tv Q A CSPAN November 21, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST
solar, wind, or something like that. the credit subsidy score goes to the fact that in the earnhardt of a problem -- in the event of a problem how much can the u.s. government get repaid and it reflects that uncertainty and the evaluation of the probability of default on the loan. >> the gentleman's time has conspired. mr. secretary, we are going to do a second round and it appears mostly republicans -- i don't know how many will do a second round -- i would out of deference would you like a break of about 15 minutes or would you like us to continue? >> i will take a break. >> ok. we will reconvene at 1:15. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> this week on "q & a", lawrence lessig discusses his new book "republic, lost: how money corrupts congress - and a plan to stop it." >> your book, the first chapter. i spent a month alone at a beach reading novels. i had just finished clerking at the supreme court. that to press me beyond measure. >> i am pretty young and naive. i just come from the judge to i
believe is the greatest of our time. -- judge richard posner. the court was not built with a bunch of them. influence from clerks. i have enormous respect from them coming to recognize how imperfect i thought this perfect institution was. as i point out later, i come to think of the institution as the only institution that is anywhere close to what the framers imagined it to be and have enormous respect for the fact of a protect themselves corruption. it is an extraordinary institution. >> what did you say you did not like? >> what i felt i did not like was a different kind of compromise. it was an institution that felt like there was too many moments
where political influence and the flavor of political influence was part of what was going on. much less than most people think, the court decides many cases unanimously and the justices rarely get into a political squabble. it was not what i thought it would be. i was really just trying to find a way to clear my head. it was going to be teaching at the university of chicago that fall. i needed to be back into some better mood about what it was. >> before he got to the school? >> i graduated from yale. i spent one year at the university of chicago andi followed a woman to yale. i graduated before that from cambridge university where i studied philosophy. before that pennsylvania were studied economics and
management. >> one thing i would like to know is the journey to voting for barack obama and using you are a liberal. how did that start? >> i was the youngest member of a delegation in the republican convention of 1980. i screamed as loud as i could for ronald reagan. i worked to get him elected. i do not think i change. i was a libertarian. i believe protecting liberty is an incision part -- and to do. i began to see the infrastructure that was necessary including infrastructure of a quality. -- equality. the importance of public education and systems that make sure we have markets that function effectively by being regulated in the right way. these all brought me back to
policies that are close to the democratic policies. i would have no hesitation to go for a republican candidates. there's only one candidates for president, and republican u.s. articulated issues that seem to be this. -- that seem to be at the core of our democracy and that is buddy roemeri have strong disagreements. he is singing a very clear song. >> how do you get that coming out of yale? how does that work? >> i spent a year and chicago. -- in chicago. a professor i had spoke to him. he was concern that i was too much of a philosopher. he wanted me to know that it was not the job.
that was revealing. he is the founder of be economics movement. there were a number of times where there was a theoretical answer to the problem and you brushed that aside and asked what the law requires. i convinced him out of the enough of a lawyer. >> antonin scalia. you clerked for him. how? >> it was a very funny episode. he had me come down to interview with him in october. we had an intense argument about a statutory interpretation case. he said you need to talk to my clerks. i did. the clerks were very conservative. they marked me as a liberal. i was the christian and this was the coliseum and the lions were called then. i had to be beaten up by these conservatives.
justice scalia came and said i'm going to lunch. talk to me. he said i am going to give you the job that you cannot tell my clerks. i had to go out and not fumble for the next two hours before my plane left. i continue the conversation. six months later, they said you need to hire your fourth car. -- clark. he said i did. they were outraged that he hired someone who's not of the party. it was an amazing experience. scalia is reviled by many. i learned a very important lesson of how to think about what constitutional law is about from him. i spent much of my early career struggling with his conception of our regionalism and how to
make it makes sense. there were many times where he demonstrated that his commitments to a set of principles and not to a political ideology. he would do things that seemed a liberal but they were not liberal because he was a liberal. they were liberal because they came from his beliefs about the constitution. i left that job with him having enormous respect for him even though on very important issues i disagree. years? >> cordial. i have had lunch and seen him at a number of events. he is a very warm and welcoming justice. he is eager to me your kids. -- to meet your kids or bring them into the family. >> how often did you find yourself having to write an opinion that you disagreed with? how do you do that? >> are rarely.
prisoner -- posner is one of the few judges that does his own riding completely. -- writing completely. he goes home and comes back the next day with a 230 page of opinions. -- two-30-page opinion startedhe gives them to you. your job is to write a critical memo. i would write critical memos. he would take his opinions and do another draft. that was a completely easy job from a sampling of what was going on. i never had to compromise anything. i was worried. clerks are much more involved in the riding of opinions. -- the writing of opinions. that is very different. and justice scalia, they would draft an opinion. he spends all of this time editing and working for everything. -- through everything. it is not fair to say it was not
his opinion. it is completely his opinion. in the nature of the job,you pick your case is based on what you are interested in. the campaign cases that do not have any strong opposition. i could do that for almost all cases. there was one that was close. i thought of my job as making justice scalia the best he could be. my job was not to convince them to be justice brennan or suitor. you had to study who he was and hold him to these ideals. it was refreshing. it is not every justice that is like that. it is not every justice that would be embarrassed that he was inconsistent with himself. he could use it in a way that he will be one of the most important ones in the history of the quiet.
-- of the court. >> what kind of the environment did you grow up in? >> my father is a capitalist. he ran a fabricating company in central pennsylvania. he did not have much patience for politics for law professors. he is a republican. i'm not sure what he thinks about me spending time arguing about politics. he was a hard-working person. use up every morning to work for his company. my mother later worked as a real estate agent. he did not work at home. -- she did not work at all. >> brothers and sisters? >> i have a younger sister. i have two older siblings. >> currently, you directed the
ethics at harvard university. who was he? >> and he was a founder of the republic bank. he is an extraordinary figure in the history of banking. he had a very important ethic about how he believed the money should be made. it was a very conservative and balanced perspective. he died a number of years ago. his wife had been a very generous supporter of the center before i came there. she had another extraordinary gift. -- she gave another extraordinary gift of $13 million. though they had no connection to the running of the center, i
was very happy to be able to do the kind of work i enduing. -- that i am doing at the center which is focused on institutional corruption. it is supported by a man and a tradition that was exemplified in a life i think we should see more in wall street. >> you are a professor that thinks it is ok to read with the pds -- wikepedia. >> i use it in my book. >> i wanted to know how it happens as some on with this kind of a background end up finding a harvard program. -- funding a harvard program. he was a jewish lebanese banker. he died in a fire that attracted white media interests. it was due to arson.
why is it that money and of going to a place like harvard? -- ends up going to a place like harvard? does it worry you where the money comes from? >> i would be worried because in a position of raising money? -- if i were in a position of raising money for the center. i have a very strict not corruption principal about what context i will participate in raising money and what relationships i would get myself into so i can speak in a way that nobody doubts is a function of what i believe. it was the enormous gift to me to be able to come to the center already fully in dallas with got -- and that the even without place before i came.
she made a commitment to give it from a legal dispute number of charities. before i came to the center. it is enormous gift to me that i could do my work and not worry about the issue of how i raise money. if you need to worry about that question, people worry if you are focused on the right way -- in the right way as opposed to about how to raise your money. i'm not a fundraiser for my center. i met her a number of times. i'm happy to work on a number of things. i think her husband would be proud. i am erik and the context of -- i am where in the context of people who do not have to worry about money in a way that migh bring into question the integrity of their work. >> on the question of death, did you look into that? de have a sense of how he did die?
-- did you have a sense of how he died? there was somebody convicted of arson. accounts of it. -- i read just the news accounts of it. it was enormously tragic. one of these events where there is a million places where you wonder why the system did not respond better. it is a tragedy. that was long before had anything to do with the center. >> where did you form your views along the way? this book is about corruption in government. e.u headed up the stanford center on the internet for years. >> i went to stanford in 2000. we started in 2001. the center was focused on their relationship between technology and policy. one area that is interesting is copyright policy.
how you embed creative works inside a technology will affect people's access to it. that is the issue that copper to govern. we studied all of these issues were these things conflict. i ran that until i came to harvard. i came back in 2009. >> what was the impact of it? he would find something like that? -- who would find something like that? >> i was in a position to negotiate for what i wanted. --what i wanted was the assurance of a center that would do that kind of work. i went there with that commitment. i was not in a position of raising money. it was a little difference.
-- it was a little different. there is not an endowment sitting there that i came to. we opened it up. we hire people. it did a wide range of the issue from privacy to architecture of the network. as we saw, there was a concern about the way policymakers did or did not understand the full range of the issues. one of the issues that i realize i was not as smart as i thought i was they did not understand all sides of the issues. they did not have a lot of money to get in here getting access to lobbyists. that was the beginning of me thinking there was a deeper
problem to these questions about internet policies. it is not just esoteric. it was more fundamental questions about global warming are bigger issue -- or pick your issues. >> you talk about being friends with barack obama. explain that. >> i was a professor at the university of chicago when barack obama was an adjunct professor. then he became a regular professor part-time because he was also running a legal practice. we have had dinner and spoke about a number of issues. when you started to run political campaigns, i was a strong supporter of him. as i write, there is something extraordinary about him. that is what really compelled me to be a strong supporter of him. even from his very first campaign, i had a sense said
there was something about this now. -- something about this man that would distinguish him from most other politicians. i think we saw his success. as a measure of that distinction. >> you are pretty critical of him. >> i am. >> how critical? >> i probably would've supported him regardless. i think americans can say the reason to support him over hillary clinton is that he made it a central part of his campaign, the idea that we have to take up fights to change of the way washington works. it was about changing the corruption. it was about the recognition that the current system made impossible for problems to get solved in a way that advance the interests of the left or right. he said this is the reason i am running for president to challenge us system.
-- that system. it seemed that when he was a but dick, that would be a central part of what he did. it seemed as though he became the hillary clinton administration. on like barack obama,hillary clinton said she was there to change the system here. he played the game and the same way and never put on the field a strategy for how we were going to change. it feels like a big trial. that was an enormous disappointment which feels like a big betrayal. if there's one person to bring about the kind of change the system needed, it was president obama on that day.
, january 20, 2009. people wanted to see him succeed powerful way andi think he could have had he executed on how this reform should happen. >> he surrounded himself with tiny minds. can you name them? >> i could. >> i gather larry summers is someone you're not a big fan of. >> i think rahm emanuel is a fantastic mayor of the city of chicago. in part for the reason he is good at a kind of gameand he needed to be playing a hired game. i wrote a piece on the nation.
people convince me was too aggressive. i regret not naming that. that is the picture. you have these people. many people from the original clinton administration populated this administration. there's a conception of how politics should work. it is smaller than how politics should work that obama brought to washington. there's a story i was told that when obama was given the first budget there were 6000 in march and a. -- earmarks in eds. his instinct was to veto the budget. he was told by his lobbyists that there is no way you can do it. you cannot cut the ties with the democrats. had he vetoed it, he would have been the tea party. had he signaled his fundamental desire to change the system and the way washington works, he could have continued to rally the reform movement that now
breaks out all over the world because of its frustration with the current wave that the murders he does not function. -- that democracy does not function. >> he went into the middle of a tea party rally. when? >> in arizona. it is the most credible of the two-party movements. it is a row grass-roots movement. it is not tied to the washington lobbyists. it is bounded by martin and meckler. mark is a father from california andjenny b eth is from atlanta. i went to their convention just to hang out and to meet these people and talk to them. i saw 2000 people. they were intensely eager to find a way to make government work again. they're not talking about a rights or the right to abortion or any of the traditional separating and polarizing
issues, they're talking about a government out of control. i am concerned about a government out of control. if we had a chance with the tea party populists that we could come to an agreement about why this government is out of control. it is out of control because we have a system more congressmen are focused on funders and some of the people. the funders are not the people. >> have you ever worked in government? >> no. >> did you ever consider working with the obama administration? >> they did not offer me anything. by the time that administration was in,i was a controversial figure. i had done a work with copyrights. i do not think there's much chance that i could have been appointed to anything. >> what major controversy over copywriting? -- media controversy all over copywriting?
>> i saw an enormous potential that the internet was presented as for people to share creativity. the law was stepping in and locking down a lot of these opportunities in ways that seemed in the way. i became quite active in trying to push for more balanced copyright redeems. -- regime. i helped found a group which enables creators to make their works more easily excess of both. -- accessible. in the context of that, i became a villain of hollywood even though by the end of the battles, some of my closest friends or people from that movement. i have enormous respect with the head of the motion picture association of america. it is not like anybody generally felt like they were villains but i was identified strongly as
one of the anti people in the movements. there would have been pressure to keep the outside of that. >> i was reading somewhere a review of your book. they were really offended that you had written where they said initially that for somebody that believes that the step ought to be available for everybody, he did not put his book on google. he said later i just found that he did but he did not at the time he was selling it. what is your philosophy of things like this book? you are selling it. she knew the copyright protection? get copyrightou protection? >> copyright law gives me ownership over the book for my life plus 70 years. i believe any of their is entitled to the protection. -- any author is entitled to
the protection. some feel making their work more accessible is better. when my book was published, it was the publisher who said why do we make this available under a trade of commons license tax if permitted people for non- commercial purposes to copy the work and share it. what happened is that people started doing all sorts of extraordinary remixes. they were translated into audio versions. they would put it into every format for every reading device. they were eager to spread the message of the book. we had had a section on the web sites were all of these different volunteer activities were there. maybe we will lose some sales
because some people will get the book for free rather than buying it. that decrease in sales could be swapped by the number of people who never would of had any access at all because they would not have heard about it. now they have heard about it. they decided they wanted to buy it. maybe john grisham should never use this strategy. everybody knows john grisham. there's no spread factor. lessig is no grisham. maybe we should experiment on what is a better way. i was eager to do that. after that, my earlier books were made available. remix was the last of the series. it was also made under accretive, is licensed.
we're trying to experiment with what is the right relationship with the publisher to make sure that everybody gets what they need. publishers are in the business of making money. i am all for that. authors get paid. i am ultimately, because i am not a john grisham making millions of dollars, i am more interested in the book being widely accessible. it was an important condition. >> let me go back to a question i had earlier. where did you get these ideas? when was the first impression on you, back in high school, college, where you started to have a strong feeling about issues and policies? >> from my father. i think my father, in his
disdain for politics, he did not hate the idea of government or government doing the right thing. he hated the lack of integrity he felt within the system. he did not see people who seem to live up to the ideals they said they were living up to. the great excitement of ronald reagan was the sense that here is a guy who is willing to say and stand for what he believed. that feeling is a constant -- there is a constant spring of that in politics. you see that with candidates in the republicans. herman cain, who inspired that sense. you are different because you are willing to say what other people will not say. there is an integrity to what you are doing. this idea of integrity was a central part of the education i had with my dad. my dad, i had the most important experience, he does not know this, the most
important lesson he taught me, he was in a business where they would have to bid for contracts to build bridges. you would put your bid in and if you will blow you one. -- were low you won. his estimate for got $1,000,000.10 of the contracts. -- in one of the contract. the bid was $1 million low. i am a contracts professor. there are a million ways he could have gotten out of that. he looked at that and said, i said this is the price, this is the price we will do it at. i was working at the firm at the time. his firm. i was in high school. i was working in a plant. i remember being astonished. it is one thing to be honest when it is $50. it is another thing to say $1 million of your money because
it is a private family company is gone. he made a mistake and i am going to live up to it. that is the sense of integrity was seared into me as a kid. as i grew up, institutions and people who live within the institutions have been a constant focus for me about what is their relationship to the ideals and integrity of what that project is about? >> where you live, you live near hartford. >> i live in brooklyn. >> you have somebody running for the second -- summit. -- senate. -- named elizabeth warren who was a harvard professor. a look at you and see somebody who has done a lot of talking. is there a campaign for you in the future? >> no. i made this decision quite self consciously because when my
congressman in california died, a lot of people tried to push me to run. almost every night they raised something like $100,000 to support the campaign. i spent a good two weeks trying to figure out if i would run. i did not think i could ever beat extraordinary woman who would run and win, jackie spear. there is no way for me to do the work i want to do all living in the system and having to partake of the thing i think is the current -- problem. it cannot be a congressman without raising money. how could i be picking up a phone: random people asking for checks and sang this is a terrible system -- calling random people and asking for checks and saying this is a terrible system. i decided i would do reform work. i wanted to join citizen politicians.
people who do not ever want to go into government as a politician. not because they think it is terrible, i have an enormous respect for people who serve. a man who spent his whole career in congress, a hungarian more born american. we need more people like that. with his integrity, i could not say i was in this for the purpose of changing the system. people always wondering, are you doing this because you are trying to position yourself? >> chapter 9, first page, "in 1974 the total spent --
why? >> a lot of things are happening. the cost of campaigns go up. the competitiveness of congress goes up as well. newt gingrich went control of congress for the republicans. -- wins control congress for the republicansfor the first time, republicans. believe to imagine that they could be the majority party. the thought of themselves as the minority party. they could be the majority party. both parties recognize there is this year's fight every two years to determine who is going to control congress. the value of control, the control premium, is huge. both parties begin this race to win as much as they can to defeat the other party. the amount of money is going through the roof. as it is, the ethic of being a
member of congress begins to change. in 1990, leadership is picked based on who is going to be a great leader. by 2005, leadership is picked based on who is going to lead the most fund-raising efforts. good if that is a good leader to. the thing that is distinguishing people is their capacity to deliver. -- on the thing the party thinks it needs. -- you talk to some congressman -- i spent time with jim cooper, who has been in congress as long as 20 other members. he describes the democratic policy committee -- they would get together, they would talk about politics. they would talk about, should we do this? what would labor think? what with the banks think? what is the right thing to do? that committee gets together and the question is, have you raised your quota?
have you met your mother of money? -- amount of money? if you have not, certain perks that are given out by a leadership is not given to you. you want to be a committee chair? you have to do your job. your job is to make sure you have raised the right amount of money. >>in the bat, under acknowledgments, you list a about the author. -- web sites. you talk about you also served on the board. of creative commons. math lite, what is that? map light. >> we are building technology to make it easier to see the relationship between money and politics? >> what is the film foundation? -- brave new film foundation? >> that was set up to fund the production of films on the afghanistan war, on a wide range of issues, some
progressive, some around the war. >> did he do the foxx documentary? -- outragewhat was that? change congress? >> that was an organization that instead of running for congress, an organization that was trying to focus reform effort on changing congress. that turned into fixed congress first. when the republicans grabbed control and there was no hope for a bill to bring in some version of public funding, we became -- a word that comes from a sacred text, the words of henry david thoreau, for every hacking of the branches of evil there is one striking at the root. focus on the underlying cause of
all these different issues that people want to focus on on the right and left. that is critical. >> are there places you secrets.org. are you involved with them? >> i am not. they take it and try to make it a accessible to people. >> followthemoney.org. >> it is a great organization to focus on state -- money in state politics. they have done an enormous job in making it easy for people to understand how a state governments are being affected. >> opencongress.org. >> they are trying to bring information about bills and house committees and procedures work. there is a pledge that some of
the public funding organizations work to get candidates to make where the candidates commit to supporting the fair elections mel act, a bill that would cause public funding. -- now act. >> if you go back and look at all the funding of these organizations, you see a lot of the similar funding groups. everyone to the rockefeller foundation and other places. if you check their politics, they are from left to center. the reason i bring this up, isn't this the way -- a way of funding from the left organizations that will bring change the left wants? why don't more conservatives get involved? this stuff is all but partisan. you are giving information from the right and left.
>> you did not mention the americans for campaign reform. it is an organization that explicitly does a significant number of strong republicans who support this kind of reform. i agree with you. the perception about this issue is it is related to the left. that is a mistake. this issue is not related to the left. no doubt, issues on the left are locked by status quo funding. -- debt blocked by status quo finding. i am not denying that. it is also issues on the right that it blocked by status quote the way it is. herman cain comes forward with the 9-9-9 tax plan. that plan would radically change the opportunity of members of congress to raise money. if they do not have 1 million special privileges to hand out to the targeted tax incentives, they do not have 1 million people to call.
the point is, the people who want simply taxes are against the extraordinary pressure that comes from a system of funding campaigns that depends upon complex taxes. something with smaller government. -- same thing with smaller government. they tell this story of how gore wanted to regulate internet infrastructure. people said, hello. -- hell no. if we deregulate these guys, how are we going to raise money from them? you think about who to regulate and hell part -- how far to reach as a part of will we have people to call to get money to fund our campaigns? if you want smaller government, we have a conflict in interest between the current way of funding campaigns and your objective that we will never get over and took congressman's will be free to make decisions on the basis of what the principles believe. there is a great book, he tells
the story of the gingrich control where the people come into congress, they have all these ideas. there is a meeting with decide they need to relax their commitment to these principles to support the people who are going to fund their campaign. they need to keep control. that is the important thing. principles come second. that is the way it is always going to be. so long as we have a system of privately funded the elections. >> this is out of context. i have to ask you. page 14, i know you have talked about this. it is the story you got from taylor branch. he did the tapes and all that. i am going to read it and ask you to embellish it. i have never seen it before.
we did not know that. we are dealing with this man who was head of russia. it seemed to me, that is important. >> the question is, what do you do? you need to keep on the pending a tight alliance with this person. >> you say, we should feel sorry for the people who lost the chance for a free society. >> the point is to try to suggest the kind of problem we are dealing with. we are not dealing with criminals. we are not dealing with blagojevich. we are dealing with people who want to do the right thing. yeltsin,he wanted to save his nation from an authoritarian past. when you have the chance to save a great nation like russia, even then you do not have the strength to resist the
temptation of your addiction in that context, the addiction was-- was alcohol. this man who is finding himself incapable of doing the one thing that will find him as a world historical leader because of his dependency, it makes it easier to understand the dynamic we see instead of all sorts of institutions. congress. people going wanted to do the right thing. -- people go to congress and wanted to the right thing butthey cannot help but be inside this addiction to raising money. the one thing i would have done differently, many people drink because they like to drink. a better addiction is a cigarette. most people do not want to be addicted to cigarettes. they are. they cannot break it. that is a better picture. these and not people who love to raise money.
they hate it. they hate it more and more. they do not want to change it. this system will eventually benefit them. it is not a picture of great leaders. it is not to of the bidders were 40 years ago. -- who are leaders were 40 years agoit is radically -- it is not to our leaders were 40 years ago. it is radically altering them to do what is right. >> how does a man get out in the street with his underwear when you have secret service who are assigned to him? do you think this is true? >> i have had a couple sources for this. i do think it is true. i have no clue about how it happened. >> chapter 2, you write, "we spent bill -- billions benin agencies -- -- running agencies.
i guess the question here, you read about billions have been spent on regulation. and it has not worked, why would we want to spend billions more? >> the part i am making is what of the conditions for trust? i am talking about dpa, it is a chemical, and estrogenic chemicals. the thing about estrogen is in certain moments, estrogen is very dangerous. in the development of a fetus. if it is developed a protection against it. the question raised is, did the body protect against this man- made chemical? it turns out, it did not.
this chemical was affecting the development of the fetus. they begin testing it. they were concerned. this was a disaster for the development of fetuses. the question is, is it actually dangerous? the point i am making in the book is, there is a lot of research in both directions. when people hear that they say it is a contested field. we do not know the answer. when you separate out the research based on who funded the research, overwhelmingly, the research funded by industry finds no problem. the research funded independently finds a problem. when people hear that, then they are -- than their attitude changes. they say, maybe this is not a happy coincidence. maybe there is something about
the research that is biasing it one way for either side. the point is, the conditions under which we need to trust do not exist where we have this kind of funding to undermine our recent to have faith. i did the same thing in a number of areas. we did some tests about people's attitudes as he began to suggest different funding mechanisms. startling. the extent to which this is true. you have to suggest, even a hint there might be some funding relationship and it undermines people's confidence. it collapses in many cases. not in all cases. some people still a rough stuff respected enough. politicians, -- some people like doctors are respected and not. politicians, there is a dynamic. if you do not build a system that people can trust, people will not trust it. i am using that to show why we
need to be worried about how we are funding the elections of members to congress. 75% of members believe money by results. they see congressman dancing around. the people on wall street are saying we are the 99%. they should be saying we are the -9.95%. -- 99.5%those of the people who never give the maximum contribution to any candidate. it is the maximum contribution that if you on the radar screen. >> the quote two people in the beginning of chapter 10. as i read it, i can tell you what i did, considered two statement by two prominent republicans. the first by tom coburn, thousand of instances against -- the new quote but this mitt,
the -- bradley smith, the former federal elections commission chairman. my first thought when i read that was, tom coburn is not going to run again. he is from the most republican state. he takes no chance. that was my first thought. all we have gotten used to in this town. what he does. he is probably a lawyer. he is saying something that would probably favor his clients. i am not accusing either one of them of that. we are so cynical watching this process. here you go again. >> you have demonstrated my point. precisely. you look at what you think of the influences that might be affecting both of them. you read the truth of delhi. i think that for both of them, -- truth value. i think that for both of them, there is integrity.
smith works with a research group that the policy advocacy. he does not depend on the clement's. -- on his clients. it is an important question. >> another one of want to talk to you about. you have the tea party and up by wall street. -- occupy wall street. i have what the liberals say the occupied wall street -- watched the liberals say occupy wall street is fabulous. how'd you get to the truth of that? >> one of the biggest problems we have, media has become so competitive that the only way to compete is to become more polarized.
there is a business model of teaching us to hate each other. that is the only way we drive sales. that is true on the left and on the right. it is extremely hard on either of these two extremes to get people to recognize that maybe it is not as simple as fox news would present it. in fact, we had a conference co-sponsored by the tea party patriot act harper -- patriots at harvard. there was an impassioned speech about resisting hate. people are out there who depend upon dividing us and finding a way to show us why we do not like each other. we need to work in context where we can find common ground. with the tea party and occupy wall street, they would find a common ground even though the talking heads might not want to
see the common ground. >> have you been asked to be on fox? >>i was on foxx and friends. i am eager to be on fox. >> how did they treat you? >> perfectly respectably. >> why would they treat you fairly? >> i have not as much of a chance on fox. when they introduced the book they called it "republic, lost." i think there are people on fox. , in particularbill o'reilly, who sees the problem in a way that we should be able to connect. he said the republic is the corruption of the system. he talks about the content on
the left and the content on the right. spending time raising money. there is a commonality. we have not seen fox news willing to openly embrace the charge that there is corruption that comes from money. that would be an enormous hope. the one candidate who has not allowed in any of these debates who is the most qualified from the standpoint of having the most time in government, a governor and four term congressman, having run a business for 20 years, but the romer -- buddy roemer, is one argument is this system is corrupted. fox news has not allow that to be prominent in the reporting. we say this is because they like the system as it is.
i know there are people on the network who do not like the system with that kind of corp. -- corp. -- corruption operates. >> you have a long process of explaining how this can be changed. people can buy your book and find out what it is. you are looking for a constitutional convention. you are looking for amendment. what chance do you get it, given the influence of money in this town? >> the convention is the one gift our framers gave us of a way to deal with corruption in congress itself. here is congress that is a problem. a convention is a way around it. i do not give it a huge chance. as i described, there is a woman who asked me this question. she said, you convince me, there is no hope. i had this image, what if a
doctor told me your son has terminal brain cancer. there is nothing you can do. would i do nothing? you recognize what love is about. love is a but acting even when it is irrational. i think there is a love of country. soldiers go out and risk their lives for love of country. i want to practice and get others to practice a similar love of country. not to risk your life, but to fight as hard as you can to reclaim it republic which i think, from beneath their reading of what this is, has been lost. i think there is no reason not to fight for it. >> the author, a professor at harvard law school. the name of the book is "republic, lost."
we thank you for doing in us. -- we thank you for joining us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> for a dvd copy, call 1-877- 662-7726. for free transcripts, visit us at q-and-a.org. >> upcoming guests include simon winchester. winchester.