Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
Welcome to the 2007 Spring Retreat. It's a great pleasure to be with you. These retreats have been fantastic, certainly for us. And because of your interest in participation, we've felt that you've enjoyed them as well. So we are committed to continuing indeed or going to add to that, we are going to try one in early June which will go from noon on Monday till noon on Tuesday. So I'll tell you more about that as time goes on. So I have some housekeeping issues to raise with you this morning. I am going to talk a little bit more substantively tomorrow morning about some news and highlights happening at Hoover. part of the reason I want to pay particular attention this morning to the time table is that C-SPAN is running this first session this morning and so I want to get off on a good start there. So, announcements: The people with blue ribbons on their name tags are staff members who can help you at any time during the retreats. So please do not hesitate to ask if there is anything that they can do for you. And for those of you that have blue ribbons on your name tags please raise your hands now. Thank God, there are some in the room. I however, don't have a name tag, much less a blue tag. So, nonetheless I am happy to help but don't get your expectations up. Secondly, Room 106 in the back building to your right is the Memorial Building and Room 106 in that building is your Retreat Headquarters, if you will. We have telephones there, available there for anyone needing to make calls; this is the same message that I said fifteen years ago and now with the advent of cell phones, I don't think the phones are ever used. There are also computers there though and fax machines. If you are looking for a place to store luggage during the day, tomorrow particularly, Room 106 is the best place to leave it. It will be monitored, it's better than bringing it here to the tent because of congestion issues. Once in a while we get a visit from the Fire Marshal, who likes to complain. Also in Room 106 is a nice selection of books and other Hoover materials, caps, stuff with Hoover's logo. So please stop buy and choose whatever you would like to take home with you, compliments of the Hoover Institution. If there is a Hoover press book that you would like, but isn't among those that are they are currently being offered. There is a form, look for the form to fill out, make your book request, and we'll be sure to send it to you ASAP. Rest rooms are available. They are located in the Lou Henry Hoover Building which is the building immediately to your right. And in the Herbert Hoover Memorial Building which is again the back building to your right. We do have portables available which, I assume, are closer than those particular locations. If you are carrying a cell phone, I did in mine when I read my remarks this morning, non-ringing. So, if you'd put it on vibrate and put it in a strategic place, we'd appreciate it. When we get to the Q & A portions of the program and you've been recognized to ask question and make a comment, I encourage you to stand up and wait for a microphone to be brought to you. This is as especially important this morning because as I mentioned the C-SPAN is covering this program. This will make it easier for everyone in the audience therefore to hear your question as well as our television audience. As you've no doubt noticed there are, there are these video cameras in the room and this is because we are taping some of the talks, not just associated with C-Span but also Fora TV, a San Francisco based public affairs web video provider is - will also be recording or taping some of the programs. Talks will be available for viewing on the Fora TV site which is www.fora.tv, that's www.fora.tv not .com, not .org, not .edu but there is a .tv. Take a look at the site you will see when the Hoover offerings are available, they will come up. These programs are therefore available to the worldwide audience and this part of our efforts to more broadly. So now without further ado I turn to introduce the members of this part of our efforts to more broadly. So now without further ado I turn to introduce the members of our first panel. with a degree in philosophy. She is a former Executive Editor of national interest. American society culture and philosophy that he received this morning. Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and is also Associate Professor of law at George Mason University. The holder of a PhD in Political Science from Yale and a JD from Yale Law School, Peter is a expert on American constitutionalism, liberalism and the Middle East, he has written and edited a numerous books including "Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic", "The future of American Intelligence" and "Terrorism, The Laws Of War, And The Constitution: Debating The Enemy Combatant Cases". He is also a contributor to "Why I Turned Right." Hoover fellow Tod Lindberg holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago where he studied Political Philosophy with Alan Bloom, Saul Bellow and others. His research interest includes political theory, American politics and national security policy. Tod serves as editor of the Hoover institution's policy review and is also general editor with Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution press series titled Hoover Studies in Politics Economics and Society. In addition he is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and since 1996 has written a weekly political column for the Washington Times. Tod also contributed to 'Why I Turned Right'. So now I am happy to turn things over to my colleague Mary Eberstadt who will give remarks and moderate the discussion on "Why I Turned Right." Thank you, Mary, Peter and Tod. Thank you, John. I'd like to start by thanking Noel Colack for her perfectly graces arranging behind the scenes as ever and I am especially impressed and her powers extend even to dispelling the rainy weather that greeted me on Saturday. I would also like to say thanks to Hoover and especially Tad Taube and John for their strong support of this unusual and intriguing project. This book really wouldn't exist without Tad and this Hoover fellow wouldn't exist without John and Tad and I would like to thank them both. Like any anthology the book has been an exceptionally gratifying experience speaking as the editor. It means that anything you like about it should be credited to me and anything you don't should be blamed on the other contributors. And now a few words about 'Why I Turned Right' and some of the larger issues that, I think, it raises. First what is political autobiography? In the words of one earlier memoirist, it's an attempt "To cloth the documents of formal history with the background of events and personalities," that quote is from Herbert Hoover's memoirs by the way. And so is "Why I Turned Right," a modest and contemporary attempt to do the same. Now what we believe about politics and why we believe it are two questions that most people usually don't think to examine. Of course writers and especially political writers are different. They are professional blabbermouths of one sort and perhaps for that reason they incline more naturally to blabbermouthing of another sort maybe even the ultimate blabbermouthing autobiography. It's an interesting and generally unexplored fact that most political autobiographies these last few decades and all of the best ones, I think, have been written by conservatives. Whittaker Chambers, Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, William F. Buckley to name a few. It's also an interesting fact that all of this conversion literature runs in one direction only, left to right. Very, very few accounts of conservatives who turn turn to liberalism exist in our contemporary literature. That's a fact that no one I am aware of has seen fit to ponder but that in and of itself seems to speak to the enduring power of at least some conservative ideas. It was reflecting on that literature of political conversion that first gave me the idea of this anthology. After all we know why one generation of American conservatives, the great cold war generation, came to believe what it did but very little until now has been known about a different generation of political thinkers and writers and journalists and editors. Those who came of age later now roughly in middle age, sorry guys, and who are manning or womening as the case maybe the major magazines, books and think tanks on the right today. This volume was intended to answer the question of where some of us came from. It's both a collection of 13 individual stories and also a microcosm of sorts for contemporary conservative ideas. The authors include among others humorist P.J. O'Rourke, New York Times columnist David Brooks, Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review, Richard Starr, Deputy Editor of the Weekly Standard, Heather Mac Donald of City Journal and others. I am proud to say that Hoover is especially well represented in the book. We have a contingent of four fellows including Tod, Peter, Dinesh D'Souza and myself. I think the result of this inquiry is a timely set of many memoirs of interest to open-minded readers of any persuasion. For at a moment when Republicans in power seemed to many to have lost their way and when Conservatives are wondering aloud about where we came from and where we are going. This book and its stories offer several themes worth meditating on and I would like to say a few words about some of them. One theme these individual stories returned to is this. Conservatives unlike liberals tend to know the oppositions arguments as well as their own and this knowledge has historically given the right a comparative advantage in the war of ideas. Almost every author in the book, for example, learned the opposing political side first whether in college or elsewhere, wrestled with those arguments and ended up on the other side. Interestingly most left wing liberal writers appear to have done nothing of this sort. It's almost unthinkable that anyone would produce a volume called say 'Why I turned left?'. To most people actually on the left their political views require no explanation whatsoever. They are simply views that all reasonable and enlightened people are presumed to hold. If you ask people on the left why they even have political opponents, they will tell you, if they are being candid, something along the line that it's because conservatives are people who are unfortunately less educated, less enlightened, less compassionate and likely more violent and possibly also more racist and homophobic than they. The notion of conservative ideas wouldn't even enter into it because that phrase is regarded by the other team as an oxymoron. Generally speaking this kind of intellectual patronizing summarizes how liberals view conservatives. Generally speaking this is not at all how conservative thinkers have view liberals. And this brings us to a serious point. As the essays in this book go to show one strength at the right has relied on is that "We" have confronted "their" arguments first. It's like the advantages of night goggles in warfare. We know their position and they don't know ours. That's why conservative writing generally, I think, has been sharper, more entertaining, and more informed than that of our opponents for some time now as many of them have acknowledged and on a light note, I am proud to say that that difference was also showcased in this book. In fact it's quality is such that a reviewer for the Chronicle of Higher Education actually complained about it. He said that our wit, somehow proved their contributors were facile and glib rather than deep and one assumes boring. I think it proves nothing of the kind but rather that sharp thinking and sharp writing go hand in hand. And ours edits best is sharper because it is more knowing and more confident. But now let's ask the obvious hard question. Is contemporary conservatism, as a whole, keeping that edge and I think, there is reason to pause here. At this moment, many Americans regarded this administration as a litmus test of conservatism. A test they believe it has failed. And they have some right to see things this way. After all we have had almost two terms of a president, more identified with the American right than any since Ronald Reagan along with his trusted staff of likeminded leaders. The grown ups in-charge what we were told. In addition leading conservative thinkers have lent their names and time and work to the administration's initiatives most notably in Iraq. So to put the question in another way if this administration has not been some kind of test of conservative ideas, it's hard to imagine one that would be. So what went wrong, there was and will be plenty of discussion about that including later this morning. But perhaps one point to be made is that the administration lost precisely the edge I was just describing. Number one, they stopped listening to their opponents. It's said in Washington that the President himself wanted to dismiss the New York Times by saying that no one needed to read it. Apocryphal or not the story is emblematic because of course the New York Times matters to any administration, most especially one in opposition. If you don't know what your opponents are up to in one of their strong holds then you will be taken by surprise when they really come after you. And this is arguably part of what happened to the administration, as it repeatedly tried to make the case for the war against increasing elite and popular dissent without really facing up to why people were dissenting. My point is that the intellectual edge that conservatism has enjoyed is not to be taken for granted but earned. And that is one theme that I think emerges tacitly from the pages of this book. Another theme that comes out of some of these essays at least by implication is why so many people did back the war in the first place. Another reason that many turned right because for many in this generation Ronald Reagan is not the only President to have influenced their views decisively, so too in a more perverse way did his predecessor. Richard Starr, Deputy Editor of the Weekly Standard and says it best, "Jimmy Carter made me the conservative I am today as I suspect he did for many of my generation." In other words although liberals tend to worry about the cause of national action, especially military action, Conservatives are also aware of the cause of inaction. A theme sounded by several essays including Richard Starr's and David Brooks'. A third theme that these autobiographies make clear is this, just as any intellectual or political faction benefits from knowing the other side, so does it benefit from making its case with a civil tongue. Numerous of these writers were drawn to the right, simply by the incivility and intolerance of the default position i.e. contemporary liberalism, especially the virulent variety dominant on so many American campuses. That virulence is created what I have dubbed, unintended ideological blow back, meaning numerous of our contributors were reborn politically because of run-ins with political correctness. To put it differently, the left's monopoly on elite education has ironically churned out the stream of intellectual refugees now populating conservative journalism, book publishing and think tanks, points that Tod and Peter will have to say about more shortly. Fourth to make another point suggested by some of these autobiographies. Despite the desires of some extreme libertarians, the "social or family issues" are not going way in any healthy conservatism and America must continue to take them into account. Why, because those very issues are often what brings people to conservatism them in the first place. P. J. O'Rourke, Danielle Crittenden, Joseph Bottum, Rich Lowry are some of the contributors who tell that kind of story. Moreover, the family and social issues matter to the polity regardless of what any one of us personally believes or doesn't. As James Q. Wilson and a generation of like-minded social scientist have proved beyond the doubt for example, the fact that so many young men are growing up fatherless has had bad social consequences for everything from tax policy to prison planning. Similarly, the fact that democrats remain enmeshed with the most radical feminist and professional libertines has driven millions of people to the right, over abortion and related issues and will likely keep them there. Peter O'Rourke's essay by the way charmingly describes the experience of evolving from a libertarian to what he calls a real conservative as follows. "I became a conservative at a 11:59 p.m. on December 4th, 1997, the same way many people do. My wife gave birth." And here is one final observation brought to mind by these stories, one that seems especially fitting to emphasize here at Hoover and in California where Ronald Reagan was the very embodiment of this point. What conservatism, at its best, has going for it is a positive and negative vision of what kind of people and country we are. No one in the book writes about having become a conservative because of opposition to illegal immigration for example. I am not saying that enforcing the law is a bad idea. Just observing that negativism does not appear to have the power of positivism when it comes to getting converts to your side. As a couple of essays here show, the pro-lifers are just that, pro-life more than anti abortion. Similarly those drawn to the right because they want a strong America are also for something. It's not enough just if you are against things and a conservative built on negativism risks alienating the political converts we hope come. As we meet today, Americans who are much less enthusiastic than we are of free markets and free minds are watching the travails of President Bust and already writing hopeful epitaphs for modern conservatism. I believe they are wrong and that the liveliness and passion of the stories in this book are one indication. But there is also plenty of work to be done ahead as a roster of important actions and thoughts to men's rethinking and re-evaluation; especially the war in Iraq its implications for Bush the Bush doctrine in future foreign policy. If conservatives do not initiate that re-examination, our political adversaries will. And they will not do it as thoroughly or as insightfully or as objectively as the best of our side can. It's a privilege to be at Hoover where that kind of thinking gets done as no where else at such a time. And I hope this anthology proves a modest and entertaining contribution to that wider effort as well as a good read. Thank you. In addition, to wanting to thank John Raisian and Tad Taube I also want to thank Mary for coming up with the idea for the book and for offering the invitation to contribute. These days and for quite a while now, I found myself devoted to the conservation of liberalism. But I hasten to add, the liberalism to which I refer is what - is not what is ordinarily understood by the term. I don't mean the left wing of the Democratic Party, but rather the centuries old tradition out of which American constitutional government emerged. That liberal tradition is above all defined by a moral premise that founds it. The founding moral premise proclaims that human beings are by nature free and equal. In addition, this larger liberalism is directed by a political premise. The political premise declares that the purpose of government is to secure individual freedom for all. This larger liberalism is further distinguished by the corals of a prior priorities and policies to which it naturally gives rise the qualities of mind and character that it particularly prizes and the weaknesses and unwise tendencies that it typically encourages. Moreover, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the liberal tradition developed a new science of politics. This new science of politics ground at sovereignty in the people, limited government in the name of individual rights and protected these individual rights by means of a variety of institutional mechanisms for separating and blending political powers. The most famous founding father of this tradition is John Locke. Montesque, Adam Smith, James Madison, Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill among others refined the principles of the tradition and elaborated its moral and political implications. In the US, both Democrats and Republicans have crafted policies to preserve it and policies to improve it. Recognizing the sources and the sweep of this larger liberal tradition in America is useful, I think, very useful. It reveals what is common to our country's conservatives and progressives. It also enables us to grasp more preciously the variations that divide us. Strangely enough I have found over the years that by defending the larger liberal tradition, I have made a lot of people angry. Especially in the University world, especially people who call themselves liberals or sometimes these days progressives. In my contribution to "Why I turned right?" I described some of my adventures in higher education. As an undergraduate, at sophomore college, as a graduate student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as a PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale, Law School at Yale I needed a lot of education and then as an assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Harvard. When unified these adventures, is my continuing education in this larger liberal tradition and my increasingly keen conviction that our most pressing political intellectual task is to figure out, how to conserve it? Oh yes, and did I mention another continuity has been making people angry especially those who call themselves liberals. In fact the more I have devoted to defending what I call liberalism, the angrier I to concede it's possible that my so-called liberal colleagues keep getting angrier and angrier because I keep arguing that they keep betraying and further betraying liberalism. By which, of course, I mean, that larger liberal tradition rightly understood. As you all know, things have only got worse since George W. Bush became president. Both sides are angry. But the intellectual class is dominated by the left and they are furious. Consider the opposite reactions on right and left when a prominent intellectual from one of the camps describes the other side as representing an enemy at home. Few months ago my colleague Hoover Fellow Dinesh D'Souza published a book "The Enemy at Home." The book argues that the cultural left was responsible for causing 9/11. Many conservatives immediately leapt into the fray to criticize the book. The lively debate that ensued demonstrated the diversity of opinion and the vitality of conservative thought in America. But where is the voice on the left that has criticized Boston College Professor and New Republic Contributor Alan Wolfe or Former Secretary of Labor in Berkeley professor Robert Reich, or New Republic editor at large and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Peter Beinart or Berkeley professor George Lakoff or New York University Law professor Ronald Dworkin. Yet in the last several years each and every one of these distinguished public intellectuals has publicly argued the conservatives forum and the Enemy at Home. Why has this happened? One reason, of course, is the blinding effect to Bush hatred. The less raged at the Bush administration and resentment over it's own lack of power has caused it to lose all appreciation of modern conservatisms, distinctive contribution to a good, the preservation of individual liberty which the left shares or should share. Indeed the wide spread ignorance among the highly educated of the conservative tradition in America is nothing short of appalling. Certainly few among our intellectuals and opinion makers, appreciate that in American that in America conservatism has always revolved around the preservation of individual liberty. Of course, modern conservatism generally admires values embodied in religious faith and in the aristocratic devotion to excellence. Modern conservatism also tends to emphasize the weaknesses, the intractable features of human nature, the ironies and the tragedies of history and the limitations of reason in politics. At the same time conservatism in America has sought to put these values and this knowledge in liberty service. Balancing balancing the claims of liberty and tradition or showing how liberty both depends on tradition and threatens tradition. This is the very essence of modern conservatism. It is at the heart of modern conservatism's founding text Edmund Burke's great 1790 polemic reflections on the revolution in France. Though sharing a founding text, conservatism in America it is crucial to appreciate, is not monolithic. As a first approximation, conservatives divide into social conservatives, libertarians are free market conservatives and neo conservatives. The differences among these schools arise from differences over the goods they believe most urgently need to be preserved and the role that they assign to government in preserving them. But all three schools of conservatism are in the business of recognizing the tensions between and the need to balance liberty and tradition. The varieties of conservatism are poorly understood today. This is not only because of the bitterness of current political battles. It's also because the books that have played a key role in forming the several schools go largely untaught at our universities. Indeed perhaps one cause of of the polarization that plagues our political and intellectual classes is the failure of our universities to teach our students the conservative dimensions of American political thought. For example, rarely do universities offer courses to sketch the argument or articulate the point of view of such influential works as F A Hayek's The Roads to Serfdom, Russell Kirks The Conservative Mind, or Leo Strauss's, Natural Right and History. Yet these works in the schools they helped launch are essential to understanding, not only where we have come from as a nation, but where we should head? It's the leading role of that Kirk the Russell Kirk attached to religion, they marked him as a social conservative. But it was his assistance that religion provides the indispensable ground for individual liberty that marked him as a modern conservative. It's the leading role of that Hayek attaches to preserving the political arrangements that allow for "free growth" and spontaneous change that mark him as a Laissez Faire of free market conservative. And it's a leading role that Leo Strauss attaches to the moral foundations of a free society and the virtues that support liberty that marked him as one of the fathers of neo conservatism. Different as they are the writings of Kirk, Hayek and Strauss do form a family. All develop their ideas with the view to the 20th century totalitarian temptations, represented by fascism and communism. All agreed, liberal democracy constitutes the last best hope of modern man and all showed that defending liberty involved a delicate balancing act. Conservatives today facing uncertainty about Bush's legacy and the reality of their own errors and excesses have good reason just now to be reading and pondering Kirk Hayek and Strauss and the varieties of conservatism in America. Progressives, those on the left, two-pronged these days to perceive difficult, moral and political questions as one sided and too keen to characterize their allies at home, conservatives, in the defensive liberty as enemies, have good reasons themselves to read these books. Thank you. Well thanks to John and thanks to Mary for putting this book together. It's been a fascinating exercise. It's it's a terrific read. I say this as not only something that is written in essay and I am not of mine, well mine is pretty good but but the collection together is actually quite, its far more than some of its parts. Its really is a kind of interesting generational portrait. A kind of coming of age at a time of the middle of the Cold War and the worst sort of domestic policy choices, having their lingering effects and, you know you have to think back to 1979 and it really kind of which is well that's when most of us were starting in college, reading this book. P.J. O'Rourke is a little older but he acts younger so that's okay and you know, 1979 was arguably the year we hit bottom and if the experience of of coming into the world and forming your basic political ideas was against that kind of a back drop and I mean, this was, my wife tells a story about riding her bicycle which was her means of transportation was not a political statement as its so often you can't (later). Riding her bicycle by - past the - on her way to her job at McDonalds wearing her little McDonald's uniform. She is one who hosted the birthday parties. She, riding past the the gasoline station where the cars were lined up to buy gasoline and people would jeer at her, this was New Jersey. People would jeer at her, and sometimes even throw things at her because they were, they were furious and and they directed it at the bicycle but it wasn't, you know, it wasn't really about the person on the bicycle, it was about what all was comprehensively seemed to be going wrong. You got the Soviets marching into Afghanistan, you got the the Sandinista's Marxist revolution in Nicaragua, you have got Central America look like looking liking its beginning to teeter you know, on the edge of Marxist domination. You have got you have got Cuban soldiers in Angola, you have got the Soviet Union kind of on the march strategically in Africa and meanwhile you have got these these domestic policies that have managed to produce gazillion percent inflation, high unemployment, interest rates that are beyond anything like people have modern experience of and I think its important to try to recapture that world a little because, you know, actually beginning round about 1980 and actually I and I I don't want to be precise, you know, some of the de-regular deregulatory stuff that Reagan worked so hard to advance did begin with the (Fred Con) and folks like that before and its, you know, its important to to bear that in mind. This is not a strictly partisan story. What it what it is a story of though is is finally, I think, coming to terms with the importance and consequence of getting domestic policy ideas right and reversing and you know, at the time it did not necessarily look like these kinds of things were really all that reversible. Certainly the Soviet Union did not give any impression that, you know, a decade or so later it was going to be gone for good and certainly when I got out of college which was '82, so you'll remember that we are in the midst of a pretty consequential recession. Actually we hadn't had one that bad since, thank heavens. That you know, it wasn't clear what really the what the American economy was going to be like. You know we we obviously turned the corner. We are already helpful, we you know we we Reagan was elected because people, the American people are basically optimistic. They are still optimistic even through this period which was, I think, you know, an extraordinary testament to the kind of vitality of American character. But, you know, it was not a 100 percent clear, I mean, probably to some of the economists who are associated with Hoover Institution it was clear. But for those who us who are not so trained, it wasn't entirely clear that this was all going to work out. And that we, you know, this new sort of deregulatory environment, this new kind of low tax environment was actually going to produce, you know, the real results. Certainly if you had asked us then what we thought the world was going to be like in 2007, the world that we live in would have been, I think, beyond our wildest imagination because because, you know, the Soviet Union I thought - when I went to Washington in 1985 and I thought, I went there with the expectation that I was going to be fighting the cold war for the rest of my life. That's what that's what I wanted to do because I thought that was important and you know, you look at the material the advancements. I mean, the prosperity that has - that has taken over this country since that time all that was ahead of us and not not obviously foreseeable. So I think we are, you know, it's just been coming of age in that time. What you what you saw was you now really a kind of systematic failure and now you could, to approach this from the point of view of saying, well, you know, maybe the problem is that we - our giant bureaucratic programs aren't big enough or we need more of them over or something like that. Or, you know, the problem with regulations. That we haven't regulated enough and then finally we got it right, we could really drive the point home. But that just didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me, nor did it make a lot of sense to me that the you know, what we should do about the Soviet Union kind of on the march is except that as a given that that, you know, that that Marxism has got the Brezhnev factor and then once a country is Marxist, it stays Marxist period. And that, you know, and that therefore, you know, the every every gain was a permanent gain for that system. And you could accept that I suppose you could, just kind of role with it and let it, let it let it go. You could say that, that's the best we can do. We are not in a strong position, our country is weak. Or you could not accept it and I think, the one the one path in both cases was essentially a at the time more or less the default settings in American policy that that was the kind of the path of the left. And the other and the other approach was was the path of the right and so that's a kind of what got me going. I mean, I Mary quoted Richard Starr and it's absolutely right. I mean, the effect of Jimmy Carter, I - I think on on a lot of us who were who were growing up at that time, was really profound. There there had to be a better way or at least let's look for something different to try before we acquiescent the proposition that you know, we are we are a weak and weakening country that is going down. And maybe we can slow the slide. That's not, that was not acceptable to me. My - seventh grader came home from school last week with a story that I want to tell you and I think I am going to let her tell it. It was about an assembly that they'd had. And there is this like speaker, and she was kind of mean looking and like she she was the something to something and then and then she started to talking and then she was like talking about President Bush. And all she was saying was like how terrible President Bush was. He just he was like terrible and he was awful and he was just you know, made the terrible mistakes and all that the damage that President Bush has caused. And I was really you know like upset by this. I really kind of wanted to like walk out because it was just really, just not right. And it's it was like wrong for the occasion, it was inappropriate. And I didn't walk out, I just crossed my hands in front of guests and sat there excited, I didn't want to be rude in response to serving groups like. I just sat there and and then afterward I went up to my friend and and she said, okay, she just couldn't believe that, you know, this was this this she would this woman was so rude and that was really inappropriate and really disrespectful to Republicans in the room. It was Madeleine Albright and what is really quite striking about this, what yeah, what what reminded me of it in the context of of this book is it, they are doing it again. You know they are they are you know, they are going to create an entirely new generation of people who are alienated simply by the lack of basic respect for the positions of of folks who disagree with it. Well, I've had I had an English teacher and that's an English Professor at the University of Chicago. Who was a very good English professor, I should say, knew his subject matter well and did me one huge favor. He wrote on the on the side of a paper of mine that I should really get rid of this fondness that I had for a kind of quasi-technical standing writing, and just write in plain English. That was good advice. I took a friend of mine, John Podhoretz who was my lived across the the hall from me in the dorm to meet him one day while during office hours. Because I just wanted to introduce him and I said and professor this is John Podhoretz, I just wanted to introduce the two of you and Professor said, "Podhoretz are you related to a Norman Podhoretz?" And John said, "He is my father." And the Professor said, "My condolences." You know it is this kind of of sort of unthinking arrogance that that that really kind of you know, kind of sets you off. And, I think, you know in looking back on on these kinds of of experiences and then seeing, I recapitulated again, a generation or so later, in your own kids. I think two things. One, you know, chances are pretty good. This is a this is that this tendency on the on the other side of the political spectrum, by the way, I have, you know, forgive me to suggest that there are no intolerant and and apoplectic and splenetic and difficult folks on the right. There certainly are. I mean, that is that is undeniably true. Usually, they are not tenured faculty members or necessarily speakers at at public school assemblies who might have taken upon themselves to have a responsibility to be courteous to the various views that they might find in the audience. But but that, you know, so with with all due declaimers, this is going to be with us. It it will not change and I mean, I think if there there is something, there is something ingrained about this sensibility that that is a very difficult to break through. But the consolation is that it will have to same effect. My daughter is not especially political. If the President had - of the United States have been a Democrat, she would have precisely the same reaction that this was rude and inappropriate. And so, I think the the take away from that is that is that the tendency itself also produces a response. And its the response that in in the scheme of things actually ends up being being more important and it is it is that response that that I hope we will, we will continue to see. And the last thing that, I think, is really going to happen is that intelligent people of spirit and sense are just going to start rolling over and giving in to the kind of good dismissal of of their views. On the contrary, I think in certain respects encountering that kind of that kind of response actually toughens you up a little. And you know, we call these a little of that. Thank you.