tv After Words Fmr. Gov. Mark Sanford R-SC Two Roads Diverged CSPAN October 17, 2021 8:02pm-9:06pm EDT
weighs in on the future of the republican party. >> it's great to be with my good friend for governor, former congressman mark sanford and we're here this morning to discuss his book, two roads diverged and i'm really excited to talk about this because this book talks quite a bit about second chances. i notice that congressman sanford is a great admirer of the author robert frost who is one of his classic lines of course was two roads diverged in a wood and i took
the one less traveled by. that has made all theed difference . that's what this book seems to be about. your personal journey, your highs and your lows and we've been so impressed by your ability to discuss your roads and we can often do that with a sort of self-deprecating humor where you understand the seriousness of the issues but also are able to then not think too highly ofyourself . you can acknowledge your shortcomings in a way that speaks to a humility that i think many of us would admire. but with that i thought i'd start off by just asking you mark, your thoughts. >> i think the same thing that motivated you to speak out as you so consistently have . just in a frustration with
what has become of the party. what's become of politics oflate . the way in which there has evil if you will a rapid charger from certain tenets that are for the republican party which are important in terms s of the national debate. so it was sort of a chance to speak out one last time. it doesn't mean that you still don't care. it doesn'tmean you still don't want a voice in this larger debate .ouit had been taking place inthis country . >> you and i guess are different than most, we saw when the former president makes statements that were clearly out of bounds or far beyond the reverence of benches we would state that we disagreed and here's why. i guess the other question i
have is why do you think more of our former colleagues who knew better and are good people just chose either to be silent or to go along and as you point out in two roads traveled often times it's easier to go down the path most traveled. and why do you thought they took the easy route. >> i think there are three reasons. one is a lot of the folks the name of the game is staying in thegame. it's not about ideas and ideals . they're good people but they're fairly elastic on some of the things that they believe relative to the core mission which is staying in the gamei think that's part of it . another part is we both remember that saying in washington was its the piety
who end up with the arrows in the back so when an issue is high you can't push a politician away from the microphone or the television camera but until it is , people on both sides of the aisle are surprisingly conservative in their approach to new ordifferent issues or ones thatthey are. >> sure about . and then finally i would say a lot of is just raw pragmatism. if you talk to lindsey graham who i began with in politics in south carolina, he would say it's the cost of admission. and therefore i've got to say what i've got to say but keeps me in the game and therefore i will pay the cost of admission. i think it's a combination of those things. but the bottom line is it's disappointing because an equally important thing is the only way that evil
prevails in this world is when good people don't speak up. so i admire so much the way you spoke up so consistently from the verybeginning . i wish more of our colleagues had a. >> i often think now that politics has become not just tribal but situational. if my guy does it it's fine. if your guy does it it's a human rights violation . and a few years forward the shoe is on the other foot. >> this last week nikki haley again followed me in the governorship of south carolina has spoken of loud and clear about how outrageous she thinks it would be if the biden administration negotiated with the caliban. that's a viewpoint but the problem is as we know a couple months ago she was saying the opposite as she praised pompeo and their team
and saying it's all going according to plan . because the trump administration was to negotiate with the taliban. it's to the point of insanity of how tribal it is. one day it's a good idea and now it's a bad idea . that is lethal in an open political system because our founding fathers gave us as we both know a reason based republic and ifwe lose that , we lose one of the major schools or glue that holds our system in place. just because the guy at the top says it's so it must be so. that's not thet way our system is supposed to work . >> you and i came from the school where we thought it was important to be fairly consistent. i get it, politics sometimes we have to adjust. circumstances change and we sometimes have to diverge from where we ordinarily might be on a given policy issue and that's to be expected in politics with the
compromises and all the concessions you have to do to get through an agreement. sometimes you have to bend a little bit but at the same time i'm just amazed how some could be so inconsistent. and could just, i'll take an example. an issue like trade where i thought a core tenet of the republican party was that we believe in opening markets and freer trade was better. we believe markets should be open for american producers and growers and manufacturers etc.. and the president came out and was going to impose tariffs on places like canada and mexico and brazil and european cars . i thought this was a core principle that was being violated and so many said g nothing i. there was so little action.
even the kinds of things that i thought wow, you're a lot more conservative than i am and iwas more of a moderate . i kind of got a kick out of that that all these people who i called the rhino hunters, people i would refer to as the self dedicated chiefs of the republican tyranny police, the litmus test became what it would be to the president versus any set of ideals. >> what's particularly crazy about that is as you well know the measure that was in imposing their quotas on canada was a national security measure. so the way in which people could with a straight face say okay, the president is really tstwisting the law beyond belief. how in the world one of our longest term allies couldbe now a national security t threat , canada is beyond belief but okay, we'll keep a
straight face and will not only be against this but we will look the other way as the president uses a national security measure against canada, one of our top allies . >> it's funny you say that because i was charged with the appropriations subcommittee on military construction and the va which included the battle alignments position so i took time not only to visit the american gravesite but the british andcanadian cemeteries . i keep saying they died alongside us and now there a national security threat and they're fighting with us in afghanistan and our dearest friends and partners and allies but they have been true friends and i just thought that was such an egregious thing to do. by the way we exported more more to canada than they thdid
to us so i never. >>figured it out . i want to get back to the book here for a second. one thing i thought was interesting in your book was in your parting thoughts in that section and in the epilogue work pistols as you refer to them as, you have one there and i want to bring it up. it was a memo to congressman jim jordan and in it you write indeed over the last 60 years that i was in congress i thought i got to know people like you and meadows and mulvaney but as the ideals were abandoned over the last few years so the caucus could stay relevant and you were marked in regular calls for the president i felt i didn'tknow you at all . that's what you said. i thought you might want to comment on some of these y vessels . you referred to other t leading republicans and i but it was
interesting that you did at vessels to act evangelical christians. to voters, to democrats to josh hawley, matt gates, pelosi. why don't you talk about those pistols? >> i just think it's important in life to call it like you see it. nobody has the perfect view of truth but there is a thing called truth out there and it has become so elastic in the world of politics that is incredibly disturbing setting a lot of regular folks out there who are going about their lives and hoping that the political process is indeed watching out for them. so you take the example of jim jordan. this is a group who chose the freedom caucus of which i was a part. initially was very much
opposed to trump but then they completely with the exception of justin olmos was left congress as well completely flipped and become absolutely subservient to him . that's not a little bit of a rotation on an issue based on information or based on input from voters. it is atjust raw, crass pandora. i thought it was particularly disturbing with people like meadows or jordan or mulvaney from my home state. i don't remember mulvaney talking about look, if it takes shutting down the government utthen that's what we've got to do because this national debt is of such importance. it's a systemic threat to our civilization. we've got to do whatever we
can do to throw a monkeywrench into the equation. again, that's a viewpoint. >> he shut it down's but the problem was only a matter of months later he becomes omd director under the trump administration and completely reverses his opinion. i got into it with him in a budget committee hearing where i somehow made national news when i said the obvious that this budget is alive because the numbers in no way added up and yet here's a guy who was thsaying one thing about the importance of the debt a few months earlier and completely abandons that idea a matter of months later and i think that's peincredibly disturbing and it's part of what turns people off the politics, particularly part of what's turning young people off to the republican party of late based on them saying i don't always love mom or dad but whatever's going on in washington is so
opposite of what they're trying to do with me that i'm out. the movement is whether it's working moms are young people, losing vital chunks to its team if you will based on people like jordan or mulvaney or others. saying one thing one moment and doing something completely opposite the next. >> we're back to the situational nature ofpolitics again . where one stands depends on where once it's. so when he had that on the budget committee he had one set of policies and then when he became omd director a different set of positions. that's really what's so disturbing to so many people out there. and you may disagree with this but i'm curious to get your thoughts . when you look at what happens in congress today, i've often felt that's the center-right,
for the centerleft of the american political spectrum is not well represented or i should say isunderrepresented in the u.s.congress . more in the house and senate but certainly in the house . i know you are more to the right of the political spectrum but i've noticed that because nobody would have ever called you a liberal or a squish or a rino or a moderate or centrist. no one had ever called you back. you're a very strong principled conservative. and now because you've spoken against the formerpresident, there are people who think you're a moderate .my head is ready to explode when i hear some of thesethings . >> to your point, i'm a guy who carried to live squealing pigs into the statehouse decrying the governor to fork over some constitutional mandate in our state. i've thbeen about as far out there on the knot job category as you can get.
i've been way out there and yet in the age of trump i was viewed as a squish, rino, establishment. there's not one road or bridge named after me in south carolina. i've consistently fought the establishment but i was a squish. here's a telling thing. after my loss s the next night i had pre-organized tour in the capital and so i was there with folks from home and giving the tour. i round the corner and who should be there but jeff flake and his wife having a tour as well. so i don't think you've ever lost an election but if you have, they treat you like you have now rigor mortis or terminal illness or somebody close in the family died. everybody that day was solicitous i'm so sorry. so jeff and his wife grabbed me, pulled me aside and we sigot into a conversation and
they're like we really wanted to have another term in the senate but we saw the handwriting onthe wall based on what t happened to you . and wedidn't want that . so we're getting out but he said tell me more about the election and i said it was a really weird one. people would come up and say are you for or against trump? i'm neither for or against him, i'm for those ideas and they kept giving back to one question, are you for or against trump and jeff says that's so weird because thousands of miles away in arizona that was the one question people ask me, are you for or against trump and it became a litmus test for our human establishment or part of thesystem . that's a crazy rreference point when you begin to look to one person as your litmus test in again, the system with our founding fathers and what they gave us which is
allabout not basing things on one person . >> i'm glad you brought up jeff and cheryl flake. he was my partner for years in congress and i was going to bring him up anyway but you mentioned that because nobody would have ever called a moderate or a centrist and we served with him in the house and this was a man who would go to the house floor and challenge every single earmark and appropriation bill and he would get beaten like aredheaded mule . he was a happy warrior and even people who disagreed with jeff flake liked him. he's a very, he's got a very good spirit about him. he has strong principles and he doesn't bend on them but he tries to be fair and aboveboard. but the same thing with him. he was also called a centrist or a moderate or a squish or a rino or all these. wouldn't you call yourself? >> whatever i was being
polite. i just said you're kind of on the right wing of thespectrum . >> here's the important part which is to the credit of where you and others stood, though i was extreme right, that was simply a bargaining tool for where i wanted the overall system to get. a little bit more. but you always compromise to the middle because that's the nature of our system. and what to your point has gone out the window of late with extreme rights, extreme left is we all about the center of the american political base and we do so at great danger because the center has been again, what the glue that held our system together. we got 300+ million people with a lot of different viewpoints and theability to say i'm over here and you're
over here and end of the day we can get this and let's strike a deal and keep moving . you lose that,again our system doesn't work . you need only look to the king or queen or dictator to come up with a solution because you won't find it if you can't negotiate to the center.. >> interestingly enough you also in your book right officials to nancy pelosi and joe biden and democrats and my observation has been that the leadership from both parties in the house and i won't comment so much on the senate but in the house is that they tend to be much more captive to the harder elements of the base within their caucuses. that is that they will, that's where their support is as leaders. so that's where the numbers are. you atake some disagreements like this bipartisan infrastructure bill for example where this deal wasn't hashed out by leaders. it was hashed out by the more pragmatic i say more centrist
members through the senate and to a certain extent in the house who are also participating in the problem solvers office so i look at that and say we're the ones who should be obreally trying to help put those compromises together. i don't think they're capable of doing it. you take schumer, he's got to watch his flank right now. aoc may primary him. mccarthy wants to be speaker and he's worried about elements of the freedom caucus and others who will try to take him down again. as they did in 2015 when he tried to elevate the speakers so there's no real incentive for them it seems to try to find that consensus or compromise. i think they ought to do it but there's nodanger in doing it . so if you leave it to these gangs or groups in the senate
and house, thatkind of gives you a little bit of a cover up the whole point is i thought that was aleaders job ? >> once upon a time . >> why don't you talk about some of those epistles to the democrats because i'm surprised to for example with the biden agenda. i am very surprised frankly that i thought his mandate was to bring back some measure of normality and its ability to the functioning of the white house and the government moregenerally . address the crisis more thoughtfully than his predecessor did. and to really right the ship of state but it's really a call for incrementalism, or more of an extreme transformation and i think this mandate has been misread . by many on the democratic side atby going as big as they have particularly on the
spendingside . and i'm a little surprised by it all that there has been more pushback although i think there's more now but i'm curious what your thoughts were and what your message was to the democrats. >> that is indeed part of the different missiles that i wrote whether to nancy or the president. and that is as you take the case of biden, not illogically people survive based on his long tenure in the senate and if an institutional push towards moderation that he would be moderate and he would govern as a moderate and people were bursting for that, we're tired of the bombast. let's just try as you put it incrementalism. little steps before we start running wild in either direction. and he to your point hasn't governed as much that way as
people i think thought he would or at least down here in south carolina. and i think that's to his detriment. i think there's a real urge for moderate, sensible efficient governance out of f the white house . after trump. people are thirsty for that but the spending has gone knots. it went nuts under from swatch to be fair and you saw that another $8 trillion of debt added to the national debt and you've seen that financial recklessness continue under the biden administration . i think these chickens will soon come home to roost. there are a few things that threaten the civilization. one is too much in the way spending and i think reinhardt thought wrote an interesting book about how some of the methodology was
questioned but the larger premise was accurate and that is they looked at the last hundred years of financial history in governance and they found overwhelmingly that juncture points when basically a civilization had to decide we go back to remaining committed on competitive in the world power or do we stay in this happy but ultimately unsustainable cycle of spending and consumption, nine times out of 10 policymakers said this time it's different and of course it never was. gravity always works, mass always works and it was the siege of that civilization so we have a finance that requires moderation that we're not seeing right now and again part of that was the buildup we saw under trump and other republican presidents. but part of it right nowis on the democratic side . you don't want that drop while you're in office.
that's one threat and the other threat is what we've been talking about witches brought tribalism . a democratic system that's not designed for tribalism and either one of those threats can kill off the blessing that we've seen in the american experiment. it's important when you think about the way in which ntthe last president lothreatened a lot of institutional mores and traditions that had been the glue that held our system together and the founding fathers said the division of power personally, the real clue hasbeen a peaceful transition of power . it has been the idea that there's truth and that alliance really does exist. you go down the list ofthings , the notion that we have not arrayed electoral system, all those little things contribute to people's trust in the system. you lose trust in the system again in an open political system you lose it all.
stso it's a long-winded way of saying i think a bit of moderation would go a long way right now. >> i couldn't agree more. and i'll tell you before we continue on this conversation on the policy side i want to get back to the book. you talk about your own personal journey and the challenges you have in your life, the successes and let's talk about something that's a bit more difficult to talk about when you talk about your marriage obviously ended in divorce with what had happened when you were governor and can you talk about that? i've heard you often times talk about in a very self-deprecating way your own personal shortcomings and how that's made you a better and thoughtful and more reflective person. >> i hate the way in which politics and politicians
these days are real and some measure of authenticity is important if you're trying to make a case. the case i'm trying to make is we are at a major inflection point in our country. we have threats whether it's in the financial side for tribalism and a number of other things and we better turn the curve here or we got really bad stuff coming our way. i think to make that case, you need some measure of credibility and part of it i had is six terms in the house and 2 terms as governor and a variety of other things but who am i as a person to speak about this ? part of the reason i have spoken up when trump came along about truth and its significance is my own deficiency on that front in 2009. i told a little white lie intended for one person and turned out it became a national headline andnational
joke . if anybodyasks , that was never intended for the media. it was disseminated, it was intended for one person my wife who was we were in a trial separation and it led to a rather searing personal experience in the last year and a half in the governorship teand some rather intense conversations with the boysand supporters and friends and family . >> .. >> .. in the trump administration i was left with no other choice than to speak out. i wasn't being a hero, i wasn't being as brave as you were. it's just i had an experience
that locked into me where i had to be, particularly as a relates to the audience i care about most of which is an audience of four, my four sons sons. and again the gravity and sensitivity of the situation we've had over the years. here's a little example. back c when i wasn't in congress this last go around, a reporter comes up sticks a microphone in my face and says to think whoever the next domination is should release their tax returns? and i say yeah. it's a 50 year tradition, but really in some ways it has little to do with presidential returns and everything to do with down ballot returns. at that point i was either one of one or either one or two, i can't member if charlie crist was back then but the only former governor was in the house or again one of two, two is not
illogical the report was come to ask me this question and so i say at his everything to do with why you are asking the question which a is i didn't release my nomination of both times for the gubernatorial runr in south carolina, and believe me if you quit doing it for presidential level folks at the gubernatorial level will stop doing it. i think that added peace of transparency has value, therefore it ought to continue. fast forward trump gets the nomination, same reporter comes back and sticks a microphone in your face and you're left with this sort of pretty easy question. you know the politics which is not to get the same answer you gave before, you are not dumb but you also know the conversation that you had with your four sons are truth and what it means and this rather serving personal journey went on. say give the exact same answer. what's that lead to? it leads to being there on the floor of the house there in the well and speaker comes up to me, speaker ryan cookies like what's the deal? what do you mean? why are you gunning for trump?
i'm not gunning for trump? he says t i was just out at the white house in the oval office, the guy has 535 knuckleheads to worry about and is bringing one name up, yours, your gunning for him on the tax return. no, no, i'm not gunning for me. i'm just trying to be consistent with the answer i gave last time.g- that's a long-winded way of saying i think we all have personal journeys. i think it's important to acknowledge where you come up short. i include that in the book because it's aec way of being transparent about the fact i have come up short in life but morefe importantly i've learned some lessons from the journey that i think has everything to do with why i spoken up against trump or what i speak outage of the things that i a do now. it's obviously very difficult and courageous to do so because most elected officials politicians are much better talked to all the things they think they're doing right and all the good things are doing.
and ten try to not talk about anything they have done wrong or made mistakes on. give you credit. that truly out of the box so to speak from the perspective of an elected official. i do get a kick out of what you said that the same answer twice. in other words, because the situation changed why should your response had changed? you made that statement when you were governor and -- >> guest: i made it before trump out the nomination and then he got the nomination, the same reporter came back and ask the question again. >> host: that was part of the challenge we all face, that reporters chef microphones interfaces and i remember one in particular i was walking between the capitol hill club and the office building a reporter put a microphone in my face and said what do you think of donald
trump's comments about i think it was ms. venezuela where he said she was too heavy? disparaging comments about this beauty contest, whatever, , this universe or miss world. i didn't pay that much close attention to but obviously it's an appropriate. i forget it is a candidate at the time. if you're running for president you really shouldn't be talking about that. relevant what you're doing and that attack are out of bounds and unfair. people say why are you attacking the president? i was of the opinion if somebody says something outrageous, pick on steve king, he makes a racial incendiary comment and then you are asked about it and you condemn the comment and then i'm not saying he, but they come back in same why did you
badmouth? i set doesn't he always the apology? is not the other way around. it's about him. it's about him. what struck me was it was so different. they were yelling at the firefighters rather than the arsonists. >> guest: right, right, right. >> host: i just will never in my life understand it. i have to explained it is a mike in stitches but why do you say these things? because i get asked questions publicly and they say why don't you just avoid the question? who elected me to lead. not to hide. sometimes reporters say why didn't you take a low-profile. i said i would rather have to answer those questions. i think i look foolish if i avoid the question altogether and pretend i didn't hear it. >> guest: that's what we need more of in politics, the degree
to which people will either completely twist themselves in a not avoiding the question or the degree to which they will change the subject and answers some other random question or just on answer it at all is crazy. and again leads to people distrust and cynicism of all actors in the political system and that's unfortunate. >> host: it speaks to leadership. you were a governor. congressman governor inslee know what it's like. as a governor you had to be come present proposals to the legislature. and you're to help direct them. they would chop on your proposals, say what they will come something they like, dislike and then you have to hash it out. that's what leadership is about. i think we have kind of lost a lot of that in recent years. my traditional notion of leadership and yours i think is kind of been turned on its head
in many respects. >> guest: i agree. it's funny, jim edwards who was governor years ago and has passed but a great guy, i remember going when a first cut elected governor to each of the other living governors in south carolina and sitting down different than just asking their advice, like i've never done this before but i would love to get your wisdom on any lessons learned that you might pass along to someone who is new to the club. i remember jim edwards telling me he said you better start making friends now. because the nature of leadership is you've got to make a call and with every call you make your going to offend somebody and you will start losing friends so start making friends now. instead two-point we ended up with a bunch of pastry chefs. they wander around the halls of congress or the districts and hey come don't like this desert, try this one or try this one. there endlessly trying to place which is a long way of someone
like abraham lincoln who made some incredibly tough calls but he called it and offend e people in the process but that is the nature of leadership. you have to make the call, one flavor or the other. >> host: yeah, that's exactly right. what i found is iphone our constituents could take the truth. i would have town hall meetings and i'm sure you did, too, we would have conversations be somebody might say something outrageous and i would try to politely rebut them, for a nicely, you know without judgment. i thought those important rather than letting people get away with saying things that were completely false. at least try to nicely ring it back to a better place. i think we've gotten away from that. >> guest: that makes you and malcolm goodwill or whoever it
was an outlier. that is not the way -- >> host: i guess but even, during the first government shutdown of 2013 i can do became somewhat famous alleys momentarily for stating the obvious, and i was pretty outspoken at the time saying that this is really a fool's errand, that this has no chance of success. if you like obamacare or not, the funding for obamacare, about a 70 day discretion appropriations bill, we couldn't work even if you sign into law but this is really dumb and we should just fund the government for 70 days as we normally do and thinking maybe i just ended by political career. what i found out at home, i wasn't doing polling but of the groups were, my poll numbers went up. whenever most republican of us were going to and i thought i was committing political suicide but i learned a lesson that
people will respond well to the truth. i would have people come up to me in the grocery store at the time and say i like you because you are not nuts. that was high praise. treasure a a pretty low bar. >> host: lobar, high praise your so let's get back to the book again and talk about, what was the most meaningful experience to you in the house during your time there? what do you feel was your greatest, proudest accomplishment during either? >> guest: in the governorship in much more crunchy form accomplished -- concrete. probably accomplishments would go to the gubernatorial side rather than the congressional site. on the congressional side, i
remember the late tom coburn, god rest his soul, just a great guy, a consistent conservative, whether you like him not the guy was consistent and knew what he was about andrew certain lines in the center i'm in the going down with him were back in the house, this was back in the mid-'90s, and we offered like 100 amendments to the appropriations bill because the congress sort of reversed themselves on i came up the issue now it's been so long ago. i think it was come part of the contrast when america came income promised to cut committee and fundings, staffing by like a quarter come something. again i'm not sure the numbers back in 1994. been so long. and then what happened was they
quietly came back around and reinserted half the funding. and we were like no, we rant on the contract with america. we said this was our deal and we can come back and say, to your point of they can handle the truth. they like to handle the truth. we are new at this. we haven't done in 40 years. we can of overshot our committee and staffing placerville and back half of that. that would be okay. but don't do the washington thing where you quietly at into a line item that nobody sees, the committee staffing and funding and not fess up to overshooting. so as an objection was offered all these amendments to the appropriations bill i i 100 ad we're trying to basically pull a filibuster knaus which you can't ball but we are attempting to do our best shot at it. it was goofy things like all
designed to say we ought to be what we are about. again i particularly praise someone like tom coburn force consistency on that fronts. >> host: may he rest in peace. he was certainly strongly principled and ensure he drove the leadership crazy. he was -- speaking of the filibuster, i noticed in your book you make some references there. at various points. i forgot exactly where but in the book i would be curious your thoughts. we were both house guys. my perspective and you tell me yours. i thought, i thought the senate filibuster was the last remaining mechanism in washington to compel some level of bipartisan cooperation. yes, it is abuse. yes, it is overused. there are deficiencies when it
up without it, the senate would look a lot more like the house. i was always the guy more modest more center-right. i always like the fact the senate could end up passing a bill that underwood bill become law and it gave me comfort because the house whether republican or democratic control would send over a more hard edge to bill come hard right or hard left come sending it over to the city, they beat their chests and say we're pandering to the base knowing that the bill they sent over will not become law. they would always take the cooler heads of the senate to come up with a compromise to get bipartisan 60 votes, threshold. send it back and just like on bipartisan infrastructure bill, i always said whenever the senate passes a bill and a strong bipartisan manner on a major piece of legislation, the house will eat it every single
time. every single time. if you get rid of the filibuster or you change it, dramatically weaken it, i do worry. i hear the arguments about jim crow and i've always said okay, fair enough but last i checked the 1964 civil rights act and i can signify voting rights act became law in spite of the filibuster and it did because there was a national consensus at the time to do something and that's how they did. i wasn't about the rules. it's about people. >> guest: i would agree with you, charlie. i think again the absolute genius that took place there in your home state in what the founding fathers crafted is just unbelievable. and so they gave disproportionate voice to the majority in the house and saying if we both remember was minority in the house is there to collect
and provide a quorum and that's about it. crazy amount of controls the majority on the house side, and then the reverse it over in the senate side and it's really a minority that has disproportionate voice on the senate side. and again the genius of that is a remarkable. i would concede the point to some of the appendages to the notion filibuster should probably be turned but the larger concert a filibuster i completely agree with you should remain in place because that again constant push towards modernization, the way in which the founding fathers not only divided power laterally but vertically as well but for the notion of federalism is raw genius. it's all about preventing that which we saw over the last couple of years. trump would've made a great dictator. the problem is that's not the american system and i don't want a dictator and i don't want my
voice to live under dictator. we better watch out though because you know the "road to serfdom" is a telling tale on what can go wrong and an open political system if we get the wrong ingredients in place. and so his tail is a post-world war i germany, and into the germans accepting hitler. i'm not saying trump was hitler. i'm not saying that, but the forces at play we need to watch out and guard against going back to this notion filibuster, going back to the genius of the founding fathers and the construct of the system. because what they talk about is how under financial duress, when people carry around a wheelbarrow load of currency to buy so much as a loaf of bread, it goes out the window and its
raw survival. strongman comes along and said look, i'll solve this problem for you, you have to give up a new freedoms but i will solve the problem for you and that gives chronicle to the rise of hitler's power. we better watch out in the united states because if you look at germany at that time, incredible churchgoing populace, it was a remarkable civilization and yet it went crazy route based on economic duress and people's desire to seek a way out and everybody hopes for a santa claus for some to solve the problems here we better watch out for people coming along offering solutions to all the problems, which is what we saw the last four years. because if we combine a downturn economy, which is long overdue, our degree of debt and the tribalism that is now and play your the lethal form therefore bad things to happen. >> host: or conversely, if we
experience real inflation and, of course, interest rates pop up, respond to that, that threat, then of course the debt becomes even more real because debt payments go way up. you referenced the founding fathers. i always like to point it benjamin franklin was my favorite founding father and help create one of the great compromise is that gave us this great nation, which was the u.s. senate, if my history is correct. speaking for memory and we're doing this kind of life, but he's the one you came up i thought with the idea to each state represented by two senators, and giving small states equal representation as large states delaware, had the same station as a lunch date. i like to point out i don't leave the founding fathers really weighed in on the filibuster but they did on -- >> guest: they weighed in on disproportionate voice to the senate and to the minority in
the senate in the way they didn't in the house. i think the filibuster is a function of that. that's why said you could trim some of the edges of it but the larger point i think is very valuable one, because you do not like to a streamlined political system. as much agony as we both have been through watching the sausage making process, it's a whole lot better than a really efficient voice from one person at the top. >> host: sometimes it was an insult to sausage. let's give it to a serious subject because you brought up germany and post-world war i. let's talk a a little bit abot what happened on january 6th, and i think we all are learning how fragile our republic w fragile our democratic institutions are that we saw an actual threat to the peaceful transfer of power which set us
all back. i was so upset watching those images that day. i was actually on cnn actually talking about it. not to be emotional to see what was happening, and one of the comments that struck me most was from the current german foreign minister, and he said, foreign minister said what happened at the capital that day was very eerily similar to the i think 1933 attack on -- emotional tone on the history but i thought it was really compelling because the reichstag which was the seat of the german part of at the time that was the seat of it and it was burned down, and hitler and the nazis blamed some dutch communist which really wasn't,
that was the light at the time. at least try to conceal what they were doing. but they were certainly guilty, have blood on their hands. it was -- the german foreign minister in 2021 say what he sought the is capital reminded him of that analogy of the reichstag. like, we are very careful in making those types of analogy but it came from them. i just thought wow, this is a much more serious moment that a think any of us had realized. >> guest: and it's part of what compelled me to write the book. i mean, we are at a a pivot pt that we have never seen in the 200 plus years of our republic. we have never before had a challenge to the peaceful transition of power in our country before. and that ought to be a wake-up call for all of us. we have never had the election
question and this question by literally millions of people today across this country in a way that it is now. go back to the heart of this notion of being a nation of institutions and traditions that hold the glue together of the system or in the system that the founding fathers created. i found it disturbing. i write about it in the book. i was actually up at the capital, our son graduate from georgetown a number of weeks later, and i went in and as we both know there are a couple of different tranches of security as you go into the capital. i went in on a saturday morning and you could've heard a pin drop. there was no one there and sat alone in the rotunda just thinking about the history of the place and my time and investment, your time and investment there and different friends and colleagues i've known over the years and what was happening, where were we.
because prior to entering the capital, i had run into one of the security guys and i said were you here and would you tell me about it? he told me about it. he took me over and show me to windows festal plywood with a still had not gotten the glass right -- two windows that still had plywood. to your point a friend had called me on that day and it was like, i thought he was joking. what? and i turned on, it was sort of a video of insanity and you're watching this place where you spent thousands of hours of your life and you are like this can't be. this is surreal. so i thought that day. it was bizarre. i thought when i had my a loan date that saturday morning at the capital and a lot of reflection that came with that. and it is again part of what compelled me to write the book. we are at a pivot point in this country. we have to wake up.
if that we've got bad things come our way. >> in fact, i worry about these illiberal populist movements, whether you think of the movement in argentina are viktor orban in hungary but you see these movements popping up, not just in the united states at around the world. i often felt the former president trump was more of a consequence than a cause. in other words, he didn't start the fire was more like an accelerant. he's gasoline on the fire. i am deeply concerned about the fragility of these institutions. i see some in the media are trying to hold up viktor orban in hungry some sort of paradigm, a virtue and what we should aspire to. and i thought geez, my wife is part hungarian. but i never thought of hungary as the place that was the
forefront of political or economic or technological advance. i mean, it's not. and why are we looking at hungary as the model? where the press has less freedoms come with the judiciary is also best independent because of politicians but it's hard to maintain a democracy, anybody can have an election. the old soviet union used to have elections. everybody voted and they controlled with the candidates but if you don't have free press, if you don't have an independent judiciary, if you don't have rule of law, what are we? what are we ask. >> guest: these are the erosion points. when the president of the traded as president trump did goes out and describes the needy as the enemy of the state, you are planting the seeds for really bad stuff. because in number of folks will latch onto that and then if you go into a messy economic
economy, inflation or some other kind of financial disruption, people get more and more anxious. and again we have been planting seeds whether it's on the election is bogus, it is rigged. oh, my goodness, okay. our system is broken down, not as a federal system but as a local system. kosice piercy to go across this country but whether it is planting that seed or again things like media being the enemy of state or let's challenge what's happened. just we are playing with real fire in a way, to your point, the institutions and traditions of our country are the glue that held it together and it been really under assault the last couple of years and it incumbent upon every one of us, whether me with a low book like this or friends talk to friends across the backyard, that's a book, people need to be speaking up and we need to have a robust
conversation about getting back to the center if not again we're in trouble. >> host: we are >> host: we are approaching those final moments of this interview and i did want to give you one shameless plug for this book. >> guest: appreciate it. >> host: there it is, "two roads diverged." i urge people to buy it. it's very interesting, very thoughtfulgh former member of congress and governor, mark sanford. and i hope this conversation has stimulated some thought for peoplele out there from two forr congressmen who really loved the job, loved serving the public. once you have in your blood as you know you really can't get it out of you. it's kind off. like you're an addict. it's hard to dry out from politics but i wanted to say thank you, mark sanford. thank you for this thoughtful book and this wonderful conversation. good to see you my friend.
stay well, stay healthy. >> "after words" is available as a podcast. to listen visit c-span.org/podcast or search c-span "after words" on your podcast out and watching this and all previous "after words" interviews at booktv.org. click the "after words" button near the top of the page. >> download c-span's new mobile app and stay up-to-date with live video coverage of today's biggest political events from live stream of the house and senate floor and key congressional hearings, the white house events in supreme court oral arguments even our live interactive morning program "washington journal" where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> here's a look at some publishing industry news. last week the nobel prize in literature was awarded to tanzania and born novelist.
he is the author of ten books including pilgrims way and memory of departure. the nobel prize committee cited his quote uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism in the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents. he left tanzania for england at the age of 18 in 1964 where he still resides. he is the first black author to receive the prize since toni morrison in 1993. also in a word news news poll and activists sonia sanchez is a recipient of the dorsey and lillian gish prize given annually since 1994 to someone who's made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind enjoyment and understanding of life. the prize bearing the names of the late silent film actors and sisters dorothy and lillian gish comes with $250,000. sonia sanchez is the author of
over 20 books that focus on civil rights and feminism. in other news is selling irish author sally rooney has declined to have her latest novel translated into hebrew by an israeli publisher due to her support for the palestinian people and the boycott divestment sanction movement. in a statement she said i simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to accept a new contract with an israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the u.n. stipulated rights of the palestinian people. she also noted that the hebrew language translation rights to my new novel are still available and if i can find which is selfies writes that is compliant with the bds movement institutional boycott guidelines i will be very pleased and proud to do so. according to npd book scan print book sales were down 2% in the third quarter however, sales are still up 11% for the year with
adult nonfiction sales 7% higher than the year prior. booktv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news. you can watch all of our past programs anytime at booktv.org. >> weekends bring you the best in american history and nonfiction books. on booktv we will feature current and former members of congress discussing the latest and favorite books including former south carolina governor mark sanford with his book two roadster verged, a second chance for the republican party, the conservative movement, the nation and ourselves. sharice davids with her book "sharice's big voice: a native kid becomes a congresswoman", and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell shares his reading list. and on afterward from your stomach ask senator ben nelson of nebraska talks about his book the death of the senate, a front row seat to the demise of the world's greatest deliberative
body on the decline of bipartisanship innocent and his representations to restore he's interviewed by nebraska republican senator ben sasse. watch booktv at the weekend and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at booktv.org. >> a look now at some of the best-selling nonfiction books according to the community bookstore in brooklyn, new york.