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tv   Heritage Foundation Discussion on U.S. Democracy Political Climate  CSPAN  January 30, 2021 9:15pm-10:16pm EST

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clash between an embattled president, in this case richard nixon, who confronts a social movement in the streets, the antiwar movement, just as he's trying to get reelected. which constitutional lines that he cross in an effort to stay in power? >> investigative journalist lawrence roberts sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. next, a look into the state of american democracy and the current political climate. the heritage foundation hosted this discussion. >> good afternoon. my name is angela sailor and i am the vice president of the feulner institute here at the heritage foundation. institute here at the heritage foundation. on behalf of our president, it is my great pleasure to welcome you and to thank you for your
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participation. we are looking forward to an engaging panel, and we invite you to answer questions throughout the event so we can respond and get you directly involved in this important discussion. america's constitutional order is under great stress, and the breakdown and respect for our institutions in government, the academy, and the media, has helped to instigate a season of violence and social unrest. on the civil war, the struggle over the minutes of america, this webinar will address with historical insight and with deep appreciation of the achievements of the american constitutional order. our aim today is to be among the first to help find this very important discussion, to be sober about the challenges we face as a nation, but to ratchet down the hysterical
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rhetoric. today you will be reminded that the american constitution was brought into existence during a time of supreme national crisis. indeed, the framers designed the constitution to weather the storms of unrest. our experts will make clear that the way forward in any respect demands that we look back at the consultation, and the principles of self-government that it embodies. one benjamin franklin was asked after a session of the constitutional convention, what kind of government have you given us? he replied, a democracy, if you can keep it. a republic is funded on the principles that it will continue only as long as the people keep democracy alive. one of our featured guests, says now is the time to remember what an extraordinary land it is that we live in.
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how this republic has survived over and over against stains and stresses that monarchs and dictators prophesies would destroy it. i would like to welcome our established experts to the screen as we prepare for a discussion about the fate of the nation and what these developments mean for america. so, panelists, please join me on the screen. i will introduce you to each of them, and again, i want you to get your questions ready and put them in the queue so we can get them involved in this important discussion. first is a senior research scholar at the consulate of humanities at princeton diversity and rector of the james madison program initiative in politics and statesmanship. he is an acclaimed scholar of american history whose writings have been recognized as among the most important contributions
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to scholarly understanding of 19th-century americ. his book, "abraham lincoln, redeemer president" received the 2000 lincoln prize as well as the 2000 books prize of the abraham institute. his lincoln's "emancipation proclamation: the end of slavery ," also received the lincoln prize in 2005 and in 2013. he is also a leading authority on the life and thought of jonathan edwards, and he is the winner of the 2018 bradley prize. he earned his phd in history from the university of pennsylvania and also awarded an honorary doctorate in history. next i want to introduce you to dr. sam gragg who is research director.
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he has written and spoken extensively on questions of elliptical economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory he has a masters degree from the university of melbourne and a dr. of philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the university of oxford. he oversees the research program and the team of research scholars and is responsible for oversight of research and international programming. he is also the author of 13 books. in 2001, he was elected a fellow of the royal historical society. in 2008, he was elected a member of the philadelphia society and member of the royal economics society. ladies and gentlemen, that is sent greg. last but not list, my colleague, the director of the simons center for american study and a
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foundation fellow. prior to arriving at the heritage foundation, joe held the position of associate officer of history at a city college in new york city where he taught classes on american foreign policy and international human rights. he is a scholar on john locke and the religious influences on the development of democracy. joe is the author of the new york times bestseller, "a habit, a wardrobe, and the great war," how j.r.r. tolkien and cs lewis rediscovered faith, friendship, and heroism. he is currently producing a documentary series based on the book. the film trailer can be found at his commentary have appeared in leading outlets including the new york times, the wall street
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journal, the washington post national affairs and the national interest. for 10 years, he has also served as commentator for national public radio's all things considered. with that, welcome to our panel. i will turn it right over to our renowned civil war historian, who will explore the parallels between our current political culture debates and those on the eve of the civil war. alan, the floor is yours. >> thank you, angela. there is no civil calamity greater than the two words we have interview today. not played, not depression, not even wore it self, and no one listening to us will take those two words into their mouths is anything except a sense of
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horror and revulsion. americans have endured one civil war, and although by the standards of civil conflicts in the world's history, ours was comparatively brief, only four years, compared to the 20 years of the taipeng rebellion in china in the 1850's and 60's, and the english civil wars of 1642-6043. yet it's causes our heart stopping -- its costs are heart stopping. 750,000 dead, maimed and unaccounted for. a pension list so big that for a half century afterwards, it was the single largest item in the federal budget. we must never let those two words pass our lips lately. or even worse, seriously. and yet they are on our lips. a year after the 2016
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presidential election, and editor for the wall street journal put the question to me, are we headed for civil war? a rasmussen poll in 2018 showed that 28% of those surveyed believed it is likely the united states will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years. another poll this past october placed that number at 61%. 52% admitted to stockpiling necessary goods in the event of an eruption. what gives substance to the expectation of civil wars in our future is the sense that americans now seem to belong not just two different political parties, but to different political regimes. but diversions begun in the long run in the 1970's. with each succeeding decade, the fishers have become wider and
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wider until the two national political parties now represent contrary views of american life. we can't even seem to agree on what year marks the american founding. intrusion into the capitol on january 6 only seemed to heighten the sense of impending conflict. no wonder people are asking, how long can we continue if this is how we instantly respond to political division. yet serious as this moment is, i do not despair of it, nor do i think it's of come will be civil war. this is why. first, for civil war to succeed, by which i mean not end in someone's victory, but simply become an ongoing struggle for an extended period of time, each side of the war requires a continuous landmass to act as
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its basis of support. that is what happened in a less of a 1861-65, the 11 states that formed the breakaway confederacy all shared common boundaries and a substantial seacoast open to the world. that is not the situation today. although we like to color the map of the states blue on the coastal edges and read in the heartland, every state has a substantial nose of blue. every blue state has wide swa thes of red. its actual geography is modeled in a way that does not indicate the likelihood of outright civil war. second, any attempt to settle matters by the civil war must come to a quick grief on the question of how much violence can actually be summoned because that is what civil war is about.
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although some factions enjoy boasting about how well armed they are, they the dangerous to the deer, raccon, or victim. but none of these paramilitaries would last very long against drones, armored personnel carriers and rocket propelled grenade launchers. some may entertain fantasies of the militia in concord facing down british regulars come up but that was because both the massachusetts militia and british regulars were armed with the equivalence of muskets. there is no such equivalence when it comes to modern warfare. untrained mobs are simply not in any way likely to offer anything but casualty lists. went up posed by the weapons in our national guard armory's or by our professional matures. imagine not concord bridge,
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rather penn state. then -- and neither of these considerations means we are guaranteed avoidance of serious civil unrest. and in the current climate of mutual hatred and accusation, we may receive free examples of intense civil unrest. the first would be political. showed a federal executive and legislature not able to restrain itself from passing laws which state legislatures will then refuse to obey. we call this nullification. following the pattern of south carolina which 190 years ago i attended to -- attempted to nullify congressionally imposed tariffs. state legislatures have in fact been practicing nullification for some time. in the form of marijuana normalization, sanctuary cities, and so forth, without any
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serious and all twos. but the practical effect of widespread nullification would be little short of anarchy, and attempting to cure a problem by fostering and disease. another possibility for civil unrest may emerge socially in the creation of no-go areas. similar to seattle's capitol hill autonomous zone. finally, serious civil unrest might take the form of personal violence, such as timothy mcveigh's bombing of the alfred federal office building in oklahoma city in 1995, or the attempted assassination of representative stephen scalise in 2017. it is worth remembering that mcveigh achieved his evil goal through something as simple as a truck full of fertilizer. but cannot give much comfort to
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those who think violence is only the plaything of guns. i describe these possibilities with a sinking heart. i do not, nevertheless described them because i expect them as a likelihood. for all of the polarization d.c. in public life, themselves in the manichaean terms of politicians and the media. we have now in more racially integrated society than we have ever been. interracial marriages stand at 17% of all marriages. 1 in 10 children born has parents of different races. almost half of american suburbs are ethnically diverse. more americans identify themselves as political independents than ever before. more than 10% of the american electorate was born somewhere else.
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>> thank you very much. polarization does not mean civil war. so we want to invite dr. sam gregg now to talk to us about competing economic visions now and how they are playing and feeling the deep divisions. and again, dr. guelzo got us talking about civil war to division. dr. greg, let's talk about those economic causes of deep divisions in our country. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be with you and to be removing professor -- to be following professor guelzo, as well. i am here to talk about our
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economic divisions. from a historical perspective, it is worth remembering that the united states has been characterized by deep debates about economic issues from the beginning of the republic. those of you who have studied economic history will know that right at the beginning of the republic, there were those who saw the future of america as one of industrial capitalism and they were associated with people like alexander hamilton. there were others who saw america as having a -- future. who saw america as a land of freeholders living on farms and essentially pursuing an agrarian lifestyle. they were associated with people like thomas jefferson. in the founding period and into the 19th century, we saw arguments, intense arguments, both politically and constitutionally, about whether americans should have a national
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bank. then, of course, during the civil war and leading up to the civil war, there were marked difference between the southern economy of the southern states, but being one heavily dominated by cotton, and the more industrial part of the northern united states. the difference between the north and south effect of the different economic basis of the country. since the 1930's, there has been a persistent economic divide in americans concerning the role of the state in the economy. on the one side there have been programs such as the great society, the new deal, against those who very much favor things like free trade and free markets. in the free trade subject, it reminds us that, again, right from the beginning of the
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republic, there was a substantial difference between those who essentially thought of the american economy in protectionist terms and those who thought of the economy in free trade terms. what is interesting about some of these economic divisions is that they have not fallen neatly down political party lines. economic debates in the united states have enabled of the dividing of political parties against themselves. we saw this with the american party in the 1930's. we saw it in the 1990's with the debate about nafta. nafta, many will recall, was a trade deal, a type of economic treaty that was supported in congress by essentially half the republican party, more or less half the democratic party, and opposed by half the republican
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party and half of the democratic party. what is interesting is that these political divisions tend to track the regional nature of economic development in the united states. if you are looking to understand why a democrat or republican will line up on the, same side when it comes to economic issues it often has much more to do with the part of the country that they represent, what industry happens to be most dominant in their particular state. today, we see many economic divides in the united states. most obviously, i think we see a divide between what is often called the rust belt states, often seen as very characteristic of the midwest, against the two costs, the west coast, which obviously has a
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very strong tech industry. and the east coast, particularly the northeast coast, which is seen as the political and financial center of the country. long-standing divisions between export-oriented industries and those primarily focused on selling to domestic consumers. we see blue-collar america and the manufacturing part of the economy learning up against the tech industry and the financial sector. another division is major democrat-dominated big cities, fair to say that amount of crony capitalism prevails. and those of suburban and rural areas where that type of political economy is less evident. we see debates surrounding questions of immigration. much of the business community wants and needs more labor. this raises concerns about issues associated with illegal immigration but also issues
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arising around wages and wage levels and wages of native-born americans. . in more recent times, we have seen a major divide open up in america between those parts of the economy which are relatively pandemic-resistant, and those parts of the economy that have turned out to be very vulnerable. the example is a hospitality industry which has been incredibly vulnerable to the pandemic. there are other industries, to a certain extent, education has proved somewhat more resistant to the pandemic in terms of the capacity to function. we also see significant generational divides it is no secret that fool after poll shows that americans under the age of 30 has a favorable view of socialism.
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they are often confused when asked to divide what -- define what socialism is. they often think of it in terms of equality, but that is a significant divide that has opened up between young americans and those under the age of 30 or 35. another generational divide reflects what you might call those whose economic horizons have been primarily determined by living in a post-financial crisis world as opposed to those whose experiences of economic life were not pre-financial crisis world. large numbers of younger americans have grown up with a somewhat skeptical view of markets and capitalism, because for many of them, those things are associated with the 2008 financial crisis.
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overshadowing all of this, and dividing americans, is a political and economic question, and that is the economic and political challenge that is represented by china. china is clearly an economic challenge in so far as it is now america's number one competitor in the world politically, but also economically. no one is really disputing this. the real question is, how do we deal with this particular problem. there are those who believe that economic engagement have to be a part of any engagement with china and it is foolish to walk away from an economic market of 1.2 billion people. others, however, say it is a mistake and potentially problematic to say the least to rely on a country that is ruled by a regime that is clearly
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hostile to american strategic and political interests. so, what are some of the future challenges around which these divisions will continue to be perpetuated? dealing with china will be one of them. it is fair to say that we will not see too much change between the trump and biden administration's when it comes to how they are approaching the subject of china. there has been a move away from the idea that everything about china is wonderful and there is much more suspicion that crisscrosses political lines about china's interest and its agenda. but economically dealing with this is something americans continue to be divided about. another future challenge i think, is how does one remake the case for free markets and capitalism to large numbers of people who have a very different
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economic experience of the world, compared to those who grew up, for example, in the 1970's, where there was mass inflation, change information, and experienced the type of economic liberation -- some might call it -- that was apparent and became widespread during the 1980's. during the reagan revolution. the difficulty is that we can't pretend it is the 1980's anymore, and we cannot use the rhetoric and language of the 1980's anymore, because we have people who have grown up in a world who have no memory of what that period was like, and have no memory of what it was like to live before some of those economic changes. some of this could be quite depressing. i would like to close with some grounds for optimism. firstly, america remains by most survey standards, the most entrepreneurial country in the world.
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entrepreneurship has long been part of america's economic culture, and as long as that remains rental to america's economic culture, there is grounds for optimism for growth, for increasing gdp over time, and our ability to make sure that america remains competitive in the political economy. second, america remains the world financial center, a great gift given to us by alexander hamilton at the beginning of the united states, and finance is a major part of the global economy now. as long as america remains the number one country, there are many reasons to be optimistic. thirdly, america's institutional foundation when it comes to the economy are mostly sound. world law is more or less observed. private property rights remain relatively strong. some of these may change in the next four years, we don't know yet, but what is clear is that
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the institutional fundamentals that we take for granted and which are absent from countries south of the rio grande, as long as they remain solid, we have reason to be optimistic. america has mastered major economic challenges in the past. america has not gone down the path of countries like argentina. it has not gone down the path of the european -- western european stagnation. it happened in the 1970's, but america turned around and that led to a time of unparalleled growth in the american economy for a number of decades.
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it does not always turn out well. let's go back even further, to the civil war. let's go back to the middle decades of the first century bc. a coastal town north of naples. a statesman, he spent his life defending rome's concept of a
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republican government with its system of checks and balances. when he wrote his most important works, the laws, the age was already upon him. he knew the decay of rome's political institution, what he called the enemy within, had been reaching for many years. worldly senators blocked economic reforms. there were massive public works programs with no sensible scheme to finance. not to mention the workers were alienated from the political system. there were great economic disparities worsened by a crippling tax system. they were deep political divisions, with a lot of conspiracy theories floating around. mob violence was on the rise. -- does this sound familiar to
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anyone? the city of rome, everyone complained about the traffic -- some things never change -- for cicero, the great system of decline was the crisis in political leadership. by rejecting a universal moral law and inspire virtue, rome's leaders behaved as though their private lives had no relationship to the public good. they were squandering their inheritance, according to cicero. long before living member of, or way of life produced outstanding men, and those excellent men preserved the old way of life and the institutions of their forefathers. our generation, however, after -- not only reluctant to restore it retained its basic form.
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he closes, we are not only bound to give a description, we must somehow defend ourselves as if we are arraigned on a capital charge. trouble in river city over there. we will come back to cicero. the report is the american founders knew this history. they started it. they understood the challenges of building and sustaining a just and democratic society. they look for wisdom wherever they could find it. the odds of success of preserving a republic over vast territory when they were stacked against them. in the words of a social
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thinker, they sought to study history in order to defy history. the relentless selfish ambition, these were not hypothetical problems. republican government, checking ambition and preserving freedom and order. there are no guarantees of success then or now. a dependence on the people -- experience has taught mankind the necessity of precautions. let's take over. there have been acts of violence and threats of a political coup leading up to the constitutional convention. the conspiracy. when the framers gathered, they faced political divisions that
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threatened to collapse the entire enterprise. what strikes -- the stunning combination of realism and hope. realism and hope among the founders. it is impossible for the man of pius reflection not to perceive and it a finger of that almighty hand that is been so frequently extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution. a few lines later, he says this -- the history of all the great councils held among mankind for reconciling their differences is the history of factions, and disappointment. the most dark and degraded pictures, the human character. another line.
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the founders expected angry and malignant passions to be set loose. they expected it. they did that by combining moral leadership with sound political principles. a written constitution that reflected both the tragedy and the dignity of the human condition. the framers divided these precautions. a national government that put hard limits on itself, on its powers in order to respect the sovereign rights of states. they devised checks and balances within that system of separation of powers to prevent the abuse of political power. they fashioned a bill of rights to safeguard the natural universal rights and freedoms of every citizen.
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all of these constitutional remedies were intended to help navigate our political divisions and preserve freedom. all of them are still in hand. the great responsibilities and self-government lie before us. let's go back to cicero for a moment. his long struggle to preserve rome's republic came to an end. at the age of 64, cicero was retired from politics buckets you to denounce the powers tearing apart rome's way of life. that puts him against the establishment. as the assassins approached him with swards drawn, cicero reportedly displayed a calm defiance. there is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, he said. but try to kill me properly.
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he cut his throat. for all practical purposes, when cicero fell, the republic fell with them. the founders took note, they learned from rome's failure. they were always conscious of the silent artillery of time, the natural drift of political society toward corruption, dk and degeneration. listen to madison on enlightened statesman will be able to -- the public good. enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. can i get an amen on that. our problems are real and that cannot be wished away. we have in our hands an essential part of the remedy. listen to james mason from the virginia declaration of rights
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-- the blessings of liberty can preserve any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles -- a return to first principles. that is the task of the statesman and the patriots. there is no guarantee of success. suggested at the outset, the way forward demands that we look back, back to the constitution and its attempts to the ideals of freedom. ronald reagan, who had a great attachment to the constitution, put it this way. the torch of liberty is hot, he said. the torch of liberty is hot. it warms those who hold it high, it burns those who try to extinguish it. it is time to lift up the torch of liberty and bring a measure of life and hope into a world of
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shadows and fog. thank you for listening. >> thank you so much. so powerful. it is amazing how time just runs out when we are having these great discussions. we are diving into the q&a. folks are really concerned about the polarization in the country and it seems like they are thinking about a lesson on how he marveled at what he called the science of association, citizens coming together to solve common problems. we have a host of questions. let's start with this one -- do you believe that the level of unrest in the country has worsened by the reduction of presence of the republic and increase of democracy?
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he goes on to list the passage of the 17th amendment, removing the selection of senators by state legislators and giving the power to popular vote, creating essentially a second house of representatives. >> that is taking things back more than a century. i don't know that anyone in 1912, when the 17th amendment -- look upon that is a do or die moment in the republic. there is the larger question, the question opposes -- is democracy itself the problem inside of our republic? you do not need to have a democracy to have a civil war. rome -- the roman republic was torn to bits by civil war and
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yet it was not a democracy. the athenians were a democracy, they likewise fell prey to civil war. they were not a republic. there is not a necessary connection between democracy, a republican form of government and civil war. civil war is an equal opportunity calamity. it will afflict monarchies, it will afflict dictatorships, it will afflict republics, it will afflict democracies. whenever the worthwhile sense that people have that their voices are being listen to and interest are being served, whenever that fails, that becomes the seed of civil unrest. when debt is not satisfied, it becomes civil war. that is what we must avoid. i do not have a yes or no answer to that question, i am not sure there is a yes or no answer.
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it does make us reflect on how various the causes of dysfunction may be. and what vigilance the preservation of a republic, a democratic republic calls for from each of us who are not citizens. >> ok. i think that this line of thinking is's energized with -- thinking is's energized -- synergized with the next person's question. john adams said our constitution was made only for moral or religious people. our nation has been on a downward slide. give us your thoughts about what you think the end result will be of this moral-religious conversation and a downward slide. >> thank you for that question.
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it is hard to predict in the future where it is going. i want to emphasize the choices we can make in the present. i do agree there has been this loss to an attachment of those religious principles, transcendent ideals that the founders assumed would undergird the republic. there has been a loss of that. i am developing a theory and we will go on about it. but disillusionment, i think there is a great amount of disillusionment that has grown out of utopian ideas about what kind of society we can produce in the first place. that can be a problem on the political right, i think it is a much greater problem on the political left. utopian delusions and people are, mentored because they are not now achieving the utopian society that they all want. let's call it christian realism.
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a belief in the capacity of human virtue and self-government but also a sober view of our limitations. we have to get back to that and we have the potential to do that. >> i want to bring you right in here. looking at how we do, we have a question from gerald saying, how much is education and public school responsible for fanning the divide that seems grounded in ignorance? another question from a participant, how do we reeducate america's youth to love their own country and their rights afforded to them by being an american citizen? >> well, thank you for the two questions. there are many things that can be said here. there is a reason why some of us
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do not send our children to public schools, precisely because -- i am one of them -- one of the reasons is precisely because people lack confidence that their children will be exposed to an understanding of the united states and its history that is true to that history, which is not a perfect history, but a history that has a great deal of nobility, a great deal of a story to tell about human achievement. and instead, they do not hear that. what they hear is the united states is conceived in racism. we see in some parts of the country, something the heritage foundation is trying to push back against, the infiltration of the 1619 project into school curriculum. and anyone who has read those documents knows very clearly that this is not history, this is ideological indoctrination. so there is a major problem in the way history is taught in much of the united states about the united states in schools run
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by local state governments. so what do we do about that? in one case, parents must take responsibility to inform their own children about the responsibilities of what it means to be a citizen, and that includes explaining to them and helping them understand the history of the united states, a history which, like i said, that are not all light, there are dark spots, but parents should be taking more responsibility in this regard. they should be willing to go to school board meetings and ask, why is my child being taught the united states is a great satan? i would expect that in iran, not in a state like virginia or wherever. so there is a great deal of citizens grassroots action to push back these areas. also, i think it is important to understand that when we are
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talking about history, we need to distinguish the truth about -- the truth between history as the search for truth, and history as it is perceived today, trying to produce a narrative that is designed not to get a truth, but you try to influence what is happening politically here and now. so parents taking more responsibility for the children's education. being somewhat confrontational in schools and school boards about what is being taught and what is not being taught about american history.
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i think those are some very practical things that citizens can do in this country to try to address what is clearly a major problem in the way that america is being taught to understand itself right now. >> it is interesting, i am looking at this -- a participant says, is a middle-class american, i feel completely powerless to have any effect on elections. and i wanted to speak to the feeling of being powerless. sam, you just talked about how parents can be empowered. but this participant is leaning in on a conversation about socialism and ultimately, forming into communism. do you want to talk about this? from what you are seeing there, and how we can help people, no matter where they are in the socioeconomic stratosphere, if you will, not to feel powerless. >> we sometimes feel powerless because we are a nation of 330 million people. and you can feel like a very small fish in a very big fish bowl if you reflect simply on
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the numbers. but we are not powerless, because there are so many different levels at which political opportunity and intellectual opportunity take place. there are the levels of our neighbors, the levels of our schools, the levels of our municipalities, all of these are small-scale worlds and they are real world. this is one of the things so remarkable about the united states, and it still is -- we are a nation of small-scale face to face organizations, a nation of voluntary self-help, we are churches, we are associations, we are even bowling and baseball leagues. in each one of those things, our personal roles are greatly magnified because we are acting on a smaller stage. and then, the influence we actually exercise in those small-scale places become something which is magnified
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through those organizations, through those voluntary societies, and it spreads so that the voice of one person, which taken simply by themselves seems to be so insignificant, actually has impact one after the other provided that voice , does not stay home and speak only to itself. speak to one's neighbors, engage them, not in provocation, speak as a citizen to another citizen, speak in your leagues, speak in your associations, your churches, your organizations, to each other. and then watch that process not only turn situations around, but vindicate the very idea of how a republic is supposed to operate. that sounds like it is asking
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that you take very small steps toward the achievement of very big goals. but the achievement of very big goals always starts with small steps. in 1838, abraham lincoln delivered what was his first major political speech. and he was reflecting on a wave of mob violence, lynchings, a moment when the country seemed to be coming apart in terms of political division. and his recommendation to people was, i hope, similar to i hope to what i said -- he said in that lecture that we should always emphasize the importance of the obedience we go to the laws. he said let that reverence for
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the laws be on the lips of children in their mother's lapse, let their mothers implicate that love of law and liberty in their children. let that fan out from there. and then, you have a real renovation, a real awakening of republican principal. because it will not come from the top down. because in a republic, that would be a contradiction in terms. in a republic, sovereignty and every other living aspect of public life comes from the bottom up. resolve to begin there, resolve to begin at one space. and when you take a step through that one space, you will find other spaces that open to you. >> beautiful. you know, we are almost out of time. and i want to give each of you an opportunity to give us a 30-second close out. i think people are just yearning for outspokenness and honesty during this time. we know if a house is divided
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against itself, a house cannot stand. so in your 30-second close, give us some encouragement, and how you think we can walk under a new president -- president biden's administration -- with these economic debates and these divisions that we are still walking, and trying to walk out of. i will start with you, sam, over to you joe, and then close out with you, alan. >> thank you, angela. the first thing i would say is to remember that debate and division is not new. i would like to think that in a republic like the united states, you would actually have debates and disagreements about very important things, whether the subject's trade policy, or the discussion of a particular amendment to the constitution. it is quite normal to have these discussions. so thinking about things in that
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way is helpful. i also think, however, one way forward -- and this is a uniquely american theme -- is to go back and look at some of the principles we talked about today, that are so beautifully and powerfully expressed in the founding, in the lives of the founders, and in the founding documents. if america is to be true to itself, it is to undergo a true renewal in a typically american way, we have powerful, intellectual, cultural resources which i think america can turn to to renew itself in a way that, frankly, most other countries find very hard to do. >> thank you. thank you. joe? >> let me play off of those remarks. i have been thinking about a line from the catholic writer gk chesterton, who was making a case for christianity.
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he said it is not that christianity was tried and found wanting, it was found difficult. he was talking about wholehearted commitment to the people of virginia. i think a similar observation could be made about the american creed. that is not a religious creed. but don't misunderstand me the , concept of republican self-government, it requires a wholehearted commitment. as my colleagues have been suggesting a commitment to , govern ourselves. a commitment to we the people, not to the state, not to the smiling leviathan, because despotism as we all know is the easy way. it is the easy way. it is the road most traveled. but freedom, that is the harder path. we all know that. but it does offer the best hope of a society characterized by justice, as well as mercy. so to quote from lincoln, i think the whole family of man has a stake in the outcome. >> alan, close us out.
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>> angela, i have been a student of abraham lincoln for many, many years, as many people know, and i know better words to close with than the words he used at the closed of his first inaugural address, when once again, the nation faced the stark prospect of civil war. i am loathe to close, lincoln said. we are not enemies, but friends. we must not be enemies. though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and heart stone all over this broad land will yet swell the corners of the union when again touched, as
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surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. >> well said. i just want to thank each of you for sharing your insight on the struggle over the meaning of america, and putting in perspective when you put the two words together -- civil war. thank you to our audience for joining us for this important conversation. if you work on the hill, at a think tank, or have questions, please contact us using the information on the screen. we would love to continue the conversation. after this event, you will receive a survey and we help you complete the survey so we get an idea of what you care about and how to bring more information to the public square. to see the events we have coming up, check out and again, on behalf of our president, thank you from the
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entire heritage family for joining us and have a great day. ,>> former president trump became the first to first president to be impeached twice. this week, house managers delivered the articles of impeachment to the senate, with jamie raskin reading the article on the floor of the senate. >> donald trump warrants impeachment and removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust and profit under the united states. >> so help you god. >> the following day, senators were sworn in as jurors in the trial. kentucky senator rand paul requested a point of order to dismiss the impeachment charge as unconstitutional. >> i make a point of order that this proceeding which would try a private citizen and not a vice
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president, president or civil officer, violates the constitution. >> the motion was tabled in a 55-45 senate vote. afterwards, the senate approved rules of the trial and adjourned until tuesday, february 9, marking the start of the impeachment trial. watch on c-span2, streamlined -- streamed live on, or the free c-span radio app. association and executive director of alzheimer's impact movement. he's here to talk to us about the 10th anniversary of the national alzheimer's project act and about alzheimer's of america. good morning. guest: great to be here. host: let's set the stage with some basic information. what exactly is alzheimer's? guest: alzheimer's is a progressive disease.


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