tv QA Amy Chua CSPAN March 25, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
later, retiring senator gives his farewell address after hearing tributes from colleagues on the senate floor. ♪ >> this week on q&a, yale university law school professor amy chua. she discusses her book "political tribes: and the fate of nations." amy chua author of "political tribes." what can we learn from your analysis of venezuela and google chavez -- ugo chavez. >> venezuela is the opposite of
the united states. it is pretty striking the parallels. chavez, president donald ramotar the rise of both men. little-known man avez swepte of jugo ch to power to the horrors of the elite. he was a former ex-con, terror trooper, no political experience, spoke very -- he said crazy things. he said maybe capitalism had killed life on mars. yet, he swept to power and the very stunned, taken aback, unprepared. how did that happen? here is the analysis. in venezuela, for hundreds of years, the economy and the politics had been controlled by europeanall, kind of
blood eight, lighter skinned elite who controlled the oil wells, which is vast in venezuela. below that, most of the majority of the people in venezuela actually did not look like those people. there were darker skinned, had more indian blood. a lot of african ancestry. venezuela had slaves. people had no axes -- access to the wealth and they were shut out of politics. for years this went on. because of democracy, when hugo chavez came in, he played the race card. he actually said, being darker skinned and indian blooded -- he said i look like you, i import like you, these people do not care about you and people voted him in. our president, donald trump is
leaders tost world have had a reality tv show. hugo chavez is. he had a reality tv show while he was president. ,e would go to a building because he was a big socialist and nationalized everything. with everybody watching he would point to a certain building and say expropriated in spanish and people loved it. it is similar except for the obvious, donald trump's base is exactly the opposite, it is largely white and donald trump is also not a socialist, he is a billionaire. you still have the exact same populist dynamic. that is, you have a group of people that are viewed, i guess you might call them coastal elites. they are not all coastal, live in cities and they are not all wealthy, but they are
professors, journalists, bankers and lawyers who are seen of controlling the leaders of washington. silicon valley, hollywood. ande really multicultural liberal, not always, they are politically correct. thehave all these people in heartland, the south, in working-class white communities, blue-collar communities who have felt shut out and look down, and excluded. you're a racist, you are not speaking the right way, you are feltt, and they have just powerless. somehow, donald trump was able to tap into those people. it was not just economics. it was the way they related to him culturally. he spoke like they do. kind of casually. always getting in trouble, but they do not mind that. they always got in trouble.
world wide web's -- world wide wrestling. a charismatic, demagogic politician who targets the outside. he said, these people are exploiting you and controlling everything, let's take america back for you, the real people who own it. that is exactly the message that chavez said. there is me ask you if a parallel here. in chapter 35 you say, today, venezuela is practically a failed state. prof. chua: venezuela is a country that had a market dominated minority. in these countries, democracy can often be very destabilizing. you have this powerful minority that wants to cling to its power, then you have much larger or, less educated,
frustrated majority. in this class are the poorer numbers. people will fight to the death of the country. sometimes you will see lurches towards authoritarianism and you're seeing that now. you see typically an erosion of trust in our institution. i hate to say it, but this is something we are talking about a lot in the united states. these institutions that used to be so revered, we do not trust them, we do not trust electoral outcome. this is critically important. this is what has made a special. i might developing countries, we always respect our elections, as much as the results. we never overturn it. there are some signs now that we need to be careful. we need to get back to who we are. for the first time in our history we are starting to have some dynamics that were
historically more associated with the developing country. ost: in your book you talk about vietnam, iraq and afghanistan. i want to show you a clip of video of john foster who used to be secretary of state in the united states. this goes back to 1954, and have you, on this. -- i saw everywhere that there were people frightened and worried. even in their own country. chinese communist intentions. it was seen as though was possible that the chinese communists are not content to stop until it is apparent they are stopped by superior resistance. what is your reaction when you get up from 1954? prof. chua: my reaction is that the cysts of the book, which is that the united states has been think of our
foreign policy in terms of great ideological divide. , astalism versus communism in the vietnam war. what we missed is that we fail to see the importance of the group identities that actually matter most to people on the ground. vietnam, the united states missed two things. it is really the ethnic dimension. i think most americans realize that we missed the role of nationalism. in a way, what the vietnamese people were fighting for was their freedom, their sovereignty. but that was in there, was almost secondary to how much they wanted freedom. here is something that most americans, even experts still do not know today. there was an ethnic angle. the united states made a terrible mistake of assuming that vietnam was just a pond of communist china. they thought, the chinese are
going to take over, the vietnamese are right there. not realize that vietnam and china are mortal enemies. china colonized vietnam for 1000 years. every myth of the vietnamese people, every hero is always deciding the big china enemy. china is huge. it is like a giant 500 pound jeannie, which is china sitting on the equivalent of a little lamp, which is vietnam. the idea that we missed the history. if we look at the history of long-standing suspicion and distrust, we might've realized that vietnam was not upon of china. more importantly, we missed an insight element too. inside vietnam they had a market dominant minority. historically, they had a tiny ethnic chinese minority.
the chinese were different to the vietnamese. americans, same thing. not to them. the chinese minority came from when they were originally colonized, but they were 1% of the population. tiny, yet historically they controlled 70% to 80% of the private economy. all of the commerce, all of the financing, all of the middlemen and networking. when the french colonizers come and they made the chinese richer. they dealt with that little chinese minority. that the here is capitalists in vietnam were not even the vietnamese people. there were all part of this heated outsider group. it would be like in america is the only rich people are all from another country. pick a country, china, lebanon, that is how they felt. here we come in the united
states saying, we are promoting capitalism and we completely missed the idea that these vietnamese people are seeing that we are promoting policies that only help these chinese minorities. when we came in they serviced our troops, they did the financing, the black market, they got richer and richer. wereegime that we put in in cahoots with these corrupt chinese businessmen. it wasn't just that they were wealthy, they stuck with their own, they intermarried with their own, they spoke their own language, and they did not even fight in the war. they dodged the draft. from the point of view of the vietnamese, america, we thought we were fighting for freedom. we cannot understand what the vietnamese would not support us and that is because we missed group dynamictant we were operating. it was not about communism
versus capitalism. what the vietnamese saw was, these americans want to help this tiny little group of greedy outsiders, there is nothing in it from us, and a are bombing our houses, everybody we know is husbands arens and dying, no wonder we did not get the support. host: the war was over in 1973, we pulled out in 1970 5, 20 years later in 1990 five, here is the former secretary of defense talking about what you are bringing up. misjudged.ly we believed that vietnam, as eisenhower set in 1945, was a domino. if the soviets and the chinese controlled it, the rest of south east would fall. cambodia, laos, malaysia, china, it would be sod increased that western europe would be in danger. that is what we thought and we were totally wrong.
host: how could we have missed this? prof. chua: i give him credit for it knowledge and that. the answer lies in the best of america and the worst of america. part of the reason we are so blind to be's ethnic divides and tribal divides is because we have had such exceptional success in our own country. it is really true. we are special. is, if germans, polls, hungarians, jews and japanese could all become americans within one or two generations, why cannot kurds all become iraqis. and all of these people in vietnam. if we put in freedom, they will all come together. because of the distinction between the vietnamese and the chinese. that is america at its best contributing to our inability to see these smaller, more primal identities. in another negative side, i hate
this term because it is overused, but part of it is a legacy of racism. they lot of americans could not see the difference between the vietnamese and chinese because they all looked alike. gooks and slants. that is something we are all getting better at. were not veryere many asians in this country so they did not know the difference. the part of it was that we did not study the history of these countries, we did not know how deep those divides were and they all looked oriental. interview, ie last have not seen you since 2000 two, your parents were born in china, moved to the philippines and moved to the united states and you were born in champaign, illinois. spent time in indiana and went to harvard? prof. chua: yes. i got my law degree at harvard law school. host: helen have you been
teaching the? -- how long have you been teaching their? prof. chua: since 2002. host: our world has changed since 2002. this is from 2003. it is former president george w. bush. >> there was a time when many said that the cultures of japan and germany were incapable of sustaining democratic values. well, they were wrong. some say the same of iraq today. they are mistaken. he washua: so, well right about germany and japan but here is the problem. they were the wrong model for iraq. germany and japan, after the second world war, were about as ethnically homogeneous as you could get. japan has always been justeneous, almost 97% of ethnic japanese per germany,
because of the holocaust was also ethnically homogeneous. it was a bad can person. comparison for iraq is the former yugoslavia. ike the former yugoslavia, iraq, when we went in was a deeply divided country. there was the schism between the the sunnis -- between the sunnis and also the kurds. all of this had been bottled up. husseincheck by saddam who compressed everything. iraq, like venezuela, like vietnam also had a market dominant minority. the roughly 15% sunnis. the sunnis are the same group to. saddam hussein belonged they control that country, politically, economically, militarily for hundreds of years. first, under the ottomans and the british who favored that sunni minority, ruling through under saddamly
hussein, who favored the sunnis. justust that, it was not that he allowed the sunnis to control the wealth, he persecuted the kurds and the shia majority. the samen, you have dynamic. a long dominated hated minority in this case is the sunnis. suddenly, we come in the united states and we think democracy is the panacea. we don't pay any attention to the tribal divisions, we just think if we have elections we are going to produce a wonderful free market democracy. nothing like that happen. instead, what happened is exactly what you would predict. when you suddenly give majority rule to a country where the majority is so long depressed. shia's use their votes to take revenge on the sunnis.
he persecuted them for so long. of demagoguesise who said we have to pay them. sunnis did not want democracy because they saw their numbers were so small. qaeda.nt into al they what -- they went into what is now isis. they did not want democracy because they sought in the cards. the shia's implemented only pro-shia policy. we hoped our not, invasion would produce the speak in of stability in the middle , instead, we produced a situation where the country soon devolved -- dissolved in the brink of civil war. it was like that for years and years and years. we then produced isis. i don't know if americans realize that it is a sunnis
movement. it is not just a fundamentalist movement that wants to fight the united states. they also want to exterminate the shia's. host: before iraq in 2003 invasion was afghanistan in 2001. here is brzezinski who is jimmy carter's national security adviser in 1979. beliefnow of their deep in god, we are confident that their struggle will succeed. >> [speaking foreign language] there isand over yours. you will go back to it one day because your fight will prevail and you will have your homes and your mosques back again. your cause is right and god is on your side. next to him was warren christopher who went on to be secretary of state.
prof. chua: once again we see the same pattern. we have the best of intentions. we thought we were fighting communism. once again we fought in terms of these grand principles and we were blind to the group dynamics that matter. we actually armed the taliban. our dollars, our guns, our weapons that gave rise to the taliban. we thought that we were dealing with freedom fighters who would help our side, but we do not realize that we were getting played by pakistan, which is very punjabi dominated. they wanted to radicalize the -- we do not the know what they were. nobody even spoke those languages. we were just thinking about the tokistan' allowed
play us. , we sent troops in and made the same mistakes. you are not thinking about the cold war. now we were thinking about the fight against terrorism. we switched ideological lenses. we divided the world into terrorist and democracy lovers. the we missed is that taliban is not just a fundamentalist religion movement. an ethnic movement. afghanistan is full of different ethnic groups. the biggest four includes the n's and the hazara's. un's were always dominant.
some think that afghan and pas dominant. they are feeling -- fearing that their power was declining a there were under threat from the rival groups. we missed it all. we saw everything against the axis of evil. we did not know about the tajik. when we invaded we allied ourselves with the pashtun's biggest and hated enemies. we were viewed as favoring them. we set up a government and we put them in key positions, not realizing that this was shooting ourselves in the foot. that we were never going to get a majority of the afghan people on our side. if you look like we were favoring the other ethnic groups. we missed that. that is why we are still there. we spent so much, some any lives lost, even now, now there are several books. many books called the pashtun
problems, the pashtun dilemma. it is about 15 years too late that we are realizing this. host: you did something i have never seen before. nameold us where the pakistan comes from p for kashmir, s, k for for lucas and tan chistan.bala off. chua: pakistan is made all these different tribes. each letter represents the tribes in the p stands for the most powerful militarily, the punjabis. thes the a that stands for pashtun's. in the name, we should've studied these the ethnic
identities that matter so much to people in that region. venezuela, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan is just a part of your book. there is a lot more about the united states. vance, hear ago, jd had a very successful book, let's listen to what he had to say. >> what is happening is that i ,ad a professor named amy chua and she said this is a really interesting story, you're making interesting arguments, you should the cabal publishing a book. i said whatever, i will think about it. a few months later, i was still in law school, she connected me with friends of hers in the publishing industry and one thing led to another. i had a book deal. host: why did you recognize his story as being significant. prof. chua: i am so proud of him.
it looks like we have nothing in common superficially. i chinese immigrant, my parents were graduate students, he is from a poor family, his mother was an addict but we have a lot in common. we are both from the midwest, we were sort of outsiders. i grew up, not poor, but we only went to a restaurant once a year. my dad wore the same. shoes for eight years. they were thrifty immigrants without much. were always outsiders, never part of the elite. we talk about that you'd all you can buffets. that i recognized something in him. something honest and. pure. themss people call hillbillies or white trash and he understood that community. that is a community that has made a huge impact in
the 2016 election. prof. chua: how have i gotten to know it? living here, loving the country. host: have you traveled a lot, reading? grew up seven years in the midwest, then my father moved us to berkeley. i spent seven years in high school there, so i saw a totally different -- it felt like a different planet. indiana and california. then i moved to the east coast where i went to school. even somebody like me, i still don't know all of america. i do not clean to be an expert .n parts of appalachia i learned that from reading jds book and talking to him when he was my student. idea there waso this much poverty and frustration and exclusion. that was another reason i felt he had to write the book. . to think of minorities
theredisadvantage, but are fewer poor working-class whites law school. host: there is 75 million people in the united states of all nascar. what does that mean? prof. chua: it means that america is very divided. there is mutual arrogance on both sides. we really need to remember what makes us americans. divide.w there is a big it is not just black and white. it really is not. people focus on this, but america's white majority is now divided. speaking, there are what you might call coastal elites. they also live in the cities and they are not all wealthy, but they tend to be very multicultural and progressive. they have traveled around the world, may be more than they have traveled in the united states.
know the to not really people in the middle of the country. they tend to have an arrogant the flat waving -- people. they tend to use harshly which is about knowing people. they are all races and sexist because they do not talk in a politically correct way. if you are in college you know how to speak. vocabulary is changing all the time. how can ordinary americans possibly know what the right word is to use. but if you say that wrong thing you are xina phobic -- xenophobia, racists, and thai islamic. -- anti-islamic. elevate ourselves. a lot of people in the middle of the country think of these coastal flights as being so pro-minority. why do they like immigrants a much?
why are they helping the poor in africa? you see dialogue like they don't love real americans, they just want to help foreigners. that is bad too. who are real americans? we are all real americans. this is what is special about america. we are what i call a supergroup. we are alone among the major powers. the in and in -- the united china is not., a supergroup is a country that has two characteristics. the first is a very strong overarching national identity. we are americans, it is very strong. the second requirement for a supergroup is it has to be a country where individual subgroup identities are allowed to flourish. can be irish-american,
libyan american, croatian american, japanese-american. i'm chinese-american, yet intensely patriotic at the same time. that is so rare. .ou mentioned china china has one but not the other. it has a very strong overarching chinese identity but does not let its individual minorities flourish. the tibet ends, their cultures are suppressed. you cannot speak these languages. strong identity, but they are having problems with the muslim community because there -- burkini band. one leader said you speak, eat and talk like a french are you cannot live in this country. we are special and i think we need to get back to that without saying, that half of the country who voted for the other side, they are not the real americans. we have to realize that our national identity is built-in to
our constitution. we have a special constitution where our national identity is not defined by any ethnic subgroup. it does not belong to the irish-americans are the german-americans. it is ethnically and religiously neutral. we need to get back to that. host: i want to show video of a young woman who is in her mid-20's at most, her name is tammy lorna and i wanted to ask you why you cited this in your book. this has been seen by 66 million people at a minimum. >> i support the first amendment and your right to freedom of speech. go for it. it is this country, the country that you have so much disdain for that allows you to speak your mind and protects your right to be an attention seeking crybaby. shredtects my right to you for it. the national anthem and our flag or not symbols of black america,
white america, brown america or purple america. there are patriots of every race who fought and died for this country and we honor the flag as a reminder. prof. chua: she is very charismatic. there are parts of what she said that i think are right. we are an ethnically neutral country. that is the best about america. the think about that clip that is dangerous is without her realizing it, she is sort of doing an us versus them. she is tapping into these fears that a lot of people have in parts of the country where they are used to america being a country that, for 200 years, was politically and culturally dominated by european whites. that is a fact. with the browning of america, where whites are on the verge of losing their majority loads, by 2044, whites may test may no longer be a
majority. longer be a majority. that is an anxiety producing status. we should acknowledgment without calling people racist. we should be able to talk about the economic anxiety. enmebody like tommy laur is tapping into that anxiety. americae is right that should be colorblind, she is getting people upset in the other direction. against the minorities, and against the people who will not stand. in general, my book calls for overcoming political tribalism. we need to be able to talk to each other as americans again and not just say, you are the evil ones. he used to be the people on the either side of the lyrical divides were people that we disagreed with. now, it is like the people who voted for the other candidate our enemies, not even real americans anymore. this, because i studied
democracies around the world in places like libya. what is the difference between libya and the united states? libya is a multiethnic country. it is a failed state. it has disintegrated because it does not have that overarching sean libyan identity. strong enough to hold the country together. we do. this is what makes us special our national identity is different. toall need to try to live up the ideals and our constitution. the people who are anxious about minorities with colors in america, let's talk about it. .ou are allowed to be anxious every generation has seen a new round of immigrants. we are always suspicious.
don't let them come in. belian, those are going to criminals. the japanese-americans, no. each time we have overcome that initial fear in xenophobia. each time we have become our better selves and we can't be the missing link, the weak link. host: two charts i want to put on the screen. the first one was from 1960 and it shows u.s. foreign-born residents. at one point 2,000,900 told his germans, 953,000 canadians, it 830 3000 people from the u.k. and poland, 738,000. look at that for a minute and see how this changes as you put up in your book, a check of the year 2000, just 40 years later. mexicans, 7.8 million, chinese 1.3, phiines 1.2, india 1
million and cuba almost one million. why did you put that in the book? prof. chua: because it is true. politics in this country are so divided that you just have people talking to themselves. it is like some people are wildly pro-immigration and they bash the other side. very fearfule is of immigration and they bash the other side. that the composition of our immigrants have changed. it used to be mostly from europe, now they are principally from latin america, asia and other parts of the developing world. there is a change, the browning of america. much, much are bigger. 7 million compared to 100,000. this is something we need to talk about. right now we are not getting anywhere. what has taken over our politics
is preventing us from having conversations that we need to have about immigration. rule for just have no immigration. i am the child of immigrants and i have root -- i have a in books about how important immigration is for the country. we need limits, rules, a debate about who can come in, what are the qualifications, every country should have that. on the tribalism that has paralyzed our country is making it impossible for us to talk to each other. people should be able to say, i am anxious. are these numbers right? is this the way it should be? without instantly being called some terrible name. shouldother side, people not just immediately look at the skin color of who is coming in and say, we have to block them. we have to look at these people as human beings and open your hearts. we need to get back to where we have been at our best. beingsere are two human
that you know well. this is a photograph you have seen, i'm sure many times from 2011. these are your daughters sofia and lulu. when you were here before they were 10 and six. are 25 and 22ey now. i am incredibly proud of them. they survived all my shenanigans. i am proud that they are thoughtful people. always trying to bridge differences. host: where are they now? prof. chua: my oldest daughter graduated from harvard in its -- and is in her last year at yale. she did rotc. will devote three years to the u.s. military. the army. i am very proud of her. my younger daughter is a senior at harvard and she is my free spirit. she is very smart.
who knows what she will do. she is doing incredibly well. she is a social leader. host: how did they survive your tiger mom book? prof. chua: i honestly did not know how that was going to go. suddenly they are teenagers and they are in the media and i could not be more proud of them. this is the strength of family. ownjust my children, but my parents who are 82 and still going strong. they supported me, they knew i was being misunderstood, and they knew that i was just championing. -- parenting. the stuff about sleepovers and we could have differences, but it is about high expectations. let's believe in our children, let's hold them up to a high standard. not just academically but morally. survived, and amazingly. they also had a bunch of
interviews and i did not know what they would say. if you find the clips, they were very generous to me. host: why did they misunderstand you? prof. chua: a lot of people feel comfortable talking about books without having read them. the book is not a how-to guide, it is really about the change in my own mentality. i started off as a very strict parent with old kids and i am still very proud of that. why younger daughter was very different. at 13 she rebelled. i don't want to lay the violin, i don't like this math stuff. one of the big lessons of the book is you have to pay attention to the individual personalities of your child. there are different. american individualism. at the same time, as a younger my interest-- sister got leukemia and had to have a bone transplant. it is a much more thoughtful book about what is important in
life? how can we raise our children to be excellent students but also citizens and caring people who have the right values and know what matters? my sister made it through but it is the combination of her horrible illness and trauma in my family watching that. she had very young kids at this time. my younger daughter rebelling mimi re-think what was important in life. host: one of your daughters, i read this in an article that she wrote, said that she really feared your husband more than she feared you and she did not want to disappoint him. prof. chua: if you read the book, a lot of people do not get the tone. it is supposed to be tongue and cheek. i love books with unreliable narrators. where the narrator is a bit of a character. once you see that you realize the book is a little goofy.
it is almost like a circus. there were times where i was immature as a mother. i describe myself as huffing and puffing with steam coming out of my ears and my younger daughter describes me as lord full did more from harry potter -- lord voldermore from harry potter. my husband was always big on serving your country and high moral standards and giving back to the community. i think he was a little bit more judgmental and revered that way. the wonderful results are probably why my younger daughter decided to serve in the military. host: how much of your own politics do you reveal? prof. chua: i am happy to reveal them. i am an independent. i do not fit in anywhere because i think america's political parties, as i tried to describe
in this book, are all wacko. they don't make sense anyway. you have the republican party with evangelicals and poor working people with the neocon people who want to invade iraq. it is almost arbitrary. for me, i just want to choose the leaders who speak to me. who seem like jd vance, honest and maybe do not care what other people are saying. daughter i will always be somebody who doesn't like victim blaming. that is just the way my parents raised me. take responsibility. don't blame others, always start with yourself. will immigrants daughter i always believe that it is part of the blood of this country. the people who came over in waves. i tend to always not like people who scapegoat and target each
other. are opportunistic politicians who are trying to get votes for themselves. i actually do not think that most americans -- this is what i say in the last chapter -- i don't think most americans like all of the shrill name-calling that we see on cable news, social media, followed the targeting. i think people are weary of it and really wanted change. i think there will be a change. host: there is a new start rehab in austin in 2017. let's watch this and you can fill in the blanks. many churches stance against it, this is the fastest growing religion in the world. a pastor with the christian church calls it witchcraft. >> it is exactly what the bible calls it as witchcraft. it is against god's words. >> she has become an icon for
drug traffickers. they believe she has a tolerance for dark deeds, a prayer keeps them protected, allowing them to be more bold. prof. chua: this is one of the most interesting parts of my book. i spend a chapter showing that a lot of america's elites miss the group identities that matter most to people. so many people in america, especially lower income struggling americans want hope. of progressives on college campuses are trying to do the right thing but they are trying to expose the american dream as a sham. and upward a slowing mobility. we do need to make the american dream real for more people. it and say itsh is all hypocrisy, our values are all hypocrisy. poorshows that many, many
mexican americans who do not have jobs, they are not relating to all of the stuff they hear in washington. it just seems like a bunch of elites, god knows what they are doing in washington. they find their own groups that speak to them. deaths the goddess of offering them hope, but they pray. host: 10 million people follow them? prof. chua: yes, a huge number of americans. are praying for prosperity and health. the prosperity gospel in the united states, another huge movement that i discuss, most of the elites in new york and d.c. never heard of these groups. they are more interested in the notvist groups, but they do realize that even though these activist groups like occupy a coming from a place where they want to help people but do not include poor people. this is partly why i wrote the
book. there is a huge gap between the haves and have-nots, or just middle america. people on the costar kind of in their own world trying to do the right thing but they do not know about the lives and what is meaningful to so many people. poor latinos americans, people in appalachia or starving americans anywhere. host: for those who have never seen this, this is a lip of you and your husband back in 2014 are you wrote a book together. >> one of the most striking findings became upon in our research was that asian americans who are doing so well academically today, asian-american students who get sat scores 140 points higher than the rest of the country, not a stereo type a fact, the researchers have found that third-generation americans had no difference in their academic performance between them and the rest of the country. host: can you give us more on
that? prof. chua: i don't know why this is so controversial. there is so much political correctness that if you say if these people change their behavior or learn to study this way, or learn from other groups that are actually rising. we hear about the death of upward mobility all the time. it is true. parts of the economy are completely stagnant. if you break down the statistics, there are still many poor groups, often immigrants from nigeria, poland, that still go from nothing, rags to riches. we need to restore upward mobility in this country. this is one of the ways that we can connect the heartland back to the coast. right now it is what i describe in political tribalism. we have americans that do not speak to each other. we can learn from the groups who , very goodof input
work habits, a lot of self discipline and learn why some groups are rising when others are not. convey that information, teach our schools how to do it. i am also favoring in the book ways of having more geographical mobility. that people from the midwest, where you and i are from, would move to a coast. study there, come back and be very fluid. coast is so expensive. silicon valley is impossible, nobody can live there. new york city you have to be a multimillionaire. education has gotten so expensive that it is no longer that channel of mobility that it was for so many years in this country. i discussed near the end of the book. the solutions, what we need to do to get back to be america.
it is not scapegoating minorities. not demonizing the people in the other half of the political spectrum. it is really not. we only do that because it is easiest to do that. it feels good to have an enemy. i show all the studies in the book that humans are tribal. target pleasure when we the enemy and see them suffering . we actually feel good. we have to overcome this. studies show that if we make an effort, it is not our default mode. i'd -- our default mode is tribalism. if we make an effort we can overcome these instincts and come together. that was always what the american experiment was. it was to be something bigger than our small individual tribes. in your i had been classroom back in 2001 or 2002 yale up to today, what
would i notice about the students? prof. chua: i would say it has gotten much, much more diverse ethnically and religiously. i don't even know if it is the national average. there are still a lot of under representations of latino americans. there are so many asian-americans. when i was in moscow i was the only asian-american, maybe there was one person out of a class of 200 people. now we have many asian-americans. what we are struggling with right now is trying to get more economic diversity. we do not have that many people from working-class families. that is part of the problem. there are groups that are excluded from this higher education. jd vance writes that he was an extreme exception. nobody else in his community made it out of poor kentucky,
ohio. host: what kind of student was he? prof. chua: excellent. not only incredibly bright but curious, open-minded, willing to argue but in a nice way. he would always reach out to the of theof the opposite political spectrum. he is an open republican, one of and everybodyyale loved him because he was willing to talk to people. host: what do your students think of our president? prof. chua: yale law school is not a fan. that is where hillary clinton were -- went to school. yale law school is extremely progressive and we have many clinics that are bringing lawsuits, many of them incredibly important standing up for the rule of law. people can disagree about the merits, but we always want to make sure that the rule of the
is in place. i think they have done a magnificent job. the judiciary is such an important institution here. as long as we still have our separation of powers and three branches of government, you might disagree with one branch are at this branch of a certain time, but this is part of the magic of the american constitution. host: let me go over statistics. we will get what you think of this. you say in the book there are 566 federally recognized native american tribes in the united states. you say that from 1990 92 2008, 13 of the 700 members who had been elected into congress only spent more than a quarter of their lives in blue-collar jobs. you say in 50 years, 59 million immigrants have arrived here in the united states. you say there are 65 mega
churches and there are 27,000 street gangs. that is a lot of statistics, but why did you include those in what is the picture you are painting? prof. chua: america is changing. we have another important divide. it does not mean that we cannot overcome them. we have the ethnic change. that iscratic change very seismic and we need to address it. we have many more immigrants that we ever have coming from different parts of the world. a tremendous inequality, which we have always had in this country, but the magic to that was we had upper mobility. americans have never really wealthy people or capitalism, a my countries of europe who have had strong socialist parties. they just got a little lucky so
they could rise. we need to get back to that. if we don't, we see people moving into these movements. mega churches where they are praying for money. that is not the principal, if you pray hard enough god will give you money. there is nothing wrong with that, but we also don't want it to be a situation where people feel so hopeless with the system. so unable to get education that they feel the only thing they can do is pray for money. america was always about the work ethic, self responsibility and the combination of that. i think that the big shirt is a lotof -- big picture is a of the so-called elite are not letting them off the picture. they have not only overlooked a americans important outside of america, they have been high-minded and smug
about all of the less wealthy and less privileged people in this country, making assumptions and not really understanding them. and not seeing what matters to them, which is why you saw the 2016 election. that election swept to power a president that took everybody back. all the news media, nobody called it. by the way, i was one of the few people not surprised by that election. peoplet have to talk to and you could see what is going on. host: one last question. if you had not become a law professor, what would you have done? prof. chua: oh my gosh. i am so interested in -- when i was younger i would say i am going to be a diplomat or an ambassador. i them. interested in travel was in --
tribalism but i tend to be an optimist. people.ridging maybe i would've been an ambassador or diplomat bridging differences across the country. host: the name of the book is "political tribes" and our guest has been amy chua. thank you. prof. chua: thank you for having me. ♪ >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about the program, visit us at q&a.org. q&a programs are available at c-span podcast.
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