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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  August 10, 2014 1:45pm-2:09pm EDT

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professor, high-school profuse and, i teach the second least popular subject in school aftermath. and that should not be the way that it is. i think history is dynamic. all of the ingredients of the drama that we watched today. love affair, black mayor, tension. i don't know if it is taught well. i know that i am not the only one. the young lady came out who had a student in middle school. i want my students understand history. the best way to do it is to get them involved in the adventure around history.
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as me about my book. that gratified me. i think that is what i would like to do. i used to love the old movies that are based in history. i am hoping that i add a little bit to that with my books. >> guest: -- >> host: his website. >> guest: one that i have created in california dealing with business and politics. i am the fox obviously. my hands are my other writers. we have different perspectives on like a lot of political blocs would have one side or the other. i probably lean a little bit in one direction, but i certainly have people who are opposed. in fact, some of the ballot proposition campaigns we discussed earlier when i was actually a visible advocate for one side would publish an article from someone on the other side and tried to get the word out to the
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business community about business and that is super business and the political scene. so i have a former journalist writing for me, advocates sunny side of the issue, some money represents the union, people work for the state chamber of commerce who writes a regular column for me. i write my columns three or four times a week. so we are monday through friday fox and hounds daily even though we say daily, it is monday through friday. it is pretty well respected, fairly well read by the journalist, insiders, politicians. i even have politicians who right. governor schwarzenegger road article for me. speaker press. so we try to get the word out about politics in california. >> host: we have been talking on book tv with joel fox. thank you for being with us.
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>> guest: thank you for inviting me. >> and no more from book tv visit to pepperdine university. professor. ♪ talks about his book "lift up your hearts" and his life in politics. >> host: ambassador douglas kmiec what is your role here? >> guest: the crusoe chair of constitutional law and human rights. i teach primarily on subjects related to our constitution but also the hopes and aspirations of the world community as manifested through the various iterations of human life. most of my teaching, i have to say, has originated out of my father and a classroom. i have been at the teaching business probably for 35 years or so at notre dame and here. then each time those experiences have been punctuated by the things.
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ronald reagan's lawyer for a while on matters of the constitution. president obama made me -- gave me one of the greatest privileges of all time, it said the our country in a foreign country, to be ambassador to malta. i brought that back to the teaching of human rights. >> host: how many presidents have you worked for? sp if you count george h. w. bush, and i do. i really came to help our reagan in his second term. at joined the justice department in 1985, state your 1989 which allowed me to serve of the first year of the senior bush administration. and then in 2008 after an easter sunday epiphany i endorsed barack obama. he was not anticipating that.
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i was not anticipating it either at the beginning of the campaign because i began as a legal adviser to mitt romney and left that campaign only after heated after his defeat in the primaries. but i was very distressed about the manner in which the candid it's were treating each other, in particular the way in which mr. romney's religion had been handled. that caused me to think more broadly. one person that i discovered was the ecumenical community spirit of barack obama which was probably where i began life. as a democrat. a coordinator for john f. kennedy. you may remember that was a close election. some people say it was a close election because of
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the vote in cook county. some people even say it was because of the century vote in cook county. he had this little routine that he would do in response get this troubled look on his face and say, well, if that were true with only a sprain is how there is life after death. then, of course, under his breath he would say : if you were a democrat. but i have been both in my life. one of the things that i try to capture in this book is. it is a book that has a life that begins in the story with the challenge to love your enemy and in some tragically killing friends and then exploit the life that remains. it is a bit of an autobiography that is blessed with extraordinary
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guess the privileges to serve others. and at the same time, an enormous tragedy, totally unexpected and working through that tragedy. and then out of the tragedy trying in the life that remains to build something even grander. the central figures in terms of the book are kindly of greece by the name of monsignor. he would say don't. with that invitation, to explore the world and all of this dimensions from a spiritual side. zillow little sister. quite the opposite in terms of intellectual. intellectuals in terms of reading constantly.
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mary tucker spirit from the children around her. plants and flowers and so forth. peon irish counterpart. we don't have this. some the world with humility let us change the world by embracing each other, not by excluding but by loving one another. that was the methodology, to love your enemies. when you think about that, it is really quite an ordeal to carry that off and to actually love them, not just to tolerate them, not just to forgive them for an occasional psst slight but to love them. a change in attitude, to discover something very important.
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discover the you are not the lead in your own life. once you discover that you -- your heart is open in a way for our real theology of kindness. the two of us in the run-up to the election when i endorsed a llama we really stirred up a hornet's nest. i was invited among other things as a conservative to address how catholics could possibly vote for barack obama. temerity. how can someone vote for barack obama? and i went to mass one evening. i was the subject. you know, you know things are not going well. especially if it is a fire and brimstone.
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and i was to stick to realize that something more exclusionary was going to happen. when i put out my hand for communion the priest just shook his head now consider think you're making a mistake. he said no. you, sir, have made a mistake in endorsing barack obama. at that moment i realize that love of enemy, if you could call it political opponent or unnatural political opponent enemy, having a corrosive effect all the way down from the top pbgc the divisions were congress can meet fiscal deadlines or come together. almost any topic or they start off well on immigration reform and end up going nowhere. but it goes all the way down.
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because it goes all the way down it has to be addressed one soul at a time. here again comes francis. john sheridan was the emissaries they certainly did not know each other. there would have loved each other. the message would have been, you cannot think of people whose ideas differ. merely a challenge of honesty, i challenge of care and thoughtfulness. and you have to address them on the basis of there own dignity and a diaz. that was his method. of course he was cheered by my support to barack obama. i would say they're just legions of people who are looking for ways to find ways to get me faster. because, of course, the president would be portrayed as an infant killer.
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portrayed in tragic terms. and here is where if you close your hard and you close your mind you never hear the other side. when obama read my endorsement on easter sunday he had his team call me and say, are you for real? and i said, well, is your candid it's for real? well, come to chicago and find out. a few weeks later did. it did not take very long. i could see, you know, did genuineness of barack obama that we now know existed as a young man working for the campaign for human development in chicago and trying to address displacement of families very sincerely who have been displaced from the steel industry says they started to get outsourced and close down and we were not able to keep up with retooling. well, barack obama was the one it basically said to his
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fellow democrats, don't draw an artificial line, don't count anybody out. just because someone is a person of faith as i mean that they can't be a democrat. as he pointed out to them, the language of faith in our history, martin luther king and abraham lincoln and is always been used to inspire, raises up, find our better selves. that is what he did. he needed someone to just translate his message to the catholic constituencies, especially in four states. they all went to him in 2008. it has so little to do with me that it is not worth
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retelling except that the blessing of that was i got to work through the night often with young people who had come to the president obama's side or then senator obama's side out of habitat for humanity, the jazz would volunteer corps, peace corps experience is where they had an empathy and understanding for how much they had and how little the world had been in many places given and how much they needed to be of service to others. so of the blue of the white house called and said the president would like to see you. he said, do you know where malta is? and i said, while everyone knows where malta is. it is an island just south of italy. well, you when the jeopardy prize and you're going to malta. i see. you help somebody get elected an incentive to a
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small obscure island in the mediterranean off. well, it was not obscure at all. one of the things i discovered was this was a country that had been playing a pivotal role even though it was tiny and geographic. and of course he had part of that. again, such a wonderful extension and illustration to me of how local things became national things. he said, want an interfaith dialogue. we need to have people able to talk to one another whether they are muslim or christian or a jew. and malta is the pivot point. go to the south. you have a great muslim countries in africa. go to the east. that he did condition. the north and west, of course you have christian. you can't go to rome and have this discussion. people will think you have your thumb on the scale. you can't go to jerusalem
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for the same reason. you can't go to cairo or tripoli. it is just different religions playing. you have to have a place where people are comfortable in the san defense can about face being important. nice place to visit. .. suddenly announced the former president of the country had
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died, of malta. he had been the president of the general assembly of the united nations, and it was impossible not to be present for the state funeral and so forth. so i went back for that, which meant i was doing about 60 hours of flying and about three days' time and it was quite -- apparently quite tiresome in way is didn't perceive. and i had planned on taking my good friends to an anniversary of their religious order, and, well, on that fateful day, for whatever reason, i peaced -- passed out at the wheel and two of my best friends in life are gone, and all of a sudden everything that had made such perfect sense all of my life, made no sense at all. suddenly the faith that i had, that was unshakable, and proved
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in so many different ways, now needed to be reproven. i was jobe -- i might even be jobe's wife because, remember what jobe's wife said. she said, well, see what wore happying your god has gotten you? and one of the things that keep asking yourself the question is the question of, how did such a god of goodness allow evil into the world? and you don't come up with a definitive answer to the question, but you do a lot of fist shaking at the guy who created you, and you ask a lot of questions, and ultimately you come down and -- at least i did, realize out of that experience, that my faith had been too complacent, too self-assured, and that in fact more was demanded of us in this life than just making sure that we had
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some glib explanation for how things would go, because not everybody's life works in that way. and indeed, as i returned to my ambassadorial duties, having survived one major surgery and another yet to come, the maltese press asked me, how will you work now in this life that remains? i said i will work for three. and even that will understate the contribution that will need to be made, and it's not just a question of reparations or guilt. it's a question of in fact indeed i don't quite know fully what caused the blackout. might have been medication, might have been this travel. might have been something else. but whatever it was, it doesn't matter. it was a fact that occurred, and then now had to be dealt with and had to be dealt with in a positive fashion. and this is a book that, based
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upon john's splendid teaching and his witness, which today continues to shape young people and really people of every age toward push -- pushing us toward kindness in ways that politics divides, in ways that even families don't speak to each other any longer because they're so busy with their own separate lives and their own separate challenges, that they miss creating the bridges that they need to walk across to talk to one another. >> host: martin sheen has written the forward for low "lift up your heart." curious article about you running for vice president. >> guest: well market of this enterprise, i tell you how it began. as i was leaving malta after several years, one of the pressmen said, looks like mrs. clinton, your boss, is not going to be finished with
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politics when chev is finished with the secretary of state job. would you ever think of working for her again? of course you can't -- when your ambassador you can quip freely, and i said i'd be willing to work for her because i think so highly of her, from the very top to the very bottom, i said. if she needs a vice president, she knows where to find me. but if she need snob get the papers in order, i can do that, too. well, that started the mental juices, and it -- i have to tell you, right this moment, i'm very distressed by two things. one thing that robert rice has done so well in his film and book, on inequality, the mall distribution of wealth in the united states is a major problem, and a problem i have now experienced first hand because i have put myself out as an independent for a congressional seat here locally. i've done that largely because i
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still believe in frank cap practice's version of america. that mr. smith can go to washington. that good ideas and dedication and sincerity about finding one's self, by being of service to others, can still be rewarded. before i found that congressessal seat, said, how die get it raised? how can i contribute to the national discussion on this problem of citizens united, where unlimited corporate donations have been allowed for political candidates, and that's so greatly inflated the cost of public office. even this congressional seat here in a small part of california, the least expensive that's estimated by consultants was a million and a half dollars, and i looked at him and said, no. no. no. you're not going to take down a single redwood for a brochure with my name on it, and you're certainly not going to spend a million and a half dollars that would be better spent on making
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our education system more 21st 21st century than it is addressing the immigration issues that exist in that district where we have got large numbers of migrants, and one of the things i learned about life is migrants are a challenge in every part of the world, and yet they are so extraordinary in their stories. we used to have them over to the house before they would leave, and i could see in each of their eyes the great expectation of coming to america, and how happy they were to be -- have run that gauntlet -- and it was a gauntlet -- they had to survive the mediterranean, survive gadhafi, they withoften detained at great periods of time, and yet their hope, hope was always there. and i see it out here in this district in california, among the farmworkers. they're bending over all day in the hot


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