The COMMENTARY podcast takes a look back at where it all began on this, the 500th episode. Also, an exploration of the demands for social leveling inherent in ideas promoted by those advocating a national racial reconciliation and why they may have a point.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine barely park. Yesterday is Thursday June twenty fifth, twenty twenty, I'm John path towards the editor of Commentary Magazine, and you are listening today to the five hundred km. Terry Magazine podcast. This we began nor Rossman. What data we begin, Podcasting February, forced to those sixteen right. We began with just nowhere end and me
and then I think, on our seventh show Abe Green. All high Abe John joined us later, Sarber Murray on staff commentary, fur. A year you a little more, was irregular and our first guest on the commentary magazine podcast Later became a regular and then a staff, member of commentary, senior right Christine Rosen High Christine hide the guest to overstate that's right, so Mister, Christine had joined us permanently in December of twenty eighteen and it was, I believe, at the beginning of March somewhere in March, that we went from twice weekly to daily to deal with the news of the virus,
and the result I have to say I seem to confirm the validity of supply side, economics, or rather, the field of in theory that if you build, if they will come because since we began the the daily podcast, our audience has tripled and we have just received number. From a podcast measurement, firm, called chargeable. That tells me that we are in a category, they call you I say news trending there are the number one trending podcast in the United States. We are the fifteenth largest podcast terms of USA News Reach.
Global news trending, we are number five and we are within the top two hundred of all podcast in the United States on Apple. So I gotta think are listeners very very much for this. Unexpected support that your showing an apparently enjoying listening to us and having us try to make sense of this. Incredibly bizarre moment. Thank you were very flattered were very humbled and Noah, and I we thought. Maybe we just give you like a minute of the sound
the first podcast. We did in February two thousand and sixteen we didn't have our look for the best expect. The worst theme song from MEL Brooks has the twelve chairs. Yet we were being produced them by our friend Scott ever got at ricochet, so it had a kind of generic music that led him and let out- and I was just me and now I think I sound younger. Even that was only four years- but of course this has been a very long long long for years and that no also sounds, for an ardent in an eager and as I look at him on R shared video. As we do this podcast from our various locations, he looks less eager and antechamber. I would say
Annabelle of. You beg you, yes, but of course, how Hoover measured out it's a weather, love road row, beaten road, worn yet so now you want to just we're gonna we're gonna play. Sir you're sure it's like aids that just about a minute said the first couple of minutes: the pike ass. The last couple minutes first couple of seconds of the package last couple seconds and pack has just give you a taste of the audio right welcome to the first, Commentary magazine podcast, I'm John Ports, the editor commentary sitting offices in New York City, just to block south of forty second street and with me Noah Rossman, the assistant online editor of commentary high. Now, how are you I John of Great, thank you very much for having on this the inaugural commentary by gas. Where are we Please join our five thousand monthly readers online are thirty thousand meters in print
we'd, love to have you with love you too, to participate in, and conversation that we are having, on a daily basis, a weekly basis at a monthly basis, and if you guys like this part and enough for you listen, download, bull, provide you with some with some oral com. A warrior content and we're back. So, yes, that was before Trump Donald Trump Brompton New Hampshire. That was an end Look through not. I listened a little bit but, as I looked through the history of our podcast, the one thing that I did see despite the fact that we, of course, like everybody else, assumed in the last week before this twin succeed, that Hillary Clinton was what was going to win back,
I saw from the very outset of the Russia scandal that we had expressed a degree of scepticism about the scandal about the notion that somehow Russia had gotten down from elected that Trump was a spy. That Michael Flynn was a russian agent that all of that stuff was was here coming and I'm glad to see, particularly given the decision by the appeals court in Washington, which please now being fought in a rearguard action by the judge that up that Michael Flynn cases over that we were. Our powder dry on that and despite our reputation, Our standing serve trump critics. We did not go down that rabbit hole into Trump conspiracy. Theory, and so
various other things are. Having listened to the first episode, because I can't I can't consuming products that I'm a part of. I can't watch clips from television again, listen to podcasts, really it's very difficult That's probably a fascinating artifacts, because in other the position that the conventional wisdom has to have adopted was that the term phenomenon was. A flash in the pan that would burn out and that's probably the most evidence you had that. That was actually true that day, because it was just after TED, Cruz have won Iowa we'll know, because you said I listen and you said we its understood. We see to have misunderstood the nature of the republican Party that we learned over the seven months or whatever it was since trumpet come down the ask later that the Republican
hardy, wasn't what we thought it was that we had assumed that this was gonna, be a conventional primary season with experienced except archly, acceptable, can accept a bull to the broad centre of the Republican Party and all that, and that was how the races gonna be one and trump completely obliterated. That sense pulled the race into an unexpected direction. That's very much there in the first podcast cast and in the last podcast before the election in in November, we talked a lot about the trump theory of the missing white working class vote that was going to cope with that could prepare him over the top and while expressing scepticism that it would be enough. We a you and I
all said that this was something serious that needed to be taken account of, and that should trump lose that looked like he was gonna lose The Republican Party was not simply giving snapped back to normal that that something different. It happened here. There was a real change in the air and that the party was not what we have thought it was or what most people thought it was. So I'm only saying that to say that, though we not everything wrong where everybody else got everything one. We got some things right and am, and that made me I didn't really remember it so that made me kind of. Comfortable and happy, particularly since yesterday I just finished- writing a column about trust. Terrible poll numbers and how you really can't look at them and say that without some shift in the dynamic of the race that he that he's not gonna lose and, of course I had said something like that in twenty sixteen, and so I thought
You know this is a little risky, because you know I could like be a two time. Loser like a two time fool. Having said you know, Trump seated, the election Taylor erode some com, which I said something like that and twenty sixteen butter Looking at all these number and the fat, I think our analysis was more sober and an you dealt with the facts as they had them and was Just you know, either partisan or just never tromp or whatever it was day was a genuine effort, which I think is our effort here to grapple with the reality of the world on the day in which we are having one of these conversation and I don't know how else to do, particularly as we do it day by day, so
Christine, as the latest entrance is the him in the commentary magazine sweepstakes. Ah, let me turn to you and ask what you think of the democratic play. Yes today in shooting down the republican version of the crime reform bill and what what was going on there and what the purpose of that political gambit was now Can you come it? A political gambit, because I did, I heard very little of a substance like what they substantively didn't like about the report, compel, beyond the date there serve claims that it didn't go far enough in and isn't it doesn't look like the more radical build that they Democrats are pushing in the house. What really struck me was Nancy policies, behave, To be honest, she has behaved in a way that, if a is a white report I woman, spoke about a democratic effort.
American Senator the way she has talked about Senator Tin Scott. We would here nothing else in the new cycle for at least twenty four hours it it talk about dog, those like she was to the way that she was treating. Him was incredibly disrespectful. Just as a matter of being a colleague, you know, I mean shit, he's out he's a fellow member of Congress. He out rang. I mean he technically does not record or she speaker, but this idea that because he's african American there's a certain way he should be behaving in acting in a certain kind of legislation he should be promoting and that he is basically she was calling him a token and I love that he responded forcefully and basically satellite. I see the problem is and isn't the legislation its whose bringing forward and so that the kind of intensity of the these sort of racial politic that we're all arguing about right now in this country playing out in the Senate in that way was not surprising, but it really did shock me how sheep
and I think I lost a lot of respect for an anti blows yesterday by the troops were absolutely repulsive. She's on television, laughingly saying that republic. Funds are complicit in the murder of joy, exploit exact in Jordan murdered. He died in a democratically controlled it. I mean, I wonder if you want to claim up already the fourth and see with which she issued that kind of a charge and how she just laughed at off, because she couldn't defended and no one pressed her right too hard on that. Absolutely repulsive TIM's got him. Great service. Here, because he has exposed the falseness of this moment Martin, then he's anger, explicitly that the reason we Democrats are objecting to this is because it's maybe I'm authoring and they don't want to lend there are in future to something that I offered because it it hurts their narrative and if
many efforts on the political and the left and of the political spectrum had raised, that charge would be taken very seriously, but its dismissed, the Republican sang which exposes how absolutely truly hollow this moment of recreational reconciliation truly isn't left. It is about Our if it was not about political power be having a much more substantial discussion about what a tense guy has raised here, because we are told that we are supposed to have a substantial discussion whenever this charges levied, but not when it's a republican Abe, you know trumps position is an outsider, would afford him the opportunity to play a card, particularly given the political position he finds himself in that Harry Truman played in nineteen. Forty eight, which is but he ran against what he called the do. Nothing Congress now am, and that was his car that was inheritance far better than he
I that was a republican Congress, both in the house in the Senate in the Senate. Forty eight but his idea. What's he wanted to do things and Congress and want to do anything and they were the do nothing Congress and apparently it was a more successful message. Then people realised it was going to be at the time and then, by the time, the election I rolled round- and that was of course the great surprise. Victory before tromp by thinking in american history was was Truman's of nineteen. Forty eight come back in so Trump, even though there is a republican Senate. My The opportunity to use something like this failure, to say there was a do nothing Congress and to say that you know that here was a real opportunity for there to be a bipartisan agreement on a crime form bill trumped himself as a crime reformer having pushed through the first one and
that policy and Republican Mcconnell that everyone could have sat down. Everyone tumor Mcconnell and TIM Scott and hello and him Karen Bass of the congressional backup could have all sat down together, come up with a bill that he could sign, and it is the Democrats in Congress or the do nothing Congress at a moment of great crisis. I think it could do that if you could do that. I just dont know if he can. Do that. Well, I feel like he's kind of these kind of attempted to go there before right, didn't have these sort of like the highly publicized sit down with plus I forget what the issue was, though I wasn't There was a sit down with policy and Schuman on Dhaka involving worse seventeen, both human remember, they were the minority in in in both bodies than right, as though the idea was to prevent Filipino to come up with something that everybody could agree on.
And in that case Trump was moving, didn't know where he stood right. He was like Did he wanted a deal then than the anti immigration rights of what you doing your kid you're killing us, and then he pulled back in that. I accuse them and then stuff started with the model within the dreamers. But in our kids, cages and saw the whole thing serve, fell apart and those that that was, of course, the weird dynamic to begin of the administration, which was was Trump going to use this. In a position to break down somebody. It illogical. You no fault lines and cross them and ex everything up on infrastructure and immigrate do weird stuff that would actually throw democrats into disarray and and fuse, Republicans and door, and in the end he could not what he did was a disaster you couldn't forget Nancy policy and checks, humour in pursuit
the steel and gave them and unconditional, heighten the debt ceiling in three months. Disaster relief with no spending offsets and just said this The deal and Republicans in Congress had to accept it. They were they had their position and they could have stood in opposition. They were the control of both chambers, but the president pull the rug, under them in that couldn't contradict the president in September of twenty seventeen, so he gave them everything and got nothing and I was really kind of indicative of how the presidency would unfold. I mean there is a lot that those early months that were either you forget case, there's so much news and everything goes create. You know they really weird stuff went on there where Trump genuinely not sure whether he wanted to run with or against. The report can Congress. Remember, Sir Paul Ryan came up with a way of spending plan to build
wall using a border tax idea that he could have adopted and he rejected it. Ryan wanted to do that immediate, repeal and replace of Obamacare right in which he writes The idea was, they would announce. They were appeal. They were of repealing Obamacare immediately with a two year lag to create their replacement thing and an Trump said Nora. We have to have them both autonomously and then that kind of torpedoed, that's how he kept getting in the way of the Republican Congress. Not the democratic demagogues are doing making it, making it harder and harder
what appear to be his own agenda items and republican agenda items to get past. But you know this also points to a failure on the part of the Democrats in that, because trumps ideological mornings are so weak even of his extreme, but not particularly conservative. They sort of have missed opportunities here, because his demonstrated that, if you flatter him in some he will? He will come round to your position, angles give you your ask, I mean, so the Democrats could have gotten quite a bit more from them. I think had served, used flattery and appealed to issues where he's not particularly conservative on it and would be willing to two pivot. You know so what's interesting. There is that that's where the creation of the resistance
which, as you may remember, popped up as a phenomenon almost instantly after the election, regrettably, it took guy. There was. It was two months until the women's March right at the weekend of the We have the inaugural whereby a three and a half million people were out the streets demonstrating but trucks humor who wanted to put himself in the position to be majority leader of the Senate and in view be the leader of the leader of the Democrats in Washington, made it had a clear moment of calculation when he decided he wasn't going to try to find a way to make deals with trump that he couldn't, because the party had decided that it was. You know he was toxic and there was nothing to be done except to block and resist him, particularly with Republican.
In charge of both has the Senate. They were going to follow the Mcconnell policy of of two thousand and nine and not vote for anything that he wanted. Another Mcconnell position was interesting. Cosette was of a position of weakness, not stir it's the colonel had thirty. Nine Republicans are some like that, so the Democrats had had could could vote bills that will in the Senate, and he just didn't want the republican ideological position to be complete, ITALY destroyed by efforts to reach across the island play footsie, so that Obama could claim that there was by Parson support, for you know, healthcare or something like that, but he couldn't stop at that was part you know. Had he been in a position to negotiate as they were in. You know after the election in twenty ten, they negotiated a budget deal that at sunset the tax cut and stop the tax increase and stuff like that.
If there's a similar strategic error being made here by Democrats again when it comes to the crime bill or any sort of crime reform right, because so there you know they're gonna their blocking, what TIM Scots trying to do their refusing to sit down and negotiate or compromise. They're, going to state their turf on whenever the house puts forward stay or so in its good. That's gonna be its injured, Because from what I understand about the house building its more punitive, we focus bill. It's like, let's, let's punish the cops because we don't like how they ve been behaving. Let's I mean there's some, No, I mean there's discussions a qualified immunity which I dont think TIM Scots Bill has but timber It is really trying to give incentives to police departments to reform right there. They're all these incentives about training and things like that, the House bill Seems- very much to be more in line with the kind of activists, anti cop sort of mentality, and if the Democrats are gonna say,
we? Therefore, arguments can be the same one that I think Republicans are making. Our trump might eventually take on witches, they're, gonna Sabre Hawkins. Aren't don't really want to reform the police to look at our great bell? They didn't. You know we pass in the house that it won't take it up, but that is actually the less popular position with the public right out right. People don't want to defend the police. People want reform, they want reform, not defending or abolition. The Democrats are, representing a weird way more, the d fundamentalist line of reasoning when it comes to the cops which is not as popular with the public's I dont know if their their calculation is really well thought through, if their thinking about how how the Average American sees the need for police reform right now, so innovation, politicians have indeed have different incentives than just public opinion and, of course, the incentive. The democratic politicians now face in Washington, is the same incentive. Disincentive
structure that hit the mainstream Republican Party in two thousand nine into two tat, which is that There is a rising insurgent wing in the party that does not is not interested in seniority and experience and all of that, they want it illogical commonality with the people that they vote for and no vote out. People will vote out of sixteen term congressmen in a primary like Elliot Angle, who is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in favour of a nobody with no experience. Nothing never mind. The right idea right now. Elliot angle is not a well person in healthcare, If you see him, I saw him a couple months ago and he enough he look like he needed to retire. He could barely walk. He was very slow to speak. He was not in the what appeared to be good physical shape,
but so he was a uniquely bad candidate as one of these in our old leader you know blocked. All them got out part of the apart, because that said, stupid things in his re election. You know in in his re election bid, but That means that if your truck Sumer, your anybody, like you, don't know, who's gonna, come up on your flank. What avails he decides to run against trucks, humour in the Senate, primary in in twenty twenty two things tumors up and twenty twenty two, so I mean does he see assured is a sure thing to when to retain his seat. Now and no one should ever think that there's a safe anymore, that's part of what Trump and the teapot all of this taught and there they are now facing it themselves. So
They may be better off in their own narrow incentive structure. To just say no to everything than to say yes and to say you see, Republicans are evil, and been saying their evil and we cannot allow them to put their fingerprints on this more. We righteous effort, so where this growth and what's that then sort of gives forest to the arguments set, one way or another of the Democratic Party is controlled by the radical French I mean if, if because, if, if they only what they said about the Republicans in twenty two gap between eleven twelve right I mean if what? If what you know, establishment democrats need to do, is maintained, an enemy relationship with with the enemies of the woke than its, they are, for all intents and purposes ruled by them. Oh yeah of
but I mean you know, then you get the tone deaf myself, you know twenty twelve of Mitt Romney. You know, basically the idiot logically. Got down the wine in Oak Republican servitor bubblegum, saying: oh, I'm severely. Conservative venom you now I'll do whatever you want. What do you want from me? I'll say it You need me to say, because I want you know just to get to the the convention. Then I can be like a match a sketch, and you could shake me and I can change all my positions and moved to the centre. You know they can do that too, but when you get this kind of heated ideological atmosphere that the Democrats have been now basting in really since Hilary his defeat. No one is safe. So that's that's. Why look at him? I think, as we said
earlier in the week binds not safe if he wins either by this Biden could be Lyndon Johnson in the sense that you don't Lyndon. Johnson wins election, sixty four and is run out of office by his liberal flank, not by Nixon, not by Wallace he's run out of office by his liberal. Think that doesn't like Vietnam and what's more, and given credit for the civil rights bill or the great society or nothin you know has some. You know that, clean for senator from outside, from the middle of nowhere running against him and beating him and in New Hampshire, and this is another reason then this is another reason why Trump ism I feel like, as is severely endangered if you were to to lose the the centripetal force of polarisation in this country, has a reciprocal
let them both parties and if a democratic party is going far left then a heterodox populist republican Party becomes less of a tenable, mission, because it will necessarily have to agree with the left on a lot of stuff and now necessarily become a detriment to a political narrative that a republican party posed from his trying to project right The other way of looking at it is that the Democrats will want to increase taxes want to distant one too. Ring engage with the old you call. The DE sovereign of the world in foreign policy terms, and then expand access to America's unfunded liabilities with something that the populist right is not opposed to write, but I've gotta go. All I'm saying is, I believe, a business right till they're gonna go for higher taxes. They're gonna go for some form of DE criminal Station of you know elite,
no immigration and this and that the other So the Republican Party will be the party of that, not that it will go back to being, because that that's actually have amicable work, a heterodox, wait I'll be fine. Really responsible republican Party again, that seems legal old lady during the work of the attacks cutting party that's. Why you're already starting to see it? The second mulvaney was out of the White House, man, you gotta financial, This is common in twenty twenties. Remember that oh gas, quaint days and it's coming in the next president's term. Insolvency will be reached her Medicare. And medicate, a rather Medicare medicated and as our medical hospital Insurance fund, runs out o money in twenty twenty six could be fast. I mean look really last year because we spent three trillion dollars and less couple weeks. We don't even know what kind of financial position the government's gonna be
and when the when the new president is sworn in. By way, you know every president that plays this game. If, if Biden winds, he will have a big meeting of all his advisers in this case, it'll be genuine real, but he'll have a big. His advisers and they all come out and say, look at the hare, look at the books that they ve left. For me, We have no money, we have no this. We know that when a crisis these these bombs, what they did you know I have much less running room that I thought I was gonna have to do whatever it was that I wanted to do. Obama didn't do that, but Clinton did it did it first Bush that you know. What's all this on my goodness like? How is it that I can't just spend everything that I said I was gonna spend during the campaign? This is really off.
Except it's really gotta be awful for Biden like we're, going to end up with a deficit of twenty six trillion debt of twenty six, twenty seven. Twenty eight trillion dollars by the end of this year. I mean you don't worry a debt. That is all it will be a hundred and forty percent of GDP, or something like that. Like wearin wearin, we're going down a deep dark, You know, I don't know what he going to do. Tat whole accepted, there's a lot of traffic in their home. It's ok! It's that yeah. That's it. It's kind of I've been trying to keep my MIKE off, because there's some jam going on right inside my bits ok a by the way we should. I think we have we mention this will answer. Every was Saturday night. Abe was one of the people who enjoy the the criminal surge in New York City as massive
that's a fireworks ring fired off outside his window. One o clock in the morning in Midtown Manhattan, yeah right outside my window. My own woke me up and lit up my apartment with explosive colors, somewhat someone captured it on on video and posted on Twitter is who was is across with lives across the street from me, and you can see that it was right. On top my building gets wonderful. The city has really been a treat lately here. Your thoroughly desensitized to all ordinance and prepared for the inevitable outcome of artillery assault on your position right, because this is all a sigh operates and that's when I heard rumors expensive errors, yeah. So so, basically there's a new there's, a there's. Somebody's figured out of a brilliant way to distribute, sell fireworks over over the internet. So you through Facebook, so there's apparently been a surge and firework sales
and particularly in the city where it has previously been very difficult to acquire fireworks if this drive into account. Outside the Ark say to buy them so now, they're all these people who have fireworks being mail to them, ship to their houses, and they have literally mountain, and they have literally no fear the cops anymore. The fireworks or is actually kind of fun, even though its obnoxious, so when this was happening there was this big nino ongoing fireworks display around the city every night. And it was frustrating lotta residents and the New York Times got out in front of this sort report non mandatory or not an opinion. These a report about the ongoing fireworks displays. It was so pronounced right now and they voted a lot of people who talk about how in minority neighbour this is a display of resistance to the prevailing norms in these are cherished judge,
visions in minority neighbourhoods, and it was all borrowing the language of this moment of racial. Conciliation, and then people like you, call Hannah Jones and the people who actually speak for this movement, according to the New York Times itself glancing now this is a government conspiracy to desensitize us ahead of an inevitable invasion right. Yes, yes, with a light. Liberal opinion attempted to speak for them, people in a way that made this something that you couldn't criticized because of its cultural and then the people who actually do speak for this moment said no you're crazy. This is actually a serious conspiracy to in Baden. Destroy me the gas and the call him a Jones. Apologized, I believe, actual is the one case in which she apologized for her tweets that she had retweeted one of these conspiracy theory. Ideas that the cops were shooting off the fireworks in order to create the conditions under which they could impose martial law yet spit
quickly, targeting black people with the fireworks rights. It is very clear that this was a racially based. Conspiracy. Theory talk a lot about her, because we can, on the one hand we could talk endlessly about her and on the other hand, you know she doesn't deserve it, but you know she has this big piece of on on reparations coming out the New York Times magazine. That was really sunlight yesterday, that if you want a swim through, you now add to thousands of words of Argo Barbauld Balderdash, I've wealth. I invite you to read it, but you know there is it. This fastening logical contradiction in the middle of it. That is the nightmare of all of what is going on here, which is that she says, no explanation for dysfunction in the african american community. No sociological, exclamation, not intact families, missing fathers, drug abuse. Even you know, illness stuff, like
They all pale. They don't mean anything based on there. Whatever they are there just excuses. This is still about the legacy of slavery and there is enough there's nothing. People can do to overcome these problems because they are not the real problem. Said spoken by a woman works at the New York Times. One a Pulitzer prize is now in the most. Most people in America has created this horrendous project that is gonna, take over american edge, nation and she's, saying, there's no way for any black person to get beyond the legacy of stroke slavery this. So she has agents but she demise around agency and simultaneously devise the agency of forty million people by saying that conditions that obtained a hunter
fifty years ago are still the reason that people can't make a better life for themselves, so women's March leader, to make it to make Mallory set, to my mind something similar. But worse, she said yes, but black american African Americans are crazy, but they ve been driven crazy. They that they had no choice but to be crazy because of slavery in its latest yourself right now, two hundred condescension that is built into that line of reasoning. I won't even declarant logic, because it's not logical that the, man of condescension is built into that should offend every single african American in this country who has built a business. There are more than two and a half million black on businesses in this country, who has who has overcome, whenever obstacles are put in their way and done it, you know in a way we should be proud of his Americans, it actually makes me
In Greece we have written all over. It is out on their own their own assumptions. If you truly believe there is systemic institutional, racial discrimination in this country reparations do nothing to address it. In fact, they would make it worse. As you wake up the morning after this one time, monetary, Trent Transaction and all the stomach and institutional problems would still be there, but everybody in the country who contributed to it, indulgence would now perceive their job to be over. They have done what they needed. Don't that's what you're saying, but that's not what saying they're saying that this is how I would say that now the work has never done and which is so yeah southern others. Yet legislative fix would provide everybody whose resistant to the right way and that an excuse two disengage from abroad, and this is an important point, because this is something I think conservatives have tried to do for a very long time in these debates, but kind of perhaps gone the wrong way or been unfairly criticized for going about it, even
distillation is not going to solve all these problems. Right, I mean equal opportunity has to be made into law and enforced by our courts in Amman the system. We all agree on that, but the cultural pro once that are also in place, which conservatives have talked about for years, are now can it be solved by legislation and then over himself by reparations either. Now, some combination of of you know well enforced non discrimination laws and I would argue, my God for Tuna D, which is different from reparations. That will start down the path, but but that's where the individual agency comes at a mean, the people make individual choices with India, what consequences and even if a system needs reform, the choice cannot be left out of. This equation of assessing how that person's outcomes look. So I wrote a piece for the magazine, NED Twenty eighteen about the intellectual temptation towards federalism, which I think is really applicable yours reading it again yesterday and if basic did
you can not only you can read your writing. You just can't listen to yourself or watch. I know I can definitely remove it scares you edit it. I can't stand reading my writing as long as have been out of it by your. If it's good, ah then I dont adsense I was just reading my own my own Second, that opinion that it would be harder. But yet central the premises that there a tendency towards federalism in intellectual life, because once you stupid, marinate, and all these grand systemic problems and a new look around at the political process in this country, which does things incrementally and its mess. And everything is a product of compromise and you never get everything you want and you resolve to say that the fastest, This isn't incapable of addressing these problems, and then you embrace a series of radical assumptions about what reform should look like, because the system camp can't do you want it to do. But this is a currency. Then something had to work yourself up into
and the right did in Latin twenty sixteen when they assumed that there are all these cultural problems. The country was beset by cultural problems and then they resolved to take Washington in order to address them, but Washington couldn't address them and now we're talking that the left is saying we need to change. Essentially what is essential human nature need to region. The human soul and extirpate evil. That's not gonna work, it's not gonna happen. Washington can't do. That is a recipe for a real fatalists dynamic It's all. It's also a recipe for endless proposals and end was action because, because it is, it can't be resolved because it can actually be fair. You can, you can keep asking for more and more and proposing more and more weather, the rules for radicals that sovereign Skis rules, wills, radicals, you you, you, the The unattainable creates the endless pressure for change. That is the radical hung. Right and not one of the reasons that the this line, to make a Mallory line and the and the nickel Hammond
I know that is so upsetting is that they they are implicitly. Excepting the notion that these pathologies are unique, work or orb, yet a deeply apart knit into the african american community, whereas we know from particularly from the last twenty twenty five years, that all of these pathologies have r r r, now endemic everywhere, family, dissolution, father, witness there you know of opium eight addiction due to lack of employment, opportune these and ended in a general sense of hopelessness, the despair, the death of despair, all of that stuff. These are not specific to african Americans. Quite the opposite. Some ways and then we also have the other example, which is that we know that these are not
policies that are related to melanin content, because There are West Asians, you know the m about what what's her, what would a West Indian, as you know, like I've, Jamaica ends and people who comes the United States and Japan I have an end, and intact families and to go through all this This is not a black related problem, and by saying we're crazy because of because of the law c of slavery is like saying: well, you know you got it. You ve got it make US wards of the state forever, because you drove us crazy, it's and yet It's also stay is also saying stay. The hell away from us. Don't higher us keep your distance, don't die. Treat us as individuals. I mean it's just a repulsive, repulsive state line in it, because it's
so broadly applied to an entire community. It's why I think the policing of those who are members of that community, but don't share that ideology is so harsh to go back out. Tim Scott is treated to go back to how every single African America conservative intellectual has ever been treated. You can allow outlier discussions. I think it also speaks to this debate going on, among likely colleges, for example, who are paying cells on the back for taking our affirmative action and Chile Rainbow like a student populations Many of the african students are from Africa or from non. They are not african Americans, though not the descendants of of slaves and that his the African Americans. We know that argument. I sort of get right like if you look at affirmative action and you wanted. It is supposed to be something that is to help resolve this this history our particular country, yeah, but
system was set up in such a way that that, if your arm It is actually skin color it. How did you you can't Beware that right that right, you can't say that affirmative action policies are legitimate. Look if this, if the, if the civil rights, nice and sixty sixty four had explicitly explicitly outlawed quotas as a as the measure of of racial called, warp equality in general in the United States quotas are easy, like that's one of the reasons that also tempted by them, you can say: ok, you know a population's fourteen percent African Americans. So therefore my corporation has to be fourteen percent african american who you know my my leadership needs to be fourteen percent african American or my I'm gonna, try to do this and therefore it should be everybody should be put in. You can measure it at its end, its ease.
It's just insanely, unjustified system where we believe that individual liberty, yours was priority, was to be getting special treatment or or work. You know like they put into a boxes based on their skin color there. Now to origin or whatever, whatever They are now, of course, the ultimate claim of the of the movement that you know now, Sir sweeping the country is that that made that's a fiction, because every white person gets that it's just not explicit. Every white person gets special privilege, is simply by dint of their skin color, and so therefore,
is our fair in our just because the the equality of opportunity standard is a is a is a fantasy and it's not hugh too, and no one can ever live according to it and therefore an- and you know what are the reasons that keep Christine. I've been working for months and months and months on writing something about the problem with meritocracy and you know. This is very layered, because there is a lot to the critique of meritocracy. There's a lot to this notion that there is a self perpetuating a leap being created, particularly in these higher education institutions and their theirs Reason to think that it is having a deleterious effect on our common civic culture. I mean nobody wants to be ruled by the rich kids at Instagram right, but this there's a way in which our elite institutions do kind of you know through through lots, opportunities. I mean this is why the white privilege
Wait for jealousy. Arguments upset me because they lack nuance in eight day day their fundamental principles, the razor of individuality right. So you have a lot of plenty of of white people who benefit from various privileges. You'll have plenty white people who benefit from particular privilege. It depends on what you are looking. I want your assessing, in which field in which I mean that's. That's the part where you know I've heard the friends who live in other countries are kind of both appalled and and in awe of how often Americans and how vigorously Americans talk about re strikers in some of their countries. They they all pretended doesn't exist, even there are very strict kind of cast systems in place either either efficiently run efficiently. But if I do feel like what's different about this debate and why the Nicole Hannah Joneses of the world are having a debtor until effect on debate
you're not allowed to even raise those specific complicating factors there trying to smooth those over because ideology cannot comport with that sort of complication and they are trying to persuade a particular do not trying to persuade actually there trying to assert kind of moral high ground and uses the word moral multiple times in that article, which was you know, is interesting. Given this whole new moral journalists ethos, it ethos is being promoted. So I think that that that lack of sensitivity to two not at will differences, is precisely what was powerful about the civil, the earlier civil rights movement, it was to say we have dignity, because as individuals we should have the ability to pursue whatever path. We want the really different message from the one there pursuing now we're so that I think the classic case in this whole debate
in affirmative action. As you have two people right going for a slot medical school ones, black ones white- they have all they have you no equal board scores something a double now that the if you bad it all up the white kid is five points higher than the a kid another black it gets in the way it does in the white. Kids suits the argument is one on one particular. This was the backing case in California, one on one: it's not fair But it is fair if you say that the white kid getting the five points higher is the result of a net of privilege, nest of privilege, that he has been in since he was in the amniotic fluid and therefore any advantage that he may have scored. But by the end of college, since this was admission to medical school, even that
There is no way to equalize his experience with the african american kids experience and therefore the african american kid should get the slot There's no way to argue with a a philosophy like that, because its unjust provable, how can you do? How can you disapprove that he was an inherently advantaged by his skin color? You can't so we are now so once you accept that as a doctrine and if this anti racism phrase which has now become the phrase is essentially, I think, a stocking horse for explicit quotas and for the notion that not only should there be, you know, affirm it
Actually, there should be explicit racial favouritism. Cat candy argues the author of anti racism authors that argues that he wants a department of anti racism staffed by people who unelected people who will go out into the world and and monitor racism everywhere. But you know it's funny: we, they are delving into ever greater abstractions while making these arguments because we ve gone from talking about institutional racism to systemic racism, because if you talk about institutional racism, you still. You can then say: ok what institution, let's look at the institutions and then then you run against data that that I'm complicate your argument. You say it's so dammit cured it's sort of in the cloud now now you're you're, there's there's you can't quite grasp what it is. You're talking about, there's a poetic truth to systemic racism. Right, and that is the advantage right because, as as an unjust, provable, almost romantic,
idea, romantic, what the capital are about: human achievement, human potential, and you know that tribalism and all these things ages are merged together. It removes from the empirical and and takes it over. The practical takes it entirely into the realm of. Flock which it. Yet. It is because right a bank red lines. You can say you're, doing something illegal and stop it. If eight, if an institution discriminates against African Americans and hiring, you can stop it if you say the entire society from top to bottom operates unconscious rules that privilege and favour a certain set of people. Then Then the only solution is revolution, a cat.
Fix it, one in case by case just one month and to the extent that the argument that it systemic does kind of provoke people who haven't really thought about how they go through the world and and racial differences, it to the extent that it provokes people just take, Look at their own lives to their communities, how they behave, how they interact and to see things with more empathy and more perspective for people who don't look like them to that. Stan. I think the argument is I think that a lot of Americans would embrace and is in fact, what you see in the polls in the Post George Floyd moment, where people like while you, I never really thought about that. The problem, I think, is it it very quickly move let's all be more aware and pathetic, and understand each other better straight into ideological certitude and the push for the kind of legislate. If our legal action that that most Merkin zone agree with and, of course, that the war that is being wage aside from the war in the cops.
Is a war against people who have already in here these lessons. And- and you don't like- I have bathed in them for decades. That's why it's the wards at the New York Times or it's at bon Appetit or it's wherever it is. These are people who believed until five minutes ago but they were doing everything they could to live and anti racist life. Another being told that they that they don't And they have no. As I said, the other day, no antibodies to fight the accusation because they eat they have, they basically have said from school onward. Whatever you say, whatever you say you going to tell me, you need you to tell me the cops are bad. I believe you going to tell me You know we need black studies departments. I believe you're gonna tell me that you know this is tat. Well, there's not enough for this is that I believe you would. Then it's likely. You know what you're.
A system. I want your job at you, you should lose your job and then they they can't even say I should lose much there's. No, actually I lose my job is: there's no safe vocabulary to fight right, there's not use any that your first, the fur point you assert in your defence will immediately be framed as evidence of your guilt right. So it's up it's a perfect. It's the logic of the witch hunt, It is that's. My ultimate only works if your complicit right Where are your view? Velocity or your birth? Is? Our institution is complicit right? again, you did you being you right. Implicit. You have the ban and supplicated the demands of this. The city moment which is an exercise in power and at risk the backlash, but its otherwise been really successful at creating a sense of conformity,
on the left and consolidating power around the people, who are you know, advocating for this sort of thing so well, I've potential is still there. Eventually they become, this amalgamated Borg that turns on them people who were otherwise not complicit and have a lot more authority in a lot more power in their numbers. At that point, but a few years my question about the complete complicit bayonet, because I agree, and only it only works. If you by their rules, who don't don't large corporations who make products that Americans of our addicted to don't, they actually have some leverage here, nothing but dont camp. Maybe camping that we have been asking this question for data, what happens if they, if they do decidedly just ignore that I mean most of the time? Nothing, but the thing this is that american consumers now in poles have shown us the right and the left really want their brands to share their politics, which is the
most possible expression of political engagement. You can imagine it is the lowest ask from you. It said the least amount of effort that you have to expand, and literally two will literally where your politics on her sleeve and so you know as much as it's really shallow and of noxious people like. I suspect they really want their brands to share their products, but they're not gonna, go without their brands. If they don't, I mean that's it. I dont have research on that, but I suspect that the case it's different. If it's like the New York Times the brand there is to now be the woke Bible that you you can't they can play around with that? In Portugal, Electric Philyres Cylinders s right day. There were one of the perfect examples of and arriving in, no inner Manhattan yet again This is why, if you dear listening, have ever bought a brand of coffee that has no Other value other than the fact that the cover art triggers the lives, your part of the problem, if your copy has an acre forty seven on it,
all. You know about it. Your part of the problem, chick flame, whereas its politics on its sleeve to an extent republic, and that was a point that was our reaction. They didn't used to do that quite so vigorously they they kind of. Do it now is a reaction to how they were called out in a weird. Right. I mean they ve always been closed on Sundays. That's been there, that's the that that is their brand, but they that's been a consistent thing, the rest of it actually was a sort of defensive reaction to the boycott. Someone that you do. I ever. I have a weird theory about this in relation to corporations, which is that people work and large corporations, thousands of them there the end. You know what they know. They know that most of the people that they work with are totally mediocre or their totally media or whatever they are not yet other. Maybe you know most people are pretty mediocre large cogs ago in a corporation and so
When people start saying you know, this really isn't fair because you don't have enough of this type of person or that type of person. Look round go you know, well that shows that good, it is job. Maybe somebody else could have Jos job. You know like you, don't identify with Joe the guy who's. This guy, you know the Schleppencour department, actually might want Joe to you, know somebody to get rid of Joe and have somebody else come in Jos, place and so there is. There is some level of yeah, you know what I mean. Do you whose he'd have that job somebody else might get that job can I want to make one hour. I had an inspiration last night and I just want to share it, and I will conclude with this, because I want to take up all of you guys all the stuff about statues right. The Teddy Roosevelt statue they're pulling down stairs.
Isn't that statues and statues are every ok. I realized. I was thinking about this- that I do not like statuary. I do not like statues of peat of actual people like us in a historical figures I dont like them. I think it's idolatry Jews are, of course, of Judaism as the original anti idolatrous face, but they are create. They are intended to create objects of worship often, and therefore they strike me as kit. And thereby the Teddy Roosevelt Statue, those being removed from further is irrational is a is a piece of utter catch and we know about the catch of totalitarian its statues of Saddam Hussein and YO. Two hundred foot statues of this leader that laptop a of buildings and all that. Done literally to create, make
living leader of a country into an object of of semi divine worship right, that's the purpose of it. So I I've decided that I'm really annoyed, because I think week we can't just sit there and let this a historical monstrosity stuff happen. I don't really want to defend staff, and you don't have to actually on our website right now. Jonathan marks has a very good piece, deconstructing, an argument that has to over the intellectual left that doesn't countenance the kind of vandalism that we would, asked, but is also very interested in and dedicated to defending this moment, and so they began. To embrace a red herring around the aesthetics of these statutes and then aesthetically their displeasing in aesthetically. They projected these kind of ideas that are antiquated and north iniquitous, and that's why the this needs to happen.
Even though we have for the procedure, always how you should do it don't tell these things down the procedurally, this makes a lot of sense That's all nonsense. This wouldn't be here in this way. These are happening in this moment because of this moment and the the aesthetic argument, is an effort to retroactively legitimize. What is otherwise a pure moral panic, just passions run rampant, and everybody engaging in that, I think, is as convinced themselves that they're doing something legitimate intellectual, but it's really just a groat groping in the dark for some sort of her of a logic that justifies what is otherwise just pure vandalism, ok I'll give a defensive statues. I grew up in Florida, so this is a we're almost every stature you encounter is on someone's frontline made a fiberglass and made to look like you know, did Michael some creation, Michelangelo and fails the first
I was as one thousand one hundred one of the first time I came to Washington DC and then from there I went to New York City I was in awe of how many statues there were and what they were from a child's I view what those statues did is immediately spark interest. Who is that? Why are they? Why is there a statue of this person? Why are they gonna a horse? Why are they are they wearing military year? Are they not if you grow up in an environment where you don't have a lot of monuments to anyone or anything which actually as part of the? U S is isn't full of statutes alot of fountains, and so, if you don't have them, they can be come the beginning of a conversation. They can become the questions you start to ask about his actually that's why I am opposed to the to the just tearing them down with no discussion and why I do, which is to say that some of them should come down. I think the history of how they got put up in the first place is fascinating and can absolute justified, taken them down now, because that community doesn't represent a particular community. But, as someone who we floor,
as the weird an ignoble distinction of having the oldest city. Suppose, these Saint Augustine in here in the Continental: U S but It's more better known for alligator farms in four feature is the minutes. So if you go up in a place in this country that isn't full of background. Statuary like it is in Europe or in DC, knew how different first experience of that, and it might actually be a positive thing to have those reminders. Once passengers were still a very young country. You know we don't really have a very long history. When you look at in world history, for example, you, like, I think the truth is that most people, but must emerge, but most new Yorkers their version of engaging with statuary, around town in the park is too be aware that there is a statue there and have not much more understanding of what's there.
I cannot. I meet you I'll meet you buy that there's the statue of the guy with the gun and the dog you I mean, like, I think I think, said the witch and did John. Maybe your point is good that we dont their worship or Revere statues necessarily, but I think I think they're mostly, except for on political occasions, taken as short a verb background, scenery or one of the the weirdest statuary in central park of their tooth statues along the the mall in central park, which is the beautiful like long promenade even long problem, a lot that goes down from the fountain down to almost the Plaza Hotel and there are statues of of Girton Schiller, the german poets and writers. What on earth are the statue of statues of girt until it doing the part? Well somebody
This is like a business people had they created a subscription. You know was like a kind of a foundation before there were foundations, our greatest subscription to pay for it. Do it and all that, and so it's weird like that great Gerda was a genuinely great writer and add one of the NEO Polly Method, geniuses, who's ever lived them. Schiller was a great poet, but it's kind of a third statues so that the two greatest german literary figures in its sitting and in central park Ah, you know, so I have the three biggest ones right, which are a Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson, and the Washington was the first. And it is not representational right- it's a novelist. It's not. There is no image of George Washington in the washing memorial, and then you have the giant. Lincoln sitting in the chair than you have the giant standing,
I must rotunda your that It's a little weird we're Thomas Jefferson. Baha is a hundred feet tall or however tall years. You know it's a little weird. That Lincoln is the size of you know. I don't know you know what it looks like it. It looks like a guide sitting at a limp. What do you know that? It's not public and not the greatest of republican figures and we're humbling and with a small, are not a not a party, not John to your point. About being wary of of of statues and what they mean There is always a fine line when a new statue is is, is put up. There's a fight. We always detects is is this some kind of soviet and creepy, because because it can go, over into that realm very easy. So so that there is something delicate about putting up statues generally
They dig long, simmering controversy over the FDA, our memorial. That's now along you know the near the title basin. About whether he would be portrayed is sitting in a wheelchair, or not that section I always found that to be a good thing like that's exactly what you should do before you put up. Some permanent you meant to anyone in a country's passes, discuss not only how they wanted to be portrayed at the time, but whether or not having learned about how they behaved. We for train them in the way we understand them. I mean those are important questions that actually are worth discussing and they think the size Lincoln Memorial is itself evidence of how a small are republican. Valued nation wanted to see this particular figure because he brought through the most violent moment in our history, where we almost didn't make it through a mean this. So I get I actually don't lie. I I walked out to the memorial every day
I shall find I look around. I love. I love and I love the Jefferson more. I love them both I'm just saying that and they are. They are obviously Jefferson now very controversial, but they are entirely defensible as memorials to you know the founding an american greatness at an assault, but tell me mad rush, Morrison Catch, it that's about it. They call people's faces into the side of a rock wall like that. It's kitsch we're like America using it for you in a way, I mean that's kind of look like a hurry. I kind of a joke about it. You know it's a little like the job largest version of somebody who collects you know tourist shot glasses. That's all I'm saying like of user prisoners like it wants to go see them. You know the world's largest ball of. I'm in wherever that is in Kansas, then you can see Mount Rushmore also, I don't know theirs
I think that this is where we ve gotten to that. You know our precious historical heritage has to be about statuary just make just I had this. As I said, this Flash wanted to discuss. I'm not even I dont even know how I genuinely feel about it, but I thought an interesting topic for this. The five hundredth podcast of fibres commentary, Mrs Haug, thank you all for listing we'll be back with five hundred and one. Tomorrow. So for aid Noah and Christine I'm John Hogwarts keep the cavern.
Transcript generated on 2020-08-03.