tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN July 16, 2013 1:00am-6:01am EDT
will highlight people like the high commissioner for refugees and coordinator for you humanitarian assistance have really tried to use their voice is to raise this issue especially with syria. it was quite a high profile appeal tabblet need to protect the neutrality of medical personnel and other humanitarian actors. there will be a debate i believe this week where the same key humanitarian acts are raising the profile on this. but of course the fact of the matter is if you look at some place like syria there has been significant damage, something like a third of the hospitals are not usable because of damage from the fighting.
without having forces on the ground to separate the antagonist, what we try to do is use the voice the u.n. has to raise aware ps of this and to have discussions with those countries who have influence inside syria. publicly we talk about this to bring attention to the issue, privately we are talking to the countries in touch with fighters on either side to try to build some humanitarian space. >> most of these issues you are raising, they are a way solved in the geneva convention. it's a question of having it respected. one of the sad things about being a diplomat in our areas in these times is the inability to have new international norms or obligations. i don't think the geneva
convention, i don't think we could have today negotiated the geneva convention. so we are stuck in a situation where we really have to look after the heritage that we have from previous generations. they are not bad at all. and they do a pretty good job of disemanating it. but this should be a job of all of us. if there ever was a common cause not only in humanitarian work but those in political, it would be to make sure that this is all what we have but there is clear regulations there. and any violation to international humanitarian law is unacceptable and it is a task of all of us to look after. >> i'm afraid we're going to have to cut this to the last question.
about the question u.s.' influence with specific regards to issues of sovety that you were discussing. and how could changes in the distribution of influence between a diversity of nations affect the willingness of a nation in conflict to embrace u.n. intervention. >> the sovereignty question is one that i have been taking about a lot through the year. bruce jones and i have had several conversations about this. more often than not, one of the countries will be asking for you when support, thinking they have the more -- u.n. support. they think they have more egitimate claim. in general, it is hard to find n entry point.
we might not be able to look out and see that country x is having an ethnic problem in one corner of the country that seems to be spreading and we get a warning. that government, that member state of this organization that i served might not think it has a problem or may not think it needs a solution or wants to -- or does not want to internationalize a solution. we are an organization based on embership. there is a sovereignty reality we have to accept as a member state-based organization. what do you try to do? you try to find mediators -- intermediaries that have legitimacy on their own. ou might send out somebody who
you knew was close to certain government leaders from another country who could talk quietly behind closed doors without a big deal. maybe there is a u.n. graduate resident coordinator on the round that could target an entry point. you always have to be looking at this. one of the reasons i want to make sure we have brought a financial backing for -- broad financial backing for mediation tools is so people can say if this many countries of this many persuasions are behind using the mediation tools, it must not be a western imperialist agenda, and we have no agenda other than trying to address a conflict. that is why having a country like india, board -- they were sensitive to their sovereignty, but they see a role for these tools. it is a good selling point for parts of the world. >> bruce?
>> it is an important question. we are in a stage with new actors on the international stage -- india, turkey, brazil, china, etc. one of the dominant themes is they will challenge for international order, and what is the most important principle for international order? sovereignty. the united states on the -- and the west are saying not so much with sovereignty. it is finally stabilizing in india, turkey, brazil, etc., who, for most of their history were the subject of sanctions, etc. it is an incredibly sensitive topic.
we saw in libya that countries like brazil and india could get halfway there. they voted for the application of the concept of the responsibility to protect in the case of libya. when they came time to use force, they had to abstain -- sort of, halfway there. to what the u.s. can do -- this is a place where the united states has not played its cards very well. he united states has to do more work with brazil, india, turkey, these powers that are on the fence about ways this issue is going. sometimes they will side with the pro-sovereignty stands, or who have interest that mean
they have to get engaged. there, we are on the fence. i do not think we have done nearly enough to work with them and bring them aboard to these concepts that will be central to what we do in the near future, especially at a time when there are regions where relations are very tense. asia is a zone of great tension. the united nations is not engaged in that at this point. there are counter-issues. positions in syria, unified action on mali. we have to pay a lot of attention to this question and build up consensus with brazil, india, turkey -- the swing states around this question of sovereignty. >> there is a perception among smaller states that have been subject to colonialism, etc., they say look at the p5, which says do not touch my sovereignty, the we will touch yours. the p5 themselves have a responsibility to overcome that
perception. >> well, jeff, you have a hell of a job. i speak on behalf of everybody on the panel and in the audience to say i am glad you are where you are, doing such a great job. >> thank you, martin. >> thank you for being here. >> tonight on c-span ralme main you'll and grover nor quist discuss immigration. then our first ladies focuses on the evolving role of the first lady. then the verdict in the george zimmerman and trayvon martin case. >> at around 6:00 p.m. eastern today senators met to discuss proposed changes to the senate's filibuster rules. after more than three hours,
senators concluded the meeting without reaching an agreement. >> i think everybody .nderstands [inaudible] >> that is an awfulfully difficult thing to turn the other way. there are republicans that would vote for two new no, ma'ams if the democrat were willing to do that. the discussions continue. senators reed and mcconnell are talking as are other individual
senators that were having discussions over the weekend and maybe those will yield a result. >> [inaudible] . >> none other than the obvious which is give us six republican votes and this can all be avoided. >> or don't do the nuclear option? >> or don't do the nuclear option and if this happens does this mean we won't have another threat to change the rules this session of congress and nobody is willing to make those commitments at this point. >> what about the nominees other than than the nlrb? >> i think the nlrb is the point of contention. i think there would sufficient republican votes but i think the two nlrb appointments are difficult for appointments who believe they were illegally
made. that comes back to an issue of separation of powers and whether or not we're going to concede to the executive to decide when congress is or is not in session. >> you think a change in the rules just to move him many >> >> i don't know how he's got this cued up tomorrow? >> [inaudible] . >> conceivable, yeah. >> do you believe there is still this idea that going nuclear could be bad for executive nominations going forward, that it change it is rules, that it could be bad for the institution and change it is way presidents think about their nominations? >> i think going forward this is a new press department and it creates all kind of questions about what might happen next. but for sure if this happens now it's clearly going to be a practice that probably gets continued in a republican administration. and evidently there are not a
lot of democrats willing to accept that. many of them are for it. they are fine with on executive nominations. most draw the line on executive nominations or filibusters but once you blow that door open t's hard to go back. inaudible] >> the night is late. i'm toonks go see how bryce harper has done in the home run
derby. what i said is the night is late. we've been no breaks. we've been going steady in there. we've had a very good conversation, a conversation that will continue tonight. the votes are scheduled at 10:00 until the morning. -- 10:00 in the morning. >> the u.s. senate returns tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern with the swearing in of ed markey of massachusetts. the votes on executive nominees are scheduled for shortly after. live coverage of the u.s. senate on c-span2. the house returns tomorrow at noon eastern and this week will work on a bill that will delay
certain mandates under the healthcare law. live coverage of the house here on c-span. >> tomorrow the senate farm relations committee holds a hearing on diplomatic and embassy security. a look at legislation that would fund programs recommended by an independent panel that investigated the benghazi attack. and later tomorrow the house rules committee considers two bills aimed at delaying the employer and individual health insurance mandates in the healthcare law until 2015. live coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. eastern also on c-span 3. >> next a conversation on immigration policy between chicago mayor ralm emanuel and americans for tax reform grover more quist.
they sat down today with steve clemens. his is just under an hour. >> thanks to all of you for being here. i have a privilege to engage in conversation with two people that are extensively to of -- ostensibly two of the most owerful political leaders. it is slightly an out of body experience. i did not know whether to sit here and have grover and rahm right next to each other. rahm, former white house chief of staff, three term member of congress, and now mayor of chicago. we do not do advocacy, but if you look at cities and their mayors and what kind of aims the chief executive -- kinds of things the chief executive of the city does -- what rahm
emanuel has been doing, synthesizing the equation of what you're city will look like, it is an impressive arena. of course, we have grover norquist, president of the americans for tax, encouraged by ronald reagan. i do not know whose idea the old was, but it worked -- both was, but it worked. i was with amy klobuchar recently. we interviewed her and she was telling us how grover was now getting hate mail by some of his own base because of committee testimony he provided on the joint economic committee that was very positive. i thought today "crossfire" is coming back on cnn. you have people with differences that bash each other without thinking. i thought today we would have a conversation. >> i am out of here. >> rahm, forget your white
house role, but we are in chicago, thinking about how the equation with immigrants. as a mayor, how are you trying to change the game customer works a couple of the -- gain -- change the game? >> a couple of things that are fact, in the city of chicago, about 50% of all new business applications for licenses are by immigrants. that is why you cannot be pro-small business and anti-immigrant. they go hand-in-hand. we have cut our licenses denials by 60%, making it much easier to start a business -- 50%, making it easier to start a business card nearly -- business. nearly 50% of all new startups are by immigrants. those of you who know chicago, you know the magnificent mile. the hispanic area, 26th street, the two magnificent miles, i
call it, it produces the second-most amount of sales tax revenue for the city of chicago and the state of illinois. outside of michigan avenue, when you pull out high-end shopping, the most productive area from a sales tax revenue is 26th street, and it has people from all over the midwest that come in. on the weekend you cannot find parking in the city of chicago near or around 26th street because from as far as minneapolis, minnesota, to
columbia, ohio, people come in on the weekend to get things they cannot get in their respective community. those material fact in terms of hat is happening in the city -- today, we send an executive order, creating what i call citizenship corners in every neighborhood library in the city of chicago. librarians are being trained to help people get their citizenship. we have kits that they can take home to promote the effort. i will close by this one example if i can. one year ago we held a forum with robert f kennedy -- the first time here in america, their foundation, and all the nobel peace prize winners in chicago. i happen to think chicago is the most american of american cities.
we didn't add a -- did it at a high school where my mother went to school, all jewish. our mother's high school, my mother's high school, this might explain a lot about our relationship. second, i introduced a young woman who is from yemen to introduced gorbachev. she came to america in fourth rade and is now at northwestern on a full paid scholarship card -- scholarship in the student body -- scholarship. the student body as 120 different nationalities. she was number one in her class. she did the interview with gorbachev. she is on her way to northwestern on a full paid scholarship.
how can that be against our interest? she has decided she is an american. it is in our interest as an economy and as a city when you look at all the relationships that are intertwining, going on, bringing the world to chicago and chicago to the world. it is a huge economic opportunity for the city of chicago and the country. >> before i jump to grover, let me ask, as mayor, if you are on a national tour and you stop in kansas, a place where i was born, and it is not bending over backwards to be welcoming to immigrants -- what would you tell parts of the country, particularly those that have representatives that are not moving in a progressive manner. what if they say this is not our story?
how do you reach them? >> that might be true, although i do think immigration is changing what used to only be an urban story. i am not so sure -- and, it also it is quickly becoming a rural story. that is cultural impact. my appeal is one on economics, then -- but nobody should dismiss the cultural piece of that, which can be disconcerting. it is not true for the city of chicago because my grandfather came to chicago in 1917 as a 13-year-old to get away from eastern europe. that is the history of chicago. that is the history of our city and holds true for every city in america. this is also true of any state,
there is a history of immigrants that are given opportunities. you cannot give them a national story, so there are anecdotes in the history of kansas you would have to we've yet and i would not treat it disrespectfully. i could tell you a story about chicago hundred different times in a hundred different languages. there has to be a story from kansas you have to find. i cannot give them a chicago example. they have to find a kansas example where they find an opportunity to see their future. >> coming out of that environment, that story --
i was driving off to do early meetings and we saw karl rove driving by. the drivers were left wing iberals and they said i want to take that guy on. i said he was speaking at 8:00. a guy went and he said karl rove made a lot of sense. basically, from your corner of he woods, somebody walked into the lions den of hyper-liberals and talked about immigration reform and i bet he got a couple of gop sign-ups. am wondering given your role, the role of karl rove and george w. bush, where were you a few years ago?
is this not a cynical move by some in the republican party to ay now it is pragmatic because we are a dead party if we do not bring in hispanics, or is there something deeper than that? >> if you go back into american history, the chinese exclusion act, historically, going up to he 1980's, every anti-immigrant impulse was driven by organized labor. the modern democratic party. there has been movement all the way around. interestingly, the business community did not get organized. in 1999, i was in a meeting. 12 pair -- people. i was meeting with the head of the republican party -- sort of a check up, what is important to you this year? they went around the room, and
everyone was in one of those two places. then he finishes, got up and left, and like in the last ouple of moments of "columbo those quote television show -- "columbo" television show they said what is it? they said immigration reform. everyone said it was a bigger issue. they talked in terms of hundreds of thousands of evil that -- of people that they needed. none of them felt comfortable or confident with somebody else's issue. it was more than two thousand seven, because it did not get organized in that way. every business group is for the legalization of the 10 million or 11 million that are here, genetic -- germanic increases
in future -- dramatic increases in future flows. they could switch in a generation because you are bringing in talent and opportunity. the business community is there very the southern baptist onvention has strongly ndorsed comprehensive -- the roman catholic church, the mormon church, the national jewish organization. >> so, why are you losing? george w. bush, bill clinton, ahm emanuel -- >> the last two will not be ersuasive to that crowd.
>> if you look at who has lined up on the reform side, i do not think i have ever seen an issue with everyone on that side yet it does not seem to be percolating. you were with the greater boston tea party patriots. how did that go? >> every 20 people, every second one said very consummately about immigrants and applause lines all the way through. it is boston, which helps. the campus chamber of commerce brought me out to speak with the governor, the most pro-immigrant governor, and the chamber was trying to make sure and canada legislators were thinking about doing -- who were thinking about doing omething like arizona were
clamped down, and they will probably move more along the lines of utah, which is the opposite of arizona. kansas is very active in moving in the right direction. this has been an issue where radio talkshow host have driven t to a certain extent on the right, and you can get wealthy with five percent market share on the radio, but you cannot get elected dog catcher with five percent market share. we have had that conversation here at -- conversation. take a look at the list of people that might run for president on the republican side. >> that would be helpful.
>> make friends. >> why don't you just they focused? >> scott walker of wisconsin has come out strong on this. rand paul talked about a pet reduces steamship before john bush, before marco rubio. chris christie -- the leadership moving forward, it is exactly where ronald reagan was and where the traditional party was, being more open to immigration. i had been going for 30 years to these press conferences arguing with the afl-cio, which was always the group we had to fight. we had to do bipartisan stuff. i thought here was one we can work on -- what sign -- let's sign a letter that soviet union groups can leave the soviet union, and unions would not sign it because they thought they would come here. they're still not there on future flow of guest workers. we are making progress. >> the emmys question, in your
tax work, where you have been so popular and maintained a caucus to veto a deal -- > we got a deal. we just did not have tax increases. >> many were influenced by tea party voters, the same voters taking these positions, and it raises the question of whether there is a corner of this that has a veto ability driven by -- will just say it, racism. if you look at the work of gregory rodriguez or those that the the the assimilation rate of hispanics in particular, it s phenomenal -- all the things that rahm emanuel was laying out, it is among all immigrant classes the lead.
i am wondering, at what point that in." stuff begins to matter to jim demint -- that empirical stuff begins to matter to jim demint. >> 20 years ago, historically, the anti-immigrant position has been colored, connected with restrictionist in terms of number of people working. interestingly, this is not about opposition to immigration, and that is why republicans have moved away from positions they were yelled into my radio shows. when pat buchanan ran for president, 70% of republicans thought there were too many immigrants. we thought there were too many immigrants since the germans started sneaking in. nine the first thought, too many immigrants. second thought, i'm not really
against it. kamran, 70% of the people believed -- pat buchanan ran, 70% of the people believed, and he got 1% of the vote. the idea that there is a deep-seated anti-immigration reform vote in the republican party does not show up. the two senators from arizona, jeff mccain and jeff flake, the two most pro-immigration senators. t does not always show up in the vote. >> if you direct this question at me, i would say that is all true, what grover said, but the party has allowed itself to have a few voices described and defined its position, which is where the political fallout as occurred and it -- if it is not averted soon will have a huge import to local and national
politics. all of those data points are true. where the screening -- i would say that volume does not reflect depth. that is true in our party. that said, leaders have allowed the voices that have attraction to define who the party is. >> can you walk us through how you are trying to position chicago as essentially the friendliest city to immigrants customer you make a case of white -- immigrants? you made the case of why economically it matters, and if you look at the 15 points you
have would in place that you think are game changers for mmigrants coming in, is your aspiration to create a template for other cities? i am not sure how much pc as -- washington, d.c. as in terms of impact. >> it is a huge impact, but it is less and less, it is declining. the state of illinois past the dream act. i was sworn in on may 16, 2011, and it was the only piece of legislation that i called for. i have raised $250,000 for that fund privately, and we have a little over 100 people now going to college that could not go otherwise. that is one example of where you can do something different. recently we passed the drivers license -- four other states
have done it, allowing immigrants who do not have a legal status to get a drivers license, which allows them to get employment, get their kids to school and go around. it has a lot to do with public safety, safety on the street, and have integrated people come out of the shadows. >> how did they get over the fear of being tracked down and deported? >> we are a sanctuary city. i passed it by ordnance. sanctuary city status does not live by the whim of the mayor. fourth, and most interesting, what led to today's event, is i created an office in new american and i put it in the mayor's office, and they spend all day going through hell this will impact immigrant.
we have 79 -- going through how this will impact immigrants. we signed an agreement with the immigration office. we are in the process -- we have already done 50. we are training all librarians with a special room called citizenship corners that has a process on how to help people become citizens and the neighborhood library is helping people become citizens. that office thought of that olicy. today, we sign the order, and with an agreement between the immigration office in the city of chicago, on this process, they literally go through every regulation, every office. it is not just does the website have english and spanish -- important to do, but they go through every part of the city
government and it says what are we doing to promote immigrants? i think it is in the city's interest. we focused on the mexican-american community. chicago will be the fifth largest city in mexico based on our population. hat is a huge economic capacity when you think about what nasa has created for the united states, but we are outside of warsaw the second-largest polish city. a huge amount of trade back and forth could happen when you think about how poland is growing. i know that. that is why i gave a shout out.
it gives you a sense of the size of the city. it will not be true everywhere, but based on the mexican-american population, we are the fifth are just city in mexico, and we are the second-largest city in poland. that is part of our history, but when you think about remittance, trade, opportunity, travel, tour is a -- at every level -- toward his him -- tourism -- at every level, it is a huge economic opportunity if you are looking for market and for a city that is still the headquarters of what i call the flat roof manufacturing, it does not have an export strategy because these are family owned businesses. the historical immigrant roots is a huge economic opportunity for what they can export and that is one way we can grow. we could go on, but i need the federal government to change a problem.
short of that, through the new american office, the library, rivers license, the dream act, we can -- have done what we can do short of the federal government doing the final bit. everywhere we can press, we have at the outer limits of what you can do -- we have pressed the outer limit of what you can do. >> the economic watching -- you went right into that, jim demint and some of the folks in opposition to the legislative direction on immigration said the 50-your cost of creating a -- 50-year cost of creating a citizenship track is $6.3 billion. the cbo has argued that is not the case. when you look at illinois as a state, they have bond
problems. they have not been exactly a leadership in solvency to a certain degree. > that was gentle. >> do you see these steps adding to the economic bottom line, looking at them as economically vital, or is there validity to the fact that when you look at infrastructure, health care and all the cost that jim demint argues will be loomed out -- the loomed -- ballooned out -- >> so many of the services we pay for come from property taxes. you get a new group of people buying home, and another of the people paying property taxes. you pay for schools, police
hat way. take homeownership and what would happen on property tax if all of a sudden people said i am here, i am now going to buy a home? we pay our libraries that way, just that a city level -- all of a sudden people say i do not live under the threat i will be deported, we can now buy a home -- it is a game changer for the city heard part of the revenues -- city. part of the revenue stream comes out of property tax. >> look, at the national level, the reason why we are the future and japan is not, europe is not, and china is not, it is because we do immigration. i get a kick out of people that say should we do immigration -- it is the same as saying should mcdonald's do hamburgers? what made us if it from the
rest of the world was 1777 we were paying 2% of our income in taxes and we had open borders. here we had a lot of immigration and lower taxes, we grew faster than everybody else. people wanted to come here because they wanted to be here. the idea that people are coming from some country they do not like -- we do not tell people rom cuba i cannot come, -- they cannot come, we tell them they want to come because they ant to be something if it. it'll are coming -- something different areas -- different. hina cannot do that could --
cannot do that. they coast for we do not do immigration. that is why japan has disappeared -- is disappearing relatively in terms of overall trength. immigration is what makes us the future, not europe, not japan, and if we do it better and on track to have historically been, we are significantly stronger as a country. >> i would ask any of you to come to the city of chicago could -- chicago. there is nothing like the dedication of a child of an immigrant to their studies and their this. -- purpose. they know they are here, they are lucky and this had better
not get screwed up. i give you this young woman from yemen. she came in fourth grade. she is now at northwestern. in her home, this is a unique opportunity -- you cannot do this anywhere else. do not mess this up. that is the rejuvenation of the american dream -- people consciously left somewhere in to come someplace because they can do what they do only in america. here is nothing like the child of an immigrant trying to make something of their parents dream. x-unit have to cycle out and -- >> you have to cycle out come back. >> 126 nationalities -- that is a gold mine.
i would not trade it for anything. >> you are the best political strategist in washington, d.c., that i know, and everybody is scared of you -- he did win funniest poll of the year in the improvisation thing, and that is coming up again. john lovett one. i do not know who you imitate. >> i am the funniest celebrity on c-span. >> does john boehner ever call you and say this is talk, -- tough, any ideas on what we can o? you are the strongman in the gop on so many of the issues. you fought admirably for
inclusion of gays in the republican party, broad immigration. do john boehner and eric cantor call you and say how can you help us elbow renegades into this? >> i work with all republicans in the house and the senate to encourage them to do what reagan did. this is the reagan republican view. this is not compromise, moving to the left or something. the mobility of labor, mobility of capital, this is what they each you in economics. it should be second nature for republicans and conservatives, and the good news is we're making a lot of progress. we should do more. there will be a public vote for this. >> you have had so many fascinating positions, chief of staff for the white house, and
now mayor of chicago -- if you were to be asked for the white house, what would you put on the table? what you think democrats need to do that that they are not doing today to make this more salient or to get more traction? >> first of all, this is not a problem or an issue for democrats, so that would be that advice. this is an issue in the republican party and in their hands. i do not think this notion that members of congress are running in specific districts and if you're them will think about the parties future. they really think about their own. >> there is this cynical thing that if you never get a deal the democrats terminally get the hispanic vote -- permanently get the hispanic vote. >> that is a cynical view, but i think there are two parts of the conversation and only one
part is being engaged. it is important to have grover, talk radio, the religious community engaged, is there is a group that needs a permanent slip to say yes and no democrat will create that. how to create a permission slip for a democrat to have a republican vote on it is really dumb. that is number one. the other part of the conversation that i would engage in is how to persuade someone to go from here to yes. i think this is where john boehner's problem will be, how you permit a vote and do not expect people to vote yes. they allow people to happen. they do not mind becoming
roadkill. part of the discussion is to get someone to go from here to the yes column. there's another part that is not a conversation publicly -- how you allow people to allow a vote to happen, and that is not a public conversation. that, if you ask me, is what, ratz can be helpful in creating -- democrats can be helpful. >> we have another border in canada. >> we know that instinctively. chris in canada -- >> in canada, the majority party does the outreach, and they win those votes. they were attacked by the left party for promoting more
immigration to get more votes. there is an example of how to win those votes. they have done it in canada and we have done it historically. we used to carry the asian-american vote and we should have that again. >> let me open the floor. we have ted from the council on foreign relations. get the microphone. just did not bring it near as. >> grover norquist, the notion that immigration should be second nature to republicans -- you and others in the party spent a lot of time persuading voters that government does not do anything well -- it is not effective, waste taxpayer money. you have this bill that requires the government being effective -- securing the border, there are find
employment for every work waste, weeding out the fraud -- how will you persuade the public and the government is capable of -- republicans the government is capable of doing that? >> that is one of the challenges. we were taken from 80,000 eople getting arrested down to 40,000. we know how to police the border. that is not more government. that is less government. >> i have no question. i knew there would, time when i agreed with grover and it came. that is all. >> do you feel better now? >> emma? in the back. > i am with "the atlantic."
you said your city is a sanctuary city and in that way it is in conflict with federal policies. are you hoping your city will move the dialogue on immigration? >> let me say this, what we do in the city of chicago i do because i think it is in our self interest. do i think that what happens at a city or a state does not have -- does have a ripple effect -- yes. we always had a sanctuary city, but it was done by executive order. i do not know what elections tomorrow are going to bring, and i would rather have changes repealed or not reauthorize. i think we have done things the right way for our city, and i would draw a bigger example out of the dream act that we passed -- meet these 100-plus kids
that are going to college. it is impressive and tell me it is not in our interest. number two, on the drivers license, it allows parents to take their kids to school safely, allowing them to get to employment, church -- those are examples -- and they are all driven, especially the last one, about safety on our roads. there is nothing worse than driving around with someone -- on the road with someone that does not have insurance. you cannot get it without a drivers license. >> margaret carlson? >> grover, as opposed to mayor emanuel, you do not really have to do anything. you can flip to issue to issue and you are not accountable, yet you hold the hill to your
pledge. >> what is the question. >> you must feel powerful, but at the same time you have more power than many people in the senate or congress. >> the taxpayer protected -- protection plant -- pledge was ssigned to their voters, not to me. it is an important issue going back to the forming of the country. when they make that commitment to their voters, they tend to keep it. on the republican side we have ivory soap percentages signing the pledge and taking it because they intend to keep it. republicans signed the pledge because they do not want to
raise taxes. it is not that they do not want to raise taxes because they signed the pledge. it highlights that commitment. he power remains with voters and they have spoken harshly with people to break the pledge. >> you have rooted the tax pledge in the tax revolt, but also in the founding there was lots of different people from lots of different religions aligning themselves under a contract. is there some methodology to grover norquist that could be applied to the immigration debate that we are not seeing today -- a binary, yes or no punishment for those on one side and reward for those on the other? >> when you talk to people who think they are against more immigration or no immigration, if you drill down a series of issues to people worried about the entitlement situation -- for every dollar put in, you get three dollars, so we should have fewer immigrants, but that
is actually an argument against having children. most think that immigrants can go on welfare. they tag immigrants with other things they are focused on, including education. at our schools they do not teach you american history. i was here. they do not teach you american history very well. it is not just the immigrants that are not getting as strong of a public school system as we would like. you can explain to people what bothers you -- let reform the welfare system, as clinton turned to do, entitlements, school choice -- that is the way to fix things, not yell at 3% of the population and say it is their fault. >> jim has a question. john always has a question.
jim question -- jim? >> most of the viewers in this room would agree with the proposition that all three of you are advancing. >> i'm just probing, not advancing. >> i am advancing that immigration mixing it states ifferent -- strong, vital -- what is the evidence you can show us of people moving on this issue within the republican party and becoming more excepting? >> before we jump to grover, do you have thoughts on that, rahm? you are not just a democrat. you had to deal with republicans. are there republicans in chicano western it has to be a
few -- chicago? there has to be a few. >> let me not answer that question but use it for what i would like to say, which is -- you have two major things going on here at a cross. the democrats had a lot on the congressional map. cultural issues worked on the republican side and they had democrats. thecoastal issues are democratic strong suit. you have the- , to aboutorida arizona. and then we have what is a detriment to the country. on the congressional side, the
we have representatives pick their voters. while the cultural issues have shifted and the national math has shifted one way, we are trying to have a conference -- a conversation. which is why i think on this argument they can deal with a host of other issues. it has to be a permission slip to allow something to happen that you can impose. as long as the math is going to exist. >> you have seen a lot of chefs. most of my life i fought organized aber against allowing translators to come here because they were being threatened over there. somehow the democrats have muted the unions to a certain extent. there's still the problem on -- there is the sticking
point. they are why this bill does not work as well as it could. on the republican side this is the bottom up thing. the southern baptist convention, there's a lot of pastors, the national associations, this is not unimportant to republican candidate. important toery the modern republican candidate running for office. add to that the united is this community. the dairy industry which cannot function without more immigration. -- the high-ple tech trinity's. it is critical for speaking to republicans. this took a long time to get the democrats. final question.
-- this is a two- part question. a situation where republicans who do not trust their leadership enough, the process do not go torence. conference because we will enroll in conference. the second is the argument that that legalizing a bunch of illegal immigrants will exert downward rusher on wages that is going to hurt some of the working-class voters. if markets work and we have a labor shortage that is how we should solve it. , it ison the economics so clear that when you have more people moving into an area of economic growth you get more
growth. people are an asset. the argument that immigration depresses wages -- there are more people. people who talk that way -- as we have a general consensus that this was off on its prediction. they are also anti-people. that is not something that sells as well as they think it did. in a more open and freer economy at all levels including mobility of labor makes the country stronger and make sure buddy better off. that is a shift in revenue.
this would increase growth about one percent. that is a lot of economic growth and a lot of opportunity. that is a step in the correct traction. arevoices that are shrill going for let's not have a vote are doing so because they understand that every day the republican caucus is moving toward yes. the last conference they had. they will do their own borders thing. they are not going to do the senate thing. changes the rules and that scares them. i think boehner is making the move forward correctly. >> mayor emanuel? >> it is hard to take that question up on the gratuitous
hits on obama. my dna is kicking in. i cannot wait to get a flight out of here and back home. the fact is that i think i am optimistic for a different set of reasons why republicans will get there and get this issue dispensed with. i do not think they think it is in their self-interest. i think it is a lot of party interest coming out in the members. if the members were there, they would be there already. you could have the vote now. i think they will get there through internal republican caucus politics. i did not have this data point on small business and sales, but in illinois, out of the university of illinois, which is one of the number one -- the number one computer science and engineering school in america -- 40% of patents come from immigrants, so it is a classic example of what votes -- a lot of people are trying to look at small businesses, whether it is
a restaurant or whatever, and there are a lot of high tech entrepreneurs that are also here, and it is not just meaning in immigrants and shoving wages down. there are a lot of entrepreneurs, inventors, people with start up capacity. we did this one example -- micro-lending, people starting businesses that were too small without any background or history in banks and financials institutions. most all of the applicants were immigrants in the micro-lending space. those are businesses that the, second restaurant or another dry cleaner. there is a huge amount of entrepreneurial energy. the notion that this depresses wages -- i would have to see it
is a great stabilizer of neighborhoods for economics. >> in conclusion, i have had the team at "the atlantic" scan hundreds of policy issues and we might have found one other issues where they would agree, so maybe we can have you both back. >> do not tell anybody we were hearing together. it will now work at home for me and it will not work for him in washington. >> thank you to the chamber of commerce, the team at "the atlantic, grover norquist, mayor rahm emanuel, thank you very much. good to see you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> next our first lady series the role of the first lady. and they'd are look at the conservative movement with the ns foundation
president. >> next, a discussion on the changes in the role of first lady from martha washington to michelle obama. with an introduction by sally mcdonough. this is under two hours. x hi, everyone. it is so good to be back at mount vernon. i have such fond memories of being here and most importantly learning here and it is so great to see the teachers. i cannot imagine coming from a position that i had of being mrs. bush's press secretary. thank you for all you do from someone who went across this
country visiting also to schools and all kinds of conditions. when i was preparing for today's lecture, i thought of a lot of different stories i could possibly tell it then i got so wrapped up in the research. probably most americans do and i googled it. so i got a little bit obsessed, to be honest. i was staying up late getting up in the morning, trying to figure this out. press secretary i probably should not have been surprised that i was at how many times i read a stereotypical presentation of a first lady. even if it was martha washington up to mrs. obama and the worksheet does not. it seemed if you had hopes of being a first lady or if you were a first lady, you had to fit neatly into buckets. some of those buckets won't surprise you. you had to be traditional or modern. you are lowkey or aggressive. you were ceremonial or very political.
you were like eleanor roosevelt or like bess truman. i was also struck by the naivete of news reports that projects surprise when a first lady had influence over her husband. i would have to guess that none of them were probably married who wrote that. in other cases they were actually outraged when a first lady might engage in politics. i think you'll hear from the very first martha washington, when you hear accounts of that every single one of them were engaged in politics. so it is a surprise to me, even though i witnessed it firsthand that the public might be surprised when a first lady takes on a public policy issue or champion a cause or maybe
goes to a podium and speaks her opinion about something that's happening in the current affairs. because she wasn't elected, that's sometimes thought to be out of place. i think you're going to hear a different perspective from the four ladies we have here today. this afternoon's session, "a woman's touch, the role of the first lady" we are joined by a distinguished panel. i don't call them first lady historians because if you going google that, they don't come up. to learn more good b a first lady, they're 'tis morans about their husbands as well because they have to goly to a lot of that documentation to actually find the facts about those first ladies. so as anne mentioned, we're going to hear more about abigail adams, dolley madison, mary todd lincoln, and, of course, martha washington. so i will introduce our panelists by name and then tell you a little bit about them. i'm going to try not to repeat
the bios that you have in this your hand, but i'm going to use my great researching style that these historians will get very upset for my googling. we have pat brady, cokie roberts, catherine al gore and katherine clinton. i'm going to start with dr.?brady. i have to say, my first and probably favorite search in return of her work was an article that came out four years after her book. it was probably along the lines that was happening here at mount vernon, the 250th anniversary of george martha washington. this article that was front page "the washington post," i should say, was "fresh look at martha washington, left frump, more foxy lady." i thought this was really interesting. in this article it's frequently quoted using facts from martha
washington's letters and records to dispel an image of martha washington that was reported in this article as the, and i quote, mousy, fat, rich widow that dashing washington married only for her money. i was also? i also read a lot of wonderful reviews about the book "martha washington: american life," which i then bought. i'm embarrassed to admit i didn't have it before then. i told the author that. i agree with this quote probably most. this review from a reader that i found on the internet, i chose to read patricia brady's biography of martha washington because she was someone about whom i knew very little. overshadowed by the magnitude of george washington's image, it seemed that her life had faded into obscurity. i discovered an amazing, determined, vital woman who
lived her life to the fullest and contributed immensely to the formation of the united states. that would be the frumpy, mousy, fat, first lady. so, pat, we sure do look forward to hearing more about your version of that determined vital first lady, martha washington. cokie roberts. if you're like me, it's such a breath of fresh air on that ridiculous commute. i go from mount vernon to bethesda. and when cokie is on npr, i feel like i get that straightforward, oldfashioned style of reporting. she's a commentator. and whether she's reporting for abc or npr, you know? whether she's talking about white house, congress, nominations, and the fights about all of them, you can count on miss roberts to give you truly both sides of that argument with aauthoritative facts. and as accomplishes as she is in the news business, ms.?roberts is extremely expected in her effort to tell the history of women in politics.
in her book, which just recently was revised in its 10th anniversary, by we are mothers, daughters, you'll find easy to divest chapters about all sorts of women. and i have to say, i personally enjoyed your edition of chapter 2, which is on ms.?bush. she also is author of "ladies of liberty" and "founding mothers" both of which are here. many of them are going? they're all going to do book signings after. so they're wonderful books if you haven't had a chance to pick them up. and last year i had the opportunity to spend some time with cokie and another panelist, catherine al gore in an event hosted by mrs.?bush at the white house. and prior to their visit, i was researching background information on katherine because and
every time you have a guest, you have to put together briefing paper what did she do, what did she say, etc., etc. so i found this one quote that made me laugh out loud. and for those who might have strong affinity for thomas jefferson? i pulled this out because as a former mount vernon person, we admittedly have a very healthy competition with monticello. so "thomas jefferson was a bastard"? you did the internet said you said that. [laughter] i could source it beyond that. and john quincy adams would have been a dream date. and then she said she liked complicated men. i knew i would like katherine. in her book, "a perfect union" she reveals a dolley madison loved by her contemporaries, demonstrated the power of partnership and articulated what i didn't find anywhere else, how a political wife's role is so important in helping their husbands achieve their goals. and it's often much more than what they wear. having read her work but never
having the pleasure of seeing her present, i'm personally looking forward to it. professor clinton, your portrayal in your writing and quotes of mrs.?clinton are revealing and your biography is such a beautiful tribute to her. we all know the history of president lincoln and when you reflect on his wife and all of the tragedies she went through, losing her husband, really her son dying at the white house, and you just think of everything that she went through when she was first lady, when she's reported as the kind of crazy, depressed, first lady and that's all you hear and see, well, i knew first lady and that's all you hear and see, well, i would be,
too. so it's very enlightening when you see someone who takes a deep dive. there was a wonderful biography 20 years ago that no one's attempted to try to match. and she took on that task, which i think was a challenge, and took it on in a year where there's a lot being said about lincoln. and then talking about stereotypical buckets, i found your quotes in the news article describing mrs.?lincoln which was titled "health cat or health mate." she can only be one or the other. very enlightning. so you were reported in one of your interviews as saying the reason why you tackled this is because mary lincoln, mary todd lincoln, was being lost in the shuffle of the new lincoln literature. and i think sadly that that is probably true. and it happens to a lot of first ladies. so we thank you for giving us more insight to the tragic and unconventional life of mrs.?lincoln. as anne mentioned, each panelist will spend about 15 minutes telling you about their research and their books and how they got there. and then they will come up one at a time. and then at the end we'll take a
little bit of a break just to get situated. everyone will come up. and then we have q and a's. as each analysts presents, we ask that you hold your questions, maybe write it down. then we'll moderate that and try to get in as many as we can. thank you. with that i'm going to introduce our first panelist, dr.?brady. [applause] >> thank you, sally. i think that was one of the most fun introductions i've heard in a long time. and i have to say, i do agree with the quote about thomas jefferson. [laughter] i was happy to hear it here. this is not the way i meant to begin, but i feel i should just throw it in. the idea that if one writes about women, first ladies or whomever, that that's somehow second class history, that it
has to have a modifier in front of it, a women's historian as opposed to just an historian. when you write about women, you write about life. it's the same as if you write about men and neither should be favored over the other. and also, you think 500 years will go by with peace and harmony and a wonderful life. and many historians say, oh, there was peace. and then there will be five minutes of a war, and it gets two or three chapters. so we're the one who's write about daily life. and in many ways i think real life is what we write about. what better place to talk about martha washington than here at mount vernon? she was the first of the first ladies. so of course, the title had not been invented at that time.
she set the pace. and then she's been largely forgotten until now. all anybody knew about her, basically, was the gilbert stewart portrait that she was an elderly lady who happened to be married to george washington, probably born 70 years old as far as anybody could tell. [laughter] so that's why i went back to find out who was the real martha dandridg custis washington. that's why the cover of the book. we did an age regression to find out just how beautiful she was. again, not that it would have mattered if she was plain, but it was certainly fun to find out that she was, in fact, quite an historical hottie. so that's my martha washington. skipping over many years of their lives, we get to the time when george washington inevitably became our first president. like many of her successors, martha washington was a very reluctant president's wife. she felt they had given up eight years of their lives with the
american revolution. why on earth should they go spend more time on politics when they could be here at mount vernon, at the perfect place, and enjoy another 50 years of rest, relaxation, hard work, and, in general, daily life. washington, however, was talked into it. and she wrote to a nephew about her famous husband. i thought it was much too late for him to go into public life again. he was too old and we had given up too much of our time. i had hoped to grow old in solitude and tranquility together. but as she said, it wasn't to be. her family must be deranged, and she started packing up to go to the first capitol, new york city. to show you just how different things were at that time, she did not go to the inauguration. there was no sense that an inauguration was anything
especially exciting or that there was much hoopla to it. nor was there an inaugural ball. she didn't come until a month later, more than a month later. and the secretaries and the aides were write and saying, we miss you, the president misses you, please come. and she didn't bother to write back because she was coming when she was coming, which was later on. when she got there, has she discovered the first presidency was, as washington clearly saw, the brave new world. the constitution laid out the general duties, but there were the details to figure out. and life is made up of details, after all. each choice set a precedent. if you do a, then there are certain circumstance that follow. if you do b, it's something else altogether. and washington wanted to be very careful to set the correct precedent. as well, he wanted his wife to do the same. what is the president's wife to do?
it's not as though she's in the constitution, after all. nobody says if you want to be president, marry very wisely 30 years before. you just? you discovered that when you get there, what is expected. but she was the first one. what could it be? well, one thing she found out when she got there was that george washington, in his usual way, thoughtful, not hurrying into things, had consulted carefully with the leading men of his circle, with madison, with adams, with john. and they had decided what the first lady could and couldn't do. she was furious. she said, "i think i'm more like a state prisoner than anything else." she was not allowed to entertain her friends or to accept private invitations. and when she arrived in new york on a wednesday, she was told that she would be the hostess of a large reception on friday. well, that was quite a surprise
for her. she, of course, made the best of it. for the whole first year that they were in new york no one could have guessed that she hadn't been longing all her life to do this. she was gracious. she was charming. she was friendly. she humanized the great man. she made him much less of a marbled figure, of the udolf statue, and much more of the downtoearth, flesh and blood hero. she loved him and admired him. and she showed a way for others to enter into that same kind of feeling. she discovered what a public figure she was. on the way up, as she and the children, a nephew and various other servants and assistants and so forth came up, every little cross road they passed there were people standing there waving and shouting. she called it the great parade
that was made for us all the way that we came. it was her first taste of what press and celebrity could be like. now adays women in politics understand that this will happen. but she had no idea. she thought being the president's lady would be like being the commanding general's lady that they would gather informally with their friends and supporters and meet people and talk about things in an informal way. she was shocked to discover just how very formal things were. i think the idea of the dinner party is one of the worst things that really, from my point of view, that can happen to a hostesses. every thursday afternoon at 4:00?there was a presidential
dinner party. and washington carefully invited people in a balanced way. you know, people who had this point of view, half the other. partly northerners, partly southerners. most of these men didn't even know each other. they didn't have a lot in common. and it was almost all men. because at this point no one knew how long the government would last. no one knew quite how long they would still be in new york. and so men many had left their wives back home. there and would be a dinner party with george and martha and two aides and 14 men who didn't know each other and didn't talk to each other very much. she was hard put to keep that dinner party going, but she did it because that was part? that's part of the role of the president's lady, being not just the hostesses to the actual people at the dinner table but being hostesses to the nation. and that's what she started to see. one thing that she did have an advantage of, she was the first and only first lady who was not criticized by the press.
[laughter] talk about didn't last long, did it? abigail adams immediately? but although in the second term, washington was severely hurt by the press and the sort of things they published. they actually, at that point, didn't find it appropriate to attack the president's lady as a way to get at the president politically. which, of course, is what has happened from abigail adams to michelle obama with hardly a pause in between. since there was no white house when the washingtons left the presidenty and came back home to mount vernon, mount vernon was actually the symbol of the presidency. there was no white house? they were building it. but there was no white house that they lived in. and it was quite a few years before the white house took on that symbolic weight. for years afterward it was still celebrations of george washington's birth night.
to abigail adams' great despair, she couldn't believe they didn't do john adams' birth night. i hope i'm not cutting you out here. but it was still washington's birth night. and people still flocked to mount vernon as they still do, by the hundreds. first to see the great man himself. and then after his death to see martha washington. because, like many first ladies, martha washington in the popular mind represented her husband. and even after his death they still wanted to meet her, to talk to her, to touch her hand. it was a way to have a sort of daisy chain of touching the past and the great days of the nation. of martha washington was terrific. she was friendly. she was generous. she was kind. she was charming. she set precedence of dignity, duty and devotion that are well followed.
she was the worthy partner of the incomparable george washington. and she set the standards for others to follow as the first first lady. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. and, sally, you're so right. it makes me crazy, basically, that people say all the time, is michelle obama going to be a traditional first lady? my basic answer is, yes, probably because a traditional first lady is very involved in politics and has a huge amount of influence on her husband. and is usually pretty controversial. so, yes, she'll be a traditional first lady. sally workedded for laura bush. and at that event that katherine and i were at together, mrs.?bush said she had read in the newspaper that morning that she was prim. and she said, i don't know what
that means. she said, i think it means librarian. [laughter] what's so interesting about it is she's the only first lady in history who went to the white house briefing room, grabbed the microphone herself, and use it had to call for the overthrow of the bermees government. it wasn't exactly shy and retiring. but we developed these myths about first ladies that we really have about all of them, an really starting with martha washington. i think it's the cap though. i've always said the cap did her a disservice. i stay perrianally furious with mount vernon over this. george washington's mount vernon. [laughter] [applause] i mean, yes, i bet he was really taking care of all the food
stuff and all of that. at any rate. she, of course, succeeded by the very feisty and somewhat problematic abigail adams whom? and i might say, pat talked about writing about women. we are very lucky with abigail adams, unlike martha washington, because we have her letters. and we have thousands and thousands of them. the theory is that martha burned her correspondence with george for which we can be angry with her. but whatever? that probably did happen because we don't have it. and we pretty much have every grocery list the founding fathers wrote. so it is very likely that that's the case. i will say, to continue on the theme, though, about women's history, it's not just that when you write about the women you have the other half of the human race, but it is also that you learn about the men in a completely different way. they become three dimensional. you know, these founding fathers were so selfaware.
and they knew what they were doing was extraordinary. they knew if they succeeded that their communications with each other would be saved and published. so they had that in mind as they wrote. so they did? they wrote with certain purpose and pomposity whereas the letters to the women are much freer and open and filled with their loves and their fears and their predicaments and their ambitions, and humor. at one point john quincy adams said if anybody intercepts this mail, i'm going to be so
embarrassed because it's all gossip. and to whom but his wife with the great john marshall have written when he found himself in raleigh, north carolina, without his britches. i mean, he said, "i immediately? he set out to get a pair made. "i thought i should be [inaudible] only one day. but all the tailors in raleigh were busy. so he said, "i had the extreme mortgage fiction to pass a whole term without that important article of dress." i have to tell you, i've never been able to look at him again. i sort of avert my gaze because i'm worried about what he's got on. so with abigail, we are blessed. we have so much that she has written. but much that she has written is quite difficult from the perspective of politics. she was a wonderful advisor to john adams throughout his whole
career until she became first lady. and i don't think that's, by the way, necessarily all that unusual. it was particularly unusual in her case because of the situation that she was in. but throughout his time, first in philadelphia and then on all of his diplomatic missions and then as vice president, he just depended on her mightily for political information, for political advice. he had a real political tenere. and then when he became president, he was really desperate, just desperate for her to join him in philadelphia because i just felt like he couldn't? he just couldn't do it without her. i mean, he wrote her he's letters, "i never wanted your advice and assistance more in my life." the next day, "i must entreat you come on as soon as you can." a couple of days later, "i pray you to come on." i will not live in a state of
separation. another day, "you i must and will have." "the times are critical and dangerous. i must have you here to assist me of the. i can do nothing without you. we must redesign everything but our public duties. will" she wasn't about to redesign the farm which she had kept in wonderful shape. the only of the founders to die solvent of the original? the virginians were all in terrible shape except george because of martha. because of martha's money. [laughter] and adams also died with money because of abigail's investments. she didn't have money, but she made money. and she wasn't about to abandon the farm. and also his mother was dying. and she was taking care of his mother. and he says, "it seems to me that the mother and the daughter
ought to think a little of the president." [laughter] "as well as the husband. his cares, his anxieties, his health. don't laugh." [laughter] then his mother died, and abigail got the farm set and on she went. she got to philadelphia. and just as we just heard with martha washington, the minute she got there she was expected to start entertaining. yesterday being monday from 12:00?to half past 2:00?i receive visits. 32 ladies and near as many gentlemen. i shall have the same ceremony to pass through today and the rest of the week. and then, p.s? she says her situation is one of splendid misery, state prisoner, splendid misery is the theme. the ladies of foreign minister and ministers with their own secretaries and ladies visited me today and add to them the levee of senate and house, strangers, etc., making near 100 asked permission to visit me so
that from half past 12:00?to near 4:00?i was rising up and sitting down. so it was a lot of work. and they were expected to just keep doing it. and she was at a tremendous amount of disadvantage in doing this because she was not martha washington. in the same way that john adams was at a disadvantage because he was not george washington. and not the father of the country and not the great hero of the war and the little difficult man. she was a dissimilar disadvantage of not being martha washington, not only because she wasn't the first and because she wasn't married to the father of the country but because she was a new englander. she was not a hospitable southerner. she was not someone who easily had people in all the time. she didn't grow up with any money or have issues, the child of a parsen. you compare the houses, this house and the house before that white house where the washingtons were with the little salt box that the adams lived in
in what was then called braintree, and the notion that the lady who was in that little, cramp house about the size of this room was suddenly having 100 people to tea is a stretch. now, she had been abroad. she had been an ambassador's wife. she had been in the courts of europe. she was not coming straight from braintree to philadelphia, but she was still? she was not the gracious southern hostesses who had grown up her whole life with people around and people that she was used to having drop in. of she also didn't have nellie custis. and nellie custis was a great addition by the time the washingtons left the presidenty.
i must say i remain so admiring of martha washington on so many fronts. she had little bitty children when she became first lady. i mean, on that famous arrival in north, george washington custis got lost. when i was writing that and founding mothers, my daughterinlaw was doing a quick read and she got very nervous. what happened to him? i said, i guess i better get him found. and then nellie was a wild and crazy thing according to martha. but she got her and it was one of the things she did like about new york, she got her in a very good school, isabella graham school. and then nellie grew into this very gracious, young lady. and everybody in in philadelphia just loved her.
and that was certainly not the case with abigail and abigail's niece, louisa smith who came with her. one young philadelphia woman wrote? sally mccain, daughter of a republican, but she wrote that abigail had hawk's eyes. and she brought louisa, set up for the miss custis of the place but said louisa would never match nellie for she is not young and confounded ugly. yes. so glitzy philadelphia was really not having it with new england puritan adamss. and it is true, george washington's birth night just sent abigail adams round the bend. she just thought it was outrageous that they were celebrating his birthday. virginia could do that. that would be ok. in her view if virginia did it. but philadelphia, these people
who pretend to be so sophisticated, why are they doing it? but aside, of course, from all of that, all that that was going on, what was much more important in terms of her own interests was politics. and her meddling in. and in policy. what happened and the reason i think she was not a good advisor as first lady is that she developed something i have seen in in pretty much every white house that i have known? and i'm sorry, sally it's true in if yours as well and it's happening quickly in this one, which is that people inside very quickly develop a bunker mentality. we're in here doing the good the right, the true, the just, work long, long hours. we're eating terrible food. are taking shots at us. don't you understand in a we're trying to do what's best for the country and why are you being so
awful to us? abigail developed that mentality. she had cause. the leader was their own vice president and the press was vicious. and i mean vicious in ways that they just basically made it up. and made up all kinds of scurrilous things. katherine will tell you some of the things they said about dolly, many goodness. so she became an ardent, absolutely passionate supporter of the acts. and she wrote to one of her sisters, "i wish the laws of our country were competent to punish the stir up, the writer and printer of base and unfounded calemny." then she was furious because she felt the laws were shaved eighth paired to almost nothing. but still, weak as they are, they were better than nothing. well, of course, the acts were a huge political mistake. and the fact that she was so supportive of them? and she had been such a good advisor for so long? really colored adams' own view. now, he was not happy by any means with the press either. but her strong support really did push him to a place that was not very useful for him.
doubled the size of the house. she hadn't mentioned it to him. she actually? she was working with her cousin? not cotton mather. what was his name? anyway. cotton tufts. and she had him write letters to her about all of the bills and repairs and everything and put them inside letters from her sister because she had already told adams that he could not open any letters from her sisters. and she had gotten furious with him one day when she caught him doing it. so he was very much afraid to do that. so all of the home improvements were buried inside those letters. and somebody did come through from massachusetts and let the cat out of bag saying the house seems to be coming along nicely. and adams was just amused. but fortunately? so that was? well, that gives you some sense of her place in the marriage.
he then goes back to philadelphia? remember, he's only one term. and she got quite sick and couldn't go with him. and while he was in philadelphia, she was dying to go to war with france and just pushing and push and pushing for him. while he was in philadelphia without her he decides to try again for peace with france. without con substituting anybody in his party, without telling anybody in the cabinet. and he writes to her and says, oh, how they lament mrs.?adams' absence saying if she had been here, murray would have never been named nor this mission instituted, he teased her. he said, "that ought to gratify your vanity enough to cure you." and she said that she had heard the same thing in boston. some of the feds who did not like being taken so by surprise said they wished the old woman had been there. they did not believe it would have taken place. that was pretty saucy, but the old woman can tell them that they are mistaken for she
considers the measure a master's stroke of policy. she didn't, really. and she didn't think it was going to work. and she kept pushing for war with france and one of his opponents called her "not of the country but of a faction." now, of course, everybody was in factions at this point. and, of course, inside the federalist party the faction that was opposing adams was led by alexander hamilton. and on the question of hamilton, abigail was spot on. she was on to him from day one.
and she would call him in various letters, cassius or caesar, whichever roman she was mad at, at the moment. but she? he then, of course, gave her good cause to be suspicious of him when today go public to admit that he was having an extra marital affair because he was being blackmailed and it was alleged that he was being blackmailed for trading illegally in government securities. so he had to go public and say that, no, that wasn't the reason. he said he was having an affair with the blackmailer's wife. he says, "i say this not without a blush." which, as an aside, eliza hamilton then served in in the role of that long, suffering woman we have seen way too many of in recent months standing behind her husband as he admits to some horrible scandal and saving his political career. but abigail, when she learned this about hamilton, said, "i have not any confidence in the honor, integrity or patriotism of any man who does not believe
that thou shall not commit adultery is a positive prohibition of god. i would not upon any consideration do a public wrong or injury, but i can be guilty of breaking the most solemn private engagement? and that to whom i am bound by affection and by honor to protect, to love, and respect? " her basic view is give me a break. and she was right. hamilton then did go on the attack about? against adams. and that combined with the alien incidition acts really did him in. and they knew that they were very likely to lose the election. they still had to move to washington. and washington is such a funny part of the story. you know, when i was writing this book, "ladies of liberty" which goes from adams to adams,
people would arrive in washington and say, where are we? what is this place? it's awful. there's nothing here. it's mud. it's tree stumps. it's miserable. then they would get used to it and start writing letters saying, you know, the circus comes to town. [laughter] and there's a theater now. there's racing and all of that. and then new people would arrive and say, where are we? this is horrible. and, of course, she famously moved into the unfinished white house and it was cold. they couldn't heat it. they couldn't do really anything to make it habitable. and still, though, the minute they got there the ladies of washington were quote/unquote impatient for a drawing room because they were all bored. they wanted somebody to come and entertain them.
and the president's wife was the right person to do that. so she did, you know a little bit of entertaining, regular, weekly entertaining in that drafty old barn. until they left town. of course it was no surprise then when the election was lost. it was happening at the same time that their son charles was dying. and it was no surprise when he died, either. i will tell you, this was an interesting moment in that hbo series on the adams which i have very mixed views about. but this is a telling omission. in that movie they have abigail, laura linney saying about charles, "he was no man's enemy." what she actually said was, "he was no man's enemy except his own." which is a very different meaning. he was a debotch did and he did die all at the same time that
they were losing the election and having to pack up and go back home. but, of course, what was a surprise to her was the tie, as it was to everybody, between thomas jefferson and aaron burr. it was a long, drawnout process before that got settled between the time of the election and the time the house representatives broke the tie. and interesting, as you heard from pat, people would come here all the time. mrs.?washington was constantly having to receive people because one of the things that a politician would do would be to go see mrs.?washington. because that would be his bona fide, you know, to have her
receive him. cosay, oh, i was at mount vernon the other day visiting with mrs.?washington. what thomas jefferson probably didn't know when he came here to make the pilgrimage and while waiting for the house of representatives to decide was that she had called him one of the most detestable of mankind. again, not exactly shy and retiring about her politics. well, abigail was forced to actually leave town before the election was settled. and that had her completely
crazy. but it was february. so, you know, the weather was getting bad. and they did go through a violent snowstorm, which made her very weary. "but not so weary as to have lost my curiosity about the fate of the election." and then when she got to philadelphia and the church bells started peeling to celebrate the jefferson victory, she was horrified that the bells were willing to for an infantile president. "it was a very dangerous trip. lots of snow and ice in lots of places where it was quite dangerous to go on. and her niece louisa tried to stop her from traveling on, saying wait for some man to come and be with us. and abigail said that she was accustomed to get through "many a trying scene and combat many difficulties alone." and that was true. she had been. the advantage of leaving washington, leaving political life was that that would never be true again. that she would finally have the rest of her life.
she died in 1818. with her husband, whom she loved greatly. and that she would not be on her own ever again. so that was some consolation. but i think that she wrote a really wonderful sort of benediction to the founding era as she left. she wrote this letter to her son thomas as she was leaving public office herself. and she? as she did so often, she thought through what would come next. and she understood the turning over, the experiment of america, to the next generation, to the children. which of course in their case was literally true, john quincy adams. was going to be a very tough moment for the founding generation. so she wrote? she contemplated that. she said, "i leave to time the unfolding of a drama. i leave to posterity to reflect upon the times passed. and i leave them characters to contemplate." and she was certainly one of those characters that we should continue to contemplate. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> it is a pleasure and a privilege to speak to two of my favorite populations? teachers
and lovers of mount vernon. and i'd like to thank our general for bringing me here and anne, nancy, and debbie baker. i would like to thank sally mcdonough for her introduction, her very wellresearched introduction. [laughter] i'd like to thank her, but now i know why i never get invited to monticello. ok. [laughter] there's a mystery solved. i'm here today to talk about dolley madison in times of challenge and crisis. dolley madison continued and built upon the work of martha washington and abigail adams. their mission was to put in practice the abstract series of governance designed by the men of the founding generation, to translate the theories behind, say, the constitution into real life. the american revolution ushered in morning just a new form of government, transforming what
the founders would call society and what we would call culture was essential to a republic that was invested in political power and a virtuous citizenry. springboarding from the ideas of the sinkers of the scottish enlightenment which included david hume and adam smith, the founders theorized that in a new nation manners could be more important than laws. and they counted on the women of the ruling classes to secure the nation through manners. and that's the context within which we can understand the work of these first ladies and we can talk more about that context later, if you wish. but let's situate dolley in a time frame. thomas jefferson won the election of 1800 over john adams, and brought james and dolley madison to the new capital city in 1801 so that james could be his secretary of
state. it is not accurate to say that dolley served jefferson as his first lady. his plan was to limit society in washington and to keep women out of it. in spite of, or perhaps because. , jefferson's policy, the madison's house on f street became the social and political center of the city and the government. so when the madisons came to the executive mansion in 1809, dolley had been building her bases and her network for eight years. and that's a good thing. because one could almost characterize james madison's two terms with a theme of our panel "challenge and crisis." his presidency was full of them. james' primary political goal was unity in all forms and contexts. of course, unity had always been a goal and a concern. from the first decision to
declare independence, all through the revolution and certainly after, new americans worried whether the republic would hold together whether there would be a united states. this concern became more, not less, as decades went by and with ample reason. by the madison administration, james and dolley still worried about external enemies.
john marshall, john day, a very long list of very distinguished thinker street they did not have the arrogance to think that they could make decisions in a relatively uncomplicated world for 3 million people. how do you jump from those conclusions to have leaders like our current leaders and make the decisions for 350 million people? i would say the fact that the country is bigger makes the idea of limited government and you making those individual choices far more important than government making them for you. it is far more important and so, a living constitution is kind of like a living 10 commandments. should be reinterpreted or is the value of the 10 commandments that those are principles -- good principle to live by throughout the ages?
the idea of limited government is timeless. i wanted to spend a little time on the difference between the left and the right when it comes to conservatives and progress as and when it comes to the constitution's but other parts of conservative philosophy? >> i think because we have some much freedom and there is a big responsibility with that, the virtue and morality is a key element. >> virtue and morality, self restraint -- personal responsibility. some of that is already captured here by one of your colleagues. it is well worth building on. yes, sir? fiscal responsibility, fiscal restraint, that comes with limited government. why would you want fiscal restraint? >> [indiscernible] >> as an individual, why would you wanted to? why would you what the government to be fiscally restrained?
>> [indiscernible] >> to lower taxes so you could decide more for yourself, right? fiscal restraint so you can make those decisions. that ties back to freedom. yes, sir? >> the right to bear arms and not have that right infringe upon. >> what you have with freedom of religion, the constitutional values of freedom of speech, is protecting the bill of rights and the basic freedoms in the constitution of the there probably should be bigger work up there. it is part and parcel of it. >> educational freedom? >> freedom of choice in education, not having government decide where you go and how your money will be spent they have some of the same choices that the president of united states as a trick he senses children to sidwell friends, not to the
local government school. the right to life. others tried to leave as much from up here for right to live as possible because i think it is absolutely central. sometimes, i work and a bigger white board than this. the right to life -- it is an absolute core part of the conservative movement. inspecting -- respecting human rights present roe v wade in 1973, we have a boarded 50 50lion children.-- aborted million children. it is a central issue of our time. >> government transparency and accountability? >> yes. do you think liberals believe in that? transparency and accountability.
the irs has not acted that way recently, have they? i did nothing wrong, i take the fifth amendment. >> [indiscernible] >> pursuit of happiness and living the american dream but i would put that right up there with today's version of that called freedom, i believe. >> [indiscernible] >> right to own a small business as part of limited government the right to own property but to open up a business is free enterprise. the right to privacy is also embedded in the bill of rights. that is where we define the core privacies. low taxes - we kind of hit that in fiscal responsibility and the limitation -- is the left for on taxes?es?-- unlimited pretty much, right? every problem they say, the solution is to pick your pocket for more money. >> [indiscernible]
>> liberators -- most people miss this and it is understandable in your generation. many believed in their own strong defense, so did richard nixon. the major difference between them and the modern day conservative movement is they believe that we had a strong defense because if we held the line and, as and, if we contain the them was the term they use, their society and our society would eventually converge. they thought our society would become more socialist than they would become more free enterprise. all they could do was contained them. that was their version of anti- communism were strong defense for there were differences about how much to spend and go about it. barry goldwater and ronald reagan had a fundamentally different approach.
it was 1 billion people behind the iron curtain or bamboo curtain. barry goldwater wrote a famous book of which ronald reagan took those principles and believed in liberation. it was almost the first thing he did as president of united states in an address given from the reagan ranch santa barbara was the call -- was to call on people's solidarity and rise up and oppose the soviet empire and eastern europe that was oppressing the polish people. he went on to support freedom fighters in central america. he eventually called for the berlin wall to be torn down and gave the soviets a direct verbal confrontation to lead to more freedom. these are the steps that prior presidents were not willing to take. even president nixon just wanted detente and containment. ronald reagan and barry goldwater did not want 1 billion people living in slavery for
most of their lives. they believed in liberation. at that time, the left attacked --nservatives as or madras and theyr mongers, and would lead the world to war and that was the constant refrain if reagan got elected president. instead, we had worldwide liberation. at least 500 million people in eastern europe suddenly could leave and move from country to country and enjoys some freedoms that we enjoy. you gave great answers. this and these are the principles of the modern day conservative movement. when someone talks about the conservative movement, these are the values we're talking about. these are values worth fighting for. these are values that ensure that you have freedom in your life and potentially freedom and the lives of your families and fellow citizens.
the left no longer even says that there should be free exercise of religion. they use a different terminology. i hope you never forget desperate both president obama and former secretary of state hillary clinton in all the public speeches say they believe in freedom of worship. does anyone want to speculate on the difference? freedom of worship means what? >> you can worship anything. like an idea or something? it might not have to be an actual god. >> that's a possibility. i think what they mean is you have the absolute right to go to synagogue or go to church for an hour or so per week and we will not interfere with that. the use the term freedom of
worship. free exercise of religion involves more than that. it may involve saying prayers before a football game or it may involve the president of united states invoking the blessings of god and our country. that is not in a church and that is not worship in the narrow sense. watch when they change the terminology. there's a reason they do so. labeling is important. these are the values of the modern day conservative movement. before i wrap up, i want to give you two sets of arguments. i was meeting with foundation- related to people elsewhere when you introduced yourself for this is the first time we've had a conference where i missed your introductions. i find it to be the most interesting and compelling part of the conference. what brought you here, was going on in your lives. i have missed what probably some of you may have said or may have
thought and usually it shows up in our high school program and that is, people want ideas and arguments or ways in which to convince fellow students of their ideas to support this in some sort of persuasive way. let me give you two sets. one is on redistribution of wealth for the left talks a lot about wealth and redistribution. they believe in it and we believe in property rights and limited government. we believe in fiscal responsibility. they would say that people are born unequally. and people were born in buffalo and some in chevy chase. let's help the poor guy born in buffalo. life is unequal. they constantly point that out. this is something you could use with your teachers and students that will resonate with them i guarantee you. if i was giving this class grades and in the grace to get into college and to proceed, i
would give this first broke an a, cause they have been paying attention and making notes and most of them raise their hand may be because they were under my nose. the second row here, they probably deserve a aor b +, there are probably paying attention but they did not ask many questions. back here, maybe a b, pretty good, maybe a c here. you guys were paying decent attention. anthony look like he was going to fall asleep a little bit. [laughter] back here a d, you guys were wandering in a little bit. there were some good questions from the back two rose. they would be f's. somebody would say that is harsh and unfair to the students. we all have to get into college really want to continue to
advance their careers. why cannot we just eliminate these marks? from b + to c-, that is fair, that is the liberal point of view. these guys in the front row might have gotten in the room first. their parents might have told him to grab the front seat. those of you and the back rows, you might have been slower or maybe you had some ailment. they just got in here before you did so did not have as good a chance. pretty soon, somebody says, why do they need to be pushed? maybe we will take away the d and move them up to c + and eventually we will have an equal rate for the whole class. why don't your teachers use the system? why doesn't the system work? yes? >> then there is no motive --
then there is no motivation to do anything. >> you're not going to quit completely if you are an a student but there might be times when you want to do something other than study. you might do a little less. yes? >> does not currently reflect efforts. >> and you want to reflect efforts, why? >> to show that you are invested in something where you want to learn more and be a part of something. >> it could encourage greater effort. if you take that away, you might not have motivation. why are you not learning anything? what difference does the grade make? they are still teaching here. >> it bunch of random answers are not learning anything. >> there is no incentive to study and learn. yes? >> not getting what we deserve. >> not getting what you deserve. yes? >> [inaudible]
>> and it worked for society as a whole. yes? >> [inaudible] >> that is what socialism is. your teachers know it. even though they may preach something different, they know it and reflect it in the grading system. i will give you one other set of arguments that you may not have thought about. one of the arguments against free enterprise is you end up sometimes with a few companies that are enormously successful, like apple or microsoft, samsung, they control too much of the market. we need government to decide what is fair and what should be the market share. you also have these inequities that i just talked about. and then you have those people who work hard for one reason or another, they're good people and
we need to help them out, not just abandon them. working 20, 30 years of their life? the market has changed but they're good people? they do not have a problem, government may be as those decisions, our a elected officials can decide and if we do not like what is done in say virginia we can go to senator warner or senator kaine and make our case because that is what democracy is all about. use every one of those arguments in your lives. some students -- let's ask, how many of you have over 100 tunes in your music system? how many of you have 500 or more? how many have 1000 or more tunes in your music system?
how many have 7500 tunes or more? this is totally inequitable. some barely have 100, you have at least 7500. how many? by the way? >> [inaudible] >> you do not know? [laughter] how many do you have? so, 5000. how many do not have 500? that is the inequity we have to straighten out. now, there is only a few major labels now, some called record companies, though they do not have records anymore. why should we only have a few? then there are bands like the ones i used to listen to, that you probably do not even think about. unfortunately they are not selling as much as they once
did. i was going to use the rolling stones, but they're probably doing well on his current tour. you could take them on an off year. you did say that we have always put in a full effort, why should we with all of these new groups, none of whose names i know come up and take their place? you get my point. you do not want government controlling music. you want freedom in your life. there are inequities. but at the end of the day your music, your choices are going to be much more meaningful to you than if you have to go to senators and lobby for the exact type of music you want to listen to. freedom works. even if there are inequities. even with someone who has 5000 tunes and someone has less than
500 and, i suspect that the person with 500 and with 5000 would not want to turn those decisions over to the government. i have given you a couple of arguments for your classmates, your teachers, to promote the idea of freedom, discourage the idea of redistributing wealth. many of you probably know a version of this story. i am going to clean it up a bit, but there is a couple that is not married yet. the guy actually loves the woman but the woman is not sure about getting married and start living together. he is always worried, always concerned. even at a young age, he has a stroke. they go to the doctor and the doctor analyzes him and thinks it through. he calls the girlfriend into the
office and says -- your boyfriend is not going to make that unless you give up your career to stay at home, do everything to make his life enjoyable, cannot put any stress on him, no work in the house -- whenever he wants to do, you should do. she listens to this, comes out of the room, they go home, and the guy says -- what did the doctors say, you were in there a long time? she says -- you're going to die. we have a choice of standing up for freedom in our time and to make sacrifices, or freedom is going to die. your generation is the most affected by this. government today at all levels, moving very quickly to 50% in spending. they have the inevitability at
this point for the moment of the government taking over the health-care industry. more than you realize for themselves. we have lost untold millions of lives, our freedoms are being encroached upon. family values is under assault. these are principles worth fighting for. you have to make a decision that you will be involved in doing so if we are going to succeed. i appreciate you being here and look forward to questions you may have. [applause]
>> good morning. my name is john wood. i am a junior from california. my question is -- if you had to choose one, difficult to, but what do you think is the biggest battleground issue coming up for conservatives and liberals? >> one aspect of today's society is that people are asking fundamental questions and i thing -- think that it's right to the heart of it. conservatives think that government should protect the rights that they cannot do individual -- individually. i cannot have my own foreign- policy, protect us from the types of attacks we had in new york and washington, so government has to do that. you have to have a court system to adjudicate legal disputes. we have to do that. beyond those duties of government, those other choices should be left to us as individuals. liberals do not believe that whatsoever.
liberal defend programs as solving things. as late as the lbj years they talked about the war on poverty and urban renewal revitalizing cities. they do not even talk about that today. they talk about fairness. they talk about redistributing income. they do not talk about solving underlying problems. the biggest difference in the days ahead as what you view as the role of government. do you want to make those decisions for yourself in this life? even if there is a mistake? you do not have to do it just through government. or does government serve those decisions for you? those of the questions we face today. that is what we face in obama care right now. with the irs choosing winners and losers and the government acting arrogant. when government accumulates that much power and makes decisions for us, they quickly think they.
why would we make those decisions better than we do? what is the proper role of government? the proper role of government officials? as servants of the taxpayers and citizens, people making better decisions than we are ourselves. that is a major challenge that we face in the days ahead. >> hello, i am from grosse pointe, south high-school. what are the conservatives' long-term goals regarding ideas of right to life? >> first and foremost, we want to champion saving in a fit -- innocent human life. you can do that on an individual basis. colleagues in high school, college, the consider taking the life of the baby. you can certainly be actively
engaged in encouraging them to protect that life. i believe that we are to protect life, liberty, and the served -- and human happiness. ultimately, the government has to face up to the responsibility. it is a tough issue to face, if you are a young woman and you did get pregnant, you are going to have colleagues in your school system that face that. ones that have had abortions already and may be rethinking that. the way in which to express those ideas, in a way that resonates with them, to think about the sanctity of life. one of the suggestions i give when i speak to high school students in programs around the nation is that to the left they pat themselves on the back at protecting whole life cycle of an endangered species. take the american bald eagle. they not only say that you
cannot kill them, but you have to protect the eggs, nests, all of that is protected? why would you do any less for the human species than you would for an animal species? there are arguments like that that will sometimes get through to people that disagree with right to life but will bolster life in our setting. all of these issues, speaking out, being not afraid to express your ideas in a classroom, that is going to have an impact. when you speak up for innocent human life -- it may not affect the decision of one person in the conversation, but it may protect someone else's life. it is extremely important. ultimately conservatives need to recognize that the fundamental precepts of roe v. wade were flawed. when that decision was made, the supreme court thought they knew
medical science more than they did and tried to impose it upon the constitution, saying that life was only sustainable in the last trimester. that is just not true anymore. there are babies in intensive care units around this town that were born as early as four and a half months. their underlying medical assumption in that decision was fundamentally flawed, not just their constitutional thinking. we need to know more about the decision, get it overturned, we need to protect innocent human life. when we have the opportunity to do so. >> thank you, sir. >> hello, my name is ralph from arlington, virginia. early on in your speech you talked about be hitting civilly in the political world. one of the multiple false
accusations from the left is the conservative organizations like the tea party do not behave civilly. unfortunately, many people buy into that. how do we effectively counter those lies? >> first thing, i do not think that they have proven their case, that the tea party movement has acted civilly or on civilly -- they are trying to defend their rights, but because they have rallies and speak up, i do not see that as lacking in civility. quite the contrary, attacking them, calling them teabagsgers irseabaggers even with the has done to them, they were legally entitled to get those taxes. keep in mind, it was not tax deductible. that is not the issue. the government find other ways of communicating. but then they arbitrarily decided that any tea party
groups would not be approved in any short term. it was a slow walk, they called it. the lack of civility is the anti-ku party people. i will say some other aspect -- anti-tea party people. i will say some other aspect of that. when they threw the tea into boston harbor, where were the leftists talking about civility today? they would say not to do that. they would say that the taxes being imposed upon us are just the price of being part of the british empire. fortunately, our founding fathers had more founding spirit than that. >> hello, in the share of arizona teenage republicans from phoenix, arizona. earlier on you were talking about how we need to get involved on a national basis. the past few days, not meaning
to say for everyone, i am sure we have all equipped ourselves on how to get involved on campuses. how do we take that to the next step? to a national level? >> one of the things i would stress is to focus on your level. you are not going to decide whether chief justice roberts stands up for the constitution or not. and you will not decide on exactly what happens in washington, impeachment for these questions. those will not be decided by myself. i am a relative participant. do what you can do with what you have got. what i can do as a member of the young america foundation as best i can, getting more students interested in our ideas, at the high school and college level, start at the college level, you can speak up for these ideas in the classroom, study these ideas more carefully, do exactly what you have done, come from
arizona, network with other people similarly situated at the high-school level. my voice to you at every step in life is to do what is in front of you. do not look for things you have no control over. right now you have no control over supreme court decisions. you do have control over what happens in school, to some extent. when you are in college, stand up for free speech. bring in a guest speaker. ask for balance within faculty members. we have fought for more than 30 years for the rights of students who wanted to burn this debate-- participate in rotc to do so. finally, that has come to pass. we have cases of a free-speech rights going to the supreme court, without offending the students' right to free speech, we won both of those cases. do what is in front of you.
vince lombardi, in the beginning, he was an outstanding coach and he taught his players -- win the battle in front of you. my first job as a lineman is to somehow be you.-- beat oyu. -- beat you. getting the runaround you. hope i am not using impolite terms are being here. basically he would tell you that in front of you, the bigger picture becomes clearer. that is my advice. start with your classroom, start with your classmates, billed out from there. >> thank you. >> i am from loudoun county, virginia. my name is glenn reichardt. what i have observed -- we all know, as conservatives, what the proper role of government is. we know our platform. we also know what is not the proper role of government. i have spoken to a lot of fellow
young people who have not been thinking about these political ideas. though they are not able to articulate in a system -- succinct sentence like many of us can, the proper role of government, they do have this idea that they have gleaned from biased liberal media. etc, etc., how do you combat that? they will come out with something like -- give us money or protect us, whatever. depends on who you are asking. how do you approach that? it is so fundamentally different from what the founders intended. where do you start? >> to some extent, the first thing you should primarily start with is the undecided. the people around you who are beginning to of the or would you are saying. i would not start with someone on the far left. >> [inaudible]
>> fair enough, but i want to underscore that point. in my years i have not seen-- i have seen david horowitz come over from the left to the right, but that was largely because of the situation where he assisted the black panthers in murder. the intellectual arguments, if you read "radical son," those weren't never the ones that won him over. it was the in-between ones. you talk about issues where they are. music. i bet you the undecided student in high school wants to make a decision for their own music. who is your congressman? they probably do not what frank wolf to lobby for the kind of music that they want. they want to make those decisions for themselves.
when it comes to the internet, they probably want to make decisions for themselves. a lot of people are fundamentally in agreement with freedom and limited government. you will have to take those areas in this conclusion. >> how does that apply to government? >> you need to be aware of the reality of government as opposed to the rhetoric of government. the government claims to solve a lot of problems, but they do not really solve any problems. government is not the solution, it is the problem. a couple of examples. the department of agriculture is one of the biggest in washington, in terms of size and space. -- we started basically in a it was started in a
significant way in the 1930's to help small farmers, the argument was we needed the government to keep family farms in existence. in the meantime since that department formed, we have spent untold billions in doing that, losing 97% of family farms in this country today. the rate is even going higher. there are a lot of reasons for that. the government's was not going to change. but a big reason we lost those family farms was the estate tax. the government taxing the value of that property as less with the family died. -- when the last parent in the family died. government created the problem that they claimed to be solving for the most part. now they have a program down there to discourage tobacco use but also tobacco allotment to subsidize it. they have a program to keep the price of food down but others in the department trying to raise
the price of food through the limitations of the farm subsidy. totally inconsistent policies. people in both sections of those bureaus have defended those problems and those programs.>> government has not delivered on its promise. at some point it is going to have to acknowledge that. when talking about solving problems and going to fairness, fairness to the farmer and the consumer, accomplishing nothing. a couple of questions ago, from grosse pointe, michigan. detroit was one of the greatest cities in the world until we had urban renewal. detroit has been run by liberals
my whole lifetime and i am an old man. it is a complete wreck, due respect to anyone from detroit, it is a disgrace and the people there know that. they ruined it. they did not save detroit. there are aspects that we can admire, but no one is going to say -- no liberal was going to say that detroit is a model of liberalism, even though that is where the instituted most of their policies. those are some suggestions. >> thank you. >> my name is michaela robinette. i will be a freshman this year from north carolina. my question to you is -- what do you feel about small business in agriculture? how do you feel? do you feel they should be held at a higher standard than commercial businesses? do you think they should stay the same? how do you feel about that? >> one of the policies we have already alerted -- alluded to,
family business in state taxes, if your family runs a business and paid taxes all through the lifetime, why does the government get to collect more and break up the family farm at the end of it? besides the family farm around land use and restrictions, i think that government has made a lot of really poor decisions. you see it in california, north carolina, where they decided they needed to kill almost all forms there. to save what? the snail? some mythical animal? i do not even know. at some point you have to recognize that i believe that god gave you the earth for human beings. those who say we have lost 96% of animal species over time?
if we lose one more, he will not lose a lot of sleep over it. it was said jokingly, but conservatives first and foremost think about the individual human rights, but within the context of animals that to protect. you cannot just shut off water for a whole section of california because it will make one animal's life better. you have to worry about human beings as well. i do not know if that answers your question. i grew up in the inner city, so i do not purport to be a great expert on farming. i do know that farming and agriculture has not done what they have said they would do. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is grant wilson. i think that one of the biggest dangers, in my opinion, to our system is moral relativism. it has been around for a long
time. it came about in what i prefer to call the endarkenment. i believe in universal truth of the morality of jesus christ that has been under attack for so long. so many of our founders said that our system was made for moral religious people. what is the defense of our daily held principles of morality and religion? >> part of the defense is understanding what has happened as we move away from some degree of traditional values. about the time i was your age, the country began to lose some divorce laws. the argument was why keep them together if they no longer agree? that became enshrined as the key principle of family values for the next 20 to 30 years, so much so that when dan quayle said it was the idea -- ideal to have single mothers raising children as an alternative, he became the
subject of a lot of jokes and criticisms. that has lessened because i think there is a recognition that probably the traditional family in many respects is an ideal. it may not be achieved while families. there are circumstances where it definitely may not be. but one may definitely recognize when it has worked in the context of the history of the united states, but there are fundamental truths. the law of gravity is really not there. it is only true in some cases. you could say -- look, there is a man floating from outer space. do not test it by jumping out of the washington monument and saying -- i may or may not have floated down to land. there are some real underlying rules that she cannot just use
moral relativism to say it does not exist. one thing that is said is every idea is of equal value, and you should respect people with other ideas, but every idea is not of equal value. saying that it is just as valuable to me and i have a different opinion of how i should respond to stop signs as i drive through chevy chase, that would have different consequences to someone saying maybe i need to follow those rules or stop when there is a stop sign. common sense would tell you that that kind of relativism is ludicrous. entire careers have been built on trying to confuse students. i think that is a poor use of your career.
>> thank you. >> mr. robinson, my name is thomas and i am a senior from cincinnati, ohio. as someone who is politically involved and plays -- pays close attention to the political world, i view our country moving farther and farther to the left. my question to you is -- what do you think the current and next generation of leaders need to do to make sure that conservative values stay prominent in america? >> i do not think that the country operates like a pendulum, swinging to the left and right. i think that in some respects it is more like a rubrics cuba.-- rubix cube. there are areas where we are advancing and areas where others with different views are advancing. the white house advancing on a number of fronts through the
supreme court right now, often times by violating rules of government, changing rules, passing one is that no one has read through a traditional filibuster system. changing washington permanently. but they are not winning all the battles. at a state and local level there have been a lot of changes their in the last two years to three years that are very healthy for country. you have a lot more leaders at the local level that believe in these principles over centralizing government and having to make all these decisions for us. there is a much higher level of support among students today than there have been in many times in recent years. sonograms alone, understanding and other human life being involved, that has dramatically changed the numbers on those questions.
i have already alluded to rotc. after vietnam we propose a host of reasons. -- the left was opposed to rotc for a number of reasons. students today have a right to choose on that. bill buckley and milton friedman fought for this, the military. still part of the country's fabric today. i do think we are making progress on a lot of areas, not just losing ground everywhere. i do think that many of the fundamental freedoms, the country has become more divided. it does not necessarily mean that our side is weakening. we do not have the upper hand in washington right now, but it has become clear in the days ahead. the tactics that used by the irs
against the tea party movement and others are coming to light. do not let one election conclude that the majority of the american people do not care about making choices for themselves. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hello, mr. robinson. my question for you is -- throughout american history a particular example in the constitution, a lot of value has been put on compromise, both sides making sacrifices to come together to get something done. i feel that that is what a lot of america wants to see right now.
particularly that is why america -- congress has low approval ratings and such. these things on the board behind you, these values and principles, are they worth deviating from or sacrificing? to get something done with the opposition party and to continue this government? >> our government is to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that is what americans purport to believe in. giving up on those principles, i do not think there is much room for compromise. i do not think our founding fathers had much room for compromise. they stood up to king george, they adhered to those positions. they compromised within their
community. that is what we need to deal with in this community. if someone is for the right to life and thinks that at the immediate moment we have to stop obama care, government taking over health care completely, you estimate some compromises like-- have to make some compromises like that. someone wants to do it through an organization other than americans foundation, you might be inclined to agree, but you are still working for a common goal. increasingly i am seeing the advice from the united states being the lessons being pushed for are a zero sum game. either we have no free speech rights in a college campus administrators decide what you can say and where, or you can decide. now, having individual freedom does not give you the right to stop a liberal from saying what they want to say, but the left or progressives already know that they can say what they want to say, they control those
organizations and are cavalier about the rights of others. you see it in the senate right now. filibuster rights that chuck schumer and harry reid and the rest of that crusade -- said were so sacrosanct in recent years, suddenly they are going to throw them out because this might be their last chance in the senate to get through some questionable nominees that they do not want to have to go through procedures that the senate has done in the past. their very nature is to create divisions. you can see it often times from the president. take the president on health care. you know the president said that there are people without health care in this country? that government needs to step up and restrict the rights of all americans, including the 90% or so that were covered in order to protect the last 10%. how many of you ever recall president obama wants saying--
once saying to you, you had a responsibility to say you're covered by the insurance? why could he not say that? yes? >> the responsibility of the individual to look out for themselves? >> he wanted government to take it over. he wanted government to make those decisions. this was not only his case, but particularly for young people, the first responsibility to cover yourself with health insurance. senator obama never once said that. you can have more americans coming together by an agreement. at least when it came to right-
to-life, he talked about making talkedident clinton about making abortions few and rare in this country. what he said as president of the united states and what he affected in court were very different, but i am saying that you have to have civility and that there are certain structures we have in our society that we are reporting more of in terms of civility, but there are others that discourage it in every way possible. the founding fathers thought that government should be limited so that they could make those choices for themselves. they did not want to make those choices for washington. -- for the people. as smart as they were, they wanted you to make those decisions for yourself. therefore they could create a civil society. when someone else makes a choice different from you, it does not infringe upon you. when government makes a decision
for all of us, either this side or that side is going to win. one half of this is giving 25% of their income to the other half of this room, there will be a lot more divisions about which have passed to cough it up?-- has to cough it up. i just say you can give money to the other person, if you want. it is not the right of government to step in to say they will do it across the board. so, there are differences in what we mean by civility and different ways to achieve it. you can achieve it to the maximum stand -- maximum extent possible under freedom. what about the right to life and taking away the right of the woman to choose? i would say that there is another right involved, protecting your right to life. i think that is a proper role of government.
that is the one area in all of these were the left would say -- say prayer in school violates the rights of others, but it does not. people from all over the world come to this country even though people were saying different prayers than they were saying. my ancestors came, my grandparents came from ireland, i do not think they felt that their rights were infringed upon in the new york state public schools. it does not infringe upon my rights. >> thank you very much. i am from south carolina, moving into my sophomore year high school. pursuing the american dream, which is to build your own business. with hard work and sweat.
my father owns his own business. i think the government is infringing on our right to have a free market. we can help to get our point across, letting them see that we want free enterprise, we do not want them to control laws. >> if you enjoy an apple phone, it gives you freedom with apple. you do not want to say that you cannot buy an apple because you do not want someone in china, because they're too much profits, you have to buy samsung or something else.
we make these decisions, people talk about the iniquity of wealth. this is what the people are willing to give. bill gates created a lot of microsoft programs that i suspect everyone in this room has used at one time or another. no one was forced to buy microsoft. you want to respect those areas of business decisions. one of the reasons we have so much high youth unemployment is government is telling business is exactly what to do, providing this level of health care, this provide.-- they have to a salary of this amount.
a lot of employers skip hiring new people. the machines will not be for the regulated. your generation is going to find a much tougher time with jobs as any previous generation of my washington wants to regulate it, vilifying successful businesses. vilifying the businesses and companies that are successful, offering many more jobs. a community organizer instead, businesses are going to give you the jobs. a lot of the countries in eastern europe have already found that out.
you already have to have the services. young conservatives need to understand, government treats us completely differently and makes decisions in ways we would never make them. i want to bring it down to an elementary example. they did not ask you how much your family makes to decide how much this would cost. the family income last year, charged with the room, a big mac for $3. a person who makes $9 million each year will be able to purchase a big mac for $3. when it comes to government services, the left has a
different scheme. they go to mcdonald's and they say -- we will charge you $50 and we will charge ron $1.50, because that is fair. government creates relationships and treats relationships entirely differently than the average american would. businesses are much more in tune with the average person. there is no reason to say that he who has earned his money, having taken risks in life, that he does not have the right to spend that the way he wants. we have heard endlessly about the rich, high-income people being rich.
really, it goes back to labelling. they are not the rich, they are high wage earners in some cases. you will see that in your life. alex is extraordinary and was the mvp in the national hockey league this year. he will probably be the highest- paid in hockey league. the average entry-level hockey layer in the -- hockey player in the nhl has already accumulated $500,000 in debt. they may make $500,000 in their first year as an nhl player, but they're not rich. this idea that the government in recent times has declared high income earners ridge, high income earners is what they are.
like the bolsheviks went against the pollocks. businesses cannot get away with that. just because the label someone rich coming through mcdonald's does not mean i can suddenly .harge them a lot more. >> is that fundamentally unfair? the average business owner knows it is not fair. they are providing the service as cheaply as possible for anyone who uses it and there's some -- something fundamentally fair about that. that is the american way so i hope that some help to you. i appreciatyo