tv CSIS Discussion on U.S. Global Leadership CSPAN October 12, 2018 11:01am-12:08pm EDT
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discussion. >> mic is on. i'll do my very best. they assure me he's doing well. i'm delighted to be here tonight in a moderator or participating capacity, mostly because i'm looking forward to hearing what our guests have to say. i can't think of a more timely conversation in many ways. so i won't belabor it with long introductions. to my right is the president of iri. the international republican institute. we can talk more about what that means. also i have known him, at least his work for a long time. he was a contributor to foreign
policy starting from when i was the editor so i'm delighted to get a chance to talk with him in perpetrator and to my left is ambassador mitchell who is the new, as of one month ago, president of the national democratic institute, ndi. and we can talk a little bit about the history of these organizations. but, again, i can't think of a more timely conversation in many ways to be having. i was just thinking, well, what should i write about this week and i thought, well, how about trump's foreign policy and what is the role of democracy and human rights anymore? and, you know, it's a conversation in some ways we have been having far predating certainly donald trump, but it's one that's been made more acute as we all wrestle with the question of what is an america first foreign policy.
what is the role of the united states in the world? are we -- have we lost the animating spirit that created these two institutions? both of them were founded in 1983. i believe that's right. in the first reagan administrati administration. there's a certain sense that this mission created this institution but at a time when we're all wondering what is the future direction of american policy in the post 9/11 era? the question of each of you, that you're wrestling with can help us answer a little bit the question of what is the american role in the world going to be? so i'm really delighted to be with both of you this evening. i thought i'd start out with a
quote from your speaker at your annual dinner this year who was one nikki haley. and still ambassador to the united nations for a couple of more months. she was talking about the united nations but it applies more generally. all countries in her view are not the same. when you try to pretend that there is no difference between the good guys and the bad guys, that's always a win for the bad guys. thinking about that, her boss saying america is no longer in the lecturing you business. and we're not going to be telling you what kind of government you should have, what kind of religion you should have. we want you to respect ours and we'll respect yours.
a very different set of messages and right there are the two polls as a debate. dan, how much does that effect the ability for democracy in the world right now. >> thank you. we have a lot to talk about. i'm not going to do it all in the first segment. in 1983, it was established, including the core institutes, the party institutes and reagan had given a speech in westminster england at the height of a very dark period in the cold war. when the rivalry with the soviet union was very intense and aggressive on the soviet side at least and reagan said look, the way we're going to win this battle is not with guns and bombs. it's through a contest of wills and ideas. we think that the democratic system is a superior model to soviet totalatarianism and we
have faith that helping people be free everywhere will show that's true. we have something that people want that the soviet union does not. i'll fast forward to today. this is still true. everywhere i go in the world people want less corrupt governments. they want to have a voice and a choice. they want a future for their children. they don't want policemen knocking on their door at night for something they put out on social media or said at a meeting. we're working in something like 90 countries around the world because there's a demand for an ideal that america embodies. people don't want the american model. so this isn't about american politics or who is president or anything else. which party is in charge, what
people want are the rudiments. i would like to make a link to the founding fathers because it's easy to say it's a messy world out there, is this still relevant. they were upset with the threat to america's little tiny democrac democracy, the 13 colonies. they were obsessed with the threat in a world of authoritarian powers. that it could not exist in a world that was hostile to democratic principles and george washington's speech against foreign entanglements was not, i would argue, a plea for isolationism and head in the sandism, it was that foreign authority and influence, foreign meddling in america's democracy would end the american
democratic experiment. so i think that's a timeless insight. there's a lot of other timeless insights but we know for a fact and i will conclude here, we know that america is safer when the world is more free. we know that democracies do not go out and fight each other, they don't spawn the kind of extremism that we saw on 9/11. they do not produce the uncontrolled mass migration out of countries like syria and venezuela that destabilize their regions and beyond. so there's a very compelling national interest test to the work that we do. >> i must say though, that is a very, it seems to me, uncontroversial statement of principles except that it isn't necessarily at the moment shared by the leadership. >> we've been in business 35 years. presidents have come and gone. our budget, our staff, our resources have grown during that 35 years and it's not been tied
to a given administration and a given leader. >> that's a very important point. the interesting thing, do you see any effect from the growing partisanship of american foreign policy or is there still a coherent vision of the work. >> i think there's a nonpartisan vision, bipartisan vision. it's represented by us being on the stage together and, in fact, it's one, we made an agreement because we're old friends that this will be one small bipartisan sell of cooperation that we can create in washington or around the country because this is something that transcends politics. and i would agree with dan that it has for sometime. we're seeing it even now.
this administration notwithstanding and senior leadership of this administration notwithstanding, if you look on capitol hill you see a strong bipartisan support on both sides. so regardless of the majority and minority they're passing budgets regardless of what a particular administration says. including this one that wanted to slash democracy work grately. got to the hill and both sides said thank you for your interest in national security, we're going to put all of this money back in and then add some money to it because it's important for american interests and it's something that both parties agree on. let me extend on what dan said. what he said is extremely important about where we came from, what we're about and it's roots in american history. let me also say this is not simply an american thing. we are an america established organization, you mention president trump talk about you're not going to lecture others. we agree with that.
what we do is not lecturing. what we do is share experiences of democratic practice around the world. i just came back from the middle east and north africa and the people that represent ndi in the countries in that region come from canada, the netherlands, romania, bulgaria, they are representing democratic values globally. the work that we do is done in partnership with people all over the world of every nationality because they see this is something that affirms their voice, affirms their sovereignty and what we do is not about american foreign policy imposing ourselves on to a process to try to make it reflect america. we're allowing -- we feel that we're confident enough that if people have a voice, if people have a ability to shape and determine their own futures they will be a much more stable society internally and even if some individual decisions they make are not in american
interests sometimes. but our institutions are not. and we wanted to spread that through sharing of experiences worldwide. >> putting aside what is and isn't happen in terms of american foreign policy, there's a lot of people here and around the world that are concerned there is a broader crisis of democracy taking place, i think this is not what many of us expected at the end of the cold war and maybe it wasn't the end of history but there seemed to
be a march toward democracy now we're talking about the rise of new authoritarianism. there is a broader democratic crisis occurring. do you see these phenomenon? do you connect them? or do you see them as individual problem spots? >> i don't see a democratic crisis. i see authoritarians fighting back and a lot of authoritarian learning. a country like china is using digital technologies invented to help sustain what we thought would be a more open world democracies have an open system.
you have seen it in latin america and all across europe democracies are about how to protect ourselves. the mission is not simply to help more people, more countries be democratic. it is to help democracy succeed. there's also a problem of democratic performance. democracy in many performances is underperforming. we can go into that more but it's underperforming in many countries. you've seen strong men hollow out democratic institutions in turkey and hungary and elsewhere. the work of democracy is never done. there's always going to be a contest between authoritarian forms and more democratic novels. we have seen recent successes in armenia, in malaysia. i would argue that for every set back you can point to a case where there's been a step
forward for human freedom. >> do you agree with that view? a lot of people are talking about the crisis in democracy right now? i'd like to have somebody whose glass is metaphorically half full in the conversation. >> i agree with dan but there's no place for complacency. the moral arch of the universe bends toward justice. many of us can help bend that in the right direction because there are populous that are preying on fear. the fact is democracies have to deliver. any political system has to deliver for its people and at the end of the cold war there was this moment and people figured they're moving toward democracy but you can change a
government and even processes. but mind sets change much more slowly. old guards are still there old ways of doing things are still there. so people expected to see better results than they're seeing from the government. folks saying i don't like this guy at all. he may be a nut case but i want change. i want to see something different. that populism and preying on fear. the insecurity that people have because of multiculturalism, these are things that you certainly see trends in the world and they actually make you less secure, less stable than
going in more democratic and open group but folks that have not seen democracy deliver then raise questions. why do we continue voting in the same old, same old? we're going to go for something extreme because why not. those guys can chip away at the institutions. what you're seeing in hungary and poland and the philippines and venezuela is a perfect example of course of a place that went far leftest and just destroyed any refugees and all the rest. it is a dangerous time. there's no doubt about it. we have to be quite careful and creative. >> a moment when democracy is previously advancing and i guess the question is, what is the role of a u.s. lead institution encountering -- you call it the
authoritarians are fighting back. what do each of you see as a role of your institution in countering that? are you focused on the stronger authoritarians? on russia and china, for example? or do you focus more on the places where there's still alive tension or fight on going. >> we're not really keeping score maybe in a way that would fit easily into an answer for your question. in some ways we're helping to empower young people to have a voice in power politics. in some places to enhance women's role in political life. in some places we're working on strategies to prevent violent extremism. in some places we're working on citizen security so desperate people aren't fleeing societies where law and order have collapsed. in some places we're helping them build political resiliency
against foreign authoritarian influence so countries can be fully sovereign to make their own choices. the work is never going to be done. there's not a scorecard or keeping score because it's a little messy everywhere. >> well, that's the truth, isn't it? when you look at the nationalism and powers looking beyond their boarders, especially russia and china right now. what do you see as the role of u.s. institutions as far as fostering democracy inside their boarders? are we back to an area of supporting dissidents in those countries? it appears there are the kind of crack downs we would find very familiar from the cold war era
inside of russia and china today and also related to that, you have seen in particular from vladimir putin, both particular animous toward your organizations but it's no different than russian intervention in our election. >> it's nothing like -- americans support for democrats in the world. maybe i can just start by saying what we're trying to do really is work with local partners in countries where we are invited in to level the playing field so that there is real political competition. and so that people feel empowered to have a voice and a role in selecting their leaders and what kind of country they will live in. so we are working to promote pleurand encourage inclusivity. i would argue that the kremlin.
this work is not being done by a government. the kremlin's operations are rather different, they are state directed intelligent service lead operations to polarize, to subvert, to divide, to internally weaken, to confound democratic outcomes. and there's nothing similar about those two cases. >> and by the way, just to be clear for the audience, both of your organizations used to be operating in moscow and are no longer, is that correct? >> yeah. >> when i was there, we worked closely with your representatives on the ground. >> we couldn't be in 100 countries in the past 35 years if we didn't build up good faith and trust with these countries and governments and have a reputation. it's a difference between transparent and shadowy
subversion. we're interested in process and not outcomes. the outcome has nothing to do with what we do. we're simply about building capacity of people to have a transparent process of debate and discussion, institutionalization and inclusion of women, of youth, of anybody to be involved and people can judge whether it's worth while or not worthwhile. we're up here talking about it. we talk about it on websites. we're transparent inside of the company. it's not like a russian effort that is all about finding ways to divide and confound and divide and be shadowy in the process. some folks that the russians want to confuse on this point. i find sometimes people in washington want to make what
looks like a very eloquent point that oh, yeah, we're doing the same thing as the russians and i find that to be a kind of lazy kind of -- what's the word -- >> what aboutism. >> i can't think of the word. >> can i just make a quick point on this? hr mcmaster had a nice line of phrase where he said look, america's objective is to help countries preserve their own sovereignty. preserve and protect their own sovereignty. we want to live in a world where countries are free to make their own voices. if you look at russian subversion in ukraine or assault on electorial sovereignty, thats what it is about. >> imposing democracy is an
oxymoron. the iraq war poisoned the well for many people that that was democracy. i thought how can ndi and iri do their work now? that's not what they're about and it's not what democracy support work is. it's about working with others and trying to support them. >> i want to ask quickly about a case study that you have been involved with over the last few years that seemed to go in the wrong direction. >> tunisa? >> you know what i'm going to ask about. it appeared at the time to be a
great example of demona country moving away from military lead rule and i believe controversially even lead to a presidential visit -- >> two. >> two visits. that's right. we now have this unfolding tragedy. what can you tell us that's relevant to our new role in understanding how democracies work or don't work? >> there's a democracy part a. if we're talking about democracy as democracy, one thing that's absolutely critical to understand, it's true about any country, is expectations management. that no single moment makes a democracy. that we have -- we knew that the election, the opening of a
society and he became the leader. that was not the end of anything. the structure and society is the same. the role of the military was the same nothing really changed except ownership of those problems in a very mason process that was just beginning inside of the country. so i don't think the obama administration did. this is going to come slowly. these countries are very complex. every country is very complex.
and even in the united states, it's never done. you have countries very diverse with histories, very complex histories, they're going to have to deal with those fundamental system-wide structures. and unless we understand those complexities, we're going to get out ahead of ourselves. >> so you think that's what's happened? >> it's always been a very difficult case in myanmar. it was a necessary and not sufficient moment to have the elections they did. they have a long road ahead but i think they truly want change. now not dealing with the issue but wanting change to open the society and it's going to be a struggle. >> so that's interesting. so you are actually drawing the distinction in saying that you don't believe that what's happening there represents the end of this trajectory toward
democratization. >> no, i think people want free voice. people want a government. they don't want to go back to a military dictatorship and they're better off than they were eight years ago, overall. the best line was someone in 2013 or 2014 that said nothing here has changed. but we don't want to go back to the way it used to be. and that encapsulates -- fundamentally, nothing had really changed. but yet the atmosphere had changed. there was more ability to express ones self and more opportunities for people. it's just going to happen much slower than we would like it to. >> so the benefit of having both of you is that you're both long time and i want to ask you about what's happening with north and
south korea over the last year. obviously we're still seeing that diplomacy play out. we don't know the outcome, but i am struck by the fact that you have in south korea one of the world's great examples of rapid political and economic transformation going, and in particular democratizaition in recent years. putting aside whether kim jong un is ever going to denuclearize, i have always wondered -- south korea is pursuing a policy of looking for ways to work with the north koreans. they're talking about not necessarily reunification -- is it even possible? or realistic? is there a model you can think of us to help us understand how you can have so systems that appear to different that could
come to a real accommodation? have we learned something from the reintegration of east and west germany? is it crazy to think it could get back together in our lifetimes and with a place like north korea. >> we should stretch the imagination. i'm not an optimist aid and abet north korea. but i recall, south korea was a military dictatorship that actually pursued dissidents abroad and was rather a nasty place. look at south korea today. it's one of the most extraordinary stories of democrat democratic prosperity in asia. south korea is a rich country. south korea is like five times richer than china per capita. it's a real accomplishment and part of what is drawing kim jong
un's interest is, without psycho analyzing him is that, in fact, north korea needs a little of that. the north korean economic model is failing. the chinese have told the north korean regime that it needs to modernize. that's part of it. i will argue that we will never enjoy a normal relationship or enjoy peace with a country that has millions of its own people imprisoned, whether literally or metaphorically, that suffers from a cut of personality. that's really the last vestage or totalitarianism today. they have gotten out and are thinking about how to help their
brea people in north corey and the south korean government stopped supporting those groups in the quest for peace with the north. >> well, i'm glad you brought that up. it's a move toward democracy and it's hard to imagine how that with stands the neighbor next door. okay. i know it's harder to know how to talk about it, but let's turn our gaze back for a second here to the united states. senator john mccain was a long time patron and probably the person most associated publicly with iri. what does it mean for your institution to have lost your champion and someone who, more than anyone else, was identified with it?
what do you think it means for the future of republican foreign policy? >> senator mccain was quite interesting. he understood the human quest for freedom because he had been denied his own freedom. he understood very personally what it means to be abused by an authoritarian overload in personal terms. he was a national security hawk. he was a military man through and through from a family of military men. but he understood that the truest source of security was to live in a world where people were free. that no number of nuclear weapons or fighter jets or aircraft carriers could compensate for the democratic
peace. it's compelling that he cared about these issues but didn't just care about them in big important countries like ukraine. i can atest he cared about it equally in small countries like georgia and fiji. when i was working for him there was a coop in fiji and he was so outraged and i kept saying senator we're trying to cover the world here, right? but human freedom is not indi indivisible. if you care about these issues, you have to care about them everywhe everywhere. one of the last things he did before he left us is to help enlarge our board of directors at iri. we had an amazing group of
directors including senator dan sullivan that's chairman and marco rubio and lindsey graham and including mitt romney and a whole list of notables and i know he left us feeling good about the next generation of political leadership and support for this congress. it has real power because people around the world can feel that america stands for something. it's something different. it stands for something greater than itself. the attractive quality, i mean, one other element i missed on it
is they want us to be engaged. they were so happy that we were there for them and standing by them. and that's what we coan do overseas. we're with you on this journey. you have folks routing foting f and working with you on this difficult path. the sense that big countries are there with you can also have a sense of -- it gets their back up. that's very important. >> it's interesting to hear both of you essentially offering us very bipartisan in the past and not very controversial vision of american interest and overseas.
putting aside the question of the scorecard and there is a crisis and confidence in the united states even among many of its closest allies that it still represents the things that you both think it represents and are out there representing and i guess the question is how much you feel that you must feel that, you must feel that on any trip that you make overseas. what is america's commitment to the world? survey finding in germany, france, showing that there's more faith in vladimir putin or xi jingping to do the right thing in the world than in a vision of our country. that has to be concerning to
both of you, again in a very non-partisan way, it must effect your work. >> that is a question we get all the time. particularly here at home, first statement is, why don't you work here first? why are you going over there and helping democracy when we need it at home. that's kind of a half joking but maybe not half joking line. overseas, making a trip about every month action but my sense is they're not necessarily thinking that. if we're providing a service to them because they're in need, they don't care if donald trump says this or that or represents this or that. they are going to want to know if we can help them with what they're facing. at a foreign policy level and broader level they may be concerned. we're not lecturing you. we're not telling you anything we don't know. you can watch tv and see we have racial problems still. we have ethnic and religious
divisions in our country. you will too for as long as you exist. what we're trying to tell you is you go down that root it will be worse for you. you're weaker for that just like we are weaker as a country for that and learn the lessons from our experience that can benefit you. and first of all it reflects back that we're in a better division and we have an interest in america and also creates for stable societies and we're more than any single leadership or any single moment.
>> we can recommend that to all countries, right? that doesn't just have to hold here. look, i don't think, if you think about america's soft power, the magnetism of america in the world. i'm afraid it doesn't come from our politicians. that might disappoint people from the new yorker but it doesn't come from our politicians. it comes from the genius of our society, right? our immigrant culture. our fierce civic pride. our prosperity. our optimism about the future. americans are still very optimistic about the future of this country, and i think we should be too. it's been a lot worst in the past. so i think we should have some perspective here. that's sort of -- i think that's how i would come at the question. but really, when i travel, maybe people are just being polite, but they don't want to talk about donald trump, they want to talk about their country and how we can work with them to help
them achieve what they want to achieve in their country. and they're not benchmarking against the united states. they're thinking about south africa or bosnia or bolivia. in washington we sit around thinking it's all about us. it's actually not all about us. >> to susan's point though, america does matter. the symbol of america and what america stands for and what we say does matter and has impact. we are going to lead whether it's in a good direction or a bad direction, unfortunately and it does help if you have leadership that are modeling the type of behavior you want to see. so it doesn't have no impact. we don't hear about it. they're not going to be obsessed with us but it's a strain on some degree on our work. i got the question the other day from some foundations that came to see me and said how are you going to talk about blind justice and rule of law and
nonpartisan judiciaries when what just happened in the united states with our system? and i say, well, look, people will judge for themselves, but they can feel that it would have an impact somehow. if america's having problems with it, it makes folks a little bit less confident that they can. countries have said if you can't get your act together, it's a little tougher for us to feel like we can do it too. that's not to say we're better than anyone else or other countries are lesser but there's that kind of modeling and leadership that america has stood for that does matter still to many, many, people. >> i want to make sure that we don't run out of time for your questions. while you're getting your ideas together i'm going to ask a optimistic question. we have been in the world of challenges to this work. tell us something that is surprising that works or that is a surprising place where you see democracy taking hold right now.
>> so the latest one that really surprised a lot of us was the maldeves where there was an experiment in democracy that ended in 2013. a dictator assumed power, exiled or imprisoned the supreme court and the political opposition. they had an election just several weeks ago and i don't think anybody expected the democratic opposition to win but 90% of voters turned out and voted out the dictator, right? and i think we should be encouraged. this is the kind of thing that happens out in the world. in malaysia, one party had run that country for 61 years. and gerrymandered the system very effectively. controls the politics on the economy. malaysians went to the polls a
couple of months ago and surprised everybody including themselves by voting in democratic opposition for the first time in that country's history. so there's some optimism out there, i would argue. >> you have only been one month on your job. so we won't hold you to it. if you could please identify yourself. >> my name is dave. i'm going to ask the question directly, is donald trump himself not a threat to democracy and democratic institutions and worse yet, isn't he providing the space for other countries to have authoritarian leaders take hold? >> well, we're not supposed to be partisan in terms of domestic politi politics. we're focused overseas. he certainly has shown -- it's not a secret, everyone is
reading about it, proclivity for dictators overseas. that's a concern for those of us that want to see a president represent something more democratic kind of agenda. i can't comment on the rest of that. >> i mean, american policy today toward russia, china, and iran who are the great authoritarian powers in the world is much tougher than it was two, three, four, five years ago. fact. so i'll leave it there. >> okay. here in the front row. >> all hawaii islands, can you give me -- my question is -- can you tell me how that a system of
demon demon democratizations of new countries. >> soft power and philanthropy. can you speak on how that assists in the democratization of new countries. >> maybe you can explain where you're funded from -- >> so maybe start with the funding. our funding comes primarily from the state department, usaid. congress appropriates funds as part of the foreign assistance bill. we compete for them among ourselves and against others. there's a great -- on the soft power question -- there is a great focus in this town at the moment on american hard power. the economy is growing very strongly, unemployment is at its lowest in 50 years, the military
budge is growing after being cut by 25% between 2010 and 2016. however, if you look at a lot of the pressures on democracy around the world, it's not coming from from hard power alo it's not coming from military action by authoritarian countries, it's coming in non-kinetic forms. the dmon-democracy talks about sharp power which is kinds of influence that weaken and debilitate and polarize other countries. so the kinds of work we are doing falls into the soft power category, and it's about empowering people to be free to make their own choices. we're just a tiny little piece of american soft power. but arguably soft power cannot be done by governments. the original definition of soft power was it was something that emanated from culture, from
civic institutions, right, and this is what authoritarians have less to offer. they are using forms of sub ver versive power directed by the state rather than soft forms. >> hi, elizabeth campbell. i want to change directions a little bit and talk about union and u.k. we saw things about brexit, soft power. i'm curious what you think can come from the outcome of the upcoming brexit negotiations. >> i'm not an expert on brexit. i really don't van opiniohave a. do you, dan? >> my wife is a brexit, it's kind of risky. the reason you want mediating
institutions in a democracy is so that you are not ruling by media alone. you need institutions so elected officials can make the right decisions about what's best for their country. that's a question for british citizens, not us. but we have seen the dangers of referenda in other countries. i think my democratic advice, my advice to democracies would be to tread warily with referendums because they often go around those media institutions in a representative democracy. >> you, sir. >> yeah. thank you for an inspiring debate. i will take you back to africa where there is lots to talk about. you know africans are looking to
america as a border for democracy. we see lots of leaders going to china. is that to say that america has lost its democracy in africa? that's one question. and in the heart of africa, there is a little country enterprising democracy in that area. i think you know what i'm talking about. of course, ira is present there. thank you very much. >> do you want to take the china one? >> i can start with the china one. what china offers is a lot of money and they're invest ing a lot in africa. they have been there in increasing amount of commerce and investment for some time now. in a way that the united states and the west -- well, i wouldn't say the west, the eu has been
involved but the west has been less engaged there. so i think if china is willing to offer resources to build up the infrastructure to invest, to buy up oil and other resources, then yes, i think these countries will run to beijing and see what kind of deals they can make that are in their interests. the question, though, comes if these deals are somehow opaque or corrupt. if the deals that are made are also, you know, put these countries into a huge debt trap, which we're seeing much more of in africa and elsewhere through their initiative, and then saddling these countries with enormous burdens that they can't repay and it's repaid in sovereignty, in essence, and you're seeing that in various places. here's an example of sovereignty being traded for engagement. so i think countries need to be careful on that, but i don't think we should be concerned about countries going to china. i think we need to be competing
on that marketplace of ideas, and in the way we do work, we can provide an alternative to infrastructure development that is more transparent and more in the interest of these countries, that we should be doing that rather than complaining if countries are rush to ing to ch. i don't know if it's necessarily democratic for them to go to china. many of them are already not democratic, those who go to china. those who are already democratic, we'll see what china's engagement of them has. that's something, i think, frankly we need to be much more focused on, because china is doing more on the idealogical side in competing with democracy, on pushing a strongman model that is very pernicious and dangerous. >> the country you're talking about is somali. i show up with my virginia driver's license. but somali land citizens are more advanced.
it's great in a new democracy. people really care about first time freedoms like casting a free ballot and have it counted fairly, and it's very inspiring to see. >> lots of hands here. i know we're not going to get to everyone, so forgive me in advance for that. you, sir. fine, you go and then you go. >> stanley roth, no affiliation. when i think about challenges to democracy, i think about backlash against globalization, i think about the backlash against immigration and i think about some of the negative aspects. i recognize there are positive, but the fragmentary nature of social is media and the negatives to demagogues. can you comment on that? >> i put it in terms of identity which is also an immigration question. it could be a demographic question. the issue of technology we did
talk a bit about. dan and i next week are going to silicon valley because i absolutely see this as a danger to democracy. and i saw this when i was in myanmar. as we know now, the facebook influence in myanmar, i saw that in realtime. i was very concerned about that and couldn't quite get the attention necessary. we have something -- we have an office in silicon valley, ndi does. one person is there. we're going to meet with a bunch of folks. we have a program called design for democracy, with the idea we need to work with these companies, many of whom are not in good order right now because of their lack of responsibility for what they have unleashed. but they need to design these technologies and take responsibility so it affirms people's voice, affirms democratic values, so it doesn't polarize, everything we're seeing in our country and
everywhere else. i felt for some time that social media technologies are anti-social media in that they are pernicious to democracy. they're actually dividing people. it's not just about breaking down authoritarians and allowing individual voices, there has to be a community that forms, people talking face to face in order for real democracy to occur. you can't just do it over the airwaves. absolutely. of course, the use of it by russians to twist what truth is, to twist what people see, what they read, what they believe, the influence of artificial intelligence, of virtual reality, we don't even know what's true or not true. i don't know that we're prepared for this as human beings. if you can't trust information, then democracy falls away. you have to have good information that you make decisions on, otherwise democracy fails. so this is an extremely important topic that we have programs in ukraine, we have
programs all over the place looking at this. >> he covered digital very well. on migration and immigration, i think the pressure you have seen in europe and the united states is not coming from legal immigration. it's coming from vast refugee flows out of conflict zones, right? particularly syria and the middle east and particularly venezuela and parts of central america here. and until we get to grips with the fact that we need to help these countries govern themselves decently, it's not a normal human condition to want to put your children and spouse in a boat and cross the mediterranean and go to a country where you have no future and no connections. the normal human proclivity is to stay at home and live in peace. but for too many people that's actually impossible. it's also true for the rohinga.
until we reach that, we're not going to be able to draw up democracy. there is a book that argues for the first time in human history, about 50% of the world is middle class, broadly defined. guess what, the origin story of the rise of democracy on great britain and the continent of europe is the emergence of a middle class that wanted more from its government. that wanted its rights respected, wanted its property to be secured, didn't want to live under aristocratic privilege or monarchical absolutism. the economic uplift that has happened in just the last 25 years not only has changed the world but actually will change politics in good ways. >> we are, unfortunately, i
think almost out of time. i did promise you the question. if you could make it a very brief last question, that will have to do. thank you so much. i love that everybody's hands are up. we're going to keep them here. >> in a profound world of embarrassment, they offer the world of integrity at the expense of bask and sri lanka and i could name 12 others. do either of your organizations take a principle stand with respect to the human right of self-determination? >> my quick answer to that is if you live in a democracy you can exercise your rights as a catalonian in a spanish democracy. it's different if you are not living in a democracy where you do not have a peaceful way of
exercising political rights. >> i don't think we take a position on sovereign questions of tibetans or such, but we have a right to have a voice, a say in their own affairs, to not be dominated, to not be oppressed and all the things that are going on in these territories. so we don't have particular programs on that. but we certainly believe in that right of every human being having dignity having a right to determine their future and see have a voice in their own affairs. >> i want to thank you on behalf of all of us. i want to thank ambassador mitchell, i want to thank dan twining for a shockingly upbeat conversation on democracy around the world. thank you both. i'm very grateful. thank you. [ applause ]
tonight on american history tv in prime time on c-span3. defendants of gerald ford, harry truman, lyndon mckinley and theodore roosevelt, they share family stories at the john f. kennedy center in washington. you can see that here on c-span3. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures and history. indiana university bloomington professor stephen andrews on conspiracy theory and how conspiracy theories have changed over time.
>> stay problem in america that people have connections with yale, and is it a problem they meet with bohemian grove? is it a problem they meet there and are chatting? maybe, maybe not. is it a problem they put on roe robes and have a ceremony where they burn an owl in a ceremony called the communication of care? it's weirder, right? and sunday at 4:30 p.m., former senator tom harkin of iowa discusses the impacts of laws that have impacted americans with disabilities. >> one decision in 1999 called olmsted voc. it was a georgia case. again, it was two women who were
put in an institution and they had argued that they didn't want to be there, that they should be free to live on their own out in the community, and this made its way all the way to the supreme court. and the supreme court sided with them. they said, yeah, the constitution -- the least restrictive environment is a constitutionally based right of persons with disabilities. imagine that. and at 6:00, on american artifacts, we travel to france to visit key battlefields and monuments to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of world war i, including a visit to the argonne forest for the story of the lost battalion. >> there were 554 men cut off from the body of main division. they are from the 207th and 308th infantry and they're mixed companies.
they're led by major charles whittlesee. he's an attorney from wall street. the germans are surrounding them from the hills here and firing. whittlesee's men take cover near what they call the charlotteville mill. meanwhile, the rest of the division can't reach them. >> watch on american history tv this weekend on c-span3. this weekend on newsmakers, emily's list director emily cain talks about the midterm elections, candidates the group is backing and the impact of women running for congress. emily's list supports pro-choice democratic women candidates for office. newsmakers is on c-span sunday at 10:00 a.m. and at a special time of 5:00 p.m. eastern. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a
public service by america's cable television companies. 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 provider. up next, a conversation from the rand corporation on u.s. relations with russia, sanctions against russia and china's relationship with russia. this is just over an hour. welcome, everyone. i'm andy hoeh