tv After Words Sen. Ben Sasse Them CSPAN November 10, 2018 10:00pm-11:02pm EST
that is the responsibility of the press. if we don't do it nobody will do it. and then he will be able to stay and do whatever he wants. i'm not saying were right all the time, but we are in an essential part of our democracy and we are weekend at the peril of our democracy. he's also the author of this new book, enemy of the people, the new mccarthyism, thank you so much. >> thank you very much for having me. >> keep an eye out for more interviews from the national press club book fair to air in the near future. you can also watch them in any of our programs in their entirety booktv.org. type the authors name in the search bar at the top of the page. >> this year, but tv marks our h year of bringing you the
country's top nonfiction authors in their latest books. find us every weekend on c-span2 or online. >> up next on book tv "after words", senator ben sass of nebraska argues the country lacks unity and offers his thoughts on how to repair it. he's interviewed by arthu arthur brooks. "after words" is a weekly interview program with guest host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> it's great to have you on "after words". i've been interviewing you about this huge best-selling book. i loved it. a lot of people loved it. >> thank you. i appreciate you asking me to it do this.
>> what do you reckon the recommend for insomnia. >> go back to bed people. >> okay let's get into the real interview. >> what is your description for what can be better in the country? about celebration and a love letter to america, more specifically a love letter to neck of gorsuch nebraska. the characters in the scenery in this book are really focused on fremont nebraska and nebraska in general and the wonderful people that have populated your life starting with the family and friends and neighbors so let's start there. why do you love nebraska so muc much. >> they are the winning this college football program in the last 15 years. >> he went to harvard's
oakmont. >> if you are that loyal come i wasn't good enough to play sports or i would not have gone to harvard. >> i was recruited away because they knew i wasn't gonna play in lincoln. i think every buddy needs to be in love with where they're from. the center of the world for seven half-billion people but 320 americans needs to be the neighborhood where there from. if can't find the texture of things to love their, it's really hard to transfer your love to bigger and broader communities two that's a good synopsis of your book. tell me about where your family arrived in nebraska. >> fifth-generation nebraskans, parts of my family came directly from germany, russia, other parts came to southern illinois and resettled. people came they were poor farmers and wanted to get land
and have a chance to build the future. >> to you know your grandparent. >> i did come if you want to se sound hyper german, we've got crabs, lockers and faxes. people competing to see how heavily accented their german ancestry names could be. >> so you grew up in a large family, both families were living in the area. >> a range of 40 miles but all my grandparents grip on the far farm, my dad's dad had moved to town for the college i was privileged to be president of for five years before running for senate, my grandpa had never went to college so you had members of your family that went to the inner sent you. >> my dad and mom went there. grandpa left the farmer went
to town where melissa and i are raising our three kids. dad grew up connected to this college where his dad worked but my mom grew up on the farm and all of their parents on both sides. my cousins farm kids, i got busted out are both your parents alive? >> they are. >> both retired. are they in good health two mom is in good health and dad is in medium health. he's been through 26 general anesthesia surgeries. the old coach staff used to be the guy who introduced weightlifting to our town when i was late elementary school my dad was this bodybuilder, football and wrestling coach and now he's a shriveled old guy where everyone still shouts at him you said on your
little league uniform you wanted to have it put on the back year uniform. >> i was never the athlete that he was but as a little kid he wanted to be connected to a tribe. >> your mom was a bank teller and she retired in that job in fremont. >> yes, she became a stay-at-home mom and had been a bank teller before that. i was born in 1972 and until i was a couple years older. [inaudible] we talk a little bit about. [inaudible] there's a lot of the book about declining local tribes and one of them is obvious we can be longform shared work and long duration out of warm
and she existed at exactly the time bank tellers were scared they were going to be replaced by robots. working to get into that because that's an important topic that speaks to a lot of the things you're talking about in this book. before i do this i want to talk a little bit about, not too much about politics but i do want to talk about your politics. you describe yourself with these adjectives. my husband, dad christian, american conservative, republican, nebraskans, corn husker football addict and obviously this is not an order of importance. >> a historian and public servant. >> what did it mean to be a conservative. >> i think the heart of conservatism is gratitude about the fact that we inherit a structure where there is order. we are a bunch of sinners in
the world could descend into chaos and politics is supposed to maintain so that people can live their actual lives and all the stuff we build together. there's a lot more to say to that. there's a lot more policy fights but this is someone who believes there's a lot we've inherited from the past that we need to consider for the next generations. we are blessed and we need to make sure we pass along a lot of those blessings. >> you talk about the blessings from a place you came, remembering the things and conserving those. it's not a bunch of economic policies.
paired bit think how often people are called to remember. one of the weird things about the moment is that we get those nouns out of order. we all have a bunch of different identities and that's good and important, but there's some that can be put in front of other ones. i am genuinely acquiring husker football addict. i remember when i was nine and ten, i would cry when the huskers lost again. they hardly ever lost so when it would happen it would be traumatic. it is weird to be so into
husker football that you would neglect your wife or kids. you shouldn't be more into husker football and into your duty as a husband or father. right now i think there's a lot happening in our politics and in our civic life where people are getting their identities out of order. i'm a republican and i'm a conservative but being a republican can't be a top two or three identity marker and i think one of the things that's worked about our time is that a lot of people are willing to take partisan identities and try to run them up to the flagpole. it's not healthy. >> hence the title of your best-selling book, let's start with the problem and walk through it and how the country can look better and be better and maybe by the end of the hour we will have some marching orders and then maybe
they'll be ready to go again. >> let's start off with this one key point that jumped out at me. he basically said there's three kinds of people in america today. nobody wants to be stuck. it doesn't have positive connotations. but rooted in mobile, that characterizes a lot of peoples lives in our country and i want to talk about these things. first of all this is a very autobiographical book. if someone wants to understand senator ben sass, read this book and you'll know a lot about your relationship with your parents and your kids and your wife and the love you have for fremont nebraska. i felt like i knew you for years and i feel i can know you better. you've had a highly, this is a rooted book, but you had a highly mobile life. let me take you over and you
can explain how this all hangs together. you brok grew up in nebraska, you were an undergrad and then you stayed at oxford. you are an consultant for bcg and assistant professor in austin including a stent as assistant secretary and then you are president in fremont nebraska and now your u.s. senator. >> i'm the outlier of the u.s. senate. the point is obviously but you've done a lot. this is a celebration of rootedness and yet your life sort of typifies mobility. put this together for me.
i think one of the most basic things that's happening in our time is we have more mobile and more stock but we have a lot less rooted. i thank you so much is referencing this idea that we will talk about later of anti- tribes and how our identities are more formed in opposition to things instead of constructive embrace of things, i don't think political tribalism is the story of our moment. i think it's filling the vacuum of declining local tribes and the kinds of tribes that made people happy, family, deep friendship, long-term shared vocations meaningful work, local worshiping communities, all those things are being undermined by the moment whereat in technological history. paired technology is flattening the world so we can't just traipse across the surface. what's happening is lots of
people who would traditionally have been rooted are making understandable choices to become mobile, but as they do, the ecosystems that are left behind are really different and so, a big share of the people who stay in one place are people who have a decreasing number of choices. there's a lot of broken stuff. i'm not a sociologist but i think in the sociology of our moment, what's happening is a lot of people is about the people who are stuck there, not the people who are choosing to be there and as they hopped, i've done this, i don't want to say precisely have been guilty of it because they think it's too easy to see that grass is greener and trace traipse off to another place but the more that you jump, the more often that your mobile, the harder it is to put down roots in the future but also it the harder it is for other people to find
places that are as interesting to put down roots because everybody's playing musical chairs traipsing around. the rooted are people who could be mobile but choose to embrace the virtues and benefits of place. there's nothing wrong with being mobile for a time, but it should be a means to an end of getting back to rooted because the stuff that drives happiness, that connection to family and friends in meaningful long-term working vocations, not just your employment and your local worshiping communities, those things are all tightly, intimately connected to place and right now lots of our places feel like they are more sort of strip malls forevermore. there's less and less that folks can embrace and we have to figure out how to rebuild for the digital age. >> the phrase you use over and over in this book, it was something that obviously spoke to your heart, i think you read it in sports illustrated. you called at the hometown gym on a friday night feeling.
what is that? >> my dad was a football and wrestling coach, and i grew up in a 25000 egg manufacturing town from when i was born until recently the biggest employer in the town is a pig plant and we now have a new chicken plant in town so we do manufacturing and lots of industries require small to medium size town. this town that i grew up in, there was a sense that people from that town were all in it together. we have big racial divides, past present and future, this town was pretty homogenous back in the day. but most people were not just white but german, but the town would have divides that
anyplace would have. there would be political differences but everybody was a fremont tiger and those two schools were the two high schools were people would be gathering on a friday night and everybody wasn't it together in the sense that you were in fremont together sort of overshadowed the things that might divide you. my dad again, we didn't have any money so in addition he refereed for lots of different sports, volleyball and track and softball so i grew up as a gym rat where i was sort of on the road in the backseat of my dad's car going wherever he was working, calling a sporting event or roughing a sporting event but on friday night after they played, all the coaches, my dad buddy would end up in my kitchen and made stand around talking late in the evening and they new two and three and 4 degrees of family connection of the kid who sprained his ankle that day.
that thickness was personified or illustrated on saturday night in the middle of winter even though we were wrestling, when you go to a basketball game on friday or saturday night in the middle of winter, there was a sense when you stepped in there that this was the picture and we were assembled for home room. when melissa and i got married right after college and we were living in chicago, we lived across the street from northwestern university and in 1994 to 1995 they went from being one of the worst teams in america to being on their way to being pretty decent. we would go to all the northwestern games and we realized this isn't our stadium, this doesn't have the same feeling i grew up with and over the course of the first decade and a half of marriage we pay taxes and about a a dozen states as we followed opportunities across the country and it always felt like this was a place of love your neighbor and be invested in it didn't really feel like there was a gym from a small town, this didn't feel like
what i'm used to feeling community is like. i thought it was just us at first. i thought it was just that we were moving a lot so we couldn't find these community places. turns out, robert putnam wrote in the late 1990s and 2000 about what he called the bowling alone phenomenon. putnam found that more americans were bowling in the late 1990s than in any point in u.s. history and yet bowling league membership rolls route the lowest level in history. this might just be some weird phenomenon of bowling so he dug in and found in sector after sector, industry after industry, americans were much less neighborly than they had been in the past. something was happening. he called that social capital. the ties of trust between people are starting to fray
and as a result people are more isolated and it gets to the economic loneliness that you talk about. let me ask you this, it obviously touched you, this phrase, this hometown gym on a friday night and i read that and i felt nothing because i don't really have a hometown. i grew up in seattle washington, but i go back there and i feel nothing. there's no gym there was friday night i guess friday night comes to everybody, but i don't have any sense of that. what does that mean. is it a problem? can i get back? >> there's lots of forms of the manifestations, but you're putting the right heading on what this project is about. i'm serving for a time in the senate were people act like wow, politics are really a
mess and we need to fix it by beating other people more in politics. the solution to the problem employ occult tribalism should be more clinical winning. i actually don't think politics can fix this problem because i don't think politics solves this problem. i think were living through a time and there's a lot of economic back story we should unpack but i think we have massively evacuated social capital. i think it comes from the disruption of our technologies and our moment in economic history. >> i think politics. [inaudible] >> all right, let's stop here. basically your people talk about tribalism as if it's a unilaterally negative phenomenon. you say no, there's lots of good tribes and when you don't have those good tribes or these thick communities, when you are bereft of the hometown gym on friday night feeling you put something in that hollow inside yourself and increasingly where people are
unrooted or mobile or moving around and not paying attention to their local communities, their only paying attention to the cable tv show on one of the cable networks and don't know their neighbors, they're going to grab onto the first thing that takes her attention and use that as a tribe which is deeply sub optimal and really harmful to america. politics are so dangerous it because it's a substitute for the hometown gym on a friday night billing. is that what you're saying. >> yes and amen. i think that's exactly what's happening. it's a little nerve-racking to try to unpack happiness literature with one of the leading experts but the poor people that drive whether people are happy are do you have a nuclear family, deep friendships, meaningful work, shared vocation and you have a theological and philosophical framework to make sense of death and suffering. family is local my deep
friendship is local, most work is local and at least the worshiping assembled aspect of theology is local. all four of these things are good things to love your sister and care about your cousin and to just feel an instinctive sense that this is transactional. if someone in my family is hurt, i hurt. when my daughters come home and something went bad in their day, i ache for them. when my boys flying down the street on his bike and the sun is shining and he's happy, i don't choose to be happy, i'm just happy. that's what friendship is like. guess what's happening. we have a collapse statistically of the nuclear family. especially for 70% of americans who are at the bottom of the end of the educational ladder. friendship has been cut in half in the past 27 years. when i graduated college, the average american has 1.8
friends or only one. there's a huge difference tween having one friend in zero and four. >> what you mean by friends. >> people have an expanded sense of themselves. not social media friends i understand. let's talk about transactional friends, you're talking about your people who you share virtues with, the friendship that you're talking about where you refract goodness that you both understand and that you actually argue with each other. that's what you're really talking about. people had for and now i have one. that's a crisis. average duration at a firm in the 1970s when i was a kid,
average duration for primary bread winner was 26 years. average duration at a firm today is four-point to years. that means males in particular who have a really hard time building relationships after age 25 they don't develop new friends they just atrophy the ones they want to have. if you weren't working next to the same person, it's pretty hard to aspire to move up the ladder in your factory job to buy a cabin next to each other by the time you're 50. >> there's an amazing statistic that 60% of men say their best friend is there wife and 30% of wives say their best friend is her husband. this gets into a key topic that you talk about. it's not an epidemic and politics of disdain. the root of the problem is
loneliness. this gets back to the fact that too many people don't have their faith, family, community, they don't have these institutions in your lives that give happiness to their lives. let's talk about loneliness for a second and then let's talk about some solutions. the biggest part of this book is the most amazing part is when you become senator ben sass because you basically, you look back and this is what it means to be an excellent conservative, you look back at what should conserve to figure out how to make progress going forward. the reason i recommend this book to everybody is because it shows you how to be a true progressive. let's talk about loneliness. you talk about this a lot in
your sort of in my turf as a behavior social scientist. i would see in on this like wow, he's really spread his wings here. you quickly become a historian again but i was still very impressed. tell me why you're so concerned when it comes to loneliness about something we just touched on, elderly men. there is a phenomenon, i lived in chicago in the midnigh mid 1990s. in 1995 there is the great chicago heat wave. no one in your viewing audience, everybody misses this in the great chicago fire. the heatwave was a much bette -- bigger deal. we just don't notice it as much because there aren't these iconic images of downtown chicago on fire. the temperature for the middle ten days of july 1995 got so hot that all these people literally bake to death in their apartments and when public health experts when in they found out that the death
count was much much higher than they had previously known and it turned out that the death count was statistically much more mail than female. >> you said 41. >> similar situated people by age. men in general die earlier. there were a lot more men. why is this? it turned out a lot of these men had no relationships at all these men, the loneliest people in america are actually college freshman. there's just a big moment when you're uprooted. except for that moment of losing your drive and losing your community and your how jim hometown gem, later in life as people just atrophy more and more relationships, statistically the loneliest people in america are old men. when you talk to experts at the national institute of health, there is a new
consensus. it's only emerged in the last five, seven, eight years but there's a new consensus that the number one health crisis in america from an actual disease basis is loneliness. ten years ago nobody would've said this. they would've all set obesity. the number one statistical driver of health expenditure is obesity. 70% is related to loneliness. you don't get fat and lose your friends, you lose your friends and become isolated and sit around and eat instead. a lot of things that seemed like it was behavioral code could be tackled directly turn out to be much more connected to your community and neighborhood. they have very different health outcomes. one of the drivers of it seems like it's institutional associational america.
i'm going back to some of. [inaudible] >> 20% of americans come up according to your book, he was sort of the country's leading expert in loneliness. : : : not cable tv not talk radio. not even senators. on accident happen, although c-span is great, and senators are great, it won't fill the hole. >> let's say one more thing about that. there is a high statistical correlation between happiness and knowing the person who lives two doors from you. and it happens that many people don't know the people that live two doors from them and the implicationses are really
complicated. if you go from 20-500 social media friends you don't get happier. if you go from 3-4 friends you get happier. if you're spending more time on social media you're less likely to know the people who live next door to you. there are lots of people who are expert scholars who study this and they see the atropy of the social america. even though our technology is attempting us to be rootless, we have to build the habits of rootedness. >> fortunately, unlike so much stuff that comes out in the non-fiction lull you're not just going to isolate the problem, and the biggest part of the book is the solutions. we have to find the solution, and we're going to get to that, but i do want p to ask you a couple of quick things first.
there's a connection between the problem and where we are in american politics today. so, the book starts off in fremont, nebraska, it starts off in your community, and it's hard for me to relate to, but i read it and i thought wow, i wish i was in fremont but where you are now is in the epicenter of the outrage industrial complex. you're on tv all the time. you're giving speeches in the senate, you just -- you suffered through the really vastly kavanaugh hearing no matter what side you're on it was trying and troubling for america. in this book you connect the two. only a couple chapters on it, but tell me something about how you talk about something we might call the outrage industrial industrial complex that gives somebody that false high, or the assim lachrymfor
the hometown jim on a friday night feeling where the didn't exist. >> so i'm a cultural historian by background. not an economic historian. so i don't want anyone to hear overly structural stuff, but i think we should be aware of the structural stuff in the ways we consume media. back to the book, the how to we rebuild america? the third is the collapse of the traditional terms. deep friendship, work, worship, communities. middle third is how we go from atrophying healthy tribe to the rise of anti-tribe, and i don't think we can understand the dysfunction of our politics without being ware aware of the way we consume media right now. so in the 1950s, when there were only three channels, a lot of people had shared content. you had american enterprise in
part, he has written about this in a book called the fractured republic. y love lucy had a 68% share. 68% of their households had their tvs tuned to it. that means -- >> had to do with lack of choice? >> and the paradox of choice is an important things. turns out in places in life you choose more choice and end up less happy. if you give somebody a choice between a ice cream parlor that has 400 flairchs, and one that has 3. all of us would choose 40 flairch, but most of us would be happier with the one that had three. at the level of personal virtue, the leivel you raise your kids it's useful to understand chocolate ice cream is usually enough and if you have 400
choices, there are reasons why a decision of 400 leaves you less satisfied. that's the way we pneummedia now. so when you fought with a coworker, disagreed with a neighbor in 1955 you could biv t back to easy small talk about lucy and dezy to deescalate the thing because you had the shared experience. now, when 93 pore of american households had access to 500 channels, it's as though we have nothing in common. at a pop culture level. so the way we consume news is becoming a much quicker confirmation by a feedback loop to tell us what we already thought was true. and so the two most watched programs in cable news, sean hannity and number one at 3.2 million americans every night which is 1% of the public compared to lucy and dezy at 68
in 50's, and rachel mad o is the second and she's at 9-10th of one percent of public. so what ends up happening if you're trying to speak to one percent or less than one percent of the public you start to talk about people who aren't in your universe as if they're not really people. you don't need to fairly reconstruct the arguments. you don't think their conceivably going to be in your audience anyways. >> now the host -- you're not talking about to viewers? >> and the viewers. we know the people who live next door to us a lot less and we're self-segregatorring away from living next to those people. >> and we're -- our social media feeds. we're watching, listening where we basically we scratch our confirmation biases, we know fewer people who disagree with us, and so we talk more about
those people. we "others" people who disagree with us. and what the outrage industrial complex i hear you saying, interesting analysis, is that some people are making money, and getting famous, and becoming more and more powerful on the basis of fragmenting our society along these lines, do you agree with that. >> i do. i can there's a phenomenon on cable news and talk radio, and internet news sites, called nut-picking, which is in a nation of 320 minnesota americans there's always some jackass doing something stupid. it's inevitable, there is 320 million people. if you are on the far left and want to misrepeat donald trump voter, you can find some bubba kicking his dog and you can say this is the view of all people who like trump. if you are a make america great
hat, you can find a jerk in mcdonalds who will slap the hat off his head because he's wearing a trump hat. that doesn't mean it's representative of what democratic america thinks about the human dignity in their neighborhood, and what's happied right now a lot of what we talk about in politics is this continuum from left to right, but potentially the more important variable, or dimension if you want a two by two matrix is the intensification of political addiction. you have the political identity crowgd out all the other identities in the sense you should treat your neighbor as a whole person, not just somebody you disagree with on politics. and we, the consumer, are not usually aware enough of the way the algorithm of what we read yesterday is going to reshape what we read tomorrow. so we start to end up with the already with, and you know this is true if you look at the videos of the politics you watch
on youtube. it starts recommending more videos to you. the person living right next door to you might have a completely different scepgz of what was happening in america because there the way they're consuming from what you're consuming and we need to make sure we frame out of those algorithmic senses that all of america is the 1% that agrees just like i do about how terrible that other 50% is out there. >> so let's say instead of watching cable news, getting more outraged, talking about them, can you believe what they're doing over there? man, radical i hate america. instead of that on friday night we're at the hometown gym. if we were out in the community but were just like us as humans, as moms and dads, brothers and sisters, then that's why a community could solve the problem. >> definitely, and yet, i want to acknowledge there is no simple solution here because
this paradox of over choice isn't about the way we consume ice cream or news. in my town, my little farm town that's filled 25,000 people, the same place i grew up in, melissa and i moved back ten years ago. and i'd been away for 18-20 years at that point, turns out the attends at all local sports events is much lower. some of that is the atrophy of community. some of it is that we have a bunch of new sports. so it isn't just the way we consume media. there isn't just football and wrestling, and basketball, and track in our town. we have soccer, and hockey, and people trying to bring la crosse to turn. >> you have a paradox of choice and a -- problem that are even affecting fremont nebraska. so the swb is not fremont, nebraska per se. >> and it's certainly not -- >> so this is not sentimentalism? no. >> you're talking about
something that can exists but needs to exists in the current environment. so what we need is not remembrance, we need progress. progress toward what we once had, but in the best current and future form. right? and that's what the back third of the book is about. this is the important park, this is an agenda book. so now i want to talk about this agenda you have going forward. and this comes in four parts. the first part is becoming americans. again, and again that's your -- looking but remembering, looking at the best in the past and applying it to the future. so you're argument is that we're increasingly fragmented and we're losing a share of understanding what it means to be an american but there are solutions to this problem now again conservatives have said this. hyphenated americans are something might be a prob, or sense that something is more important than being a american per se in your identity, that can be a problem, lots of conservatives have said this
type of argument. you say something slightly different than that, and so here's how i want you to explain is this to the folks watching the show today. there are two americans -- now this is ben sasse in the story. there are two americans that hold the solution to this problem. two heros, we should all know. james madison, and george washington. take them in turn and tell us how james madison can help us make progress today. >> so, i am fascinated by madison for loots of reasons, historically and because i have taught american history survey classes. hamilton should get you excited about lots of the founder but when i looked back at madison, and -- has a book on the -- papers as well. harvey man steel -- i was there
to wrestle -- but anyways, mans field and others resurrect madison and when you read madison it feels like he is the ferv guy of the twitter age to give us a lesson about the absurdity of the movement of the imups to self-certain instant montana mentality, and on twitter you're not doing violent mob but the sort of mujoritarian certainty by which you answer every question by a quick hot-take put down. it's not thattering. and it doesn't satisfy you. and it certainly doesn't persuade anybody. when you call somebody an idiot, it turns out they don't ever pause for self-reflection and say your position is probably right and i am an idiot. >> he's right i'm a moron. >> that doesn't fit with the fundamental anthropology. >> do you think you've inch been insulted into agreement? >> i have not seen it.
seems that every american in our system is supposed to conceive of themselves as a minority, and one of the virtues of lots of factions, is that everybody has this regularly repeated psychological experience of thinking wow, i don't have the mujoritarian view. i believe these precise angular things, and fights about heaven and hell or the nature of god or revelations, but whatever the topic is that you want to debate i don't want government to solve that problem because i want there to be room for me feature i'm not in the popular majority position at any given moment. so i think madison as the philosopher of anti-mujoritarianism, and if you have to reduce the american idea and founding. the american idea is about universal human dignity, but to reduce the american political philosophy to one word it's antimujureitarian. , it's our skepticism in our new
republic, we don't want government to move so fast it can run over people who have discepting views, let's preserve the right who have dissenting views, to fall let's be really setsent to use power to run people over. i think that's madison. >> let me talk about the -- for a quick second. this is how you have comparted yourself as a senator. you told me this personally, but i've seen you do this in your public life. is to regret the fact that the current environment. if i get less than 10%, i'm getting zero. i must utterly vanishuish the foe focus x. you want to leave something for the other guy even there the other guy's in the minority? why because you're going to be in the minority sometime too. you are in lots of minorities so that's a good way to do politics and business. and it's a good thing we should be able to do in our political system is that the implication.
>> you made me want to unpack separation of powers -- but. >> the ten-hour version on the internet. after words is well served by the ten-hour version. i got to participate in a long senate tradition i think 110 years senate's been around for -- for about the last 110 years, somebody has had somebody read the farewell address eby washington. after he resigned he didn't want to become king george. and he was shocked that he hadn't wanted to release power. when washington is pushed into serving as the first president by aclication basically, he takes office and people assume he's not going to be king but
president forever. after two terms washington provides it's important to teach him how to say good-bye. he needs to go back to his mount vernerren and washington was an active member of this group called since thats, the society of the cincinnati. those that would care for the health needs of retired soldiers from the revolutionary war. >> the great statesman from ancient rome who was brought back to his farm to lead an army. and vanquish the foe in 15 days, and went back to his farm with the astonishment of all of rome. >> and this guy didn't see power as the disblend the roman general emperor regarded power as rameans to the end of being able to go back home and farm again. and the american idea really tapping into the sense that then 4 million and with all the original sin of the american founding and slavery and the
treatment of native americans, but 4 million people that would grow to be a universal idea more perfect union that today encompasses 320 million of us we believe in the dignity of the 320 million people and we believe the center of the world is not washington, d.c. where the power centers are to make decisions how to use the armies and deploy them against people. we think that the armies, the army is meant to maintain a framework for liberty so people across these 50 states and watching after words can view their community as the place where the neighborhood gym on a friday night should be lived. so washington, served two terms in december of 1796 he's going to leave office in march of 1797. he decide to write this fair well address and i get to serve this to the senate. from when he left office to the civil war this is the most basic text of what the america means.
students did read the constitution or the lesser of independent. what the americans read was george washington farewell address explaining he was going to lay downpour, and now at the second term of president he wants to go back to mount vernon and he wants to -- teach them how to say good-bye. he wants to teach them how to go back home hope. because the center of the world is supposed to be your mount vernon. it's supposed to be the place where you're loving your spouse and raising your kids and building a new app, or better mousetrap. >> so this is the lesson for americans from george washington today. the progress we need to make is even if you descroant fremont, nebraska but there's something i can and should be able to build that i can go home to that is not my work, that is not my career, there's certainly not cable tv, it's something that's thicker than that, more meaningful than that. we're going to get to this because you're going to give me
prescriptions of how to do that in a second. let's go on to number two, we've talked about this a lot during the course of the hour. prez-ipgz number two, number one was become americans again. number two seems like a non sequitur. tech-level. set tech-level. so why is this up there with importance of madison and washington. give me the short investigators of that i think i know bull tell me why is this so critical right now. >> i think that the -- if we don't figure out when the -- iphone is an amazing tool but if we don't figure out when you want to box it up so you can focus on the dinner table and when you're actually hosting your neighbors or serving some fatherless kid in your community that you're going to invite in and make extended family. if we don't get that right then all of the up sides of the technology will have net negative. the technology upsides in terms
of living through the digital revolution which is going to produce more total economic output in human history. we'll have more high quality bids and services than anyone has ever known put you want that, that ability to freedom from place to not undermine your ability to actually put down roots so i think the analogue to our moment is mass urbanization mass industrialization, 120, 30, 40 years ago. the way we do something similar. the public health crisis, which is the loneliness crisis. we're going to have the third declining life expectancy. as long as we've had it we never had three declining years of life expectancy. and what happened in the late 19 teens to the 1930s is was a move in cities, was prohibition.
how did 30eu9% of the people support the people to make alcohol illegal. and it turns out there were drunk irish kids passed out in the streetsz and they decided to do something about the crisis of hopelessness. our deaths of despair, oippeds overdoses more broadly, addictions, suicide, the reason our life expectancy is falling is because the deaths of despair, the choices to die because life seems so pointless in the lonely pace. the transition of rural america to industrial urban america was lonely at first but people figured out how to build the community of neighbor independence. >> fremontgomery nebraska is not about the fact that it's aglarian, and thick. in all sorts of neighborhood in the 40s and 50s, became thick well springs and we haven't figured out as we transaction
from life-long work around factories to much more digital portable jobs and the ability for our technology to allow us to become rootless, to be constantly mobile. we haven't figured out how to rebuild the social capital and create new kinds of well springs to reverse the trend from moving and restore that one piece of that is going to learn how to manage our technology better so that i don't constantly take the bait to -- >> in other words we have low-quality substitutes for the communities and for the real friendships that have been life and life, and that's a problem because though low quality substitutes are hugely draft, and unbelievably abundant no matter where you are and when you're around. you can be walking down the street in a place you never met and anybody you're connected in the whole world. setting tech limits is a smart thing to do. >> average american is checking their iphone every 4.3 minutes. >> you've got a whole hour
without doing that. >> weave locked them outside. >> this is -- little bit of fremont in c-span. number 3, tell me quickly why i should buy a cemetery plot. >> you have lots of opportunities in the world dr. arthur brooks, president of a big think tank. and it turns out you could just traipse across the globe from age 50-55 to 60-65, and all of a sudden you're going to discover your mortality. and it would be better to have the fact that you're finite in mind from the beginning and plan backwards from there, so that you invest as someone who's trying to grow roots, not as someone who says i have a repotting problem. when you transplant a pot, a plant one time it still grows roots, and the second and third and fourth, it stawpsz trying to grow roots because it somehow i don't know how this works, but
it internalizes the idea that those roots are probably going to get cut off, it was wasted and and most of us who spend our time as mobile, as a huge share of the public watching after words. kind of think we'll probably move again so there's no reason to know that person two doors away from you. now roans to host the person that doesn't have any transitional benefit to me in the long term. you're benefiting from this communities sccommunity and you should reinference it, and you yourself shouldn't assembly to wriggly field to check the scores. you should assume you're still going to engage them again in six months and six years even if you move again. the better habit is to assume you're thro, so mulisesy and i, 7, 8, 9 years ago decided to take my parents advice and buy
cemetery plots on the ridge over the elk horn river. do i think we'll never move again displ? i don't know we decided to stay in the community for as long as we're there. if you assume the place you are living today is the place you're going to do eventually you'll be right. >> not to mention the fat the that it changes your incentive . >> sen. sasse: i want to be clear the first half of this book is not technophobic. i think technology is fascinating. i have worked there many places and mckinsey has a study out that the majority of the american workforce will be free plance from three years today. 50% of the public will not earn more than 50% of their total pay from any one employer. we'll begin cobbling different jobs. thinking about theuneerization of the economy. not everybody is dealing with a
tech app, but humans are smart, and our brains figure out how to produce more and more effectively over time and the curve of productivity is going to go like that which means the average duration of your job and firm and industry is going to get shorter and shorter. i think that's fascinating at the level of economics, and the level of technology. i think it's mixed and scary at the level of culture, but i don't want to emply that just because we're the richest people, and by we i mean middle class median american is the richest person in all of human history t i don't want to just say they're material benefits and spiritual costs, i think they're material benefits and spiritual costs and some potential benefits but we're going to have to figure out what those new habits look like. so there's this guy at duke whose been doing work on economy 3.0, which is essentially looking at the transition from aglarian to industrial, to hyperindustrial to digital economics, and these folks who
are thinking about what future nomadic society looks like. before nomads, hunter r hunter nomads. then this disruption we went to cities and tried tory create about what was freight about aglarianism. now as we go from urban industrial to mobile, i think some of the virtues we discover are some of the virtueuse we used to know as hunters and gatherings. the interest way to look at the problem is what if the cost of renting something became a lot cheaper than the cost of storing something. and so he uses this example if you could rent a drill and it's a long example so i won't go into the details. there are two kinds of drills, the $50 drill most of us have, and it's almost the battery is drill. and the $30 drill that experts use, we're not going to buy the $300 drill. what if i could threaten and a
drone dropped it off at a machine pod at my mailbox. i would much prefer to rent a drill for $2 for five minutes, and have it be the $300 g-ril, and i don't need a dril all the time, and my $50 one usually has a dead battery. when you think about ride sharing or car shaiferg it's obvious if you don't live in the city the active parking or paying to park it or drive it around block after block hoping some meter opens up but then it's only good for the hours tomorrow night and tomorrow mourning. the costs of storage are high, and relatively, they're going to be higher than the transitional facilitation of apps that are going to facility relevant. so what if in the world we ended up quickly, like ten years from now, having much smaller garages and much smaller closets, and much bigger ports and codes at our mailbox, and an app that would allow us to facility more
of that. one of the things it means is in a mobile world where i have three kids and let's say in providence, two or one of them have my grand babies in some city far away i want to be near them a lot. i want to be a grandfather. wherever my daughters raise their kids. yet i'm never leeivel my roots, in fremont, so i think we need to start opening our minds to possibility that some of the solutions toot crisis of -- some of the problems that technology is creating might be partially mitigated by technology as well. i don't want to just say stoic limitations on my tech consumption. i want to think about the next generation of tech facilitation of less incumbering stuff might look like. >> arthur: radical progress when it comes to technology but remembering what is good and true, ben sasse. 60 minutes have pass, this is an
incredible interview. i have so many other things i want to ask you, what you're reading and what's next but we don't have time so we're going to have to stop. i'm really grateful to you for writing this book, as our solution are, and i'm looking forward to the next things that come in your life. >> sen. sasse: thanks for making time arthur. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite providers. ,. >>
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