see our face and global family. i wish to express my attitude to the ambassador for the ongoing leadership at georgetown institute for women peace and security and her vision and welcoming the council to georgetown. at this moment in time we recognize no nation can achieve the fullest potential economic or otherwise with any segment of the population -- if any segment is abused, neglected, oppressed or disenfranchised.
the voices and talents are ignored, the promise and possibility remain unrealized. it is in this context we are greatly honored to house the national council on women's leadership and deeply on the impact it can make throughout the world. including more women at the top of the word nations -- organization businesses and their it is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do. it is good for business, good for results. it is now my honor to introduce our speaker today. for nearly four decades and in various roles secretary clinton has championed women's issues. she has strengthened opportunities for women's political, economic and social engagement and has been a long voice for the disenfranchised.
and her claimed speech in beijing in 1995, declared human rights are women's rights women's rights are human rights. the defining moment for local women's rights movement. throughout her career of service and advocacy, then as first lady you -- next as united states senator and most recently secretary of state she has worked to highlight women's contributions and create and institutionalize the policy. her efforts continue to ensure raider -- greater recognition -- recognition of women and the goals and political systems around the world. at georgetown we are honored i heard dedication as the honorary founding chair of the institute for women's peace and security. now, my deep privilege to introduce to you and welcome to the stage, the honorable hillary
rodham clinton. [applause] >> hello, georgetown. oh my goodness. hello. thank you all very much, and it is always great to be back at georgetown. i want to thank president for not only those really kind remarks but for his real understanding and commitment to the issue that we're here to discuss today, and that is the empowerment and dedication of
women and girls and in particular in the economy. before i turn to that subject i want to express my personal feelings about the loss of dean carol lee ann kuster. carol was -- lancaster. she was a great colleague. and when i was secretary, we looked for in created a lot of partnership with the school of foreign service. so my thoughts and prayers are with carol's family and friends and the entire university. she would really have loved to have been here because she would have approved of this gathering and she was instrumental in the first ever anywhere in the world
georgetown institute for women peace and security. so for me, this is yet another wonderful opportunity to talk about work and in partnership with so many others and the model that georgetown is providing through the institute is on the brink of being replicated in other places around the world who recognize the significance of taking the subject of women, peace and security and integrating and in class -- world-class education like georgetown. one of the new partners for the institute is the international council on women's business leadership. this is a council that i started with the ambassador when i start
with -- when i served as secretary of state because we understood from the data that we were able to gather and what we saw as the challenges confronting women here at home and around the world that economic participation needed much more participation. i was very pleased that much more women business leaders from around the world were able to join the council and the council has moved to establish a permanent home from the state department in georgetown and leaders have traveled from across the world from every hemisphere, every continent to participate, and i want participatory -- i want particularly to thank the cochairs. and of course, i am deeply
grateful to my friends and georgetown alum the first ambassador for global women's issues for spearheading so much of the work. when we first started this council in january 2012, there may have been a few or maybe more than a few of traditionalist thinking is it really worth a secretary of state time to start a program on women's economic participation? is this really the kind of issue that deserves high-level attention? as i wrote about my choices that described for four years i was privileged to serve as secretary the answer for me is very clearly yes, because when you are in a position in the world such as we have a surround us
today, you of course have to deal with the brewing crises, over the horizon, but you also have to look for ways of leveraging the kinds of outcomes that you hold are achievable here in our country and more importantly, around the world that will lead to greater peace prosperity and progress. of course there is a very compelling moral change to be made, and we should never shy away from or quit saying women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights. there is also a case that undercurrents that moral imperative. during the 1990's it was a little lady traveling across west africa. everywhere i looked i saw women's working.
in their fields, market stalls carrying water, selling aircraft. i asked the economy we were meeting with how did you of value eight the contribution of women make to the economy here? one would say we don't. because we do not participate the economy. what we met is classic economic analysis. the economy of one -- once job one does in the factory. the work of the family that created opportunities for these women to gather income in the markets or to get enough food to feed their family with maybe a little left over. that got me inking, what would happen if women stopped working
in the informal economy? i said to the economist wouldn't your con -- analysis mean you were not counting what they would be doing but the economy would stop. yes, that is appointees said. it is a point we are finally beginning to grapple with. it is true more often -- women have the opportunity to participate formally, their families and communities will prosper. for example, we know that india where women spend an average of six hours per day performing unpaid labor, the growth domestic product would grow by $1.7 trillion if women are dissipated in the formal labor force at the same level of men
or even if the work they were now doing, if their activities were more respected, they would be included in the calculation of the formal economy. i know you must be economic news here. i hope you will think about this issue. how do you add value eight this in the so-called economy? we do want women to worth -- move from the informal economy to the formal economy. we also want it to be possible to a value eight the contribution from the informal economy. unfortunately a new global report released just this week again confirmed a small improvement in the gender gap in economic participation and economic opportunity remains high and the consequences are significant because if we post
the cap and workforce participation between men and women around the world, gdp would grow by nearly 12% by 2030. at the state department as late again to integrate women participation and rights into our foreign-policy objective, we began to look for and ask for the creation of more data. if you present this kind of data about the gross domestic product and regions and even of the world, it is acceptable and compelling heads start nodding even among skeptical leaders. that is why at the clinton foundation my daughter and i are heading up an initiative. we are collecting and analyzing of last amounts of data to map
out the gains women have made and also highlight the gaps that remain. nearly two decades after the united nations world for conference calls call for in the platform for action full participation in every aspect of the society, a growing number of leaders have come to understand how important this is. they see that we cannot afford to leave the challenge on the sideline or money's on the table. we began rolling out our thinking behind this agenda. this is the conference concerning asia-pacific economic community that the united states was hosting in 2011. the san francisco declaration is an example of momentum building. it is focused on the most
serious obstacle facing women and children access to capital access to market, skill training , rebuilding and leadership. these challenges have guided the work of this council as well. let's look at access to capital in leadership. globally researchers estimate the financing gap for women-owned small and medium-so this businesses with the greatest acceleration of growth occurred, that gap of the financing women's businesses and men's businesses is around $285 billion. that we know if more women had access to credit, more businesses would get off the ground more jobs would be created more revenue generated. similarly women still face fewer
opportunities to rise up the corporate ladder and rise to leadership positions. this is despite the fact that it has now been very convincingly shown that when women have a seat at the corporate table their perspective often improves corporate governance and performance. through the council partnership and program, we face encouraging progress in the areas but no there is more to be done. laws and regulations are still on the book in more than 100 countries. there is a substantial gender gap in internet connectivity and mobile use. that women's -- that limits the ability to take advantage of new
opportunities. as the economy evolves, new challenges emerge. when the prime minister was elected in japan, he said it the best things he could do to get the japanese economy again would be to get more educated innovative women into the work worst he called it wo meneconimics. more educated, innovative women into the workforce he called it womenconomics. i talked with him about what he meant by this and what his government was trying to do about it. he spoke about the obstacles discouraging japanese women, educated women in a highly developed country, from entering the workplace and the cultural shift needed to break out those barriers and expanding flexibility in the workplace access to child care and elder care would boost productivity and allow more parents, men as
well as women, to work -- to work full days. japanese women are primarily responsible for both childcare and elder care. there are not the kind of alternatives that exist in many other societies. there is a very low rate of immigrant workers coming into the country. he is opening the door to the whole debate around work-family balance and around the care that is necessary to be provided. there is nothing more important than caring for one's family members. how is that accomplished in a way that will benefit individual families and the entire country? we face obstacles here in the united states as well.
four in 10 primary breadwinners are now women. yet american women still make less than men for doing the same job. the lack of flexible and predictable scheduling affordable childcare, paid sick leave and paid leave, we are one of the few countries without it. it keeps too many women on the sidelines. if you ask ago, while we were in the hospital waiting for our granddaughter to make her appearance, a nurse came to me and said thank you for fighting for paid leave. she went on to tell me that she sees families every day who struggle to balance work and parenthood. in fact, she does it herself even while she is taking care of someone else's baby her thoughts are with her own. what if her child gets sick? how will she be in two places at once?
this is the constant interior dialogue that goes on for the vast majority of women, mothers in our country. so we know that we have made progress. the women on this council are clear. -- are clear evidence of that and some of the brightest minds in the world are gathered here. business leaders, diplomats, heads of multilateral organizations, senior government officials, issue experts -- and they are helping us think through how we solve these challenges. i will give you a great example we just heard about from our counsel. one of our councilmembers from indonesia said she had done a study of markets because most of the people, 90%, of the people working in markets, which is still the place where most of the people in the world, not supermarkets but real, on the ground local markets get their
supermarkets but real, on the ground local markets get their food, get their goods that they need to run their households -- she did a study. 90% of the people working in the markets are women. there are no toilets available for women in the numbers that they represent. think about it. it is such a simple thing. there is certainly no childcare. so is there a safe place you can leave your child while you are wrestling around trying to sell in the marketplace? and maybe your hours are going to be severely restricted because there is no place to use a restroom. i recently met with my husband the new prime minister of india, prime minister modi. he is very focused on basics
like sanitation. girls, as they get older, cannot go to school if there is no sanitation. women can't get very far from home because there is no toilet. so we in this council are looking at everything from truly the most basic barriers that enable girls and women to go on to higher education, enable them to be in the workforce aware -- away from their homes for some period during the day, all the way to how do we get more women on corporate boards and into executive positions. we are really here today to invite the students of georgetown to help us problem solve, to think through ideas that you might be either aware of or thinking about and share with the institute for women peace and security as we continue this work. in a few minutes, there will be a panel discussion with leaders from the united kingdom, israel, indonesia, and the united
states. so we can get into more depth on some of these issues. but this is finally on the global agenda. we have come a long way since i had those discussions back in africa in the 1990's where it just didn't register that there was a problem. we worry in the informal economy. everybody knew that but it did not account for anything. there was no real effort made to open the doors to try to help more women get into the formal economy. so we need to be looking at what have worked in communities around the world. we need to scale and sustain past ideas, collaborate, bring more models that have a great partnership between the public and the private sector and civil
society because, if you look at the data that has been generated by the world bank, by the imf, by the oecd, by private sector analysts, we, in a time where the global growth rate is not yet what it needs to be, it is not really fully recovered from the great recession and crisis of 2007, 2008, 2009, we have made more progress comparatively in the united states but we still have millions of americans who have not recovered their income, who don't have job security, who are long-term unemployed. so why would we ignore any solution that might work? and if you look at the data, and i invite you all to do that and we are going to be producing more data through the clinton foundation no ceilings initiative, it is very clear that the more women we can get to participate fully and get paid equal pay for equal work,
the faster our economy will recover and economies across the world likewise. the gdp projections that have been calculated, if we could get women's labor force participation to equal men's are really staggering. in developed countries, it could be eight percent, 9%, 10%. in less developed countries coming to be 30% to 40% so this issue about how we create jobs in the global economy today, for men and for women, have we really help prepare young people for the jobs that are going to be available through education
and training, this is going to be one of the most significant questions for public policy and for private-sector decision-makers. as those of you who are students here graduate and go into the world of work, we need more entrepreneurship. we need to encourage more young people to start businesses. we need more seed capital. we need more crowdfunding. we need more access. we need more mentoring. and teaching about business plans and how you deal with the economy and the stresses you will face. we have a whole menu of issues that will be relevant to men and women. but if we say some extra attention to getting women into the formal economy, it will be good for everybody. we cannot get ahead in the united states or anywhere by doing what we used to do because that is not the world in which we live today. we have to unlock the potential of every person and grow the economy's of every nation. it is the only way we are going to be able to grow together and create a middle-class that is dynamic and strong and creating jobs and opportunities for generations to come. with this new grandchild of
ours we spent a lot of time looking at her -- [laughter] and a lot of time thinking about there certainly is no doubt that her parents and her grandparents and her extended family will do all that we can to make sure she has every opportunity to fulfill her own god-given potential. but we also worry about the world that she will inherit as an adult. what will be the opportunity available to her and to others in 20 to 25 years as they enter
adulthood? here in our country, we call it the american dream. others have different variations on that, but we have always believed that every generation by working hard, can do better than the last. we have been confident and optimistic through hard times. we have rebounded. we have shown resilience. but we need to make some adjustments. our system has to be better prepared to deal with the realities of the world we are in today. you are getting great preparation here at georgetown one of the premier places for your education. but you should not have to be someone who goes to georgetown or, in our case, the granddaughter of a former president who also happened to go to georgetown. [laughter]
to be given the tools and to have the support of your community as well as your family. bill and i talk a lot. we came from different that grounds, but, boy, did we have extraordinary opportunities. he, from arkansas, me, from outside of chicago. in addition to the public schools in the public parks, and the stable economic opportunities that were passed together by our respective families over time, the hard work that went into that, we believed that there was this unlimited potential out there. that is what i want you to believe. but not just you. people your age not very far from here who may be didn't finish high school, maybe are in the workforce, could not dream of being in this magnificent gaston hall, but who are part of our larger community, our web of responsibility. we will do so much better if we remember that we should find a
way to help everybody. and this council is looking specifically about how we help girls and women to fulfill their own economic intentional -- economic potential. thank you all very much. [applause] economic intentional -- economic potential. thank you all very much. [applause] >> so now to expand on what secretary clinton said about doing what every country wants to see, growth its economies create jobs, ensure inclusive prosperity for its people, we
are going to have a conversation among four remarkable women who, as you heard, come from four different. -- different parts of the world. and that comprise different parts, the so-called golden triangle, the private sector government, and nonprofit/civil society philanthropy. after we have a conversation among ourselves, we will open this to the students for questions. so think about what you might want to ask them. i will ask the panelists, as i introduce you, if you would please come forward and take your seats. so i want to welcome back cheri blaire. she heads the foundation for women which supports entrepreneurs in developing countries, providing them with skills, technology, networks
and access to capital so they can better contribute to their economies. she has had a distinguished legal career and is well known for her work in human rights law. today, she also shares on the strategy, a law firm. she is married to the former prime minister of the u.k. tony blair. cheri, happy to have you. [applause] and for nuven is the global strategy and marketing officer for bank of america. and a member of the company's executive management. she also leads bank of america's corporate social responsibility program which uses the capabilities of the company and
its global platform to work with a range of partners. she has repeatedly been on every list as one of the most powerful women in banking. we want to welcome you back to georgetown. the honorable -- is the former minister of trade and later the minister for tourism and the creative economy in indonesia. she is a powerful leader who has been called the woman behind indonesia's economic growth. she is regarded as a well-known economic expert on trade and she is -- she has also been on the faculty of economics in the university of indonesia and is widely published as a professional economist. they're in mind that indonesia is southeast asia's most populous country and its largest
economy. [applause] oh for a strauss is the chairperson of the board of the strauss group, on international corporation with a portfolio of five companies and thousands of employees around the world. she, too, has been ranked among the top business women in the world. she is also the president of jasmine, a program that works with jewish and arab women who are engaged in small and medium-sized businesses in israel. an effective combining of free enterprise and social responsibility. we welcome her with us today. [applause] so thank you all for being here. cheri, we heard secretary clinton talk about the importance of women's participation in the economy and certainly the role that women entrepreneurs have in starting
small businesses and growing them their potential is largely untapped around the world. you have a foundation now that has been doing extraordinary work in training and mentoring women in entrepreneurship. give us a sense of what a difference that makes and how you partner with others in a collaborative way to ensure that this work can go on. >> the difference it makes, if you can make [indiscernible] in the formal economy is vast. both for the economy itself and its growth, but also for the impact it has on their families and their communities. research shows time and time again that women reinvest all the money that they make back into the home and into the wider community. so it makes good business sense to help women participate. as for the foundation, we have
tried to work with small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in developing countries, in particular africa, the middle east and asia, to help them expand and grow their business partly by giving them capacity training, partly by giving them opportunities for mentoring and particularly by harnessing the power of technology. i think one of the ways that we have done that most successfully is by not trying to do it all ourselves but by partnering with others, other nonprofit associations working in this area and also within the private sector and with government. a great platform -- a great exfo is our mentoring platform which was highlighted in the international council in the business leaders last report.
in addition, we team up -- thanks to google, we now have a mentoring platform that operates in 25 different countries and we have reached now nearly 1500 women mentees. we have match them with men and women mentors across the world to so how do we find our mentees? by partnering with other organizations, such as the u.s. state department and ngos that are already working in this area, asking them do they have women on their rogue rams who would benefit from a consistent year-long support of two hours a month over the internet from
somebody who tries to help them grow and expand their business? where do we find our mentors? people come along and apply to join but we also have great business partnerships very for example, the partnership we have with bank of america, where rank of america has 125 mentors from bank of america. as well as the individual partnerships on the platform, we also support the women so they can talk to each other. we have a network of information and advice. we recently entered into a great partnership with facebook where facebook now has a special area on facebook where they are giving our women mentees training on how to use facebook to expand and grow the marketing of their businesses. it's been very interesting to us, not only to see the impact this has made on the women themselves. overwhelmingly, 99% of the women mentees in this last intake and increase their confidence. 94% of them gained in their
business knowledge. 84% of them got new business opportunities because of the mentoring platform. what was interesting in bank of america is that 100% of the bank of america mentors also found that they grew in their own knowledge and confidence and experience of the world. i think that made active america rather happy. interestingly, we heard this today, too, in the council. many women set of businesses and many of those is this is fail. 27% of our mentees with bank of america said, had it not been for the advice from their mentor, their business may have gone under. so i think we need to support women in this way. the great thing about the internet is that it means i can be sitting in london or new york or in mumbai and i could be supporting a woman in kenya or in israel or in indonesia.
so really, it is a resource for the world. >> thank you cherie. mentoring and training are extremely important. i remember meeting with some young entrepreneurs and they all had developed a terrific business strategy and they wanted to really start their businesses and access to capital is not so easy. anne, you run a very big tank or you are close to run that big bank. i am wondering how can financial institutions be more creative in responding to this need? it is not just the world over without the united states. it includes the united states as well. i remember traveling with
hillary clinton once when a woman in desperation said to her we have a terrific business plan. we know this is going to work. we have a niche, but we can't get that first loan. and then she said the best ideas die in bank parking lots. so how do we create a way to solve some of this enormous challenge's? >> of course, we give a -- banks give, at their best, they are like a financial transportation system. they should be helping economies move forward through the movement of money. as it is sure that emma for the most part, you are giving small business knows -- small business loans to summit with a track record. when you don't have a track
record, what do you do? that is true inside the u.s. and outside the u.s.. one mechanism, a couple that we have tried to use and we are not alone, i think the financial services industry is getting more savvy about this. cd at five's our community development financial institutions. they don't require the same amount of history in terms of making money or a game plan, but they do require a sort of hands-on approach. banks give money to cd if i -- cdfi's. the banks are sort of feeling this. they provide a below market lending rate to the cdfi's along with grant dollars. the cdfi can give to these early stage small companies, very small loans, up to $50,000 $60,000, even $200,000.
it can be for housing but it is more specifically for small business. we have done a billion dollars of this kind of lending over the last several years. but we haven't focused our attention on women's small businesses, very small businesses, as much as we could have. in the last year or two, we have taken a very specific amount of money, $10 million with of lending, and worked with elizabeth street capital tory burch in trying to find these women and get the movement going. we are beginning to work with cherie outside the u.s. through the calvert foundation. it is a partnership. a bank, a nonprofit and a third party a government sort of exercise to get some money flowing's -- flowing into these businesses, very small businesses.
>> ofra, that's moved to another kind of challenge. a couple of years ago, i visited him the jasmine project in tel aviv which was working to support arab and jewish small and medium-sized businesses run by women in israel. i later learned -- i did not know in my first visit, but i later learned you were instrumental in its leadership. and it was a project that was indeed making a difference. so why did you get involved. you are a top businesswoman. why did you get involved in being so catalytic in making this project succeed? and you you think that business women and others in business because we need all the good men in this, can contribute to efforts of peace and security?
>> well, i have a few minutes to talk about my most important subjects, to talk about israel small businesses and peace. excuse me if i will not cover all of this in three minutes. >> you can go a little longer than it is a very important topic. >> it starts really with the fact that i realize, like all of you in many ways, i was privileged. i was privileged in really given the chance to be part of a great business which my grandmother, by the way, started.
i thought it obvious. i thought it's obvious i would get the chance. i thought it's obvious that i was asked to work really, really hard. and if i prove myself, i will get any job i want in the world, by the way. the first opportunity was here in the u.s.. i was accepted to work at estee lauder. it is really -- it really starts with giving a chance to others and to me especially. when i became the chair of our business, i thought it's obvious that, if you work hard and you do everything you can, you get what you thrive. the first interview i gave as a chair, i asked how is it to be a woman in the business world? what do you mean? and then i really realized, when i looked at the numbers, i was the only chairperson in tel aviv of a hundred companies. so the beginning was really nice to be by myself. [laughter]
really. but then i really realized it was not the case and i decided to use the fact that i am influential and, yes, it is not always that nice really to help other women be part of the business world. for us in the business world, it is all about the bottom line so it is a business case. look at the numbers. there are articles. it makes sense to invest in women. but still, i am involved in this issue for the last five years and to move the needle it is difficult. as like every business that we start, entrepreneurship, you need a vision. you need a very detailed program to make it happen. so i am in this journey. i will share with you some of my experience and a lot of it is really not yet shown in numbers.
so within our business, any business. in the p&l, we have expenses. one of them is really salaries or how much we pay. this is what we ask in any board meeting. and the other is how much we can spend on buying bird so in parts of the p&l, we can't influence how much we pay but who do we pay for. so how many women do we have in our workforce? i started to measure it. i want 50-50 women in management and 50-50 women on everything we are in a did and it will move and it will happen. no, it doesn't. it is about education. it is about the next generation. it is about doing it together, the whole management, men and women.
so this is within the organization. so then, it's about, ok, how much do we spend on procurement and buying. that is only the question i knew how to answer until i became one of the women council and and then i learned diversity in a suppliers is an issue. so it's a long answer to how did i get to this thing which is called small businesses and actually, when i came back from our meeting, i asked a procurement manager in our company who do we buy from. he said, what do you mean? how many women businesses? how many men? he said, you never asked it. i said, ok, i started to ask. action, you know what? it's about that. is about those questions. that is what it means, that it matters. it took us a year and a half to know exactly who are the owners of the businesses we buy from. that is how i actually said yes
when i was asked to be the head of jaffe, a women-owned business. what made a difference for me is that it is about jewish and arab-owned businesses in and every country, when you look at the diversity, women is not one color, one shape. no, it is about the same the diversity. it's in the u.s. it is in every country. i had the privilege to be a chair for an organization that speaks in three languages, arabic, english and hebrew because the women who are a part of our organization do not speak one language. so inclusivenesw is that. -- so inclusiveness is that. if you open the news, it is about the war, aggression, all
the things that we in the middle east suffer from. this is an island, jewish and arab women sitting together. it is about our business. it is about empowerment in it is about making money, feeding family. it is about business. but it is also really talking about or looking at what does it in mean when we share the same goals. the thing of peace, if you need an optimistic voice year, it can be done just because i can see it. and we have this dream that one day, in area error -- in every arab country, you will see adjustments to in that moment -- at the moment, we really cannot because of the situation in the middle east. so women empowerment and women owned businesses is a movement.
if we work together and the u.s. is a vital voice. if u.s. yourself, you americans, if it is important that you express your opinion, that you will influence, i can say very clearly yes. democracy matters. thank you all. [applause] >> so minister, we have gone from nonprofit area to business. you have been in government for many years with portfolios that are extremely important to the economy of indonesia. how important is the partnership with government in all of this? and what are some of the challenges you had to confront in terms of and indonesia still confronts because this is still a continuing process, but in
terms of moving women from informal economy to the formal economy and growing their role in the formal economy? >> thank you. i'm very pleased to be here today to share the experiences from a developing company -- developing country and a policymakers the point. transforming yourself from thinking about it and implementing policy is an interesting journey for me in the last 10 years in government. i was just reflecting just than where did the switch come from. but the switch became -- the switch came before i became the minister when i was working on millennium goals on poverty. we were in africa and we were talking about village
empowerment and how important it was to have decision-making done by the villagers, what the money would be used for to help the village. it turned out that, when you had them and decide what they wanted the money to be used for, they wanted it to be used for a parabola so they could watch football. and the women wanted the money to be used for having a piping system so they didn't have to spend three hours a day getting water. that was kind of the light switch and me and said, ok, it's not just about women participation in the economy. it is even more basic than that. it is about the decision-making from the beginning as to what the money should be allocated to and that was an important lesson for me going into government, as to how important it was to involve the women in the decision-making. we are not even talking about informal to formal peer it is even more basic than that. so when we went into government, we had very much that in the back of our minds so that, when we were implementing policy,
when you say mainstreaming gender, it sounds so good and so easy to do on paper. but when you actually try to implement it on the ground, it is not always that easy. so we tried very hard to think about it and we always tried to influence the men, of course because we were still -- even though we had doubled the number of women in the cabinet at the time from two to 4 -- [laughter] and our president was actually very open-minded and he gave very important portfolios to women. i was in charge of trade and she was in charge of finance. we were able to influence the policy making. i will give you a few examples as to how in practice, if you really have to think about it -- secretary clinton mentioned the example of the traditional markets. as minister of trade, one of my
first jobs was to revitalize traditional markets. that is all informal sector. 90% of the traders are women. 90% of the people who shop are women. when i went into the market, i was aghast because the toilets were not designed for women. because it was the men who were designing the markets during the construction. and then i was seeing women working in the markets and they had babies and they had children running around in the mess of the market and i said this is not right. and that is when i started to introduce you have to redesign the market because it is the women who are working there, etc., etc. we managed to make sure there are childcare centers and toilets that were poorly designed. and guess what? you know what the prophet centers were? the childcare center and the -- they were the prophet centers. it is more business.
when we had to deliver the cash transfer program after the rays of the fuel price, all of the empirical's -- i am a great believer in the data, it goes back to my parabola and water example. if you give the women the money for the cash transfer because you are talking about giving it to the poor, more likely, it will be used to put food on the table and save a little bit for the education. all of the empirics show that. so we wanted to give the money to the women and our president supported it didn't unfortunately, because of the regulation, because of the family cart it is the men who are the head of the family. we couldn't do it. eventually, we served to develop programs where we get ashley give the money to women -- we could actually give the money to women. cash for work during a crisis is not just for men. it has to be for women, too. you cannot just make it for making roads.
it has to also be for women. you have to really think about it and show the economic value for women. we used a lot of the arguments and i think we really appreciate what secretary clinton did in 2011 to put it on the table that it's about the economics. it is about the business. women have that value. it is not just about equality and human rights. it is about economics. that really helped us a lot in pushing forth the argument as a policymaker as well as including the men in the policymaking table. again, then we transformed it into the business side including the access to capital and the micro financing where we
found that women -- i will give you just one more example. i am giving you real examples of how we try to deal with the in him and issues. when you look at the micro enterprises, i think our number show that early 23% of fme's in indonesia are being run by women. it turns out it is because of -- and they are smaller businesses than the men-owned businesses and they have less access to capital. so there are institutional and cultural constraints. women are less confident to go to the bank to go get a loan. one of the reasons given is, well, i am afraid i cannot pay back my loan. the moment somebody gets sick in my family, i am the one who has to take care of that sick person. then i cannot pay my debt and i don't want to be in the position to not be able to pay my debt. so some of our banks -- and it became good business -- they
bundled the financing package with insurance and savings because they also worry about the education saving, saving enough for the education of the kids. so a number of our banks came up a number of our banks came up with microcredit bundles with the thinking insurance and the savings and top women and gave them confidence that, don't worry, there is insurance here. and that really worked. and the government supported that in the financial inclusion agenda that we developed later on. these are real life examples where it is not just -- we are not even talking about going from informal too formal. we are just taking care of the formal. and using financial literacy and confident for women to be able to go into a bank, and the banks
have also figured out that this is a very psychologically -- psychologically they don't even have the confidence to enter into a nice-looking office. so they bring the bank to the villages. whether it is more about banking or creating a more comfortable situation for the women to be given just a financial literacy to become with. those are just some of the challenges that are faced. i really look forward to working more on these issues. >> you are actually far ahead in some ways because we are starting to catch up understanding that credit and savings and insurance all matter in these propositions. we are going to go one quick around here and then open it up to questions. so be ready for that to cherie you have made a big footprint on showing us that we have a gender gap in mobile technology.
and we have with us on the council a representative from intel. they have done a big study on the gender gap on the intricate -- the internet. why is it critical to close this gender gap? what will happen to women in the 21st century economy if we don't address this? >> it is definitely true that knowledge is key on this. in today's world, the mobile phone in particular i think is the poor person's computer and the poor persons access to knowledge. so going back to what we just heard about in indonesia, we did a program called the business women's app, which was based -- we had it in tanzania, and in nigeria. i'm sure there are students year from the economics department and they will probably agree with me that sometimes the business concepts aren't necessarily natural.
i met many women with businesses who think, so long as i produce things and keep churning them out, surely, i will have a successful business. where in fact, it is all about as you said, the pno and was the difference between capital and income. there are all sorts of concept you deal with when you take on other employees. so we tried to put together using text messaging, a nano mba. basic tips for business women using the mobile phone. they get four text messages a week with information worked on with local universities so it was properly specific information they needed to know for their countries. it was in the local language. and we have that course. we just today, thanks to the exxon mobil foundation, we were able to publish the results.
it shows quite clearly, if you can give targeted information to the women like the women in the market that you were talking about, they will take that information and use it in their business and actually turn those businesses into even more of a success or sometimes stuff them becoming a failure. and we believe that we can use that even more. what we want to do now, because that was with exxon mobil foundation and. but it was only on handsets. we now want to take it to -- but it was only on nokia handsets pay but now we want to take it to more. there are women out there already doing business they do not have access to the formal education system that we all take for granted. but that doesn't mean they can't learn and benefit from business training delivered using the
poor persons computer, which is the mobile phone. so that is something that we want to see. i know the council will be involved in how we can work with the big companies in the tech field to actually show how mobile can be a force for good. >> there are so many good examples today from the kind of information that can come to people who would ordinarily not get it in terms of health information, vital health information, to knowing where the market is on a given day. >> exactly. we also did a mobile app that was for rural women who were selling agricultural goods and who used after work up to a day at a time to get the wholesalers to actually get the goods. when they get there, they did not necessarily have the ones
they wanted your we transferred that through the wholesalers onto a computer on the wholesaler and the mobile phone for the women sellers and they saw 200% to 300% turnover. one of the women said to me, she was a widow, she and her two children were getting one meal a day. now they were getting two meals a day and the children were going to school. this is a letter is forming thing. there is so much we can do with mobile value-added services. that is just early starting. >> let's go to the other and of the spread -- the spectrum. a lot of talk today about women in corporate boards and women bumping against the ceiling in management, women with all kinds of degrees and yet they seem stuck in some ways. i have a friend who says it's not a glass ceiling or a sticky floor. it is just a layer of men. [laughter] so how do we and how do you at bank of america -- i know you
have been very much focused on what you can do to move women within your company, the kind of internal prospects. how do you do some of that and what you think we need to do generally? >> i think we need to do more, period. and that thick layer of men, we need to thin out. we have gone through a sea change, the financial services industry. generally, when there is chaos there is opportunity. i would say that in your personal life and i think it is true also in a very large company. the women's voices at a table have made a real difference in our company in recent years. one third of our board, our board of directors, are women. half the management of the company, vp and above, are women. i do think that has made a huge difference in terms of just the conversation, let alone the
progress we've made. so it isn't what was wrong with the men here it is simply that women need to be at the table in the same way in economic terms -- if the women aren't in business, then we are tying one hand behind our back no matter what country you are from. so that has been a big thing for us to the other thing is, in just having the relationship with cherie or the vital voices or the tory burch foundation, we find our own women very enthused by this opportunity. we now have men that are participating in the cherie foundation, mentoring, because they feel just as much satisfaction. it gets everybody thinking about let's be a little more entrepreneurial. let's think a little more progressively. in our case, we are a huge company but we have 15 million people that mostly do their banking on mobile banking in a completely developed world. yet they have some of the very
same questions about financial literacy. we did a program on financial literacy for years. i think people think it is like paint drying. they don't like it. and then when we became partners with online education, we interviewed our own people, let alone the marketplace. we did it -- we redid everything and we got basic. it was in these digestible bites. before you tell me how to create a nest day, please hold up the paycheck and tell me why i am only taking home half of what i thought i made. when you think practical, it makes a difference. a mix of people in your company feel better about you. i really have to thank the nonprofits that we have worked with because they have enlightened us. >> ofra, we talked a lot about
the power of small and medium-sized businesses and it has been particularly hard or women to be able to move into the space urine that when they do, to ensure that they can grow. give us just a quick snapshot of the state of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses in israel. >> just to put in a different light the whole idea of small and him-sized businesses and academics -- we are here in the academy world, actually, small and medium-sized businesses is a ministry -- a measurement of entrepreneurship. what you see in emerging markets or developing countries is that usually women or small businesses open because they want to provide food to their family and kids. in developed countries -- by the way, israel is one of them -- it is a measurement of entrepreneurship. people as a whole open businesses because they are
entrepreneurs. so really, when you think about economy, everybody talks about entrepreneurship as a measurement or a way to grow the economy. small-medium-sized businesses are the vehicle to make it happen during so when i suited to really look at the numbers and understand what it means and where we are on this curve, it is a different way to talk to our government about why is it so important. and when we looked at the numbers, we saw actually the amount of women-owned businesses is very small. the other factor is access to capital, mentoring. women all around the world, no matter which country, which type of country it is, we have the same issues. so let's hear. globalization means anything for small and medium-sized
businesses for women. issues, obstacles and opportunities are the same and we can really start to share how to really help small and medium-sized is mrs.. so in israel, this is a natural because it does reflect things that are in every country, even very rich countries. they have within their society emerging markets. so they are the ones who are privileged and they are participating in the economy. and there are always those emerging markets. whether it's because religion that makes them at the outskirts of society or because of the color of the skin or a hundred things. so whatever it is that we shared here, it is really relevant to every country. so in our own country, in my country, israel, there are jewish and arabs. so the jewish women have more
access to capital than the arab women. there are a lot of reasons why but, most of them do not have records and really banks and they really want to see a few years of really work. the other thing that is common to all of us, women, when they give birth, stay-at-home. we don't really think about the fact that, if we stay-at-home, we don't have records. so when we go to the bank, we have this gap. we didn't work for a while. we cared for our children. the other thing is, in our country, i'm sure in every country as well, but religious women, whether we are ultra orthodox jewish women or religious muslims women or religious christian women, they have an issue of going out of the house. so small businesses are great opportunities. if we say religion matters.
and we say it is part of the society. small businesses, mobile phones, computer really allows family, much more women to participate. in israel, what we discovered -- in israel, that is what we discovered. it doesn't matter if it is the neighborhood that we grew up or the university where we study, we have our friends and family. and if we don't reach out and look at other numbers and try to meet other cultures, which is exactly what happened to me -- i really discovered that there are so many things i don't see within our society and we are a small writing. so i can imagine in countries that are much larger. small businesses usually
represent the whole society because it is about employing one or employing to and it's a great way may be too close or to give an answer to the number one risk that the world economic forum says is a risk, which is the gap between the rich and the poor. so maybe we sit here and we talk about one of the great ways to solve one of the things that threatens actually the whole world. >> excellent. think here. i am going to end up here after i ask one more question. maybe you can begin to lineup. but minister, you said that we are not going to achieve higher growth and more equitable dissolution of income without women's per dissipation. and you and he went on to say we need to figure out how we can forward gender issues and mainstream them.
so now you conclude a decade in government. what advice do you have yourself as you go on but to all of us as we close that gap? >> i think we have to continue our advocacy as well as showing best practices and good examples of what works and what doesn't work. i believe in numbers. i have been using the numbers that fairly clinton started in 2011 and the final effect, howley 5% i think for the u.s. who are women in board members. even though it is 50% at the entry level, it is 5% at the ceo level. the numbers are much smaller for asia. japan is one of the lowest. i think japan is less than 1% at
ceo and 2% for where members. indonesia is better. those numbers i do use at every level. participation for women. the number on the boards. on every level. women owned businesses. these are numbers we use. they are important to show how much you are missing in terms of the potential of women. it is half of your human capital. we make that argument. the most important, what are the obstacles that caused this? if you start with the women on the board, why is there a funnel effect? the three constraints are the family balance, family and career balance. anywhere and anytime model.
for you to go up in the corporate model is anywhere, anytime. you have to move tomorrow to london. that is how you advance your career. unless the merit or performance system is changed, you cannot advance. the role of technology helps working from home. companies have to change in the way they evaluate performance in women and men. that has to come from enlightened, from the men who are still running the boards and in charge. it is not just about us. this is the room of the converted. the battle is out there, the unconverted, the non-converted. having more women on the board gives you more profitability. these are numbers we need to
push forward. i am a great believer in mentoring. giving women confidence. whatever model, there are different models. all of us here who have achieved some level of success, it is on us to help the younger women. i am a little bit of a role model. i did not intend to be. i was the first woman to come back to my country with a phd in economics. i'm married and having to bring children, despite my mother telling me not to do a phd because i would never get married. when women say, i'm afraid i'm going to be overqualified. i say, look at me. this is a cultural thing.
i don't know of this is across countries were not read there is a cultural thing in my part of the world where if a girl wants to do well, that is not so good. it is good for a boy, not a girl. these are the debunking of myths we have to do. we are considered ballsy. for the same behavior, the men are considered good leaders. these are cultural issues we continue to face, but we should never give up. continue to work on the unconverted. show by example. get have projects, good examples. technology. i think technology is a great answer.
a lot of the informal sector in my country, it is women working from home. making handicrafts and food. selling online. i would encourage all of us to work hard on that as a tool for women. >> we have some of those cultural issues here, too. can you tell us your name? the school you are in and your question? who it is directed to? some buddy pass class must be starting? >> i am a law student. i am from china. thank you for coming to share your perspective. i really appreciate it. i have two questions. they are both addressed -- my first question is, is there any threshold or qualification for the mentorship program? does having a business idea
suffice to the program? second, we would all agree that the women entrepreneur culture is more profound in a country like u.s. and u.k. than developing countries. is it part of your strategy to cultivate the culture in developing countries? reach up to the people who do not have the notion yet? >> i'm going to take a couple
more questions. and then the panel can finish by answering whichever one is appropriate. >> my name is nicole. i'm a student in the sfs. my question, first of all, say five women have achieved things many of us could possibly never dream of achieving and probably never well? yet on a scale, for me, a lot of these achievements seem to be directed towards a microscale. my question is, how do you bring these achievements to a macro forum? how do you identify the flaws in government and financial systems that exist on a macro scale? and how do you bridge that gap, not only between gender but between development? >> that is a wallop. another one? >> thank you so much for being here. i am a senior in the school of business. i have been involved in the georgetown entrepreneurship initiative.
one of the things i have learned is how important entrepreneurial ecosystems are to accelerating growth and innovation. having resources and entrepreneurs any physical cash in a physical -- having resources and entrepreneurs in a physical proximity makes it easier for people to pursue those. my question is, how do you cultivate those self-sustaining ecosystems in developing countries so that innovation and change can be systemic? as opposed to maybe us thinking we know all the answers? >> good. surely, a quick answer for you. then we go to the macro question, and then sustaining entrepreneurship will stop >> in relation to the question about who are mentees are, we aim it to those with an existing business. we found we get more progress with somebody who has a business
and wants to take it to the next stage. that is not to say that we don't also have startup businesses. when they started, we had a lot of young women in particular starting businesses. we have found that they need the sort of ecosystem that the third question was talking about. whereas the mentoring was actually much more helpful to women who had already started on their business journey. got to a stage where they went -- where they weren't quite sure what was next. when we are looking for mentors, we are looking for people of seven years experience. we don't want the ceo to be the mentor. their experience is so remote. we are looking for people who are on their journey to becoming ceo but still have practical hands-on experience.
i did want to say something about ecosystems. we have an enterprise development program. we have done a lot and israel, -- in israel, and lebanon. we are about to take it to the uae. we take a smaller group and do coaching, and then take a smaller group and over a year, give them business incubation and support. for example, in lebanon when we did our first project, 40 women, we managed to create over that year 16 new jobs. -- 60 new jobs i think ecosystems are important. i think you have a point. how do we encourage entrepreneurship? i'm not sure that the developing world is not full of entrepreneurs. i think it is, but it is not often acknowledge. -- not acknowledged that what
the market women are doing, what the people in the informal economy, the woman making cakes for her neighbors and the hairdresser, they are entrepreneurs. but nobody has ever told them that is what they do. nobody's ever helped them. that is why the facebook opportunity, which helps women to use facebook to get friends virtually has been such a success. i will try to come up with a brief explanation for the macro. there has been a change where transparency is more at the forefront. it is not that you like everything you see. but you see it all. once you see it all, and allows
you to reorder things. in any walk of life, because of social media, because the world has become less institutional, and i think more human, and i don't mean that in a soft way. i'm saying where individuals have a larger voice whether you , look at the arab spring or what happened with the financial services industry, transparency is more prominent. more people are at the table. there is very little you cannot do. that is something that is going to be out there. i'm not saying that cannot happen but that is a huge difference. the second thing is -- and you were saying -- how do you scale these ideas? there is nothing that happens, you do not begin anything on a big scale. you beta it. the largest companies, you see how it is going to go. you test and learn. you expand. all the things we're talking about here, whether it is maria
or myself, each of us will take some thing away and apply it. that is how businesses go. small and large. you don't just arrived on the stage, doing something big. you begin in a small way. you work it, if it works, you develop it more. i would say both of those things. the last thing, i would expect all the people to achieve whatever we have achieved and more. that is sort of a given. that is the hope of everybody. the next generation is bigger and better than we are. before i turn to them for last comments, i'm going to take one more. i'm sorry. they can factor it into their answer. >> my name is anna. i'm a senior in the school of business. i read recently of a study in a bloomberg article that nine out
of 10 women on wall street said they believed their male counterparts earned more. as women in positions of incredible influence what reason , do you see for this differential between women and men, and what are some solutions you would propose? >> quickly, i think the first thing, if you think that is happening, ask. be bold. secondly, i can't speak for every industry, but because of the way of the world in human resources, as a woman in a position, looking at what the other people are making, you ask and check. you have human resources verify.
you are not wondering. once you know, it will change. >> we are the result of the last hundred years. if you look at the next hundred years, there is more data. it is much more of an issue. everybody talks about it. the world economic forum, it used to be a small room where women issues were talked about. now it is mainly on the main stage. the gap between women and men. the access whether it is , capital, education, it is measured. there is more data. that means there is more to be done. i think that to you, the young people who study now, have more women. more opportunities than our generation had.
everybody talks about it. the numbers are there. even kind of punishment of not doing the right thing is there. on a positive, to the future, i think most of those things like measurement, understanding it is the right ethical thing. it is about the moral thing. it is about the business case. it is all there. i think things will be better. it will make the right -- if we make the right effort to ask for them, insist on them. the men will join us. if it feels that we are unique yes, we are unique. the last hundred years, it was less of an issue. now you are the next generation of presidents, ministers.
they talked about these things when they ran for their seats. i think it will be easier. girls and women, in the next 100 years. >> i think we are way ahead compared to 100 years ago or even 20 years ago. the study in our universities was showing girls were underperforming academically. they did not want to lose out getting a boyfriend. this is empirically shown in our case. 20 years later, they are not academically underperforming. 60-70% are getting -- they do -- are getting better grades than the boys.
they do not worry about that. the battle is still out there. i believe in the economic argument very much. that is the one that is going to win the battle. women are the economic drivers. it makes economic sense and business sense. right from birth all the way to when they are corporate leaders, we have to make sure -- whether it is a policy regulation that has to be changed, in institution that has to be changed, or a cultural mindset -- from birth, 0-5. nutrition and health. access to education, equal access to education. it is about building human capital. all the way to job opportunities and access to capital. these are the stops we have to continue to advocate and make the policy changes. it is not just women who will make it. it has to be the men.
there is a huge education we have to do. i am sure all of us in the room and the younger generation will be continuing to do this together. thank you. >> perfect last words. the journey continues. before we all thank our panelists, i want to think the council members here. i know airplane schedules have intervened for some. i want to thank the women and -- the women ambassadors who are here. i just noticed so many of you are here. [applause] it is wonderful to have you. i want to thank one of our guests for coming. she spent more than a decade in prison in myanmar and now is running her own ngo. thank you. [applause] and claudia. a former attorney general of guatemala.
they have made great progress in terms of justice in that country. [applause] to all of the women leaders here, the inspiration. to all of you who are going to take over we wish you well. , the council has a lot of work to do. final thanks to our extraordinary panel. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] quite this year's the 10th anniversary of c-span2 and day and mark a decade of conversations we are featuring one year of each year of the season -- of the series.
afraid of kenya is he knows -- alfredo hinojosa talks about coming dr. q. this night at 10:00 eastern time. at 8:00 eastern, remembering public features -- public figures who died this year starting with senator howard baker was a look back at his time in congress and his time as chief of staff for ronald reagan. >> i was first elected majority leader and i had first went on the floor that day. the first thing i did was go over by bob byrd. and i said, i will never know the rules of the senate the women you do. but i will make you a deal. i will never surprise you if you won't surprise me.
he thought about it and said let me think about it. he came back later that afternoon and said, ok. and we never did. i think that tradition has carried on. i think the little that one of you as well. and it is a good -- i think robert dole adopted that one as well. and it is a good, sound system. the system itself and the rules of the senate are such that there is plenty of room for disagreement, plenty of room for controversy, and to do so within the framework of the organization without sneaking up on your adversary. quest just some of the 2007 interview with majority leader senator howard baker. airing tonight at 8 p.m. eastern 5:00 pacific. religion, politics, and social issues through american history, during the u.s. as a christian nation, american muslims and
how religious groups on immigration policy have changed, hosted by southern methodist university. >> good morning. it is a great pleasure to be here from st. louis. i am laurie maffly-kipp. my job is to briefly introduce our panelists for this session. i'm keeping the introductions brief. i've cut out the nobel prizes and other things they have done to make sure we get to their talks quickly. here we go. edward j bloom is a professor of history at san diego state university. he is the co-author of the color of christ, the son of god, and the saga of race in america 2012. and the author of w e b to boys -- w ev do boys -- "web dobois
americanprophet" 2007. he has been awarded the award in the humanities by the council of graduate schools for the best first book by historian published between 2002 and 2009. the peter seaburg award for the best book in civil war studies in 2006, and the dissertation prize. his writings have been featured on cnn.com, the atlantic newsweek, and the new york times. his presentation this morning is entitled "in the bowels of a free and christian country." our next presenter will be rebekah guest, associate professor of history and new york university. she received her phd and 2006 from harvard university. a historian of early north america, she specializes in the history of race and slavery. she has interest in the history of the atlantic world, and comparative colonialism's in north america and the caribbean.
she teaches in the graduate and undergraduate level on aspects of american history. her first book, the baptism of early virginia, how christianity graded race was published in 2012. she is a crazy cat lady and despite living in new york city remains a rabid red sox fan. her talk today is called barack hussein obama, the first muslim president. our third presenter is eileen walsh. she is an associate director of latina church studies. her first book latina pentecostal identity and evangelical self and society won the hispanic theological initiatives book award in 2005. she is authored more than a dozen articles and chapters on
the subject of latino and latina pentecostalism and has served as a media expert for outlets such as the new york times, the wall street journal. she serves as an expert on latina history for the pbs series religion in america. sanchez walsh's current projects include a project on pentecostalism in america. she will be talking about immigrant sanctuary and divine borders today. finally kevin schultz from the university of illinois at chicago. he is an associate professor of history, catholic studies, and religious studies and a chair of the department of history. a native from los angeles and teaches 20th century american history with special interest in religion, ethnoracial history, and american intellectual and cultural life. his first monograph, how postwar catholics and jews held america to its protestant promise,
charted the decline of the idea that the united states was a christian nation, and the subsequent rise of the notion the country was premised on judeo christianity. professor schultz's current work examines the fascinating intertwined lives of william buckley junior and norman mailer as a way to better understand the pivotal decade of the 1960's. he has had essays in several flagship journals including the journal of american histories, american quarterly, the american academy of religion, and labor histories as well as other distinguished output -- distinguish outlets. his talk is entitled the blessing of american pluralism.
>> good day. is the united states a christian country? was it one in the past? will it be in the future? if we look high and low, near and far, we can serve americans asking, answering, and debating these questions. they are disputed online. plastered on billboards. mentioned during news programs. and addressed by leading politicians. the questions and answers rattle with disagreement and tension. barack obama, for instance answers them one way before he was president and differently after. in 2008 he told a group in washington dc, we are no longer just a christian nation. we are also a jewish nation, a muslim nation, a buddhist
nation, a hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. three years later, speaking as president obama, and to a different audience in turkey obama explained we do not consider ourselves a christian nation or a jewish nation, or a muslim nation. his embrace of pluralism had been reconfigured into neither nor repudiation of particulars. most political and christian conservatives share their disapproval of obama. that they are anything but united on this issue of religious nationalism. it is not hate speech, cried radio and television host glenn back, to defend the united states as a christian nation. in the 2000 book faith and
politics, senator john danforth maintained that some people have asked if america is a christian country. the answer must be, no. to call this a christian country is to say that non-christians are a lesser order, not full-fledged citizens of one nation. these recent debates and disagreements are not new. the problem of what it means to be, or not to be, a christian nation has been a touchstone of conversations about religion and politics for two centuries. i wanted take us back to the age of revolution and turn our attention to a cast of forgotten founders. a group of men who harnessed the language of christian nationalism in poignant and meaningful ways. this small and overlooked cohort of bostonians a offer a
-- may offer some new ways for us to consider what is at stake when we address, when we speak the vexed political problem of the nation's religion. the year was 1777. the month was january. a particular petition on behalf of a great number of blacks was presented to the newly formed massachusetts a state legislature. it was signed by 8 men and the petition declared, we are detained in a state of slavery in the bowels of a free and christian country. the bondsman borrowed freely from the language of the declaration of independence was itself only six months old. they have in common with all other men and natural and unalienable right to the freedom which the great parent of the universe hath bestowed on all men equally. they have been unjustly dragged to this land.
they have been brought here to be sold like beast of burden. this all happened among a people professing the mild religion of jesus. what these men experienced, they called worse than nonexistence. we could engage religion and politics in their petition from a variety of angles. their description of the religion of jesus as mild could lead us to consider the potent lies of methodism and its musical inventions of songs like "gentle jesus meek and mild". or what it means have a mild faith in a time of war. the petitioner's invocation of natural rights leads us to wonder about the theological tensions between deism and revealed christianity that animated so much of the revolutionary time.
i would like to zero in on two words, bowels and beasts. with them, the men of boston discussed politics and religion not solely as abstract ideas or beliefs, that its concepts of -- but also as concept of flesh and bone. these were human activities that took place with, within, and through bodies. the rhetorical emphasis on bodies encompassed the private and public, the allegorical and literal, the biblical and civil. so let's begin in the bowels. a hallmark destination of medieval and enlightenment discourse. dante structured his poem in for -- "inferno" as a journey that
began in the mouth, flowed into the stomach, and culminated in excremental expulsion. martin luther describes the pope repeatedly as a farting rear end. around the same time john locke was putting together his second treatise on government he was penning at chapter on the importance of going to stool regularly for some thoughts concerning education. when slaves situated themselves rhetorically in the bowels of the country they presented the nation as a body. there were christian backdrops for this kind of corporal mapping. as well as enlightenment backdrops. in corinthians paul told , believers it is by one spirit we were all baptized in one body. whether we are jews or gentiles, founder free. -- whether we'd be bond or free.
the body of hands and feet, of eyes, of years, it is not one member that many. -- but many. while bodies are main of many parts, the pieces are equally valued and valuable within the one body of faith family. bodies were crucial civil metaphors as well. in the age of monarchy, european kings were thought to have two bodies. the physical body could decay, but the body politic, that they symbolized, was understood to be timeless, immutable, and composite. the visual front is peace. -- the visual frontispiece for thomas hobbes "leviathan" presented the top half of the sovereign facing the viewer. but the top half of the sovereign was actually hundreds of small individualized bodies. while viewers looked upon the face and chest of the crown sovereign they witnessed only
the backsides of the smaller depicted bodies. which we saw from the rear. members of society based into -- faced into the sovereign, they constituted the body politic, they were absorbed into the sovereign, and put into motion by the sovereign. it is a case of bodies within a body. now the apostle paul did not mention the bowels in his list of body parts hobbs did. when discussing the things that we can do commonwealth he lashed -- when discussing those things that we can -- weaken the commonwealth he lashed out at the number of corporations. as it were there were many lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater. they're like worms in the entrails of a natural man. bowels were terrible place to be, but they were also a danger to the rest of the body. in colonial massachusetts, and elsewhere, slaves were often feared for poisoning their masters in ways that upset their
bowels. crippling and killing women and men slowly, through what was put into their mouths that then came out at other locations. what took place within and through the bowels could upset the entire body. while the reference to bowels took us within bodies. the mention of being sold like beasts of burden makes us think about what is done with bodies. dehumanization and animalization were crucial aspects of making a slave culture. linguistic and physical activities often rendered that enslaved as a can or equal with -- as akin to if not equal with domesticated animals. generation after generation of african americans damped their treatments to that of animals, claiming the ultimate goal of enslavement was to transform humans into beasts. now beasts of burden were
particular entities in english husbandry. english poor laws, for instance, they differentiated those individuals who traveled with one beast of burden or more. this was a way to construct a hierarchy of poverty, who should get help. beasts of burden were recognized as doing one or two things at a time. they could carry things on their back and they could haul cargo. the massachusetts petitioners were the only one using the language of the beast of burden to speak about human relationships. scottish minister and historian william robertson when he wrote about the discovery of america he denounced native american men for treating their wives as no better than a beast of burden. while all the men loiter the women are condemned to incessant toil. the king james bible was complete to references of beasts
-- was replete with references to beasts and burden. the book of genesis described how god formed every east of the field. -- every beast of the field. in the book of isaiah too heavy a burden was placed on cattle when they were asked to carry idols. in the book of daniel there are four terrifying beasts. and in the book of revelation the beast was a leading figure. the beast was well known to colonial and revolutionary ministers. for earlier massachusetts church leader cotton mather and the humanity of slaves, and not their beastiliness was in them -- beastlyness was an embattled point. it needed to be defended. mather considered humane regard for the enslaved to be right christian theology and good domestic policy. christianizing slaves will render them afraid of speaking or doing anything that may justly displease you. he's writing to masters. masters will have more work done
for them, and better done, then -- thenan those inhumane masters who have used their negroes worst than their horses. the question of whether negroes have rational souls mather exploded, let that brutish insinuation never be whispered again. they are men and not beasts. beastlyness, inhumanity, brutish ness are characteristics of slaveholders behaving badly, not essences of the enslaved themselves. for the petitioners, animalization was general and particular. they are not just beasts, but beasts of burden that kerry -- that carried metaphorical and literal weight. bid carries heavily on the
-- it was a weight that carried heavily on the consciences of of some whites like cotton mather. it is a weight petitioners hoped they could leverage with the legislature. i'm close to out of time. i want to suggest that taking the insights of these petitioners into our present that it may provide new bridges for us to cross the political and religious divides that fracture the contemnor united -- the contemporary united states. what if we began where the petitioners did, and bodies -- in bodies connected to other bodies, and then moved to our ideas about whether the nation is or is not christian or religious? from this vantage point, starting with bodies, i would like to suggest that glenn beck, senator john danforth, and barack obama stand together. they respect bodies. in faith and politics, senator danforth expressed profound
frustration with the use of teri schiavo, the florida woman who remained hospitalized in a vegetative state for 15 years to make political hay. his concern was for the sanctity of her body and the well-being of the bodies around her, family members, friends, doctors. danforth was not interested in this case with the body politic that was the republican party. glenn beck cherishes the founding fathers like george washington in part as he sees -- in part because he sees george washington as a defender of jewish americans and their right to their religious freedom, and that defending their religion is also about defending their bodies to practice that religion. finally, it's clear that bodies loom large in barack obama's political and personal imagination.
his father's absent body, the bodies of dead children, of abortion protesters, the bodies of religious communities, they animate the audacity of hope and other key obama writings and speeches. obama, danforth and beck disagree profoundly on the abstract notion of whether the nation is religious or christian or what that even means. but where they agree, we where we could begin and what we may take from the petitions of the 1770's, it's not just that everybody has a body to invoke martin luther king jr., but that everybody is part of an connected to other bodies. when we think of body second and abstracted ideologies first, we run the risk of putting intangibles before tangibles nonexistence before existence.
that was a problem these massachusetts petitioners, their families and their friends -- they knew all too well. it may be a struggle to see bodies before ballots, to see bodies before budgets, to see bodies before beliefs. what these forgotten founders of the 1770's -- they called their struggle a glorious struggle. it was one that valued and needed every body. thank you for the time. thank you for your time listening to this body and my connections to lots of bodies here and elsewhere. thank you. [applause]
>> good morning. until very recently i lived in houston, texas. this is my first trip back in over a year. it's good to be back home. there are approximately 3 million muslims in the united states, a somewhat controversial and unofficial estimate, since the u.s. census does not count the population by religious affiliation. american muslims, like every other religious group in the country, are a diverse group. they follow a variety of traditions. they are sunni, shia, or they follow homegrown american islams such as a nation of islam. american muslims are racially and ethnically diverse. they are african-american, asian, southeast asia and, arab and west african descent and an increasing number of the sums identify as latino or white. until september 11, 2001
american muslims lived in relative obscurity. largely escaping notice from historians and policy makers. the advent of the war on terror catapulted american muslims into the public eye. the election of barack obama in 2008 further spurred interest and notoriety of american muslims. obama's middle name, hussein his kenyan father, and his childhood spent in indonesia fueled speculation that obama himself was a secret muslim. despite the enormous diversity of islamic beliefs and practices in this country, both 9/11 and obama's election have proved to be focal points for often vicious critiques of islam. islam and christianity arrived on the north american continent at the same time.
christopher columbus' crew included conversos. that is moslems and juice who had been coerced into converting to christianity. early in the 16th century, and slave muslims accompanied conquistadors. as captors might not of thought of him as muslim unlikely forced him to convert to christianity after his capture, when he would have acquired his new name. between 1527 and 1536, he and three other spanish survivors walked from present-day texas to the pacific coast of mexico. estebanico was no stranger to cultural fluidity. his remarkable linguistic abilities help to pilot the expedition across north america.
in 1539, he accompanied another entrada into the american southwest using his knowledge of native cultures, languages, and diplomatic customers to guide conquistadors. he was killed near sonora in 1540. did he identify as muslim? it's an impossible question to answer. spanish officials were suspicious of muslim converts to christianity. technically the new world was off-limits to conversos. yet estebanico's presence in the americas suggested this was a rule honored in the breach. the spanish continue to use enslaved african muslims as key parts of their colonization schemes. the settlement at saint augustine contained many enslaved muslims in the late 16th century. in other words, there were enslaved muslims in north america long before permanent english settlement began at jamestown in 1607.
most muslims who came to the americas before 1850 arrived as estebanico did, as enslaved people mostly from west and west central africa, but occasionally from north africa. most historians have not attempted to come up with a demographic analysis. of the 12.5 million enslaved people brought to the americas from west africa, at least several hundred thousand likely muslin. many enslaved people arriving in north america would have been familiar with islam even if they did not identify as muslims themselves. michael gomez has noted that around 50% of enslaved people coming to mainland north america came from those areas of west africa where islam was either state-sponsored or associated
newspapers around the country chronicled his travels and life story. chronicle is asian and busiest -- that is, white americans who wanted to emancipate black people and repatriate them to west africa -- colonization enthusiasts hoped that the "moorish prince" would aid them in establishing the o-matic ties between the colony of free people in liberia and nearby african kingdoms as well as helping convert west africans to christianity. in 1829, he journeyed to liberia with his wife, though he was unable to fulfill the hopes of his captors and sponsors in the united dates. he died shortly after his arrival. we know about him in part because he was literate and also was able to advocate for himself
and his family using american ideas about muslims to help get what he wanted. most enslaved muslims were not so lucky. and educated muslim in his freedom -- gained his freedom. he moved to washington, d.c. where he owned property until his death. they had compelling biographies that often stand in for the stories of enslaved muslims. most enslaved muslims were not literate or did not otherwise have the means to make their stories known. most enslaved muslims worked to keep their faith intact even in the face of persecution, passing on their names, rituals, and prayers to their descendents. retaining islam as an enslaved people in they new world with a form of resistance and self-preservation.
while the biographies of individuals suggest how enslaved muslims lived, the devotion of most of these people went unrecognized and unremembered by the americans who own them. -- owned them. a number of enslaved muslims in the united states probably rose in the last decade before the close of the trans-euphonic slave trade. united states had drastically increased importations of enslaved people in anticipation of the closing of the trade in 1808. sometimes these muslims were apparent to otherwise blind americans. the presbyterian clergyman noted that quote, the mohammed in africans remaining in the old stock of importations had been known to accommodate christianity to muhamedism.
god, they say, is allah, and jesus christ is mohammed. the religion is the same, but different countries have different names. his observations signal discomfort with african-american spirituality. despite the visibility of african muslims, most enslaved muslims remained invisible to their captors. this was the beginning of an erasure, the presence of enslaved muslims was opec to their captors and remains largely opaque to historians. refusal to recognize contributes to an ideology in which islam is foreign to the united states.
if americans did not learn about islam from their enslaved property, they learned about it through other means red -- means. the context of warfare violence, piracy, and travel. the english adventurer francis drake carried enslaved turks away with him after his siege of [indiscernible] in 1586. turk was an all-purpose english description or of any muslim person from north africa or the ottoman east. it was a very broad descriptor and doesn't necessarily mean someone from present-day turkey. one of these men converted to christianity before the english sent him back to constantinople, where they hoped he would facilitate a number of conversions from islam to christianity. their hopes were unfounded. englishmen saw islam as a threat and competitor.
anguished sailors, merchants mercenaries and travelers in the mediterranean were under constant risk of being captured, enslaved, and converted to islam. an estimated one million europeans were enslaved in north africa and the ottoman empire. some of these people converted to islam in order to gain their freedom. others hoped relatives would ransom them. they wrote letters to family and charitable organizations in england, often at the insistence of their owners in hopes of redemption. garth african paris he threatened american shores as well. in 1690, a man was reported unhappily taken by the turks and carried to algier. he was esteemed dead. john smith fought the ottomans of eastern europe in the early 17th century and was taken as prisoner of war and enslaved in 16 oh two.
smith reported that his master ordered other slaves to quote, strip him naked and shave his head and beard. a sickle was riveted around his neck. eventually smith escaped after he quote, beat out his master's brains. despite this experience, smith had little to say about islam or muslims. after his escape, smith traveled extensively as a free man throughout the north african state, observing the wealth and power of these princely estates and noting that the quote, countries of fez and morocco are the best part of all barbary. they eat well and have all good necessities for man's use. another virginia colonist drew upon his experience as a clerk in constantinople to draw comparisons between ottoman muslims and native north americans. some of his observations were relatively neutral.
he noted, quote, the indian drink is, as the turks clearwater. the indians spread a mat as the turks do a carpet for them to sit upon. his comparisons were less sanguine when discussing indians' marital habits. he wrote to the chief -- while the chief followed a polygamous practice but did not keep all of his wives as the turks in one house. he theorized that these sensual helps weaken the indian's body politics. describing young boys' play. islam was merely another -- more than nearly another point of reference for him. both an idiom for copperheads in the strangeness and foreignness of native people as well as a way of expressing disdain for native customs that the english new primarily from muslim countries, such as polygamy.
islam operated in english discourses about the new world generally as a point of negative comparison. between the 17th and 19th centuries, the islamic world occupied a key place in anglo-american [indiscernible] i guess political tyranny. seemingly senseless violence slavery, and other questionable practices. timothy marr has called this rhetorical praxis -- practice as islamicism. the identification of political violence and tyranny was muslim practice and muslim peoples generally in particular is thus centuries-long tradition. to call it a political opponent turkish was to intimate oath tyranny and senseless violence -- both tyranny and senseless violence.
american ideas about islam became important the emergence of the latter day saints, who for some decades allowed polygamist marriages. americans opposed to mormonism likened the latter day saints church to islam and joseph smith to mohammed. these commenters link division of politically to radical islam to an emergent idea of islam but was also tyrannical in the home, especially to women. one commentator, quote, turkey is in our midst. modern mohammed inhabits mecca at salt lake, where the prophet speaks of his wives as cows. clearly they koran was joseph smith's bottle. there are many, many other commentators writing similar things linking the emerging religion of the latter day saints with what americans thought islam to be. the idea that islam and by extension mormonism devalued women reverberates even into contemporary discourses about the islamic world and the place
of women in it. the conservative christian evangelist franklin graham and bill mark have used american notions about the status of women in majority muslim countries to fuel islam a phobic rhetoric. i can talk more about this in the q&a. american islamist schism was a complicated interplay of human experiences of the muslim other accompanied by rumor stereotypes, and the ever present threat of violence here and while americans had difficulty seeing enslaved muslims in their midst, they had and continue to have no such trouble understanding islam as inherently tyrannical and misogynistic. titling this talk barack hussein obama, america's first muslim president, plays in a satirical way on the ways in which americans doubt the president's religious affiliation and use his supposed muslim-ness to
demonstrate his on-americanness. barack obama became, however unwittingly, if focal point of islam a phobic commentary in the united states. this denies the complex histories of american muslims, but engages on extending islamicist discourses that originated in the 15th and 16th centuries. it has also had the effect of marginalizing and other ring american muslims. thank you. [applause]
>> good morning. judging by the election a few days ago, this is quite a good topic. how can an administration that began with such traumas with regard to the sheer amount of support it received from latinos and so badly. how could one of the latinos' key issues promised as a first-term agenda item be tucked away until the second term? luckily, we do not have to weigh in on that question of political strategy. perhaps a more intriguing question is why would they support president obama at all. deportations average 400,000 a year since 2000 eight. with the continued militarization of the border and in 2011 more than $18
billion from border engines, drones -- why do latinos continue to vote for obama? why do representatives of key religious groups support obama's immigration efforts and at the same time not support him? there is a disjuncture between obama's actions and reliance on latinos as a significant part of his reelection coalition. the question here is to the extent that any religious organization can influence the way latinos vote, which is questionable. the three religious organizations i want to examine here, roman catholic church, latino protestants, and the latter day saints, all lobbied in one way or another for immigration reform. the church did so on a regional level in utah. the methodists and latino evangelicals lobbied on behalf of the repeal of the obama law h b-56.
this is how latinos find themselves in this place. it is the intractable mythic narrative of immigration fused together with another mythic narratives about the infallibility of the rule of law. that is what eventually wins out. latino catholics, protestants, evangelicals and latter day saints had vested interests in passing immigration reform. they were incapable of overcoming this narrative that is comprised the history of latino immigration for centuries. the rule of law and chives of civil religion over compassion to the stranger won out. his interpretations of latino immigration by stressing virtuous, hard-working narratives of immigrants past, the sanctity of the family, and how immigration itself acts as a monolith for how this country has been built all were interweave to buy these activists into impassioned pleas to treat latino immigrants humanely and with dignity. these groups did not take into consideration, or did not fully reconcile the rate at which the dominant culture and its political surrogate has in securing their own mythic narrative.
the gop today is essentially a party anchored by older whites. these religious leaders are viewed as elites and activists out of touch with the common people. grassroots voters are the ones who vote. the struggle for the mythic immigrant narrative and the rule of law begins on the atlantic seaboard and the founding documents of this nation. it ignores the latin american roots of this nation which have been around longer than jamestown. this mythology, rooted firmly in christian nationalism, what some view as civil religion, is used rather effectively to preserve a sense of american difference and diminishes the historic role of latino immigrants to build this country. latinos have never been viewed as sufficiently american enough. narratives of illegality criminality, contagion slowly lead to the erosion of the rule
of law in this alternative narrative. it is this fear that the american way of life is being abandoned. the rule of law trope is a signifying order. it orders fairness and justice and leads to the idea that to be american means to be law-abiding. since many undocumented persons are technically breaking the law, it is questionable whether latinos can ever be good americans shared briefly, the history of mexican immigration to the united states after 1848 becomes much more complicated when crossing the border becomes an illegal act in 1929. the history is one of mass deportations and detention mostly of mexican americans to mexico, usually occurring when economic pressures dictated the precious resources of local,
state, and federal governments. such deportation starts in the 1930's, when nearly half a million mexicans and mexican american citizens are sent back to mexico. the next deportation occurs in the 1950's, called operation -- not my word. these narratives, interwoven with the idea of contagion and criminality, have fueled the ugly specter of something that happened recently in marietta, california and elsewhere, where protesters have carried signs alleging that the women and children in those buses were carrying diseases and secretly harboring gang members. these narratives and others challenge the dominant culture's
ability to determine the american mythic representation of an era somewhere in the distant past that was free of criminal trespassers who trampled on the rule of law. sensing a loss of the trope of the rule of law, what tea party activists use to counter the lobbying efforts of catholic protestant and lds leaders who for their own reasons decided it was time to push once again for immigration reform right in the middle of another seemingly endless cycle of xenophobia. latino mormons. probably no other internal debate demonstrates his clashes more clearly than the tensions that arose within the mormon church over a specific tenant of the mormon faith called article 12. one article i found in the ironically named center for immigrant rights, a group with very little interest in
immigrant rights as self identify -- an lds member, ronald mortensen, took to task the influence of the lds hierarchy in passing what he viewed as an amnesty of bill and 2011. lds members will be subject to quote, kings, rulers magistrates in honoring and sustaining the law. with the lds emphasis on the rule of law, the lds tradition of that america is a divine nation. he laments the loss of this emphasis on law and in effect the loss of his imagined america. quote, they openly talk the founding fathers were guided by the hand of god and the u.s. constitution was divinely inspired and the u.s. was chosen land for the restoration of christ's true church.
particularly problematic for mortensen and other lds members was that the appalling reality that the church was allowing illegal aliens to be baptized to accept couple recommends and serve an important church positions. mortensen lays blame on the church, who refused to acknowledge they even had an immigration reform policy. mormons are left to try to discern what this change means for the gospel as they have known it, he laments. his case study, where the bill was recognized in utah, how the lds hierarchy work behind the scenes to secure the passage of that bill, mortensen goes on to identify how the lds' call for compassion for the undocumented has shifted his own church's narrative towards a social justice agenda.
the loss of the rule of law demonstrates how far the lds church has quote, moved from its american roots. the agenda now seems to be holy guided by trying to patronize the lds'large latino constituency. as the church found it more difficult to gain converts among american citizens, lds officials increasingly focused missionary activity on illegal immigrant community. latino protestants, both the main line and evangelicals tried to upend the hb-56 law. what happened with them is the same thing that happened with catholics. they simply failed to see this grand narrative taking place both organizations, the united methodist, episcopal, and two groups that represent latino evangelicals. both organizations mission touched how much the tea party controls the republican -- misjudged how much the tea party controls the republican agenda. they failed to convince these
alabama pastors this was an issue that should bring them together in terms of lobbying efforts, writing letters, doing grassroots work. if he had done that, they might have known the desires for human treatment and compassion are admirable, but only when the narrative of desirable immigration supports this imagined narrative. that simply did not work.
what catholics and lds and latino protestants of all stripes understand is they can count, and they can count how many latinos are in the churches. they can count and understand of this trope of demography is destiny is coming to pass. that is part of the reason the roman catholic church has been supportive of immigration reform. try to make its presence known in a strong way in this debate. i took a quick perusal to the national catholic reporter to find catholics from grassroots parishioners to bishops were involved in immigration debates in one way or another for years. there were lots of stories about parishes in transition and how some of those went well.
the loss of the old european immigrant now making a transition to latino parishes. there were a few stories where it was successful undated not limit the loss of their america. there were others then rather than had the parish over to the -- be shared, they just left. what seems to be this interesting "new york times" article, they suggested that people are getting worn down by the issue. they are tired of immigration reform and immigrants in particular and they resign themselves to the fact that immigrants are here and they are not leaving. you are going to see a bit more moving of that needle towards reform for drivers licenses, reform for insurance, work laws, exhibit nature. what these stories suggest that when working in a gastric -- grassroots level, catholics will work on their own to implement. the catholic media promoted this idea the church is a welcoming and open place for immigrants. in this local setting, the catholic church looks compassionate, the stories of
young women singing to these children, it gives a very personal level to the idea that you're helping the stranger, the alien, and it lends the religious instabilities can be most really felt on a personal level. catholic bishops and other concerned clerical organizations are nearly uniformly for immigrant reform and lobbying excessively for it, but it still fails. there may be one of many reasons why it fails. the most prominent catholic politicians in congress have done little to further the interests in immigration reofrm. -- reform. a journalist had a really good piece that autopsies the failure of immigration reform and why even conservative evangelicals support leaders like joe hunter, rick moran, are incapable of using the house gop to action.
like the gop, white evangelicals are largely walled off from immigrants in a religious gerrymandering where white evangelicals find themselves in churches in the suburbs and not the neighborhoods populated by immigrants. like the gerrymandered districts of the gop, what image l adjusts to not see immigration reform -- white evangelic adjusts -- evangelists did not see immigration reform is important. an eye towards their eventual resettlement -- she repeats the claim these children are gang bangers and drug runners, they are crashing our borders. she continues, quote, this explains why the bureaucracy acts to smash the culture of a royal community by dropping blocks of primitive, hostile aliens in their midst, all in the name of compassion.
just not for americans. she asks for readers to look at a blog entitled refugee resettlement watch, who tracks refugees. under the auspices of dozens of religious organizations. she views a grand conspiracy to bring in jihadists and drug cartels and infiltrate the country. from this one can see despite their good intentions, religious groups were doomed from the start. the very contextualized approach that many did want but did not get is not selling to talk about in these churches.
failing to see the historical trajectory of latino immigrants cast as a class of unassailable foreigners may have done well to lead the congregations into axioms like the catholic bishops who this past spring held mass across the border, symbolically offering communion to mexicans and mexican-americans alike and crossing the border themselves to listen to their stories. thank you. [applause] >> first i would like to thank all my fellow panelists. i have light bulbs going off in my head, all these great ideas popping in. i want to redo my paper, but i'm not going to. i am lucky enough to teach at university of illinois in chicago. the title of my paper is "the blessings of american religious pluralism." on august 6, 2009 the u.s. senate voted to confirm sonia sotomayor's appointment.
hardly anyone thought it was wild to mention her faith. reporters talked a great deal about the fact that she was the first latino ever nominated to the court. even those who oppose her nomination, for example 31 of the then-40 republicans in the senate, did not bother to mention her faith at all instead choosing to criticize her for being an activist judge. hardly anyone pointed out that once she was sworn in two days later, she would become the sixth catholic sitting on the bench, not only giving catholics a super majority on the country's highest court, but also taking the spot of the last remaining protestant. what she was sworn in, all the
non-catholics on the bench were jews. nothing was really said about this. of the super majority of catholics on the court, the bombastic and militantly watchful catholic conservative bill donohue said barely a peep was made. for the first time in american history, not a single protestant sat among the constituents of one of the three branches of the american government. hardly anyone seemed to notice at all. my theme today is this -- among the many transformations that happened in the age of obama and despite the bombast and rhetoric coming from the religious right, surely one of the most vital themes as to be the almost casual way in which the country has come to accept religious pluralism. i'm arguing against anybody else who has spoken so far. evidence for this is everywhere.
religious discrimination is down in the united states, even as it has risen sharply in other countries throughout the world. the u.s. equal employment opportunity commission reported a sharp rise in claims of religious discrimination during the george w. bush years, right after 9/11, before noting a gentle decline starting in 2009. a large percentage of the claims were found to lack merit, which suggest there is more fear than there is bona fide abuse. perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence comes from the fact that the loudest claims of religious discrimination these days have come from some of the largest, most powerful religious groups in the country, including evangelical protestants and american catholics.
what have they been complaining about? not that they themselves had been prevented from worshiping as they see fit, but in america's quest to honor its minority faiths, the country has curtailed the rights of large groups from imposing its beliefs onto others. no catholic was ever forced to practice contraception under president obama's affordable care act, but some catholic employers were asked to contribute to the contraceptive efforts of employees who might. no protestant had been asked to denounce their own faith, just to honor the right of others to practice there's. speaking to past eras of religious discrimination including burning of churches, denying of employment, forcing certain people to live in certain neighborhoods depending on what their religious beliefs
were, this is an era marked not by heavy brutalities based on discrimination, at least religious discrimination. perhaps surprisingly, this general acceptance of america's religious pluralism is more ideological than demographic. in this case it is the ideas that matter and not the numbers. there hasn't been any significant uptick in the number of religious minorities in the united states. anyone who looks at the numbers, it is clear that the united states is still a profoundly christian nation. somewhere in the range of 76% to 78% of americans claim to be protestant or catholic. 50% of americans claim to be protestant, and 25% claim to be catholic more or less. among the nations of the world the united states isn't that religiously diverse. a pew study from 2012 ranks the united states as the 68th most religiously diverse nation in the world, more diverse than
iran or afghanistan but far less diverse than vietnam or nigeria or new zealand. some might say celebration of our religious diversity, the vast diversity we have among the non-russians -- non-christians -- on the one hand, there is some truth to that. on the other hand, this acceptance must be viewed with great caution. consider the vast majority of america's non-christian population, 25%, the vast majority of those claim to have no religion at all, a group that is rapidly approaching 20% of all americans. we will hear about this later.
all the other religious minorities put together, jews, muslims, hindus, buddhists jains -- when you put them all together, they totaled just 5.3% of the population. if almost every faith in the world can be found somewhere in the united states, america can still make little claim to being among the most religiously diverse nation in the world. indeed, it is 68th. what has changed during the first years of the 21st century is americans have become far more accepting of religious traditions that are not their own, including profoundly towards people who claim no religion at all. if america is not terribly diverse, it is increasingly accepting of the idea of religious pluralism. as historians, we all care about where these ideas come from and the idea of america's religious pluralism has a history. there were some iterations of it in the early instances of
american history, all the way back to the maryland toleration act of 1649 to james madison's memorial against religious assessments of 1785 to the first amendment of the u.s. constitution. throughout the 19th century, the united states was largely controlled by what historian [indiscernible] has called a moral establishment that made protestantism legally regulated region of the land. people could be cited for blasphemy even if the state had no blasphemy laws. the moral codes of protestantism were non-litigious excepted as common law.
even though there were constitutional protections against establishing religion as the law of the land, he argues that the protestant majority could effect its will through the courts and through the culture. the first instances of this idea of america's religious pluralism take lice in the first decades of the 20th century, -- place in the first decades of the 20th century, when the massive industrialization going on at the time created scads of urban plight. protestants fashioned what came to be called the social gospel movement, and much to their surprise, they found on those main urban streets catholic and jewish groups doing much of the same work. the first instances of working together take place in the fields, filling sandbags during floods or feeding hungry in times of economic recession. these initial interfaith activities bled into some of the first conversations of religious goodwill.
many began to ponder write down these thoughts -- ponder, write down the thoughts, but maybe america cannot not just consider itself a protestant nation any longer. it was in reaction to the rise of open nativism that happened throughout the united states in the immediate post-world war i years, when anti-catholic and racist, anti-semitic ideas continued to take hold in american life. this is when the ku klux klan has its most dramatic revival, when woodrow wilson is busy
segregating washington, d.c. the ultimate achievement of the nativists in this 1920's era was the spearheading of the drive to and widespread immigration which culminates in a landmark immigration restriction act of 1924 and even worse ones of 1929. several movements rise up to push back. the most successful of these movements is called the goodwill movement for religious tolerance in america, led by liberal protestants working together with catholics and jews. the most successful was the national conference of christians and jews. their whole goal is to reimagine what the united states was, to pull it away from a vision of america centered on white, protestant nativism and focus more on a general acceptance of the idea of pluralism and especially religious pluralism. america could honor this time-tested ideal of equality and liberty, no matter which faith you got there by. these organizations did crazy, foolish things that are fun for us to find in the archives.
they sent a rabbi, priest and miniter into small towns where they had never seen a rabbi or priest and they would do that on stage shtick to dispel the myths about these minority faiths. they went on to found the religious news service, which is still active today. their biggest victory comes during world war ii, with an enemy like hitler, the national conference of christians and jews is not have to result to saccharine to make its point. in making these arguments that we no longer can be seen as a protestant nation because that
is what hitler looks like, the goodwill organizations were wildly successful during the second world war. it was one of two non-military groups admitted onto every military base in the country and in the world, the other being the red cross. they actively aided the chaplaincy corpse, they provided literature to soldiers, and they provided business card sized prayer cards they would give to each soldier in case your comrade happened to be dying and he was of a different faith. on one side was a protestant and on the back were catholic and jewish prayers. after the war, catholics and jews, having a taste of equal place at the table, they did not want to let go. in fraternities and colleges and nearly all aspects of american life, throughout the 1950's groups of protestants, catholics and jews articulated and fought for acceptance of religious pluralism. fraternities had to change their charters. we should either get rid of the
crash or invite all faiths to celebrate on city hall. in the early 1960's, the court responded to this vision of america with two banner corporation is that outlawed forced fair and bible readings in the public schools -- prayer and bible readings in the public schools. the overriding story is the court's declaration that the united states government should not prioritize one faith over any other and should allow them free reign to practice as they see fit. girl is and had arrived -- pluralism had arrived. this happens before 1965 and is incredibly important. in 1965 lbj ushered in immigration reform, which to nearly everyone's apprise who voted for the bill actually allowed large numbers of people from africa, asia, and latin america to come to the united states, bringing with them their
faith. in came sikhs, large numbers of muslims, hindus, and more, and hardly any of them when they came were persecuted for their faith. this is celebrated by a book called "the new religious america to get a country she argues had gone from a protestant nation to a tri-faith nation to a wildly diverse nation at the end of the 20th century. the book is mostly a celebration. american diversity had come. the numbers just don't hold up to this argument. less than 6% of all americans are of a faith that is not protestant, catholic, or nothing.
what has won is this idea of america's religious pluralism. although he operated in a subordinate role to greater social trends, president obama has played a role in this almost casual acceptance of america's religious pluralism. in his inaugural address of 2009, obama becomes the first president to acknowledge a wide swath of faiths, including the nuns -- nons, people with no faith, as importing constituents in the american project. we are a nation of christians and muslims, jews and hindus and non-believers, he said. we are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass that as the world grows smaller,
our common humanity shall reveal itself. in addition to this stirring rhetoric, once you start quoting him it's very hard to know how to stop -- in addition to the rhetoric, obama almost immediately, within a week of becoming president, re-crafted president george w. bush's office of faith-based initiatives which bush had designed to funnel money to religious organizations providing social services to the hungry or the poor but which quickly came under attack for a way for president bush to funnel money to his friends in the religious right. when obama comes into office in 2009, 1 of his first acts was to broaden the number of recipients as well as establish an expensive advisory council to ensure there is no favoritism at
play. in come muslim groups trade income -- groups. nowhere has this understanding of american pullers -- pluralism shaped obama's presidency more than in its dealings with predominantly muslim countries. obama sought to reconcile relations with certain middle eastern countries, especially turkey. at a joint press conference with the president of turkey, obama reflected on the similarities between the two nations, specifically citing a common, if contested, tradition of religious pluralism. you have heard this before -- although he said, we have a very large christian population, we do not consider ourselves a christian nation or a jewish nation or muslim nation. what the professor left out was the last line, this affirmation
of america's religious pluralism. we consider ourselves a nation of citizens bound by ideals and a set of values. closer to home -- this is my concluding point -- obama endorsed religious pluralism in 2010 when he supported the right of new york's muslim community to build an islamic community center two blocks from the site of the recently destroyed world trade center. as a citizen and president, i believe muslims have the same right to practice their religion is anyone else in the country, he said, affirming american religious pluralism. this is america, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. diverse or not, american pluralism has triumphed in the age of obama. as with so much else, president obama has grabbed onto that history not as a leader, but in an effort to continue its success. despite all the clamoring from the religious right, a movement designed to bring america back
to a fabled time when christians were the sole arbiter of american life, american religious pluralism is now the de facto mode of american self-awareness. that in small part explains the animosity and anger coming from conservative christians today. thank you very much. [applause] >> i think we have time for a few questions. i'm looking at jeff, asking that. ok. >> one of the things that struck me going through the papers this morning is this juncture between myth and rhetoric versus reality came out strongly in this last paper, for instance, but i would like to address my question to professor sanchez in particular.
you mentioned diane west as someone who wrote about conspiracy theories and she referred to the office of refugee settlement. that is interesting to me, because in all of this reticle -- rhetoric about the rule of law dealing with child migrants, no one seemed to recognize that there is a law about refugees. people talk all about laws that, you know, we should be protecting the border more, and that is the rule of law, and so forth, but they seem to ignore the fact that refugee policy which would apply to some of these child migrants, is also part of the rule of law. i am wondering how does this cognitive dissonance keep americans acting in this way to mark how was it that we continue to believe this is a very religiously diverse country when in fact it is not?
or are we continually deluding ourselves about these things when the facts seem to show otherwise? i would be interested in your comment. >> ok. the debate was the unaccompanied minors whether they should be called refugees at all. part of the dehumanizing of this rhetoric is saying that they are covers for gun runners and particularly the children are carriers of disease. that is not new. that has been used several times before, predominately at the beginning of the 20th century to enforce mass fumigation of mexican migrants over the border, where they were stationed along the border here, to fumigate mexican workers going back and forth to work
mostly on railroads and other jobs on the border. so we do not talk about worker rights, we do not talk about health. if you spin that to say it is a matter of public health, then you essentially have a right to fumigate mexican workers when you never fumigated white people, white missionaries in particular, going back and forth. with unaccompanied minors, it is the same thing. they are not refugees there are a whole set of problems that tea party activists would rather not talk about. they benefit greatly from their fax essentially, that these are people of questionable means they are criminals, and they are -- what she said is very clear.
these are on assimilable -- unassimilable people who have come to trace the nature of this country. it is alarmist. it is rhetoric. why does it work? i don't know. i don't live in texas. [laughter] i live in california. so, we do things differently there. i don't know. what is it work? it works because it feeds into a centuries old trope of latin american people as being un-american and being viewed as existential threats to an imagined america that never existed. as my colleague here will mention about pluralism -- it is maintaining a protective order, and i think that is why it works, has worked for centuries. >> thank you. >> ironically my question or interest is also in refugee