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tv   In Depth Ross Douthat  CSPAN  November 12, 2021 8:03pm-10:04pm EST

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offer, head of the children's hospital of philadelphia of infectious diseases director of the vaccine education caps off is book, you bet your life from blood transfusions to mass vaccination, long history of medical innovation early, epidemiology john hopkins university. watch tv every sunday unceasing to find a full schedule under program pride watch online anytime booktv.org. ♪♪ next, book tvs monthly in-depth program with author and new york times columnist ross balderas. most recently, the deep places, memoir about his five year stronghold with lyme disease. >> new york times columnist and author, ross balderas. before we get into politics and religion conservatism, talk
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about the newest bookcs, deep places. what happened to you in 2015? >> my wife and i set out to fulfill a fantasy and a properly were punished for it. we were living in washington d.c. we had two little girls and were planning to have more kids. we lived in a small house not far from the capitol film and we were from new england, connecticut, are feminist from the northeast and we have this f idea of escaping from corruption, the beltway and swamp is getting out of d.c. and getting back to where we had grown up. i had this idea we would live in the country and we were going to spend a lot of time outside, not spend time on our phones and computers. we put on our house on the
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market and sold a lot more than we expected, real estate market was crazy back then. we took the money and i like to say set up doing something sensible like investing in bitcoin, we clattered all into the 1790s farmhouse acres, a pastor, stonewalls, basically everything you imagine when you imagine new england countryside. unfortunately while we were in the process of making this move, clearly right after we did the inspection on the new house, i suddenly became really, really sick with what started out as pain in my neck and then my head and became this full-body mixture of migrating pain, throat and bowel problems from a phantom part of tax, all kinds of things and we were still in washington at that time so we
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bought the house wee thought we were going to move in late august so for three months, i saw probably 12 doctors in washington d.c. i worked my wayay up to the head of infectious diseases at one of the major hospitals and none of them could figure out what was wrong with me they all sometimes gently, sometimes less gently suggested i was under a lot of stress, having some kind of anxiety driven breakdown in some way the pain and everything was all in my head. it was only one we moved to connecticut, dragged ourselves to what had been our dream house and now it seems more like a stephen king type scenario i started seeing doctors who said we see things like this all the time, he almost certainly have a tickborne illness, almost certainly have lyme's disease which i probably acquired literally while walking over
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from property of our dream house late that may so the story is first the story of this crazy descent into insomnia losing 50 pounds and being confronted with the medical system but had no idea what to do about it but second, the story of what happened once we got to connecticut g because lyme disee is a famously controversial condition. people who have it and don't immediately get better, there's all kinds of medical debate about what they should do next, whether they should keep taking antibiotics or stop and wait for the residual pain to go away and i was one of the people who didn't get better quickly, i took antibiotics, they stabilized me and i was able to sleep five hours a night instead of one hour a night, that kind of thing but i didn't get better quickly so i was caught in between competing schools of medicine and ended up basically
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having to conduct strange experiments while living in rural isolation with my pregnant wife and our two little kids so it is a mix, a story about chronic illness and strangers chronic illness and struggle to suite and also new england style graphic melodrama part stephen king and her partner nathaniel hawthorne except instead of the devil, the villain is a tiny crawling insect. >> ross douthat, does this include the research you are doing for alternative cures for lyme disease? >> the title, it tries to reference a few things at once, one is the fact that getting inside your body, people with lyme disease and up with symptoms in their joints, deep in the muscles so there is that literal sense.
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but it's also about an away metaphor i use, you fall through the floor, medical consensus and successes of official american medicine, this solid hardwood floor under your feet most of the time most of your life childhood vaccinations through whatever treatments you get for diseases along the way and when you get a sickness that either can't be diagnosed which was true at first for me or doctor struggle to figure out how to treat, he basically fall through that floor andth end up somewhee stranger underneath where there are people who can help you, there are doctors who helped me a great deal, i would not have gone as well as i would have without them but you l also have to grow up around yourself. first do strange research, i read a lot of papers and testimony in all kinds of things
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but ultimately you have to pry things on yourself, you're the only person actually knows what will work or does work, you are the only person who can say this combination of antibiotics help me and that does nothing and then you push beyond back into the real fringe and when you spend years being sick and i was sick almost two years before i started see any sustained improvement, your cost-benefit calculus change so you're open to say having a chiropractor putting magnets on your body or unders practitioner pumping them full of vitamin c and so on, down a list of strange things i would never expect to try in the life i had before i got there. >> why is lyme disease controversial? >> lyme disease is controversial
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because there's a simple fix for let's say 75% of people who get it which is you take four to six weeks of antibiotics and the disease is wiped away, you feel better were mostly better and you go on with your life. then there is a group of patients who don't get better or that relapse it. there is no simple system anybody has figured out that automatically helps them all get better quickly so the official consensus is we don't know why these patients are still sick but because we've already treated them with antibiotics, we don't want to over treat people with antibiotics, you assume the disease itself must have been wiped out in whatever problems remain our residual information, damage from the disease, some kindd of autoimmue system triggered by the disease for psychosomatic it's all in
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your head kind of situation so that is the official deal, close to what thet cdc would say about treatment and then there's this other group ofre doctors and thp are quite a lot of them, they are serious people but sort of outsiders to the official consensus who say if someone is sick and you treat them when they are still sick, they probably will have the same disease and you should continue treating them until they actually get better so these are the doctors a lot of patients in my i situation and up eventually seen and they run extended courses of antibiotics, combinations of antibiotics from allelic publication is tics can carry more than one disease so quite often doctors people who are sick with lyme disease will also have something called obesity or bartonella, other
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microbes carried by tics and you have to treat those, too so that is sort off the polarization. one side you have a consensus that works for most people who get the disease but model and we don't want to do any harm so we are not going to try anything approach to the residual cases t and on the other hand you have a very experimental minority of doctors willing to treat people for long periods ofpl time. >> in your column today, how i became extremely open-minded, number one, when i ask you about the rice machine, i want to read a quote talking about how you became open-minded and what it means to you. on both sides of the national divide, human psychology excess
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simplicity so people want to travel experience and discover a weird outsider idea that actually seems to work and to embrace a new world to replace the old one. the official knowledge is always strong and outsider knowledge is always right. this is a key dynamic and political medical debate, crispus was a leak failures in the last 20 years encouraged narratives that lend plausible critiques of the system outlandish paranoia but insiders only see paranoia cueing on shaman and his allies at the gates so they follow epistemic drawbridge and assign fact checkers to control the long walk. it confirms the outsiders belief the establishment essentially blinded itself and only they have eyes to see.
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>> i'll try and combine those two questions because i obvious the combined them myself, i was trying to draww some lessons frm some of my weird experiences promote the weirdest experiences really with this life from the medical french with some lessons how we think about political debate, the stuff i write about most of the time in the new york times so the weirdest experience, probably the weirdest, there were a lot of weird experiences i had while trying to treat lyme disease, there are these machines called rice machines named for a man who was inventor in the 1930s who claimed have figured out these records he's, audio or radio or electromagnetic frequencies at which organisms
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from microorganisms from bacteria will vibrate and break apart or shatter or die which would mean you could basically treat illnesses by pumping waves, frequencies through people's flesh and knocking out the microbes in memphis so this is an idea that's extremely far outside existing medical consensusan and there are a few studies you can find here and there, there was a study at a university in georgia that killed e. coli in goat meat using sound waves so there are experiments to suggest maybe there is something to this but in general, the world of these machines is a world looks from the outside like a snake oil salesman peddling t machines tht probably don't do anything, right? to people who are sick and
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desperate and i was really sick and desperate and there are a lot of people who have lyme disease and use these machines and swear by them i acquired one of these machines at some time and it's the craziest thing, you get the machine, it looks like a computer in a sci-fi movie, buttons and wires coming out of it you hold onto these handles while you runun and there is ths bookok, etc. mime disease, it claims to frequencies for just about every illness under the sun the claim is that hundreds of power people, thousands of people discovered these records these for their different illnesses while experimenting with this machine over the last few decades. it seems crazy but when i used the machine, it worked in the sense that it generated in robotic physical reactions are pretty much identical except much faster to the reactions are get when i was really sick and
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would take a high dose of antibiotics. obviously this is just a personal experience and what goes on inside your own body for the interviewer or viewer so somebody can read the story and say it's just the power of suggestion, it's a placebo effectff and all of that is intellectually possible but i can tell you physically, i am one 100% certain machine did to me some version of what it claims to do so i kept using it in combination with antibiotics throughout my treatment and its still up in my attic and i don't use it that much now because i'm feeling a lot better but i use it time to time so that is a long t story of the machine but the connection to politics, there's lots of people who have rice machine experiences,
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there's lots of people who have something happen where they are like whoa, what i thought was true about the world is not actually true or what i thought the medical system told meit or what the political system told me doesn't seem to actually be true. lots of people have had those experiences in politics the last 20 years from 9/11 through the iraq war, the financial crisis, through thert way experts made these predictions about thebo benefits of trade with china did not work out significant portions of the country, you can go down the list, there's a series of moments people have had in politics for they say wait a minute, experts said this, they said saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction on the face of the housing bubble would never burst they said opening to china would be good for america and think china more liberal, none of these things happened. you have this deep skepticism about elite political marriages
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and you can end up with skepticism about official medical narratives so the question is, what you do that. i think the challenge is want to have one of those expenses, obviously are going to be skeptical of the establishment of official consensus official ideas what you don't want to assume everything outside the establishment is right. establishment of a bunch of things wrong, therefore i'm going to trust outsiders the way i used to trust the establishment and i feel like that's a mistake of the french. or the populace mistake where the cnn and liberal media all of this wrong so i'm going to trust everything i hear from sources but what you wanted skepticism but runs both ways, he want to say probably the establishment gets something right and i still have to be open to that but also how
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to recognize truths about the world not captured by establishment consensus and how to be open-minded in both directions, but ultimately what this is arguing for, strange beginnings. open-mindedness torque not just the possibility the french get things right but also the establishment still gets things right you have to use your own sense of things to put a picture of the world together that includes both of those possibilities. >> just to partner and honest discussion about the deep places, we still have the country house and how are you feeling? >> we sold the country house. we lasted about two years and it really was a stephen king experience, my wife is a writer, too so we were to writers living the shiny and the isolated home
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for the husband sanity is uncertain. he's always writing, writing my newspaper column and my wife was afraid she'd comeif around my laptop all work, no play written on the screen. we had little kids, we didn't want them to go on the field, all of the things we imagined about theha house we didn't actually want because i was so sick and all r the things requid of us were too much so eventually we abandon ship took a massive real estate loss ended up in new haven connecticut which is where i grew up. we didn't want to go back to d.c., we wanted to stay here our families so that's where we live now and it's not a full ending to the story and i'm not one 100% better and one of the things you find with chronic illness, you have to reconcile
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yourself to the possibility you won't get to one 100% but most of the time i am at 90 -- 95%. treatment much less frequently than i did when i was at my sickest and i do hope i will be fully well in two or three years or some indeterminate period of time, i have not givene up on making a full recovery but i wanted from them beginning. >> when you hear people regarding the public crisis, trust the science, follow the signs, what is your reaction? >> my reaction is science is not an authority but a process. you do want to trust scientific methods, people who do science well, he want to trust scientific results but you can't assume the first thing the cdc or fda says or does, especially under crisis conditions is
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correct so with covid, we lived for months the way people with serious chronic illnesses live all the time we have this seriousho pathogen that's obviously much more of an immediate crisis than a chronic illness like lyme disease, it's actually killing people by the tens and hundreds ofnd thousands and we didn't know enough about it, at first we didn't know how contagious it was, hownd it was transmitted from endless unanswered questions. tests at the beginning weren't that great, we went through a whole crisis with the fda where they botched the rollout of testing so you could test effectively and a lot of the things said confidently at the beginning, but who says not airborne, the cdc or surgeon general and others say you shouldn't use masks, all of us things end up getting reversed and even a lot of the treatment we did at first, it is unclear
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not whether we were right to put so many people on ventilators in the first few months. there's a lively debate aboute that so it is a case study when dealing with something science doesn't fully understand and there is a lot science doesn't fully understand, you have to be external to and accept conventional wish with them will shift a lot and you can't just assume there is white coated authority called science and has all the answers that you can trust. with that said, you also don't want to assume official science is always going to get everything wrong. at a certain place it really was official science delivers vaccines much earlier than anyone expected initially so crimes wereeen real official science in this process. i say at the end of the column, i'm the guy, i have a machine in
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my attic but i also caps off covid vaccine without any forms early on. that's an example how i strike the balance between skepticism of official science and willingness to recognize the things it actually achieved. >> beaking up striking a balance, how did you get to the new york times and describe as . i get a lot of writing on the side, i wrote some books and thus streamlines essays and book reviews and all kinds of things. i have a personal blog and the
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beginning of blogging's. a lot of different kinds of work at a time when the internet was transforming the lives of, transforming up for the worst in the sense that the internet quickly weakens the position of papers myof american wife was a newspaper reporterd and she was at the baltimore sun five, got married so i watched firsthand how the economic effects of the internet hollowing out of the economic basis of newspapers by classified ads in all these things used to pay for the local newspaper, there was that turmoil where people were losing their jobs but there was also the demand for people who seemed they knew how to write on thet,
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internet and being someone who moved back and forth between old-school journalism, the authentic present old-school magazine but also fighting on the internet having my own blog engaged in those debate it made me seemed like a good person or national newspaper like the new york times to hire at a time when newspapers everywhere are bringing bloggers on board or figuring out how to integrate the new journalism into the old system so that was part of the story and the other part, i am a religiouse conservative and at that time's, i believe never had an explicitly religious conservative on its op-ed page and i think there is a desire from the people who ran the
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newspaper to add that kind of voice to the discussion so in that sense, i was sort of in the right place at the right time, large part of what you need to do to get an extraordinarily fortunate job like the one i am lucky to have the newspaper. >> in 2012 your book bad religion came out, i want to read a quote from that. the eclipse of christian belief led inevitably to the eclipse of public morality private virtual like. >> that strong stuff. i was a book i wrote about three years after i started at the times. the argument in that book, it was partially history, storytelling, a book about the decline of institutional christianity in the united states from the 1960s to what
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was back then, present day of 2011 or 2012 but the core of the argument in the book was as institutional religions decline from a court replaces it is not the role of secular reason with richard dawkins and daniel and the new atheists sitting arounde making rules for everyone without reference to god, that's not what happens. institutional religion declines, you get the institutionalized forms of spirituality and religious beliefs that are moreu consumer oriented, less theological and less to go back to the quote you started with, strong moral impact on the lives of the people who practice them. so you go from a world of billy graham and martin luther king
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and sheen, leading figures of american religion to a world of joel o'steen and oprah, prosperity gospel christianity and new age spirituality. one thing i tried to do in the book take the prosperity gospel and new age seriously, i don't think that kind of religious stuff is just superficial and s empty, i think it has actual theological ideas people find appealing for our recent fundamentally i think to go from a world of reasonably strong christian churches to a world of hyper individualized spirituality presided over by these figures is a change for the worst and important change
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that's affected just about every part of our society including politics, if you look atn politics right now on both the right and left, what you see is free-floating religious energy, energy that used to be channel into the first congregational church or catholic parish or synagogue, instead, it channeled into political identity, you poor religious energy into political identity and it leads to political intolerance and fanaticism, this phenomenon where it used to be that people if you asked them would you be comfortable if your son or daughter married somebody of a different faith, people would be uncomfortable. if you asked if they would be uncomfortable if they marry somebody with a different political party, they'd be more likely to be comfortable with it and now it's reversed. people are more comfortable with son mary andis evangelical were atheist than a
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republican with the idea is article marry a democrat or democrat with the idea her son is going to marry a republican so we have taken religious commitments, put them into politics inevitably has polarized our country more than you sue and it's created things at the printers whether it conspiracy theory, identity movements like he went on that are clearly religious movements for excesses on the progressive left like the idea of waukomis, a religious term, it sounds liki awakening or reason. it's an impulse that has a lot of what we think of waukomis has a religious moral energy, this moral absolutism which is always
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up i think but it doesn't have this picture of god in the universe to fit into so it ends up, it delivers the witchhunts without the communityr] and solidarity and virtue. >> going back to that religion and the history of it, you write in the 60s and 70s the heretics carried the day, what happened? >> the idea is you can see american religious history of this balance between what i call orthodoxy and heresy. not greek or russian but this religious establishment and an experiment at the fringes.us for a long time, it was just mainline protestant, court denominations and that the experiments will be the latter
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day saints or christian science or the shakers or transcendentalists, those kinds of people. these both existed, americans had a strong institutional religious center that eventually included roman catholic and to some extent, choose as well by the 1950s and it had wild energy at the fringes. what happens in the 60s is the center falls apart and never puts itself back together so for a variety of reasons, sexual revolution, economic cap technological changes, political changes, a lot of forces network, protestant mainline collapses, membership diminishes dramatically and stops being a central force in american life, in a way it really was down to the 60s, people who come of age today have no idea how large
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old-line protestant churches used to loom in american life so that falls apart. catholicism goes to the second council tries to go through this modernization effort falls into the civil war between liberal catholics and conservative catholics starting with issues about the sexual revolution but also including issues about liturgy, how, what the mask should be like and all these things going on all the way to the present day. the civil war has never entered under pope francis, it burned hot as ever. you have a catholic civil war and brief surge in evangelicalism or becomes a more important part of american political life, especially but not strong enough to actually fill that is how the religious center ceases to be strong institutional christian churches and it becomes a mitch mix of new age spirituality and joel
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o'steen prosperity gospel stuff so that's what it means to say heretics, it's not that there weren't heretics and religious real answers in america before the 50s, always part of who we are but what there used to be in america were strong solid intellectually socially influential churches as well and those who have gotten weaker no sign of them making a comeback even though lots of americans believe in god and are still religious, institutions themselves have fallen on hard times without obvious help at the moment of recovery. >> so are we a christian nation in your view? >> we are a nation more christian than we are anything else but not in a sense that a
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would be recognizable to the america of 1945 so we are still -- what is the primary theological influence on american life? it still christianity even for many people who think of themselves as secular or post- christian, general moral frameworks still matter and if you look, even the way race and identity is framed on the progressive side of policies right now, the idea center politics around people and groups that were victims off their victim status makes them somehow sacred the kind of authority, is an important part progressive ideology in the last ten years or so, and clearly
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owes a debt to christian ideas about god himself as a sacrificial victim whose victim status is the source of the sacred for christians so you can trace these christian lies to temporary debates but saying america is a nation of heretics, the subtitle of the book of bad religion is one way to get at this reality. several of heavily influenced by christianity but over christian belief andct practice are in stp decline and i think there's a lot of religious energy but aspires to be post- christianat sentiment among younger people if you look at the interest in astrology paganism and wicca and these thanks, there is a quest for eastern religion and
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spirituality, there is a clear desire among people with religious impulses or religious resources and ideas and so on that are fully post- christian but all of that has convinced to an actual post- christian religious kind of thing, bits and pieces here and there, it hasn't actually come together in a silicon valley type tycoon performing pagan sacrifices on the capitol rotunda or something, there is no formal post- christian religion, there's a lot of christian influence and a lot of post- christian fragments floating around the same time. >> common refrain today, i am spiritual but not religious, what do you think when you hear that. >> i think that in part reflects exactly this kind of desire for
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a way of encountering the things religion is supposed to put you in touch with, or ultimate meaning supernatural experience, maybe supernatural beings for that matter, define guidance from moral guidance without doing it inside the framework of either christian orthodoxy orh. traditional christian church and obviously the, it applies to judaism and to some extent, islam asou well. similar instances there. over the average person who says i'm spiritual but not religious someone's grandparent would have attended methodist or catholic church and they have institutional religion, means old-fashioned christianity, i've left back behind, i still have religious impulses but i don't want to satisfy them or pursue them within traditional
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frameworks which rcs restating or cap would you possibly go back to that? fundamentally people who say they are spiritual but not religious are religious, they are just anti- institutional or desired to be post- christian impulse isdamental there, i don't think there's a real difference between spiritual impulses on the one hand and religious impulses on the other and basically they are the same impulse, the distinction is how are you trying to fulfill them after what kind of experiences and what kind of community with what set of ideas framing what you're doing or trying to experience. >> let's go back to 2008, brand-new party, how republicans can win the working class and safety american extreme came out. you talked about issues such as income inequality and school
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choice and crisis of authority when it came to crime issues, once it a playbook for 2016? >> the book accurately foresaw one of the deep trends that gave us the donald trump presidency and has given us our current political divide which is that america was polarizing around education where college-educated voters were moving into the democratic party, non- college educators were moving into the republican party and republican party which had this traditional image is a party of affluent and country club becoming -- well, we quote offend governor minnesota, tim who said we are not the party, he was republican and set were not the part of the country club, where the party of sam's club and that wasn'tsn completely true when he said and still isn't true completely now,
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there's a lot of rich people in a brother publican coalition has become much more working class and is extending beyond the white working class right now so the biggest trend is white americans without a college education have become more likely to vote republican but in the top era, we are still waiting to see but quite plausibly in the elections post- trump iraq, urc minority voters, african-american and hispanic, especially hispanic move toward republican party and likely to be middle to working-class voters who are sort of following this polarization happening o across racial lines so american politics slightly less racially polarized but more class and education polarized than before trump came on the scene. that was what we foresaw.
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what we wanted was a republican party that leaned into this transformation with an aggressive policy agenda especially on economic policy and family policy to help and support the american working class which has thrown a lot of grace with the impact of trade and globalization and opening to china with social disarray and rewriting the opioid epidemic wasn't on the scene yet so were talking mostly about family issues and breakdowns, out of wedlock birth rates and someone coming way up. now you have the terrible drug epidemic ravaging working-class communities and not only working-class communities but ithem especially. in an ideal world we would have a republican party with a strong agenda, social and economic agenda toward meeting the needso of those voters. i don't have had that, we had
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gestures that it from trump but a lot of what trump offered instead was politics of celebrity improvements. one voters that didn't offer long term policy vision for what the republican party should do for them so the question in the post- trump era, you have the realignment we imagined, could you have the policy agenda we imagined? i'll be perfectly honest, i am not incredibly optimistic about that and i think trump's own influence over the republican party makes it hard to develop policy because policy is not really what donald trump is all about. >> in 2020, your book of decadent society came out america before and after the pandemic, what is your definition of decadence?
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>> decadence in my definition means stagnation and repetition at a high level of wealth and development. societies get into this when they have exceeded, you can't be decadent unless you plan triumphant and successful before but you have loss of energy and complex systems builtpl up and they don't work as well. innovation declines, birth rates decline, people become less likely to start companies and write the great american novel and all your movies become super superhero movies such what's happened in the whole western world but the last 40 or 50 years, it starts with the moon landing as peak of midcentury
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american achievement and thenh says economic growth rates have slowed down, birth rates have fallen below replacement levels, most people think the political system doesn't work as well as is tooth, intellectual debate have gone stale so it's a twilight in between peak and we out the kind. the book is think we are not actually in real decline which is good, it's obviously something that's debatable, many people think we are in an actual catastrophic decline, i don't think we are there, we are sort of stagnant unhappy in our stagnation with social problems associated stagnation but you could still imagine a renaissance or rebirth without having to go through something like the actual collapse let's say russia for instance went through in the 1990s or to be more extreme, the empires of the
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past experienced at the end. >> from your book, the decadent casociety, as a leader for a decadent age, trump contains multitude. both an embodiment of our society's distinctive vices and a would be level against repetition disappointment, a figure who rose to power by attacking the system while exploiting the same-sex attempts. >> trump was complicated and still is as we await the trump restoration in 2024 i think trump's campaign in 2016 was in part a rebellion against stagnation i'm describing cost-effectiveness i am describing trump crimson basically says elites running
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this country sold our interest, our industrial base follow-up in the american courage take over and we want to get back to the future that was promised. want to make america great again and it was central to his appeal and bernie sanders appeal. you have both political parties, the t obvious example who stood for the establishment and is existed for 20 years in american life so you have trump and the populist sanders is a socialist saying that we promised more than this technocratic managementf of slow growth? where are the flying cars were is the surgeon economic growth?
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crucial to trump's appeal, it was nostalgic in some ways but nostalgic for mid century america, america in the 50s and 60s and believed the future would just get better and better so that is trump as an anti- secular figure but then trump himself honestly decadent, a guy who'ses been married three times and sleeps with porn stars and is personally corrupt in various ways if not actually interested in the work of government but a creature of reality tv his main concern throughout his presidency was how he was being covid on the cable news shows he watched all the time so it's this dualism were trump runs and wins, everyone is surprised by campaigning against decadence and stagnation but as a
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president he represents the pop-culture form of decadence, the guy who plays the great businessman on tv and the guy who played the president, that's what he wanted to do, occupy the presidency as reality television office and he didn't do many of the things he promised to do like an infrastructure bill in the end he lost the election because not enough people want at this and to go back. >> your colleague gopi was a trump, t emulating trump was a w republican strategy, is that the way to go? >> that's the way you have to cago.
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you say donald trump and he's evil and i will cast them into the outer darkness, you're not going to function as a republican politician with that kind of message. it's also the wrong kind of message prepping for some of the reasons we've been talking about transformation of the republican party and more working-class party and the idea that you should have this rebellion against a decadent establishment, they are powerful ideas. to be a leader on the right going forward, we need a version of those ideas incorporated into your pitch in your argument to figuring out how to do that without also going in for trump's and bus twitter warfare, families corruption and conspiracy theories about how
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the election was on, that would be the sweet spot for future republican party. trump's populism certain elements of trump's personality and paranoia. whether you can do that while trump himself is still around i think is an open question. you can do it and when the governorship of virginia, you can do it and when a senate seat, you can do it below the presidential level but i don't know if there is a model for doing it in 2024 trump himself is there on the ballot saying why would you want this imitation of cumbersome i, donald trump, and here's toai r deliver you the genuine article? especially because they've been forced to at least accept the narrative that he won the last election if you accept any version is the rightful leader
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of the party, the exiled king waiting to come back so i think that is a big problem begins moving beyond, the idea that he beat joe biden and the democrats still it hard to see how someone else comes along and says put me in charge of the party went trump is standing there saying i want and i will write again. your to make an argument that there is a narrow needle and say the election wasn't fair to trump last time but i, ron desantis or glenn youngkin can be the democrats more handily give the nomination to me even though you still like trump, that's the argument you have to make, a challenging one, not a normal political argument. >> the day after election day 2021, you tweeted this, i should
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say i revised my specimen/index about the american conservatism from ten to 90, 15 to 85. >> still pessimistic, yes. thee change in optimism from the republicans perspective, one of the concerns were apartment had to have, trump bought new voters in, much higher turnout in certain suburban republicans switched and kept a close even
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in 2020 is even more went for joe biden so the question was t trump's meeting the republican party anymore, maybe when a few of them back but you probably don't energize trump orders or the parties base in the same way so it's a wash and republicans end up behind no matter what. in these elections, that didn't happen. duncan and also in new jersey, a slightly different way. republicans were able to win back suburban voters especially on issues around education and school and still got really good turnout from trump voters, rural voters especially and i think with he duncan, continuing to make modest ways with hispanicim
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voters which was also important keeping it close in 2020 so it's an optimist model for the republicans, you can have candidates get back romney voters from 2012, get the voters back still get the lehigh working-class and world turnout, add static voters and suddenly the college and duncan one with in virginia, if you translate back to the national level,na it is a winning coalition that wind the presidential election outright, doesn't have to win the electoral college so that hs the reason for optimism. the reason to say pessimistic when i said in my last answer for the next four years, i don't know how presidential politics you get out from president trump shadow and trump does not win back enough of those suburban voters i don't think. although, who can say what will happen inft 2024?
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>> good afternoon and welcome to in-depth. this month is new york times columnist and author, ross douthat, he published his first book in 2005, three years after graduating from harvard and it was called privilege. but in the education, brand-new party how republicans can win the working-class and the american dream. co-author on that book that came out in 2008, that religion which we have talked about, how we became a nation of heretics, came outut in 2012. in a book about the future of the catholic church, change the church, pope frank is in the age of catholicism in 2018. the decadent society, how we became victims of our own success, it came out last year end his latest book, a memoir
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from faces, a memoir of illness and discovery. we spent the last hour speaking with mr. douthat. if you'd like to participate in the conversation this afternoon. the numbers are on the screen. we set aside a line for texts only here is the number. that is for text messages only. if you have a comment from include your first name and city. there are several ways of getting us on social media. ... a terrible mess of a
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place, you write, an incubator for an american ruling class that is smug, stratified, self-congratulatory and intellectually adrift. why d >> that was part of it. then there was another part
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that i think has an idea that existed that did notet actually exist in this was hopefully the better part of myself. that in that place that was actually devoted to the best of him partying a serious humanistic education to its students. so i think i have those motivations i had vaulting ambition and a serious intellectual desire. and the ambition found and harbored what it expected to find and wanted to find which was an entry point into the american elite. and the intellectual side of me found that it can get the oharvard education it had imagined but had to work incredibly hard to find and
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put it together on its own. so inside of the university's you can find a great education. but nobody will giveth it to you. you have to piece it together i look back at my time in college i would say one year out of the floor - - four i did that intellectual serious work thatha i imagined that when i got there that harvard was supposed to deliver and the rest of the time i was caught up p to prepare for professional success and there was some romances and too much drinking and a lot of things i am bears thing we put into my memoir that i hope my children never read. it was college. it is a mixed bag. host: is the four-year liberal arts model outdated at this point?
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>> i don't know. i do think it is outdated in the sense that it doesn't work for lots of people who do go to college. it is outdated in the sense if you live in a society where you are aspiring to get 30, 40, 50, 60 percent of high school students to go on to college, you should not expect everybody to spend four years in weird iv brick campuses having that kind of experience. i don't think it makes sense and youon need a lot more flexibility in the models that you have for higher education if you want to live in a world where higher education is the norm. you need more two-year programs and flexible programs that people can move in and out of while working a part-time job.
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in continuing education programs people come back to after they have been in the workforce for a while. it should be possible to have the equivalent of a college education that is available easily to someone who has worked in the real workforce 18 through 27. you can go back to college at that point but the system is not set up for that kind of flexibility. and we have been using this archaic upper-class model as a means to deliver that opportunity. or is the ticket to opportunity? theea golden ticket? i don't think it works that well. at thehe same time there are virtues in having schools that maintain that model if we can focus on intellectual work and preparation. and it is a failure for the elite that they don't get as
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much, including myself in this indictment that we don't get as much out of those four years that a they should. that to give a space that is not yet part of professional life or just a field for ambition where you are actually supposed to be learning things about the world that happened before 1965. a big chunk of the masters of the universe of silicon valley don't seem to know a lot about the world outside of a relatively narrow elite american band and i think it is a failure of education of high school and as well as college they don't have that range of cultural and historicalal knowledge and grounding. but it wouldn't get better if you just do away with the four-year experience altogether. host: let's take some calls.
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new york c times columnist and author are caller comes in from tampa good afternoon. >>caller. my question is i am confused by the conservative christianity content of dominion is on that calling the believers to take control of all aspects of culture family, religion, entertainments and government. to me that conflict with the consultation on the very basic level that with article six that there should be no religious test for anybody for any qualificationff of office.
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and the government should in no way link any lot of the establishment of religion. host: do you know where dominion is him comes from? >> okay. i would like to a understand more about that. >> so there is a bunch of different ideas that go under the label but they are all an extreme form that is very unusual perspective and not a major influence on our society which is the idea christians have to set up a theocracy there are some y names that are associated with the idea that you are supposed to set up the iranian theocracy styles state except it is modeled on
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christianity with christian principles rather than shia islam. so that is a very narrow and small group then there is a larger idea that i thank you are getting at with the seminaries of culture which is basically a perspective on the idea that evangelical christians usually are supposed to increaseve their influence everywhere that they find themselves and if they are in business than have greater christian influence in business and with politics have greater influence in politics. so i guess i would say to your specific question about the constitution that there has always been a balance in american life where we have the separation of church and state. not have formal religious test were singlero established and
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always be tremendously influential in launching reform movements for those that are religiously inspired. we haven't actually separated religion and politics but just church and state. if you go back to the 19th century and look at these important movements, the abolitionist movement is heavily or overly influenced the evangelical christianity of that area. the social gospel. prohibition but it was a huge social reform crusade by religious sentiment. and then you get all the way down to martin luther king. with the i have a dream speech these are religious documents making cases to a country that is mostly christian using
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christian arguments. so there is a version of any religious engagement that is inevitable and is capable long as people are serious i think they have implications and can be liberal you will not tell them you cannot bring those ideas into politics is ever been how american society has worked. but the question then is when does that lead to a kind of practical intolerance that does fall afoul of the constitution and the separation of churchic and state so whatt you see as religious movements working back-and-forth and then that would push too far like prohibition and baptist telling catholics, i am
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stereotyping and i apologize. [laughter] but telling catholics how much guinness they could drink and so on. but that push and pull is the negotiation of democratic politics. so reading about the steep tendencies of evangelical thought that so this kind of engagement is inevitable if you have a society if they take religion seriously. where does across thehe line? the difference between having christian motivations for politics and trying to impose too much or too many theological beliefs on society as a whole. that is where the argument is. if people take christianity seriously then they will want it to have some influence in society. you cannot have a perfectly secular society they are
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religious. host: caller go ahead. >>caller: hello mr. ross douthat. i want to speakf about the united states conference of catholic bishops. meeting november 15. with that diminishment of faith. with a pandemic that closed many churches, et cetera. i will readpe two sentences. top scientist to have explicitly identified the united states as the source of opposition to pontificate preached this month communion
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is notat the reward i'm sorry not the reward but the bread of sinners. i am a catholic. but with that sacrament of reconciliation is necessary to receive the bread the jesus the holy communion. host: we believe that there let's get a reaction to the upcoming bishops meeting. >> basically you are right that we have been talking back and forth about the weakness of institutional religion. and catholicism is one —- has obviously been through a tough couple of decades with the sex
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abuse crisis and the aftermath and the pandemic has put a stress on a lot of churches. people that were lukewarm occasional church goers fallingel away. is not the core of any church. but they thrive on a core and also a periphery. and it has a lot of negative consequences for the church itself and its influence. this is a baseline reality. and part ofor that reality is the sense that a lot of catholics have lost a sense of the sacred of the eucharist around holy communion. it literally on —- literally becomes thehe body and blood of christ with a particular source of sacredness. so the bishops have a general concern effectively how do you restore that sense of the sacred? catholics that are attending mass to take it more seriously.
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but then coexisting a political controversy where the president of the united states is a catholic. he clearly diverges from the churches teaching from abortion and then he takes communion every sunday. and it is fair to say the pope is more on the side of an end effect from church teaching. and then i suppose i should offer an opinion. it doesn't have the general credibility you would need to effectively publicly call a politician. right now, because of the sex abuse crisis, people who are
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not really devout catholics don't take the bishops incredibly seriously as moral arbiters. if they standyi up and say for the sake of eucharist we will deny joe biden communion come i don't think you would get enough priests and bishops to go along with that to make enforceable. and then thatar with the partisan to people with the outskirts of catholicism. so number one they won't do it there will not be an official church from the conference of bishops that joe biden should not take communion. that will happen but even the idea itself is heart - - how hard to say how it would be effective but then there is the problem that democrats, the catholic church has been trying to dialogue with democrat politicians that
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are pro-choice for a couple of generations. the idea it's better to have a dialogue then to jot a hard line that excludes people from the church. over that course the democratic party has been moved one —- more pro- abortion not less including joe biden used to hold more pro-life positions than heha does now. it's not clear that strategy of dialogue is actually gaining anything for the church. and that they face with this impossible choice that they can deny communion and then look partisan to seem effective or just continue with a dialogue that has gotten them know where over 40 or 50 years. and those bad choices are what those institutions have faced they are in period of decadenceli or decline.
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host: a text message from florida. why other working-class voting for republicans who have hardly done anything for them? >> do we have another two hours? [laughter] there are bunch of answers but the simplest way to look at it and those that tend to be more culturally conservative and it takes a lot of different forms. sometimes m more religious sometimes they hold more conservative views about race or immigration. sometimes it's increasingly important that they feel condescended and they don't relate remotely to the
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cosmopolitan academic progressivism the world that worked most of the democratic party is formed. so if you just frame it in specific cultural examples. as those liberal politicians and then the desire to be inclusive of transgender people. and then to say pregnant person instead of pregnant woman or birthing person instead of woman giving birth. and this kind of slightly esoteric academic load of speaking his work likely to be totally bizarre to working-class americans
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overall than college-educated americans. there is deep cultural alienation with working-class americans and well-educated progressives. you have that alienation. then you have the fact that on economic issues, working-class voters are still a little more likely to be close to the democrats on a bunch of issues. than they are to the republicans. because the republican party's economic agenda has been traditional to have taxes for all americans for upper income and not do much else in the democratic party agenda has been more likely to redistribute money too the working-class. that there are a couple of things that have happened in the last five or six years that have bridged that divide a little bit on economics. under donald trump the
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republican party walked away from a lot of the message with mitt romney and paul ryan about cutting or reforming entitlement programs. that is an issue that turned off a lot of working-class voters with medicare and social security and that is part of how barack obama won reelection in 2012 to say to working-class voters come i know you don't love cultural liberalism but the republicans will cut to medicare and i will protect it so they took those issues off the table and basically said we are committed to medicare reform and put something in the budget that supposedly will change the system over 20 years but basically we will not make those cuts we will not do the paul ryan agenda anymore. and at the same time trump also made a lot of promises that he made on trade and
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infrastructure where he pitched himself directly to working-class voters who felt they had been left behind by the agenda both political parties under globalization so in those ways he moved the republican party closer to working-class voters on economicsoo. that happens now. if you look under the heard of the campaign in virginia, he didn't campaign on deep budget cuts but spending more money on schools and cutting that gas tax which falls harder with those upper-class voters so then you see republicans doing modest economic outreach to those who have a strong cultural reason not to want to vote for progressives. when you put those two things together, the republican party moving toward the economic center and the democratic center that moves more to the
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cultural left, that is how you get working-class voters shifting steadily right even more than they already had under the ronald reagan george w. bush era so this was a big shock for a lot of democrats in 2020 that trump could win there a lot of hispanic voters that are economically moderate not voting for a rigid party but will vote for a republican party that says we are presiding over a good economy pre- covid. trump was m willing in the end to spend a bunch of money on covid relief from the republican party was basically moderate enough to get more culturally conservative latinos to do better in
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florida and texas and democrats expected. there is a lot more to be said to describe the dynamic. host: jim from caliente california you are on the air. >>caller: thank you for taking my call. i live i in the area pretty good number of native americans. and i don't find the connection with the democrats that full-color concept has any residence at all. and that concept of black sand indigenous people of color belong to gather i don't know what people of color really mean because what does that mean?
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and then or the real poor or that they have just as many problems if not more in some aspects that in the medical area for example that there is no reason for that except that complexity of the system. >> . >> i will take two points from that.
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connected to the previous question why do working-class whites not respond well to democratic party messaging so democratic party messaging especially last three years on whiten privilege on american society and the upper middle classes if you were told you have white privilege he would say what are you talking about? i don't see that privilege at all. at the four white state in
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west virginia the extent you would relate to a liberal message the primary purpose of the democratic party's agenda ises to close racial gaps even if the policy in question would help you sometimes the democrats that it would help rural white voters but it is being sold as a policy about closing racial gaps. and again that is totally understandable that messaging falls flat with the underprivileged white working class or white poor. that is one place i think the caller is onto something that you have allied of voters who are native american and
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hispanics and those that don't see their own vision of america in the progressive narrative of oppressive whiteness of all-encompassing force so often times democrats and that talking to activists they see as spokespeople for minority voters and in fact they represent activist groups or bureaucracies or a foundations and don't actually say with this with a saint think so you have a lot of hispanic voters who believe very strongly that they are doing well and the ethnic background or the color of their skin is not an impediment so if liberalism spends all the time talking about the centrality of race and racial oppression to the american narrative those orders again would say
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discrimination but doesn't describe my experience and then i will stop here but then to a single point where than democratic this was the german activists were around non- gender specific non- gender way because it was a way of escaping that romance languages. but there are no hispanic voters that actually think of themselves as latinx as they describe themselves you get between one and 2 percent of people so that democratic politicians are doing outreach to minority communities using a term of art the minority
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communities themselves don't recognize. that is a very strange way to do politics and it reflects the wayha it leads progressivism has undercut what should be a lot of the democratic party's natural advantages with minority voters. host: next call comes from new york city. >>caller: i would like to know who are some of the religious writers and thinkers that have influenced your viewpoint such as perhaps? so as i understand you and your experience on —- family experience conversions into catholicism and i figure if you could elaborate on your consciousness some of the intellectual experience that you have had during those conversions.
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host: we will leave it at those two. >> when i was a kid we did a tour of american christianity and then my mother specifically had experiences with those services that were held that the name was literally grace in high school around connecticut where people would basically have what were described and experienced as encounters with the holy spirit and then to fall on the floor and then to be slain in the spirit that pentecostal language so this was a pleasant point in my childhood my mother's name is patricia snow she has written
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a couple of essays about it that you can find on the internet if you are interested because i was more of an observer my parents both had these kind of experiences to go through a phase of pentecostal service and we drove all the way to toronto for this religious revival at some point. but for me i watch the experience i'm not really a mystical personality or maybe just decided i didn't need my parents were getting so becoming roman catholics my mother especially there was a mystical bridge having from mystical experiences underav protestant offices to reading
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catholic mistakes and then to use that mystical tradition into roman catholicism. for me was much more intellectualized i read fairly predictable writers i was happy to enter as an awkward teenager to enter a church where you just memorize the prayers nobody asked you to praise spontaneously or testify how it changed your heart. my 14 -year-old selfke was not keen on that part of pentecostal so tome memorize hail mary was a welcome relief. but that was a very condensed version. cs lewis is pretty influential so again fairly predictable people to have read one writer
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i would like to recommend that are halfway in and halfway was one polish philosopher who wrote a bunch of books he wrote the essay collection is godod happy just with the one word title religion but then a very long subtitle if you look it up on amazon but a very smart raised catholic and one they came to later in life that has an influence on some of my writings on religion. so that is another name to throw out there as an influencer for people who are interested in this kind of stuff. host: christine good
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afternoon. sorry about that. john is from lucerne valley california. please go ahead with your question or comment. >>caller: greetings. as a columnist for "the new york times", i want to see your take on the 1619 project many historians say faulty history and advocating crt and racial conflict as opposed to the more positive affects espoused by the 1776 project. >> so the 1619 project was put
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together for new york times magazine and to play a big role. and there is g a bunch of different things going on in the controversy around it. and his have a more complete history of slavery and the black experience and this is part in general of the ideas thatca are in play about changing ideas about history right now to have this oversimplified narrative of slavery and african-american history that for instance does not focus enough on the real nature of life under segregation after the civil war and the controversy over confederate statutes are part
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where basically white america for a certain period of time told the story about american history that was mostly about needing the country back together after themi civil war that left a lot of black america out and minimized the worst things that went on under segregation and overly romanticized certain figures of the confederacy. so that's a long way of saying there is a big part of the 1619 project that is just trying to do that. to tell a more complete history around slavery. but then also there is a particular controversy around an argument around the american revolution and where there isy, a specific question of the founding fathers and the american revolutionaries were worried that slavery would be abolished by the british. maybe the american revolution was by into slavery and then
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connected to that, there is a historical school that argues the cotton economy was more important than a lot of people think to the development of american capitalism. so there is slavery in both cases it is closer to the root of the american revolution and american capitalism then conventional wisdom holds. i wouldn't want to get into a long argument with my colleagues but i think the argument that is the connection of the c founding to slavery and early capitalism to slavery, those arguments are overstated and may be overstated in some of the pieces of the project. but it's more of an argument
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for historians than columnist. but there is a, distinction that is important that there is a general desire for a more complete accounting that i think is entirely reasonable. then there is a specific argument about the nature of thee american founding and how compromised it was by slavery where there is a live and important controversy to be on the more conservative side of the debate. host: you wrote a column for "the new york times" called the excess of antiracist education. and you specifically cited two books. how to be in antiracist and white fragility.
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>> those are in part because between them sold approximately one.2 million copies. [laughter] in the summer 2020 and around the george floyd protest. but they represent how a certain kind of ideology happens in practice with the views ofub public policy, and how we should deal with racism white corporate antiracist training that you hear so much about straight out of d'angelo's work and a lot of push to do away with the revised academic standards that are connected to the argument that those kind of programs are themselves effectively racist and not just revealing differences but
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creating differences so they need to be done away with. and all of that i fundamentally disagree with and is similar to the last caller there is generally an admirable desire to make america a more equal society and do more justice to the particularities of the black experience that shows up in a certain type of progressive energy right now but to the extent the way it cashes out is through corporate antiracism training or doing away with a gifted education program for those in the california schools talking a lot about toxic whiteness to third or fourth graders i am just reallyik skeptical that willoi have anything that would
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have the antiracist effects and with those racial divides. host: two years prior that you coined the term woke capitalism how did that occur toto you? >> i think i stole it from another bearded catholic journalist. i'm not 100 percent sure. i get credit fairly often for the term but i want to sam not 100 percent sure that i coined itre but it is a very useful term because it reflects the fact a large part of corporate america decided there was a piece of progressivism i'm training and that is in the works of robert d'angelo and then unfold into
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the process and then the attempt to build corporate culture so that's what you see all over now we had an earlier caller asking about evangelical religion in america and the separation of church and state but also the question of how business relates to religion so where business seems very secular and then it takes on some elements of religious culture and thenor you have in the cold war era a conflation of american capitalism and christianity now with corporate culture especially with silicon valley and elsewhere semi- religious progressive ideology where the
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corporation will stage a land acknowledgment talking about the land that's taken from a native american tribe for the third quarter strategic report it is super weird it is just very weird to watch that incorporation of the slightly academic rhetoric to corporate hr speak. but in part it reflects the extent to which this has been seen to give something to progressivism to avoid a the for bernie sanders version american corporations would much rather construct diversity programs andhe training along the lines of
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robin d'angelo suggested white fragility then subjected to bernie's sanders style tax break there is a way for corporations to say we are progressives don't tax us. we have antiracist training programs to divide the left and those corporations working hand in hand to prevent the economic left from raising the corporate income tax rate too high. that is the most cynical reading is not the only thing going on that one of them definitely. >> as a fellow harvard alarm why does he allow himself to appear before yale what is that connection with the
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school? it was the only studio available in a new haven anytime we could do a video uplink interview is a good day so we have made progress to an actual studio with great audio hopefully next time in person do you have any connection? >> yes the texture would be even more disappointed to hear that not only have i keep my harvard background by appearing before the yale backdrop but even co- taught a couple of classes since returning to new haven. i did grow up in new haven so obviously i have that bulldog obtained in me at some level to begin with and it has bubbled to the surface but i will say that if harvard wishes to preempt to coteach a classe with a tenured faculty
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position i'm more than happy toto take them up on that offer at any time if the president of harvard is watching right now and wants to bring me home i am fully available. [laughter] host: buffalo new york please go ahead with your question or comment. >> what does it take to get chronic lyme disease recognized so healthcare insurance stop persecuting doctors p that treat chronic lyme. host: do you have lyme disease? >> no. my significant other does. >>caller: i'm very sorry.y >> and very sorry i know what youla go through. there are two plausible answers one is generational change where basically this is a very long-standing phenomenon where it is less
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likely c you convert those who are committed to an existing paradigm that the younger generation comes along to take over to recognize that paradigmdi is wrong and a different paradigm is needed and at some places you can see this happening with doctors and researchers that recognize chronic lyme does exist from the persistence of an actual infection not just psychosomatic issues and there's a lot of interesting research going on like johns hopkins and columbia and treatment so i think that part of what has to happen and change in 20 years time you have a different group of doctors and researchers as a dominus on —- the dominant and
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the book that i wrote is not just an entry in that debate but it does offer a summary the reason to believe this is real but then the other thing that has been this one —- that it is connected is even for doctors and researchers that are readyre to treat chronic lyme there is not a single protocol everybody agrees that works it is incredibly complicated spent with the resources with a semi- prominent journalist with it has taken six or seven years and still not all the way well and there is a lot of people even the best doctors who
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spend time to experiment so the closer that you can get to a singlel clear this drug works most of the time or this protocol works mostt of the time the easier it is to overthrow the paradigm that says you should not treated at all. it's not enough basically to put an old-fashioned scientific terms is not enough to say that the solar system has a lot of problems and it unique galileo and copernicus to come along to say and here is the alternate system that will them replace it so the closer that you get to a simpler way of treating chronic lyme then the crazy thing to say that we could
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without agnosticism with this clear alternative that it actually works. that is the combined answer with generational change in more clarity in the question of how do you actually treat as infection? host: we asked authors about their favorite books here is ross douthat favorite authors and books. what is the last book about? >> no. i am not that impressive i meant the secret entry which is namedre after. ps secret history which is a novel about classic students who get involved i should not
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give it away but it is given away early in the book with a murder of a small liberal arts college in the northeast. she also wrote the goldfinch that came out just a few years ago. but yesls i tried to pick novels writing about politics and ideas but the books that have tended to stay with me throughout my life have been more likely to be fiction. host: currently reading victor hugo les miserables all. have a ten -year-old and eight -year-old and five euros we have been listening to the soundtrack.
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i think we have listening to it on thousand 247 times in car trips over the last year progress some type i.e. said maybe i should actually read the novel. the victor hugo novel is approximately 1400 pages i believe i have read 500. i cannot guarantee i will finish. i struggle a little bit to read m novels of my everyday existence so this is a real challenge but it is remarkable to step into that kind of novel there is no novelist that writes like this today. you have the basic story and then what strikes you most is just the extraordinary confidence that hugo has that the world is totally incomprehensible it's getting better every day you can put
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the french revolution together with catholicism and then we will pause and he will tell you about g the battle of waterloo all about the battle of waterloo so it is an immersion of a non- decadent society defined by this reckless confidence and also a literary style with aggressive arrogance if you pick up a contemporary novel is a very talented irish novelist and it was very minimalist and the characters say the universe is mysterious and i have some radical ideas and i would like
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to be religious but i cannot make it come together but then you turn to hugo and he monologues about monasticism and it is just different modes of civilization versus the 19th centurynd to have that feeling even if i don't get to the end of the book obviously have heard the soundtrack to the musicalag. >> it is an extensive. >> . >> thanknk you it is very interesting. i amca very old i have been observing things for about six decades. long ago i was religion editor
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i loves the priest and the nuns and i catholic organizations i believe the catholic church was unable to change. because by today there should be a section of the priesthood that allows married clergy. women should be able to have the same authorityom as a priest. t and it seems to me it is declining in the western world and and 50 or 100 years it would be a shadow of self. i would like to hear your response. host: thank you for calling in. you only have two or three minutes to expound on that big
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question. >> probably for the best. yes the story of catholicism in the western world is already in decline and i would expect that to continue. the problem for the church is more complicated so we actually have plenty of examples andro models of churches protestant churches the lutheran church in germany and elsewhere that have done exactly the thing that has not done they had female clergy or priest. they havemo shifted their positions on various issues of theological and moral and in most cases they have the same problems that catholicism has of the greater loss of cultural influence.
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is not just a simple matter of these churches have not kept up at the times they need to become more liberal in certain fronts we have models that have tried that and they have not had great success. and so it is slightly to adapt lose the core elements of catholic tradition that are attractive to some people it contributes to g the churches problems in various ways if you allowed marrieded clergy that the same time the virtue of celibacy is an ancient christian principle and if it doesn't present that principle at all the very reason for existence is called into
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question that gets at the challenge that christianity cannot survive iftu it does not seem and so the early church is extremely big on celibacy in the same with the eucharist and communion how do you adapt while preserving these essentialsal without which you are not have anything to preserve at all. . . . ..
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>> i don't plan to get infected with any new diseases, god willing so probably not another memoir may be something about religion these questions about belief in god we for talking about herete but maybe something totally unexpected like a fantasy novel instead. >> thank you for spending the last two hours with the tv. >> it's been a great pleasure, thank you for having me. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2 or intellectual he's ever saturday, american history tv documents american stories. sundays, book tv brings the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television company think mark including comcast. >> you can give to the community center? it's way more than that. >> comcast partners with 1000 community centers to great wi-fi
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enabled the students from low income, thank you for tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast along with these television companies support c-span2 is a public service. ♪♪ >> american history tv, saturdays on c-span2. exploring people and events that tells the american story. 2:00 p.m. eastern on the presidency, historians revisit george washington's 1796 and warnings against 10:00 p.m. eastern 100 anniversary army arlington national cemetery tomb of the unknown cemetery. unknown soldier. overseas attorneys from world war i to america's most revealed memorial card.
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march american history tv satellite on c-span2 and find the full schedule on your program guide or watch on time anytime at c-span.org. ♪♪ >> on this episode of book notes plus we met at work most as a historian, tour guide and author. his latest book is called the lost history of the capitol. bizarre, tragic and violent episodes around the u.s. capitol building from the founding of the federal city in 17902 contemporary times. among many accomplishments in his career, speech writer for george washer book -- >> c-span now mobile app where you get your podcast. >> next muscle tvs in-depth program with story and an activist,

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