tv Book Discussion on The Closing of the Liberal Mind CSPAN May 15, 2016 9:45am-10:46am EDT
state courthouses. rather than liberty laws and attempts to grant fugitives trial by jury and prevent the kidnapping of free blacks in to slavery challenge the extraterritoriality of slave codes mandated by the federal fugitive slave laws. >> thanks, folks. thanks for being here. this is an exciting discussion that kim is going to lead today. we started talk about this a couple years ago and it's something i've been interested in for a long time, just a growing intolerance and intimidation from the left. the very first book i ever wrote was called why we whisper in the subtitle is called losing our right to say it's wrong. it was all about the growing intimidation of anyone who
wanted to take a position that was based on a traditional values, any judeo-christian reality and how the left carries out at intimidation in a way that takes everyone was there. the title of the book came from my experience that's saying something in my stomach can pay bribes, old and new media and no public support before me. every right-wing, people would come up and say keep fighting. it was always a whisper because people were so intimidated. kim holmes has done a much more scholarly job of digging into the history of liberalism into the .. of where we call it a liberalism today. they have some prepared remarks and i just give you a more scholarly introduction here.
i was surprised he seemed so normal because very deep analysis of where we are given more than most people will be willing to listen to, but very profound in a perfect timing for this to come out given what appears to be happening around the country. everyday we see stories about disruption to their name on college campuses due to heated protests over free speech and racial issues. the dismissal of the concerns of people if they've been running schools are businesses, denouncements of professors, officials and scientists were on rational opinions. in a disturbing trend to attend to destroy the careers are public profiles of the individuals for their ideas. these are just a few examples. you'll agree with me that today the variations are almost endless.
you may experience some of these in your own work. the overarching theme is the imposter not just disagree, but dismiss, do you mean, degrade and even use the law to silence those with whom you disagree. how did american society and public discourse reach such a level of instability and intolerance, leaving many afraid to exercise their cons to in the right to express their opinions on the important matters facing this country. today we will hear about this from kim holmes who will introduce to you his new book, tran 11 -- tran 11. this did not happen overnight. as do it here, this is the result of a long philosophical road started prior to the american founding, a road that took two different directions.
one european and one distinctly american. while this may seem academic, it's quite important to understand the situation we find ourselves in today and how to think about the terms liberal and liberalism. that or holmes will talk about how american liberalism, which for centuries fought for individual liberty such as free speech in revenge of conscience. it has become its opposite. close minded and intolerant of different points of view, a development transfer many once vibrant tradition into another liberal for his for denying people's right and freedoms. the closing of the liberal mind is threatening constitutional rights than a one time had been among america's greatest causes. it is that than in the very order that once was the bastion of american freedom and equality which in the end is not only a threat to the country but the
great traditions of liberalism is no good the prognosis is not all bad. there is a way forward in dr. holmes will talk about that, too. thank you for joining us and please give a warm welcome to one of heritage's top scholars and a great friend of ours. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, jim. i was a better summary than i think i'm going to be able to do. that was perfect. there are a lot of people to think for me being able to write this book. it's always a dangerous thing to start mentioning names. surely jim, you're at the top of the list. i remember two years ago when i went to see you in your office and i said i have this idea about writing the history of liberalism and why it's become the way it is. i remember it used the term that's becoming a liberal.
you looked at me like they're going to go off in an academic direction. and i did. i benefited greatly not only from your support, but also from the discussion we've had and i think the subtitle is entirely yours. i greatly benefit from their support and friendship. i also feel true look as they are. my old boss i wouldn't even be in this position if it weren't for the faith and confidence they'll having me. it's great to see you here, so. well, yes, we do have a problem. if you look up the definition of the word liberal in the dictionary, you will find that means many different themes. the word rod minded comes out. the word open minded comes out. a liberal is supposed to be somebody according to the definition that is tolerant of
different points of view. the idea being that you may disagree with me, but we have every right to your opinion. above all, no one has the right night you were mayor freedoms of expression and conscience. in the marketplace of ideas, competition must be kept open. there is no settled science. the ends of history are open-ended. we are not sure where we are going. checks and balances must be maintained in the government to ensure no one party or one partisan point of view ever prevails. the sacred saint in the same rules should apply to everybody. that is the general idea of what a liberal minded person should be. by the standards, today liberals have a problem, self-described liberals have a problem. safe spaces are used on on campuses to stifle dissent and shut down debate.
aggressive attorneys general are issued payments against so-called climate change. some did this want to have the irs targeted the president's political opponents by the president himself has abused executive authority. religious people are called bigoted and worse. some are been threatened with boycotts, fines and imprisonment. universities where progressivism reigns supreme at prices that stifling intellectual conformity and all across america, whether it's in our neighborhood, goals or local government, there is a zero tolerance of anything that may offend or disturb whatever the orthodoxy happens to be in that particular institution at that particular time. it's plain to see that progressive liberals today have become the opposite of the liberal minded person as i've described here.
they become intolerant in the name of tolerance. they become close minded. they become even less liberal which is the opposite of the liberal minded person. close minded, intolerant, stifle, dissent. too often this public shaming rituals and even coercive through the law to stifle dissent and shut down debate. so i wrote this book because i wanted to tell the story of how this happened. it's a long story. not just what happened in the last eight years. it's been going on for a very long time. unfortunately there's a lot of misunderstandings i wanted to tackle. i must say it will not do if you are conservative that progressives have always been this way. this is a response i've gotten a twitter is that in trying to promote the book had a lot of people come back.
i just don't think that progressives -- even though they've held strong held views, i think there were again intense today. i think there is something fundamentally different and new. it won't argue either of my opinion if you happen to be a liberal to say you are calling us intolerant when you have so many tickets in your midst as conservatives. but, you can find intolerant than closemindedness in any ideology. you can find on the left. you can find it on the right. today, what liberals call at intolerant and bigoted conservatives is just a legitimate difference of opinion. apparently times changed and standards shift. just a few short years ago, barack obama and hillary clinton held views on marriage that they progressives condemn. now should we call obama begins,
too? i don't think so. the votes have got a singular problem. they are caught up in a crippling contradiction. they brandished a sword of zero-tolerance name of tolerance and they closed down debate in the name of open-mindedness. this is not just hypocrisy. more importantly it is the betrayal as the progressive liberalism is out or with what it professes to believe in. not only tolerance in the open mind, but increasingly freedom and democracy. liberals are becoming their own worst enemies. they're becoming a force for undermining what remained of a once great liberal tradition in america. in the closing of the liberal mind, i try to explain how this happens. then they go to the book's main points. the first one is the one that is somewhat surprising me when i started to research.
that is today's progressive liberalism is not really your parents liberalism at all. it is far more radical and far more different. it is the old traditions of fdr and jfk, pluralism and particularly western values. it's not even president bill clinton when he was in office, who i see recall at the time as a moderate democrat. you will recall in the 90s clinton disavowed the middle left with the so-called sister soldier moment. but only a couple weeks ago he was forced to apologize to a group of black ways matters protesters were shouting him down. the difference between the old bill clinton and the new bill clinton should you how much progressivism has changed. today's progressivism, what i call in the book the postmodern left is the child is the new 1960s.
it got its drive to revolutionize sculpture and society. it also got its unique talent for finding new issues such as politics in environmentalism should and the cause of egalitarianism. his particular genius i had to call it that in terms of being politically affect the western fears the new less interesting cultural revolution and identity politics with the new ideas of postmodernism and multiculturalism. that is the police that morality is completely relative metric is totally subject to. all cultures of the west of course are completely equal. freedom and reality are fictions, nothing more than social constructs. absolute freedom and perfect equality are achievable by the state and by the enforcement of the law, provided the right people are in charge and a
method for it is applied to the problem. why do i say genius? these intellectual element, values of postmodernism as i've described them, once they were once they refused the appeal of radical dream of perfect equality became a very powerful tool and deconstructing some of that is dismantling the old order under the old culture in the old values. they didn't appear to be about politics at all. mainly about first the freedom and the never-ending dream of achieving perfect happiness and complete personal satisfaction. they looked to be about expanding horizons of freedom that a practice as if we have seen the start of imposing speech codes on campuses in finding pastors to or receive same to officiate. make no mistake a postmodern
idea may have appeared to be all about language if you go to any university and you talk to these oppressors, but in the hands of academics do not do this and most importantly politicians and journalists, they became intellectual weapons to return the old cultural order. what does this mean? think about it. all morality is relative, who needs that? after this subject did come the men and women are completely free to define who and what they are come including the right of the man claim his really woman in a court of law. if all white people are by definition guilty of white privilege, then who needs to bother with what an individual white and actually thinks, believes or even does. ..
in certain social groups. particularly those based on race, gender and sexual preferences. in his worldview you gained your individual rights not by what you shared in common with all humanity as has been understood by natural law. rather you got them by virtue of their membership in that group. if you belong to for example, a persecuted minority, by u.s. and individual shared and the persecution of the whole group. it didn't matter if you as an individual been persecuted or not. but when i was a historic and social position of the group at which you will remember. -- you were a member. that comes the basis of identity politics and a new kind of codes that are increasingly being enforced across america. this was a momentous change. it not only fundamentally changed way we view civil rights. also turned the cause of equality and a weapon that could be used against freedom of speech which is what jim
demint was talking about. critical views of groups cannot be called hate speech. you can do the legal concepts to go around this idea. if it was a speech could therefore be legally curtailed. even silenced if necessary. anany expression that offended o be silenced and with all the of course in the name of equality. this worldview, this postmodern worldview that i described to you may sound a bit academic. it is true that i had to go back in and read some of the academic studies because this is where the ideas originated over the last 35 years about critical theories and the like i was astonished not only how badly written they were but how much they relied on a kind of insular hermetically sealed circular reasoning where nothing was allowed in if you're with a circle starting in the place and always ending basically begging the question all along.
but it is not just academic. it's a very real stuff of modern politics and culture. it has spread and enforced by a prevailing worldview by what i call groupthink in the subtitle, that is professed by the resources, teachers, journalist, government officials, entertainers, increasingly corporate leaders who all not only think alike but who cannot possibly imagine a world outside of their own. it's not a conspiracy. it's just frankly a consensus. they don't have to sit in dark rooms and concocted conspiracies also -- although some of the activists into. they all are a part of the same class. they share the same education. they operate in a world of cozy symbiotic relationships, wealthy, connected. they all come from the best schools. all watching the same shows and movies. they live in the same neighborhoods.
they intermarry, interact with one another. they are the most influential today people in american politics and culture. and many of them, particularly the professors and researchers are refunded directly or indirectly by the federal government. so this process of ill liberalization i described is exhibit under president obama. it has different aspects, many will be familiar to all of you, particularly are at heritage. heritage. there was abuse of executive authority, the irs talking political opponents, laws were written either by not enforcing them or by reinterpreting them to mean something different from what they been originally intended. has been heavy-handed use of the justice department investigate local jurisdictions, officials and police departments. but only when they serve the president's agenda. all in all it's a record of using the power to get one's way.
science is settled, history is over, a whole system must be transformed which israeli altering it for good. so the president opponents, many conservatives, will have the means in the future to undo what he has achieved. all this means is that the main battlefront of intolerance in america has shifted. it used to be that progressives because they believed they were the minorities are all in favor of free speech and open discourse because they thought being in the minority serve their purpose as dissenters to keep things open. however, now that they are increasingly in charge, they are trying to close the doors behind them. as a result conservatives are finding themselves to be a minority up against a very powerful new and even wealthy liberal majority, particularly and influence in industry, business, the entertainment industry, certainly the media, and even frankly increasingly in
mainline churches. across the various fronts of the culture wars, we see them everyday, progressives are pressing, progressives are pricing advantage and to do so because they think they are winning. that's why they're becoming ever boulder and making avenue diminished as a result conservatives feel like they are on the defensive. they feel like they're the ones who know have to be worried about their rights because as a minority, they are seeing the law and certain areas of their beliefs being used to suppress their freedom of conscience, freedom of dissent, their freedom of speech. which brings me to the trunk phenomena. -- trump. understanding has been a near obsession. i go into this area with great interpretation. everybody has a theory what causes all of this but all i can say is that what you see in donald trump support as a backlash against all of the things i am describing here. it's a fight fire with fire
mentality, a kind of if you can't beat them with the old constitutional conservatism come with his interest in checks and balances and the court and all these things, well, we are free to fight liberals with their own tactics. and there is no way i think to explain the anger and frustration of the gop electorate. in this election cycle without acknowledging to facts. one is that they are as i suggest you're a counter reactive attachment counter reaction to the ill liberalism to the left and they are a direct consequence of obama's success in changing the system and changing the rules which conservatives believe is now permanently rigged against them. so president obama made the point about trump. liberals may complain about them and their supporters but they aren't vicious but a natural consequences of the polarization that the president has helped to create. finally, my last point, and
please forgive me, i will do a little bit of an academic dance, but it's about the history of the problem, the long history of the problem and ideas which i think are frankly important. i know we live in washington everything politics is all about money, power and interest and, of course, it is but when you take the long haul if history, parties and people have to believe in something. they have to have some ideas, and so, therefore, the idea is to go to the intellectuals and universities and elsewhere who formulate all these theories that i'm talking about, the ideas and history of the ideas do matter to try to understand where you're coming from and hopefully even when they're going. i think of look at the actual history of the postmodern left idea to understand not only their appeal but, frankly, why they been so successful. i described this at length in the book but it can be boiled down to two points. one is that the ideas of the left today, whatever you want to
call them, revolutionary left, progressivism, in some ways nothing has changed. it's the old dream of perfect and absolute equality. what historians call radical egalitarianism. and that stance is nothing new under the sun. it's been around since the french revolution and even before. as i've mentioned the postmodern left has added a new twist to it. today to be a radical egalitarian, you must also be a radical individualistic. this is new. after all transgender ism and same-sex marriage are not about come are not argued about people supposedly what's best for society. it's not bee really argued as a question of freedom so much. to their mind this post about equality. but what matters is that they are really arguing that what really matters is that that is
supposedly what they're advocating is best for them as individuals. they have a right to the happiness and dignity and whatever else they going. that is the emotionally powerful argument that is being used by this movement. that's a very essence of the idea decline. for them and for people of all this, the personal is social. the more important it is political. that's an interesting twist on this whole long history of a desire. the second point is that the postmodern left as an intellectual historical hybrid of the far left, but also the far right. from the left you get the quest as a nation for perfect equality. but from the right, and here i don't think the american right, i need a european right and most particularly the philosophical counter reaction to the enlightenment and the french revolution that happened in
europe, uk this radical subjectivism and this sort of tribal mentality that first originate with the romantics and the german idealists, worked its way through the history of germany and central europe to ideas of cultural naturalism. the idea that the group and the identity of the group is really where you found true authenticity and remaining and true freedom. in europe that's a right wing idea. not here but in europe that with the right wing idea. it migrated into the left in america through yes, uganda, postmodernism. these philosophers in france whose followers came to america most in the 1970s, particularly at yale university come and develop a foundations of all the critical theory that today is the defining concept of the left. went to decide is a
postmodernism come from court who were the forefathers of for these people? they were schopenhauer, nietzsche and these guys in 19th century europe were radical individualists. they believed in the hero, heroic individual. they believed any kind of pure subjectivity, why there's exercise of the will in human history. but they also are the ones who influenced these postmodern philosophers that i describe. you can look at the intellectual history, it is a very interesting idea. the history of ideas, something migrated from that counter enlightenment into what is today supposed to be the very expression of delight with which is the radical left. it's very interesting to me. why is this important to note? i find it fascinating but a lot of people don't buy capacity. i tried on my wife the other day and she said who cares? [laughter] here's what i put it in the
book. because the postmodern left is a hybrid. and as a hybrid it is philosophically very slippery and very flexible. and its that easy to pin down. it's very adaptable and it's managed to become even though what i'm talking a strike about ideas but in the rally of everyday life and society and politics where the ideas are not talking directly what i'm talking about them, it has become part of the popular culture in the sense of identity politics, and to politics, and decent imo again. i care about only what my rights are. there is no absolute truth and so, therefore, i get to define what the truth is. if i had to get into power by the way whether it's university administration or somewhere else and i can start enforcing this conformity with regulations because after all if you oppose me you are not only not advocating equality, your
actions would be downright evil. this ideology is flexible, light, has no use for rigorous logic is not interested in a big system of ideas like marxism was. it's the exact opposite. it's extremely flexible. and in the end of truth reality of freedom, anything you come up with are only defined. they are defined only by those who are in charge. because if you have no natural law, everybody outside reference, and everything is truly relative. if you happen to get in charge and you can force the conformity because there is no external we to challenge it because the culture doesn't recognize anything outside in terms of reference of the philosophy that the study orthodoxy. so now let you conclude by making an appeal. this is where i think jim is set to become don't be all darkness, you know? they've got to have some hope.
so let me conclude by making an appeal. the first is that progressives, in my opinion, have not always been multicultural radicals. if you look at herbert kohl late, you never find them denouncing the family. you enough i can denouncing western civilization. he was an american nationalist actually. the esoteric ideologies of the identity politics would have puzzled fdr, jfk. and even john dewey who by the terms of the state was a big radical. progressives they think they are merely updating progressivism i don't think they are. i think everything off and into an entirely new and different direction. and, frankly, the direction that they are veering off into what i call a cultural ill liberalism can only survive by doubling down on authoritarian control. and by trying to eliminate opposing points of view.
because if you let him the light of another standard or another are connected or another way of looking at the world, their worldview doesn't stand up very well to scrutiny and criticism. and so that's why these universities are often are so intent on having only one pointed you. oddly enough all their critical theories have ended up producing just one pointed to that is now the orthodoxy. now look, i'm a conservative. i happen to believe that even traditional progressivism was misguided but i also, this does not mean i believe america does not benefit from a movement that continually pushes for change and inclusion. america has always had a venerable liberal tradition. and, frankly, i think it still needs one. but it needs one that combines social progress and respect for individual rights and freedom. it doesn't need one that denies
those rights and stifles freedoms all in the name of a new concept of progress. at the end of the day whether you are a liberal or whether you are a conservative, you should want a system that is pluralistic and open. know once i could ever completely prevail over the other. and yet today with our settled science, the statements about history being ended, progress defined in only one way, and also the bullying tactics that i've described here today, progressive liberals are acting as if it's all over. they have one and all that is left is a mopping up operation. all i can say to liberals on the believe it or not i have liberal friends, is to be very careful if you wish for. hubris is a terrible master. it's not only threatening my
liberties, your liberties, all of our liberties. i think frankly, i say this to my little friends, it is ruining your movement and he should be as concerned about that even more that i am. thank you very much. [applause] >> we do have time for questions and with microphones if you wait and do it if you'd be so kind to identify yourself and affiliation if it's appropriate. i will start, however. i think radical individualists is a very pleasant term. i tend to think of the founders of the people that discovered the west as radical individualists get i think the radical individualists today are basically anarchists. when did we hit the tipping point of anarchy? >> well, that's an interesting point. i have a segment in the book about the history of the libertarianism.
and i go back to the 19th century and was a strong influence of anarchism back in the 19 century with the early founders of libertarianism. is also the classic liberal views of economics and the like that fuse with the. but when i say radical individualist al-qaeda will have in mind the libertarian notion of it. i have in mind the kind of extreme selfishness, the heroic selfishness matches that in this this loss or damage and, that has migrated to the point where if you can make a claim that it's whatever is good for you, and nobody can find we to argue with you on that. it's just hard for the. they don't have any outside reference. i can tell you that is not the way the founders look at individual rights. they believe in the importance of virtue, that you have to control and continue so. you ha have to be respectful of other people's rights. it wasn't an extreme radical view of its all about me.
some people call the narcissism. i don't call it that. i just think that there's something wrong with trying to pretend that you are called individual satisfaction initially all about the kind of cultural equality that they are arguably the. and i just pointed out because i just don't think it's commonly understood what we are dealing with. >> questions? start down here in the front. >> congratulations. >> thank you spent a great discourse. i look forward to reading your book. you reminded me of something i never quite understood philosophers second without god there is no freedom. because with all you describe today, the absence of a larger system of beliefs, the religious
foundation is totally missing. that gaping hole leaves room for the radical individualism that you're talking about. >> yeah, if you go back to the old radical left of europe and even to marxism and socialism or even to socialism in america in the 1950s, they were not believers in natural law as it was understood in the 18th century. but they did have an idea that there was such a thing as universal justice. and that they would be able to systematic logic and described history to be able to describe what it was. to think about the postmodern left is sensibly that is no one universal source of justice, that your justice is just as good as mine come as good as his big and since there is no center, you can just basically press the agenda or whatever your personal agenda is and call it equality. this was that own and you think it was actually very effective.
as a political movement. because everybody can against the with on personal freedom, can't they? so, therefore, the freedom of the person who is gay to marry a same-sex marriage can be something that i can identify with because i want my own personal freedom. in some ways it's of the original liberal idea of the relative freedom of individuals taken to an extreme. and that to me is not only interesting, but also explains as i said in my remarks why the left today is so politically intellectually slippery. frankly conservatives are often find themselves, the reason why they fall into the trap of using the terminology that is used against them about discrimination and the like is because i think you like an understanding of where they're coming from. and to the conference can to consider several about discrimination, it's not your rights versus my rights.
and let's find a way. i truly way to make sure that my rights are not being destroyed by your rights. after all, you get into the area of the bazemore's death in north carolina, you would think that women and children would have a right to privacy. but that simply the question. and so why is back with what i do rights be respected? that's because of the narrative is not about them. it's about the ones on making the original claim. [inaudible] >> i have a question about -- [inaudible] to what extent do you believe that there is an awareness on the part of radical individualism, that radical
individualism is -- [inaudible] we see all the stuff now but the destination of the train is really coercion and radical conformity. i mean, this whole thing is temporary. i mean, i don't think marriage is going to be recognized at all. but in any event do you think there's an awareness that leads to that and that's the intention? >> it's a tricky business of trying to forget what they are aware of. and what they say and the analysis that they use. so-so content in their own terms and logic that when somebody like me or you start describing different words to what they are saying, it's like a big gap occurs. i think you are right that the end result that you mentioned regardless of interest in the radical individualism is
conformity. the real question is is why is that? i think the answer is as i described in my presentation it's because it's not just about radical individualism. it's a perfect equality. i was a public the end of the day as, if you think that matters more than anything else. that's the trump card. that's what makes them true leftist scum is that i'm just saying that they're looking around for the culture and look at the history of ideas and they're finding some of these new ways of looking at the individual, a useful way of fighting the old battle. of equality. are they sincere? i don't know. that thing is that if you look at the way, for example, divides are advocated, i looked at them very closely. the argument a summit on the basis of freedom, which is what you would expect. that would be the old argument. a free to do what i want. that's not really the argument. the argument is not made on this
is the best thing for society, which would've been an old socialist argument. they are saying it's the best thing for me. and that is an old and they could be and when an old liberal argument but it also can be as i said pretty much the way that these post modern philosophers and the critical theorists to do with the human express was most important in the human experience. it was to them, the authenticity of the video so they managed to combine that with the agenda of multiculturalism. it's a brilliant connection. it works very well. but the fact they're playing on different intellectual fields is very confusing. once i one of the you don't know which one you are arguing. they can switch over to a civil rights argument on the one hand and then your argument the 1960s civil rights movement. but you are buying into the assumptions that they are the same things, and they're actually not the same things.
to try to understand why they're not the same things is the challenge. >> one down here in front and then we will go back. >> my question is -- [inaudible] how you describe conservative values -- [inaudible] you would have so much diversity like that if you include everybody. you go to capital club, you could republican national committee, most of them are like white man's club. what you are seeing, philosophically i agree 100% but media doesn't describe that reality. reality is that some a
republican -- have become very narrowminded, very inclusive and they just want to push everybody out. she told me that donald trump just hijacked republican party. i think he is more honest than 99% of the politicians because he is a straight shooter. >> my book is not about politics. it's not about the gop. is not about donald trump, and it's not even about conservative movement as a political movement. the book is about ideas and what's happening with liberalism. you can make any argument you want. i suppose if you are a liberal, progressive liberal sitting there, we are the way we are because the way you are. i'm trying to rise above that and try to take them seriously for what they say and claim and believe. and maybe we can write the book you're talking about another day or but even if what you're
saying is true, and i'm not saying that it is, it doesn't make it what i'm saying to be true. there's something fundamentally changed with progressive liberalism over the last few decades. i'm trying to make the appeal that if they continue down this path, then the kind of reaction to that they are seeing on the right is going to be the same, if not worse. so do we as americans want to go down that path, or do we want to start taking each other more seriously? and taking the idea seriously. i just think that it's important to realize what's happening to american liberalism. >> thank you. i think we know through history that -- i would rather not wait that long. i would like to know if you can get some prescription how we fight this battle of ideas?
we are merely voters, parents, employers. we participate in a social contract that others no longer recognize. how do we fight back? >> simple question. >> no, it's not simple. at my age i'm sitting at a geisha asking the question, i don't have 30 more years to do this and it may take that long. the short answer is, take ideas seersucker educate yourselves and take the cultural service and start taking what's happened in the university serves a. we conservatives understandably so have a tendency to think that we can focus on politics and that some of them will be our salvation and we must do the. i'm not suggesting we can't and don't do that. but on the other than what i'm talking about is how values and mores and concepts of politics and the culture have changed
very slowly but dramatically over the last 40 or 50 years, and they have been mainly in the realm of culture and ideas, particularly and universities. where you have as a stifling intellectual conformity. many conservatives come is like going into hostile territory. and yet that's where our ideas come from. the students to come up with these crazy ideas about identity politics. is what you're taught in the classroom. frankly, the journalist don't be the. that's what the lord at columbia and elsewhere. and so i think we have to reengage on ideas and start taking ideas and intellectual ideas even agricultural research the. there's a pragmatic aspect of that, what do you do with hollywood, what do with the churches and the lightbox i get all that but in some ways all of that is downstream. if you can get it at the beginning and influence the process at the very beginning, then you put effort into the be
like trying to put your finger in a dyke. so if you lose the culture of which i think conservatives have, that's going to be a problem. by the way very quickly, i am not suggesting what does that mean? we go back to 1950s or go back and reconstruct the things we would what i don't government. i'm talking about taking the ideas of the founding, the idea that there was something called individual rights to the was a sense of universal justice. yeses understood by natural law before or by religion. and that the constitution was formed in or to protect those rights. and whether you're liberal, conservative. that is 90 every american should rally around but that is not what is taught at american university's. not at all. >> thank you. kerri miller with heritage foundation. congratulations on a fantastic
book. seems to me one of the points of vulnerability for the other side before they ill liberalism liberals might be the place with the radical individual intersects with the groupthink. i wonder if you could elaborate a little bit on how that happens? >> i've been doing a number of issues and to get past the going over and over again, what do we do next and how do we argue this point? i usually get answers. i say one, they are overreaching. they're going to for. these successes are just offensive to most americans even liberal ones. document universities and using subpoenas by attorney joseph go after climate change. accesses if you will. this is an embarrassment. perhaps not to the present but it's an embarrassment to most americans. i think this is why wrote the book i wanted to say this is where we should engage. which we having a fight in the
american public domain on this issue. it's not just they're doing with office of what you're climbing to be which is radical individuals and as we do decide to themselves but they end up in a terrible conformity. that's the contradiction engage. you move right in the middle of it and so is not only hypocritical but it is a betrayal of what it means to be a liberal. any honest-to-goodness progressive liberal who at least have some respect for history would have a hard time viewing that particular argument. it's very important that we don't get into the hermetically sealed circular reasoning world of the postmodern left answer ongoing overt discrimination and metanarratives and all the stuff that they do. we would use their terminology, their point of references and we will lose. we need to step back and reassert our own values, our own understanding of what universal
justice is, what's right and what's wrong, what individual rights are. and be very confident about it. i think we can win the debate in the long run. i think there could very well be, well, frankly, there is already a backlash. i talked about that. there's a backlash already happening in the right. whether that is being channeled in the right political direction is a whole different story, a whole different question. but i think this is where it is coming from. the real question is, is it too late for liberals to realize what's happening? that's the question i have. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] spiff we do have copies of the book available. to you will be glad to talk with you further come and as a bonus were also legitimate copy of his previous book rebounding while you're visiting with us today. thank you all for your kind attention. we look forward to seeing you again at heritage in the future.
the real inside of 11 thinkers like the founders was each of us is equal in fact with equal rights. the current job is not to rule us. is to be our servant, the protector of our rights. but what happens when it protects our rights equally? what happens when protects your freedom does it protects monkeys we will create very different amounts of wealth because we have different abilities. we make different choices. some of us want to go and become
a teacher. for us that's what a successful life is whether we go up from our parents were or down from our parents were. that's what a successful life is. of the people at a hedge fund managers. of the want to start new companies. you're going to get any quality if we had equal freedom. >> transeven airs on booktv every saturday at 10 p.m. and sunday at 9 p.m. eastern. you can watch all previous programs on our website booktv.org. >> this is primarily a love story. a love story of mine toward my late husband, and the difficulty that one has when one makes that commitment at time of marriage. in sickness and in health.
vowing to support another life, another being, another person with whom you have lived for, as it turned out, i live with john for 53 years. we were married for 54. john had parkinson's disease, and as it became more and more apparent that his parkinson's was taking him downhill, he decided to end his life. he did it in a way that still makes me so sad. because there was no, it is no
law, in maryland which allows doctors to assist individuals who have been deemed within six months of death as john was. there is no law that allows doctors to help those patients. john chose to stop drinking water, stop using foods, stopped taking medication. now, as i'm sure many of you know, would you forgive me if i stood up and walked? >> i think so. i think we could forgive you, diane. [applause] >> i'm just so much more comfortable this way. it strikes me as being a little difficult, but i hear a little echo, and if we can get that down that would be great. as i'm sure most of you know,
you can go without food for days upon days upon days. but not without water. within about 10 days to two weeks, the organs begin to break down without water. and john chose to end his life that we. and i have chosen to write a book that i began writing on the night he was dying. i was sleeping, trying to sleep, on two chairs by his bed with my little dog, maxine, on my stomach. and that didn't work. so i just got up at about 2 a.m.
i have my ipod with me, and i began writing. i cannot tell you then that there was any plan in mind at that time to continue to write, and somehow to create a book of essays or thoughts or anything of this sort, but all i know is that, that night i needed to put on paper what i was feeling, what i was seeing, what i was thinking. and so it began. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> this is booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's our primetime lineup.
>> are right. good evening, everyone. my name is transfixed as i mr. shuster an end in what you liberals study program for its my pleasure to welcome you all to the anderson family auditorium for tonight's program, brought influence. i'm thrilled to introduce you these two in clinch women who will lead you to tonight's top. jay newton-small is a correspondent and author of "broad influence" which is the focus of tonight's event. she writes of everything from washington politics to foreign policy and national trends. she's covered stories on five continents from conflict in the middle east into th and to the earthquake in haiti to the scottish