tv Rep. Jamie Raskin D-MD Unthinkable CSPAN May 1, 2022 2:52am-3:45am EDT
some time studying her. yeah. yeah. all right. thank you. i am so pleased to be here to introduce congressman jamie raskin and author of unthinkable. unthinkable is his soul-bearing new book. and the reason i was asked to be moderator is i spent the last four years making a documentary film about jamie. i followed him around and that film premiered on. february 6th on msnbc if anybody missed it you can it's streaming on nbc.com for free. so please go.
have a look if you missed it. my name is madeline carter. and i think most of you probably know. the thumbnail about jamie, but just in case you need some reminders. um on the last day of 2020 jamie lost his son tommy to suicide. seven days later. jamie was trapped in the capitol on january 6 2021 when it was stormed by a violent mob he was also there with his daughter and his son-in-law who was married to his other daughter seven-day, excuse me, six days after that nancy pelosi named jamie lead impeachment manager for trump's second impeachment trial. jamie says that pelosi handed him a lifeline. when she asked him to do that he
he says that he was so swamped by agony and grief that he didn't know if he would ever be able to do anything of meaning or substance again in his life. and those of us who know him can see that he's done lots of things of meaning and substance in the last year. on february 13th, 2021 the senate acquitted trump. in a 57 to 43 vote was a bipartisan vote with a majority. with the majority voting to the word convictions convict that's an important word the majority. the majority voting to convict but that was not the
supermajority that was needed. then jamie began spending his sleepless nights. writing unthinkable the books is a love story to tommy and to our constitutional democracy. and it ends with a lovely moment of hope and i've asked jamie to read it. it's just a few paragraphs of the very ending of the book. and i just think this this sums up. so much of jamie's love of both tommy and and our constitutional democracy. all right. hello, annapolis. hello key school. thank you for having me and thank you to the town crier that never happened to me before that's and and hello mads. it's great to see you,
especially without a camera. all right. i'll read this of course if i read them. the end of the book they're not going to read the beginning in the middle of the book, but all right. the weekend before we lost tommy i misplaced my glasses and could not find them anywhere. tommy helped me look for them in the house and in our front yard, but they were nowhere to be found. we gave up the search, but tommy comforted me saying i know you'll find them dad. this is why don't do readings. okay, we lost tommy on wednesday, december 31. when i woke up on sunday, january 3rd. i was i was more miserable than
i've ever been just engulfed in grief tragedy and darkness. i went outside to our front porch in the early morning cold to see if there was food in our bird feeder. there was not i was about to go fill it up went out of nowhere a huge flock of birds landed in our front yard. but all different kinds of birds robins and orioles and blue jays and the most beautiful cardinals i'd ever seen they came and swooped on mass into our yard. it was spectacular and breathtaking. i called for sarah and she ran out to the porch. i never seen anything like it before. and neither had she and despite being a man of science and reason one not easily given to mystical thinking i was suddenly seized with the thought and flooded with the feeling and immersed in the overwhelming physical sensation that everything is going to be all right. tommy's going to take care of us. i moved off the porch and into the yard towards the birds.
just to get closer to them just to say hi for a moment and as suddenly as they arrived they took flight. as if they were one flapping away into the unknown sky. for split second, i was bereft again. but then i looked down at my feet and there i found my glasses. so i i just think that's absolutely beautiful and i'm sorry jamie for don't do that again, please. yeah, okay, so how was writing this book therapeutic for you? well i basically thought i would
either spend the rest of my life obsessed and reliving those 50 days or i could try to record every detail and thought and feeling i was having going through. um these serial traumas and for me, you know. i'm a writer. i'm not a real writer like my mom or my sister. i know real writers a lot of real writers here. i'm not a real writer, but i am a writer you know, and so for me, it was just cathartic all the way to. try to recreate as best as i could what had happened and to reconstruct tommy's life when i the book is i don't know how many pages but it's like 415 or something like that, but when i turned it in it was 900 pages
and but it was easy to edit because it was it wasn't sort of a line by line thing. it was entire chapters where my editor gently said as much as he could you know, we don't need. tom and kindergarten and tommy and first grade and tommy and second grade tommy 30 and i mean i needed that and so, you know, i did that so i have this kind of other book. i really wrote two books in one and you know one was the book that they wanted which was about the 50 days of my life that i also wanted to write. and by definition it was about tommy but it wasn't about. but everything that happened to him like it wasn't about his relationships with women, which was like four chapters and the other book, you know, and so all of that stuff ended up in a different place. and so that was good and i think
the you know. people say to me, you know when i first started reading it, i just never i couldn't figure out how you would put these two things together. but of course when you read it, you understand that they're just organically integrated. it's one it's it's my life. it's my experience and so to the extent anybody's interested in it. it's all right there that 50-day period and so it was cathartic doing it. i got to say, you know, i read the the audiobook myself and when i finished the publisher said, okay, it's time do the audiobook and i started giving her names to people i thought could do a really good job, and she said well you're doing and i said, oh, well, that's nice, but i don't you know, i don't think so. and then she said oh, yeah, it's in your contract. so you're doing it. so anyway, i so i was doing it but i think the audiobooks like
15 hours, but and it probably took me like 17 to do it, you know to go back over and you know, i think that that was much more difficult than writing it i must say and but i would just come home from the hill. i mean matt you knew my schedule better than anybody i would come home at seven or eight and we'd have dinner and hang out with whoever was there and then everybody would go to sleep and then i would just start writing and i just wrote through the night because i couldn't really sleep anyway, and so that's how i i wrote it in five months, i think. yeah, and so then i by my calculations pretty much as soon as you finished that first draft you nancy pelosi asked you to be on the january 6th select committee. so you went sort of right from finishing the first draft of your book to being enmeshed in.
well that one of those traumas all over again. and obviously you are still. working on that committee right now. so can you tell us a little bit about your experience on the january 6 committee and well, it's been so far. i mean tommy was someone who wanted a lot more from democracy not a lot less, you know and and were in a worldwide struggle right now between the democracies and the autocrats and the bullies and the dictators and the the despots, you know. and so even as i was writing my book, i knew this wasn't over i mean by a long shot were in the middle of something. it's you know, it's not like it ended. but i didn't want to lose the
opportunity to write about tombow when he was still fresh in my mind and everything that we had been through was fresh in my mind, and i've got him with me every day, you know in my heart. but we you know. i feel like the struggle that we're in. um is connected to the pain he about the world. and connected to the dreams that he had for the world. and so i am really committed with like every fiber of my being for us to get the absolute total truth about what happened to america on january 6th. the violent insurrection that resulted in the wounding and injury of a hundred and fifty of our police officers people
coming back with broken ribs broken jaws broken necks broken noses lost fingers broken feet toes traumatic brain injuries and multiple officers post traumatic stress syndrome. and resulted in the storming and delaying of siege to the capital of the united states they interrupted the county of electoral college votes for the first time in american history and his judge carter said in his opinion in federal district court case the eastman case two weeks ago. he said it could have permanently ended the peaceful transfer of power and democracy in america because the violent insurrection was parallel to an inside political coup. and people understand better. i think the violent insurrection, although perhaps not all of the organizing and paramilitary training in the financing that went into it, but people don't really understand
the dynamics of the coup and i wanted to put that into the book is best as i understood it at the time and then commit myself to getting all of the facts and the truth out and so being on the january 6th committee to me is just a continuation of the struggle that we're in to defend the american experiment in democratic self-government, you know, most people in this the history of our species have lived under dictators and kings and bullies people like vladimir putin and donald trump. i mean, that's the way most people have lived and america had a different idea and it wasn't that we started perfectly or anything. we were a slave republic when we got started but jefferson put into the declaration of independence the values and the ideals of government of the people and unalienable rights of the people and life and liberty pursuit of happiness that future
generations would come to pick up and to try to make real in a struggle for a more perfect union. that's the greatness of america that we're always moving forward as a democracy and you know tocqueville said in democracy in america that he observed that democracy and voting rights in our country are always either shrinking and shriveling away as we laps back into some kind of autocratic forms of government or democracy and voting rights are expanding and growing and so we got to get back on the growth track. and that's the work that i'm involved in. so some of us are worried about the midterms coming up. and that is kind of a deadline for your january 6th select committee, or maybe it isn't but
i mean from what i've read, it's kind of a deadline. so if you could talk about that, is it a deadline and also if you could talk about a recent moment when you felt everything would be okay. well that those are two different questions. that's okay. yeah. i was trying to put those together they're linked to you, but will look the house of representatives is a body that ends after two years and then a completely new house is formed because all 435 people are running for reelection every two years. so even the rules of the house are something that we adopt at the beginning of each new session. the senate does an operate like that because they have staged elections, you know, just one third of the senate is up every two years so they are a continuing body. so we've got to get this done at the very latest by the end of the year, but we know that you
know in the rhythms and vicissitudes of the house of representatives, very little gets done in the you know last couple months of this. we really got a get this done in the summertime. and so we're aiming for hearings. that will be i think blockbuster hearings because we're going to tell the truth about everything we know a house resolution 503. commands us to describe the events of january 6 the the causes behind them and then to make recommendations about how to fortify democratic institutions against coups and insurrections and instability going forward and we plan on doing that first through our hearings and then through a report and a report does not have to be you know, you know a 500 page. mueller style report written by like a computer. i mean it can be something that
people actually engage with that might have video with it and photographs with it and we want to make a report that's going to be accessible to the people because this is a democracy and the government belongs to the people and so our report is to give people the truth about their government our government. so, you know, look i i feel a lot of hope having written this book and going out and talking about the book to people. you know, i i talk in in the book about my dad who used to say to us when we were grown up when everything looks hopeless. you're the hope. so each one of us is the hope the young people are very much the hope. i'm sure you know it the great key school. i mean the this is a generation. that is really beyond so many of the pathologies that have inhibited. american development, they are
beyond the racism and the anti-semitism and the homophobia and the misogyny and they are also unfortunately a little bit beyond grammar, too, but that's a different problem that's got to do with you know, the texting and the technology. they're not perfect. i never said they were perfect. but i know hannah and tommy on top of this generation well and i derive such hope yeah, a lot of hope from them and and a lot of hope from you know the heroes of our past i mean as bad as things have gotten with trump and putin and the assault on our constitution and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election. we have to remember that. you know donald trump was not the person who invented.
fascist politics or racist politics or authoritarianism and we've had lots of struggles in our past and let's not forget. we even had a civil war over whether we would be a government of the people by the people for the people for everyone or we would allow the original sin of our country. violent white supremacy to prevent us from growing as a society and you know what donald trump doesn't want to hear it. marjorie. taylor green doesn't want to hear it. lauren bobert doesn't want to hear it. jim. jordan's want to hear it, but the union one the civil war, okay. and and i say the union one rather than making it a regional thing because there were union loyalists all over the country just like there were confederate sympathizers all over the country and we see that again today, but ultimately mads i
have great. hope because i know the vast majority of the american people are on the side of continuing progress towards freedom inequality for everybody. i know it and never forget that. hillary clinton beat donald trump by more than three million votes even as she lost in the contaminated and obsolete electoral college and joe biden beat him by seven and a half million votes. and the young people you know. they might have that interest in the party of lincoln, but they do not have interest in the cult of donald trump the young people that i meet and the new americans. i meet are not going that way. so for me, it's a race between the vast majority of the people and the popular will and the rule of the majority versus a bag of tricks which are all are
all like anti-democratic instruments voter suppression statutes. they're passing hundreds of them around the country to repeal early voting and weekend voting and mail invalidating and the filibuster which might be the most anti-democratic thing of all not in the constitution not in federal law just a rule of the senate already more than a hundred exceptions to it for the trade adjustment act in the budget reconciliation act but they won't carve out an exception for voting rights legislation, of course, but under the filibuster, it says 40 senators can block. 60 senators or 41 can block 59 senators, but really it's much worse than that one senator can block the entire senate and the house of representatives in the congress by putting a hold on the legislation saying they will filibuster it the greatest deliberative body on earth. give me a break. they're the least deliberative body on earth. they won't do their job.
so, you know, we're up against the filibuster and the voter suppression statutes the gerrymandering of our districts, which they are clinging on to for dear life. i mean, so spare me the lectures here in maryland when you have small political minorities of republicans in states like michigan and wisconsin and north carolina who are gerrymandering democrats into oblivion and we have it in our for the people legislation to get rid of all of the gerrymandering in every state across the country and replace it with independent redistricting panels, and they blocked it with the filibuster, of course, so that's the real struggle that we're in it, you know, john dewey one one time said that the only solution to the ills of democracy is more democracy. and that could not be true or at any point in our history than right. now where we have these
anti-democratic obstacles to the will of the majority in the clear will of the american people and i'm not even talking about the composition of the senate, you know, and i talk about in the book when i first got over there the first thing that every democratic senator tells you is we've got 50 democrats and 50 republicans in the democrats represent 45 million more people than the republicans do and i was out in california recently. and i don't think i could live there those people wake up every morning and they've got two senators, but they've got more population than 20 states who have 40 senators. so but you know, we're not going to be able to deal with that problem for a long time, but we can deal with the voter suppression we can deal with the filibuster we can deal with the right wing judicial activism and please i don't need to tell people here in maryland because we started this movement for a national popular vote interstate compact. we got to pass that to get over all of the evils of the
electoral college, which is a positive danger to us now. it i mean it's a danger because the system is so rickety and obsolete and filled with all of these nooks and crannies that if you get a strategic bad faith actor like donald trump, they can turn each phase of the process into an opportunity to keep the election going january 6th was supposed to be a day where the electoral votes came in and we just accepted them and it was over the guy sits next to me in the rules committee had promoter from colorado said that day used to be a day of bipartisan comedy and enjoyment it would take 15 or 20 minutes to say the electors are all in and it's over and then everybody goes and gets drunk on capital hill together. that's what it used to be like and here, you know, people are getting killed people are dying. they've turned it into hand to hand partisan combat and we have
members of congress. not just marjorie taylor green and lauren bober but one even from maryland who wanna allow firearms on the floor of the house and one of them said to me, why are you opposed to that? we could have had firearms on january 6th, and i said, yeah you would would have used them against us. so i can't remember what the question was. hey. we have about 20 minutes left and there's a microphone right there usually audiences have zillions of questions. for jamie, so if people can stand up and head for that microphone and ask your question. it's right in the center here. thanks and just just line up. behind the microphone and we will get to as many questions as we can please. go ahead. i'll ask. hello, i'll ask about something
that doesn't get a lot of press. is there any kind of play? i don't think that microphone is working. i'll repeat the question if you can keep going you can hear me. is there any kind of plan for how to address these situation where the winning candidate passes away between the election and inauguration because i heard a lot of talk about how there's absolutely no idea about what would actually happen there. the question was about succession in the in the event that the president who certified. in the electoral college on january 6th. well, i think that's an easier one. the question is basically if a candidate dies after the elections over like after november 3rd, but say before january 6, but there that's relatively easy because the the state legislatures could cast their vote presumably for the running mate, but for whomever they wanted and then those votes
would be counted in tallied on january the 6th. i guess the trickier thing is between january 6th and january 20th. when of course there were all kinds of death threats and rumors of assassination conspiracies, and that was a scary time as i recount in the book, but and yeah, that seems to be that seems to be a bigger problem and the provisions governing it most closely are in the 25th amendment which i write a lot about in the book for other reasons. thanks. whether you said i thought was sort of interesting about how people used to be ruled by kings and dictators. my question is throughout human history. there's always been a conflict between system stop marta keys into the tips put in place and i like doing a beautiful little elusive relation. oh wait i missed the last part
before the american you say? then just pledge over lucid. there was a very conservative with arm systems and monarchy and absolute monarchies in doing the switch will lose when we losing the music love lucid. we wanted to it was a big cultural self. yes. yes. here the globally well, that's great and i agree with everything you just said, but i wouldn't put it in terms of right and left really like the terms repeated but the terms right and left as applied to the political spectrum came into being during the french revolution or right before with the estates general where the the nobility and the church the old guard sat to the right of the king and then the bourgeoisie the small business people and the shopkeepers and
the journalists and the lawyers sat to the left. and that was where left and right came from but but your point i think is right, which is we are seeing a reenactment of the struggle we saw in the 20th century between the democracies and the totalitarian the fascist countries and the soviet communist countries, but also all the way back to the 18th century. i mean will we be ruled by kings and strong men and so on, you know, tommy was named after tom payne and pain came to america in 1774 two years before the revolution and he looked around and he saw what was going on and he thought it was the most amazing thing in the world because he said, you know, he saw in america the hope for democracy. in freedom, and he said that he said america would become an asylum.
four mankind and asylum for humanity not an insane asylum by the way, but a place of refuge for people fleeing from political and religious and economic oppression from all all over the world and you know, even the most radical of the founders like ben franklin were still thinking like british men like, well, you know, maybe we we create independence from parliament, but we retain our rights as british men under the magna carta and so on in pain said, why would anybody want to do that? we've got the opportunity here to place government on a completely different footing on the principle of democratic self-government on the principle of the first three words of what became our constitution we the people and we could separate church and state and we could liberate the mind of the public and so, you know pain runs throughout this book for the reason you say which is we are involved in a struggle to redeem
the govern. principles of our society going back to the beginning thank you. nice. my question is do you expect the justice department will start moving faster and i still have doubts about trump's ties to russia. is anybody following the money? all right. those are two awesome questions. let me start just by saying the attorney general is my constituent in maryland's beautiful 8th congressional district, and i don't speak ill of my constituents under any circumstances. i will say the department of justice has brought more than 750 prosecutions against people for assaulting federal officers invading federal property
trespass and increasingly seditious conspiracy, which means conspiracy to overthrow the government, so it's good to know that they know about that charge, okay. because i think it can apply not just to the proud boys who donald trump told to stand back and stand by from the first presidential debate or the oath keepers or the three percenters or the first amendment praetorian or the aryan nations or the militia groups or the q&a networks. it can also apply to people who have federal salaries and work around the president or even sit at the resolute desk. okay, so i you know when? when you say, you know, do i expect it? i mean, i expect it in the sense that the evidence that i see indicates probable cause of involvement in federal offenses the same kind that judge carter from the us district court in california identified a couple
weeks ago, but you look one of the one of the norms in traditions that was demolished by donald trump. during his presidency. it's almost hard to recover what we had before but one of the norms destroyed was the idea that political figures like the president united states and members of congress. don't try to dictate to law enforcement their decisions about who to prosecute and is strongly as i feel about this. i'm going to respect that and i have respected it and i'm going to let them do their job. then you know on the you know on the other point, which really moved me, but we just say the word to remind me what it was. oh other about russia? okay. well, all right, you're talking my language now because you know i voted to impeach the first time around during the ukraine shakedown by donald trump president zelensky spent a year fighting off the bullying and
donald trump who wanted to extract from him a commitment to make up lies about joe bid. in order for zelensky to receive the military and security assistance voted to him by the us congress. which a lot of republicans are very skeptical about as you know, and now he's spending a year fighting off the violent bullying and genocidal crimes of vladimir putin and his army's filthy war against the people of ukraine, so, i you look. what we don't need to reitigate the whole question of whether trump was in collusion with him. i'm perfectly willing to believe that everything that trump said about how much he loved vladimir putin and adored him and how much he admired vladimir putin and russia and the his strong arm powers. i i'm willing to believe that's totally sincere from donald
trump's heart. okay, so i i don't need to prove anything more about you know money or prostitutes or anything that stuff. i don't care about anything that stuff. here's what i care about and i'll tell you what happened this week because marjorie taylor green and lauren bowman. those guys have been heckling me on the floor of the house every time i get up. it's like the rocky horror picture show in the house of representatives every time i stand up to speak and finally i just, you know, they were gonna remove her. i think i said speaker. it's okay. i don't want to remove you know, they'll do that in an authoritarian country. we don't need to do that. i want the whole world to see these people standing with vladimir putin as his. troops shoot children in the face and rape women and leave their corpses on the street. i want the world to see the trump putin axis that runs right through marjorie taylor green's district.
a slight shift in topic. you read that tommy wanted more from the government. i'm not interested in going back into the status quo. so i'm really interested to hear your thoughts on how we might be able to have and continue to have the conversation to help heal the divisiveness. yes. well, and thank you for saying that, you know, tommy he taught sunday school when he was in high school and one thing that he told his kids that the kids grown up now and the parents reported us as he would say everybody should work this week to make friends with someone you disagree with you know, and yeah, tommy tommy wanted to see a lot more from democracy. he was a skeptic of government. i mean he had you know, kind of strong libertarian sensibilities. i remember i think i tell the story in the book when he was in
third grade. there was a kid from his class who got suspended i think for writing bad words on the blackboard which then led to tommy's conclusion that there's no such thing as a bad word, which you might appreciate it a book convention, but we were walking to school and the boy was coming back from his several days of suspension with his mom and i saw them across the street and i said tommy look there's there's timmy they let him out of jail and time. he said no they let him back into jail. so he always had kind of an anti-authoritarian streaking him. he wanted government to be an instrument of the common good not big brother dictating and telling people what to do, but helping solve people's problems and the note that he left to us said please forgive me my illness one today look after each other the animals in the
global poor for me. so that's been. has been kind of rules for the road for us. so thank you for coming here. my question is to you as a member of congress you are in the organization. you see how it runs. why on earth do we only have two senators for every state? i believe that probably the land should not have more rights than the people who live on it and some of the states as you pointed out have many more people living on them than other states. how do we rearrange the situation to make the senate more representative. well, i mean that's a tall order of course because it would require a constitutional amendments. and yeah, and theoretically we can do it. it takes a two thirds vote in the house of two thirds vote in the senate and three-quarters of
the states. i want to start with the constitutional amendment just to guarantee the right of everyone to vote and have their vote counted and you'll see that will be a huge fight. so what we're talking about, i think we'll come to it in this century. i'm not sure if i'm going to be around to see it, but i think we'll come to that and it's there's nothing wrong with talking about it except that we just have so little time to just save ourselves, you know. yeah. i planned to live to a hundred and i hope my two daughters will as well so it will come to pass awesome. yes. well, thank you for that point. and you know that there's a great story about thomas jefferson and george washington, you know. jefferson city wrote the declaration that he was off in france as the ambassador plant potentiary and so he kind of missed a lot of what was taking place before the constitution when it got back he was shocked to find that in the constitution
the the article one branch the legislative branch, which of course is the predominant branch as madison would put it that the branch had two chambers it had the house on the senate. and you know to jefferson who was a passionate small d democrat with his flaws and imperfections. i hastened to say, but he looked at that and he said well, why do we need to chambers? that's what you know the brits do with the house of commoners in the house of lords, you know, and that's a hangover from you know, the roman senate where the aristocrats and the oligarchs would be in one chamber and then the people would have their own body. and so why does america need that and washington conceded that it was not about different social estates being represented in the house in the senate, but he said they were drinking tea and he said to jefferson. he said what why do you keep
pouring your saucer into your cup and then back into this officer and back and jefferson said to just let it cool off a little bit and washington said exactly right? that's it. you know, that's why we need the senate. i will just say on jefferson's path today. i mean things have cooled off a lot. i mean, we're not getting anything out of the senate. i mean they didn't pass the for the people act they've not passed our legislation to reduce prescription drug prices. they're not passing our you know, america, you know protection of women's healthcare act. i mean law after law it just goes over there and it just vanishes and disappears. so, you know, i i resonate with what the prior question is about. i mean, you know, we could keep them as a house of lords and they could have their titles. they're not legislating anyway, and we could move to a unicameral legislature. so thank you for being here.
you you said that in your role you're respecting the independence of the justice department and kind of keeping your mouth shut about what's going on there, but is there anything that we the people can do to light a fire under the justice department to get them moving on all these issues? well, that's a good idea. so you know democracy is not. it's definitely not one person and it's not one institution and it's not even just the government. i mean democracy belongs to the people and so we need people aggressively speaking out and writing op-eds and articles and teaching and agitating about this. i mean the story that we're going to tell in may i think will blow the roof off the house about the first serious attempted political coup and violent insurrection against the government the united states in the the history of our country.
um, and so yeah, we should be using every tool the toolkit and we should be speaking out in every social context. thank you. hi, i want to thank you for being here and thank you for giving birth to tommy. thank you. well, my wife did that but surround speaking. you have brought awareness to mental illness. now, do you have any words of encouragement or i think for parents teachers everybody who's fighting this with somebody they love well, yeah. you know, we're talking about a condition that affects 60 or 70 million people. in the country the surgeon general has declared it to be a national emergency and crisis for elementary school kids. not just high school kids and
college kids but elementary school kids the levels of anxiety and depression are through the roof. you know, the silver lining, of course is that if a majority of the kids are suffering from it, it can't be stigmatized anymore. i mean we need mental and emotional health services and behavioral health professionals available for everybody in truth and you know, tommy was a second year student harvard law school when we lost him he'd been sent home with the rest of his class because of covid-19. this has been a very dark period for young people in the country with the isolation isolation and the demoralization and you know when all of this started i would say to my colleagues across the aisle, you know that the vituperative way you talk. the harsh insults that you make
to people the you know the ad hominem character of your politics it is a terribly divisive and polarizing thing for the country and it's a really wounding thing for young people to see. that we sure we disagree of some policies, but we're fellow countrymen and women, how can you talk about other people like that? and i'm afraid we're still swimming in. the darkness of that kind of attack and you got to check out the the book by the young man who was part of cambridge analytica. who was the whistleblower when people tell me that they're really despondent and bummed out and you know demoralized i mean obviously everybody is on a personal journey and needs to get the help they need to get but i say don't ever forget that is a political strategy that started with vladimir putin and
donald trump and cambridge analytica. you read that book. they deliberately injected racial ethnic religious ideological political poison into the bloodstream of america in order to demoralize the hell out of the population at the same time that they work to identify through psycho demographic profiling they would put these quizzes up on facebook and other social media and they work to identify what ended up being like three or percent of the country that conformed to what they called the devil's triad, which was psychopathy. narcissism and machiavellianism sound familiar and when they found those people they said we're going to those people generally not involved in politics. they think no one's interested in them. we're going to go after them and they went after them and hey, what do you know? what are we getting august of 2017 unite the right? fascists neo-nazis klansmen
marching in public with no masks on they had a perfect excuse to wear masks, but no they didn't want masks on they were proud of what they are doing and that group of 500 by the time they got to january 6th, 2021. they were several thousand. in the vanguard stormtroopers of a march of 40 or 50,000 people. everybody sees how donald trump. used these groups. guess what they used him too and long after donald trump is going to is gone. we are going to have a fascist extremist subculture of thousands and thousands of people in america who send out death threats all the time who telephone death threats who want to take over the us congress state legislatures like in lansing michigan county seats school boards across the country. that's what they've unleashed upon us. so i've unfortunately we're supposed to end now but one
person has been standing there for that so final. yeah, okay, my brother and sister-in-law lost their 18 year old son in a car accident in his girlfriend. do you have any advice for those of us who love people in our lives who have lost a child and how we can help them and ways that we can be more of a help than a hindrance. well, i'm very sorry for your loss. where they are they in maryland or ohio in ohio? well, i'm very very sorry about that. and you know, we live in a time of trauma. i mean a million families have lost people in covid-19 comparable numbers in the opioid crisis the mental and emotional health crisis is staggering. automobile accidents continue to be a horror for our people. i'm glad we've done some stuff on drunk driving in maryland and gun violence, i don't need to
tell the people of annapolis what that means. but so the first thing i would say is i'm thinking back to before. all of this and i was always afraid to talk to people after a trauma or an accident. just don't be afraid you really can't say anything wrong. i don't i you know, i've heard stories that people say dumb things. i don't believe that and don't be afraid of that. the main thing is just to to be with people now and if you're really close to them like you i mean the best thing is just to show up like don't call and try to you know, i mean, it's when you're in the thick of the fog and grief, you can't really make plans. so just show up and bring something and hang out as long as you feel. you know. but so much of it is a blur to me, but people's kindness will
always stand and you know, we have thousands and thousands of letters and if i haven't responded to one of your letters forgive me, i'm going as fast as i can and i mean we're trying to just send a general out of everybody, but then i try to follow up because people do tell me this their stories, but one of the reasons i wrote the book was as a way to answer people who were writing to me about similar things. they've gone through so you know, i feel like there are millions millions of americans who've suffered through grief and tragedy during this period and they look at the the polemics and the invective and they don't understand what these people are doing. i mean we're trying to recover we're trying to grow and we're trying to restore a sense of peace and there are those who just want to continue to pour salt in the wounds of america. so please speak up and everybody hang tough for the battles ahead.
i'm eugene taylor sutton bishop of the episcopal diocese of maryland that collection of about a hundred or so 110 congregations around central, maryland. that's been around since the beginning of maryland and colonial time and also with our experience of slavery and racism. welcome to this session where we're talking generally about the state of racial. race relations and racial politics and america today. it's my privilege to moderate this session and to introduce our authors of the books that we will be highlighting tod.