Now Playing Centerfield? Party Politics in Bitter Times | CUNY Forum


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>GOOD EVENING. MY NAME IS BOB LIFF, AND THIS IS THE CUNY FORUM, A MONTHLY TOWN MEETING THAT BRINGS PROMINENT NEW YORKERS TOGETHER WITH FACULTY AND STUDENTS OF THE EDWARD T. ROGOWSKY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS. WHEN DEMOCRAT JIM HIGHTOWER WAS THE POPULIST TEXAS AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER IN 1980, HE SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE GO-ALONG-GET-ALONG MENTALITY THAT SAW THE PATH TO SUCCESS AS SEEKING OUT THE MIDDLE GROUND, SO AS NOT TO OFFEND ANYONE WHO MIGHT VOTE FOR YOU. “THERE’S NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD BUT A YELLOW STRIPE AND DEAD ARMADILLOS,” HE FAMOUSLY SAID. THAT WAS A TIME WHEN RONALD REAGAN WAS ASCENDING TO THE PRESIDENCY, USHERING IN A PERIOD OF RISING IDEOLOGY-DRIVEN PARTISANSHIP THAT HAS REACHED ITS ZENITH, OR NADIR, UNDER DONALD TRUMP. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BILL CLINTON’S ATTEMPT TO GOVERN BY TRIANGULATION, PUBLIC DEBATES APPEAR TO HAVE ABANDONED THE POLITICAL CENTER WHERE MOST ISSUES WERE TRADITIONALLY RESOLVED, AND RETREATED TO MEDIA ECHO CHAMBERS WHERE THOSE WHO DON’T AGREE WITH YOU BECOME ENEMIES, NOT JUST OPPONENTS. WE CERTAINLY SEE THAT IN REPUBLICAN POLITICS, WHERE CANDIDATES JOSTLE TO SEE WHO CAN BLOW THE RIGHT WING TRUMPIAN RACIAL DOG WHISTLE MOST LOUDLY TO EXPLOIT FEARS THAT THE UNITED STATES IS SOON TO BE A MAJORITY MINORITY COUNTRY. THE U.S. CENSUS’ 2017 STUDY SHOWED FOR THE FIRST TIME AN ABSOLUTE DECLINE IN THE NATION’S NON-HISPANIC WHITE POPULATION, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME MINORITIES OUTNUMBER WHITES AMONG EVERY AGE GROUP FROM ZERO TO NINE. AND WE SEE IT IN THE RECENT DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES IN NEW YORK, WHERE THE ESTABLISHMENT HELD SERVE AT THE TOP WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO’S RENOMINATION, BUT A GROUP OF PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES, SOME ALLIED WITH THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA, SWEPT OUT STATE SENATORS FROM THE FORMER INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS WHO CRITICS SAY HELPED REPUBLICANS CONTROL ALBANY’S UPPER LEGISLATIVE CHAMBER. THE FORMER REPORTER IN ME SAYS THE PROSPECT OF A BLUE WAVE THAT COULD SEE DEMOCRATS RETAKE THE U.S. HOUSE AND MAYBE THE SENATE IS AN IMPORTANT AND FASCINATING DEVELOPMENT, ONE THAT IS PARTLY IDEOLOGICAL, PARTLY GENERATIONAL, PARTLY AN OLD-FASHIONED THROW THE BUMS OUT PHENOMENON. BUT THE CIVIC ACTIVIST IN ME WHO BELIEVES PROGRESS MEASURED IN HALF A LOAF, OR EVEN A FEW SLICES, IS PREFERABLE TO A REGRESSIVE STATUS QUO AFFLICTING TOO MANY WORKING AND POOR PEOPLE IN THIS CITY AND COUNTRY, WORRIES THAT THE KIND OF INCREMENTAL SOCIAL PROGRESS POLITICS HAS BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER IS BEYOND THE WILLINGNESS OF IDEOLOGUES TO ACHIEVE. WE ARE JOINED TONIGHT BY FOUR NEW YORKERS ENGAGED IN THE DEBATE OVER THE STATE OF OUR POLITICS. DO WE CONTINUE TO LURCH FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AND BACK AGAIN AS THE POLITICAL CENTER HOLLOWS OUT? FRANCES FOX PIVEN, THE DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND SOCIOLOGY AT THE CUNY GRADUATE SCHOOL, HAS A LONG CAREER AS A SCHOLAR AND ADVOCATE ON POVERTY PROGRAMS AND THE POOR, AND HAS BEEN A BOARD MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA. DEBORAH DEVEDJIAN IS THE FOUNDER AND CHIEF CITIZEN OFFICER OF THECHISEL.COM WHICH IS TRYING TO RECRAFT THE BIPARTISAN POLITICAL CENTER. JAIME ESTADES IS ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE LATINO LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE. AND HARRY SIEGEL IS A COLUMNIST WITH THE DAILY BEAST AND THE DAILY NEWS WHO WILL TELL US WHAT IT ALL MEANS. FRANCES, LET ME START WITH YOU, IT WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO THAT SOCIALISM WAS A VERY DIRTY WORD IN POLITICS. IN THE 1960s THEY WARNED ABOUT CREEPING SOCIALISM, WHAT HAS CHANGED? ALL OF A SUDDEN, DSA IS A LABEL THAT IS SUCCESSFUL AMONG VOTERS.>>THEY ARE SAYING DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS, AND THE STRIKING THING ABOUT THIS LABEL IS THAT IT IS PUT AT THE TOP OF THE PROGRAM THAT IS THE NEW DEAL DEMOCRATIC PROGRAM. IT DOESN’T COME FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY, IT DOESN’T COME FROM KARL MARX, IT COMES FROM FDR AND HIS BRAIN TRUST. WHEN THEY SAY MEDICARE FOR ALL, FDR WAS THINKING ABOUT A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM, AND ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY, RICH COUNTRY IN THE WORLD HAS NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS. OR THEY TALK ABOUT FREE COLLEGE TUITION, MOST COUNTRIES, RICH COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD, DO NOT MAKE THEIR COLLEGE STUDENTS GO INTO DEBT UP TO HERE IN EXCHANGE FOR COLLEGE EDUCATION. WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IS RUN-OF-THE-MILL STUFF IN THE RICH, REASONABLY PROGRESSIVE BUT NOT VERY PROGRESSIVE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE VERY PROGRESSIVE TO BE FOR THIS STUFF. WHEN YOU ASK AMERICANS ABOUT NOT WHETHER THEY ARE RIGHT OR LEFT, TRUMP, HILLARY, BERNIE, WHATEVER. WHEN YOU ASK ABOUT THE PROGRAM, DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD HAVE MEDICARE FOR ALL? LARGE MAJORITIES OF AMERICANS WANT MEDICARE FOR ALL. THEY WANT FREE COLLEGE TUITION. THEY WANT THE KINDS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT THAT RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENTS HAVE COME TO GIVE TO THEIR CITIZENS.>>JAIME, YOU DO A LOT OF WORK IN THE LATINO COMMUNITY, WE SEE CANDIDATES OF COLOR RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND IN THE PHENOMENON OF ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, WHO WAS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST OF AMERICA CANDIDATE, WHO BEAT CONGRESSMAN JOE CROWLEY, AND, JULIA SALAZAR WHO HAD A BIZARRE HABIT OF LYING ABOUT HER BACKGROUND, BUT MANAGED TO WIN A SIZABLE VICTORY IN BUSHWICK BUT YET, THEY APPEALED AND ARE GETTING VOTES FROM PRECISELY THE YOUNGER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THIS BAGGAGE OF THE WORD SOCIALISM. AND THEY ARE THE GENTRIFYING PEOPLE.>>FIRST, I AGREE WITH WHAT DR. PIVEN SAID. THERE’S A NEW WORKING-CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS BEING DEVELOPED IN THIS COUNTRY. I THINK WORKING PEOPLE, AND POOR PEOPLE, ARE NO LONGER THINKING IN TERMS OF THE ALTERNATIVES FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. THEY SEE THE PARTIES AS FRANCHISES, LIKE ANY CORPORATION, THEY HAVE A BRAND NAME. OCASIO IS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST WHO RAN IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. THE SAME WITH SANDERS. TRUMP, WHO KNOWS WHAT HE IS, BUT HE RAN AS A REPUBLICAN. THEY ARE USING THOSE FRANCHISES, THOSE BRAND NAMES, FOR THEM TO USE IT AS A VEHICLE TO GET ELECTED. THE NEW CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS, WORKING-CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS IS SAYING THAT WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT NAMES, OR THE STIGMA THAT SOCIALISM HAS. WE JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, THAT WE HAVE QUALITY HEALTH CARE, MINIMUM WAGE THAT IS APPROPRIATE AND THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN. THE ISSUE WITH THE FRANCHISES IS THAT THEY OPERATE LIKE MCDONALD’S AND BURGER KING. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT ONE OF THEM HAS MORE KETCHUP. WHICH IS THE JOKE I ALWAYS MAKE, AND THAT TENDS TO BE THE DEMOCRATS. I THINK THIS NEW CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS THAT IS BEING CREATED DUE TO THE FRUSTRATION WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEVER ATTENDED THE NEEDS OF THE POOR AND WORKING-CLASS. AND THEY ARE TIRED OF THAT. AND NOW THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT SOCIALISM. AND LET ME SAY, SOCIALISM AS ALWAYS, SINCE FDR, BAILED OUT CAPITALISM WHEN CAPITALISM MESSED UP. THE DEPRESSIONS OF THE 1930s, THE RECESSION OF 2008, IT’S SOCIALISM WHO RESCUES CAPITALISM FROM THE MISTAKES THEY BRING WITH THEM.>>IT’S AN ARGUMENT THAT THE 1930s WAS THE SOCIALISM TO HELP THE POOR AND 2008 WAS SOCIALISM FOR THE RICH.>>EXACTLY. BUT THE MONEY CAME THE STATE IN THE LITERAL DEFINITION.>>WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SOME DRAMATIC CHANGES, WHAT I THINK IS GOING ON WITH THE DSA, AND I THINK THAT’S A POWERFUL WORD WITH INCREDIBLE RESONANCE. WHEN I GREW UP IN THE 1960s, THE CHISEL DID A MAMMOTH SURVEY OF PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT, AND THEY FOUND THIS COMMON — OF WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE, IT CAME FROM 30,000 FEET. WHEN YOU GET DOWN AT STREET LEVEL, AND YOU HAVE TO CUT THE DEALS TO CREATE A PROGRAM, DOES THE CENTER EXIST?>>I THINK IT DOES EXIST AND THERE ARE TWO ELEMENTS TO THE ANSWER. TO YOUR POINT JAMIE, THE IDEA THAT THESE TWO PARTIES HAVE BEEN FRANCHISING THEMSELVES AND DISENFRANCHISING THEMSELVES IS PROBLEMATIC. WE’RE AT A POINT WHERE THERE ARE ALMOST 43% OF AMERICANS WHO DO NOT IDENTIFY AS REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS. WE HAVE DISENFRANCHISED 43% OF THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE. THEY CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN PRIMARIES. SO THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT ARE GOING FURTHER RIGHT AND FURTHER LEFT WHICH IS THE SOURCE OF ALL THE SCREAMING AND HOLLERING. PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE ARE APATHETIC OR ARE SO FED UP THEY DON’T WANT ANY PART OF IT. REGARDING THE STUDIES, AND WE JUST DID A SURVEY, I HAVE A LOT OF EXTRA COPIES IF YOU’RE INTERESTED, WE ARE LOOKING AT THE WORLD IN THREE LEVELS, THE FIRST IS SHARED VALUES, THE SECOND IS ESTABLISHING COMMON GROUND, AND THE THIRD IS FIGURING OUT TACTICAL SOLUTIONS. WHEN EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR A GREATER MAGIC WAND TO GET EVERYONE AT THE TABLE, OR GET TO THE TACTICAL SOLUTION. YOU CAN’T GET TO THE TACTICAL SOLUTION UNTIL YOU EXPLORED THE SHARED VALUES WE DO SHARE. WE FOUND THAT WITH A 34 MAJOR ISSUES WE LOOKED AT, LEFT, RIGHT, AND CENTER ALL HAS THE SAME TOP GOALS. YOU SAY I WILL BRING TOGETHER FOLKS FROM THE NRA, AND THE BRADY CAMPAIGN TO TALK ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE AND LET’S PUT TOGETHER CHISELED BITS, WHAT ARE THE MAIN ISSUES THAT AMERICANS NEED TO KNOW WHEN IT COMES TO THE FACTS, AND IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY BECAUSE LEFT, RIGHT, AND CENTER SAY THESE ARE THE FACTS AND WE CAN MAKE TACTICAL DECISIONS TOGETHER IN TERMS OF WHERE HE GO, BECAUSE WE REALIZE WE DON’T WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER. WE CAN NOW BREAK BREAD TOGETHER. WE CAN ESTABLISH GROUND OF FACT ON WHICH WE CAN DETERMINE TACTICAL SOLUTIONS.>>HARRY, WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THIS STUFF FOR A LONG TIME, SHE TALKED ABOUT TACTICS AND THESE ARE GOOD WORDS, IF WE LOOK AT ALBANY FOR INSTANCE, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARGUE THAT THE GOVERNOR WAS HAPPY TO HAVE DIVIDED GOVERNMENT IN THE LEGISLATURE, BECAUSE HE WAS ABLE TO PLAY ONE AGAINST THE OTHER, BUT IT ALSO REQUIRED EVERYONE TO ULTIMATELY, WHETHER IT WAS THE THREE MEN IN THE ROOM, BECAUSE THERE WERE STILL NO WOMEN, YOU HAD TO COME TO SOME AGREEMENT TO GET ANYTHING DONE. IS THAT TOO IDEALISTIC TO LOOK AT IT THAT WAY?>>WELL, IF YOU’RE 18 AND YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO VOTE AND YOU REALIZE YOU HAVE TO BE A DEMOCRAT FOR YOUR VOTE TO MEAN ANYTHING BECAUSE THE PRIMARIES DECIDE MOST OF THESE CONTESTS.>>IN NEW YORK CITY.>>RIGHT. 9/11 HAPPENED RIGHT AFTER YOU WERE BORN, THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN LOUSY, YOUR PARENTS DID OK BUT THE ODDS THAT YOU WILL MATCH THAT IS LOW, YOU’RE LIVING WITH ROOMMATES, AND YOU THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH DEBT YOU WANT TO TAKE ON. YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE 10 YEARS OLDER THAN YOU WHO ARE DEPRESSED AND LESS LIKELY TO STILL BE IN NEW YORK OR BE MARRIED, HOLD RELATIONSHIPS, BECAUSE THE COST OF LIVING IS TOO HIGH AND YOU LOOK AT THE POLITICIANS WE HAVE AN ALBANY, THEY ARE A PROFOUNDLY UNPLEASANT BUNCH, THEY NEVER GET VOTED OUT OF OFFICE, THEY ALL SEEM TO END UP GOING TO JAIL, OR GETTING DEEPLY INVESTIGATED.>>THE ONLY WAY YOU LEAVE OFFICE IS, DEATH, INDICTMENT, OR BECOMING A JUDGE.>>RIGHT, BUT THAT CHANGED THIS YEAR, BECAUSE YOUNG PEOPLE, MANY OF WHOM I DON’T THINK WERE WELL INFORMED OR COMING TO TERMS WITH POLITICS, THEY SAY HOW DO I GET INVOLVED? LOCALLY? THEY STARTED ORGANIZING. JULIA SALAZAR, WHO TOLD A BUNCH OF LIES ABOUT HER IDENTITY, THE DSA IS PROMOTING ITSELF AFTER OCASIO-CORTEZ, THEY NEEDED A SECOND WIN AS PROOF OF CONCEPT. THEY ARE NOT A POLITICAL FORCE EXACTLY, JUST YOUNG PEOPLE GETTING INVOLVED AND SAYING THE LIMITS OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE AND HOW THAT IS BEING DISCUSSED SEEMS RIDICULOUS TO US. SO THE CENTER IS SHIFTING, DRAMATICALLY. BUT I DON’T THINK THIS ENDS THE POLITICS OF CONSENSUS. YOU HAVE A DEMOCRATIC COALITION IN BOTH HOUSES IN ALBANY, THAT WILL BE BRAND-NEW. WHEN CUOMO COMES TO OFFICE, YOU HAD ELIOT SPITZER WHO WAS –, HE WAS A DISASTER. — AND YOU HAD DAVID PATERSON, WHO GAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE WITH HIS WIFE NEXT TO HIM AND SAID I CHEATED ON MY LIFE, AND I DID A LOT OF COCAINE, BUT SHE DID IT TOO. SO CUOMO COMES IN, HE’S COMPETENT, HE NEEDS SOME MIDDLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH, HE PASSES A BUDGET ON TIME AND HE DOESN’T EMBARRASS HIMSELF. WHICH HE IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF DOING. HE RAN FOR GOVERNOR PREVIOUSLY AND VERY MUCH EMBARRASSED HIMSELF. 10 YEARS LATER, 12 YEARS LATER, 8 YEARS LATER — BUT IT DOES NOT SEEM LIKE ENOUGH FOR THOSE WERE FED UP. GIVEN THE ALTERNATIVES, IT WILL PROBABLY BE GOOD ENOUGH. IN NOVEMBER IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE PRIMARY. BUT IF YOU HAVE SEVEN INCUMBENT LOSE, SIX OF THEM MEMBERS OF — MADE SOME DEALS AND GOT SOME DEMOCRATIC STUFF DONE BUT THEY DID THAT IN EXCHANGE FOR TAKING OTHER ISSUES OFF THE TABLE AND THEY JUST GOT SWEPT AWAY. INSTEAD OF HAVING TO DIE OR GET ARRESTED TO CHANGE THE DYNAMICS IN ALBANY, A QUARTER OF THE STATE SENATE CAUCUS JUST CHANGED. AND THEY WILL HAVE DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP AND DYNAMICS AND RANGE OF THE POSSIBILITIES. THEY MAY SCREW UP, THEY MAY HAVE — ISSUES. THEY JUST HAD A LEGITIMATELY EMBARRASSING CANDIDATE WHO WAS TREATED AS A FREAK SHOW IN ALBANY. EVERY SLOW DAY WHEN THE PRESS IS BORED THEY WILL USE HER AS A STORY. I’M BETTING WE WILL FIND BETTER VESSELS OVER TIME FOR THIS MOVEMENT. THE CENTER WE HAVE CANNOT PROVIDE THINGS THAT PEOPLE WANT. IT WILL GET WASHED AWAY. I WILL NOT SHED MANY TEARS WHEN WE LOSE CREDIBILITY OR WORRY ABOUT THE DAMAGE TO COME, WE ARE MOVING AWAY FROM A MODEL THAT I WOULD ARGUE IS A PROVEN FAILURE.>>ONE OF THE QUESTIONS I RAISED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS LAST ELECTION, WAS IT GENERATIONAL? IDEOLOGICAL? OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?>>A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE VERY ANGRY AT BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES, I WANT TO UNDERLINE THAT THEY WERE ALSO ANGRY AT THE DEMOCRATS. WE ARE GETTING THIS PRO-OBAMA FROSTING, BUT OBAMA DID A LOT OF THINGS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE VERY ANGRY ABOUT. INCLUDING IGNORING FLINT AND THE POISONED WATER. HORRIFIC THINGS. AND HIS RESPONSE TO THE GREAT RECESSION WAS TO BAIL OUT THE BANKS, AND NOT DO VERY MUCH AT ALL FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE LOSING THEIR JOBS, OR WORKING AT LOW WAGES, OR LOSING THEIR HOMES. LOOK AT HOW MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LOST THEIR HOMES AS A RESULT OF THE GREAT RECESSION.>>AND SOME ARE STILL UNDERWATER.>>AND OBAMA WAS THE PRESIDENT. IT’S BIGGER THAN OBAMA, AND IT’S BIGGER THAN TRUMP. IT’S BIGGER THAN THE INDIVIDUALS WHO OCCUPY POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY. OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS, THE UNITED STATES HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY. WE HAVE GONE FROM BEING AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY WITH A LOT OF THRIVING FACTORIES, AND THRIVING PEOPLE, AND BUSTLING TOWNS, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE FACTORIES CLOSED DOWN, THE MACHINERY WAS SHIPPED ABROAD. PEOPLE WHO HAD ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT THEIR KIDS WILL GROW UP TO BE LIKE THEM, THEIR SONS WILL GO WORK IN THE AUTOMOBILE PLANT, OR STEEL PLANT, THERE WAS NO FUTURE. EVERYTHING THAT WAS FAMILIAR WAS CRUMBLING. NEIGHBORHOODS WERE CRUMBLING. HOUSES WERE BOARDED UP. IF YOU GO THROUGH THE UNITED STATES BY CAR, IF YOU DON’T TAKE A PLANE, AND IF YOU TRAVEL AROUND AND LOOK AT THESE TOWNS, IT IS HORRIFIC. THERE’S A KIND OF RUTHLESSNESS, THEIR WORLD WAS BEING TRANSFORMED AND THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE WOULD BRING. WHEN THIS HAPPENS TO PEOPLE, THEY BECOME SUSCEPTIBLE TO STRONGMAN POLITICIANS WHO SAY I CAN DO IT. I AM THE SMARTEST GUY IN THE WORLD. I WAS ONLY PRESIDENT FOR 60 DAYS, AND I WAS BETTER THAN LINCOLN.>>I AGREE WITH YOU, WE’VE DECIMATED THE COUNTRY IN MANY WAYS, BUT WE DO IT BECAUSE WE ARE LOOKING AT SYMPTOMS. WE ARE NOT LOOKING AT HOW TO AVOID IT. WHEN YOU LOOK AT DETROIT, AND THIS COUNTRY IS QUICKLY BECOMING DETROIT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, BECAUSE TWO THINGS HAPPENED IN DETROIT BEGINNING 50 YEARS AGO. MANAGEMENT GOT FAT AND HAPPY, AND THE UNIONS SAID WE JUST WANT TO MAKE MORE MONEY. EVERYONE WANTS TO BLAME EVERYONE BUT IT’S A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, MANAGEMENT AND UNIONS WERE NOT TALKING WITH EACH OTHER AND SAYING WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE INNOVATIVE TOGETHER, AND PUSH IT SO THAT WE CAN RETAIN COMPETITIVENESS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD. THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF THRASHING OF ARMS AND FLAILING. SO THINGS WENT POOF. IN A SIMILAR FASHION, OUR REGULATORY AGENCY SHOULD’VE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH SUBPRIME MORTGAGES. PEOPLE WHO HAD NO JUSTIFICATION FOR GETTING HOMES WERE GETTING LOANS, SHAME OF THE BANKERS FORGET THE BROKERAGE FEES, SHAME ON THE BANKS FOR LETTING IT HAPPEN, AND SHAME ON THE POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS FOR ALLOWING IT HAPPEN. IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK ON REGULATORY AGENCIES, MANAGEMENT, AND MAKE SURE THAT OUR NEIGHBORS ARE OK, AND NOT GETTING THEMSELVES INVOLVED IN SOME CRAZY HARRY SCHEME THAT WILL PUT EVERYONE UNDERWATER.>>FOR THAT TO HAPPEN YOU NEED INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ORGANIZED WITHIN THE COMMUNITY. WHEN YOU MENTIONED UNIONS, I DON’T SEE ANY PRESS WITH UNIONS TRYING TO GET THE BEST DEAL THEY CAN FOR THEIR MEMBERS. IN GERMANY, THERE IS NO MINIMUM WAGE. DO YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE THERE’RE SO MANY UNIONS. THERE IS NO NEED FROM IN WHICH BECAUSE THE UNIONS NEGOTIATE FOR THEIR MEMBERS THE BEST DEAL THEY CAN, AND THERE IS NO ATTEMPT BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO GET RID OF THE UNION LIKE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE UNIONS HAVE TO FIGHT BACK. YOU HAVE A DECISION LIKE JANUS, THAT DIMINISHES THE POWER OF UNIONS TO BARGAIN. AND LET’S BE CLEAR, THE SUPREME COURT IS AN INSTRUMENT OF THE STATE, BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT WAS SET UP IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. AND IT’S NOT AN INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION, IT’S A POLITICAL INSTITUTION.>>YOU KNOW WHO HATED PUBLIC-SECTOR UNIONS? LA GUARDIA. HE CALLED THEM HEADLESS NAILS. THE PRIVATE-SECTOR UNIONS GOT BEATEN UP, AND THE RULES KEPT SHIFTING TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR THOSE WORKERS TO ORGANIZE AND THEY LEFT THEMSELVES VERY VULNERABLE TO THIS SORT OF SUPREME COURT DECISION WHICH EFFECTIVELY SAYS IT’S MUCH EASIER FOR YOU TO NOT PAY DUES AND CONTINUE TO COLLECT THE BENEFITS, AND FREE RIDE. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING VERY COMPLICATED AND HAVING PUBLIC-SECTOR UNIONS THAT ARE NOT NEGOTIATING WITH THEIR EMPLOYERS AND HAVING THOSE AT THE HEART OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT. AND WHAT WE’VE STARTED TO SEE WITH OCCUPY, LABOR TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT. YOU MENTIONED FRANCHISES, AND BOTH PARTIES ARE HOLLOWED OUT, AND YOU CAN SEE BIG UNIONS SUDDENLY ORGANIZING FAST FOOD WORKERS.>>BECAUSE IT TOOK THEM A WHILE TO ACCEPT IMMIGRANTS.>>AND ALL THESE OTHER GROUPS. THEY GAVE UP, IT WAS TOO HARD TO ORGANIZE, THERE WAS TOO MUCH OUTSOURCING AND THEY COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHO THE WORKERS ARE. WHEN WE GET BACK TO THE GRASSROOTS, ORGANIZE, AND TRY TO HOLD SOME SORT OF LABOR FORCE THAT HAS TO BE LOCAL WORK, IT DEMANDS PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION. THE DANGER IS THAT YOU GET AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, DONE, THROUGH THE BIG MAN. IN OUR CASE, ANDREW CUOMO. HE REACHES A DEAL TO GET THE AIRPORT WORKERS UP TO $15. AND THE DAILY NEWS WAS INSTRUMENTAL. IF YOU DO THAT BIT BY BIT, ONE POWERFUL MAN PUSHING FOR THIS AS OPPOSED TO ACTUALLY ORGANIZING AND PUTTING IN THIS WORK AND DOING IT LOCALLY, IT DOESN’T LAST LONG.>>THE POLITICAL REALITY, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT OBAMA, I WOULD LIKE TO STICK UP FOR OBAMA. 2008 IS THE WORST RECESSION WE HAD SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. BUT THERE’S A HISTORY, WHEN ONE PARTY CONTROLS ALL OF GOVERNMENT THAT YOU WIND UP WITH THE THROW THE BUMS OUT PHENOMENON. 1974 WHEN RICHARD NIXON LEFT, THE DEMOCRATS SWEPT. 1994 UNDER CLINTON, THE REPUBLICANS SWEPT OUT THE DEMOCRATS. 2006, UNDER BUSH, THE DEMOCRATS HAD A MAJOR RESURGENCE. IN 2010, THE REPUBLICANS BOOTED UP THE DEMOCRATS. I WONDER IF IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS FRUSTRATION, WITH INEFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT, THE INABILITY TO CUT A DEAL, OR HAVE A VISION THAT WOULD COME ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM, IT’S THAT IT’S MORE OF A THROW THE BUMS OUT PHENOMENON.>>I THINK THAT’S HAPPENING. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AS WE KNEW IS DEAD. IT’S UNRECOGNIZABLE. I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BEFORE, EITHER.>>IT WAS A FREE TRADE AGAINST PEOPLE.>>AND NOW NO ONE KNOWS, IT’S TRUMP, AND WHITE SUPREMACY.>>RACE IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.>>AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GOING THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION, YOU HAVE A NEW WAVE OF YOUNG PEOPLE, WORKING PEOPLE, GETTING TOGETHER, WITHOUT A SPECIFIC AGENDA BUT THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DON’T WANT, THEY DON’T WANT IS THE SAME AS BEFORE. AND IT’S GOING THROUGH A TRANSFORMATION. I SEE THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. WHEN A COLONY IS TRYING TO GAIN INDEPENDENCE FROM THE INVADER.>>PUERTO RICO.>>I’M PUERTO RICAN, THAT’S WHY. IF COLONIZED BY THE EMPIRE, THEY WORK TOGETHER, AND THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. IF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WINS THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS, THAT IS WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS, WHICH IS THE CIVIL WAR. AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE IT, THAT WILL HAPPEN IN JANUARY, WHEN PELOSI COMES, WITH THE OLD AND NEW GENERATION, AND YOU WILL SEE THE WAR WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMPLETELY CLEAR, AND THERE WILL BE NO DOUBT. THAT WAR, LIKE JEFFERSON USED TO SAY, YOU NEED TO SHED SOME BLOOD ONCE IN A WHILE IN ORDER TO HAVE THINGS MOVING.>>AND POLITICAL BLOOD IS DIFFERENT THAN PHYSICAL BLOOD.>>YES. THIS IS POLITICAL.>>YOU ARE ARGUING THAT IT REALLY IS A COMBINATION OF THROW THE BUMS OUT, AND GENERATIONAL. I’M A CHILD OF THE 1960s, WHAT DID WE DO IF NOT KICK OUT THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT?>>PEOPLE ARE ANGRY AT THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP FOR SELLING OUT, THAT’S THE PROBLEM. AND THE CLINTONS ARE AT THE HEART OF THE SELLOUT. BOTH OF THEM. OBAMA IS PART OF IT AS WELL. THE DEMOCRATS ALLOWED DEINDUSTRIALIZATION. CLINTON WAS A BIG CHAMPION OF GLOBALIZATION. HE WAS A BIG FAN OF TRADE PACKS. PEOPLE KNOW THAT, THERE’S A REASON THAT IN MICHIGAN, 90,000 PEOPLE LEFT THE TOP OF THE BALLOT BLANK WHEN THEY WENT TO VOTE.>>BETWEEN TRUMP AND CLINTON.>>YES. CAN YOU IMAGINE.>>WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE NATURE OF THE CANDIDATES THAT WE ARE SUPPORTING AS WELL AS ATTRACTING? WHO WANTS THEIR UNDERWEAR SCRUTINIZED? WOULD ANY OF US? MAYBE FOLKS IN THE AUDIENCE, WOULD ANY OF YOU SAY ALL I WILL RUN FOR STATE SENATE? CONGRESS? PRESIDENT? WHO WANTS TO GO THROUGH THE SCRUTINY? I WOULD SAY THEY’RE GOING FOR ALMOST TOO MUCH THE WRONG REASONS, EGO, SELF GRATIFICATION. I’M BEING PROSAIC, I GET IT. BUT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, WE WANT THE PEOPLE OF THE SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT BUT ALSO THE COMPETENCE AND INTEGRITY TO STAND UP FOR THEIR CONVICTIONS AND TRY TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND BRING DISPARATE PEOPLE TOGETHER. SAYING WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, AND YOU GOT A GREAT IDEA AND I HAVE GREAT IDEA, LET’S FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER.>>WE ARE NOT ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. THERE WAS A DRAMATIC RECESSION IN 2008.>>ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?>>WE ARE SLOWLY COVERING, WHEN WE PUSHED AWAY THE FOG IN THE CLOUDS, AND THE FINANCIAL SECTOR WAS ROARING AND MAKING SO MUCH MONEY. AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES, THEIR JOBS. WE’RE NOT IN THIS TOGETHER.>>IT DID NOT TRICKLE DOWN. THE WHOLE ARGUMENT WAS IF YOU SAVE THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM –>>IT NEVER TRICKLES DOWN.>>NEW YORK DID NOT HAVE A RECESSION, FORGET A GREAT RECESSION, NEW YORK WAS FINE BECAUSE THE BANKS WERE FINE.>>WE DID HAVE A LOT OF FORECLOSURES.>>ABSOLUTELY, BUT PART OF WHAT CONFUSES THIS IS THAT NEW YORK DID NOT EXPERIENCE WHAT THE REST OF THE NATION DID, BECAUSE WE ARE THE CAPITAL OF FINANCE AND IT’S A BLUE STATE. CHUCK SCHUMER WAS NOT LOOKING FOR A WAR ON WALL STREET. ELIOT SPITZER WAS NOT LOOKING FOR ONE AND — SON OF A REAL ESTATE BILLIONAIRE WHICH IS THE TRADITIONAL PATH FOR NEW YORK POLITICS, IT HAS BEEN A VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE HERE THAN IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, BECAUSE SO MUCH OF THE MEDIA IS HERE, AND THEY THINK OF THIS AS FLYOVER TERRITORY, AND THAT’S CONFUSING. BUT WE HAVE MORE DEBT NOW, NOT HOUSING DEBT, BUT MORE TOTAL DEBT AND THIS IS PEOPLE, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. MORE TOTAL DEBT, MORE COLLEGE DEBT, MORE AUTO LOAN DEBT THAN WE DID IN 2008. WE HAVE GONE 40 YEARS WITHOUT ANY REAL GROWTH IN WAGES. WE HAVE MORE DEBT, AND WE ARE A LITTLE PROTECTED BECAUSE THE DOLLAR IS THE WORLD’S RESERVE CURRENCY, SO WHEN WE BLEW UP THE WORLD IN 2008, THE WORLD RESPONDED BY DROPPING ITS DOLLARS HERE, PUTTING THEM IN NEW YORK AND INTO REAL ESTATE. SO THERE IS STILL A LITTLE SPACE, BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS CURRENCY, BUT YOU COULD SEE THE BREAKDOWN OF THE POLITICS. LIKE THE PARANOID POLITICS OF ARGENTINA, WE ARE MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION. WHAT YOU’RE SAYING ABOUT THE INABILITY TO ARGUE IN GOODWILL, THAT THINGS MOVING TO CLAIMS OF CONSPIRACY AND SECRET MOTIVES, MUCH MORE QUICKLY THAN WE USED TO. AND THIS HAPPENED OVER 40 YEARS AGO.>>AND SOME OF THAT IS TECHNOLOGICAL, AND THE FRAGMENTING OF THE MEDIA WORLD IN WHICH WE DO NOT HAVE COMMON FACT. WE DON’T LISTEN.>>BUT THIS MEANS PEOPLE CAN ORGANIZE THEMSELVES. — HOWARD DEAN, YOU CAN RAISE MONEY AND YOU DON’T NEED THE TRADITIONAL GATEKEEPING SYSTEMS. YOU CAN ORGANIZE ACTIVISTS AND VOTERS. THE PARTIES THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE THAT FUNCTION HAVE STOPPED DOING IT, THEY ADVERTISE THE SERVICES, BUT THERE IS NOT A SERIOUS FUNCTIONAL PART OF THIS, ALL THE CONSULTANCY PUT MONEY INTO THAT AND THIS HAS BECOME ITS OWN ISSUE. TRUMP BYPASSED A LOT OF THAT, THAT WAS SOMETHING HE DID SEE AND GET TO AHEAD OF TIME. SO WE HAVE THIS ADVANTAGE OVER THE REST OF THE WORLD AND THE QUESTION IS DO WE KEEP IT? DO WE MANAGE TO ITS DECLINE? AND WHEN GLOBALISM IS BREAKING DOWN AND WHEN NO ONE IN THE U.S. WANTS TO GO TO WORLD WAR III AS TRUMP SAID OVER MONTENEGRO, EVERYONE IS DUBIOUS AND WITH SOME GOOD REASON OF A NEW TRADE DEAL OUTSIDE OF THE ESTABLISHMENTS ALONG THE COAST, AND THE MONEY IS DUBIOUS OF A NEW TRADE DEAL WITH ASIA ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT NAFTA, WE NEED TO START WORKING OUT SOME NEW ARRANGEMENTS. IF YOU DON’T RESPONSIBLY DO THAT IN SHORT ORDER, YOU OPEN UP THE SPACE FOR DEMAGOGUES. AND THEN WE HAVE 40 YEARS OF FLATTENING.>>WE ARE RIGHT THERE NOW, TRUMP.>>YES, IT’S REMARKABLE, AND SAD.>>THE ABSENCE OF THE MIDDLE. IS THERE A MIDDLE? YOU DON’T THINK THERE IS A MIDDLE. IS IT AN IDEOLOGICAL FIGHT TO THE DEATH? AND I DON’T WANT TO UNDERCUT THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO BENEFIT, THIS IS NOT A PIE-IN-THE-SKY IDEOLOGY. THERE ARE REAL PEOPLE, REAL POOR PEOPLE, WHO WILL BE BENEFIT OR HURT, OR HELPED. IS THIS A FIGHT TO THE FINISH?>>YOU KNOW WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS, THE TALK ABOUT BUILDING THE MIDDLE IS ALWAYS DIRECTED TO DEMOCRATS ON THE LEFT. DO WE TELL RICH REPUBLICANS THAT WE HAVE TO BUILD THE MIDDLE? NO. THE MIDDLE IS DIRECTED AGAINST DEMOCRATS. THE LAST TIME THERE WAS A BIG CAMPAIGN TO TEMPER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IT MOVED TO THE RIGHT. AND IT WAS THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, AND IT WAS A DISASTER. IT WAS A COMPLETE DISASTER. WHAT WE REALLY NEED IS POLITICAL LEADERS WHO CAN IDENTIFY THE ISSUES THAT ARE TEARING PEOPLE APART.>>AT THE RISK OF GETTING MYSELF IN TROUBLE, WAS IT A COMPLETE DISASTER? THERE WAS LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON, WHO WAS THE MASTER OF THE DEAL, THE CREATOR OF THE DLC, THE MASTER OF TRIANGULATION, TRYING TO PULL EVERYONE TOGETHER. YOU HAD LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT, LOWER DEFICITS, A LARGE INCREASE IN JOBS.>>BUT HE ALSO CREATED THE SEED OF WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW. THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT WAS ELIMINATED. WHICH WAS SOMETHING THAT COMES FROM THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, FROM THE EXTREME RIGHT. HE DECIDED TO GET RID OF THAT, AND WELFARE AS WE KNEW IT. WHICH HAS BEEN COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED. THERE ARE STUDENTS AT CUNY WHO HAVE TO GO TO THE WORKFARE, AND THEY CANNOT COMPLETE IN FOUR YEARS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO TAKE TIME OFF TO GO PICK UP CACA IN CENTRAL PARK AS PART OF THE WORKFARE PROGRAM. THEY’RE DELAYING THEIR EDUCATION, WHICH CREATES WORKERS AND HELP ECONOMY. A MOVE BY CLINTON. WE CAN GO ON AND ON. BUT HE CREATED AT THE SAME TIME, WHEN THE ECONOMY — HE WAS CREATING THE SEEDS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW. HE WAS NOT A REPUBLICAN. HE WAS A DEMOCRAT DOING THINGS THAT REPUBLICANS WANTED TO DO. HE DID IT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BRING THE RIGHT CENTER TO JOIN HIM, SO HE COULD WIN HIS SECOND TERM. NOTHING ELSE. IT WAS POLITICAL AMBITIONS TO GET HIS SECOND TERM BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT UNLESS HE GOT THE REPUBLICANS MOVING A LITTLE TO HIM, HE WAS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO WIN THE SECOND TERM. AFTER THE DISASTER OF THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN 1994.>>THE TWO BIGGEST FLAWS UNDER CLINTON WERE, GLASS-STEAGALL AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT DROPPING THE BALL ON BIN LADEN.>>IF YOU HAVE 4% GROWTH, EVERYTHING IS FINE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT WHO WE ARE BECAUSE THERE’S ENOUGH TO GO AROUND. WHEN THINGS STOP GROWING THAT’S WHEN IT GETS COMPLICATED. THE ACTUAL CENTERS THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T CARE, AND THEY DON’T THINK MUCH ABOUT THIS. THEY DON’T WANT TO BE SUPER ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS. WHEN VOTER TURNOUT IS TOO HIGH THAT IS A PROBLEM. IT WAS HIGH WHEN GIULIANI AND DICKENS WERE HAVING THE RACE WAR. SO CLINTON AND EVERY PRESIDENT TRIES TO STIMULATE GROWTH, AND HE TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING OBAMA DID. HE SAID LET’S DO A NATIONAL HEALTH THING. HE DIDN’T GET IT. OBAMA DID. IN BOTH CASES REPUBLICANS TOOK CONTROL AS A PUSH BACK. YOUR WAVE HAS GONE FAR ENOUGH, LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TO CORRECT IT. IN A LOT OF WAYS HE HAD A MORE FUNCTIONAL REST OF HIS PRESIDENCY BECAUSE HE HAD A USABLE CENTER. THERE WAS REASONABLE STABILITY IN THE LAST PERIOD OF THAT. HE LEAVES. THE TOWERS ARE HIT. WE HAVE AN IDIOTIC WAR, AND PEOPLE WHO WERE VOTING MORE AT THAT TIME, THINGS HAVE BEEN ON AN OBVIOUS DECLINE PATH SINCE. HE SOWED A LOT OF SEEDS FOR WHAT WENT WRONG AND IT’S FAIR TO LOOK BACK AND SAY THAT. BUT THAT WAS THE LAST FUNCTIONAL AND FUNCTIONING PRESIDENCY WE HAD IN A LOT OF WAYS, DESPITE IMPEACHMENT CRAZINESS, AND REPUBLICANS NO LONGER PLAYING FAIRLY IN ANY WAY. I THINK IT’S DANGEROUS TO BE TOO HARSH ABOUT THAT, AND IT WORRIES ME ABOUT A PURGE ON THE LEFT GOING FORWARD WHEN THE REVISIONISM IS THIS RAPID. I DON’T LIKE THE CLINTONS. I THINK THE CLINTONS HAD MANY PROBLEMS. WHEN WE GET TO THIS YEAR’S WAVE ELECTION, — I’LL USE CUOMO AS AN EXAMPLE. HE WAS A SECRETARY UNDER THE CLINTONS, A TWO-TERM DEMOCRAT WHO WAS NOMINATED AGAINST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST CYNTHIA NIXON. IT IS THE HEARTFELT BELIEF OF EVERY RISING NEW VOTER THAT HE IS NOT A DEMOCRAT, HE’S A CLOSET REPUBLICAN, AND A COMPLETE BUM. I DON’T THINK HE’S A GOOD GOVERNOR AND I THINK HE IS PROBABLY A CRIMINAL. THAT’S A SEPARATE QUESTION.>>HE’S VERY OFFENSIVE, HE HAS NO CHARISMA, NO WONDER THEY DON’T LIKE HIM.>>THEY DON’T LIKE HIM BECAUSE HE IS MEANT TO BE A BORDER CASE FOR EXPRESSING WHAT A REAL DEMOCRAT OR PROGRESSIVE IS, AND IT IS NOT THIS. SO, HIM AND DE BLASIO, MORE SIMILAR IN A BUNCH OF WAYS, EACH USES THE OTHER AS A BETE NOIRE, WHILE CUOMO DOES THE SAME WITH TRUMP, SAYS, I AM AGAINST THE POLITICS OF DIVISION BUT HE IS NOT SENDING –>>I’M VICTORIA, I GO TO THE JOHN JAY COLLEGE. WE ARE TALKING A LOT ABOUT DIVISIVENESS, AND DIVIDED TIMES. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? HOW CAN WE ENSURE THERE IS PRODUCTIVITY AFTER THE ELECTION? ARE WE GOING TO FIGHT ABOUT US BEING DIVIDED? HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE BETTER CONVERSATIONS?>>IF YOU SEE REPUBLICANS CONTINUING, AND IF YOU LOOK AROUND THE COUNTRY, AT THE FLORIDA’S GOVERNOR RACE, THE HARD RIGHT CANDIDATE WON THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION, AND HE’S NOT AS HARD LEFT, BUT THE MAYOR OF TALLAHASSEE WHO IS THE FURTHEST ON THE LEFT OF THE DEMOCRATS, AND WE HAVE SEEN THAT ELSEWHERE. IS THERE ANY HOPE OF GETTING THINGS TOGETHER?>>PARTICIPATE IN YOUR LOCAL LIFE. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SCHOOLS, AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU. BUILD ON THAT, IF MORE PEOPLE BUILD DO THAT, WE WILL BE IN A HEALTHY PLACE. WE ARE DOING A SHORTHAND WITH NATIONAL POLITICS WHERE PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE REPRESENTING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, I THINK THE POLITICS WILL ONLY GOING TO GET UGLIER.>>– PREDATORY POLITICIANS AND THEIR ALLIES, WHO ARE DESTROYING CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, IT’S NOT A BAD THING. IF WE ARE THE ONES WHO SAY WE TRY TO MAKE NICE, CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET TOGETHER, AND NOW THAT WILL NOT STOP THEM. LOOK AT WHAT TRUMP IS DOING TO THE COURTS?>>IT WILL NOT STOP THEM BUT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY. HOW MANY IN THE AUDIENCE WERE SURPRISED THAT TRUMP GOT ELECTED? BE HONEST?>>EVERYBODY.>>MAY BE PART OF THE SURPRISE IS THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT ALL WELL-VERSED ENOUGH IN WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND US? IT’S NOT JUST THE PERSON AROUND THE BLOCK, IT’S THE PERSON IN A FLYOVER STATE. WE AS NEW YORKERS IN PARTICULAR HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD. I FIND THIS FRUSTRATION ALL THE TIME. PEOPLE SAY HILLARY SHOULD HAVE WON –>>I WANT TO GO INTO ANOTHER QUESTION. BUT THIS RAISES THE QUESTION OF SUSAN SARANDON, THAT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. IF BERNIE COULDN’T WIN, IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE IF CLINTON OR TRUMP WON. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE IF AL GORE WON IN 2000 OR GEORGE W. BUSH. IF YOU GO BACK FAR ENOUGH IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE IF JIMMY CARTER WON OR RONALD REAGAN. I THINK, IT MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE.>>I DON’T KNOW ANYBODY WHO SAYS THAT. NOBODY THOUGHT TRUMP WAS GOING TO WIN BUT NOBODY SAID IT WOULDN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IF HE WON. MOREOVER, HE DIDN’T WIN. HE LOST THE POPULAR VOTE BY 3 MILLION VOTES.>>BUT HE WON BY APPEALING TO RACE AND WHITE WORKING-CLASS VOTERS IN THE RUST BELT.>>YOU HAVE TO READ KATHLEEN JAMIESON’S NEW BOOK, IT WAS WITH THE HELP OF RUSSIAN TROLLS AND HACKERS.>>AND ALSO THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN, HOW COULD YOU NOT CAMPAIGN IN OHIO? OR GO TO MICHIGAN?>>YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THE RACIAL DOG WHISTLE WAS POLITICAL.>>100%. THAT’S PART OF IT.>>AND THE ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION AND THE BREAKDOWN OF MANUFACTURING, AND THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS.>>IF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES HAD PUT THE WORD DEMOCRACY AND HAD PUT THE RIGHT TO VOTE, IN THE CONSTITUTION, AND NOT USING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGES, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AN ISSUE BECAUSE THEN HILLARY WOULD HAVE WON BY 3 MILLION. THE REASON THAT IT’S NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION IS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO PUT IT IN THE CONSTITUTION. THEY WANTED TO HAVE A REPUBLIC THAT WAS GOING TO HELP THE ELITES, THAT CREATED THE CONSTITUTION AND THEY WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW.>>TELL US YOUR NAME, CAMPUS, AND SPEAK UP.>>MY NAME IS JESSICA, I GO TO HUNTER COLLEGE. WHAT ROLE DO YOU FEEL DISENFRANCHISEMENT PLAYS IN THIS CONVERSATION?>>DO YOU MEAN PEOPLE WHO CANNOT VOTE?>>PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN DELIBERATELY BLOCKED.>>VOTER SUPPRESSION.>>IN NEW YORK, THIS IS A REASON THE REPUBLICANS HAVE HELD THE STATE SENATE IN A STATE THAT IS NATURALLY ALL DEMOCRATIC AT THIS POINT AND THE REASON THEY CANNOT WIN THE STATEWIDE RACES IS BECAUSE PRISONERS WHO WERE ALL IN UPSTATE AND THAT WAS MARIO CUOMO’S BIG JOB DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. YOU ARE ALLOCATING VOTERS TO WHERE THE DISTRICTS ARE.>>LIKE WITH SLAVES IN THE SOUTH.>>I THINK THAT’S A STRONG EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS HAS PLAYED OUT BUT PASSED STRAIGHT UP DISENFRANCHISEMENT, STRONG VOTER DISCOURAGEMENT IS A POWERFUL FORCE. IT KEEPS PEOPLE OUT OF THE HABIT OF VOTING, AND PARTICIPATING, IT DIMINISHES TURNOUT WHICH ALL POLITICIANS TEND TO LIKE BECAUSE IT CREATES A PREDICTABLE ELECTORATE.>>BUT IT’S ALSO OBVIOUSLY REDISTRICTING. YOU CAN TAKE THE SAME 19 MILLION PEOPLE AND DEPENDING ON HOW YOU DIVIDE THEM UP YOU CAN HAVE A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY, AND ONE VOTE MAJORITY AMONG REPUBLICAN –>>THERE ARE STILL JIM CROW LAWS THAT GO BEFORE THESE THINGS. IN FLORIDA, THERE WILL BE A REFERENDUM IN NOVEMBER. 1.7 MILLION PEOPLE, WHO CANNOT VOTE IN FLORIDA, BECAUSE THEY HAD A FELONY, THEY COME FROM JIM CROW ERA, THAT DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO VOTE. TRUMP WON FLORIDA BY 40,000 VOTES. IMAGINE IF THAT 1.7 MOSTLY BLACK AND BROWN POPULATION HAD BEEN ABLE TO VOTE, HE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RECEIVE 30 ELECTORAL VOTES.>>THIS IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT’S SOMETHING WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING ABOUT. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AND THE REPUBLICAN STATE PARTY, ESPECIALLY REPUBLICANS IN THE STATE LEGISLATURES HAVE HIT UPON AN ANCIENT AMERICAN PRACTICE, VOTER SUPPRESSION. AS A WAY OF OVERCOMING THE DISADVANTAGE THAT COMES FROM WHAT IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE MAJORITY MINORITY ELECTORATE. AND AFTER THE KAVANAUGH HEARINGS — REPUBLICAN. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS IN REAL TROUBLE. IT DOES NOT HAVE AN ELECTORATE WHICH COULD CONCEIVABLY HAVE A STABLE MAJORITY. AND THE WAY IT IS HANDLING THAT PROBLEM IS GOING INTO THE STATE LEGISLATURES, GETTING LAWS REQUIRING THAT PEOPLE HAVE VOTER IDS. IN NEW HAMPSHIRE THEY GO AFTER STUDENTS, WHO HAVE TO HAVE A SPECIAL KIND OF ID. THEY GO AFTER THOSE GROUPS IN THE DEMOCRATIC ELECTORATE THAT THEY CAN JUSTIFY. THOSE PEOPLE COMMIT FRAUD THEY SAY, THERE IS NO FRAUD. IT’S ALL PROPAGANDA. IT’S A BIG CHANGE THAT IS OCCURRING IN THE UNITED STATES. YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE — I DON’T THINK. BUT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS AND PRACTICES. AND THERE ARE SO MANY NONVOTERS IN THE UNITED STATES, WHO COULD VOTE, AND WE COULD CHANGE AMERICAN ELECTORAL POLITICS. WE WOULD STILL HAVE PROBLEMS, FOSSIL FUELS, THE KOCH BROTHERS, IT WOULD NOT BE HAPPY DEMOCRACY EVEN THEN. BUT AT LEAST WE WOULD HAVE A FLOURISHING ELECTORATE.>>AND VERY QUICKLY, BECAUSE I WANT TO GO TO OTHER QUESTIONS, IS FINDING THE POLITICAL CENTER A HAPPY DEMOCRACY?>>BETTER THAN WE HAVE NOW. I DON’T LIKE WAKING UP IN THE MORNING AND READING THE PAPER. THIS IS TAKING US DOWN EVERY WRONG METRIC IN THE WRONG WAY. IT WAS WORKING BETTER WHEN CIVIL RIGHTS LAW WAS CREATED THROUGH BIPARTISANSHIP. IT WAS A REPUBLICAN FROM ILLINOIS, AND A DEMOCRAT FROM MONTANA. HOW OFTEN DO YOU THINK THESE HAPPEN? THIS IS WHERE WE WANT TO GO FURTHER. NASA WAS CREATED, WE HAD A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, AND THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS. WE HAD THE CHIP LAW, CHILDREN AND HEALTH INSURANCE HAPPEN BECAUSE TED KENNEDY FROM MASSACHUSETTS, A DEMOCRAT, AND ORRIN HATCH, A REPUBLICAN. THESE THINGS MADE OUR COLLECTIVE COUNTRY BETTER, BECAUSE WE HAD THE BEST OF THE INTENTIONS AND CONVICTIONS FROM ONE SIDE AND THE OTHER COMING TOGETHER AND MAKING LAW THAT AFFECTED ALL OF US.>>YES, TELL US YOUR NAME AND CAMPUS.>>MY NAME IS SOLOMON, I’M FROM QUEENS COLLEGE. AS SOMEONE WHO IS A CENTRIST, I LOOK FOR THE RESULTS OF WHAT A POLITICIAN IS GOING TO SAY, ARE THEY GOING TO PROVIDE THE RESULTS TO BACK UP THEIR CLAIMS? A LOT OF POLITICIANS GO INTO THIS CAREER FOR THE POWER, AND PRESTIGE, AND GET ON THE NATIONAL STAGE. — DONALD TRUMP AND ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE REST OF THE PARTIES WHEN THEY CANNOT PROVE THEIR STATEMENTS?>>I’VE COVERED POLITICS, I THINK THERE’S EGO, THERE’S MORAL CORRUPTION. A LOT OF PEOPLE GO INTO IT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING. I’M SKEPTICAL, BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE CYNICAL.>>POLITICIANS ARE PEOPLE, RIGHT?>>CORPORATIONS, TOO. [LAUGHTER]>>PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF WHAT THEY CAN WITHIN ANY GIVEN SYSTEM, THERE ARE SOME BETTER ANGELS, AND A LOT OF WORSE ONES, AND YOU BUILD A WALL, TAKES A LONG TIME, AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THINGS EATING AT THAT WALL. TERMITES OR PEOPLE. SO YOU HAVE A SYSTEM THAT HOLDS THEM ACCOUNTABLE, AND THE SYSTEM IS MADE UP OF PEOPLE. WE REACHED A BIG PERIOD OF MAGICAL THINKING, THROUGH MULTIPLE WARS, NEARLY CRASHING THE WORLD ECONOMY, AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF WHERE IT’S LIKE, IT’S BAD, BUT THE SYSTEMS ARE WORKING, EVEN WHEN IT’S VERY OBVIOUS THEY WERE NOT. GOING BACK TO THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT AND THE BUSH WAR. IT’S BEEN OBVIOUS THAT OUR SUPPORTS ARE BREAKING DOWN. ONE IMPORTANT THING WITH REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW, IF YOU DON’T SEE A LONG-TERM PATH TO VICTORY, YOU START GETTING INTO ASTROID MENTALITY. SO THERE ARE ALL THOSE ASTROID 2016 BUMPER STICKERS, BECAUSE THE OPTION WAS THE CLINTONS. IF YOU’RE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AND YOU HAVE POWER, AND YOU KNOW THAT NATIONALLY YOU MIGHT HAVE MORE OF AN ADVANTAGE IN THE STATES, BECAUSE OBAMA WAS REMISS IN DEALING WITH THAT, YOU CAN THINK DIFFERENTLY IF THERE IS A FUTURE. IF YOU WANT TO BE THERE IN 20 YEARS. IF THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT I’M HOLDING THIS POWER IN FIVE YEARS, EVEN IF YOU ARE PRINCIPLED PERSON, WHAT VOTE FOR AND WHAT YOU DO ARE VERY DIFFERENT.>>ONE OF THE THINGS WE DID NOT TALK ABOUT IS THE DARK MONEY ISSUE. SYSTEMICALLY WE HAVE A PROBLEM THAT ALLOWS HUMAN BEINGS TO BECOME AS BAD AS THEY CAN BE WITHOUT SOMEONE STOPPING IT UNTIL YOU THINK THROUGH THE SYSTEM BETTER, ALL THAT WILL CONTINUE.>>I STUDY AT MACCAULAY HONORS COLLEGE. I HAVE A TWO PART QUESTION. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN TERMS OF DESTROYING THE CENTER? IF WE LOOK AT FOX NEWS AS BEING ONE OF THE MOST-WATCHED CHANNELS THERE REALLY IS NO LEFT WING SIDE TO THAT, AND I DID WANT TO ASK ABOUT TERM LIMITS, WHAT WOULD THAT DO TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM?>>TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, YOU HAVE THE ANSWER. WHEN YOU GO TO AN AIRPORT ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, THE STATION ON THE TV MONITOR IS FOX NEWS. THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS WATCHING IT.>>IT’S CNN.>>THE MEDIA IS A BIG PROBLEM. TRUMP, OF COURSE, IS DETERMINED TO MAKE IT A WORSE PROBLEM BY DENOUNCING THOSE OF THE MEDIA WHO ARE NOT ALREADY CONTROLLED.>>LET’S LEAVE TERM LIMITS FOR ANOTHER ARGUMENT BECAUSE IT’S VERY INTERESTING.>>MY NAME IS FATIMA, I’M FROM JOHN JAY, HOW DO WE CREATE A MIDDLE GROUND UNDER AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAS NO RESPECT FOR THE TRUTH?>>IS MIDDLEGROUND CONCEIVABLE UNDER A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION?>>THERE IS A PROCESS THAT HAS TO TAKE PLACE IN ANY EXERCISE TO GET TO THE TRUTH, OR CLOSE TO IT. YOU HAVE A THESIS, YOU HAVE AN ANTI-THESIS, YOU DEBATE IT, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE DIALECTICAL PROCESS TO GET TO THE MIDDLE POINT IF THERE IS GOING TO BE ONE. I THINK THERE ARE SOME PROPOSALS THAT ARE BEING MADE THAT ARE KEEPING THAT DEBATE, THAT STRUGGLE WHICH HAS TO HAPPEN IN ORDER TO FINANCE THE ARGUMENTS.>>I HAVE TO CUT US OFF. I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL. I WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME. THANK YOU. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

Maurice Vega

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