Weekly Roundup: Thursday, November 1


Support for this podcast and the following message come from e-verify focused on supporting the legal hiring and employment eligibility their fixation process for employers. Let's go higher. Get started at either fi dot gov slash go. Hi, this is Julie Anne that noise. You just heard is a sounded democracy where printing are absentee ballots here in Vienna. Austria to make sure Arvo counts on November six this podcast was recorded at five six pm on Thursday, November first things may have chain. And who are we kidding things will have definitely changed by the time. You hear this? Here's the show. Hey there. It's the NPR politics podcast here with our weekly roundup of the week's biggest political stories, President Trump gave a White House speech on immigration just days before the midterm elections. And an NPR poll found that eighty percent of Americans think incivility in our politics will lead to violence. But who do they blame I must McCullough political reporter? I'm tamra Keith. I cover the White House. I'm Mara Liasson national political correspondent, and I'm Scott Horsely. Now, also cover the White House says, Scott, let's start with you. You're there at the White House. The president gave this speech this afternoon around what four fifteen in the afternoon. It was televised on a lot of places billed as an immigration speech. But did we get a sense of if there's sort of anything new in this speech? There wasn't a lot new. This was nominally speech directed at that caravan of Central American migrants, slowly making its way through Mexico and the president said turn around go back. You're wasting your time. But what this was really aimed at. It was the the red meat base of the Republican party, the people in Donald Trump's base who are most concerned about illegal immigration, and to whom he has really tailored his message in these final days of the two thousand eighteen midterm election campaign and not just the people who care about it. He wants to make more of his supporters care about this. Because he believes that this is something that will motivate them to come out. And I was waiting to hear is he going to do away with asylum. There had been reports that he would do that. He certainly wants to make it harder. He told us that next week. He'll have an executive order that will flesh out the details of this. But to me, I was at the rally last night in Florida in this speech was very very similar to what he said at the rally. He says once these people arrive the democrat party is vision is to offer them free healthcare and the right to vote. This was essentially like a campaign speech given in the lens of the White House. And you've got to wonder the optics about this. Then is because he he wanted to reach. Audience that maybe he can't always I think he's frustrated, and he feels this is the issue that's going to help Republicans. He wants to get more coverage for it. And maybe he feels the rallies aren't enough, but he decided to use the venue of the White House to press this idea that these criminals are coming there in it's an invasion is the word he used and we have to stop them. So there is a certain seriousness that comes with a White House speech with a podium. This isn't the president in front of a crowd at a rally. This isn't the president on the lawn of the White House shouting over the helicopter by doing it in this setting. He was saying, hey, pay attention. There's going to be a serious policy discussion here, or that's the signal that he's they sent to the media that made CNN carry it live, whereas CNN, and even FOX has not been carrying his rallies live on TV anymore. This did get carried. But there was a little bayton switch there because underneath the rhetoric. There was very little actual substance. The president talked about finalizing a plan to maybe tweak the way, the United States deals with asylum seekers he talked about maybe indefinitely detaining migrant families, while their asylum claims are being processed he talked about things that are sure to face legal challenges if he ever actually does them, and which probably are facing legal challenges within the White House itself. He's probably got some smart lawyers who telling him, Mr President. You can't do that. He's frustrated. He wants to say something he wants to throw some red meat to the base. And that's why we got we got some degree that we have seen that immigration does play very well with his base. In fact, I was just looking at some research from Google which has been tracking into sort of an uptake in search trends and whatnot. And they they say that they've seen an uptick, I think it was about twenty five percent of house districts are sort of an increase in search around immigration. So I mean, look it's one metric, but perhaps it does seem to be working with a potential sector of his base and Google searches are like a lots of people complain. About that as being a really mediocre metric for a lot of things. And I don't fully understand all the arguments about Google, searches bowed. I'll say is that there's a Kaiser family foundation poll done very recently. Asking voters, what is your number one issue and among Republican voters? The thing that ranked the highest that got the most people saying this is my number one issue was immigration with independent voters and with democratic voters. It was way down on the list it wasn't anywhere near as important as it is for Republican voters. And in fact, it may be turnoff for some of those independent voters, and is some of the suburban voters in the in those kinds of districts where the house races may be decided. This is the big bet that Donald Trump is making that he can juice up his base with with this kind of argument that spaced on immigration race crime fear, and he's willing to take the risk of turning off independent voters turning off. College educated women. This is a real risk. I mean, he could. Win in the short term boosts some turnout among his base. But over the long term he is chipping away. I think at the Republican party's appeal Mara you, and I were watching this video that President Trump tweeted out yesterday, it has this man. This convicted murderer who killed police in California and has all of this. He's like laughing about killing police, and then it has this imagery of the caravan and people pulling on fences, and this is very violent imagery in this video. And clearly the president is trying to build up that fear. Right. And with the Chiron Democrats led him into the country. Eat it at the video that that we've been talking about it's been pinned to Donald Trump's Twitter account. So clearly, he's banking on the fact that this is a successful strategy for him. And maybe his calculation is that he just wants to focus on the Senate and that he will help Republicans maintained control of the Senate maybe do well with a few governors races. And. And that may be for him is considered a win to some degree. And that's why he's focused so much on immigration, despite the fact like Morissette, you said that this is not necessarily a a winning strategy in a number of these house races and over the long term for Republicans. But look the Senate battleground is Trump is Trump states. It's where he can go. It's where he has some ability to move voters. And that's where he's been focusing. All right. We're going to leave that there. Thank you so much Mara Tamin, Scott. You're welcome. And we're going to let you go. And when we come back, we're going to have a new crew, and we'll be talking all about how scared people are about the culture of incivility in this country. Support for this program comes from SimpliSafe home security. Simplisafe is self installed. Wireless protection for your home. The company was founded by an electrical engineer whose friends were burglarized. They wanted home security, but most systems were too complicated and too expensive. So he built simply safe now, they protect over two million people and with simply safe there are no annual contracts. Learn more about simply safe today at SimpliSafe dot com slash NPR politics support for NPR politics also comes from rocket mortgage by Quicken Loans. Introducing their own new rate shield approval. If you're in the market to buy a home, Quicken Loans will lock your rate for up to ninety days while you shop. It's the kind of thinking you'd expect from America's largest mortgage lender. To get started goats are rocket mortgage dot com slash NPR politics rate, shield approval, only valid on certain thirty year purchase transactions additional conditions or. Collusions may apply based on Quicken Loans data and comparisons of public data records, equal housing lender. Licensed in all fifty states and m L S consumeraccess dot ORG number thirty thirty Florida is one of only three states that don't let ex felons vote. Three years old. I don't have no more criminal background. I work pay tax. I'm partisan. Why can they met me? Here. Why that might change on embedded, and we're back and joining me now is I Roscoe Ron Elving Dominica Montinaro. Hey, guys. Hello. Hey. All right. Well, let us just take a minute to take stock. I would say of the past two weeks because I think they've felt rather turbulent for a lot of people between the mail bombs that were sent to democratic leaders, and then the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Dominica. You've been reporting about a new NPR PBS merit poll that focuses on this question of civility and one sort of top line result from that I found somewhat startling, but also really intriguing and this is that eighty percent of voters say they are concerned that the lack of civility will lead to violence. You know, it's one thing that in the poll people actually across ideological lines agree on that they say that they're concerned that that tone can lead to violence and some would argue in already has right. So the, but the issue here is who do they blame right, and who and that is starkly divided. And frankly, you know, I was going to say a lot of people are just in their corners, very polarized. I mean, but if we look at who people say, they blame more people blame President Trump than a Democrats and Republicans bickering or the media for how it's reported on some of the stuff how many per- like how large percentage so overall of forty percent of Americans say that they blame President Trump when you look at the media twenty nine percent of people say they blame the media for the lack of civility in tone in the poll. Do we also have a sense of whether or not people are aspiring to a different tone. Or if they do want this civility to be different than what it looks like right now, what they do say is that the tone three quarters of people say that the tone has gotten worse under President Trump, and that's significant because. It's far higher than when Barack Obama was president President Trump is a different president a different politician than what the US has seen in modern history. And he is someone who is known for name calling insulting his opponents and very personal ways. And when he talks about immigration illegal immigration is crime. And these criminals are gonna come into the US and hurt people. And that is what he is feeding to the people that support him to his supporters. And so they're getting worked up because they're being told the Democrats love crime. And if you've over Democrats crime is coming those are very stark terms, those aren't terms where we're all gonna come together that language is just not going to do the perennial question that people have an asking about Trump ever since he came into office, which is whether he created the these these conditions or whether he tapped into. Pre existing conditions that were already apparent in this country listening to the poll and who's to blame one thing is not in. There is the American people which we are. We're all Americans lay some of this is just a reflection of the people who were answering how I'm not saying that they're bad. What I'm saying is as human beings when these people are elected if you don't like the politicians, they are elected by American people the media, they may not be hired by. But the the media is a reflection. If you don't like it, you won't read it you won't look at it. You won't you can't take the the personal responsibility out of that. This is a reflection of America as a whole. Yeah. I mean voters it's a great point that Asia's making because voters do not reward bipartisanship in the fact, the matter is the more bipartisan, you are the more that you're seeing as reaching across the aisle and being friends with somebody or giving them a hug, or whatever that image is what goes on. Around in primaries in particular, and these people wind up getting voted out of office. You know, it's funny people will say that they want compromise. But really what they want is people to compromise to their position and think it's say though, that if everyone in the country voted there's a better chance that some degree of bipartisanship and cooperation would be rewarded, but that's not the case the people who do vote, especially in primaries. But also in November, a tend to be the people who care the most and the people who tend to care the most are not in favor of cooperation and by partisanship. So that's the portion of the electorate that actually gets out there and gets the job done. And that's then the reason we have the politicians we have and the kind of politics that we have one of the things you see in a lot of polls is that people have a sense of Zion in part because of impending demographic change that that folksy is inevitable. Right. I was looking at the American values survey that PRI does every year, and they asked this question about the impact of the US becomes. Majority nonwhite by twenty forty five and you see that about two thirds of Republicans see that as a negative change. And yet a very small percentage. Maybe nineteen percent of Democrats that is negative and it falls clearly along partisan lines. But it's got me thinking a lot about this is something that is like an inevitable demographic reality that is very hard to reverse at this point. And it seems to be exacerbating the way that people feel I don't think there's any question about it. This is what is different from other periods of turmoil, and our politics, we had great racial strife in nineteen sixty eight we had riots in many of our major cities, and what is different about this is that there was no question in nineteen sixty eight what the relative size of the races was going to be in the future. There was no question that the white people of America, we're going to be the majority. But now, we are literally talking about a very different looking country a-, demographically transformed country much more diverse, many, more people, speaking Spanish. And that has changed the attitude of a lot of folks who used to think of themselves as kind of tolerant kind of fine. But now, they don't feel the same way and these ideas of a country in which they're kind they're Anglo personality is no longer dominant. But actually, maybe only a plurality or something like California where it's less than forty percent and people find that upsetting. They don't like it, perhaps an even if they don't find it upsetting. It's a little unsettling asthma. You've brought up before the fact that the majority of kindergartners or ready non white. So even if you put up a wall and adds some fence to it, and, you know, at a bio dome over the United States, so that nobody can get in or any planes or anything it's already at the point where it's going to be that way because the majority of kindergartners already. Exactly. Yeah. And I do think that that, you know, concerns people, but it also to me kind of heightened this feeling that people have a very tribal politics for a long time. We had seen African American voters vote more democratic, but I think what we are seeing is increasingly also Latinos and Asian Americans vote more democratic since the nineteen nineties, right? And and so increasingly we are in the situation where your race you could argue your religion as well. Kind of. I don't wanna say as a predictor because who knows what's the cause or the effect, but it aligns with your party politics. No after this election in November of this year more than eighty percent something like eighty five percent or more of the Republicans in the house of representatives are going to be white males more than eighty five percent of the Republicans in the house of representatives are going to be white males. How many white males are there? Among the democratic caucus in the same body in the house of representatives that number is going to fall below forty percent as. Fascinating that we have kind of two things going on in this country when it comes to place, you know, there's this urban is aviation where you have a lot of young people moving to cities and moving to urban areas. Well, the same time we have a lot of older voters who are the exactly the kinds of people who moved out of cities during the race riots. And you have all this white flight. I grew up in a place where you have already have multiple languages on on ballots where you know, they're in queens in flushing, queens particular. I mean, you know, what is this huge South Asian population? They're very few white people and it used to be a largely white area. And now, I mean is just not at all. I mean, there's no English on the on a lot of the business signs. And in the end the downtown portion and a lot of the people in Long Island are people who left because they didn't like what was happening with the demographic change, and now that that's sort of happening in different. Parts of the country UC, President Trump firing up a lot of the white grievance that some of those folks have feeling like it's getting closer to them. I do think that when we talk about that were tribalism which a lot of people will take issue with that word. I think when you talk about people kind of dividing up and voting either we don't know whether because of race or or voting along racial lines. I think you you you also have to take very seriously that a lot of people when they're involved in politics, and they're talking about politics. They're talking about things that they feel like are threats to their lives. So if you are a black person, and you are concerned about police brutality and things like this. These are life or death situations. And so you feel like you are going to align with a party that is going to do the most to protect you. And another party that you feel like may not be protecting. You like your life could be on the line. I think sometimes it can be minimalized like, oh, well black voting for Democrats. They are reasons and rational reasons, why people may vote the way they do. And some of it is that they feel that their that their issues. That need to be addressed. And have to be addressed see no one thing that we cannot ignore is that we're living in a time with social media where we can access and see so many different points of view put also increasingly avoid, those points of view, right, and sort of just reinforce what we already think. And I I don't know that we can really have this conversation about civility without talking about social media and technology and the role that that is playing in in just the overall tone of our politics social media heightens tensions because people get on social media. And it's like, you are trained to say your point of view, not care about what anyone else thinks and basically to kind of it's it's so different from face to face interactions. You don't have to be polite. You can just tell someone. I'll I don't want to hear what you have to say that stupid or whatever you can black the. And you can't do that easily real life. Yeah. Exactly. And so when you're behind a computer screen, people get really bold and talk the way, they would never talk. If they were facing someone in person, many people have compared to thousand eighteen to that other tumultuous year fifty years ago nine hundred sixty eight and one of the biggest issues of that year. Perhaps the overwhelming issue was the Vietnam war, which was real to people as no war had ever been before. Because television was taking us to the war every single night on the evening news. They called it the living room war and that had a tremendous effect on the antiwar movement and on people's sense that it was futile. And the scent also just of helped bloody and destructive. It was for the Vietnamese. Well, as of course, for our men, and it was overwhelming the sense that technology had changed. This key issue of war and peace, and now, I think with technological changes of our time. This course, just the way we. Encounter, politics, and each other has fundamentally changed because of technology. So Ron you were just talking about nine hundred sixty eight and that was a year of our history that was really turbulent in terms of racial strife, and you know, that was fifty years ago at this point. And so I'm curious if you have some thoughts, I mean, we inevitably as a country did move on from that point. So are there lessons learned that? Could maybe be instructive for where we are right now with our politics. Absolutely. The that was a terrible time of tumult and racial rioting in our major cities. It was a presidential election year in which one of the candidates for president was. After winning the California primary and Martin Luther King's assassinated in that same welter of violence that we went through in the spring of nineteen sixty eight it was a terrible year in many respects. However, if you go back over what happened in the years after you can find terrible things that happened. You can find enormously heartening things that happen. Whole lifetimes of good and bad happened after nineteen sixty eight and as a body politic. We've probably came to a greater understanding of each other. We probably came to at least some degree of progress with respect to all of these divisions. That this is not to say they've been radicalized. And now as we've learned they can be brought back to the four. They can be excited again, they can be aggravated and they can be agitated again. But we did learn. Lyle took awhile and not everything got better after nineteen sixty eight not everything got worse after nine hundred sixty eight we went on. And we in many respect we found our way to resolutions on many issues ain't talking about the sixties my father, my uncle and aunt they all grew up. They grew up in Newark in the sixties. So they lived through. So I've heard my uncle tell stories about the riots, and they were in the projects tanks pointed out of the project. I hearing the stories about it. And how the chaos of it. I was I was shocked, but I would also say that. There's a sense of. Well, we got through those times there are people that didn't get through those times. And and from my uncle he always talks about how out of his neighborhood his friends. He's won a him and his best friend are like one of the only ones that are left the rest of the. Yeah. And he's he's turning sixty five this year. They did not survive. So I think that we have to be very mindful when we talk about these issues in these tough times that people go through that you don't just get through it. Some there are casualties there. Are there is suffering in that? I do think that in all plausibility, if even if we look at history, there's a high likelihood that things will get worse that they could get worse before they even get better. And look we see these demographic shifts are going to happen down the road, and you can make the argument that until these demographic shifts are actually reality will continue to see this tension because it's going to be under the surface and is still going to keep like is a constant simmer for a number. Of years, it could potentially be with all that happened in nineteen sixty eight and all of the awful memories. That people carry we have tried as a country to come to terms with some of the things that happened then and and tried to expiate to some degree of for the loss of all the people who did not survive and among other things Martin Luther King's birthday is now holiday and when in the nineteen sixties when he was when he was assassinated. I think is is one way to put it a Martin Luther King was regarded widely in the United States as an agitator many in the F B. I thought he was a communist he was in many people's view gunned down by that attitude by people who thought he needed to be taken out of. And that was not just a fringe attitude. There were great number of people who felt that way about him. And today he is revered among the great heroes of American life. He is honored on the National Mall in a way that very few people are and that shows that at least some lessons. Have been learned since nineteen sixty eight. Here's the thing that I keep coming back to you know, when you're in this kind of era of volatility where you have to parties and people within the country feeling like they have to very different views of what it means to be an American, and what they want America to be in the near to mid, you know, distant future. The one thing that we all have and agree on for the most part is that we have the right to vote and our elections are happen. And you have a peaceful transfer Trent peaceful transfer of power to from one party to another one things change, you know, when you look at the heart of democracy that really is the heart of democracy. And when people try to talk about, you know, whether or not we're lurching toward autocracy or something different. That's we're not there. We're not some banana Republic. And if people like what the direction that President Trump is taking the country they can vote for that. And. Continue to do. So and you have to respect that when it comes to the will of people, and if people don't like it in this country who have the power to change it. Well, that brings us to election night next Tuesday. And as a heads up, you can hear NPR's live coverage of election night from your phone. You can start to hear that Tuesday night at eight PM if you hit play on the NPR one app and follow the instructions to tap your screen. It'll take you to live coverage after the newscasts many of us here on NPR politics podcast team will be there. Live with results. Okay. Well, we are going to take a quick break. And we'll be right back with can't let it go. Support for this podcast and the following message come from role with Google digital skills are becoming more and more important in today's economy. That's why grow with Google is providing free online training and tools to help Americans. Learn the skills they need to succeed. Learn more about grow with Google and get started by visiting Google dot com slash grow Olympic gymnastics. Doctor Larry Nassar, abused hundreds of women and girls for more than twenty years before he was caught here. How a team of women brought down a serial sexual predator believed a new podcast from Michigan radio and NPR and we're back, and we're going to close this show. Like, we always do by talking about the one thing that we just cannot stop thinking about politics or otherwise Aisha would you like to start? Yes. So this week was Halloween happened and one of my. Favorite celebrities that people listen to the pod, we'll know is beyond say, and she did different costumes, but the favorite costume shit like a costume change. Yeah. She does some costume changes. But the one that I really liked was she did Toni Braxton, she basically, she called herself phony Braxton, and she had like the short Toni Braxton here and this went from Toni Braxton's first album, she did like another set the cover of another sad love song, which was hunting. Braxton's first album, which was the first album that I ever knew word for word. And I definitely know another sad love song. But I'm not going to sing it but first comes to strings than somebody screams. Have you seen this picture, by the way, she she looks here? Good job. To manage to make yourself look beautiful. It was an Antoni Braxton gave her props for it. And was like, you're never phony. Never Brexit owned the ninety s right on break, my heart. Was like the anthem at all like my high school. Now, she is the legend living legend, Toni Braxton's, I just thought it was great to see like the melding of like two of my favorite different generations generations different times in my life. So nice. It's a nice non when I went for Halloween. This year is Ron. The different generation. Strange when you came to my house. All right. That's awesome. Dominica you want to go next. Sure. Speaking of Halloween sparingly, something that one member of the Senate can't let go is the fact that he that people confuse him for the zodiac killer. And of course, everyone knows that's Ted Cruz. Not that Ted Cruz is the zodiac killer, but he's happy to lean into into that. And he tweeted out, you know, whatever combination of coded letter. You know that said happy Halloween, and he just tweeted that out. So you know, he's trying to lean into it. But it's a little bit like my dad's on Facebook. Because because it's like, you know, it's like a joke where people are doing it because they're making fun of him everyone to embrace right? Not known for being like the most like commerce little Fender likable, right? Like people complain about Ted Cruz that way. So maybe he's trying to show a lighter side of himself. So soon. He didn't tweet out the costume. I mean is was addressed as I don't. I don't know what he looks like. All right. Well, I'm going to go next. And I cannot let go of blacks it. Oh. Says is an abbreviation the blacks at fallout the simple. The simple. Folks, that don't know blacks, it is an abbreviation of the phrase black exit, and we are talking about this pretty much because of one man who if you listen to this podcast, you know, that we cannot let him go because we bring him up all the time, and that is kind. Yay. West. So Konya tweeted out earlier this week that he did not take credit for designing these blessed t shirts. So there were these t shirts going around through turning points. USA? It's this conservative group that had basically the goal of it was to urge black people to leave the Democratic Party. Right. That's what the the theory is behind blacks it. So can you took to Twitter, and he said, I never wanted any association with Brexit. I have nothing to do with it. But then he added a sort of more interesting tweet, he said, my eyes are now wide open. And now realize I've been used to spread messages. I don't believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative three exclamation marks. He's. Running winning. Kindly out into the towns on out. I think some people were saying that the t shirts, and they were kind of really basic in like nothing. Yeah. The design and so he was like I can't handle parts of that. That's amazing. All that is like a bad design on the low. Yeah. I mean, the design struck me when I first looked at it. I was like the the the X looks like a cross between like a really like Chinatown knock off Air, Jordan logo. And like, and like, maybe the United way, you know. It was like what is this? Thing and Candice Owens. Turn behind that. And so she's like taking flow of responsibility for this. And saying that it this is just about her. She's not about it's not about because President Trump. We don't know if he knows about what happened with ganja and what he did. But he was asked about Kanye yesterday. And he said he's he's a good guy. So he doesn't seem to feel like there's a fallout. All right. We'll ride why don't you close things up for us? I think it's time for something really serious. If we turn our eyes to the south Shetland islands part of Antarctica. There is a. Like, it's just like to know where this is. Well, I've worked on this. It's the Belling shows in research station, and it is actually a Russian not German facility and the Russians who are there. You know, there's not a lot to do at the station in the south Shetland. And so they have a library. They have books, and they have a certain number of books, and they read them, and apparently it's really important to the people who are reading them that they be left undisturbed, and this one particular individual's name is Sarah gate was reading books and being interrupted in a sense by having one of his colleagues there tell him the ending. Oh, you're reading that. What? It turns out of and she is not that at all. And and surrogate got a little upset about this. And. Stabbed his colleague. This this and. Extreme and all has been evacuated to Chile where he's apparently recovering in a hospital is going to be ok does it. Does it? Turned himself into the director of the station and has been repatriated to Saint Petersburg and arrested and charged with attempted murder. So is there not like an argument that he's trying to make that you know, there are some. Grievance that, you know, telling you, you know, spoilers sudden, I'm not an attorney. I'm not an attorney but justified so the guy is justified homestore. But he didn't kill the guy. The temple. So that's right. But, but I think when you stab somebody it is regarded as at least an attempt to do the form. So if you stab them is it not an attempt to do me harm. When I when you give away the ending. That's what I wore. I think it's I think it's a warning to everyone that spoiler alerts can be taken very seriously. All right. Well that is it for now. I must Mahala political reporter. I'm Sharon go. I covered the White House. I'm Dominican Montenero political editor, and I'm Renova editor correspondent and thank you. For listening to NPR politics podcast. 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