Sean Hannity CANCELS Geraldo Rivera

>>Geraldo has disagreed with other personalities
on Fox News when it comes to war with Iran. In fact, there was a video that went viral,
where he is saying it’s a terrible idea to escalate tensions with Iran and Brian Kilmeade
went at it with him. Now, recently he was supposed to make an appearance
on Hannity show, but that appearance was cancelled. And it seems like it was cancelled specifically
because Geraldo was gonna continue making the case that war with Iran is a bad idea. So he starts off with this tweet. Urging Donald Trump to keep his powder dry,
please don’t let this spin out of control. You can always hit them back. Please don’t let this become an escalating,
you hit me, I hit you back harder until we have another full blown, bloody Mid East war
on our hands. What would we win? And so then he ends up responding to someone
who apparently liked his tweet and he says, thanks. I’ll be on with Sean Hannity tonight counseling
restraint and talking about these deeply disturbing developments. And then later he said, Nevermind, Hannity
just canceled me. And I just like to end this whole exchange
with Malcolm Fleschner tweet, cancel culture strikes again.>>I really liked that tweet. So look, before we open this up for discussion,
I just wanna remind you of how passionately Geraldo feels about avoiding war with Iran. This was a segment that Fox had earlier. Take a look.>>Now we have taken this huge military escalation. Now I fear the worst. You’re gonna see the US markets go crazy today. You’re gonna see the price of oil spiking
today. This is a very, very big deal.>>And I don’t know if you heard
>>But this isn’t about his resume of blood and death, it is about what was next. We stopped the next attack, that’s what I
think you’re missing.>>According to the Secretary of State.>>By what credible source,
>>Okay.>>Can you predict what the next Iranian move
would be?>>They’ve been excellent, the US Intelligence
has been excellent since 2003, when we invaded Iraq, disrupted the entire region for no real
reason. Don’t for a minute start cheering this on. What you have done, what we have done, we
have unleashed.>>I will cheer
>>Then you, like Lindsay Graham, have never met a war you didn’t like.>>That is not true, and don’t even say that.>>If President Trump wanted de-escalation-
>>We should just let him kill us for another 15 years.>>If President Trump wanted de-escalation
and to bring our troops home. What this was a reaction to-
>>What about the 700 Americans who are dead? Should they not be happy because of him?>>What about the tens of thousands of Iraqis
who have died since 2003? You have to start seeing things. What the hell are we doing in Baghdad in the
first place? Why are we there? Why aren’t these forces home?>>You’re blaming President Bush for the maniacal
killing of Saddam Hussein?>>I am blaming President Bush in 2003 for
those fake weapons of mass destruction that never existed and the con job that drove us
into that war.>>Listen, you gotta give people credit when
they’re right, and Geraldo was right there. I think that he took a strong position. I also give Geraldo credit for consistently
speaking out against Donald Trump’s disgusting immigration policies on Fox. I’m sure that’s not an easy environment to
share your accurate opinions in. But yeah, so Hannity canceled. Now, who knows? Maybe they canceled him to maybe replace that
segment with something that involves a legal analyst or?>>I don’t know, should we give Hannity the
benefit of the doubt?>>Hannity did not want any of that smoke. He’s like man, I saw what you did to kill
me. And I don’t think any more clearly than he
does. His producers probably said hey, we’re gonna
go ahead and cancel Geraldo because first off, Geraldo’s only mistake was revealing
what he wanted to do that night. When he talked to the person who retweeted
him or liked it and he goes, thanks I’m gonna be on later to make sure I council against
this. They’re like no that’s not the agenda tonight. That’s not what we’re on board for. Of course, yes again we’re speculating. But I mean, if it’s not the case, go and let
us know what the other difference was. I mean, they canceled on me tonight so I can’t
come on and say what I had to say. So I mean, again, what’ll happen is you end
up revealing what your real intentions are and what your real beliefs are. And people on the region are like, well, 700
Americans were lost. You don’t care about the Americans being lost
when it comes to anything else except for pursuing war. And then so, of course, when Geraldo brings
up the tens of thousands of Iraqis dying, there’s no answer to that. Those aren’t real people? Those are casualties of war. Or when we talk about how we wanna make sure
we keep American troops out of harm’s way. They go hey, well American troops they signed
up for it. They knew what they were getting themselves
into. Somehow when it comes to having any kinda
empathy towards people it’s all based on whether or not you’re falling not behind this president
and his line of ridiculousness. Secondly, Geraldo use Trump’s talking point
about we gotta get out of these stupid wars. You can’t follow a guy who continues to contradict
his own agenda and policies throughout his presidency.>>Right, exactly. And look, it’s hilarious to me to hear anyone
on Fox News or even anyone in cable news talk about how egregious it is or how much of an
injustice it is when Americans die. When in our own country they constantly push
for domestic policy that leads to more Americans dying.>>Totally, my god.>>I mean, how many American die every year
because they don’t have adequate health insurance? And they will attack Universal Healthcare,
over and over again. They’ll talk about how we can’t afford it,
can’t pay for it. When it comes to beating that war-drum, by
the way, which is the most expensive policy to support, they’re all for it. They don’t care about American lives. American’s overall, just like troops are nothing
more than pawns, nothing more than props, that these lowly individuals use to make their
arguments when it’s convenient for them. But when push comes to shove, you think they
really care about the lives of Americans? How about all those segments that Fox News
has done on homeless people? Do they care about them? They defame them, they slander them as dead
beats, as druggists, as all sorts of things. They don’t care about human lives. What cares about is appeasing Trump, making
sure that Trump is happy with him. Because you never know, you might lose access
to Trump if you criticize him. And you might not be able to get a job in
Trump’s administration. We all know that Trump likes to pick people
out of Fox News. So it’s just gross. And look, not to get too leftist, I guess,
whatever you wanna call it. But that’s what capitalism is, that’s what
capitalism does. It’s all about profit, it’s all about ensuring
that you have the upper hand and you increase your chances of making more money, right? That’s what happens in our media all the time,
right?>>Making money and being a tough guy, that’s
the other part of it. Even people who don’t have, I guess, the interests
for lining their pockets. It’s, hey, we’re tough guys, we’re America. Hey, we don’t let them F with us like this. Hey, you’re not gonna say that to me. There’s a superiority complex that we have
from the moment that we’re born that says, we have to make sure that we talk about how
much better we are than you no matter what. You can be on the lowest totem pole in America. But you’re like, I’m an American, I’m better
than you. But your life actually has nothing to do with
this American dream that they’ve sold you. That you’re supposed to somehow pursue. And one more thing that they don’t care about
lives for is school shootings, mass shootings, Car Club shootings. We don’t care about that stuff, thoughts and
prayers. What bombs we dropping on people to stop that
from happening? American lives are being lost every day. You don’t care about American lives.>>Again, it’s just something that they cite
when it’s convenient to them to support a policy that’s horrendous, usually. And, in this case, it’s escalated tensions
and war with Iran. So, again, credit where credit is due. I think Geraldo is doing a good job. And I think that he should be proud of the
fact that Hannity canceled his appearance, right? Look, I don’t know what his future is gonna
look like. Obviously, Shep Smith, who had the audacity
to speak the truth every once in a while on Fox News is no longer there. But we know what Fox News is, Geraldo knows
what Fox News is. I don’t agree with Geraldo on many issues. But if you have any integrity and you actually
want to share truthful analysis with an audience, Fox News is not the place to do it. You’re hardly even seen on cable news shows
period, much less on Fox News.

AOC Takes A Shot At Biden

>>Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
fired a shot at Joe Biden. This was when she was asked about a Biden
presidency to which she responded, God.>>In any other country, Joe Biden and I would
not be in the same party, but in America, we are. Now this was in an interview with New York
Magazine. I wanna give you some more context so first,
let’s take a quick look at the article itself. One Year in Washington, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
reshaped her party’s agenda, resuscitated Bernie Sanders’s campaign and hardly has a
friend in town. But let me just be clear about something. She might not have many friends in the Washington
establishment, but she has a lot of constituents and voters who are rooting for her and we’re
certainly among them. Now here’s how that line came up in the article. She said the Congressional Progressive Caucus
should start kicking people out if they stray too far from the party line. Other caucuses within the Democratic Party
in Congress require applications, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out. But they let anybody who the cat dragged in
call themselves a progressive. There’s no standard, she said. And I totally agree with her on that. I mean, we had Democratic presidential candidates
claiming that they were progressives while they were supporting fascist regimes in India. I mean, that’s not progressivism, like it’s
just->>Well, it’s easy to label yourself something,
yes.>>Yeah, exactly.>>And it’s easy to also imply that you support
the same, like if I were to ask you who among the Democratic primary contenders supports
the Green New Deal? Well, technically all of them, I guess, do
you think it means the same thing for all of them?>>Of course not.>>100% not, which is why we need to dig deeper.>>So she says the same goes for the party
as a whole. She was quoted as saying Democrats can be
too big of a tent. And we certainly know that. I know that this year in particular, when
I say this year I mean over the last six months, has been difficult in labeling myself a Democrat. Because there are members in Democratic leadership
who have enabled Donald Trump to an extent that I’m beyond uncomfortable with. And so identifying as part of the same party
has been incredibly difficult, but the way that the primaries are set up if you’re not
a registered Democrat in certain states, you cannot vote in the Democratic primary. And it’s gross that we have a system that
set up that way.>>Yeah, I hate that the party allows in people
who are so like at least ideologically violent to what it needs to accomplish for its constituents. But I feel like I identify with the Democratic
Party for the same reason AOC says that she has. We’re the actual Democrats, we embody the
spirit of the Democratic party going back way longer than the relatively recent neo-liberal
pro-corporatist thing that’s been, you know it’s been around for three or four decades,
but a big part of the Democratic Party and Democratic leadership. But farther back there, like, the part of
party that was able to get so many reforms for working Americans, that’s what the Democratic
Party needs to be. And just because some of these people are
running for office for the first time, and the party’s currently filled with these ghouls,
doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to take it back.>>Yeah, you’re right. And we need to fight aggressively for that. Now people were not happy with what Representative
Ocasio-Cortez had to say about Joe Biden, and her views on the Democratic Party having
too much, casting a giant tent when it comes to ideology. And so since people gave her crap about it,
she defended her analysis. And she said, quote, yeah, I don’t know why
people are up in arms about this. Many other countries have multiparty democracies,
where several parties come together in a coalition to govern. In another country, I’d be in a Labor Party. Our primary field would cover two to three
parties and she’s absolutely right about that. Look, people have this visceral reaction to
Ocasio-Cortez because she has this incredible ability to call out the Democratic Party for
its devastating flaws and be effective in doing it. And so I think that that’s a great defense
of the point that she was trying to make. But she should also know that there are people
who are intentionally being obtuse. Like there are people who are intentionally
pretending like they’re dumb and they don’t understand what she’s saying, she didn’t say
anything controversial there.>>Yeah, it’s just true, learn about other
countries, I don’t know what to tell you. But that she has that ability to call out
the Democratic Party and specifically Democratic leadership, while also showing how it should
be done. She’s not just a critic. She is driving the conversation. She is organizing people and getting people
involved in this. That’s why you’re gonna see so many candidates
that were, some inspired by Bernie Sanders, others inspired by AOC. She’s in there as a critic, but she’s also
showing the way it should be.>>Absolutely.

Is capitalism really natural | Video essay

“Capitalism is just human nature. That’s why it’s the best system.” We’ve all heard it being said before. Mostly in the context of someone suggesting
that capitalism isn’t perfect. Take any video talking about socialism, communism,
anarchism or anything that isn’t neoliberal capitalism, and someone in the comments will
tell you that that won’t work because Capitalism | is | natural. But is it? I don’t think so. But let’s start off by asking ourselves
“What is that even supposed to mean?” Let’s type the statement “Capitalism is
natural” into google and see what it suggests since that’s obviously what people are thinking
about. There we have it “capitalism is natural
selection” and that’s an actual argument used by many supporters of capitalism for
why it’s a natural system. “Since capitalism includes natural selection
it follows the laws of Darvin which makes it natural” On the surface this idea seems
to hold water. Capitalism famously takes companies and individuals,
ideally as many as possible, and makes them compete on the free market. They compete for customers if they are companies
and for jobs if they are individuals. So, everyone is constantly competing which
is natural and the best way a society can be run … right? Well I’d argue it’s definitely not the
best system. Actually a lot of resources are wasted on
the constant competition. Big cooperations have to invest huge sums
into advertising in order to be able to compete. “Ha” you may say “this is a big advantage
of competition because it means that companies have to constantly innovate and create newer
and better products for the people!”. This is a very common argument as well and
as luck would have it, I already made an entire video on why the free market doesn’t cause
innovation. In short it doesn’t because adverts are
cheaper. So competition is expensive and usually doesn’t
even produce innovation. At this point you may already be questioning
why we even bother with competition and the usual answer isn’t that we use it because
it’s the best possible system but because it’s the best current system we have. That’s a big difference. People rarely argue that capitalism is the
best system to ever be able to exist. They prefer to argue that it’s the best
system we have. This goes hand in hand with the fact that
every 5-year-old already knows that socialism supposedly killed at least one petabyte of
the people in the USSR. Of course, that’s not really true and I
made a video on that one as well. So the current argument usually goes: “Capitalism
is the best system because socialism is bad because it killed people and at least capitalism
doesn’t do that”. There are 2 problems with this statement. One is that the deaths caused by socialism
are usually greatly exaggerated as I mentioned before. The other is that capitalism isn’t a perfect
system either. Many people die each year because capitalism
isn’t able to support them. And yes of course I’ve made a video on that. And with the argument part of the statement
refuted there isn’t anything left besides “capitalism is the best system”. Also this argument assumes that there are
no other systems than socialism and capitalism which is a little odd considering capitalism
as we know it today wasn’t invented until the late 1770s but I just noticed that I’ve
gotten a little off topic. Back to the point. Is capitalism natural because it features
competition? Well. Not really. Of course competition is very common in nature
but often times it doesn’t take place between members of the same species. For example, plants will intentionally avoid
the leaves of other plants of the same genome, so they don’t need to waste energy competing
for nutrients or sunlight. This can be seen all over the animal kingdom
as well. Fish move in swarms because that’s the safest
for them. They don’t invest energy into changing their
colour so that predators will eat the other fish first. Meerkats socially bring up the young and hell
even humans cooperate like that. Think of the thanksgiving meal or your local
equivalent. One person makes the food and everyone get’s
to eat it. People don’t fight for it or compete. People cooperate and everyone profits. And of course in exchange the other people
around the table will do the housework but what they won’t do is ask to be paid for
any of that. Let’s take a step back and look at what
humans are. Not specifically now but what they where made
for. Back in the Environment of evolutionary adaption,
the EEA. It was the last time humans evolved naturally. If we want to determine if capitalism is human
nature it would make sense to look at what this nature is. Of course, it’s hard to determine what people
where like back then since we can’t ask and they wouldn’t invent writing for a few
thousand years. What we can do though is look at behaviours
that are universal around the world and across cultures. This way we avoid accidentally concluding
that women must naturally want to wear skirts just because some cultures do that. A core feature of humanity is the highly developed
social ability. People are incredibly good at learning and
remembering faces and keeping track of many social relationships. These relationships are very important to
humans which is why prolonged solitary confinement is considered a very severe punishment, even
torture in every culture and it’s outlawed in many countries for that exact reason. So the first thing is that humans are social. The next one is that humans are community
oriented. Those might sound similar but hear me out. Being social means wanting to be around other
members of the same species. Being community-oriented means considering
those other people as important enough to invest energy into them even if there is no
direct benefit. For example, Zebras are social. They live in herds and aren’t happy alone. But they give the herd no second though. They don’t have friends and they wouldn’t
do anything to help the members of their herd either. Humans on the other hand do care about each
other. The main sign is that during the time humans
where hunters and gatherers women where tasked with protecting the kids while the men were
out hunting ducks or something like that. And what did the men do when coming back? They shared the things they hunted with the
women and children even though it meant that they had less food. So we gathered that humans are social and
community oriented. The next one is expansionist. Humans always expand into any available space
and they would also conquer each other all the time. Humans are an incredibly aggressive species. Expansionist also refers to personal and technological
advancement. Since the beginning of time humans always
innovated and tried to improve their lives. First spears and fire then wheels and boats. And this is only possible due to the 4th and
last point. Intelligence. Humans are the smartest species there is on
this planet. So that’s it. Social, Community oriented, Expansionist and
Smart. Those are things which are natural for humans
to be. Now you may already wonder. Where does capitalism fit into that? And the neoliberals will readily tell you:
“Capitalism allows people to expand as much as they want! Anyone who works hard can get more for themselves
that’s the beauty of capitalism!” And alright, in theory it does that but in
praxis your ability to expand is hampered by the fact that other people already expanded
a lot and there isn’t an infinite amount of resources which means that not everyone
can expand and that everyone who does expand must take it from someone else. You can’t buy gold without taking it from
someone and you can’t make more money than your body produces without taking it from
someone. That someone cannot expand then, can they? But for the hell of it let’s assume that
capitalism really does allow people to improve their lives if they just work hard and long
enough. Does that make it the most natural system? Let’s look at the rest of the human features
and see how well they do in capitalism. Let’s start with smart. Humans are smart but not naturally so. People need education in order to be able
to use their intelligence. If Newton was born into poverty, he wouldn’t
have been able to invent calculus. So, since capitalism is so natural it would
seem obvious that it has to allow everyone who wants to, to become as smart as they want
to be. Since people naturally want to be educated
it wouldn’t be natural to deny them that. And I am afraid capitalism is really bad at
educating people. Don’t get me wrong it rewards educated people
by giving them loads of money, but it doesn’t MAKE people educated. There are private schools and universities,
but they don’t educate most people. They only educate those who already have enough
money to pay for it. So capitalism doesn’t structurally allow
everyone to become smart. This is the reason why education is almost
never left to the private sector and why it’s done by the state almost everywhere. Capitalism does not support the natural human
desire for knowledge. But hey that’s fine we still have 2 more
natural behaviours and we have to decide if capitalism supports those. Next let’s look at “Social”. Does capitalism allow people to be social? Well that’s a tough question. I could bring up the fact that having social
relations at work is usually very hard because you are constantly encouraged to compete with
your co-workers or I could bring up how my previous employer didn’t even allow me to
talk to the colleagues I sat next to except during the lunch break but let’s take another
approach. Being social means different things to different
people. For some it may mean being with their children. For others it may be hanging out with friends
or just working with people you like and talking to them as you work. But no matter which one of those is your interpretation
of being social capitalism sort of prohibits all of them. Because of the competition between you and
your co-workers it becomes hard to create meaningful connections at work. And because you have to work 8 to 12 hours
a day you can’t spend time with your family and friends if you want to. That’s directly opposed to what humans naturally
want. Now someone is gonna show up and tell me that
we need to work that many hours because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t produce enough. That’s not really true. As I explained in my video titled “Why the
free market is inefficient” the free market produces not as much as we need but way more. Earth produces food for 10 Billion while there
are only 7.5 Billion people which means that one quarter of the work put into farming and
distribution of food is wasted labour and time. So, capitalism is bad for our social lives
by forcing us to work for longer than necessary and even obstructing social relations which
might form at a workplace. At least it allows people to be community-oriented,
right? Well I am afraid not. Just think about it. Does capitalism reward supporting people who
need help? Is it a financially good idea to use your
money to feed the hungry or clothe the poor or even support your children? No, it’s not. It’s never a good idea to spend YOUR money
on someone else. That’s why people are having so few children
nowadays. Kids cost a lot of money and nobody got time
for that. And that’s why the state usually takes over
care of people who need to be taken care of like people with disabilities or homeless
and unemployed people. Right now along with the rise neoliberal feminism
raising children is becoming more and more often a task of the state as well. This is because even someone who would want
to stay at home, do housework and care for their children would not be able to because
nowadays the cost of living is too high to support a family with only one bread giver. Both parents have to work nowadays and that
is a result of late stage capitalism. And that’s assuming a classical 2 parent
household. Nowadays nobody can afford to leave one adult
who is perfectly capable of working staying at home all day. Or instead it’s a cultural Marxist feminist
leftist jewish trans muslim plot to destroy western civilization using affordable healthcare. Still not sure. Both are equally plausible. So I am afraid capitalism doesn’t support
any of the basic desires of humanity very well. The closest one is expansion because capitalism
sometimes gives the ability to improve their live to some people in some conditions. And this is where the neoliberals will tell
me that Capitalism might not do everything perfectly but that it’s the best system
we have. If we look back at our google search the second
result was “capitalism is more natural”. More natural than what exactly? Oh, come on we both know the answer. More natural than socialism. Honestly most people’s head would explode
if you asked them to name more than 2 economic systems. So, let’s look at that. Is capitalism more natural than socialism? Well it’s hard to say because socialism
as it’s used today means a lot of things to a lot of people. Barely anyone means soviet socialism anymore
either. So, for the purpose of this video my socialism
will include: Workplace democracies for production, people’s councils for distribution and a
small state for maintaining infrastructure, education, healthcare, social services and
for enforcing laws. Now this isn’t what I think the perfect
society would look like but it’s realistic so let’s go for it. We’ve got these desires let’s see. Social. Would this socialism be better for that than
the current system? Maybe a little bit. If workers ran the businesses, then they would
probably not keep each other from talking when working and they wouldn’t force themselves
to produce too many resources and spend more time at work than necessary either. Also, the workers wouldn’t be forced to
compete all the time which would be nice. The next one is Community oriented and it’s
a tricky one. It’s hard to allow people to invest work
into their community and reward it. In my socialist system that’s not done. You could have the state pay stay-at-home
parents but that would give the state a lot of power which is fine if you are into that
but a lot of my subscribers are anarchists who are probably already angrily typing about
what a Tankie I am for including a state run police force in my example of a socialist
society and they probably won’t agree with giving the state that much power and honestly
I don’t either. There are some communes out there in which
everyone has to do a certain amount of work a week and housework and caring for children
is included in that so it’s definitely possible to reward working for the community but that
isn’t easy to scale and as I mentioned before my socialism doesn’t include it. We’ll skip this one for now because it takes
the longest to say and go to “Smart.” Does my socialism allow people to educate
themselves? Yes. I have included a state-run education system
and social services after all. Anyone could get to Uni and become a scientist
if they want to so that need is fulfilled. The last one is Expansionist. It’s a common critique of socialism that
it doesn’t work because it doesn’t incentivize work and only capitalism does. This need is what people mean when they say
that capitalism is more natural than socialism. This one thing is everything it holds onto
and it really shouldn’t. There is this idea in popular culture that
socialism means equal wages for all. That a doctor working 100 hours a week would
earn as much as someone who doesn’t work. I am afraid that that’s not how it works. Not only in my socialism in which wages are
determined by the worker co-ops themselves but also in the actual centralized Stalinist
state that we call the Soviet union. The USSR always paid it’s workers for each
piece they produced and once they were over their quota they got a bonus for every piece
they made. The idea that socialism means equal pay seems
to have been made up for propaganda purposes as far as I can tell. And since in my socialism workers are still
somewhat paid like in capitalism it allows people to work for more, it allows people
to innovate and it allows them to improve their lives. And because other people can’t get an unfair
advantage via exploitation or inheritance there is an actual chance to do so as well. So that’s it. My socialism ticks 3 out of 4 boxes while
capitalism only ticks one. It would seem like it’s not the most natural
system is it? So now I’ve looked at the argument. Looked at what people naturally want and concluded
that socialism would be better at giving it than capitalism is. Of course, there will be someone saying that
capitalism is natural because during the bronze age people already traded and they did ever
since but then I could just say: Trade has nothing to do with capitalism. Just because people have always traded doesn’t
mean that private property and wage labour are the natural human condition. Also of course socialism would still allow
trade so that’s a null argument. But now that I am done with that, I’d like
to invalidate the entire premise along with my entire argument and conclusion: I don’t
think it matters what’s natural. Even if capitalism was the most natural system
there is I don’t think that that’s a good enough reason to keep it. I mean if we go by nature everyone who wears
glasses would have to die because that’s what would happen in nature. We have advanced beyond the natural order
and even if capitalism was natural, which it is not, I still think that replacing it
with a system that potentially allows us to save 25% of our time and work and which would
give everyone democratic control over the place they spend their entire working lives
at would be a good idea. And on that note thanks for watching. This is the end card please like and subscribe. Always remember if you liked this video your
friends might as well so why not send them the link. Do you want me to make a video on the people’s
councils I’ve talked about as systems of distribution? I’ve never heard anyone on reddit or BreadTube
talk about them and I only know them from theory so maybe it’s a new concept for some. There will be a poll in the top right corner. Thanks for watching C ya!

What about the next 100 months? — with Jeff Eisenach (1995) | THINK TANK

Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg. The first hundred days of the new Republican
Congress are over. Most of the Contract with America has been
passed by the House and awaits scrutiny by the Senate and the president. But is that all? Is this the beginning of the end or just the
end of the beginning? Are we perhaps moving into a new political
era, into uncharted political territory? Joining us to discuss this notion are William
Schneider, CNN political analyst, professor of political science at Boston College, and
resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Thomas Mann, director of governmental
studies at the Brookings Institution and coauthor of the book “Renewing Congress”; James
Pinkerton, author of the forthcoming book “What Comes Next? The End of Big Government and the New Paradigm
Ahead” and lecturer in political management at George Washington University; and Jeffrey
Eisenach, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Well, we know about the first hundred days,
so now the question before this house is: What about the next hundred months? This week on “Think Tank.” The late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill
said, “All politics is local.” Well, it may be that the new speaker, Newt
Gingrich, has turned that dictum on its head. When the Republicans announced their Contract
with America, it began turning the 1994 election toward a national referendum about the Democratic-controlled
Congress, about President Clinton and about the contract itself. The Republicans won overwhelmingly, taking
control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Gingrich wasted no time converting the perceived
referendum into a mandate for action. The Republicans said they would honor their
contractual vows. The Democrats attacked. But 9 out of 10 contract items passed the
House, everything but term limits. Some analysts say that the first hundred days
was showbiz and that over the next few years, tougher issues may well tear the Republican
coalition apart, issues like abortion, a flat tax, school prayer, affirmative action, tax
cuts, and big spending cuts. Other analysts say that what Gingrich and
the Republican Congress have done signals a sea change in American thinking and a turn
toward progressive conservatism. It’s been an astounding political time,
and now we should ask, What is next? What is going to happen in the next hundred
months? And let’s go around the horn once quickly,
starting with you, Jeff Eisenach. Where are we going? Jeffrey Eisenach: This is a revolution. It’s a people’s revolution. It is not yet clear whether it will be a Republican
revolution. For a hundred days, they have acted like a
majority. If they continue to act like a majority, like
the new majority party they might be, they may be the majority party. What is clear, though, is the people are going
to have a different kind of government. Ben Wattenberg: All right. Jim Pinkerton, formerly the deputy director
of policy for the Bush administration. James Pinkerton: Well, Gingrich has clearly
moved the bully pulpit from the White House to H.204 in the Capitol. He’s got enormous political momentum moving
him now. It remains to be seen if the policy agenda
that the contract touches on will equal the challenge and the mandate that he sought for
himself. Ben Wattenberg: Tom Mann, Brookings Institution. Thomas Mann: Americans don’t take very kindly
to revolutions. They’re a pragmatic, practical lot. They want government to get a little smaller,
work a lot better. But revolutions are for the French, not for
the Americans. Ben Wattenberg: All right, Bill Schneider
of CNN and my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute. William Schneider: Ben, I think there is a
new majority coalition that’s governing that’s really in power now in the United
States. It’s a diverse coalition of interests that
have one thing in common: They all have a grievance with big government. Middle-class taxpayers want lower taxes. Gun owners don’t want the federal government
to take their guns away. Racial backlash voters identify the federal
government with promotion of the civil rights agenda, and they’re getting a payoff with
the attack on affirmative action. Religious conservatives want less judicial
activism. Businesspeople want less regulation. They will hold together as long as they see
a liberal threat, which they did in Bill Clinton, and that’s why they materialized as a majority. As long as they perceive a liberal threat
out there, that coalition is going to hold together, and it’s going to be very powerful. Ben Wattenberg: All right, let me ask one
question now. We all live in this sort of insular community
that over the last 20 years or so has spotted a sea change each week — you know, “My
God, the world is changing.” Is it possible and plausible that this one
is for real? William Schneider: Forty years — 40 years
it’s been since the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress. That’s a pretty big change to me. James Pinkerton: I think it’s also fair
to say that people in their bones sense that bureaucratic organizations, whether it’s
the Soviet Union, IBM, or the federal government, are in the process of collapse and that that’s
— the sense of slow-motion panic that people feel over that is much of what underlay the
Republican victory in 1994, just like it caused Bush to lose in ’92. Jeffrey Eisenach: I’d second that and come
back to what Tom said. I think this is a very pragmatic revolution,
that what people have seen — since 1976, they have elected reformer after reformer
after reformer. Jimmy Carter was a reform president, was going
to bring in zero-based budgeting. Ronald Reagan promised to fix it all. Bush said he’d continue that. When Bush failed, they brought in Clinton;
he failed. What they have is they have a government that
is wildly out of step with everything they see working around them. And in that sense, I think this is very pragmatic,
but the change is not a small one. They’ve tried small changes. Thomas Mann: The old Democratic coalition
has been dead for a long time, Ben, and it hasn’t been able to muster a majority, really,
in presidential elections since Lyndon Johnson. But finally this time, they managed to lose
their base in the House of Representatives, so that is a major change. I think people are more skeptical of government. In a sense, they’re more inclined to think
of themselves as conservatives than liberals, and therefore there is an opportunity for
Republicans now. There is a real market for change. But Republicans run the risk of thinking Americans
are economic libertarians. They’re not ideologues; they’re pragmatists. They may be skeptical of government, but they’re
solicitous of government as well. And so we’re going to have to see whether
the Republicans seize the opportunity or, in fact, whether some more centrist solution,
one actually identified originally by Bill Clinton in his presidential campaign, manages
to move into that open space. Ben Wattenberg: Jeff, you are the president
of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. You have been a longtime associate of now-Speaker
Gingrich and a conservative spokesman. Could you tell us: What is the nature of this
particular modern conservatism? We’re sort of agreed that there is a sea
change. It’s a sea change toward what, if you had
your way or in your judgment? Jeffrey Eisenach: I think it’s a sea change
away from big bureaucratic, centralized institutions of government actually hiring people, spending
money to accomplish things, towards a government which is much leaner, but ultimately much
more effective and much less ambiguous. I mean, one of the things people know about
our bureaucracy is you can’t — it’s not that you get the wrong answer. It’s you can’t get any answer. There’s nothing out there but a sea of ambiguity. I think what this revolution will do, if it
works, is it will bring in a much clearer and cleaner sense of what the law is and how
it’s implemented. And that’ll happen a lot, I think, through
the tax code. It will happen with legal reform, with tort
reform, with regulatory reform, so that what you’ll end up with is a government which
works a lot better and is a lot smaller in terms of the number of people working for
it. Thomas Mann: But the rhetoric isn’t that
pragmatism. The rhetoric is: “Government is terrible. Let’s knock it down. Government is the problem.” Americans don’t think the Social Security
Administration is a big, bad bureaucracy. They think it works just fine in getting their
checks out to them on time. So sometimes the rhetoric of the Gingrich
revolution gets away from the realities of Americans’ encounters with that government. James Pinkerton: Tom, you’re peddling a
little bit of inside-the-Beltway wisdom here. I mean, look at the polls that show that young
people think that they’re more likely to find a UFO in their backyard than they are
to collect their Social Security. Ben Wattenberg: Maybe they’re right. [Laughter and cross talk.] Everything else is changing, right. James Pinkerton: Well, if that’s the case,
then the politicians who are defending a system that is going to rip off an entire generation
of young people are going to wind up with their heads on pikes before all is said and
done. Jeffrey Eisenach: But I’d say something
else, and that is — because I think your point’s well taken, but the welfare debate,
I think, was a major stepping-stone for this new majority. Because for a week of debate, you have Republican
after Republican stepping up and, instead of talking about how we’ve got to starve
a few kids to save a few dollars, which is what this party has been saying for 30 years,
you had the entire Republican Party standing up and saying, “We’re reforming welfare
to do the right thing.” William Schneider: Well, people want to solve
problems. I agree with Tom. They want to solve problems, and Bill Clinton
was elected with a mandate. He said he could make government work. He had people with impressive credentials,
long lists of degrees. They were very smart. He won on brain power. George Bush didn’t have a clue — sorry. But that was what elected Bill Clinton. This was the brain power. He was it. Ben Wattenberg: It was Pinkerton’s fault. We know that, right, right. [Laughter.] William Schneider: And the deal was, we want
this guy because he’s smart and he says he can make government work. The message in ’94 was it ain’t working. The Republicans were elected with a mandate
to solve problems with less government. They said, “We know how to solve these problems. We can do it with less government.” I think the skepticism that Tom is talking
about is sometimes they go towards the rhetoric of saying, “We’re going to fix things
even if they’re not broken.” That’s the image of the school lunch program. What’s broken there? And transportation and environmental protection. Ben Wattenberg: All right, let’s go over
some of the things that Republicans in this new conservative wave have been saying over
the years. One of the things — and we sort of dealt
with that — is “We’re going to get the government off our backs.” Everybody seems to be agreed that that at
least is a goal, although how far that would go remains to be seen. What about that one about ending the welfare
state? They have said this is — the contract is
going to roll back the welfare state. Is that going to — I mean, is this where
we’re headed? Thomas Mann: May I make a prediction? A hundred months from now, the Social Security
system will be paying out a lot more money than it is now. The Medicare program will be paying out a
lot more money than it is now, and welfare recipients will not be greatly changed from
what they are now. Republicans are promising a sort of withdrawal
from — in some respects — from this system will transform these recipients. And you know, the hard truth is it’s going
to take a lot of work and a lot of money to help get people on their feet and working
in jobs. And that requires even government administration
to get it done. Jeffrey Eisenach: This is standard liberal
dogma. I testified — Thomas Mann: No, it’s conservative. It’s called big-government conservative. Jeffrey Eisenach: No, excuse me. I testified today before the Banking Committee
on the question of how — the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And there were Joe Kennedy and Barney Frank
up there criticizing, in the most vehement, vicious terms, Henry Cisneros for trying to
move in the direction of vouchers and empowering people, essentially defending the old system. And they were making the point that Tom’s
making: Everything’s terrible. Things are going to remain terrible. Nothing that you can do to try and make things
better is going to make any — Thomas Mann: No, no. I’m not saying that. Jeffrey Eisenach: Well, you said there will
be just as many welfare recipients. Medicare won’t be — Thomas Mann: I mean, I support vouchers and
decentralization, and there’s much — Jeffrey Eisenach: Well, but none of it will
make a big difference. Ben Wattenberg: Tom, hold on. If in the year — if a hundred months from
now, in the year 2003, we have got the same welfare system, a disaster that everybody
across the spectrum agrees with that is harming people — forget the wasted money; that is
harming people — if we have the same sort of a welfare system, but a little bit less
in 2003, then this is no sea change. William Schneider: There’s the welfare system
and there’s the welfare state. The welfare system will be changed. Even President Clinton was elected on a mandate
to change the welfare system. James Pinkerton: Exactly. William Schneider: What the welfare state
means is entitlements. Now, that the Republicans have made some headway
towards at least trying to change. What has Clinton accomplished as president? Really, two things: deficit reduction — he
reduced the deficit by one-third every year — and free trade. Those are the two biggest items on his agenda. Those aren’t exactly radical. He got in trouble for what he — Ben Wattenberg: And not exactly Democratic. William Schneider: And not exactly Democratic. So why did he get in trouble? I’ve spoken to a lot of conservatives, and
they’ll always give you the same list: gays in the military, Lani Guinier in the Justice
Department, the economic stimulus plan, comprehensive health care reform, big new crime-prevention
spending, the energy tax. You know what? He got in trouble for things he proposed. He didn’t deliver a single one of those
things. And liberals were dismayed. They said, “We liked that agenda, but you
didn’t deliver any of it.” That’s why he was in so much trouble. He got in trouble because he proposed things
that sounded like big government. Look at health care reform. Jeffrey Eisenach: Absolutely. Ben Wattenberg: All right, hold on one second. You have touched on an interesting point here. We’re just kind of going through whether
we’re going to see the fulfillment of certain bits of this conservative rhetoric. We’ve talked about getting the government
of four backs. We’ve talked about rolling back the welfare
state. What is also said about this revolution is
that it is going to change from a social welfare state to a social police state, and we hear
stuff from mainstream Democrats and more liberal people that the fight against abortion, the
treatment of homosexuality, school prayer, pornography, TV censorship, that this is all
embedded, implicit in the Gingrich revolution. Comments. Jeffrey Eisenach: Not part of the majority
agenda. If the Republican Party chooses to be the
party of social oppression, it will not choose to be — it will be choosing not to be the
majority party, and I don’t believe that’s possible. William Schneider: The Republicans get in
trouble — they got in trouble, I think, in Houston when their convention was perceived
or interpreted — there’s a lot of discussion about whether it really was stigmatizing,
but it was perceived as stigmatizing. Democrats always made the mistake in the past
of glorifying unconventional minorities —homosexuals, single mothers. Republicans get in trouble when they seem
to stigmatize those same groups, and that’s why they want to steer clear of that. Religion is an issue that drives a wedge right
through the heart of that Republican coalition, just as race does to the Democrats. James Pinkerton: The Contract with America
was an explicitly secular document. There’s almost no reference of any kind
on abortion or anything like that. The only chance I think that Clinton has,
as Bill’s saying, is, you know, a few more Henry Fosters, you know, really could — the
Republicans could rise to the bait and say, “Aha, here’s our chance to take Houston
back into the people’s” — Ben Wattenberg: You think Henry Foster is
going to hurt the Republicans? James Pinkerton: I think there’s — the
danger of things like that is that it brings out, you know, the Christian coalition saying,
you know, “We’re against Henry Foster — and, by the way, we insist on an all pro-life
ticket in ’96.” William Schneider: He said it under pressure
from anti-abortion activists who are enraged by the nomination of Foster, and Clinton and
the Republicans didn’t really want to — the Republicans did not want to talk about abortion. And my guess is Ralph Reed didn’t either,
from what he subsequently wrote. He was forced into it because the anti-abortion
constituency was furious, outraged that the president would nominate a surgeon general
who had performed abortions. Jeffrey Eisenach: Ben, I do want to say this,
and that is, the Christian coalition, I believe, is a coalition of people who feel oppressed
by government imposing values on them that they disbelieve in very deeply. And what I believe they are looking for is
freedom, which is why education choice is so far at the top of the agenda, why they’re
pulling their kids out of schools and asking for their money back so they can do homeschooling. If that’s what the agenda is all about,
then I don’t think there is any conflict here at all. And I, frankly, just don’t see much of the
Christian coalition saying, “Here is the prayer your kids have got to say in school,
and we want to pass it into law.” William Schneider: That is the way they see
themselves. That’s not the way others see them. Jeffrey Eisenach: Absolutely. William Schneider: Others see them as attempting
to take over government to Christianize the country. Jeffrey Eisenach: Absolutely, that’s the
perception. Thomas Mann: Churchgoers are the most important
group within the Republican Party. Their interests are diverse, I agree with
you, but they will create a fissure within the Republican Party. It can’t be glossed over. The Republicans and the speaker did well in
the first hundred days in keeping these issues off to the side, but there will be demands
for votes on difficult issues that will at times divide the Republicans and potentially
cause problems in the presidential nominating politics. It’s a reality. But they are so important to the Republican
Party that they have to make peace with them. James Pinkerton: The issue for the Republicans
on education, both school prayer and school vouchers, is leadership. Somebody is going to have to get up and say
to the Christians — say, “Look, your idea of school prayer for everybody is not going
to work. The idea that will work is school vouchers.” And that argument has to be sold not only
to the Christian right but also to the rest of the country, which is impatient with the
stagnation of bureaucratic education in America. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask you a question,
something we mentioned in the setup piece, this Tip O’Neill idea that all politics
is local. It occurs to me — you know, we all sort
of repeated that as a mantra for so many years. “Oh, all politics is local.” Of course, when you have a liberal majority
in the legislature, that becomes a very liberal statement. It says, if you take care of the person’s
Veterans Administration’s check, if you see to his Social Security check, you can
do any damn fool thing you want to in terms of national policy, which is what ultimately
got the Democrats in trouble. Now, with the apparent — underscore apparent
— nationalization of the Congress, does that then become a conservatizing movement
because you are talking issues, rather than did your VA check get delivered? William Schneider: Well, look, I think the
election was nationalized, principally, not by the contract, but by President Clinton. I think he was the central issue in all those
races. What happened was — Ben Wattenberg: But you can’t get the toothpaste
back in the tube. I mean, the next time we go around and have
national platforms, people are going to take them much more seriously. William Schneider: If the Republicans believe
they are going to get reelected without paying a lot of attention to constituency service,
they’re going to come in for a big surprise. Ben Wattenberg: No, I agree. Thomas Mann: Politics is always a combination
of local and national forces. National became more prominent in ’94 for
a host of reasons. In ’96, Republicans are going to do well
in the elections for the House and the Senate, partly on the basis of their strength locally
— good candidates, lots of money, and a story to tell. James Pinkerton: Let’s understand that a
guy like Tip O’Neill could get away with saying, “All politics is local,” because
he was operating within the paradigm that Franklin Roosevelt had set up. What Gingrich is trying to do is — well,
the paradigm has already crashed. The Democratic paradigm has crashed. What the Republicans are trying to do is create
their own paradigm so that equally ordinary, run-of-the-mill Republican politicians — Ben Wattenberg: Everybody here seems to be
convinced that the Democratic paradigm has crashed and so on and so forth. On the other hand, as we speak, the polls
for Clinton are going up. The polls against Gingrich are — the negatives
are very high. The Democrats have launched a rhetorical counteroffensive
about that this is really a war on kids, they’re balancing the budgets on the backs of the
poor, they’re taking away school lunches. Isn’t it plausible that just politically
we are way out ahead of our supply lines and that the Democrats are going to come back
with this stuff and terrorize the country about taking away your school lunches? The old ketchup argument with Reagan. Jeffrey Eisenach: The notion that Washington,
DC, is going to get too far out in front of the American people is so silly on its face
that — [laughter] — but the truth is I don’t think the numbers show that by any
stretch of the imagination. There were two polls in the last two weeks
that were very important and very under-attended to. The LA Times came out with a poll the same
week that The Washington Post poll came out that scared everybody saying that people were
running away from the Republican contract. The LA Times the same week came out with a
poll showing that 46 percent of Americans thought Republicans weren’t cutting enough,
compared to 14 percent who thought they were cutting too much; 29 percent thought they
were doing about the right thing. Three to one, not cutting enough. Next week you have a poll from Times-Mirror. In December 1993, 12 percent of Americans
wanted an independent presidential candidate. December 1994, 18 percent. March 1995, that number is up to 23 percent. I think those two numbers are related. I think people are looking at Washington,
and the question they’re asking isn’t “Are these people going too far?” The question they are asking is “Are they
doing enough?” William Schneider: Are they solving the problems? I mean, Clinton was elected to make government
work. People said he didn’t. The Republicans were elected to solve problems
with less government. They’re solving some problems, I agree — welfare,
unfunded mandates. They’re creating other problems. People don’t know why they’re attacking
the school lunch program. That’s becoming like midnight basketball. It’s a symbol of going too far. So I think Clinton may very well run the next
election — you were suggesting that the Democrats are not sunk — as a gigantic midterm
election in reverse. Democrats used to get elected and reelected
repeatedly during the 1980s because they would say, “You got Reagan in there. You got Bush. They may go too far. You got to elect us to make sure there’s
a check and a balance.” Clinton may run a campaign, to the dismay
of his Democratic colleagues in Congress, and say, “You’re pretty happy with the
way the Republican Congress is going, but they threaten to go too far; you’ve got
to keep me in there with my veto pen to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Ben Wattenberg: All right, let me — we are
running out of time. I want to go around the horn one more time
with the stipulation that no one, except perhaps me, knows the future and hear from you an
answer to the basic theme of this program, which is: Is this the beginning of a new conservative
era? And we’ll start with you, Jeff. Jeffrey Eisenach: Absolutely. A hundred months from now, government, the
federal government will be at or below 15 percent of gross domestic product, compared
with 22 percent today. A new majority party will be controlling both
houses of Congress and the White House, probably the Republican Party. That remains to be seen. And we will be seeing, I think, dramatically
faster economic growth. We will be seeing dramatic drops in the number
of people on welfare, and, by the way, Social Security will have been fundamentally reformed
because it has to be. James Pinkerton: We’re in post-bureaucratic
era. It remains to be seen whether the Republicans
or the Democrats can fill this void left by this crash of big government. The other question is: Can a conservative
movement, which is in fact a right-wing movement, impose the kind of leadership that takes the
country forward? Ben Wattenberg: Tom Mann, yeah, go ahead. Thomas Mann: The Republicans have an opportunity
to build a new majority in this country, but to do it they have to deliver. And delivering means dealing with the root
causes of insecurity and anxiety that Americans feel. I am not persuaded that simply saying, “less
government” will solve that problem. Americans are not ideologues. Republicans in Congress right now are. Until they demonstrate that they can deliver
in a practical sense, they will lose that opportunity. Ben Wattenberg: Bill Schneider. William Schneider: I agree with Tom. I think that the Republicans have an opportunity. We are entering a conservative era, and I
don’t think we’re going to go back to big government. But suppose they don’t solve the problems
they were elected to solve, or create new problems? What are Americans going to do? Well, I think they’re showing two kinds
of responses. One is, if they figure the Democrats —they’re
very skeptical that the Democrats can make government work, and the Republicans cannot
solve problems with less government. They’re going to say, “What we have to
do is get the politicians out of there.” That’s why Perot was very attractive. You want to make government work? Get the politics out of government is the
popular belief. Colin Powell is very popular these days — the
same appeal that Ross Perot had. Not a professional politician, knows how to
get things done. A revolt against politics is in the offing. The other thing they do is solve their problems
for themselves. They move to suburbs, and they buy their own
governments that they can control and put walls around themselves. They have their own schools, their own police,
their own fire departments. They buy a private government. That’s another solution. Ben Wattenberg: All right. In other words, “We’re going to get under
the hood and fix it.” Thank you, Bill Schneider, Jeffrey Eisenach,
Tom Mann, and Jim Pinkerton. And thank you. Please send your comments or questions
to New River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Or we can be reached via email at [email protected] For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.