tv Interview with Chris Stirewalt Every Man a King CSPAN January 14, 2019 2:07am-2:19am EST
meantime from the campus of miami-dade college, chris stirewalt is joining us. he is the political editor for fox news and author of this book. every man a king, a short colorful history of american populace. you write in this book that andrew jackson was probably our first celebrity president in your view. why do you say that? >> well, the battle of new orleans was a pretty big deal.
and also, the ability to reproduce color print in large numbers made it possible for poor people and ordinary people to have art in their home. as it happens, jackson who really also had probably the first real kitchen cabinet campaign team in the real sense, they knew that topping out those lithographs and you saw them in your history books. jackson and a hat on the back of a stallion, standing in front of the battle scene in new orleans. that went out in thousands and tens of thousands of american homes and hung over the mantelpiece. if you were a scott irish-american, if you were part of the farmer mechanic class, andrew jackson was a perfect hero for you. and he was, that battle was an event for these folks politically.a really big deal.
>> was he a populist? >> yeah! >> what do you mean by that? >> populism i don't they belong to any party. it doesn't belong to any ideology. and it is not an ideology itself. populism is a belief or maybe a method that says, there's a group of people who have been victimized or aggrieved. they have a grievance they feel is legitimate. they believe the grievance has been inflicted on them by people in power by elites. now they're going to take the power back. and that is populism. you can have this on the left with bernie sanders, you can have it on the right with donald trump. populism is about grievance and people who think they've gotten a raw deal. there is an intersection between -- because the road so you think you might be getting may not be true at all. there is that and conspiracy theorizing in all of that stuff. but in its purest sense, when andrew jackson was saying, and he is a purely populist. his father was an immigrant who died penniless. probably a squatter. his mother essentially had to work as a servant for her own sister. he was an orphan at 15 or so.
he had no means, he had no access. but he was part of the vanguard of the largest unforced migration of human beings to that point in history. the scott irish probably 1/4 million scots irish come to the united states. this is a new immigrant class despised by the elite, they return the favor. but as they move west, their political power grows, jackson then gets to be their leader. he gets to do that. is a perfect populist insurgency. >> -- is on the cover, how is he a populist? and what was the social turbulence going on at the time that helped him along? >> he is populace not just because he was crazy. but he became more populist as he got crazier. was about was a progressive and was definitely an elite. and as he starts out, he is an accidental president. he takes office, but of course, teddy roosevelt being the cockiness person has ever lived essentially, treat it like a
mandate and immediately takes this mckinley conservatism, rips up and turns it into his new mandate.and he has ideas about everything. he has a plan for how the shipment should you calisthenics, he's got a plan of every single part of the government he wants to touch everything that is a progressive not a populist yet. what happens for him, he leaves william howard taft and the republican congress very explicit instructions about what they are supposed to do when he goes and testicle ever- are supposed to do when he goes to kill every rhinoceros in africa. then he comes back and launches his run for another full term as president in the republican primary, taft digs in his heels
and the republican primaries of 1912 are amazing to study and see. if you think there is violence in american politics today, we are talking about they had to hide barbed wire at the republican convention in chicago because they're pretty certain that there would be a mob attack. when you listen to, when you read what roosevelt was saying to his supporters, thousands of them in the streets outside of his hotel in chicago, who talk about the battle of armageddon. there had been violence and state conventions across the country. the national guard had been deployed. that was definitely a moment that we might recognize today. >> chris stirewalt, teddy roosevelt history is a little sterilized from what you're reporting. >> oh yeah! we have mount rushmore teddy was up here by the end of his life he is sort of gone back. but when he did in that election, the only paved the way for woodrow wilson because they divided the republicans against themselves but also, was barack obama shows, to
deliver his speech for his second term mandate about the things that he wanted to do on the progressive front. because that was where roosevelt had done his square deal. if you go back and read what teddy roosevelt was offering his square deal, it was very liberal! super -- it was universal healthcare, all of these things and he was doing as a populist. he was no longer doing this as, one of his ideas for example is that you should be allowed to overturn judicial decisions by plebiscite. she could have a vote. if we don't like the judge's decision, we can referendum on the judicial ruling and overturn that. that doesn't sound very republican. >> all right, bring us up to today. is donald trump a populist? >> oh, 100 percent. 110 percent! >> walk us through what he is 150 percent populist. >> outside about the two donald trump 's. when we meet in 2000 when he runs for the reform party.
is a populist, he said that he had to run against pat buchanan because pat buchanan was a nazi who hated blacks, hated jews and was going to run to save that party of ross perot. we are going to focus on trade, on what they called the jobs going south of nafta. that was going to be donald trump focus. that was back when he was pro-choice, social issues were a distraction. with the focus on the separate pat buchanan is crazy, we don't want to talk about him. then we see donald trump again when he reemerges in the political world, it is coming after obama for allegedly forging his birth certificate. and what he learned along the way his assent that pat buchanan learned from george wallace. which is, on the right, social issues cut harder than economic ones.
and on the right -- so, this is i think manifesting itself in the world right now what's going on with populism. social issues, cultural populism is the promise of the right and economic populism is that province on the left substantially. bernie sanders and donald trump are both populist. bernie sanders is a liberal populist who thinks we need medicare for all, we need to do these things because the problems are income inequality and economic in nature. donald trump says, our problems are cultural in nature. we have too many immigrants. people don't say merry christmas anymore. we have all of these problems. and they are all cultural problems. george wallace, what he found out after leaving alabama, the most interesting chapter in this in a lot of ways is talking about wallace. going to wisconsin in 1964. he had been in wisconsin to give a speech and he found all these people who were digging him. he was a very controversial figure in 1964. he already stood in the door at
the university of alabama to prevent integration. it was a stunt and he knew it was not going to work but it made him a national figure. he was shocked when he went to wisconsin. he found all of these people interested in his message. excuse me. when he goes back and runs in 1964, he figured something out. cultural issues transcend economic issues. they transcend a lot of things. people are concerned about change, people upset about the direction of the country, that is powerful stuff. >> before we go to the next event here, want to make sure that we mentioned two populist. when you mentioned which is ross perot. but when i heard or hear the word populism, i think immediately of huey long of louisiana. >> well, i mean he we long, i should have paid for the privilege of writing about him. hewey long is cruel, corrupt
and awful. but in his white double-breasted suit, shaking up a gin fizz behind the hotel and the new yorker. colorful, crooked and i would say this about populism. there were plenty of people that knew that hewey long was a crook. and voted for him anyway. or supported him anyway. because they believe that he was a crook on their side. they did not think he was a good guy. he thought he was there bad guy. and that was a powerful thing. and you're dealing with grievance and grievance is where you at, is a powerful thing. you do not need a good -- and think donald trump would agree you don't need a good guy. >> and the new book that just came out. every man a king. , a short colorful history of