tv Washington Journal Dan Rather CSPAN November 10, 2017 3:29am-3:57am EST
"washington journal" continues. joining us from hiladelphia dan rather authoriauthor of what unites us. guest: good morning. host: what compelled you to write a back and why do you was needed? . realization the that we have become so divided in concrete and partisan olitical and extreme ideological positions that the country is in peril. we are shouting that about to decline and are tegrate but there troubling signs. umber one, aware becoming so divide divided we could slide into a authoritarianism that with lead to extreme
nationalism. economic national i. nationalism. that could lead to further decline. country and i e began it ask what is patriotism decade much the 21st century. as i sphrerd the question i great d i don't have any wisdom about it so my idea was let's start a conversation about and what it sm is isn't and during that conversation remind ourselves values that have been the cohesion that held the all of together through these years. people tend to forget the values that sustained us. that is the reason i wrote the book. i have vation was that my own facebook page and another where ied news and guts try to bring context and voice to e and steady some questions.
frankly, the social media site successful i said to myself maybe there are other people who are thinking about i'm thinking about which is what is patriotism. o, i decided to start writing the book and it is out. democrats call 202-748-8000. republicans call 202-748-8001 and independents call questions and ask post on the twitter feed. was theto the back what perception of patriotism and what did you find from writing the book? guest: what i found out is there between patriotism and nationalism. they are not mutually exclusive. overlap. but the biggest difference is patriot i is humble and modest, it is grateful for where we have been and for the great strengths recognizes we but are not perfect. we can not be perfect.
is our nation's history constantly striving for a more perfect union. that led me to say it myself i it think about my own patriotism because there's a deep love t it is a for the country that. is part of it. but the other part of it is to we need to keep constantly improving and particularly the most extreme version some of which has been preached from the most powerful positions in the country, has a conditiceit and arrogance and sometimes can take the we may to the be perfect but we are as close as we are oing to get and superior to anybody else so one big difference i learned between nationalism is patriotism includes humility. doesn't mean that we are constantly criticizing ourselves
but does mean away keep ourselves about how we can make the country ever better. write there with a like the nistration trump administration where the thoughts came to you? guest: no. i can't and won't deny that where the current administration particularly the one of the current administration was a factor but not a motivate factor. book is not a criticism of the trump administration. do with the to book is make a book that even forceful and dedicated trump supporter could read it have some ly disagreements but say hmmm that is something to think about. give you an example.
whathing that made america t is, is a strong sense of empathy. year of our every history but empathy is a word i don't know of people the meaning and i would recommend gently to look it up compare empathy with compassion. it is one of the values that held us together. dissent has been a strong force for good. ot every dissent in every decade but dissent is a key to as a are as people and tendency sometimes to equit unpatriotic.being that is an example of the iscussion we could have in the context of the present administration. i have deep concerns about the president trump and the
10 of his administration. it does have some as the senator said in the previous section has of demagoguery and he worst ks to t elements of bigotry and prejudice. only racial but religious prejudice and there is something phone.sorry about the i normally turn it off. i beg your pardon. back was not designed to say all over ng to jump the trump administration. ut it is inevitable some persons who read it will say what do i think about what is in this book as compared to what is happening. host: dan condition. co-author with elliott krischner. is? guest: he is a long time friend also fellow worker. he worked with me at cbs news.
been friends a long time. was an important part of putting the back together. very good at taking what i say and writing and saying dan this is too wordy, this is way barring and sharpening it. in our first call is jeremy lawrence, kansas, independent line you are on with dan condition. stpwh caller: i appreciate the effort of this back. you, mr. rather, -- t the connection 2010 patriotism and courageous truth. new yorker t a article talking about the extent somebody like harvey weinstein to cover up sexual predation using corporate ntelligence organization involved with the security at
the world trade center on officers trying to intimidate journalists -- host: jeremy, a direct question guest, please. caller: would you talk about the to not talk on you about the allegations about september 11 pointing out 7 as a controlled demolition. host: mr. rather, you can answer wish. guest: well, i felt no pressure left cbs ly since i news not to infer that i felt i was there when but i have been away from cbs news 12 years. guts my news content company is owned by me. to myself and i ave not felt any pressure to 911. i do think there are a lot of , false rumors directly but to
answer i have not felt any pressure and i don't feel anything ow to report other than what i believe to be close to or to get as the truth as possible. that is where i stand and that going.re i will be >> robert on the republican line from indiana. rather, we elect hese people into office and i think that both sides should work together otherwise the work.ry is not going to you reported the news years ago than now.t different we do not get the truth. everybody is against each other wants their which but we should work together and get god back in this country. guest: well, i certainly agree. one of the fundamental -- these sees of the book
what unites us. experiment.w there was never anything like the united states and the idea country ould have a racial, a strong mix of religious, ethnic, differences hold ourselves together united. that divided we fall, united we stand. it is a fundamental that has held us together. in the present environment as you point out in which so officialshave elected take the position don't better me with the facts, i have my up and i don't want to get into false equivalency but there is some in both parties. your point that we have to get along and the way we do that is o listen it one another and part of what i tried to suggest a united we stand is we need ore civil tone from learn and
those as a whole to listen to one another. that do not mean to give,principles particularly on acial bigotry but have a civil tone and lower our voices, listen to one another and found ground. what works, what makes our ystem work is a general prop suggestion of saying we may disagree about 100 things, can thing, maybe two things in which we can reach on on ground and agreement things that will help the count country. so many cases what is happening is that people want to do what is good for their own futures and party. and what aware begging people to what we are being people to do particularly those in power is a fundamental of what nites us both in the book and larger sense is we have to get
of the divisions in the country i think we saw it in the there is a eek yearning in the country to hear tone and hear more voices and more action along the be united want to rather than emphasizing pitting one race against the other and one religion against the other. we can't continue in this ountry -- i tkdon't want to preach but we know deep within us we cannot hold ourselves we are willing to get along and getting long r frequently is trying to reap common ground. a each give a little and get piece of legislation. host: if you go it his news an you can see the governor-elect of virginia. news an guts. guest: when i got into social
very slow to get into social media, facebook and twitter. what i found was that there was audience for the position of books. smartest guy around but i have been around a long time and i have been a few and let me try to put some context and perspective with a steady and reliable voice. doing facebook my personal page i found there was we established news and guts a different page on each day's news to point out what we believe to important stories of the day and add perspective and context with it. the news and guts facebook site s. it is also the which i y news company own and operate.
develop a strong news content. host: this is from nashville, robert, republican lane. caller: best to you, mr. rather. love what you have condition all of these years. -- what you have done. your reaction to the question of why 9/11 happened when you were on david letterman which did not knowas you why it happened. epresents the discontact that the american people have with our role or perception of the role in the world. for example, we george w. bush nd the senate led us into iraq it was an abuse of patriotism hat george w. bush had so much upport that we allowed to get us into iraq which is a trap. the same thing the freedom of be able to criticize our government and foreign example, the 3 r
3.8 million that goes it israel and best way it controlrorism is to get of israel and their because of he people and this country time have a hard expressing that without being smear ed meared and demon ice rized -- demonized. there's a lot in that question. making in back i'm ot sure i stated quite that directly but number one going into iraq by any reasonable was a strategic of historical
proportion. for e in this country and that matter were of the world are paying the price for a long time. acknowledge what units us that with t unites us i along others didn't ask enough questions as we were going, as taken into the iraq war. we didn't ask enough tough questions. part as a mistake on my and on the part of were of the press. unites us n now what and what can we did going forward is to keep in mind some said. you just fierce ly independent independent press is the betting heart of freedom and democracy. ne role is to be a check on pho power and follow with tough questions and don't be afraid it ask them. what frequently happens and did happen in the roll up to the war and during the iraq war the at those in power made
case and it was believed by many that to question the strategy of going into iraq was somehow un patriot kwreu patriotic. true.the opposite was the patriotic thing to do was to say i love my country. i'm going to back u.s. fighting en and women any time they are put in danger. but as member of the press i'm going to ask the tough questions. was the patriotic thing to do and it is now. host: you write that in the section about the press saying hat when it comes to the institution of free press it is greater tanf crisis i have evern seen in my -- ever seen. that on?ou base guest: i base it on what the president has said and done. every president we have had has had difficulties with the press had a have never resident who personally
raoepbt pls ly attacked the -- relentlessly attacked the -- press saying things such as members of the press are among the most despicable people enemies of ss are the people. -- kind of ret ruck rhetoric from the president's own mouth we have never had this before. the nixon administration he had that attitude to some degree but used surrogates. so the reason i say the press is crisis is because that is what the facts dictate. singles out dent individual reporters you will recall when there was a reporter physical challenges and the president mocked him. unworthy of any presidential candidate much less
a president himself. president threatening institutions. the "washington post" repeatedly because he doesn't like what they report. americans -- this includes many of the people who still -- the president trump tone of the presidency toward for a lot ess counts because of the power of the presidency. the president has tremendous through regulatory agencies and that sort of thing exert pressure on the press so the president is clearly penly and blatantly trying to intimidate the press not to do deep digging reporting. tough questions. and his relentless attacks on unprecedented in american history there's never like it.hing this is not normal. this is unique.
it is very dangerous. host: independent line, -- pensacola, florida. frank. like to ask that carrying the e constitution in their pocket and they say we need to go back to constitution the way it was by the founding fathers rote it. but to -- wrote it but they are leaving out the amendments ecause if you look at the original constitution only white m men, property owners were allowed to vote. women were not allowed. blacks were not allowed. when they say we need to go i look the constitution at it that we need to go it our constitution now that gives the rights. this is a good point and brings one of the
chapters in the book about and had you important a in cipled dissent has been the progress of the country. the caller mentioned a couple of instances. i would like to use the instance it vote.s right women started talking about this in the 19th century and they dissenting saying we should have the right to vote. widely and stigated they were sometimes called dissent ic but that eventually resulted -- it was not until the first fifth of the 20th century but resulted in women getting the right it vote. there's been time after time there was the case when principled dissent was season as un patriot ot kwreuipatriotic, but it turned out over a period of to be a way to advance the country to make us a more union. we will never be completely
wrote there hen i back i wanted to put a chapter reason ssent it for the that the caller pointed out. in our id to p want to keep improving the country. continue to improve the country when we listen to the lourdes who say we want -- voice of leaders to return to america of the 1950's and the 1950's we had our problems. but even if you could go back to history,fer time in our even if you wanted to, you it.ldn't do the demographics of the country that hanged tremendously we are a rich are mix of diverse and race and ethnic heritage than we have ever been. any thinking citizen who
stops and thinks about it knows this talk about let's return to some glory days of is just a way of trying it manipulate public pinion for something that is not going to happen. we have to move forward and look forward united. we are about done but republican lane from new jersey. caller: i wonder if there is a address the advocacy with the economic divide between country is a big factor and i guess i thank you. mr. rather. guest: i think there is a way to with the economic divide and take a deep breath. lower our voices, dedicate urselves to being civil and recognize that we have a problem. getting deep and deeper economic divide in which
at the lowest end of the economic scale in many cases are off.ng worse are the in the pheumiddle middle challenges is somewhating nk rinking -- shrinking and the nos -- thy mls are getting millions are getting richer. what we have not had in our leadership is hraortleaders it and we recognize will address it and tpaupbd stop the trendnd widening eing an ever gap between those who have and those who do not. a constant in our country since the beginning but it has worse with each succeeding decade. united and stand move forward on this question