tv Washington Journal Astead Herndon CSPAN October 1, 2022 1:01pm-1:45pm EDT
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there for our customers with speed, reliability, value enjoys. it starts with great internet. >> wow supports c-span as of the look service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. welcome back to washington journal. it is our weekly spotlight on podcast segments. i guess is astead herndon, host of the podcast "the run-up" and new york times national political reporter. welcome to the program. guest: thank you for having me. host: a new start for telling me a little bit about the podcast and why you started it? guest: "the run-up" and tate is a podcast exploring our midterm election. we wanted to explore in the traditional way that we think a lot of times these races are explored just looking at individual races and who is up and who is down. we felt these elections had a different weight to them and we
wanted to give people the language to understand all going on in our political landscape. we tried to start from the premise of why has politics become so fraught and how is democracy being challenged and threatened right now? the podcast initially starts off with a look at the ways that political establishments show where voters were in transitions to see through that lens of work and we understand how voters are being motivated for the selection. we had a recent episode that highlighted the roots of christian nationalism and how that changed the republican party. another recent episode highlighted the meaning of democracy for groups like black voters. he did an interview with jeff clyburn and grassroots republicans and folks in arizona who do not believe democracy should be one of america's goals. we are trying to take some of the big the magic questions in the midterms and give people the language to understand the ahead
of the election. host: you giphy a lot there. i want to ask you about some of that. a caller from our last question was talking about how christians were fighting each other. you mentioned you did a podcast on the idea of christian nationalism and the impact of evangelicals on the republican party. what did you find out? guest: we talked to a times political reporter and dr. al mohler. what we found was you can the changes in the -- can track the changes in the republican party back to the foundations of the invalid gel goal -- the evangelical church. we really start to see a story of this change in both trumpcare and leading up to these midterms were now you have a church being led by the grassroots that trump was swaying and is pushing the church leadership to go in
directions they may have otherwise not wanted to go. instead of having to back donald trump differently what we found is that for dr. mohler, they had to get on board with a slew of candidates who are going further with government nationalism and conservative christianity and attacking democracy. in our interview, dr. moeller make clear for him that things like january 6 were not as important for his vote in relationship to things like restricting abortion and stopping the advancement of lgbtq rights which he feels is a foundational threat to the country. he was willing to set the democracy concerns aside in service of those two goals. that is what we found in the episode and that is what we in the landscape broadly. that has pushed republicans to embrace a new type of language on politics. host: if viewers would like to weigh in, you can feel does -- feel free to start doing that
now. the lines are split by political affiliation. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. he said earlier that some said democracy should not even be a goal. explain that. guest: that came through in a talk with my colleague robert draper who did a year of reporting in arizona and some reporting i have done. i went to an event called trumpstock, woodstock for trump fans in arizona. what i found there is people were willing to openly say that if the election did not go they way they wanted in terms of donald trump being reelected that they planned to commit violence in the name of saving america. these are people who end up at the capitol on january 6. what we are fighting is since
that's in the last two years, public kids, particularly in a state like arizona, have doubled and tripled down on this to which you have candidates down ballot who are not only saying and defending the actions of figures attacking joe biden as a democratic president but are saying democracy itself is not a core american value. that we are a republic and not a democracy and majority rule is actually tyranny. these are open words from the candidates that we were able to highlight. that is something we were trying to bring out as a counterbalance to the speech joe biden gave to kick off this midterms. he was trying to rally americans around the concept of defending democracy but i think the argument has a blind spot. because for some of those republicans, democracy is not something they find really intrinsic to the country's founding or intrinsic to where
it should be going. they have built in excuses to ignore whatever comes this november. it is a really sobering conversation with robert in that podcast episode because it makes clear the challenges we saw on january 6 were not just the end of the trauma era but a start of a fundamental democracy question -- the trump era but a start of a fundamental democracy question. host: is in the root of that not necessarily not believing in democracy but leaving the elections are not trustworthy? guest: i think there is a line of that but we need to acknowledge that this has a root in american politics. there have been often times that people have been willing to change election rules. do not have a direct democracy. we do not have silly that -- have something that 50 plus one
is a direct route to power. but we found is this is free the 2020 election. it is not just that they agree with donald trump at the country is being stolen at that instant tracks with decade-long concern of conservatism in that state and the california acacia and -- californiacation avenue arizona. i appreciate that question because that is how we are trying to say this is not just the outgrowth of 2020 but the outgrowth of a larger train of thought that has been growing amongst republicans where they view democracy as an obstacle to political power instead of something that is a shared american value. host: we are going to get to calls right away but i want to ask one more question. typically the midterm elections are a referendum on the party in power.
you are saying this is more than that. why? guest: we have to be clear that this is a different year for the midterms. there is usually a referendum on the party in power but there are bigger actions motivating the election that is not coming from the president or congress but coming from the supreme court. this has actually motivated the base of the president's party which makes this year unique. we have seen every indicator shifting towards democrats since that decision. at the same time, we have a country that since 2020 and 2016 is wrestling with democracy which does not cut neatly on the typical midterm lines. while we do have things that are certainly within the scope of what we typically see at midterms at a president with a low approval rating, soaring inflation that has hurt the party in power, we also have other factors that are complicating these midterms. i think in part i do not see
this as a typical year. i think polling and other indicators prove that because we have so much intersecting at this time. i think 2016 and 2020, we had a political system wrapped up in the individual questions of donald trump. what with him off the ballot and not in power, we now see a system being tested across the board with some of these similar trump evinces -- grievances and questions feeling democracy. host: shreveport, louisiana on the democrat line. carmella. caller: good morning. i am an educator in shreveport, louisiana and i am not speaking for all educators across the board. however, because politics and history and everything reflects -- and i am a history teacher -- everything reflects what we are
able to teach in school. how do you go about suggesting how, when, what to actually educate our students on because of such different variety of information and some that has been restricting? guest: i think that is a great question. i appreciate the work educators do because the answers are hard. i did a year as a teacher partly because the answer to this question is so hard. i think we see this is a situation where it is not just history -- i think there are fundamental historic facts that guide some of this moment. american democracy is not a straight line from 1776 to now. it is something that has oftentimes been tested on questions of inclusion and expanding the american promise to other sectors of the electorate. that cannot be denied. we have a movement in this country specifically around the
question of who is democracy for? i think in that view you can see what is happening right now. nice of aberration in american politics that has to have unique heroes and villains but actually a continuing of a story that wraps up into american history and has been animated consistently throughout american political history. i would point to that in trying to find ways across american history that really speak to this. other times in which presidents of political leaders have used conspiracy to drum up support and times when people have embraced terms like "republic" other than "democracy". i think that has been true of the political and skate and i will look back to inform people how to look forward. i would also say i think our podcast this a good job of laying this out in plain english.
try to use moments that speak to where people are and try to understand and give language to what can seem like a very distant political system. i think journalism should do more of that and i hope it can help teachers bring these lofty political topics to the classroom and make them more tangible. host: tony in bedford, texas. republican line. caller: hello. i really love c-span. first off, i think this could have happened to democrats as well. there was a time when people were dixie-crats. my question is what is the way out? i am a republican and a conservative and i do not hear anyone from my party, except liz cheney cheney talking about fiscal responsibility or even
jeb bush about a real immigration plan. what a short opinion on how we get out of this because right now i am -- what is your opinion on how to get out of this because right now i am going to go against my party? guest: that is a good question. i do not have a good solution. i think you are really right in terms of identifying a shift within the republican party. it's is shift has happened among democrats to especially among republicans. you look at an event where there used to be a roast focus -- a real focus on responsibility language and now it is all about cultural grievances and identity and demonizing the other side. it is all about creating a motivation to the base. not from those what we used to call kitchen table issues. i think you might have to see a reset before you see those issues come back to the
forefront. but i will say is the midterm elections might be that reset. when you have an issue like inflation soaring to the top of the agenda and when you have two parties who are really nervous about their position, ahead of the presidential election, what happens in the midterms will recalibrate where the parties are, going into 2024. you see a democratic party that loses the house or feels disappointed, then there will be questions about whether president biden has focused his time and energy on the right issues. if you see republicans lose this opportunity to gain seats in the house and senate, i think there will be figures printed at donald trump and trumpism for doing what you just described of too much of a cultural dry front rather than the typical issues we have come to know republicans for. i guess that is kind of not be answering the question by think it will become clearer after the
midterms are over. host: following on tony's point which is this idea of political homelessness. have talked to some voters who are saying they feel clinically homeless. what is going on with that and where are they going? guest: this is a big thing that we talk to voters about in the summer and leading up to our start of our podcast. we have polars looking at the y because they get the why behind it and when we did that, we found a lot of people say they felt without a political home. they were laying out that the parties have changed in such directions over the last 10-15 years to when they do not feel like either party represents them. this goes a lot of different ways depending on who we are talking to. there were young people mad the democratic party was not embracing bigger and bolder change or changing to accept
bigger issues like climate change the way they wanted. there were trump supporters upset that they feel that this republican establishment has blocked donald trump from being able to make bigger change. we really see is throughout both, there is a disconnect between the establishment place of where the parties are and the grassroots where voters are. that is what we think is driving the political homelessness feeling, the idea that the folks leading the politicians -- the parties and the politicians with the cases were not speaking most directly to the issues that they were concerned about. orbit structures like the filibuster in gerrymandering and the electoral college have shifted politics from being able to directly respond to where majority of voters are. i've been using this as an example, abortion. in state legislatures across the country, we are getting abortion bills that are very different
from republican opinion -- from popular opinion in going into the conservative side because of the way that maps are drawn. the political homelessness feeling cannot be removed from the way we have government structure and prioritize the outliers rather than the middle. host: maryland, independent line. caller: hello. i would like to ask our guest. there is something out there called the new black media and there are three principal players. they say that politicians like stacey abrams and kamala harris and even obama wants black people to vote for them but they will not adopt a black agenda. black agenda includes something like reparations and qualified unity for police. first, are you familiar with the few gentlemen i named and what
is your opinion of their stance on black politics? second of all, should black politicians adopt a black agenda in order to get the black vote? guest: i am familiar with those politicians and i was the reporter who pushed all the presidential candidates on the democratic side to answer the question of reparations. and very familiar with this issue. i will say is the kind of construction of those media voices to say to black politicians that have not take up that mantle is something that is focused on the wrong people. it is an entire political plan and in christ -- and entire democratic party and republican one who has not taken up that stance. at think you cannot judge politicians individually but a system that does not invest in black communities or is targeting issues that you typically see as most important
to black voters and has not been done. if you take the last three years, joe biden is an example of this. he went to south carolina through the clybourn endorsement. i would encourage you to listen to the episode on "the run-up", our podcast. but at the same time, joe biden said after that that he has a specific -- to the black community. i think when you will ask politicians, you will get indirect answers. something like the filibuster has come in to stop joe biden from being able to make these big changes. he has not been able to target racial wealth gaps in the way he promised because he tailored down the build back better will in the senate. and student loans, any issue where he went bigger because of the specific pushing of black politicians, he is getting legal and political challenges to
complicate that. i think that speaks to the difficulty in terms of following through on the promises that many politicians, black or white, have made in the black community. what i would say it, as someone who has interviewed president harris, clyburn, and stacey abrams, that they deserve questions and accountability about whether there promises to black communities have followed through by would say that is true of all politicians. host: sioux falls, south dakota. jack on the republican line. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: good. caller: i think it is problematic that you have propaganda from such a corrupt institution like the new york times on your trail. just spewing marxist word salad and then when somebody brings up black issues, he is so quick and happy to be talking about it. billy such a bigot. host: do you have a response to
that or we can move on? guest: sure i have a response to that. i am a journalist and i talked to republicans and democrats the same way. i talked to white voters and black voters in hispanic people and people in between. i talk to people who are conspiracy theories and people who are not. i talked to truck voters and i have been to more trump rallies than anybody on the new york times. host: ron in johnstown, pennsylvania. the . democrat line. caller: in any other country, trump would have never been elected president. he talks about rigged elections but there is nothing more rich than the electoral college. he lost by 3 million votes to hillary. he lost by 7 million votes to joe biden. that is over 10 million votes he lost by in two elections. let me tell you that no one ever
uses the word poor loser. he is a poor loser. most people don't like poor losers. he talks about stolen elections and that is a joke. i cannot believe there is any promise, that clears thomases wife still believes the election was -- clarence thomas's wife still believes the election was stolen. trump was never popular. he won because of the electoral college and that has to go. that is my opinion. guest: i think that certainly donald trump has had a history of poor losing. do not think that is in question at all but i would say i do not think the election was stolen. if we run presidential election through the electoral college and hillary clinton wanted to be president should have won the
electoral college in that campaign. host: bill from florida, independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am just going to address the abortion issue at the idea of a right. the supreme court, -- the supreme court decision only said that there was a mistake made and abortion is not a right. a right is something that in every person but america -- in america but one is opposed to it, that person has a right. i do not have a right to murder somebody. there is no right in the constitution that says you can murder somebody. we vote as a democracy in our individual states. there are a federal law -- there is a federal law outlawing murder.
abortion is not a federal right. just because public opinion and the majority want something. a right is something that the majority cannot take away. that is my only comment. guest: that insure belief about abortion and i will not push on that. i will say to reiterate that the supreme court decision also did send the issues back to state. because of the structures we are talking about, they intentionally created state legislatures that are out of step with their state. at neither level of this decision are you having voters weighing in to create a medium ground directly. that is not an opinion but a reality. in a place like kansas who had a referendum and a place like michigan where the referendum was on the ballot, have seen people be able to come out and
weigh in on whether they want abortion to be in their state. that is not true for a lot of states because there has been a filter through gerrymandered state legislator that is upheld through a judicial system. i think that can be your belief and also people will say that belief runs up against a democracy challenge. host: nelson from pembroke pines, florida. independent line. caller: good morning mr. astead herndon. i completely disagree with just about everything you are saying. you are one of the reasons why i do not trust the new york times at all. of course, the states have the right to determine which way they want to go in abortion. there is a thing called the people who have the right to vote and to put representatives that feel and support whatever their particular opinions are
concerned. i have been listening to you for a little while. i mean no disrespect but you are not a journalist. you are a propagandist for the new york times. again, listening to you and reading other individuals from the new york times has convinced me that you are a paper that has very little if any credibility whatsoever. host: go ahead. guest: i am proud to work for the new york times. i think it is one of the best if not the best daily newspapers in the world. adding the value of what we do is going to people entering things like this and tell you our process. i am not saying things based off of conjecture but saying things based off of going to people and talking to them directly. i believe in the process and translating that accurately. i do not believe in calibrating
between a middle point. i believe in being honest and fair and that is what i have done. bring our show we try to talk to democrats and republicans. talk to trump supporters and progressives and people across party lines to create a level of clarity and do that work. i understand people can be upset with that and i respect people's minces with the newer times and be individually by do not think that process of reporting can be understated. it is important for us to come to places like this and talk to people who does with us. i think that is something the new york times should be proud of and plotted for. the process of reporting is still valuable. in creating -- and creating a record is still a vital function of democracy. i think this is a great example of that. host: i want to ask you about possible demographic ships for the election coming up. what are you seeing and hearing from you voters? guest: that is a great question.
joe biden's approval rating was cratering over the summer partially because he was going down with democratic constituencies. a used young voters and working-class voters and people of color who were all feeling less good about the biting presidency which is why he sought his approval rating hit the low point at the end of the summer. he went up slyly because they pass legislation in washington on the -- up slightly because they pass legislation in washington on the build back better. but we do not know how this is going to play as things get legally challenged. our voters still going to reward him on that? we do not have a lot of evidence for that or evidence that that will overcome the whole in which joe biden has been in ever since his presidency. remember this was not the preferred choice of most democrats but especially not younger democrats area i think he is trying to make that push
around democracy and democracy protection to motivate those groups and say to young people that maybe you may not have liked but the administration has done on x and x issue but you do agree the party is allegedly a better steward of the democratic system than their republican opponent. that is why they are making the push to overcome the -- that still persists among young people, a group who really needs to come out this november if they are going to have the kind of atypical midterm result democrats want. the first thing we should know about the midterm is republicans have a structural and sort dental advantage. the bar is very high for democrats and they have to clear that. they are hoping that increasingly young people will help them do that. host: tyrone on the republican line from illinois. caller: good morning.
i look at our politics right now and i think we are lacking a lot of concepts. but we talked about president trump with his documents -- when we talk about president trump his documents and an the white house, why do presidents not get checked on what paperwork they have to take out of the white house so something like that cannot occur? and do not know how many past presidents have taken stuff out that they are not supposed to but i think it is wrong. i fear a loss on january 6. i cannot say i agree what happened with that but i can say that i have not heard much of what our government is doing to secure our capitol buildings so something like this can never happen again. i think that is really important. i cannot go with these things that the democrats are saying right now because of the energy thing, for example. i do not think there has been
enough thoughts on it. they had people on c-span talking about to upgrade our grids would cost $6 trillion in the electrical fields to get things done. to switch over. i think we are putting electric cars -- i think we are putting the cart before the horse. i think that is kind of wrong. being an american citizen and talking about the black population in the u.s. and the ghetto, there is a lot to be done there. i am not sure a referendum is the right way to go but whether you are black, white, hispanic or whoever you are living in poverty areas, i have not seen a good way to get people out of that, to break the chain. host: ok. there is a lot there, let's get a response. guest: i certainly think there
is a lot to say for common in politics. i agree. i see your point about the capitol building and i think that is an interesting point. i have also seen since the flip side, d.c. has walled off a lot of the capitol building's that used to have public access. i think there is a challenge on the others to. your point about black communities, we have not seen improvement in a lot of those areas for a long time but that is not because of the individuals in those communities but because of structural realities that have not been overcome. we are dealing with persistent problems in these areas that neither democrats or republicans have prioritized. host: jack on the republican line from warren, ohio. caller: i wanted to talk to the lady hosts. i want to see if you have an opinion. i would like for you to have the
host invite angela stanton king to your show to represent us black people from the grassroots. will liked -- we would like for you guys to invite greg marcel dixon from south carolina. these are black men and women who have boots in the ground in america and we do not need these fake journalists. no disrespect against a brother but we want our anti-hate crime bills and we want our black reparations. we need people to push these black politicians that are not doing anything and we are tired of being labeled as people of color. the hostess lady, we want you to invite somebody like angela stanton king. please write that down and greg marcel dixon of south carolina. angela stanton king is from atlanta. you can look up her podcast. host: our producers hurt you. thank you for the suggestion. any comment on that? guest: no.
[laughter] i would say they are not the only people pushing black politicians. i am too. host: lisa on the republican line from -- keith on the republican line from maine. you have to mute your tv and talk right into your phone. keith? caller: bill? are you on here for a bill from massachusetts? host: go right ahead. bill, what line are you calling on? caller: republican. number one, i hope you realize that the ku klux klan was the democratic party. ok, are you there? host: yes, we are there. caller: number one, the kkk was the democratic party so i do not
know why any flag person -- why any black person would vote for the democratic party. number two, every inner-city is a failure because you have democrats who are communist that sit in inner cities and only keep doing poverty as a con job. i do not know why black people fall for the con job which is the democratic party. number three, we need to have two separate countries. because the republicans believe in god and democrats believe in abortion and the devil. the republican party believes in free speech. the democratic party believes in censoring and shutting people up. the republican party -- -- host: got it. guest: i did not really sure a question in that. host: you know, there is a point
he makes which is the very violent cities and the very cities that are impoverished are all run by democrats. guest: i think that is the nature of cities. i think that we have the states that have high crime rates and those include republican states. then violence is an american and dimmick issue that is not specific to party or race -- gun violence is an american issue that is not specific to party or race. i think this is a complicated issue that should not be reduced to race and ideology. host: let us take a line from pennsylvania, democrat. caller: i do not know how to put everything i want to say into words. if you check out history, you will find that no people have
been treated the way we work. these people calling in talking about they believe in god, they believe there is a god. if they believed in god, they would not consider themselves a superior race. that is how satan got in trouble in heaven. even moses, how do i put it? the israelites were given time to get themselves together. 40 years and they were just used to re-create a new race. we never had a chance to reset ourselves. now, they have us begging them to treat us as human beings. how do i know that i am not putting it in the best words but i am just sick of them blaming us for the problems and almost wanting us to apologize for being black. guest: adding that level of frustration i hear a lot of in
reporting. these are fundamental ways of the country and its founding. there is a story of america that starts in 1776 that is routing in democracy and we all believe in but there is an actual story of america were all these issues including race has been since the founding. just as we view america and a lot of other things, there is this question of who is included in democracy and who gets to have political power? that has come from america's founding until now, always been wrapped up in questions of race. not only race but has always included the question of race. host: cj in virginia, democrat line. caller: good morning. two quick compliments. first, to you the moderator. i love the way you handle elderly people. you give them some time to get their thoughts out and i
appreciate that. and to the gentleman, mr. astead herndon. i cannot believe how patient and decent you have been with these comments -- with some of these ugly comments from the various parts of this country. it is always good to hear the voice of america. like "the ku klux klan was a democrat party". we are not talking about 1869, we are talking, -- times have changed. this country has only been a real country arguably since around 1964-1965 as far as at least starting to live up to our ideals. if we all want to be stuck on stupid and turn the clock back to whatever we have going on --
and if you are a light -- a white person like me, that has reached a certain age, by definition you have a pretty darn good run. it is time to just relax for yourselves, go to your graves as a christian as a verb as opposed to a christian as a noun. because, patting yourself on the back that i am going to heaven by do not have to do anything out of a sense of brotherhood is like a sick notion to have. host: alright, let's try to caller: thank you for taking my call, i am piggybacking off of the call about the inner city, any place where
african-americans live. let me give you the example of asbury park, atlantic city, long branch. these areas, their code enforcement won't even come in and stop these slumlords from making the places where they live livable. i no one place in atlantic city where this lady's children is being bitten up by mice. host: i want to get a really quick response before we wrap up. guest: those infrastructure problems are real. those contribute to the gun violence and education problem. the issue in american cities, the issue with predominant lot communities but not exclusively black are not one issue, it is a confluence of things that have united to keep these places in that situation and it will take
a massive amount of political will to undo that. to this point, we have not seen either party have the political will. host:astead on social media at facebook.com/social -- facebook.com/c-span. welcome to washington journal. i want to show you a couple headlines and we will hear from governor desantis and president biden. take a look at cnn.com. as ian weakens farther inland, recovery efforts are underway in florida and south carolina. here is abc news.com. hurricane ian could cause 65 billion in damage. the best case scenario for damage is $55 billion. take a look at the front page of the washington post. the headline is "as