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tv   Bill Whittle on Messaging for Millennials  CSPAN  August 12, 2015 4:43pm-6:25pm EDT

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whenever possible, even if it's in progress, to share that with the company as it's happening. >> that's great. a great internal norm. those are some of the difficult conversations that aren't usually framed that way. normally when we hear the phrase difficult conversations, we're thinking about a manager and a direct report and something didn't go writright. but this notion of saying, there's a tension in our work environment, we don't have the answer yet, but let's talk about it and think about it. questions from the audience, let's open it up. we have a couple of microphones. we want to capture it in the video and, i think we have the capability to have questions come in remotely. >> a recently article at npr highlighted the role that twitter was playing in journalism in mexico with the cartel violence that was erupting. and one woman's account was then hacked and it stated that she
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had died. and i was curious, in these violent situations, what response, if any, does twitter have? >> and so i'm not familiar with this one. so the account -- or the material that was going out from her account was not true -- >> she was reporting on the violence. and no one was entirely clear if she ever was a real person or not. >> i see. so, i would say that in the context of violence or any kind of crisis kind of situation, part of -- we get this question a lot actually, because i'll give you a slightly more tame example than violence in mexico. but still it relates. in the aftermath of hurricane sandy, there were accounts on twitter of flooding in this place, and people even had these falsified photos of certain
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places that were under water. and there, like in the case of mexico, you have these questions, like, hey, twitter and other social media seem to be giving rise to potential misinformation. as i was saying earlier, it is, i really do believe, one of the most extraordinary viral platforms that has ever existed, and as such, it can be a vector for the viral spread of misinformation. but i always point out in this context, the spread of misinformation in the context of some kind of a crisis, breaking news situation, is not new. it far predates certainly social media. and you know, the example i would give from sometime after i graduated from here was the bombing of the federal building in oklahoma city. before social media, you had established media, and the news
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accounts at the time were that there were people of a certain ethnicity who purportedly executed that bombing. the difference, though, and i think this is the key distinction and what the sort of double edged sword of social media is, you're right, it can be this vector of misinformation, but the difference, i would argue at that time, i don't remember exactly the confines of it. if you go back, i promise you, it wasn't minutes that information was out there. perhaps somebody here knows how long the duration was. it seems to me, it may have been days in many circles. and the fundamental change is that you have, on one hand, with platforms like twitter, an opportunity for incredible, on the ground reporting. i'm standing on the hudson river, there's a plane, it just landed there, here's a picture. and we later find out this is true. or i'm standing on the corner of
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bleaker street, and we're under water, ps it's not true. the beauty of social media is that it has accelerated the time of debunking these things. so i would argue that if we were able to rewind the tape to the oklahoma city bombing, that tragedy, were we to have had a platform like twitter, i think you might have accelerated the time it took to debunk these -- the misinformation that was out there. so, yes, that misinformation exists, but it can also get put back in its place even better and more quickly now. >> thanks for that. >> can you use the microphone. sorry. >> hi, thank you. i'm wondering what's your view on google withdrawing from china, more specifically to provide limited but still more superior service to 1.4 billion people, compared to just nouóçp
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service at all? >> yeah. that was definitely the most challenging chapter of my time at google, without a doubt. and, you know, it was a source of real soul-searching at the company. what i can tell you is, first let me tell you where we stand on this at twitter, and then i can try to shed some light on kind of how that went for us at google. so twitter is currently blocked in china. as much as we would love for people in china to freely access twitter, they cannot. and what we've said is that we're unwilling to make the kinds of sacrifices that we believe we would need to make in order to be unblocked there. perhaps there is a world in which twitter could be
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unblocked, but it would require sacrifices that we're just not prepared to commit to. because of our values. and in the case of google, i would say it was very similar. just the difference was, for us at the time, to continue operating there, it was requiring levels of sacrifice that we were unwilling to continue to sign up for. and you could absolutely argue, as it was argued extensively internally at the time, that being there, even in this diminished capacity and giving people some access to the service is better than nothing. but what i'll tell you about the experience at the time was, we, the premise of it was, well, we'll be there and hopefully the trend line will be one of sort of greater and greater openness. and yet we viewed the opposite. that coinciding with our
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presence there, was a move towards more and more closed behavior and limited access acc then finally at the time when we decided to take the action that we did, actual targeting of activists and dissidents. and i think for many of us there at the time the question was what for? why are we doing this? what is the benefit coming from our presence? and it didn't seem like it was benefiting the people in mainland china and it didn't seem like it was benefitting people outside of mainland china either. so it is a perfectly valid question. and it was one that required literally years of deliberation on our part. but that was the conclusion that we came to. and i would say it is a similar
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conclusion we've come to at twitter. >> thanks for that. over here. >> feel free to line up if you want to -- >> so one of the things i think with twitter is interesting is you've been seeing a decline or not at least the growth that people want to see for monthly active users and i've heard one of the trends is around syndication, how is twitter being integrated into tv shows, is it a greater measure of the impact that twitter is happening but now you talk about the free speech movement and twitter is a movement. i'm wondering, do you have any thinking about what mettics you could use to more quantitatively measure how twitter is being used as a movement and whether it is where you want to see it and the kind of impact it is having as a company. >> yeah. this is a great question. and so actually before when i was saying that i feel like being a publicly traded company hasn't changed us but the spotlight is maybe brighter.
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this is a great example. we love the growth that we're seeing with the company. there are people who, in sort of investment in analyst communities, who have their own ideas of what that growth should look like. i think the disconnect is if you just view twitter through the lense of monthly active users, it is missing a whole part of the equation and it certainly misses it in the context of the broader movement. so for us, when we think about the impact we have and how best to measure it, it much better to do with the total audience associated with any given moment than it does the specific number of monthly active users who are exposed to something. it has much more to do with the number of people who got to view and interact with a tweet
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associated with the oscars or the super bowl or elections in the u.k. than the individual number of people who produced a tweet. it has much more to do with this audience -- total audience than it does this limited slice of a user base. so that is more of how we think about it. and i guess most recently you saw some starting to experiment with different kinds of logged-out experience that would allow you, if you are not a monthly active logged in user to experience this. and that is how we're thinking about it. and hopefully, yeah, it will absolutely let people experience that part of the global conversation. >> and when you use the term audience, you are not just thinking collective followership, right? >> that is right. >> it is re-tweets, expression of engagement with the content, right? >> look at it like this.
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if you are barack obama and you want to tell the world that you've just been re-elected as president of the united states, you take to twitter to do so and you tweet out four more years as he did. but you take to twitter to do so not because it is only your x-million followers or active members that see that, but you do that because that tweet gets syndicated around the web, around the world, broadcast on television, that is your audience that is exposed to that particular expression. and so our users already think of it in this way and it is a question of i think your question is totally valid which is okay, but what are the ways to sort of quantify that and we're certainly thinking along those lines. >> great question. are there things that keep you up and we have some time for a few more questions. are there things -- and we have
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thought about a few things that might keep one up at night. can you give us an example as you look out on the horizon that might be worrisome. >> i think the china example is a fair one. we have been blocked at various times by other countries around the world too. and these are things that keep us up because when suddenly people are unable to access this platform that gives their voice this broader sort of megaphone, it is really, really challenging for us of how to navigate those watters and how do we -- waters and how do we do that and continue to uphold our values. yeah, i think those are things, certainly for me, those are things that are really, really challenging on a daily basis. >> especially for you. because you get the first call,
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right. gabriel, what do you think? >> yeah. >> that is remarkable. how often do you tweet? >> several times a day i'll tweet or re-tweet. one of you were tweeted that you were excited to have me here. thank you. was that you? i responded to that. it is a pleasure to meet you in the real world. i should say, hey, again, in terms of just to tread lightly and question the status quo, in part because for me i feel like what is a pretty visible -- publicly visible position, and i am myself a pretty private person, i end up using twitter more for professional purposes. and so you'll see me tweeting out things like we just issued our transparency report, that is the kind of thing i want people to know about. i know there are a lot of other
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people that are tweeting about seeing their daughter's first steps. my daughter's first steps were experienced be me in the comfort of my home and weren't disseminated that way. but that is up to each his or her own feeling. but that is my particular usage. >> and people do talk about -- occasionally, because i tend to use it professionally as well, but occasionally i'll tweet about my kids and i think -- if it feels or sounds authentic to them i think they respond favorably to that. >> it is lovely. it is lovely. as a user, i just -- some of the moments where i get to see this unvarnished look at people who i never would have access to -- i love those kinds of experiences. to be able to be exposed to interactions between people, i love those experiences too. and to the extent there is an
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appetite from some of you out there to see the unvarnished look at me, i'm happy to catch up over coffee sometime but that is not something i put on display. >> are there any tweets that you regret? >> oh, that is a great. i don't think -- honestly, no. and maybe this is because i'm a fairly cautious person. no. there are certainly none that i regret. there are plenty that i regret other people having done for them. but no. i stand by. >> that's great. that's great. and this is a relatively recent tweet of mine and iíd thought i was harmless, my daughter who was 11, nicole had a civilization's history text book and i picked it up and started leafing through it and it mentioned that as best experts can tell that christ was not born in the year zero. that christ was born in the year
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5 bc, or the best guess. and i tweeted that i just learned this and am i the last to know. and so the birth date for christ is a lot of important to people in the world and i got a lot of response to that tweet and i was trying to be the scientist. no, it got more response than i expected. >> so if it makes you feel any better, we had doctor kneel gaston out here in the bay area last week and he came by the office and was asking him about this extraordinary exchange he had -- some of you may have seen this -- but i think it was last christmas he tweeted out in his way that on this day, i guess on december 25th, he tweeted out on this day we celebrate someone -- i'm going to do a bad job of
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paraphrasing but understand this is the spirit of it. for all of you fact checkers out there. on this day we celebrate that was born by the time he was born revolutionized the world, happy birthday isaac knew ton. and it turned out people assign special value to december 25th. and he heard an earful about it. but to your question, any that -- any tweets that we or others regret, he certainly was unapollo jettic in -- unapologetic in having made that. and i think, again, people are pro pro provockive member of our society and just as much as he was before twitter it is just that we get to experience it along
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with him. and those type of behaviors i love seeing. >> i think that is part of the reason why the university, the market place for ideas is owe open here and that is why we love it so much. gabriel, thank you for being here today. >> thank you for having me. [ applause ] >> thank you all for being here today and thank you for the wonderful work that you've been doing. on behalf of all of us, thank you very much. >> coming up on c-span. we focus on reaching young people. next bill whittle on ways conservative can reach young voters using pop culture and making political candidates more appealing. then a panel of millennials, including barbara bush, discusses the issues and cultures and stereo types about
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their generation. then twitter chief communication officer gabriel stricker and the company's efforts to address free speech concerns while limited abusive practices such as trolling. the c-span cities tour visited historic sites across the nation to hear from local historians and authors and civil leaders every other week on book tv and american history tv on c-span 3. and this month with congress on the summer recess, the cities tour is on c-span each day at 6:00 p.m. eastern. today we travel to greensboro, north carolina to learn about the literary life of that city. >> now a look at conservative messaging for the 21st century. political commentator and author bill whittle addressed an audience at the conservative forum of silicon valley looking at ways conservatives can reach young voters using pop culture
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and making political candidates more appealing. [ applause ] hi, everybody. i like to get this a little closer to me in case i decide to pick up a little religion tonight, and take a step back so i can hear how loud i'm being. it is a pleasure to be back up here. last time i didn't realize how close i am to berkeley and this time i did and i was surprised that my skin didn't burst into flames but i'm a degree or two warmer than otherwise and it is great to be up here. we have a large, large problem ahead of us. many times when we talk about problems out there in the real world, we talk about the problems of demographics, demographics if terms of the west disappearing, just demographically disappearing and we have a problem in the terms
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of the demographics of history. in high school, we face the fact that younger and younger people are becoming more left wing. it is not an accident that they weren't taught about our founding principals, if they were they wouldn't be so left wing and so they are more left wing. and when we look out at conservatives, we see a group that is older. this isn't bad. i have been at a tea party crowd and the average age is deceased and that is a problem. that is a serious problem. [ laughter ] >> so in order to understand that problem and in order to do something about that problem and in order to start making some traction with young people who are, in fact, extremely conservative, we have to understand something. we have to understand this in our bones. and we're very reluctant to understand this in our bones. we have to understand that people don't vote the way they think, they vote the way they feel. and this is true for all of us. that is not a bad thing. a lot of people look down on that. but the feelings are the core
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emotions, feelings are what really drives our personalities. and if people vote the way they feel and they feel bad about conservatives then they're going to vote for liberals just because they don't like us. and that is really the simplicity of the problem we find ourselves in today. we don't get the votes because we're perceived as being the villains. i'll give you an interesting example, exit polling after the elimination of mitt romney. exit polling, people coming out of voting booths after the election of 2012 said mitt romney won on the issue they consider most importantly, which was the economy. he won on defense and job economy. and mitt romney in exit polling after the 2012 election won on virtually every single question the people asked with one exception. and the one exception where mitt lost was something like 89% in favor of obama was who do you
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think cares more about you. romney won on defense and everything else, and who cares about you, and obama caried that with 89% or something like that. and that is how they voted. because mitt romney turned you into a villain. and i'm here to tell you about the story today. because if we don't tell you about story we won't win against the weenies and the losers an the weak lings and the kind of kids at the student koubs meetings -- council meetings saying if you vote for me, i'll give you a longer recess. get out of my face. i don't need you to tell me what to do. we are going to lose to these weenies before we lose the story. before mitt romney got into the fight he was the villian. and people don't vote for the villain. the best entrance of a villain was in star wars, i saw it on the roof of a station waggan in 1977 and you see this rebel
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alliance and this vast enormous force of empire fighting this tiny little group of individuals trying to escape and you get in the spaceship and you see the rebel troopers and they are humans with faces and they are nervous and scared because they have a fight coming and the hatch blows and here comes the white stormtroopers and masked that suggest skulls and killing these individual people and after a few moments of this, this 7 1/2 foot tall treater with a nazi helmet with a mask that looked like a living skull and breathing like an artificial monster robot steps out of the gates of hell and i turn to the person sitting next to me and i said i bet you that is the bad guy. you will not vote for the villa villain. you won't. and mitt romney let himself be demonized and unvilified.
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you can only go after the other villain and then you can decide who has the best policy thnd we would have won the election. but that didn't happen. because we don't understand the story, the power of what they did when they said mitt romney is a vampire that caused flauts and the election was already over. if we don't understand the power of this we won't win again and i don't want to lose to these people f. we're going to lose, can't we lose it to people with machine guns and tanks or somebody who can respect nazis or communists. do we have to lose the economy to the jug ears narcissist meanies because they can tell a story and we can't. no. not me.
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so -- so, we have to understand the power of story and we have to understand the power of how the left gets its message into people's hart. they don't do it through websites or pamphlets or brochures or speeches. this is coming as a shock. the young people who voted for barack obama have never listened to a speech of barack obama. i assure you that this is the case. they've never listened to the state of the union address and asked him what his policies were they couldn't tell you. they voted because jay-z and beyonce and george clooney and lady gaga votes for obama and every they do like and admire votes for obama app that is why they vote for obama. it is the power of the pop culture. and if you don't understand the power, i'm about to give you a short education. so let's play a game. i'm a political operative and i had the kind of control over your brain space so if i could start a sentence -- start a sentence, you could finish the
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sentence for me. if i knew you well enough, so that i could start a sentence and you could finish it for me, i would have you, right? i would have your heart and mind and you would do anything i damn well wanted you to. so we're going to do it, three times because we have three different age groups. here is how we're going to start. i'm going to start a sentence and you're going to finish it for me. here is the power of the pop culture. are you ready. look, up in the sky, it's a superman. exactly. now let's go younger. just sit right back and yule hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started aboard this tiny ship. and we have a couple of young people get in the back getting ready to make a hasty escape, but this is for the four or five out there that are younger than the rest of us. i'm a young man of the conservative movement.
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i'm 55 years old. we have real big problems here. this is for you. it seems today that all you see -- is violence in movies and sex on tv. what have we done there. i've started the theme to the superman to the tv show. i've started the theme3ov1z to gilligan island tv show and the family guy tv show and none of us had to go to a website or read a program or look it up on the internet, you knew the end of those things because you had seen them hundreds if not thousands of times and taken them into your brain in a way you don't take in things when you read or get a pamphlet. the suspension of disbelief drops. there stands -- was it george reefs in a badly made suit and he's complying and you believe it. and it goes in a deep part of your brain. we call this the willing sense of disbelief. and so if you could believe this, look, it is a bird, a
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plane, it is superman, you could do that because he got into your heart. you didn't know it. and you didn't know that you knew it. and everything associated with superman got into your heart. because superman was a positive view of america. he was america. he is a god who lives on earth who is unlimited in power and is only inhibited by his own moral decency. an that is what america is. and his motto is i stand for truth, justice an the american way, the control of power went into your heads when you watched superman and that is the political message that came with superman and if you can look up in the sky and say, look, it is a bird, it is a plane, everything that represents superman is in your heart and that is why you could finish that sentence. i'm a little boy, and i watched gilligans island. and if you want to get off the
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island, just kill gilligan and your problems are over and your rescued the next week. so not a lot of political messaging on gilligans island. but there is a lot of political message in family guy. and for the young people out here who can finish the theme of family guy know the anti-capitalist and the anti-american, anti-christian and anti-conservative message that comes into that show every week is as deep in their heads as superman is in yours. we are paying people to put those messages into the minds of our kids and they can recite this stuff in their sleep. they don't have to go to the family guy website to figure out what the messages are. it is in the bloodstream. so this is a example of the power of the pop culture. because the pop culture is not just a fish in the ocean. controlling the pop culture is not just getting a big fish in the ocean or landing a whale in the ocean. the pop culture is the ocean. every political issue that we face in the country today swims
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in the pop culture. it is everything. it is the air that we breathe and we have to get into that battle space and get in a way to win. we have to get into the space. we have to be able to control our messaging. when i talk about messaging, i'm talking about the rapper. i want to be crystal clear on this. there is nothing, and i mean nothing, about the conservative ideals and messages that i would change -- not a dot or a comma, not a dot or a comma. i think the constitution is -- i have a religious awe about that document because of the devine inspiration because of the amount of work that went into it and the amount of work and study and history and the work it took to produce that. so i'm not talking for a second about changing the message. but i am talking seriously about changing the package that we put
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that message in. because the left is succeeding with a message of collectiveism and tyranny and envy and bitterness and hopelessness and they are putting it in a cardier diamond box and we have the most brilliant diamond message and we're selling it in a greasy kentucky fried chicken box and wonder why no one is buying it. no one is buying it because we don't know how to sell it. and if you are a politician on the right and you can't sell freedom to people, you are probably in the wrong line of work. honestly. how hard is it to sell freedom, virtue and private property to people in this country. if you can't do that. you really need to fine another line of work. so let's get down to the actual message and then we'll talk about the packaging and i know that i make this joke every time, but on behalf of our c-span viewers, on behalf of marco rubio, i don't know what i would do without you, by god, it
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is making it thirsty up here. so what is the message? well, what do we believe? we have pamphlets, brochures, constitutions, websites. why do we believe? the simpler the better. a sem pell message is better than a hard one. when einstein determined the relationship between matter and energy, it could have filled 60 blackboards with equations and been this astonishingly complex deal, but when he said e equals mc squared, he knew he was on the truth because it was so simple it had to be true. so simple it had to be true. so what are we selling? what is our conservative message? three things and three things only. this is what we need to sell. we need to sell freedom, private property and virtue. so how do we do that to young
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people today? the young people don't know about these terms. they've never been told about the founders, they don't know about the roman empire and how it started as the roman republic. no, we have to start from stretch. and if we say to freedom to young people, of course, everybody is free, the world is all free, we're all free. no, freedom is a bubble maintained by men and women who sign on the dotted line and put their lives on the risk to keep this horror away from this disneyland of freedom we live it but they don't appreciate that. so when we talk about freedom to young people we have to talk about the brass tax that they understand. and it is simple. freedom just means do you want to be left alone, or do you want to be told what to do? which one? and if you go to a group of college students, berkeley or anywhere else, and you say to them, do you wab to be left -- want to be left alone or told what to do, they all say they want to be left alone. i can't remember where this was,
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the university of toronto or onner land, it was likely ownerland, the most liberal college in america, that is where freedom and logic go to die and i was in a room full of students and arena seating and reasonably full crowd and how many out there think you are socialists and about seven out of ten raised their hands. about seven out of ten. so i said to them, all right, well you're socialist. i'm a capitalist. what is your core belief, what is your core tenant, what do you leave in? well, um. if you ask them to believe as socialists, they couldn't tell you. and i said it is not my job to argue your position for you but i'll do it because i have time on my hands. aren't you saying from each to his own ability, to each from
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his own accordance. we'll come back to that. and we say to the liberals and we don't want to use that word, these progressives, oberlin or over at berkeley and put aside the r and the d's, the republicans an the democrats, raise your hand if you want to be left alone and they will. and now tell your hand if you want to tell people what to do. raise your hand if you like to tell some people what to do. some of them would do, but they won't raise their hands. not one of them. not one of them. so if you want to be left alone, that means you value freedom, so which party is about being left alone? who is trying to tell you that you have to have a certain kind of health care that is only approved by a certain number of people and telling you there should be thousands of choices in health care. which party is telling you you have to wear a safety helmet when you take a shower and the other one is saying if you wab to ride your bike, do it, do it. and which is talking about loud
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guns and fast cars and hot women and which party is constantly trying to tell you you have to have this kind of car, this is your temperature setting, this is what you have to do, which party are the party of the weenies saying no, no, you can't do that, you can't do, that you can't do that and the other party is saying get out of the my face and -- get out of my face and leave me alone. if you want to be left alone and don't want to tell anyone what to do, don't you want the smallest government possible. they can only wield guns. if you don't like mcdonald's, don't go to mcdonald. but if you don't like paying taxes, they will show up and take their money by force. so if you don't like being told what to do, wouldn't you be in favor in reducing to the smallest possible size the only thing that can force you into doing what you don't want to do? yeah. congratulations, you're a third of the way to being a conservative.
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very simple. do you want to be left alone? yes. me too. congratulations, we're on the same page. now private property is a live tougher sell. because wealth has been demonized by the left because the left's entire reason for existence, the reason they obtain political power is by saying to some people, vote for me, and we'll use the power of the guns of the government to take stuff from those people and give it to you. so wealth has to be demonized because if wealth is not demonized or a reward for hard work and more hard work, then taking that is stealing. and stealing is wrong. and we don't want to be thieves do we? no. so wealth has to be unsyrianed and demonized and they have to take more than their fair share which justifies taking it and stealing it and giving it to other people. and you can pull it off and this is how i did it. you have a group full of students claiming their
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socialist, 70% raise their hands and i say fair enough, socialists, what kind of phone do you have. i have a iphone 5. what do you have? and they'll tell you -- but first they look at you suspicious, well why do you want to know -- i'm not going to steal them from you. i'm not a democrat after all. i'm just curious. and they'll tell you. and i say, all right, those of you who are socialists, not the capitalists, just the socialists, bring the smartphones down. >> why do you want our phones? well, you said from each according to his ability, each according to his need, right? i don't believe that. but you believe that. you are the socialist. so bring down the phones, because given the number of people who identify as socialists, we're going to have $2,000 worth of elect lonnics an we're going -- electronics and we're going to put them in a basket. and i'm not going to take them. we're going to take them and go
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to downtown cleveland and take a pawn shop and liquidate them and sell them for $2,000. that is one hundred $20 bills and we're going to take from the ability and give to each according to his need, bring them now. and guess what? they don't bring them down. you know why? it is because they are not socialists, that is why. because they are rock ribbed william f buckley conservatives who believe in this idea of wealth redistribution so long as it is somebody else's being redistributed to them but when it is time for them to take their wealth and redistribute it to other people they are all of a sudden thinking ronald reagan is a swell guy and that is where you put people in the position where they have to put their money where their mouth is.
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of course, you are a college student. you don't have any wealth to redistribute. you want other people to give you stuff and you will until you start getting jobs and paying taxes at which point your opinion will change. and that is normal. this is, in fact, my phone. it is mine. i don't owe this phone to an. you know why i have this phone. because i work like a slave is why. i get up every day, i work seven days a week. i very, very hard and this is one of the benefits of the extra work that i do that i don't have to do. i earned it. it's mine. it's my phone. mine. [ applause ] >> and those phones are yours. well technically thur your parents but we're not going to split hairs. but you can call them on it and put them on moral code, make them live up to their own moral code. and some of the students will
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say wealth and this and so forth. you have an xbox, a playstation, you have something. i know gamers when i've seen gamers. i'm a gamer too. i know you're playing call of duty and all of these games so let's just remember one thing here, the poorest americans are richer than 93% of the rest of the population of the earth. that toy that you go home to every night, if you were to take that toy to the pawn shop and sell that toy, you could probably feed a village in africa for a year. and you don't -- you don't. you say you would, but you don't. none of you do. you're all hypocrites. it is your property, you want it and you want to keep it. you feel like you've earned it and you probably have. but you could take that xbox and sell it for $300 and ship that money to africa and feed a family certainly for a year. and you don't. because you're not socialists. because you understand that these things are products of the life that you lead and you are
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willing -- your willingness to be charitable is not determined by whether or not somebody has a gun to your head. that is not charity. you can get people, young people to understand the value of private property when you ask them if they are going to be willing to sell any of theirs in order to live up to their valuable and incredibly advanced moral superiority and the answer is they won't do it because they are not socialists. they are regular people just like us who feel if they work hard they should been tieptled to a -- entitled to a reward for that work. pretty simple, really. third thing you need to sell and the last thing you need to sell is virtue. now you say virtue to young people and they think that means not having sex until you're 70. but that is not virtue. virtue is simple. virtue is simple. that just means, don't be a jerk. when i'm talking to college kids, i say don't be a --.
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okay. don't by a jerk. that is all virtue is, don't be a jerk. do you think -- raise your hands out there college students of america -- raise your hands if you think you have the right to hit somebody or the right to take what is in their backpack right now. do you have the right to take what is in that person's backpack? no, of course not. i agree. would you be a jerk if you hit them and/or took their stuff. so if you don't believe in hurting and hitting people and you don't believe in taking their stuff, then that means you are virtuous and the cool thing about that is ifir virtuous, then we can leave you alone. remember how you wanted to be left alone, swell. if you are not a jerk and behave virtuous, limited only to where you start to hurt people or take their stuff, if you are not a
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jerk, we can leave you alone. however, if you are a jerk and you do want to steal from people and take their stuff and hurt them, now we need policeman and cameras, parole officers and wardens and the prison guards and the whole thing that is necessary to stop some of you from being jerks. and i don't know why the rest of us all have to pay that penalty because some of you are jerks. i think we ought to deal with those of you that are jerks ab left the rest of us alone. that is what i think. and that is virtue. [ applause ] >> and congratulations, you're three thirds of the way -- you are all the way there and a rock ribbed conservative because you understood these principals are not the principals or hatred or selfishness or they are common sense freaking core values that we share. everybody wants to be left alone and the rewards of their stuff and everybody agrees it is wrong
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to hurt somebody and take their stuff. pretty simple. so if you have three simple things, a couple of simple things, how do you sell this stuff? well, i had a remarkable epiphany about this a few months ago and i was down in florida and i fly from l.a.x. to ft. lauderdale and every time i fly virgin america. i will fly them to towns i'm not going to that is how much i like virgin america. there is a point. the first time i flew on a flight, it was a red eye and i walked into the airline at 11:00 at night on alexander and i walked into a room that was dark and the lighting on the airplane was purple and red and the seats were white plastic and black leather and the music was the kind of jazz that you only hear in the coolest clubs you've been in. and i said this isn't an airplane, this is a freaking nightclub. this kicks butt. i couldn't believe how cool it was. and a little over a year ago virgin america did something
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that i seriously would like you to go home and watch if you get a chance. year and a half ago, which used to have a extremely funny animated safety video, spent millions of dollars to do a new airplane safety video. so if you get a chance, go home and look up you tube and go to the safety video and it has been seen by 11 million people and i probably put 40,000 of those hits on myself. i get off a virgin america flight having watched the video safety video and got in my car and went home and put on the headphones and listened to you tube to hear it again. because it is so good,s movement is so hot and sexy and couldn't get enough of it. and after i saw it for about the eighth or ninth time, i just got off the plane and this is 2:00 in the morning and i wanted to
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see this before i go to sleep and why i am doing this. and because it is so entertaining and so well-done that i'm willing to spend 4 1/2 minutes to hear the most boring information on the face of the earth. here is how you operate say seat belt. here is how you blow up your emergency vest. here is how you don't tamper with the smoke detectors in the bathroom. here is how you find the exit doors. it is not only the most boring information in the world, the most boring information in the world and i've heard it 200 times and totally blanked it out on every flight but i couldn't get enough of it. and i couldn't get enough of it because it was magnificently choreographs and beautifully danced and they had robot dancers and gorgeous girls and a tremendous kicking soundtrack and it was absolutely fantastic and i realized if this video with make me watch the most boring information in the world for the 20th time, after hearing
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it 300 times commercially and 11 million people on you tube have watched this safety video, then this is important. it is important. and i'm going to show you why. we need to reimagine our values for young people. not reinvent them or change them, reimagine them. there is a great example i can give you for this. when you talk to young americans about george washington, young millennials who have never been told about the history of george washington, other than he owned slaves, and when you talk to young people, ask them to describe george washington. what would they say. what will they say? he had a frilly shirt and a tri-corner hat and a powdered wig and old stockings and a waist coat and he has an old guy and carrying a musket, some old rifle. yeah, that is what george
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washington looked like. but that is not what he looked like to the people who knew him. that is what he looks like to us 250 years later. you're going to look a little stupid 250 years from now. you may not believe me but take my word for it. that hoodie is going to look absurd 100 years from now and 200 years from now you'll look like a cave man and 250 years from now people are going to laugh at you because of how you are dressed. and during the revolutionary war he snuck a message through the enemy lines, to london, england, who he is at war for six or seven years now and to a tailer in london, and i have it almost memoriz memorized. >> i would like to purchase the most fashionably coats and e buttons to look best without
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looking ostentatious. why did he send that to london when he's at war in the revolutionary war. why did he go to a london tailer? because george washington was probably the best-dressed man on the planet earth. he very likely was the best and you thought being please of hicks -- being president of hicks and hey seeds and i should be best dressed. today he would not wear a powdered wig or a hat and stockings. he was 6'4", but he would be 6'6" and wearing a $20,000 arm annie suit and herbie shirt. $200 shoed and $800 hair cut and
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a ar because he was a swinging dude. that is george washington. he would look like money because he was money. he understood the power of the money and the image. that is who george washington is. if he were standing here today, he won't be dressed like that. he would be dressed in a $20,000 suit. and i thought to my solve, how do we get this idea across to young people? because the people that knew george washington wanted him to be king. they fought a war against kings and the first thing they wanted to do was make him king because he was so overwhelmingly glamorous and interesting and sexy and cool. he was every single celebrity you know today rolled into one and he was the founder of this nation. they wanted him to be king. they wanted to refer to him as your excellency. he said, no, you will call me mr. president, we're all equals here. and when young people hear this they start to reimagine the
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whole thing. george washington with a $20,000 suit and $800 hair cut is accessible in a way a guy in a wig and hat isn't. so if i were telling starty of george washington did today, i would do what they did in the virgin safety video, with the guy in the coat and wig and three of the hottest young women on earth, and they live in the town i live in, they're in los angeles, i see them every day, an they would walk up to this 6'5" model and grab this outfit and pull it off and it would be a breakaway costume and he would be standing there, this 35-year-old super got wearing boxer underwear and the women would circle him and put him in a hermes suit and he would do the james bond cuff link pull and he would do one of those and
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pout mousse in his hair and say that is who the father of the country was and is and always will be. that is who he is. that is not who he was, that is who he is. and that is why they worshipped him and he said no, i'm not going to be your king, that is why we loved the guy. that is why we loved the guy. that is the power of reimagining these things. and you can do this all of the time. you can especially do it by using the language of the pop culture. and using the language is very, very important. i was at np event in phoenix and afterwards, during the q&a period, that is when i thought about the messaging. during the q&a period, a young woman from the local high school, said, hey, bill, i have a question for you. yeah. we want to start a tea party group at our high school and we wonder if you have any idea. and i said i do have some ideas. my first idea, whatever you do,
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do not call it a tea party group, under any circumstances. forget about the fact that the tea party has been unfairly demonized and you talk to young people about a tea party and they see little old women thinking about drinking tea but they don't know the tea party was those drunk and somebody had put a tax on tea and they trashed the team's boat and threw the tea overboard. they can relate to that but they can't relate to a tea party. that is delicate and something old people do. i said if i were you, i would prison up a brochure and it would say at 4:00 on tuesday, in room 228, there will be the first meeting of the rebel alliance. [ applause ] and i could see from that young lady's look, i could see it, she just lit up. because for the first time ever, an actual conservative was speaking to her in a language
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that she understood. i'm speaking the language of star wars. and that is not a trivial thing. how do we expect the american people to let us run the country if we don't understand our own mythology. we don't deserve to run the country if we can't speak the language of the american people. my friend jeremy borrowing said something prove auckive and true, but he said barack obama is more than fliets. and he said barack obama downloads itunes and listened and hangs out with jay-z and beyonce. so i said start the first meeting of the rebel alliance. and she said what do i tell you and i said if somebody comes up to you and say what is this rebel alliance, i said you look at them and say this isn't for
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you. what do you mean this isn't for me? no. this isn't for you. you're not cut out to be a member of the rebel alliance? no, you have to understand. if you are a member of the rebel alliance, on our best days we're outnumbered 100 to one. you don't have the strength to be outnumbered. on our best day we're out numbered 100 to 1. have you to be -- you have to be smart. things that look true, might not be true. but only a lifetime of study through the advanced jedi skills that allow us to get into beat up star fighters and pieces of junk and fight through wave after wave of death star and avoid the laser blasts and pick off some bombs and put into an event the size of a pie dish and get the hell out of there before a death star blows up and takes all of us with it, you better hope we are successful while we are sleeping because if not you
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are going to wake up and they are roasting rats over burning tires in the streets. so if you think you can handle this rebel appliance thing, be -- alliance thing, be prepared because it ain't easy. and you say that to something and you watch what happened to the so-called tea party in the phoenix event thing. so that is what we're talking about. we're talking about freedom. rebellion against authority. we're talking about what makes this country great. we're talking about leave me alone, get out of my face, stepoff and this is mine. that falcon belongs to me. i paid for it. that is mine. i risked my life for it. leave me alone. i'm a good guy. don't tell me what to do. get out of my way. and they are right there. because you are speaking their language. [ applause ] so, look, when it comes times to messag messages, one things we can do with the progressives is steal their language. they call themselves liberals. there is nothing liberal about
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them at all. i am, in fablt, i don't -- fact to get into sofistry, but i'm a conservative because i'm trying to conserve classical liberalism. the liberalism of the founders is private property, individual rights coupled with individual responsibility, fighting an entire empire because they decided to put a 1 cent tax on tea because we don't like people taking our money and we think we can spend the money better than the king can. all of the ideas about the american founding that we value as conservatives are liberal ideas and the so-called liberals who are big state socialist collectivities are another brand of elitist who believe that only the smart people should have the power and everybody else will do what they should do for their own good of course. for their own good of course. this progressivism is not new. the idea of a small group ruling
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everybody else and parcelling out garbage iphones and garbage transportation and housing to keep them happy to keep them in power is ancient and goes back to the romans and pharaohs, shaws and emires and that is the idea of large individual people. so i don't call them liberals. why are you conservative they say to me. because my commitment to diversity. you republicans. what do you mean republicans with diversity. no, no. how can you be the party of diversity. look at us. african-americans and gays and women for obama. lochness monster for obama. and i say no you are not. no you are not.
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you are the party of tribes, party of interest groups, one part of america set against another part of america and if you don't toe the line on abortion or global warming and not only are you out of the club but we are not your friend any more. i'm talking about the real diversity. because there is only one kind of diversity when you git down to it because nobody in this room agrees on everything. when you get down to brass tax, every one of us is a political party of one. the diversity i celebrate is the diversity of the individual person and that is what real diversity is and that is why i favor it. if a black person disagrees about spending, is not black any more. if a women is against abortion is not a woman any more. i'm not telling you that your identity as a human being is dependent on you agreeing of all of the things that put me in power. i don't believe that.
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i believe people should disagree on everything. that is the great strength of the country. it is not unity. forget unity. it is about disagreement and strength. i'm an individualist, you are a collectivist. we can use terms until the cows come home but let's get down to brass tax. if we're talking about abortion, let's not say pro-life or pro-choice. these are advertising terms. these are terms we use to wrap our idea in advertising so if i'm prolife, that means you are pro-death. or if i'm pro-choice, that means you are pro-slavery. if we're going to talk about abortion, talk about it that makes sense. you are proabortion or anti-abortion. it is the procedure and so let's get rid of the advertising terms. so i don't say democrat, republican, liberal, i say are
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you an individualist or a collectivist. which one are you. if you think we all have an obligation to pay for each other's health care, that is collectiveism. i think we should have limited periods of time when we can't help ourselves but we have a responsible to do for ourselves. that is my position. and when you get down to this sort of thing we get into positions of real clarity. real clarity. because i'll say for example, i'm 100% in favor of free health care given to everyone. 100%. what kind of a jerk would i have to be to deny people free healthcare. what kind of a monster would i be to deny people free healthcare? i would have to be a republican conservative monster, i guess, to be mean enough, to deny suffering people free healthcare? i'm 100% in favor of free healthcare to everybody.
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the problem is healthcare isn't free. if it were free, i would be in favor of giving it to everybody. but it is not free. it cost money. it costs a lot of money. cardiac surgery is not free. when taur you can about the four most experienced highly educated people surrounded by a team of specialists and enough equipment to buy a village anywhere else in the world, this is not only not free, this is very expensive. since it is not free, why don't we talk about who is going to pay for it. and once we talk about who is going to pay for it, we are no longer fighting on their grounds, we are fighting on our grounds. what is the most efficient way and the best way and the most responsive way and what is the value of competition applied to health care. because we see it applied to electronics for example. and now we're not talking about free health care because there is no such thing as free health care, now we'll win the argument because now the question isn't about whether it is free or not, the argument is about what is
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best way to deliver it but we don't get there until we say to them, if it were free, of course i would be in favor of giving it to people. if you could print cadillacs out of a factory, just print them out and to cost for raw materials, labor, the energy, nothing, of course i would be in favor of everybody having a cadillac. of course i would be. but they can't, so you can't. so let's talk about what we can do. and when you get people out of the trervegs -- trenches you win arguments because cadillacs aren't free. somebody has to pay for them. and somebody has to pay for the health care. which means somebody is taking money from some people and giving it somebody else and now we have the core of the argument and that argument we can win because we didn't just walk into the mine field and machine gunness of why are you against free health care? i'm in favor of free health care. i think it is fantastic. but there is no free health care. i would like to be able to fly through the room too. that would be lovely. and i'm in favor of anyone who can do it, do it.
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but if you can't, you have to deal with the fact we have to walk sometimes. and now we're starting to win the argument because we're getting down to the language, we're getting down to the brass tax. and one final thing i think i'll say and get into before i close here and that is this. the one thing you have to understand about the left today is that the left has one currency and one currency only. they don't have history. the history of collectiveism is 150 million people killed by their own big governments. people call us nazis. they call us the small government, gun control -- i'm sorry, the small government, arm the people, those people. they call us nazis. nazi is a german acronym nor nationally -- nationally social deutsche apartheid. it means national socialist german worker's party. that is what it is for. you can't spell nazi without
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national socialist worker's party. they are a large state gun controlled free health care for every, monolith, single leaguer with the big state solution tha least. not including the war casualties. you have the soviet union. which wasn't called communist, it was called the union of soviet socialist republic. they starved at least 10 million people to death and probably shot at least 20 million or 30 million people. the chinese communists starved 50 million people to death for their ideology. and cambodia, and a few million, people who have died because of your philosophy of collectivism. and you don't get to say, no, that was a bad guy, they didn't do it right.úccw how many hundred million people do we have to kill before they get it right?
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maybe the problem is if you believe that certain people should have absolute power over the collective, it's going to automatically bring the worst, most brutal, most violent most murderous people to the top. how many people are we going to have to kill before we start to realize maybe this isn't the best idea after all? unearned immoral superiority knocked out from underneath them, and it's this race issue. this idea that we're racists, that republicans and conservatives are racists. legal me tell you who the real racists are. this population of black americans has been enslaved by the idea that you don't have to work, but we want you to work one hour every two years. we're going to give you crap housing and crap housing and crap cell phones, and we just want one hour of work every two years to keep us in power. history is unfortunate for them. you want to talk about race in america? let's go back to the basics.
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after the civil war was over, which was launched by republicans, the republican party was founded to eliminate slavery in america and the democratic candidate in both 1860 and 1964, especially in 1864, george mcclellan said, let's just say it never happened. all of those protesters turning those hoses on those people in selma, alabama, were democrats. they were democrats. all of them were democrats. the jim crow laws were written by democrats. all of this stuff was written by democrats. let's get down to brass tax about race in america. there was a gigantic in the debate 30 or 40 years after the civil war, about the future of black nerns in this country. the debate was headed by two people. w.b. dubois had a belief we should take from white america,
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we should demand from them a series of concessions and economic benefits, and that the economic benefits would be determined by the educated 10% of the black population that would distribute it to the rest of the black population. we would demand it through guilt and threats and all these other things. the smart tenth would give it to the rest of the black population. that was his position. on the other side was booker t. washington. booker t. washington said, no, we have to go back to the people that we useded to work for as slaves, and we have to develop our own economy and our own resources. we have to are farmers so our sons can be mechanics, so their sons can be doctors. we don't have a right to ask for or demand respect, we're going to earn respect. and booker t. washington produced black students whose gpa was far higher than white students in america, and had a lower out of wedlock birth rate.
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their test scores were higher. when the tuskegee airmen entered world war ii, they never lost a bomber. because booker t. washington realized the way to eliminate racism and prejudice is through excellence, the unassailable excellence of their performance. that was the america that we should have had. it's the america we deserve to have. it was the america of one of the greatest americans who ever lived. booker t. washington who said to black america, if we become victims, we are going to stay victims. we must prove we're not only the equals of these people, we are their betters. and america made a choice. we have this choice in front of us today. i don't want to hear anything about how republicans are racists. we are the people who believed black americans should have the right to live the same as any other individual in this country. the right to determine your own desti destiny. the right to be a person who determines the course of his own
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life through his own actions, his or her own ability to work or not to work, and not just sit there for the rest of your life and wait for the government to send you a check so that you can just be a piece of wood that floats down a river. that's the choice that was made in this country. that's the choice we're facing today. i will not hear it. i will not hear it. that is the racism. it is the racism of the left that looks at black americans as a voting plantation. [ applause ] i won't hear it. i know my history. i know what booker t. washington was saying, and i saw it work. i saw his test scores, i saw his out of wedlock rates and i saw his fighter pilots in world war ii. if you take away their unearned moral superiority, that is murder and failure, period. end of discussion. it's over. so let me close with this. we have to get in this fight. we have to make movies.
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we have to give people something they can connect to. young people have to see pictures and movies where the good guy has our values. it's not about our values, it's just got to be galling for the left like matt damon, like a big gun control guy, running around shooting guns about people. it must be annoying for them, i would imagine. matt damon is the kind of leftist who says things like this. i'm a movie star. i'm very rich. i think we should raise taxes on the american people. i'm going to get hit worse of anybody. well, matt, you are an incredibly advanced spiritually advanced magnificent noble man. however, unfortunately, matt, i work in show business as well. so let me just point out a few things. first of all, if you go home with a $7 million paycheck instead of a $9 million paycheck for six weeks' worth, that's the kind of sacrifice i could find a way to live with. that's number one. number two, i know, and you know, they don't know, but we
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know that when mgm makes a movie, they don't say pay to the order of matt damon, $9 million, it says mg productions for $9 million. every single part of your life is owned by your production company. you don't pay a dime of tax on any of that stuff. your production company writes you a check that's enough to buy a pack of gum at the airport and you get paid the minimum amount of money because all of the rest of it is tax-free. at the end of the day you do the same thing that the knuckle-dragging conservatives out in dubuque, iowa, do, what is the least i can pay and not break the law. you don't get to stand here, matt, and tell me you're a better person by me than being the hip oh kit that does everything we do and still want to wear this back of magnificence. raise taxes on everybody. project head start is being
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underfunded. you know what, matt, if you really like project head start, why don't you write them a check for $9 million? they'll take the money. why don't you write them a check? why are you making a gun put to the head of everybody else out in this audience and everybody else in the country making them pay for it? why don't you just write a check. these people won't have a college education fund or not going to get to build that extension to their house, or get an education. i don't buy it, matt. i don't buy it. i'm one of you. i know what kind of people you are. i am a day walker, matt. i'm a vampire that walks in the daylight and my job is to slay other vampires because i know how the system works. you do not get this unearned moral superiority. you do not get the unearned moral superiority of saying free tibet by having ooh free tibet bumper sticker on your prius. if you have a bumper sticker on
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your prius, it doesn't free tibet. it doesn't do the slightest thing to free tibet. if you really want to free tibet, and i do, maybe you should take off that bumper stick and say united states marine corps. if you really want to free tibet, that's how it's going to get done. [ applause ] so you pull away this unearned moral superiority, they've got nothing left. i know we've been through a rough five years. and it's going to get worse before it gets better. i want to use the pop culture to be special forces, people like you have to win elections. you have to state out there, do the ground game, all that stuff. that's trench warfare. that's holding the line. i am tired of losing territory to these people. i'm sick of it, i'm done. i don't want hold the line. i want a special forces of cultural warriors that blow up an ammo dump 40 miles in the rear where they are absolutely sure they have everything iced,
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and say what the hell is that, and then all of a sudden a bridge disappears into the river. i want to mess up their headquarters. i want to be sabotaging everything they believe. we believe in loud guns and fast cars and fast women. we believe everybody should have five houses if you work hard enough. and we have six flags on the moon. what do they believe? what's their vision for america's future? a bunch of people sitting around thatched huts in carbon neutral construction, pulling parasites off [@gx other around a burning cow pie, raising money for the guatemalan water snake. are you trying to tell me these are equal visions we can sell to the american people? stop it, i've had enough. i'm done. [ applause ] the cultural board in this country is so heavily tilted, it's tilted so heavily, the
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cultural landscape, the mass media landscape is tilted so heavily in this country, and the thing that we don't understand is it's tilted in our favor. it's not tilted in their favor. they have to control everything. they have to own all of the movies and academia, and colleges and comedy, they have to own all of it to get a 50/50 election nationally. this country is so conservative, they have no idea. they have to paper up the windows, and make sure not a single ray of light or disapproving opinion comes in, because if the truth comes into a dark room, it's not dark anymore. you cannot project darkness into a room. you can only keep the light out. that's our great advantage. that is our tremendous advantage, the power of truth. but there is bad news in here. and this is what you need to go home with tonight. you need to understand the bad news about our position. and i can explain our position to you very succinctly. the bad news about the fight between individualism and collectivism is this. the bad news is, they can beat us, but we can never beat them, ever. ever. we can never beat them.
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ever. ever. and the reason that we can never beat them is because rust never sleeps. rust never sleeps. if you want a nicely manicured yard with roses, and a beautiful lawn, you don't get to go out and mow the lawn and say, well, i've mowed the lawn. problem solved. the second you put the lawn mower away, the lawn is growing again. the second you put away the pruning sheers, the weeds are starting to spread. they are on the side of easiness. they're on the side of dependency as opposed to responsibility. they're on the side of telling people, relax, we've got it covered. no, we're on the side of saying, you're going to have to get up and do the work. entropy is on their side. we have to wake up every day and
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roll that rock up the hill, and our reward for rolling the boulder up the hill is we go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and the boulder is at the bottom of the hill again. if you don't understand it, it's time to get out of this game. if you don't understand that we can never beat these people, all we can do is fight them, then you're going to get really discouraged. i know many of you just don't know the point of it. you just don't know, why am i going to do go out and do this again? why? we just get more yut numbered. why? why am i going to do it? well, you do it because it's our job. you do it because you want the rock on the top of the hit, not on the bottom. you do it because you'd rather live in a manicured rose garden than in a bunch of weeds, period. that requires constant perpetual ongoing work. we don't have to tell that to the men and women that are not in our room tonight because they're sleeping in cold places
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in fear of being shot by mortars and snipers. they understand that sacrifice and commitment has to be made every single day. we need to understand it, too. the beautiful thing that's in this thing, if you understand that the rock has to be rolled up every day, if you understand that you're never, ever done mowing the lawn, not ever, then it will become clear to you eventually that your job is not to make sure that the lawn is mowed forever, that your job is not to make sure that the rock stays up on top of the hill forever, your job is not to save the country for a hundred years, or ten years, your job is not to save the country for the next five years, your job is just to save the country today. just that simple really. just save it today. that's all you have to do. just today. and tomorrow when you wake up, it's going to be worse. tomorrow when you wake up, it's going to be more depressing. tomorrow when you go to fox news or faux news or hate-filled
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sites that we go to to get the actual truth, it's going to be worse. and it's going to be more depressing. and you're going to have to make a decision. you have to make the same decision that the strange little fat man made in 1940. winston churchill sat in the back benches of parliament for ten years -- ten years -- saying to his countrymen, this guy's not joking. this adolph hitler,'s not joking. he's going to conquer the world. he's going to kill all the jews. he's building an air force and navy and army and we're getting weaker every single second and they're getting every single second. he said it for ten years. they called him a warmonger and racist and idiot and delusional and all these other things. finally when he was called in by king george to be prime minister, who was not the first choice, by the way, winston churchill became prime minister of great britain within 48 hours of france surrendering.
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he thought he was going to fight hitler with the french. he thought when he said we have to fight these nazis, that he would do it with the french, and that the germans would be on the border of belgium 200 miles away. when he took office, there was nothing but wreckage at dunkirk. nothing but burned-out tanks at dunkirk. the germans weren't 200 miles away, they were 20 miles away. he could see the airfields the german bombers were going to come from. the germans were a 9-minute flight away. winston churchill was advised by every single member of his government, they said, he likes britain, we'll get the best possible deal. he doesn't want to subjugate us. he promised future for the british empire. he just wants the continent, we can keep our empire for a while anyway. winston churchill heard this and all of his advisers said make the best deal you can, and a man
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without an army and just barely an air force, and with nothing but his belief said, no. i don't know if i can ever get through this. i can't get through it without choking up. winston churchill said on the floor of parliament, if our story comes to an end, let it end with all of us dying on the floor of this building drowning in our own blood. that's why we're speaking english today. [ applause ] that's why. we're speaking english today because a strange little man with some very strange ideas made a daily decision that he was going to fight these people. and we look back through the telescope of history, and of course, it was inevitable. nonsense. i'll tell you something. i've read a lot about winston churchill. i'm convinced he must have woke up every day convinced they were going to lose. he just wanted to lose with honor. he wanted to lose and make that
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story mean something. and because he didn't lose, because he decided to get up every single day and fight just that day, they didn't lose. they won. hooray. it's a decision. just a choice, just like everything else. of course they want you to believe you're the last people in the world who think these things. of course they want you to believe that the faux news is not really news. of course they want you to believe your ideas are old and dinosaurs and that young people hate everything about it. they want you to give up. they don't have to work. we have to work. if we give up, they win. if they give up, we still have to mow the grass. don't give up. thanks for having me. [ applause ] thank you. thank you very much. tonight on "american history
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tv," programming about ronald reagan. at 8:00 p.m., regent university's ronald reagan symposium focuses on the speeches that defined his administration. including what became known as the evil empire speech. and his 1987 west berlin call to soviet union leader mikhail gorbachev to tear down this wall. and at 9:10 p.m., a look back at president reagan's june 8th, 1982, address to the british parliament, delivered in the royal gallery at london's palace of west minister. this speech is remembered for reagan's declaration that the march of freedom and democracy would leave marxism/leninism on the ash heap of history. all coming up tonight on americ"american history tv" on c-span3. a panel of millennials discusses the issues, culture, miss understandings and stereotypes about their generation. the founder of a startup news
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site for youth, the national director of the nation's largest student policy organization, and barbara bush, daughter of laura and former president george w. bush who founded a global health startup offer their views. the new america foundation hosted this event. >> so, to introduce you to our panelists, on the other far side is sara valenzuela. she is the director of extern external -- next to her is barbara bush, co-founder and ceo of global health core and member of the leadership council at the aspen institute. next to barbara is jake horowitz. he's a co-founder and editor in chief of mike, formerly known as policy mic for those of us who nostalgically remember it back in the day. and joelle gamble, national director of the campus network who most recently i should note
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just won the mark arthur award for creative and effective institutions. >> yea! >> a big round of applause for her. [ applause ] >> thanks, everyone, for coming out. and i'm going to turn it right over to jake. and thank you for everybody i am going to be following along on twitter, so if you want to tweet questions to us. we'll get to them in the q&a session. so i'm going to participate as much as possible in the discussion and not make it too stiff. but i think, first off, a question i want to ask all of you, it's really, really important. everybody in the audience also. should we be using the "m" word tonight or not? do we use millennial on this panel? >> well, i use millennial to describe folks who are 18 to 34. i think it's a useful term to look at a generation in the context that it's evolved in. but i also think it's effective for us throughout this
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discussion to talk about the generation after millennials. the folks who are just starting to go into college, they'll be a different generation. in some ways they'll be more progressive and some ways more conservative. it's important to talk about the millennials in the 18 to 34 able group, but those also that are coming up afterwards. >> you know, i don't -- i think maybe we should think about the -- i think people use millennial in a derogatory term sometimes, because -- maybe we need to regrasp what millennial is. it is the 18 to 34 age group. i agree we should also empower the generation to come. the generation that came before us is also important. we also need to talk about it in the context of who came before us. those are the leaders that we need to be learning from. but also the ones that need to reach back and go forward. >> barbara? >> i would just say, because i
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work primarily with people who are millennials, i often get asked in meetings, well, you're a millennial, tell us what you think. and you'll describe what every millennial thinks. there are millions of millennials. we all might have certain things that are similar, but we're all -- i can't speak for every millennial. >> we use the term, we find it's used to stereotype the generation more than it is a word that anybody already knows what it means. anyway, i thought i had to ask. >> are we allowed to use it? >> we'll use it tonight. i think the best way to start the conversation would be to set up the problem. which i think is sort of on the one hand, you have a generation that is incredibly diverse. most educated in u.s. history. very politically active. very informed. came out for president obama in record numbers. on the other hand, you have a generation that has been
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described to me as one of the most stereotyped. and if you look in the media, it's everything -- i'm sure we could toss out a term here, but a term from lazy to narcissistic to self-obsessed -- do you have a favorite term? there's a real sort of fundamental misunderstanding, i think, as to who this generation is. particularly in political circles, and in media. so i guess, you know, i wanted to start by just really asking each of you, why you think the generation is so misunderstood? and how you in your work have had sort of approached that problem? maybe, sara, if you want to start. >> so, i think you already touched on it. we are the most diverse generation in the united states. and because of that, we don't all fall under one or two, you know, umbrellas. when you look at the generations before us, they also had things going on in the u.s., whether it was a depression, a major war,
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or a major artistic influence that was kind of really grasping most of that generation. with us, we are a generation that has so many things coming at us. we have technology rampantly running through our generation and separating us from the generation before us. now the generation coming after us, like i have no idea what my niece is talking about half the time, and i'm not that much older than her. but i think we're such a diverse group that it's hard to box us all into one group. but i think in terms of civic engagement and government, that's where people are banging their heads against the wall on how to reach us, because there's no one set way to do it. because we are that diverse group. i mean, look at the people up here. look at the people in this room. there's no way all of us relate to one singular thing. >> how have you approached the misunderstanding, or is there a misunderstanding? >> i would agree that there's a misunderstanding of our generation. i think it's because as our
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generation is starting to come into positions of power, to influence business, and government, and policy, we're being disruptive. we're looking at new ways to do things and we're not necessarily trusting or in favor of establishment or institutions. there's a recent pew research poll showing at our generation trusts political and religious institutions far less than those before us. that means there has to be a change of status quo to be able to engage young people. think about this past election. there's a lot of folks talking about how millennials didn't turn out to vote. in reality, we turned out at the same level as we did in 2010. the problem was that people didn't know how to reach us. they weren't -- they were using old campaign tactics that was trying to engage us. i don't check my mailbox for ballots. i don't do that. but if you were to contact me via text message, maybe i'll actually see it. i think that's a way that we can be engaging millennials in a
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different way, that is just not happening as much as it should be. >> barbara, are all your friends taking selfies all day? >> i still have a blackberry, which i don't know if anyone should admit. the good news is, i can't take a selfie on it, because it never gets it right. but i think -- i echo what both of them just said. and i think, also, there's a lot of advantages to the fact that we have grown up more globally connected than any other generation, that we do all have a voice whether we use it well or not is a different piece. but i think that's something that's been confusing to older people is now with twitter, now with different platforms where your voice can actually be contributing to dialogue, it's a different story. and yet i think that those are both huge assets to why millennials have a lot of value right now. >> totally. i guess -- i would be curious to hear from all of you. i can sort of share my experience, too. for the people, the younger people, older people in the
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audience, what is the secret sauce, if you could say? everybody wants to reach the demo. sounds like everybody misunderstands the demo. how do you reach millennials and how have you done it in your own, sort of work? if you can each speak to that a little bit. >> i don't know if know the secret sauce. one thing to think about when engaging our generation, vertical force, top-down forms aren't going to resonate the way they may have in other -- for other generations. we're a generation that it's more horizontally interconnected. so this idea of just top-down, let me tell you what to do doesn't quite work. i think that means a lot for institutions, especially for government. i think millennials believe in the effectiveness, or the potential for effective government, but it's just not happening right now.
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the question is, how you bring in more participation. how do you create a more participatory environment for folks to engage with government. because i think that will allow our generation to buy in. that sense of agency that somebody is actually listening to us. >> the organization is doing it every day. it's all across the country. how have you managed to break through and reach them just sort of on a daily basis? >> i think talking about the top-down idea, not jiving well with that, we're driven by the ideas of our membership. we have chapters all across the country in 38 states. those folks are working on ideas in their own local communities. they're coming up with the solutions. they're doing their research and publishing the memos and taking them to stakeholders. brett byrd is looking at a new york city parking revenue, to bring it in to affect local communities. he's coming up with his own ideas and we're supporting it. i think that's the kind of horizontal kind of engagement that i'm talking about.
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not us telling you what your agenda should be, but you being able to build it yourself. >> i think i would just piggyback on that. if you look at the elections that we've seen over the past, even since 2008, obviously democrats lost an amazing amount this past year. some of us mourned it, some of us celebrated it perhaps, but in our generation, we aren't going to necessarily relate to a candidate as much as we're going to relate to the issues that they're running on. i think that shows that we're a more hon sol tanly based generation. the women in this audience, we're caring whether a candidate runs on health care for women, what they think -- if they think they have the right to do with my body or not. for people who are from immigrant families, whether or not that politician believes that immigration reform is a priority. those are the things that our generation cares about. i think that's how at least for me from a government perspective
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we're learning to engage people, right? an example from our office, melissa james is working on legislation on campus sexual assaults. now, she could just do a campus legislative assault -- a sexual assault bill, go in to city council and pass it. but instead tomorrow, she's bringing her bill before 200 students and letting them rip it apart and rewrite it. i think that's a better way of engaging them. from a political and legislative perspective, that's a much better bill, when the community that it's affecting is actually involved in it. >> barbara, what's the secret sauce? give it to me. >> i don't know that we've figured out the secret sauce either. global health is a nonprofit helping solve global health issues. what i noticed is every single one of our fellows wants to solve huge problems. what they're excited about is issues focused. and figuring out how their skill-sets and backgrounds might be able to solve issues.
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and so what they're excited about is figuring out, okay, this system is broken, how am i going to fix it. i'm an architect, what am i going to do with an engineering background to think of a new solution for this. for us, it's easy to engage millennials. we accept 2% of the people who apply to our program because they're desperate to get their foot in the door to figure out how they can make a better world, or be part of a solution. >> i think for us, it's been about authenticity of voice. young people make up our staff. young people are writing in a voice that resonates with the way we look at the world. which can be a little bit hard for some people to understand. you know, when we say, why did young people in the media company, i think it's -- we look at the world very differently than our parents. as you said, on many different issues. we have really different perspectives. and for us, it's been engaging young people on the issues that
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matter, not sort of talking down to our generation, and not treating us in stereotypes, but really focusing on what are those issues. so as editor in chief, i asked everybody one question, which, you know, drives whether something is a mic story or not, is this something you would share with your friends over dinner. which is a very, very different audience than if you were just sitting with your parents over dinner, or somebody else. so i think one interesting thing that i wanted to sort of touch on is there's been a few examples now of big moments where we actually have seen millennial mobilization, more recently the ferguson black lives matter protest. you've seen young people all over the country out in the streets, occupy wall street, the same thing. although it petered out. you know, my question for people here is, are these movements difficult to sustain? you know, in the case of occupy,
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we didn't see a long sustained drawnout movement for young people. time will tell what happens with the ferguson movement. but how do you engage this generation to stay motivated and sustained on an issue over time? and do we have sort of a shorter attention span? i know that a stereotype. but do we have a sort of shorter attention span? >> we can say that occupy wall street, the groups are no longer camping out, right? we don't see the signs much anymore. we may see them in some of the protests, whether it was on the air at garner stuff, there was a lot of occupy, the court system signs. but to me the movement still continues. it's not just about the people, it's about the conversation. and occupy wall street may not have bodies on the ground camping out, drumming the protesting, but they were a catalyst for a discussion that's continued all the way up to the supreme court.


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