tv After Words George Will American Happiness and Discontents - The Unruly... CSPAN December 31, 2021 12:00pm-1:01pm EST
>> next, syndicated columnist george will, talks about what he calls the unruly torrent years between at 2008 - hundred - 2020, he is interviewed by amanda carpenter, columnist and cnn political contributor. .. relevant guest host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work . >> it is such a privilege to sit down with you to talk about your book and really the first thing i want to ask is how do you approach your role as a writer in particular a political writer ? in particular, a political writer. >> first thing, a political writer ought to be aware of is that politics is not a big part of most people's lives and shouldn't be a big part of the life of a healthy society. so that if i don't write a score
of columns, of my hundred columns a year on books and another score on cultural matters, i'm not doing my job. politically, the country is obsessed with the presidency, it's the presidency and then everything else. although one of our three branches of one of our many branches of government. his job as outlined in article two to take care that the laws are faithfully executed which makes him definitionally secondary to those who make the laws in article one, congress.ed but we t have this swollen presidency that absorbs all the energy of the country and space and ink of journalist. the first task of political columnist is to say i'm not really a political columnist. >> it seems to me what's always stood out about you, a younger person coming up, i think the
temptation for political writers to score points rather than make points. but you and maybe it's because you choose to focus on the people who don't pay attention to politics, that you can take the broader focus back but do you think people should focus more on being observers or perhaps advocates? there's a purpose to what you were doing when you sit down. >> the out to the observers first. they ought to understand what's going on in the country before the make judgments about it here and they ought to do what i try to do in each column, i keep in mind the episode, cultural, judicial, legislative, political were received but there's a principle there thought it would write about anna tried find a nugget of larger principle, constitutional, legal, moral. that will remain and the focus
on that makes politics richer and more nourishing. >> i was going to this, a collection of so many of your writings and and i remembert you called bill buckley the most consequential writer of the 20th century. >> of journalists. >> i'm sorry. you would remember your columns. purpose. in the national review and things he was advocating for. what why did you call him the mostconsequential ? >> before ronald reagan there was very goldwater who captured the republican party for conservatism and before there was goldwater was national review that made the nomination in 1964 possible and before there was national review there was a young yale graduate. and therefore bill buckley won the cold war. >> that's consequential.
>> that's the compressed version but i did that had consequences, building conservative ideas accessible and brought up a lab and a spirit of cheerfulness.to the business of political arguments. >> how important is the fun? >> went very goldwater might have my first vote in 1964, when he first went into politics i think hewas running for the council in 1948 . he wrote a letter to his brother that said it before life and it might be. >> it turned out to be pretty much for life but it certainly he brought me to do something else. >> first of all, writing about is fun. i love to write. i'm a compulsive writer. i can't stop. i write 100 columns a year and i'm always writing books. but i happen to like politics. i like a lot of politicians.
i dislike some of them and dislikes some of their attributes but i admire the business. we have to have politics. we have to havegovernments, we have to have walls. therefore we have to argument . the whole culture of democracy is at bottom a culture of persuasion . and argument is part of it. if you don'tlike argument you picked the wrong company because argue about everything . >> there's a big difference about arguing and fighting which i think a lot of people are tempted to do because is only on things like that reward. they call it engagement. but how do you always stay focused on making the argument in a fun way because politics, you can get very invested into it. stakes are heidi's days as well know. so how do you take tap on it that is fun and happy happy warrior attitude when you sit
back in your every day. >> an bear in mind is that what seems very shaken today is not really shaking. i recently turned 80 and one of i'm looking for the second nice thing but the first nice thing about turning 80 is you look back at what happened during the carter administration that had me so excited . i was excited about something gerald ford did. i can't remember andthat's chastening in a way but it also makes you take a deep breath . >> one of the things that i admire and i think many other people do about your writing is that you have a happy attitude but you're not afraid to confront very complex problems. and as i was flipping through the book i noticed that you write about the lynchings in american history quite often and i think there's a complicated debate unfolding now especially inconservative circles about things like
critical race theory . the witch is not talking about history but that gets muddled and confused but you confront this and the one i remember is we tell the story about alynching that happened in illinois not far from where president obama announced his campaign . can you talk about why? because as a conservative who grew up in rural michigan i used to stay on top of these things and sometimes phoenix was her column, it was the first time i ever heard it. >> either i live 80 years before learning this year about the also writes. it was actually the tulsa program. that's what we callit when it happened in europe and we should have called it back here . i've heard vagaries on tulsa but nothing about it and i should have. conservatives sometimes flinch from confronting the disagreeable facets of
american history because the disagreeable facets are presented by some progressives as definitional and typical. and it requires a kind of mental equilibrium to confront these things and put them in context. this is why we're having so much of a fight about the new york times egregious 1619 project. the fundamental assertion of which is that america's real founding was july was not july 1776, it was 1619 when the first slaves arrived and what made this reframing as american history is so pernicious is that the crux of the matter was according to them that the american revolution was fought to preserve slavery. it was fought because lord dunsmore said that blacks who escaped slavery and fought on the side of the british in the american revolution would
be emancipated. this is just flat out historically illiterate. i think he said that in november 1775 after lexington and concorde.after the boston tea party. after the boston massacre. after george washington was made head of the revolutionary army. it doesn't square. and it's so bad, it's obviously meretricious. >> but do you think there's a reason people want to start the conversation because there is this lined stop of history where people don't know so maybe when someone comes up with the 1619 which is riddled with problems, maybe it's the first time someone heard it and says maybe we should give it a chance. was out fall or hiding this part of america history because it isn't taught and why is that?
>> i don't think hiding suggests that they're doing it on purpose. a lot of people don't know and a lot of the way we teach history is probably cursory and not serious . the reason we're arguing about it is because it matters and in 1984 orwell says he who controls the past controls the future and he who controls the present controls the past. when we're arguing about the past we're arguing about the trajectory of the nation. >> one of the interesting points i had never considered when it comes to this what do we know about american history and what we don't has to do with another lynching you wrote about and you raise the point that our government did have knowledge about this but they were all classified and you wrote mostregulations tell us what we cannot do .
secrecy tells us what we cannot know and there was a rule for government in this in not necessarily making these things public. >> that formulation comes from the man who was my best friend pat moynihan. pat made the point that secrets our government property and governments tend toward them. you become inquisitive about property and the property in secrets, secrets make us necessarily more unnecessarily ignorant and this had to do i believe with grand jury testimony from 60 or 70 years ago forpete's sake . what is the point of keeping this secret? >> you ended it with saying when is a case that should be but is not part of our national memory to cold to learn about. the answer is never so you're arguing we should not shy away from this. do you think conservatives in particular should take more
of an interest in this complex racial history we have rather than perhaps fighting about crt because it seems this is a more well formulated argument that tells us why we do need to know rather than fighting about what other people have presented us. >> i think conservatives should pay attention to the lynchings . two as i said the these other matters because it gives conservatives a chance to make the truthful case of astonishing progress since then. the people who say the 1619 missed everything are because except the course of the country really haven't gotten all that better and the illusion that they're better is itselfa sign of systemic racism , that's stop. to which i say good on sec, mississippi playing alabama and they're bossing everyone
around and penalizing them. sec football this is asclose as we come to an established religion in this country . >> you think theathletes should be paid ? >> of course. there were 80 billion. >> is the best i've seen and alsofar . >> it is, it turns into a great dessert information of understanding how bad things work, how much better they are today . >> you think that discussion is furthered or hindered by when athletes decide to take the lead? >> you don't think it's something the presidentshould have a say about ? >> i think 95 percent of what presidents talk about they should talk about . andrew jackson died and said the president have to become an ordinary in sheet, or is that an article to read that's what for the house of windsor to do those things are in a separate head of
state and head of government. therefore the ceremonial secretions gathered around the office of the presidency and made it hold more claim presents and swollen area. >> why you think we still have the presidency, is it just the easiest thing to talk about ? >> it's the easiest thing to talk about. modern technology helps . first radio which i think when we get a little more distant people in radio was actually a more fundamentally revolutionary change and television . because radio gave us , was crucial to the not departed. one of the first things they did is when he got in was make radio cheap where everyone could have a radio. radio made the bully pulpit residents . when was the first set down to give his first fireside
chat, he began with two words that do not appear fixed. they were my friends. try to imagine george washington saying my friends. or calvin coolidge to pick another of my heroes. but roosevelt understood the modern presidency. in fact he pioneered it more than anyone else. he was going to create anew intimacy with the country . i don't think we want it to be intimate. they are the head of one branch of one of our many governments. >> who's been the most ideal president in your field. who did it right or at least came close. because ronald reagan was famous for communicating with the public and most conservatives look up to those who write in and say bring him back . >> there's nothing wrong with communicative with the president . it is wrong to say the
president should be front and center all the time, communicate all the time. when the senator of colorado was making his brief run for the democratic nomination for president in 1920. he tweeted vote for me and you'll get a president, you won't have tothink about for weeks at a time . that was for him. >> you think we talk about this you mentioned the advent of radio but certainly social media changed the game for all campaigns. not just the presidency and how they communicate and how have you witnessed that change because it hasn't always changed how the candidates communicate but how people receive information and react to it and what the expectation is. >> and how they talk to one another. how they view one another. i have never tweeted, i don't know how to tweet. if i had to find a tweet i wouldn't know how. to be fair, twice a week a
member of my staff tweets out 240 characters? okay, for my columns, that's it. i'm told i have a facebook page and i've never seen it. i'm just not interested, i don't get the point. i've always thought that the quality of stupidity relative to the size of population is fairly constant over time. i'm no longer so sure. but it just may be that the social media gives such velocity to intemperate miss andvituperation . i do think that it elicits it. once upon a time and here i want to credit eugene bullock who runs a conspiracy website that's wonderful. i talked about jurisprudential issues. he teaches about constitutional law and the first amendment at ucla.
he has a fascinating article out on cheap speech, when it's done to us. it used to be you have a radio or television station or a printing press, and all that stuff, distribution but now it's inexpensive beyond measure. it's free. anyone can say anything to anyone . well, ... >> it seems a natural inclination this would lead to an. >> there's a downside everything including this the downside is this. being much use mainstream media had the keepers. they had responsibilities. they had vulnerabilities. they had to keep theirs's subscribers happy, their advertisers happy. they had a reputation to
uphold and therefore they stood between the public and stark raving mad lunatics with crazy heroes who now can just get out there so there's a cost to everything. >> don't you think that plays into theongoing debate about cancel culture that's happening ? as you know on the right side of the aisle there's a raging debate over the role of social media in moderation and what people should expect when they go on these platforms to say whatever they want so how do you balance the abuse and idea that we all support freedom of speech and that you counter bad speech with more speech which i believe in but i think my belief has wavered just a little bit when it comes to these issues. >> i'm still a section 230. it's a provision in the law that says that facebook or
these other social media platforms are not publishers. theycannot be sued . they enable people to be out there, but they're not liable and i think i'm for that . these are private corporations. they are tremendously important to the public square nowadays but they are also not forever . there'ssuch a thing as monopoly fatalism . people say that these are big, therefore theyare forever. they are unchallengeable . but with all the unchallengeable monopolies that are gone, remember the day and be company, atlantic and pacific grocery stores? in 1950, in 1935 there's 50,000 of them. when was the last timeyou heard of one? >> i've never been in one . >> forbes magazine said can
anyone challenge the cell phone giant? they're talking about apple? no, they're talking about no kia. five months before that coverage the iphone came out. and another unassailable monopoly was about to be a sale . so i think that we can rest assured that nothing is immortal including these giants today. >> i would say twitter and facebook, they are being challenged but usually from the right by these companies where they explicitly say you can come here and say whatever you want. then we have these weird things that happened where president trump is ticked off at twitter and the taliban puts their messages on it so we're in this vortex where no one wants to accept any responsibility. then you see these big giants like mark tucker. go to congress and say solve thisproblem for me . it's a not nobody can crack.
>> there's a serious argument and i'm not sure i've said it yet but it's a quick serious argument that these should be treated as common carriers. if you open your doorsanyone can come through. if you open your doors to the public let the public and entirely . this has lots of wrinkles like the colorado baker opening his doors but didn't want to serve some people. that's a lot to argue about again but basically i'm not an absolutist. >> it's okay to not have your mind made up. as we grapple with these. let's turn to a completely different subject that has a lot of portability today, another subject that has to do with how you approach the abortion debate which you had a wonderful way of talking about the heartbeat valve in which you call it a full some provocation. and attempting to have a
debate about viability versus trimester and i want to explore your thinking and how it'received . as well . >> trimesters and viability. did you ever think, what would america in the constitutional law of abortion, that's a phrase that would amaze the founding framers ofour constitution . but what with the constitutional law of abortion be if the number of months involved in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number ? say 11 or 13 . couldn't have trimesters. where did we decide that because the line is divisible by three, there should be different constitutional imperatives for each of the three segments? it makes no sense whatsoever. now, people can say, people who can say really it's an atrocity and roe versus wade is a great triumph or the humancondition , we can agree
people in both caps that it's god-awful constitutional law. john hardy who was pro- choice says so. it was a great professor of law at yale. ruth bader ginsburg had her doubts about the way they did it constitutionally which is why the argument coming up in the mississippi case be argued this fall and decided by next june in the middle of the midterm election. it's going to be momentous. >> but of course all the focus right now is on the texas law which creates this i think god, i'll hear what you think private right of action in order to explore this and sue your doctors and take it to the court. >> i know that some conservatives are impatient with making progress against roe versus wade and not recognizing that patience is
required for constitutional government and the rule of law. patient conservative says will just empower citizens with a of $10,000 to sue people. someone has to say it has the conservatives wait a minute, just wait until california says aregoing to have a private action against the speech will give you $10,000 to drive people in . >> or against weapons that are on the books. >> i'm all for private enterprise but i'm not for outsourcing this kind of law. >> it sounds like you do welcome the court hearing in the case. >> absolutely. viability is going to change. but again, we have to confront the fact that this is what makes us an intractable problem. pro-choice people say one person is involved and pro-life people say there are two individuals involved.
and we're going to have to argue that again. >> you really think it's an intractable problem and you could make the argument about viability with all we know about science now post 1973 and how creamy children can survive outside the will? >> not only can they survive outside the women, intrauterine medicine can do wonders for pre-born children. i'm not saying you can't split the difference. some people on the right to life side safe from the moment of conception on there is a distinctly unique creature who absent violence or accident is going to become a person. you got that and that's true, that's not medial the elegy, that's my school biology but if we had abortion laws much more like those in europe for example.
europe is hardly a theocracy these days. if we had say a limit on abortion of 20 weeks, that would be 95 percent of abortions would still occur and the temperature would go down. >> .you're saying it would be worth it to split the difference. >> basically i'm for splitting differences. >> it would be decided by the court. >> they're terrified roe versus wade might be overturned by nine legislators in this country a lot of who say they won't overturn roe versuswade but in their heart of hearts say spare me that . a lot of americans think if you overturn roe versus wade abortion would be illegal. not true, all we do is established a status quo and reestablish abortion as a subject regular bowl bystate law. and you'd have vast differences .
you have one abortion regime in louisiana and one in new york and they bear no resemblance to one another. >> i know a lot of people on the left were in favor of all of the above abortion rights. if you want to put it that way are looking forward to this because they believe it will energize suburban women going into the 22 elections. this is another debate. arguments are going to be made on this i think it's going to turn into a fight given how emotional this issue is. >> people are emotional about peanut butter these days. they're emotional about everything and you can imagine what it's going to be like . june 2022. >> that will be the day. you have a lot of faith inthe court system . >> i have a lot of faith in them because i think they're behaving well and i have minimal faith in the other two branches of government. >>.
>> my view is that if we're going to have limited government, it depends on the supervision of democracy by the judiciary. congress will not a limit itself and it will not stop violating the nondelegation which the court flinches from enforcing what should which says as john locke says that dissenters can make laws, they cannot make other legislators. so the congress sought to stop delegating the essentially legislative powers to executive agency such as state for example it's not quite random. the power to have an addiction moratorium for the centers for disease control or the power of osha occupational health. health and safety, safety and health administration. to impose mandates on private sector employees. >> ..
going to this technicality on the tax mandate. i find it hard to have a lot of faith in what's coming and that there would be a counter too many things although conservatives get judges out of trump administration. >> guest: depends on what you depends on what you consider that. brown v. board of education which gave the court an enormous prestige infusion because it went against public opinion and everyone knew it. americans remr brown v. the board of
education was against the board of education of topeka, kansas? this was a northern segregation story. the fact is courts exist to stand against majorities. i give you my little central spiel from central illinois. >> host: as a michigander i'd like some who is also from around the midwest. >> guest: lincoln country. champaign county courthouse, typical midwestern, square big red sandstone codis. according to local lore link in a very prosperous traveling railroad lawyer was in the champaign county courthouse and he learned that stephen douglas the illinois senator had succeeded in passing through the senate they kansas-nebraska act. kansas-nebraska act, we are going to solve the problem, this vexing question of should slavery be extended into the territories? his answer was popular sovereignty vote up or down he
said moral indifference whether it's vote up or voted down. important thing is to vote because america's about majority rule. lincoln's assent to greatness begin with this recall against that doctrine. he said no. american is not about a process maturity what that's about the condition liberty. that's forecourts forecourts come in. courts exist to say majority rule is all very well. majority rule should have a broad sweep but not a limitless suite. there are certain things we do not put to a vote. for example, congress shall make no law. congress, even if anyone wants it, can't do it, sorry. some people call this the counter majoritarian dilemma. there was no dilemma. that's why have constitution is to say certain things can't be done. >> host: how much time do you spend reading history? >> guest: a lot. counting is reading, recorded books. i get an up every morning at
5:20. by 5:21 i'm listening to an audible book. and shaven at breakfast and commute to work, walk to lunch, commute home. two and a half, three, three hours a day, otherwise wasted time i'm listening to books most often on history. >> host: you can tell of course by reading how many facts are shoved into every sentence. how much time do you think you spend reading as opposed to writing? i imagine it's enormous on one side of the ledger. >> guest: some say it what you do? are your writer? no, i'm a reader. when i'm reading i write. mostly after reid, henry kissinger once said when you come to washington you start running down your intellectual capital because you got time to replenish it. which might be true if your henry kissinger.
my friend moynihan what once rather rudely said read more books while in the senate the most of his colleagues read. proof that wasn't so. pat kept writing and producing serious books, but the trick in life in washington, really everywhere but particularly here, is to keep your intellectual capital restocked. >> host: said this is a booktv what have impacted you the most? >> guest: gosh. i mean,. >> host: recently he reach of many. there's probably some the pop up in recent memory. >> guest: i i just wrote a biography of john c. calhoun. >> host: okay. >> guest: very bright man, very bad man. >> host: that's a bad, nation. >> guest: a commendation but it's true. he was a very sinewy mind, good thinker and a terrible -- but white supremacy.
>> host: speaking of the bad causes, this column he wrote in 2018 about visiting the holocaust museum here in washington, another place you can go to learn, it's hard to go there to learn about it. obviously you with an the column is called into eternity velma. you tell the story. >> guest: you will have to refresh me. >> host: i can't read from it because i will probably cry over that but it's about a woman who was taken to the camp and her son was taking. she chose to go with the trachea the holocaust museum, some of who discovered it from far away, some photographs about a woman publishes from czechoslovakia and was sent to the death camp, not just a concentration camp but a death camp. i've written a lot about the holocaust including holocaust
museum on the tip of manhattan. because as emily the and italian survive of auschwitz said it happened once, can happen again, in the reason for writing about the holocaust, that nothing is unthinkable, nothing. >> host: the thing that is also striking about it is that you don't write about it to be sad or scare people. you have written after you include this incredibly moving letter the museum presents human natures nobelist as well as violence manifestation. it is reseed 43 million visitors, 90% who are non-jewish. and so that, statistic that you found to put with the story that makes you think as horrible as this was wondering about this and then you dug out the good of it, that this is man's noblest is virtue to do this and i were telling about an sharing in working through it tragic when i
first -- they decided first two build the holocaust museum right next to washington -- these are not bad people criticizing this but they said why? what's the point? what's this got to do with american history? i wrote a column saying look, the mall with its wonderful monuments to washington and jefferson and lincoln is a tribute to bright light of american life, the reasonableness of american experience. it is therefore all the more important that this american nation itself a product of the enlightenment and the confidence the enlightenment thinkers of the late 15th century had, it's important that we have a black son into which to stare, that's the holocaust museum. >> host: it was because of that they asked the call was asked to give with the delegation that went to
poland to auschwitz and other death camps to get hard facts. >> host: what was that like? >> guest: so bring. i off the helicopter, took my then 12-year-old son, we got off the polish helicopter that took us there and my son looked at and said -- >> host: did you ever flinch about taking your 12 euros on? >> guest: no. he looked down at the debt, there's a bone. i said david. sorry, jeff, jeff don't get your imagination run away with you. the guy said that was either a man's rib or finger or child rib. sandy soil of that part of poland just keeps sifting up the remains. >> host: did your son, do talk about it with your son quite a bit after? i'm asking out of personal interest of my own.
children in school take a fifth-grade field trip to the holocaust museum and discovered something i'm dreading but i know they need to know about any think a lot of people have trouble talking about this because it is so difficult. >> host: . >> guest: i went to the holocaust museum in new york and another exhibit and a glass case is a red shoe high-heeled shoe that a woman put on when she was taken to the train. i begin the column saying where did she think she was going? with a red pump. to try to capture the reality of what went through that is a test. >> host: something of the data people to in the past didn't know they were living in the past and we need to always think about that tragic in the past is another country. >> host: yes, yes. the words like authoritarianism and fascism are thrown out a lot
when it comes to our modern political culture. how do you feel about that? to people at understanding of those words? are the necessary? should they be used? >> guest: they should be used when there -- but they rarely are. donald trump is not a fascist. he's not competent enough to be a fascist fascism. fascism had a doctrine, a worldview. it had a biological theory of the world that there is strife is inherent in racists. we don't have that. we have authoritarian temptations. we have autocratic pretensions. fascism we have not had.
>> host: i noticed in your writings you make that argument. i think is probably correct although we should be worried but you come back to this belief that any authoritarian impulses in america would be tempered by the court. what makes you so confident about that? >> guest: because they behave well in the past. even when they make mistakes they correct them. caromont suite. the american people are not too squeamish to face the difficult aspect i spent three weeks on an island across puget sound from seattle. i'm driving around the root and there's little sign that said japanese exclusion memorial. it turns out that after roosevelt, resident franklin roosevelt's signed the order to allow the military to uproot japanese, two-thirds of them american citizens, half of them women and children and move them away from the west coast, the
first one to leave for from the island. bainbridge island said we will place that fact and talk about it and we will have immemorial. the supreme court in the caromont to decision in 1944 affirmed that use of executive power by franklin roosevelt's. 1983 supreme court repudiated the decision and said we were wrong in 1980 believe it was congress voted reparations for this injury. americans are good at this. your question was about the courts. nothing is certain. but the courts have very good record of protecting speech. nasa good in protecting the constitutional equilibrium, that madison gave us between the branches of government but if the courts don't do it, no one will. >> host: i would like you in
this scale history in order to give us perspective people have been so worried about what happens particularly on january 6 when you saw a violent mob deliberately seek out to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, official proceeding. there's court cases winding through for those individuals but i'm not sure that something the court can solve or will solve because it's such an intractable political problem. >> guest: the court shouldn't solve problems. the court should apply the law and hold full up against the constitution. a very short walk from where we're sitting was the base of the capital. they have now put up fences again. they put up fences , you don't think that's necessary. >> translator: think it's an obscenity. it makes the united states look like a banana republic. it's nonsense. the police can surely control a
crowd. if not get better police. but the idea that we have to take the united states capital, the greatest secular building and daily use in the world, and the very symbol at the epicenter of american democracy and protected from that, no. what do you make of the lafayette square that happened when the president cleared the square to walk through? seems sort of different types of problem but there is especially post-9/11 to put up the barriers at every possible opportunity when these things come to front. >> guest: the present use locket square as a prop with the bible which he held upside down, outside st. john's church e so-called church of presence right across from the white house and he brought along chairman of the joint chiefs of
staff millie who understandably felt ill used and should not have let him selfie put in a position. -- let himself be put in that position. i didn't don't get me back on presidents but it's an example of the aspect of her politics that is degrading politics. the senate today is a most entirely performative. people making gestures. courts are different. should they have to give reason, that the right opinions, concurrences and dissent which is why they are, they are really what we do political philosophy in this country. you can say we don't have locked second treatise on government and we don't have -- i think we do because the federalist papers ranks with them but we do as
constitutional lawyers and constitution article is constantly political philosophy about the nature of freedom, freedom as opposed to and as intention with equality we do it all the time. >> host: so you would be against the cameras in the supreme court? >> guest: on not so sure. we've seen recently fedecamaras do not, i want to put this politely, did not bring out the best in congressional committees. committees. i do think that the justices would behave. >> host: might be content if the made the radio transcript available in a more timely fashion. >> guest: exactly. >> host: you mention you would abroad which are sunk i imagine dash of what are the most memorable trips? >> guest: a trip to israel was a great trip. everyone ought to go and see how small it was. >> host: i have never been. >> guest: about you contrive
across in 30 minutes. i think that's probably the most memorable. i remember going to the soviet union and what struck me, it's interesting, what is weird about this place, absence of advertising. >> host: really? >> guest: yet. i think was oscar wilde wrote it would be beautiful if you couldn't read about time square. there's they're still advg because there's no private appetites. you were not supposed to be consumers. you were not supposed to be persuading people. and i said i like advertising. give me a coke sign, bud light and all that stuff. >> host: you're in the business of persuading people in some respect. >> guest: trying. >> host: where do you think people said you may be changed minds in a way that surprised you?
>> guest: i'll tell you the one that didn't. i'm approaching six-figure columns. there's one in this book that may be stored more people -- >> host: backfired. >> guest: it's my jeremiah against then am. >> host: okay. >> guest: this will give me a chance to illustrate how i think i can illustrate large things from small things. i just got tired, you get in an airport concourse and there's a father in his late 30s and his ten-year-old son and their dressed exactly alike. running shoes, blue jeans, t-shirt, and mom is there and she is wearing blue jeans. and i think there was a time when different dress signaled different stages of life, that
we grew up. now, what's this got to do with this? somewhere in the last 20 or 30 years and now parents became a verb. >> host: i believe it -- yes. >> guest: parenting is important. this encouraged the belief in parental perfectionism, that if you do it right, it's like calculus , do you think it is new thing? >> guest: i do. >> host: i want to go back. >> guest: i was ten years old, i thought it would open the back door and i would go out on some at it and maybe come back from lunch, probably for dinner but they didn't care. what is now called free range parenting. it was called being a kid back in those days. you are free to fail and cope with your failures. that was called growing up, learning how to cope with daily. today with helicopter parents hovering over their children,
their bubble wrapped children protected from injury, not just to the little chance and knees and elbow injuries to their psyches. they wind up being risk averse, and guess what happens when they go to college? they say directly to the safe space. i want freedom from speech and i want the bile response team to run right and capture the micro aggressors. that's where these brutal young people on campuses come from. they come from parents who didn't let them go out in skin their knees. >> host: you obviously have a great interest in academia, but i guess why should we care so much what happens on college campuses? tragic because what happens on campus doesn't stay on campus. it leaks out into the larger culture and because what is happening to campuses matters very much.
it took 800 years of passage through ecclesiastical and political thickets to evolve the great universities that are the greatest ornaments of western civilization. you can take that away in a generation or two. we are doing that now. in the name of diversity, very orwellian, in the name of diversity we are seeing forced conformity. >> host: how so? >> guest: we had ten people to attest the reluctant to speak their minds on college campuses. we have speech codes that are being struck down in many cases but they still proliferate. we have speech zones. james madison turn the united states can turn the north american continent into a free-speech zone. gap with some of these -- at one point texas tech had a gazebo,
20 thousands of students, a gazebo is a free-speech zone. you can't make this stuff up. did you know brandeis university once triggered warnings on trigger warnings? yes, because the phrase trigger warning, the word warning makes people unhappy and sad and nervous, and triggers, you know what to make people think of time of what should be done? i have talked to college students. they come to me, that if i do have some kind of idea are right the wrong thing and i posted on facebook or something they could come back to bite me. i could lose a scholarship. there is this kind of thing that's happening where people are afraid to speak and i don't know, i don't have the right advice for them. >> guest: speaking with. find some friends and fight back. write a check to fire, the foundation for individual rights in education.
terrific litigious scrappy group of people who were, they write. green light for good, amber light --, they're so many college rankings. i'm a fire is a wonderful organization that supports students on the left and the right but who's doing it right? >> guest: who -- which colleges or universities? >> guest: i'll give you two. university of chicago with the statement number of universities have adopted. as usual purdue university under mitch daniels, the president we should have had but a great president of purdue university, has made this absolutely clear. free-speech. madison lives in west lafayette or wherever it is. drama okay. i imagine all your call in writing to the applicants have so many conversations, and
people ask you to write things. how do you choose when you all this incoming information and the history is a wonderful resource for taking the most important thing to write every day. there's so many choices. >> guest: that's unusual for you to say those people say howdy come up with things to write about? that's the most commonly asked question of a columnist and it's the question i when i began as a columnist asked my friend bill buckley, said howdy come you come up with things to write about? i would say the world irritates me, i musically, piques my curiosity. the world is just littered with things to write about. it was said of napoleon that he could not look at a landscape without seeing a battlefield. if a conus yacht to be able to come you cant look at the work without saying column topics.
they just come at you. >> host: what is the difference between writing about politics and speaking about? people recognize you all the time. they are completely different things that are so closely related. >> guest: writing is demanding. demanding. writing columns is particularly so because they are sharp. i it here first particularly to 750 word limit which means you have to be concise and you have to be elliptical and you have to intimate certain things. you have to assume certain things. most americans don't read newspapers. a majority of the minority who do read newspapers don't read columns. that's a good thing if you're a columnist, and here's why. it means you got a self-selected audience that is definitely intellectually upscale. the our people will come to the
utterly optional reading the call because are interested in their interest because they have stock of knowledge. it's a great audience. you don't have to talk down to them. you shouldn't talk down to them because they came to you knowing what they're going to get. >> host: final question because i know so interested in other things. i've asked about the history but what are the other colonists you read to keep your mind active and what do you watch, i don't know if you watch most television what else is going into the mind of george will on a daily basis? >> guest: mostly it is reading. chuck blaine wonderful columnist, ruth marcus, colleagues at the "washington post." holman jenkins, baker, others in the "wall street journal." there's an awful lot of talented
writing, the aggregators, real clear politics, real clear policy, real clear world, real clear defense, real clear, you know, conspiracy. tremendous amount of good writing today. >> host: thank you. this has bee >> host: thank you. this is been a pleasure and hope everyone gets the book atpeet tr bookstores available everywhere. thank you so much. >> guest: thank you. yenjoyed it. >> "after words" is available as a podcast. to listen, visit c-span.org/podcasts or search c-span "after words" on your podcast app and watch this and all previous "after words" interviews at booktv.org. just click the "after words" button near the top of the page. >> booktv every sunday on c-span2 features leading authors discussing their latest
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talking with features extensive conversations from historians about their lives and work. many of our television programs are also available as podcasts here you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app over ever you get your podcasts. >> "after words" is a weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. on this weeks program children's hospital of philadelphia infectious diseases division chief and vaccine education center director dr. paul offit talks about the risks associated with medical innovation. .. . he's interviewed by bloomberg school of public health epidemiologist doctor emily gu. >> and obviously, the themes in your book are very relevant for what we are going through today in