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tv   CSIS Discussion on U.S. Global Leadership  CSPAN  October 9, 2018 5:36pm-6:40pm EDT

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but there are areas where you are going to start seeing changes. i think some of that is demographics. you obviously have a large hispanic population. it has tended to be a conservative population. i think there are things the republican party has done -- >> we will break away and take you live to the center for strategic and international studies for the first with bobnt -- schieffer leading panelists during a discussion about u.s. global leadership. live coverage here on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> we figured who better to lead us than susan. you are a real trooper for doing this. i am andrew schwartz, the chief communications officer at csis.
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there very grateful to foundation for the support of this series and extremely er schoolto the schieff of journalism for working with .s, go frogs we are happy to have you here tonight for this terrific and timely discussion. with that, i refer the panel to susan. [applause] is this? there we go. mic is on. i will do my very best. i do not have a bob schieffer impression to offer you. they usher me he is doing well. i am delighted to be here tonight either in a moderating capacity because i am looking
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forward to hearing what our two guests this evening have to say. i will not belabor it with long introductions. to my right is damaged, the president of the international republican institute. we can talk a lot about what that means. also, i have known his work for a long time. he is a contributor to foreign policy starting from when i was the editor. i am delighted to get a chance to talk to him in person and to my last is ambassador derek mitchell, the new president of the national democratic institute and we can talk a little bit about the history of these institutions. i cannot think of a more timely conversation to be having. i was thinking, what should i write about this week and i thought, how about trump's
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foreign policy and what is the role of democracy and human rights anymore? it is a conversation in some ways we have been having far predating certainly donald trump, but i think it is one that has been made more acute over the last couple of years as we wrestle with the question of what is an american first foreign policy and what is the role of the united dates and in the world? animatingst the spirit that created these two institutions? both of them were founded in 1983 in the first reagan administration. there is a certain sense that this mission has outlived the cold war that created these institutions. they are both operating all over the world. really a sense that at a time when we were all wondering what is the future direction of
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american future policy in the question era, that the of each of you -- that you are wrestling with can help us answer the question of what is the american role in the world community? i am delighted to be with both of you this evening. i thought i would start given the day's headlines with a quote from your speaker at your annual dinner this year, the iri annual dinner, one nikki haley at the of thed still ambassador united nations at least for a couple more months. she was talking about the united nations and it certainly applies more generally that all countries in her view are not the same. when you try to pretend, there is no difference between the good guys and the bad guys -- that is always a win for the bad guys. thinking about that as we
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, president her boss trump, just a few weeks ago, turn to the rest of the world and say america is no longer in the lecturing you business and we will not be telling you what kind of government you should have, what kind of religion you should have. we want you to respect our sovereignity and we will respect yours. how much does that affect your and all of our ability to project any kind of american vision for democracy in the world right now? daniel: thank you, susan. i am delighted to be here with derek and all of you. we have a light to talk about, delightednot -- i am -- i have a lot to talk about, so i will not do it all in the first segment.
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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 intense and aggressive. reagan said the way we are going to win this battle is not with guns and bombs, it is through a contest of wills and ideas. we think the democratic system is a superior model to soviet totalitarianism. we have faith that helping people to be free everywhere will show that that is true. we have something people want, that the soviet union does not and i will fast-forward to today. this is still true, right? around the world, everywhere i go in the world, people want less corrupt governments. they want to have a voice and a choice and a future for their children. they do not want to have
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policeman come and knock on their door in the night for something they put on social media or said in a meeting. we are working in something like 90 countries around the world because there is a demand for an ideal that america embodies. people do not want the american model. this is not actually about american politics or who is president or anything else, which parties in charge -- what people want are the rudiments that we have the foundations sounds. i would like to make -- stones. i would like to make a link to the founding fathers because it is easy to say it is messy out there. are you still relevant? jefferson, james madison were obsessed with the threat to america's little tiny democracy, the 13 colonies. they were obsessed with the threat to democracy in a world of authoritarian powers.
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the only democratic republic in the world could not exist in a world that was hostile to democratic principles and republican principles. george washington's speech against foreign entanglements was not a plea for isolationism and head in the sand-ism. concern thatte foreign meddling in america's democracy would end the american democratic experiment. i think that is a timeless insight. we know for a fact, and i will conclude here, we know that america is safer when the world is more free. we know democracies do not go out and fight each other or spawn the extremism we saw on 9/11. they do not produce the uncontrolled mass migration we have seen out of countries like syria and venezuela that have so destabilized their regions and beyond. there is a compelling national interest test to the work we do.
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itan: that is a very -- seems to me, on cursed -- uncontroversial rentable except that it is not necessarily at the moment shared by the leadership of the country. businesse only been in 35 years. presidents have come and gone. our staff, our resources has grown and it has not actually been tied to a given administration or given leader. susan: that is a really important point and i want to bring you in on this, derek. i know you are new to ndi. the interesting thing is both of these organizations have often worked together and grown in tandem. from thee any effect growing partisanship of american theren-policy and is still a coherent, relatively nonpartisan vision of this work you've two are able to see?
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daniel: i absolutely think there is a nonpartisan vision represented by us being on the stage together and it is 1 -- we made an agreement because we are old friends, this will be small bipartisan cell of cooperation we can create in washington or around the country because this transcends politics. i would argue that it has -- i would agree with dan that it has for some time. this administration and senior leadership -- if you look on capitol hill, you see a strong bipartisan support on both sides . they are passing budgets regardless of what any particular administration said, including this one who wanted to slash democracy work greatly. he got to the hill and both your said thank you for interest in national security, we will put this money in an ad money because it is something
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both parties agree on. let me extend on what dan said. i think you said as a foundation is extremely important about where we came from and the roots in american history. this is not simply an american thing. we are an american established organization, but you mentioned -- president trump talking about lecturing others. we are not a lecturing others. what we do is not lecturing. what we do is sharing experience and democratic practice around the world. i just came back from the middle east and north africa in tunisia and the people that represent ndi in the countries in that region come from canada, the netherlands, romania, bulgaria leading our operation because they represent democratic values globally. it is headquartered in the united states, but the work we do is done in partnership with people all around the world of every nationality because they see this is something that affirms their voice.
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affirms their sovereignty that what we do is not about american foreign-policy, imposing ourselves onto a process to make it reflect america. we feel we are confident enough that if people have a voice and the ability to shape their own future and determine their own futures, it will be a much more stable society and that will affirm american interest even if some individual decisions are not american interest, we have to accept that and our foreign-policy will deal with those decisions. our institutions are not about the particular outcome. working with anyone that affirms commitment to democratic institution and process and we want to help spread that through sharing of experiences worldwide. susan: let's turn our gaze outward to putting aside what is or is not happening in terms of american foreign-policy.
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there is a lot of people here and around the world concerned there is a broader -- taking place. every year for the last almost dozen years, you have seen a regression in the number of countries rated as free. this is not what many of us expected at the end of the court -- cold war. there seemed to be a march toward democracy. now we are talking about the rays of a new authoritarianism and threats even inside eastern and central europe to democracy -- inside the e.u. itself. do both of you perceive that 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? susan: i don't see -- dan: i don't see a democratic crisis.
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i see authoritarians fighting back. a country like china is using toital technologies invented help sustain what we thought would be a more open world to survey of citizens and -- sur veill citizens. there is a lot of authoritarian learning. democracies are vulnerable to foreign interference because we -- you have seen it all across europe and further afield. democracies need to think much smarter, i think, about how to protect ourselves. the mission we all have is not simply to help more people, more countries be democratic. it is to help democracies succeed. if there is also a problem of democratic performance. democracy in many -- is underperforming. it is underperforming in many countries. you have seen strongmen hollow
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institutions. the work of democracy is never done. there is always going to be a contest between authoritarian forms and more democratic models. we have seen recent successes in .rmenia, malaysia i would argue for every setback, you can point to a case where there has been a step forward for human freedom. susan: do you agree with that view? a lot of people are talking about the crisis in democracy right now. i like to have somebody who's glass is metaphorically half full in the conversation. derek: i agree with dan, but there is no place for complacency. waves in go out and come in and this will work itself out. if the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, it needs some help in bending. many of us canng
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do in the democratic world, help bend that in the right direction because there are populace preying on fear. democracy has to deliver for its people. --the end of this cold war, a measurable tied out for democracy. you can change of government and even processes, but mindsets change much more slowly. old guards are still there, old systems are still there. old ways of doing things are still there and change does not happen i quickly with oligarchs and old interests remaining. people expected to see better results and they are not seeing it. when they don't see it, they want change. you see in brazil, folks saying i don't like this guy at all. i want change. i want to see something different and that populism and preying on fear, that insecurity
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people have in that sense of lost identity because of multiculturalism or return to nationalism -- these are things that you certainly see trends in the world that have to be addressed i think, frontally. going that divisive route will actually make you less secure, less safe, less stable than going a different, more democratic and open route. folks who have not seen democracy deliver will raise questions, why do we continue voting in the same all, same old -- same old, same old? those guys at chip away at the institutions which you see in hungary and poland and the philippines. venezuela is a place -- an example of a place that went far left and is just destroyed. it is a dangerous time. we have to be quite careful and creative.
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-- on how we address it. susan: to drill down on that, you see all these he -- all these things happening and for many people, that adds up to a narrative in a moment where -- decline in areas it was advancing. the question is, what is the role of a u.s.-led institution in countering -- you called it the authoritarians fighting back. what do each of you see as the role of your institution in countering that? strongerocused on the authoritarians, on russia or china for example or do you focus more on the places where there is still a live tension or fight ongoing between the forces of democracy and those of reaction? dan: we are not really keeping score maybe in the way that would fit easily into an answer
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to your question. in some places, we are helping collectively to empower people. in some places, we are working to advance women's role in political life. in some places, we are working on strategies to prevent violent extremism. in some places, we are working on citizen security so desperate people are not fleeing societies where law and order has collapsed. in some places, we are helping political resiliency against foreign authoritarian influence so countries can be truly sovereign to make their own choices. the work is not ever going to be done. --re is not a scorecard of and we are keeping score because it is messy everywhere. susan: that is the truth, isn't it? just to follow up on that, when you look at the resurgent nationalism and authoritarian powers looking beyond their borders, especially russia and
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seea right now, what do you as the role of u.s.-led institutions in fostering democracy inside their borders? are we back to an era of supporting dissidents in those countries? increasingly it appears there are the kind of crackdowns we would find familiar from the and war era inside russia china and related to that, you have seen in particular from vladimir putin, both particular animus toward your organizations and a sense that american democracy promotion is a false flag, no different than russian intervention in our election. americannothing like support for democrats in the world. derek can speak eloquently to this. what i can start by saying we are trying to do is work with local partners in countries we
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were invited in to level the playing field so there is 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. we are working to promote pluralism. we are working to promote -- encourage inclusive it he -- inclusivity. we are ngo's. this work is not being done by a government. the kremlin's organizations are state directed intelligence led service operations to polarize, to subvert, divide, internally we can, confound democratic outcomes. there is nothing similar about those cases. susan: just to be clear for the audience, both of your organizations used to be operating in moscow and are no longer. is that correct? derek: yeah.
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susan: when i was there, we work closely with your representatives. derek: we could not be in 100 countries in the past 35 years if we did not build good faith and trust with these governments. it is the difference between transparent assistants and shadowy subversion. good faith and bad faith and whether you want to unite and assist or divide a country. we are interested in process, not outcomes. the outcome has nothing to do with what we do. it is simply building capacity of people to have a transparent process of debate and discussion andinstitutionalization inclusion of women, youth, anybody to be involved in a political process during a democratic transition. people can judge by the work we do whether it is worthwhile or not worthwhile. we are up here talking about it.
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we were very in -- we are very transparent inside the country. we talk to governments and talk to civil society. it is nothing like a russian effort all about finding ways to divide and confound and divide and be shadowy in the process. i think there are some folks -- certainly 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 we are doing the same thing as the russians and i find that kind ofkind of a lazy -- what is the word? what-about-ism. derek: yeah. i can't think of the word. dan: h.r. mcmaster had a very nice line of phrase where he said look, america's objective is to help countries preserve their own sovereignty, protect
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and preserve their own sovereignty. we want to live in a world where countries are free to make their own choices. if you look at russian subversion in ukraine or assaults on electoral politics across europe and in the united states, protecting those country's sovereignty is the antithesis of what the kremlin model is about. derek: imposing democracy is an oxymoron. right? you cannot impose. the iraq war poison to the well for many people, that that was democracy imposion. as i walked that -- watched that from afar i thought how can we do our work now because it is wrapped up in something aggressive and violent. that is not what andy i and -- iri are about. it's about working with others and their
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supporting themselves. susan: i want you to ask you about a case, with the team going dramatically in the wrong direction. you know what i'm going to ask about. ambassador mitchell was the first ambassador to myanmar under president obama when we reopened relations and it appeared at the time to be a great example of a country moving away from a military-led rule into democracy and even i believe controversially somewhat inside the obama administration even led to a presidential visit, two visits with the leaders. we now have obviously this unfolding tragedy with the rohingya. what can you tell us that is relevant to your new role, you know, in understanding how democracys work or don't work from your experience with being ambassador to myanmar?
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derek: there is a democracy part and a rohingya issue. i hate to set aside ethnic cleansing as if it doesn't matter. i think one thing that is absolutely critical to understand, true about any country, is what i started with, expectations management. the no single moment makes a democracy. that we have -- we knew that the election, the opening of the society, the opening of civil society of freer media, and then an election in which aung san suu kyi the hope of the country became in effect the leader. that was not the end of anything. that was not fundamental change. the constitution was the same. the structure of the society was the same. the role of the military was the same. the civil war that raged is the same. nothing really changed except ownership of those problems. and a very nays ent process that was just beginning inside the country. i think people were looking maybe for a great moment and saying, and declare it a victory or success. i don't think the obama administration was thinking
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that way. but others on the outside as they observed what was going on i think got ahead of everything. this is going to come slowly. i mean, these countries are very complex. every country is very complex with complex dynamic. and i think we all, and this goes to what happened in 1990's and people as you say had expectations and expected things to go smoolingtly. i think our expectations need to be managed that these things are going to go out and back and out and back. it is never done as dan said. even in the united states, 240 years, it's never done. when you have countries that are very diverse with histories, very complex histories, they'll have to deal with those fundamental system wide structures. and unless we understand those complex its we'll get out ahead of ourselves and declare victory too soon. susan: so you think that is what happened in the case of myanmar? derek: i think it has always been a very difficult case in myanmar. it was a necessary but not
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sufficient moment to have the election they did. they have a long road ahead. but i think they truly want change. now, not dealing with the rohingya issue but just wanting change to open the society and it is going to be a struggle. susan: that is interesting. you are drawing a distinction and saying you don't believe what is happening there represents the end of the trajectory toward democracy? derek: no i don't. i don't think it ever ended. i think people want to have a free voice and development. they want a government that delivers for them. they don't want to go back to a military dictatorship. they are better off than they were eight years ago over all. e best line was someone in 2013 or 2014 in mandalay who said nothing here is changed but we don't want to go back to the way it used to be. that encapsulates, that fundamentally really nothing had changed but yet a lot had
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changed. the atmosphere had changed. there was now more ability to express one's self and more opportunities for people. it's just going to happen much slower than we would like it to. susan: so, dan, the benefit of having both of you, you're both long-time asia -- i am curious if you also have thoughts on myanmar and also wanted to ask you about what is 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 demock tization in reese -- democratization in recent years. putting aside the issue of whether kim jong un is ever going to denuclearize, i've always wondered and i feel like we could all benefit from your
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wisdom here, south korea is pursuing right now a policy of much more combination of looking for ways to work with the north koreans. they're both talking about not necessarily reunification. is it even possible or realistic, is there a model that you can think of to help us understand how you could have two systems that appear so different that could come to a real accommodation? is it just like willful naivete? have we learned something from the reintegration of east and west germany? i mean, is it crazy to think a democracy like south korea could somehow get back together at some point in our lifetime with a place like north korea? dan: i think we should stretch the imagination. i am not an optimist about north korea, but i would recall that when the national endowment for democracy was established, south korea was a military dictatorship. they actually pursued dissidents abroad and it was
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rather a nasty place. right? look at south korea today. it's one of the most extraordinary stories of democratic prosperity in asia. south korea is a rich country. right? we talk about the asian tigers. most countries -- south korea is like five times richer than china per capita. it is a real accomplishment. and i think part of what is drawing kim jong un's interest is without psycho analyzing him that in fact north korea needs a little of that. the north korean economic model is failing. right? the chinese have told the north korean regime that it needs to modernize. that's part of it. i would 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 cult
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personality, really the last in ige of totalitarianism the world today. i will also point out the south korean government, actually there are really lots of compelling north korean defector groups. i met some at the national endowment for democracy a few months ago. i met them in seoul as well on a visit. they are these wonderful north koreans who have gotten out and are thinking about how to help their brethren in north korea and if that country should begin to open what role they can play in helping that country. and the south korean government actually has stopped supporting those groups in the quest for peace with the north. i'd say that really gets it backwards. susan: well, i just am glad you brought that up because i do think it is one of the most fascinating examples. you have on the one hand one of your best case studies in the world of a move toward democracy. and, yet. it's hard to imagine how that withstands, you know, this neighbor next door. so ok.
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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 r.r.i. whafment does it mean to your institution to have lost your champion and, you know, someone who more than anything else was identified with it? what do you think it means for the future of republican foreign policy? dan: senator mccain was quite interesting because he understood the human quest for freedom because he had been denied his own freedom in prison in vietnam. he understood it very personally, what it means to be abused by an authoritarian overlord in very personal terms. he was also interesting because really he was a national security hawk. right? he really had -- he was a military man through and through from a family of military men. but he understood that the truest source of security was
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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 that existed for instance, that has existed in the trans atlantic space since 1989. so i think it's very compelling that he cared so much about these issues and he didn't just care about them where they were strategically significant in big, important countries like ukraine. i can attest i worked for him and went around the world with him too many times. i can attest that he cared about it equally in really small countries. like georgia and fiji. when i was working for him there was a coup in fiji and he got so outraged and for months i felt like the desk officer for fiji. i'd say, senator, we're trying to cover the world here. right? but this is the point is that human freedom is not
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indivisible and that if you care about these issues, you have to care about them everywhere. right? which doesn't mean you are a messianic mission tri, zealot, but it means you do what you can. senator mccain one of the last things he did before he left us was to help enlarge our board of directors at i.r.i. we have an amazing group of new directors at i.r.i. including senator dan sullivan who is chairman, including marco rubio, including lindsey graham, including h.r. mcmaster, including mitt romney and just a whole list of noteables. and i know he left us feeling good about the next generation of political leadership and support for this work in congress. derek: can i just add as well, you've got a senls of senator mccain's idealism and his passion for this and as you say the freedom should be the -- granted to every individual, every human should have dignity. but it also is part of our strength.
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i think he recognized that for america believing in this and pursuing this and standing up for these rights is also for lack of a better term a realist. it's a real -- has real power. because people around the world can feel that america stands for something. that it's something different and stands for something greater than itself. that hasn't attracted the -- that has an attractive quality. one other element i missed on the burma side that is analogous to what we see everywhere, many places, is they really want us to be engaged. when i was there they were so happy we were there for them and standing by them. that is what we can do overseas is show we are with you on this journey. that this is difficult. but you have folks that are rooting for you. that are helping work with you on this very difficult path. and that sense of people, you know, big country and big countries are there with you can also have a sense of -- it
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gets their back up. gives them a little bit of support. and helps them on the way. i think that is very important. susan: well, again, it is interesting to hear, you know, both of you essentially, you know, offering us a certainly very bipartisan -- in the past we would have said really not a very controversial vision of american engagement in the world and why it is both in america's interest and overseas. but, you know, if you look at the numbers recently, you know, the latest pew global attitude survey came out just last week. there is a crisis, certainly an attitude putting aside the question of, you know, the score card element of democracys in the world versus autocracies there is a crisis in confidence in the united states even among many of its closest allies that it still ralph waldo emerson the things that you both think -- that it still represents the things you both are out there thinking it is representing. i guess the question is how much you feel that, you must feel that i'm sure on any trip
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that you make overseas, you know, you're asked, what is america's commitment to the world? there are survey findings in germany, in france showing that there is more faith in vladimir putin or xi jiang ping at this moment to do the right thing in the world than there is in the leadership of our country or in a vision of our country. that has to be concerning to both of you again in a very nonpartisan way and must affect our work in some tangible way. derek: that is a question we get all the time. if we talk about what we do particularly here at home the first statement is why don't you work here first? why are you going over there and helping democracy when we need it here at home? that is kind of half joking but maybe not half joking line. overseas, i've only made one trip. i'll be making a trip about every month. my sense is they're not necessarily thinking that. we're providing a service to them because they are in need. they're not going to care if donald trump says this or that
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or represents this or that. they're going to, you know, want to know if we can help them with what they're facing. at a foreign policy level, a broader level they may be concerned about the impact of america. but, you know, when i was ambassador i would say very openly, look, we're not lecturing you. we're not telling you anything you don't know. you can watch tv and see we have racial problems still, ethnic and religious divisions in our country. you probably will, too, for as long as you exist. we're not lecturing you. what we're trying to tell you is if you go down that route it'll be worse for you. you are 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 the reason why it is in our interest to do that, first of all, it shows that we care about them which i think then reflects back on america when we're in a better position. hopefully we have other leadership that is more interested. so we have a popularity -- you know, popular interest in america. but, also, you know, creates
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stable societies. we are more than any single leadership or any single moment. this stuff i think is long term. it serves our interest for stability over the long term to promote these processes, these institutions, these mindsets beyond politics. susan: i mean, this is exactly the conversation we were having before the event, right? this is your pitch as well. dan: my pitch as well. this is why we don't have a one man system. why we have all these institutions and free media and courts and the very strong congress. and 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 some people at the new yorker but it doesn't come from our politicians. it comes from what tocqueville saw as the genius of our society, right? our immigrant culture. our sort of fierce civic pride. our prosperity. our optimism about the future.
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americans are still very optimistic about the future of this country. and i think we should be, too. gosh, it's been a lot worse in the past. so i think we should sort of have some perspective here. that's sort of, i think that is how i would come at the question. but really when i travel, i mean, 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 they're thinking about bosnia or they're thinking about bolivia. but i can appreciate in washington we sit around thinking it is all about us. it's actually not all about us. derek: let me add though maybe to susan's point though, america does matter. america -- the symbol of america and what america stands for and what we say does matter and has impact. you know, we are going to lead whether it's in a good direction or a bad direction,
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unfortunately. and it does help if you have leadership that are modeling the type of behavior we 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. it is definitely a constraint on our, to some degree, i'm sure, on our work. and i got the question the other day from some german foundations who came to see me and said, how are you going to talk about blind justice and rule of law and, you know, nonpartisan ju dish o'haries when what just happened in the -- nonpartisan judiciaries with what just happened in the united states with our system? well look. people will judge for themselves but they can feel it will have an impact somehow on whether, if america is having problems with it, it makes folks a little bit less confident that they can. i certainly have seen that in my career that 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 that we're better than anyone else or other countries or lesser but there is that kind of modeling and that leadership that america has stood for that does
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matter still to many people. susan: i want to make sure we don't run out of time for your questions as well as mine so while you're getting your ideas together i am going to ask an optimistic question. we've been in the world of challenges to this work. tell us something that is surprising that works or that is surprising, you know, a place where you see democracy taking hold right now? dan: so the latest one that really surprised a lot of us was the maledes -- the maldes where there had been an experiment in democracy that ended in 2013, a dictator essentially assumed power, exiled or imprisoned the supreme court, exiled or imprisoned the political opposition. it looked very grim. in the maldes they had an election just several weeks ago and i don't think anybody expected the democratic opposition to win but guess what? 90% of voters turned out and
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voted out the dictator. right? and that just, 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 really had gerrymandered the system very effectively. controlled the commanding heights of politics and the economy. malaysians went to the polls a couple months ago. and surprised everybody including themselves by voting in a democratic opposition for the first time in that country's history. so there is some optimism out there i would argue. susan: you've only been one month in the job so we won't hold you to great new models for the world. yes, sir? if you could by the way please identify yourselves and try to make it a question so we can get to as many people -- go ahead. >> my name is david. i'm going to ask a question directly. is donald trump, himself, not a threat to democracy and democratic institutions?
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and, worse yet, isn't he providing the space for other countries to have authoritarian leaders take hold? >> we're not suppose today be partisan in terms of domestic politics. we're not supposed to be partisan in terms of domestic politics. we're focused overseas. he certainly has shown -- it is not a secret. everyone is reading about it. a proclivity for dicts overseas. that is of concern for us -- those of us who want to see a president represent a more democratic agenda. i can't comment on the rest of that. dan: just for 10 seconds, 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. i'll leave it there. susan: all right.
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here in the front row. >> aloha. channel 49, 53, 54, 55 all hawaiian islands. can you give me -- my question tell me how philanthropy assists in the democratization of new and coming countries? >> i am sorry? susan: what did you say about soft power? >> soft power and philanthropy. can you speak on how that assists in the democratization of new countries? susan: maybe you can explain a little about where you are funded from. dan: yeah. so start with the funding maybe. our funding comes primarily from the state department,
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usaid and national endowment for democracy. congress appropriates funds as part of the foreign assistance bill. we compete for them. amongst ourselves and against others. you know, there is a great -- on the soft power question, there is a great focus in this town at the moment on american heart power, right? the economy is growing very strongly. unemployment is at its lowest in 50 years. the military budget is growing after beingcut 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 heart power alone. it is not coming from kind of military action by authoritarian countries. it is coming in nonkinetic forms. the national endowment for democracy talks about sharp power which is kind of authoritarian forms of influence. right? that weaken and debilitate and
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polarize other countries. so the kind of work we are doing falls very much into the soft power category. and it's about empowering people to be free to make their own choices. and we're just a tiny little piece of american soft power. but arguably soft power cannot be done by governments. i mean, the original definition of soft power was it was something that emanated from culture, from civic institutions, right, and this is what -- this is what authoritarians have left to offer. they are using forms of subversive power directed by the state rather than soft power instruments. >> hi. elizabeth campbell. i want to change directions and talk about england and the u.k. brexit is obviously a hot topic. we've seen lots of talk about checkers, heart break referendum, soft break. i'm curious which due think is the best outcome that can come
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from the upcoming brexit vote and negotiations? derek: i have no -- i am no expert on brexit. i really can't say. i don't have a thought on that. do you, dan? dan: so my wife as british diplomat. it's a bit risky. i would say the reason -- i was at monticello over the weekend so i've been thinking about kind of america's origins. the reason you want mediating institutions in a democracy is so that you are not ruling by referenda alone. right? you need mediating representative institutions. so that elected officials can make the right decisions about what is best for their country. and that's a question for british citizens not us. ut we have seen the dangers of referenda in other countries and, you know, i think my democratic advice, my advice to democracys would be to tread warily with referendums because
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they arguably go around those mediating institutions in a representative democracy. susan: you, sir? >> thank you for the inspiring debate. . will take you back to africa you know, africans in other parts of the world like daniel said look up to america as a model for democracy. but over the last decade we see more african leaders going to china than coming to america. does that say that american democracy has lost its luster in africa? that's one question. and another quick question, that i would like to ask you, is in the heart of africa there is a little country which is a model for democracy in that area. i think you know what i am talking about. can you just comment on that?
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thank you very much. derek: i can start with the china one. i think what china offers is a lot of money so folks -- they're investing a lot in africa. they have been there, you know, in increasing numbers, increasing amounts of commerce and investment for some time now. in a way that the united states and the west, will, i wouldn't say the west -- the e.u. has been involved but the west has been less engaged there. willing if china is to offer resources to build up the infrastructure to invest, 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 comes if the 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
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through the belt road initiative and then sadly these countries with enormous burdens they can't repay and it's repaid in sovereignty in essence. you are seeing that in various places. here is 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. then we should be doing that rather than complaining if countries are rushing to china. i don't know that it's necessarily anti-democratic for them to go to china. many of them are already not very democratic. those who go to china. those who are more democratic will see how much of an influence china's engagement with them has. that is something frankly i think we need to be focused much more on, because china is doing more on the ideological
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side in competing with democracy, on pushing a strong man model, that is very pernicious and very dangerous for this moment. dan: the country you are talking about is somali land where voters voted, the most extraordinary -- voters voted using biometrics. i show up with my virginia driver's license. but somali land citizens are more advanced and it's great. in a new democracy people casting a ballot and it's very inspiring to see. forgive me if we don't get to everyone. you, sir. you go and then you go. no affiliation. of challenges to democracy, i think about
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backlash against globalization and immigration, and some of the negative aspects i recognize, the fragmentary nature of social media and how that makes it a great tool for demagogues. can you comment on those three factors and what you can do about them? identity,n terms of which is also an immigration question or a demographic question. the issue of technology, we did talk a bit about. the and and i are going to silicon valley next week. i see this as a danger to democracy. i saw this when i was in denmark. i saw that in real-time. i was very concerned about that. something, we have an office in silicon valley. one person is there, saying we are going to go out and beat with -- meet with a bunch of folks. we have a program called design
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with democracy. we need to work with these companies, many of whom who are not in good odor right now because of the lack of responsibility for what they have unleashed. they needed to design these technologies to take responsibility for what firm's democratic values and doesn't thede or alienate, all things we're seeing happen in our country and everywhere else. that ther some time social media technologies are antisocial media. they are pernicious to democracy. it's not just about breaking down authoritarians. there has to be a community that forms. there has to be people talking face-to-face in order for real democracy to occur. you can't just do it over the airwaves. absolutely. the use by russians to twist what truth is, to twist what people see, what they read, what
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they believe. the influence of artificial intelligence, virtual reality. we don't even know what is true or not true. i don't know if we are prepared for this is human beings. if you can't trust information, democracy falls away. you have to have good information that you make decisions on. otherwise democracy fails. it's an extremely important topic that we have programs, in ukraine, all of the place looking at this. >> he covered digital very well. , thetion and immigration pressure that you have seen in europe and the united states is not coming from legal immigration. it is coming from fast refugee flows out of conflict flows. particularly syria, the middle east and parts of central america. get to grips with the fact that we need to help these countries govern themselves
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decently, it's not a normal human condition to want to put your children and spouse in a boat and cross the mediterranean. to go to a country where you have no future and no connection. the human proclivity is to stay home and live in peace. for too many people, that is impossible. until we collectively grapple with the source of these conflicts, we are not going to move the needle on the pressures around migration that have helped to drive populist politics and some forms of political extremism. on globalization, one thought. there's a study that came out 10 days ago arguing that for the first time in human history, 50% of the world is middle-class. it's never happened before. guess what? the origin story of the rise of democracy in great britain and on the cotton of europe is the emergence of a middle-class that wanted more from its government,
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that wanted its rights respected, that wanted property to be secure, but did not want to live under aristocratic privilege or monarchical absolutism. i'm still optimistic. the politics of globalization are complicated. the economic uplift that has happened the last 25 years has changed the world and will change politics. unfortunately almost out of time. i did promise you the question, if you can make a very brief. thank you so much. >> in a profound wilsonian endorsement, the united states worships at the altar of territorial integrity. at the expense of many.
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do either of your organizations take a principled stand with respect to the human right of self-determination? >> my quick answer is that if you live in a democracy, you can exercise your rights as a catalonian in a spanish democracy. you do have rights that you can exercise. not different if you are living in a democracy where you do not have a peaceful way to exercise political rights. can take athink we position on sovereignty questions of tibetans. we do take a position on their right to have a voice, a say in their own affairs, to not be oppressed to not be and all the things that are going on in these territories. we don't have particular programs on that. we certainly believe in that right of every human being having dignity, the right to determine their futures and have a voice in their own affairs. >> i want to thank you on behalf
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of all of us, i want to thank the ambassador for a shockingly upbeat conversation about democracy around the world. thank you both. i'm very grateful. [applause] [inaudible]
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>> brett kavanaugh joined his fellow supreme court justices on the bench today to hear his first arguments on the high court. his family was on the -- in the courtroom. they heard cases dealing with
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state laws on slight force robberies and whether they require enhanced sentencing and whether burglaries of mobile homes should be considered vehicle burglaries. producer, justr as kavanaugh asked several questions. protests continued outside the court. campaign 2018 coverage continues tonight with several live debates. utah's senaten, debate between mitt romney and jenny wilson to fill the seat of retiring senator orrin hatch. on c-span2, massachusetts governor debates his democratic challenger. c-span, thetern on arizona second congressional district debate between ann kirkpatrick and leah marquez peterson.


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