tv Book Discussion on In the Arena CSPAN July 1, 2016 8:30pm-9:31pm EDT
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following the event. dr. jaimes is hosting the event. the vice president of the institute for national security and foreign policy and our ew richardson fellow. a graduate of west point and a 25 year member of the military. he serves on the board of trustee at the marine core foundation and the advisory board for west point history, hamilton society and operation renewed hope. please join me in welcoming jim. jim? [applause] >> well thank you for coming to what should be extraordinary event. pete is a great friend and defines the definition of a great america. graduate of princeton and harvard, served in the u.s. army
which is another mark in his favor, three combat tours, right? three tours. >> two bronze stars, combat infantry, extraordinary career in the public sphere including now working with fox news and so having put his life on the line i am not really sure what posesed him to write this but in the arena -- posessed -- is politically in correct. writing a book about who we are and who we should be seems distasteful to discuss. for those of us walking by there roosevelt statue and remembering not just his legacy but the legacy of people thought that maybe this does matter and deciding who we are is essential
to being a republic and democracy. i applaud pete for taking it on and coming to share his thoughts. pete is going to talk and then q&a and pete will recognize his own questions and we will do that till the end of the hour. when we get q&a if you raise your hand and wait for pete to recognize you and wait for the microphone so folks online can hear from you and if you could state your name and affiliation that would be great. sometimes we start late but we always end on time. please join me in welcoming the author of "in the arena" [applause] >> well, jim, thank you very much. the heritage foundation, i am grateful for this opportunity. you got the book early, read it, engaged and offered to >> hos host and i am grateful.
this feels like a family reunion. so many wonderful faces, people i know and worked with and thanks for sticking with us. first i want to thank a bunch of people but my former colleagues at concerned vets which make up a big bulk of the audience. i wrote this book from 4-8 a.m. in many mornings while running the cba. it was what we did at cba that was an inspiration and a call to action that is the call to action that is the organization. it was always a pleasure to work with you and i appreciate the work you continue to do from jay, bill, caroline, sarah, will, and sean, and amber, and emily, kevin, fred, and even my brother phil who is in the front row, i know to thank you all of you. and of course kate palmer. kate was an inspiration for me
to write this book. she told me you have to write it, you need to write it, i took her advice and i am glad i did. i want to thank my good college buddy matt hoops who is here and acknowledged in the book. this book wouldn't have happened without him teaching me how to and write in college and pulling be back from the brink. he was the content editor of the princeton paper. thank you for your work on this project. it truly wouldn't have happened. so many others not here. my wife, my boys, gunter, boone, and rex. those are good southern names up in the north. my parents. my brother nate who is in the arena. and i want to recognize david bell be who is a fellow traveler of vets for freedom and an
author and encouraged this book. when i was in iraq, afghanistan and guantanamo bay i carried a quote in a durable frame and it was teddy roosevelt's quote man in the arena. it is the quote it is not the critic who counts but the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by flood, sweat and dust and strives and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but strides to do the deeds, knows great devotions and spins in a worthy cause who at the best knows in the end high achievement and if he fails he fails while daring greatly so his place should never be with those cold or timid souls who
know defeat. this book aims to ask questions of the american people. this book is not about my life. i am not writing a book about my life at 35. i am not a state senator from illinois. this book isn't about roosevelt. i am not attempting to litigate his life as a conservative. i am aware of his progressive lurch and what he gave us in 1912. to say roosevelt failed is generous. this book is not about me, it is not about roosevelt or litigating where he is on the political spectrum. it is a call to action. to me it is meant to inspire, motivate and remind americans of every generation what makes america special and that it is worth fighting for. some of us carried a rifle and many in this generation still do
but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. it is our job to instill the principles that perpetuate the experiment in human freedom. if the 21st century isn't an american century it will not be a free site. there are threats, ideology around the world that are different than ours, and something i put in the book is the phrase history is not over. history is never over. all we have to do is look to western europe today to realize when you decide to cut your military to pay for your welfare state you forget you whoour and have a tendency to riding the wave of history as opposed to shaping it. if getting off to a good start is important no one is more responsible were the 20th
century being an american century is teddy roosevelt. he was the chief agitator for american involvement in world war one. if you remember, the previous president declared he wanted peace without victory. the 21st century wasn't a century on the back of teddy roosevelt. why then, as i think about it, when i read the entire roosevelt speech that is when i woke up to the power of the quote. the quote itself is powerful, it is motivating, but in some ways there is no value assertion in the quote. what is the arena? i write it is not your arena, or my arena, there is the arena for this exceptional american
experiment that was gifted to us 240 years ago and has to be perpetuated. we know the reagan quote we are never more than one generation away from extinction. a beautiful quote but a stark reminder and a more difficult reality on a daily bases. you see the quote man in the arena is just one quote of the larger speech called citizenship in a republic and roosevelt gave it in front of 10,000 french elites. when i read the speech for the first time after looking at the quote and never looking at the context i was blown away. in many ways it is un-pc before there was pc. to me, it struck me as the roadmap of what we need in america today in order to restore our public. why should i stand up and declare what i think the
direction of america should be when instead i could channel a fantastic and historic speech that has timeless resonance of today. it reminds us of what is required in every generation. no matter if we have twitter, facebook or other modern developments. the basic seeds of the republic are the same. his thesis is the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. the average citizen must be a good citizen if great republics are to succeed. not great rulers. even great citizens or heroic. but to understand what it takes to keep and make america the greatest country in the world. you see good sit zeb are the
only antidote. good citizens who understand why america is exceptional are the therein line between freedom and tyranny. they understand the american experiment is exceptional and not because we are proud or boast full but we understand this american experiment when first started was just that. europe sort of laughed at us and said a piece of paper? a constitution is what going to stand between you and a tyrant? you will hand over power peacefully? there was a sense this wasn't possible but our founders remind us our rights come from a creator and not government. they understood a balance of power that checked the pride, tendency toward tyranny and ambition, they understood freedom of religion, and understood the first and second
amendment were important. he talked about good citizens and patrons. that is the breakdown of the book. it is in that order. a lot of what i talk about on fox and elsewhere is national security and you look at the world and there is a lot to talk about. you cannot talk about american leadership until you talk about restoring and maintaining s citiz citizenship. you can forget attempting to be the leader in the world or ejecting power.
you need to shore up the home front you might say. what is a good citizen? it isn't just voting, jury duty, protesting, those are agreements of what we do in a republic. but roosevelt points out it is the civic virtues and the word efficient which is a word we think of with light bulbs and starting pitchers. not citizens. earned success is first and a masculine spirit for men and women. holding your own. a bike helmet culture when we should think about the female
subjugation in middle eastern countries. we need to fight for what we believe in whether it is the battlefield or at home. large patriotic families is next. roosevelt wrote about demographics in his speech. i use an antidote of an afghan interpreter i spent time with. not a radical kid. he is in the united states and he would risk his life for me and me for him. he were talking about faith and christianity and islam. and he said pete, it is inevitable islam will lead the world. you are having one kid and i am having ten. i mentioned they are cut gutting
the military to pay for the welfare state and that is how london becomes the most poplar name in london is mohammed for newborn boys. for us to think things like that go away is willful blindness. western europe in 25-75 years is going to look different. that is not an anti-muslim tone. it is because they are not the melting pot america has been they will have a cultural clashes and things like the migrant crisis accelerate. europe is a preview, or could be a preview of america. the second chapter in the book is about france and what we can learn from france that was a formally great republic that decided to give away its status
by making intentional decisions at home. america can learn from that. we are massive advantages and our revolution is different than theirs. the next is character whether it is faith or believing in something greater than yourself. george washington said religion and reality are not dispensable. i am not talking about social conservatism. as a former, well i still ama social conservative in many ways, but a former one on campus and college, you go to war, learn things and see things and realize there is other things in my mind that are a more important priority. i am not talking about pro-life issues. i think that is a fight conservatives should continue to fight and win every day of the week. but i think we obsess over
things like same-sex marriages and it inhibits us to talk about the real challenges facing parents and kids in the culture. he talks about after focusing on yourself looking outward. the left of course is the party of equal outcome. if we are not striving to be the party of equal opportunity we will miss the mark. i think it is fair to say republicans and conservatives have in many ways missed the marx. talking about marginal tax rates and seeing the shift in the economy we have to be clear about attacking that and approaching that. that means not just unburdening regulations and pushing back against dependency for those at the bottom but making sure those at the top play by the same rules. it is the regulations, the tax
code, and the lobbyist that rigged the system so those at the top are able to gain to their advantage and in many ways block out those who would otherwise have social mobility. the left talks about income inequality all of the time but we should talk about social mobility. the ability to rise, the ability in this country to have every opportunity that your parents or others had in previous generations. you have to start with citizenship. we talks about what undercuts good citizens. the citizens focused on rights instead of duties and believing man is perfect or perfectable and you lunge for utopian ideas. there is no right or wrong and see see that on the battlefield. there was a prison scandalal and
that was terrible but no reason it had to be on the front of magazines for days in a row. in many ways they are controversial and open to decent. on the fourth is class warfare. and roosevelt said the end of the republic is when class warfare collapses. we have seen that whether it is white, black, female, male, young, old, we have seen people pinned against each other and that is toxic. you start with citizenship because without that you cannot create the patriots you need to
be. i don't if you have seen the bumper sticker think globally and act locally. i think roosevelt would say think locally act globally meaning remember who you are and remember that america is good, america is good worth fighting for, america is truly exceptional and has been a force for good in the world. and winning the wars we fight is a good thing. roosevelt talks about that in a speech. are we the people willing and able to prevail? it sounds simple but there are moments where i write about iraq in 2005 and 2006 and the iraq surge and i see people who are part of vets for freedom. the line of freedom and tyranny is decided in those difficult moments when half the people want to take a route saying
let's set a timeline for the war. it has been difficult, controversial, costly, let's pop smoke and leave this difficult battlefield and the other half says no, this is the exact moment when you need to be willing to double down and take the fight to the enemy. i have never been more proud as i write on january 10th, 2007 when bush announced the surge in iraq. he said the future of our security depends on the safety of the streets of baghdad. ask yourself if you are right. the surge worked and al-qaeda was largely defeated. by february of 2010, joe biden was declaring iraq a great achievement of the obama administration. such a great achievement that he just happened to visit again five days ago with political
chaos unfolding. he took for granted the stability and gains made through greedy decisions in a dark moment and assumed they would perp perpetuate themselves without remembering how essential defeating iraq was to their n nar -- narrative. are we able to show results of our forefathers and win the wars we fight? that is not a call for endless nation building. it is a recognition we should learn is that resolve works. not that it is all these middle eastern wars are terrible and not get messed up there but build at home and fortress america that is it. the difficult part and the narrative on the republican and democrat is moving in the wrong
direction to unlearn everything we learned in those conflicts. what i do is make the case the iraq war is a war we should learn from about what to do in the right moments as opposed to run from. and i think republicans and conservatives should stand confidantly in every form they can and point across the aisle to hillary clinton and barack obama and joe biden and say you are the reason isis has proliferated in iraq and afghanistan. it was america retreat and your policies that advanced chaos in the region. it is more complex if you unfold every layer but ultimately it was a lack of military will and lack of political engagement. we decided we were over iraq and that is because today we have as roosevelt warns about in his speech the first president of the united states who krrz himself first a citizen of the
world -- considers -- and roosevelt talk said about that in 1910 warning against those who see themselves as citizens of the world. he said citizens of the world are the worst citizens of their own country because they don't focus on what makes the country great and fighting for. i call it the co-exist. you have seen that? does it make it three up in your mouth when you see it? that is an example of his mindset. co-existing isn't bad. it is good. but it is a means not an ends. just like engagement. but when asked about his doctrine he said it is to engage. engaging is not a doctrine.
it doesn't mean you understand who you are or what you believe in. you have a series of progressive elites who went to school at places like princeton and harvard. and a lot of us know little obamas and wonderful people but believers in humanity and national institutions. then they are forced to emerge from their cocoons and safe spaces and trigger warnings and solidarity marches and what happened when the world still doesn't want to coexist with the leader that is progressive and culturally sensitive as obama? what if isis instead of coexisting is chopping off the heads of christians or iran is cheating on the deal and will soon have a bomb like north korea. or the islamic state is pushing gay men off a five story building on the same day the
white house is lighting up in solidarity. what if the dictator in russia is redrawing the lines of eastern europe instead of hitting a bottom? their minds read does not compute. they are not on campus in the graduate student lounge. they are the commander and chief. the things they learned on campus that were supposed to lead to a perpetual peace it turns out the bad guys with different ideology are not interested in engaging on those levels. rather than calling out threats, or heaven forbid confronting them, obama, clinton, kerry and others look around for the mediation groups or climate change and saul dairy marches they facilitated as graduate
student except they don't work. they work for peace agreements that have no attachment to military on the ground. they negotiateate without preconditions. they withdraw from war without caring what happens in that war. they apologize profusely for past sins. they send non-lethal aid when it is the egg lethal stuff needed. they declare the use of violence just so 19th century. they try to co-exist with a dangerous fallen backward world and it doesn't work. we get a maze of interventions, non-interventions, mazes, high stake raids, and uterately in coherent because they don't understand because they don't believe in the use of american power as a tool for freedom and
security in the world. we get the bin laden raid and then the bow bergdahl swap. so after seven years of obama what do we need to do? we need to unapologetically lead. be willing to acknowledge without america there is no leader of the free world. it doesn't mean we need to be the police man in every corner but we better be the world's sheriff willing to say our security and interest are important to us. we will back up our allies and stand-up toing -- to our enemies. we need to stand-up to isis. we need to stand by dissidence in the world. we stand by freedom that we utterly abandoned. we need to be resolute and willing to talk about things
like the iraq war. the book compares iraq to afghanistan to libya. i didn't serve in libya but followed it. i went to afghanistan thinking we could surge there but afghanistan is biblical times with ak-47 and what you can accomplish in afghanistan is different than what you can accomplish in iraq. they told us it was the good war and read they never believed in the cause. that is the moral sin to send men and women to a battlefront you were never invested in or believed in. when you gave the speech about the war you told the enemy when you were going to leave. it would be a joke but it is not funny. that is the problem. the problem is you also have an electorate seduced by these
ideas. i try to explain why as practitioners of the 9/11 generation and there is different opinions and reasons to be proud of what we accomplished. even if the outcomes are worse than murky in some places, i close by saying as it pertains to the book, i fought so my kids don't have to. i put on a uniform and rifle so my kids never would. that is just not true and i don't say it anymore. i served knowing my kids will have to as well. maybe they will carry a rifle, or a patriotic report or whatever it is, but every single generation is going to have to contribute. we are called to be engaged citiz citizens in an ongoing experiment.
we stand up foot matt of another woodrow wilson who teddy roosevelt tangled with. a manage who said on multiple occasions he was too proud to fight. too proud to fight vicious enemies in the world. obama imnates the same sentiment today. -- inmates -- a friend called him the bugle that woke america. he tried to lead the roosevelt division to world war one which ultimately never happened. we must be awokened today. our kids in educational institutions, our families, to how critical the incubating capacity is. i have a policy chapter in the back of the book that talks about simple recommendations. it is not meant to be conservative cart blanch and i wrote about citizenship and
equal opportunity in five categories that go a long way to restore things in our country. i want to thank you for being here. i look out and see people engaged in this town fighting for things america represents can be a difficult or demoralizing fight and a lot of uncertainty ahead. i would encourage you to go back to founding documents and historical speeches like this and be reminded of the types of men and women who have been discouraged. before reading the book, go to the back and read the peach. it is reprinted in the book and you can make your own judgments about the speech. but a trigger warning it might urge you to actually enter the arena if you are not already. thank you. [applause]
>> any questions, friendly or otherwise? >> i was wondering if you can give us ideas on your thought that donald trump's insistence that the war in iraq was a mistake. are you a able to comment on it? >> sure. i take issue with his characterization of the iraq war. this book in fact is a push back against that carrier. i don't think we should follow with code pink, moveon.org narrative of the war which is what that is. it may feel politically expedient but it is more
politically powerful and principled to argue even if you didn't like the war that finishing it was important. george bush had a successful strategy and this president gave it away. point to the abandonment of iraq and the abandonment of the red line in syria and that hangs on the neck of barack obama and hillary clinton. this campaign and iraq has been difficult to litigate. it took jeb bush a week to figure out where he wanted to be on the issue. there have been few moments where i am proud of republicans on their articulation of iraq. i can really think of one and that is marco rubio and he said iraq was not a mistake. hopefully the reality is whoever the next commander and chief whether it is trump or cruz is willing to truly unleash total
war on the islamic state. so what i do take issue is the way people characterize ted cruz and donald trump whether it is carpet bombing or the unwillingness to unhandcuff the enemy. carpet bombing is not target civilians. it is we know the head quarters of isis in roka than we will bomb it. or looking at the fuel trucks leaving to turkey to sell on the black market we will not bomb them with leaflet because they are civilians but we will bomb the oil trucks. mr. riley? back there in the back. sorry.
how are you doing? >> doing all right. you talked about the social issues and you said that on tof the them there is some kind of obsession and i don't completely disagree with that. i think the secretary has been thought and water under the bridge. but you mention the white house and elimination -- illumination of the coloring. there is a lot of places around the world that don't agree with that. they look at hew how it is being mitigated in the court and they are motivated to push back against us and when our foreign policy looks like we going to be
promoting those things against their will it seems like cannot ignore the socialist at home especially in the light of that foreign policy. >> that is a really good point. i will note the de-investing in north carolina but being in other places around the world where it is rampant to be like that. whether you thing it was lost in one it was lost in the culture long before anywhere else. it almost feels like and is a dead horse that conservatives continue to beat which prevents us from making legit arguments about marital divorce rates with kids or out of wedlock birth which should be the focus of tight-knit families.
instead we are dismissed by the media and the left and unable to make the core arguments. is that the way the whole world looks at the issue? absolutely not. it affirms the imorallity of america. i don't think it is a point of emphasis at any level. i don't think we should make a big issue here and attempting to impose it on anywhere abroad as well. mr. nathaniel hoops? who was also my bunk mate for four years. we did sleep in bunk beds. >> thank you for the book. it is fantastic.
talking about citizenship, i think a lot of us outside of the political fight we continue it have on the role government and the iraq war and social issues and so forth, i think one of the things probably a lot of us feel is troubled by the sense of breakdown of just over all social cohesion in the country whether it is too much times starring at the phone rather than talking to your neighbors or that citizenship isn't being taught. sometimes it is, like you say, it is more than just voting or basics. but it is also just about engaging with the broader community in a way that says, you know, i care about my community. i care enough to want to know my neighbors. and guess one of the powerful things i would love to hear about is what got you inspired
to talk about citizenship with where you grew up? >> yeah, no, as i was writing and researching and thinking about this i ended up -- i never thought of my parents as inherently political or politically involved. they were not partisan. we didn't talk about the republican party or democrats in high school. in college was the first time i was really introduced to ideology and perspectives in a meaningful way. i started realizing what good citizens my parents were. they always worked hard, never asked for handouts, never made excuses. my mom watchdoged the pta and local curriculum which embarrassed me because i could not go to certain things at certain times but it was because she was paying atintension to w
was going on. i don't make the case for large families but just patriarcial families. i wasn't from a military family but i absorbed this from the rituals of going to the memorial day parade in minnesota and watching the vets walk down the wide main street. the world war ii guys and their uniforms not fitting anymore. the korean war guys and the other ones. the parade is like this long because it is a small town. but the whole city stands, everyone is salutinsaluting, an ends down by the river because this is memorial day and we are memorializing those who gave their lives. they didn't sit there and preach or beat into me read the constitution.
it was sort of -- which is part of learning citizenship by the way, but it was just an infused sense of what it means to be a productive contributor to the community. and faith and character is something roosevelt talks about fourth and the reminder there are things greater than you. that someone in my case died on a cross to deem you for the since you is something i carried with me and reminded me of who i was in this fallen world. those are the more important agreemen agreements. we actually, i am from a public school and went to public school all of my life and i am a big
believer in public schools. i am worried i will have to deconstruct eight hours they learn in school something different so we find a way to pay a modest tuition to send them to a liberty christian academy up the road where they learn about faith, the classics and they may not have a great basketball team which i am a little worried about and football team. liberty is not known for its grid iron skills. but the world is different than my small town where you will get infu infused with the community values like i was. and i think we have been captured by moral progressive elites with a different view of what we should be emphasizing.
it was critical about how you teach the documents and the founders and in a world where people with different ideology control that curriculum you can see it being a different idea of citizenship and the constitution. my recommendation is talk about original documents, talk about reading the constitution, the declaration and federal papers and things like that is a great place to start. i talk about home schooling and one of my recommendations is making home schooling more robust. when i grew up grew thought home school kids were weird but that is not the case. i know many home school kids that are grounded, educated and amazing citizens in the country. if the public schools are not an alternative because you feel like your kids are not being
educated the way you want or you cannot afford a private school things like home school should be more possible and streamlined as an option. >> the next generation of small businesses. the last question about just how we influence culture. i i remember when i was going through marine corps training i would come up on the weekends at the height of the iraq war and
it was a very little sense of public awareness of the veteran community. we're four years in an all volunteer military which is great in many ways. seems like families i know either there is no one in a military or there's ten cousin, aunt, uncle who served. so served. so how do we influence that culture to keep that red-blooded american is him alive. >> one of -- i am not a fan of something like universal service because i think it devolves into massive government growth and then you're serving for things that disconnected from the original idea. but i do talk about a more robust decision points are selective service. this idea that what if you made that little envelope you sent back when you're 18 actually meaningful so that point you're making a real decision about do i want to serve in the military, do i want to do this or that. here's the benefit. bernie
sanders is talking about free college, military already gives away free college. there are plenty of ways you could incentivize, whether it is through hopefully through the tax code are educational benefits or others, real service and investment so that kids are making decisions. then it is honored that you took that step to be a part of the minuteman court or something or maybe you are not in the military but how many of us know people who are wonderful patriots, who if they could would at themselves to a list to make sure they stay physically fit every year and they could say i'm prepared to go to my country needs me. sort of the next level, the step you for the draft. i think a lot of people would do that. they would feel skin in the game to say if that big moment comes i am ready to carry arrival for my nation. i'm ready to do this or that. i think there is an interim step there that would be interesting to thai people a little bit more to service. you talk about that's which obviously is a passion of mine, a lot of people here talk about concerned vets.
a lot of what i talk about in the book to is the way that entrenched interest in washington and chronic classes protect what they have. to prevent any real meaningful change from happening. the work that i've done over the last three years is at the department of veterans affairs. there's no better example of that crony status quo and the virginia. the ongoing efforts of concerned vets for america, efforts i was involved in are met by by a brick wall to those who were supposed to be for things that reform systems that are broken. we are two years after the scandal and things are no better. in fact many places have gotten worse. they don't have a choice. nobody's been held accountable to the virginia. who's stopping it. the white house has no interest in this, it's been a political interests they have tried to prevent from the beginning. the va's going to stifle the reforms and bob mcdonnell, while a nice guy has been an utter failure is be a
secretary. he was captured by the proxy the minute he came inches you have government unions, i talk about civil service reform, well, you're damn right. in you're damn right. in fact it should be across government but let's start at the virginia. let's make sure that those who work in our government are held accountable. if they're not not doing a good job they can be fired. that is a basic principle, accountability is how you change cultures. government unions have a grip on that. then it is then it is special-interest. you want to talk about establishment, we hear that word a lot in the political spectrum, special special interest exists everywhere including in the vet space. it is traditional veteran services in washington who are unwilling to change, who who want to get invited to white house cocktail parties and play nice with everybody at all times. they stifle things like basic choice, and accountability and then they impugn and attack their opponents had a return because that is what the left does. they don't have an argument, it's always another 5,000,000,000 for the virginia will fix it but of course it doesn't it. so they attack you personally.
rita 20 night page document based on me which is a hit list of everything is done in my life, they don't want to argue the merits of the issuer issue a report like report like we did it concerned vets that lay out what real a form would look at they just want to mischaracterize and say we want to privatize and shut it down. that's i think some change. it's hard to be a good citizen in that apartment because it is easy to get along. you can take that example throughout all spectrum of government and all levels and every place there'll be resistance. everyplace will be critic, you're going to fail and you can avail again and again. all they want you to do is quit. all they want you to do is quit. at every level. the school board wants every level. the school board wants you to quit, the local government wants you to quit, the virginia wants us to quit, everybody wants us to quit because the we can keep our jobs and everybody can live fat and happy and nothing will have to change. that is why people are ticked off in this
country today. they're ticked up because nothing changes and everyone over promises and never delivers. what this a book i hope help do is remind people that the fight is worth it. you're never going to get it on the first try, the first month, the first month, the first year, never the first bill, it is going to have to be a sustained reiteration of the truth of what works and then the advocacy behind it as individuals and organizations. having the courage to believe in america, to believe in what it represents, not tower from those who have a new idea of what it means. i think a document like roosevelt/speech is a great way to remind us. >> other than fixing the virginia, what is the thing that we as citizens could or should be doing for veterans? >> i think everything is and we have talked about here in this auditorium once before, it's
recognizing and raising awareness that's basing the veterans community without stigmatizing it. acknowledging challenges facing vets but we do not create the character that they are ticking time bombs who are inevitably broken, good damaged goods. it. it is empowering them to any number of vehicles. through education, opportunities, small business financing, business financing, it's recognizing that these guys are going to be guys and gals are going to be future leaders of -- they're going to rebuild their country. they will rebuild our communities are civic organization, schools, there are the core people in america that understand what needs to serve something greater than themselves. they been in an arena that's highly controversial in places that were very difficult with a public that and i quit support them the whole time. they found a way to get it done. and frankly get it done quite successfully. so i'm confident that them and their families and those who come around them are in some ways that provide the nucleus of the types of folks that are going to get out there i make sure the 21st century is an american century as well.
i still say this on the freedom to her for vets all the time it is not going to be your neighbor who is in the basement playing world of warcraft and watch and tmc. they are not quite to do it. they literally are not they have no idea. they're sort of existing in this country without a sense of work comes from and why it matters. this would have to be those of us who do. if we do so tepidly are saying america's kind of good but, well -- there were going to get steamrolled. if you don't don't educate and remind yourself what makes this place special and that our founders truly did something exceptional, then you will get steamrolled. education up front front is the beginning and then finding the courage and i think vets have shown that courage among capacity and will lead the charge again. >> before i ask you to join with me in taking the other, there are books available outside and
stick around if you'd like your book side. thank you again for coming and please join me in thanking our author. [applause]. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation],. >> book tv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they're reading this summer. >> i plan on doing for things specifically, the first one i am in the middle is a bully pulpit. it is about teddy roosevelt and taft. and no history teacher, i specifically wanted to go back because it's a fascinating era.
i should've taken from the title a book, bully pulpit that they will talk a lot about journalism. the other day going to a lot about journalist during that. of time and gave i think a short shift to the history that i really wanted but it what my appetite. for example last year read a book about speaker cannon, the relationship cannon had with teddy roosevelt was something i thought would be fascinated. it was barely mentioned at all. so i need to go deeper into that. but i am at least through it now, taft has been elected, let see what happens from here. roosevelt is in africa, life is good. that's the first one. were going to go through, and since i love baseball baseball going to pick up a baseball book again called the bullpen gospels. i actually have read that before. i want to reread it. it's about a about a kid who becomes a relief pitcher in the magaly major leagues after
coming in through the minors. it is written in such a funny style i have to admit in the first three chapters i was laughing out loud which is kind of embarrassing on the plane one of the next to people but it's so well-written. it has a lot of insights about baseball and what was taken place. unless you're one of my staffers gave me a book about joe cannon the speaker. this year he is going to continue on with that trend and give me one about sam rayburn. so that gives me to the four great speakers in the history of the house. but what to me so fascinated about rayburn is not only was he the longest-serving speaker of the house he was also speaker of the house with the seniority system ran this place. he cannot reward or punish anyone with any kind of appointments. he was one that said when i meet a chairman of the committee -- he got his way through persuasion and controlling, whatever he did that's what i hope to find out. what was the was the secret of being such a powerful force in the house
without having some of the over tools that some of the other speakers had to force compliance because he had a do it by the force of his personality. . . as it comes out so clearly in the play. the other thing i like about it that is so fascinating to me is they use actual language and writing of these individuals.
as we've done the place several times and we've read through it, then then you read other things written by these individuals and it's like wow, i remember that was actually in the play. the authors have done a brilliant job in weaving in actual history. let's face it, language style is very different today. they were able to weave that into something that was very entertaining and enjoyable. when i was teaching school, it was great. although, i have have to admit, at one time i had a kid who was debating me on whether this was realistic or not. i said yes it was close to history. he finally looked at me and said they sang back then? i looked at him and said no this is a musical, they didn't sing. one one time we were watching them movie and he turned around and said what were they talking about. i said the revolutionary war. he said did we win it? i realized i had a lot of work to do with this kid. >> book tv wants to know what