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tv   Viewer Call-in with Lily Geismer Left Behind  CSPAN  August 18, 2022 1:58pm-2:31pm EDT

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if it happens here or here or here or anywhere that matters , america is watching on c-span. >> her book is left behind, sthe democrats failed attempt to solve any quality. lily, let's start with the present before we go back in the past a lot of the news today is about the democratic party is the establishment versus bernie sanders. those that have a story to it ? >> thank you so much for having hame and talking to me about the book. i think one of the things that there's a sense that this came out of nowhere but there are deep-seated tensions within the democratic party that have existed i would say y since the 1970s but came into the forefront in the 1980s. as the party was really another kind of crossroads so after the defeat of walter mondale, in that primary y
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election there was a sense of three different directionsthe party could have gone in . and one was represented by someone like jesse jackson who gave more sort of a bernie sanders where he stood for some of the versions of democratic socialism that i think the sanders campaign has represented and the other side was with the mondale approach was the traditional democratic party the third would be this gary hart as a more the ideas focusing on tech and trade and the new economy as a future for the party andthat's what dominated , helped shape the direction of the party going forward. >> we talk about 1984 the let's talk about 1974. what happened in 1974 and who got elected then that helped
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you see this i should say not the george orwell book butthe election . >> .. this is representative of the people like gary hart, there's a whole slew of new candidates who come in. people like al gore and the state level liketi bill clinton they stand for a change in the parties direction and part of structure. the other pink thing that
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happened around 1974 his economic recession and there's the struggle within the democratic party, new solutions to address the economy and wanting to find new ways to address the problems the economy to become watergate babies because of their love of the technd industry and post industrial growth as a solution to these problems. 1984 election versus mondale reagan wins 49 states. the democratic party was looking to change >> the democratic party was looking to change. how did it change? >> one of the key ways that changed going forward the 1984 election and landslide is a wake-up call in the group of democrats come to them from a couple cases, one is a group of congress and another is moderate democraticic governors especialy from the south like in virginia
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who sees the party needs to shift in that direction and they form with the democratic leadership council. >> what did it stand for? >> the dlc was the idea that free markets as a market oriented approach was the best means to bring about opportunity for people so one of the things i argued in my book is the dlc believes in using private sector means to achieve the vocals so the democrats, traditional ideas that you need to help people and create quality they want new means to do that. they believe the democratic party is beholden to special interest groups especially the labor movement and move the economy away from manufacturing -based economy, union oriented economy but democrat party away
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from strong focus on special interest groups so their strategy was focusing on targeting robert suburbanites drifting towards republican party and recapture those voters. >> was bill clinton involved? >> he was, is one of the founding members but comes to the forefront as a major player after 1988 so the other keeping after the election yet again historic defeat, not as bad as this, so he did better but there's a sense of soul-searching and looking at the needs to be something ffdifferent so the dlc comes to tap bill clinton as someone to
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lead it, it's new leader and he takes on a role as a mechanism for its own career into national office, he shares their philosophy and views but also shapes it in many ways. the third way term doesn't come into the late 90s but that's what they are thinking, there needs to be an alternative thata can find using more traditional conservative means to achieve liberal and certain alternative and they've been testing out a lot of the things especially around economic development in the 1980s and it aligns. the other thing about the clinton critical, it's his southern populist demeanor but he's able to target different
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voters, he's able to take the policy andnd platform but presented in a widely acceptable set of terminologies and it's his success and their success. >> welcome to our coverage on the book festival. author of left behind the democrats failed attempt to resolve in quality. this is the democratic party, past, present and future. we want to hear from you, especially democrats to get your view on this.s 202 -- 748 -- 82004 east and central time zone. 2027488001. if you want to send a text about the democratic party,
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2027488903. include your first name andd city. some of the things we talkedbo about -- first of all, what a three-point thets dlc espoused? >> one was the idea of less government, expand opportunity not government with their critical tagline but also you could use market principles both in terms of growing the economy but also applying rules of the market to make government itself more efficient and also believe in opportunity for all but also individual responsibility for people to becomes the three taglines. i would say one thing, your question i think another thing of today o versus the dlc of the past, joe biden was an early
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member of the dlc and they choose not to support him and support al gore instead. he was ideological, his ideology was little more muddled and hard to figure out the democrats democrat wears they were very ideological and firmly believed in these ideas and a lot of what the dlc was trying to do was shape the electoral side but also shape the product to make it more focused on those. >> the liberal numbers, what we call progressives today, what was there critique? >> the call it many choice words. probably not captured on c-span but being really frustrated. one was a southern voice network, primarily white
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southern men. another he called the leisure class, this idea that it was designed to promote upper-middle-class and ntupper-class corporate interess and not really standing for what the democratic party traditional base and value was. there's a fear both that it was marginalized labor from having a say but also other marginalized groups instead of a strategy of trying to win elections and policies that focus on expanding the base when it was more focused on these efforts to tailor policy toward more upper middle class. >> what was their response to the electoral success the dlc saw? >> this becomes challenging especially in 1992 when bill clinton runs because after
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having had years of republican domination, it becomes difficult to challenge the dlc because they have a strategy and while many people are critical especially after this moment, they are critical the ends up supporting bill clinton becausel they see it as the only chance that it's better to have another four years and becomes this critical bargain in many ways i think for people in the democratic party so to go back to your initial question about the direction of the party and where it is going, it ends up obscuring tensions in the direction toward bill clinton but what i think is emerging retoday, it's been there since e 80s and 90s.
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>> is one gentleman we haven't talked about that was involved in this democratic leader counsel. who is al? >> an impressive figure, he himself was a democratic congressional after who worked his way throughout the 70s and early 80s in various different positions. the chief ofgi staff was the hed of thehe democratic caucus and e becomes a a leader of the dlc in the mid 80s and worked with bill clinton to craft their message but also the democratic party message. one thing that's fascinating, a serious person to believe in ideas and one thing about that focusss on markets and corporate issues is not that they were trying to make a lot of money but they fundamentally lived
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it's a better way to help people in one thing about the dlc, they come to hold a tremendous amount of power in the late 80s and through the 90s but it's a small organization soo mostly -- unlike a big grassroots or democratic national committee, it's primarily made out of politicians himself was only about a couple thousand people but they come the party and i think the other piece is bill clinton selected al gore to be his running mate with another number so it solidifies this idea, it's a new direction in the party so set of the usual approach of a president who will represent under the wing of the party, they double down on the dlc.
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to get elected. >> professor, when you espouse their principles, it sounds like republicans o a sense. >> yeah and i think often people think of the dlc as publicans like, what other democrats call them, i think is a critical difference between the dlc style democrats and republican party. they did not support reagan, they thought what he was doing was horrible especially the way it's affecting low income and poor people especially for people of color and wanted a different approach and believe focusing on the market and the private sector would be a way to fundamentally help people and move the country in a different direction. >> okay, let's go to the present and the title of your book, left behind the democrats failed
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attempt to solvept inequality. where did you come up with the title and why? >> the first part of the title comes from the language ofan bil clinton and many democrats talked about people being left behind and communities are being left behind in the wake they could use the economy, tax, trade and science help those people to come part of the new economy and make them not left behind. that's one part of the title. the other part is about leaving the left of the democratic party behind in the efforts and the subtitle if you do a select search of the title, it's about the program the new democrats espouse and promote and what is implemented. look att these pogroms there to help poorp people using the
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market so empowerment zone, charter school, housing, or public housing, a huge part of the micro finance and banking so all of these different efforts use market oriented means to address poverty and inequality. >> the book is left behind, failed attempt to solve inequality. billy is the author and donald in detroit, you're the first call up, go ahead. >> i'm in detroit, michigan. i'm retired so i look at c-span all the time. my comment is this, democrats would probably lose but never hold office because of the way republican parties structured itself for the voting rights if they don't like theow most than they go on their way democrats have a problem we live in cities
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and do not live in rural areas exactly so the republicans have more legislatures in office around the country, this is why they are doing heinous things. unfortunately i plan to read your book but that is my comment. it's not necessarily a question because -- >> all right, we are going to have her address that. is your book at all about what the republican party is today? >> is a look at the reaction, the democrats reaction but i think the colors points, one of the things democratic leadership has focused on and put the democratic party focus on what was winning national elections especially presidential presidency and what it does is a vacuum at the state and local
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level which republicans have taken advantage of the last several years so one of the things have happened, the caller is right that republicans have been affected working legislation both at the state and local level so one of the critical lessons is for the democratic party to do more at the state and local level and for people to focus on state and local elections because critical issues of democracy are being addressed. >> don is calling in from maryland. ahead.go >> good evening. what's yourn opinion on the future of the progressive wing of the party and what about bernie sanders? do you see him running again in the future? why -- yes?
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>> what is your opinion of the progressive wing of the party and do you see bernie sanders running again in the future and would you like that? >> yes, i would like to see him run again. my opinion about the progressive movement, i think it is viable but i think the message, i think they just have a bad label. all the negativity about socialism and communism, that's what i think hurt them but overall i think would be better for the country to get candidates too run and when. >> all right, thank you. let's hear from lily for now. >> i think one of the things that happened is because of the new democrat approach in the clinton era is power over the o democratic party for so long in terms of policy, it crowds out progressive voices one thing
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that's happened especially since 2015 but even starting 2011 with occupy movement is many people from a wide different constituencies are fed up saying there has to be other approaches. i think the progressive wing has been restarted in a way that's been effective. i don't know necessarily if he will runda again in one of the issues i think his age but finding another candidate who can fill in in that way, i think getting beyond questions of labeling and looking at the policies, there are a lot of things progressive candidates in the united states at the national and state and local level have been powerful for a lot of different people. >> but politics is also pragmatic, there has to be electoral success. >> it i' true and it's fascinating. i am fascinated that he's done
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as well as he has because he wouldn't have been the first person if you are a political consultantou, a presidential candidate. >> third caller, we have three dogs in a row. go ahead. >> i like to have your view on laptop from hell and red-handed. i think they pertain to the democratic party. >> thank you very much. book tv has covered both of those books. miranda devine has aired peter has not aired yet so we will air in the near future so thank you for the advice, appreciate it. mary in ohio.
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we are talking about the future of the democratic party. >> i wonder if you could tell me a little bit about -- >> you got to turn down your tv and talk in your phone. >> okay. i turned it down. asyou mentioned republican party but i learned from my parents to analyze politics it seems to me today people just want to win and i wonder if you could touch on that because it is important both parties not tried to push each other out. >> i think there are two parts. one is an issueue of what happes
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after you went and what policies are passed. it will pass policies in our interest and i think we have parties only focusing on winning, that leaves many americans behind because you don't have politicians fighting for their interests. i think another critical issue is the increase in polarization and lack of bipartisan cooperation so the 90s on era where you see increased polarization but there was more bipartisan cooperation in the 90s on many critical issues and for better or for worse but i think that has really gone away and i think the focus on winning some of these other questions help many americans and feel like their voices are represented and heard. >> one of the things you talk about in your book left behinden is with this market oriented approach to problems, dedicated
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government funding has gone away and picked up by foundations and ngos. >> and that ist a key part of what happens because when you focus on the efforts of the private sector to do the work of government, you're getting overp the rules and responsible use of government so the key place on charter schools technically publicly -- are public but often one by nonprofits funded by the nation it removes a lot of democratic abilities,ot butters- you don't vote in the gate foundation to view the work of government and you don't have a say, you can't hold them accountable and say i don't agree because you didn't elect them so it takes away that powerful voice voters have and i think also it leaves away that transparency because a lot of those decisions are having even behind for the closed doors and
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what's going on on capitol hill. >> robert in stockton california, good afternoon. >> i called because many years up until i was about 60, i was a democrat and the last ten years or so before trump, i was kind of in different but personally i think the democratic party switcheded completely it has become a party controlled by the elite and offered no one with any challenge. if you look at joe biden and the vice president, my god, what you think of the t people the democratic party is offering to run our country? >> actually i think maybe your
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sense of frustration with the party is a lot is more focusing on growth and many people we consider elites, it's helped many corporations take money and made many voters in many people who work along semidemocratic voters feel alienated from the parties so i think it less in terms of the politicians than the policies put in place that's me people feel the party is not speaking for their interests. >> fort lauderdale, hello. >> good afternoon. i am a democrat, the first time i voted was 1972 and voted -- i'm kind of on the left side of the party. how do we get resolve the inequality issues?
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>> thank you and before the watergate baby, you have long-standing party so i think there are important ways either policy problems and policy solutions, i think many of them have to do with restructuring and committing to social welfare state so people don't feel vulnerable and insecure in a sense of real equality, i think there are ways of regulation of corporations is not an equity and pay for ceos making large amounts of money in their workers working several jobs just to stay afloat. i think another important way is the power of the labor movement, it's one thing in this alienation of labors was in power by the democrats and the country broadly benefit,
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security for workers and making labor more central is a way to address the mental problems inequality. >> was the clinton's reputation in the democratic party today? >> i think it's interesting because they've lost their cultural ways, they no longer have a t say in who is not a speaker of the 2020 infection, it's a sign of the party moving in a different direction or leaving them slightly behind but i think there policies still had the say and i think they have won elections and the together i clinton approach is one that traumatic to winning election but often times especially in this moment right now, fear of losing the midterms, there's a
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real potential they will go back to the clinton playbook. >> billy, left behind, democrats failed attempt to solve inequality. she's been our guest on tv. >> thank you, it's been a pleasure. ♪♪ >> american history tv saturdays on c-span2. exploring people and events that tell the american story. 8:50 p.m. eastern, mark greg, professor of musicology, american culture at the university of michigan recounts the history of the star-spangled banner and how meanings evolved. 10:00 p.m. eastern, author and professor patrice donelson report on how black soldiers between the civil war and world war i use their military service to further civil rights. exploring the american story. watch american history tv saturdays on c-span2 and find a full schedule on your program
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