tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 30, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
america, and proud beyond measure of the glorious privilege of bearing it. there are two or three sides to the question of americanism and senses and which americanism can be used to express the antithesis of what is on wholesome and undesirable. in the first place, we wish to be broadly american and a national as opposed to being a local or sectional. we do not wish politics or literature or are to develop that unwholesome brookfield spirit, the exultation of this little community at the expense of the great nation, which produces what has been described as a pitcher to some of the village and the belfry. the lack of all patriotism is worse. it may be that it is so remote that we can not understand any of the feelings of those who will dwell among. patriotism will no longer be
regarded as a virtue. in those remote ages, people will look down upon and disregard monica marriage. as things now are and have been for two or 3000 years past and are likely to be for two or 3000 years to come, the words home and country mean a great deal. at present, treason like adulterate branches of the worst of all possible crimes. one may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable sadness and in the community. a man who becomes a europeanized loses love for his native land is not a traitor but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. [laughter] nothing will more quickly or more surely disqualify a man from doing good work in the world and the acquirement of oft flaccid have thhabit cosmopolitanism.
m. it is even more necessary for those among us who are by birth and the scent already americans not to throw away our birthright. with incredible and contemptible folly wander back to about down before the alien gods who our forefathers forsook. the third sense in which the word americanism may be employed is with reference to the americanizing of the newcomers to our shores. we must americanize them in every way, in speech, and political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at the relations between church and state. we welcome the german or the irishman who becomes an american. we have no use for the german or irishman who remains such. we do not wish to german americans are irish-americans who figure as such and our political social and political life. we want only americans and
provided they are such, we do not care whether there of native or irish or german ancestry. we have no room may help the american community for the german american folk or irish- american votes and it is contemptible demagoguery to put plans and any party platform with the purpose of catching such a vote. we have no room for people who did not act ansimply as americans for it will use for people who carry religious prejudices into our politics as for those who carry prejudices of castor nationality. we stand on alternately in favor of the public-school system in its entirety. we believe that english and no other languages that in which all the school exercises should be conducted. we are against any division of the school fund and against any appropriation of public money for sectarian purposes. we are equally opposed to any discrimination against or for a
man because of his creed. we demand that all citizens, protestant and catholic, jewish and gentile, shall have fair treatment in every way and all like to have their rights guaranteed them. more than 1/3 of the people in the northern states are of foreign birth and heritage. a number of them have become completely americanized and these stand on exactly the same plane as the descendants of and a puritan cavalier or knickerbocker among us and to their full and hon. share of the nation's work. where immigrants and the sons of immigrants and don't forget our lot with a sense cling to the speech and customs and ways of life and the habits of the old world which they have left, they thereby harm both themselves and us. it is an immense benefit to the european immigrant to change him into an american citizen. . this is a most honorable title and whoever does not believe,
has no right to bear the name of all. it becomes from europe, the stern -- the sooner he goes back the better. [laughter] we've really extend the hand of welcome and good fellowship to every man no matter what his creed or birthplace who comes here honestly intent on becoming a good united states citizen like the rest of us. we have a right and it is our duty to demand his that he shall indeed become so. americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of crete and birthplace. a scandinavian, german, or an irishman must really become an american and has the right to stand on exact the same footing as any native-born citizen in the land and is just as much entitled to the friendship and support, social and political, of his neighbors. we americans can only do our allotted tasks well, seeing the knot theory the dangers. above all, we must stand shoulder to shoulder, not asking
to the ancestry or creed of our compadres but make sure they are in americans. and we'll work together heart, and, and head to the honor and greatness of our common country. [applause] >> the panel has been asked to discussed three topics which we will consider in turn. first, the roosevelt you of the nature of true americanism. second, and more important, our own views of the meaning of american is in today. and third, why it matters. we're going to proceed not by prepared speeches but it is to be hoped by a genuine conversation l genuineeon and i will try to keep on track and keep moving forward. we begin with roosevelt. as you have heard, theodore
roosevelt approach is true americanism negatively in terms of three antipathies. it is supposed to narrow, local and parochial institutions or attachments. it is opposed to over-broad global attachments, cosmopolitanism. it is a post -- as opposed to immigrants and local politics to ethical or religiously hyphenated identities. we should regard ourselves as americans. what is the positive content of american identity and attachment? what exactly, according to roosevelt, does true americanism consist of? what are, to use his terms, it's common spirit, convictions, and purposes?
who would like to begin? if you are shy, i will just call on you. [laughter] robbie. >> amy, if the words of roosevelt are true i agree with that. what is the conviction? we should get a sense of the spirit and the purpose. the conviction, i think, we draw from the declaration of independence the captors it's a perfectly. it does not appear in the parts of the speech that we were given. i am referring to a great second sentence of the declaration -- we hold these truths self- evident that all men are created equal - this is what lincoln called the american proposition
in which he repaired to time and time again in defending the nation in the context of the civil war. i will venture a thought, leon, if we can use the old principle of our stubbles method of identifying the focal case of the thing and then identifying less vocal cases by reference to the central or focal case -- it would seem to me that the focal case of america is a person who identifies himself as an american where his sense of identity is rooted in precisely that conviction, the belief that it is just true. it is basic that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. these are rights that did not come. from come. they did not come from kings or presidents or parliament or
legislatures, no human power, and cannot be taken away. it is the duty of all humans, political authority, to protect those rights and to honor them themselves. >> how about it? >> why is there no mention in the speech of the american principle? i get that americanism is mostly a matter of energy and courage and struggle and material prosperity. it strikes me as a roosevelt presentation or truncated version of americanism. he admires the empire-builders weather in the realm of politics or commerce. everything he mentions is put in the context of conquest. on the basis of what roosevelt presented, i don't see how the greatness of the american republic would differ from the great as of the roman republic
except for the fact that we speak english and insist on speaking english. i agree with the definition of americanism but i don't get that from the roosevelt speech. >> i think perhaps he just assumed in 1894 that everyone knew what it meant to be an american. you have a common culture that came from -- people used to say in tennessee, a farmer said if i read the bible and a farmer's almanac is all i need. people knew the same things. he did not define it skirted he said with he was against but it seems to me that we were looking for definitions. we pledged allegiance to a creative believe that unites this country. that is our greatest accomplishment. you cannot become chinese. you have to become american and want to become a citizen. he figured we knew that there
were some common principles, not just equal opportunity and there are some that you might put under character like anything is possible. we all knew that and what we should do is be that instead of what we used to be. you control in common language. during his presidency, it became necessary for people -- every new citizen to learn english in 1906. in 1894, robert putnam rode a lot about all the americanizing efforts that were going on. the company and wisconsin would bring in germans and they would spend time teaching them what it means to be an american. the civic clubs and all these organizations would do that. i suspect they all knew what it meant. >> why the heavy-duty emphasis on courage and the things that
diane not referred to? >> that was just roosevelt. [laughter] >> i would say that is his manliness. i am an expert on manliness. [laughter] >> you have literally written a book. >> he sets himself up against others pretty likes to make and sell dramatic. when there is no solution from a situation accept to assert yourself and so he does that. he likes to make a great distinction among us. i guess he reminds us that if it's true that patriotism is a matter of heart as well as mind, the heart is also the seat of love and also anchor. they anchor is closer to politics than love this.
-- ander may be closer to politics than love is. roosevelt's idea of americanism have to do with energy. i would say that our idea has to do with liberty. manliness and energy are not anything you need in the united states. all the republican virtues, courage, rule of law, we have in common. what makes this different from all the other republics in the west? we are the only ones, and this is unique in human history, founded on a proposition, founded on a document. our day of independence is the day which it was signed. the storming of the best deal in
france -- the storming of the bastile in france was different. this dedication to an idea is that from which everything else president roosevelt was talking about. because we are dedicated to liberty, because we are dedicated to the role locked within a specific, almost sacred document. our president's swear to defend the constitution, not the people, not the state, not the government, not the land. the constitution is an unusual idea. that is what unites us. it revolves around liberty to an extent but i think almost no other country does. if you walk around washington, you will see, which i think is unique in capital cities in the world, there are statues in the city dedicated to liberators of
other countries. on constitution avenue, you have statues to all the latin americans. there is a huge ukrainian monument within 1 mile. the massachusetts avenue, you that gandhi. in no other city would we be celebrating the idea of liberty as expressed through other countries in the capital. that is what makes us different. i would say that our idea of liberty is what distinguishes us and because it is about dedication to a proposition, that is what brings us to the idea that we do not want to see this kind of ethnic separatism in that speech and that we see proliferating today because it negates the entire idea of
being a -- of people being american as a result of this allegiance to the constitution and a principal rather than allegiance to klan or tribe or race or ethnicity. >> maybe the line the troubled me most is when he said patriotism of the villages that. i thought that the core of the village is a family. i felt he was bifurcating my allegiances. as a human being, all of us have competing claims on us. my agreement to the proposition and i prefer to look at the preamble to the constitution as opposed to the declaration of independence. i think it is a constitution that we as americans sign onto the manner of covenant with one another. my covenant with all the
americans in this room is something to which i should have a lot of allegiance and loyalty. it is not preeminent. it is not preeminent to the covenant i met with my wife. , to the covenant i made with my children, to the faith i have. i got the feeling that roosevelt was trying to shove us into saying that our covenant as americans is superior to all else. that that is healthy for natural process human beings. >> >> would you say you're coming with your family makes you american? >> no, not per se. there are wonderful families in every country. the liberty that americans strive to provide to one
another and provide domestic tranquillity and ensure that, the fans, all those things are in the preamble and notably the blessings of liberty, i think that helps my family. i think i can help make my family health care but the covenant with my wife is not an american thing or with my family. >> i was uncomfortable from the beginning with the notion of americanism. it sounds like an ideology. it may lead us in the wrong direction. americanism is not like marxism or positivism. i agree that i am troubled of the overlea nationalistic view of identity and roosevelt's belief that local affiliations are dangerous. part of that is the context of the post-civil war era in which
those kind of local affinities are very much on his mind. that's why he mentioned mark twain joel chandler harrris . he includes the south. in 1894, he does not include african-americans. i think that as a notable omission that has to be counted. on the question of family and local affiliations, i think he misunderstands the nature of american national feeling. in fact, it has been through our federal system and various other means that it has been the genius of the national standard to allow local affiliations to lead into larger ones. if you let a man have control
over his property and locality and have a voice and local government, it will stir his sentiment of patriotism for the nation as a whole. setting these two in opposition is wrongheaded but it is consistent with roosevelt. it is very much per building a nation over many other things. >> i disagree to some degree. i think roosevelt calibrated and it to zoom lens and twisted it just about rise "-- right when he rejected both the multiculturalism and the world view that we are citizens of the world. he also rejected the primacy of the tribe, the sectarian groups.
i think what he did when he made that calibration was create something very robust. tribalism is not just harming the creation and maintenance of critical mass to provide economic security, military security, and key statewhole growing peaceful and prosperous. he got just about right to this day, tribalism and sectarianism and allegiances to group's smallest america are going in the opposite direction. i think he created a very robust calibration of primary allegiance without taking away, of course, to the allegiance of the family and the spouse and a
close-knit group. >> i don't entirely disagree with you but let me give an example that may help. consider thanksgiving which is a holiday that many in other countries simply do not understand. for americans, it is probably our most uncontroversial hollen. holiday. it is a remarkable thing. it brings together families. there is a sense that this is a national right, something will perform together, even if we don't believe in something to give thanks to. we overlook that for the moment and have an attitude of generic gracefulness for the things we have. this is something -- the entrance way is through the life of the family but it radiates out into loyalties and
affinities of love that are much larger. >> it is interesting to mention thanksgiving. another holiday reflects some of the distinctions that roosevelt made. he did not just have a cold analytical view of europe in opposition to america. it was real volscian. -- it was revulsion. over-civilized, over-refined -- 100 years before the formation of a common occurrence t,he euro p had arescience about that. the fourth of july and america is independence day. it is a family, local holiday,
locally expressed but we have a military history, marshall history, we have had expansion nests and imperialists phases of our history. all over america, there are hamburgers and balloons and little fire trucks and parade. go to france or power b onastille day and see what they do -- go to france on the airbastille day. there is a military parade but that is the way they see themselves, falsely i might add [laughter] >> i did not read the first objection in the speech as one against the family. i thought it was being anti- regional. that was a problem in the post-
civil war area. of the projections in the speech, it is the least relevant today. if anything, we are lamenting the loss of regionalism with a mass media or local customs are over, and almost wiped out. you could be in any city with a their strip malls. we might have overdone and created a mass culture that suppresses the charm and attractiveness of regionalism. he is very acute and pressing in the other objectives about internationalism and he is right that it is silly. it is not a pernicious. it is idiotic rather than being evil or malicious. it is simply an idea of the lion and dilemma.
the last was most interesting where he objects to the ethnic separatism, not regional or local. it is geographic separatism. it was separatism that occurs in different parts of the country but among commoners in cities which he saw as a threat. i think the difference is in his day, the federal government and wanted tonal peopleethos suppress that separatism -- separatism. the political class and media today celebrates separatism, everywhere. if you want to oppose it, you are going against conventional wisdom. that makes it all the more difficult to overcome. >> to clarify, i understand he
did not condemn the family but he did unequivocably say that patriotism of the village and the belfry, those two things are bad i don't think we can gloss over that. when you say something is bad and you look at the core of what the village or the bel pre is , >> we don't pledge allegiance to the great city of atlanta's. >> why did he do that? why did he say these things? with this conversation has made clear is that the roosevelt speech is brutally exclusionary. roosevelt was an intelligent person and he was probably well aware of the harshness of some of the things he was saying. why did he do that? it seems to me that roosevelt was wrestling with tensions and a problem that is always present when trying to come to grips with the united states.
it was the same tensions that existed in 1789. the country had seen a revolution are worked on together, one of the british, now with the obvious tensions were in philadelphia. this is a country that of its nature is diverse and a country that is centrifugal. how would you hold it together? what ideas do you try to look for to hold all of these different kinds of people together? i would like to align roosevelt with someone else who was addressing this subject back then and that was frederick jackson turner, the historian. the roosevelt speech was given in 1894. turner, in 1893, get a very famous speech to the national -- the american historical foundation. i will read a quick excerpt --
he admired the practical and inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedience, amassed a full grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic, but powerful to affect great ends, the restless nervous energy dominant individualism working for good and evil are the traits of the frontier. in my mind, that describes teddy roosevelt. i think it was roosevelt as was with turner in trying to find an idea of america that is different. i think it resides in the idea of the frontier that pulls a diverse people together for a common purpose. in 1894, the country was in turmoil with all these new immigrants coming. the brutality of the roosevelt
speech was intended to push to the side the basic american ideas that, everything was under centrifugal tensions. >> there is something to be said for energy. it is true that american is in derives from our proposition that all men are created equal. at the end, you have the signers of the declaration pledging their sacred honor. someone once said, many of the declaration says that all are created equal especially the undersigned. [laughter] that creates a difference between the beneficiaries of the principle of equality and those who actually promote it and
whose energetic sustains it. you might say that there are levels of true americanism. at the weakest level, it would be any human being. any human being is potentially an american. the principal says all humans are created equal. stronger than that, there would be the believers in principle that all men are created equal. stronger still would be the practitioners. this is where energy comes in and especially the energy of self-government. our country is not only devoted to liberty as a principle but we practice it and we practice it successfully. our constitution has enabled us to do it successfully. it is the first republic that works. the framers of the constitution understood that this
constitution had to overcome all the defects and difficulties of republics that existed before including rome which turned into an empire. how could you resolve that problem? you had to have a special kind of, a new kind of constitution which people practiced their liberty. what is great about america is that practices what it preaches. >> wouldn't you make an argument on behalf of the brutality as the place for that energy of self-government is most felt tex? energy as see uniquely american.
kissinger once said that russia expanded by the equivalent of a belgium every year for two years. that is energy. [laughter] that was hardly american. it seems to me that the idea that the quality, all men are created equal, is the fundamental axiom. the political phrase in the declaration is like liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the constitution's intent is to create something that will protect that. i grew up in canada were the founding constitution was the bna of 1867. it defines the purpose of the constitution as peace, order, and good government. think of how different that is from life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which is a
trinity expressing aspects of the same idea. is all about liberty and that's what makes this different from every other country. >> do you want to get in on this? i would like to move the conversation, leaving teddy roosevelt behind and begin to talk about what we ourselves think americans are today? >> to is important to say -- is important to say that there was a surge of emigration and roosevelt was not speaking specifically to the family. he was speaking to the idea of people becoming locked into localities or regional pace and attitudes especially in the aftermath of the civil war. the key, i suspect, was the surge in terms of immigration. picking up on something amy said earlier, this is why this document matters so much today.
we have a situation in which re is no more speech about the american melting part but the american mosaic. i think are troubling they talk of the great american salad bowl. this is where you have very distinct pieces of puddles like the tomatoes, lettuce, having individual identities even as they work together to make the american experience one. i guess you can think of me as a fuzzy-a ca headedrrot. to me, it is essential you say very clearly that the idea is that you would become american.
the reason this is highly relevant and the context is important in terms of emigration is that we are experiencing a surge in terms of immigration today. the example that amy gave of her class and those who identified themselves as-that americans, is to retaine ch it isiit is chic your native identity. you say you retain that identity, that language, that that attitude rather than giving myself up -- giving myself over in terms of marriage almost to becoming an american through assimilation. assimilation has become a dirty word in some many quarters in this country today. the idea is that why would you give up who you are? who you are authentically as not to be dedicated to the american ideals. i agree with roosevelt in terms
of conviction. and purpose. it is clear if you adopt an american mindset, is about conviction and purpose and determination and the idea of equality. i say this as a black person. i think this is critical. he is writing as if black people don't exist. he is ready to the irish, the even the italian who may not be included. if you look at the recent census numbers, they indicate that the heart and soul of growth in this country today is largely hispanic. if you look at areas of growth, is something like 80%. on not just talking california and new york. i am talking about places like
tennessee being 10% hispanic. you wonder how these communities became so large but also cloistered so that you can go into those communities? in mexican households, the dominican republic households, you get to the point where 90% of them don't speak english at home. they speak spanish. it is also true you can go into asian families in san francisco and they don't speak english at home. or authentic selves, they are not identifying with americans. this complicates the task of assimilation.
this is so different than the day of roosevelt. i think this is what he is writing to. he is saying that you have to agree. the american who goes overseas and becomes intoxicated with another country, i think that is the second for the heart and soul of the essays is about the need to say i am an american and identify with america and the precepts and the declaration. i especially like and identify with the idea that we hold an exceptional role and i'm willing to fight and defend it. >> i don't think we should get too distracted by roosevelt's emphasis on the national government as opposed to the community. i don't agree. i think we go community by
community. in my life the strong central government we have today. he talked about what he was against which is what politicians often do. it is easier to talk about what you are against and what you are for. he is moving on what it means to be an american building on to the essence of our national identity is that you must become an american if you want to be a citizen. you cannot become french. you can become a chinese. how you become american? you become by pledging allegiance to a creed of beliefs that most of us hold in common. most of our politics is about conflicts among those beliefs. dealing with the aspirations we have that all men are created equal, we pretty much agree with what the principles are, equal
opportunity, liberty, role law and other things and we define in our law and have since the revolution, what it means to be american. the beginning of the of the people take to become a citizen and a million new citizens take that today. we require that in the law since 1906 that you must be english. -- that must speak english. there are test about the declaration and the constitution, that you must answer there's a pretty good understanding what makes this up -- exceptional is a single thing -- that we are united by a set of ideas. that is what it takes to become
american. after that, what we do best is what your book seems to do which is the worst americanism is mccarthyism, spontaneous patriotism, the flags after 9/11. just discovering what a means to be american. we are united by a creek. if we don't have that, we are a united nations and said of the united states of america. >> can someone respond? >> i was going to move into talking about specific topics the still along the same lies. what about the public schools?
roosevelt is categorically endorsing public schools. as the ideal existed in his day. i suspect you could probably divide this room down the middle as to whether people would concur in that view. we don't have a consensus and more about what it means to be an american. we have no confidence that the public schools will convey that consensus. to me, it epitomizes the fact that the county of los angeles california which is one of the worst school systems in the country has instruction in over 100 languages. the requirement of the use of english is out and with it is a particular understanding of what it means to be an american. the credibility of the public
schools as a means of inculcating that is out. the liberty that is part of our fundamental make up as a nation involves the right to educate your children in any way you please, including private schools, public schools, or is it a move back toward this much more robust notion of public education that roosevelt seems to be emphasizing. >> it is very clear that the question of what it means to be an american is either contested or ignored. while it is true, as the senator says, all immigrants who undergo the naturalization ceremony to take his oath of allegiance, but the children of the native-born don't do so and the constitution on the subject of citizenship simply defines us as those who were born and united states and subject to the jurisdiction of the united states -- of all
laws, there is no criteria for citizenship and the duties of citizenship mentioned. we should see if we can pull together some of the things that have been said in our own name, leaving teddy roosevelt to the side and see what we can make of ther s. obbie began with the declaration. then we talked about the constitution. harvey reminds us that lots of people could agree with those principles. some people might even endorse them.
it is more than a cognitive matter to solidify them. it requires commitment, energy, matters of a heart, and spirit. dan heninger points out there is a tension in the united states going back to the beginning about making one out of many, partly because the country is so big and partly because there are multiple and rival interests and different religions. in a certain way,as bill reminds us, the very liberty to pursue your individualistic notions of have a mess as a centrifugal tendencies. does it matter is the ultimate question?
i wonder if we could try to address some of these different strands and see whether we could do a little more in our own name. >> not the question when matters? >> not yet, but why it is. >> of like to explore the issue in detail of the impact of economic freedom. there is this my medicine and fabulous migration of the founding principles -- all men are created equal -- it is the migration into perhaps not what it means to be an american but the characteristics of americans focusing on a couple of industries.
the internet is one. many people remember that in the 1960's maybe 70's, france, put something -- france came up with something. it was going to take over the world. it was an expression of a french and grandiosity. it did not work and was completely useless and did not develop. if you have one now, i'm sure it will be a terrific museum piece. it is not just that the internet was and is an american invention but i believe it could only have been an american product, the product of the meritocracy, othe end of the world.
the internet has transformed the world and continues to do so. i know more about the industry of which i am a part, the hedge fund industry, but it illustrates many of the same principles. i'm a lawyer by formal training. when i formed a hedge fund in 1977, there was a history of hedge funds. what the hedge fund industry is is a pool of basically unconstrained but subject to rules and regulations about accounting standards, fraud, subject to the control of lenders. unconstrained means you are not or group of e herd that measure success by losing 20% when the world loses 30% or failure when you make 20 and the world makes 30. you have your own money
alongside the. investors most of the people that now run hedge funds are the product of middle-class backgrounds. many of them, including myself, went to public schools, send our public is a to -- our kids to public school. from this growth of this unconstrained free-form investing style has come a group of people, very rapidly, who are now the new rank of people who are involved in policy, politics, philanthropy, entrepreneurial philanthropy. i think the hedge fund industry as well as the internet illustrates something that is very closely related because of the need for america to bounce back from its problems and a
self-imposed problems of the last 30 and 40 years and some of them are cultural but but many of them are obvious. this is to generate the prosperity in a world in which our folks in general are paid more than people in emerging markets. it is a product of the openness, the meritocracy, the rule block -- the rule all law, the basic fairness of the american system. it is not a correct system. the police force in most places not corrupt. we all know what happens around the world. american can use to be -- america continues to need to be fixed. this is a product of something deeper than people just happening to be in this location. it is part of an idea. america was founded on an idea
and one of the ideas was freedom, economic freedom, private property and individual responsibility. i think it's worth giving some thought on this panel or not as to whether -- what is this connection of the ability of americans to do these remarkable things and keep this prosperity going and what it means to be an american. >> in terms of what it is, i would like to align myself the fellow who put his finger on a ma harveynsfield when he said that america practices its liberty. if there is abstract mathematics and there is applied mathematics. i think harvey is right that the defining characteristic is that every day the united states practices liberty and it does it
within the context of both the declaration of independence and constitution. everybody knows life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. we were given this template by the founders. you can think of really lucky we were that those guys were good they were back in those times. america just lucked out with an incredible group of men called the founding fathers who gave us this template within which apple local level and local elections and state and national elections, within the framework of the constitution, constantly practice our liberty. it is done with an instructor they gave us. of its nature, the founders have allowed us to be pulled forward which is fully constructed. >> i appreciate your reading the
words from the oath. i want to naturalization ceremony of a friend and it is a beautiful and moving reminder of what we are as americans. it was pointed out that those born here do not take that oath. given what we're talking about , terms of desire iring agreement, is it worth considering whether you register to vote that you agree to take that oath? do we as americans want to give the right to vote to anyone? we are not willing to give said decision -- citizenship to anyone. we could demand that for someone who votes. >> the answer to that is that is
what the public school is supposed to do. >> it is not an oath. >> -no, i was at a meeting of educators and the head of notre dame ask what the rationale is for a public school. said the publicker school is free to teach immigrant children reading, writing, and arithmetic and what needs to be an american with the hope they would go home and teach their parents. the only real rationale for the common school or public school was to help the children learn what it meant to be an american. otherwise they could all be private. >> let me ask you, dan -- >> we are in the midst right now of a big debate. is not about true americanism but rather the question is what
is the true america. we are in a debate about whether america should be modeled on social democracies of europe or whether america should aspire to be a kind of libertarian utopia where we just go about pursuing our individual aims and laws should be restricted to keeping us from bumping into each other. this is a big debate in this might be a good context to address this issue. >> i would not rule it out of court. it seems to me that there will always be large political differences between let's say liberals and conservatives about which way the government or america should go on a but secular policy or even on large revisions. and yet, there is a sense that
those debates take place within a context of somehow shared commitments and shared beliefs and shared attachments. i think it would be better at least for present purposes to try to think about what those things in common are, recognizing -- at the end, roosevelt talks about working together to solve it each problem, not expecting there would be a unanimous opinion on how to do those things. rather than get into the current policy, i would prefer -- >> i'm not so much interested undressing the policy debates as the ideals. let me try this. the basic american proposition
as expressed initially in the declaration of independence and fleshed out in the constitution which establishes the institutions by which we hope to effectuate the ideas put forth in the declaration, the basic principles of government that would respond to those ideals are principles of limited government, of liberty, of personal responsibility. they also require a kind of public spiritedness. it is a republican machine. self test government means that we need citizens who are concerned not only with pursuing their own individual aims but also with pursuing something substantive by way of a common good. we can have the bit about what that requires. the problem is that you have
major threats to these ideals like limited government or personal responsibility from the rejection by large segments of the most influential people in the culture, especially the intellectual culture. these are rejections of the legitimacy of some of those ideals. this ithis is why multicultural- this is why multiculturalism that rejects as in live desert legitimate and unjust is a threat. i think this is why compatriots -- what patriotism -- you find a strong multiculturalism's sentiment in an ascendant position in the intellectual culture and increasingly in the public
schools -- not simply the public schools. when my children went to a very good private school, where i struggled valiantly to get in excused from a mandatory class in amend it -- in american studies because the only text in this american studies class and it is a very good school was the "history of the american people." i would not have objected to the book being used had some women said on the other side of these -- had something been said on the other side of these. it looks like indoctrination in anti-americanism. that would be a problem we would have to address in a very good, suburban, private school, and all over the place in the public schools. that should give us great concern. >> you are years ahead of me -- i lost it -- i just got it back.
you had a time trying to get your son out of class in a private school. i spent five years on the committee at my son's school, trying to introduce american history before the ninth grade. he had two courses on the incans. [laughter] i thought he would end up speaking inca. [laughter] it took me five years to introduce a course in the eighth grade on american history. i'm sure after i left that the problem used that text, but i was already gone and retired. i think americanism is a rather quaint term. use it nowwe don't as it had an unfortunate adolescence -- is it had an
unfortunate adolescence. it is a perfectly reasonable word, except to the baggage of its history, the house un- american committee, etc. to me, the equivalent is american exceptionalism. that is our way of saying the same thing. american-ism. when we talk about american exceptionalism -- what makes us different from europe, greece, other democracies, other advanced industrial societies -- i think we're having a discussion about american exceptionalism, but perhaps there are other views of this. >> is there something american about it so as to prevent it from being cosmopolitan? the idea of being a citizen of the world is silly, but why? >> for the same reason -- is
silly. [laughter] >> so, you cannot have high- level conversation with a primitive language. that simplifies. >> it was a primitive idea that you could somehow transcend nationality with the inherited and create, out of sheer irrationality, a universal language. i find it amusing in the way that we have this internationalism, the way that carry a moral authority or the un human rights commission. it is silly. i think it's less of a
problem than the division in our country. i think that is now entrenched in our culture and getting worse. >> unavoidably contemporary political issue that is raised -- i in paris and unavoidably, contemporary, political issue that is raised -- i think there is an unavoidably, contemporary, a political issue that is raised. in 1894, if i could try to read roosevelt mind. think heelt's mind, i understood the united states was on the verge of an becoming a very great and powerful nation, which, in fact, it did. it became what we now call the superpower. i think roosevelt understood
that a country that was heading in that direction was going to need it -- it was going to take a lot of effort to sustain whatever was necessary to maintain that status. we have had debates for a long time over whether that sadness is appropriate or not, but it is real. that is the way it is. after world war ii, there was no denying that it was real. i think what roosevelt was talking about was the points that charles raised, which was energy -- how do you sustain the economic, the spiritual, and the physical energy to keep america a great nation? the reason this is a political issue -- and you're in. to get partisan here now -- and we are going to get partisan here now -- we had that article in the yorker " -- in the new "the new yorker."
there was the idea that the americas -- of america's power is declining in china's is on the rise. one writer said, "this is absolutely the antithesis of what teddy roosevelt was talking about." it is implied -- it has implied all these other things that we're talking about the going to making america strong. at this but when the time and you have got -- at this point in time, schools are explicitly algined -- aligned with this cosmopolitanism. >> he prefers the nation as -- as the federal republic -- he
refers to the nation as a federal republic. america is -- self-government is one of our ideas. we want to be self-governing people. there are conditions for self- government. you can do it in a federal republic. self-government is possible in a federal republic. i do not know house of garment is possible on cosmopolitan terms. in a cosmopolitan -- how self- government is possible on cosmopolitan terms. and the cosmopolitan -- rulers might be kings with different names, places like belgium and the hague, and the rest of us will be subjects happy to have lied be comfortable and soft. roosevelt is not interested in like being soft and comfortable, but in a self-governing people -- in life being soft and comfortable, but in a self- governing people. >> it comes from a principal of
the equality of man. america is also something particular. >> with the history and culture and traditions. >> and that works against the universality of our principles. somehow, we have to combine the universal ollove of self government -- it is not because we are american that we have a special right and get to practice of government. we recommend it to others -- and gift to practice self government. we recommend it to others. it shows the difficulty of a ness.of imperial mes we do not just live our
principles. we taught them to the rest of the world. -- we tout them to the rest of the world. we have to show how it is -- >> is an element because it relies on the consent of others so that we can provide an example of self-government but not impose a because it is up to their consent to secured for themselves -- impose it because it is up to their consent to secure in it for themselves? >> ironically, we imposed on the japanese and the germans. >> we have trouble with the
arabs. to my mind, you aveh -- have to -- americans around the world continued -- people from our and the world continue to flock to this country. they want to get into this country any and every way they can. maybe one of the simplest to address this question is -- what are you coming here, wire you trying to get here. why will you do anything to get your children here -- the answer becomes clear that people still greatly value the idea of freedom from oppression and the idea of law and order and rule of law is extremely valuable. i think people love the idea of social stability without reference to tribalism. we have talked about these hyphenated kids. in terms of courts and our politics, when you get outside, some of the big cities, that is not the rule of the day.
that is not the way the people order themselves in our society. affordability -- those public schools, in addition to being vehicles for assimilating young people, really give you an opportunity in the ideal sense to observe it merits. in the united states, you can come here as a poor child. if you exhibit merit, through hard work and determination and persistence, you can achieve. you can rise. people mock the idea that anybody can become president, but from what it is true. if you look at bill clinton and barack obama, you say, that is amazing that that person became president of any country. it is inspiring. i think a part of this conversation -- it seems to me to take the teddy roosevelt document totally out of -- we live in such a different world than the world this document was
written for. the expense of the military -- the expanse of the military. that we would come here and have something to say about events in libya and syria. this is way outside of what roosevelt is imagining as he is writing here. the idea that we would have an accident in gas. the global internet structure. >> the internet. >> you guys are acting as if we should kwok -- should flock back to -- i'm glad to honor them, but the idea that you would talk about multinational coalitions and agreements in some negative way -- i do not think is relevant. . >> can i just -- charles mentioned something i think was especially interesting.
we opposed what we're talking about on the japanese and germans, but that -- we impose what we're talking about on the japanese and germans, but that did not make them americans. it seems to me that was exceptional about america -- what is exceptional about america is that we are united by a set of principles, instead of by race, creed, color, whatever. that is unique. that is our greatest accomplishment. the next thing is, which principles -- liberty, equality, rule of law. that is about it. after that, we discovered for ourselves -- the single thing that is unique and exceptional is that we are united by handful of principals instead of something else. >> putting these two comments together and formulating a question -- i do not think anybody on the panel was
nostalgic for teddy roosevelt's time. i do not think i have heard any comments, but there is an attempt to see whether some of the questions he raised are still questions for us, notwithstanding the large differences of the times. i was very struck by this phrase, "spirit, convictions, and purposes." intellectuals are very good on commitments and purposes, principles. it is a funny thing to wonder in the present age, with the american bar what it is, could we speak about -- american power what it is, could we speak about the american national purpose -- do we have one? do we not only practice of
liberty, but advertise it and recommend it to others because we believe it is good? i was. as harvey and whether he thought that is america's national purpose. it is not imperialism, except as a way of life and encouragement that others follow it. it makes sense ask a question of the money nation, -- of a mighty nation, what are you about? what is the guiding spirit? what kind of positions do you hold it? it seems to me worth a few minutes. >> let's go back to where the nation was when it was at its greatest risk, and during the civil war, when the question was whether people who've lived to see the nation warm would still be alive when it died. lincoln told us what our national purpose was when he said that what the war was about was whether the government
by the people, of the people, and for the people, in other words republican government, would perish from -- he did not to the north american land mass -- would perish from the earth. despite the historical failures of the republican government and the temptation to believe that republican governments simply was a nice idea that could never work and that would be internally the fate of human beings to be ruled by accident and forced -- that it was america's national purpose to show that it could be -- >> that is fine. when you spoke about what , you were paredin to some of the same things the muzzle of the things we have held dear -- some of the things that we have held here since the declaration of independence.
there have been waves of immigration, arguably more in the past it ought to decades than ever before, from every corner of the globe -- arguably more in the past four decades than ever before, from every corner of the globe. it seems that some people do want to retain two different loyalties. even though they have to pledge that they will give up loyalty to one, they seem to recognize themselves as two to the question that i think we are asking and we should ask more sharply is, do we really live in different times? do we need a different answer to what is the spirit, the conviction, the purpose of america? >> i do not see how that changes anything. our fundamental problem today is not the immigrants from ukraine retaining their loyalty to the
ukraine. i do not think that is our problem. the question is, when we educate, when we form immigrants to be americans, what are we forming them to be? order teaching them? -- what are we teaching them? that is the ball game. it seems to me that our international -- intellectual class has largely taken one side and i do not think it is the right side to take. what i perceive as part of my own mission is to make the argument for the other side. >> i think it is not the case that you can ignore inequities in american life and try to said that we are engaged in propagandizing in order to indoctrinate our young people the more american.
roosevelt spoke about this, people who would use our inequities to try to belittle the united states and even worse to belittle the idea of the united states of america. we cannot say to me that america is without flaw. you cannot speak to a jewish person and say that america knows nothing about glass ceilings and acting as if you are less than fully human. it is just not true. to me, part of the glory of america is that we work through these things. people absolutely continue to aspire to this idea that you spoke about -- all men equal. we really see this and pursue this and we really hold each other to account in a very
public way that you can campaign -- senator alexander can campaign, but must also acknowledge that there are people living in poverty -- that there are black people who are not that many generations removed from slavery in his constituency. this is all part of america. it makes it different from so many other lands where they did not abolish this. where they continue to lie about the they are or try to persuade people that they do not have problems -- about who they are or try to persuade people that they do not have problems. >> you do not disagree with me. there is no one here that would say that america is in equities, failures, should be glossed over and hidden. themerica's inequities, lawyers, should be glossed over and hidden. it does include some dark
moments that we should be ashamed of. we should work toward realizing our ideals. it is part of the story. even the story of public skills -- schools. we have to tell the story of calf solecism -- of catholicism. there are people who wanted to use the public schools to use -- use the schools to strip catholic citizens of their religion. we all want a fair, objective tone to the story. we want to lay before our young people the vision of america that our founders had. we do not want that to be dusted -- just an artifact of the past. >> i think we can agree that we
are united by principals instead of race. i think we can agree that there are few principles upon -- rule of law, opportunity -- we could make the list in a few minutes. there are a few other characteristics of americans -- anything is possible. after that, it is up to the politicians and philosophers and professors and the debates to apply those principles and come up with competing versions. the best of it -- lincoln stated purpose at the time. it built upon those principles. we have different visions of america's future. they're built on the same principles. our politics is mostly about complex among people -- conflict among people. we're dealing with the disappointment in not realizing
the aspiration -- all men are created equal -- that we all agree with. >> we're going to move very soon to open it up for some questions. the historical context was interesting. in 1894, one generation removed from the civil war experience, he was looking back at this period of european hegemony. you cannot say that he saw in any direct or precise when -- way, the two incredible episode of mass murder about to descend not only upon europe -- self- imposed, of course -- but to complete the reshuffle the global debt and tilted in favor of america -- tilts it in favor
of america. there are hints that what roosevelt did -- he was strongly saying, let's not be like europe. let's not be like europeans in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different vituperative language." i think he felt a part of it was not just our geographic isolation and the oceans, which would protect america and tilt the landscape, but there's something about american principles and something about european principles. i am very sympathetic with the feeling now we have today is actually not that much different, in terms -- and actually a very powerful set of choices that we have to continue to drift towards
internationalism, deference to foreign law, and it is more than whether it is socialize this or that. one feels it is part of the principles of perhaps dividing america and europe, self- reliance versus the collective ruling violates. -- nurses the collective -- >> harvey? >> i will make my brief. to the question of why it matters, part of the preamble is to "for more perfect union." i think it is worth realize that one of our most fundamental human needs is -- worth realizing that one of our most fundamental needs is communion. i have, and union with the
people in this room. my guest is -- my guess is they are 90% of american citizens. that colony in -- that, in union, that more perfect union that the constitution speaks of makes my life better. the fact that politics enters into it is how we order ourselves -- i do not think it is dirty or something to avoid. it is how we order ourselves. these issues, why they matter, it goes to the most fundamental need we have as human beings -- union with one another. when we have it, it is something that is almost transcendent. it is not material, but something that we share in our hearts. a can be a very profound thing. -- it can be a very profound thing. maybe some of that has been lost and we missed it.
>> i hesitate to open my mouth. i am delighted to hear the word "aristotle." [laughter] we should be proud salesman's of democracy and the republic. en.re good at being salesma we should not step up to the customer, but we should be proud of what we have done. -- suck up to the customer, but we should be proud of what we have done. >> there are microphones. >> let's have questions, comments if there are very brief -- if they are very brief, but no long speeches.
we have other people who will want to get to the microphone. roger? >> i am the last surviving patriotic englishmen. [laughter] i wanted to say something to frank's original point about patriotism as a village. i think this is something which has been slightly overlooked. maybe the kind of patriots and that roosevelt is talking about -- patriotism that roosevelt is talking about is patriotism with that of the village. i have lived in rural virginia as a kind of visiting anthropologist. [laughter] my main observation is this a society totally constitution with volunteers. we have six churches, 40 societies, volunteer rescue
squad -- everything was done by people's initiative at a local level. to me, this is what american patriotism actually consists in. it is not incompatible with the noble ideas that robbie referred to. this seemed to renew those ideals. it is what we have lost in the report -- in europe. we do not have that society of volunteers anymore. maybe the panel could talk to this -- the extent to which american patriotism can exist without renewing things at the local level and getting to know your neighbors and doing things without interference from government. >> but that is why i would say that this definition of american is also political. it is an argument between left and right. it is only if you have an -- have a government-enumerated
powers, a government that does not announce itself sovereign over every at auction -- every action, a government that can be a little bit parochial -- it is only if you actually have the architecture of the constitution that you allow the space for where the voluntary associations you are talking about -- and which tocqueville talked about so famously. do we want to be more of the social some money -- a of a social commodity or more of the exceptional, individual -- more of what we have traditionally been? it is getting to the essence of america and it is about american exceptionalism. we're different that way because of our history.
we are all beyond -- we are a young country. we have had more -- miraculously element -- we have had miraculously development. it has reached almost a sacred level, empirically demonstrated as the most successful >> -- document in american -- in history. on principlesit would mean giving up something that makes as exceptional and unique, exactly as demonstrated in your example of the society that operates with the voluntary association. it is not something that emerges out of virginia. it survives because the government knows and is required to extend that. >> question in the back.
>> i was surprised that one of the founding -- that we have not talked about much of -- the idea of religious liberty and church- state relations, which was referred to a little bit in roosevelt's piece that you have read. i recognize that is an element of america that is at the core, yet we have very strong disagreement in our political life today about how it is applied. now be interested in hearing that discussed a little bit. >> anyone on that subject? >> i'm glad you brought that up. i think that -- i was reminded when robbie was talking to a minute ago that the term "americanism" was very current in the 1890's in another context -- a perceived heresy of leo xiii, who we mainly know through his social teachings. i do not know for certain, but
it would not surprise me if roosevelt was addressing himself to precisely that language -- that is, americanism with the heresy, the reading of separation of church and state as absolute. there's a lot of nervousness about this at the vatican. it would not surprise me at all if roosevelt was addressing that, although he also says that there is no place for know nothing is simple -- forno for know-nothing- ism's. there is an interesting tension in roosevelt. i would see religious freedom as part of the liberty entrenched in the declaration itself. >> would you say -- never mind
roosevelt -- that americanism, or its equivalent today, it is or should be neutral -- put the distinction between religion and atheism? does it matter? >> i do not think it can be entirely. because of the nature of their rights that are viewed as inviolable, are grounded in something transcendent -- the notion that these rights can be grounded in something that human beings cannot get at them, cannot meddle with them, cannot undermine them -- it is fundamental. im wh t cteror ual oornity. want tsuggest that there is some overlap between what americanism is and what
characteristics americans must have for our country to work. fortunately for you all, i have looked at what i thought those 10 characteristics more and i was hoping you could comment on them. do not discourage anyone else's race or ethnicity. respect women. learned to speak english. be polite. do not break the law to do not have children out of wedlock. do not demand anything because of your race or ethnicity. don't you working and studying hard as acting wise. don't hold historical grudges. be proud of being an american. >> the 10 commandments? [laughter] >> probably everyone in the room could think back to their own immigrant grandparents or great- grandparents'. there may be a few who would
have to go back a few generations beyond that. the thing about your grandparents are great grandparents who were immigrants. the african american case is different because of slavery. i think of my own and then that really strikes me -- and the thing i remember so vividly -- they're all gone now -- is their gratitude to this country. that was coming in a sense, the key to their americanism. -- that was, in essence, the key to their americanism. they had come for economic opportunity, not for political reasons. another set from the old ottoman empire, definitely came for political liberty. they had come in common, although the numbers -- never learned to speak english well, that they wanted their kids to be -- they had in common,
although they never learned to speak english well, that they wanted their kids to be american. they did not have an attitude of entitlement. if we communicate to immigrants or anyone that the proper posture to take is a title -- is a posture of entitlement -- it undermines the gratitude that this key to american -- especially immigrant americans becoming true americans. that does not mean that we need -- that we should not have a proper debate. i am not proposing in the libertarian utopia. it does not mean we should just
drop into an attitude of entitlement. that does kill gratitude. >> if i could just add one word to that. summarizing the source of the gratitude, which us on the my parents, who were second- generation americans -- you put them together and they constitute what we call the american dream. there was no other country -- there is no other country, i think on earth, where "green" follows the name of the country. i have never heard of the french dream. [laughter] i do not think i should have gone there. r russian dream -- i suppose that is yet another belgium. the american dream -- everybody understands it. it means opportunity and political liberty. why did everybody come here?
it is precisely for that reason. it is unique to west -- democracy is unique in america. that is what i think is the essence of what you are calling americanism and what we call american exceptionalism. >> i think an appreciation of our values and ideals and our institutions comes out of -- even if people did not come because we agree institutions are. our ideals, the experience that they have -- we have great institutions or ideals, the experience that they have enables immigrant people to be proud when their children fight for the united states and the military. there are so many innocent children doing that. their parents are proud. they understand their children are brought in harm's way for their country. -- are abroad in harm's way for their country.
it really is their country. >> my question goes to the comments about civic institutions. it has been argued that capitalism and democracy are empty vessels into which we pour our values as a nation. these values best preserved in specific institutions. not in the content of our economy, the strength of our economy, the strength of our military, but in the content of our civic institutions. why do we hear such little conversation about those civic institutions that the founders believed is the only place that we can preserve our values. i think you do not here in washington because -- but you do
in communities. i mean, i have not gotten much into this. roosevelt's first point -- it is essential to our country that we work community by community. as the anthropologist from rick britton said, in our -- from great britain said, there is a lot of civic institution and a church, fire, civic organizations -- it is the distinguishing aspect of what we do and what we can do from here to create an amendment in which it can succeed is limited government. >> it is related the dispersion of power versus the european principle concentration of power. it isn't just the state versus the federal government. it is a private power, private philanthropic power, as well as
this big institutions. the community. >> if i could add one point -- senator alexander, you talked earlier, trying to steer us away from the debate about left and right as important or at least essential to a definite of americanism. but you are emphasizing in you did earlier, the importance of the specific, local institutions. is it not legitimate to say that, as the state expands in its power, as it takes over rules that traditionally have been -- a did not have, it despises and supplants and marginalizes -- it is places and supplants and marginalizes these public institutions on which the public stance. we're seeing is played out in europe. it isn't just a theoretical argument. therefore, a debate about the
essence of america and what makes it unique, exceptional, and so valuable asked to include the debate over the recent scope of government because of its effect on these institutions -- civic institutions, which are so fundamental, as you yourself said. >> i think yes is the answer to the question. i think the way that works out in our politics is that we have these principles such as limited government and liberty on one side and someone might step up equal opportunity on the other side and make an argument within an american context to say that the government needs to add this program to create equal opportunities so these people can get to the starting line. i would be over here and the right side. someone else might be on the left side with a larger program based on equal opportunity come but i think we're both americans -- equal opportunity, but i think for both americans.
>> i agree. rather than questioning your opponents americanism, could you not just point out that it is a historical consequence of overemphasizing equal opportunity to undermine the basic idea of limited government, in which case, you would undermine the entire idea of americanism? >> at precisely agree and that and that is the correct way to have political debate. i was actually trying to acknowledge -- my emphasis would be on the other principals. >> it is not a question of motive, but a consequence -- of consequence. >> one last question. >> if i recall correctly, in describing -- mimi describe to -- amy described the philosophy
and poetry. we get the philosophy in common, but we're not sure about the poetry. and nine -- the phenomenon that you're talking about with hyphenated names, people see the poetry in those ethnic attachments. i am wondering where that poetry would come from. it seems to me that at least two or three things were laid out by the panel. we come from, essentially, something that -- it would come from, essentially, something that -- it has to be some in that unites all of us as americans -- something that unites all of us as americans. harvey suggested selling ourselves to others. this could be a common purpose.
juan williams suggested that isehow, a common purpose, i aspirational, or to use charle'' term is a -- a "dream." my question is what the panel thinks about the possibilities that those things -- how those things would work together. one is inward-looking. one is outward-looking. >> i think both are inevitable. i will give you a line of political poetry that we're all familiar with.
"the shining city on a hill." as well as the american dream. what is the? -- and the point -- what is the point? men have been trying to accomplish a political model for organizing and nation -- i think we agree that we have a pretty darn good one and we are trying to figure out what the elements of it are. the world, the congress of vienna, -- the world has a terrible tendency to try to implode from time to time and disintegrate. when that happens, it is a very difficult and horrifying situation. it is in america's interest not to have nations elsewhere disintegrating and imploding, as
indeed they are in many parts of the world right now. we have an outward-moving interest in maintaining the american model for those who would like to imitate it. i think harvey is right that we should make an effort to sell it. that does not mean lock, stock, and beryl. -- barrel. these principles were. it would not be a bad thing if other nations struggling to identify -- these principles work. it would not be a bad thing if other nations struggling to identify themselves used these things. >> i would add one more source for the poetry. lincoln. everything lincoln said and wrote. philosophy made poetic. it seems to me that combines
both of the elements that you mentioned. once you secure the new birth of freedom, we do stand forth as an example to the world. our task today is to get back to that, to lincoln's task of the perpetuation of our political institutions, and to figure out what ways we have departed from those and how they might be vivified and restored. >> aristotle -- i will say it just to be in good company. [laughter] i think one element of the poetry of national purpose -- i am suspicious of the notion of national purpose. that is another discussion. one element ought to be the concept that -- concept of frontier. adding this is enduring and timeless -- i think this is an enduring and timeless principles. there was a mutual influence
would between -- influence between turner and roosevelt. it is very interesting that come in europe, the word frontier -- it's the equivalent is a negative term. in america, it is positive. that is a kind of exceptionalism. it is hard to translate into a strap -- and abstract concepts. it had ended with opportunity, the ability of the individual person to -- it had something to do with opportunity, the ability of the individual person to realize his potential irrespective of conditions of birth and other incidentals. maybe it should be the equality of opportunity, rather than results, but, at any rate, that notion of frontier -- politicians have repeatedly
tried to revive the notion of frontier, the kind of space program from tearing. this is part of our national makeup -- space program frontiering. this is part of our national makeup. a kind of mythos. >> poetry is found in some of the stories and songs that we have included in this volume. more important, i want to double the panelists. i want to thank the panelists, the bradley foundation, and all of you for coming. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we are visiting some of the national war memorials today dedicated to the veterans of world war two -- world war ii, the korean war memorial, of the and on memorial -- the vietnam
memorial. we commemorate those who served in the korean war here. the statues are little bit larger than life-size, soldiers coming out of the trees. this wall is etched with archival images, 2500 different images taken during the war. on the ground at the soldier's feet, strips of granite and juniper bushes that represent the rugged terrain of korea. this is one of the more spreading memorials, giving you the feeling that you're walking alongside the soldiers. and the footprint of this memorial was a triangle where the soldiers stand. it intersects the circle. these walls are made of 100 tons of black granite from california. there are 19 statues.
when they reflect on the wall, it looks like there are 38. that symbolizes the 38th parallel. you can see some of the wreath and birthdays -- wreathes and bouquet is being laid on this memorial day weekend. this is also -- there are also a number of flowering bushes, known as the rose of sharon, hibiscus plants, south korea's national flower.
each one of these statues, made out of stainless steel, the 19 statues. there are a number of statues depicting each one of the different branches of the u.s. military. ground was broken for the caribbean war veterans memorial on flag day, 1992, -- or the korean war veterans memorial on flag day, 1992, and it was dedicated three years later on the anniversary of the armistice. peacedenzel washington's to students at the university of pennsylvania -- washington speaks to students at the university of pennsylvania. the supreme court justice, sonia sotomayor, attend graduation ceremony at the university of south carolina in columbia.
earlier today, president obama was at arlington national cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns and to give the memorial day address. we will bring you another look at both of those events tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. you can watch them any time on line at the c-span video library. earlier this month, members of congress gathered in the u.s. capitol to dedicate a new statue of former president gerald ford. he served in the u.s. house from 1949 until he took office of the vice president in 1973. we will now hear remarks from the former president's son and daughter at this hour-long event. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome are honored guests, the honorable henry kissinger, members of the united states
house of representatives, the governor of michigan, members of united states senate, and the speaker of the united states house of representatives. leeson and and, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, -- ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the of the house of representatives. >> today we formally accept the statue of gerald ford for placement in the rotunda. this presentation ceremony is concurrent with the house resolution approved by the car runs on may 16 of this year. the resolution also expresses gratitude to the people of
michigan for providing this commemoration of one of its most eminent citizens. we're joined today by the governor of michigan and the members of the congressional delegation. we're also joined by members of president for's cabinet and his senior staff as well. -- president ford's cabinet and his senior staff as well. we are pleased to have members of his family, including three of his children. though she could not be with us here today, i know we're all thinking of the former first lady, betty ford, without whom none of this would have been possible. >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of the colors and the singing of our national anthem, and the retiring of the colors.
>> let us pray. eternal lord god, the giver of every good and perfect gift, we are grateful for this opportunity to remember our 38 president, gerald ford, by dedicating a statue in his honor. lord, when this land desperately needed strong, moral leadership, you gave it president gerald ford's astuteness, honor, commitment, and courage. when we needed a model of unswerving integrity, you provided us with someone who is committed to stand for right.
accept our gratitude for president ford's courage to decide, based upon principles, for his pragmatic leadership during cynical times and for his efforts to bind the nation's wounds after watergate and vietnam. lord, thank you also for permitting him to remind us that family and faith still matter and write living is a language that is clear to everyone. mavis statue continue to remind ,s of president ford's dignity decency, diligence, and decisiveness, thereby
challenging us to use our lives for your glory. we pray in your sovereign name, amen. >> please be seated. ladies and gentleman, the democratic leader of the united states house of representatives, the hon. nancy pelosi. >> it good morning. i am pleased to join our speaker, this and that leaders in welcoming our distinguished guests here today, especially to welcome the members of the ford family. in 2003, when president ford was observing his 90th birthday, he came to the floor of the house of the represent -- came to the floor of the house of representatives.
he was like a rock star. everyone surrounded him. as he moved through the chamber, he was engulfed by members. some who had served with him and others who never served with him but wanted to greet him and welcome him to congress. what i went up to pay my respects, i said mr president, i have your job, i'm the minority leader. he said it "i knew your father. he was my friend." isn't that just like gerald ford? he said the links of one's day matters less than the ones -- that once families and friends. in his long life of great accomplishments, president ford was the most proud of this family. today, we pay special tribute to his family, three of whom are with us and we send our love and respect to first lady, betty
ford. our nation owes her a great debt of gratitude for our role as first lady, but well beyond that, affecting the lives of millions of americans. please extend our respects to your mom. when we unveiled a statue, it's always a special occasion for us in the capital. one happens to be of one has served in the congress, and that's a rarity, a president who has served in the congress, a gets pretty personal as well. we come together here to honor the dead characters of courage, civility, a former proud member of the house of representatives and a former minority leader, president ford. president ford's leadership of lighthouse is marked by fair and reliable's leadership. he was respected by both parties, always bipartisan in
his approach. as he himself said, "i have had a lot of adversaries in my political life, but no enemies i can remember." in 2001, president ford was awarded the john f. kennedy profiles in courage award. senator ted kennedy said that day, "at a time of national turmoil, america was fortunate that it was gerald ford who took the helm of a storm tossed ship of state. his courage and dedication to our country made it possible for us to begin the process of healing and put the tragedy of watergate behind us." as you see, the love and respect and admiration for president ford was truly bipartisan. president ford, as you know, spent a lifetime of service to this country in uniform, in the congress, and as our 38
president. today, we welcome, probably welcome him back to the capital. truly the gentleman from michigan, a state which he loved. made this statute long stand in the united states capital as a testament to his leadership, values and integrity. may it also stand as a sign of respect toward all visitors who come to this capital as a sign of respect americans have for president gerald ford. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentleman, the governor of michigan, the hon. rick snyder. >> speaker, congressional leaders, it is truly an honor to be here. today is a proud day to be an
american. it's an especially proud day to be from michigan. gerald ford represented the best for our state and i believe he would support me in appreciating the fraser was going to use -- he represented, he was the personification of the leaders and the best from the state of michigan, not just the university of michigan. [laughter] he served our state in so many ways. he was a role model from his college days at the university of michigan, winning those national championships, and sure he would be rooting for the next one to come soon. he also served our state and congress for nearly 25 years from the grand rapids area and was a role model for many. i had the opportunity to meet him briefly and work on one of his campaigns. he was a role model to me personally. he answered a higher calling. in addition to service of the state, he served our nation
during one of the most difficult times possible and he made a real difference. president ford was the personification of courage, of integrity, of civility. a role model for us to all follow. it is with great pride today and on behalf of the citizens of the state of michigan that we can present this statute to the u.s. capitol in the united states government. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, the hon. much mcconnell. -- the hon. mitch mcconnell. >> officers and trustees of the
gerald ford presidential foundation, members of the ford family, it is a pleasure to join in this tribute to the good man we honor today. this statute we dedicate will stand as a permanent reminder of the long and distinguished career of a proud son of michigan. it will solidify history's judgment that gerald ford held our nation together in one of our most difficult hours. many here today may be too young to route the early watergate shook america's confidence in its institutions and in its leaders. but over the years, that bitterness has yielded to a sense of pride that america in her resilience bounced back. and to a sense of gratitude to a man who studied the ship of
state when scandal came. when things went terribly wrong, gerald ford stepped into a role he had been preparing for his entire life without even knowing it. today, few would disagree he was just the man we needed. like many of his generation, gerald ford was guided by a love of country and a commitment to service. that is why he signed up with the navy after pearl harbor. that is why he ran for congress, that is why he excelled here. that is why he would shine in a role he never sought. you see, unlike many of those who preceded him or followed him in the halls of power, gerald ford never dreamed of what his destiny would be. he lived by a simple rule instead -- the harder you work,
the luckier you are. whether it was the boy scouts, football, or academics, he worked like hell. it was the same philosophy that would lead him to say the presidency and vice presidency were out prizes to be one, but a duty to be done. it is because he felt that duty so well that people of michigan and the nation honor him today. he restored a nation's confidence in itself, and that is no small thing. today, our nation acknowledges its abiding gratitude for the simple decency, the city leadership, and at the generous service of gerald rudolph ford. [applause]
>> ladies and gentleman, the majority leader of the united states senate, the hon. harry reid. >> anyone who lives as long and accomplishes as much as gerald ford is likely to collect a long list of titles. but the adjectives that best describe him are far more meaningful than the offices he held. he was very compassionate, forthright and reliable. he was true to his word. he is a patriot who entered a recall to serve. he was honest, he was unafraid to believe truth is the glue that holds our society together. he was very unpretentious. he took the oath of office as vice-president in the house chamber just down the hall from where we are today. when he then addressed the nation for the first time in that role and in that room, the man for michigan started with a humble warning.
i'm a ford, he said, not a lincoln. so he also had a sense of humor. he was there. he wisely ask congress to rubber our responsibility to communicate, cooperate and compromise. indeed, he likened the compromise to the oil that makes the engine of government run. his metaphors just as true today as it was then. it was oil in a literal sense that brought gerald ford and me together for the first time. i was a young lieutenant governor during the oil crisis of the early '70s. i came to washington to represent my governor and my state and meet with president nixon's energies are. then i went to the white house to meet the vice-president of the night states, gerald ford. i was so excited. here i was, just a little over 30 years old and meeting with the vice-president in the white house. i felt a connection to ford.
like the governor was to me, ford had been a boxing coach and a opened a small town law practice. during our meeting, an official picture was taken. i was very proud of that picture. i knew it was going to look great. it was the first photo i have ever taken with a big shot. i flew home and in a week or so, that picture arrived and i was so proud of that picture. i laid it on my dresser and came home that night, not realizing my kids or using it like one of those things to get in a restaurant. my picture with vice president ford was colored with crayons, every color you can imagines. i did everything i could to save the picture and i still have it, crayons and all. [laughter]
was as colorful as this photograph my children's hands changed. he was a congressman for a quarter-century, a party leader in the house of representatives for almost a decade. a member of the warren commission and of course the vice-president and president of our country. but there was a distinct sense that more than any of these other titles, gerald ford was most proud he was simply a citizen of the united states. he was more than just an american, he was an all- american, an eagle scout and decorated lieutenant commander in the navy, captain of his football team and member of the national championship michigan football team. in fact, he was such a proud wolverine that when he entered official events and when he left the rotunda for the last time, he did so not to "hail to the chief, but to the michigan fight
song that exclaims hail to the victors. he was not impressed with labels woodbridge with labels for longevity. he valued how people treated others. six weeks before he passed away, he became our nation's longest serving president. in his statement, he said billings of one day matters less than the love of one's family and friends. he knew he was talking about. he enjoyed tremendous love from those who knew and admired him. and he was easy to love. he believed people are fundamentally good and he saw the best in his neighbors and country. a sculptor from his hometown did an impressive job capturing his likeness in a statue that we will unveil in just a few minutes. he did at such an expert job i'm
confident i will be able to recognize president ford even without the crayon scribbles on his face. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speakers at -- the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the hon. john painter -- john boehner. >> i would like to thank all the folks here in that capital, back in michigan from the ford foundation call all of the for your significant efforts in making this day happen. as my colleagues noted, president ford always put the best interests of the republic first. but you have to wonder whether this principle would hold if he were to learn this statue is
going to be unveiled by speaker of the house from ohio. [applause] gerald ford was a michigan man if there ever was one. not a phoney bone in his body call all heart, all class. it is one thing to hold an office which president ford aspire to, and its -- he is just a stone's throw from where he labored for so many years. you can almost hear him saying right now, leave it to me, mr. speaker. throughout his life, every time roll was called, he answered the call. as a young man during world war two, he served as an officer on
the uss monterrey, seeing naval combat in the pacific. he answered the call again in 1973 when he left his beloved house of representatives where he had served for 25 years to become vice president of our country. later, he returned as president. when he returned as president, he lamented it was not a real homecoming. for now, he belonged to the executive branch. in reality, and gerald ford belonged to all of us. it's not just what we wanted or needed him to beat one of us, he was one of us. he looked down on no one and trusted in the good sense of the american people. he did not set out to fix america, but only to return it to being the great beacon of
freedom and liberty and always was. he also had the good sense to marry up. as first lady, betty ford set an example of courage and compassion that continues to endure. we can still remember watching her whole bible as the new president was sworn into office. the story goes that at that moment, dozens of democrats in the house were gathered around television in the cloakroom just off the floor of the house. when president ford asked people to confirm him with our prayers, the room fell to silence. a voice from the back of the cloakroom said we will, gerry. god bless you. so we begin again, americans one and all. now, the gentleman from michigan has come home. made this statute be an open
>> old ladies and gentleman, the daughter of president and mrs. at gerald ford, mrs. susan ford bales. ,> mr. speaker, a leader's members of the senate and house of representatives, governor snyder, dr. kissinger, mr. japanese ambassador, ladies and gentleman, i extend congratulations to the sculptor. your statue is wonderful. mother and i are so grateful to you and special gratitude also goes to gov. snyder and the people of michigan and to the
u.s. house of representatives and the senate for making this remarkable tribute to that a true reality. the rotunda has been a part of the ford family for decades. as a young girl, i accompanied my dad to the capital on weekends and happily played hide and seek in this very room and in statutory hall. four hours. in 2006, i returned under very different circumstances for dad's state funeral. when the last of our family gathered in the rotunda, it was a time to remember and a time to say goodbye. those were very difficult days. but we drew strength and comfort from many kindnesses of the house and senate members and from both sides of the aisle. in particular, we were
strengthened by the unprecedented attribute the house and senate paid to dad. i remember my feeling of of and pride when we arrived at the capitol the very first evening. instead of using the traditional center steps for the rotunda, we had his casket carried up the house steps. it was then placed in reposed outside the house chamber and, in honor of that being the president who served the longest in the house of representatives. several days later, the senate placed his casket in reposed outside the senate chamber. the casket was carried out of the senate steps to begin that's final journey home to michigan. in the twilight of his life, he was invited back to speak at the capitol.
on that special evening, he reflected it fondly on his time here. he said "while i may have lived at the other end of pennsylvania avenue for two and a half years, the capital has always been my home, always. i am very, very proud of that. today, the house and senate and the people of michigan symbolically and permanently welcome that back to the capital, back to the home in his heart he never left. as i thought about this statue, i have wondered what the school children visiting the rotunda in 100 years will learn about that. perhaps they will speak of speaker o'neill's moving words. perhaps they will call vice- president cheney's description
of that first day as president -- "the 62nd years of gerald ford's life were -- was a bitter season in the life of our country. it was a time of false words and ill will. there was great malice and great hurt and a taste for more. it all began to pass away on a friday in august when gerald ford laid his hands on the bible. or perhaps, the school children will consider it tom-opossum gratitude -- president ford dead more than wake us from a national nightmare. he made it possible for us to dream again. or maybe they will reflect on david broder's conclusion. in an odd and inexplicable way, the truce has begun to dawn on the american people that gerald
ford was the kind of president americans always wanted and not know that they had. certainly that was proud and humbled by such attributes. he would be prouder if schoolchildren 100 years from now will look upon this statue and consider whether he kept the promise he made a immediately after taking the presidential oath. "i am acutely aware you have not elected me as your president by your ballot. so i ask you to confirm me as president with your prayers. i have not sought this enormous responsibility, but i will not shirk it. i solemnly promised to uphold the constitution, to do what is right, as god gives me to see the right, and it to do the very best icahn for america.
god helping me, i will not let you down." today, the people of michigan and that the beloved house of representatives have spoken to future representatives. the solemn promise he made a 1974, dad, your message fills this rotunda. you did not lead america down. you kept your promise. you heal our nation and you allowed us to dream again, as is shown in this wonderful statue. the american people are and will be forever grateful. mr. speaker, senate and house members, governor snyder, on behalf of mother, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honor you have bestowed on my dad.
when gerald ford was sworn in as the 38th president, the vietnam war had divided the country, watergate had demoralized the executive branch. the cold war was still raging. but providence smiled of america when gerald ford took his oath of office. i am not one of those oratorical geniuses. ford said to me early in his presidency, i have to be myself. happened to be just what america needed. in no other country a person so effortless and generous as in
small-town america would he change gerald ford. he had never aspired to the presidency. he was free of the fixation of polls and focus groups. his highest ambition had been to become speaker of the house of representatives. a position dependent and at achieved by it the respect of his colleagues. buttressed by the indomitable betty, gerald ford exuded it serenity in a tumultuous time. and restored confidence to a battered society. gerald ford overcame a vast
array of international challenges. i will mention just a few. in his presidency, the first political agreement was negotiated between israel and egypt which led to a peace agreement to years later. the european security conference, whose establishment of international recognized human standards hastened the collapse of the soviet satellite orbits. the initiative to bring a majority rule to southern africa. the creation of the international energy agency, which still foster's cooperation among all oil consuming nations.
the annual economic summits among the cooperation of the industrial economies which remains a core element of the international dialogue. few will dispute that the cold war could not have been one have not gerald ford emerged as a tragic time in our history to restore our faith in ourselves. in office only 29 months, and gerald ford left with no regrets, no second guessing of his successes, no obsessive pursuit of his place in history. all of us who served under gerald ford consider it as a high point in our lives. for 35 years, he we have been
meeting once a year, together with the ford family, was an amazingly completes attempt to recall what he did and recapture their generosity, intelligence, decency and good will with which he suffused his administration. let me thank the leadership of the congress for enabling gerald ford to return to these calls which he loved so much in this matter. his statue will remind this and future generations that societies become great not by
>> i have a lump in my throat to see dad. we are so proud and i echo susan's sentiments in the thinking that leadership and the governor, the congressman in dallas district was so much help to get this statute put in here today. i look out in the audience and there are a lot of people in this audience to have a lot of people to do with this to help heal this nation. i saw paul o'neill, vice president cheney and so many people who went in to dad's administration to heal this nation back in 1974. our family has had numerous
moments in this rotunda. i remember recently, four and a half years ago, we stood here for dad's funeral. susan and my brother jack -- i can't tell you the honor each one of us felt as we came in and watched thousands of people come through to pay their respects. we all stood here to shake hands with those peopl paris bets. because he would have done it. that is what that would have done. susan is right. in 1965 or 1966, we were about nine or 10 years old and on saturdays, dad used to bring us into his congressional office because he would answer correspondence to his constituents in michigan.
he would tell us, before you go play, you need to type a letter to your mother and tell her how much you love her and how great a mother she is. we would get that done and he would let us come out and play hide and seek in the rotunda. as we know, it's a much more dangerous world today. after wasn't many years 1965, about eight years later, my dad was nominated by president nixon to be the next vice-president. my dad had been in congress 13 terms and was going to retire because he had never gotten to become speaker of the house. my mother had him convinced he would move back and have a nice
quiet life and start a law practice in grand rapids. the president nominates him to be vice president and others plans were pushed aside. she was not happy. but i remember my dad putting his arm around mother. and he said betty, of vice- president don't do anything. [laughter] we all know our history and that did not quite work out. 10 months later, as we know, secretary kissinger described it very well. our families stood on the south lawn of the white house as president nixon left in a helicopter, a great shadow over the white house. we walked into the east room of the white house and saw mom holding the bible. as dad put his hand on the bible to take the oath of office -- think about it, this was a
crisis in america. this country was divided, soldiers were still coming home in body bags. cold war with the russians, inflation that was double digit, unemployment was high, six months before dad became president, the stock market lost 45% of its value. 12 months before he became president, the price of oil was three or $4 a barrel. in the next 12 months, it went up 300%. this was the presidency he inherited and here you had a man who is going to put his hand on the bible, take the oath of office who had not gone through a general election and been elected by the american people. it was a crisis in america. dad took the oath of office and took over the reins of this
country in a very tough time. but he never forgot the lesson he came to washington to be a servant. to serve the people. you can look back in the fabric of his life and there is a thread that runs through its that is so apparent, this thread of character and integrity. leader pelosi talked about it. he worked well with both sides of the aisle -- democrats and republicans. he knew the importance of finding the right decisions. i remember paul o'neil talking about that dad would challenge him to find out if he had both sides of the argument in the meeting. he wanted the right answer and not to be bound by ideology.
my brother i know -- you will remember how many nights we sat around the dinner table and dad would say a government big enough to give you everything is a government big enough to take everything away. he believed those words. as we stand here today, i think the inscription tip o'neill has on my dad's statue, which says "got was good to america and this country. he is right. scott had a hand in my father's life as a young man. when he grew up in grand rapids, michigan and he made sure he placed the right people around him. the right football coach, the right teacher, the right church pastor, the right scout leader
to plant the seeds in him of character and integrity that he would need years later to heal the nation. selfishly, as a son, i close by saying what i miss most is how bad lead our family. how he showed us how to be a great father. how he showed us how to be a great husband. thank you, dad. god bless you. thank you very much. [applause] [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as a regional chaplain gives at the benediction. >> let us pray. gracious god, has given us this good land for our heritage, we humbly ask you work with us, in s, and through all of our endeavors call that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your holy will. plus our land with hon. industry, sound learning, and pure manners. save us from violence, discord and confusion, from pride and arrogance and every evil way. defend our liberties and fashion us into one at united people.
the ball to put -- the multitude's brought to us by many kindreds and tongues, while we build diversity we may also strengthen our common bonds in unity of effort. and do with the spirit of wisdom those who in by name we entrust the authority of government that there may be justice and peace at home. through the discipline of law at the opportunities of liberty, may we praise among -- may we show for the praise among the nations. in a time of prosperity, the arts -- fell our hearts with big fellas and in times of trouble, strength and resilience that we may always, bound in hope, moved forward in goodness of character and i think -- and strength of spirit. we ask your rich blessings upon the ford family, that you may
grant them your pc and solace as they onerous with their presence and sharing with a person we all hold dear in our hearts and minds, go now in love. as those called to do the work of god who has given us energy and life, that in the end, we may all reap the blessings of our lives. may god's peace and favor and mercy bless you always. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats for the departure of the official party. ♪ ♪
>> we have been visiting some of the national war memorial say, dedicated to service members of world war two and create more. here, we visit the vietnam war memorial, honoring service members who fought in the war and who died in service in vietnam and southeast asia and those who were unaccounted for, the missing in action. you saw the three soldiers statute, it is one of three parts of the vietnam memorial. there's also a women's memorial as part of this entire memorial area, and the wall you can see here. people walking alongside it. if you are walking on the other side of the wall, you would not be able to see it as the ground rises up to meet it in the top. the stone for this walking from by galore, india and was
deliberately chosen for its reflective quality. the main part of the memorial was completed in 1982. it gets around 3 million visitors every year. the memorials this weekend are covered with bouquets of flowers and wreaths, different dedications, people visiting on this memorial day weekend. the vietnam wall is very near the lincoln memorial. set in the constitution gardens. it has three separate parts -- the three soldiers statue, the vietnam women's memorial, and
the wall. there was a service and dedication earlier today. some of the chairs are still out on the lawn next to the memorial. there are 58,195 names on the wall. there are organized on a panel according set to -- panels according to the year the soldier died were declared missing in action. there is an on-line database of the names inscribed in the wall. when you are here, there are large books stationed nearby where you can look up the names of those who are missing or fallen.
>> at the farther you go, the more you see grass. >> you have been taking a look at some of the memorial's in the nation's capital on this memorial day weekend. you are looking at live coverage, here on c-span. >> tomorrow, we will have remarks from house minority whip on the manufacturing sector in the u.s. he is expected to talk about the democratic congressional agenda at this event hosted by the center for american progress. it starts live cattle o'clock a.m. eastern on c-span. while the senate is out of the session, the house gavels in tomorrow at 2:00 eastern for legislative business. on its agenda this week -- a bill sponsored by the ways and means committee and to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, without accompanying spending cuts or budget changes.
also expected, spending bills on military construction and veterans affairs as well as the homeland security department. you can follow the house of life when of the house gavel's back in on tuesday. >> the c-span video library makes it easy to follow campaign 2012. click on the tab and get instant access to announced and potential candidates -- all searchable, cheryl and free. the peabody award winning c-span video library -- is a washington, your way. >> all this memorial day weekend, we'll show you commencement addresses from around the country. first, denzel washington speaks to students at the university of pennsylvania. then we're off to providence, rhode island to hear from john ratezenberger. then, justice sonya sotomayor
attends the graduation of the university of columbia. earlier this month, and the washington addressed by thousand graduates in pennsylvania. he is a national spokesman for the girls -- for the boys and girls club of america. he received an honorary degree during the ceremony. this is 25 minutes. >> out of the magazine. [unintelligible] i do not have it in the right order. let me get it in the right order. if it starts flying around the stage [unintelligible] [laughter] i will keep going as i can.
fellow honorees, dutiful honorees, graduates -- [applause] i am honored and grateful for the invitation to day. always great to be on the penn campus. i have been here a lot of times for the basketball games that my son played. [applause] the coach did not give him enough playing time. we will talk about that later. [applause] i am really pleased with the progress that the coach has made. [laughter] really, i am. i hope and the best success in the future. when i come to philadelphia, i
enjoy it. except those few occasions where i wear my yankees cap. i cannot suddenly just switch and where a family cap. but you take your life in your hands when you wear a family cap. walking around with that hat on, they do not care who you are. you will be happy to see that i am not wearing my yankees cap today. i am wearing by yankees sox, t- shirt, underwear, tow warmers. [laughter] not my cap. i will be honest with you, i am a little nervous. i am not used to speaking at a graduation of this magnitude. it is a little overwhelming. out of my comforts of. dressed me up in army fatigues,
throw me on top of a moving train, asked me to play malcolm x, i can do that. but a commencement speech is a very serious affair and a very different ball game. there are literally thousands and thousands of people here. for those who say that you are a movie star, millions of people watch you all the time, that is true. that is technically true. i am not actually in the theater watching them watching me. i think that that makes sense. [laughter] i am not there when they cough, fidget, pullout their iphone, scratch their behinds, whatever they do in the movie theater. from up here i can see every single one of you. that makes me uncomfortable. [laughter] please, do not pull out your
iphone. do not taxed your boyfriend until i'm done. please. if you have to scratch your behind, go ahead. i understand. [laughter] i was thinking about this speech and what i should say and that the best way to keep your attention would be to talk about juicy hollywood stuff. i thought that i could talk about me and russell crowe getting in arguments on the set of "american gangster." but i said no, you are a group of high minded intellectuals not interested in that. or maybe not. [laughter] i thought about a private moment that i had backstage with ang elina jolie in the dressing room. but i thought i do not think so, this is a dressing -- this is an ivy league school. who wants to hear about that? [laughter]
this is penn, that stuff would never go over well over here. maybe at drexel, but not over here. [laughter] [applause] i am in trouble now. i was back to square one, feeling the pressure. now you are probably thinking, if it was going to be this difficult, this much pressure, why did i accept the invitation in the first place? my son goes here, that is number one. a good reason. i always like to check and see how my money is being spent. i am sure that there are parents out there that can relate to what i am talking about. [laughter] everybody upstairs. there were some other good reasons for me to show up. sure, i got an academy award,
but i never got something called a magic meatball after waiting 30 minutes at the food truck. [cheering] yes, i have spoken to president obama, but i had never spoken to a man named queeter, who sings bad songs on tuesday nights. i had never been to brees, gimoz. yes, i have played detectives that battle demons, but i have never been to a school in my life where the squirrel population has gone bananas. breaking into the dorm rooms. walking around campus. i saw some carrying books on their way to class. so, i had to be here. i had to come. even if i was afraid of making a fool of myself.
i had to come exactly because i might make a fool of myself. what am i talking about? here it is. i found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. nothing. nelson mandela said that there is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one that you are capable of. i am sure that your experiences in school, picking your major, applying for jobs, i am sure the people have told you to make sure that you have something to fall back on. make sure that you have something to fall back on. i never understood that concept, having something to fall back on. if i am going to fall, i do not want to fall back on anything except my faith. i want to fall forward.
at least this way i will see what i am going to hit. fall forward. this is what i mean. reggie jackson struck out 2700 times in his career, the most in the history of be -- baseball. but you do not hear about the strike out. people only hear about the home runs. thomas edison conducted 1000 failed experiments. did you know that? i did not know that. the 1,001st was the light bulb. fall forward. every failed experiment is one step closer to success. you have got to take risks. i want to talk to you about why that is so important. i have three reasons and then you can pick up your life of. first, you will fail at some point in your life.
accept it. you will lose. you will embarrass yourself. you will suck at something. i know that that is probably not a traditional message for a graduation ceremony, but i am telling you, embrace it, it is inevitable. i should know. in the acting business, you fail all of the time. early in my career in addition to in a broadway musical. perfect role for me, i thought, except that i cannot sing. i am in the wings, about to go on stage. the man in front of me is singing like camaraderie -- pavoratti. going on and on. i am shrinking, getting smaller and smaller. they say -- thank you, you will be hearing from us. i come out with my sheet music. it was just my imagination, by
the temptations. i handed it to the accompanyist. she looks at it, looks at me, looks at the director and was like -- enh. [laughter] i start like i am going to sing. [whipsering] [laughter] and they are not saying anything, so i think that i am getting better. i start getting into it. [emphatically whispering] [laughter] thank you very much, was to washington -- that is what they said. thank you. the next part, they did call me back. the acting part. i thought -- maybe i cannot sing, but i can act. they appeared me with this man and i did not know about musical
theater. it is big, so you can reach all of the way back. i am more from a realistic acting, naturalistic, where you talk to the person next to you. i do not know what my line was. something like -- had made a cup. and he says -- [shoutin] g] you, my dear, to it will be there for you. i say -- should i give it back? he says -- [shourting] it is my cup and it should be given back to me. [laughter] i did not get the job. but here is the thing. i did not quit. i did not fall back. i walked out of there to prepare for the next audition, the next
audition, and the next audition. i prayed. i prayed and i prayed and i prayed. but i continue to fail, fail, and failed. it did not matter. you know what? there is an old saying -- hang around the barbershop long enough, sooner or later you will get a haircut. you will catch a break. i did catch a break. last year i did a play on broadway called fences. [applause] it won the tony award. and i did not have to sing, by the way. but here is the kicker. it was at the cort theater. it was at the same theater where i failed that first audition 30 years prior. [applause] the point is -- and i will pick
up the pace -- the point is that every graduate here today as the training in the talent to succeed -- has the training and the talent to succeed. but do you have the guts to fail? if you do not fail, you are not even trying. i will say it again. if you do not fail, you are not even trying. my wife told me this great expression. to get something that you never had, you have to do something that you never did. the browns, motivational speakers. imagine that you are standing around your deathbed and around it are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential. ghosts of ideas that you never acted on. ghosts of talents that you did not use. and you are standing around your bed, angry, upset. they say -- we came to you because you could have brought us to life and now we have to go
to the great together. i ask you today, how many ghost will be around your bed when the time comes? you have invested a lot in your education. people have invested in you. let me tell you, the world needs your talents. people need you. i just got back from south africa a few days ago. if i am rambling, it is because in jet lag. africa is just the tip of the iceberg. they need your help. the middle east needs your help. japan needs your help. louisiana needs your help. philadelphia needs your help. [applause] the world -- the world needs a lot and we need it from you. we really do. we needed from you young people. i know that i am getting gray.
we needed from you, the young people. you have got to get it out there, give it everything you have got. your time, your talents, your prayers, or your treasures. remember this. you will never see a you fall behind a hearse. -- a u-haul behind a hearse. i will say it again. [laughter] you will never see a u-haul behind a hearse. you cannot take it with you. the egyptians tried it. all that they got was robbed. [laughter] the question is -- what are you going to do with what you have? i am not talking about how much you have. some of your business majors, theologians.
some of you have money, patience, kindness, love. some of you have the gift of long-suffering. whenever your gift is, what are you going to do with what you have? here is my last point about failure. sometimes it is the best way to figure out where you are going. your life will never be a straight path. ibm premed at fordham university -- by began premed at fordham university. -- i began premed at fordham university. i could not renounce my class, let alone pass it. my class, let alone pass it. [laughter] my grades took off in their own direction. i was a 1.8 gpa one semester.
the university very politely suggested that it might be better to take some time off. i was 20 years old. i was at my lowest point. one day, i remember the exact day, march 27, 1975, i was helping my mother in her beauty shop. there was this old woman who was considered one of the elders in the town. i did not know her personally, but i was looking in the mirror. she was staring at me. she just kept looking at me and she was giving me these strange looks. she finally took the dryer off of her head and she said something i would never forget. for she said -- get me a piece of paper, someone. she said -- young boy, i have a prophecy. a spiritual prophecy. she said -- you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people. remind you, i am 20.
flunked out of school. i am thinking that maybe she has something in that crystal ball about got -- going back to school. but maybe she was on to something. later that summer in connecticut be put on a talent show at the ymca, one of the counselors ask me if i had never thought about acting, that i was good at it. i change my major that call for the last time. in the years that followed, as that woman prophesies, i have traveled the world and spoken to millions of people through my movies. millions who up until this day, i could not see while i was talking to them. they could only see me. they could not see the real me. but i see you today. and i am encouraged by what i
see. and i am strengthened by what i see. and i love what i see. [applause] one more page and i will shut up. [laughter] let me conclude with this one final thought. the president brought it up. it has to do with the movie, "philadelphia." she stole my material. [laughter] many years ago i did this movie, philadelphia. some of the scenes were shot right here on campus. it came out in 1993. many of you were probably in diapers. some of the professors to. [laughter] that cracked me up. [laughter] but it is a good movie. meant it on netflix.
seriously, i get 23 cents each time. [laughter] it is about a man played by tom hanks was fired from his law firm because he has aids. he wants to sue the firm until -- but no one is willing to represent him until i homophobic ambulance chaser played by yours truly takes the case. watch the movie and you will see what i am talking about today. taking risks. it is not just about going for a job. it is about knowing what to know and what to do not know. it is about being open to people and ideas. in the course of the film the character that i played began to take small steps, small risks. he is very, very slowly beginning to overcome his fears.
i feel that, ultimately, his heart becomes threaded with love. i cannot think of a better message as we send you off today. not only to take risks, but to be open to life, except new views, be open to opinions. to be willing to speak out at a commencement at one of the best universities in the country. while it may be frightening, it will also be rewarding. because the chances that you take, the people that to me, the people that you love, the faith that you have, that is what is going to define you. members of the class of 2011, this is your mission. when you leave the friendly confines of philadelphia, never be discouraged. never hold back. give everything you have got. and when you fall throughout life, maybe even tonight after a
few glasses of champagne, of all remember this. fall forward. congratulations. i love you. god bless you. i respect you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> still to come on this holiday, more commencement addresses. next, actor john rats and burger -- ratzenberger talks to students in rhode island. then, justice sonia sotomayor speech to students in north carolina. then a speech from women's rights activist beate sirota
gordon. this week the house is set to begin work on 2012 spending bills, including ones for homeland security and the investment affairs department. tuesday, a speech from alan west on defense spending. he will speak to the heritage foundation and you can see his comments live tomorrow on c-span 2. later in the day the house panel looks at cases of autism in other countries in how children can get medical care, especially those in other countries. held by the foreign affairs subcommittee live at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> we are continuing with a commencement address from diabetes activist and actor, tzenberger.
we begin with the honorary degree presentation. >> in a respected entertainment career spanning 30 years, you have played a memorable characters in groundbreaking television, films, and animation. you have been an architect of ingenuity, employing or background in acting, writing, you introduced us to the amazing work of our entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers throughout this nation whose products have contributed to its greatness. through your entrepreneurial nature, identifying a safe
alternative to plastic packaging products. your passion to inspire the next generation of engineers, artists, and craftsmen, finding expression in your unique foundation to promote this mission, is reflected in your new campaign to rebuild america's skilled work force through expanded opportunities in career, technical, and vocational training. close to your heart is the close of juvenile diabetes. you have helped to create the world's largest source for diabetes research. as the national what chairman, you have helped to raise $100 million to fund research for a cure. [applause] for these reasons, father chairman, the corporation of a college presidents john
ratzenberger with this degree as conferred with all of its rights and privileges. [applause] >> the impact of 21st century technology has made an enormous difference in how we perceive the sights and sounds of animated films. as cutting edge computer animated technology advances the industry, films have likewise been enhanced, encouraging the viewer listener to enjoy a unique audiovisual experience.
as a leading voice in one of the most successful animated films in history, john ratzenberger has been at the epicenter of these technological advances. from his inside days heading up a touring troupe in europe during the 1970's, to his role as a mail carrier in the lp -- emmy nominated sitcom, "cheers," xar's oscar-in pics ar nominated films, the work is grounded in technology while he simultaneously pursues the nuts and bolts of foundation, which he established to provide opportunities for children to be inquisitive. to be open to inspiration. to prepare for jobs that require a mastering the basic manual
skills. we are proud of his many contributions and we are pleased that he is here with us today. both as a proud parent in the class of 2000, and as our principal speaker, please join me in welcoming mr. john ratzenberger. john? [applause] >> thank you. thank you. the best definition of the road to success that i have heard was winston churchill. he said that success is a result of going from failure to failure with enthusiasm. he also was the man that said -- understand -- never stand when you can sit, never said when you can lie down. so, go figure. when i was a young man growing up in the bucolic seaside village of bridgeport, conn. --
[applause] craig to have you here. [laughter] have you searched for number 11? [laughter] much of by indoor time during the winter was spent reading books. they did not require batteries or a wall socket. my first favorite author was james spent more cooper, writer of "the der slider," "last of the mohicans." the part that was played by daniel day-lewis, because of his rhythm and kravis, a survival skills, the locals gave him the names of dear slayer and hawkeye. the town folk knew him as nathaniel bumbo.
natty for short. i have fashioned what life with him as a template. what fascinated me most is that he would set off into the forest without any idea of a destination. he seemed more excited and interested by the journey through the wilderness than the actual getting there. wherever that was. no cellphone. no debit card. just gunpowder. hardtack enough to last until he could find something to eat. but he did have a moral compass. he knew the difference between right and wrong. he listened closely to the natives in the great wilderness. he learned from them the ways of survival. in turn they respected him for his willingness to listen and understand the meaning of a cracked twig or a forest gone suddenly silent. every day was an education and he was an eager and willing student. after my four years at
university, with a degree in english, i set off with tools, traveling to england with the skills i had picked up working summers as a deck hand and a carpenter in the southern connecticut area. well, i thought i was a carpenter until i walked into a building site and asked the boss if he needed a house-framer. he looked down at this 18-year- old and said -- so, you think your a carpenter, do you? sure, i said. we will see, he said. he pointed to a pile of all joints and seams. -- and the beams. he pointed across an ice covered field. said to move the beams. it took me five days, i move them across that field, each and
every one of them. monday morning the boss stretches his chin and says -- i think that they were better over there. so, i move them back. like i said, i needed the job. five days later i was standing taller and stronger than ever and he handed me a cameron says -- all right, carpenter, show me. up until that moment i thought that i knew how to hold a hammer. but apparently i did not. he showed me where to place my thumb and swing the hammer efficiently. driving in a nail with only three blows. i have been grateful ever since. the first job was plywood flooring into the to buy twelves that i had become so well acquainted with. i did the fed chair and carried demanded by the gruff crew who
did not take kindly to this kid on the job. a few weeks later on a windy day i was given the job of standing on the roof, four stories up, lifting sheets of plywood, passed from man to man from the ground below. i do not know how many of you have baluster selves standing on narrow beams holding a succession of what became a wooden sale whenever the wind blew. but it is scary. and you learn quickly to angle the edge of the plywood into the wind, otherwise you become very poplins with a tool belt. [laughter] i do not need to tell you this, but it was one of the greatest days of my life. holding on, i looked down to the room below. the man was not there. i could not drop the plywood, fearing that would cause havoc and mayhem. i was in a pickle for sure.
i heard the sound of rapid hemorrhaging of laughter as two of the carpenters' nailed the edges of my boots to the rafters i was standing on. to be clear, i was wearing them at the time. they tripled lot of my laces as i struggled to keep my balance and hold on to the plywood that was thinking of becoming a kite. after nailing the to the rafters, the crew was laughing hysterically. it took me awhile to maneuver the large sheet of plywood to a place where i could tack it flat with a couple of nails. i lowered myself to the floor below, as they have also taken away the letter i had used to climb up there. it took a long time to pry loose -- to pry loose my boots. when the crew returned, they gave me a lunch that they had brought for me and sat around
joking as i gate. i realized then that i had been accepted as one of them. i knew instinctively that it had been necessary for them to test my medal. to put me through ugly, backbreaking work to see what i was made of. that day the lunch that they gave me and the laughter that they take -- that came with it was as a specially bred as any award on my mantle. north, in new york, i turned my time to the stomping grounds of natty bumpo. i was using my skills helping to build a studio for mimes. as far as i knew, i was the only carpenter that could bring an imaginary bell and walk and invisible dog. learn as much as you can about as much as you can.
there is no such thing as useless knowledge. that is sherlock holmes. or cliff claven, for that matter. i understood that. working there there was a music festival about 60 miles away. i was given the keys to a large tractor after telling the man that i knew how to drive one. like i said before, i needed the job. liming is good. cash's better. -- miming is good. cash is better. i became a tractor driver at the woodstock festival. i helped to build the stage. once it started raining i spent most of my time pulling cars out of the field. i would like at this time to say that i am sorry for helping to ruin the world and apologize on
behalf of the woodstock generation. i could have stopped it. i could have pulled out the wires. but i did not. the woodstock generation and their philosophy is with our culture today. music and literature glorifying the longhaired madness. when i was there, this is what really happened. once the rain started, everything fell apart. no sanitation. no clean water. half of a million waterless flower children near panic. all of a sudden we looked to the sky and there was the thumping of a national guard helicopter on the horizon, loaded with much-needed supplies and equipment. one after the other after that the woodstock festival could
have turned into that -- if not for that the woodstock festival could have turned into the donner party. the festival was saved by the national guard. a few years ago senator clinton suggested that there be a statute resurrected on the farm to commemorate the summer of love and its impact on the generation. i suggested at the time that the statute should be of a national guardsman treating a dying hippie. [laughter] i was there. that is what happened. but i was one of them. i had a beard. long hair. it was sickening. even then, hearing the lyrics of lucy in the sky with diamonds -- picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine screen -- tangerine trees and marmalade skies. you know the song. my question was always -- who built the boat?
someone who is not stoned or drunk. they get up in the morning, measuring, cutting, bending in shaping wood into a boat before the beatles or anyone else could slap on a goofy smile and imagine dragons and marshmallows. someone had to get up in the morning, put their hand to something useful, and be responsible for the work, themselves, and there fallout -- and their families. that philosophy shaped this civilization. bringing us to the old saying. i has -- i have always been a big fan of the judeo-christian ethic that you do not have to be jewish or christian to follow. let your works be for you. be responsible for yourself and the family you created. when i was touring the country with my show, i had the opportunity to visit factories
that make everything from bagpipes to baseball caps, bold " -- bulldozers and more. i got to talking with the young ceo about the work force and entering the marketplace. he told me a story that i heard variations of across the country. he had hired a young man fresh out of college to work at a decent salary. after three days, he told me, they had to fire the kid. apparently he would not listen to anyone else's advice or direction. he always thought that his ideas were the best and he refused to work in a team atmosphere. the boss had no choice but to show in the door after three days on the job. on the fourth day, the kid returned with his mother. the mother walked up to the ceo and told him to apologize to her son because he had heard his self-esteem.
another true story. once again, i have to apologize on behalf of the woodstock generation. the notion of anointing someone to self-worth for doing nothing first to raise its ugly head there. -- first raised its ugly head there. before that generation you had to figure things out for yourself. you had to listen to people who had been doing the job long before you got there. before getting rewards for doing nothing, you had to passively do what they did to participate. before the era of over-praise and play dates, there was a time that you had to try out for little league. if you were not any good for it, you were told so and you did not make the team. you did not get a uniform and a trophy for showing up. what you did get was the opportunity that gifted you for the note rest of your life. abel at a young age to learn the
skills necessary to handle an emotional crisis. if you did not make the team, you would practice until you were good. or you found something else, stamp collecting, tap dancing, ventriloquism. no one gave you a trophy just for showing up. and yes, i still enjoy tap dancing. [laughter] i did not bring my shoes with me. you are lucky. [laughter] parents out there, i ask you, do not scold your child's loss on self-esteem. instead, they'll the kids to the rafters and let them figure out -- nail the kids to the rafters and let them figure it out on their own. [applause] my advice to you graduates -- learn how to cook, build something with your own hands, change a car tire, or learn to
whistle. make a baby, laugh -- sorry, that is make a baby left. -- make a baby laugh. [laughter] it does not have to be yours. [laughter] and if you are ever given the honor of speaking at a commencement of higher learning , know when to stop. thank you, bless you all. have a great life. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] at the c-spanok schedule on this memorial day holiday. we continue next with commencement addresses from
across the country. sonia sotomayor attended the commencement ceremony in south carolina. nader, off to california to hear a speech from women's rights activist beate sirota gordon. then, one of the little rock nine enter challenges during segregation in the 19th -- and her challenges during segregation in the 1950's. tuesday, kurt campbell on bilateral talks with china. and the secretary of state's upcoming trip to indonesia. he will speak to the summit for strategic and international studies. you can see his comments live on c-span 3. and then a hearing on the electric grid, looking at threats to the power infrastructure and weaknesses in the system. it starts live at 2:00 p.m.
this is a bit off some. i know that there are many parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles in the audience out there, pinching ourselves right now. you dreamed about that baby that you saw born, growing up and graduating from college. i bet you could not imagine what could feel like to be here today, but the reality caught up with your dreams. maybe you people in the class of 2011 are pinching ourselves as well. it may have seemed as if your graduation would never come. today you are probably thinking that the time has slowed by too fast. trust me, class of 2011. yes, you are away. and yes, very soon you will be graduates of this prestigious university. i am so deeply honored to share
this special podium with you. looking out i can see faces filled with at the joy of accomplishment. accomplishment born of years of study, hard work, and sacrifice. faces filled with hope for a future that is made brighter by your offers. today i hope to commend what you have accomplished and to affirm the optimism that you feel. to accomplish my goals i am inspired by the coming mother's day to tell you two stories about two remarkable mothers. the first story is about my mother. the other story is about [unintelligible] the mother of the first south carolinian that i ever met. selena, my mother, was born in puerto rico, raising her children in new york city. inra's mother was born
georgia, raising her children in south carolina. those of you whose families have called the south home for generations, like hers, might expect to have little in common with a migrant from puerto rico who has raised two children in the south bronx. but when you look past the surface, my mother's story is filled with uncanny resemblances to viera's story. resemblances that i am absolutely sure reflect the lives of you in this -- story. and resemblances that i am sure reflect the lives of you in this auditorium. all of you will recognize the values that have led you to the significant and a proud moment. my mother was born in 1927. although she grew up in a home filled with poverty and illness, my mother was able to find
happiness in one thing. learning in school. at the end of the school day, my mother would walk all to spend one hour among the trees behind her house. there she would lineup the towers in her imagination, using a stick as a pointer to change the trees into lesson she had learned that day. at 17, during world war ii, my mother found her way out of poverty while contributing to her country. she joined the army. just like many others, including senator gramm, with hopes [no audio] law school -- with whom [no audio] la school. -- law school. she was stationed in new york. my mother met my father, married, they chose to stay in
new york. my mother was a factory worker. -- my father was a factory worker. my mother would come to work in a small hospital in the south bronx. they encouraged her to get a practical nursing degree, which she did. regrettably, my father died at the age of 42. my mother was left alone and with two very young children and no savings. during most of my childhood, my mother worked six days per week. she struggled to put my brother and i trichology, a catholic school, as she believed it was the best education she could afford for us. education was always paramount for my mother. through her sacrifice we learned the value of education as well. when my brother and i were in high school, my mother decided to pursue her own dream as she went to college, earning more money to support us.
so, my mother, at age 45, went back to school. who is the 72 year-old graduate in this audience? please have the courage to stand up. because i know what it took for you to do what she did. because i lived it with my mother. i hope that that classmate is an inspiration to all of you. it takes a dream coming true and really hard work to make that happen. i congratulate that graduate. [applause] with an example like my mother, none of you have to wonder why my brother and i had no choice but to do well in school. it is always because of the encouragement of family and friends that all of us are inspired to do well in some way. that is true whether you grew up
in a housing project in the south bronx or in a one traffic light found in south carolina, like my friend, burn it. i know that for a fact because of the second story i want to share with you today, the story of viera and her son, of vernon. he is now accomplished author here in the state of south carolina. but i met him, i was a college student and he was a graduate student working on his dissertation. it seemed to be at the time that we came from different worlds. he told me about the activities that he had performed to help his family get by when he was a kid. like selling rabbit boxes, boiling peanuts for sale. i told him about the kinds of things i had done to help my family, like selling clothes in a dress shop, working in a
bakery. he talked to me about his hobbies. hunting, fishing. i talked to him about my hobbies. playing handball against the side of the building and watching the yankees. this university and i share a deep bond -- we both have a mutual love of the greatest american pastime, baseball. and we both have a deep admiration and love for bobby richardson. the prize new york yankees second baseman why understand started your university's national baseball program. -- who i understand started your university's national baseball program. congratulations for winning defensible aa -- ncaa national baseball tournament. [applause] when i first met vernon, it
seemed as though a very deep chasm existed between his world and mine. as i spent more time with him, i learned that that was not the case that all. although he had the most intriguing and beautiful southern drawl, and died to this day have a very heavy new york to this day have a very heavy new york accent, despite the different backgrounds we shared so many values. like my mother, bergen's mother was a young widow. just like my mother, she worked tirelessly to close, feed, and educate her children. she worked days at a time, our son and the, working most of her career with one company. just like my mother, she instilled in him the value of
hard work. like my mother taught me, burton's mother taught him to dedicate himself not only to supporting his family, but also contributing to his family to public service. we both learned through mothers who are our heroes to this day, to love and cherish our families and to love our god. to support our country by being active, participating citizens, and to be giving people to our neighbors. we learned that it matters less what you choose to do than what to do with whatever you choose. and do with with all of your heart. vernon's mother and my mother shared an unyielding passion for education. when i met burden, he was knee deep in reconstruction law.
he often carried around textbooks that documented the history of the nl five counties of that area. in turn by was working on my legacy of the first elected governor of puerto rico thesis. the education that our mothers had worked so hard to give us had taken us to places we could not have imagined. once a boy from the town of 96 in a borough, south carolina, vernon is the of the director of university institute, prof. and historian. once a girl from a public housing project in the bronx, today i am a member of the supreme court justice. often i have to pinch myself about that. i suspect that the stories of our mothers, stories of hardship and sacrifice, a desire for better futures, is not so
dissimilar from that of the families in the audience. like my mother, many of you families have made enormous sacrifices for you to make it to this point today. yet even those of you who grew up with more fortunate circumstances and in that have come to this moment, this point in your lives, with values you have learned from your families and loved ones. everything that we value -- education, hard work, generosity, service on behalf of others, we learn from our loved ones. the challenges to live work today are much greater than the ones that we face when we graduated. the debts that you have incurred are also much longer. -- larger. i hope that you do not measure the benefit of your education by how fast you get your first job, how much money you make, or
the public importance of your position. i hope the to measure the value of your education by how it improves the quality of your lives and the lives of those that benefit -- that you strive to benefit. any student of life can learn with reflection. i hope that in the coming days and years, each of you will think back on your days and years at this wonderful university and marvel at the immense value of that education. you will understand that the value of having shared great sacrifices with your family and loved ones, appreciating their guidance and support, that the value is in the friend sitting next to you today who will cheer you on throughout their lives. the value is in learning, including from the many esteemed professors here to applaud you today about the generosity of sharing knowledge with others
and with which the rewards of continuing to learn present themselves to route the lives. the value is in the challenges that you have to overcome all of this campus. -- while on this campus. challenges that have taught you to broaden your perspective and be reckless in your opportunities to improve yourself. being here today i see living proof of the values that my mother taught me. the values that vernon was taught by his mother. and values that i know that your families and friends have taught you. i hope that each of you recognizes these values and these challenges in yourselves. if you let them be your guide, your life will be rich with peripheral and professional awards. you will enriched the lives of those around you. on this very special day i hope
for all of you and your families and friends there is much joyous celebration in the accomplishment. thank you for allowing me to share this day with you. i wish every mother in this room a very -- an early happy mother's day and every father and a much earlier happy anticipated father's day. job well done, parents. best of luck to all of you, class of 2011. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> at this afternoon on c-span, more commencement addresses, starting next, a speech from women's rights activist, beate sirota gordon.
after that, one of the little rock nine, minniejean brown trickey honor challenges as an african-american during the end of the 1950's. after that, jeffrey and knelt on -- at the university of maryland. from columbia, south carolina, we go to oakland, calif., to the commencement ceremony at mills college. the first american civilian woman to work in post-world war to occupied japan was a 22-year- old named beate sirota gordon. she helped douglas macarthur sickly right japan's postwar constitution. before her speech, we will hear more about her story. this is half an hour. >> your commencement speaker was
awarded an honorary degree on the occasion of her speech in 1991. if you do the math, you will realize that is the year i became president. but i did not preside over commencement in 1991. i began the summer after commencement. over their early years of my presidency, i kept hearing about this amazing mills woman, beate sirota gordon, who add a very young age graduated from mills college and had gone directly to japan to be a part of the writers of that japanese constitution after world war two. and who was the author of that constitution guaranteed women's
equal rights in japan. [applause] for me, the notion that i would leave my presidency never having heard her speak to mills women about her experience, i must admit, this was a little selfish on my part because i wanted her to speak on this 20th anniversary for me, but i also know that you, the many members of this class, wanted to hear from this extraordinary woman as well. she's a member of the class of 1943. at the age of 22, she was recruited by general douglas macarthur, you know macarthur boulevard? to create the japanese constitution. she worked in secret after
conclusion of the war and she was there from nine days, from february 4th until the 12th in 1946. as a young person, she grew up in japan from the age of five, that child of jewish immigrants from russia. she was interested in japanese culture, fluent in japanese, and in 1939, she left japan, left tokyo, to come to mills college at the age of 15. how frightening that must have been. i've heard some of the stories today among some in the about leaving home. but think about leaving home and wondering if you would ever go home again because your country was going to war. she did not speak about her contributions until she was asked by the japanese government to discuss the amendment, both
numbers 14 and article 24 that proclaimed the essential quality of the sexes. her work has inspired so many amazing tributes, and including a documentary film and her own memoir. she is a performing arts director for the japan society and the asia society. she has continued throughout her wonderful life to bring the connection of the ad states in asia and the rest of the world. she currently lives in new york city and lectures frequently at schools, universities and other institutions. we will hear from dr. beate sirota gordon, mills of honorary degree recipients, and although we are not bestowing an honorary
gentleman, it is a great honor to have been invited to give the last commencement speech under the eye of our highly respected and beloved presidents. i think, however, that the committee which selected me for this honor was influenced by a mistake the state department made in 1945. when it issued me a passport so i could go to japan and work at general macarthur's headquarters. in the state department application, there was a form that add up blank entitled occupation. i wrote down "research expert." [laughter]
the state department left out the word "research." [laughter] and i ended up with my occupation listed as "expert." [laughter] i do know japan and the japanese language, and i know research. but that was it. i stand before you now as a mills college graduate, class of 1943. [applause] as a mother and grandmother, as the first civilian woman to work in the occupation of japan, and
as the writer of the women's civil rights clause in the new japanese constitution. [applause] born in vienna, i accompanied my father, a piano player and his mother, his assistant, to japan for a concert tour what i was five and a half years old. when the imperial academy asked him to teach their, my father, at my mother's insistence, never signed a contract for longer than one year because she wanted the option of returning to vienna. my father did as she had asked and signed a year's contract 17
times. [laughter] so i grew up in japan and, when ready for college, applied to mills. first, because it was a women's college. second, because bilocation, it was the nearest college to japan. [laughter] and thirdly, because a was one of the few u.s. colleges known in japan. i was not yet 16 when i arrived at mills hall in 1939. the culture shock was strong. we had to wear formal evening
clothes for the first night dinner of the fall semester. the silk evening dress i thought appropriate was wrinkled. i did not know how to iron. having only ironed my dolls dresses in japan. when i went into the laundry room and put my address on the ironing board, i saw that the spurt was all in pleats -- i saw that the skirt was all in pleats, and i had no idea how to iron pleats. i started to cry. when upperclassman walked by and asked why i was crying. when i explained my dilemma, she offered to hire an address for me if i promised to lend her my iron during the coming semester because she did not
have one. i was delighted by this excellent exchange and promised myself never to buy a pleated dress again. [laughter] i also did not know how to make a bed or do laundry. in japan, we had servants who did all of this. but my classmates in mills hall were helpful and i soon learned the strange american ways. oh really a henry reinhardt was the president of the college at the time. she encouraged us to study hard for a career so we would be able to compete on an equal basis with men. [cheering]
women suffer from discrimination, particularly in the business world. and mills was determined to prepare its students for the struggle ahead. i had seen discrimination against women in japan. women had no right to all. the arranged marriages were often unhappy. the women sometimes did not even meet their future spouses until just before the wedding. women were not change -- were not trained for careers and could not obtain work that interested them. women had no inheritance rights, no rights to choose their own domicile, etc..
so obviously, the education i received at mills from my professors, the speeches i heard on campus about social and economic issues, the exposure i had to men and women dedicated to the advancement of women profoundly influenced my life's work. my field at mills was languages and literature. i was lucky to have small class's. the biggest one was 14 students in my spanish class. i was the only student in my russian language and by japanese history class. when the war began and recruiters from government agencies came to mills to look
for students to new japanese, i found myself much sought after because at the beginning of the war, there were only 65 occasions in the whole of the u.s. his new japanese. i accepted job offer from the foreign broadcast intelligence service. i was to monitor broadcasts from japan and translate them from seven languages seven hours a day. after a year-and-a-half, i switched to the office of war information where i had my own propaganda show with music beamed into japan in which i urge the japanese to stop the war. while working, i was enabled to
finish college by the president who felts my war effort deserved help from the college. she let me finish my senior courses with term papers and examinations without attending class's. in 1945, toward the end of the war, i moved to new york city and worked as a researcher at time magazine. in december, 1945, i got a job as a member of general macarthur's staff in tokyo. i was 22 years old. and on a snowy february day in 1946, when i came to my office
in the government section of general headquarters, general macarthur's favorite adviser announced the following at a top-secret meeting in his office. by order of general macarthur, you are now like constituent assembly and you will write the new democratic constitution of japan and you shall write it in seven days. the 20 men and women in attendance were stunned. especially since we knew macarthur had asked the japanese government officials to write a new democratic constitution
which they were apparently incapable of doing. for a moment, there was silence. then we rushed to our desks and waited for the colonel's deputy chief of staff to give us our assignments. i was a member of the political affairs division made up of a formal -- former anthropology professor and a professor of japanese history and me, beate sirota gordon we were selected to write a day chapter on the rights of people. the colonel said we cannot write this as a committee. we have only seven days. we must divide the work. the tyumen looked at me and the colonel said you are a woman.
why don't you write the clause on women's rights? i was thrilled. having been well trained in research at mills, i immediately left the office, got into a jeep to go find some libraries in bombed out tokyo so that i could borrow the constitutions of other countries to serve as samples from which i could take into consideration. when i brought 10 constitutions back to the office, i became very popular. everyone wanted to bar them. after all, just like me, they
had never written a constitution before. we worked day and night. we were euphoric to be involved in planting the seeds of democracy in japan. when i presented my eight women's rights draft to the steering committee, the chairman read it and said you have given more rights to the japanese women that are in the u.s. constitution. [applause] i stood up and said colonel, that is not difficult to do. [laughter] not difficult to do, since the
u.s. constitution does not have the word "woman" in the constitution at all. the colonel said all of the welfare clauses i had written, the social welfare causes did not belong in a constitution, but in the civil code. i replied that the bureaucratic japanese men who would write the civil code would never put in social where farrell -- social welfare clauses unless that already been included in the constitution itself. i cried, this time about a more important item then ironing. realizing i would have to
reconcile myself to the fact that the committee would only consider the fundamental rights i had written as suitable for the japanese constitution. so, regretfully, i saw my draff reduced, but nevertheless, it revolutionized the status of women in japan because it guaranteed women's civil-rights based on the equality of men and women. [applause] i thought my work was done. but one month later, the colonel asked me to participate in a meeting concerning the constitution with its japanese government officials. this time i was to act as
interpreters translator. we are going to check on how the japanese translator of our draft and what changes they might have made. the arguments about the emperor's powers, the correct words to be used and many other matters we thought would constitute a meeting lasting a few hours became a 32-hour about. when at 2:00 a.m., the women's rights clause came up for discussion, the japanese officials were particularly incensed, saying the article should be completely changed, that it did not fit japanese history, culture and customs. the colonel had noticed that the japanese officials, not knowing i had been the one who drafted
the article, were favorably inclined toward me because i was a quick interpreter and had helped their japanese team. he took advantage of this situation and said some complimentary things about me, ending with she has are heart so on the women's rights, why don't we just pass them? [laughter] i think it was such a shock that the japanese said all right, let's do it. so now you know how history is made. [laughter] sometimes. i told you at the beginning that
i am not an expert, but i do know that we failed to leave you a peaceful world. although, at the end of world war two, we were convinced there would never be a war again. last 65 years proved a strong. i hope that the class of 2011, so well prepared by the , wasdent's of the school not only heard dynamic ideas, but with her emphasis on multiculturalism, her efforts to
advance women's leadership, and all of the many other advantages she has given you at mills, i hope this will inspire year to create a peaceful world where all can live in harmony. that japanese constitution's peace clause can guide you. it abolishes belligerency toward other countries. only defense of its own country is permitted. you are well-educated and devoted mills graduates. my hope is that you've will heed what w. e. b. boyce said --
what w. e. b. dubois said -- what satisfying work world needs is as near to heaven as one can get. and this is what i wish for you , the class of 2011, from the bottom of my heart. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you, beate sirota gordon, mills woman who has changed the world and continues to change the world for a more peaceful and just society. thank you. >> tuesday, and "washington
journal, the associate editor of "the atlantic looks set possible presidential republican candidates, including ms. romney. then, a discussion about funding u.s. military operations. the house recently passed a defense plan which the president has threatened to veto. after that, george mason university president on the mission and goals of the rotc program and its presence in all the branches of the military. plus, your e-mail, phone calls and tweets. >> on the september 25th, 1937, nine students helped to integrate little rock central high school. earlier this month, one of the little rock nine was invited to address the university of arkansas in little rock. she talked about the civil-
rights struggles during her lifetime and what it means to today's graduates. this is 20 minutes. >> i have been asked if i am going to make people cry. i said this is not about me, this is about them. when i first started thinking about this talk, i could not think of anything that had to do with the law. i don't know anything. my daughter reminded me, using words that questioned by mental- health, that indeed, i might know something about the law. she reminded me i went to jail for sitting in.
that i am a convicted tree hugger, i've been known to sit in the front seat of a city bus. and, the absolute worst, i took sips from the white water fountain when i was a little girl. [applause] i really am a criminal. but i'm in the right place. fifth i believe most of us grew up oblivious, without any real thought about the loss. imagine the pleasure of looking at you, the dream i dreamed as a teenager, you are it. if i wanted it to do something that was disallowed by jim crow laws, i was told casually that it is against the law. no explanation, no discussion.
it was just against the law. so, i went to school and church and the places that were open to me, i had friends, i was expected to go to college and become a teacher, or, i could have become a domestic. when that somebody's cousin visited from chicago and told us, you can't do anything down here, i thought it was because i was in arkansas. those situations could have narrowed my thinking, predicted that my life's chances, but in truth called all the laws in the world cannot shut down our minds. i went every saturday to the colored branch of the library. the librarian was waiting in
there with a stack of books she thought i might be interested in. there was no stopping me. i lived in a world of reading and books. no matter i discovered much later in life that the library had a few volumes while a bill white library had many. my point here is that no matter what restrictions are put on us in different ways and in different situations, we are responsible for our own education. law school or any other institution only give but -- only gives us a grounding. the rest is up to us. i would love to give you advice for your lives, but i'm a person who still doesn't know what i'm going to do when i grow up. i say that because there is so
much to learn, places to go, people to meet, so i become a larger and different person every day. they call a "lifelong learning. let that be your goal. the other part, what i know about lawyers is half a century old. as a teenager, i was in the company of some of the brightest legal minds who argued the brown decision. i was sitting in the middle of a gaggle of lawyers who were trying to explain to me that i was part of a situation that was a constitutional conflict. so, i came to know social change happens as the result of litigation and agitation. i have day raggedy poster that i
have kept for many years. at the bottom is a quote from helen keller, which is "life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. that phrase never fails to make me think, and often laugh about myself because i am no stranger to daring adventures. i think about the phrase in relation to helen keller, who possessed neither hearing nor site -- what a daring adventure it must have been for her to be able to communicate with others and expressed her thoughts, to write and interact with friends, family and ultimately dubai world. thinking about that and her, a question emerges -- do we
choose a daring adventures, or do they choose us? the jury is out on that. some days, that phrase means i have memories of what once seemed impossible and then and now, it is possible in all its complexity and unpredictability. my dear graduates, you are the proof of that. i bring the memory into this time of a completely different set of social knowledge. today, we consider egypt, tunisia, libya, as the definitive struggles for freedom. we often do not consider those turbulent times when many of us of my generation felt the same
lovell of frustration and fear as they feel now. i rarely hear mention of the 5000 children who were arrested in birmingham. and we don't talk about the deaths of at least three civil rights workers in mississippi, or the 50th anniversary of the freedom riders. we may not think that for many, the vote was only granted in 1965 with the voting rights act. maybe the women struggle has meeting in the modern age. when the women outnumber men in college, are you aware that in 1972, women earned exactly 7% of law degrees? by 2001, they received a 47% of
law degrees. thank goodness you know about such things. i know we don't have to look outside for social struggles. we can look right here. it is important for us to look here so that we know how privilege we are to live in this time of opportunity for all students. you are at the forefront of the possible, my dear graduates. what are our social obligations? in our lives, we must override our social conditioning, that we're the best or maybe the worst, for that matter. that ours is the only way, that they must be the same as us, that them and thus make us
forget we are interrelated, interconnected and interdependent. i've learned a few things overtime. one was based on counseling and interpretation service for the immigrant and refugee women. i learned of the most about my own culture is by hanging out with them. i learned to leave my baggage when encountering these women. it was amazing the ritual wards i receive from them what i discovered are deeply held desires for ourselves and all of humanity were exactly the same. i learned to shut up and listen. ignoring my limited knowledge of the people i was meeting. leaving my limited knowledge is
the key here. that small acknowledge exists often in stereotypical images that stop real communication. yes i did and then, and i find it easy to ignore the sound bites that flat mothers and make them one-dimensional. nigerian -- nigerian author warns us against the single story. she states show a people as one thing over and over again, and that is what they become. we have to always take into account power. that power has not only the ability to tell the story of another, but to make the definitive story of that person. the power to determine how
stories are told, who tells them, and when they are told and how often they are told -- a good example of that is when people say you don't look like an environmentalist. does the way i look tell you i only have one story? the little rock desegregation crisis? you have got to be kidding. as lawyers, you will be exposed to many social narrative's. poverty, single mothers, lazy corporate welfare bums, muslims, conservatives, democrats these social merits is are so powerful. we have a hard time not believing them. your daring adventure will be to discover how true or untrue such
narrative's are. today, we are inundated with what i call lazy talk, no analysis, and no shame to show how ignorant we are in public. be careful not to relegate others to a single story. when we do that, we lose the possibility to discover ourselves and others. we talked about your commitment to social justice and service. i checked before i thought about this, and i was thrilled to hear how much work you are doing. i think social service, volunteerism, even a lawyer ring compose the highest calling.
maye is a thought that's you do good while you are doing well. purge yourself to see life as either a daring adventure or nothing. i am proud of you. intoure that my footsteps central high school on the road to social justice were not in vain. my dignity is upheld by your presence and guaranteed by law. you are the manifestation of everything i could only dream of as a child. i leave you with a poll of my love. i can throw out platitudes go -- statue. nice
there is something about the memory of my own graduations -- i returned to university as a very, very, very mature student. psst when i was reconfiguring myself, i realized how important my family was to me. i know, we talked about this family support and i know you know that. one of the things i forgot about in that special moment of landing and beginning was the withdrawals of is going to feel later because of the loss of the extended family of faculty and a fellow student's. i wish you well, and let me speak in these words --
wayfarer, there is no road. your footsteps are the road, and nothing else. we make the road by walking, by walking, we make of the road. congratulations, and thank you. >> tuesday, remarks from the house minority whip on the manufacturing sector in that u.s.. he is expected to talk about the democratic congressional agenda. that is alive at 11:00 eastern on c-span. while the senate is out of session, house gavels in tomorrow at 2:00 for legislative business. on its agenda is a bill sponsored by the ways and means
committee chairman that aims to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion without spending cuts or process changes. it also expected, spending bills on military construction and veterans benefits. follow c-span with the house gavels in on tuesday. >> we conclude our commencement speeches now with the chairman of general a electric. he spoke at the university of maryland last week for about 20 minutes. >> welcome, it is great to be here. thank you for that introduction and for this honor read agree, the doctor of public service. i like the sound of that. it will come in handy the next time someone asks me about my credentials. first, i have a confession to make to all the students out
there today. you have worked for a very hard years for your diploma. i showed up this morning at 10:00 and all the sudden, i'm the man? it does not seem acquire right. but i do have one thing going for me -- general electric of hot -- will hire 4000 college graduates and we have a strong recruiting relationship with your school. at least that gives me some credibility with your parents. congratulations to the class of 2011 and your family and friends. you have completed the course of instruction and you are prepared for the new challenges that await you. under the leadership of the president, the school has become a leadership in national education. for the second year in a row, u.s. news and world report recognize the school as a top, up-and-coming school in this country. it is a world-class university
with a commitment to high-tech research. in its efforts to make the school at place where it is cool to be smart, the school's president has made unconventional choices. he recruits brainy ax away some schools recruited quarterbacks. he decided not to fund a varsity football program to give scholarships to math undergrads and fund a chess team. i have mixed feelings about that. i played football and ecology and i do not play chess, but yes i did a graduate with a degree in applied mathematics and i can relate to school where the athletes are cool. there has been a lot of changes i have seen and that, i'm an official member of the family and have even been to the roof with freeman and lived to tell the story. we share your business -- your vision of acquiring the best talent from the world. we have been recruiting year for
12 years and participate in your corporate visibility days since their inception we have recruiter graduates to many of our leadership programs. we are committed to developing a diverse work force in science and technology. your alumni work in most of our businesses and our credit to our company. a few are here today. i would ask them all to stand, but that i would have to tell them to get back to work. imagination, not knowledge, einstein said is the true sign of knowledge. this is something we understand well at general all electric. there are many opportunities and occupations for you to use your imagination to fill your potential and make our world better. going to speak to you today about the world work in. i want to give you a sense of who we need you to be and more importantly, what we need to work on together. there will be opportunities no
matter what you do. there will be opportunities for you to lead and make a difference to the world and to each other. fifth leadership is not a chore. it is learned, not declared. good leaders are authentic people who are comfortable in their own skin. i was a math major. i like to solve problems. that is what i get every day trying to do better. i love my job, but not because i wanted to be famous or powerful. i want to be judged by what i do and how i act, not by my title. good leaders are curious and humble. no task is beneath a good leader. learning to enjoy common tasks with others are the way a career is built. never stop being curious because you think you know everything. in 1989, i let our appliance service business. with a catastrophic failure of our refrigerators and had to replace 3 million compressors. to understand what went wrong,
i do i personally had to learn how to fix compressors, so i did. fed i went into people's homes to fix their refrigerators. there is no better way to be humbled them for a math major to sit on someone's kitchen floor while the ice-cream belts. good leaders are transparent. that means more than being honest. year to be open in spirit and conduct. even if you reject an alternative idea, give it fair consideration and learn to value diversity of thought. good leaders are smart risktakers. with your dreams, but don't jump into something for the halibut. the best leaders are determined to risktakers to the knowledge of the work they could and are accountable for their decisions. i run a large company with millions of shareowners. during the financial crisis, i had to make a lot of very big decisions very quickly. but even in that environment, i
made informed decisions even if i did not have a chance to acquire complete knowledge. we had to act fast, listens to our team. we -- most importantly, leaders are good team builders. make your work about more than your own success. what i was graduating from college, i was sure i could compete on my own. but it is more satisfying to teach teams to compete. my father issei a good education was society's equalizer and could make a poor man rich. but being rich is not just about making money. it is not having a purposeful life that benefits others as well. for me, the most satisfying accomplishment is helping others learn to compete for themselves. in 1978, i sat where you sit today. the future looked very different to us than the future does to you. few imagines the extent of the technology revolution that has
remade our world or envisioned the global marketplace with its challenges and opportunities. china was a large and populist nation with an odd productive economy, not the economic powerhouse that it is today. but we don't have to look back to ancient history to see rapid an unexpected changes that cause us to rethink old assumptions for the future. just look to the recent experiences of this century. the end of a 1990's seemed like a time of unprecedented prosperity. we were full of confidence and our assumption would curious to bigger things the new century. then the technology bubble burst, the country was attacked and a hurricane nearly destroyed your lens. last year, an oil spill went uncashed for 10 months at japan suffered a devastating earthquake and nuclear crisis.
new powers, china, brazil and india became stronger competitors and the global financial crisis plunged the united states and to the worst recession since the great depression. the sovereign debt crisis in europe was out of the market. america's own fiscal situation and the concern we will not achieve the political consensus required to correct it is worrying people run the world look to the u.s. to lead. it has been an eventful decade to say the least. the global economy has been reset. but you are ready for this. york college at motto is learning for living. you are ready for this crazy world. but first, today, everybody in this room is going to make a choice. will you be a cynical complainer, a victim who fears the future while blaming others, believe me that is the easiest and most popular path. or will you be a hard-working problem solver dedicated to creating a new and better world?
we need to solve view these problems, but we must adapt, compete and change. from my seat at general electra, i can do a lot to improve our country, but i need your help. first, we must get back to doing the things that give us our competitive advantage like making innovative products -- business and labour must make a serious commitment to u.s. manufacturing. many assume this country can transition from being a technology-based export- oriented economic powerhouse to at consumption desk -- consumption-led powerhouse think there don't is anything inevitable about america's decline if we are prepared and determined to reverse it. we have dramatically changed our own company in the last decade. we invested in technology. we wanted to make sure we were good at making things.
we have been sourced production and employment in our infrastructure businesses have grown and we announced 16,000 manufacturing jobs in the united states and high-tech services and manufacturing. second, everybody in this room, no matter what your profession, is going to have to learn to live in a global marketplace. 95% of the population lives outside the united states. so we can only grow as a country by learning how to do more business with people outside the united states. our exports of grain from $7 billion in 2000 to 20 billion in 2010. we are tapping the great growth markets of our time. we have globalized around markets and customers but not cheap labor. we go to china and india because that's where the customers are. the future prosperity of our country will be determined by how well we fare in the global marketplace. third, every company in the
united states has to invest more in innovation to be successful. we have tripled our research and development desman and last decade. we've always been good at the science of management, but it's good to be -- it's a board to be good at the science of science. that is how prosperous future gets said. she has invested billions to make the world's best aircraft engines. when you fly on an airplane today, about 70% of all commercial air travel uses our engines. this allows us to create thousands of high-paying jobs. technical leadership is the only path to long-term success. it we have to focus on building innovative products that address the social issues of our time. we should be focused on finding real solutions for and the structure, anergy, at affordable health care. these are the pillars that will upside long-term competitive this for the u.s.. to crises -- one in the middle
east and one in japan make us understand a critical role energy plays in our economy. pathe while nuclear may be in question, it is important to the future. but how many times to have to watch massive price increases in gasoline before this country does something about it? i truly believe the u.s. can achieve energy security and create millions of high-paying jobs, but we need to commit to it. similarly, the problems of the american health-care system will take great innovation to solve and we are a big believer because i know in my lifetime we can treat major diseases more effectively. we can greatly reduce the tragic impact of breast cancer and may be cured completely. breast cancer is diagnosed in more than two and a thousand american women each year and millions outside the u.s.. however, the rapid technical advances in screen, diagnoses and treats bad, and we can now
spot this disease earlier entry of more effectively. we can deliver this treatment to every patient, rich and poor alike, but it takes determination. lastly, most important cali to improve the teamwork between government and business. history has proved the superiority of free-market economies work individual freedom as the great engine of progress. the business and government work together to improve our competitiveness. government can work to expand and create jobs, but it cannot create and sustain those jobs for us. the dynamism and competitiveness and innovation allow america to lead for generations and we can succeed again today, but we have to invest more of our cash in the american worker, particularly in manufacturing. we have moved to thousand manufacturing software jobs back into the united states for china, india and mexico. these are not great, high-paying
jobs. american workers can compete and they must be given the chance. so, we have come through a difficult time as a company, but to many high-paying jobs have left the u.s.. people believe hopelessness that they have been left behind by the decisions and mistakes of others. frequently, their skills have eroded so they can no longer compete. when people lose confidence in the future, their pride to act on fears and out their hopes. but anger, cynicism and populism don't create jobs, don't create growth, don't create progress. they only create fear. there is nothing more contrary to your character, the character of all americans, then this kind of hopelessness. i am here to tell you the american dream is not dead. we simply did not