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tv   Ethical Perspectives on the News  ABC  November 6, 2016 5:30am-6:00am CST

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we learned in this campaign about how we treat each other and how we ought to treat each other? what are the moral lessons of the political outsiders in this political season more generally? how should we move forward as a country? we have a great panel on this morning to discuss these questions. to my left is todd dorman, a columnist at the gazette. thanks for being on todd. lyle muller, the executive director at iowa center for public affairs journalis lyle: glad to be here. sam: at the end, peter jauhiainen, a professor of region at kirkwood community college on the cedar rapids campus. peter, thanks for being on. todd, maybe we can start with you. what has caused the rise of the political outsiders in this election? have the democrats and the republicans failed to respond to a significant portion of our citizenry? todd: the voters i talk to,
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among democrats and republicans that there's a lot of anxiety about a lot of issues, especially economic issues. i think bernie sanders in the democratic side tapped into this idea that there's this rigged economic system that is controlled by as you mentioned the elites and it runs against the hopes and aspirations of working people. donald trump has also tapped into a little bit of that assa of working people and people who have been forgotten. the silent majority, to go back and pull a phrase from richard nixon's era. i think there's a lot of folks who feel like the power structure in washington is no longer responsive to the needs and problems that they face in their every day lives and so you've seen people who are outside of that power structure rise during this election. of course, hillary clinton, part of her problem is that she is very much connected to that power structure and that's
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sam: right. lyle, what's for you on this too? is our system rigged in some sense? is the power structure out of touch with the elites? what has caused this anxiety that has led to people like trump or the rise of someone like sanders? lyle: surely those are judgement calls and people make judgement about them all the time and if you're on the winning side, you think everything is going fine. if you're on the losing side, you think there's a problem. that's the way politics has always operated and we also have a history in this country in which people who have d nice for them and also for their friends so if people are worried about the fact that whoever the next president is is going to make things nice for their friend, they are absolutely right and it doesn't matter though who that president will be. it's just the way that politics works in this country and you think about it as sort of the checks and balances. i do have some thoughts about whether it's a good thing or not but there are some checks and balances there and it's called our elections every 4
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this country for some 250 years without military intervention. sam: right. pretty amazing really. lyle: even abraham lincoln becoming the president, john breckenridge presided over that occasion in the senate before bolting the union but i'm not saying it's a good thing because that's where the abuse of power comes from and that's where cronyism comes from and we've got country. to what degree it's going to happen with the next president remains to be seen. sam: is it worse now? is the abuse and cronyism somehow different now? it seems like this election season is a more heated season than it was 4 years ago or 8 years ago even as heated as those campaigns were. lyle: we're likely hearing about it more because we're so saturated with media but if you go back to warren harding and some of the
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think that that was the most corrupt presidency that existed, andrew jackson and the cronyism that existed there. all through history you're going to have things like that. john adams if he had cronyism, he didn't have very many friends. thomas jefferson, lots of cronyism going on there. the bushes, the clintons, ronald regan. everyone had friends who benefited from their presidency. sam: right. peter, let's you see the changes that this election has called forth? what has caused the rise of an outsider like donald trump to become so prominent in our politics? peter: i see it as in part in terms of larger cultural issues. i think we're almost at a cultural tipping point. i think much of it has been said about trump drawing upon the white working class
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of his support when he was in the republican primaries a lot of some of the early surveys indicated that his support was coming from people who had even higher economic means than some of the other republican candidates but he does draw from the less educated whites for example. i see this as part of a symptom of a larger cultural crisis. i think a comes from people who are dissatisfied with the way the culture has been changing over the last 50 years or 60 years, whether it's economically but also there's other cultural issues. i think of it in terms of maybe a loss of white . maybe a loss of christian dominance in the culture and we've seen a sea tide of
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being manifested in certain types of support for donald trump. sam: it seems to me that's an interesting dynamic that we can examine a little bit here. on the one hand, we could say the rise of some of the political outsiders in the current election season has to do with economic anxiety, it has to do with changing other side, we could say it has to do with a changing place in our society. it has to do with changes in demographics. it has to do with social or cultural feelings of alienation. i'm sure that both are somehow at work as you're suggesting but is it that one is really more at work than the other? you can make an argument that it is not so much the economic stuff. our economy, while certainly there are problems for certain people in our country for sure, overall our economy seems to be doing
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standards about as good as it's ever been. does that mean that it's more of a cultural social set of issues that are causing people to seek out someone like trump? peter: i think so. i think we need to ask the question what enabled him to rise to the top in the republican primaries. he was pushing the birther issue even after obama had produced his birth certificate so this is him to the front of the republican primaries is when he started chanting, "build a wall." in my view, he started separating himself from some of the other republican candidates and he had that kind of outsider status, the successful businessman who was going to shake things up in washington. i think he's tapping in to people who are
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an outsider but he's also tapping in to a certain segment of the population that is very much concerned with losing cultural control because we've seen all these changes that have been taking place. sam: yeah. todd, what do you think about that? is there a sense in which there are cultural issues that are overriding economic issues? todd: i think the economic issues intensify the folks that as they watch the country change, it changes ethnically and it's changing racially and technology is changing the way we work. you've got people that are watching all that. they're anxious about that and they're also not prospering so i think voters that i've talked to feel like they're sort of in a corner where they don't like the
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and so i think if the economics were better for a lot of these folks, maybe they wouldn't be as uncomfortabl e with the cultural changes but with the economics the way it is, they're looking for somebody to blame. they're blaming immigrants. they're blaming political correctness to some extent. they're blaming all of these scapegoats because their position, they feel like they're slipping and i along with this idea that we're no longer white guys like me or no longer running things within the culture. i think all of that is all intertwined. sam: if there's some truth to this, what are we supposed to do in order to bridge that gap? how do we either a, create better economic conditions that lessen the overall anxiety or b, how do we make it so that people aren't just mad about there's a black president or a potential woman president or the mexicans are
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a political level? to anyone here. i don't know. lyle: i think that's what we're struggling with. that's why we're frustrated with this presidential election and that's what i think has caused all of this attention. people are looking to washington for answers. it's odd because we say we don't want washington to tell us what to do but we want washington to give us the answers that we want and so there in comes the problem and we not only don't get answers right now because of some of the gridlock that's been going on in washington the last 8 years but we're not even getting discussion about the issues nor proposals. every once in a while, during john baynor's reign as the house speaker, an idea would come up on how to balance the budget and it immediately in his own caucus it would get shot down. the
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the things that he wanted to do, some of the things he proposed in his 2 years when he had the democratic congress were getting shot down by democrats and so we look at that and we say, "if you can't even work together, how on earth are you going to work when you're not on the same side?" sam: right but it seems that creates a kind of vicious circle because on the one hand we start to lose faith in washington because they're not working together and then we elect people who run against washington and who go that's what they've been called to do is to be radicals who transform everything and when someone proposes a compromise, it's rejected out of hand which just creates more cynicism about the system overall. lyle: oddly enough, the beauty of what's going on is what this country was founded on is that if you have all of this argument and disagreement, the only good laws that will get promulgated will be the ones that people can coalesce around and agree with. what i'm
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keep getting elected to washington and say they're going there as the outsider and that they're going to shake things up even though they've been in congress. i think that's been an interesting thing that i've seen pretty well all of my life. sam: is there something that can be ... i get that on the one hand we want a little bit of gridlock to prevent terrible laws from moving forward but at the same time it seems like we just also want some kind of workability at the governmental level too. how do we as a country start to get that do? todd: we're not really having that discussion because on the republican side, donald trump, you don't hear donald trump say, "i'm going to ask congress to do this" or "i'm going to ask congress to do that." donald trump says, "i'm going to build a wall and make mexico pay for it. i'm going to deport people. i am going to tear up the trade agreements." he's basically talking about he's said in his acceptance speech of the convention, "i'm the only one who can fix this" and so that's put that whole
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we have a system where the president really can't do all of that on his own. there are executive orders and things we've seen so he's actually just decided not to have that conversation. sam: right but that seems to be setting if he's elected, that would be setting things up for real failure then on his part because he wouldn't be able to come through on any of his promises which would make him just like all the other politicians. todd: we got an election where huge disappointmen t is going to be the product either way we go because hillary clinton's got barack obama's plans. they've sat on the shelf for years while congress has remained gridlocked so it's promises made and promises that probably can't be kept unfortunately. sam: peter, did you want to get on this about how do we create some system where things work at least a little bit for us in washington? peter: i think one of the problems that we have right now at the state level, there are so many states that have gerrymandere d their districts. the voting patterns, you're getting increasingly radicalized representativ es that are showing up in
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that would carve up the districts, like we have in iowa. we have a very fair system in iowa but you look at some of the maps in some of the other states in which they're guaranteeing a certain representation and it shoves to the side on more modern voices of people who are willing to compromise. sam: that does seem like an important thing to have a fair districting going on though that doesn't seem like the sexiest issue for people to be running on but it does seem like one thing that could perhaps lead to some moderation in our government. todd: that's the weakness of the democratic system is that when you need fundamental political reforms like that, you have to have to ask the people
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current system to do it and so you're going to have a hard time telling states that republican or democratic legislatures that like the way it is to go to the iowa plan which the computer draws the maps and it's more equitable. sam: i'd like to return to trump right now since he is the republican nominee. to wht extent is trump's political success does it have to just do with disgruntleme nt at the republican establishment and the republican elites and to long history in republicanism? does trump represent some new thing coming to the republican party or is he the continuation of a long standing set of trends within the party? lyle: he brings something new to the political process. i don't know if you can call it bringing something new to the republican party because he's been doing a
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there certainly are the elements of the party that says, "you got to spend within your means. you just can't do everything and you have to be precise about how you spend and let's not get too much government involved." he is doing a lot of redefinition there and we've had the type of thing in history before. there was the old federalist party. it fell by the wayside so that you had just a party for a while and then the whigs came in and they flamed out, replaced by the republican party. early on in our nation's history, the changing of political parties was not all of that unusual. it's just that we've had these 2 major parties since 1856. sam: right. peter: i think trump is a manifestation of trends in the republican party in the sense that the republican party has become increasingly the party of white identity
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phrases that he uses to stir up white resentment towards multi-multiculturali sm or new immigrants or muslims but when you look at the survey data, trump supporters, 75% of trump supporters think that islamic values are incompatible with uncomfortabl e in situations where immigrants are speaking a language other than english. you begin to see a patter emerging where by again, we're getting back to that cultural tipping point, the pew, our researchers have suggested that by 2060, whites are going to be in a plurality. they're no longer going to be in
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phenomenon in part as a last ditch effort to control the culture and control the government and it's sometimes spoken of in very apocalyptic terms. this is our last chance. i think there's that kind of that cultural clash. sam: right. lyle: i would argue though that what you're really talking about are the people who are defining grassroots people who are trying to find a voice because if you think about the republican party and the leadership of that party, after the 2012 election, they came out with a document that said, "we need to be more compassionate with hispanics and muslims. we need to watch out what we're saying. we need to actually open up the arms and listen to what they're saying." sam: how'd that go? lyle: that was the republican leadership but people who want to identify themselves as republicans weren't buying into
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to. that's why i'm saying that trump is really tapping into something here different than perhaps just what the republican party had stood for even 4 years ago. sam: right. i guess here's another dilemma though that i think is raised is on the one hand, it does seem like there are at least some racial issues at stake here. the extent to it we can argue about but it seems like there's something going on here but at the same time, it also seems like scorn we have for each other and then all of a sudden, perhaps this just deepens into say, "you support trump, you're a racist." is that going to heal a divide? how can we like i said deal with this situation going forward if not at the level of who we elect, just at the level even of just how do we relate to each other
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differences from us? do we just scorn the one as a racist or a fascist or on the other hand scorn the other as someone who should be locked up and who is illegitimate? todd: both sides have dug really deep trenches and if you've spent any time on facebook or social media, i have in my job, i have lots of facebook friends and they're on both sides of the political spectrum and it's the stuff it's amazing. we've gone and i've noticed this in my job. i've gone from getting emails from folks who disagree with me who seek to persuade me to their point of view to getting email from folks that just basically want me to disappear from the face of the earth. they don't want me to write anymore. i am wrong and i need to go away. that's what we're doing is we're basically ... there's all this rhetoric about taking the country back. it's like we're living in
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got to take the country back but what's really the truth is, you got a divided country and after the election is over, the only way you can solve issues and problems is if you talk about it with each other and it's gotten so far removed from that that i really honestly don't know how we find our way back. and some people with political courage to step out of those trenches and try to work things out. sam: i tell you part of the peaceful transition that lyle was describing comes from a kind of interesting attitude overall that says, "well, we're going to have lots of political passion. maybe we'll even say a few things that step over the line but at the end of the day, someone's going to win the election. someone's going to lose and we respect that and we will accept that because that's what we do and
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the fear that some people have is that on both sides, to some degree, there's some sense of i don't know that i can accept this anymore. trump himself has suggested at times that if hillary wins it will be a rigged election at some level and illegitimate and i've certainly known many clinton supporters who say, "i'm leaving if trump is elected. i'm out of here." maybe that is just high spirits that will go away after the "good game. let's shake on it and we'll go back to business as usual" but i think a lot of people are afraid that there's going to be at least some small segment of the country that isn't going to accept the outcome of the election. is that too- lyle: likely you'll be half of the country. really i've often thought about this that the next president of the united states, whomever that is, half of the country is opposed to that person and this time it's really been deep and personal and
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was some personal animosity there with how all of that came together with the supreme court finally stepping in and saying, "all right. florida votes are certified and let's move on and george bush is president." democrats feeling the election had been stolen from them and so animosity existed there but the government still functioned. the concern here is that half of the people want to put the potential president of the united statesn people think that the potential president of the united states is a dangerous buffoon and so either way, we're in a lose lose situation it almost seems which is tragic because we need a president for 4 years. sam: what do we do, peter, about that? peter: i'm pretty pessimistic. i think we get increasingly we belong to these isolated cocoons via
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watch and where people get their news from and they're reinforcing this resentment of the other so this inability to discuss matters in civil tones and to do it without demonizing people who are on the opposite side or have a different point of view, i become increasingly pessimistic years in particular with the kind of language that we're using now in our political discourse. sam: right. todd, is there anything the next president can do to start to at least heal some of these deep divisions that seem to have been exposed in this election season? todd: it's going to be difficult. if hillary clinton wins i think we've already seen, it will depend on who controls both chambers of
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going to be under investigation probably from day 1 and we saw when president obama was sworn in, there was lots of ceremony and talk of bipartisanship and then there were closed meetings where people were saying we're going to obstruct everything he wants to do and i think that's where we're headed now. i don't think democrats will be in any mood to work with donald trump because be a situation where he wins the electoral college and not the popular vote. there are all sorts of really bad scenarios but i really think it's going to have to come down to some members of congress. i think the president is going to be over here and then congress is going to have to get things done and some people are going to have to just step up and try to work some things out and maybe put their political careers on the line for the good of the country and i think maybe if it gets bad enough, there will be enough people that decide they need to do that but
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thing i think, i'll be surprised if there's actual violence after the election. i think the gap between saying you're going to do something and actually doing it is really really wide and so i'm hopeful that that doesn't happen but geez, the idea that there's going to be legislation or some sort of compromise in the first 100 days. they always say the honeymoon's short. there will be no honeymoon sam: what about ... we only have about a minute left but lyle or peter, what about just personally? what can we do to start to bridge some of these deep divisions going forward? lyle: seek the truth, speak the truth and be kind to each other. pretty lame but there you have it. sam: okay well i think we have to end on that note. i think that's a little bit of optimism for us. i certainly do
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conversation s, even if they're heated disagreements and still respect each other moving forward and so i hope that we've modeled that a little bit on this show but i hope that the conversation that we have started here is one that you continue in your homes and communities. thank you very much and we'll see you next time on ethical
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november 6th. starting out with a live look at cedar falls police are releasing more details on a crash that killed a woman near downtown this weekend. family and friends will remember a fallen police sergeant this afternoon in des moines. and an eastern iowa family got a big surprise this weekend after a fire burned their only form of transportation. you're watching kcrg-tv9. now, from your 24 hour news source, this is the kcrg-tv9 satuda good morning and thanks for joining us. we begin with first alert storm team meteorologis t britley ritz. another day very similar to yesterday! high pressure still sits over the ohio river valley allowing for us to have a southerly wind component. this will in turn give us milder air again today. a


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