Skip to comments.Ben Stein Discussion of "Can America Survive" Repeated on C-Span2 Tonight at 9:30 PMEDT
Posted on 08/08/2004 11:41:30 AM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
Ben Stein's discussion of his new book "Can America Survive" will be repeated tonight at 9:30 eastern on C-Span2. Stein wrote the book to try to remind people of who the "bad guys" really are in the world today. He says they're certainly not Americans, and explores some of the mythology of poverty, racism, and sexism in the US. He also takes a look at the psyche of wild leftists, saying most of them are unhappy and envious people. Along the way Stein sprinkles his discussion with intriguing anecdotes - he says he became a Republican originally because all the people he knew were Democrats and were unhappy, except for one man who did seem happy and turned out to be a Republican - that's the way he wanted to be, he said. An entertaining, informative, and occasionally inspiring hour and a quarter....
"Can America Survive"
An interesting title. I have also been thinking lately about whether a secular, affluent nation can survive. America was made strong by a tradition of freedom, sacrifice, religion, and ingenuity.
I think we're more and more resembling whats happened to europe. Not necesarily in our politics, but in our lifestyles and attitudes. Discuss.
Recently say Stein being interviewed and he was bluntly negative and very tough about / against the left.
When wasn't he?
I saw Ben Stein on Fox the other day.
I think he's great.
Sociologists and anthropolgists have maintained that to survivie a society needs the basic institutions such as the family and religion. Yet these are what many judges and politicians are trying to destroy.
I'm especially bothered by the lack of thought most people seem to put into much of what they do anymore. Maybe things have just become so "easy" and routine that there's not much challenge in getting through life in many ways and people have become intellectually lazy. Maybe a cliche, but it does seem a real problem. Latest information is that the Prudential Building in Newark is a prime terrorist target, yet latest polls show Kerry leading Bush in NJ by 12 points - could minorities and union members really believe that Kerry would be better at protacting their interests than Bush, or have they not even learned from 911 what could befall them?
On the other hand, in his talk Stein says that he's been seeing a lot of people in Hollywood switching to the Republican party, and "the trend is growing like a weed" - maybe there's some hope after all.....
***On the other hand, in his talk Stein says that he's been seeing a lot of people in Hollywood switching to the Republican party****
Those pampered brats will want to bring all their garbage-laden baggage with them!
We're better off without them.
People can switch parties but they can't grow character overnight.
"I'm especially bothered by the lack of thought most people seem to put into much of what they do anymore. Maybe things have just become so "easy" and routine that there's not much challenge in getting through life"
This is exactly how i feel. I think the biggest difference between election 1984 and election 2004, is that we've had it too good for too long. People no longer appreciate a strong recovery... people have come to EXPECT a never-ending BOOM.
Another thing that worries me is how coarse our society has become(our entertainment is a huge part of this). It seems like the more media forms there are, and the longer theyve been with us, the more coarse and cynical we get as a nation. Hence "bad" has become good, and "good" has become "boring".
As we become more affluent religion and family seem to be playing far less a role in society. I personally am bucking that trend, but I still see it going on in most of society.
This is a very interesting topic to me so please give me some of your thoughts.
Thank you so much for posting this. I just finished watching the program and Stein was a real inspiration. I've got to get his book. Sounds like very useful ammo against the wrong-headed negativity that abounds us.
I do know that societies go through cycles - I'm old enough to have lived through and "experienced" the sixties, and it was a rough time. In fact I went overseas with the Army in mid-65 and returned at the end of 66; coming back to the US at the end of that eighteen months was like the difference between night and day, as they say, beginning with my being called a "babykiller" by a ticket agent in the SF airport. Music had changed, clothing had changed, there were angry demonstrations in the streets, rancor filled the radio and TV - it was bad. Then we got to "Watergate", and the backbiting, infighting, and betrayals got even worse. In fact, I believe today is the thirtieth anniversay of Nixon's resignation, a very dark day indeed. Yet only six relatively short years later we elected a decent, steady conservative to the presidency in Ronald Reagan, with the help of a lot of reasonable people who took a good look at the candidates and crossed party lines to do what was best for the country. We returned to a period of relative calm and worldwide peace, and strong prosperity. The human spirit seems to have a built-in feedback mechanism which will let it go off on the wrong track for only so long before it starts looking for a switch back to the mainline, so to speak. I'm hoping it doesn't take another 911 for us to start behaving more grown-up, but sooner or later I think we will.
In the meantime I think your idea of "personally bucking the trend" is fine. You have to know your own center and stick with family members, religion, interests, friends and whatever else matters most to you - that should be the center of your life, and allow you to avoid whenever possible elements of the culture that irritate you the most. But I think it also helps to occasionally take a jab at those elements. I try never to let a week go by without at least sending one nasty e-mail or letter of complaint to some media outlet or public figure - that way I feel I'm doing some little part to help reverse those parts of the culture I find most objectionable. In his talk Ben Stein mentioned that he had campaigned for Bush in 2000 and at one point his agent told him that he might ruin his career in Hollywood by doing so. Stein replied that he didn't think that was going to happen, but he wouldn't care if it did because his freedom of speech was important to him, and he would still have his personal life, wife and children which were most important of all. He's a very smart man.....
Glad you liked the program - I thought Stein's comments about what the country meant to him as a Jew were especially moving. He said Jews had been tortured and murdered around the world for centuries, "but when we came here we were a people...we had dignity...God bless America, God bless America!" - seemed a genuinely heartfelt tribute.....
Stein laid-out the clearest, most cogent explanation of conservatism I've heard in a long time. He spoke of simple truths and simple reason. It should at least, be an essay you could purchase in book form, because this speech was probably the finest primer in traditional conservatism I ever heard.
C-Span does repeat these programs every now and then - you can check their schedules at C-Span.Org - they also have an online store through which you can supposedly purchase videos of any of their programs - good luck.....
That's liberalism in a nutshell, the outlook on life of spoiled, selfish child: they want to do what they want, think that they are entitled to whatever they want, and, when things go wrong (as they are wont to do), they demand that someone save them from the consequences of their foolish behavior.
One thing that particularly strikes me is the pervasive resistance to facing reality (economic, biological, cultural, etc.) in our society. People want to do what they want to do, and so believe what they want to believe, and reality means nothing. Jesus Christ could come down from Heaven and point out, for instance, the destructive effects of family breakdown on society and even on themselves and they would ignore Him.
I saw teh book in the bookstore today....very expensive so I am getting it from Aamazon or somewhere else online.
But....from what I saw, it may be the best response to liberals that I have ever seen. The cogent logic in the book is powerful from what little I read in the store.
The Amazon reviews are awful from liberals who read the book.....we need to get some conservative reviews.
Stein says that the ereason that the left hates Bush so much is because they are chicken of the terrorists so they transfer all that fear onto Bush. Kind of makes sense.
Well we are in a holy war and we don't know it. Thats a major problem.
"There will always be people who are paranoid about something, and Al Gore is their champion"
Was just browsing at Border's and noticed Ben Stein's book, "Can America Survive?", started reading it, couldn't put it down... bought it, brought it home, and now will get farther into it. Really looks EXCELLENT.
Thanks for the feedback - there've been a lot of postivie comments on the book - I've been too focused on "Unfit..." - will have to look around and get a copy of "Can America.."...