tv Amy Chua Political Tribes CSPAN May 1, 2018 8:00pm-9:17pm EDT
it was crushed to the launchpad. these men needed wives at homes who are supportive and did not reveal to her husband's how much they were suffering and how terrified they were. >> tonight book tv and c-span2, yale professor on her book, political tribes. then south carolina lawmaker tim scott and congressman trey cowdrey. after that hillary clinton and on her book to your madam president. then the case against the establishments and christopher parker on his prediction of president trump winning the 2016 election. >> in her new book, political
tribes we discuss tribalism in america. next a conversation with jd vance, author of hillbilly college be eligible -- >> good evening. brad began on behalf of everybody at the bookstore and all the staff at six and nine, welcome and thank you for coming. were excited to have amy with us the written and spoken extensively on matters of culture and identity.
her new book addresses the theme that's especially topical. as many bemoan the splintering of america of one sort or another they seem to have little interest in uniting or compromising or trying to get along. one of the founding notions as which differences of race, and religion with a shared identity. these days messages that appeal to shared values seem to be trumped by those with narrow identity. amy argued that in the international affairs domestic dealings americans have fallen prey, they've also often been blind to it and at home a debilitating tendency to revert to it. among positive reviews one of the washington post called
compact, insightful yet ultimately hopeful because for all of her critique amy who is the daughter of immigrants see signs of people trying to break out of their political tribes. whether they all amount to a definite seismic trend is debatable. at least it's encouraging and humans can break the tribal spiral. as an added attraction amy will be in conversation with jd vance. author of hillbilly elegy and growing up poor and family of appellation values and habits. amy took an interest in him and his background and they were
worth putting down on paper. she ended up introducing jd the person who became the literary agent. we should all have such help with their literary undertakings. but mentoring jd has been a two-way street. she has learned a great deal about our world she is know little about. please join me in welcoming amy and jd vance. [applause] >> this is my first ever interview as the interviewee not
the interviewee. i beg your forgiveness in advance. i felt that i would start by talking about how we know each other. it occurs to me that like you said earlier my book is partially because of you and you introduce me to my literary agent and give me confidence the book was worth publishing. the only thing i've done to repay you is come here this synagogue and have a nice conversation. it's been a one-sided relationship. let's talk about where that relationship came from for those that are not familiar with it. when i was a student at yellow
law school, what did you think about me want to encourage me to write this book? >> i met jd and his first in law school. he was one of 70 students my contracts class. is having a very back row. in the frontal was a woman who is now his wife and clinically click from the beginning. said this on record. superficially it would seem like had nothing common. i have chinese immigrants in both my parents have graduate degrees. but i always felt like an outsider growing up. never fit in anywhere. not in this country or in china.
not now on the east coast. so we bonded. we had so much weird stuff in common. like you know you can buffets, we both lacked impulse control. and lots of using common. in january 2011 my life completely changed. before then is a mild-mannered professor and i wrote this book on the wall street journal exerted it with this incendiary title why chinese mothers are superior.
and completely viral. it was interesting but in a positive sense. we had no social media, no facebook, hundreds of hate e-mails per second night was in a hotel room by myself subset lonely and i get an e-mail when he was studying for his contract exam. the first e-mail asked about growing questions. three hours later as one of the morning and make it a second e-mail like until maybe he's had a beer or two. what's amazing is he has the least money of anybody at yell
law school. it's a pretty privileged place. he somehow goes and buys the book. it's another thing we have in common. people talk about books without having read them. he read the thing. he wrote me this long e-mail and even in my own trauma i read this i can't believe you got in trouble for this and you tell me a little bit about his own family. he suggested that your mother was a nurse. i saw it in his e-mail and i said you need to write this story. i throw book party for him last year and i dug up my old e-mail.
maybe a few days later he sent me something. ten pages of his own thoughts i found them and that the exact same opening is hillbilly elegy. some is like on changed pages of the book. >> i remember in law school i felt a little lost. not just me but other students as well. always thought i could rely on amy for cultural advice. i can always go to you to see how i should behave. you're always comfortable offering that advice. if you remember this, there is a
moment toward the end of the first year of law school i thought i have burn the bridge with you. we went out as a class baby in smaller groups but ten or 12 of us and we were out for drinks. i remember talking about law school and life. we like to get to know your students and at the table next to us there is a belligerent drunk guy. for two hours i remember thinking at like you been there don't say what you want to say. just kept on going on suggesting ridiculous things. then the quote i uttered was can a help you and i said it in a loud voice.
i said it expecting confrontation. i thought i lost my temper and the person who has been kind to me it's never going to speak to me again. almost immediately thereafter the person backing me up was. >> my husband. >> so that was a fun experience. enough about that, let's talk about the incredible book. i will read a bit from what i wrote. you argue that tribalism and social dysfunction and violence is normal. but there's trouble on the horizon. let's talk about that trouble.
imagine most haven't read the book since it's been out for a few days. maybe you could just walk us through the basic thesis of and then we could talk about some of the other implications. >> human beings are tribal. biologically so. some of my favorite parts of the book are not quite about the politics part spot fascinating studies. recently researchers to kids between the ages of four and a ten randomly assign them to a red team or blue team. give them t-shirts and a corresponding color. they put the children in front of computer docs and showed them computer edited images of children halfway blue and half wearing red. pass the children for their
reactions. the results were stylish in. even though they knew nothing about the children in the picture they consistently and passionately said they like the children better who were wearing their color. they wanted to allocate our resources to the and they thought there are smarter, more moral and nicer. more troubling, they displayed an unconscious bias. when told stories about them and asked about them children systematically remembered all the good things about the people on their team. and all the negative about the people on their side. other studies show that we desperately want to belong to groups.
and once we connect it's almost like facts don't matter. we just want to see everything through the lens of that tribe. if you're presented with evidence that your tribe is doing something bad response is often just to stick to your tribe. you feeling is not that you're being stupid but that you're being loyal. when i started writing it was going to be only form policy book. three years ago i was writing about how the united states when we go in form policy would tend to think of the conflict in terms of grand ideological battle. capitalism versus communism and then it was authoritarianism versus democracy.
and then after 9/11 it was evil versus freedom. always these grand principles. we always think democracy is going to be the panacea. the result is that we don't pay any attention to the group identities that matter most to people on the ground. the reasons i get into part of it is because of our own success with assimilation. if in this country germans and irish and italian and japanese can all become americans within a generation or two, then why can't sunnis and shia thinkers. the problem is if you understand tribalism and the demographic,
democracy catalyzes group conflicts. given interesting example of vietnam. most people know by now united states we saw vietnam too much through cold war lines and underestimated to the extent they were fighting for their independence and sovereignty as opposed to cold war marxism. here's something i bet most of you do not know. most experts in the field don't know, that is there is a distance different ethnic problem we completely missed it completely undermined all of our efforts in vietnam. we did not care about the difference between the vietnamese the chinese.
is going to go on tv someone in d.c. helping me said don't use this example because americans don't know the difference between vietnamese and chinese. sore form policy we assumed that vietnam was -- causing it. if you just paid a little attention to the history vietnam you would've seen it was impossible. china is his huge country sitting on a little lamp and that being vietnam. china has always been the number one enemy of vietnam. china invaded vietnam and colonized it for 1000 years. the idea that it would be upon us china was foolish.
inside vietnam there was also an ethnic dimension. vietnam had a market dominant minority. a tiny 1% outsider chinese minority. they were not vietnamese in the control about 70% of the nation's wealth. most of their list weren't even vietnamese in the u.s. miss this. they failed to see that from the point of view from the vietnamese people we are asking them to fight and die to keep the hated minority wealthy. the book was going to be about how our blindness to these tribal and group identities responsible for some greatest
foreign policy disasters. last february i was teaching a class that i taught for 20 years. jd was and it was called international business transactions. i talk about my own ideas about democracy and ethnic conflict. this is one month after trump took office. i was doing the whole thing except for 20 years. because of developing country dynamics are so different from around the keep messing up our form policy. in developing countries you often get demagogic politicians with no political experience who sweep to power on antiestablishment platforms, scapegoating minorities and targeting other people sweeping
to power on the way for populism. and i stopped in their 80 eyes looking at me thinking the same thing and one student said it, it sounds like you're describing america. those last february. the book took on a life of its own. i had to rethink a lot of things. big point is the united states today for the first time in history, were starting to display dynamics more typical of developing countries. things we thought would never happen to us, populist movemen movements, were starting to see some of these same patterns. they're very predictable. so the book is an explanation.
it's not random. once you start looking through the lens of democracy and tribalism and look at the parallels to other countries very predictable if you understand the problem you can better overcome it. >> in many ways it's interesting and certainly the most relevant in a newsworthy table with two discussions were having today. scale back a little bit talk about the why. why is the united states where most people relatively blind this happening? you can see it happening in vietnam and a big part of the reason we understand the underlying conflicts. there are some people who argued
the entire -- would end in disaster because we were given proper credence to these conflicts. the courtesy versus arab thing in iraq and when i deployed i remember a lot of folks i served with her reading this book called the case for democracy which is influential in many form policy. and it's a soon as you bring democracy they vote for people who serve their best interest in the good, decent -wise will starts to take over. it wasn't a convincing argument them. the reason i'm curious as to why americans are blind to this is if you're right this is become an american phenomenon the way
it hasn't been. why are we so blind to it into the fact that all over the world ethnic and racial identity and racial identity matters, why does it matter more than we give credit to? >> three reasons we tend to be blind to these primal identities. democracy really has worked smoothly in this country for a specific reason. america for most of its history was dominated overwhelmingly, by a white majority. obviously with white being a moving target. the basically, whites dominated the country.
what happens is democracy is very stable from a political point of view. there are plenty of tribes, voices and smaller groups but they are all oppressed. free-market democracy where you have one group overwhelmingly dominate economically and politically is very stable. there's always been tribalism. is that their voices were suppressed before. point to is what i've said. we've had a successful history of assimilation. our blindness is rooted in our deepest best value. the enlightenment was always about overcoming the secretary and religious and ethnic things.
principle, democracy, rule of law, these were triumphs. in america the experiment was a great enlightened experiment. when i point out in the book is set democracy is not ethnic the neutral markets are not ethnic neutral. they disproportionately benefit different groups. the final answer, another reason why we been blind is racism. in vietnam, i got very kind endorsements from generals. i did not know the man before. they agreed with me that the united states did not pay enough attention to the tribal
identities. vietnam is just the vietnamese and chinese and they're all just kooks. in iraq with general mcmaster he did something very successful. the first person to pay attention to these identities and he turned it around. one thing he said it's if you use a derogatory term to refer to all arabs are all muslims you're basically handing the enemy of victory. they all look the same we have a negative view. >> take this to the domestic policy realm. i remember being in new york city and attending a party held by the republican leaders who
did not think it would go especially well. around 9:00 o'clock were sitting around drinking hoping that by 11 or 12 we've had enough that we won't be so sad about the news we hear. there are many trump skeptical republicans. they expected the room to go against the entire republican party. i remember getting a call around 930 or 10:00 p.m. they called me and said we need you to come in. i said why? and they said we need someone to talk about the white working class. this is not going the way we expected. i said okay i'll come in. so i went to the studios and i remember arriving there and there are few things i heard in the aftermath and an experience
i had that night they continues to stick with me. you heard a lot of commentators say in the wake of the election the white working class had for the first time in history voted like a working group. there's always been polls and italians and irish but for the first time you could say white working-class seemed to be voting at the way traditional groups have order but the flipside of that is the folks working for television producers, tv personalities, they acted almost like somebody they really love had been killed. there is a sense of deep abiding grief at the studio that night.
it occurred that if the white working class is what like a white working group then the group of people i was spending time with your kind of akin to that because they were grieving and acting out like they were lost election but that something deep happened. that experience is what makes me so interested in the thesis of your book. i wonder were our political groups are acting more like ethnicities. first off, i was among the few people who is not surprised by the election. and i can explain some of that later. it's more of what i kept hearing
being whispered underground. here's why we are where we are. the first the massive demographic changes that we know about, immigration the last 30 years the flows have been much bigger and now mostly from latin america, asia and africa. so whites are for the first time on the verge of losing their majority status. the predictions by 2044. for most of americans history, whites were comfortably dominant. when you're overwhelmingly dominant you can do terrible things. these can be more generous and enlightened. what's happened is every group in america feels threatened.
but just blacks and other minorities, whites feel threatened. studies in my book says 67% of the white working-class feel their more discriminated against the minorities. such as muslims and jews, and buddhists that feel threatened, christians now feel threatened. within me to movement is not just women comments men. every group feels threatened every group thinks the other tribe claims to be perfect than the claims are ridiculous. the second reason we are where we are has to do with why you're the expert on this. when you read stuff in the papers it's wrong. his white supremacy white nationalism.
it's not helpful to call half of the country white supremacist. what's happening is what jd referred to, you must have two white tribes now. 's class and educational level and the cultural divide has split america's white majority. it's interesting that use the term ethnic. the field was ethnic and ethnic content. have a 17 page footnote describing what ethnicity is. . .
something else that they may be working on. people from the midwest through education or whatever silicon valley or sorry california or at any of the coast and rise and come back. right now it's so expensive just to live at the coast. so a con valley new york atlanta and education is no longer the route that it was for upward mobility. people are stuck so there is much less fluidity. it's a misnomer and they are not all a lead in the sense that they are not all wealthy. that term refers to professors and journalists and activists
and coastal elites are also not all white. so i think it's better to describe it as multicultural, pretty much everyone in this room. people like me, whether you are republican or democrat you are but yourself is tolerant and no lots of minorities and you have traveled a lot. you've seen people from allah for the world and you probably think of yourself as not tribal. you believe in individual rights and human rights and cosmopolitan. while this tends to be very tribal and going back to the ethnic difference there so little intermarriage between as multicultural coastal whites but mixing with like my own family. my husband is jewish. it's like the ethnic divide.
it's much starker than with other ethnic groups. >> we should go the audience questions in a few minutes so while i asked this question while amy answers it if you have a question for either of us about any topic we will give you the microphone to ask as best as you can. i want to throw a couple of provocative ideas out there. the first is from someone you know reasonably well. the executive editor of the national review. he's the son of two bangladeshi immigrants and in some ways because of his experiences in the experience of his family he is deeply patriotic person and ideology glee -- ideologically sees america as a huge melting pot. i forget the headline but it was something along the lines of white -- and his point was if
you want to have an ethnically ossified in segregated society should support very high-level immigration because that tends to lend itself to ethnic clustering it if you are white supremacists what you should want is a large immigrant population because it would reduce the intermarriage rate between caucasians and tear point his argument was what you wanted the united states is a happy medium immigration rates. enough folks to come into kuchar gift economy contribute culturally but not so many that there's ethnic clustering. that's something that is relevant to our current immigration conversation. the second that i will bring up and get your response is a lot of folks who are very upset about the election of donald trump. there were two separate strands of thought that i heard on the
left. one was that this is not what america stands for with donald trump and a xenophobe or donald trump's viscera donald trump's that. the point they were trying to make is america is a shining city upon a hill. that's a liberal critique of the trump election that i heard a fair amount in the wake of the 2060 election but another critique is what i like to call the left as opposed to the liberal side of american politics is that this is precisely what the united states of america is. donald trump is worse than anybody says that he is. he is just as bad his harshest critics. indeed in that terribleness the m. body meant of what america really is. i think that second argument is not just misguided. i think it actually may lead to
the type of ethnic tensions to talk about in your book. we don't have some common idea of an american nation, if we can't at least appeal to the same shared values, if america is instead of a shining city upon the hill just a terrible country with terrible people than what argument or what common idea, with common purpose do we appeal to when we are arguing for political change would you like donald trump or whether you don't like him. oh no the answer to that and i wonder whether you think what i'm calling the left side of the political debate is missing something about the way human tribes conceive of themselves when they make that argument. >> so first of all it's interesting, just the e-mails i'm getting even and responses to books for the book people
assess is this an anti-trump thing or is it in support? in the book i diagnosed the problem and i don't give any for either side. i really think how we got here, i don't think there's any site that is blameless. i think both political sides have been complacent and playing with fire. i do think that it's very interesting. again going back to my point that a lot of elites don't really understand supposedly the people who try to help, that lower income people and poor. our college campuses something we feel very important to expose as a chance to show and we need to be sympathetic imparted this to show in fact so many people
never have access, so many people were ever a part of it and even today people don't have a chance to climb upward mobility. all that is actually true and i should say true but the truth is in the statements. for a lot of working class whites and not just whites but all they love the american dream. i have all these -- they don't hate tribalism. most of the people that like socialism or tap into it or want redistribution have to be. privileged elitists. so just to finish this out and bring it full circle i think what has happened over and over in countries like this way land iraq a small minority are viewed as the smug minority like the
sunnis of 15% controlling the levers of power from afar. you often get the demagogue leader that says you know what those are real americans in control of everything. let's take back our country. let's take back our country for the real america and that's the parallel. if you look a what donald trump did he actually said let's take back our country. there's this battle right now, who are the real americans? from the point of view that there is a lot of racism coded in there. why are these coastal elites not real americans? because they love minority find love immigrants so it's almost like they are not real americans but take back the heartland. the people on the coast are equally to blame. they often say so i agree with
you j.d. that we can't get to this point where the people who voted on the other side are not people we disagree with but we view them as immoral enemies, like not americans. if we start to look at people and the other side of the political divide is not real americans than we really are going to foster -- more and more. >> i will moderate the questions here and we will start with you on the left. >> my name is jack richmond and i have a couple of questions. one, j.d. would you say, i'm almost done reading your awesome book. was your mom a tiger mom and we talk about tribalism. the intersection à la the, does it have a point? >> the center sexuality have appoint? >> first i was a user were a
fantastic example of advice to ask a question not to give a speech so when you are standing at the microphone please follow his example. to answer your question, i think in a lot of ways she was a tiger mom in effect she demanded a certain amount and she assumed i was probably stronger not weaker. i think that's one of the hallmarks of the tiger mothers they assumed their children are little bit stronger and don't need to be coddled. it was colorful and very demanding but she loves me and she looked out for me. certainly when i read tiger mom i saw parts of my grandmother's story in a look. the question on intersection à la the is intersection now it is a way forward. >> intersection aldi's a term i
write about in the book and explain. one of most important concepts in academia and i actually think it's a brilliant and important point. no the person who coined the term and it simply refers to the fact that people can be outsiders are minorities. you can be a hispanic woman with a different experience than maybe a caucasian woman, a asian man may have a very different experience than a straight asian female so and its inception what has happened and i try to explain this is that it's been used and exploited and spun out like everything else on social media and cable news. to me something that really never was intended. now it means exponential identity politics.
so it's a bigger question but i will say i think the core insight is incredibly valuable. like everything else this is the problem with tribalism. it starts off as this is something and it becomes an instant tribal symbol. all lives matter. what could be wrong with that? that now stands for something to so with almost impossible to have a discussion because it's almost like you signal which tribe you're in by having to respond to something. >> in your book you read about countries that have gone through -- and we are looking at tribalism in america. you mentioned rising insecurity and groups that had geographic -- so we are going through. are you worried that we could be moving towards war? one year, not five years, not 10
years. >> , chronic optimist and part of this is a really think both sides are behaving loosely and irresponsibly. to cite how horrible it feels i think it's a wake-up call but here's my more bigger answer. alone among the major powers america is what i call a supergroup and the supergroup is a group of a country with two characteristics. one is that have to have a very strong overarching national identity, america and the second characteristic is it has to allow individual sub group identities to flourish. you can the irish-american, libyan american, or wish an american, japanese american and be patriotic at the same time in believe it or not this is
extremely rare. if you take china, china has one superstrong overarching identity chinese probably individual group identities. even france is not a supergroup. it's got this very strong french overarching identity but because of their policy of secular laissez-faire and they wear headscarves and president you are out to eat and you are to behave like a french person so they are not a supergroup either. i believe we have something special. i think we have something that is baked into our system takes into our constitution. we have an ethnic leann religiously neutral constitution doesn't mean we have lived up to the constitutional ideals, of course we haven't but identity
is we have the formula and right now what i see are those two prongs both coming under threat. j.d. referred the attack on the overarching identity. i happen to agree with j.d.. i will get in trouble for saying this because i was just on a college campus. i think there's a huge difference between saying we have these great ideals but in the united states we have repeatedly failed to live up to them. we have a shamefully betrayed our own ideals and we must do better. that's what i believe. there's a huge difference between saying that and this is a country built on hypocrisy and we have no real values that we are a land of oppression. such a fine difference because i think we have to oppress people. but it's that identity because as they say if america is nothing but a land of genocide
and white supremacists why is that we are fighting? it's not worth fighting for if that's all it is pretty think we are going to go back to that. i think we have within our dna and 2018, 2020 and i myself am among the few politicians. >> would the your critique of the understanding of american politics but in particular political scientist. understand the phenomena you are describing. i think it's a critique of those professionals and the question is if they got it so wrong and you've articulated in the trump election the elites were just as bad as the average elites at the average cocktail party, how did that happen? the cognitive dissonance.
i think it was really not much better than the average cocktail party understanding what was going on. how did that happen to those professionals understanding what you have described seemed to get so wrong. >> i will lancer payday think it's because of tribalism. a lot of these political science and economics models are based on people acting irrationally. it's a rational self-interest and by the way there are a lot fewer started to question this right now. the latest studies actually show that people don't necessarily vote for their self-interest or their policy but they vote much more on a piece of their affinity group or tribe. every day something horrible
happens. a new scandal, a star. everyday at all of us say this is it, now this is it. things come out of his mouth in what happens is people say oh my god that sounds a racist or sexist. he is actually done a better job presenting himself as a member of a cultural tribe that many members of america relate to. when they see him getting in trouble for saying this or that they relate to it as they are always getting in trouble. they just like it that he gets himself back up like a wrestling ring. they are a champion for that. i have some stats that for poor people their experiences such distrust for the establishment. who cares if a democrat or republican comes in?
they come in and they go out of nothing ever changes for us so you haven't seen the policies translating to any benefits for you stick with your tribe and vote for the person of your tribe. that's his miss their battles are built on maximum choice and it's much more primal. >> i think as a profession it has a lot of interesting stuff about what happened in the 2016 election and i think it's a useful discipline if your goal is to understand the various datasets and how they explain the population. i don't think it's especially predictive. i don't think it's the goal of science to predict how elections will unfold. that way they fail. i don't think it's a failure but a mischaracterization of the purpose. why has the broadly speaking
myth been missed in the 2016 election? a lot i would agree with but at a fundamental level i think that it's hard for people to appreciate just how abysmal the elk herds of if that a lot of people feel that they actually have. if you are a guy from my hometown who is seeing globalization and the best estimates suggest the early 90s the united states lost 7 million factory jobs. the working class whites adjusted for mortality rate has been falling in the last couple of years with the opioid epidemic which is very terrible has affected certain communities more than others. there is the sense that a lot of folks have back home that's whatever is different is at
least worth trying and the hoax would have been in power for a long time have really screwed up. i think if you were living in washington d.c. where the median income has exploded in the past 25 years were the opioid academic is something you read in the paper not something your neighbors experience every single day it's hard to imagine why some people are so pessimistic about their political future. it affects those folks voting patterns. let me say the academic clinical science literature is produced a lot of really adjusting thinking about why donald trump was ultimately elected. if you read the pages for example you would be led to think that trump voters were primarily racist or stupid or some combination of the two and there are a lot of academic political scientist so complicated that nrda been a lot of interesting ways. i wouldn't say the political science is the problem.
think all of us in our various ways are missing what's going on in the country because we are not looking at any point about geography. we are not spending time with each other and consequently we are ignoring what's going on. i think that flies in the other direction. i think the folks back home could certainly have a better sense of what's going on among certain communities that don't look or act or think like them so it's not a one directional problem but it's a problem. >> my question is pertaining communication on social media and the rapid increase in identifying tribes and their ability to communicate with each other in a way we have never before. been talking about for years and are membered high school reading the article about the
elimination of bowling leagues and the problems that have happened in the neighborhood since then as the example. in 08 it started with the social media craze and how it changed medication and kind of started to see a divide we have never seen before. it started really hitting home in 2012. i'm a republican and heard something about president obama at the time and my mom sang oh if you were not my son i would totally do a friend you are asked. she said that toomey.wow you really can just totally simply never hear them through that. so what in your experience, have you seen a rapid increase or an increasing speed of this transformation in social media becoming so prevalent in what has been your experience?
>> i will briefly answer and then amy i'd be curious to get your thoughts. neal ferguson has an interesting book that came out not long ago i believe it's called the square of the tower or maybe the tarp the square he talks about the way the social effects shuts us off from other views. i think the effect that you just mention i see something that i don't like so therefore it unfriend that person and consequently i close myself off from views expressed by that person. certainly that's a way that our social media reinforces tribalism that the problem i worry about more is all of us in this room i'm assuming are educated consumers of information and i'm guessing that none of us have a really good understanding of why facebook and twitter and other social media puts the information before the force that it does. in other words while i worry about somebody's parents on friending people who hold views
they don't like i worry a lot more about the fact that we don't understand the basic institutional infrastructure that puts information front of us. we don't understand how the algorithm goes from a to d to information front of my face and consequently i think that we are all and i don't want to understate this really remarkably are in uncharted territory. most of us don't have a good appreciation for why we consume the information that we do other than a bunch of people in silicon valley programs it and puts it in front of us and we are just not dealing with the implications of that. >> i think we will keep taking questions. i agree with that. >> i have a shorter question and one more in depth. the first one is, is there any way to reverse white nationalism or racism or do we just have to wait for certain people to die?
[laughter] and the second question is this book is something you began writing years ago. my question is how did the rise of trump affect the content of your book and what were the main changes you made in the book to your own personal opinion in tandem with white nationalism and any politics with the 2016 election. .. actually broken this down into
polls. anyway, but i do claim this term of what i think is going on in the united states. i think that this is a land of immigrants. so when you hear people calling others terrible names, it's not helping anybody, but i think there are many americans possibly a great majority who are terrified about these huge changes and the demographic changes that we are seeing. among the elites and liberals you cannot express the anxiety you have to be excited about the routing of america because that would -- there are incredibly huge demographic changes.
i still think that we have to be able to say i'm worried about immigration. without instantly being labeled xenophobia because happens is thapatterns isthat pushes the cn underground and that is where extremism festers and you see this ugly stuff. that's one of the reasons i was not surprised. i saw what was going underground at yale law school and there was one supporter and i know for a fact there were at least maybe 20 more importantly, there were a people who were against trump
that had parents, uncles, cousins, people from all parts of america so i do think language is important if we need to be able to address terrorism. if you ever say i'm worried about terrorism coming from the middle east, i would never say that because that is islam a phobia and suggesting terrorism and las vegas, the point is we need to allow people to express this anxiety because they are thinking it and so that's why i discussed the term of the nationalism in the. >> the white nationalism that worries me is the 22-year-old
kid from the relatively privileged background. not to sound like a nationalist or a patriot, but my thinking is that the antidote to that is some idea is capturing the notion of the american project that a lot of people to hear and how you beat that they wouldn't be flagged 40 or 50 years ago to remind them that we tend to take
those peoples and remind them there's something meaningful about this american idea which by the way is hard to do if all you're hearing is thwe are heare is fundamentally corrupt. >> i remember thinking i needed to study the sats more and i remember also with my parents and teachers enough to not read the book and since then you said your other books as well the books about mormons and jews and they read that book and it is and what everyone was saying but my question for you is has this helped you understand the liberalism and the left and now on that right a night as well a, how [inaudible] my question for you is on a
regulai haveread your book and t started more as an autobiography and a cultural watershed moment. so were you just writing about yourself? [laughter] >> i didn't think i would become the voice of the white working class, but i wanted to write a book about myself and some of the broad problems that i saw in the community. i didn't mean to scale out a little bit and take a slightly deeper and broader look that i didn't intend for what happened to have been. >> it completely changed me and my family.
thing is tribal if people have different sides. just quickly because i know that we are about out of time. i think how i could see it wasn't as clear is because there were so many people talking to me. i'd like to talk to students like don't tell anybody. but this is not that they wanted to come about worried about this or that and almost all we really did have a day of mourning after both of the classes were canceled and people were sobbi sobbing. students came to my house had practically slept over but a lot
of people probably some of them here tonight are for the same demographic. i think it was kind of a coastal e. eight. >> 65 or so they were not for donald trump but when the results came in and he told me a story about how his daughter and a 3-year-old called and said what am i supposed to tell my daughter and his response was she's 3-years-old so she better tell her to chew with her mouth shut and not worry about politics. [laughter] a pretty good lesson for all of us. your question.
>> i wonder does that tie into another side and is there a strength that it can achieve? >> i didn't hear the first part of the question but again i had some nice questions earlier. i am a very tribal person, but i think that everybody, that's why some of the studies in the book are some interesting one that i love to show people will interpret facts and numbers to support their group views so you can see the same statistics and facts. that's how we need more guns and that's why we need fewer and that's something we need to think about when we do something and study is fascinatingly the smarter you are the better you
are at numbers the better you are at manipulating the figures to figure out the tribe's worldview so again, family is tribal, i'm a very tribal person, so i think of america as a tribal front goin coming backo this idea we should be proud of our identity and what makes us special is we allow individuals and smaller tribes to flourish. >> i was confused about what you said about the four. they were allies in the soviet union. it didn't make a difference.
>> so yes, the vietnam war was the north vietnamese were aligned with china and the south vietnamese were the capitalist part of it so i was saying is that there are two pieces to thithis end and a lot of our des during those years were assuming that the vietnam was a pawn of communist china, that is just a puppet.