Constitution Panel 2012
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Constitution Panel 2012


>>WELL, I’D LIKE TO
WELCOME YOU ALL FOR COMING TO CELEBRATE THE CONSTITUTION DAY
THAT GRCC, UM… IS DOING THEIR ANNUAL PANEL, WHERE WE DISCUSS THE CONSTITUTION
AND ITS RELEVANCE TO TOPICS THAT ARE GOING ON NOW, AND NONE BETTER THAN DURING
A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEAR, I’M SURE. MY NAME IS
KEITH ST. CLAIR– I’M A PROFESSOR
OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT GRCC, AS ARE MY COLLEAGUES HERE. HEATHER FORREST,
IMMEDIATELY TO MY RIGHT… UH, YAN BAI,
AND THEN GORDAN VURUSIC. AND, UM… AS THE FULL-TIME
POLITICAL SCIENCE STAFF, WE’RE– UM, FACULTY, WE’RE CERTAINLY
PLEASED TO BE HERE AND LOOK FORWARD
TO THE MANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU HAVE
FOR THE PANEL. WE’D LIKE TO START OFF WITH MAYBE A FEW OPENING COMMENTS
ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION, AND THEN, GET RIGHT
TO THE Q&A, IF POSSIBLE. AND I, WITH THE MICROPHONE,
WILL COME AROUND TO YOU, IF YOU HOLD UP YOUR HAND, SO THAT YOU CAN BE HEARD
ON THE RECORDING THAT WE’RE DOING TODAY, WHICH SHOULD AIR, ALSO, ON–
NOT ONLY ON GRCC CABLE ACCESS CHANNEL, BUT ALSO PERHAPS
ON YOUTUBE, AS SO MUCH OF PROGRAM DOES–
PROGRAMMING. UH, YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE ALREADY
RECEIVED COPIES OF THE CONSTITUTION. THESE WERE PASSED OUT. IF YOU HAVEN’T RECEIVED ONE YET,
PERHAPS HOLD UP YOUR HAND AND ERIC MULLEN, THERE IN THE AUDIENCE,
CAN GET ONE TO YOU, IF HE HAS ‘EM. AND, UM… AND WITH THAT,
I’D LIKE TO– WE’LL START WITH HEATHER,
WHO’S CLOSEST TO ME– UM, YOUR COMMENTS ON THE CONSTITUTION
BEFORE WE GET STARTED WITH THE Q&A.>>WELL, THIS IS A VERY
BROAD THING TO ASK– ABOUT THE RELEVANCE
OF THE CONSTITUTION. I AM, UM… SOMEBODY WHO STUDIES
THE JUDICIARY VERY CLOSELY, SO IT KINDA PAINS ME
TO TAKE THE POSITION THAT I DON’T THINK THAT THE CONSTITUTION
IS ALL THAT RELEVANT TODAY. UM… I DON’T BELIEVE THAT
IT REALLY BINDS US IN THE WAY THAT THE FRAMERS
HAD INTENDED. I BELIEVE THAT THE FRAMERS INTENDED
A MUCH MORE LIMITED CENTRAL GOVERNMENT WITH A LOT MORE POWER
TO THE STATES, QUITE HONESTLY BECAUSE
THAT WAS THE ONLY WAY THAT THEY COULD GET THE CONSTITUTION
RATIFIED BY THE INDIVIDUAL COLONIES. BUT, UM… EVEN WHEN IT COMES TO RESTRICTIONS
OF RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS, UM, POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT,
POWERS OF THE COURT, THE RELATIVELY, UH– RELATIVE LACK OF POWER
THAT CONGRESS ACTUALLY HAS, I DON’T THINK THAT
THE CONSTITUTION IS ALL THAT… UH, RESTRICTIVE
ON WHAT WE DO TODAY. I MEAN, CONGRESS HAS
THE POWER TO DECLARE WAR. WE’VE ONLY DECLARED WAR
FIVE TIMES IN HISTORY, AND THE LAST TIME,
DURING WORLD WAR II– AND LOOK AT HOW MANY TIMES THE PRESIDENT
HAS DEPLOYED TROOPS OVERSEAS. UM… WHEN IT COMES TO FOREIGN POLICY,
PRESIDENT IS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF– HE ENDS UP MAKING A LOT OF DEALS
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS THAT, UM… MOST AMERICANS WILL
OBVIOUSLY NEVER HEAR ABOUT, AND I DON’T KNOW THAT THAT’S NECESSARILY
WHAT THE FRAMERS HAD INTENDED. ALTHOUGH, THE FLIP-ARGUMENT
COULD BE, “DO WE REALLY WANT
WHAT THE FRAMERS HAD INTENDED, “GIVEN THAT THEY WERE 55 RICH, WHITE MALES
WHO OWNED A LOT OF LAND?” WERE RELATIVELY, UM, HYPOCRITICAL,
I GUESS YOU COULD SAY. AND, UH… OH, YEAH, I WOULDN’T BE
SITTING HERE IF THEY WERE STILL… IF THEIR OPINIONS
WERE STILL BINDING. I COULDN’T VOTE, I COULDN’T
ENTER INTO A CONTRACT. UM, SO I’M KINDA–
>>YOU MEAN, AS A WOMAN?>>YEAH, PRETTY MUCH.
>>JUST TO CLARIFY FOR THEM.>>YEAH, SO YOU KNOW,
I GUESS I’M JUST NOT AS DISAPPOINTED TO NOT SEE THEIR IDEA
OF WHAT OUR COUNTRY SHOULD BE LIKE REALLY COME TO FRUITION, 220, 230 YEARS LATER. SO, IS THE CONSTITUTION
STILL RELEVANT TODAY? MEH. LITTLE BIT– BUT NOT NEARLY AS MUCH
AS THEY WOULD HAVE HOPED. SO…>>YAN, DO YOU HAVE A FEW COMMENTS
BEFORE WE OPEN IT UP?>>(with accent)
I THINK, IN GENERAL, THE CONSTITUTION
IS STILL RELEVANT. UM, BUT THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE UNITED STATES IS KIND OF LOSING ITS APPEAL
IN THE WORLD. JUST A FEW YEARS AGO–
MAYBE TEN YEARS AGO, I SHOULD SAY– THERE WERE, LIKE,
170 COUNTRIES WHO TRIED TO EMULATE
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION, BUT TODAY,
THE NUMBER IS IN DECLINE. MORE AND MORE COUNTRIES HAVE TRIED
TO COPY OTHER COUNTRIES’ CONSTITUTIONS, LIKE (indistinct),
CHARTERS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, EVEN OUR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
GINSBURG WHO VISITED SOUTH AFRICA
A FEW YEARS AGO– SHE EVEN SAID THAT
“IF I WAS A NEW COUNTRY, “I WOULD COPY THE CONSTITUTION
OF SOUTH AFRICA.” AND THAT’S A REMARK MADE
BY OUR JUSTICE OF SUPREME COURT. SO, THE QUESTION IS, IS OUR CONSTITUTION
REALLY LOSING ITS APPEAL? I THINK, IN A SENSE, IT IS. OUR CONSTITUTION
IS KINDA OLD… YOU KNOW, 250 YEARS OLD. YOU KNOW, 255, ACTUALLY. UM, AND ALSO,
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO AMEND. IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT
TO CHANGE. SO, IT IS OLD. ALSO, IT IS DIFFICULT TO AMEND. YOU KNOW, THE FRAMERS INTENDED THAT
THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE CHANGED ACCORDING TO THE TIMES. BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND,
THEY WANTED THE CONSTITUTION NOT TO BE SO EASILY AMENDED. WE MUST HAVE THE SUPERMAJORITY,
WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, TWO-THIRDS TO PROPOSE AND THREE-FOURTHS
TO RATIFY. THAT IS VERY DIFFICULT… AND THAT’S WHY WE ONLY HAVE
27 AMENDMENTS… AS COMPARED TO, YOU KNOW,
STATE CONSTITUTIONS– USUALLY THEY HAVE, LIKE,
MAYBE HUNDREDS. LIKE MICHIGAN CONSTITUTION. IT HAS BEEN AMENDED
FOR JUST SO MANY (indistinct). SO, AMERICAN CONSTITUTION
IS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT TO CHANGE. SO, THE QUESTION IS HOW CAN
WE KEEP UP WITH THE TIMES? AND ALSO, YOU KNOW,
THERE ARE SO MANY PROBLEMS WE… WE FACE TODAY. FOR EXAMPLE,
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE– SHOULD THAT BE ABOLISHED?
>>(whispering) NO!>>YOU KNOW,
THAT KIND OF THING. AND ALSO, SHOULD THERE BE,
LIKE, TERM LIMITS FOR THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES?>>(whispering) NO!
>>SO, YOU KNOW– AND ALSO, SHOULD WE ENLARGE
AS A CONGRESS TO CATER FOR MORE
REPRESENTATION? I MEAN, ORIGINALLY,
THE CONSTITUTION SAYS, YOU KNOW, “THE HOUSE OF CONGRESS
SHOULD BE ONE FOR 30,000.” IF WE GO BY THIS RATIO, WE SHOULD HAVE, YOU KNOW,
1,000 MEMBERS IN THE HOUSE OF CONGRESS,
BUT WE HAVE ONLY 435. SO, IT’S LIKE ONE TO 650,000. HOW CAN ONE PERSON REPRESENT
SO MANY COUNTRY IN HIS OR HER DISTRICT? YOU KNOW, THE RESOURCE
IS TOO LARGE. SO, SHOULD THAT BE CHANGED? AND ALSO,
HOW DO WE CHANGE? SHOULD WE GO ABOUT WITH
HOLDING A NATIONAL CONVENTION… RATHER THAN JUST PROPOSING,
YOU KNOW, AMENDMENTS IN THE CONGRESS? AND WE HAVE TO GO
TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION. HOW DO WE DO THAT? WE’VE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE. SO, IF WE HAVE THE NATIONAL CONVENTION
TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION, WHAT IF THINGS GO OUT OF HAND? CAN WE CONTROL? IF EVERYBODY WANTS
TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION, THEN THE CONSTITUTION
WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EXIST. SO, THERE ARE MANY, MANY QUESTIONS
THAT WE HAVE TO ANSWER. YES, I DO AGREE
OUR CONSTITUTION IS RELEVANT, BUT IT HAS TO BE CHANGED, AND THE PROCESS OF CHANGING THAT
SHOULD BE… SHOULD BE SIMPLIFIED.>>OKAY, THANK YOU, YAN. GORDAN, WOULD YOU HAVE
ANY OPENING COMMENTS BEFORE WE THROW IT OUT
TO Q&A?>>(with accent)
SURE– AS A POLITICAL SCIENTIST, I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN… THE FEDERAL COURT–
ESPECIALLY THE SUPREME COURT– POLITICS, AND
THE CONSTITUTION. UM, I THINK I’LL EXHAUST MY STUDENTS
WHETHER THE SUPREME COURT IS INFLUENCING POLITICS OR NOT– I ASKED THEM WRITE A PAPER ABOUT IT
AND TO THINK ABOUT IT. BUT I THINK IN ORDER TO BASICALLY
GIVE THEM AN ANSWER IN ADVANCE, I WOULD SAY, “YES, THE SUPREME COURT
AND OTHER FEDERAL COURTS “ARE CLEARLY INFLUENCED
BY POLITICS.” NOW THE QUESTION IS
WHETHER FEDERAL COURTS– ESPECIALLY SUPREME COURT– SHOULD BE INFLUENCED
BY POLITICS OR NOT. AND MY ANSWER IS,
“YES, IT SHOULD.” AND MY ANSWER IS NOT, “WELL,
SUPREME COURT AND OTHER FEDERAL COURTS “JUST LOOKING AT
THE SO-CALLED ‘LEGAL’ SIDE OF ISSUES, “BUT SHOULD BE INTERESTED
IN POLITICS.” UM, LET ME EXPLAIN THAT
A LITTLE BIT BETTER, I THINK. THEY HAVE A NUMBER
OF RECENT SUPREME COURT CASES THAT DEALT WITH
POLITICAL ISSUES, AND… AND FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE CASES
IS SO-CALLED “CITIZENS UNITED” CASES. ACCORDING TO THE DECISION
OF THE MAJORITY OF THE SUPREME COURT, THE CORPORATIONS, UNIONS,
AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS DO HAVE THE POWER,
RIGHT, AND ABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE ALMOST
UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO ELECTORAL CAMPAIGNS, RIGHT? ACCORDING TO THAT DECISION, MONEY HAS BECOME
A SORT OF SPEECH, RIGHT? SO, FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
ACCORDING TO THE SUPREME COURT DECISION BASICALLY GIVES THE RIGHTS
TO ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY
TO ELECTORAL CAMPAIGNS AND THUS INFLUENCE
THESE CAMPAIGNS. WE HAD SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR– WE HAD A SUPREME COURT DECISION
ON “OBAMACARE,” RIGHT? THE QUESTION ABOUT “OBAMACARE,” WHETHER, UH… THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR CONGRESS
IS BASICALLY ALLOWED TO OBLIGE PEOPLE
TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE STARTING IN 2014. AND THE DECISION
OF THE SUPREME COURT IS, “YES,” BUT NOT ACCORDING TO SO-CALLED
“COMMERCE CLAUSE”– “COMMERCE CLAUSE”
BEING THE SAID POWER IN THE SECTION 8 OF ARTICLE I
OF THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH SAYS THAT COMMERCE
BETWEEN STATES AND FEDERAL GOVER– BETWEEN STATES
AND FOREIGN NATIONS AND BETWEEN STATES
AND INDIAN TRIBES IS REGULATED
BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. BUT THE SUPREME COURT SAYS, “WELL,
NOT ACCORDING TO THE COMMERCE CLAUSE “‘OBAMACARE’ CAN STAND, “BUT ACCORDING TO
THE GOVERNMENT POWER TO TAX.” UH, THEN, WE HAD
A DECISION ABOUT– A RECENT DECISION ABOUT IMMIGRATION LAW
IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA, WHERE THE SUPREME COURT BASICALLY
KICKED OUT PART OF THE LAW, BUT BASICALLY KEPT
PART OF THE LAW INTACT, IN THE SENSE THAT THIS SO-CALLED
“SHOW ME YOUR PAPER” PROVISION, IN WHICH THE STATE POLICE
IS BASICALLY ALLOWED TO ASK THE PEOPLE WHOM THEY SUSPECT
TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, TO ASK THEM
FOR PAPERS, RIGHT? SO, THESE PARTICULAR DECISIONS
WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE, I THINK, IF THE SUPREME COURT WERE JUST
LOOKING AT THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF AND THE RULE OF LAW. I THINK THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD HAVE
SOME KIND OF POLITICAL CONSCIENCE IN MIND WHEN THEY’RE THINKING
ABOUT THEIR DECISION. FOR EXAMPLE,
IN “ROE VERSUS WADE”– IN “ROE VERSUS WADE,” THEY DECIDED
THAT WOMEN DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE ABORTION
IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY, BASED ON SO-CALLED
“THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY,” BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE SUPREME COURT
ALLOWED THE STATES THEMSELVES TO WRITE RULES THAT COULD RESTRICT
THIS RIGHT TO ABORTION. SO, HOW COME THAT–
SO, HOW COME THAT WOMEN DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
IN FEDERAL LAWS BUT DO NOT HAVE COMPLETE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
IN THE CONTEXT OF STATE? SO, I THINK THERE
IS SOME KIND– UH, WHEN I SAY THAT SUPREME COURT
SHOULD HAVE A POLITICAL VIEW OF THINGS, I MEAN A POLITICAL VIEW
IN THE SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING POLITICS AS ANCIENT GREEKS
UNDERSTOOD POLITICS, AND ANCIENT GREEKS UNDERSTOOD POLITICS
AS WHAT THEY CALLED THE “SUMMUM BONUM,” AS THEY CALLED IT–
“THE HIGHER GOOD.” EVERY PERSON
OR EVERY MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY SHOULD BASICALLY
BE CONCERNED ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO THE WELL-BEING
OF THE COMMUNITY. LEADERS,
ACCORDING TO PLATO, SHOULD BE INTERESTED MORE
IN THE WELL-BEING OF THE COMMUNITY, RATHER THAN IN THE WELL-BEING
OF THEMSELVES AS LEADERS, RIGHT? SO, I DON’T THINK THAT SUPREME COURT
SHOULD BE CRITICIZED FOR THE INFLUENCE
OF POLITICS, BUT SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED
THAT POLITICS IS NECESSARY IF ONE UNDERSTANDS IT
IN THE SENSE OF CREATING, PERHAPS, SOME “HIGHER GOOD”
IN THE SOCIETY. OF COURSE, THE PROBLEM IS ALWAYS
HOW TO DEFINE “HIGHER GOOD” AND WHOSE “HIGHER GOOD” IT IS
AND… AND WHETHER PEOPLE CAN
REALLY BE INTERESTED– OR MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT COULD
BE INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING POLITICS AS A CONTRIBUTION
OF THE “HIGHER GOOD.” BUT PERHAPS THAT’S SOMETHING THAT
WE CAN TALK ABOUT DURING THE DISCUSSION.>>OKAY, THANK YOU. UM, OUR PANELISTS POINTED OUT
SEVERAL GOOD IDEAS. I MEAN, HEATHER TALKED ABOUT
PERHAPS THE CONSTITUTION ISN’T AS RELEVANT
AS IT USED TO BE. I CERTAINLY CAN APPRECIATE,
IN SOME RESPECTS, THAT THAT’S TRUE. CERTAINLY CIVIL LIBERTIES
COMES TO MIND. THE FACT THAT THE UNITED STATES
CONTINUES TO DETENTION– INDEFINITE DETENTION
WITHOUT TRIAL, UH, IN THE FACILITY KNOWN
AS GUANTANAMO BAY, UM… DEPRIVING PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHT
TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW, FRUSTRATING THEIR APPEALS
FOR HABEAS CORPUS. UM… THE TARGETED ASSASSINATION
OF AMERICAN CITIZENS BY U.S. DRONE ATTACKS, BY PEOPLE WHO ARE ALLEGED
TO BE PART OF AL-QAEDA. YET NO TRIAL
TO DETERMINE THAT, JUST THE PRESIDENT’S BELIEF THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS
ARE PLOTTING AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, ALLOWING THEM
TO BE ASSASSINATED… EVEN AN INDIVIDUAL AS RECENTLY
AS 16 YEARS OLD, I BELIEVE, IN YEMEN. AND THESE ARE ALARMING THINGS,
AND CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. SO– AND YET, THEY PERSIST,
THEY CONTINUE. SO, I THINK… YEAH, PERHAPS THE CONSTITUTION
ISN’T AS RELEVANT AS IT USED TO BE. PROFESSOR YAN BAI TALKED ABOUT HOW
THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT EASILY AMENDED, AND YET,
PERHAPS IT SHOULD BE AMENDED. HE MENTIONED TERM LIMITS,
FOR EXAMPLE. AND I’M OFTEN HEARING FROM MY STUDENTS
AND PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC OF HOW SOMEHOW OUR SYSTEM
OF GOVERNMENT IS BROKEN. IT’S ALMOST AS IF PEOPLE
ARE LOSING FAITH IN THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S
ABILITY TO FUNCTION, AS THEY SEE PERSISTENT GRIDLOCK
BETWEEN THE POLITICAL PARTIES, BETWEEN THE CONGRESS
AND THE PRESIDENT. UM… IS IT THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF
THAT’S BROKEN? IS THAT WHAT NEEDS
TO BE REFORMED? OR IS IT JUST THE WAY
WE IMPLEMENT IT?>>I HAVE A QUESTION.
>>YES?>>WELL… YOU, UM– I’M SORRY,
ARE YOU IN SUPPORT OF TERM LIMITS OR DO YOU THINK THAT
THEY’RE A GOOD IDEA?>>I’M OPPOSED TO TERM LIMITS MYSELF.
>>YEAH, THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. SO, I THOUGHT YOU WERE
MAKING A DEFENSE FOR THEM–>>NO, YAN COMMENTED
ON TERM LIMITS. I WAS JUST REVISITING THAT,
AS AN IDEA FOR REFORMING THE CONSTITUTION. HE TALKED ABOUT
HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO AMEND.>>RIGHT.
>>AND RAISED THE QUESTION OF POSSIBLY
MAYBE IT SHOULD BE. UM… GORDAN TALKED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND MENTIONED SEVERAL
SUPREME COURT RULINGS AND HOW PERHAPS MANY PEOPLE
MIGHT PERCEIVE THAT TO BE THE PROBLEM. I’M INTERESTED, ANYWAY,
WHAT YOU THINK. I’M GONNA TURN IT OVER
TO THE AUDIENCE. BEFORE I DO, I JUST WANT TO MENTION,
AS I’VE BEEN HANDED THIS NOTE, THAT AT THE CONCLUSION
OF OUR EVENT TODAY, A MEMBER OF STUDENT CONGRESS
WILL BE IN THE LOBBY TO REGISTER ATTENDEES
TO VOTE. AND CERTAINLY,
THIS BEING AN ELECTION YEAR, UM, IF YOU’RE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE, YOU NEED TO BE 30 DAYS
BEFORE THE ELECTION, SO, UM–
IN ORDER TO VOTE. SO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THIS OPPORTUNITY. YOU KNOW, PERHAPS IT’S APPROPRIATE
THAT WE’RE DOING THIS PANEL IN AN ELECTION YEAR
LIKE WE ARE. UM, A LOT OF PEOPLE
SEEM VERY DISILLUSIONED WITH BOTH MAJOR PRESIDENTIAL
CANDIDATES THIS YEAR. UM, THERE DOESN’T SEEM TO BE
THE EXCITEMENT THAT THERE USED TO BE. PERHAPS THAT MALAISE
IS RELATED TO… THE OBSERVATION
I MADE BEFORE, THAT MANY PEOPLE SEE
OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT AS SOMEHOW DYSFUNCTIONAL
OR BROKEN. ANYWAY, WE’RE CERTAINLY INTERESTED
IN WHAT QUESTIONS YOU HAVE, PERHAPS RELATED TO SOME OF THE TOPICS
THAT I’VE JUST REFERRED TO AND OUR PANEL HAS, OR PERHAPS SOMETHING THAT
HASN’T YET BEEN MENTIONED. IS THERE ANY QUESTIONS
THAT YOU HAVE, FROM THE AUDIENCE? I’LL COME AROUND
WITH THE MICROPHONE.>>BEFORE WE OPEN IT UP TO THE FLOOR,
I WANNA JUST MENTION SOMETHING ABOUT THE “GENERAL MALAISE” OF– UM, AND INTEREST
IN THE ELECTIONS TODAY.>>SURE, BY ALL MEANS.
>>I GUESS I KINDA DISAGREE. I THINK THAT THERE, UM… IS QUITE A BIT OF MEDIA COVERAGE
OF THIS ELECTION. I JUST DON’T KNOW THAT
IT’S GOOD MEDIA COVERAGE. I THINK IT’S SENSATIONALIZED. UM, I THINK THAT, UH… THE WAY THAT ELECTIONS
ARE COVERED ARE IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP
PEOPLE PAYING ATTENTION. THE PROBLEM IS– THEY DON’T INFORM THE
PEOPLE ON THE TRUE ISSUES. UM… I JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY
THAT WE ARE IN THIS SITUATION IN THIS COUNTRY
BECAUSE OF US. WE CAN BLAME CONGRESS,
WE CAN BLAME THE PRESIDENT, WE CAN BLAME THE COURT
FOR THE DECISIONS THAT THEY MAKE, BUT WE ARE IN THIS SITUATION
BECAUSE WE’VE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN. UM, WE STILL HAVE– GORDAN WAS JUST MENTIONING
BEFORE THE PANEL STARTED THAT SOME INDIVIDUALS NOT KNOWING
WHAT ROMAN NUMERALS WERE, OR THE ORDER OF THOSE IN THE CLASS
WHEN YOU’RE REFERRING TO THE CONSTITUTION, AND HOW HE THOUGHT MAYBE THAT
THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN SOME OF OUR GENERAL EDUCATION… AND I COMMENTED THAT
I THINK WE HAVE BIGGER CONCERNS. I THINK THE FACT THAT WE HAVE
NEARLY A 60 PERCENT TURN-OUT RATE DURING A PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION– AND I STILL WANT PEOPLE
TO VOTE AFTER THIS, SO DON’T CONFUSE
MY MESSAGE HERE– THAT THE HIGH TURN-OUT RATE
IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, YOU’RE ACTUALLY CHOOSING A LEADER
THAT YOU DON’T ACTUALLY CHOOSE. THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE DOES. AND DURING A MIDTERM ELECTION, WHERE YOU ELECT 435… EGOTISTICAL MANIACS
IN THE HOUSE AND A THIRD OF THE SENATE
EVERY TWO YEARS, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE DIRECT CONTROL
OVER THOSE INDIVIDUALS. AND ON A GOOD YEAR, WE GET MAYBE
A 25 PERCENT TURN-OUT RATE. THAT, TO ME,
IS NAUSEATING… BECAUSE PEOPLE COME IN AND THEY TALK
ABOUT NOT UNDERSTANDING THE SYSTEM, AND YET, THEY STILL BELIEVE
THAT WE ELECT THE PRESIDENT AND THAT THEY HAVE SOME KIND
OF CONTROL OVER THE PRESIDENT, AND THEREFORE, THEY’RE GONNA GO OUT
AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THAT WAY. AND MY BIGGEST CONCERN
AND MY BIGGEST FRUSTRATION IS THAT YOU REALIZE
WE DO HAVE CONTROL, BUT IT’S THROUGH CONGRESS. WE BLAME OBAMA FOR “OBAMACARE,”
BUT WHO WRITES THE LAWS? (chuckling)
CONGRESS DOES. SO, WHO GAVE
THAT LAW TO OBAMA? CONGRESS DID. UM, YOU CAN BLAME THE PRESIDENT
FOR THE ECONOMY, YOU CAN BLAME HIM FOR
THE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, YOU CAN BLAME HIM FOR THE ATTACK
ON THE EMBASSY IN LIBYA, YOU CAN BLAME HIM
FOR THE DECLINING ECONOMY AND THE PROBLEM
WITH THE EURO, BUT THERE’S ONLY SO MUCH CONTROL
THAT ONE MAN HAS. AND THE MORE CONTROL
THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY IS OVER OUR ELECTED
REPRESENTATIVES, AND THAT IS CONGRESS–
NOT THE COURT, NOT THE PRESIDENT– AND YOUR STATE
AND LOCAL OFFICIALS. WE ELECT OUR GOVERNOR
IN EACH STATE. WE ELECT OUR– AT LEAST
IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, WE ELECT ALL OF OUR JUDGES. AND WE ELECT
ALL OF OUR LEGISLATORS. AND YET, PEOPLE AREN’T AS INFORMED
ABOUT WHAT GOES ON AT THE STATE
AND LOCAL LEVEL, WHERE YOU HAVE
A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CONTROL OF WHAT GOES ON
AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL BECAUSE PARTIES AREN’T AS IMPORTANT
AND AREN’T AS INFLUENTIAL IN THESE STATE
AND LOCAL ELECTIONS BECAUSE MANY OF THEM
ARE NONPARTISAN. THERE’S NO PARTY THAT
APPEARS ON THE BALLOT. SO, I DON’T KNOW. I GUESS THAT’S WHY… I FIND THE CONSTITUTION
A LITTLE LESS RELEVANT TODAY. IT’S SO EASILY MANIPULATED
AND CHANGED THROUGH– WELL, BOTH CONGRESS,
THE PRESIDENT, AND YOU CAN EVEN THROW
IN THE COURT, AS WELL. UM… IT’S VERY EASILY SKIRTED. IT’S A VERY VAGUE DOCUMENT. WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT– IT’S PROBABLY ONE OF THE SHORTEST
CONSTITUTIONS IN THE WORLD. UM, AND GORDAN MENTIONED
IT WAS RELATIVELY– ER, YAN MENTIONED
IT WAS RELATIVELY OLD. BUT I LOOKED AT THIS AND I THINK,
“BOY, IT’S REALLY YOUNG.” I MEAN, WE’RE STILL PUPPIES
IN THE ENTIRE– AND IF YOU LOOK AT– THERE ARE HOTELS OLDER THAN
THIS CONSTITUTION IN SCOTLAND, YOU KNOW? SO, TO SAY THAT WE… TO SAY THAT
WE ARE ALL VICTIMS HERE, I THINK IS A HUGE–
I DON’T KNOW. I THINK IT’S PLAYING
“THE VICTIM.”>>IF I MAY–
>>IN OTHER WORDS, THERE’S NO– YOU DISAGREE WITH THE– YOU WOULDN’T SAY THAT
OUR SYSTEM IS DYSFUNCTIONAL OR OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
IS BROKEN?>>I WOULDN’T SAY–
I’M NOT DISAGREEING THAT IT’S BROKEN, BUT I WANNA LAY THE BLAME
AT THE FEET OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT,
AND THAT’S US.>>OKAY– GORDAN.
>>SO, THAT’S MY POINT, IS JUST THAT
WE ARE IN THIS MESS BECAUSE WE GOT US HERE,
BECAUSE– AND IT’S BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW
THE VERY BASICS OF OUR OWN SYSTEM. I MEAN, I GET STUDENTS WHO COME FROM–
I HAVE, YOU KNOW– WHEN I– I HAVE STUDENTS WHO COME
FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND THEY KNOW MORE ABOUT
OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM AND OUR CONSTITUTION
AND OUR GOVERNMENT THAN MANY OF THE PEOPLE
WHO JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL.>>BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID OF U.S.
(all laughing)>>THAT WORKS FOR ME,
AS LONG AS YOU’RE INFORMED! (laughing)
YOU KNOW? YOU KNOW, I OFTEN WONDER IF BEING
THE PRIVILEGED SOCIETY THAT WE ARE, ACTUALLY DOES US IN. UM, MAYBE IGNORANCE IS BLISS. AND IT’S NOT. IT’S UNFORTUNATE,
BUT IT’S JUST NOT. THERE WAS A QUESTION OVER THERE.
>>WELL, GORDAN WANTED TO RESPOND–>>OH, SORRY!
>>(laughing) I WOULD– WHEN YOU SAY
THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS LESS RELEVANT TODAY
THAN IT USED TO BE, I THINK WE ARE GETTING
OURSELVES INTO TRAP OF “GOOD OLD DAYS” MYTHOLOGY. “OH, EVERYTHING
WAS FINE BEFORE, “BUT NOW WE ARE IN SOME
KIND OF DECLINE OR DECAY.” AND I THINK THAT’S A LITTLE BIT
OF A MYTHOLOGY, BECAUSE IF YOU– I MEAN,
HEATHER HERSELF SAID, “WELL, UNITED STATES NEVER
OFFICIALLY DECLARED WAR “AFTER WORLD WAR II,” RIGHT?
>>MMM-HMM.>>CONGRESS NEVER SAID– BUT NO–
>>THEY WERE “PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS.”>>THERE WERE CERTAIN
RESOLUTIONS, RIGHT? GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION. THERE WAS RESOLUTION OF THE USE OF FORCE
IN IRAQ WAR IN 2003, BUT NEVER IN THIS PARTICULAR CONGRESSIONAL
RESOLUTIONS DID CONGRESS SAY, “WELL, WE DECLARE WAR”
ON A PARTICULAR COUNTRY. SO, AT LEAST SINCE 1945,
IT WASN’T RELEVANT, RIGHT? (laughing) YOU CAN LOOK AT
“PLESSY VERSUS FERGUSON,” RIGHT? THE IDEA THAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS– THAT SEGREGATION BETWEEN WHITES
AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS IS FINE AS LONG AS FACILITIES
ARE OF SO-CALLED “EQUAL QUALITY,” DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE ALREADY
HAD A POST-CIVIL WAR AMENDMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS
THAT SORT OF, ONCE INTERPRETED, COULD BE INTERPRETED
AS FORBIDDING SEGREGATION. WE ALSO HAD
THE “JIM CROW” LAWS. “JIM CROW” LAWS
THAT WERE AFTER THE– AFTER 13, 14, AND 15 AMENDMENT
HAD BASICALLY GAVE THE RIGHTS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS
TO VOTE. SO, I’M NOT SURE– I MEAN, I THINK
THE CONSTITUTION IS AS RELEVANT AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN. I THINK WE PEOPLE,
AS ARISTOTLE FAMOUSLY SAID, “WE ARE POLITICAL ANIMALS,” RIGHT?
(laughing) UH, WE DO STRUGGLE
FOR POWER. I MEAN, LINCOLN… LINCOLN SUSPENDED HABEAS CORPUS
DURING THE CIVIL WAR AND SUPREME COURT TOLD HIM
THAT IT WAS WRONG, AND HE SAID,
“WELL, WHO CARES?” RIGHT?
(laughing) I MEAN– SO, I THINK WE HUMANS
ARE POLITICAL ANIMALS. AS HOBBES FEARLESSLY SAID,
“WE SEEK FOR GLORY, POWER, “AND DIFFIDENCE FROM OTHERS,”
RIGHT? AND… THAT’S WHY WE DEAL
WITH THESE THINGS AS WE DO. I MEAN, WOULDN’T IT BE LOGICAL
FOR ALL OF US TO GET TOGETHER AND TRY TO SOLVE THE COMMON PROBLEMS
OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH, I MEAN,
THERE ARE PLENTY OF THEM, RIGHT? RATHER THAN FIGHTING FOR POWER
AND TRYING TO DESTROY– TWO DIFFERENT PARTIES
TRYING TO DESTROY EACH OTHER. WHY– SO, WHY IS IT, IF IT’S RATIONAL
FOR US TO ALL GET TOGETHER AND SING “KUMBAYA,” RIGHT,
AND SOLVE THE COMMON PROBLEMS, WHY IS IT THAT WE STRUGGLE
SO BITTERLY AGAINST EACH OTHER IN TERMS OF POLITICAL FIGHTS? I THINK THE SORTA AXIOMATIC SIMPLE ANSWER
IS THAT THAT IS HUMAN NATURE. I MEAN, IF IT WASN’T,
WE WOULDN’T HAVE JOBS, WE POLITICAL SCIENTISTS,
RIGHT? BECAUSE WE WOULDN’T
HAVE POLITICS IF WE DIDN’T STRUGGLE
FOR SCARCE RESOURCES, OR– POWER BEING THE SCARCEST
OF ALL, RIGHT, AND THE MOST NECESSARY OF ALL,
BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE POWER, YOU HAVE EVERYTHING ELSE, RIGHT? IF WE WERE NECESSARILY FUNDAMENTALLY
COLLABORATIVE CREATURES, I WOULD BE UNHAPPY BECAUSE I WOULD BE
A PET STORE MANAGER INSTEAD. (all chuckling)>>NOT TO SAY THAT PET STORE MANAGERS
ARE UNHAPPY.>>THAT’S RIGHT, BUT… SO, WE ARE NOT–
SO, THIS REL– THIS STORY, THIS MYTH ABOUT
“THINGS ARE WORSE THAN THEY USED TO BE,” I DON’T THINK THAT THERE’S ANY
EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE TO CLAIM THAT. THINGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME
BECAUSE, FUNDAMENTALLY AS HUMANS, WE CREATED
CERTAIN INSTITUTIONS TO PREVENT OURSELVES
FROM KILLING EACH OTHER WHEN WE HAVE A POLITICAL
DISAGREEMENT, BUT… WE STILL DO HAVE
POLITICAL DISAGREEMENT, WHICH IS FUNDAMENTALLY IRRATIONAL BECAUSE WE ARE WASTING
SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY WITH THESE DISAGREEMENTS, INSTEAD OF GETTING TOGETHER
AND JUST SOLVE THE PROBLEMS. BUT WE STILL DO
HAVE DISAGREEMENTS, AND SQUANDER OUR DAYS
AND SQUANDER OUR POLITICAL LIVES, STRUGGLING WITH THESE DISAGREEMENTS
INSTEAD OF REALLY– AS ANY FUNDAMENTAL POLITICIAN
WOULD SAY– “ROLLING UP OUR SLEEVES
AND GETTING TO WORK.” SO, THE CONSTITUTION, I THINK,
IS AS RELEVANT AS IT WAS, BECAUSE OUR PASSION TO STRUGGLE
WITH EACH OTHER IN POLITICAL FIGHTS IS THE SAME
AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN. JUST, PERHAPS,
SOME OF THE TOOLS CHANGED, IN TERMS OF WEAPONS THAT USE, RIGHT?
(laughing) TODAY, WE USE YOUTUBE AND…
(all laughing) AND HULU,
FACEBOOK, AND THE MEDIA, RIGHT? BUT, I DON’T KNOW,
HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO, WE USED GUNS AND KNIVES
AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO, WE EVOLVED
IN TERMS OF THE TOOLS, BUT WE DIDN’T EVOLVE IN TERMS
OF FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENTS, RIGHT?>>CAN I ADD A FEW THINGS HERE? THE CONSTITUTION,
IF YOU COUNT THE AMENDMENTS– THERE ARE 27 AMENDMENTS. UH, THERE ARE 7,000 WORDS. SO, THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION
IS SHORT, TERSE, AND CONCISE. UH, THAT MEANS WHAT? THAT MEANS IF YOU GOT
A SHORT CONSTITUTION, YOU NEED SOMEBODY TO INTERPRET,
TO TELL US WHAT THE LAW IS. SO, WE HAVE A VERY HEAVY DEPENDENCE
ON THE SUPREME COURT. THE SUPREME COURT
INTERPRETS THE LAW. (indistinct) IT MAKES, EVERY RULING IT MAKES, IT IS AN INTERPRETATION
OF THE CONSTITUTION. NOW, BACK TO THE CONGRESSIONAL POWER
TO DECLARE WAR– ORIGINALLY, THE FOUNDING FATHERS
WANTED THE CONGRESS TO MAKE WAR, NOT TO DECLARE WAR. BUT AFTER DELIBERATION,
THEY DECIDED, “WELL, YOU KNOW, “THE PRESIDENT
IS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. “SO, THE PRESIDENT SHALL MAKE WAR,
BUT CONGRESS MUST DECLARE WAR FIRST.” “DECLARE WAR” MEANS TO DECIDE WHETHER
THE COUNTRY SHOULD GO TO THE WAR. IT’S NOT JUST A, LIKE, FORMALITY
OR DECLARATION. I MEAN, IT’S NOT JUST
A MATTER OF FORMALITY. IT’S A BIG DECISION TO DETERMINE WHETHER,
YOU KNOW, OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHOULD DIE IN THE WAR. THAT’S A BIG THING. NOW, WE HAVE FOUGHT
ABOUT 200 WARS ABROAD. HOW MANY OF THEM
WERE DECLARED BY THE CONGRESS? ONLY FIVE. THE WAR OF 1812, THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR, SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, WORLD WAR I, AND WORLD WAR II…
AND THAT’S ALL. SO, WITHOUT DECLARATION,
THE PRESIDENT CAN STILL BRING THE TROOPS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. HOW COME? BECAUSE EVERY TIME
THERE’S A WAR, CONGRESS JUST PASS A RESOLUTION
TO AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT TO USE FORCE. SO, MY ARGUMENT IS THAT THE CONGRESS
HAS FAILED ITS DUTY TO DECIDE WHETHER
WE SHOULD GO TO WAR OR NOT.>>JUST BY PASSING A RESOLUTION?
>>RIGHT.>>AH, OKAY.>>OKAY, I THINK I SAW
A FEW HANDS OUT THERE.>>I DON’T NEED THE MIC.>>WELL, PLEASE, CAN WE–
IF YOU WOULDN’T MIND, WE NEED THE MIC FOR THE RECORDED AUDIENCE AT HOME.
>>OH, I SEE. ALL RIGHT, HELLO. I’M DAVID PARSONS. IT’S GOOD TO SEE
DR. BAI AGAIN. I ATTENDED ONE OF HIS SESSIONS
LAST SEMESTER. UH, I’M NOT AS WELL-EDUCATED
AS EVERYBODY IN HERE. EVEN THE YOUNG ONES
ARE PROBABLY SMARTER THAN I AM. OBVIOUSLY NOT AS WELL
AS THE DOCTORS UP FRONT.>>YOU ARE VERY SMART–
I KNOW THAT, DAVID.>>(laughing)
EXPERIENCED, MAYBE. BUT I THINK THAT THE MAIN PROBLEM–
AND YOU’RE NOT GONNA LIKE THIS– IS WITH THE EDUCATORS,
AND NOT AT YOUR LEVEL, BUT AT MIDDLE SCHOOL
AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS, WHERE THEY’RE NOT BEING TAUGHT
ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION AND HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS. IT’S, UH, PATHETIC TALKING WITH SOME OF THE YOUNG STUDENTS
AROUND SCHOOL HERE, HOW LITTLE THAT THEY KNOW. AND, UM, EVEN
CURSIVE WRITING– THEY’RE NOT EVEN TEACHING
CURSIVE WRITING ANYMORE IN SCHOOL. I FOUND THAT HARD TO BELIEVE. I’VE GOT A FEW OTHER THINGS,
BUT I’M GONNA LET IT GO AT THAT.>>I HAVE A QUESTION–
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE LEVEL OF HOW INDIVIDUALS
ARE INFORMED ABOUT GOVERNMENT HAS DECREASED? DO YOU THINK YOUR GENERATION
WAS EDUCATED BETTER, UM, THAN LATER
GENERATIONS? DO YOU THINK IT’S THIS GENERATION
THAT IS WOEFULLY UNPREPARED? OR DO YOU THINK THAT IT’S ALWAYS
BEEN A PROBLEM TO EDUCATE ‘EM BETTER?>>I DO NOT KNOW,
BECAUSE I HAVE NOT BEEN THERE–>>RIGHT.
>>SINCE MY HIGH SCHOOL DAYS. I GRADUATED IN 1970. UM, I MAJORED IN HISTORY
AND GOVERNMENT– ALL FOUR YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL–
AND I ENJOYED IT.>>RIGHT.
>>BUT YOU TALK– MOST OF THESE KIDS DON’T EVEN GO TO VOTE,
LET ALONE UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR VOTE DOES. AND I DON’T KNOW HOW
THE EDUCATION LEVEL IS ESTABLISHED AT MIDDLE SCHOOL
AND HIGH SCHOOL, WHO ESTABLISHES THE CURRICULUM,
WHETHER IT’S THE TEACHERS OR THE PRINCIPAL OR SCHOOL BOARD,
I DON’T KNOW. I ASSUME
IT’S THE SCHOOL BOARD. BUT, UH, SOMEBODY’S BEEN SLEEPING
ON THE SWITCH THERE, AND… AND LETTING ALL THIS STUFF SLIDE. I GOTTA FEELING THAT THE TEACHERS UNION
HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THAT, TOO.>>OKAY. UH, I HAVE A COUPLE OF COMMENTS
THAT MIGHT SHED LIGHT ON IT. CERTAINLY, I THINK
WE’VE BEEN SEEING THIS ISSUE OF, UM… CHALLENGING THE ADEQUACY
OF TEACHING. IN THE UNITED STATES, TEACHERS
ARE PAID IN A MUCH LOWER LEVEL THAN SOME OF OUR
COMPARATIVE COUNTRIES. UM, BUT I ALSO THINK
IN THE LAST 30 OR 40 YEARS– AND PROBABLY
MANY WOULD AGREE– THAT THE FAMILY MAKE-UP
HAS CHANGED CONSIDERABLY. NOW, INSTEAD OF HAVING ONE PERSON
AT HOME AND ONE PERSON WORKING, YOU HAVE TWO PEOPLE OUT OF THE HOME–
BOTH PARENTS ARE WORKING. AND SO, MAYBE YOU HAVE LESS
OF THAT TRADITIONAL FAMILY NUCLEUS. WHETHER OR NOT THAT’S A DISADVANTAGE
OR AN ADVANTAGE, WHO KNOWS? BECAUSE THEN IF YOU BOTH PARENTS
WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOME, YOU PRESUMABLY HAVE
BETTER EDUCATED PARENTS WHO ARE WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOME,
WHO BRING THAT BACK. UM, SO, THE DYNAMICS OF THE FAMILY
MAY HAVE CHANGED. UM, FURTHERMORE… PARENTS’ PARTY I.D. AND
PARENTS’ PARTY AFFILIATION IS SOME OF THE BEST– IN POLITICAL SCIENCE,
IT’S SOME OF THE BEST INDICATORS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEIR CHILDREN
WILL BE OF A PARTICULAR PARTY I.D. OR HOW POLITICALLY INVOLVED
AN INDIVIDUAL WILL BE. IF THEIR PARENTS–
I MEAN– MY FATHER,
GRANDFATHER– MY FAMILY IS JUST VERY REPUBLICAN
ON ONE SIDE, AND VERY NOT
ON THE OTHER. UM, GREAT TIMES AT THANKSGIVING,
BY THE WAY. UM, BUT I THINK
THE FACT IS IS THAT OUR FAMILY
HAS BEEN IN TUNE WITH POLITICS. AND SO, THAT KIND OF PASSES ON. SO, I THINK THAT GENERAL APATHY
IS CONTAGIOUS. UM, AND SO,
THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS. BUT I THINK DEFINITELY
THERE ARE CHANGES IN– CHANGES ON THE HORIZON
FOR TEACHING. UM, BUT I THINK WE ALSO HAVE,
YOU KNOW, ANECDOTAL AT BEST, BUT I HAVE VERY GOOD FRIENDS
WHO ARE K THROUGH 12 TEACHERS, AND THEY’RE DEALING,
AT THE VERY YOUNGER AGES, MORE AND MORE
WITH BEHAVIORAL ISSUES THAN THEY ARE WITH TRYING
TO TEACH THE CONTENT. AND WITH FUNDING BEING CUT
SO DRASTICALLY AND SO QUICKLY, UM, ESPECIALLY UNDER THE CURRENT
ADMINISTRATION IN THIS STATE, THE FIRST THINGS TO GO
ARE THOSE REMEDIAL CLASSES. AND SO, THESE STUDENTS
WHO ARE IN THE REMEDIAL CLASSES WHO TRY AND GET THEM TO THE LEVEL
OF THE OTHER STUDENTS IN THE CLASS, THOSE SECTIONS ARE BEING CUT, AND THOSE STUDENTS ARE JUST
BEING PLOPPED INTO CLASSROOMS. MUCH LIKE–
I TEACH “P.S. 110.” WE ALL DO. AND WE HAVE TO TEACH
TO THE STUDENTS WHO HAVE– AND I’M CERTAINLY
NOT COMPLAINING, I THINK IT MAKES FOR A MUCH
MORE DYNAMIC CONVERSATION– THE STUDENTS WHO PASS UP AQUINAS
AND GRAND VALLEY AND WESTERN BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT. BUT ALSO THE STUDENTS WHO ARE-
BOY, YOU KNOW– THEY’RE AT A FAIRLY LOW READING LEVEL,
AND YOU’RE TRYING TO TEACH TO BOTH, AND YOU HAVE
TO REACH BOTH. SO, I– I’M CERTAINLY NOT TRYING
TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR TEACHERS. I JUST THINK THAT–
AND I DON’T NECESSARILY KNOW THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES
THAT WE HAVEN’T FACED FOR 200 YEARS. BUT… TO JUST PLACE IT ALL
AT THE BLAME OF THE– UM, AT THE FEET
OF THE TEACHERS, I THINK IS KINDA MISSING
OTHER FACTORS.>>I DIDN’T MEAN ALL OF THE TEACHERS–
>>I KNOW– I KNOW, I KNOW. AND– BUT I THINK WHAT
YOU’RE BRINGING TO LIGHT IS A LOT OF WHAT’S GOING ON
IN CHICAGO RIGHT NOW, TOO. I MEAN, THE PROTESTS
AND THE UNIONS AND– YES, YOU KNOW, I STILL HAVE FRIENDS
AND FORMER STUDENTS AT GRAND VALLEY WHO ARE NOW DOWN
WORKING IN WASHINGTON D.C. AND THEY ARGUE WITH ME
ALL THE TIME, THINKING THAT UNIONS
ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY… UM, BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE
THE WORKPLACE PROBLEMS THAT YOU HAD IN THE,
YOU KNOW, ’40s AND ’50s, AND “WORKPLACE IS EQUAL NOW,” AND “THERE’S NO ISSUES,
SO WE DON’T REALLY NEED UNIONS, “AND THEY’RE JUST PROTECTING
THE BAD PEOPLE.” AND YOU KNOW, I JUST–
I DON’T KNOW. I WOULD AGREE THAT THE EDUCATION
OF OUR YOUTH IS SLIPPING
THROUGH OUR FINGERS. I SHOW A MOVIE IN MY CLASS
EVERY SEMESTER– AND I’M SORRY IF I’M DOMINATING–
IT’S CALLED “TWO MILLION MINUTES.” AND IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT,
IT’S A POWERFUL MOVIE THAT SHOWS– YES, JADED AND CHERRY-PICKED
AND NOT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND, BUT IT SHOWS THE EDUCATION
OF TWO INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES. UM, CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL, ACTUALLY–
OUT OF INDIANA, I BELIEVE?>>MMM-HMM.
>>WITH TWO INDIVIDUALS FROM INDIA
AND TWO INDIVIDUALS OF CHINA. AND “TWO MILLION MINUTES” IS ACTUALLY
THE POINT AT WHICH YOU START HIGH SCHOOL TO THE POINT
AT WHICH YOU GRADUATE. AND, UM, YOU HAVE
TWO MILLION MINUTES, AND WHAT DO AMERICANS
DO WITH THAT? WHAT DO THE PEOPLE IN INDIA
DO WITH THAT? AND WHAT DO THE PEOPLE IN CHINA
DO WITH THAT? WELL, YOU FIND THAT THE EDUCATION
IN THE UNITED STATES IS WHOLLY DIFFERENT
THAN THAT OF INDIA AND CHINA, BUT YOU ALSO FIND THAT THERE ARE
MORE STUDENTS ON HONOR ROLL IN INDIA THAN THERE ARE STUDENTS
IN THE UNITED STATES. AND… WHAT OUR STUDENTS DON’T REALIZE
IS THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE COMPETING AGAINST. AND I THINK PART OF THAT
IS OUR PROBLEM, BECAUSE WE’RE NOT MAKING
IT KNOWN THAT THE IPHONES THAT THEY’RE GETTING
AT 13 AND 14 YEARS OLD, IT’S NOT COMMON
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. AND I THINK THAT’S, AGAIN,
PART OF OUR PROBLEM… IS THAT WE’RE NOT MAKING ‘EM
WORK HARD ENOUGH.>>GORDAN, YAN–
>>I’M SORRY. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD
ANYTHING TO THAT? OR SHOULD I TURN IT OVER
TO ANOTHER QUESTION?>>I’LL JUST BRIEFLY SAY THAT
I THINK AMONG MY STUDENTS, I ALSO NOTICED A GENERAL CONTEMPT
FOR POLITICS. (audience murmuring) PART OF IT IS BOREDOM,
BUT OTHER PART IS CONTEMPT, BECAUSE HOW THEY
PERCEIVE POLITICS– BEFORE, OF COURSE,
THEY COME TO MY CLASS– IS…
(audience laughing)>>AND THEY LEAVE ENLIGHTENED.>>IT’S JUST A COLLECTION OF VERY LOUD
AND ANGRY SOUND-BITES, RIGHT? WHICH– FOR–
AND I NEVER REALLY TRIED IT– MAYBE I SHOULD TRY IT,
BUT I SHOULD ASK– USUALLY, I SHOULD ASK THEM, “SO WHEN I SAY ‘POLITICS,’
WHAT IT IS THAT YOU THINK ABOUT?” I THINK, PERHAPS, MANY OF THEM WOULD SAY,
“SCREAMING, FIGHT, DISAGREEMENT,” AND THINGS LIKE THAT, ESPECIALLY IF I ASK THEM
WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT POLITICIANS. AND I’M FROM A NICE FAMILY,
SO I DON’T WANT TO EVEN THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK
ABOUT POLITICIANS, RIGHT? SO, POLITICIANS ARE USUALLY PERCEIVED
AS FAIRLY BAD PEOPLE. POLITICS IS PERCEIVED AS JUST
A STRUGGLE FOR WHO IS THE LOUDEST AND WHO WINS
THE PARTICULAR DAY. AND I THINK
THAT’S VERY UNFORTUNATE. UM, IT’S NOT–
IT IS NOT THAT– I MEAN, THE FACT THAT THEY THINK
ABOUT POLITICS IN THAT WAY IS NOT THE ONLY THING
THAT IS UNFORTUNATE. I THINK THEY’RE PARTLY RIGHT
BECAUSE AMERICAN POLITICS HAS BECOME SORT OF A COLLECTION
OF ANGRY SOUND-BITES AND SCREAMING
OVER EACH OTHER’S HEADS. I MEAN,
IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO CREATE DISCUSSION
ABOUT SERIOUS ISSUES OR DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW
TO SOLVE VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS THAT BOTHER THIS COUNTRY. I MEAN, IF YOU LOOK AT HOW
THE TWO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE RUNNING THEIR CAMPAIGN, THEY’RE NOT REALLY TALKING ABOUT
HAVING A SERIOUS DISCUSSION, AT LEAST NOT YET, RIGHT? ROMNEY IS REALLY AFRAID
TO SAY WHAT HE THINKS, UNLESS HE IS IN FLORIDA
TALKING TO FUNDRAISERS, RIGHT? AND OBAMA IS ALSO TALKING
IN GENERALITIES, AND HE’S BASICALLY NOT REALLY SAYING
WHAT REALLY WENT WRONG IN THE ECONOMY IN THE PAST,
EXCEPT FOR SAYING, “WELL, IT’S THE PROBLEM
THAT HAS BEEN DECADES OLD,” AND HE IS NOT REALLY SAYING
HOW WE GO FROM POINT “A,” WHERE WE ARE NOW,
TO POINT “B.” RIGHT, SO, I THINK MY STUDENTS
ARE PARTLY RIGHT. I DON’T WANT TO SAY
THAT TO THEM IN PUBLIC– JUST KEEP IT A SECRET
AMONG OURSELVES, RIGHT? (audience chuckling)
BUT… THEY’RE PARTLY RIGHT THAT,
UNFORTUNATELY, AMERICAN POLITICS HAVE BECOME
A COLLECTION OF ANGRY SOUND-BITES AND STRUGGLE AND FIGHT– WHO IS GONNA WIN
A PARTICULAR DAY IN THE MEDIA RATHER THAN WHO IS GONNA WIN
ON THE SERIOUSNESS OF ARGUMENTS, RIGHT? I HOPE THAT CHANGES
IN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS, BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE–
ON 3rd OF OCTOBER, WE WILL HAVE
THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, SO I THINK THAT WILL BE
A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR BOTH CANDIDATES TO TELL US
WHERE THEY WANT TO TAKE US, RIGHT? OR AT LEAST–
I KNOW THAT THEY WILL SAY THAT THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE US
TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE… BUT I WONDER WHERE
THIS BRIGHTER FUTURE IS, SO…>>I HAVE A FEELING WE’RE GONNA
GET MORE OUT OF JON STEWART’S DEBATE WITH BILL O’REILLY THAN WE WILL
OUT OF THE OCTOBER 3rd DEBATE, AND I GOTTA TELL YOU–
>>I HOPE YOU’RE WRONG.>>THERE’S ONE I’M LOOKING
A LOT MORE FORWARD TO.>>(laughing).>>I THINK POLITICIAN AND MEDIA
MUST BE BLAMED, TOO. IT’S NOT JUST STUDENTS’ FAULT. POLITICIANS KNOW THAT YOUNG PEOPLE
DO NOT VOTE, SO “WHY BOTHER? “WHY SHOULD I, YOU KNOW,
INVEST IN THE YOUNG PEOPLE? “WHY SHOULD I SPEND MONEY
AND TIME ON THE YOUNG PEOPLE?” SO, THEY DON’T COMMUNICATE
WITH YOUNG PEOPLE, STUDENTS.>>YEAH, I THINK IT’S INTERESTING TO–
IT’S OKAY– IT’S INTERESTING TO NOTE
THAT THE LARGEST INTEREST GROUP IN THE UNITED STATES IS–
AS MANY OF YOU WELL KNOW– IS THE A.A.R.P., AND IF YOU WERE TO GATHER
ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS TOGETHER, UH, AND GET THEM
INTO A VOTING BLOC, THEY WOULD HAVE JUST AS LOUD AND
AS POWERFUL OF A VOICE AS THE A.A.R.P., AND THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO OFFSET
A LOT OF THOSE THINGS THAT PEOPLE WHO VOTE
PURSUE INTO THE A.A.R.P. UM, AND YOU KNOW, YOU’D PROBABLY SEE
MORE MONEY AVAILABLE FOR STUDENT LOANS AND LOWER INTEREST RATES
ON THOSE STUDENT LOANS. SO, I– JUST WORTH NOTING.
>>OKAY, WE HAVE A QUESTION HERE.>>HELLO, MY NAME’S JESSE JONES, AND I JUST THOUGHT I’D THROW OUT
SOME VIEWPOINTS FROM THE YOUTH. I’M A LITTLE OVER-AGED
FOR THAT AGE GROUP, BUT THAT’S DEFINITELY
THE AREA THAT I FIT INTO. UM, AND FRANKLY,
FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW, YOU KNOW, THE YOUTH OF AMERICA
KIND OF BLAMES THE ELDERLY AND THE OLDER GENERATIONS,
LIKE, UM… LIKE THE BABY BOOMERS,
IN PARTICULAR. THAT’S WHERE WE SEE THE BLAME IS,
AND FIRST OF ALL, THOSE ARE THE MAJOR
BLOC OF VOTERS, THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE VOTING IN
WHAT WE HAVE TODAY. UM, THEY’RE POINT OF VIEW
IS WHAT DOMINATES THE TELEVISION… UM, AND THE MEDIA. SO, YOU KNOW, FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW,
THEY’RE THE ONES IN THE CONTROL, AND IN MANY ASPECTS OF LIFE,
YOU CAN’T CHANGE THING UNTIL– CHANGE THINGS UNTIL
THE OLD GUARD IS GONE. AND SO, THERE IS SOME… LAZINESS AND JUST WAITING
FOR THEM TO DIE, AND LOOKING FORWARD
TO THAT GENERATION DYING OUT. (audience chuckling) AND THERE’S A LOT OF ISOLATED
HOPELESSNESS IN THE YOUTH. YOU KNOW, THE ISSUES
THAT CONCERN US AREN’T ON T.V. AND FRANKLY, A LOT OF US
DON’T SEE OURSELVES AS AMERICANS. IT DOESN’T HELP THAT WE’RE CONSTANTLY TOLD
THAT WE’RE NOT “REAL AMERICANS” ON THE MEDIA CHANNELS, BUT THE YOUTH HAS GROWN UP
WITH THE INTERNET. WE’VE GOT FRIENDS GLOBALLY. YOU KNOW, SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS,
ONE OF WHICH IS JUST SAW THIS SUMMER, IS FROM GERMANY. I HAVE A FRIEND WHO’S FROM RUSSIA,
YOU KNOW, SOUTH AMERICA. WE DO A LOT OF TRAVELING THERE… UM… YOU KNOW, TO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES,
AND WE HAVE A COMMUNITY THAT’S GLOBAL. UM, AND UNFORTUNATELY, IN A LOT OF POINTS,
THAT GLOBAL COMMUNITY AND COMMUNICATION THAT WE HAVE
IS ALMOST EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF INTERACTION
WE HAVE LOCALLY. AND BECAUSE OF THAT… YOU KNOW, WE–
>>THERE’S A PROTEST COMING IN.>>YEAH, I GUESS,
THIS IS A SIT-IN OR SOMETHING. SORRY, JESSE.
>>NO, THAT’S FINE. IT’S JUST, UM– YOU KNOW, A LOT
OF THE ISSUES THAT WE TALK ABOUT IN THE FOUNDING
OF THE COUNTRY, ABOUT UNIFYING THE STATES
ON A FEDERAL LEVEL IS A LOT OF THE FEELINGS,
I THINK, THE YOUTH HAVE ABOUT MULTI-CULTURALISM AND JOINING TOGETHER
SUCH AS WITH THE U.N. AND, UM… THAT’S KIND OF THE THING
THAT WE LIKE, BUT, UM…
YOU KNOW, ALL OF OUR ISSUES ABOUT THINGS LIKE
COPYRIGHT FOR USE ISSUES… THOSE AREN’T ADDRESSED IN THE MEDIA
AND IN THE DEBATES HERE IN AMERICA. ALTHOUGH THE YOUTH HAS BEEN GAINING GROUND
IN EUROPE WITH THE “PIRATE PARTY” FOR THESE TYPES OF ISSUES. UM, THERE’S ALSO THINGS LIKE
THE MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION ISSUES. BUT IT’S DOMINATED
BY PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, LIKE THE GRANDPARENTS
AND UNCLES THAT WE HAVE WHO ARE STILL HUNG UP ON… BLACKS,
AND SEGREGATION ISSUES. AND YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS
THAT ARE GOING OFF ABOUT COMMUNISM. AND AS SOMEBODY WHO HAS
A CLOSE FRIEND FROM RUSSIA, I THINK THAT IT’S LUDICROUS. UM, AND FRANKLY,
WE DON’T SEE “BEING AMERICAN” AS BEING AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM. YOU KNOW,
A LOT OF US– THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
CAPITALISM AND COMMUNISM– THEY’RE SIMPLE ECONOMIC ISSUES. AND FRAMING ONE AS “EVIL”
IS JUST, YOU KNOW, RIDICULOUS. BUT THERE’S SO MUCH HOPELESSNESS
BECAUSE OUR GENERATION DOES FEEL ISOLATED BECAUSE THERE’S NO COMMUNICATION. AND YOU’RE RIGHT–
I– I’M ALSO PRETTY UPSET
THAT NOT SO MANY OF THE YOUTH AREN’T GETTING OUT
AND VOTING. AND SO, IT’S NOT THAT
THEY’RE UNEDUCATED. IF YOU SPEND ANY TIME ONLINE
IN ANY OF THE FORUM BOARDS, UM, THERE’S QUITE A BIT
OF IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION THAT’S GOING ON
BETWEEN PEOPLE. IT’S, UM–
>>CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?>>MMM-HMM.>>DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD
REQUIRE YOUNG PEOPLE TO VOTE? DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD PASS A LAW
WHICH IS MANDATORY? IF YOU DON’T,
YOU’LL BE PUNISHED OR PENALIZED.>>NO–
>>TAXED–>>NO, BUT, UM, YOU KNOW,
THAT’S KIND OF… THE THING IS, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
ABOUT OUR FREEDOMS IS THE FREEDOM
TO BE DIFFERENT. I MEAN, A LOT OF ISSUES LIKE
WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN BE FORCED TO SAY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE,
UM…>>BUT THERE’S ALSO THIS IDEA
THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO– THAT MAYBE NOT VOTING
IS STRATEGIC AS WELL. AND SO, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PEOPLE
WHO DON’T TURN OUT TO VOTE, SOMETIMES THAT
IS A RATIONAL CHOICE FOR THEM.>>YEAH, I’VE HEARD
A LOT OF THINGS LIKE THAT. LIKE EVEN PEOPLE TALKING
ABOUT SERVING IN THE MILITARY AS BEING A CONDITION
FOR CITIZENSHIP. AND I THINK THAT YOU GUYS
ARE MISSING THE IMPORTANT POINT, IS I KNOW A BIG PART
OF WHY THERE’S A HOPELESSNESS, BESIDES THE FACT
THAT, UM, THE MAJOR PARTIES
AND NEWS OUTLETS AREN’T HAVING THE CONVERSATION
THAT WE’D LIKE TO HAVE, IS THE FACT THAT… THE USELESSNESS OF THE CONSTITUTION
IS PLAINLY SEEN. I MEAN, WHEN WE SEE THINGS
LIKE THE IRAQ WAR NOT EVEN BEING DECLARED
AS A WAR, BUT CLEARLY IN VIOLATION
OF ARTICLE VI OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND THERE’S NOTHING THAT
A COMMON PERSON CAN DO ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE IT VIOLATES
THE U.N. TREATY… AND BEING A TREATY,
IT’S U.S. LAW. BUT WE STILL TAKE MILITARY ACTION
AGAINST A COUNTRY, AGAINST THE U.N. TREATY,
WITHOUT THE PROVISIONS OF BEING MILITARILY ATTACKED
BY THAT COUNTRY OR BEING GRANTED PERMISSION
THROUGH THE SECURITY COUNCIL. UM, SO, WE SEE A VIOLATION
OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND WHAT CAN AN AVERAGE PERSON
DO ABOUT THAT?>>I THINK–>>I WOULD DISAGREE A LITTLE BIT
WITH THAT STATEMENT. THE, UM– I WOULD SAY BOTH CHAMBERS
OF CONGRESS DID VOTE TO APPROVE THE AUTHORIZATION
FOR THE INVASION OF IRAQ IN 2003. (one person clapping)
THE VOTE TOOK PLACE IN 2002, AND IN MARCH OF 2003, GEORGE BUSH
TOOK THAT BLANK CHECK, SO TO SPEAK, AND CASHED IT. UM, THE FACT THAT IT DIDN’T SAY
“DECLARE WAR,” I WOULD ARGUE IS KIND
OF A SEMANTIC ARGUMENT THAT’S NOT REALLY RELEVANT. IT DID AUTHORIZE THE USE
OF MILITARY FORCE, AND EVEN HILLARY CLINTON
VOTED FOR IT. UM, SHE LATER
TRIED TO CLAIM THAT IT SHOULDN’T COUNT AGAINST HER
BECAUSE SHE WAS– BECAUSE SHE FELT LIKE
SHE WAS MISLED. WELL, YOU KNOW, IT TAKES TWO PEOPLE
FOR THE LIE TO WORK, RIGHT? IT TAKES THE LIAR
AND THE PERSON WHO BELIEVES IT, SO I THINK THAT WAS
A LITTLE DISINGENUOUS ON HER PART. BUT THE POINT IS, IS THAT CONGRESS DID
AUTHORIZE THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE, AND THE UNITED NATIONS ITSELF
DOES NOT PREVENT THE UNITED STATES– OR CANNOT PREVENT THE UNITED STATES
FROM DECLARING WAR ON A PARTICULAR–>>BECAUSE WE ARE A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY.
>>ON A PARTICULAR STATE, RIGHT. IT DOESN’T TAKE AWAY ANY
U.S. SOVEREIGNTY IN THAT REGARD. UM–
>>CAN I ADDRESS THE “OLD GUARD” AND THAT THE BABY BOOMERS
ARE CONTROLLING EVERYTHING? CAN I–
>>YEAH, ABOUT THEM DYING OFF AND– THAT WOULD SOLVE
THE UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM, TOO, WOULDN’T IT?
>>RIGHT.>>YEAH, AND EVERYTHING
WILL BE FINE WHEN WE DIE OFF.>>I’M A BABY BOOMER.
>>OH, OKAY. WELL, YOU JUST PICK UP THE PACE!
(all laughing)>>OLD SOLDIER NEVER DIES…
HE JUST FADE AWAY.>>WELL, I THINK THE PROBLEM IS
IS THAT WHEN YOU SAY THAT, UM, THE OLDER GENERATION IS THE ONE THAT’S STIFLING
THE CONVERSATION, I THINK THAT
YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT, IS THAT THERE’S ALWAYS
GOING TO BE AN OLDER GENERATION. UM, WE VOTE BASED ON
THE SITUATION THAT WE’RE IN. UH, THERE’S AN OLD SAYING THAT
“IF YOU’RE 20 AND NOT A DEMOCRAT, “YOU HAVE NO HEART. “IF YOU’RE 40 AND NOT A REPUBLICAN,
YOU HAVE NO HEAD.” AND THAT’S– THAT–
I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP. DON’T– DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER.
(laughing) UM, BUT IT’S THIS IDEA– AND WE CALL IT A “GENERATIONAL EFFECT”
IN POLITICAL SCIENCE. AND IT IS STATISTICALLY SOUND
THAT PEOPLE VOTE BASED ON THE SITUATION
THAT YOU’RE IN. YOUNGER GENERATIONS TEND
TO VOTE MORE DEMOCRATIC. INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SINGLE
TEND TO VOTE MORE DEMOCRATIC. INDIVIDUALS WHO RENT
TEND TO VOTE MORE DEMOCRATIC. AND THAT’S BECAUSE, AS YOU GET OLDER,
YOU GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE, YOU GET MORE STUFF,
YOU MAKE MORE MONEY, YOU WANNA KEEP
MORE OF THAT MONEY, SO YOU TEND TO VOTE
IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION. IT’S NOT– IT’S NOT A MATTER
OF YOUR SKIN COLOR OR YOUR SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS. A LOT OF THAT HAS TO DO
WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR GENERATION. MIDDLE-AGED INDIVIDUALS
ARE GONNA VOTE DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE NOW THEY HAVE
DIFFERENT RESPONSIBILITIES. YOU HAVE CHILDREN
IN SCHOOL, YOU’RE MORE CONCERNED
ABOUT THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, YOU TEND TO MAYBE WANNA
SIT ON THE P.T.A., HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE SAY IN THE BOOKS
THAT ARE USED TO EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN, YOU GET A LITTLE BIT OLDER,
NOW YOU’RE IN RETIREMENT– WELL, YOU WANNA MAKE SURE THAT
YOUR MEDICARE THAT YOU WERE PROMISED AND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY
THAT YOU WERE PROMISED AND, “OH, BY THE WAY, I’VE BEEN
PAYING INTO THIS FOR 65 YEARS. “I’M ENTITLED TO THIS
BECAUSE I’VE BEEN PAYING INTO IT, “BECAUSE THAT’S THE SYSTEM
THAT WE CREATED.” THERE’S ALWAYS GONNA BE
ANOTHER GENERATION RIGHT BEHIND IT THAT HAS PAID INTO THE SYSTEM
AND “DESERVES” THAT. SO, YOU’RE NEVER GONNA GET AWAY
FROM THE “OLD GUARD,” BECAUSE THERE’S JUST
GONNA BE A “NEW GUARD” STEPPING INTO
THE “OLD GUARD’S” SHOES. AND EVENTUALLY,
THAT’S GONNA BE US. AND THEN, YOU’RE GONNA HAVE
THE YOUNGER GENERATION SAYING, “WELL, YOU KNOW, IT’S THE OLD PEOPLE
THAT’S STIFLING THE CONVERSATION.” NO, IT’S THE OLD PEOPLE
THAT ARE VOTING. AND SO, YEAH, THEY’RE CONTROLLING
THE SITUATION AND THE CONVERSATION. SO, MY SOLUTION, AGAIN,
IS GET YOUR BUTT TO THE POLLS.>>I THINK MOST AMERICANS
ARE (indistinct). UH, MOST AMERICANS
ARE WAITING TO MAKE PROGRESS. THEY DO HAVE THE SENSE
OF PROGRESS, BUT THEY’RE MORE WILLING
OF MAKING SLOW, INCREMENTAL,
GRADUAL PROGRESS– NOT IN A RADICAL–
NOT SWEEPING CHANGE.>>AND IT’S SUSTAINABLE THAT WAY.
>>YES.>>OKAY, WE GOT
ANOTHER QUESTION HERE.>>UM, I HAVE A QUESTION
ABOUT “OBAMACARE” AND NOT BEING INCLUDED WITH
THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE, OR THE COMMERCE CLAUSE. UM, IN 1792, GEORGE WASHINGTON AUTHORIZED
THE BILL REQUIRING ALL CITIZENS– WELL, I THINK ALL MALE CITIZENS
TO CARRY A GOOD MUSKET, AND THAT WAS UNDER,
I BELIEVE… ARTICLE I, SECTION 8,
CLAUSE 16. “TO PROVIDE FOR ORGANIZING, ARMING,
AND DISCIPLINING THE MILITIA, “AND FOR GOVERNING SUCH PART
OF THEM AS MAY BE EMPLOYED “IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES,
RESERVING TO THE RESPECTIVELY.” UM, SO, I GUESS MY QUESTION IS,
IS IF USE– AT ONE POINT, OUR FOUNDING FATHER GEORGE WASHINGTON
HAD USED THE CONSTITUTION TO REQUIRE US
TO PURCHASE SOMETHING, WHY COULDN’T “OBAMACARE”
BE UPHELD IN THE SAME MANNER?>>I THOUGHT IT WAS.
>>UH–>>OH, YOU’RE SAYING THROUGH
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, THROUGH THAT PARTICULAR PARAGRAPH,
WHY WASN’T THAT ONE USED? BECAUSE–
>>YOU SAID IT WAS BECAUSE– YOU WANTED TO KNOW WHY
THE COMMERCE CLAUSE WASN’T RELEVANT OR SUPPORTIVE
OF “OBAMACARE”?>>BUT ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, PARAGRAPH 1,
THAT ALLOWS THE GOVERNMENT– ER, CONGRESS TO TAX,
ESSENTIALLY WHAT “OBAMACARE”– EVEN OBAMA’S CALLING IT
“OBAMACARE”– (laughing)
THE NAME STUCK. THAT’S TRUE–
PARAGRAPH 1 AND ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, WHICH IS THE POWER TO TAX, WHICH IS WHAT THE SUPREME COURT USED
RATHER THAN THE COMMERCE CLAUSE–>>HE WANTS TO KNOW
WHY NOT THE COMMERCE CLAUSE.>>OH!
>>BECAUSE–>>IS THAT THE QUESTION?
>>YEAH, THAT’S THE QUESTION.>>I THINK THE FIRST PART OF YOUR QUESTION
ABOUT WELFARE CLAUSE, RIGHT?>>YES, GENERAL WELFARE–
THE GENERAL WELFARE, BASICALLY– YOU KNOW, THE WELFARE
OF THE PEOPLE–>>BUT THAT’S THE PREAMBLE,
AND THAT’S NOT A BINDING–>>NO, BUT IT’S SECTION 8 ACTUALLY STARTS
WITH THE GENERAL WELFARE, TOO.>>YEAH, IT DOES START
WITH GENERAL WELFARE–>>SO, I THINK– I THINK THE ARGUMENT HERE
IS THAT GENERAL WELFARE, IN TERMS OF THE HEALTHCARE
IN THE UNITED STATES, ALREADY EXISTS BECAUSE THERE IS
A FEDERAL LAW THAT REQUIRES DOCTORS
AND HOSPITALS TO TREAT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY, AND
THEN THE HOSPITAL AND DOCTOR ARE JUST– ACCORDING TO THE LAW,
THEY JUST HAVE TO STABILIZE YOU, WHICH MEANS YOU CANNOT DIE JUST THAT DAY,
BUT MAYBE A FEW DAYS LATER. (audience laughing)
BUT, UM–>>(laughing) YAAAY!
>>BUT THEY DON’T– THEY DON’T HAVE TO HEAL YOU,
RIGHT? SO, THAT’S– I MEAN,
SOME OF MY CONSERVATIVE STUDENTS ARE SAYING,
“WELL, THERE IS A– “MAYBE THERE IS NOT UNIVERSAL
HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE UNITED STATES, “BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.” AND THEY ARE REFERRING
TO THIS PARTICULAR FEDERAL LAW THAT REQUIRES MEDICAL PROFESSION
TO STABILIZE YOU. I DON’T KNOW–
MY MOTHER IS A DOCTOR– I KNOW PRETTY WELL
WHAT HEALTHCARE IS, AND IT’S NOT GOING TO EMERGENCY ROOM
FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED, RIGHT? JUST HAVING A REGULAR DOCTOR WHO
TAKES CARE FOR YOU, 10, 20, 30 YEARS– HOPEFULLY IF HE OR SHE IS ALIVE
THAT LONG, RIGHT? WHY NOT COMMERCE CLAUSE, RIGHT? WELL, I THINK COMMERCE CLAUSE
IS PROBLEMATIC BOTH ON ACCOUNT
OF SUPREME COURT, RIGHT? JOHN ROBERTS– THE CHIEF JUSTICE–
SAID THAT THIS WAS PROBLEMATIC, BUT IT’S EVEN MORE PROBLEMATIC
THAN HE SAID, RIGHT? IF YOU READ
THE COMMERCE CLAUSE, COMMERCE CLAUSE IS REGULATING
THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ACROSS STATE BORDERS
AND ACROSS– WELL, ALSO ACROSS
NATIONAL BORDERS, RIGHT? BUT LET US ASSUME THAT YOU BUY
HEALTH INSURANCE WITHIN THE STATE AND PARTICULAR INSURANCE COMPANIES
WITHIN THE STATE– DOES THE COMMERCE CLAUSE APPLY? I THINK THE SUPREME COURT PERHAPS,
IF HELD UNDER THE GUN, WOULD SAY, “WELL, ANY ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
APPLIES UNDER COMMERCE CLAUSE,” RIGHT? EVEN IF IT IS WITHIN
THE STATE, RIGHT? BUT THE ARGUMENT THAT ROBERTS READ,
AND THIS IS MAINLY HIS OPINION, RIGHT? THE ARGUMENT THAT ROBERTS READ
IN TERMS OF THE “OBAMACARE” WAS THAT
THERE IS NO WAY IN WHICH PEOPLE SHOULD BE
FORCED TO ENTER A MARKET– WHICH IS MARKET
FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, RIGHT– WITHOUT REALLY WANTING
TO ENTER IT, RIGHT?>>SO– BECAUSE FOR THEM, THIS WAS
PERCEIVED AS SORT OF A SLIPPERY SLOPE. IF THE GOVERNMENT FORCES YOU
TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE THEN THEY CAN BASICALLY FORCE YOU
TO BUY BROCCOLI OR CHEVY VAULT.>>(giggling).>>BUT THE GOVERNMENT CLAIM
THAT HEALTHCARE MARKET, OR HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET,
IS A DIFFERENT ONE. SO, IT’S NOT THE SAME,
LIKE BROCCOLI OR CHEVY VAULT, RIGHT? IT’S A MARKET IN WHICH ALL OF US
WILL USE HEALTHCARE SOONER OR LATER… AND NOT ALL OF US
WILL BUY BROCCOLI, RIGHT? AND THEREFORE, IF YOU’RE NOT ABLE
TO PAY FOR THE SERVICE, RIGHT, THEREFORE, OTHERS WILL PAY FOR US
THROUGH HIGHER INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND FOR HIGHER PRICE, RIGHT? BUT ROBERTS SAID,
“WELL, COMMERCE CLAUSE DOES NOT APPLY, “BUT THE POWER TO TAX DOES,”
RIGHT? SO, THIS– IF YOU DON’T HAVE
HEALTH INSURANCE STARTING IN 2014, THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING
TO SLAP YOU WITH A PENALTY, AND ROBERTS SAID THAT THIS PENALTY
COULD BE INTERPRETED AS A TAX, RIGHT? DESPITE THE FACT THAT
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAS AGAINST CALLING IT A TAX.
(laughing) BUT ROBERTS SAID,
“OH, WELL, WE CAN CALL IT A TAX “BECAUSE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SARAH MARSHALL
ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT IT’S ALWAYS GREAT–” “IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA
TO SEE CONSTITUTION “HOW A CERTAIN LAW
COULD BE JUSTIFIED, “REGARDLESS OF THE FACT
THAT APPELLANT OF THAT LAW “MAY NOT EVEN WANT TO HAVE
THIS ARGUMENT HEARD.” ALTHOUGH, IN THE ARGUMENTS,
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION MENTIONED THE POSSIBILITY
TO INTERPRET THAT PENALTY AS A TAX. BUT THAT WAS SORT
OF A SIDE ARGUMENT. BUT ROBERTS, IN HIS OPINION,
IS SAYING THAT’S THE MAIN ARGUMENT– INTERPRETING THIS PENALTY
THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY IF YOU DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE
IN 2014 CAN BE CALLED A TAX. AND THERE’S ABSOLUTELY
NO LIMIT IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS HOW MUCH GOVERNMENT
CAN TAX YOU, THERE IS NO LIMIT– THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT SAY
THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT TAX YOU FOR THE THINGS YOU DON’T WANT
OR NEED, RIGHT? THE GOVERNMENT– THE CONSTITUTION DOES
NOT SAY THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT TAX YOU ONLY IF YOU JUST SIT AT HOME
AND DRINK FRENCH COGNAC AND SMOKE CIGARS, RIGHT?
>>(giggling).>>GOVERNMENT CAN EVEN TAX YOU
IN THAT PARTICULAR– ESPECIALLY THEY CAN TAX
THE COGNAC AND CIGARS. AND SO–
BUT THIS, I THINK IT’S– PERSONALLY, THAT IT’S
A VERY STRANGE DECISION BECAUSE IT SAYS,
“ON ONE HAND, “THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO BE CONSTRAINED
IN ITS POWER “TO FORCE YOU TO BUY STUFF,
BUT HOW COME–” MY QUESTION IS,
HOW COME THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONSTRAINED
IN ITS ABILITY TO TAX? I THINK, PERHAPS, THAT WAS
A POLITICAL DECISION– WHICH, BY THE WAY, I AGREE–
(laughing) UH, AND I THINK ROBERTS
WAS BASICALLY LOOKING FOR
A PLAUSIBLE JUSTIFICATION IN THE CONSTITUTION TO JUSTIFY THE DECISION
THAT HE PROBABLY MADE BEFORE HE EVEN PERHAPS
THOUGHT ABOUT ARGUMENTS. IT’S ALSO JUST–
THAT’S JUST A SPECULATION. OF COURSE, I DON’T KNOW. AS FAR AS GEORGE WASHINGTON
IS CONCERNED, RIGHT, UM, IF YOU READ THE CONSTITUTION
CAREFULLY, THE CONSTITUTION
IS NOT TELLING YOU THAT YOU SHOULD BUY
A WEAPON, RIGHT? IT DOESN’T MENTION MUSKETS
OR GUNS OR SHOTGUNS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, RIGHT? THERE WAS A LAW, RIGHT, THAT BASICALLY
FORCED PEOPLE TO BUY WEAPONS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND
WHAT THEY WERE DEFENDING, RIGHT? BUT NOT THE PARTICULAR
CONSTITUTIONAL… CONSTITUTIONAL THING ITSELF,
RIGHT? UH, WHY WAS THAT CONSTITUTIONAL
OR NOT? WE DON’T KNOW, BECAUSE
NOBODY CHALLENGED IT, RIGHT? SO, IN ORDER FOR THE SUPREME COURT TO SAY
THAT SOMETHING IS CONSTITUTIONAL OR NOT, THERE HAS TO BE
A TEST CASE. THERE HAS TO BE A CASE
BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT, RIGHT? THE SUPREME COURT CANNOT
JUST GO AROUND STATES OR TALK TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND SAY, “LOOK, WHAT YOU JUST PASSED
IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.” IT DOESN’T WORK
THAT WAY, RIGHT? SO, I WOULD SUBMIT TO YOU THAT IF SOMEBODY CHALLENGED…
(laughing) THE ORDER OR LAW
BY GEORGE WASHINGTON, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN DEEMED
UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.>>MAYBE I MISSED IT,
BUT IF THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH IS OUR TOPIC TODAY, SAYS THAT THE CONGRESS
CAN REGULATE COMMERCE– BUSINESS TRADE,
IN EFFECT– HOW IS HEALTHCARE NOT
BUSINESS TRADE COMMERCE?>>BECAUSE YOU MAY DECIDE
NOT TO HAVE HEALTHCARE, RIGHT? YOU MAY DECIDE NOT TO BUY. SO, WHY WOULD WE PENALIZE YOU
FOR NOT BUYING SOMETHING? WHY WOULD WE PENALIZE YOU
FOR NOT BUYING A CHEVY VAULT? WHY WOULD WE PENALIZE YOU
FOR NOT BUYING BROCCOLI, RIGHT? SO, THE LAW IS SAYING THAT IF YOU
DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE IN 2014, WE GONNA PENALIZE YOU, AND 26 STATES WERE SAYING,
“WELL, THAT’S WRONG “BECAUSE THE CONGRESS IS NOT ALLOWED
TO PENALIZE PEOPLE FOR DOING NOTHING.”>>BUT YOU CAN BE FORCED TO BUY
SOCIAL SECURITY, A PENSION…>>THAT’S WHY– THAT’S WHY–
I MEAN, I HAD A FEW THINGS, YEAH. ON FRIDAY,
I WAS LISTENING TO N.P.R. AT THE BEGINNING, THE RADIO SAYS
THE WHOLE THING WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. NOW, AFTER A FEW HOURS–
A FEW HOURS LATER, THEY CHANGED. THEY SAID
JOHN ROBERTS ACTUALLY SAID THE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE
IS CONSTITUTIONAL. ACTUALLY,
THERE WERE TWO VOTES. NOW, ON THE COMMERCE CLAUSE, JOHN ROBERTS STOOD WITH
THE CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES. THAT MEANS, YOU KNOW,
THE COMMERCE CLAUSE DOES NOT APPLY. BUT THE SECOND VOTE
WAS WHETHER THE TAX– UH, WHETHER THIS SHOULD FALL IN
THE PROVINCE OF TAX. IN THAT CASE, JOHN ROBERTS VOTED
WITH THE LIBERAL JUSTICES. SO, THEY NOW USE COMMERCE CLAUSE,
THEY USE TAX, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
HAS TO BE TAXED AND GOVERNMENT HAS THE POWER
TO MAKE PEOPLE PAY TAXES. AND THAT’S THE 16th AMENDMENT. NOW, BUT JOHN ROBERTS SAYS
THE TAX IS NOT PENALTY. THE TAX IS USED TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE,
TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR. IF YOU WANT HEALTHCARE,
YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR, YOU HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE,
YOU HAVE TO PAY INTO THAT. SO THIS ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOT PENALTY–
THAT’S THE PURPOSE OF TAX. I THINK, ANOTHER THING IN THAT RULING
IS THAT JOHN ROBERTS ACTUALLY ADDED A FEW THINGS
TO THE CONSTITUTION. HE SAID THAT SUPREME COURT COULD MODIFY THE
CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION. UM, I MEAN, THAT’S KIND OF A,
YOU KNOW, A VERY BIG CHANGE. JOHN ROBERTS SAID,
“IF THE CONSTITUTIONAL BILL “OR LEGISLATION
IS NOT CLEAR, “THE SUPREME COURT CAN INTERPRET,
CAN ADD, CAN MODIFY.”>>YEAH.
>>SO, THAT’S SOMETHING, YOU KNOW.>>AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
ARE TAXES, NOT PENALTIES, AND THEREFORE, IN THAT
PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION, ARE CONSTITUTIONAL.
>>SO PRESUMABLY, IF THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE AND MADE YOU PAY FOR IT, THEN, THEN, LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY,
IT WOULD BE ALLOWED?>>IF YOU COULD INTERPRET IT AS A TAX,
AND FOLLOWING THIS PARTICULAR DECISION, THEN YES, THAT’D BE CONSTITUTIONAL.
>>OKAY.>>OKAY, IN 1995, I BELIEVE IT WAS,
CONGRESS PASSED– OR WAS IT IN 1996– CONGRESS PASSED
THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT?>>SIX. 1996.
>>OKAY.>>SORRY.
>>CLINTON ADMINISTRATION.>>IT WAS THEN A FEW YEARS LATER
CONGRESS ATTEMPTED– WELL, A FEW MEMBERS
OF CONGRESS ATTEMPTED TO LIMIT
THE FEDERAL COURT’S ABILITY TO ACTUALLY ACT ON THAT,
TO RULE IT UNCONSTITUTIONAL. UM, I GUESS
MY QUESTION NOW IS… DOES THE CONSTITUTION
DIRECTLY SAY, OR INDIRECTLY SAY, THAT CONGRESS HAS THE ABILITY TO MODERATE
THE FEDERAL COURTS IN THAT MANNER BECAUSE THEY ARE THE GUARDIANS
OF THE CONSTITUTION IN MANY WAYS AND RESPECTS?
>>THE CONSTITUTION ALLOWS– DID YOU SAY CONGRESS? UM… THE ABILITY
TO CONTROL THE APPEALS THAT CAN BE HEARD, BECAUSE CONGRESS CREATES
THE LOWER FEDERAL COURTS. SO, UM… CONGRESS GIVETH AND
CONGRESS CAN TAKETH AWAY. AND SO, BECAUSE THEY CREATE
THOSE LOWER COURTS, ESPECIALLY THE DISTRICT COURTS,
THEY CAN EXPAND AND CONTRACT THE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
OF THE DISTRICT COURTS, AS WELL AS THE APPEALS COURT–
THE COURT OF APPEALS. AND THE APPEALS PORTION
OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. SO, YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER OR NOT
THEY CAN RESTRICT THEIR ABILITY TO HEAR? YES. UM, OFTEN TIMES I GET– THE DIFFERENT QUESTION IS,
“CAN– OR IS D.O.M.A., “THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT,
CONSTITUTIONAL?” AND YEAH, IT IS. UM, UNDER ARTICLE IV
OF THE CONSTITUTION, IN THE FULL FAITH
AND CREDIT CLAUSE– AT THE VERY END OF THE FULL FAITH
AND CREDIT CLAUSE, IT SAYS THAT CONGRESS
CAN PRESCRIBE THE MANNER IN WHICH THE CONTRACTS
AND AGREEMENTS WILL BE PRESCRIBED. SO, CONGRESS CAN MAKE
THOSE EXCEPTIONS AND CONGRESS CAN CHANGE THE APPELLANT JURISDICTION
OF THOSE COURTS. SO, I THINK I–
>>SO, D.O.M.A. IS CONSTITUTIONAL ACCORDING TO YOU?
>>YES. >>BUT THAT LAW
DEFINES THE MARRIAGE– THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE,
ACCORDING TO CONGRESS– MARRIAGE IS A TRADITIONAL UNION
BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. THAT’S MARRIAGE. SO, IF YOU’VE GOT A UNION
BETWEEN A MAN AND A MAN OR A WOMAN AND A WOMAN,
THAT’S NOT MARRIAGE. THAT’S PASSED IN 1996. NOW, HOW MANY STATES HAVE NULLIFIED OR INTERPOSED
THAT LEGISLATION? I’M NOT SURE, BUT MANY–
NOT MANY– SEVERAL STATES SAY, YOU KNOW,
THEY GO THEIR OWN WAY TO DEFINE MARRIAGE.>>I GUESS THAT MY UNDERSTANDING
OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT ISN’T THAT IT DEFINES
WHAT MARRIAGE IS. IT LEAVES UP TO THE STATES, WHICH IS
APPROPRIATELY WHERE IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE BECAUSE THE CONSTITUTION
DOESN’T MENTION MARRIAGE. THAT IT’S UP TO THE STATES TO DETERMINE
HOW THEY RECOGNIZE MARRIAGE, AND UNDER THE FULL FAITH
AND CREDIT CLAUSE– UM, IT’S UNDER ARTICLE IV
OF THE CONSTITUTION– WHICH IS AN ARTICLE
THAT DEFINES FEDERALISM AND HOW THE STATES
WILL RELATE TO EACH OTHER. AND THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT CLAUSE
JUST SAYS THAT ONE CONTRACT OR DECREE OR AGREEMENT IN ONE STATE
IS RECOGNIZED IN ANOTHER STATE. UM… MY UNDERSTANDING OF D.O.M.A.
IS THAT IT GETS– IT’S ALMOST A “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE” CARD
FOR THE STATES, WHERE THEY CAN– UNDER D.O.M.A., THAT STATES DON’T HAVE
TO RECOGNIZE THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE OF ANY OTHER STATE,
SHOULD IT CHOOSE NOT TO. IT’S NOT MY UNDERSTANDING THAT D.O.M.A.
ACTUALLY DEFINES WHAT MARRIAGE IS.>>(inaudible speaking).
>>OF D.O.M.A.?>>YES.
>>OKAY, I SIT CORRECTED.>>IT WAS CHALLENGED
UNDER THE 14th AMENDMENT AND THE 5th AMENDMENT, UM, AND I THINK IT WAS ALSO
CHALLENGED IN ANOTHER AMENDMENT, BUT I CAN’T BE SURE.
>>BUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER REALLY
WEIGHED IN ON MARRIAGE BECAUSE MARRIAGE ITSELF
IS CONTROLLED BY THE STATES. SO, MY ONLY ASSUMPTION
WOULD BE BECAUSE OF TAXES. THAT THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT ISN’T GOING
TO RECOGNIZE THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE UNDER THE GUISE–
UNDER THE TAX STRUCTURE, MAYBE.>>YEAH, IT WAS– IT HAD TO DO WITH SOCIAL SECURITY,
TAXES, AND STUFF SUCH AS THAT, AND MILITARY BENEFITS,
MORE SPECIFICALLY.>>YES.
>>AND THAT’S WHERE THE CHALLENGE CAME IN. (indistinct)– IT WAS ALSO DEEMED
AS A STATE’S RIGHTS ISSUE. IF A STATE WISHES TO RECOGNIZE A UNION,
NO MATTER WHO IT BE WITH, THE STATE HAS A RIGHT
TO DO THAT.>>THE STATE CAN,
BUT THEY’RE NOT REQUIRED TO.>>YEAH.
>>YEAH.>>BY THE WAY, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
DECIDED NOT TO DEFEND D.O.M.A. IN COURT, SO THAT’S ONE OF THE POWERS
OF EXECUTIVE POWERS. THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
BY THE PRESIDENT SAYS THAT THEY’RE NOT GOING TO DEFEND
THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT IF ATTACKED IN COURT, SO… IT’S NOT BEING IMPLEMENTED.>>WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION WHETHER
OR NOT THAT’S CONSTITUTIONAL, BECAUSE ISN’T THAT EXACTLY
WHAT WE IMPEACHED A PRESIDENT OVER? FOR NOT ENFORCING A LAW?
>>YEAH.>>WHICH PRESIDENT
ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? BILL CLINTON?
>>UH, NO. HE GOT IN TROUBLE
FOR SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. (audience laughing)
I’M, UM–>>ANDREW JOHNSON? THERE’S ONLY BEEN TWO.
>>WELL, YES– AND SO, IT’D BE THE OTHER ONE FOR–
>>ANDREW JOHNSON?>>FOR REFUSING THE–
>>TENURE OF OFFICE ACT.>>TENURE IN OFFICE ACT. SO, IT’S UNDER ARTICLE II–
THE PRESIDENT HAS TO TAKE CARE TO ENSURE THAT THE LAWS
ARE FAITHFULLY FOLLOWED. UM, LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS– HE DOESN’T GET TO PICK AND CHOOSE
WHICH LAWS ARE ENFORCED. HOWEVER, THE PRESIDENT CAN CHOOSE
WHERE HIS AGENDA IS AND SET HIS PRIORITIES, AND HE MIGHT
JUST SAY THIS ISN’T A PRIORITY FOR US.>>MY PREDICTION IS THAT
THE COURTS THEMSELVES WILL RULE D.O.M.A. UNCONSTITUTIONAL
EVENTUALLY.>>YOU HAVE TO BE
VERY CAREFUL.>>ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? WELL, I GUESS–
>>WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALL THESE YOUNG PEOPLE
GET INTO OFFICE?>>(laughing).
>>DON’T WORRY– IT’S CALLED “GENERATIONAL EFFECT.”
>>YEAH, BUT IN MY CLASSES, THERE ARE AT LEAST FIVE FUTURE PRESIDENTS
OF THE UNITED STATES.>>OH, GOOD– OKAY.
>>I’D LIKE TO GO BACK TO– UM– I MEAN, I WAS KINDA
DETECTING A THEME EARLIER THAT IT’S REALLY NOT OUR CONSTITUTION
THAT’S THE PROBLEM, BUT I’M DETECTING THAT IT’S REALLY
THE CITIZENRY THAT’S THE PROBLEM. THEY’RE NOT PROACTIVE ENOUGH,
THEY’RE NOT INVOLVED ENOUGH, THAT IT’S THE MEDIA,
I HEARD, THAT WAS THE PROBLEM.
>>IT’S ONE PART. >>I HEARD THAT IT WAS
OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT WAS THE PROBLEM, BUT APPARENTLY,
THE CONSTITUTION IS ABSOLVED. AND PERHAPS RIGHTLY SO,
BUT THE– I THINK THAT THERE IS SOME COMPLAINTS
ABOUT OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM– PERHAPS IF NOT THE CONSTITUTION, AT LEAST THE WAY OUR DEMOCRACY’S
BEING IMPLEMENTED. AND, I MEAN,
TAKE GERRYMANDERING, FOR EXAMPLE. I MEAN A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE
PERHAPS ARE TURNED OFF OF VOTING BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE,
“WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? “A REPUBLICAN’S GONNA WIN
THIS DISTRICT.”>>YOU ARE ASSUMING THAT
THEY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REPUBLICAN
AND A DEMOCRAT. (audience laughing)
>>YES, I’M ASSUMING THAT– YES.>>THAT’S A LOT OF ASSUMPTION.>>BUT MANY PEOPLE HAVE POINTED OUT
THAT THE WAY THE CONGRESSIONAL SYSTEM– THE WAY CONGRESS AND
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS GERRYMANDERED MEANS THAT THERE’S SO FEW DISTRICTS
THAT ARE ACTUALLY REALLY COMPETED OVER, THAT, FOR THE VAST MAJORITY
OF DISTRICTS, IT’S A FOREGONE CONCLUSION
WHICH PARTY IS GONNA WIN AUTOMATICALLY THAT CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. AND SO, IS THERE NOT SOMETHING
THAT CAN BE DONE, IF NOT CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION,
AT LEAST SOME SORT OF REFORM? MAYBE THAT CAN BE DONE NATIONWIDE
THAT WOULD BREAK UP THIS GERRYMANDERED SYSTEM THAT PREVENTS,
IN MANY PEOPLE’S EYES, DEMOCRACY FROM BEING REALIZED,
THAT REAL REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE–>>YOU STILL GET TO VOTE…
YOU STILL GET TO VOTE. >>I GOT AN IDEA. MOSTLY RIGHT NOW, THE STATES
GET TO DECIDE WHERE TO DRAW THE LINES TO FORM THE DISTRICTS. CAN WE ELECT THIRD PARTY,
NON-PARTISAN COMMISSIONS STAY THERE
AND MAKE DECISIONS THAT WILL BE FAIR
AND REASONABLE? SO–
>>WELL, THE CHALLENGE WILL BE–>>TAKE OVER FROM
STATE GOVERNMENTS.>>MORE OF A NEUTRAL WAY
OF SELECTING CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS.>>NEUTRAL WAY?
>>YEAH, TO FORM DISTRICTS. AND WHY NOT JUST A FEW STATES? NOT ALL OF THEM. IF ALL OF THEM
FOLLOWED SUIT, I THINK THIS ISSUE CAN BE SETTLED,
CAN BE SOLVED.>>YEAH, BUT I THINK THAT SOME STATES
ARE FAIRLY INNOVATIVE, AND IF YOU LOOK AT HOW
AMERICAN POLITICS WORKS, REALLY, THEN YOU WILL SEE THAT STATES
HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SORT OF PERCEIVED AS SITES OF POLITICAL
EXPERIMENTATION. AND IF YOU SEE A BUNCH OF ARTICLES
IN THE CONSTITUTION ARE BASICALLY TAKEN
FROM STATE CONSTITUTIONS THAT EXISTED BEFORE
THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, RIGHT? (laughing)
FROM THE FIRST 13 COLONIES, RIGHT? SO, FOR EXAMPLE,
IN THE STATES OF OREGON AND IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY OPEN PRIMARIES, WHICH MEANS THAT
THE PRIMARIES– WELL, FOR THOSE OF YOU
WHO DON’T KNOW, PRIMARIES ARE ELECTIONS
THAT CHOOSE THE CANDIDATES WHO ARE GOING TO RUN
IN THE GENERAL ELECTIONS, RIGHT? SO, UH, IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
AND IN THE STATE OF OREGON, THERE ARE NO SEPARATE DEMOCRAT
AND REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES. BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE PRIMARY
AND THE FIRST TWO CANDIDATES WHO END UP HAVING
THE MOST VOTES IN THE PRIMARY BASICALLY COMPETE
AGAINST EACH OTHER. SO NOW,
IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, IN SOME DISTRICTS,
WE HAVE THE SITUATION IN WHICH TWO DEMOCRATS
COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER… (laughing)
OR IN OREGON, WHERE TWO REPUBLICANS
COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER. AND SO, I MEAN… THE GENIUS OF THE AMERICAN SYSTEM
IS ACTUALLY IN FEDERALISM, RIGHT? AND FEDERALISM IS, TO A GREAT DEGREE,
PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH ALLOWS STATES
TO BASICALLY EXPERIMENT WITH POLITICAL INNOVATION,
WITH CREATING NEW INSTITUTIONS AND WAYS OF DOING THINGS
WITHOUT THIS– SOME KIND OF A CRANKY,
BUREAUCRATIC MECHANISMS THAT WOULD BASICALLY, I THINK,
IMPEDE THE LIBERTY OF THE STATES AND THE LIBERTY
OF INDIVIDUALS, RIGHT?>>THIS ACTUALLY– IT BRINGS ME BACK
TO MY ORIGINAL ARGUMENT– THAT IS, THAT CONGRESS
HAS TO BE CHANGED. NOW, IF YOU LOOK AT
THE SIZE OF STATES– CALIFORNIAN VERSUS WYOMING,
FOR EXAMPLE– I MEAN, EACH STATE
HAS TWO SENATORS. CALIFORNIA IS SUCH A BIG STATE,
WHICH HAS LIKE 35 MILLION PEOPLE– IT HAS TWO SENATORS. WYOMING HAS LIKE 500,000–
IT STILL HAS TWO SENATORS. SO, HOW DO YOU APPLY
ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE? IT’S NOT PROPORTIONAL. SO, THAT’S WHY, AGAIN, CONGRESS HAS
TO BE CHANGED ACCORDING TO THE TIMES. IN THAT CASE, CALIFORNIA
IS UNDER-REPRESENTED, WYOMING IS OVER-REPRESENTED.>>IT’S UNDEMOCRATIC–
>>UNDEMOCRATIC.>>AND THAT THE CONSTITUTION
COULD BE MADE MORE DEMOCRATIC IF WE MADE THE SENATE
MORE PROPORTIONAL OR IF WE DID AWAY WITH
THE SENATE ALTOGETHER?>>MORE PROPORTIONAL.
>>WHICH WOULD, OF COURSE, REQUIRE– BASED ON THE POPULATION,
I MEAN. LARGE STATES SHOULD HAVE MORE,
SMALL STATES SHOULD HAVE LESS–>>I’D LIKE YOU TO GET TO SEE
THE SENATE AGREE TO THAT. AND ACTUALLY, IT’S IN THE CONSTITUTION
THAT THE ONLY PART OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED, IS THAT
YOU CANNOT TAKE THE TWO SENATORS FROM EACH INDIVIDUAL STATE
WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE STATE. IT’S THE ONLY PART OF THE CONSTITUTION
THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED.>>THAT’S TRUE–
THAT’S TRUE. THAT’S WHY IT SHOULD BE CHANGED, NO?
(audience laughing)>>THE ONLY PART
THAT CAN’T BE AMENDED IS THE ONLY PART THAT
SHOULD BE AMENDED, RIGHT?>>YEAH, BUT I’M REALLY SKEPTICAL
ABOUT THIS ARGUMENT ABOUT MORE DEMOCRACY. I MEAN, UH… I MEAN, WE JUST AGREED THAT
MOST PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLY INFORMED, AND TERRIBLY INFORMED PEOPLE MAKE
CRAPPY CHOICES, SO WHY WOULD WE–>>WHICH IS WHY WE–
>>WHY WOULD WE GIVE THEM MORE CHOICE, RIGHT?
(audience laughing)>>WHICH IS WHY WE DO NOT WANT
TO GET RID OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.>>I AGREE WITH THIS THING
THAT EACH STATE HAS TWO SENATORS BECAUSE THEN SMALL STATES
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO HAVE… I MEAN, INFLUENCE. IF YOU LOOK AT HOW AMERICAN
POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS ARE CREATED, I THINK FOUNDING FATHERS– AND I ALWAYS
WONDER WHERE THE MOTHERS WERE– BUT FOUNDING FATHERS, RIGHT–
OR FRAMERS, BETTER TO CALL THEM– FRAMERS BASICALLY
CREATED A BALANCE BETWEEN PROTECTING
THE POWER OF THE MAJORITY AND PRESERVING SOME POWER
FOR THE MINORITIES, RIGHT? SO, IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT
THE DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, RIGHT, WHICH ARE THE INSTITUTIONS
THAT REPRESENT THE MAJORITY, SUCH AS THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES, THEN YOU HAVE THE NUMBER
OF REPRESENTATIVES PROPORTIONAL
TO THE POPULATION. BUT THEN, YOU LOOK AT– I WOULD CALL IT
“CLASSICAL LIBERAL INSTITUTION,” WHICH IS THE SENATE, AND LIBERALISM–
CLASSICAL LIBERAL– NOT LIBERALISM
OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY BUT CLASSICAL POLITICAL LIBERALISM
OF JOHN LOCKE AND IMMANUEL KANT– IS GOING TO TELL YOU THAT,
BASICALLY, MINORITIES HAVE TO BE
WELL-REPRESENTED, RIGHT? THEIR RIGHTS HAVE TO BE
PRESERVED, RIGHT? BECAUSE LIBERALISM–
CLASSICAL POLITICAL LIBERALISM– STARTS FROM (indistinct),
FROM INDIVIDUAL, RIGHT? SO INDIVIDUAL–
EVEN REGARDLESS OF HOW INSIGNIFICANT AND SMALL
THIS INDIVIDUAL IS, ALSO HAS TO BE PRESERVED. SO, I THINK–
AND LOOK AT THE SUPREME COURT. SUPREME COURT IS ABSOLUTELY
UNDEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION, RIGHT? ONCE THESE JUSTICES ARE PUT ON THE BENCH,
THEY DO NOT REALLY–>>THEY SHALL SERVE
FOR 50 YEARS, NOT LIFE.
>>YEAH, AN OVERSIGHT. SO, I THINK THIS BALANCE
BETWEEN REPRESENTING AND RESPECTING
THE POWER OF MAJORITY AND PRESERVING
THE RIGHTS OF MINORITY IN THE SENSE OF THOSE WHO ARE SMALLER
THAN THE MAJORITY IN NUMBERS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. AND THAT’S– I THINK THAT’S THE GENIUS
OF THE AMERICAN SYSTEM. I DON’T THINK THAT
DEMOCRACY IS THE… MEDICINE FOR EVERYTHING. IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT
THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION, WHICH MEANS
THE FIRST SEVEN ARTICLES, YOU’LL SEE THAT THE FRAMERS
ARE VERY SKEPTICAL OF DEMOCRACY, RIGHT? THE ONLY HOUSE OF CONGRESS
THAT WAS DIRECTLY ELECTED WAS THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES, RIGHT? SENATE WAS NOT DIRECTLY ELECTED,
IF YOU LOOK AT ARTICLE I. SENATE WAS ELECTED BY THE LEGISLATURES
OF THE STATES, RIGHT? (chuckling)
AND THE PRESIDENT, AS HE STILL IS TODAY, IS ACTUALLY
ELECTED BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. I MEAN, MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
DO NOT HAVE ANY LEGAL OBLIGATION TOWARDS THE POPULAR VOTE.
>>WRONG. ACTUALLY SOME STATES DO–
38 STATES HAVE–>>OKAY, ALL RIGHT,
LET’S CONSTITUTIONALIZE THAT, THOUGH. >>CONSTITUTIONALLY, NO–
ONLY IN THE STATES.>>THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT TELL
THE MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, “YOU HAVE TO VOTE IN THE SAME WAY
AS YOUR STATE.”>>BUT THAT TELLS THAT THE FRAMERS
HAD A FEAR OF THE PEOPLE.>>THAT’S RIGHT,
AND I DO HAVE FEAR, TOO. (all laughing) SO, THAT’S WHY I’M SAYING
THAT DEMOCRACY IS NOT NECESSARILY
THE MEDICINE FOR EVERYTHING. I THINK THE FRAMERS
WERE FAIRLY WISE IN BALANCING
THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, BUT ALSO THE–
HOW SHOULD I SAY IT? ALSO THE COMPETENCE OF THE–
>>IT’S FILTERING–>>COMPETENCE OF THE ELITE.>>OURS– I MEAN, AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
IS NOT DIRECT, PURE DEMOCRACY. AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IS INDIRECT.
>>YEAH.>>REPRESENTATIVE, REPUBLICAN.
>>YEAH.>>SO, WE CHOOSE OUR LEADERS,
WE CHOOSE REPRESENTATIVES, AND THESE REPRESENTATIVES MAKE RULES
IN OUR NAMES AND ON OUR BEHALF.>>SO, IT ALL COMES BACK TO US.
>>SO, WE HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM.>>YES.
>>YEAH, BUT AS HAMILTON OR MADISON, REGARD– I MEAN, IF YOU–
I DON’T KNOW– THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WHO AUTHORED
FEDERALIST PAPER NUMBER 52, WHETHER HAMILTON
OR MADISON. I MEAN, “IF PEOPLE WERE SAINTS,
WE WOULDN’T NEED GOVERNMENT,” AS HAMILTON OR MADISON SAID,
RIGHT? SO, HAVING THIS BALANCE OF POWER
AND HAVING DEMOCRACY IN THE SENSE THAT WE HAVE TO HOLD
OUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE IS OUR DISBELIEF IN THE GOODNESS
OF HUMAN NATURE, RIGHT? WE SAYING,
“WELL, WE HAVE THESE CRAPPY LEADERS,” AND THEY’LL ALWAYS REMAIN CRAPPY
IF WE DO NOT CONTROL THEM, RIGHT? BUT IF HUMAN NATURE WAS DIFFERENT,
THEN WE WOULD NOT NEED DEMOCRACY BECAUSE WE WOULDN’T NEED
TO CONTROL THE LEADERS BECAUSE THEY WOULD
BE NATURALLY GOOD, RIGHT?>>AND THAT’S WHY–
>>WHICH MEANS CARING ABOUT THE GOODS
OF THE COMMUNITY.>>THAT’S EXACTLY WHY
WE NEED TERM LIMITS– WE CAN’T LET THEM
STAY FOREVER. WE HAVE TO LET THEM SERVE
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND THEN THEY HAVE TO GO.>>BUT THE TERM LIMITS HAVE GOTTEN US
INTO SO MUCH TROUBLE IN MICHIGAN. I MEAN, WE HAVE TERM LIMITS
ON OUR LEGISLATURE AND ON OUR GOVERNOR, WHICH IS ALL FINE AND DANDY
IF THEY WERE STAGGERED. BUT IN MICHIGAN,
WE HAD WHAT? A THIRD OF OUR HOUSE,
A THIRD OF OUR SENATE, AND OUR GOVERNOR
CHANGE OVER IN 2010. THAT WOULD BE THE SAME YEAR
THAT WE REDISTRICTED, AND SO IT WENT FROM ONE CHAMBER
BEING CONTROLLED BY DEMOCRATS, ONE BEING CONTROLLED BY REPUBLICANS,
AND THEN, A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, TO ALL REPUBLICANS, AND
THEY ARE THE ONES WHO REDEFINE AND REDRAW THOSE DISTRICT LINES
THAT WILL HOLD FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS. SO, TERM LIMITS AREN’T
NECESSARILY A GOOD THING, AND PERSONALLY,
THEY’RE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC. I MEAN, YOU’RE CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION
TO LIMIT THE CHOICE OF THE PEOPLE. IF A SENATOR
IS DOING A GREAT JOB, HE SHOULD CONTINUE
TO BE ELECTED. SO, IF A SENATOR
IS NO LONGER DOING HIS JOB, PEOPLE SHOULD BE SMART ENOUGH
AND INFORMED ENOUGH TO NOT CHOOSE THEM,
ISN’T IT? RIGHT? SO, IF YOU INSTITUTE
A TERM LIMIT, YOU’RE ACTUALLY LIMITING
THE CHOICE OF THE PEOPLE AND–>>AND PUNISH GOOD PEOPLE–
>>PUNISH GOOD PEOPLE. I MEAN, WE HAVE TERM LIMITS
IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY’RE CALLED ELECTIONS. AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE THEM
EVERY TWO YEARS, NOT EVERY FOUR. SO…
>>QUESTION OVER HERE.>>I WANTED TO ASK YOU IN PARTICULAR,
KEITH, BECAUSE YOU LIVED IN ILLINOIS, AND YOU SAW THE ILLINOIS
GOVERNMENT UP CLOSE– THE LEGISLATURE THAT
DOES NOT HAVE TERM LIMITS. I WONDER IF ANYONE
ON THE PANEL OR ANYONE ELSE WHO’S
LIVED IN BOTH MICHIGAN AND A STATE THAT
DOESN’T HAVE TERM LIMITS, IF YOU’D LIKE TO COMPARE
THE POLITICAL CULTURE. IF ANYTHING FLOWS FROM THE STATE
WITH TERM LIMITS AND ONE WITHOUT.>>WELL, I’VE SAID BEFORE
THAT I’M OPPOSED TO TERM LIMITS. I THINK THAT THE PROBLEM
WITH TERM LIMITS IN MICHIGAN, AND I GOT HERE
TOO LATE TO STOP YOU GUYS FROM ADOPTING
THAT IN YOUR CONSTITUTION–>>(laughing).
>>BUT THE PROBLEM WITH IT IS THAT YOU HAVE
NO INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY. UM, BASICALLY,
EVERYBODY’S RELATIVELY NEW, I MEAN,
YOUR FIRST TERM IN OFFICE IS REALLY JUST FIGURING OUT
WHAT THE JOB IS, AND SO, YOU’VE GOT EIGHT YEARS
YOU CAN SERVE IN THE STATE SENATE, SIX YEARS IN THE STATE HOUSE,
AND THEN YOU’RE OUT. AND IT’S– A LOT OF PEOPLE
DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHEN THEY VOTED FOR THAT
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN MICHIGAN– IMPLEMENTING TERM LIMITS– THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND
THAT IT WAS A LIFETIME LIMIT. IT’S NOT LIKE– I MEAN, ONCE YOU’VE SERVED
YOUR SIX, THEN YOU’RE DONE FOR GOOD. YOU CAN NEVER BE ELECTED TO THAT CHAMBER
AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, SO IT IS THE MOST STRICT TERM LIMITS
IN THE UNITED STATES, I BELIEVE. AND, UM… AND WHAT WE’VE
GOTTEN INSTEAD IS A RELATIVELY YOUNG, OR NEW, CLASS OF STATE LEGISLATORS WHO DON’T REMEMBER
MANY OF THE SAME ARGUMENTS THAT THEY ARE HAVING NOW,
WERE ARGUED 20 YEARS AGO, AND THERE’S NO INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY. UM, A LOT OF THEM ARE DEPENDENT, THEN,
ON THE LOBBYISTS TO TELL THEM HOW THEY SHOULD VOTE, BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW THE LAW
WELL ENOUGH THEMSELVES, AND, YOU KNOW, THEY DON’T
HAVE THE SELF-CONFIDENCE AND THE TENURE TO BELIEVE THAT THEY DON’T NEED
THE MONEY THAT LOBBYISTS PROVIDE TO GET RE-ELECTED. SO, I FEEL LIKE, REALLY,
THE GROUP IN LANSING THAT HAS BEEN EMPOWERED
BY TERM LIMITS HAS REALLY BEEN
THE LOBBYISTS.>>WELL, AND THE WHOLE POINT
IN INSTITUTING TERM LIMITS, AT LEAST MY UNDERSTANDING IS–
I COULDN’T– I’M SORRY, I COULDN’T VOTE
AT THAT POINT. UM…
(laughing)>>YOU JUST GOT ONE TERM
FOR THE HOUSE IS SIX– THREE TERMS, SIX YEARS.
>>RIGHT. >>FOR THE SENATE, IT’S TWO TERMS,
TWELVE YEARS.>>RIGHT, RIGHT, BUT–
>>EIGHT IN THE STATE SENATE. >>RIGHT–
BUT THE POINT IS, THE WHOLE REASON
WHY THEY INSTITUTED TERM LIMITS WAS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WANTED
INTEREST GROUPS AND LOBBYISTS TO HAVE LESS INFLUENCE. AND THEY FELT VERY STRONGLY
THAT PEOPLE WERE GETTING ELECTED AND THEY WERE IN THERE FOR SO LONG,
THAT THEY WERE HEAVILY INFLUENCED AND BOUGHT OUT
BY INTEREST GROUPS, MUCH LIKE OUR CURRENT HOUSE
AND SENATE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, BUT THE PROBLEM IS,
WHEN YOU INSTITUTE TERM LIMITS, THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOW
HOW TO WRITE LEGISLATION ARE THE INTEREST GROUPS
AND THE LOBBYISTS. SO, WE’VE ACTUALLY SHOWN–
IT’S BEEN STATISTICALLY PROVEN THAT WE ARE DEPENDING MORE NOW
ON INTEREST GROUPS AND LOBBYISTS TO WRITE OUR LEGISLATION BECAUSE OUR LEGISLATORS
DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT, AND BY THE TIME THEY LEARN IT,
IT’S TIME FOR THEM TO LEAVE. SO, GO MICHIGAN. WE COULD JUST HAVE
LONGER TERM LIMITS. FIFTEEN YEARS, EIGHTEEN YEARS,
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.>>OR NONE.
>>THAT’D BE SMART–>>OR NONE AT ALL.
>>OR NONE AT ALL.>>IS THERE A QUESTION
OVER HERE?>>JUST A COUPLE COMMENTS. FIRST OF ALL, I DON’T WANNA UPSET
ALL THE YOUNG FOLKS IN HERE. I STILL CONSIDER MYSELF YOUNG,
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, AT 60, UM, BUT… TO GO ALONG WITH THE COMMENT
THAT PROFESSOR SARAH MADE– ER, HEATHER MADE A LITTLE WHILE AGO,
I WANNA ADD TO IT– YOU DON’T GROW A BRAIN
UNTIL YOU’RE 30 YEARS OLD. THINGS THAT YOU WERE TAUGHT
BY YOUR PARENTS, AS FAR AS POLITICIANS
OR POLITICAL PARTIES– GENERALLY,
TEENAGERS ARE REBELLIOUS, AND, IN MY CASE
AND IN MANY OTHER CASES, I WENT THE OPPOSITE WAY OF MY PARENTS
UNTIL I GOT TO BE ABOUT 30. (laughing) UM, THE U.N. NEEDS TO BE EVICTED
FROM THIS COUNTRY. I SUGGEST IT GOES TO HOLLAND,
SO THAT WHEN GLOBAL WARMING HITS BETTER, THEY’LL GO UNDERWATER.
>>(laughing).>>THE BUILDING ITSELF SHOULD BE TURNED
INTO HOUSING FOR THE POOR PEOPLE. LIBERAL MEDIA CONTROLS
MOST OF THE TIME ON TELEVISION, UNLESS YOU GET SMARTS ENOUGH
TO WATCH FOX NEWS. AND, I LOST MY TRAIN
OF THOUGHT HERE. TIME FOR ME TO SHUT UP–
SOME YOUNG PEOPLE CAN TALK NOW.>>I JUST WANT TO SAY ONE THING
BEFORE HEATHER SAYS ANYTHING. (audience laughing)
>>CAN I JUST COMMENT–>>WINSTON CHURCHILL SAID THIS– “IF YOU’RE NOT LIBERAL AT 20,
YOU HAVE NO HEART. “IF YOU’RE NOT CONSERVATIVE AT 40,
YOU HAVE NO MIND.”>>YEAH.
>>WELL I’M 47 AND I’M OFFENDED. (all laughing)
>>WHICH WAY, WHICH WAY?>>I MEAN, BECAUSE
I REMEMBER BEING UNDER 30 AND I WOULD OBJECT TO SOMEBODY
TELLING ME THAT I DIDN’T HAVE A BRAIN. UH, EVEN AT 21, OR 18. AND YET, I THINK
THAT THE VOTING AGE SHOULD BE LOWERED TO 16,
AS A MATTER OF FACT, BECAUSE I THINK WE COULD TEACH ‘EM
IN HIGH SCHOOL– THAT WOULD BE– THAT’S WHERE YOU
REALLY ENGAGE ‘EM. THAT’S WHERE THEY START BECOMING
POLITICALLY AWARE, AND– BUT I KNOW I’M IN THE MINORITY
ON THAT ONE.>>I THINK THE DRINKING AGE
SHOULD BE LOWERED TO 18. IF YOU CAN DIE FOR YOUR COUNTRY,
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO AT LEAST DRINK.>>DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? YOU HAVE A QUESTION–
THERE IS A QUESTION OVER THERE.>>SORRY. (chuckling)>>HI– MY QUESTION–
I’VE HEARD EACH OF YOU KIND OF INDICATE THAT THERE’S THINGS IN THE CONSTITUTION
THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH. WHAT ONE THING BOTHERS YOU THAT,
IF YOU COULD CHANGE, YOU WOULD DO IT,
AND WHY?>>HMM.
>>WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE? I KNOW, I KNOW,
YOU DON’T LIKE THIS IDEA. WHAT ABOUT,
OKAY– AMERICAN PRESIDENT MUST
BE FROM NATIVE AMERICANS. IF YOU’RE NOT NATIVE-BORN–
NATURAL BORN CITIZEN– YOU CANNOT BE THE PRESIDENT. HOW ABOUT ALLOWING
THE FOREIGN-BORN AMERICANS TO BE THE PRESIDENT? I’M NOT GOING TO RUN, YOU KNOW,
FOR THE PRESIDENT. (all laughing)
I’M FOREIGN-BORN.>>THE CHINESE-AMERICAN.>>THEN WE COULD GET
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER. (audience laughing)>>SCHWARZENEGGER
OR JENNIFER GRANHOLM, RIGHT?>>NO, SHE’S NOT–
(all laughing)>>I KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE HER.
>>I KNEW YOU’D LIKE THAT ONE. (all laughing)>>ANYWAYS, THAT’S JUST (indistinct)–
>>OKAY, NOT A NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN. GORDAN? I DON’T KNOW YET.>>I DON’T KNOW, I’M– I THINK THE CONSTITUTION
IS BASICALLY A POETIC DOCUMENT, RIGHT? IT’S POETIC BECAUSE… IT ALLOWS FOR WIDE INTERPRETATION,
RIGHT? IF YOU LOOK AT– ESPECIALLY, I THINK,
THE FIRST TEN AMENDMENTS– THE BILL OF RIGHTS, RIGHT? I THINK MOST PEOPLE ARE FASCINATED
WITH THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH… BUT THEY PERCEIVE THIS FREEDOM
OF SPEECH AS ABSOLUTE– THEY CAN SAY WHATEVER THEY WANT
AT ANY TIME, RIGHT? WE TALK ABOUT THAT
IN CLASS. ACTUALLY, I WILL TALK ABOUT THAT
WITH MY CLASSES NEXT WEEK. BUT… WHAT, BASICALLY,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS TELLING YOU IS THE FREEDOM
OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT SPEECH. IT IS TELLING YOU THAT YOU CAN BASICALLY
TALK AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT
SHALL NOT MAKE ANY RULES THAT WOULD PREVENT YOU
FROM DOING THAT, BUT IT DOESN’T TELL YOU
THAT YOUR EMPLOYER CANNOT PREVENT YOU, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S
A PRIVATE EMPLOYER. IT DOESN’T TELL YOU THAT A PRIVATE SCHOOL
CANNOT PREVENT YOU FROM SAYING THINGS. SO, PERHAPS,
IN THAT PARTICULAR SENSE, I WOULD LIKE THE CONSTITUTION
TO BE MORE PRECISE… RIGHT? UH, I THINK
THAT THERE IS– THE CONSTITUTION IS–
THE MAIN PURPOSE OF IT, IS TO CONSTRAIN THE POWER
OF THE GOVERNMENT, RIGHT? IT’S TO PREVENT WHAT MANY
CONSERVATIVE AMERICANS CALL “TYRANNY.” TYRANNY FROM THE GOVERNMENT
OR BY THE GOVERNMENT, RIGHT? BUT IT’S STRANGE THAT, UM,
IN THAT PARTICULAR SENSE, IT DOESN’T REALLY EXPLICITLY MENTION
THE RIGHTS TO PRIVACY. AND WHEN I ASK PEOPLE,
“WHAT DOES RIGHT TO PRIVACY MEAN?” MOST OF THEM TELL ME,
“OH, RIGHT TO PRIVACY– “JUST TO BE PRIVATE FROM INTRUSION
FROM OTHER PEOPLE.” I SAY, “NO, THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
IS INTERPRETED BY THE SUPREME COURT– “ALTHOUGH THE CONSTITUTION
DOES NOT MENTION IT– “IS THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY FROM
THE UNNECESSARY INTRUSION OF GOVERNMENT.” SO, I CAN SEE WHY SOME PEOPLE LIKE
THE POETIC NATURE OF THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH MEANS THIS BROAD,
METAPHORICAL NATURE OF CONSTITUTION BECAUSE,
PERHAPS THIS IS GOOD BECAUSE IT COULD BE APPLIED
WITHOUT MANY CHANGES, OR COULD BE INTERPRETED
WITHOUT MANY CHANGES OVER A LONG PERIOD
OF TIME, RIGHT? I MEAN, THE CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN
IN 1787, RATIFIED ’88-’89… SO, TODAY’S 2012, RIGHT? AND WE ARE STILL USING IT.
(laughing) WHY? PRIMARILY BECAUSE
OF ITS POETIC NATURE, RIGHT? BUT I THINK THIS POETIC NATURE
ALSO HAS A FLIP SIDE, AND THAT FLIP SIDE IS THAT IT MAY BE
WRONGLY INTERPRETED AND ABUSED, AND THEREFORE, PERHAPS,
LOSE SOME OF ITS RELEVANCE. SO, I THINK, PERHAPS,
I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE MORE PRECISE, BUT NOT OVERLY PRECISE
IN THE SENSE THAT ONE WOULD HAVE TO CHANGE IT
TOO MANY TIMES–>>RIGHT–
>>SO THAT IT APPLIES TO THE TIME. YES, SO…
AND I THINK SOME THINGS SHOULD BE ADDED. I THINK… RIGHT TO DIE
SHOULD BE ADDED. IF YOU ARE SO TERMINALLY ILL
THAT THERE IS NO HELP, RIGHT? SOME SCHOLARS ARE ARGUING
THAT’S WITHIN YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY. THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT
FORBID YOU TO DIE, RIGHT? (laughing) AND THAT’S YOUR PRIVATE RIGHT, BUT THAT’S NOT AS CLEAR,
I THINK, AS IT COULD BE. SO, I’M A LITTLE BIT TORN. I WOULD LIKE, ON THE ONE HAND,
MORE PRIVACY, BUT NOT TOO MUCH PRIVACY, SO– NOT TOO MUCH PRIVACY–
I WOULD LIKE A LOT OF PRIVACY. (laughing)
BUT PRECISENESS– I WOULD LIKE MORE
PRECISENESS, BUT NOT TOO MUCH PRECISENESS IN THE SENSE
THAT IT WOULD CONSTRAIN THE CONSTITUTION TO SERVE US, I WOULD SAY FAIRLY WELL
OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.>>IF I COULD CHANGE– I DON’T THINK THAT I WOULD
TAKE AWAY ANYTHING. I WOULD, UM, WISH THAT
THE E.R.A. WOULD HAVE BEEN– THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
WOULD HAVE BEEN RATIFIED. IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT THAT WENT UP
AROUND THE SAME TIME OF “ROE VERSUS WADE” AND IT WAS CONNECTED
TO THAT, BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK
A LOT OF PEOPLE LOSE SIGHT– AND YES, I UNDERSTAND–
A LOT OF PEOPLE LOSE SIGHT THAT WOMEN GOT
THE RIGHT TO VOTE FULLY 50 YEARS
AFTER ALL MALES DID. UM, YOU KNOW, WE DIDN’T GET
THE RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL 1920, AND IF WE… IF WE DON’T START TALKING
ABOUT THE OBVIOUS, AND THAT IS, THERE IS A DEFINITE
GENDER GAP IN PAY IN THIS COUNTRY. UM, YOU KNOW… BEING A SINGLE MOM… IT’S TOUGH THAT– IT’S JUST A TOUGH AREA BECAUSE
I STILL HAVE TO PROVIDE FOR MY CHILD, AND YET… UM, JUST BECAUSE I WAS BORN
A CERTAIN WAY THAT I HAVE ABSOLUTELY
NO CONTROL OVER, I’M TREATED DIFFERENTLY
BECAUSE OF THAT– THAT’S FRUSTRATING. SO, I WOULD HAVE WISHED THAT
THE E.R.A. WOULD’VE BEEN IMPLEMENTED. SO… EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT,
I’M SORRY. THAT WOMEN AND MEN
WOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY. BUT I STILL DON’T WANNA
REGISTER FOR THE DRAFT. CAN I HAVE BOTH?
>>NO, NOT REALLY.>>OKAY… DAMN IT.>>I’M JUST KIDDING–
>>IF I COULD CHANGE–>>I WOULD’VE SERVED IN THE MILITARY,
BUT WOMEN COULDN’T SERVE UNDER– COULDN’T FIGHT ON THE FRONT LINE,
AND I WANTED TO DRIVE FIGHTER THINGS. (audience laughing)
THEY WOULDN’T LET ME, SO…>>(indistinct speaking).
>>TRUTH. I COME FROM A LONG LINE
OF MILITARY. SO, I WOULD’VE DONE IT–
>>IT WAS MEANT TO BE PROTECTIVE. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THE REASON WHY
WOMEN WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THE SAME THING
AS MEN, PRETTY MUCH, IN THOSE DAYS, THE CONGRESS
BELIEVED WOMEN SHOULD BE PROTECTED. WOMEN SHOULD NOT DO STRENUOUS WORK.
>>I CAN PROTECT MYSELF. I CAN HOLD A GUN
JUST AS WELL AS ANYONE ELSE–
>>THEY SHOULD NOT LIFT HEAVY WEIGHT. SO PRETTY MUCH,
IT’S PROTECTION INTENDED, NOT A DISCRIMINATION INTENT.>>YEAH, BUT THE WHOLE POINT
IN PROTECTING WOMEN WAS PRESERVATION
OF SOCIETY, BECAUSE WE’RE THE ONES
THAT HAVE KIDS. LET’S NOT KID
OURSELVES HERE. THE WHOLE REASON
WHY WE WEREN’T ALLOWED ON THE FRONT LINE
UP UNTIL, WHAT? EIGHT, TEN YEARS AGO? WAS PRESERVATION
OF SOCIETY. UM, IF MEN COULD HAVE KIDS,
WE’D BE THROWN UNDER THE BUS AND PUT ON THE FRONT LINE.>>YOU NEVER KNOW, WITH THE ADVANCEMENT
OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY.>>HEY, I AM READY TO GIVE UP
THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND SHARE THAT WEALTH.
(all laughing) SO, NO–
I MEAN, YEAH, I GET THE WHOLE IDEA
OF PROTECTIONISM, I GET THE WHOLE IDEA
OF WOMEN, AND THE WHOLE OPENING DOORS AND CHASTITY
AND ALL OF THAT, BUT I STILL
JUST THINK THAT… IT’S 2012, AND WE SHOULD
BE BEYOND THAT, YOU KNOW?>>HOW I WOULD CHANGE
THE CONSTITUTION– I’D GO BACK– IF I DIDN’T
CONVINCE YOU BEFORE, LET ME TRY AGAIN– I’D DO AWAY WITH TERM LIMITS
FOR PRESIDENT.>>I AGREE.
>>IT BOTHERS ME A LOT THAT IF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
IS RE-ELECTED, THAT HE WILL NOT
HAVE TO WORRY, OR NOT BE ABLE TO COMPETE
FOR ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE, AND THEREFORE,
IN MY MIND, HE DOESN’T HAVE TO TAKE
AS MUCH INTO CONSIDERATION ABOUT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT
IN THE SECOND TERM AS PRESIDENT. AND THAT BOTHERS ME A LOT,
THAT PRESIDENTS IN THEIR SECOND TERM DON’T HAVE TO BE– DON’T HAVE TO FEEL AS ACCOUNTABLE
DIRECTLY TO THE PEOPLE AND–>>I THINK THAT RAISES–
>>AND I THINK THAT WOULD BE– WE’D SEE A DIFFERENT PRESIDENCY, FOR SURE.
>>ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY. I WOULD AGREE 100 PERCENT. DO YOU THINK–
(laughing) DO YOU THINK CLINTON
WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THINGS THAT HE DID
IN HIS SECOND TERM HAD HE KNOWN HE WOULD HAVE
BEEN ABLE TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION? DO YOU THINK
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH WOULD HAVE TAKEN
THE SAME COURSE HAD HE KNOWN HE COULD’VE RUN
FOR RE-ELECTION? I THINK THERE’S A CERTAIN
AMOUNT OF ACCOUNTABILITY KNOWING THAT YOU CAN RUN
FOR RE-ELECTION IS THAT IT’S AN ACCOUNTABILITY
TO THE PEOPLE. AND YOU DEFINITELY SEE PRESIDENTS
IN THEIR SECOND TERM TAKING MORE RISKS BECAUSE THEY KNOW
THAT THEY’RE DONE. AND, YEAH,
I WOULD AGREE 100 PERCENT.>>NOT TO ME– I MEAN,
IT’S NOT THE SECOND TERM. IT’S THE LAST TWO MONTHS.
(audience laughing) IT’S LAME DUCK. BECAUSE THEY KNOW, YOU KNOW,
THEY’RE GOING TO LEAVE. I MEAN, THEY HAVE TO TRANSFER
THE POWER TO THE NEXT ONE. SO, THE LAST TWO MONTHS
BETWEEN NOVEMBER AND JANUARY–>>OH, RIGHT. SO, DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE
AN IMMEDIATE TAKEOVER?>>WELL, WHAT I THINK IS–
YOU KNOW, THEY STILL HAVE TWO TERMS, BUT FOR EACH TERM, IT SHOULD BE SIX YEARS,
NOT FOUR YEARS. MORE TIME FOR THEM
TO FULFILL WHAT THEY PROMISED. IF YOU GOT FOUR YEARS
FOR ONE TERM, THEY WILL BE (indistinct), YOU KNOW,
CAMPAIGNING FOR THE NEXT TERM. GIVE THEM MORE TIME,
SO THAT THEY CAN DO MORE. SO TWO TERMS, EACH SIX YEARS–
TWELVE YEARS, AND THAT’S IT.>>BUT THEN, YOU’D HAVE TO EXTEND–>>YOU’D PREFER THAT CHANGE
TO YOUR PREVIOUS ONE?>>YEAH.
>>WHICH ONE?>>I DON’T–
>>(laughing). WELL, WE WERE SUPPOSED
TO PICK ONE THING THAT WE WOULD CHANGE
ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION–>>BUT IF YOU CHANGE
THE PRESIDENT TO SIX YEARS, YOU’D HAVE TO EXTEND
THE SENATE TO EIGHT. QUITE SIMPLY BECAUSE THE FRAMERS WERE
INTENTIONAL ABOUT THE STAGGERED TERMS, TWO YEARS FOR THE HOUSE,
FOUR YEARS FOR THE PRESIDENT, SIX YEARS FOR THE SENATE, SO THAT YOU DIDN’T GET
A COMPLETE TRANSITION. SO, OH, I DON’T KNOW– YOU WOULDN’T
GET WHAT MICHIGAN JUST DID. YOU’D THINK MICHIGAN
WOULD HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM OUR CONSTITUTION? YEAH, THEY DIDN’T. SO, THOSE STAGGERED TERMS,
IF YOU EXTEND THE PRESIDENT TO SIX, YOU SHOULD EXTEND
THE SENATE TO EIGHT, SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE
A COMPLETE TRANSITION.>>BUT THINK ABOUT IT–
YOU SEE HOW LITTLE TRUST THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION HAD IN THE ABILITY OF ORDINARY PEOPLE
TO DO POLITICS. THE ONLY HOUSE IN CONGRESS,
OR THE ONLY REALLY ELECTED OFFICE, CHOSEN DIRECTLY BY THE PEOPLE,
IS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, RIGHT? AND THEY HAVE THE SHORTEST TERM–
TWO YEARS. SENATORS WERE ELECTED
BY THE STATE LEGISLATORS, IN THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION, AND PRESIDENT IS ELECTED
BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. ALL BASICALLY SELECTED
BY THE ELITES. THE ONLY HOUSE
IN CONGRESS ELECTED DIRECTLY BY THE PEOPLE
HAS THE SHORTEST TERM. WHY? BECAUSE THE FRAMERS
DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE
OF MAKING GOOD DECISIONS.>>IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE, AND I’D POINT THIS OUT
TO MY STUDENTS ALL THE TIME, THE PEOPLE WHO COULD VOTE
AT RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION– 24 YEARS OLD, WHITE,
LAND-OWNING MALES WITH A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT
OF EDUCATION BECAUSE THAT TRANSLATED
INTO WEALTH. WHO VOTES TODAY? TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD OR OLDER,
LAND-OWNERS– PEOPLE WHO OWN HOMES
VOTE MORE THAN RENTERS– UM, MALES A LITTLE BIT MORE
THAN WOMEN, AND I DON’T KNOW THAT
THERE’S A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRICAN-AMERICAN
AND WHITE VOTER TURN-OUT, UM, BUT THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN LATINO VOTER TURN-OUT AND CAUCASIAN VOTER TURN-OUT. BUT A LOT OF THAT HAS TO DO
WITH THE LANGUAGE BARRIER. SO, A LOT OF THE SAME PEOPLE THAT
THEY WERE RESTRICTING VOTING TO ARE ALSO THE VERY SAME PEOPLE
WHO VOTE TODAY. UM…
(laughing) SO– AND WE HAVE A WIDE-OPEN
RANGE OF PEOPLE WHO CAN VOTE, AND YET, YOU STILL HAVE
THOSE TRADITIONAL PEOPLE WHO OWN PROPERTY, ARE BETTER EDUCATED,
WHO HAVE HIGHER INCOMES, WHO HAVE MORE STUFF,
WHO ARE MARRIED, WHO HAVE KIDS, TRADITIONALLY TURN OUT
TO VOTE MORE. SO, I MEAN, HOW MUCH HAVE
WE PROGRESSED IN 220 YEARS?>>I ALWAYS THINK,
“WHAT CAN MAKE THE YOUNG PEOPLE “FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE SOMETHING AT STAKE,
SO THAT THEY GO AND VOTE?”>>STUDENT LOANS.
>>(laughing). WHAT– OKAY–
ONE THING THAT–>> THE DRAFT–
>>ONE THING THAT ALL VOTERS WILL HAVE AT STAKE
IN THIS ELECTION IS THAT THE NEXT PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES, REGARDLESS OF OBAMA
OR ROMNEY, IS GOING TO HAVE A HUGE INFLUENCE
AT THE SUPREME COURT, RIGHT? BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO APPOINT,
I THINK, AT LEAST TWO NEW JUSTICES TO THE SUPREME COURT, RIGHT? RUTH BADER GINSBURG
IS FAIRLY OLD. UNFORTUNATELY,
SHE HAS PANCREATIC CANCER, SO MOST LIKELY THAN NOT,
SHE’S GOING TO RETIRE VERY SOON. AND KENNEDY, RIGHT? JUSTICE KENNEDY’S GOING TO,
PERHAPS, TO RETIRE. SO, AT LEAST TWO NEW JUSTICES
ON THE SUPREME COURT. RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE WHAT COULD BE
CONSIDERED FOUR LIBERAL JUSTICES, FOUR CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES,
ONE SWING VOTE, RIGHT?>>KENNEDY BEING A SWING–
>>SO, TWO NEW JUSTICES ON EITHER SIDE
WILL BASICALLY, TO A GREAT DEGREE, DECIDE
WHAT THE SUPREME COURT DOES, HOW IT DECIDES
ON WHERE THIS COUNTRY’S GOING. SUPREME COURT BASICALLY MAKES
HUGE DECISIONS ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES, ABOUT ISSUES OF ELECTIONS, ABOUT ISSUES
OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING– ALL EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ISSUE
FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY, SO THIS IS A HUGE STAKE–
YOUR VOTE– THE VOTE OF– AND OUT OF US FOUR, ONLY YAN
IS NATURALLY CITIZEN. I’M NOT A CITIZEN, SO I CANNOT VOTE.
(laughing)>>WELL, I CAN’T BE THE PRESIDENT–
>>BUT THE– (audience laughing) THE VOTE OF CITIZENS WILL,
TO AN EXTREMELY HIGH DEGREE THIS TIME, DETERMINE THE FUTURE
OF THE COUNTRY. NOT ONLY IN TERMS
OF THE PRESIDENTIAL POLICIES, BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF APPOINTMENTS
TO THE SUPREME COURT.>>GORDAN, I’M WONDERING–
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE POETIC NATURE OF THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION? I’M WONDERING IF YOU FOUND THE AMENDMENTS
TO THE CONSTITUTION EQUALLY POETIC.>>I THINK AMENDMENTS
ARE MORE POETIC THAN– ESPECIALLY THE BILL OF RIGHTS
IS MORE POETIC THAN THE FIRST SEVEN ARTICLES.
(laughing)>>THEY WERE RATIFIED AT THE SAME TIME–
>>ESPECIALLY AMENDMENT NINE. I THINK AMENDMENT NINE
IS EXTREMELY POETIC. IT JUST HAS ONE SENTENCE, AND I THINK A WHOLE BOOK
COULD BE WRITTEN ABOUT JUST ONE–>>ENUMERATIONS–
>>(laughing).>>IT’S AN AWESOME AMENDMENT.>>ON THE SUBJECT OF THE SUPREME COURT–
SUPREME COURT JUSTICES NECESSARILY– THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT
FOR A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, SO NECESSARILY, YOU COULD APPOINT
A 15 YEAR OLD TO THE SUPREME COURT–>>THEY’D NEVER GET THROUGH THE SENATE.
>>THE ONLY THING STOPPING IT. >>THERE IS ONE REQUIREMENT–
GOOD BEHAVIOR.>>THAT’S THE ONLY THING STOPPING IT.
>>YEAH. THEY HAVE TENURE
BASED ON GOOD BEHAVIOR.>>AND IMAGINE HOW MANY 15 YEAR OLDS
HAVE GOOD BEHAVIOR. I DON’T THINK THAT YOU WILL FIND ANY.
(all laughing)>>YEAH– NO, THERE ARE NO REQUIREMENTS,
BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT THE VETTING PROCESS
THROUGH THE SENATE, AND GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF INFLUENCES
GORDAN WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT, THAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS,
UM… IF HIGHLY ACCLAIMED AND
VERY WELL-EDUCATED PEOPLE HAVE A VERY HARD TIME, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ANYBODY
WHO ISN’T A LAWYER AND YOU’RE NEVER
GOING TO GET ANYBODY WHO DOESN’T HAVE
SOME KIND OF KNOWLEDGE, REPERTOIRE,
OF THE CONSTITUTION, ‘CAUSE THEY’D NEVER MAKE IT
THROUGH THE QUESTIONING. JUST LOOK AT HARRIET MIERS, SO…
>>BUT ALSO THINK ABOUT THIS. THERE IS NOBODY
ON THE SUPREME COURT RIGHT NOW WHO IS WHITE,
ANGLO-SAXON PROTESTANT. THERE IS NOBODY WHO IS RUNNING
A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WHO IS WHITE, ANGLO-SAXON
PROTESTANT, RIGHT? NONE OF THEM.
(deep chuckle) (audience laughing) SO–
>>THAT’S A VERY EVIL LAUGH–>>(over-exaggerated laughing).
(audience laughing) AND THIS COUNTRY IS–
I MEAN, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY– THE INTERNAL THINKING
OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS THAT REGARDLESS OF WIN OR LOSE
THIS TIME AROUND, THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE
MAJORITIES IN CONGRESS AND MANY DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS
FOR A LONG TIME TO COME IN THE FUTURE. WHY? BECAUSE THEY SEE DEMOGRAPHICS
OF THE UNITED STATES CHANGING, RIGHT? IN 25 YEARS OR LESS, THERE WILL BE
NO RACIAL MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTRY, IN THE SENSE THAT THERE
WILL BE NO RACE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO HAS 50 PERCENT OR MORE PARTICIPATION
IN THE WHOLE OF POPULATION, RIGHT? SO, ALL OF US ARE GOING
TO BE MINORITIES, RIGHT? AND WHO CAPTURES THESE
SO-CALLED “MINORITIES,” ESPECIALLY THE FASTEST-GROWING ONES–
HISPANIC AND ASIAN-AMERICANS? THEY’RE GOING TO CAPTURE
THE POLITICAL POWER OF THE COUNTRY. SO FAR, REPUBLICAN PARTY
HAS NOT PROVED ITSELF TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL
AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN CAPTURING, ESPECIALLY HISPANIC AND ASIAN VOTE–
ESPECIALLY HISPANIC VOTE, RIGHT? SO, INTERNAL THINKING IN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
IS, “OKAY, WE MAY LOSE THIS TIME,” ALTHOUGH, I DON’T THINK SO
RIGHT NOW, “BUT THE FUTURE FOR US IS GUARANTEED
BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONES–” I THINK WHAT JESSE, RIGHT–
WHAT JESSE SAID, “WE ARE THE ONES
WHO APPRECIATE,” WHAT JESSE, I THINK, CALLED,
“CULTURAL DIVERSITY,” RIGHT?>>I DISAGREE–
>>AND THIS COUNTRY IS CHANGING ABOUT. SURE.
>>I DON’T THINK THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE, OR I DON’T THINK THAT DEMOCRATS
HAVE IT SET UP. IF YOU LOOK AT THE LAST ELECTION,
MORE REPUBLICAN– OR MORE GOVERNORSHIPS
WENT FROM DEMOCRAT TO REPUBLICAN IN THE UNITED STATES. I THINK EIGHT. AND IF WE POLL MOST OF OUR–
I WILL SAY MOST– OF OUR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
FROM GUBERNATORIAL SEATS, THEN REPUBLICANS
ARE SETTING THEMSELVES UP TO HAVE MORE EXPERIENCED
INDIVIDUALS RUNNING. NOW, YES, I WOULD AGREE WITH
THE DEMOCRAT DEMOGRAPHICS OF THAT, BUT I WOULD DISAGREE THAT REPUBLICANS
CAN’T PULL THOSE VOTES IN. YOU SAW THE LATINO VOTERS VOTE
FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON IN 1996– ER, EXCUSE ME,
IN 1992 AND 1996, BUT YOU ALSO SAW THEM VOTE
FOR PRESIDENT BUSH IN BOTH ELECTIONS. AND THEN, THEY VOTED FOR OBAMA–
>>IT’S THE HIGHEST ONE. PRESIDENT BUSH GOT 41 PERCENT
OF THE LATINO VOTE, WHICH IS THE HIGHEST
OF ALL THE PRESIDENTS–>>RIGHT, SO MY PREDICTION IS–>>HIGHEST OF ALL
THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS–>>THAT THE REPUBLICANS
CAN DEFINITELY WIN THE LATINO VOTE, IF THEY GET SMART ABOUT
THEIR PLATFORM ON IMMIGRATION AND STOP DENYING
THAT IMMIGRATION IS HERE TO STAY AND THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS
ARE NOT IGNORANT, THAT YOU CAN’T GROUP THEM
ALL TOGETHER. THERE IS AS MUCH DIVERSITY
IN THE LATINO VOTE IN THE UNITED STATES AS THERE IS IN– IT’S JUST INCREDIBLE,
THE DIFFERENCES IN LATINOS. THE ONE ELECTION THAT
I AM WAITING FOR IS 2016, AND THAT IS BECAUSE I WILL PREDICT–
YOU CAN CALL ME OUT IN FOUR YEARS– HILLARY CLINTON
AND JEB BUSH.>>WE’RE GOING TO PLAY
THIS TAPE FOR YOU IN 2016.>>OKAY, GO AHEAD.
>>(laughing).>>JEB BUSH– HE IS OBVIOUSLY
OLDER BROTHER OF– WELL, HERBERT WALKER–
ER, GEORGE W. BUSH. UM, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FOR A COUPLE YEARS. HE’S ACTUALLY MARRIED TO A LATINA,
SPEAKS FLUENT SPANISH, HAS BIRACIAL CHILDREN, AND
HAS BEEN HOUNDING THE G.O.P. TO LIGHTEN UP THEIR RHETORIC
ON IMMIGRATION. BECAUSE HE UNDERSTANDS
THAT THE FUTURE IN THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE HANDLED BY THOSE PEOPLE
WHO ARE IN THE MINORITY. HOWEVER, LATINOS
ALSO LOVE THE CLINTONS. SO, I THINK A TRUE FIGHT… WILL BE CLINTON AND BUSH IN–
>>YEAH, I DON’T DISAGREE WITH YOU. I JUST SAID IT WAS INTERNAL THINKING
OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY–>>I CAN’T WAIT.
>>HOW ABOUT CALLING THIS ELECTION?>>CALLING IT, RIGHT NOW?
>>YEAH.>>YOU MEAN WHO WINS?
>>YES.>>(laughing).
>>IT’S DANGEROUS.>>I KINDA WANT TO KNOW,
BECAUSE, WELL–>>WHO ARE THE– I MEAN, LIKE–
>>(indistinct speaking).>>NO, IT’S TOO–
>>I DON’T MEAN STATISTICALLY–>>I MEAN, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN–
>>INTUITION. >>I MEAN, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS,
IS THERE’S CREDIBILITY TO THE FACT THAT THE MEDIA
WAS ABLE TO SPIN THIS– UM, THE DEATH
IN THE EMBASSY AND ROMNEY’S FUMBLINGS
AGAINST HIM, BUT THE FACT
OF THE MATTER IS, WE DID HAVE AN AMBASSADOR
OVERSEAS GET MURDERED–>>IT’S STILL ON ECONOMY. IF THE ECONOMY IS IMPROVING–
>>YEAH–>>OBAMA WILL BE RE-ELECTED.
>>I DON’T KNOW THAT IT’LL IMPROVE–>>PEOPLE SAY NO PRESIDENT
HAS BEEN EVER RE-ELECTED WHEN THEIR APPROVAL RATE
IS BELOW 7.3–>>BELOW OR ABOVE?
>>I MEAN, ABOVE.>>GOTCHA.
>>ABOVE 7.3.>>IT’S 8.1 RIGHT NOW, RIGHT?>>RIGHT NOW, IT’S 8.1–
>>8.3, I THINK. EXCEPT FOR REAGAN. REAGAN GOT ELECTED IN ’84–
>>BUSH. BUSH SENIOR,
I MEAN– THAT’S 7.2–
HE LOST.>>OKAY, WE HAVE
ONE FINAL QUESTION.>>HE NEVER ASK QUESTIONS–
HE JUST GIVES COMMENTS.>>BACK AGAIN.
>>(laughing).>>ON THE FEMALES IN THE MILITARY,
I’M IN FULL AGREEMENT WITH YOU THAT FEMALES SHOULD
BE IN THE MILITARY–>>THEY ARE IN THE MILITARY–
I’M JUST SAYING ON THE FRONT LINES–>>BUT NOT ON THE FRONT LINE.
>>AH, OKAY.>>BECAUSE IT DESTROYS
THE COHESIVENESS OF THE UNIT. YOU TALK TO THE PEOPLE
THAT HAVE BEEN THERE… THEY WANNA PROTECT THE WOMAN,
THEY’RE NOT DOING THEIR JOB, THEY’RE TRYING TO PROTECT HER. I HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
WITH IT, BACK WHEN E.R.A. WAS GOING ON
IN THE ’70s. I WAS IN THE MILITARY,
IN VIETNAM, AND THEY PUT SOME WOMEN
IN MY SQUAD. I WAS A JET ENGINE MECHANIC. THEY COULD NOT DO THE JOB. THEY COULD DO THE LIGHT WORK, BUT THEY COULD NOT DO
THE HEAVY WORK. AND SO, WE HAD TO TAKE UP THEIR SLACK.
>>I AGREE WITH DAVID–>>THEN THEY SHOULDN’T BE POLICE OFFICERS,
THEY SHOULDN’T BE FIREFIGHTERS, WE SHOULDN’T BE IN ANY POSITION
THAT WOULD PUT US IN HARM’S WAY OR REQUIRE US
TO DO HEAVY LIFTING. >>OR GET SHOT.
>>OR GET SHOT? SO, NO POLICE OFFICERS
THAT ARE COPS?>>BUT WOMEN CAN FLY JET ENGINES,
WOMEN CAN DRIVE TANKS, BUT WOMEN–>>OH, ‘CAUSE COMBAT
AND GETTING SHOT IN COMBAT IS DIFFERENT THAN GETTING SHOT
ON THE STREETS ON THE SOUTH SIDE? (audience laughing)
ON A SUNDAY? AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING?>>BUT DAVID–
>>OKAY, JUST CHECKING. DO YOU KNOW THAT WOMEN
ARE ALLOWED TO WORK
IN THE SUBMARINES?>>JUST RECENTLY.
>>JUST RECENTLY.>>SO, WE CAN DROWN?
(audience laughing)>>WE’LL HAVE TO CONCLUDE–
>>I WON’T SAY ANYTHING– MY WIFE WILL SEE THE TAPES.
>>YEAH. (audience laughing)
HE’S AFRAID OF NINA.>>WELL, THAT’LL HAVE TO BE
THE SEASON FINALE FOR THIS YEAR.>>THANK YOU ALL.
>>BUT THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR. BUT I’D LIKE TO THANK
EVERYBODY FOR COMING. DO REMEMBER,
WHEN YOU LEAVE, THERE ARE CHANCES FOR YOU
TO REGISTER TO VOTE FOR THIS EXCITING ELECTION
COMING UP IN NOVEMBER.>>AND MY STUDENTS
GET EXTRA CREDIT FOR VOTING.>>FOR REGISTERING OR FOR VOTING?
>>FOR VOTING.>>OOO.
>>THERE YOU HAVE IT. ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU ALL.
>>HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY VOTED?>>THEY GET A RECEIPT.
(applause)

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