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tv   Washington Journal Harry Bruinius  CSPAN  August 20, 2019 5:19pm-5:52pm EDT

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war against trump." >> all decency has been cast aside. not only from donald trump to his opponents, but from his opponents to him. him far worse things. there are attempting to do far worse than him the way he can do to them. they have no right, none. >> watch book tv every weekend on c-span2. joining us from new york is staff writer for the christian science monitor harry bruinius, joining us to talk about socialism in campaign 2020. he took a trip through a county north of out what people think about the issue. among his pieces he has written in this pennsylvania swing county, socialism is a hot topic. thank you for being with us. tell us about the county you
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visited in pennsylvania. county isthampton considered a pivot county. it voted for obama twice and that it voted for trump in 2016. won by about 5500 votes and obama had won by 6000 votes the election before. it is one of those crucial swing districts and one of the most important areas in the country in a state, pennsylvania, it might be one of the most crucial states in the 2020 election. betweencated halfway new york city and philadelphia. the lot of ways it mirrors wider demographics of the country. easton, almost, mirrors it exactly. it is an interesting lab in
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which to speak to rural voters and urban voters, as well as the people in the middle, the suburban voters, all within 15 minutes of each other. it is an interesting cross-section. host: at the top of your story you said why we wrote this. people have strong opinions about socialism when our reporter harry bruinius went to pennsylvania to ask them about what they thought. the more they spoke, the more common ground he found. what kind of common ground did you find on socialism? landscape,he larger ideas of socialism fall and they break down in different ways. democrats are becoming more amenable to socialism and more
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skeptical of capitalism. most republicans are real skeptical about the idea of socialism and are generally pro-capitalism. when you start digging down into and othere medicare social safety net issues, there is a very strong consensus, especially among trump supporters, ideas to start to regulate the economy and especially big corporations. you see both sides, trump supporters, democrats on the left and democratic-socialist, share views about global corporations that send jobs overseas. the idea of protecting the american worker, the bernie sanders left and the donald ways right tend to in some
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be in lockstep agreement on what is threatening the american worker and in general agreement on existing social safety net -- things like social security and medicare and public education, things of that sort. when we start breaking down differing views of what socialism actually is. host: for our conversation with harry bruinius, we are going to use our usual lines. republicans, (202) 748-8001. .emocrats, (202) 748-8000 independents, (202) 748-8002. if you consider yourself a democratic-socialist, (202) 748-8003.
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guest: you do see, especially in some of the poll numbers and some of the people i spoke to, people in the middle, even some moderate democrats start to become wary about the term socialism, when people start talking about socialism. i think that is what many republicans have seen. crucial swing voters, independents, democratic leaning independents and more moderate democrats. especially if you are over 35 communistmember the bloc and the end to the p that americans have had toward socialism from the post-world war ii on. younger voters on both sides tend to not remember that.
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older voters, especially in the middle, are very wary and even skeptical when the word socialism is used and i think republicans have seen that and they have seized upon it. most republicans that are talking will use the word socialism because they know it is one of those charged words that will make people a little bit wary. host: tell us about this person in your article, he has a t-shirt, democratic socialism, the way life should be. what is his story? guest: that was a photo, i did not speak to him. i have a story coming out next week when i spent a lot of time with democratic-socialist's in america and new york city, and talking to a lot of them -- what i found interesting was they
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don't understand themselves as marxists, they consider themselves democratic-socialist. iny are very interested local economies that are democratically run and they are very against hierarchies. in energy that you see is some ways similar to what you see on the right, and interest in localism, local control of economies. host: go ahead and finish her thought. guest: i hear the same from a lot of trump supporters. an america first idea is a global anticorporate idea.
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you hear trump supporters talking about jobs going itrseas to cheap labor and gets them upset. they feel the government our president trump should intervene to keep a laissez-faire global come modifying --or and sending it overseas and you see this on the bernie sanders left, as well -- at the expense of the american worker. host: we are speaking with harry bruinius of the christian science monitor who spoke to people and northampton county about socialism. caller: hello, do you hear me? host: go ahead. caller: i have been serious about this for a long time.
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i read the bible almost daily. i have read it cover to cover many times. becauseger go to church i feel our religious right is completely at odds with what jesus teaches. socialism orabout any of the labels, jesus healed people. jesus was against the rich. refugee, youway a turn away me because i was once a refugee. host: does the idea of religion come up in socialism? guest: in general, no. what i find interesting on the left, the emergence of a religious left that is becoming more politically aggressive. studies of the
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country, the story over the last couple of decades has been the contraction of what you would call liberal christianity, both politically and theologically. in the trump era, there has been a galvan is asian and a slight galvanizing of christians on the left, and perhaps i am agreeing with your assessment of the words of jesus in scripture and using that as a political motivation. on the progressive left, that does not necessarily have anything to do with socialism, per se, but on the progressive a new energy in liberal christianity, both theologically and politically. it is a complex landscape.
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rejuvenation of christians on the left. host: for those of you who consider yourself a socialist or democratic-socialist, the number is (202) 748-8003. next caller is from iowa. good morning. caller: good morning. socialism is explained to the american people. absolutes an socialistic democratic republic. bone when ito the hear socialism compared with communism. people, educate yourself. what you call social media? social. you socialize. it represents people interacting
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with one another. people are being taken care of. neighbors are taking care of one another. socialism is not communism and for god sake, do not fall onto the bandwagon because it is horrid. thank you very much, have a beautiful day. host: any thoughts? question,is a great what does socialism mean? in many ways, there is no clear definition today that emerges. past, when people thought of socialism they thought of marxist socialism, they thought of communism, more so than what we call democratic socialism in nordic countries like switzerland and sweden. was it denmark? i forget the country. those countries in northern
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europe that have this strong social safety net, high tax rates of the wealthy. i think especially among the young, they are not interested in marxist capitalism. they call it democratic socialism. they are not interested in the nationalization of industry or federal control of modes of production or state issued iphones or rationed products. they are interested in local economies and workers that can take control of their work environment, as well as larger programs like the green new deal. i think people on the left but are talking about socialism, as you suggest, are more interested in a local community. i think the antipathy toward socialism stems from that the
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u.s. has long had a very anti-socialist view in general and never wanted to use that word because it has always been a dirty word in american politics, conjuring ideas of state control of modes of production and industry. that is not what the young democratic-socialist's are all of them care about the example of nordic countries. host: the most recent polling from gallup from may, four of 10 americans embrace some form of socialism. we are going to daniel in pennsylvania on our democrat line. good morning. caller: hello. i find the people that are most
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adverse to socialism are retired government employees, which is a socialism. they are still taking taxpayer's money with pensions and health care. alwaysancial crisis is bailed out by the taxpayers. pharmaceutical research is funded by taxpayers. there is socialism going on all the time. arethese taxpayers that living in a capitalist society and is government employees are saying socialism is bad but they are on cradle-to-grave socialism. host: your thoughts? guest: whether or not a government worker, whether government workers in general are considered socialism might be questionable, i have heard a
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lot of people talking about socialism. you brought up the financial and 2009, and even intellectuals on the trump conservative right are talking about the corruption of capitalism. that big corporations are able to rig the game for their benefit and there seems to be a clear -- all of the wealth that has been generated from the deregulation of banks and wall street in the 1990's seems to have benefited corporations and not the american worker. as i said earlier, you see on both the right and the left a real questioning of that sense. you're also right that people often say social security is a form of socialism, medicare and medicaid are a form of
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socialism, universal public education is a form of socialism, which is one reason theone of the planks of democratic-socialists is universal college education which is simply an extension of the same principle of public education. i have heard that a lot talking to voters that there is already a strong structure of socialistic institutions and programs already in the country and has been for decades and in some ways there is simply a idea, to expand on that not to revolutionize the country. host: let's go to our independent line and hear from bill in illinois. good morning. caller: hello, good morning. commentant to make one
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before i get to my question. there is no question this has many aspects of socialism already. there is nothing in the constitution that says you have to have capitalism, but i would remind -- this country was basically founded on the liberal ideas of individual freedom. peopleobject to is that who are talking about socialism, who are talking about the green everyone,medicare for you have now got into the realm that this is basically communism. you are basically taking over the productive capacity and owning it and controlling it by the government. i don't think people should be allowed to talk about socialism,
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and other words, they should why notstand up and say communism? that is my question. why is this what they are pushing? why is this not communism? host: harry bruinius. guest: when it comes to health care, in many ways the united states stands alone with a health care system that it has, employer-based, insurance companies that are underwriting hospitals and doctors, et cetera. it is a very complex question, whether or not the rest of the world is communist when it comes to health care is a sort of an open question. certainly, your concerns about health care is one of the enormous issues american voters
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on both sides -- most people are very happy with their employer-based insurance and if the government is going to get in having a single-payer system, it certainly makes people very nervous. this is going to be one of the big issues of the election. calling single-payer ideas socialism has been a very effective, rhetorical tool in of past to kill these ideas broader universal health care ideas that are proposed over time. means thatnot that word, itism -- it is a is a label and how it is paid for is a complicated landscape,
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whether it is medicare or private health insurance. host: let's go to our socialist line, texas. hello. caller: hello. old and my mother in conjunction with our todamentalist church took us meetings when we were kids. the fundamental socialisml thinks of russiansism and the are out to get us. workhat my children still -- i see that my children still work at minimum wage jobs and they are in their 40's and my
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grandchildren are in their 30's and they have no health care because they cannot afford obamacare. i thought what the democrats are talking about is good. thank you. host: thank you. guest: i think you have very distinctly outlined -- very sick stemming from the financial crisis and beyond, there is a sense that all of the tremendous wealth that the economy has created over the last couple decades has gone straight to the top. voters are talking about how millenials are staying at home economymany in the don't have health insurance, can't afford insurance with the
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obamacare subsidies. you hear candidates on the left talking a lot about wages and the middle class have basically millenials might be the first generation not to have more wealth than their parents. this is part -- more than anything -- american politics is in an interesting flux. things are changing. the emergence of democratic socialism as a viable option in american politics is in many ways extraordinary. i think a lot of the reasons for that are what you mentioned. wroteharry bruinius, you about alexandria ocasio-cortez
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and her victory last year. democrats are being confronted by the energized left-wing that could propel the party and grow an internal divide. more than one year after writing that article about alexandria ocasio-cortez, who calls yourself a democratic-socialist, where do you see things? we are at the beginning of a major of people. you see that in the republican party, as well. kind ofp movement changed the republican party. on the left, you see all of this energy coming from younger and alexandria ocasio-cortez is symbolic of the excitement.
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vote on thers don't levels that older voters do. the question is about -- politically, the question is about how are people going to respond to ideas of socialism given that there will be razor thin margins in places like northampton county. socialismeas of versus the new ideas of socialism, which don't really overlap. it as close to communism and the other sees it as democracy. you see the division within the democratic party, the rivalries that you see with alexandria ocasio-cortez and the speaker, ed came out before the united
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with some of the things the president said. there is simmering in the democratic party a young, energized, close to the democratic-socialist side that is starting to put pressure on the old guard and you can see the democratic party that was shaped in the 1990's and the so-called third wave politics of bill clinton and tony blair. beenemocratic party has branding itself for the last few decades as progrowth and pro-capitalism. that brand is being challenged in a way it has not been since before president clinton. host: let's get one more color. republican line from tampa, florida. larry, you are on the air. caller: my question is about what you call this. the caller a few minutes ago asked isn't this communism?
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at the end of my question, i just kind of along question. war, 1945 to 1990, the collapse of the soviet union, russia, most americans went through the cold war and did not know what the word soviet meant. soviet is a localized board, unelected, that controls the workforce and resources locally, a theme you have spoke about numerous times. you said socialism is a local socialism. what you are advocating here today, isn't this a soviet? a combination of panels? aren't you talking about soviet? host: harry bruinius is not advocating, he is reporting on his interviews with people and
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northampton county. harry bruinius, go ahead and respond. guest: the emphasis with democratic-socialist is about democratic control. ideas of a nationalized state that is from the top down -- from what they have told me, it is something they are very much against. they see a role for the federal government in ensuring certain principles when it comes to race and gender, et cetera. otherwise, when it comes to the workplace and when it comes to local economies, what they want to see his democratically consortiums. that is what they seem to be seeking and they are not at all interested in nationalized, top-down hierarchies and
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certainly not unelected boards that are going to determine various decision-making processes in the economy. i see that as a major difference in what you see from this younger, energized democratic-socialist left. you also brought up a point, if you were born in the 1990's or with, you did not grow up the soviet bloc versus western global and that bipolar world. were born before 1990 or so, that was the world you knew and how you still understand the world, as well. the democratic-socialists today are definitely talking about something very different and
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something that is almost radically democratic down to the workplace. it is against all kinds of hierarchies in general that would be authoritarian or a top-down telling people what to do. unquestionably part of the keith ellison of the democratic -- part of the ethos of the democratic-socialist left. harry bruinius joining gs arehington journal mu available at the spam check out the washington journal mugs, and see all of the c-span products. tonight, a congressional
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hearing looking at efforts to combat homelessness in the u.s. services committee chairman actsing chaired the hearing in los angeles last week. here is a preview. ters: we cannot ignore that our homelessness crisis is a link to the affordable housing crisis. too many people cannot afford to keep a roof over their head as wages have not kept pace with rising rental. los angeles has one of the least affordable housing markets in the united states. county a renter earning the minimum wage of $13.25 an hour would need to work 79 hours a week in order to afford a two bedroom apartment. approximately 720 1000 households in the county rent burden. meaning that they pay more than 50% of their income on rent. we need a bold and comprehensive
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the federal, state and local level to address the homelessness crisis. that is why i have introduced this bill, the ending homelessness act. legislation that would provide over $13 billion in funding to person experiencing homelessness in america has a place to call home. committeeial services pass this legislation earlier this year. and i am committed to doing everything i can to get this bill passed into law. this entireatch house financial services committee hearing on homelessness tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. a reminder you can follow all of our programs online at, and listen with the free c-span radio app. vice president mike pence chaired a space council meeting earlier. the forum focused on plans to


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