tv In Depth Steven Hayward CSPAN October 18, 2022 10:01pm-12:01am EDT
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even hayward, how would you describe perfect conservative? mark's gosh i'm not sure there is a perfect conservative. i always like to say there's five or six different kinds of conservatives and i love all of them. i'm the ultimate old-school fusionist. that has a term that spelled the disrepute. like the old parable of the blind men and the elephant is laser treetrunk, snake, it's hard to see the whole picture. i think that someone is a generosity of spirit toward what can be learned from the other camps rather than having theological disputes about who is right and who was wrong about particular points. questions witness much about ronald reagan as anybody in several other books of those different kinds of conservatives that you talk about. what kind of conservative is
ronald reagan? >> what that means is he was really not that conservative and a couple of ways. remember it reagan very fond of quoting tom payne was a radical sympathizer of the french revolution. if you love quote pain then we have it in our power to make the world over again. i member george will the times f is four years ago now any time anywhere that is nonsense but that's most unconservative thing you could possibly think. people sets part of reagan's optimism. there is a certain truth to that. on his headstone where he is married at the luncheon. at that lot i know in my heart man is good. ryan was disposed by his character to look at the good side of human spree that certainly lives leaves out the christian doctrine of sin. which other keep in the forefront of their mind. as wright reagan wasn't
conservative libertarian sympathies of course in traditional sympathies. but he was his own special thing. >> when did ronald reagan become that? >> that is an interesting question. probably starting may be in the 40s. he certainly adopted liberal anti-communism for his attornment support and 48, but it was in the 50s especially he's touring the country for general electric and hosting general electric theater. he was reading a lot of early conservative literature. henry had economics in one lesson for those with big conservative books of the 50s. he read them, work them into the speeches. he did not become a republican until 1962. you certainly moving. quick suck but that change becoming a republican? i am not quite sure, he saidne once somewhere from it woke up
one day and realize i've been supporting all the people whose ideas are criticizingl now. trying to make a change. i think he has been part of democrats for nixon in 1960. he moved to supporting a problem is that early time. slowly changing his. >> reagan the man a quote from luke cannon you use in your book. ronald reagan was humanly accessible to people who had never met him and impenetrable to those who tried to know him well. x list theory will go with had to do partly with reagan's upbringing as a son of an alcoholic. there is good psychological evidence people have alcoholic or abusive parents tend to have more remotes. the abuser by the way that was in the literature. also reagan moved around a lot
as a kid. downwardly mobile family. after his father struggled to keep a job. he was always a new kid in school per that tends to make you shy. this is way cured this remoteness and this distance at the pulpit but it's not unique to him. the more things like franklin roosevelt. his own kids did not get along with him very well. but, like reckitt roosevelt had a great connection with people. he just understood people intuitively and connect with them. roosevelt's case the radio and then rick leg are untried later reagan intellivision. >> that connection does that come from his acting career? where did that come from? >> partly the acting career. reagan was often said never cared about the reviews of his movie they did good box office. he was always a denigrated as a b actor and so forth.
the understood box office. think he always understood there are two audiences and do not pretend to the critics. you want to pay attention to the people. >> to keep that his entire life? >> dishonor political area. we are showing up in the polls we first ran for governor in 1966 is that i think people are mad about the chaos on the campuses. all the don't tell set the polls are popular little ahead of time in 1976 of course he opposed thd panama canal treaty and that was not showing up as an issue in any polls. posters were not asked about it. but when it gave the line about the panama canal the speeches on the stump audience just erupted. we barely nearly sank that treaty was finally finished under jimmy carter. the polls today versus polls during reagan time, how much
pays attention to the polls did ronald reagan care? >> yes he did. was a very good pollster but one problem today as we do a poll every 15 minutes. i think there's an overload on polls for to sometimes joke up i could wave a magic wand it would be about polls not really. reagan did pay attention to the polls. it is known as the great communicator and legend is if reagan gave a speech gave some very effective speeches. there are some and particular in central america especially nicaragua which was such a big flashpoint in the big scandal in the second term. he gave a couple speeches and 83 and 84 from post road public opinion it didn't change at all. greg and from that discouraging but he didn't pay attention to the pole to justin talk about it. >> ronald reagan is the subject of two of hayward's books. 1600 page set of books on the history of ronald reagan.
the age of rugged the conservative counterrevolution 1980 -- 1989. the former greatness i'm sorry the age of rugged the fall of the liberal order 1964 -- 1980. just update books by steven hayward were talking about all of them in depth this morning. i've been eastern or central time zone 748-8200. if you are in the mountain or specific joke (202)748-8201. also sent us a text that number (202)748-8903. could you please include your name and where you're from. also on twitter it is @booktv. steven hayward will be with us until 2:00 p.m. easter joining us throughout this entire u conversation. i want to talk about ronald reagan and his real relationship with mikael gorbachev. gorbachev died on august 30 jusj
last week. what was their relationship in when they were in office as an extraordinary story. initially they were declined not to like each other. reagan wrote in his diary right after gorbachev took office in 1985 people tell me the different kind of leader writing doesn't do cynical to believe that. however it reagan has all the weeds said he hoped someday to sit down with the soviet leader and see if they couldn't make a break there for this part of his confidence and other aspects. gorbachev turned out to be that person but not initially. gorbachev or his spot but reagan was a dinosaur that was a phrase he first used. oxidant gorbachev with 55 or 56. so 20 years almost difference between them. did meet reg was a dinosaur because he was old, gorbachev
said is fully the creature of the capitalist class very orthodox marxist. but they came to like each other. my perception is they came to like each other because they argued directly for the first time in a way no american president or soviet leader ever had appeared the argument ideological differences between the two countries. some of the transcripts are fascinating. private exchanges between the very strength very serious also verynd jocular. in 1986 read that was so dramatic because it look like they're on the cusp of a deal may certificate nuclear weapons. it all fell apart at the end he would not succeed gorbachev's to get rid of the star wars missile defense plan. it's what everybody concentrated
on. i got my hands on the soviet transcript of their face-to-face meetings which was much more complete than the state department. and at times it would have really tough arguments on ideology and reagan at one point saying we have a two-party system give a one party system. gorbachev says it's marxism. gorbachev says i respect your system and we have to coexist. i would like to persuade to become member of the republican party. we had back to nuclear weapons now? so they're very interesting argument in that particular meeting that veered hour of the arm controlled stepper. >> of the department know they had at these meetings is frank. >> no little came out first face-to-face meeting they had in front of the fireplace in geneva in november of 85 they were both smiling. and reagan was tough in that meeting but also friendly.
and came back from geneva saying i think it's a different kind of leader. margaret thatcher's right we can do business with a guy that started liking each other better. still had sharp disagreements on everything gorbachev brings up himself is all i can tell you still blame the talk of the evil empire in your speech from 1982 about how the soviet unions going to end up on the ash heap of history. he's very but it might to believe about that it sounds to make you want to wipe reagan had to reassure him he had no intention of that. this is what i think. the argument goes on. how did he go about reassuring him? did you find anything from the notes? did he walk maximus statements? exit connected back to the main subject which were the only two people right now who can prevent the action of each other's countries. let's be clear they were sincere about really wanting to do that.
technical details of the whole arms-control thing get so complicated. we've never had fundamental conversations about the differences between the countries and how we actually unravel the arms race. text early service, gorbachev at the time that reagan wanted to tell gorbachev if the earth was invaded by aliens they would have to work together to fight the aliens. this is known as reagan's little green men speech on powell have been working sounds so crazy. just off the cost under at the
line was on to fend off invaders. here's one important difference that used to be in the summits nixon or carter or whoever would wesit down there very slow appes to be delayed translations. and then the russians including the premier would go off to this big fat no but they have a prepared response for question or statement they beat flipping pages to find this probably noob page on alien invasion. barbershop did not do that. that's a first some of simultaneous translation that a few notes they were referring to briefing books and that's what made it different from everything that gone before the records 1990 time magazine selects gorbachev not ronald reagan is man of the decade. what did you, steven hayward think about that? it was a general global reform in confused but that's another
story you did repudiate the doctrine the one that said once there's socialism we defend by force edges with the soviet union always done. and he announced in 1988 unilateral reductions in eastern europe we always thought that negotiation. he gave us that without any concessions from our side which was remarkable. imagine this we go forward a year, imagine if he had gone to graduate school studied soviet ecologyy. ten and 1990 when the soviet union didn't exist anymore. your backup to the nobel prize gorbachev got in time magazine's person of the decade. always thought part of that was the media establishment and the academic establishment could not stand at that reagan had been so effective and had been vindicated in many ways against all of the criticisms when they said this is just a disaster the way reagan is going about arms-control. and suddenly it got real deals.
thank you kind of embarrass them. i just think that was one way of getting back at reagan was ignoring him and given gorbachev all the credit. >> said they have a relationship later in life? >> i do not know how much they kept in touch. i don't remember now if you still an officer had left but he visited reagan at his ranch in santa barbara. slick to old pals getting together and sharing some jokes. i do know gorbachev said to someone later he was unimpressed with reagan's ranch reagan's house is 1200 square feet it's a bit tiny big ranch but gorbachev thought the present of the united states ought to have a big manchin not the subtle ranch house h. again cultural differences i suppose big rex talk about ronald reagan and his journey to becoming a conservative. what was your journey? [laughter] oh heck. i grew up in a conservative town
outside of l.a. with conservative parents. true story. my mother and dad were big and the goldwater campaign is 64 and i was in the first grade. goldwater stickers everywhere. he's going to win by a landslide the only did goldwater lose but he lost by a lot. that was my first? in my head the rest of the world must be different than my neighborhood. [laughter] started reading guess i was precocious and started reading national review in the eighth grade i'd seen buckley a sit out in the center where the sky is saying but he seems funny and interesting i want to be part of the action. when she start understanding what he was saying? >> pretty early on. as a freshmanu i recall looking up words he used.
school no stage associative vocabulary, building quizzes and sets in the rest of that. as i was sending in crazy words from national review. sit where you getting all these things and getting them from buckley they say that is weird. was precocious that way i guess. >> furniture go to college? what did you do after college? i win and as undergraduate in oregon. i did not want to go to big gigantic university. was a student journals became an opinion editor of the paper started learning how to write and then right after college and we may come back to this probably i want to work in washington as an intern is my first thing out of college. hugely informative experience. but while he lives in washington i noticed what anyone notices if you look around capitol hill is run by people in their 20s. all smart, all eager, all
ambitious. thinking i don't want to be part of that scene. if ever come back to washington that was i need to know more to be a serious journalistic writer. that's when i decide to go to graduate school. i went on to claremontnt graduae school starting 48 years ago a week as a matter fact. i thought about chicago, couple other places. i went there as close to home. second had number of notable conservative professors there. i thought all learned from the best. focusing on american politics as you were growing up.ou close your first book on winston churchill? churchill on leadership in 1997. quickset is a funny story hotel briefly. i got stuck when davis leadership seminars i didn't like it very much. the person doing the workshop kept mentioning churchill pricewise studied churchill extensively in graduate school. but he said at the end you know
a lot about churchill you ought to write a book about his leadership style. abettor is a terrible idea in place all such books were bestsellers. but claremont in graduate school of the principal thoughts is the best way to learn about politics is biography special biographies of lincoln, churchill bothos roosevelt's but in particular churchill so i always found interesting. my parents were world war ii generation talked about a lot. took me too chartwell when i was 14 years old, churchill's home. i ended up writing that churchill i already knew a lot about him already. it fit with what i learned about better ways to approach and understanding political life. that book coming out in 1997 password 25 years. this year you come out with evidence conservative wit you write in that book this book
could easily have been called white stan evans matters. quite a stan evans matters? what's the reason i said that is a series of good short biographies of people white or welt matters so i thought this it's that sort of genre. probably deserved biography because although stan died seven or eight years ago now he's arty being forgotten in this unknown by younger generation. your of the reagan buckley area and we are all aging out stands a hugely important figure as a journalist, as a thinker and then as an activist. we combine all those metals are usually kept separate. and then finally ran. his last book was a pretty serious attempt at a vindication joe mccarthy. he was everybody's favorite guy
he was friendly with everybody. he was funny as heck in person.m seldom in his writing but everyone has their favorite standing as a joke. and he was a great teacher for a whole generation of conservatives. other people viewers to be familiar with who wenter through this program include ann coulter, johnn fund, i think mak tapscott at the washington examiner. i had a list in the book and i'm blanking on a lot of them. the influence a whole generation of conservative journalists. in the archives , 94. xim a conservative. sacred to c-span viewers identify a number of times. very much the things i was just talking about. i was interested in conserving certain things.
not just because of the status quo and quite often i have critical. freedom of limb limited government which is a tradition of the united states the tradition of western culture generally. i think that's what it means. i believe what values of freedom m stanton evans from 1994. young americans for freedom which was formed in 1961-point long stories at the short version is coming out of the goldwater of the 1960 convention a lot of people said it's alllo these young people let's try to capitalize on that. enthusiasm started organization. they come up with young americans for freedom. they're asked to write the
statements three and 50 words something like that. statement of the new left as conservative principles belief in god, believe in markets that privacy of individual freedom. resisting communism of course. that's one part of it now that's archaic but the rest of it can be repeated today pretty much verbatim as a conservative. but stanton never bragged about being the primary drafter of it. if you asked him years later he would say in its correct of, course i didn't come up with anything original i was just trying toth boil down express conservative wisdom that is our inheritance of 2000 years. so he never boasted about it. we as young conservatives believe is foremost among the transcendent values of the individual's use of a god-given free will once it derives his right to be free restrictions of arbitrary force.
that liberty is indivisible that political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom that the purpose of government and protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order and the provision of national defense and the administrationra of justice andt goes on from there. cook's is statement still relevant today conservative circles? >> i think so for the three or four different directions you can go in analyzing some parts of that particular statement. as orthodox marxism which consciousness is determined by forces descending from that in the 1950s one of the big intellectual currents was behaviorism. reddy is and there's all kinds of versions of it. individual consciousness is determined by several rational forces. it's partly pushing back against the idea things are truly free. to be really fancy about it we have genuine freedom.
you can also interpret it is simply directly political is the view they should plan our more aspects of your own life your own good. that's a lesson but it's the present form of the political divide to see these days because it's a half-hour in the to our in-depth interview phone numbers again eastern and central time service (202)748-8200. mountain or pacific time zones (202)748-8201. via text (202)748-8903. want to start in friedland, michigan glenn has been waiting. glenn good morning. when are you with us? go ahead sir. >> caller: thank you all very much for taking thery call. mr. hayward i would like to ask you about what w you think overl
current state of how our american history is being taught in higher education now especially stuff like the ku klux klan and the founding fathers were basically on the same team. stuff like that that's really taken off in the floyd nash psychosis that happened in 2020. specifically which you comment on an article that you commented a little bit on your website it was an american greatness article called america it never existed. thank you very much. sold to this in order. to have a whole extra hour on this american history question? oh goodness. i could go on on that for literally days and i won't of course. the short version is a teaching of history has been decaying for a long time and now i think it's totally deplorable.
maybe it started the history of the united states. never mind factual but the framework essentially is this the defects and sins of america represent the whole of america that is wrong. the new versions like the 1619 project and so forth also want to reduce america to its historical lapses in history. so from there i could go on a long time. the second part of your question i may actually see him later today. glen elmore's wrote that article about american never existed. does a provocative title trying to get people's attention. but it does connect your question because what glenn was trying to suggest was, let me put it this way but i've been asking questions just this week in fact for several people. all of america's leading cultural and educational
institutions shift to the view america's history is terrible, constitution stinks going down the checklist. can that country long survive in its present form? i am very worried. you think when you're leading cultural institutions teach you it so defective as to not deserve any respect at all that is going to be a problem for the longevity of the country. glenn was trying to say if those views become a widely accepted by american citizens entry may not fall apart might go on for couple hundred more years or more. itit won't be the same country e used to cherish and celebrate for its great achievements and its breakthroughs. declaration of independence saying we know these are all created equal which no one had said before then.
>> mentioned powerlite what is powerline? >> it's a blog i write for. given the title has faded away. that's pretty big traffic' when one of my co- writers on the site, scott johnson 11:00 p.m. at night said these documents dan rather is using to say george w. bush did not show up for the texas international guard, they look fake to me. he was the first person to start the avalanche ruling unravel that story in almost 24 hours. traffic went to the roof we've had big traffic ever since. scott johnson made the site famous. write poems every day. >> the color mentioned higher education for your criticism of higher education. you have been a visiting fellow, or lecturer plenty of universities.
eat barkley, white continue to do that if you have such concern about higher education? >> is precisely because of that concern. it is a mistake if conservatives do not compete for these institutions or don't compete to be on them. it is true i'm currently an inmate at uc barkley. i put it whimsically it that way because barkley gets a bad reputation. so much deserved but it is such a big place for this more intellectual diversity at barkley than there are a lot ofl small liberal arts colleges think the worse at those places all picked out oberlin right now. i do like university life it's also good for people to hang around people have differentvi views. i enjoyed the challenge of sitting around the room being the only conservative in the room at a seminar. i attend a lot of workshops at barkley the political science
department. stop that i disagree and i'll often raise my hand people say they're glad to have a challenge from the right. so i do enjoy that kind of life. like i say, have a disposition for to think. i tend to be a people person. i tend to like everybody even if they have different views for me. >> you see uc barkley? x possibly. the whole kobe dirt was a disaster. i did not teach for a whole year do some events andha conference, still is not quite fully back to normal. student life is not quite what it was before the pandemic. it is slowly recovering. that's veryag discouraging. what you talk about competing for the base. a book about stan evans who are today's conservative makers right now? >> oh gosh. glenn elmers earlier his book on here who is our mutual teacher
it's really superb. michael anton very controversial guy. the famous flight 93 i hope wright's longer, serious, more theoretical books. the thing about conservatives is tom soul is still alive at age 9 what 93 now? a lot of might say about conservative books as we do not need new books. a lot of our old books hold up just fine. you can still read henry's 1950 book, economics among tonsils older books 1980 hold up well but a lot of philosophical books it's been dead for 49 years his books are still very much on the reading list of conservatives.
you think all national conservatives in. buckley was criticizing for example. you want to focus on other things you brought out. when the older thinkers. what patriotism is not enough about him and walter burns. it was a one-time professor of philosophy most of his career at claremont men's college or graduate school. he is known for two things above all. one, what's a rescue in lincoln but directing the attention to abraham lincoln as a much more serious statesman finger that a lot of historians treated him for that this famous book in 1959 called crisis of the house divided.
and then moe morton or torso prep is a principal author of barry goldwater's speech in 1964 including the famous wine extremism in defense of liberty and moderations a of justice is no virtue. as a scandalous line very controversial. it was scandalous also among a lot of his political philosopher peers because like reagan have been a democrat from 1962 but a lot of those people we think of conservatives were liberal anti-communist and empathetic party members. >> cassis first vote for stevenson for example. so anyway he's known for those two things.r later on for a lot of us a few to some of his former friends that's of the book is partly about including walter burns who i knew. he was a colleague. somewhat of a handful people knew both men very well. i always regretted their feud which turned personal.
>> disagreements about several things. on the 70's wrote some pretty stinging attacks on some scholars especially kendal who had died. it's was not around to defend themselves. walter took offense at martin dimon other person he attacked. another important political science for conservatives. walter took som offense that it came to their defense. and then it spun out of control from there with the personal insults going along very serious argument's back-and-forth. >> walter burns they both die 2015. we did the movement lose that day? >> in a generation or two of students and learned a ton from them. the factt they died on the same day at both age 95. i have had adams and jefferson dying and what 1826 i i think. read the article you'd behind
them in later years, they never quite did it died down some. there is a book in the i'll say two things about the book was intended to be for laypeople who were not marinated in political philosophy or academia. introduction through unusual world that they both represented. would be a couple viewers might reverse 40 years ago artisan review magazine from the 70s in a literary magazine on the left. stayed on the left of people like crystals in there, hannah, bunch of other figures now forgotten. the wonderful memoir prayer tried to emulate that style. i don'tmo the guy quite told it.
the book patriotism is not enough came out in 2018. p define patriotism. >> so the title refers to the fact here's one thing they agreed about patriotism is not simply an attachment to where you live because it's where you live. especially in the americann cas. walter burns last book was called making patriots. he said patriotism doesn't happen spontaneously. it has to be taught. hast to be a deliberate print goes back to theti caller's question about how we teach h american history. jeff i used to set you need to have informed patriotism. we cannot really love this country unless you understand it and understand its y principles. >> at the difference between patriotism and nationalism? >> good question. i would like to say that critics of nationalism, my definition is patriotism they don't like.
nationalism has this baggage from the mid 20th century of course. german it comes to and italy and so forth. an awful lot of historic feudseu like yugoslavia i do think there is a case for your attachment termination because of its cultural traits. patriotism is really more connected with the political principles of a regime let's put that way. that may be a little hard to understand the distinction between those two is hard to work out i think. >> how something out today? but first you about brexit which shocked everybody. the election of donald trump that shocked everybody. but i think what is going on especially in europe as a rebellion gets a centralization of thingsop like the european union.
the european union began as an economic cooperative scheme that would make everyone more prosperous and is grown by degrees into this very ambitious i'm a somewhat culturally smothering organization. i think part of the nationalism as a country saying it's one thing to have a common currency maybe we'll see if that survives in the long term for their problems with that. it's nothing to try to impose a cultural uniformity. riot member of the soviet union. people say bad things about victor or ben, okay. i do not know a lot about the merits of those cases. but the european union is realls mad about we are going to make traditional marriage heterosexual positive law. threatening themos with sanctios and all kinds of things because they are not on board with us other countries are doing the same marriage and other aspects of identity politics.
can't they just leave hungry alone questioned peoplegh can leave or go there if they want. >> you mentioned donald trump. what would ronald reagan think of donald trump? >> i am not sure. boy that is a hard question. you know, reagan, like roosevelt -like most successful politicians, they had a way of making their tax on the other party especially roosevelt and reagan with a twinkle in their eye and with some wits about them. they also talk about their friends and the other party. there is always a latentne generosity to their disagreements with their opposition. in trauma seem to have less of that. trust can be very funny but not in the same way reagan was funny. it's kind of performance art and it's easy to miss it i think.
so i think reagan might be effective in rallying your own troops but i am not sure any think we this in the election i don't think it wounds over the independence you need. i don't think it leads the other party that lost an election to consent. think we saw that the democratic party really did not accept trump selection. they just thought there's something metaphysically wrong about this happening. which wasn't true with reagan for they didn't like reagan they hated being defeated by him but they accepted his presidency. >> you wrote that you take donald trump al a carte too. [laughter] what does that? >> i'm not original in saying this. i would have loved the trump administration without trump. keep doing lots of things i approved of. that's why say al a carte release doing things i liked certain deregulatory initiative some foreign-policy things, iel
thought that was unexpected and very pleased with that. i did not expect them to be is consistently conservative as he wasn't. there are some exceptions there. i think trying to sort out the trade problem with china was a mess. i think that's a very difficult problem and some have may have been counterproductive. we'll see about that in the long term. he did change i will say one thing about china public opinion polls here and overseas public regard for china has plummeted in the last seven or eighta years. think trump is a large reason for that. in the biden administration is continuing with trump disposition about china. not going back to business as usual he had the booking while the bush of ministration or obama or clinton. >> owns a donald trump run again? >> i don't thinkagag so. i don't know. went to seet them from the firt time and thought for sure he was going to lose.
but what did ios know i've been wrong about so many things. >> if he runs able to get the republican nomination? >> as we are speakingl right nw i think democrats are successfully goading him into maybe making some mistakes. he is lashing out about the fbi raid on mar-a-lago. i understand that. i do not know it's always worked for him in the past. you can't get a glove on the guy it's astounding how resiliency is but it could be that he for a all of his obvious flaws in his age i think is an issue, he may be the best vehicle for channeling a lot of populous energies in the country right now. >> in-depth book tv stephen hayward is our gas in these two hours about 45 minutes in pit were taking your phone calls as vewell. dave is been waiting in omaha, nebraska for you. dave good morning.
>> caller: good morning. steve you are a prolific writer in addition to your academic duties you write for powerline and your podcast. so could you describe your writing process during these last two books? >> yes by the way dave i think i know it dave you are. [laughter] okay. you mention how to become a conservative? how i became a writer? in the fourth grade i went to write a short story over and i came back the next day with 28 pages single spaced. i clearly have a problem. and i actually tried to live by the advice of ray bradbury the famous science-fiction author who said everyone ought to write 1000 words a day but doesn't10 necessarily have to be a manuscript or something could be a diary, letters, whatever. i have lived by that for a very
long time. thought of writing a book i make a point of sitting down. stan evans with partisans but journalism is putting your butt in the chair and start typing. boy, that is true. think people think a writer's life is romantic it's hard work like anything else. there's lots of times you don't want to do it. and there's these lasers all of these distractions i will check twitter, i will check e-mail. my general discipline as ainen lecture in the morning but i'm precious i will sit down and set out to write 1000 words and i will not quit until i 1000 words done. on a good day i will get more done if it's a book. otherwise i'm working on post online, a book and article, short or long in between. our making notes for lectures and seminars. it's usually the mornings. i usually run after gas at lunch with my age. i try to read and do research and do something else. but that's where we have a guest
to recognize the choleric a friend of yours perhaps? he's a loyal reader i hear a lot from him by e-mail and i know he's ints omaha. tell me those you have on powerline? >> a lot. it is not unusual for one of our items to trade to 68 items a day the three of us to write for a couple of guest writers too. let's not unusual to get three or 400 comments on each item. depends on the topic of it's a hot topic sometimes it will be more. >> and davis one of those cluster. >> long island, new york this is john. >> good morning. >> john, it got to turn down your television and just talk to your phone, go ahead you were on was stephen hayward. also tell you what, what john work on this phone line as we go to dan in a brooklyn, new york. best way to have this conversation just because we are a little delayed me go on the air is turned on your television. dan go ahead.
>> like to give a historical background to my question if i make. i came to uc barkley in 64 to study with wilson. but i walked right into the crisis which essentially was a matter of providing the university students, adult hood status onset of the chancellor being. the efforts ended up with a victory for this notion. which was 5000 or 2000 student body of 27000. in the next semester who'd been the original of the whole thing there is another referendum for the fsu which is the free student union. so now they're little central could mitigate could rule all
student activities. we struggled to beat that with reasoning wrong steps in all of this. they were defeated 21002 the same 5000 as before. but clearly there is a great issue of the uninvolved students. and i saw very hard to understand why. when i looked into it by stepping out of my area and looking especially in the history projects because you learn history is very important subject. but it's very a malign subject by whoever is in power. i saw that american professors of history don't see it as a science they see it as the time you excuse a term. since occult a factual and tremendously ego important twisting of facts, leaving out facts and massaging reality.
and as a results i see by the next year the whole student struggle has completely died. and now they graduate students are all professors and they are doing exactly the same as the professors were doing the cold war revisionists are still back there with the third generation of cold war envision us. what is this holding pattern that historians they feel the right to lie, deceive and misrepresent their materials. and as a conservative i have to say the conservatives are as bad as the liberals. it is really a lack of respect for the historical. i would like to know that why you think in america history is such a field like political science he drives anything with it. >> boy a lot there. there are two parts to your question in my mind.
on the history business cut by that i recommend to you and viewers to look into this controversy raising just in the last few days in the american historical association or the president, james sweet who is a historian at wisconsin he has a historian of african history and slave trade and a liberal. he wrote what a plex the history profession academically these days is what he called presentism. i might call historic is in. we interpret the past strictly through our current political biases. and he thanks that is a mistake to think he simply write about that. the blowback against him was ferocious and had to apologize within 488 hours for the harm he caused especially to scholars of color it was a very familiar apology cycle if seena now. i think that's the biggest problem history is not always been that way. but academic history i could go again a long time about this,
but one of the things that is odd to me as there is his huge hunger in the reading public for biographies. so gramps, hamilton and so forth. almost always written by non- academic writers. his books were always big david mccullough treatment and other people and john adams. you almost never see a biography from an academic historian anymore. one or two exceptions recently, of frederick douglass. you go back 75 years academic historians are people like arthur's lessons are at harvard. by the way my age of reagan was meant to be played in an age of roosevelt. wonderful books reading wise. sausage or was it great stylist made good strong arguments that he had a liberal bias and that is fine. trying to return the favor. so that is a very big problem. this speech question you started out with the free speech movement use the old
abbreviation from 64, stillwell remembered about barkley. but the irony isle this. i think you said it, the students of the new left in the 60s and we want to grow up and have responsibility now but we do not want administrators coddling us. now within ministers is what was set up barkley. today when we hear about on campuses? safe spaces, hate speech, bias instance response teams. every fall until covid came along, i would usually to get asked to be on panel for parents. i'm coming weekend was often people graduate 40 or 50 years ago. some came in and look like they haven't left they have ponytails beard and tied in the also the same thing. what is the matter was students today question what we were for free speech and we meant it. no free speech is dying on campus. that is something that is true
but the second part of that free speech movement at barkley metastasize there and elsewhere to more radicalism is also true a longer story. and so on one hand the free speech movement i still think was a great milestone for the principle of free speech. the university was trying to control political speech too w much. they blundered every step of that episode it's a fascinating story. but at the same time you had the roots of the campus conformance and we see today that also grew out of that request barkley in california for second this is from art text. given your california native now at barkley what he should wear the current state of one party governance in california and the reasons for that? is there potential for reform and how would that be accomplished? >> oh boy. let me go in reverse order. what say that his hispanic vote naturally and in california has been shifting tohe the right for
this a lot of data on this a lot of other people writing about this. california is always a reliably until bill clinton flipped it in it's never come close to flipping back. part of what has happened is the industrial base of the state the economic base completelyy changed. in the cold war ended had a lot to do with it. the california i grew up in was big into aerospace. all of the moon rockets were built there, the space shuttle was built there and so forth. that's a very republican industry and that left the state. personal strength and it left the state. but replace with silicon valley for some reason is very liberal in the entertainment industry has always been very liberal. a minute off a lot of people have left the state. a lot of republican voters have moved to texas, they moved to idaho they have moved everywhere else.
as i say the hiss to panic vote on the asian boat is trending more republican for many reasons. i do not see democratic control of the anytime soon. but i do sink on it said a lot of controversial things and they don't shye away from a. i think a bit less controversy old to when you have sustained one party rule is just about we don't have any political competition. to start getting some corruption i think. we are going to see. california is now losing population the first of its history of estate since 1850. that is to assist out-of-print how can state with all these assets be losing population? there's something clearly wrong with this picture. >> one hour tour to our conversation in-depth conversation with stephen hayward talking about his books, two of the largest of those books by page volume the age of
reagan a two-volume work from the 1960s and the 19811980s 1989. i want to come back to the age of reagan. said a entertainment industry has always been very liberal. t take me through ronald reagan navigating the entertainment industry what he took from that. proctor may have overstated that a little bit. i say liberal, democratic maybe the 40s and 50s into the 60s with directors like john ford, pro- american you would say. u.s. me earlier help break and a conservative. but i skipped over the late 40s when he was head of the screen actors guild. it was always thought it was a comic misadventure of mccarthy and stuff. but not really true until we
later got some documentation for kgb spent some real money trying to infiltrate the trade unions in hollywood. he believed in the propaganda value of entertainment. he sawa all this infected carrd a gun for a while because there been threats on him for standing up to this. he was threatened it's a few times to go to some these meetings and realize some of these front groups really were communist front groups. a lot of the so-called hollywood there kind of dupes i suppose. but fast forward to the 1980s and george soaps says to reagan, by the way he ignored his briefing book and wrote his own topping points for this first summit of camp david. secretary scholz said to them there are some people in the state department and the national security councilot worried that you might not be fully prepared for the equal of gorbachev. there is a nervousness about it.
reagan said don't worry i'd dealt with comments in hollywood i know what they're like. to the conventional washington person that had to be a wholly-owned reassuring answer. but he meant it. the whole effort to try to influence hollywood didn't come to rethink partly because of reagan some forgotten figures was reagan's man too. they worked hard to seal off that threat to the industry. the thin reagan in later years would like to talk about how i miss the hollywood movies are pro- american also traditional morality. when my favorite reagan lines was on johnny carson the night showed johnny carson 1972 and carson said well, actually the governor's office thank you might go back into making movies? and reagan just like that's it oh no i'm much too old to take off all my clothes. [laughter] there he was he was good at that sort of thing.
quick to talk about reagan writings on briefing notes. you talk in the book about his writing processes as a prolific writer. why did he have such an affinity towards winston churchill and quoting winston churchill? stevee i noticed reagan quoted churchill a lot and i got curious. i started looking up the usages and previous presidents. there is a canadian writer, i forget his name, who said it is imperative in american politics you quote churchill. all of our presidents did in that era. reagan quoted or referenced churchill more than all previous presidents put together. i thought, that's interesting. and i noticed he is not using the famous, familiar quotes but
employing churchill in a serious way, and sometimes obscure quotes. substantive way and obscure quotes the more i looked i realized their thought pattern was alike on things like the cold war especially. what a separated reagan from other conservatives was the thought the cold war doesn't have to go on forever not because it is a bad thing but the soviet union was unnatural. that is a phrase reagan used about it. everything else thought, skissinger, there are liberals here to stay we've got to find a waway to get along with them and reagan said i want to get along with them but i don't know how long the countryak can last. they collect the jokes about the social dysfunctions they had. churchill thought thech same thing, he thought that this country couldn't persist. it was a tierney that it would
collapse. >> one time when ronald reagan quoted, one of the many times, january of 1981 in his first inauguration speech. what did he have to say? >> can we solve the problems confronting us? the answer is an unequivocal emphatic yes. to paraphrase winston churchill i didn't take the oath i've just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy. >> i was there for that. i'd just shown up to go to work and i had grown up with reagan of course. the original churchill quote was i think i didn't become the minister to provide for the liquidation of the british empire which happened anyway but that is its ownpp separate stor. reagan used to like to quote
churchill on parallel thoughts about nuclear weapons. churchill in the early 50s said the united states into the west had a monopoly on you ear weapons we didn't use. is there any doubt of the russians had the weapons they would use it for conquest. reagan said the same thing in the mid-1960s most famously in the debate with robert kennedy that by all accounts he clobbered kennedycl and that disappeared from view but in any caseht you can see the thought patterns ran alike. >> we started talking about reagan's' writing style and it's one of the things you get into in your book one of the similarities the writing and preparation for speeches. explain the parallels. >> just on the speechmaking churchill wrote his own speeches. reagan wrote more than people
think that the speechwriters will always say we will come back to see what he said before and update it. he made a lot of changes. churchill came to that as a very young the mp around 1903. ever since then he always came in with notes on four by six cards like reagan used later and he rehearsed the speeches. and i have to say i'm very critical of speechmaking. it's one thing if you're not a great speaker but i see a lot of politicians who obviously
haven't worked very hard on their speech or they do too many of them. they will accept an invitation toti a convention oriented those are usually pretty bland. >> who is america's greatest speechwriter right now? >> right now that's hard to say. obama was a good speech maker. obviously has natural talent at it. it isn't prized the way it used too. nixon wasn't that good at it but he worked at it so his speeches usually had some affect. >> the title reagan, churchill and the making of extraordinary leaders. what makes somebody politically great? >> one of my hobby horses about academic conventions these days. i think they were both a
statesman in the serious sins of the word and that is a term that's disappeared as recently as the 1970s you could read an article that talked about statesmanship. onmodern empiricists say there's no objective definition but that's nott new. i think it was the famous republican speaker of the house in 1900 who said it's the popular politician and to be sure our partisan passions would often say if you're liberal but i think that a statesman is someone with two things, one some key principles and combined with a grasp circumstance in other words i may have this principle but here's the world
become a member of the united states rather than paying taxes because that seems to be the only thing you have to do to be a citizen of the united states. >> can i ask before he gets off the phone, what do you think would be a good requirement? what would you want to see? >> caller: i believe we should have national service. it doesn't have to be military. it could be social services, an engineer to build levees or you could be solving water crisis in thegh drought stricken states or some form of service to the country because right now it seems to be everybody is just out for themselves and nothing towards going back to a love of the country and support for the
country the way we use to have. >> at least two interesting parts. the idea of national service periodically resurfaces, and there's a lot to it in the abstract. i think in practice it would be difficult for the country to do because of our size and diversity is rightly understood with different ethnic groups. it would be hard to manage, but at the back of it is at the heart of the second question which is what makes us beyond just the simple legal requirements of paying taxes and living here and registering to vote. dnational service would depend n and i think real meaningful citizenship and what we have in common one of the things that
bothers me today as we are emphasizing ourzi differences gender orientation and so forth and if we start thinking of other americans as alien from eachca other it's hard to have n idea of common citizenship. you think national service might solve that which not everybody but huge participation in the military and world war ii and but certainly for a lot and now it's down to 2% of the population. the idea is it would get people together from different backgrounds.am i think in practice today you get the special-interest saying you don't have to join the army
but toe join our environmental lobby or club atra the nra. we are very good these days of self organizing our special interest and i have a hard time seeing how you would avoid that. if you say let's have the government define aef one-size-fits-all like americorps was a national voluntary service under clinton. i don't think that would work very well. i could be wrong. if we try it one day. >> the country comes together at a time of national crisis like in the pressure of c world war . lots of bad things happen. with covid why didn't you draw
the country together? yes and no. but the response, we are going to be studying this for years and arguing about it for years but i think you saw the centralization of policymaking when there's so much uncertainty and so much we didn't know that we should have been more opened and different strategies but look what happened they started calling him governor death santos and i think this is correct the experience was no better or worse than anybody else. there's a lot of interventions that seem to have a lot of affect. i've heard of it all, but i
think that making one person, anthony fauci, the oracle for everything. i think he was overexposed. he was on tv every night on the networks and that was a mistake. he should have had a plurality of voices weighing in. >> is it a certain crisis that you think might bring us together? a >> the public wasn't a threat to the regime. that was a shocking event and for the couple of years president bush approved of the ghratings. he had a lot of cooperation from the other party. that's a long unfortunate story. it's perceived as a threat to
survival ofva cells in the couny and that would make people put aside. we hate to put it that way but when something like that happens, people put aside a lot of their particular passions i think. we can come back to that later and i don't know if we get back to that by p persuasion. i hate to be this pessimistic it might be the point of no return where the leader can. are we more divided than we've ever been since the civil war? >> i think we are. the i difference is it's not a geographic i could seek some scenarios where it may be the fireball that's one way it might
happen. but i thought of some scenarios where it might erupt. right now i'm keeping those to myself. >> you wrote about january 6th in the city journal. this was on january 7thf 2021. the republican party has just experienced it or at least since the resignation of richard nixon even if lincoln were alive today andha agreed with the claims tht the presidential election was ripe with fraud he would not count it as as model uprising. >> one reason it was such a disaster remember washington, d.c. and other cities boarded up
valuee that happened. january 7th 2022 in "the new york post," this is what you wrote over the riot at the capital a year ago but also its deep insecurity. ideological hollowness and what psychologists call rejection that is attributing to others what is going on in your own mind. >> i think a lot of what you will see today from democrats has very long roots. stephen douglas, one of his favorite attacks on lincoln's view and black republicans of the black republican party, thatwas a straightforward appeao racial bigotry. maybe people north were opposed to slavery but they didn't want them in their neighborhood so that was kind of demagogic.
it's not perfect, but that's the phrase president biden is using and you can find a parallel between their. i think you can see some very deep roots. there's a cliché these days used by liberal riders and activists. our democracy is under threat. the joke ide used is our democry trademark. stephen douglas and other leading democrats in the run-up to the civil war said they refer to the democratic party and the subtle implication was that democracy was the sole proprietary thing of the democratic party so these days if you're for trump or disagree with the democrats or liberals on integrity it's a threat to democracy.cr this to me has a very distinct
echo of what you saw in the 1850s. i know that's a really strong thing to say but there's a good thing i will mention which is the irony is nobody seems to see this that things like the project that essay that's what john c calhoun and alexander stephens said yesterday. talking pointsus with the talkig points of the confederacy in 1860. tucson arizona, you are on this morning. >> caller: i went to school in southern illinois university and there was a great genius of a
guy. the dome uses one sixth of the materials and one third of the energy to heat and cool and i think what a great time for this idea to come to fruition. this idea should be acted uponni think. i forget the exact biography but he was a thinker and a geographic dome. i made one in high school with a couple friends of mine. it took all summer because there were no kits for it. we had to book them together and so we made one.
i've seen a few houses but i wouldn't say they are ugly. i don't think people find them very aesthetically rewarding. on the energy efficiency thing we used to do a lot of work on energy policy. i try to keep up a little but we've now got lots of energy efficient design features being rolled all over the world so i think the superiority is much less so now as i call these you have to be all in and we have to
hand over the car keys right away. there are climate skeptics that essay there's nothing happening here. the world is warming, not sure how much more it's going to warm and the extreme views are underestimated up as a policy analyst which is what i also did you want to analyze with uncertainty risk certainly long-term climate change has a small probability. so i look at what we've been doing on climate policy and
abroad. the more serious you think climate change might be inri the future the more you should be frustrated and contentious towards with the movement has been trying to be after. it is high emissions it's a lot of happy talk about how we can go and can quickly carbon free in ten years. for while hydrogen was the new thing. heut later did a complete 180. nobody is really calculating. i think i was one of the first persons. we now talk about net zero and
80% reduction on the carbon emissions by 2050. i figured out what that meant by going through the energy statistics that would take us back to the fossil fuel use of 1910 when we had 100 million people, no cars. we have about 5,000 british thermal units. someone has to show me how you get there with nonfossil uses. it doesn't add up very well.
the coalition is largely benefiting. i would like tolike hear your thoughts on how social conservatives displace the compulsion within the republican party as you leave the reagan era. >> to say more about the definition of it was trying to bridge the theoretical differences between libertarians who wantnt to maximize and traditional conservatives who worryy about cultural things and the family and so forth. they are more along the lines of conservatives but point to things like pornography and the
erosion of morals. it used to try. it in place you are putting together two things that don'tto go together. you can't have liberty without some traditions and a moral understanding of what human beings are. most libertarians, not all are pro-choice and most traditional conservatives obviously are not.
a lot of them were former democrats who switched parties. what ought to be said abortion wasn't a national issue before. once we nationalized it suddenly it became front and center in the politics. when you think about abortion and same-sex marriage and all this, if you are a social conservative it's hard to keep that coalition together. >> on the line from maryland did you have a follow-up question do that?ex michelle from orlando florida, you're next. >> my main question is the republican party leadership is
very confusing. unlike what happened in watergate where the leadership came to nixon and said enough. you're caught, you've got a problem. you've got to go. we have leadership that on the one hand they criticize trump or may criticizee him on other behaviors and then will turn around like kevin mccarthy and make nice. it seems to me that there are so many things that are such misbehaviors that he is not held accountable for in the public forum.
how do we accept a person that i had so much misbehavior most recently now with these classified documents and nobody comes out and says your behavior is wrong, get off the public forum, work in a different way if you wish but this couldn't representt the party and yet thy continue to pander to him constantly. >> i guess we will mark you down as undecided on the trump question. the first point about the confusion reminds me of will rogers commented of the democratic party. he said i am a democrat. now we can say that about the democrats. i don't think there's any
mystery of what's going on. trump has a lot of republicans intimidated because he does have a hold on the energetic base of the party. the days and hours after januart of senior republicans who were saying he's got to go i don't know how serious or extensive or all the rest of that. maybe someday we will find out i don't know if there are documents or e-mails orma what t but it's that simple. the i analytical statement i thk is true he is the dominant political figure in the last decade that may include mitch
mcconnell and mccarthy they've got their fingers crossed hoping he will just go away. people say he's young and should wait but i think there are moments in politics when you have to do it. i think that his moment it is now and at the moment might not present itself again so that could happen. >> joining us to talk about his various bookss if you want to join the conversation if you're in the eastern or central time zones each 200, mountain or pacific (202)748-8201. viewers on the close-up shot have been seeing over your right
shoulder the real jimmy carter. we've been talking about reagan and donald trump and you're probably wondering what you think the real jimmy carter is, why write about jimmy carter? >> several reasons. he bugged me. i think it should be said it was a thing of genius that showed some insight. the sentence was after johnson and nixon and watergate and all the rest with the american people really wanted us somebody that taught sunday school. he taught sunday school for real. i it's the post-presidency that's the most interesting in some ways that half the book talks about. i think he is the first president who took on significant causes after he left office but the exception of
herbert hoover who headed the commission about how to restructure the federal government he wasuc the perfect person for that in a lot of ways but he took on all these causes. great humanitarian gestures but he interfered in foreign policy. in the first gulf war in 91 was on the phone to some leaders in the middle east saying you shouldn't go along with what president bush is trying to get you to do. all of it like the recklessness there were people talking like canal we charge him with the act or some of these other statutes. he also wrote a book about how israel is a part-time state that
goes way too far. going back to the 70s the traditional democrat. he is aa machiavelli he was a pretty tough guy. >> how did he metal during ronaldld reagan's presidency? >> i wrote that book 15 years ago and i forgot some of the details but he was saying or communicating with people why reagan should be resisted. most just stay on the scene and prtalk to people. and as carter's center wasn't just a presidential library it's being copied by other people but it's activist organizations about his views on human rights.
that's fine of course but he is a different kind and he's now f the model for ex- presidents. >> michael in broward county, florida. your next. >> good morning. i'm going to d see if we can wee both of these together. in activist in the district into this issue of keeping schools open or closing them as a matter of life or death and it's usually for the elderly. my question is, i think i'm going to be able to give reagan and the trump and out here because first i want to describe you can check with of the editor on cnn there's trump and they actually said they were wishing to increase disease in the
population by using them as a smallpox in blankets to spread the disease because they don't get it among the population to increase. they said it word for word that's the dictionary definition. i don't thinkth what they are doing isba bad. i don't think these people are evil. in science we push in the 1850s to justify slavery based on what they are calling now the natural order but that is from herbert spencer who founded the educationys system. they came up with of this false belief and competition and survival of the fittest. evolution works by cooperation. >> that's a lot of their. >> that is a lot. i'velo been trying to stay out f this stuff in great detail.
i think we learned early on unlike the spanish influenza of 1918 the children with low risk of complications from the disease i think the number of children who died from covid in the single digits and even those who maybe had comorbidities, and the other is more are coming around the british and the recent weeks into saying we should have embraced a focused protection model. the governor of new york sending elderly back to the nursing homes who still hadn't gotten overd. covid. the point is we should have had much more focused protection for those that were the most vulnerable.
we were hoping we could without herd immunity reaching a critical mass. the vaccine turned out to be oversold. there was a harder question than people thought. i think they may end up beingic vindicated. the way the caller put it is a little harsh but that's okay. >> lecolumbus ohio this is john. good morning. >> my question goes back to reagan. after the great depression we introduced regulations for the banks to avoid such economic catastrophes. afterwards we experienced debates and economic stabilities. e now when reagan came into office
he had the decision to reintroduce. what responsibility do you think he played to the eventual 2008 crisis? to make i think not much. one particular part that was a part of that is changing the revelation 20 years before the 2008 catastrophe and the legislation of the savings alone passed in a lame-duck book before reagan even c took offic. it was the main banking
regulation. otthat wasn't revealed until bil clinton was president and i think the role of that in the 2008 financial crisis was understated but it's one of many elements. so i don't think reagan is the bad actor in all of that. they were to go easy on the savings alone in arizona. if you could blame that on the regulators from buckling under the political pressure that is a commonplace problem unfortunately. it's great to talk with you today. i do think that you are exaggerating. the former president was the
executive at the time. but my question goes to the america first movement in the 30s when it was spreading throughout germany. i do believe the cable media fox and msnbc and cnn are entertainment channels. what is the impact of the misinformation and why wouldn't we defend the countrywe against all enemies both foreign and domestic, why wouldn't we want to do that? >> i certainly do want to do that. one problem and att the first part of your question puts the finger on it. we disagree with the enemies are and we make enemies of the other side to put it in simple terms. one plays into this.
do you don't get to pick the information you like if you are on the left you watch msnbc and if you're on the right you watch fox. we had the information channels when walter cronkite was watched by 70 million now if there's 20 million or 25 million even if you think fox is better msnbc they reach a small portion of the population. the top-rated show gets five or 6 million on a good night. that's a lot of people but it's not 300 million at 70 million like walter cronkite. >> do you watch much television? >> i've always been a news
junkie. i started watching in college. people thought it was kind of weird. i still do like to see the cover story. my one observation it's become kind of a human interest story with a spotlight on a fireman rescued a puppy dog from a tree in ohio or something. it's always touching. not the kind of thing you would have seen on a walter cronkite broadcast. it keeps the viewers because they like that sort of thing. >> anyny offer out there also a book junkie as we do with every offer that appears on the program asked the favor of the books and what he's reading now. among his favorite books, paul johnson modern tes. winston churchill who we talked aor lot aoday, thoughts and
adventures. lord of the rings in terms of what he's currently reading. alexander lee, his life and times. which of any of those books dor you want to talk about? >> i could give you 50 bucks is the problem. i could have given different titles from churchill and so forth. my criticscs say i do but never mind. the modern times i like because it was a great read about it as a style i tried to emulate with others. i call it an analytical narrative i once got to meet paul johnson is it fair to describe you have some analysis of what it means so it's not just the facts of what happened. churchill did the same thing in
his history books than he would spend two or three pages on the significance of what they meant and that is a style i try to emulate. c.s. lewis it's just 70 pages long and on the surface about literature but it's a restatement of thehe traditions and of the criticism of what in modern times we call moral relativism. it's an elegant statement. i have a half joke referred to as libertarians and conservatives and you can tell how someone ended red if they read and became libertarians if they read lord of the rings they became conservatives. i read lord of the rings.
>> also mentioned the c.s. lewis. why one and not the other is the debate. >> it's so much more epic. he worked in serious theological teachings. i am more partial to the space trilogy and the last one that hideous strength to get through i think itit stands up to one of the great anti-utopian models in the 20th century. >> writing a lot about religion. brian lamb on not this particular program but this network spoke to one of your heroes back in 1994 and asked him in an interview how much of
his religious beliefs were in his books and writings. i don't quite know why although funny yo' should mention i am on a memoir about my best friend who died a decade ago somewhat mysteriously but that's all we talker about is our religious state and politics and a hold of other things we talk about all kinds of religions and say we will figure it out when we are sitting with a cigar in the backyardth so i've been trying o use this describing our
friendship. maybe i can finish the story. maybe i will finish doing this and talk about theology and religion but right now i've never tried something like this before. >> who is somebody you could have those conversations with? >> the same questions were on our mind. we met in college and we were inseparable after we met. there's a lawyer in oregon. we kept in close touch and we use to write in the 80s before e-mail and everything else we would write long letters summarize what was most important in the previous year and we exchanged those letters.
kudos something like that? so this is a year ago yesterday i had cancer surgery for very minor cancer way earlier than i normally presented as a problem and ever since then i thought don't wait. so i took my family on an extravagant two month vacation which i've been putting off forever. that's also why i'm pursuing. i've got too many things to do so the chapters in the memoir i
described. i'm not going to wait on that either. not just the last year but the last several years. it's c increasing the ignorancef the more things i thought i knew but i don't know. so again, half joke. the older i get, the less i know. it gets more confusing. north carolina, thanks for waiting. >> what a wonderful conversation. i'm w very familiar with his hay
hour podcast and listening to him talk about his books i feel i could be a friend with him. i just want to get your thought about this idea which i just discovered in the last three or four years about nixon. i know we haven't talked much but there's a gentle man named jeff sheppard an attorney that served under nixon in his entire presidency and he makes the case nixon was driven out of office as part of a plot by people who took advantage of the situation nixon had no idea what was going on and it was up to the place nixon couldn't defend himself and there were no republicans to defend him and he resigned.
the fact had come out in totality there were criminal ads but it wasn't nixon it was the criminal in that situation. i will get off the air and area tocontinue the last few mif the program. >> i did a two-part podcast with him. >> there is a lot to that subject we don't have time to do. i will just say this. i've often wondered if watergate would have happened differently if we had today's media environment twitter would have been alive with stuff. it might have gone quicker. nixon might have been gone in six months or he might have
survived. there will be a lot of revisionist histories i will just say that. >> out of new york. good morning. you're next. with questions about his mental capacity i would like you to just lay out how baker was as the chief of staff at the end of the reagan administration i will hang up and listen to your
answer. i think one reason reagan chose howard baker had been the ranking republican on the watergate hearings reagan wanted to somebody that had good relations and was well respected and a pillar of washington to comeon in and ride the ship. i am not quite sure if there's an undertone if baker was a bad influence. i think reagan was still his own man always and there's this widespreads view.
>> how do we know that? >> documents that have come out. people telling stories of different meetings. you triangulate a lot of material. i could give you a lot of examples. maybe the famous one was the star wars speech just about everybody was against it like the secretary of state with may be only two people that thought it was a good idea to read a. >> a question on reagan but one that you come back to a couple of times including greatness and the age of reagan y right reagan was more successful rolling back the soviet empire then he s rolling back the domestic government empire chiefly because the latter is
the harder problem. another big question and a short amount of time. that conclusion in the second volumeti got criticism from enthusiasts when it came out and now a lot of the populist conservatives say totally irrelevant to today. you hear this a lot from pretty smart people i know and like. the point was this connects to the big problem in the administrative state and entrenchment. i think the lesson is this is than we thought to reform a a bureaucracy. nixon tried and it's part of the watergate story so now things have marched on for a while and you look back in hindsight and
he could have been bolder or contact harder. some people said that in hindsight but it turns out our ownwn homegrown problems. >> in the final 30 seconds or so we talk about the perfect conservative. i thought about it as a subtitle to the book because he was so ecumenical in his news. >> the current a book that just came out apostle of freedom we have been talking these past two hours with the author of eight books among them the age of reagan the fall of the old liberal order the conservative revolution 80 to 89 patriotism is not enough and then most recently the stan evans book. i appreciate your time spending