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tv   In Depth Ross Douthat  CSPAN  November 7, 2021 1:59pm-4:01pm EST

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♪ >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's stories. and on sunday booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television the companies and more, including comcast. >> do you think this is just a community center? no, it's way more than that. >> comcast is part they aring with a thousand community centers to create why wi-fi enabled places. >> comcast, along with these television companies, supports c-span2 as a public service. >> up next it's booktv's monthly "in depth" program with author and new york times columnist ross douthat. his books include privilege, the decadent society, and most recently, "the deep places," the message wore about his 5-year
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struggle with lyme disease. if. >> host: new york times columnist and author ross douthat, before we get into politics and rebigs and conservativism -- religion and conservativism, etc., let's talk about your newest book, "the deep places." what happened to you in 2015? >> guest: my wife and i set out to full till a fantasy -- full till a fantasy and were appropriately punished for it. we were living in washington d.c. we had at that point two little girls. we were planning to have more kids. we lived in a very small rowhouse not that far from the capitol dome, and we were both from new england, from connecticut. our families were from the if northeast, and we had this idea of escaping from, you know, the corruptions of the beltway and the swamp and getting out of d.c. and getting back to where we'd grown up. ..
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with our kids, not spend all that's our time on our phones and computers. we put our house on the market. m we sold her a lot more than we expected.. the d.c. real estate market was pretty crazy back then. we took the money and i like to say instead of doing something sensible like in investing in bitcoin, we plowed it all into the 1790s farmhouse with 3 acres, pastor, stone walls. basically everything you imagine when you imagine the wrinkling countryside. unfortunately what we were in thens process of making this move, literally right after we did the inspection on the new house, i suddenly became really, really sick with what started out as a pain in my neck, and then my head and
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then became this awful body mixture of migrating pain, throat and bowel problem, phantom heart attacks all kinds of things. we were still in washington at that point. we're going to move in late august. for those three months i saw probably 12 doctors in washington d.c. i worked my way up to the head of infectious diseases at one of the major hospitals and none of them could figure out what was wrong with me. they all sometimes gently sometimes less is gently suggested i was under a lot of stress. i was having some kind of anxiety driven breakdown and in some way the pain was all in my head. it was only when we moved to connecticut, kind of dragged ourselves to what had been our dream house and now a steven king type scenario on i started seeing doctors they
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say oh no we see things like this all the time. you most certainly have a tickborne illness. you most certainly have lyme disease. which i probably acquired literally while walking the overgrown property of our dream house in that late may. the story is first the story of the crazy dissent into insomnia, losing 50 pounds and being confronted with a medical system that had no idea what to do about it. but then the secondly the story of what happened to the story but we got to connecticut. so lyme disease is a famously controversial condition. people who have it and do not immediately get better there's all kinds of medical debate about what they should do next. whether they should keep takingo antibiotics, or stop and wait for the residual pain to go away, i was one of the people who did not get better quickly. i tooke antibiotics, they stabilize me is able to sleep
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five hours a night instead of one hour night, that kind of thing. i did not i get better quickly. and so i was sort of caught in between these competing schools of medicine and ended up basically having to conduct a very strange experiment while living in rural isolation with my pregnant wife with a mix, it's about chronic illness and the strangeness of chronic illness and the struggle to treat it in the book. it is also a new england style gothic melodrama park steven king part nathaniel hawthorne. except the devil, the villain is a tiny crawling insects. quick's ross is part of the deep places of title to set also includes some of the research you are doing for alternative cures to lyme disease? >> yes. the title tries to reference a
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few things at once. one is the fact the bacteria literally get very, very deep inside your body. people with lyme disease and up with symptoms deep in their joints and their muscles that literal sense. but it is also about ending up sort of in a way the metaphor is in the f book issued sort of fall through the floor. you think of medical consensus and the successes of official american medicine is this kind of solid hardwood floor that is under your feet most of the time. and most of your life their childhood vaccination through whatever treatments you get for diseases along the way. when you get a sickness that either cannot be diagnosed which was true at first for me or doctor struggle to figure out how to treat, you basically fall through that floor and end up somewhere a lot stranger underneath. there are people who can help you, there are doctors who
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whelp me a great deal. i would not have gotten as well as i've gotten without them pretty also have to do a lot about yourself you'd a lot of strange research i read a lot of papers, and testimony, all kinds of things. athen ultimately you have to try things on yourself, right? you are the only person who actually knows what will work, or what does work. you are the only person who can cite this combination of antibiotics seems to help me and that one seems to do nothing. and then you sort of pushed even beyond that into the real friendship. when you spend years and being sick and i was sick for almost two years before i started to see any sustained improvement, your cost-benefit calculus changes a lot. you become open to having a chiropractor put magnets all over your body or having a nurse practitioner pump you thrilled iv of vitamin c down
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a list of strange things i never would have expected it trying before i got six. >> why is lyme disease controversial 12:00 o'clock hundred lyme disease is controversial because there is a very simple fix for 75% of people who get it. you take four to six weeks of antibiotics you go on with your life and then there is this group is no simple system helps all of them better quickly the official consensus is we do not do not know why these patients are still sick. but because we've already treated them with antibiotics and you do not want to over treat people with antibiotics,
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you assume the disease itself must be wiped out in whatever problems remain our residual inflammation, damage from the disease, some kind of autoimmune system triggered by the disease. for psychosomatic and is all in your head kind of situation. that is the official view and closest to what the cdc says the centers for disease control say about treatment. and then there is this other group of doctors in there quite a lots of them. they are serious people but they are outsiders to the official consensus and say look,re if someone is sick and you treat p them and they are still sick, they probably still have the same disease. you should continue treating them until they actually get better. these are the doctors that a lot of patients eventually seeing and what they do is run extended courses of antibiotics, combinations of
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antibiotics the other ocomplication here is that tics can carry more than one disease. soft sometimes, not sometimes but quite often doctors think these people sick with lymeo disease have something called bartonella the sort of other microbes that b are carried by the tics. and you have to treat them too. that is sort of the polarization right there. on the one side you have a consensus that works for most people look at the disease, but nott all. and then takes a we do not want to do any harm so we are notas going to try anything approach to the residual cases. on the other hand we have an experimental minority of doctors were willing to treat people for long periods of time. >> host: in your column today in the "new york times", how i became extremely open minded, this is one of those very bad questions i'm going to combine two topics that are unrelated. number one is when i ask you about the machine and then i
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want to read a quote from your article talking about how you became open-minded and what that means to you. on both sides of our national divide, humanur psychology makes us seek coherence and simplicity in her understanding of the world. sosu people who have a terrible experience with official consensus and discover a weird outsider idea that actually seems to work, tend to embrace a new rule to replace the old one. that official knowledge is always wrong and outsider knowledge is always right. now, this is a key dynamic and political and medical debate the conspicuous elite failures in the last 20 years have encouraged narratives that blend plausible critiques of theho system with outlandish paranoia. but insiders only see the paranoia the qanon and his allies of the gate so they pull up the epistemic
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drawbridge and assign fact checkers to patrol the walls, which in turn confirms outsiders believe that the establishment has essentially blinded itself and only they have eyes to see. switches so i will try and combine those two questions. because i obvious and combined them myself in the column. i was trying to draw some lessons from some of my weird experiences, the weirdest experiences really with this sort of life on the medical fringehi was some lessons how we think about political debates which the stuff i write about most of the time in the "new york times". so the weirdest experience probably the weirdest experience there were a lot of weird experiences that i had while trying to treat lyme disease was that there are these machines called rife machines that are named for a
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man who was an inventor in the qu1930s, who claimed to have figured out these frequencies these audio, radio or magnetic electro frequencies at which organisms, microorganisms, bacteria won't vibrate then break apart or shatter or die, which would mean you could basically treat illnesses by pumping waves, frequencies through people's flesh and knocking out the microbes that were in them. this is an idea i would say extremely farut outside the existing medical consensus. there are a few studies you can find here or there. there is ai' study not sure which university in georgia but the university that killed e. coli in goat meat using sound waves. there are experiments that suggest maybe there is something to this. but in general it's a world
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that looks from the outside like charlatans, like snake oil salesman peddling these machines that probably do not do anything to people who are really sick and desperate. and i was really sick and desperate.e there are a lot of people who have lyme's disease how to use these machines and swear by them. and at a certain point i acquired one of these machines. itac is the craziest thing pretty get this machine that look some kind of computer and a 1980 sci-fi movie it has buttons and wires coming out of it and you hold onto these handles while you run it. andse there is this a book it's not just lyme disease that lists frequencies for just about every illness under the sun. the claim is people, hundreds of people, thousands of people have discovered these frequencies for all their different illnesses while experimenting with this machine over the last few decades. and it seems crazy, right?
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but in fact when i used the machine, it worked in the sense that generated in my body physical reactions are pretty much identical except much faster to i the reactions i would get when i was really sick i would take a high dose of antibiotics. now obviously this is just a personal experience. and what goes on inside your own body is not accessible to you the interviewer or viewer, right? someone can read the story says the power of suggestion, it is the placebo effect. all that is intellectually possible. i can tell you physically i am a one 100% certain this machine is some version of what it claimed to do. so i kept using it it is still up there in my attic and i don't use it that much now i'm feeling a lot better. but i use it from time to time.
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gthat is the long story of the rice machine. but then the connection to politics or have rice machine experience and meaning not that everyone is buying these machines and using them to treat their illnesses what i thought was true about the world is not actually true. what i thought the medical system told me with the political system told me does not seem to be actually true. lots of people of had those experiences in our politics over the last 20 years. 911 to the iraq war to the financial crisis, through the way experts made all these predictions about the benefits of trade with china that did not work out for significant portions of the country. you can go down the list. there is a series of moments people had in politics where they say wait a minute the expert said this. they said saddam hussein had weapons of mass discretion. they had said the housing bubble would never burst.
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they said opening to china it would be good for america will make china more liberal. none of these things happen, right? you have this deep skepticism about elite political narratives just as you could end up withutfi skepticism about official medical narratives. the question is what you do then. i think the challenges once you have had one of those experiences, you obviously are going to be skeptical of the establishment of official consensus of official ideas that is inevitable. you do not want to assume everything outside thest establishment the establishment got a of things wrong, therefore how i trust the establishment that is the mistake of the friendship. or the populace mistake of like oh, this cnn and the liberal media got all these things wrong. i'm going to trust absolute
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everything i y hear from conservative sources or something. in fact you want the skepticism that goes both ways. you want to say probably the establishment get some things right and i have to be open to that. i also have to recognize their truths about the world that are not captured by establishmentir consensus. i have to be open minded basically in both directions. that is ultimately what this piece is arguing for from its strange beginnings for an open mindedness towards not just the possibility the french to get things right but also the establishment still gets things right too. you have to use your own sense of things to put a picture of the world together that includes both of those possibilities. rex just to put a period on this discussion do we still have that country house and how are you feeling? >> so we sold the country housemate lasted there about
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two years it really it was of a steven king experience. my wife is a writer too so we were two writers living the shining, living in the isolated home where the husband's sanity is a little uncertain. he is always a writing i kept writing might newspaper column i think my wife was always afraid she would come around my laptop and see all work and no play makes roth a doughboy written on the screen we had little kids we did not want them to go in the fields. all the things we imagine about the house we did not actually want to because i was so sick. and all the things required of us were too much. eventually we abandon ship, took a massive real estate loss and ended up in new haven, connecticut which is actual where i grew up. we did not want to go back to d.c. we wanted to stay near our family. our families. that is where we live now it
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is not a full and into the story and i am not one 100% better in one of the things you find with chronic illness as you do have to reconcile yourself to the possibility you will not get to one 100%. but most of the time i am at 90 or 95% i do my treatments much less frequently than i did when i was at my sickest. i do hope i will be fully well and two years, three years or some indeterminate period of time. i have not given up on making the absolutely full recovery that i wanted from the beginning. stay when we do hear people regarding the covid crisis state trust the science, follow the science what is your reaction? >> and my reaction is that science is not an authority but a process, right? you do want to trust
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scientific methods. you t do want to trust people do science well you do want to trust scientific results. you cannot assume the first thing the cdc or the fda says does, especially under crisis conditions is correct. really, with covid we lived for months peoplee with the mysterious chronicle illnesses live the time we have this mysterious pathogen was obviously much more of an immediate crisis than a chronic illness like lyme disease that's actually killing people by the tens and hundreds of thousands. and we did not know enough -about it. at first we did not know how contagious it was. how it was transmitted. their endless questions. our tests for it at the beginning were not that great. we went through a whole crisis with the fda they botched the rollout of the testings you cannot test for itot effectivel. a lot of the things said so confidently at the beginning
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the w.h.o. said it is not airborne the cdc and others you should not not use masks. all of thoseev end up getting reversed. we'll be right to put them in people and ventilators the first few months was a lively debate about that. there'som a lot you have to be experimental youna have to expect wisdom will shift a lot. and you cannot just assume there exist this white coated authority called science that has all of the answers you could absolutely trust. with that said, you also do not want to assume thatlw official science is always going to get everything wrong. at a certain point it really was official science that
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delivered vaccines at much, much earlier than anyone expected initially. there've been real triumphs for official medicine official science in this process. i say at the end of the column you are citing, i have the rice machine in my attic but i falso got how i tried to strike the battle between skepticism of official science and a willingness to recognize the things it is actually achieved. >> speak about striking about how to get to the "new york times"? >> i got to the "new york times" by being very fortunate in coming of age as a journalist early in the internet era. i graduate from college in 2002 and in my 20s i worked as a junior editor at the atlantic magazine as my day
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job. then as one does a lot of writing on the side. i wrote some books, i wrote endless freelance essays, book reviews, all kinds of things. i had a personal blog this is the beginning of blogging. you can look back b and say, i was there doing a lot of different kinds of work at a period where the internet was transforming in certain ways transforming for the worse in the case the internet very quickly weakened the position of all kinds of american newspapers. my wife was a newspaper reported she was at the baltimore sun by the time i got married. so i watched firsthand how the economic effects of the internet the hollowing out economic basis of news papers that classified ads, all of these things that used to pay for your local newspaper onto
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the internet. that was devastating. there is that kind of turmoil for people were losing their jobs. but then there was also a demand for people who seemed like they knew how to a write on the internet. i think being someone who had moved back and forth between old school journalism the atlantic was an old-school magazine also writing on the internet,ga having my own blog being engaged in those debates i think all of that seems like a good person for a national newspaper like the "new york times" to hire at a time when newspapers everywhere are bringing bloggers on board or figuring out how to integrate the neural new journalism into the old system i guess. too that was part of the story. the other part was i am some sort of religious conservative.
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the times at that point never had explicitly religious conservative on its op-ed page. i think there was a desire from the people who ran the newspaper to add that kind of voice to the discussion. so in that sense i was in the right place at the right time which is a large part of what you need to do to get an extraordinarily fortunate job like the job and i am lucky to have at the paper. >> it was in 2012 your book, bad religion camero out. i want to read a quote from that. the eclipse of christian belief have led inevitably to the eclipse of public morality. that is strong stuff. that's a book i wrote about three years after he started at the times.
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the argument and that book, it was partially a history it was storytelling it was a book about the decline at the institutional christianity in the united states from the 1960s until what was back then the present day of 2011 or 2012. the core of the argument was that as institutional religion declined whatt replaces it is not the rule of secular reason with richard dawkins and all of the other new atheists sitting around and making rules for everyone without making reference to god. that is not what happens. institutional religion declines you get d institutionalized forms of spirituality and religious belief that are more individualist in many cases. are more consumer oriented, are less theological and have less to go back to the quote
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you have less of a strong moral impact on the lives of the people who practice them. you sort of go from a world of billy graham and martin luther king and fulton sheen as leading figures of religion to a world of joel o'steen of prosperity gospel prosperity one thing i tried to do in the book was actually take the prosperity gospel in the new age spirituality seriously. i don't think that kind of religious stuff is superficial and empty. i think it has some actual theological ideas that people find appealing for a reason. but fundamentally to go from a world of reasonably strong christian churches to a world
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of hyper individualized spirituality presided by the figures is a change for the worse andut an important change that has affected just about every part of our society including politics. i think if you look at politics right now both the right and the left, what you see is a lot of free floating religious energy. energy that used to be channeled into the first congregational church, or your synagogue. instead it channeled into political identity. it is you're pouring religious energy into political identity. thisea leads to political intolerance, at least to a phenomenon where it used to be if you work comfortable if your son or daughter married to someone of a different faith people would be a little uncomfortable. if you ask them if they'd be uncomfortable they marry someoneca of a different
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political party they would be more likely to be comfortable with it. now that is reversed. there more comfortable with the idea of his son marrying an evangelical or an atheist than a t republican is with the idea that his daughter is going to marryn a democrat or a democrat with the idea that her son is going to marry a republican. we have taken our religious commitments, put them into politics it has inevitably polarized our country more than it used to be in politics and has created these things at the fringes with their its conspiracy theory identity movements and their impulses, or some of the excesses on the progressive left like the whole idea of awoken us. i awoke is a a religious term. awoke at inning sounds like awakening forik a reason but is a religious impulse that has a
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lot of what we have woke-ism has religious and moral energy which is not always a bad thing a picture of god and the universe to fit it into. it ends up, it delivers the [laughter] without the solidarity and virtue. >> going back to bad religion and the history of it, in the 60ss and 70s carried the day, what happened? >> said the idea and the book is that you can see american history as a balance between what i call the orthodoxy and heresy. meaning not greek or russian but just the idea of a religious establishment and a
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bunch of religious experiments at the fringes. for a long time that establishment was mainline the court protestant denominations and then the experiments the latter day saints : : : waldo emerson. those kind of people, right? and these two things existed. america had a really strong institutional religious center that eventually included roman catholics and, to some extent, jews as well by the 1950s. and then it had all this wild energy at the fringes. what happens in the '60s is that the center falls apart and never really puts itself back together. so for if a variety of reasons, the sexual revolution, economic and technological changes, political changes, there's a lot political changes, and a lot of different forces that work. it collapses, it's membership diminishes dramatically. it stops being the central force
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miin american life. down to the 60s, people who come of age today have no idea how large these old-line churches used to loom american life. catholicism goes to the council, tries to go through this big modernization effort but then falls into the civil war. over, you know, starting with issues of the sexual revolution, but also including what the mass should be like in all of these things. going on all the way to the present day. it has never ended under pope francis. you have a catholic civil war and then you have this research and evangelicalism where it becomes an even more important part of the political part. it is not enough to actually fill that center.
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it ceases to be the strong institutional christian churches and becomes this sort of mix of new age spirituality and pop spirituality and joel alstyne stuff. that is what it means to say they one.on it is not to say there were not religious freelancers in america before the 50s, there always were. always part of who we were. solid intellectually influential churches as well. those have just gotten much weaker with no sign of them making a comeback. we have lots and lots of americans who still believe in god and are still religious. the institutions themselves have fallen ones hard times without obvious hope at the moment with recovery. >> are we a christian nation in
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your field? >> we are a nation that is more christian than anything else. but not in a, not in a sense that would have been quite recognizable to the america of 1945 or so. if you said what is the primary theological influence on american life, it is still christianity, even for many people who think of themselves as secular or post- christian. the moral framework still matters. if you look at sort of how, even just sort of the way that, you know, race and identity is framed on the progressive sideow of politics right now. the idea that you sort of center politics around people and
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groups that have been victims and their victim status makes them somehow sacred and having an authority. that is an important part of ideology. it clearly owes a debt to christian ideas. it is, you know, saying america is a nation of heretics which is the subtitle of that book is one way toy, get at this reality. we are still heavily influenced by christianity. overt christian belief and practice are in steep decline and, you know, there is, i think , a lot of religious energy that aspires to be post-
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christian. especially among younger peopley looking at the interested astrology and these kinds of things. there is a quest to some extent. there is a clear desire among people with religious impulses for religious resources and ideas and so on that are fully post- christian. all of that has condensed into an actual post- christian, it is bits and paces here and there. it is not actually come together to a silicon valley tycoon performing on the capitol rotunda or something. there is no formal post- christian religion. there is a lot of christian influence and a lot of post- christian fragments floating around at the same time. >> common refrain today is
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unspiritual, but not religious. what do you think when you hear that? >> i think that that in part reflects this kind of desire for a way of encountering the things that religion is supposed to put you in touch with. ultimate meaning, supernatural experience, may be supernatural beings, moral guidance withoutoi doing it inside the framework of either christian orthodoxy or a traditional christian church. obviously, this applies to judaism and to some extent islam as well. the average person who says i'm spiritual, but not religious as someone whose grandparents would have attended a methodist or catholic church. they have some sense of institutional religion means
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old-fashioned christianity. i have left that behind. we have left that behind. i still have these religious impulses but i don't want to pursue them within traditional frameworks which are seen as constraining or simply out of date. how could you possibly go back to that. but i think fundamentally people who say they are spiritual but not religious are religious, they are just anti-institutional or desire to be post- christian. do not think that there is a real difference between spiritual impulses and religious impulses on the other hand. they are basically the same impulse. the distinction is how are you trying to fulfill them. what kind of community with what set of ideas framing what you are doing or trying to experience or find. >> let's go back to 2000 date.
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brand-new party, how republicans can win the working class and save the american dream came out you talk about issues such as income inequality and school choice in a crisis of authority when it came to crime issues. was it a playbook for 2016? >> i mean, i think the book accurately for solved one of the deep trends that gave us a donald trump presidency and has given up our current political divide which is that america was polarizing around education where college-educated voters were moving into the democratic party, non-were moving into the republican party and the republican party that had this traditional image as a party of the affluent and country club was becoming, well, we quoted the then governor of minnesota
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who said he was a republican, we are not a party of a country club, we are the party of sam's club. that was not completely true and he said it and still is not completely true now. a lot of rich people in it. the republican coalition has become much more working class and this is extending beyond the white working class right now. so, you know, the biggest trend is that white americans have become more likely to vote republican. in the trump era, we are still waiting to see, but quite flawlessly in the elections of the trump era, you are seeing minority voters, african-american and hispanic, especially hispanic move towards a republican party. they are more likely to be middle to working-class voters who are sort of following this kind of polarization that is happening across racial lines.
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american politics is slightly less racially polarized, but more class in education polarized and it was trump came on the scene. so that is what we foresaw. what we wanted was a republican party that sort of leaned inpe with an aggressive policy agenda economic policy and family policy to really help and support the american working class which has struggled in ahe lot of ways with, you know, the impact of globalization and the opening of china, social disarray and when we were writing the opioid epidemic not on the scene yet. talking mostly about family issues, things going way way up for less educated americans. now you have a terrible drug epidemic ravaging a lot of working-class communities and not only working-class
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communities, but them especially in an ideal world we would have a party that of the strong agenda towards meeting the needs of those voters. i do not think that we have had that. a lot of what trump offered was just sort of, you know, politics and celebrity grievance that wanted voters but did not actually offer a long-term policyan vision for what the republican party should do for them. the question and the post trump era is you have the realignment that we imagined. could you have the policy agenda that we imagined? i will be perfectly honest i thought incredibly optimistic about that. i think trump's own influence makes it hard to develop policy because policy is not really what donald trump is about.
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>> in 2020, your book came out, america before and after the pandemic. first of all, what is your definition of decadent? >> decadence in my definition means stagnation drift and repetition and a really high level of wealth and development. basically a condition that societies get into when they have really succeeded. you cannot be decadent and less you have triumphant and successful before. where, you know, you have a loss of energy, you have these complex systems get built up ana then they get really freaky. basically, they do not work as well. innovation declined, birth rates decline, people become less likely to start companies and write the great american novel and all your movies become superhero movies.
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that is sort of an account of what has happened in the western world and especially the united states over the last 40 or 50 years. the moon landing as sort of a peak of mid century american achievement. sinceno then economic growth ras have slowed down, birth rates have fallen below replacement level. most people think our system does not work as well as it used to. intellectual debates have gotten stale. it sort of twilight said between a peak and a real decline. the book is saying we are actually not in real decline which is good. you know, obviously something that is debatable. many people think we are actually in a catastrophic decline. i do not think that we are there. we are stagnant -- stagnant. you could imagine a rebirth
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without having to go through the actual collapse that, let's say russia, russia went through in the 1990s or to be more extreme, the empires of the past experience at the end. >> from your book, the decadent society, as a leader for decadent age, trump contains multitude. both a an embodiment of our societies and a would-be rebel against our repetition and disappointment. a figure who rose to power by attacking the system for that while exploiting the sameso decadent. >> yeah. trump was complicated. still is complicated as we await the trump restoration in 2024. i think the campaign in 2016 was in part kind of a rebellion
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against the stagnation that i'm describing, the decadence that i am describing. trump comes in it basically says the elites that have been running this country have sold out our interest and let our industrial base hollow out and let, you know, american carnage take over our societies. we want to get back to the future that was promised. we want to make america great again. you know, that, i think, was sort of central to his appeal. bernie sanders appeal in the same election. you had these figures in both political parties. hillary clinton and jeb bush being the obvious example who stood for the establishment as it existed for the last 20 years in american life. you have trump and sanders saying what we promised more than this?
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weren't we promised more than this management of slow growth? where are the flying cars? where are the moon colonies, wears a surging economic growth? where is the future. i think that that was crucial to trump's appeal. it was nostalgic for a minute century america. america in the 50s and 60s that believe that the future would just get better and better and better. that is trump as an anti-decadent figure. trump himself is obviously decadent. y the guy who, you know, has been married three times and sleeps with porn stars. kind of personally corrupt in various ways. it is not actually interested in the work of government, but it's kind of a creature of reality tv whose main concern was how he was being covered on the cable news shows that he watch all of
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the time. sort of this dualism where trump runs and wins by campaigning against decadence and stagnation. as a president, he represents sort of the pop-culture form of decadence. they guy who plays a great businessman on tv. and the guy who, you know, played the president. he wanted to occupy the presidency as a reality television office and he did not do many of the things that he promised to do like an infrastructure bill. thanks eddieie promised did not happen. in the nt lost reelection because not enough people wanted this kind of reality tv president in charge. but, he may be back. >> well, your colleague at the new york times had a column this morning, behold the rise, emulatinghe trump without
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embracing him is the new republican strategy. is that the way to go? >> that is a way you have to go. no future in republican politic right now. donald trump and all of his works are evil and i will caster him into the outer darkness and so on. you will just not function as a republican politician with that kind of message. also, it is the wrong kind of message. for some of the reasons we have just been talking about. the transformation into a more working-class party and the idea that you should have this sort of, you know, rebellion against a decadent establishment. those are powerful changes and powerful ideas. to be a leader on the right going forward, you need some version of those ideas incorporated into your pitch and your argument. figuring out how to do that
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without also going in for trumpf and lists warfare, his family's corruption and, you know, conspiracy theories about how the election was stolen, that would be the sweet spot for future republican party. trumps populism without this sort of, you know, certain elements of trumps personality and paranoia. whether you can do that while trump is still around, though, is an open question. you can do it and when a senate you can do it below the presidential level. i do not know if there is a model of doing it in 2024 if trump himself is k actually thee on the ballot saying why would you want this invitation when i am right here to deliver you the article again. especially because republicans have been forced to at least
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accept his narrative that she really won the last election. if you accept any version of that narrative, then he is sort of the r rightful leader of the party. he is the exile king waiting to come back to his throne. now, i think it's a big problem. as long as you have the idea that he really need joe bidento and the democrats stole it. it is hard to see how someone else comes along and says put me in charge of the party went trump is standing right there saying i one, i will win again. you have to make an argument that threads a really narrow needle. you have to say, look, the election was not really for fair to trump last time, but i brought desantis kim beat the democrats more handily.e you should give the nomination to me even though you still like
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trump. that is argument you have to make. it is a challenging one. >> the day after election day 2021, you tweeted this out. i should say that i have revised my relative pessimism/optimism index about the near future of american conservatism to 10 to 9215 to 85. >> so, still pretty pessimistic, yes.ha the change in optimism from the virginia outcome from a republican perspective, one of the concerns that republicans had, still have, trump brought all kinds of new voters to the party. he really did. much higher turnout in certain areas. he got a lot of voters who had not voted before to cast ballots
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for him. nonvoters. this is why, how he was able to win in 2016 even as a lot of traditional suburban republican switched to democrat. how he cap did close in 2020. even more the suburban voters went to joe biden. the question was, if trump is notpa leading the republican pay anymore, maybe you win a few of the suburban voters back, but you probably do not energize trump voters or the party at base in the same way. it is a wash and republican still end up behind no matter what. these elections, that did not happen. in fact, this is also happened in new jersey. slightly different way. winning back certain voters, especially on education in schools and still got really good turnout from trump voters,
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rural voters especially. i think it will still take a while, but continue to make these modest in rows with hispanic voters. also important with trump and keeping it close in 2020. that is an optimistic model for the republicans. they get back some mitt romney votersom from 2012, get some of them back, still get the really high working-class and rural turnout, add some hispanic voters and suddenly the coalition, if you translate that to the national level, that is a winning coalition. winning the presidential election outright. so, that is a reason for optimism. the reason to stay pessimistic, again, at least for the next four years, i do not know how in presidential politics you get
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out from under trumps shadow. trump doesot not went back enouh of those suburban voters himself, i i don't think. although, you know, who can say what will happenn in 2024. >> good afternoon and welcome to tv on plate in-depth program. we invite one author want tohi talk about his or her body of work. this month new york times columnist and author ross. he published his first book in 2005. three years after graduating adfrom harvard and it was called privilege. harvard and the education of the ruling climate. next a brand-new party, how republicans can win the working class and save the american dream. his co-author on that book came out in 2008. bad religion which we talk about a nation of heritage came out in 2012 and a book about the future of the catholic church changes
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the church, pope francis in the future of catholicism. in 2018 the decadent society. how we became the victims of our own success came out last year and his latest book which is a memoir, a memoir of illness and discovery. we have spent the last hour talking and now it is your turn. we will put the numbers up on the screen if you'd like to participate in the conversation this afternoon we had 748-8200. for those of you in the east and central time zone 202-748-821. out in a time zones. we set aside a line for text messages only. 202-748-8903. that is for text messages only if you have a question or comment you would like to make. please include your first name and city, w if you would get several ways of getting us on social media.
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you can e-mail you can also tweet, make a comment on facebook at book tb is a candle that you want to remember if you go to twitter or oufacebook. we will run through those numbers again if you did not get a chance to write them down. we will begin taking those calls in just a few minutes. we mentioned your book privilege you graduated from harvard in 2002. harvard is a terrible mess of a place you right. an incubator for an american ruling class. self-congratulatory and intellectually adrift. why did you choose to go to harvard? >> oh. i mean, who won it. [laughter] i chose to go to harvard because i was the kind of person that
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goes to harvard. i was ambitious and i wanted to join that ruling class. that was part of it and then there was another part of me that i think had the idea of a harvard that existed that did not actually exist. this was hopefully the better part of myself that sort of imagined a place that was actually devoted to, you know, the best that has been thought. imparting a serious humanistic education to its students. i think that i had both motivations. i had vaulting ambition and a sort of serious intellectual desire.ou the ambition found at harvard what it expected to find and wanted to find which is sort of an entry point into the american elite. the intellectual side of me
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found that it could get the harvard education that it had imagined but it had to work incredibly hard to find it and put it together on its own. you can find a great education, but no one will give it to you. you have to sort of peace it together. if i look back at my time in college i would say probably one year out of before i did that kind of intellectually serious work that i mentioned when i got there harvard was supposed to deliver. the rest of the time, i was sort of caught up in the pursuit of sort of preparing for professional success and then there was some, you know, some romances and too much drinking and a lot of other things that i embarrassingly put into that memoir andnd hope that my childn never ever read. a it was college. it was a mixed bag.
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>> the four-year liberal art model outdated at this point? >> i don't know. i think that it is outdated in the sense that it does not work for lots and lots of people that do go to college. outdated in the sense that if you live in a society where you are aspiring to get 30, 40, 50, 60% of high school students are going to college, you should not expect everyone to spend, you know, four years in weird iv campuses having that kind of experience. i do not think. that it makes sense. i think that you need a lot more flexibility in the models that you have for higher education iasked, you know, if you want o live in a world where higher education is it going to work. two-year programs and flexible programs that people can move in
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and out of. continuing education, programs that people can come back to after they have been in the workforce for a while. it should be possible to have a an equivalent of a college education that is available easily to someone that has worked in the real workforce. eighteen-27. you can go back to college at that point. the system is not set up for that kind of flexibility. all of that is to say, yes, to some extent the model that is been overextended. we ended up using this kind of archaic upper-class modelio of education as a means of delivering mass opportunity. the ticket to opportunity, the golden ticket that everyone is supposed to punch, i don't think that that really works out well. at the same time, you know, there are virtues that maintain that kind of model. especially if they can actually
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focus on intellectual work in intellectual preparation. i think that it is a failure for our elite, including myself in this indictment, that they do not get as much out of those four years as they should. the point is to give people apr space that is not yet part of professional life. a field for ambition where you are supposed to be learning some things about the world that happened before 1965. a big chunk of our sort of masters of the universe weather in washington or silicon valley and so on, don't really seem to know a lot about the world outside of relatively narrow, you know, elite american. i think it is a failure of education. as well as college that they do not have that range of
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historical knowledge and grounding. i do not think that it would get better if you just did away with the four-year experience altogether. >> let's take some calls. new york times columnist and karen is calling in from tampa. good afternoon to you. >> good afternoon. my question is, i am confused bn the conservative christianity concept off romanian -ism.nt the call to believers to take control of all seven aspects of culture, the seven mountains. family, religion, education, media, business and government. to me, this conflicts, in conflict with the constitution on a very basic level that is in
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article six there should be no religiouson test for anybody, fr any qualification of office. the government should in no way make any law of establishment of religion. >> karen, do you know where dominion -ism comes from? >> i would like to understand more about that. >> okay. let's see if he can help us out. >> i am happy. dominion -ism, a bunch of different ideas that go under that label. but, there is sort of an extreme form that is a very unusual perspective and not a major influence on our society which holds that christians are obligated to set up a kind of theocracy.
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rj associated with this idea that you are supposed to set up in iranian theocracy type of state. modeled on christianity with christian principles. that is sort of a very narrow and small group. then there is this larger idea which i think you are getting at basically a perspective on the idea that, you know, the t wave and evangelical christians supposed to increase their influence everywhere that they find themselves. if they are in business they are supposed to, you know, have greater christian influence of business. i guess that i would say to your specific question about the constitution, there is always been this balance in american life where we have the
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separation of church and state. we do not have religious test for office. we don't have an established single base. religious groups have always been tremendously influential and sort of launching reform movements and doing things in our politics that are religiously inspired. we have not actually separated religion and politics. we have only separated church and state. if you go back to the 19th century and look at the important movements, the abolition movement is influenced in certain way by the evangelical christianity of that era. people do d not look back on its necessarily a huge success. a huge social reform crusade. then you get all the way down to martin luther king, you know, if you read the letter from
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birmingham jail or the i have ac dream speech, these are religious documents making cases to a country that is mostly christian, using christian arguments. any religious engagement with politics that is inevitable and sinescapable. as long as you people that are serious about their religious beliefs and do think that their religious beliefs have implications, they can be liberal, you will not tell them you cannot bring those ideas into politics because they are that is never been how american society works. the question then is when does that lead a to a kind of practil intolerance that does call a foul the constitution and the separation of church and state was to mark basically what you see in our history is religious movements are always working back and forth on that line.
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it seems like they will push too far. prohibition was basically you know, iolics, am stereotyping here and i apologize. telling catholics how much to drink and so on. that push and pull as part of the negotiation of democratic politics. my advice to you you and reading about these tendencies and specifically evangelical thought is, look, this kind of engagement is inevitable if you have a society where people take religion seriously. the question is, where does it cross the line. what is a difference between christian motivations for your politics and trying to impose too much, too many theological beliefs on the society as a whole. that is where the argument is, i think. if people take christianity
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seriously or any religion seriously, they will wanted toue have some influence in society. you cannot have a perfectly secular society if many people's beliefs are religious. >> ellen is calling in from massachusetts. >> hello. i want to speak about the united states conference of catholic bishops who will meet november november 15. regarding revival. as you have said, the diminished faith for many reasons, but for serious reasons because of the pandemic has closed many churches and et cetera. i am going to read two
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sentences, hopefully. pope francis who has identified the united states as the source of opposition, preached this, communion is not the reward of said nurse, sorry, cap the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners. i am a catholic, very devout. i believe that the sacrament of reconciliation, repentance, is necessary before receiving the bread of jesus, the holy communion . >> we are going to have to leave it t there. let's get a reaction from the coming bishop meeting. >> well, so, ellen is right, basically. there is, you know, we have been talking a bit back and forth about the week is self religion. catholicism has been through a
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tough couple of decades with the sex abuse crisis and its aftermath in the pandemic has put extra stress on all kinds of churches. a lot more people that are sort of lukewarm occasional churchgoers falling away. you know, that is not the core of catholic believers. not the core of any church, but churches thrive on having a core and if you lose it has a lot of negative consequences for the church itself and its influence. this is sort of a baseline reality. part of that reality is this sense that a lot of catholics have sort of lost the sense of the sacred around the holy communion. which, you know, it has literally become the body and blood of christ. it is not just a symbol. a particular source of sacredness. i think that the bishops have a general concern about how, how t
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do you restore that sense? how do you get catholics who are attending mass to take it more seriously. but then coexisting with that, you have this controversy where the presidentli of the united states as a catholic. he clearly diverges from the church's teaching on abortion and he takes communion every sunday. there is a big argument in the church about, you know, i think that it is fair to say that the pope is more on the side of letting, you know, non-withholding communion from politicians who stray from church teaching or deflect from church some bishops think that you need to do it. i suppose that i should offer an opinion. i think that the problem for the churches it does not have the general credibility that you
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would need to effectively, to effectively publicly call a politician to repentance. i think right now because of the sex abuse crisis and other stuff, people that are not really devout catholics, even many that are don't take the bishop seriously as arbiters. we will deny joe biden communion, i do not think, one, i don't think you'd get enough to go along with it to make it actually enforceable and it would make the church just sort of look partisan to people who are, you know, sort of on the outskirts of catholicism. all of that means it probably, one, i do not think that they will do it, there will not be an official church statement saying joe biden should not take communion, that just will not happen. even the idea itself, it is hard
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to see how it would be effective. then there is a problem that, you know, democrats, the catholic church has been trying to dialogue with democrat politicians who are pro-choice for a couple of generations now. the idea of it being better to have a dialogue plan to draw some kind of hard line that seems to exclude people from the church. over the course of that dialogue, the party has become more pro- abortion not less pro- abortion. including joe biden who used to shold more pro-life than he does now. it is not clear that that strategy of dialogue is actually gaining anything for the church. all of this is a long way of saying this churches face with the impossible choice where they can deny communion, withhold communion from joe biden and look partisan or they can just continue with the dialogue that is gotten them know where over 40 or 50 years.
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those bad choices are what those institutions face when they are in periods of decadence or decline, unfortunately. >> a text message from paul in florida.a. why are the working class voting for republicans who have hardly done anything for them. >> so, there is, you know, how long do we have? another two hours? [laughter] so, there are a number of answers to that. the simplest way t to look at it is to say that working-class americans tend to be more culturally conservative. this can take a lot of different forms. sometimes it means theys, are me religious, sometimes they hold more conservative views about race or immigration. sometimes it just means that they do not, they feel sort of
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cognizant and they do not relate remotely to sort of, cosmic politician academic. the world in which most of the elite and the democratic party is formed. you just frame it in really specific, from the president. so, there is this shift in how liberal politicians are expected to talk about women and pregnancy because of the desire to be inclusive of transgender people where all official democratic party rhetoric at least in some documents will say a pregnant person instead of pregnant woman and/or birthing person instead of woman. woman giving birth. this kind of slightly academic
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mode of speaking is more likely to be alienating or seem totallt bizarre to working-class americans overall than college-educated americans. a very small particular example of the large pattern. alienation between working-class americans and sort of well-educated progressives. so, you have that alienation. then you have the fact that on economic issues, working-class voters are still little bit more likely to be close to the democrats on a bunch of issues. they and they are to the republicans. because the republican party,na its economic agenda has been to cut for all americans for the upper income americans and not do much else as the democratics party has been to redistribute money to the working class.
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there are a couple of things that have happened in the last five or six years that have bridged that divide a little bit on economics. under donald trump, the republican partyke sort of walkd away from a lot of its message that they have had with mitt romney and paul ryan about cutting her reforming entitlement programs. there was an issue that turned off a lot of working-class voters that depend on medicare and social security. that is how barack obama won election in 2012. i know that you do not love cultural libertinism, but they will cut your medicare and i will protect it. in the trump era, republicans took those issues off the table basically said, you know, we are committed to medicare reform, we will put something in our budget that will change the system over 20 years. we arere not going to make those
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kinds of cuts. we will not do the paul ryan agenda anymore. at the same time also making a lot of promises, some of which he did not on trade and infrastructure where he, sort of, you c know, pitched himself directly to working-class voters who felt they had been left behind under globalization. and both of those ways, he mover the republican party a little closer to a lot of working-class voters on economics. that still happens now. if you look under the hood of the campaign in virginia, he did not campaign on deep budget cuts he campaigned on spending more money on schools and cutting the gas tax which is something that falls harder on working-class voters often times and it does middle-class voters. chdoing a modest economic outreh to voters who have this strong cultural reason or set of
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reasons not wanting to vote for progressives. when you put those two things together, a republican party moving a little bit towards the economic center and a democratic party moving towards the cultural left. that is how you get working-class voters shifting pretty steadily right word, even more than they already had under, you know, and the ronald reagan and george w. bush era. you see that happening to some extent withth hispanic voters. trump was able to win a bunch of hispanic voters. in fact, a lot of hispanic voters that are culturally conservative in various ways to our sort of economically moderate. will not vote for a libertarian republican party, but will vote for one that says we are presiding over a good economy pre-covid, you know, trump wasn't willing in the end to spend a bunch of money on covid relief and, you know, the
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republican party was moderate enough on economics, again more culturally conservative latinos and do better in florida and texas there democrats expected. anyway, a lot more to be said but that is a condensed attempt to describe the pandemic employee. >> thanks for holding. you are on. >> thank you very much for taking my call. i live in an area which is fairlyr, poor. very white. some hispanic, pretty good number of native americans. i do not find that that connection with the democrats, the full of color concept and everything has any residence at all. i do not see this concept that these people, black indigenous
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people, i don't even know what people of color really means because many people, you know, what is that? what does that mean in terms of a society that has become much less racially, in spite of what is been said, much less racially denominated. >> jim, what would you like him to respond to? >> the whole issue of the fact that the rural poor are just as poor as the black urban pool. they have just as many problems, if not more in some aspects. in the medical area, for example, fast numbers died. there is no reason for that. >> i tell you what, a lot there. anything you would like to l
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unpack? >> let me try to take two points from that really interesting topics. >> why do working-class whites not respond? part of it is precisely what the caller was suggesting. democratic party messaging especially in the last few years has focused a lot on the idea of white privilege in the powerful force in the american society. white privilege manifested self, it manifests itself among the upper and middle class. if you are a rural white person and you were told you had white privilege you will look around and say what are you talking about? i do d t not see that privileget all.
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right. that, you know, that is a reasonable position to take if you are one of joe mansions voters in a poor white state like west virginia. the extent to which you will relate to a liberal message that says, basically, the primary purpose of the democratics party agendas to close racial gaps. that sends out a message that you will relate to. even if sometimes a policy in question would help you. sometimes the democrats end up with a policy that would actually help, you know, rural white voters, but is being sold as a policy about closing racial gaps. totally understandable that that messaging just sort of falls flat with the underprivileged or not exactly privileged white working-class or white poor. that is one place where i think
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that the callers are onto something. the other point at the beginning was, you know, you have a lot of voters who are native american, who are often immigrants, hispanic immigrants, african-american who do not see their own vision of america and the sort of progressive narrative of, you know, oppressive whiteness as this all-encompassing force. often times, democrats end up talking to activists who they see as spokespeople for minority voters.t in fact, the activist just represent activist groups or bureaucracies or foundations and do not actually represent what the voters themselves think. you have a lot of hispanic voters who believe very strongly in the idea of an american dream and the idea they are getting ahead in america and that they are doing well in their ethnic background in the color of their
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skin is not a problem. spending a long time to the american narrative. those voters will say i have faced discrimination here and it does not actually describe my experience. i will stop here, but, you know, a single point, there was this moment when democratic politicians all started referring to hispanic and latino voters as latin x. latin x voters. this was a term around the most inclusive, you know, non-gender specific, non-gender way to refer to latino voters because it was a way of escaping the tenderness of romance languages. no hispanic voters who actually think of themselves as latin x. you do these polls and say how do you describe yourself. one or 2% of people saying latin
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x. you have them doing outreach to minority communities. a term of arts that they themselves do not recognize. that is a very strange way to do mass politics. it reflects this way that the leadiv progressivism has basicay undercut what should be a lot of the democratic parties advantages with minority voterst >> next call comes from donald in new york city. hi, donald. >> yes. good afternoon. i would like to know, what are some of the, who are some of the religious writers -- if i understand, you and your family experienced conversions into pentecostals and into
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catholicism. i was wondering if you could elaborate on your consciousness and some of the intellectual experiences that you had during those conversions. >> let's leave it at those two. it is all yours. >> sure. to go from back to front, when i was a kid, we did a tour american christianity where we started out and then my mother specifically had experiences and kind of faith healing service, the services that were held with this woman's whose name was literally grace in high auditorium spirit people would basically have what were described as inexperience as encounters with the holy spirit. where they would be prayed over and fall on the floor and be slain in the spirit is the.
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pentecostal language used to describe it. this was sort of a pivot point in my childhood. my mother's name is patricia snell. she has written a couple of essays about it. you can find it on the internet if you are interested in. i was more of an observer. my parents both had these kinds of experiences. we went through a phase of sort of going pentecostal services. we drove all the way to toronto for this religious revival there but, for me, i watch the experience. i did not have them myself. i am not really in mystical personality or maybe god just decided that i did not needd whatever my parents were getting. so when we ended up sort of as becoming roman catholics, i
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think for my mother especially, there was this mystical bridge enthere. having these experiences to reading catholic mystics to raise up avila and sort of using thick catholic mystical division as a road into roman catholicism i read, you know, some fairly predictable writers when i was a teenager who were influential. i was also very happy to sort of enter as an awkward teenager. i was very happy to enter a church where you just memorize the prayers. no one asked you to testify how the lord jesus changed your heart. i was not very keen on their part. just, memorizing hail marys.
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that is a very condensed version yes, quite influential. you know, these are fairly predictable people who have read. one writer that i recommend, especially to people that are made may be halfway in her halfway out of religious belief is a polish philosopher. he wrote a bunch of books, he wrote in essay collection is god happy. he wrote a book with the one-word title religion. it has a really long subtitle. a really smart catholic, sort of semi- catholic really interested in religion writer who i sort of came to later in life you had an influence on some of my writings on religion. that is another name, a more
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obscure name for people interested in this kind of stuff. >> christine, good afternoon. >> christine. sorry about that. john is in lucerne valley california. john, please go ahead. >> greetings. as a columnist, i wanted to see your take on the 1619 project. based on faulty history and advocating crt and racial conflict as opposed to the more positive virtuous character ethics espoused by the 1776
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project. >> thank you, sir. >> the project is something that was put together in part by the new york times magazine. playing a big role. i think that there are a bunch of different things going on in the project end and the controversy around it. basically, you know, have a more complete historyry of slavery in the black experience in america. i think there is this part in general love there are some ideas that are in play about education and changing ideas about history right now. i think just that. we have had this oversimplified narrative of african-american history that, for instance, does not focus enough on the real nature of life under segregation
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and what happened after the civil war. things like the controversy over confederate statues. you know, basically, white america for a certain period of time told a story about american history that was mostly about knitting the country back together after the civil war that left a lot of the story of black america out and minimize some of the worst things that went on under segregation, i think. overly romanticized certain figures of the confederacy.'s i think that there's a big part of the project that is just trying to do that, basically. s trying to tell a more complete story around slavery. there is this controversy around an argument about the american revolution and, you know, a specific question of whether the
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founding fathers and the american revolutionaries are worried that slavery will be abolished by the british. may be the american revolution wasn't defense of slavery. that is, you know, connected to that, there is this historical school that argues that the cotton economy was incredibly important o. the development of american catholicism. slavery is basically, in both cases, american revolution and american capitalism. conventional wisdom holds. you know, i would not want to get into a long argument with my colleagues. i would just say very simply that i think that it is a connection of the founding
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slavery and early capitalism slavery. i think they maybe ended up af little overstated.t' maybe some of the pieces in the project. a project for historians than columnists. i think that there is a general idea for racial history that i think is entirely reasonable. i think that there is a founding that is compromised by slavery. where therere is a very live and important controversy that we would be beyond the more conservative side of the debate. >> this past july he wrote a column for the new york times called the exes of antiracist education and you specifically cited robino' d'angelo and ingrm
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how to be an antiracist. why those two? >> well, in part because those books, between them, sold approximately 1.2 million copies in the summer of 2020 and the period around the george floyd protests. but, i think that they represent how a certain kind of progressive ideology cashes out in practice. and views on public policy. in views on sort of how we should deal with racism. corporate antiracist trainings that you care so much about come often straight out's of robin d'angelo's work or other work like hers.o a lot of the push is to do away with the education and academic standards that i think are
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connect it to the argument. that, you know, those kinds of programs are themselves effectively racist. they are not just sort of revealing differences, they are creating differences and they need to be done away with. all of that is stuff that i fundamentally disagree with and i think is taking, again, similar to what i said to the last caller, i think that there is a generally admirable desire to make america a more equal society and to sort of do more justice to the particularities of the black experience in america that shows up in a certain progressive energy right now. but, to the extent and the way that it cashes out is through corporate antiracism training or doing away with, you know, lifted education programs or
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calculus requirements to california schools are talking a lot about whiteness to third or fourth graders. i am just really skeptical that that will have anything like, that that will actually have antiracist effects and in fact i think it is more likely to gratify certain racial divides and break them down. >> two years prior to those two books are came out that you talked about woke capitalism in 2018. >> i think that i stole it from another bearded catholic journalist. i am not 100% sure. i get credit fairly often for the term, but i'm not 100% sure i coined it. a very useful term. it reflects the fact that a large part of corporate america decided that there was this piece of progressivism.
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the piece that does diversity training, the piece that is reflected in the works of robin d'angelo. they sort of just get on board and enfolded into their hrem processes and they are sort of attempts to build corporate culture. that is what you see all over now. the odd thing is we had to earlier caller asking about the place of evangelical religion in america and the separation of church and state. there is also the question of how business relates to religion. you have various points where, you know, business seems very secular and materialistic and various points where they take on some elements of religious culture. in the 1950s, you had sort of in the cold war era, and inflation of american capitalism and christianity. now you have it on the left of
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sort of corporate culture, especially silicon valley where, with, you know, semi- religious progressive ideology where, you know, the corporation will stage a land acknowledgment where they talk about how the land is being held from a native american tribe rightht before they, you know, get into their third-quarter strict teacher group order something. it is super weird, one thing that can be said about this is that it is just weird to watch the corporation of this kind of, you know, again, slightly academic rhetoric. but, what in part it reflects is sort of the extent to which this is seen by people who run big companies in part as a way to sort ofog give things to
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progressivism to avoid the bernie sanders version of progressivism. american corporations which much rather construct diversity programs and trainings among the lines at robin d'angelo recommended then they would be subjected to bernie sanders style tax breaks. don't tax as. we have diversity programs. we have antiracist training programs. in a sense an attempt to divide the left and have the cultural left and corporation sort of working hand-in-hand to prevent the economic left from, you know, raising the income tax rate too high. it's not the only thing going on, buts it's one of the things going on. >> as a fellow harvard law that
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is usually impressed, i wonder why hee allows himself to appear in front of yale. what is his connection with that wannabe school? that was the only studio available in new haven and anytime wee can avoid using a video interview it's a good day. we have made progress to an actual studio. great audio and that type of thing. hopefully next time and person. with that said, do you have any connection with yale? >> the texture will be even more disappointed to hear not only off i profaned my harvard background by appearing before this yale back drop, and i even co-taught a couple of classes at yale since returning to new haven. i did grow up in new haven so i obviously have the bulldog in me at some level to begin with and it is just sort of bubble to the
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surface. i will say of harvard wishes to preempt the invitation to occasionally coteach a class by offering me a position, i am more than happy to take them up on that offer any time. if the president of harvard is watching right now and wants to bring me home, i am fully available. >> phil, buffalo new york. please go ahead. >> what will it take to get chronic lyme disease recognized as a real disease so that healthcare insurance companies stop and people get the care they deserve. >> df lyme disease? >> no, my significant other does. >> thank you, sir. >> i'm very sorry. i know what you are going through. i offered to plausible answers. the first is a change in the
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medical system where you have basically, you know, a veryn long-standing phenomenon in science where it is less likely that you convert people who believe, who are sort of committed to an existing paradigm and it is more likely that a younger generation comes along and takes over and recognizes that that paradigm is wrong in a different paradigm is needed. i think in some places at least you can see this happening where are a certain group of younger doctors and researchers that recognize thati chronic lyme does exist and it almost certainly is caused by the persistent actual infection, not just by inflammation or psychosomatic issues. there is a lot of really interesting research going on at places like johns hopkins columbia. i think that part of what has to change is just, you know, and 20
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years time you off a different group of doctors and researchers as the dominant force in the debate and hopefully they will be influenced with what is already happening right now. the book that i wrote on this subject is not designed to just be an entry in that debate, but hopefully it does offer a summary of their reason to believe, the reasons to believe that this is real. these two things are connected, the other issue is that as you must well know, even for doctors and researchers ready to treat ntchronic lyme, there is not a single treatment protocol that everybody agrees works. their resources of, you know, being a semi- prominent journalist with a lot of sort of
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financial resources at turn points of my disposal. it has taken me six or seven years to get as well as i've gotten and i am still not allth the way well. even with the best doctors spending time experimenting and finding the thing that works best for them, the closer you can get to a single clear this drug works most of the time, this protocol works most of the time answer of how you treat chronic lyme disease, the easier it is to overthrow the paradigm of you should not treated at all. it is not enough basically to have, well, to put it in old-fashioned scientific terms, it is not enough to say the system of the solar system has a lot of problems and it. you need galileo to come along and say here is the alternate system that will replace it. the closer that you get, the closer doctors and researchers get to a similar way of treating
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chronic lyme and the crazy thing is that i am maybe your significant other affected deal with, the easier it will be for the system as a whole to say, okay, we can switch from our mix of denial to an embrace of this clear alternative that we have strong evidence that it actually works. that is my combined answer. generational change and more clarity to the question of how you actually treat this infection. >> when an author is on in-depth we ask him or her about their favorite book. here is richard adams. the great gatsby, the lord of the rings, the everlasting man which we have talked about in a book called the secret history. what is this book about? >> no, no, i'm not nearly that
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impressive. the secret history which is named after the secret history. a novel about plastic students to get involved in, well, i should not give it away, in a murder. sort of a cult of classic students at a small liberal arts college in the northeast. >> it is by donna part. >> by donna part. yes. she also wrote the goldfinch. it came out just a few years ago. but, yeah, i tried to pick novels. you write mostly about, you know, politics and ideas. in fact, you know, the books that i've tended to stay with you throughout my life have been more likelyos to be fiction.ay >> currently reading victor hugo. why? >> trying to.
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weav have come out we have a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old and we have been listening to the soundtrack. i think we listen to it 1247 times on car trips in the last year or so. at a certain point, i was like maybe i should actually read the novel. it is, the novel is approximately 1400 pages. i believe i read 500 pages. i cannot guarantee you that i will finish. i struggle a little bit to read novels in my everyday existence with someone that is always reading twitter instead. it is a real challenge. it is remarkable to sort of step into that kind of novel because there's really nothing, no novelist that writes like this today. you have this basic story and what strikes you most about the
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book is the extraordinary confidence that hugo has. he is right about everything. the world is totally comprehensible. you can put the french revolution together with french catholicism. we willl pause and he will tell you about the battle of waterloo. he will tell you all about the battle of waterloo. it is just, it is really in immersion and, well, i would go back to one of my own books and non-decadent so society as a society defined as this reckless confidence and optimism and also literary optimism designed by this aggressive novelistic arrogance and if you pick it up in a contemporary novel, i was also reading a novel by sally who is a very talented irish novelist at relationships. it is like this thick and it is
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very minimalist.nd the characters are all alike, the universe is mysterious and i have some radical ideas that i would like to be religious, but i cannot make it out come together in the new turn to hugo and the students are mounting theu barricades and hugo is modl logging. it is just different modes of civilization. versus the 19th century and it is really interesting to have that feeling even if i do not actually get to the end of the book. and i do know how it ends because i have heard the soundtrack. >> i think that that soundtrack is about 1400 pages long, to. >> it is an extended soundtrack. very, very good, i have to say. but always in stuart florida. hi, although. >> hi. thank you very much for the program. it is very interesting.
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excuse me, i have a slight lisp. i am very old and i've been observing things for about six decades. long ago, the pittsburgh post- gazette. loved some of the priests and nuns and catholic organizations, but i believe that the catholic churchch is unable change. unable to revolve. today, there really should have been a good section of the priesthood that allowed a married claire g. women should be able to have the same authority that priests that offer holy communion. it seems to me that that catholic church is declining in the western world. in 100 years it will be a shadow of itself. i would like to hear your
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thoughts, response. >> thank you very much for calling in. you only have to-three minutes to expound on that question. >> probably for the best. yes, the story of catholicism in the western world is already a story of decline. at leastst for the next 20 years or so in the united states out expect that to continue. cathe problem for the church is more complicated than the caller suggests. we have plenty of examples and models of churches, the lutheran church in germany and elsewhere that i've done exactly the things that he says. catholicism has not done. they have married clergy or female priests, they have shifted their b position on various issues, both theological and moral. in most cases, they have the
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same problems that catholicism has or worse problems. g a sort of a greater loss and cultural influence. whatever is happening to institutional religion inni the western world, it is not just a simple matter of these churches have not kept up with the times. they need to be more liberal on certain fronts. we have models that have tried that and they have not had great i think that the challenge is to, it is slightly different. it is to adapt without losing core elements of catholic tradition that are still attractive to a lot of people. i think that celibacy comes with a lot of problems and it contributes to the churches problems in various ways and you could get a few more priests if he allowed married claire g. at the same time it is an ancient christian principal and one that catholicism has
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defended across 2000 years. if it is not presenting thatit principle at all anymore, it is very reason for the existence if someone is called into question. that, i think, maybe it is a way of getting a challenge. christianity cannot survive if it does not seem to be offering something that is actually timeless or connected to the church of jesus christ which was the early church being extremely big on celibacy. the same as a communion that we are talking about earlier. it is not as simple as how do you adapt, but how do you adapt while preserving these essentials at which you would not have anything to preserve at all. if i knew exactly how to strike that balance, i would be in rome right now writing memos for the pope instead of being here with, you know, all of you fine people. >> new york times columnist.
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author now of six books. his most recent is the deep places. an accidental book, a novel you tare probably planning on writing, y what will your next book be about, do you know yet western mark. >> i do not know for sure. i do not plan on getting infected with any new diseases. probably not a memoir. maybe something about religion and these questions about belief in god that we have been talking about here. maybe? something totally unexpected like a fantasy novel. who can say. >> inks for spending the last two hours with both tv. >> it's been a great pleasure. thank you for having me. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2. every saturday american history tv does an american story. on sunday, book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors.
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funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more. ♪♪ ♪♪ along with these television companies support c-span2 is a public service. on a recent episode of our author interview program afterwards journalist lindsay johnson discussed her new book called paradise. california's 2018th campfire. she was interviewed by terry baker ceo of the society of american foresters. here's a portion of their discussion. >> do i think there were decades of decision-maker being that wanted to play where people were not planning for the fires? those fires never burned all the way through town.
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they were always stopped. there was always that sense of security. there were decisions that they could have made, it is impossible to know without looking at a crystal ball. making it a little easier and a little smoother. they had these other concerns to look at her, too. i think paradise, all of these places across california, across the west of how you keep people safe and how you make those hard decisions where the calculus is changing. now you cannot just assume that your town will be safe next time because we are seeing fires act in ways that are just totally unfathomable compared to what we knew a decade ago. having to put money in places you didn't and have to make those really hard decisions of how will beget people out. doubtfire is now a lot more frequent then you would think.
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>> to watch arrested this interview on five previous episodes of this program visit and click on the afterwards tab near the top of the page. >> book tv continues now. television for serious readers. >> a nonprofit program. the oldest independent bookstore we are delighted to be here with all of you tonight. wherever you are watching around the world to celebrate this brand-new hot off the press yesterday. .... ....


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