tv Brad Graham and Lissa Muscatine Discuss Donald Trump CSPAN April 8, 2017 8:16pm-8:40pm EDT
>> thank you. >>[inaudible conversations] [silence] booktv is on twitter and facebook and we want to hear from you, tweet us, twitter.com/booktv or post a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv. >> it is musk teen co-owner of politic and bookstore on november 9th, you posted for the many politics and a pros customers who expected and we're
looking forward to the election of hillary clinton, this is a surreal tcially disappointing moment. it will take time to comprehend and accept a new political reality. time for the shock, pain, and worry of today to ease. why was that upon your bookstore's blog post? >> we do our blog together every week and we were hearing from a lot of customers i wasn't here that day. i was in new york. [laughter] but -- we were hearing from a lot of customers we were hearing from our staff, people were -- worried i would say just about what this change was going to mean. to a lot of what this bookstore stands for. so it was really just intended to acknowledge that. and to hear what had we were hearing to hear acknowledge what we were hearing from customers, from others this our community. >> what does this bookstore stand for? >> it stands for -- things that many independent book stores stand for. there can be summed up as a
third place that is a place that people can come to -- in addition to home and office. a kind of refuge, a place where they can connect with other people as well as a place that to shop is and browse for books. >> do you have a political point of view here in the snore store? >> we try not to exhibit one. we say that we're open to all different points of view. i mean, but because we present ourselves as a kind of forum for the discussion of literature and ideas, we think it is best if we don't take a flash point of view. we do stand for certain principles so principle of inclusion, of diversity, of -- you know, discussion and -- , of course, of first amendment freedoms.
those we will stand up for and take a stand for. >> musk teen what would be the fear of donald trump election for a bookstore in your with ?riew view? >> i'm not sure i would make a direct correlation to that immediately but i think what we had been seeing certainly was a campaign in which rhetoric had been used that was divisive that was, in fact, hateful. that scapegoated certain groups in our community and our entire american community that had problems it seemed with the first amendment and with people's right to express themselves without fear of punishment or fear of being insult or scapegoated so very much in contrast to what a independent bookstore stands for as brad just said we believe in a certain set of principle and values -- to the extent that those were -- under assault or in any way threatened to make sure we were defending them and asserting them. >> now, you have a personal
connection to secretary clinton. >> i do. >> what is that? >> i know her very well she's somebody that i admire and adore frankly. she was my boss for many years. i was her chief speech writer for most of the white house years a cocollaborator on white house memoir living history. i helped her with her 2008 campaign and i have been involved unofficially or it shall officially with her for many, many years so that's my connection. >> so that's why you were in new york on election night. >> of course. yeah. >> graham have you had recollection from your customers to the election and -- have they said anything to you as owners? >> sure they've said a lot. first we have heard a lot of appreciation expressed for our initial message and blog in which we tried to ways to offer comfort and solace reassurance
that we would be here and we understood how many of our customers were feeling and that we were beginning to finds out ways to address these setment. people were looking first for a book for -- for ways of understanding what happened. how donald trump won. how the the other voters who voted for him were -- you know, when they were thinking and at the same time they were looking for guidance. you know, advice on how mow to sort of channel their feelings, and their interest in becoming maybe more active and that's what gave rise to teachings that we have begun to hold. >> what are these teachings? >> as brad was saying we have a huge amount l of --
amount of vocalization and wire community and we just tried to really take measure of what we an independent bookstore could do to defend and assert principle that we believe an independent bookstore stands for and role what it plays in this community that's a gathering spot. it's a place as brad said that people come for sanctuary. it's a place that gives rise to hopefully energetic robust, and very respectful discussions. so we try to think to ourselves what can we do? let's not -- you know, just get depressed and cynical and complacent but augment what we already did and we both grew up in early 60s and 70s so teachings popped into mind and we thought that's something that we can do. and the response has been frankly -- overwhelming. >> normally you know the events that we do and did them every night and ones on weekends both
inside the store and then offsite locations normally they're geared to specific books to authors that have a -- book coming out and we, you know, there are event where is we helped to sell some books. one of the things different about these teachings is they're not geared to new books. we've had -- people panelist who never written a book. we've had some panelists who have but maybe a book came out some time ago sthoos not the point of these events so they're different. for us in that respect. >> now you've held a teaching already on immigration, and you're planning future ones. held three, i apologize. >> we've held three. >> first one we did was first week january i believe it was a miracle we pulled it off that quickly to be honest. our staff did an amazing job. that was on civil liberties. the second one that was january 8th, i think. second one was tweal on inauguration afternoon at 4 p.m. also the the day before the
women march an that was on women rights and most recent one was on immigration and we have a number of more plan and we're going to try to continue to do them as long as we feel it is necessary. there's a insatiable appetite it turns out in our community for very -- deep meaningful discussions of these issues that are seminole that are on front burner where a lot is changing, and also for people to be educated as to how they can take action. how can i become engaged as a citizen how can i become engaged as a community organization? is what can i do, what are the tools. what are the mechanisms and so -- each of the teachings we try to end with ideas for people who want to get involved. whatever they're their point of view may be how they might want to get involved an become more engaged as members of their own community. >> how is -- they ate large. filled the store. all three -- >> we also with all due respect
we have live streams them on facebook as well. and have had had enormous followings live on facebook and then a subsequent to the event we've had many, many people go to our facebook page and watch the link. but we have to shut the doors for one on women's rights we literally could not fit another body in the entire store. >> rebecca, we just were talking sort of about movements in the collective sense and what this election has said about the movement as it were. and i'm wondering we've talked a little bit about this. but can you just be a little more granular about what a women i'm assuming we all think there should be a women's movement but how that movement actually will take shape and what it will look like as a slight more granular level? >>yeah, i mean i think that one of the challenges is going to be ahead had of a woman's movement and especially in intersectional and more unified women's movement which i think we need and we are in the process things like this march and like the
election itself i feel like especially that end of the campaign with getting us toward that. one of the challenges that it faces is that there are so many fronts to look, so many directions to look at at once so there's the rollback of reproductive autonomy which is in itself 15 different direction so title ten, the planned parenthood defunding peel of aca and repeal of the contraceptive mandate then you look at state law, state legislatures where they're passing new and invest ever more inventive so a threat, then you are looking at issues like immigration. deportations, criminal justice reform, all of these things are feminist issues. all of these things disproportionally impact women of color spervely.
and so because of the assault that we're about i fear that we are really now in the midst of i guess, experiencing -- is going to be in all of those directions. i think that -- that the granular response is -- we have to do a little bit of everything but that the challenge for those of us who are interested in our own -- directions is to try to keep communication lines open. and messaging out there about how this is part of a women eetion movement. right, so this is i'm probably not answering the question that you want me to answer which is what we do individual isly. >> no you're answering it but asking what a collective movement would look like so talked about the need for a broader for the women but also more broader progressive movement to embrace these issues as well. which even goes beyond a woman's movement so i was -- i just because there's been so much discussion about the state of the, quote, women's movement. i was just yeah i know you're answering it.
>> no the key but the method except is open line of communication, not being afraid of the things like arguments. understanding that that's part of the communication. and keeping an eye if -- if we can begin to feel better about a feminist movement and understand that it is -- raucous and diverse and the challenge is for all of us who will be working in all of these different avenues to talk to each other whether you're volunteering whether it is your profession that is you know whether you are working on legal address of this or whether you are offer your time or donating money to be in communication and to stay curious about and to listen to it other people and seek out other people who are doing other things but possibly also with an eye toward getting us closer to gender equality and protecting what we have so tar.
we're also moving in two directions and all of these fronts it is going to be continuing to try to -- find a way to imagine moving forward at the same time that we are trying to stop ourselves from sliding back. so i guess my only answer is about trying to communicate not just telling people what we're doing but asking other people what they're doing. and -- really all of us working to conceive on how these different things are -- fundamentally part of a united project. ...
customers and so, it is somewhat varied but also i think largely of a certain mind. >> i was saved in addition to the washington community we are the, probably now unfortunately with the demise of some although there are some really great new smaller bookstores you have open recently, we are pretty much the main attraction for independent bookstores in terms of size in programming. just because of our history and what we have been able to do over a 30 year history here. but we are also really really lucky in that we have something of a national audience. so we look at members to join our store from other parts of the country. we will hear from people in other parts of the country.
have people visit from other parts of the country. and so we do feel that we have an audience that was a little broader than the d.c. area. >> is is coordinated among independent bookstores? because it seems to be happening across the country. >> there is no coordination but frequently we are in touch with colleagues in other stores. we were just at a national conference with over 600 booksellers and is very much a topic of conversation what do we do now? how to respond to what we are hearing from customers in the aftermath of the election. so you know, there are a lot of varying responses. bookstores are not all responding the same way. they are taking cues from the community and many bookstores are very different kinds of communities around the country
some are left-leaning, some are right-leaning, some are very mixed. so we talked about other teachings, maybe not even call.but, the kinds of forms going on. and other sorts of reactions. >> a customer walks in and says, i want to understand donald trump better. what is one book you would recommend? >> they can read david cay johnston's book on dumb report or mark fisher also did one about donald trump. those are good books to start with if you want to understand through the biography and the patterns of donald trump. >> other books that are doing very well or books that are about segments of the population that voted for donald trump. jd vance, white trash, nancy
eisenberg. there are several. strangers in their own land. >> do you sell part of the deal? can someone come in and buy art of the deal? >> i think so. >> it might not be prominently displayed. >> speaking of prominent displays, what is the thought process about your front window? some of the books you have displayed in the front window? >> our front window changes. we do that through seasonal or systematically. what you notice in the window right now is all brand-new giant window sized poster that says all are welcome. and we are very proud of that. our graphic design person on staff which is immensely
talented, did that for us. and we really spent a lifetime of their staff deciding what we wanted to look like. she gave us a whole bunch of choices. >> it has a double helix. meaning it is genetic, all are welcome. so we are proud of that. it went up literally a few days ago. we have a big poster advertising our teach in. the books change very quickly. >> we do have a display dedicated to teach ins that have books for at the moment featuring civil liberties, women's rights and immigration. >> and climate change.some of the other issues that are just clearly on the docket right now. >> we are taping this at the beginning of march. have your views changed since november 9? have the emotions subsided at all? well i think the initial shock
has abated some. but - in general i think many of the customers that we hear from are still you know, feeling very, you know very emotional about the outcome and they are still searching for things to do, we see channel their feelings and become more active. >> i would say that from november 9 until now, for me, what has increased steadily is my belief in the necessity of independent bookstores and what they do for their communities. that these sorts of institutions, be it a bookstore or other similar entity, is absolutely essential. i feel the same way about newspapers, the judiciary, about a lot of institutions or organizations that represent these fundamental democratic values that are sometimes difficult. i mean free speech is difficult
sometimes. we do not like it when the courts rule against something we care about. but these are institutions that are fundamental to us. not that we take them for granted but right now, i think i feel that a place like politics and prose, independent bookstore. it is in a community and rural in defending these principles and reminding people and providing a place for discussion. and a place for discourse. in a civil and respectful way. it is more important than i ever imagined it would be. >> and of course booktv that here frequently covering authors. we also go to 69, synagogue and transport what is your connection to them? >> sixth&i, we co-author a lot with them.
when an author is to for greg stohr will coordinate with them to do an event over there. >> like megyn kelly? >> she was one recently, right. we introduced her there. so those are cosponsored events.and we have an arrangement that was started a couple of years ago where we took over the operation of the book sections in the restaurants and half a dozen busboys and poets in the d.c. area and also, we occasionally sponsor author talks. in some of those restaurants. because you know each busboys and poet has a separate room with a stage in a sound system that is very conducive to an author talk. >> the obama's are regular customers of yours. should -- i am sure the
clintons were as well. what if donald trump committed by books? >> president obama was here a couple of times in michelle obama did come here for a signing. and the clintons have talked in a few times. president clinton did a couple of signings here. we did do an event, a very large event off-site for hillary clinton's last book. but - look, i think we would welcome the president. you know we have been hoping when vice president mike pence reliving out to part with the story here that, before he moved into the vice president residence we were hoping he would stop by. but he never did. it is never too late. >> i think it would be great if donald trump came to any bookstore. and ours would be a local bookstore, that would be fine.
it would be a good sign to me. of many things. >> if people wanted to be involved in teach in or on facebook what's the best way to get the information? >> you can find that on our website. as soon as we have a date we put it out there. you can sign up for our weekly emails with blast out to many people. we always announce them there. those are probably the best ways. you can call the store. which the staff will not be happy to hear me say because now they will be inundated with phone calls. our website and weekly emails are the best way. if you sign up for the weekly email it comes right to you in today you hear about it very quickly. >> there is a lot of video streaming that you guys do even if there is no booktv here. >> yes and also in social media. >> we have the co-owners of politics and prose since 2011. thank you. >>