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tv   Book Discussion on In the Arena  CSPAN  July 4, 2016 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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talk to him personally. please let him out the door to sign books that people have purchased. and with that, thanks very much for coming here tonight. we appreciate it and please come back again to the mark twain house. [applause] >> this is booktv on c-span2. we want to know what is on your summer reading list. send us your choices at booktv.
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you can post it on our facebook page, or send an email to what is on your summer reading list? booktv wants to know. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, welcome to the heritage foundation. we welcome those who join us on our website. we ask mike courtesy checks of cell phones and other noisemaking devices have been
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muted as a courtesy to our speaker. our internet viewers are welcome to send questions and comments by emailing we will post it on the heritage page for everyone's future reference following today's program. hosting our event is james jay carafano who serves as vice president of the catherine and shelley institute for national security and foreign policy. he is also our ew richardson fellow, graduate of west point and 25 year veteran of the army, adjunct professor at georgetown university and served as visiting professor at the national defense university, serves on the board of trustees of marine corps university foundation and advisory board for the w. point ctr. of overall history, hamilton society and operation renewed hope. join me in welcoming james jay carafano. [applause] >> thank you for coming to what
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should be an extraordinary event. pete is not only a great friend but defines the definition of a great american at harvard. we won't hold that against him. he served in the u.s. army which is another mark in his favor. three combat tours, two bronze stars, combat infantryman badge, extraordinary career in the public sphere including working with fox news. having put his life on the line, not sure what possessed him to write this. courageous, dangerous and politically incorrect, the world in which we live, to write a book about who we are and who we should be. it seems something quaint and old-fashioned and distasteful to aggress anymore.
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those who have walked around the island in the potomac and walked by roosevelt avenue statue and seen some quotes, not just to legacy but the legacy of people who thought this does matter, deciding who we are as essential to being a republican day democracy. maybe there is not a better time for this book and i applaud pete for taking get on and coming here to share his thoughts so pete is going to talk and we will take you and a and we will do that until the end of the hour. we get to q and a, if you would wait for the microphone, raise your hand and wait for pete to recognize you and wait for the microphone so folks listening online can hear the question and state your name and affiliation that would be awesome and we will do that. we always end on time. with that please join me in welcoming the author of "in the arena: good citizens, a great republic, and how 1 speech can reinvigorate america". [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i am grateful for this opportunity. you got the book early, you read it and engaged with it. thank you very much. this feels like a family reunion basically in this audience and i thank all of you for being here. so many wonderful faces, people i have known and worked with and spoke to online, thanks for sticking with us. i think a bunch of people, my former colleagues at concerned vets which make up the bulk of the audience. i wrote this book from four to 8:00 am many mornings while working on cva and it was what we did that was an inspiration for me. you will find a page of the book that is a call to action that is exactly called action so it was always a pleasure to work with you, appreciate the work you
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continue to do, from jay and bill and caroline and sarah and will and sean and amber and emily, kevin and fred and even my brother phil who is in the front row here. i want to thank all of you and who was with us early on, kate was an inspiration for me to write this book, you need to write it and i am glad i did. thanks for being here. i also want to thank my college buddy who is here and it is acknowledged as well in the book. this book would not have happened without matt teaching me to think and write and argue in college and pulled me back from some absurd things i put on pages of publications was he was content editor, thank you for your help on this project. it would not have happened. so many others that are not here, my wife, our boys who i dedicate this book to. i always get laughed. they are great names, good
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southern names in the north. my parents, my brother nate, i want to recognize david, a good friend of mine, fellow traveler of vets for freedom who encouraged this project from the beginning. when i was in iraq and afghanistan i carried with me a quote in a black frame, hung it up wherever i was about the man in the arena. open the first page of the book, you will see it, the quote, not the critic, the man who was in the arena, face marred by blood and sweat who strives valiantly, comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasm, great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause, knows the triumph of high achievement and at worst if he fails fails while daring great
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things so his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. it is a famous quote, many of you have heard it, many are motivated by it as well. this book aims to ask the question of the american people today, this book is not about my life. i'm not audacious enough to believe i should be writing a biography at the age of 35. not a state senator from illinois. this book is not about teddy roosevelt. it channels his historic speech but is not about him. i'm not attempting to litigate his life as a conservative. i'm aware of his progressive lurch and what he gave us in 1912 in the presidency of woodrow wilson. to say teddy roosevelt as an american what fails while daring greatly is generous. it is not about me or roosevelt or litigating where he is on a political spectrum. it is a call to action, it is
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meant to inspire, motivate and remind americans of every generation what makes america special and it is worth fighting for. some of us carried a rifle, many in this generation still do but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. it is r job to instill in every generation the principal to perpetuate what is as you know an experiment, an experiment in human freedom. if the 21st century isn't an american century then the 21st-century will not be a free century, just a fact. look around in the world today, there are threats looming, ideologies that are quite different than ours. something i put in the book throughout is the phrase history is not over. history is never over. all we have to do is look to western europe today to realize that when you decide to get your military to pay for your welfare state and forget who you are you
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have a tendency to end of riding the wave of history as opposed to shaping it. of getting off to a good start is important, no one is more responsible for the 20th century being an american century than teddy roosevelt, the guy who charge up san juan hill in 1898, sent the great white fleet around the world in 1907 and who was the chief agitator for american involvement in world war i. remember woodrow wilson declared he wanted peace without victory which would be i think quite difficult and would be a different looking piece than what we have today. in many ways the 20th century was an american century on the back of teddy roosevelt. as i think about it when i read the entire roosevelt speech that is when i woke up to a powerful quote. the quote itself is powerful, motivating but in some ways there is no value assertion in
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the quote. what is the arena? what does it mean? it is not your arena or my arena. it is the arena, for this exceptional american experiment that was gifted to us 240 years ago and has to be perpetuated in every single generation. we all know the reagan quote, never more than one generation away from extinction, you have to fight for it in every generation. it doesn't get past the next generation. a beautiful quote, but a reminder of a difficult reality on a daily basis. it is one quote of the larger speech called citizenship in a republic and roosevelt gave it in 1910 in front of 3000 french elites at the university of paris. when i read the speech for the first time after looking at the quote and never thinking of the context i was blown away. in many ways it is not pc before
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there was pc. it was to me struck me as the roadmap of what we need in america today in order to restore our republic. why should i stand up and declare what i think of the direction of america when i could channel a fantastic speech, historic speech that has timeless residence and reminds us of the ingredients of republic that are required in every generation the matter what, whether or not we have twitter or facebook or any other number of modern development the ingredients are the same. he posits a simple -- uses the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. not great rulers or even great citizens, necessarily heroic citizens.
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on a daily basis in a gritty way a personal way, understand what it takes to keep and make america the greatest country in the world. good citizens are the only antidote to big government, smaller and more selfish citizens the more unchecked government becomes and history shows us good citizens who understand why america is exceptional and special they are the thin line between freedom and tyranny. they are the ones who understand our american experiment truly is exceptional, not because we are proud or boastful but because we understand that this american experiment when it was first started was just that, and experiment. europe laughed and said a piece of paper? a constitution will stand between you and a tyrant? you are going to hand over power peacefully? there was a sense that it was
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impossible. our founders reminded us our rights come from our creator and not from government. they understood balance of power which is checked, our pride, tyranny, tendency toward tyranny and ambition. they understood freedom of religion as opposed to freedom from religion. they understood amendments like the first and second are indispensable to free peoples, the ability to articulate speech and ideas across the spectrum which roosevelt talked about powerfully in his speech, tolerating different opinions, that is tolerance and the second amendment, the right to bear arms and protect your self and we are a country of laws, not men. of men were angels we would not need these arrangements so he talked about good citizens and good patriots in his speech. good citizens at home and good patriots in the world. that is the breakdown of the book. it is intentionally in that order. i talk about what i talk about on fox and elsewhere, foreign policy, military, national security, there is a lot to talk about but you can't talk about
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american leadership until you talk about restoring and maintaining citizenship. if you don't understand who you are and what you believe and educate that in every generation you can forget about attempting to be the leader in the world or something to project power in controversial or difficult places. you need to shore up the home front first. what is a good citizen? not just voting for jury duty. it is not protesting. those are all ingredients of what you do in republics, what citizens do, voting and all those things are good but roosevelt points out that the gritty, homely virtue, the civic virtue, he uses the word efficient which is usually a word when we think of lightbulbs and starting pitchers, you don't think of it when you think of citizens because his view of citizenship is who are you as an individual and what do you do before deciding how others ought to live. at the first principle is work, earn success, willingness to keep a job and provide for your
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family. strong and virile people, masculine spirit for men and women, strength, vigor and power holding your own, we are a bike helmet culture when we should be thinking about the barbarism of female subjugation in the least. we teach our kids to be wimps, turn men into women and women into men. we need to be willing to stand up and fight for the things we believe in whether it is on a battlefield or here at home. the third is large patriotic families, demographics, roosevelt wrote about demographics and talked about demographics, the anecdote i use often is of an afghan interpreter i spent time within afghanistan, not a radical kid in the united states today, he would risk his life for me and i would for him, and we were talking about religion, christianity, islam and he said it is inevitable that islam will the world. the prophet foretold this. we are having 10 kids and you
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are having one. there was powerful poignant in that phrase. when you look at western europe today, they are getting their military to pay for their welfare state, when you forget who you are, and don't demand allegis to assimilation from populations that separate themselves and have 10 kids while you are having one that is how london becomes the most popular lehman london becomes mohammed for newborn boys and for us to think things like that just go away -- western europe, 75 years ago will look very different. that is not an anti-muslim statement, it is a reality that because they haven't done well in western europe, they are not the melting pot america has been so far they are going to have massive cultural clashes as we have already seen and things like the migrant crisis only accelerates problems. as many of you know europe could be a preview of america.
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the second chapter of the book is about france and what we can learn from france that was a formerly great republics that decided to give away its status by making intentional decisions at home. america can learn from that. our revolution was different from theirs but still a lot to learn. the fourth aspect you can put first is character. whether it is faith or believing in something greater than yourself, george washington said in his first inaugural religion and morality are indispensable supports of a republic. rip out faith and wonder why we get what we get in our culture. i'm not talking social conservatism and in the book as a former -- i'm a social conservative in many ways but ardent social conservative on campus, go to war, learn some things, see some things and realize there are other things
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in my mind that are a more important priority. i don't mean pro-life issues, conservatives should fight every day of the week but we obsess over things like same-sex marriage and it inhibits our ability to talk about the real challenges facing families, facing parents and kids in our culture. then he talks about after you focus on yourself looking outward and talks a lot about equal opportunity which needs to be the lodestar of conservatives and republicans, the party of equal outcome. if we are not a strident don't strive daily to be the party of equal opportunity, we will miss the mark. it is fair to say republicans and conservatives have missed the mark on that for a long time. talking about things like marginal tax rates, when people's mindsets are different and are seeing a massive shift in our economy and the way their
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lives are lived we have clear eyes about attacking that and approaching that and that means not just in burdening regulations, pushing back against dependency for those at the bottom but making sure those at the top play by the same rules. the regulations, the tax code, the lobbyists that rigged the system so those at the top are able to game it to their advantage and in many ways lockout those who would otherwise have social mobility. the left talks about income any quality all the time but we should talk about social mobility, the ability to rise, the ability in this country to have every opportunity your parents or others had in previous generations. you have to start with citizenship. and what undercuts citizens, focused on rights instead of duties, citizenry the believe man is perfect or perfectible and utopian ideas, citizenship invested in moral relativism,
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there is no right or wrong, we see that on the battlefield today. take the abu ghraib prison scandal which was terrible, but no reason the new york times had to put it on the front page three straight days in a row. there is no home team in america in the american press are other places because it is passé to say america is good or i am an american and support the causes we undertake even if they are difficult ones and in many ways often controversial and open to dissent. and class warfare. roosevelt said the end of the republic is at hand when class warfare commences which is what we see whether it is left, right, black, white, male, female, young, old, we have seen classes and genders pitted against each other in the last 7 years which is toxic to the bali politic and citizenship so you start with citizenship because
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without citizenship you can't create the good patriot will be the good patriots on the world stage you need to be. you have seen the bumper sticker think globally, act locally. it is a popular environmental bumper sticker and roosevelt would have written that offense a think locally, act globally. remember who you are and be willing to act globally in defense of those principles which are indispensable, america is worth fighting for. america is exceptional and has been a force for good in the world and by the way winning the wars we fight is a good thing. roosevelt talks about that in the speech. are we are people willing and able to prevail. sounds like a simple question but there are critical moments i write about, iraq, 2005, 2006 when i was there and the iraq
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surge and i see people here who were part of that, the line of freedom and tyranny is often decided in those difficult moments when half the country or a lot of people want to take a politically expedient route and set a timeline for the war, it has been difficult and controversial and costly, let's leave this difficult battlefield. the other half says no. this is the exact moment you need to be willing to double down, you need to be willing to take the fight to the enemy. i have never been more proud than on january 10, 2007, when george w. bush announced the surge in iraq and did the right thing in the face of massive public pressure, double down and defeat a vicious enemy. he said the future of our security depends on baghdad. ask yourself today if he was right. unfortunately he was. the surge did work and it was successful and al qaeda in iraq was largely defeated.
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political progress was happening. by february 2010 joe biden was declaring iraq a great achievement of the obama administration. such a great achievement he happened to visit again a few days ago with political chaos unfolding. he took for granted the stability and gains that were made through greedy decisions and assumed they would perpetuate themselves without understanding how central to feeding islamists in iraq was to their narrative and our narrative. are we a paper tiger that osama bin laden said we were? we retreat from every difficult conflict? if we are scuffed up, are we able to show the resolve of our forefathers and when the wars we fight? that is not a call for endless nationbuilding are fighting every bogeyman on the horizon. it is a recognition that the lesson we should learn from the last 15 years, the lesson we should learn from iraq is resolve works, not all these
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middle eastern wars are terrible, let's nation build at home and that is it. the difficult part of the narrative in the republican and democrat parties moving in the wrong direction, and learn everything we learned in those conflict and what i do over a couple chapters is make the case the iraq war is a war we should learn from about what to do in the right moment as opposed to run from. i think republicans and conservatives should stand confidently in every forum they can and point across the aisle to hillary clinton and barack obama and joe biden and say you are the reason isis has proliferated in iraq and afghanistan. it was american retreat that created those it was your policies that advanced chaos in the region and it is a more complex situation when you unfold every layer of that but ultimately it was lack of military will and lack of political engagement.
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we simply decided we were over iraq. today we have, as roosevelt warned about in his speech, the first president of the united states who considers himself first a citizen of the world and roosevelt talked about that in 1910 warning against those who see themselves first as citizens of the world, whose international feeling for humanity swamps national feeling. he said citizens of the world are usually the worst citizens of their own country because they point out humanity and the amorphous things we can do without focusing on what makes in the republic asked case their country great and worth fighting for. i call these they coexist foreign-policy. another bumper sticker you have seen, makes you throw up in your mouth when you see it.
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that is an example of his mindset blues not the coexisting is bad. coexisting is good but coexisting is a means, not an end. like engagement is a means, not an end. for this administration when asked about his doctrine he said it is to engage. engaging is not a doctrine. it doesn't mean you understand who you are or what you believe in. what you have is a series of progressive elites who went to school at places like princeton and harvard and a lot of us, wonderful people but big believers in the state, big believers in humanity and what we can accomplish if we build another international institution. they are forced to emerge from their utopian ideological cocoons, their safe spaces and trigger warnings and solidarity marches, what happens when the
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world still doesn't want to coexist with the leader is progressive and culturally sensitive as obama? what if isis instead of wanting to coexist is chopping off the heads of christians or iran instead of honoring the steel is cheating on it and will soon have a bomb like north korea did after that deal? or the islamic state pushing gave men off of the building in iraq the same day the white house is lighting up the white house in the hues of the rainbow in solidarity? what if they don't want to coexist? what if instead of hitting a reset button the dictator in russia is redrawing the lines of eastern europe? at that point their mind reads does not compute because they are not on campus anymore in the graduate student lounge. they are the commander in chief and the things they learned on campus that were supposed to lead to perpetual peace turns out the bad guys have very different ideologies, aren't interested in coexisting or engaging on those levels. rather than calling out real threats and abject evil or confronting them, obama, clinton, john kerry and other
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look around in their mediation groups or global climate change their adopted a solitary marches, it self righteously facilitated as graduate students except they don't work, they think the impossible global consensus, they work for peace agreements that have no attachment to military realities on the ground, declare the need to negotiate without precondition, unilaterally withdraw from war without caring what happens in that war, dismiss growing threats as jv and unilaterally declare no boots on the ground, apologized profusely for past sins, send nonlethal aid when the lethal stuff is needed. they seek the moral high ground by leading from behind and declare the use of violence as so 19th century. we try to coexist with a dangerous backward world and it doesn't work so the result in the last 7 years is an
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incoherent maze of intervention, nonintervention, surge that withdrawals, negotiation, and it is utterly incoherent because they don't understand because america's leadership doesn't believe in america, doesn't believe in the use of american power as a tool for freedom and security in the world. we get incoherent like the bin laden raid and the bow bergdahl swap, we get a white house the world doesn't recognize. good patriot after 7 years of as obama what do we need to do? unapologetically lead, be willing to acknowledge without america there is no leader of the free world. it doesn't mean we have to be the policeman in every corner but we better be the world's sheriff with a big shiny badge when we say our security and interests are important to us and when our word matters we backup our allies and stand up to our enemies, we need to be willing to crush the islamic
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state and unleash hell on them by rules of engagement and recognize they are a vicious enemy in the longer they exist, the longer that black flag flies the more vulnerable we are on every front. we need to stand by dissidents who still speak to the freedom we have utterly abandoned. we need to be resolute in talking about things like the iraq war. the book compares iraq to afghanistan, libya, i went to afghanistan wanting to believe we could surge there the way we did, the reality is afghanistan has difficult times with ak-47s. what you can establish in afghanistan is different from what you can accomplish in iraq. this administration cynically said that was a good war and never believing in that cause, read the memoirs, they were never invested their. to send men and women to a battlefront you never believed in and were never invested in and never sent the troops your commanders wanted. when you gave the speech about that war you told the enemy when
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you were going to leave the minute you did. it would be a joke but it is not funny and that is the problem. we also have an electorate seduced by the idea of american disengagement is what is necessary so i try to take on the trends today on national security and foreign policy and explain why as practitioners of the 9/11 generation there are differences of opinion across the spectrum. there is a reason to be proud of what was accomplished even if today the outcomes are worse than murky in many places. i used to say as it pertains to the book and everything else, i thought so make it don't have to. i put on a uniform or carried a rifle so my kids never would. that is just not true. i don't say it anymore. i served knowing my kids will have 2 as well. maybe they will carry a rifle or balance sheet or patriotic reporter or whatever it is, but
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every single generation is going to have to contribute, we are not cogs in an american empire. we are called to be engaged to good citizens in an ongoing experiment. we stand at the doorstep of another woodrow wilson who teddy roosevelt famously tangled with. a man who said on multiple occasions he was too proud to fight. too proud to fight vicious enemies in the world and obama emanates the same sentiment today. teddy roosevelt when he was agitating for american involvement in world war i, he was called the bugle that woke america. he tried to leave the roosevelt division to world war i which never happened but he wanted to lead in front again. we must be awoken again today. our kids in educational institutions, our families, to how critical that incubating capacity is.
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our education -- a policy chapter in the back of the book, simple recommendations, not meant to be conservative carte blanche, didn't write about every issue but about citizenship, equal opportunity and american leadership in five simple things in each category i think would go a long way in trying to restore some of those things in our country. i want to thank you for being here, thank you for being in the arena in different capacities and see people engaged, fighting for the things america represents. it is a difficult fight these days and can be a demoralizing fight and a lot of uncertainty ahead but i encourage you to go back to the founding documents, go back to historical speeches like this and be reminded what our country represents, the types of men and women who perpetuated, had courage in difficult times. go to the back of it and read the speech, it is reprinted in
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the book itself so you can make your own judgments about the speech, a trigger warning, it might are due to enter the arena if you are not already. [applause] >> any questions, friendly or otherwise. >> if you are permitted to answer a question like this i was wondering if you could give your thoughts about donald trump's insistence that the war in iraq was a mistake. >> sure. i have commented about it on national television many times. i will repeat what i said. i take issue with his characterization of the iraq war. this book in many ways is a push back against that narrative.
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we should not be falling in with the move narrative of the war which is what it is. it may feel politically expedient to answer that way to begin with but it is more politically powerful and principled to argue even if you didn't like how we got into the war finishing up properly is important and has massive implications and george w. bush had a successful strategy and this president gave it away. if you want to look at the carnage of isis of iraq and syria, point to the abandonment of iraq and the red line in syria, that hangs on the neck of barack obama and hillary clinton. interesting this campaign has been difficult to litigate for a lot of people. it took jeb bush a week, there have been few moments i have been prouder of republicans on their articulation of iraq. i can only think of one. marco rubio was asked about it and he said it was not a mistake.
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i remember sitting there saying finally, somebody won't cave-in to that narrative. the reality is whoever the commander-in-chief is, to be republican, trump or ted cruz is to unleash total war on the islamic state. what i take issue with is the way people characterize carpet bombing or the willingness to handcuff the enemy, their focus is on doing whatever it takes to destroy the islamic state, not find a way to kill civilians. carpet bombing is not targeting civilians but if we want to know the headquarters of isis, we will bomb it even if there are homes nearby. looking at fuel trucks leading to turkey to sell in the black market, we think the drivers are civilian casualties, we are
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going to bomb oil trucks. it is a difference of this position. mister sean riley? in the back. how are you doing? >> doing all right. you talk about the social issues, on some of them may be there are obsessions. in a lot of ways it has been fought, water under the bridge in a certain sense and you mention the elimination of the white house, a certain sense, the rest of the world does not agree with that issue and look at the way that is litigated in the courts, lack of magnanimity in victories and struggles, they
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are motivated to push back against us. when our foreign policy looks like it will be against their will, seems like you can't ignore the socialist at home in light of -- >> really good point. i would note the hypocrisy of divesting from north carolina but had quartering where being a homosexual is illegal. hypocrisy is rampant on issues like this. the amount of focus and energy that should go -- your opening statement in many ways that issue was whether it was lost the won was lost in the culture. it almost feels like and is a dead horse conservatives could be tempted to continue to eat which prevents us from making --
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marital divorce rates with kids or out of wedlock birth, that should be a focus of tightknit families, dismissed by the media and the left as bigots and unable to make a lot of those core elements but does that mean that is the way the whole world looks at that issue. there are plenty of conservative hoarders in this world and look sideways and say it is -- it affirms for them the absolute immorality in america is totally decadent. it is a point of emphasis at any
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level. do you like that. >> talk about citizenship. outside the political fight we continue to have, the iraq war, social issues and so forth, a lot of us are troubled by the sense of breakdown in cohesion, whether too much time staring at the phone rather than talking to your neighbors, there is in the kind of citizenship being taught, citizenship sometimes more than just voting or basics or engaging in a way that i care
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about -- i care enough to know my neighbors. one of the powerful things, what got you inspired to talk about citizenship. >> as i was writing and researching, i never thought of my parents as inherently political or politically involved, didn't talk about the republican party were democrats, in college was the first time i was introduced to ideologies and perspectives in a meaningful way. when i started reading the speech i realized what good citizens my parents really were. never asked for handouts, never made excuses. my mom watchdogs the pta and the local curriculum which
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embarrassed me as a kid, i couldn't go to certain things at certain times but because she was paying attention to what was taught in the classroom, in the book i don't impugn small families. i think it is a good thing and they raised a family full of boys vital to be competitive and dusted off and love your country. i absorbed a lot of that from basic civic rituals of going to memorial day parade in minnesota and watching the vets watch down the widening streets, i get the chills just thinking about it and korean war vets, a town of 507 minnesota, the whole city is there. it ends at memorial park down by the river, we are memorializing
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those from those tiny little towns which can be replicated anywhere. read the constitution, and citizenship, and a sense to be a productive contributor to the country. and faith and character, and as much as i wanted to rebel against it at many points, the reminder there are things greater than you. someone in my case died on the cross for the sins that you will have in this world is something i carried with me and kept me humble and reminded me who i was in this world. those are important ingredients more than sending -- making sure my kids go to princeton or harvard which is a wonderful and great opportunity that opens
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tons of doors but the more important piece is whether or not they come out of childhoods, school as good citizens so i am from a public school, i went to public school all my life, i am a big believer in public schools, i worry i have to instruct 8 hours of every day they learn in school something very different. we find a way to pay a modest tuition to send them to liberty classical academies up the road from us and driving every day, they learn about patriotism and faith and civics and classics, they may not have a great basketball team which i'm worried about, and the gridiron skills. i feel it will be infused, the world is much different than the assumption that in minnesota, and community values in a way that i was and our educational systems and culture and media have been captured in so many
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places by moral relativism and whether it is progressive elites with a different view of what we should be emphasizing with our kids. i was tempted not to include how to infuse citizenship in a public school level which becomes so political about how you teach the founding documents, how you teach the founders. in the world today, different people with different ideologies control that curriculum you can see it standing quickly into a different narrative of citizenship in the constitution, finding original documents, talk about original documents, reading the constitution, the declaration, the federalist papers and things like that. also talked homeschooling. one recommendation making homeschooling more reluctant -- when i grew up, homeschool kids, you thought they were weird, they are not socialized, that is not the case. i know so many wonderful
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homeschool kids who are wonderfully grounded, wonderfully educated and our amazing citizens in this country. if public schools are not the alternative because you feel you are not being educated the way you want to or can't afford a private school, we should make things like homeschooling more possible, easier, more streamlined. to me, there is a lot that goes into the education of the formal nature of citizenship but it is more about trying to remind -- what roosevelt wrote about, are not sexy, and they are really important. >> worked for the speech here, crowdfunding the next generation
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of awesome, the last question about influencing culture, going through that, come to the holland the weekends, there was very little sense of public awareness of the veteran community. and volunteer military -- it seems families i know, there are ten who served. how do we influence that culture, keep that red-blooded american is alive. >> i'm not a fan of universal service because it devolves into massive growth and things are very disconnected from the original idea. i talked about a more robust sort of decision point, what if we made that little envelope you send back when you are 18 actually meaningful so that you
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are making a real decision about do i want to serve in the military and here is the benefit, bernie sanders talks about free college. the military gives away free college. there are plenty of ways to incentivize, whether it is simply through the tax code or educational benefits or others, real service and investment, you took that step to be part of the minuteman core or something or maybe you are not in the military but how many of us know people who are wonderful patriots who would add themselves to a list to make sure they say i am prepared to go if my country needs me. at the next level a step before the draft, a lot of people would do that because they would feel skin in the game and if that big moment comes i'm ready to carry a rifle for my nation or do this or that. it would be an interesting way.
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it is a passion of mine. what i talk about in the book is the way entrenched interests in washington and entitled crony classes protect what they have and prevent meaningful change from happening and a lot of the work i have done and a lot of people here have done is the department of veterans affairs and there is no better example of that than the va. ongoing efforts that i was involved in are met by a brick wall by those who are supposed to be for reform systems that are broken and here we are two years after the scandal and things are no better. in many places they have gotten worse. no one is being held accountable. the white house has no interest
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in this. it is a political issue they tried to prevent from the beginning. the va will stifle reforms, bob mcdonald has been an utter failure as va secretary, captured by the bureaucracy the minute he came in. i talk about civil service reform, and across government and those who's work in our government are held accountable. and a basic principle, and unions gave a grip on that and special interests. you talk about establishment, special interest exist everywhere including the that space. and unwilling to change, and the white house cocktail party and play nice with everybody at all times that stifle basic choice, things like accountability, and
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impugn and attack their opponents, internet argument is always another 5 billion or the va will fix it. if you want some fun reading, read a 29 page document focused on me by other organizations, a hit list of everything i have done in my life because they don't want to argue the merits of the issue or issue a report lays out what real reform look like, and mischaracterize it. and it is hard to be a good citizen in that environment, the spectrum of government and every level of government and every place there will be a critic. and you will fail again and again and all they want you to do is quit. at every level, the school board wants you to quit, local government wants you to quit, the va wants you to quit, we can
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all keep our jobs, and nothing will have to change. and everyone over promises and never delivers. what i hope this book will do is remind people that the fight is worth it, you're never going to get it the first try or the first year, it is the sustained iteration of truth. in the advocacy of individuals and organizations, having the courage to believe in america, believe in what it represents, not cower from those who have a new idea what it means and a document like roosevelt's speech is a reminder of that. >> other than fixing the va, what is the thing we as citizens, particularly as it
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attaches that issue. >> the first thing we talk about in the auditorium, recognizing and raising awareness facing veterans community, and the caricature they are taking -- ticking time bombs who are inevitably broken goods and damaged goods. it is empowering them to any number of vehicles, through education, opportunities, small business thing, these guys are going to be guys and gals who are future leaders who will rebuild the country, rebuild communities, civic organizations, schools, the core of people in america who understand what it means to serve something greater than themselves and been in an arena in places that were controversial and didn't publicly support them the whole time. and get it done quite
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successfully. i am confident them and their families and those around them provide the nucleus of the types of votes that are out there and make sure the 21st century is an american century as well. i say this on the defend freedom tour, and the basement plan, world of warcraft and watch tmc. they have no idea, they are existing in this country without a sense of where it comes from and why it matters. it has to be those, if we do so saying america gets it but we will get steamrolled and if you don't educate and remind yourself what makes this place special and our founders truly did something exceptional, you will get steamrolled and education up front is the beginning and finding the courage, in one capacity and we
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will charge again. before i ask you to join with me in thanking the other in the arena, and stick around if you want your book signed. [applause] >> the heart of the problem is too many principles and school
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boards don't know or understand the limits of constitution places on their ability to control what students say and others disregard a lot because they don't like it. someone i talked to in formally said i have a censorship story either from their own days, long time teachers incredulously told me they had no idea they had first amendment rights and asked where i had come up with such a creative notion. i have to begin by giving you a whirlwind tour of first amendment doctrine is applies to students and i will turn to stories that capture the particular contemporary dilemmas. the speech clause of the first amendment is very concise. congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. as interpreted this means the government and anyone acting on behalf of the government may not
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silence speech because of its content or viewpoint. school districts and everyone who works for them from principals to teachers to school bus drivers are the government when we talk about students. research and comments today are limited to public schools because the first amendment doesn't apply to independent schools whether secular or religious, they are not the government. and students rights in 1943, one of the earliest cases that actually upheld, barnett versus west virginia involved elementary school students that were jehovah's witnesses at risk of expulsion and being sent to a juvenile reformatory because they refused to say the pledge of allegiance on the ground that it offended their religion. it was not litigated or
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interpreted as a religious case. the consequences of speaking up and being punished can be dire. students enter the pipeline as a result of being suspended, expelled, and engaged in protected speech so just like jehovah's witnesses in 1943, the consequences are stark. barnett held people including young students could be forced to say what was not in their mind. a concept we today called the rule against compelled speech. it emphasized constitutional limits on the accord weather exercised by, quote, village tyrants. it underscored that the first amendment was designed to protect nonconformist of all stripes. the case involved two elementary
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school girls. because schools educate young citizenship, they must scrupulously protect individual rights if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach you to discount important principles of government. >> you can watch this and other programs c-span brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> kathy grillo is senior vice president and our guest on the communicators. what do you do at verizon? >> i'm in charge of public policy stuff, federal, state, regulatory, legislative, legal responsibilities too, i cover


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