tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 26, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
it can work as a two-way process. the reform church does not have confession. is the jesuit confessional process a factor in how roman catholicism and government officials who are roman catholic can be influenced from rome? >> i would say that is an exclusively a private matter. i have various people to whom i go and make confessions about my inadequacies. i'm not about to pray that before you tonight. it seems to me to ask a justice to reveal how they practice their faith is to go way beyond the pale of proper public discourse. >> i am the legal director of the center for inquiry
representing atheists and secular people that scalia dismissed. i believe it was, they will never be satisfied, we don't need to consider them. we were talking about complicity in hobby lobby. this new idea that the catholic majority has brought in. if you make it easier for somebody to commit a sin, that sin can be placed back on to you. the owners of hobby lobby were allowed to not provide contraception. how does that fit in with the concept of the judge as an umpire? surely, if you have five justices who believe, for example, a portion is a sin -- if they make a decision that
says abortion can be legal, under that same. of complicity, they are getting a sin themselves. can they really be expected to make a decision as the umpire? if they are turning around and are on record as saying, that would be sinful? >> ? anybody? you spoke about that a little bit. >> i'm not an expert on catholic doctrine. i cannot answer that question. in general, one benefit you could say that the catholic church has. they believe in a general confidence between faith and natural law, reason.
from that perspective, they might come to a view that one might call a sin. but they will see it as an aspect of natural law, reason, which is a public discourse open to everyone. >> anybody else? >> i would say, i don't think the court was necessarily advocating that as their own view about their own role in complicity. rather, whether they were a accepting that view as advance and the parties of the case. >> to my mind, the theoretical problem with hobby lobby is the court possible inability to separate the entity or the corporation, which is totally artificial to read -- totally artificial. it is set up for one purpose which is to make money. to reward stockholders.
these were private corporations. they were nonetheless creatures of state law, created not for the purpose of propagating a religion. the families who own those two businesses argue they have run their business in a religious way says more about their faith then about the corporation's capacity to have a faith. how many times have you seen a corporation get down on its knees and pray? i have never observed that. that was the theoretical problem. the court could not see the
distinction between the owners and the corporation who read -- the corporation. the owners had undertaken to express their faith through the corporation. it was no more and less than a private is this entity -- business entity. >> the court was interpreting the religious freedom restoration act in that entity, which was an act passed by congress in reaction to a supreme court decision that did not give with the congress that was proper protection to people's religious believes. the congress passed a law by both sides, liberals and conservatives. they came together to really bestow great protection for people's believes -- religious believes. more than they thought was in the first amendment. i think it is important to think that -- realize that was what the court was looking at.
>> the court was looking at a particular word in that statute, which is person. the question is, is a corporation a person? capable of experiencing religious freedom? >> i know nothing about the evangelical doctrine. in jewish law, the owner of a private corporation is responsible for the sins of the corporation. the owner cannot profit from quote sinful acts. it is not just like some sort of strange view they have. it is in other religions as well. >> that person has a religious view. >> i don't want to go overboard
here, but i think in jewish law, you cannot profit from the sale of uncool sure products -- un-kosher products. you cannot say, my corporation is doing that if it is a private corporation. it is not some set of weird view of the hobby lobby people. others would have that view. religions believe, the individual carries over to the private corporation. not to a public corporation. crocs just to finish on that. that shows the huge problem we have at the moment of bending over backwards to accept any religious belief as being sincere. we had hobby lobby saying, providing insurance for contraception is a sin. on the other hand, we had them investing $72 million in the very company that makes those products.
isn't that a problem, that we except those police? >> we have lots more questions. >> maryland. -- marilyn. i say, there are five men that remind me of what used to be a nine man supreme court. i'm not up to speed on how many women are currently involved in covering the supreme court. with all due respect, the issue of decisions and decision-making
by the supreme court, we have focused this evening on their opinions on specific cases. my question is, what role do you all believe that religion plays in their decision to your specific cases? -- hear specific cases? does, in your opinion, religion come to play? and, perhaps has anyone ever considered the red mass being inappropriate case to bring? >> let me parenthetically say, we are aware of many women who cover the supreme court.
for a variety of reasons, none that we reach out to where available. this is no reflection on the wonderful panel. >> to have indeed been a terrific panel. i said it tongue-in-cheek. >> it is very hard for any of us to answer a question like that. it is such a secretive process in which the court decides which cases it will take. it only requires a vote of four justices to decide to take a case. we rarely get any kind of idea as to what it was that caused them to take some case and not another. we witnessed that this term.
once in a while, a justice will write -- meaning, here is why we think we should have taken this case. a writ of cert denial. sometimes it is a signal for the next person that we would be interested in it if we can make it fit this category. i think it is tough for anyone to say why the court has taken a case or not. >> i would say that it is a court that is increasingly comfortable with the presence of religion in the town square, public square-- life. that is why they took the town of greece decision. is that because of their own
religious views? nobody can say yes for sure. it is hard to think it is not. that their acceptance of religion in the town square is not a reflection of their religious views. is there a direct cause and effect? i don't to get anybody can say. >> another way to say this is, if the court had eight yes, they might not taken the case. -- atheists, they might not have taken the case. we have a court that is comfortable believes there is no problem in religion playing a greater role in the public life. i think that has been a significant change in recent
years. as far as the case of the red mass, i don't think that would make it to the supreme court. i don't the would make it past summary dismissal. it is not state action. attendance is not obligatory. they can hold the red mass anytime pleases. >> i would say one thing. when you talk about being more with religion in the public square, one thing that has struck me is there is a tendency to see what one might the government as religion -- one might think of as religion, as general custom. take the menorah.
they are approved -- it is like, how can you say the menorah is just a cultural thing. one of the ways in which there was more religion in the public square and the court is comfortable with it is by the devaluing -- secularizing of the religion. it now constitutes a generic religiosity. that may explain some of the
what you might call relaxation. >> another question. >> in the context of -- my proposal, i like to hear comments on my proposal. having people who are swearing into this office of congress or the supreme court, the presidency, swear on the constitution institute of a religious document such as the bible -- instead of a religious document such as the bible. >> who was quoted as saying you put your hand on the bible and swear to uphold the constitution, that the other way around? anybody want to talk about this? >> you don't need a bible, a koran or whatever your meaningful text is.
you could use a secular humanist document. >> for somebody who is in >> for somebody who is in absolute reverie on my 38-footer, give me a manual of how you calculate the stars. i would swear to almost anything on that. i don't think justices should be in the vanguard of a cultural movement to bring a particular nonreligious or religious perspective into public life. if there is anything that has been secularized, it is the use of the bible as a platform for public oath taking.
it strikes me as being devoid of anything other than symbolism. it is hard to take it seriously as a religious indulgence. it just happened that away. the first president who refused to do that is likely to not be reelected. in a country, rightly or wrongly, still thinks of itself as a christian nation. >> your question reminds me of a small way in which religion does make a difference on the supreme court. when you become a member of the supreme court bar, traditionally you would get a certificate that
says you are sworn in on may 4 the year of our lord, 2014. justice ginsburg said she had heard from the orthodox jews that the year of the lord was not something they wanted on their certificates. it was offensive to them. she said later on a another justice said, it was good enough for cardozo and brandeis. she put up her hand and said, it is not good enough for ginsburg. the court changed their view. it is now an option for members of the bar. not to have that phrase. >> mitchell. recovering and retired litigator. we have not talked about specifics.
i want to give you an opportunity to talk about one. i have heard it said that justice scalia exhibits his catholicism in what is perceived as his greater deference to religious organizations then individuals. two large groups rather than small ones. the accusations is this is typical of catholic difference rather than protestant emphasis on individual conscience. i would like your response to this. what does it say about our society that the response of a great many people out there, especially among the younger generation, to the idea of the court is a ho-hum? >> i guess i would say that is a good thing.
it is not seen as much of an issue. it is probably a healthy thing for everyone that there is not seen as, these seats should be distributed on some sort of religious basis. i think it is seen as an interesting fact that there is not a protestant on the court, for the first time ever. i'm not sure people think that is a big deal, or at least if it is it has not been communicated to me in a way other issues about the court are. from readers and the people. >> i'm not sure what you mean in the first part of your question by respect for religious people or organizations. he chose that in his judicial
activity -- >> that is an observation made by more people than just me. >> personal? >> his judicial opinions reflect that. >> i'm not sure that is true. on the last point you made, related to large organizations, it is true in this myth case, they said if there was a secular reason to restrict religion, it is ok if an individual's religious beliefs are curtailed. congress can change that. it is true congress to change that for larger religions.
that is called democracy. congress would be more likely to make rules -- >> does democracy require that personal freedoms be subject to majority vote? >> that is a bigger question -- >> we have more questions. we make it through them if the them get to elaborate? -- too elaborate. >> first. >> all right. >> you have a question? >> i am wondering if you can address the issue whether judges in the supreme court or local court, whether they uphold the constitution. they are inconsistent. they don't really explain the reasoning, rather than say, it is just religious.
the religious groups or churches influence the number of voters. all they have to ask is, if you do not support abortion -- >> the question is -- >> the question is -- >> let me responded this way. if there is one accusation that cannot be made about the supreme court of the u.s. it is that it does not explain itself. the supreme court explains itself much better than any other institution of the national government. it may be that people don't read
the opinions in the close way they do read something that ted cruz has said. [laughter] or paul ryan. one of those wise members of the legislative body. the supreme court does explain itself. the materials with which it works are public materials, almost entirely. the last time i remember, the supreme court dealt with a case in secret was the pentagon papers case in 1971. the supreme court deals with business that comes in the front door and goes back out the front door. it is absolutely -- incorrect to say they do not explain themselves. >> i am jewish and a graduate of harvard law school.
i guess that makes me a prime candidate to be a supreme court justice. [laughter] i wrote an article entitled, "isn't it time for a jewish justice?" it seems we have had an embarrassment of riches for jews and catholics. there are six catholics and 3 jewish but there are 6 graduates of harvard law school and three of the yale. this begins to raise the question of diversity in every sense of the word. very few of the justices have been in private practice. they used to tell story of how
justice marshall could relate his life and so on. the question is, what do you think about the urgency of trying to encourage more diversity in the court? >> i must correct you on one thing. we just had this mistake in the washington post. i have been hearing about it for the last two days. there are only five graduates of harvard. justice ginsburg's degree came from columbia after she spent two years in harvard. justice thomas, at an event at yale, that is the one he picked out as a problem for diversity. there are a lot of great law schools not represented on the court. i cannot explain to you why it is this way right now. except perhaps, you have very
ambitious people who go to harvard and yale. people who are thinking this is a goal for them. i think, when presidents pick nominees, it helps to say, this person went to one of those law schools. >> i don't think it matters much that they are from those schools. you do have a point in terms of different life experiences. justice o'connor, put a great deal of her political experience in the court. that is true people in private practice. people from civil rights backgrounds.
those are relevant questions. i'm not sure the fact they all went to elite schools. one was a sharecropper's son. others were immigrant children. it is not just the elite backgrounds. >> you may remember that president nixon tried to put someone on the court. when the man was defeated because he was demonstrably unqualified to sit on any court's, a senator from nebraska commented, everybody is entitled to representation on court, even mediocre people. mediocre people don't get into harvard and yale. i think when politicians go looking for people to nominate,
they have some stars in their eyes about the elite schools. they seldom get beyond that. >> i am wondering if you guys see any cases coming down the pipeline where there could be a conflict between religion and secularism. >> i don't know. there has been one case so far which has been about religious accommodation. the length of a present our's
-- prisoner's beard. whether arkansas has to accommodate a muslim prisoner who wants to grow a beard because his religion dictates that. it was an interesting case. partly because, unlike some of the ones we had last term, theo obama administration was on the same side as conservative groups supporting the prisoner. this one did not seem it was going to be as tough as other cases had been. >> later in the term, we are going to have the sequels to hobby lobby which do not involve private business corporations but involve nonprofits. if hobby lobby was in some ways a test of sect carrion organization, we could see that recur in those cases -- were the
organizations are more distinct the religious and character. >> another question? i think we will get everyone. >> i am a patent attorney. my question is about -- i was thinking about how he wrote an article 23 some years ago about having jews on the supreme court. i would love to see muslim justices sometime. muslim american justices that could help with national security issues. i wanted to get your insights about how far out you see that happening. >> we could make a very bad joke and say if present obama became a supreme court justice -- [laughter] >> i was hoping to ask the panel that question myself. i'm glad it came up.
>> let me put in my view. there is a tragic amount of bigotry about people of the muslim faith. it all probably originated on september 11. it runs throughout public policy. the way we treat the people at guantanamo bay, cuba, is nothing less than despicable. maintaining guantanamo is no different than what we did in world war ii in maintaining the concentration camps for japanese-americans.
that is all driven by a suspicion of the muslim faith. when you see legislatures like those in texas passing laws that say, courts are forbidden to make any judgments based on sharia law, the chance that any muslim, however devout and peaceful in his or her view of public life, there is no way the senate of the u.s. as presently composed and composed anyway we can anticipate for the next generation, that a muslim would get appointed to the supreme court and confirmed. >> let's start with the lower courts and try to work up. >> we have muslims in the house. that is an important breakthrough. there was a time, and perhaps i should not be saying this because i am a guy.
there was a time when there were not many women in congress. increasingly, the country has discovered the virtue of the feminine perspective. we are getting more women appropriately and we now have three women on the supreme court, which is the high point for that sector of our society. i don't think in my lifetime, which is not that much longer, who will not see a muslim on the court -- we will not see a muslim on the court. >> one last question. >> it seems like we have a people of -- a fear of people putting religion into the opinion. can we talk about religious -- what is the beauty of the religious diversity of the supreme court?
>> positive aspects of this religious diversity? we have covered some of them. anybody want to add anything? >> diversey itself, however you define it, is virtuous. there are different ways to apply and defying the law. we are a long way away from what used to be called mechanistic jurisprudence where you say the law is on most like a mathematical proposition. there are so many intellectual, cultural, social logical, even economic inputs in making a sound legal judgment. the more input you have from a variety of experiences, a variety of backgrounds -- including a variety of religious faiths -- the better the law in substance is going to be. if any president has the option of enlarging the diversity of
the court, as wilson did in premade you on the court, -- putting a jew on the court and reagan did by putting a woman on the court, i hope they take that opportunity. >> if no one else has anything [applause] nadine and i want to thank everybody. >> thank you so much, everyone, for coming. for being on the wonderful panel it's been a fascinating conversation. now we have a reception. please join us in the other room. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
we are featuring a one interview each year. today, an interview on offer -- author s.e. cupp. right after that, scientists and activists discussed the trend in technology and problems created by climate change. comments from michael phillips in the turner endangered species foundation explaining how using more renewable energy sources can address a rapid extinction around the world. here's or. -- here's more. to make ofn are we the great crises before us? it's important to note it's not a speeding asteroid but rather it is as marketing an extra bully in this direction -- us ma rching to do one thing, domesticate the planet. that's what's driving this
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is amiss, then i don't know what it means. we understand the cause of the ,xtinction crisis human-induced, habitat modification, overexploitation, and over the last few decades climate change. an event a portion of from the american renewable energy institute summit from aspen, colorado. see the entire event tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. "bookight on c-span 2, tv" on prime time with the books on african american leaders. tavis smiley and "death of a ," they look at martin luther king jr.'s final year. then finally cornell west on his book "black prophetic fire." tonight and all next week in primetime starting at 8:00 p.m.
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supreme court justice samuel alito on the bill of rights and the founding fathers. they recently spoke at an event exhibit onew founding documents at the national constitution center in philadelphia. this is one hour. [applause] >> i am so glad to welcome you tonight. justice alito, governor bush, governor and mrs. corbett. tony marks, david rubenstein, honored guests. ladies and gentlemen, i am jeffrey rosen. i'm the president of this institution, the national constitution center, the only institution in america chartered by congress to disseminate information about the u.s. constitution on a nonpartisan basis.
it is hard to imagine a more exciting milestone in the fulfillment of that inspiring mission than the one we celebrate tonight. 225 years ago, october 1789, george washington sent to the states 13 copies of the bill of rights and one to the federal government. 12 of those copies survived. today, one of them is returning to philadelphia. it will be displayed in the george h.w. bush gallery, which we are unveiling and previewing today in a beautiful exhibit. it will open to the public later this year. this display is made possible thanks to a historic agreement between the commonwealth of pennsylvania and the new york public library. governor corbett is here tonight.
the exhibit, which he will see after, is rolling. it includes a stone declaration of independence, and the first public printing of the cots to -- constitution. the exhibit tells the story of the rights promised in the declaration, implicit in the constitution, and caught a five -- codified in the bill of rights. it includes interactive this which we produced with constitute to click on any provision of the bill of rights, to see antecedents, and to follow the spread of that liberty to constitutions around the world. the new gallery and exhibit will be the focal point for three years of debate and education at the national constitution center, online, and around the country.
john templeton foundation has awarded us a grant to promote debate and the meaning of our founding documents. we are so grateful for their generosity and patriotism. [applause] i am also thrilled to announce in partnership with the college board, the national constitution center will create the best nonpartisan interactive constitution on the web. weevil commission materials on conservative and liberal interpreters cochaired by the founders of the federalist society and the american constitution society. the two leading conservative and liberal lawyers groups. we will convene scholars from all perspectives today they issues -- debate issues, and we will build podcasts held on every media clackum across
america. the museum of we the people. as a center for civic education, the national constitution center is the one place in america where citizens and students can hear all sides of the constitutional debates at the center of american life and make up their own minds. this is an exciting moment. it is also a time familial celebration. many donors are here tonight. their names are recognized in the gallery. william and hillary rodham clinton, president clinton served as chair of the constitution center after president bush and their friendship is a model for the bipartisanship the center
exemplifies. it is my privilege to introduce the superb share of the national constitution center. when i began this wonderful job, governor jeb bush told me his father considered his service to be his most meaningful postpresidential service. that persuaded bush to follow clinton. his commitment to educating children of all ages about the founding documents has helped to cement our exciting collaborations with the college board, intelligence squared, with whom we started a constitutional debate series, and a model for nonpartisanship and patriotism. i am pleased to be able to stand with governor bush to honor his father tonight. when it came time to name the bill of rights gallery, president bush's friends and admirers decided it should be named in his honor for his
patriotic devotion to the national constitution center into united states of america. we are grateful for governor bush taking of his father's example, and his engagement with the national constitution center. he is joined by his son, jeb junior. governor jeb bush. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all very much. thank you. if you can't get fired up about the declaration of independence and the constitution of the bill of rights, you just need to go back and learn how to get fired up. [laughter] the enthusiasm for what jeff brings to this job is extraordinary. i love the mission of visit, learn, debate.
the visiting comes to this great city of philadelphia. hopefully we will get more visitors because of this historic arrangement with the new york library and the state of pennsylvania to have the bill of rights be located here. there are a lot of great exhibits. tell your friends and neighbors to come. it is important for cash flow purposes that we have people that come to visit. learning about our heritages and our past is something i think we lack in our country. jeff believes that we need to reengage with our heritage in a way that makes it vital and alive in 2014 and beyond. so people believe we have a set of shared values. i can guarantee you the problems that seem intractable today, like nothing seems to working these days, part of it has to do with the fact that we don't have a set of shared values that we
talk about enough. going back to our history, understanding what it was, the genius of the founders, and what they created here, and how we apply it to everyday life matters. learning about our past through the constitution is another important element of what the national constitution center does, and the debate that jeff is a master of, bringing people of disparate views to be able to debate their points here and across the country is another element of what we do. i am honored to be the chairman of the national constitution center. i have to tell you, we are honoring my dad today. i will just tell you he is near perfect in my view. i am not objective about this. i think he's the greatest man i've ever met. [laughter] my dad called me and said, president clinton, it is time for him to leave as the chairman of the national constitution center. i'm not telling you to do this but you should consider doing it.
here i am. [laughter] all it took was a hint to suggest that i do this. of course i did. he was wise. this has been an extraordinary experience for me. i want to thank the board of trustees and donors them in a possible for this exhibit to be funded. it is an honor for the bush family. justice alito is a joy to be with you. thank you for being here. out of a very hectic time to come celebrate this, it is special for us. thank you for coming. thank you for sharing the document. we won't say whether it is a new york bill of rights or a pennsylvania bill of rights. i will not get into that mess, but i just did. [laughter] david rubenstein has been incredibly successful in his life. i'm not sure everybody
understands the full commitment to his generosity, not just with money but he is writing the editor of the exhibit here. thank you for your commitment to our history and heritage. a lot of people talk about this stuff. he has made a huge difference. [applause] i am truly honored to be here to represent the bush family in this honor. my dad is 90 years old. he can't walk anymore. but he can fly and jump out of airplanes. what he did on his birthday. he has a joy for life. he loves this country with all his heart and soul. this honor would be a big deal if he was here, he would get emotional.
i'm want to lessen my speech. there is some dna problem amongst bushes, when we talk about personal things, we cry like babies. [laughter] i know for a fact that my dad would be extraordinarily honored. he is honored, so is my mom, that this designation has been given to him. all bushes across the land, the next order i'm giving them is to come in to see it. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. beautiful words. it is now my pleasure to introduce governor tom corbett, the 46 governor of the commonwealth of pennsylvania. as governor and attorney general of the keystone state, he helped negotiate the historic agreement
that allows the near public library in the commonwealth of pennsylvania to take turns displaying the bill of rights over the next hundred years. the governor is joined by the first lady, susan corbett. you spoke eloquently last week at our award of liberty medal. for preserving our founding documents, your passion is appreciated. please welcome governor corbett. [applause] >> thank you so much for inviting us here today. having a little opportunity to get together on what is an event that i have been looking forward to for, how many years?
five years? i think it should be noted, steve came to me five years ago when i was attorney general and said how would you like to get the bill of rights to pennsylvania? i'm game. from that point forward steve did a great job of really representing the commonwealth of pennsylvania in the discussion. i'm so glad that we were able to reach an accommodation that we share it. we share it not just with pennsylvania, not just with people from new york. all the visitors that come to philadelphia and new york from around the world. why do they come? they come to see what is really the embodiment of what this country is about. it's freedom. freedom is not a new idea. if you think about it, freedom
is new in the grander scale of the time that we have had this world. even though it is 225 years after it was written into law, the concept that was rather new at the time, is still new in many areas of the world. natural inheritance. the bill of rights has survived two centuries. it has been the touchstone of our citizenship and the genius of our founding fathers, and the truth that we are born free. this acknowledgment stands as a shining contrast to other parts of the world. we see it today. extremist do prowl the globe. they silence dissenters. we do not. they deny education and personal freedom to women. we do not. they hate the concert that individuals know what is best
for them. that is why after crafting our constitution that explains the structure and the function of our government, the constitutional convention crafted ended up with 10 amendments to make sure the same government that protects social order would not suppress personal freedom. the framers of the bill of rights didn't invent the rights printed recognize the essential freedoms of speech, the press, religion, personal property, human dignity already existed, that we continue existing in the core elements of human society. the genius of madison and colleagues was to understand every person is born with those
rights, the rights record in those first 10 amendments are every child's inheritance to exercise, and every governments obligation to honor. they are god-given rights. we are born with essential freedoms no government can take away without becoming illegitimate. governments are seized by men who respect only their own power, and honor only their own believes. silence the voices that question them, grabbing industries for their enrichment, are illegitimate. that has not happened in the united states. even people who would use freedoms to destroy society have not succeeded in a racing the understanding of the heart of every man, woman, child. that freedom is the natural order of things. the bill of rights is our
framers discovery of this truth. a truth written in language as impactful today as the day our forefathers created the document we are enshrining here today. it is my pleasure on behalf of the commonwealth of in sylvania to thank you for joining us, to have the public library of new york joining with us, sharing our freedoms that written down in a document that is 225 years old. people from around the world are going to come and see, that will immigrate to this country and become citizens of this country because they believe in this constitution, and those 10 commitments. [applause] >> thank you governor, for that superb encapsulation of the natural rights philosophy of the founders. we are grateful for your engagement with the constitution center in your negotiations with our friends at the public library.
it is now my special pleasure to introduce tony marx, the president and ceo of the new york public library, working with the commonwealth of pennsylvania and the national constitution center, helping shepherd the agreement that brought us here today. he believes the near public library is an educational constitution. to spread the constitution education. we are here to celebrate the new york public library public spirit, coming to this agreement because of our joint interest in displaying the bill of rights to the public. when the constituting liberty exhibit opens later this year, citizens around the country can be inspired by the document and learn about the ideas it embodies. please join me in welcoming tony
marx. [applause] >> thank you. it is good to be here in this fabulous city in the commonwealth, to be in this fabulous facility, and partnering with you all. i understand president clinton was chairing the board of the national prostitution center, suggested as the current share governor bush, it's other has to be a way for all citizens to enjoy this document, that we should find a way to make that possible, to share it in that sense.
here tonight, we celebrate the bipartisanship and agreement of the public interest of clintons and bushes together. i want to thank our trustees and donors who have made this exhibit possible through their support of the library and the encasement for the bill of rights. i want to thank my team at the new york public library has been working tirelessly around-the-clock through weekends, or months now. the library has been a great steward of this document for over a century. we continue to be great stewards of this document. we are pleased to can be shared and viewed here in philadelphia as well. we will be putting it on display
at the near public library together with all of our treasures, for anyone to see. we hope every school child in new york will come visit, our copy of jefferson's declaration of independence, these documents are not just artifacts of history, they are movers of history. when i came to the near public library and asked about our collections, i was told about this document. i said i'm the president, i want to see it. they took it out. my first reaction is exactly the first reaction every one of you will have, and every citizen and school child and tourist will have, which is spine-tingling.
to have the sense, that george washington looked at this piece of paper, approved the copy, and said send it out for ratification, so the people of america could decide on their own rights. there was a second reaction i had when i to the careful look. i have a phd in political science. i looked at the document and i said i don't know, i think you have been had. i'm pretty sure there are only 10 amendments. this has 12. it took seeing the document for me to learn, and i am sure i will not be alone, that we sent 12 out for ratification, and only 10 survived.
we have the best preserved copy there is. the ratification process got rid of the two stupid proposals. if not for that process, we would have at a bill of rights that ensured a congress of 6000 members. that would have been good. [laughter] and, in the bill of rights, a guarantee of how much the members of congress would be paid. that surely deserves to be in the first 10 rights. this document teaches. it teaches how democracy works. it teaches at its beginning that democracy can make the right decisions. collectively, we can separate the two that don't belong from the 10 that we celebrate today.
we hope that this display, and the display for this document, and its related documents around the country, will continue to aspire generations to learn, to debate, to respect. i am not a governor. i am not a justice. i'm a citizen. i know one thing. if history tells us one thing, in the decades ahead, there will be hard times. there will be crises, there will be fears. they will challenge our beliefs. if the display of this document is some small way here in philadelphia helps to remind us to hold to those truths, to those principles and rights that will see us through whatever dark days may come, and what we do here today will be well worth while.
thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, tony. we are thrilled by our collaboration. thrilled to share this joint commitment to constitutional education. it is now my great pleasure to introduce my friend and co-author, david rubenstein. david rubenstein has generously lent us a stone declaration of independence. perhaps he will tell us about the prominence of that copy. he came to the national constitution center last fall. i decided to interview him about the relationship between the constitution of the declaration of the bill of rights. our conversation was so riveting.
he has such a gift for explaining the ideas that animate these founding documents to his students of all ages. we decided to transcribe the conversation and to write it up, to use it as the script for the exhibit you will see. this is the real reason i have gathered you. to use it as the introduction to our national constitution center pocket constitution and create a pamphlet we will distribute in the gallery and online on our incredible site that will make this available to students across the land, so they can read in clear language about how the rights were implicit in the constitution and codified in the bill of rights. i have so enjoyed being your co-author, and i'm so grateful to you for your patriotic philanthropy and your engagement
with the national constitution center. please join me in welcoming david rubenstein. [applause] >> last week and i have the honor at the smithsonian to interview a man named jim . you may know of him. he was the pilot on apollo 13. you have seen the movie. i asked him, did nasa know 13 is an unlucky number? i went through the apollo 13. you have seen the movie. i asked him about apollo eight. apollo eight was the first time that any human had ever left the orbit of the earth and had gone into another being's orbit. some of you may remember this.
at the end of 1968, a difficult year. he and his copilot became the man of the year for "time" magazine. as they went around the dark side of the moon, they came around and saw an earthrise. no one had ever seen earthrise before. they saw the earth in its beauty, it's blue and white. no human had ever seen the earth in that picture before. 240,000 miles away. he put his thumb up and realized that the sum was able to block the entire earth. -- thumb was able to block the entire earth. he realized, how small and insignificant the earth really is. what is the likelihood that life would exist on any one planet, any one solar system, anyone galaxy? as i thought about it, i thought it is similar to bringing 57 human beings together, in philadelphia, for four months, and telling them to come up with a new way to govern this country.
the odds were about the same. one in a billion. one in a billion there is human life somewhere else. one in a billion you could get people to come up with a new system of governing that is still operating more or less. before the constitution was developed, there had never been anything like it. since then, there has been nothing like it. we are still operating largely through that constitution. i think that constitution, because of its guarantees and the structure of the government, and able this country to become what it has become. think about this. they were told they had to stay most of the summer. they did. three of them did not sign it. why didn't they?
three of them said, randolph from virginia, mason from virginia, and square friday massachusetts, they said there's no bill of rights. there's no bill of rights, there's no guarantee of the certain freedoms we need to have. in a ratification process, and it was not certain this document would be ratified. it was not not certain at all. the process was very difficult. it was only ratified because there was a bill of rights, going to be a bill of rights. it was agreed there would be a bill of rights. james madison, who worked very hard, he set upon to be a member of the first house of representatives, and he drafted, actually not 12 amendments, he drafted 39 amendments. 12 of them got through both houses. they ultimately went to the states and they became part of our system of government. without those bill of rights, i
think our constitution wouldn't be quite what it is. it's a very unique set of freedoms and rights. i think all of us are privileged to live in a country that has these rights and these freedoms, and i think everybody should think about how unusual it is that in a country like this, all of us who have risen up from modest circumstances, could rise up and do what we've done, probably protected by the freedoms and the bill of rights by the extraordinary systems that the constitution really developed for our government. the constitution had a fatal flaw in many ways. in addition to not having a bill of rights, it dent have an adequate way to address slavery. we suffered consequences after many years and the civil war occurred in which we're still dealing with the consequences. that exception aside, and it's a terrible exception, the constitution is an incredible living document, one that has given us the country that i think we have. what i'd like to briefly talk about is one thing he mentioned in the declaration of independence as well. they both try to do something the same type of thing. they both try to overthrow a government.
one peacefully, one by violence, more or less by war. the declaration of independence also in philadelphia was drafted by thomas jefferson. and he was given 17 days to do it, and he did it, like most people, the last three or four days. he waited till the end. he gave it to committee to edit. it was edited modestly by benjamin franklin, john adams and a few others. then he waited for it to be voted on. july 2, the second continental congress voted on independence, and john adams wrote home to his wife and said today will be the day that remembers -- we will remember in american history forever. today is the day we'll celebrate forever, july 2. because that was the day that they voted to be independent. they then took up the document that thomas jefferson had drafted. and in his view, they mutilated it. he sat mute because he didn't like the public talk. as president of the united states, he only made one public speech.
he had a high, squeaky voice, not a very good speaker, so he never spoke in public very much, and he didn't speak that day. he later sent the document to his friend and said don't you think my document is better than what they came up with. but ultimately they agreed on july 4. then they went next door to a presenter, and they said would you print up up 200 copies of this document so one can go to the king of england, one can go to george washington to read to the troops, and one can throughout the states and people know why we're independent. that document, the most famous sentence in the english language occurred. people -- the most famous sentence -- it became the guiding spirit for our country -- we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. they are endowed certain unalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. and all people are created equal -- obviously, not at the time
because they were slavery and women cannot vote, but in guiding principle. while we still haven't achieved it perfectly, i think we're making better progress than any other country aat the time. after mister dunlop distributed the document, it was decided that the -- the numbers would come back and they would actually sign it. they came back in august and actually signed the declaration of independence. john quincy adams said we had to make a perfect copy because it was going to fade. it was almost burned in the war of 1812 in the british were invading. but it was fading, and so they made a -- 200 perfect copies. they are called stone copies, after the printer, mister stone. whenever you see in the "new york times" a copy of
the declaration of independence, what you're seeing is a stone copy. it took half an, ruining further the original declaration of independence, but now we have that copy and people can see it. the declaration of independence was designed to overthrow the government in a peaceful way. let me just conclude by making two points. one, i have the privilege of knowing many people who served as president of the united states. i worked in the white house, for one, and i have gotten to know others. i have known for years george hw bush. and i would say he is, by far, the nicest person who has ever served the united states. and that i have ever met. he is actually the nicest person i ever met, that the nicest president.
he is a person who has enormous generosity for other people, enormous compassion for other people, extraordinarily talented, and a person who is obviously a great american. had he been around in the 1700's, hhe would have been a founding father. there is no doubt in my mind that he would've been the type of person that the states would have said -- you have to go work on the constitution. i think he would've been a spectacular founding father. today, i just want to pay my respects to him, as well. because he is a man extraordinary in what he has done for our country and the kind of person you could say -- well, what are the founding fathers like? if you had gone to know george's story was, you would know what the founding fathers were like. and i want to remind people of the great history that we have in this country. giving back to this country, and
reminding people that -- in places like this -- it is important to give your time and your money. we cannot let our children and our grandchildren forget about our history. so few children know about the american revolution. so few know about the declaration of independence, the constitution, the bill of rights. to the extent that any of you have time, energy, money -- and you could contribute back to the country in giving an awareness of these kind of things -- the constitution, i regarded as a very important philanthropy thing. when john kennedy gave his inaugural address, you all remember what he said -- ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth and lead the land we love with his blessing and his health, but knowing that on earth, god's work is our own. god's view, in my view, is reminding the people of the great freedoms we have because of the constitution, the bill of rights, and the freedoms we have. i think we are doing god's work on earth. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, david. david mentioned that there was one wrong that had to be read in the original constitution and
that would be slavery. well, i'm about to put david to work again. because the 13th amendment -- which turns 150 next year -- that abolishes slavery, we will have another conversation about this. we are going to publish another pamphlet, and then, ladies and gentlemen, here's what i want to do. i want to create the only gallery committed to the constitutional legacy of reconstruction in america. so we are going to have three copies of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. we are going to combine them with civil war artifacts in the civil war museum of philadelphia. and i think it would be thrilling to teach americans that the reconstruction amendments are just as essential to our constitution tradition as the bill of rights. it is now my great honor to introduce our keynote speaker -- justice samuel alito. he is our admired circuit
justice here in the third circuit, where he sat before coming the associate justice in 2006. he is a devoted friend of pennsylvania, and of the third circuit. he gave a keynote address in hershey last spring, which was one of the most funny after dinner speeches i've ever heard. he came with us to new haven last weekend, iin which he participated in what sounded like a pretty raucous panel law school. he was asked, according to the "washington post", what was the most inspirational book you've ever read -- an excellent line. justice alito is both respected and feared by supreme court
advocates because he is the one who always asks the most pointed and relevant questions that get to the heart of the case. we are honored that he is here tonight. and his wonderful and vivacious wife -- please join me in welcoming justice samuel alito. [applause] >> well, thank you, jeff, for the wonderful introduction. thank you for inviting me here. it is wonderful to be a part of this celebration. this is a great event. when i was invited and i leapt
at the opportunity to come, what came to my mind were a number of connections between things that are relevant to tonight's event. i'm going to speak for just a short time, but what i do want to talk about is some of those connections. the first are personal, so i hope you will pardon me if i begin with a couple of personal -- personal connections to tonight's events. this has been an important event for the work i have done. for many years, i have been deciding cases involving the bill of rights, and i have been looking at the most pocket versions of the pocket constitutions like this. their version of the bill of rights is actually what was adopted by congress and ratified by the states. so, today i have the opportunity to look at an original. and to verify that there really aren't any discrepancies. which is important to me.
[laughter] another personal connection is that in 1990, i was appointed to the u.s. court of appeals for the third circuit. a wonderful court which is headquartered at across the street by president george hw bush. i'm grateful for him for giving me that opportunity. as a result of that, i spent a lot of very satisfying days in this historic city and in this historic part of the city. and i learned something interesting to me, personally, during my confirmation period. not a period i would like to relive, but they hired a genealogist for my family. one of the things that was discovered was that my paternal grandmother and my father came to the united states to philadelphia. so they landed here just a short distance away at the port of philadelphia.
so philadelphia is meaningful to me for those reasons. now those are just personal connections. when i want to talk about our connections between what we are celebrating here today, which is the exhibit of an original copy of the bill of rights, and today's events. what i want to talk about our connections between the bill of rights and two great historic american cities. and also, connections between the bill of rights and the president. now, you can probably guess which cities in which president i'm going to talk about. the first of the cities as new york, which is of course connected to this event because the new york public library has very graciously loaned its copy of the bill of rights to be eexhibited here. and i'm sure we are all very grateful to that great
institution for allowing that to happen. but there is another very important connection to the city of new york. new york was our nations capital in 1789, when congress adapted the amendments that later became the bill of rights. and sent those amendments to the states for ratification. so, new york city can claim the title as -- of the birthplace of the bill of rights. the other city, of course, is philadelphia. that is where this copy of the bill of rights is going to be exhibited in the national constitution center. but philadelphia also has deeper connections to the bill of rights. most of these, i think, have already been mentioned. but i think they deserve repetition. first of all, the seed that became the bill of rights was planted here in philadelphia in 1776, when a continental congress adopted the declaration of independence.
as we all know, the declaration of independence proclaims that every person has certain unalienable rights. and the bill of rights codifies the promises -- the bill of rights also represents the completion of the work that was done across the street in independence hall during the hot summer of 1787. that, of course, was -- at the body of our constitution -- was adopted and sent to the states for ratification. when the body of the constitution was completed, there were those who thought that it was not complete. that the new, more powerful federal government that was created by the constitution would threaten the liberty of
the people and, therefore, they thought it was imperative that there be explicit guarantees of rights in the constitution. on the other hand, there were those who thought that the structure of the new government frames by the constitution -- the limitation of federal authority, the separation of powers, the system of dual sovereignty -- provided sufficient protection for the rights of the people. both of those groups are powerful. and ultimately what occurred was a compromise. the constitution was ratified -- but as david reminded us -- it was reminded on the understanding that a bill of rights would be promptly framed and adopted. and that is what happened. today, we can see that both of those groups were perceptive. on the one hand, the government has grown to a size that the founding generation could never have imagined. and the bill of rights is
rightly needed to keep the federal government and the state governments in check. to make sure that they do not violate precious individual rights. at the same time, however, without the governmental structure that the constitution created, the bill of rights would be like an arm without a body. the constitutional provisions protecting individual rights are worse than useless if they are not backed up by a governmental structure to enforce those rights. and that brings me to the third connection between the bill of rights and the city of philadelphia. by the time the first 10 amendments were ratified, the national capital had moved from new york to philadelphia. and it was here, right across the street, that the supreme court heard its first cases. they had met in a very brief session in new york and adopted some internal rules, but after that, the capital moves to philadelphia.
the supreme court moved to philadelphia. the supreme court credits for its cases across the street in the summer of 1791. and it was not long after that, in the mid-7090's, that the court began to hear -- mid-1790's -- that the court began to hear the bill of rights. this bring me to the president to whom i refer. and i don't think it is a mystery who i'm talking about. i am talking about president george herbert walker bush. what is this connection here? first of all, of course, we have witnessed the unveiling of the president george h dubya bush gallery. and so that is a connection. but there are two others i want to talk about. the first is something of a curiosity, and it relates to things that have been discussed. the amendments that we call the bill of rights were sent to the states for ratification on september 25, 1789.
congress sent 12 amendments to the states, bbut the states originally ratified only 10 amendments -- 13 through 12. the first of the amendments that were added are certainly true. the first to really don't seem to fit in with what we know as the bill of rights. the first one, which concern the proposition of the house of representatives, is still out there. it has not been ratified, and probably never will be. [laughter] the second, which also does not fit as we were reminded with the provisions of the bill of rights, however, had a different history. it was finally ratified by the requisite number of states on may 7, 1992. 200+ years after it was originally sent out by congress. it has to do with congressional pay. it provides that if congress gives itself a pay raise, it
won't take effect until another election. but in any event, we know who is president of the united states on may 7, 1992. and that was president george hw bush. so that is a connection between him and the bill of rights. the second also contains a date, but it is much more than a curiosity. president bush was in office on the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the bill of rights. december 12, 1991. and he took dedication to point out something that is very important. mainly, the connection between our bill of rights and the rights of people everywhere. for a long time, our constitution gave us a declaration of rights that actually had teeth. and that is what is unique about our bill of rights. it actually has teeth. it is actually put into operation.
it is actually enforced. for a long time, that concept was an oddity. for more than 150 years, the idea that a legislative act is void -- if it infringes the rights of people -- found very few adherents anywhere else in the world. but world war ii, where president george hw bush fought with great distinction as a pilot to change that -- the enormity of the evil that was perpetrated by the third reich, uunder the veneer of legality, prompted people throughout the world to rethink the question of rights. and the american idea of an enforceable bill of rights began to catch on. all the former axis powers, after world war ii, adopt a new democratic constitutions that provide the constitutionality of
government tax. -- acts. then, after the collapse of the soviet union and the warsaw pact during president bush's term in office, the newly liberated nations of eastern europe followed suit. in his proclamation on the 200th anniversary of the bill of rights, on december 12, 1991, president bush noted that the principles enshrined in the bill of rights inspired the advance of freedom around the globe. when president bush issue that proclamation, a great event in the history of human rights was just three days away. and i'm sure that this event was
on president bush's mind when he issue that proclamation. on december 15, the soviet union was officially dissolved. and president bush was able to say in his proclamation that -- today, we stand closer than ever to achieving universal respect for human rights. well, 23 years later, universal respect for human rights may not seem quite so close as it was in 1991. but still, the promise of the bill of rights endures. and i hope that this display of the bill of rights will help, if only in a small way, to move us closer to that goal. when visitors look at this document, hope the experience will lead to a greater appreciation of our constitutional rights. and that it will inspire the public to work to preserve those rights. constitutional rights -- the precious freedoms that are protected by the bill of rights
-- are always fragile. they are always threatened. the judiciary and others in government have a role to play in protecting those rights, bbut as a great jurist, a new yorker, wrote -- liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. may this exhibit fan the flame of liberty in the hearts of all who see it in the upcoming years. thank you very much. [applause]
>> justice, thank you so much for that inspiring, substantive speech. which so thoughtfully explore the relation between the structural provisions of the constitution and the rights that were integrated. i love the metaphor of the constitution and the bill of rights like an arm without a body. and the implications of the bill of rights throughout the globe. and the justices point of how the post-world war ii powers adopted u.s. provisions. you now have the opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, in previewing the exhibit, to check out the interactive. you can see that john r. macarthur literally copy and pasted it from the japanese constitution. we are very thrilled about this project. this has been a literal instantiation of the mission of the center to unite people from all perspectives across the country. to visit, learn, debate, and
most important of all,to participate in our shared enterprise of constitutional education and celebration of the documents that bind and unite us as americans -- the constitution, the declaration, and the bill of rights. i'm now going to welcome back to members of the philadelphia orchestra. please join us in previewing the new gallery. and thank you for joining me on this magnificent evening. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] ♪
tonight on c-span, scientists and activists discuss the latest trends in energy technology at problems created by climate change. we hear comments from mike phillips of the turner endangered species foundation, who explains how using more renewable energy sources can help address the rapid extinction of species around the world. see those comments tonight at 8:00 eastern. , it is booktv in primetime. first, tavis smiley looks at his book, "death of a king." "stokely, a life." finally, cornell west and "black prophetic fire."
tomorrow on "washington journal mccormally. issues affecting college athletic programs, and what changes collegiate policy makers aiming to make such as movement to unionized layers. thus, your phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets. live saturday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. sunday on q&a, "washington checker on the biggest pinocchio's of 2014. >> democrats tend to get a little more upset at this
because i think they have bought into the myth of a liberal media , and they think the media is on their side, whereas republicans firmly believe in the myth of the liberal media. -- they kind of expect it is a reporter from the "washington post" calling -- they are not going to be fair to me. i hope over the last four years i have done enough back and forth, treated with parties with that people have come to say ok, you are something we can do business with. i know that the senate majority ,ac affiliated with harry reid they stopped answering my questions midway through the campaign season because they felt they were not getting a
fair shake from me. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> the moving picture institute produces and collaborates on films dealing with freedom, liberty, government waste and corruption. the vice president recently incussed conservative values films and pop-culture activism at the conservative form of silicon valley. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> ronald reagan once said freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. we didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. it must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same. make no mistake, we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our children.
the battle for those who would diminish our freedoms. one of the battlefront is our popular culture. movies, television shows, books, websites, and now social media that entertain our young. at the same time, teach them so much about the world around them. there's no doubt the left understands this. the attitudes at the least progressives are all over modern popular culture. you could see it in the movies and tv shows being made, marketed, and sold in the 21st-century america. sometimes it seems you cannot go to the movies these days without being assaulted by left wing propaganda. it is ranked to see film that celebrates america and its exceptional heritage rather than denigrating it and highlighting its mistakes. or a movie that portrays american soldiers as honorable heroes that they are rather than crazed sadistic tillers -- kille
rs. is it too much to ask to debate a successful businessman as an important resident -- citizen in his community? i don't think these are unreasonable requests. i suspect neither does our guest speaker tonight, mr. adam guillette. he has run a foundation called the moving picture institute or mpi for short. they great films that celebrate such conservative, bedrock principles as liberty, individual rights, limited government, and free markets. mpi has helped launch the careers or support dozens of independent film makers who are passionate about telling stories about freedom. in short, mpi promotes freedom through film. he is a veteran and ongoing fight for liberty. in 2004, he joined the
leadership faculty and spent several years traveling to help the organization in its mission to identify and train free-market activists. three years later, he launched the florida chapter, a nationwide grassroots organization whose 2.3 million citizen activists advocate for limited government and for regulatory restraint. something that is in short supply in the age of obama. in 2011, he joined the moving picture institute as vice president of development. he has been featured on fox news channel, washington times, national review magazine, and even the reliably left centered your time to generally pay attention to conservatives to accuse us of racism or sexism. he has been on the front lines of the battle over popular
culture. i'm delighted he is here to tell us how conservatives could you storytelling to advance the cause of -- could use storytelling to advance the cause of liberty. please help me welcome adam guillette. [applause] >> thank you, sir. how is everybody doing tonight? calm down with enthusiasm. i'm adam guillette with the moving picture institute. we are promoting liberty because we believe film more effectively than any other medium could bring the idea of freedom to life. we do filmmaking. we do videos, all kinds of stuff. it boils down to storytelling. this is a tactic you could do whether you are a filmmaker or not. effectively advance your believes for more effectively by telling stories them by simply
listing the facts. for years since our side has been consistently viewed as a quantitative, logical folks, we think if we stack up the facts, we could prove we are right and victory will fall to us like right fruit -- ripe fruit from the vine. does that work? no. the other side uses emotional appeals and we have been destroyed. we could make an argument of how big government health care is a terrible idea. it is a wasteful idea. stuck up the facts and persuade people it is terrible. the left will come in and say what about that single mother over here. are we going to do something for her? an entire debate has been lost. storytelling, leading with emotional appeals is the effectively to reach people. people make decisions based on emotions and look at the facts to back up those emotions they have made. you choose to go out and splurge
on a new car. that is an emotional decision you back up and say, well, i did x, y, and z. i think i justified the car. unfortunately for young people and low information voters, these are folks who carefully -- aren't folks who carefully study the political issues before making decisions. these are folks you could reach with storytelling. what is storytelling? what is not storytelling? storytelling is not interviewing grover norquist in an office. it is usually policy officials being interviewed. i've got nothing against offices. but that is not interesting. it is not entertaining. it won't bring in people. storytelling is not stacking up all of the statistics, facts, and graphs.
people will fall asleep. they will turn and walk away. the only way i think you could get this to work is if you distract people like in clockwork orange and force-feed information. we cannot do that. we are not in favor of that. what do we do instead? we end up ranting and complaining to our friends. we overwhelm them with information and typically come across like these people. [laughter] with apologies to my gluten-free friends in the audience. that is how we end up coming across. i write. i have got the statistic. i know i'm right. i've got the statistic. when you go in and start arguing, instinctively the brain releases endorphins and they dig in their heels and they don't want to listen to you.
there is a better way. it is storytelling. it is how we have created -- communicated ideas for thousands of years. storytellers would travel it -- traveled from village to village. if they had to memorize facts, that would be impossible. instead they remembered stories and the main events would be conveyed through the stories. that is how ideas came across. storytelling is a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine goes down. we would never suggest you ignore the facts and information, but rather leave with a motion, leave with the information and supplement it with facts. this was perhaps best explained by the political philosophy --
philosopher using food as an example. >> you could eat a care with an onion ring -- [laughter] >> that is exactly what storytelling is. you are entertaining them. capturing them emotionally. once you have captured them, deliver the ideas. we are not the first to come up with these strategies. this lady -- anyone seen her before? that is correct. when ayn rand wanted to write, you could've written nonfiction. that instead she embraced storytelling. she wrote "atlas shrugged," which still sells millions of copies today. she conveyed her political philosophy through a story instead of listing fax. when god wanted to write the definitive statement, he could've written the 3,255,000 commandments. i don't think it would have spread like wildfire.
instead he wrote the bible and conveyed his belief systems through more stories. becoming so successful it may have spawned sequels depending on who you ask. even before that, you had things like the brothers grimm and hans christian anderson. fables we learned as kids. they taught us through stories to advance morals. they didn't sit down and say share is good. stealing is bad -- unless you are the government. instead we learned fables and it was conveyed that way and it was much better at conveying the information. this is all obvious to us. instead in terms of clinical tacticians, you see -- i'm sorry had to look at that after you a you see the james
camerons and michael moores of the world. they are leading in this ideology. i see james cameron is a much bigger threat than michael moore. michael moore -- you know what you're going to get in terms of ideology. james cameron makes mainstream films. you does alien, titanic, avatar. while you are there, subversively, he delivers his ideology. he delivers his ideology. you noticed titanic, every wealthy person on the boat except kathy bates is greedy, selfish, bad people. every single poor person on the boat is the most kindhearted person you have ever met in your life. when you look at alien and avatar, who are the villains? corporate leaders. for the average american, they may never encounter a big corporate ceo. they're not running it to
fortune 500 liters on the street. from -- 500 leaders on the street. when you run a candidate for the presidency who has got a background in business, the guy -- i would rather live in a world where you have experience creating jobs, you are up five point based on that background. but they have been so powerful -- [applause] -- that it is the other way around. that is the power of culture. we complain about hollywood. rather than ignoring an important tool, we should embrace it. the best person on their side was referenced in the video. one of the most influential people today politically. and that more than half the you have never heard of the guy. he founded ebay. a small company that went on to success. despite creating one of the biggest free markets, this guy
ate with us ideologically. instead of maxing out candidates and knocking on doors, instead of doing that, he created a hollywood production company to reach the masses. these guys churned out film after film. by the way, "promised land" one of the best examples. a narrative film with matt damon. it wasn't a documentary. a film about fracking and how it is awful in all of that. true story. anyone know who helped finance it? it got abu dhabi. what do they do?
they co-fund a film with an a-list actor. all of these films to advance his beliefs. it has got explosions. it was really about how mandatory minimum sentences are a bad idea. he goes back education reform. he supported waiting for superman. on nearly all the major issues, he is not one of us. they don't just release these films and hope for the best. no. they create social action campaigns for them. after you see an inconvenient truth, they direct you to the website. takepart.com. immediately, they give you action items of what you could do from the comfort of your home to advance your beliefs based on the film you just saw.
you could click here to send a message to your elected official and your district about how we need to take on climate change. you could click the policy from the sierra club. they are taking casual moviegoers and turning them into effective activist just like that. doesn't matter if they were indoctrinated in schools or not. the people watching these films are affected emotionally. when they get home, they are engaging in activism for the other side. they are brilliant at it. i have never met a perfectly good idea that it wasn't willing to make my own. that is what we need to do. amazing stories to be told on our side. stories of entrepreneurs being blocked from achieving the american dream by regulators. stories of kids in inner cities being denied good education
opportunities by union bucks. these stories could be backed up. these are the stories that need to be told. that is what i challenge you to do tonight. when you are talking to friends about issues and speaking at an event and knocking on doors, i challenge you to embrace storytelling. use those tactics instead of reciting facts. there are some key characteristics i would suggest. it is those great to have someone relatable. promote operative rights. we backed a film called "battle for brooklyn" about eminent domain. if you say to your apolitical friends -- some of us have them
-- if you have got them, you say, i'd like to talk to you >> what are they going to say? my wife is waiting for me. but this is something storytelling can do. we backed a guy about daniel goldstein. not a political guy, not an expert on property rights. probably a liberal. but they government bureaucrats were teaming up with political crony businessman to seize his property in brooklyn via eminent domain abuse to give it to developers to build a basketball arena. unbelievable story. so he was the perfect hero. he was not the only one in the fight, but he was authentic. not a political type. he is an everyman. it works for the same reason that letters to the editor are more effective than editorials. we get irritated by editorials. because they are written by some left wing blowhard every time.