tv Charlie Rose PBS November 13, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight, david brooks, the columnist for the "new york times." >> the republican party has become the party of people who are rejecting meritocracy, rejecting globalization or extremely skeptical of it. so it's deeper than one person. second, i think it's going to be a long time that a party frankly stained by trump can erase that stain. >> rose: david brooks for the hour next. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider
of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: david brooks is here, an op-ed columnist for the "new york times" since 2003. his writing spans politics, culture and the social sciences. he authored several books. his latest column out today examines observations from election results and what they tell us about the voting trends across the country. pleased to have david brooks at this table. welcome. >> good to be back here. >> rose: great to have you. i want to talk in broad themes about what you have been writing about, we're living in a day of global populism.
global populism has affected american politics and you're saying it's the agef global populism. >> i compare it to years because certain periods in history countries are having the same problem but answering it in different ways. we're facing now the rise of populism. i read over a bunch of my columns to prepare for this very humbling experience, by the way. what i see is me and a lot of other people noodling over the same issue. we're in this pivotal moment and what exactly is going on. the thought that occurred to me this morning is i was in europe in the '90s. i saw the decline of the soviet union, german reunification. mandela coming out of prison, the oslo peace process, i saw a great advance of what we call
liberalism, not walter mondale liberalism, john lachman liberalism, the idea that a free conversation, free trade, free movement of people, global democracy. it's just on the advance, now since, starting in yugoslavia, but since, it's in retreat. it started in retreat in the '90s with some of the factual fighting and then the decline of democracies around the world and now with our own shores, sometimes an assault on democracy, a talent for authoritarian. >> glor: and now the habits of liberalism, respecting truth, having open conversation whether on campus or the campaign trail, so it seems to be in retreat in a crisis, and populists are people who decided that system of openness ain't working for me. and i don't approve to have the the open immigration, i don't approve of open trade, global immigration, i don't approve of people who could live anywhere, who look down on me when i'm
rooted here in my specific land and they're rebelling all around the world. >> rose: you used the expression there is people from somewhere and people from anywhere. brexit, that was a referendum and then here the election of donald trump. >> yes. at election say about the rise of populism? >> so because we're not at a normal moment -- normally, you know, you have electoral swings. the president is unpopular so the other party wins. this is not like that. the basic tectonics of our politics in our society are shifting and, so, to me what happened was, used to be you had the democrats did well in the cities, republicans did well on the farms, and then the suburbs were in contention. inner ring suburbs which had professionals, those people tend to vote democratic, outer ring
suburbs, more corporate managers, voted republican. this was the basic geographic alignment of our politics. but now the republicans have the farms and they've given everything else away to the democrats. so the split between the suburban managers, outer ranks, suburban professionals. we saw in virginia the outer ring voted like the inner ring for the democrats. you're defined by your skills, not where you live, and they want a society that has open trade, that has open globalization, open social mores. so what you see is a realignment of a lot of former republicans who were friendly to globalization and meritocracy are now becoming democrats. >> rose: is it more sustaining beyond one election and one election period? >> well, i think it is because it's not just trump. the republican party has become the party of the somewhere also,
to use this phrase, the party of people rejecting the meritocracy, rejecting globalization or at least extremely skeptical of it. so it's deeper than just one person. second, i think it's going to be a long time before a party that is frankly stained by trump can erase that stain, and we've seen parties like that. and, so, this strikes me as a much deeper. now does it mean the democrats are suddenly going to have 30 years of total dominance? possibly. but you look around the world, and you do not see left-wing dominance in this moment. what you see is left-wing parties collapsing around europe. >> rose: except in britain. where they come back because to have the mistakes of the brexit. >> rose: the government party and the brexit, right. >> so what you're seeing -- i'd include britain in this, the collapse of parties together, all the parties at once and the fragmentation of the parties out to the marginal parties and the collapse of the centrist parties, and i think you will see some of that in britain,
that's certainly how they talk, that all our parties are in decay. it's interesting because they have parliamentary systems with parties, we just have two. what does a party collapse look like when you just have two parties? that to me is an interesting question, and to me the answer is you get the parties being taken over by small, passionate minorities within the parties like steve bannon. >> rose: steve bannon talks about being a populist and suggests populism is here to stay but doesn't know whether it's going to be populism in the end from the left or from the right. >> i agree with him. i mean, around the time you had your "60 minutes" interview here, i met with him and it was like he has a 50-year or a 100-year plan, sarah palin and buchanan was part of the plan. donald trump has a plan. i think he's right that it will
be around forever, that it's the fundamental definition of our era, populism and espoons to populism. populism or broadly defined liberalism. these are the two sides. what's striking about the battle is the populists are filled with conviction and organized by people like bannon or other people in europe. the liberals will call them, the people who believe in free exchange, i'm one, we're dispersed. we have no conviction, no faith in ourselves and we're so unused to defending the things we believe in we've forgotten the arguments. >> rose: did the gingrich revolution and the conservatism that preceded it, when it became a movement as we used to say from buckley to reagan and forward, that was a movement. tid that have conviction, ideas? did that -- >> for sure. when i was -- my mentor was william f. buckley. >> rose: right. when i joined national review in 1985 or '84, it had a long
history, edmond burke, and we had a cohesive movement mentality and a set of ideas that were right for that moment, in my view. but the boo the book explains t, thomas kuhn has a framework that seems to explain reality and over time the facts begin to contradict the framework and then somebody smashes the paradigm and that was donald trump, he came in and went poof, and the republican paradigm just collapsed. then you get a period of competing paradigms as we compete to see what's next. so i compared trump like an abby hoffman who was great at political theater and used theater to expose the weaknesses of the old order, that's donald trump. >> rose: is the damage you believe donald trump has done, how would you characterize its ?
>> well, he's degraded public life. he's aroused bigotry. he's degraded intellectual virtue, just the idea you should try to be honest and if somebody exposes you're against the evidence you should at least try to feel uncomfortable about that fact. he's destroyed the republican party as i know and a lot of my friends know it. >> rose: destroyed it? i don't think it's coming back to what it was. and i should say he's not the only destroyer. it aged. it stayed stuck with ronald reagan and stayed stuck with reaganism from 1980 to 2017, long after it should have been retired. so the old order -- and this is true across this whole deal -- the old order is complicit in its own destruction, that liberalism, broadly defined, really didn't pay attention to a lot of people who were suffering from it. the mer tock se and the
privileging of ivy league schools and all that, those people really did drift off into another university filled with self-satisfaction, high incomes, no contact with anybody else. so, when you get an historical transition the way we're in, it's not just the peasants rose up and they're the last gasp of the dying white america, there were significant flaws within the establishment that had to be addressed by somebody, and if the establishment was too lame to do it themselves, well, donald trump was happy to do that. >> rose: let's talk about the democratic party, opinion had on this program the people who talk about the future of the democratic party and bernie sanders and what it might look like and how many people might run. we also have a review of what happened in 2016. did donald trump win that election or did hillary clinton lose it? >> well, of course, the answer is always both, but i would say you have to blame the
republicans who lost to trump and hillary and they didn't understand what year they were in and they didn't understand what debate was happening. they still thought the debate was big versus small government and donald trump knew it was opened versus closed and he was having a different dewait that he would use government for this, at least in his promises, and not for that. i see the democratic reaction to the republican tax plan as old thinking. like henry ford could sell every color model t as long as it was black. he had one model. the democrats respond to every republican tax plan by saying it's money go to the rich, taken away from the poor. >> rose: political slogan. that's the truth but not really. the republican tax plan takes a lot of money away from the rich, they just happen to be democratic rich people who live in states like new york, california, who live in homes where the mortgage is over $500,000. >> rose: and put a cap at $500,000 mortgages.
>> there's a lot of stuff in the republican plan that takes away from rich people, but basically it's an argument against blue state rich people and for corporations. it's a belief in the corporate order, that corporations are the tool to generate broad-spread wealth. i believe human capital is the way to generate wealth. so i wouldn't tax student loans. le they believe in corporations. it's a different debate than we're taking from the poor to give to the rich, much more complicated. >> rose: believe if corporations because they believe corporations in a sense will create a vital and growing economy? >> yeah, an that's their belief, an it's not a stupid belief. you know, if you did corporate tax reform, our corporate taxes are way high, and it's tough for us to compete for a global investment on those grounds. >> rose: and have billions of dollars overseas they can use here. >> and there's one study that if
you did corporate reform right, it would increase median household income by $3,500, that would be huge. >> rose: when you talk about donna brazile has written a book also in terms of trying to talk to the clinton campaign and didn't feel like she could break through, they have come back and said the campaign she describes is not one they know. but you raise a point in tad's - today's column that if the democratic majority which came out of the election on tuesday is to succeed and sustain itself, they will have to have a practical plan to enhance universal mobility. universal mobility, you know, the age of democratic dominance, if they can find a way to create that, then they can dominate. >> right. >> rose: because those people who are providing electoral majorities for them in tuesday's election in the suburbs, that's what they're looking for. >> right. >> rose: that's what they -- their lives are all about rising, you know, in northern
virginia where this election was decided this week, the immigrants who were there and the immigrant richness in northern virginia is just amazing, or whether they're the whites who live in loudoun county or work around the dulles corridor. the democrats say we'll give you a sense the life is on the move and american mobility is on the decline, that's what those people want. but there is going to be tanned si, the democrats moved left, they're going to move left, no question, if they talk about -- that's not where the people in loudoun county, douglas county, colorado, in columbus, ohio, that to them is old-fashioned liberalism. that's not where they are right now.
so at a time when populism is rising in the democratic party, the democratic party, too, will have to say are we with this kind of populism or are we looking for an agenda that's more about universalism, not rich versus poor, not us versus them but we can all rise together. >> rose: what's the populism within the democratic party? >> the belief the oligarchy rigged the syste bernie sanders, that is populism. >> rose: but bernie sanders is a perfect example of laying everything at the foot of wreath is he not? >> or the fundamental inequality is the top 1%. it's not the 1%, it's the top 20%. it's the people with college degrees who are just taking off from everywhere else and that makes a less good bogeyman story to tell, oh, it's just the hedge fund guys. it's the meritocracy, the way people with college degrees are investing in their children different and isolating themselves through marriage and becoming more ten waited from
the country. >> rose: access to the media because to have the internet in the arab spring, they looked and saw other people doing well and they weren't because of autocratic regimes and they saw unemployment at high levels, they saw the world competition, and they saw places where they were doing quite well, so they revolted, starting certainly in egypt that's what it was about. >> and some of us were nie i've. i didn't cover that, by i covered russia, the decline to have the soviet union. get rid of totarianism and embrace democracy. a lot of the people in the middle east said no that's mott the answer and they're mention more open to other answers, and the reason they think that's not the answer is it's not working
for them, but b it creates a crisis of social solidarity, it creates too much loneliness, too much social frag men taigs and it's not giving them the rich community that's the essence of a good life. so the failure of the old order is not only an economic failure, it's a spiritual failure. >> rose: so what happens to those people who are living in some where? what's their future? >> well, you know, i would say to this political story, michael cruz, where he went to allentown or jonathan, steel mill, and we've all been to the towns where the mill is closed, everyone knows they're not coming back, but their family is there, but there is nothing to do, so the opioid awe buys is terrible. >> rose: more people died from opioid abuse last year than the entire vietnam war. >> pittsburgh is a great city to
go to now, and you think pittsburgh is having a revival. well carnegie mellon is having a revival. the steel towns along the river are not. if we lived there we would all be on opiates because there is nothing else to do. how to get a revival in those places is a very difficult problem. it's so socially deep because it's not simply that you can give them jobs because to get a good job you have to drug test and most people, especially young men, can't pass the drug tests. they don't h have the habits to pass the drug test or to show up at work every day. so it's such a deep social crisis. that's why it's a crisis of neighborhood, community and family and it's going to take a different role of government to reweave the social fabric. >> rose: what's happening on some university campuses is when the right of free speech is simply not respected. >> yeah. well, to me, that's a creature of two things. that's a very complicated problem. a, it's what i have been talking about. the loss of belief in
liberalism, that conversation, but it's also caused by what i have been talking about which is the kids on campus that are doing this, they want to be a part of a moral crew said and have morally meaningful lives, but they're growing up in a meritocracy that treats them only as instruments, as human capital to get a job, and they've not been given any moral categories or moral instructions. so if you create intense anxiety about the world, loss of faith in liberalism and no moral education, what you end up is sort of spasms and a sort of absolutist moral pan, which you see on some campuses. >> rose: you've said in one to have the columns that i read, the notion that any idea that simply this is about getting around a table and trying to find common ground is no solution. >> of course that's what i thought. if we could only get together and we've all been in conversations where we try to get-togethers, but what bannon represents is a belief system
and you can't beat a belief system with a process. getting together is just a process. >> rose: you have to know what you believe and have to act on what you believe in. >> i think it involves rearticulating what liberalism stood for. it's not the automatic state of affairs. it was created by people like locke, by the founders. the system was created and then defended by a series of generations, and now we're seeing it fritter away because we've forgotten what it takes to defend it, and part of it is just the example we set, each of us set in respecting conversation, respecting evidence, holding to intellectual honesty before partisanship, and that's part of it, and part of it is then extending it so it works for everybody. >> rose: two of the issues you've written about, one is guns and even after las vegas and after what happened at a variety of places where guns were used, you assume there will
be some action, has been some action at the state level, but you argue that what has to happen before you think we'll really come to grips with the use of guns? >> yeah, well, there has been aa lot of action. 26 states have all passed rules loosening gun laws, not tightening. >> rose: right. because guns are no longer about the material object. they have become a cultural totem, that people like me, the gun rights advocates basically say we have guns. guns are the symbol of my freedom, my capacity to defend my family in a dangerous world, it's a symbol of my independence. so this is the symbol i use to define myself, and those people over there are trying to take them away. so it's not really about the gun anymore. it's a cultural war is that but doesn't that come to a question of who defines the debate? if the debate is whether i can keep my guns as an act of freedom, then no one is easily
going to give that up. you have to have some other -- the debate has to be of a larger and a different kind to have people willing to give up their guns. >> a lot of what's happened is the politics has become not about policy but cultural identity. if you want to make progress in any field, whether this or global warming, get it out of the cultural identity business. you get gun control advocates coming from a lot of the same culture and the defenders. we're sitting in a building owned by micle bloomberg and he was a gun advocate but didn't help. >> rose: spent a lot of money making that issue. >> didn't help the mayor of new york leading this charge. it has to be somebody from alabama, somebody whose cultural identity is pure, is of one sort and can say, hey, i'm one of you, but this is crazy what's happening in the schools and churches and things like that. >> rose: the other issue you
have spoken to is the issue of sexual harassment. very interesting way in terms of defining what you explained to me, the sort of three ages of man. >> yeah, well, i mean, you know, how do we think about sex? you know, i do think there was a time -- i'm not going to idealize that time -- well, four. first, you do sex in marriage. sex is in marriage, a sacred thing, a fulfillment of the marriage vow. then another realm we shifted to, only have sex with people you love, a final communication with someone you might want to spend the rest of your life with. >> rose: defining of emotional attachment. >> right. and then in some quarters it's what you do for pleasure. if you have been on a college campus or a bar in new york, it's very naked. if you're dancing at 2:00 in the morning and somebody's not going to come home with you, you think, thanks, i'll find
somebody else. that's what i'm here for. so it became a sense of pleasure in the third regime. then in the fourth regime it became the weird mixture, the harassment regime, the mixture of sexuality and power, fused together. the men who do this tend to start young and they don't do it once or twice, this is a lifetime pattern. whether louis c.k., harvey weinstein, there is lots of women coming out of the woodwork because it is that weird mixture of lust combined with dominance, combined with an inability to see the person you are there with. what struck me about -- a lot of people denied it -- what struck me about the apologies, i sort of believe them, i had no idea the women were thinking this way. it's just sort of an inability to put your mind in the mind of the person you are pushing yourself all over, and it's sort of a moral and humanist
blindness toward another human being's experience. >> rose: it's a significant societal change for sure. >> well, the first thing that i think is now going to happen -- and there have been a lot of cases, some friends of mine at the republican, there was a case involving this guy and someone complained to the then editor peter who was a good guy and he raised a ruckus, but now i hope it won't just be a little ruckus, we're going to code red, this is a big thing, we're not going to tolerate this. it became somehow vaguely -- it was not something people got their hair on fire over, and i think, now, it will be something they get their hair on fire. and the uncomfortable thing for a lot of progressives, frankly, is how much did the clinton thing create this whole environment, how much did tolerance of bill clinton create this environment in which the
rest of this was given her mission. >> rose: what do you think? i think it had an effect. nobody was approving of bill clinton but them were not saying we're drawing a line here and if you don't draw the lines in the big cases, then you don't draw lines in the little cases in the workplace. so now we're seeing -- we saw republicans tolerating what donald trump was accused of doing and today we're seeing this astounding case where republicans in alabama are tolerating what judge roy moore is accused of doing. >> rose: with a teenager. making advanceons a 14-year-old girl and others. one of the defenses from one of the republican officials was, well, joseph, you know, was with mary and mary was a teenager in the bible. it's, like, are you kidding me? this is the argument you're using? it's mind boggling. it's a sign of how partisanship has replaced everything else.
partisanship can blind you to morality toward the truth, partisanship has become the idol of our time. >> rose: this is said often, and the thing that seems to restrict america more than anything, for all of its advancements and power is its politics, in washington whether gridlock or whether it is the partisanship, you know, which is in part gridlock, which threatens our advancement forward in science and a whole other range of things you and i care deeply about. >> when you travel around the country, it's not depressing to be in america because everywhere you meet, people are starting amazing n.g.o.s, healing communities. >> rose: and you meet phenomenal people and the remarkable things they're committing to. >> go to any college in america, it lifts you up so much.
it was in asheville, recently, and it was just, like -- so i'm not a declinest about america. i think we're in a moment of transition we're going to get through is that transition to? >> that i don't know, but i would say it's deeper than just politics. our political dysfunction i think comes out of our social dysfunction, the fact that we're not just connected to each other and we've lost the skills of connection, lost the skills of intimacy. there was a lot of inequality and racism in the '50s but people served in the war, at least the guys served in the war together and there was some basic level of intimate connection. we've attenuated that if a million different ways, so families are disconnected. >> rose: meanwhile back in washington you have a mueller investigation. >> yeah, and that, of course, is the wildcard. we are all in that pre-state not knowing what he's going to find or how trump will react. i'll have to say a lot of my
colleagues in the punditry world when the indictments came down went to defcon 9 and i went to 3. >> rose: what's the difference? >> the difference is what did trump do that made us think this standing would lead to something that would alter the trajectory of this administration? so far i don't see he did anything that's going to alter the trajectory. he hired manafort, sleaze ball, got it. flynn, got it. but was there collusion between him and the russians? maybe. maybe mueller will find things we don't know yet, but until we get to that point i'm not thinking that will cure us of donald trump. >> rose: i know people who have talked to donald trump as you do and he'll say things like, i've done a lot of things, but i didn't do this. >> but then, you know, mueller, once you get an investigation going, he could go on to those
other things. i mean, the ken star investigation -- >> rose: but the question was raised about this investigation and you hear people looking at it and in fact you had a column about it. you have in washington people that we respect calling into question the president's fitness for the job. >> and there are people who come out of meetings with him and say he'll start one sentence here and it will veer off there. >> rose: suggesting what? suggesting he's -- i don't know -- there is some -- i don't know, i don't want to go there, but he certainly speaks differently now than he did in the 1980s. i mean, people have done these side-by-side tv interviews. the old guy was the trump who spoke in full paragraphs, complete sentences, coherent thoughts, and this new guy is not that. it could be, i don't want to say it's brain-related, but could be
he's decided it's smarter to be less articulate. in private george bush was way smarter than public. they just know this is how i talk to my people and human beings are capable of doing that. but i know you never meet anybody who goes into or works in the white house who says, wow, this guy is so impressive. it's odd to cover -- to be around washington in this white house because usually the people who work in the white house are in the midst of their biggest fifth grade crush. they crush on the president so insanely. there was one interview i was in the middle of the obama administration, i was interviewing somebody in the white house, and in the middle of the interview, the president left the back door to get on the helicopter, walk across the lawn, and the guy i was interviewing said just a second, i want to see this, and he turned his back to me, looked out the window, just so he could
see obama's back for a moment, the biggest crash you be of his life, just so he could gaze on obama's back. that's the way people, are people love the president. not this time. >> rose: they'd say with george bush, he's smarter than you think. bill clinton, this guy's smart. barack obama, you and others would write about how this is an enormously confident and talented person. >> and to be fair i had great access in those white houses, not so much access in this one. which has been liberating in a way. i think one of the corruptions of journalism is not ideological bias, it's friendship. you want to protect your sources, keep your friends who you're writing about, and you try to write the truth but you're always worried about sources and things like that and that's the things you're always navigating. now, a, i don't have any sources, i'm free to just go. but also the weird thing about trump is the white house leaks like crazy, they leak to a lot
of "new york times" reporters, the "times" people write it up and doesn't seem to hurt their access, it just keeps on going, which is sort of perverse -- >> rose: and people who have written sharply about the president get phone calls from the president to talk to them. >> if you asked me five years ago how we were doing in the media, i would have thought, we're in decline. but now we're in a moment of both economic and i think quality of journalism is amazing right now, in part because we've got this phenomenal story in front of us, and in part because people want to get the truth, and there's been -- >> rose: the story being what's happening in america and this president. >> or the reeled woman. when you have a historical pivot. >> rose: change in the world order and everything else. >> the "times," our online subscribers are up because people think this is big. >> rose: the different economic model. >> wyes, "the post," the
"journal" is doing great. the failing "new york times," when the numbers came out, someone said, look, we're even failing at failing! ( laughter ) i work in the washington bureau and the reporters are sitting there 50 feet away from me an it's very honoring to be in the room with people really finding the truth about things. >> rose: when you look overseas and at america's role and trump even in china and in vice president yesterday talking about i believe in america first and all you countries should believe in your own country first, and you see the recognition of what's happening in china and what's happened in china. i mean, we clearly are approaching a time in the next 15, 20 years, china will have the largest economy in the world. china has authoritarianism that has gone -- you look at what xi jinping has done andout people are doing and they've used the idea of corruption to
also consolidate power. you're seeing autocrats consolidate power whether saudi arabia, china or other places, but you get a clear sense china is ready to in some ways challenge the united states. they even talk about today the kind of g-two. there are two new superpowers in the world and we're one of them. >> it's dangerous -- when i said this cultural moment, i'm free to be myself, what is more free to be myself than america first. i'm in it for me, you're in it for you, would that make it a stronger company? same in the world. does it make a stronger world? no, we're getter together and when we cooperators an it's especially true when you're top dog nation. bob kagan and other people have made the point when you're the top dog nation you want multi-lateral power because it gives you the tool to extend
your own power. >> rose: yes. and if we go back to where we're all, you know, dog eat dog in the wilderness, that's not good for any of us. so what trump embodiebodies ands foreign policy embodies is an inherent suspicion of personal connection whether global or personal. it's an assumption we're all competing against each other that we're in a world of us an enemy, us and enemy. and that's his view of race in america. >> rose: and life is about winning. >> and you're just locked in conflict. and that conflict is the essential order. and, of course, that's sometimes true, but that doesn't mean it's always true, and the belief in the liberal global order was the belief we're not locked in conflict. we can be locked in conversation and sometimes there will be arguments and sometimes competition, but it's essentially a compensation between human beings where the barriers between us were not
essential, were not defined by our difference, we're defined by our common humanity, and that's what the liberal order used to believe in and people like me used to, you know, advocate for spreading democracy around the world and sometimes we were naive and a rock was a rock and didn't work out, but at least it was a belief in a central progress that we're not -- that history is not just an endless war of all against all but a common march toward a more common future. >> rose: when you look at this pivotal moment, though, what are the choices? >> well, you know, i think the big choice is -- i'm going to speak as a liberal now, a classical liberal, is the people living in youngstown, altuna, do we say there is no use dealing with them, we're going to rub them over, the demography is on our side? that would be a mistake, it would rip at our society. so i think the choice is to say,
one, let's gather the people who believe in liberal or the order let's gather into a bipartisan movement because there are republicans and democrats on both sides. , two how can we fix the system that we allowed to get corrupt and bifurcated? how can we repair the social fabric? and, so, what's depressing to me is hundreds of years ago americans had a similar problem, streelization tore apart the old order, created the wide ineequalities, all the injustices and misery, and they created institutions. they created the federal reserve system, the f.d.a., the forest service, the civil service to clean up government and cities around the country, they created the boy scouts or brought it from england, they created all the big institutions which transformed america, and we don't seem to be as good as building big institutions. so maybe it's early days yet but we haven't yet developed the institutional responses to the crisis that we're in. >> rose: but at the same time,
in 1905, you had the emergence of really talented leadership, too. teddy roosevelt came along at that transession. is your sense that -- and do you see it in the political world today, the kind of leadership, the kind of leaders that have the capacity, in a sense, to do all the things we have been talking about at this table today? >> a friend of mine who supports republican candidates says who should i give money to this time to beat trump? john kasich or is there somebody else out there? i could have some names, ben sasse, senator from nebraska, if he was interested, but to me the work beneath politics has to be done. politicians won't leap out into a void. there have to be institutions and structures that say, yes, we'll catch you and lift you up, so that work has to be done. this may convict me of being inside a beltway person, but i
didn't know a lot of people inside the u.s. senate, for example, and i would not say the quality of the individual has declined in the 25 years i have been covering this body, i think cory booker, ben sasse, tom cotton -- >> rose: leaders in any field. -- yes, we would all be impressed with by them. if you met them outside politics you would think, wow, what an impressive human being. the problem is they're stuck in the system. breaking the system is more important than finding a magic personality. >> rose: when you think about that, donald trump said i'm going to fix the system, drain the swamp, do all those things, and take care of the moneyed interest in politics. none of those things happened, obviously. >> right. >> rose: when barack obama same to washington, he said, i'm partisanship and heal the
gridlock, couldn't do it. >> george w. bush said the same thing. >> rose: same thing, he was interrupted by war, and barack obama had majorities in both houses. >> he had financial crisis and the republican was what it was. >> rose: the financial crisis was there when he got there. >> right, and his own personality that he wasn't always the most social guy with the other politicians. >> rose: that's gently saying it. ( laughter ) >> the other thing, looking back on the obama administration, the whole era, not him as man, bear some responsibility for what came next. you have this guy from harvard law surrounded by people from yale law and they created a government that was overly tech ntechnocratic. institutions have to share power. whether a newspaper or
n.g.o.s, there have to be trump people, gun rights people, pro-life people in the room. the social segmentation is wide and it can only be cured by shearing power being in the room, and a lot of that social segmentation, there are cultural signals we send out that are invisible to us but felt by other people, and i once wrote a column that got me into a lot of trouble about this, but you go into whole foods or trader joe joe's, i feel perfectly fine walking around there, but the people that are a part of the less cultural elite, there are signifiers sent by the organic th, they say this is not my world and feel uncomfortable. so it's easy to create social distance in ways you're not even aware of. >> rose: hillary clinton told me in talking about her campaign and recognized a lot of other
she was reaching out to she failed to reach the support of? the people feel like the rest of the world is foreign and there is no fairness, that they are where they are because the world turned unfair. >> i'd say reaching out is necessary but not sufficient. because often you reach out, we all have this experience in different parts to have the country, i'm from the "new york times," i'd like to reach out to you. screw you! i don't need reaching, i don't want you reaching. i totally get that. so i do think my answer to this is on race and it's not enough to have a conversation. you have to have a world view,
but you also have to have a common project. it can't be you're red, i'm blue, we're talking to each other, how fabulous is that. it has to be we've got a problem with opioids, i don't care who you are, if you can help me with the problem of opioids, i'm on board. people say we should have a conversation about race. that seems self-absorbed. we should get together across racial lines and have a conversation about something else. the model is bono. it's rare a celebrity is really good in politics, but bono is really good in politics. when you watched him work, he didn't care if you were jesse helms, bill clinton or anybody who would help him with aids in africa, you're on my team. >> rose: started off with debt relief. >> right, and he understood and understands his mission and he's willing to put everything else secondary to a mission. that's a good way to approach
change. there is a sociologist who says we have three rings in the relationships. we have the inner ring, the close family and friend, the outer ring which is the 500 friends on facebook, but there used to be a middle ring which is like the p.t.a. when you're in the p.m. t.a., you don't know if they're republican or democrat, you're just there tore the schools. the middle ring of inns stiewks have hollowed out so we're less likely to work with people who disagree with us on this thing but share the other thing and that the how social fabric is woven. >> rose: what's likely to emerge as a book to you. >> the book i'm working on, i don't know if it would be called the four commandments, but the basic idea is in our lives we make four big commitments, and the success and fulfillment of our lives depends on how we choose and fulfill those.
spouse and family, vocation, community and a philosophy of faith. what i'm trying to figure out for my ownself and hopefully for others is how to construct a life where you are deeply embedded with other people and out of that you derive a clear accepts of purpose and your purpose and meaning in life. like a lot of people, you know, you get to a certain age, and you achieve a certain amount of success and it's just not fulfilling, and you want to know, how do i live life to the moral fullest. like a lot of people, i'm much more articulate about politics than moral elevation, how to become a better person. so my books are explanations of problems i'm facing. i have a theory a lot of us in our lives and for viewers over 60, i hope this will resonate, we have two mountains in our lives. when you're young, you think, oh, that's my mountain, i'm going to climb it, be a good journal est, doctor, teacher. the first mountain is about establishing your identity,
satisfying your ego, making a mark in the world, i'm going to create a great family. then you either achieve that mountain or not satisfying. you get knocked off the mountain because you have a failure or a death of a child that sends you off. you go in the valley and from the valley you get more clarity. you go, oh, that's not my mountain, i have another mountain. and the second mountain is less about building things up than pulling forth, it's more internal. i see people around who sometimes they just have given the second half of their lives to charity or they are tibetan monks or gone back into the schools or they stay in the same job but it's no longer about building their ego, it's about transcending their ego and they do their jobs in a different way. i see all sorts of people they're on their second mountain. it's one of the most beautiful things in our society that
people at 65 or 75 are no longer old. we've suddenly gotten a lot more years out of that tail end of life to take the big risk and do the big thing. i meet so many people around that second mountain. >> rose: you have said a number of things to me over the years we've talked. i remember one was when you talked about looking at your resume and your eulogy and think about your eulogy or in addition to your resume. the other thing you once wrote about was this idea that, you know, we're all asked about who am i, and we thin -- we need tok about how am i part of something that that's much bigger than who i am. >> i think who am i is the wrong question. the question is whose am i, who do i belong to and do i commit to. we have a cultural based on individualism in the last 50 years that says be free, value your autonomy, look at yourself, you do you, march to your own
drummer. >> rose: from the '60s. and the '80s, the reagan era as well. those are all the wrong places to look at in my view. you basically don't want to declare your independence, you want to declare your dependence and create intimacy and how do you take the courage to be intimate especially for middle age white guys averse to expressing our emotion as lot of time, how do you have the courage to be open to emotional experiences and create bonds. when i talk about commitments, first it starts falling in love with something. you fall in love with science, astronomy or economics, but then there can be moments in any vocation or any marriage when it's going to stink, so you've got to fall in love with something and build a structure or behavior and it for those moments when love falters. so, you know, you're a teacher, but there are some moments when it's no fun anymore and you go through long periods, but you
think, it's my identity, i'm at the double negative, i can't not do this, that's who i am. and most of the time you come out of the other end of the bad moments and find it more fulfilling than the other. >> rose: did you find this by, you know, deep questions within your own mind from what you read and saw or did you find this from personal experience as you looked at your own life? >> yeah, i wish i could find it by personal experience. i'm not that smart. i find it by looking at people who have done it and written about it well. richard moore, a franciscan monk, writes beautifully about this. >> rose: what did he say? he writes about some of the first and second half of life, and what -- >> rose: the second mountain, the second half. >> he has a version based on carl young mixed with st. augustin, i guess. but there's a the first half of
religion about following the law and the rules, people young in religionen. and the second half is about agape, the self-less love. so you see people who radiate just joyousness. >> rose: they really do. they have a special grace. >> you know, the dali lama is like this. i have been reading accounts of joy. we want to radiate not just happiness but a deep radiance, joy that you take throughout the day. we know people like that. has nothing to do with how much money they make. they've achieved, they're not worrying about their ego. whatever they've achieved, it's on the far side of self-less service. they've given themselves without thinking of themselves for a long time. there's a peace, i did not have this in myself but i see it
inout, there's one passage, a guy named rabbi wolf shankman, i could have that wrong, marching in selma with dr. king, he said marching across the bridge, a moment of great peril, by the way, was the most transcendent experience i've ever had. a feeling of oneness, deep intimacy with other, a feeling that we could make a change and he talked about this swelling out. often when you look at people who are writing about their moments of great joyousness, often it's collective moments of common movement, they are dancing together, moving together, doing something together. >> rose: breathing in unison. when you think about it, if you look at -- yeah, that's a good way to put it. when you think of celebrations across all societies, it's rhythmic dance together. sometimes we do that through literal dance or sometimes marching and sometimes through common effort. i had seen another movie i saw with this movie hidden figures,
these african-american women involved. you wouldn't say it was a happy perked you because there was a lot of struggle, but they were involved in something important and doing it together. >> rose: they worked for n.a.s.a. >> yeah. they had intensity. somebody said happiness is moving with your whole will in one direction wholeheartedly. if we could be seized by something that could wholeheartedly move us in one direction that's the magic. >> rose: and we'll be the greatest beneficiary ourselves if you can find that. >> the hard part is the being seized part because we all want to go earn it. we want to do our homework and choose. but the people who achieve that, they are grabbed by something, they are responding to something, and to get in that position where you can respond to a call-out side yourself, you have to be open and humble and patient for that call. and most of us, like we want to be in control, not let something outside ourselves call us into submission.