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tv   Open Phones with Peggy Noonan  CSPAN  December 26, 2015 6:34am-7:31am EST

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my goodness, i got a wonderful. school they were to produce some young people who look more like robespierre and joy koban than honest inquiry students trying to learn things. second thing on your point on the republicans, i worried this year that the 2016 cycle would turn into a bloody fight on one side versus of boring fight on the other. when it is bloody versus boring
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people will think boring is better than bloody. the republicans inescapably are fighting about ideas and stands and different conceptions of what conservatism is. here is what i think is the most important thing happening on the republican side. this year. i will try to say it quickly. event 1976 to 1980, ronald reagan and gerald ford had an epic clash over one question and that question was will the republican party be a conservative party? or will it continue as a moderate liberal conservativeish republican party? reagan by winning, fabulously impressive landslide in 80, and a bigger landslide, 49 states in '84 and said the question for
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the republican party, the republican party will be a conservative party. but i think is happening now in the 2016 cycle is that republicans are with a certain inert ability trying to answer the question we are a conservative party, what does conservative mean? what does that mean with regard to how we deal with the entitlements? is a conservative someone who says my goodness, the entitlements will bankrupt our children, we have to get control of that, are the conservatives someone who says the deal is the deal, the american people paid into those programs with a promise, we got to keep our promises, there are a number of ways to answer that question, foreign affairs also, what is a conservative, the party is fighting for release things. i think the fight is launched in 2016, donald trump helped launch
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it, helped launch it. it may be fought for a long time but at the end of the day politics is the arena in which these questions must be thought out. i respect the republicans for fighting them out and it makes me think of little less of the democrats that they are having a far less vigorous debate with a smaller number of people on the stage and a coronation looking inevitable. it seems -- it feels to me and democratic, small the enlarged the. >> host: have you met donald trump? >> i met him once to my memory. i met him at a large awards dinner of some sort. he seemed exactly like a real-estate developer. like a colorful new yorker. i have a sense with trump that he ought to be running for mayor
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of new york, you know? doesn't that sound right? bill deblasio is the mayor right now all, not the most popular person in this city or in the world and what republicans need is a self funding colorful definitive character as big as the city of new york. i kind of thing that would be a lovely thing if he did that. >> host: the new book is called "the time of our lives". david in florida, up the coastal little bit, you are on with peggy noonan. >> exactly 100 miles up the. good evening, thank you for c-span. peggy noonan, i have followed your career ever since i saw that article about you in esquire magazine wind you were a speech writer for president reagan and you never fail to --
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you never fail but to write the best, you never disappoint. i still remember. >> i thought you were saying the opposite, i got anxious. >> caller: i thought i was about to. i stopped myself. these are the men to read my lips, it is great speaking to you and also great that finally the miami book fair has a non liberal also speaking. thank you very much. >> guest: i have a lot of fun. the audience was funny and
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delightful. >> host: you are one of the few conservative authors down there. >> guest: will he have a question? that was very nice of him. very nice and generous of him to call. i am not sure what you asked. >> host: you are one of the few conservative authors who had been invited. >> guest: is that so? there should be more conservative authors at the miami book fair. i hadn't noticed. i am very big on everybody, i am big on the first amendment, free-speech and everybody jumped into the pool. i like when people declare what their thoughts are and where they stand and it makes life more fun and more vivid and i like debates, i like to watch debate, i like it when everyone is vigorously -- i had not
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noticed there was custody of conservatives here and i will speak to them and say we need more conservatives next year. >> host: mike texts in to you has your opinion of president obama change over the last seven years? if so why? >> guest: it has. i hope but also thought that president obama when he came into the white house would have the judgment of the american people that would be, they are very divided, there's a lot of political division here. i am going to try to hold this thing together with both hands. it was disturbing for me. it was disheartening for me when at two points early on in the first year of his presidency two things happened, one is that he passed a budget without any
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republican support, more fatally not in the first year but the second year of his administration, he put through obamacare as it is called without a single republican vote. both of these things were very bad. every president of my lifetime has known that any major american initiative especially a new initiative like obamacare needs to have at least the appearance of bipartisan support. you have to have some of them, you have to make painful compromises to get the other side to come with you but i argue the president could have done that. it seems to me the obama white house got carried away with this idea. i may be wrong about this that this is what i think i saw. the obama white house cannot carry waves this idea is that the republicans are in transition to, hayden, want to
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kill them and will never give them an inch and they base that feeling non a goofy phone call mitch mcconnell apparently had. in which he reportedly, and i think believably said his supporters, our number one priority now is to defeat this president. i had been in washington long enough but also ready enough books and enough history to know that all losing party say that about the new president everytime there is a new president, that is how they talk. that is the tough-guy talk of politics. ronald reagan, the democrats a going to take him down, he was trying to starve the children, he was a dense and in the still, we will take this guy out. that was like when reagan came in. eventually you can always make a deal. you make the deal in part by
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becoming very popular and supported by the american people. obama in the beginning was and having confidence to reach out and say i know you are in a party but would you need to make a deal with me because i'm going to make it happen because i need the american people to know the week and function together. this is not a divided country. you have to be sophisticated and to know he need the other party to make a go of it. when he did not knows that or perhaps knew it but didn't do it anyway i was disappointed and thought bad stuff will follow this. it is essential insight to know you need the other party even if you only have a dozen or 22 of them you need some of them. >> guest: >> host: from your column on what america thinks about iraq, he is out of his death. irradiates a sense that he is
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not that invested, doesn't drag himself to the golf course to maintain balance but plays golf because at the end of the day iraq like other problems challenges and scandals, isn't making him in style. that is from the new book "the time of our lives". kathy in illinois, you have been so patient. we are listening, you are on booktv. >> i'm glad to be talking to both of you. i have been watching you almost all day. i have to scrap -- i was born and raised in jordan. i'm palestinian and iron christian and what i see right now disturbs me very much. my ancestors escaped from turkey for their religion. however, i feel christianity was hijacked in the 18s and now i
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see the same thing happening with islam. even king abdallah came out and said what is happening now with isis, here identified that isis is a huge problem, so we have to address that they are radicals. i think a lot of people identify the mass thugs who. and i feel that sometimes they wear kid gloves, they are afraid to say the same thing about race and i don't understand that. i thought in the u.s. you should be open, able to see things and speak out, that is what was so great about the u.s.. in the struggle between democrats and republicans i think we all wish for the same thing and it surprises me from 1968 to now it is i see we have
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-- i don't understand when religion is a product on so many occasions, we should be getting away from that. i don't understand. >> let's leave it there and get a response. >> guest: i guess there is a lot of different angles to that question. i like it, i not only like it when people sort of fight it out and thrash it through in terms of politics and it is fine when anybody talks about religion, in a place of religious faith in political life and life as the nation. america has always been a religious country, a country full of people going to churchs and synagogues and ironically a country that in the past was so easy going about atheism and
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agnosticism, you know what i mean? you didn't have to do anything that you are allowed to do anything is my view of it. i wasn't sure if you were protesting too much of a place for -- that religion has too much of a place in american life for that people seek too timid about religion and other things, that gets me back to the first amendment, a preoccupation that i have and my dislike for in your of political correctness that has made everybody so nervous about how they might say the wrong thing. most people and not running around as linguists as huge intellectuals who know exactly the right way to say things. most people i just doing their best to express their thoughts
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and sometimes they do not awkwardly or in elegantly or even in a way that hurts somebody else. we have to allow each other that room. the political correctness movement that we see that has been cropping up for 25 years and become more radical in that time is not helping us understand each other better and isn't helping us resolve our conflicts, it is only making us more inhibited and more resentful. >> host: now the we have perspective on reagan's presidency using it was the beginning of the end of the american middle-class and the beginning of a ill-advised wars for oil overseas? i do. >> guest: no i don't. i got into a lovely little twitter exchange the other day
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with somebody in who was in an indignant mood and a little bit angry and said that reagan, the war mentor, this and that, when an empty suit and i said really, okay. defeated the soviet union restored the american economy, helped bring back the the u.s. military, lowered taxes, america is back as they sit in those days. if that is an empty suit, then fine, more empty suits for president. i don't think, to be more specific, that mr. reagan's conservatism is rightly understood to be a conservatism that says let's invade the middle east and get their oil. reagan used words, margaret thatcher said he marshaled the english language and sent it out to fight for us. use words to be back tyranny and
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shame insufficient government but he was also very much a realist about the imperfections of man and the imperfections of the government. he was not a dream character about human nature or human institutions. >> host: what are the words that you can take credit for? >> guest: i worked with him on various speeches that in retrospect i felt i am glad i was there and working on that but working with him on a speech on his farewell address, we have a series of meetings about it and a series of interviews about the president, tell me what you think i the most major accomplishments, what needs to be accomplished, where are we as
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a country and as i and look back and go over some of the notes that i had towards putting together that speech it resonates for me, speak to the present. i would tell everybody what that fair well. and implicitly about political quote redness and in ability to transmit the real beauty of the american story. >> host: you are non with peggy noonan about her newest book. >> caller: my wife and i love your column, as far as clarity and understanding, thank you for
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all you have done. >> caller: thank you. i do have a question. as author of a number one best-selling book called dark winter. i want to ask about bernie sanders's assertion that climate change is the number one problem in the world's especially in view of your other excellent article for is this saturday's wall street journal where you talk about some obvious perilous times as you call it. >> caller: i -- >> caller: is there something more important? >> host: thank you. >> guest: almost strangely practical view here, i think. i understand the progressive
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left's interest in and preoccupation with the issue of climate change which they used to call global warming. i understand we all have things we worry about. i understand they i see is the giant stand there is scientific data is that they use, and believed in and deploy to forward the point of their concern even as conservatives have the information they find more reliable and others find, information and arguments they find more compelling. i understand that, but the whole issue aside for a second. there are immediate, real, specific, concrete, coming dangers in the world we live in right now and i would say briefly when something like paris happens, when the regular
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folks of europe on the street, regular folks on the street in the united states look at this particular incident, i believe they are sort of starting to say to themselves the headline here is this isn't going to stop. violent radical extremist jihad is some isn't going to stop, it will happen in more places, we have to deal with it, let's concentrate and focus on fat. i believe that is how people are thinking now. i agree it is how i am thinking. when people like thinking there are immediate things that are a frightening threat and their leaders come forward and speak after paris of climate change has the big issue, is that leader who does that will sound
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like he is rattling around in his own world, not aware of how other people are experiencing the world and not aware of how other people a feeling including what they are fearing. so it just seems to me there are immediate issues we ought to be dealing with. climate change as a debate will continue for a long time but what to do about isis seems to me quite pressing. >> host: tongue in st. petersburg, we have a few more minutes with our guest peggy noonan. the last caller was from orlando a you are doing a book signing their tomorrow. >> guest: yes and i am very excited about it. my friend knows what time it takes place and i don't but i believe it is in the afternoon ended is at 1:00 p.m. in orlando. thank you very much. >> host: binds and noble. >> guest: thank you. >> host: prior to that the village which was on the way up.
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>> guest: which i am so excited about seeing, it is the mythic place in american politics, i can't wait to see it. >> host: peggy noonan will be there tomorrow morning and orlando in the afternoon in case you have to see in the area. >> caller: were you doing speeches for him, the hiv and aids epidemic and do you think you could relate to those hundred or 200 black students who feels that the place, want to harm than everyday they come out side and hang up and listen to your answer, thank you. >> caller: i am sympathetic to everyone going through a hard
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time or who has had a hard time or feels a hard time is coming for no reason other than race, gender, ethnicity. i understand that, but you cannot stop a great university over your issue. you can ask for sympathy, ask for a fair hearing and asked -- you should not lapse into a sort of a bullying attitude. he should not do any harassment especially if you yourself feel harassed. i think life is difficult for everybody and i can't help but think a sympathetic hearing of everybody, sympathetic asking for a hearing is much more helpful than the kind of thing we are seeing and that i also
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don't like movements that tell americans you can't think things or say things in you must do it my way. it is not good and it will not succeed. i am very sympathetic, that having been said, to those in america who are black and have felt for a long time that they are under special scrutiny. harrison frazar that young black man riding around in a car driving along innocently, may be pulled over by a cop because the cop is suspicious of him. i understand, i am sympathetic but it should not result in a movement that is aggressive and hostile to free-speech. i can't remember -- >> host: fact that a lot of people say ronald reagan,
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perhaps it is true, did not mention aids during his administration until the end of and though the epidemic started during his administration. that is where our friend was going. >> guest: i don't know if that is true. sometimes people point a finger read the reagan administration and say hiv aids is their fault because they did not do enough. i am sure not enough was done. that is probably obvious that you have to sympathetically understand also that beyond governmental incompetence which is always a factor in things like this, it is hard for people to understand what is going on and if it took ronald reagan a while to understand, it took awhile to understand. >> host: do we project too much
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on our presidents? >> guest: we make the presidency too magical. it is easy when you write or cover politics in america, it is that easy path to obsess on the president, to talk endlessly about his powers, his authority, his history, his background, his personality, his character. his economy, is everything, but his tendency to say i created 5 billion jobs, you didn't create one job. a the american people did it, you either took steps that made it easier or harder, we are too obsessed with the presidency and the office of the executive, we ought to be more pay attention to congress country. we should not, there is something not quite in line with the founders's thinking about america that we so deify and
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also a damn presidents, they get too much attention, way too much in our faces, way too much dominate the age, they'll go in wanted to be called the obama hero or the bush years. if they come to your town, i have literally seen presidential motorcades go from 10 cars to 20 cause to non 100 cars and light 14 ambulances and a fire truck and the priest. they bring everybody with them, stopped traffic wherever is they go, treated like greek kings. louis xiv would be amazed at the oar and mystique and attending stuff around a president. we treat them like they are the emperor of china and occupants of the throne. carried away, we really ought to do it less and somehow we can't. >> host: last call for peggy
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noonan from jim in cooper's town. you are on booktv, we are listening. >> caller: i was reading your column this after noon at cassidy's diner, and i had no idea i would be talking to use these evening and i am delighted. >> caller: what a country. >> guest: very interesting. >> caller: people consider reagan's optimistic. you said in fact he was confident and that allowed the rest of us to be optimistic. to take that step further could you rethink the obama administration and how it would have been different if in fact that confidence had been there and what does that formulation mean? >> guest: thank you very much for the question.
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i wanted to talk about there are two parts of talking about reagan that is interesting, one is reagan the founder which didn't happen in thes and 90s, happened in the 2,000s when i think republicans started to think in the middle of lead 2,000s, this isn't work, when was the last time we had a successful presidency, it was him, that was the beginning of reagan nostalgia but i found on this book tour, when i am talking to so many people, been out in public and not doing my work i found people kept characterizing reagan as optimistic, sometimes funny but wasn't he so great he was optimistic, that was the source of his greatness and i say no, i don't think he was optimistic. she was a sunny natured person but he was not sentimental or childish as i said before about human nature or human institutions. however, he really was confident in himself, confident in the
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american people, he was confident that our arrangements, political arrangements could allow progress to happen, you the voters saw his confidence and it made you feel optimistic. i wish mr. obama -- i can't say he is incompetent. he seems quite taken with himself. i wish he had been more embracing, more confident about what we are as a people, and love of america, that things that our problem, confidence in the next president. >> host: here is the book published by 12, peggy noonan, "the time of our lives," thanks for being on booktv. >> guest: was an honor to be here, thank you for making it such a pleasure.


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