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Interview With Author Cara Natterson; Interview With David Brooks. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 28, 2020 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONTGOMERY: -- about a race, this is not about the part of the gene that makes one, you know, darker complexion or your texture here but about more
about the underlying conditions that one might have.
Let me give you one of the ones that they point out, obesity. We know there is a disproportionate amount of African-Americans in the country that have
obesity than other populations. And what I learned when I studying obesity as a fellow is that obesity leads to inflammation and to clotting. All
before we learned anything about COVID-19.
Now, when you put that in the setting of a very aggressive coronavirus and an aggressive response that some people are having in their immune system
to this response, that leads to more inflammation and more clotting and you can see how it compounds the effect.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
Freedom, that fundamental American value under threat at home and abroad, from Minneapolis to Hong Kong. I ask senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer
about the horrifying death of another unarmed black man, President Trump's crackdown on social media, and China threatening Hong Kong's autonomy.
And I speak to "The New York Times" columnist, David Brooks, about his new book, "The Second Mountain," and finding meaning in troubled times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CARA NATTERSON, AUTHOR, "THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU": I said this before coronavirus. This is my big mantra. Talk to your kids, talk to your
kids. Now, I believe it more than ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Parenting expert Dr. Cara Natterson tells our Michel Martin about the impact of the pandemic on our children.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working from home in London.
A grim milestone as coronavirus takes 100,000 lives in the United States. But as the country reopens amid the debate between private liberties and
public health, freedom, that very essence of America, is under threat, at home and abroad.
Minneapolis is burning after the tragic death of George Floyd on Monday. Unarmed and begging for his life, there is outrage and demand for
accountability now. Take a listen to the executive at the Minneapolis City Council.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA JENKINS, VICE-PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: I am asking my colleagues, the mayor and anyone else who is concerned about the state of
affairs in our community to declare a state of emergency declaring racism as a public health issue. Until we name this virus, this disease that has
infected America for the past 400 years, we will never, ever resolve this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Such a powerful message. And protests about freedom have erupted again in Hong Kong, as well. It's a U.S. ally, but now the Chinese
parliament has passed a new law that severely undermines Hong Kong's autonomy from Beijing.
And when it comes to free speech, President Trump is out with an executive order that threatens to regulate and even shut down social media platforms
after Twitter, for the very first time, fact checked his tweets.
Now, to discuss all of this and, of course, a congressional coronavirus safety net, my first guest is the senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer.
And he's joining us now from New York.
Senator Schumer, good to have you on the program tonight.
I just want to ask you to address the heart of the social crisis coinciding with the coronavirus, but the death of George Floyd, of course, it comes
after that issue in Central Park where a white woman calls the police on a black man who's asking her just to put her dog on a leash. Just tell me,
how do you react? And you heard the councilwoman there asking for a state of emergency declaring racism a public health emergency.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Well, anyone who saw the video in Minneapolis, it just turns your stomach. And it was brutal. It was unnerving. And
unfortunately, it's hardly an isolated incident, as you pointed out. And even got worse, the police said, well, he was provoking us, and then a
subsequent video showed he wasn't at all. So, this is racism unadulterated.
And you know, you talk -- the councilwoman talked about 400 years. When Alexis de Tocqueville, the great historian, visited America in the 1830s,
and he had so many brilliant insights. He said, for instance, we're a puny little nation but he said that we're going to become the greatest nation in
the world, greater than the powers of that day of Britain and Russia and France.
But he said, the one thing that could do America in, he said this in the 1830s, was racism. And that is every bit as true today. It's pervasive in
our society, obviously, in law enforcement, as we have seen. But it goes far beyond that. Look at voting rights. Look at climate, it shouldn't be a
racial issue, but climate -- problems from climate come down harder on minorities.
And look at what we just saw, Christiane, with COVID. A much higher rate of both death and incidence of the COVID virus in people of color here in
America. Why? It wasn't coincidence. It's because their health care system is much poorer than in other places. And the ability to deal with pre-
existing conditions, which we know COVID dwells on, was not there.
So, one of the things we have to do is use this COVID virus crisis as a magnifying glass and show what's wrong with America and do whatever we can
to change it. You cannot sweep this under the rug. And in a certain sense, we all have to be forced to look in the mirror. You know, I like to say
that Dr. King, one of his greatest things, he held a giant mirror up on his broad, strong shoulders and with his eloquence, he forced America to look
into that mirror and America didn't like what it saw and began to slowly change.
SCHUMER: And did change some. We had a long way to go, but COVID in a sense, and these kinds of incidents, as a result of COVID, should be that
mirror. And what we should see about racism we should not like and we should all vow to change it in all the ways that we can.
AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed. And this really brings it into full spectrum again, particularly, as you say, associated with the real exponential life and
death imbalance under COVID. And we're seeing it here in the minority communities, in the U.K., as well and it is a very, very stark message.
But I do want to ask you this because many, including a very popular and powerful cultural icon, Janelle Monae, are saying that it can't just be the
black community that stands up and is exhausted and professes outrage and needs to, you know, make sure that black lives matter. But let me just read
you her tweet and I want to let you know what she thinks of this.
She said -- and she's, you know, nominated eight times for Grammys and also an activist, when will the majority of protests and outrage be led by white
people and police officers everywhere? These are your people killing us. Why are our voices and outrage louder than yours during these times? We
didn't do this. I'm tired of us having to do the work that you should be doing, Senator.
SCHUMER: Yes, she's on the money. She is on the money. And we should all be doing everything we can. We've worked very hard, for instance, in these
COVID virus bills to force the administration to provide testing in the communities that need it most, which are the communities that are most
afflicted, communities of color. We've asked them to break down by disparity, racial and other disparities, where the incidences are and what
When it came to the small business aid, the administration put -- when they gave the business aid to the people, it went to people who had banking
relationships. Not too many people of color did today. I have some news. I've been pushing the administration and Secretary Mnuchin to leave a set
aside, $10 million for what's called CDFIs, Community Development Financial Institutions, which get the money to communities of color and to the small
businesses that may not have a banking relationship. So, we all have to be doing this. I couldn't agree more. It cannot be just people of color
raising their voices.
AMANPOUR: We'll come back to George Floyd in a moment. But first, I want to ask you more about the congressional safety net that you're all working
on. You've talked about this issue that you seem to have pushed forward. But in the latest iteration of what the Democrats and Republicans are
arguing about now or trying to push through, we've just heard from the Republicans that the actual money in the latest may not be available for
another month. I think senate majority leader Mitch McConnell just said that today.
SCHUMER: Yes, he's appalling. I don't know what alternative universe he is in. He said a week ago that he didn't see any emergent immediate need to
act. Well, all you have to do is look around you. We have large parts of American, miles and miles of people in their cars lining up for food. They
can't feed their families. They can't feed their children.
And when they interview people, the press people, lots of them say, this is the first time I've ever had to come to a food bank. We have small
businesspeople who have spent years, blood, sweat and tears, building their businesses that are now collapsing and need desperate help.
Today, the statistics revealed that we have 30 million people unemployed. We have not had that since The Great Depression in a percentage basis. And
for the Republicans to say we have plenty of time, for the republicans to say we don't need to act, they're in an alternative universe, at least when
McConnell says that and so many others just back him up. And we haven't seen leadership on any of these issues from President Trump either.
But let me make a prediction for you, Christiane. They're going to be forced to come to the table by the American people and by the great needs
we have here. The bottom line is that in the first three COVID bills, COVID 2, COVID 3, COVID 3-5, they first said they wanted to do either something
for big corporations and hardly anything for people in that first COVID 3 bill. We pushed hard and got unemployment insurance. Got money for small
businesses. Got some money for state and local governments. It's not enough. We've got to get more in COVID 4.
In COVID 2, when they needed to fund BARDA and these agencies to come up with a vaccine, they said they needed 1.2 billion, which I said, I came out
and said $8.5. We got $8.3. What happens is two things. Number one, the public need pushes them and they are hearing, you know, Mitch McConnell
says, state and local governments. That's not state and local governments who are going to be hurt. It's going to be police officers and firefighters
and food workers and bus drivers and health care workers who will not have any money if their state and local governments run out of money.
So, first, they're going to be pushed by the need. And second, and this is going to be a sea change in America, I believe, the Republican mantra has
always been, leave it to the private sector. Get government out of the way. Let the private sector do it. But what the COVID crisis has shown is, that
unless you have a government that is focused on the urgent and necessary needs, we will be in this for years.
And so, I think there's a change here and I think the forces of need, huge, dramatic need in so many ways and the idea that only government can solve
it will push them to the table. So, I predict we'll get something not that different from COVID 4 in the next -- you know, by the end of this month.
But it takes a lot of pushing and a lot of prodding, because they're stuck with this right-wing ideology that, oh, government is no good. Let the
private sector do it.
The private -- one more point, I'm sorry. The private sector itself says it needs government. To talk to companies they say, we want to open, but we
need testing. They can't do testing without the federal government, getting the tests available to them. And so far, Trump's been an utter flop. He
said on March 6th, March 6th, everyone who wants a test can get one. Well, now it's whatever it is, May 28th, most Americans still can't get a test.
And I talked to business owners and they say, I'm ready to open, but my customers won't come unless I can test everybody. Unless we get testing.
One more point here on testing, because it's so vital. Two points. One, I asked the mayor of New Rochelle, when his city was quarantined, what do you
need? That was the first city. He said, get me 70,000 tests and I can deal with this problem in a fine way, which is, I test everybody, there are
70,000 residents. Those who had the virus would be confined in their home for two weeks. Those who were sicker would get health care help. And other
people could all go to work, walk the streets, et cetera. The six countries that have succeeded the best, which are South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore,
Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Finland.
SCHUMER: They have all had testing. And by the way, Christiane, you'll be happy to know of the six -- I mentioned a seventh country, but of the six
major countries that have helped and have done the best here, five had had chiefs of state who are women.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, indeed. And we pointed that out and I'm glad -- definitely not coincidentally. We pointed that out many times on this
SCHUMER: Oh, you have. Good, good, good.
AMANPOUR: But here's the thing. Your own state -- here, in the U.K., for instance, we also have a major problem with not a big movement in the
testing and contact tracing. That hasn't got underway yet and it may not for another several weeks, despite the promises.
But here's the thing. Given that that is sort of dependent on safety and safely exiting from these lockdowns, your own state is trying to recruit an
army of these contact tracers. But MIT has said, they warned, the MIT technology review that high case loads, low testing and U.S. attitudes
toward government authority could pose big challenges to test and trace efforts. Do you foresee problems?
SCHUMER: Well, I think, first, in the COVID 35 bill, we put in 25 billion for testing. We gave 11 billion to the states. I believe my state of New
York has gotten more than 1 billion to do it.
And that's to implement the tests and to do the contact tracing, but unless you have enough tests, that doesn't work, and only the federal government
can do that. Each state can't create its own tests. You have supply chain issues, where they need certain materials that are only made in certain
places. And Donald Trump has been an utter failure when it comes to testing.
Here's an example. South Korea and the United States each reported on one day apart their first COVID case, as it came from China. South Korea
immediately had more than enough testing, they did the contact tracing, and they are now in a much, much better shape with fewer deaths, fewer
illnesses and much more open than the U.S. And until we get the testing done, it's going to be very hard.
And I believe that the states can do -- they're good at this, they can do the actual testing, make sure they put it in minority areas, by the way,
which have the greatest concentration. We need that and we're beginning to do that in New York, but at the same time, they can do that, but they can't
do it without the tests themselves and that is a federal responsibility that Donald Trump has been an abject failure at.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me provoke you further. As you know, your Republican colleagues accuse you all of trying to stuff these safety net bills and
these relief bills with, as I say, typical left-wing, you know, bills and things.
AMANPOUR: And so, as you know, better than I do, they're trying to come up with some kind of get-back-to-work system. There's been a mention that they
may even dump the $600 of unemployment benefit to people and many of them will be African-Americans and minority groups, dump that and maybe just
give a one-off back-to-work bonus of $450. Would you agree to that?
SCHUMER: No. The COVID 4 bill that the House passed or "CARE," it has three different names. COVID-4, CARES 2, it has another name that I forgot.
But in any case, it extends the unemployment to January 31st, and I agree with that completely.
What about the people who don't get jobs? Cut off their unemployment? What are they going to do to feed their children? What are they going to do to
keep a roof over their heads? What are they going to do to get back to work if their present business has closed, which a lot of them have, despite the
efforts, you know, the dollars that have been made available? They're in a different world.
As I said, they have these right-wing ideological blinders, and they're not seeing what's happening. I talk to business people. I talked to 800
restauranteurs yesterday, OK, from New York, all over. Big -- you know, restaurants that were pretty big and restaurants that were pretty tiny.
They desperately, desperately need this kind of help and they will not survive without it. So, a one-time payment, how do you feed your kids the
next month if you don't have a job?
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the election, obviously. Because you, clearly, your party is looking, I guess, eagerly to 2020. I mean, we've
even heard it say that in some Democratic quarters, you're looking at a trifecta, sweep the White House, the Senate -- keep the Senate and get the
House. Do you think that's possible at this point?
SCHUMER: The opposite. Get the Senate and --
AMANPOUR: I mean, we had Kevin --
AMANPOUR: Going to get the Senate, right, sorry.
SCHUMER: We got to get the Senate.
SCHUMER: We have the House and keep the House. Yes.
AMANPOUR: That's what happens when we're talking to you from London.
SCHUMER: I wish we had the Senate -- yes, that's okay.
AMANPOUR: But let me ask you this. Kevin Sheekey said, and as you know, he was Mayor Bloomberg's campaign adviser, not just for the presidential, but
for his successful mayoral races.
AMANPOUR: He said in the key states, the swing states, the battleground states, where it matters, the state right now is very, very close. The
state of the race between Trump and Biden is very, very close. Closer than he would have imagined, given the unemployment numbers, given the numbers
of dead, given the recession figures. Are you concerned?
SCHUMER: Oh, of course I'm concerned, but I think when you compare Donald Trump's lack of leadership to Joe Biden's leadership, he's coming out with
ideas and problems, he doesn't do what Trump does. Trump every other day is just pointing a finger of blame at this or that or the other thing and not
solving the problem. Biden is showing steady, quiet leadership and that's what people want.
And the data that I am seeing shows that Trump's -- the faith in Trump's ability to handle this crisis is declining. Every day, more and more people
learn that he has been unable to handle the crisis.
One of the surveys I showed said that 15 percent of the American public has some real doubts about voting -- of the 15 percent of the people who voted
for Trump have real doubts about voting for him again because of the way he's handled the COVID crisis. So, is it going to be close? Yes. Do they
have a huge machine and a large amount of money, and you know, these Fox News and these commentators who will just peddle the most abject, dishonest
conspiracy theories? Yes. But ultimately, I think that Trump's failure to deal with the COVID crisis in a decent way could well be his undoing.
AMANPOUR: Fascinating. It's going to be really interesting to watch, obviously. But I want to ask you a final question, because I think there's
certain bipartisanship agreement in congress about China. And as you know, the Chinese government is severely undermining the very essence of what
Hong Kong is, undermining its autonomy, its democratic process by the new bills it's passing through the parliament there. What do you feel about
that? And what can the Congress of the United States do to protect freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong?
SCHUMER: Well, I think we have to do some very strong things. I've been a critic of China, as you know. Although I've felt that Donald Trump's
policies aren't the right ones, tariffs do not work as well as reciprocity. In other words, telling China, what you don't let our companies do in your
country, we won't let your companies do in our country.
And let's not forget this, and this is a dramatic -- President Trump on the phone told President Xi when the demonstrations occurred last time before
COVID that he wouldn't say anything or interfere. So, he sort of gave Xi a green light to go ahead and do what we wanted. And of course, with the
COVID crisis, he has cover. Donald Trump is going to go down in history as the president who lost Hong Kong because of his mollycoddling to President
Once in a while, he talks tough. But in the actual actions, Xi seems to play him very well each time. And when he told Xi that he would not speak
out strongly when the first round of demonstrations occurred, he sort of said to Xi, he sort of gave him a green light.
Now, Pompeo is trying to come up with some plans, and I hope they'll be tough and I think reciprocity makes sense. I do support what they're doing
with Huawei and some of the other tech companies, but I think it may be -- I hope it's not too late, but I worry, given what Trump has done thus far,
it may be too late.
AMANPOUR: Well, we'll certainly keep an eye out. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, thank you so much for being with us.
Now, amid this pandemic, personal loss and professional woes, many people are having difficulty finding purpose and imagining their future. But my
next guest says, this is essential. David Brooks is a "New York Times" columnist and a best-selling author. His latest book is called "The Second
Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life." And he's joining us now from Tolbert County in Maryland to talk about it.
David Brooks, welcome to the program. A lot to discuss. I'm not sure whether you heard everything that our previous guest, Senator Schumer, was
saying, but I just want to ask you to -- you know, because your book talks about morality and purpose and mission and the second mountain, so to
speak, what do you make of, you know, the criticisms that President Trump is going to be sort of judged on his performance during this pandemic? Do
you think that is what's going to happen?
DAVID BROOKS, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, I think he is being judged. I think Schumer's analysis of the polls is what I'm hearing. I did
not know too many Republicans who think they're do well this November.
If you look at the people flaking away from Trump, it's 6 percent or so in places like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which of the swing states, is the
Trumpiest of the swing states, and those people are now switching to bidden. And especially older Republican voters are -- he's losing them at a
And so, a lot of people are doing rethinking. And that's sort of what I've been focused on this whole time. The book is about going through hard times
and coming out better. And I think when you go through hard times, as one theologian said, you fall through the floor of the basement of your soul
and you discovered what you really care about. You look at death in the face as we all have to do right now and you get a shift in desires, a lot
of the desires that you had before for status and for money just don't seem that important. And the desires that come out of the heart and soul, the
desire and connection for other people and the desire to serve good seem much more important and you re-orient your life around this shift in
And in politics, I see disaster really coming out of Washington and, at least, in American society, which I'm paying the most attention to, I see a
lot of people showing up for each other. I see sort of a civic renaissance, even a burst in trust for each other. If you ask people now, as I talked to
a pollster the other day, do you feel more connected or more divided?
And twice as many feel more connected than divided. So, the good news coming out of all of this, I think, is a spiritual renaissance, a moral
renaissance and a sense of interdependence with each other.
AMANPOUR: So, let's just focus a little bit on the African-American community because of what just happened in Minneapolis and we were talking
about it a lot in terms of who's bearing the brunt of the deaths and the, you know, frontline workers during this coronavirus crisis. What happened
to George Floyd and you heard the city council woman, the vice president, saying that she wants a state of emergency calling racism a public health
emergency. And Senator Schumer was talking about trying to get, you know, a safety net to encompass the people who are being the most hurt. And many of
those are obviously in the minorities.
What does it say that this happened to George Floyd, yet another unarmed black man, right now, in America, especially in light and in the context of
your book and your book is about a moral America?
BROOKS: Yes, I spent the last four years, really, three states a week, constant travel, meeting people in local communities, who were trying to
re-weave the fabric of American society. And one of the things I learned about that was that you can't do that without addressing racial injustice.
That in every part of the American society, that racial division, that racial inequality, that racial scar undermines everything else. You just
can't have a cohesive country as long as this ancient scar is still there.
And so, one of the things this experience caused me to do was totally rethink my position on reparations. I used to be against reparations. But
now I thought, this is a moment to show not guilt, not shame, but a show of respect for the pain that people are suffering, African-Americans are
suffering, and as we saw in Minneapolis, continue to suffer.
And so, this pandemic hits some countries when they're healthy and the U.S. and frankly, in the U.K., it hit countries that are not healthy. And so, I
thought we'd already had an earthquake. We'd already had these ravines opening up in American society. And now, on top of the earthquake, we have
a hurricane. And the hurricane pours water into the ravines and exposes the depths and the divisions that were already there.
And so -- but it also stirs up a resolve to not go back to the way things used to be. And so, we tend to tell redemption stories. And I do see the
possibility of change coming out of all of this. The combination of the hurricane and the earthquake just creates this possibility of change.
Finally, a woman I befriended in Baltimore was constructing food banks there said, you know, used to be -- so many people had change aversion.
They didn't want to change. They were suspicious of change. But the change is now upon us. And she said, I feel I can get more done now than I could
in the previous 15 years. So again, I'm searching for straws of hope out of this. And I think I find really examples of it.
AMANPOUR: On the other side, of course, your book is full of really incredible quotes and thoughts. And you are a leading conservative thinker
in the United States. So, you do actually hold a very important position. And I'm sure that you're going to tell me that, you know, conservatism that
you -- you know, you follow is very different to the one that's being practiced now.
This is your first book under the Trump administration and you have said, and you partly -- you paraphrase T.S. Eliot, you know, writing about the
chief illusion of modern politics being the belief that you can build a system so perfect that the people in it do not have to be good. I was
really struck by that, because obviously, America is built on this idea of exceptionalism. And some say that that may have been why there was this
slowness to react to this enemy coronavirus. That, oh, we were so exceptional that somehow, miraculously, we would beat it. But just build on
that. That people don't have to be good, despite, you know, the system.
BROOKS: I think one of the things we've done terribly is pass down a moral vocabulary from one generation to another of what is grace, what is sin,
what is good, what is evil. And I do think -- one of the things I try to tell people, whether they're believers or not believers, that I don't ask
you to believe in God or not, that's not my department, but I ask you to believe that you have a soul. That there's some piece of you that has no
shape, size, color or weight but gives you infinite value and dignity. And that slavery is wrong because it's an attempt to try to obliterate a soul.
Sexual assault is wrong, it's an insult to a human soul.
And once you lose the concept of the soul, you lose the concept of the dignity of each human being. And in any moral situation, if you treat the
other person as if you have an infinite soul, you'll probably treat them well. And one reason that I could never sign up for Donald Trump is because
I don't think he sees other people.
I think he only sees them as they regard him and whether they're good for him or bad for him. And so he's capable of these contemptible behaviors. He
just accused Joe Scarborough, friends of ours, of some possible shady murder, with no evidence, torturing the family of a young woman who died 19
And so, to me, morality is upstream from politics. So, whatever policies Trump supports or do not support should be immaterial, because character is
just more important. And I think we see the unveiling of that every day.
And the conservatism that I grew up with was the conservative of Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton and people like that, but, as you anticipate,
it's not what I see called conservatism these days.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: But really interesting, and I wonder how you analyze your rival newspaper. You're "The New York Times,"
but "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board came out very, very strongly about the matter you just raised, the unfounded allegations about Joe
Scarborough and this incident, this natural passing of a woman all those years ago.
And they said that Trump is harming himself and the country.
I'm wondering whether you think there's any way for mainstream conservatism to regain a foothold, and whether you question the morality of the so-
called conservatives, the current Republican leaders, whether in Congress or wherever they might be, who are enabling this kind of stuff that we see
from the president.
BROOKS: You know, when Trump first rose, I know a lot of Republican senators, and I would see them coming down the hall in the U.S. Capitol
Building, and they knew my position.
And I would see their body language change, because they didn't want to go through the conversation of why they were not speaking up. But they felt
they could not survive politically. And I sort of fault them and I sort of don't fault them.
But I do think somebody like Trump, who reigns by fear, has no friends. And people wonder, if he loses, will he step down? I think the Republican Party
will be very happy to wash their hands of him the first chance they get.
I don't know if my kind of conservatism is ever going to come back. I think the anti-immigrant stuff is very strong. It's a working-class party. It's
like the British Tory Party right now. It's a working-class party that just is not -- it's not pro-immigrant.
But I'm not sure it matters. I look around at the world. I look at the demographics, and I look at what COVID is doing to us as a body politic.
And this is around the Western world at least. It's moving us left.
There's no question that all -- a lot of the resistance about government is going away, because we really need government. Everybody sort of knows that
right now. It may not be the left as we recognize it now. It may not have the socially left parts, but it'll have a big government part, because, to
me, the key word to think about as we think about the future of our societies is precarity, is precariousness, the precariousness of jobs, the
precariousness of health, the precariousness of our life together.
And when precariousness is uppermost on people's minds, they need security. And government provides the order. And so I anticipate a shift to the left
for a good little while, actually.
AMANPOUR: I have to say it's interesting hearing you say that, those words coming out of your mouth, a conservative thinker.
AMANPOUR: But let me ask you, because, again, the book is about a moral revolution. And you have said that we're in a crisis because, so far, our
societies -- and, of course, America is the preeminent that emphasizes rugged individualism.
And you have written in the book: "The revolution will be moral, or it will not be at all. Modern society needs a moral ecology that rejects the
reigning hyper-individualism of the moment. Life is not a solitary journey. It is building a home together. It is a process of being formed by
attachments, and then forming attachments in return."
Now, I know you say you have seen all these anecdotal evidences of Americans pulling together and doing precisely this. But do you think,
after this, there will be a rush to return to that rugged individualism and profit above all and the individual spirit, instead of the common good?
BROOKS: I think we were already at a convection point with.
Starting in the 1960s, we just told a story where everything was about freedom and liberation. You look at the songs of my youth, "Born to Run,"
"Free Bird, "I'm a Ramblin' Man," it was all about breaking loose.
And that gave us a lot of creativity, but we sort of overshot the mark, and we have loosened the bonds between people. And so now, when I talk to
people over the last five years of travel, it's not so much freedom and liberation they want. It's connection.
And so I thought we were already sort of at a point -- and if you -- especially if you talk to young people, people under 35, you have got a
group hungry for solidarity.
And so I think the beginnings of a cultural shift were happening. And this pandemic, I think, accelerates that shift. And so we move less from an I
society to a we society.
Now, you can have a lot of different versions of we. Donald Trump has a version of we. And the European populists have a version of we, which is
built around ethic populism.
The class -- Bernie Sanders has a version of we, which is more class warfare or class solidarity. And so what we're fighting over is what kind
of we want to go to. And -- but I do think that inflection away from the hyperindividualism of the last 60 years, I think that's basically happened.
And we're just having an argument, what kind of groups do we see ourselves within?
AMANPOUR: Really interesting.
David Brooks, thank you very much, author of "The Second Mountain." Thank you so much.
And about young people, being a teenager isn't easy at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic, when teens and young adults are seeing
graduations, proms, entering the professional world all on hold for now.
But pediatrician and parenting expert Dr. Cara Natterson thinks lockdown does not have to be all bad. She's been quarantining with her own children,
and she says this enforced isolation might actually help teenagers to find their voice.
Her latest book is called "Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons."
And here's Michel Martin asking her all the questions many parents want the answers to.
MICHEL MARTIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane.
Dr. Natterson, thank you so much for joining us.
DR. CARA NATTERSON, AUTHOR, "DECODING BOYS: NEW SCIENCE BEHIND THE SUBTLE ART OF RAISING SONS": Thank you.
MARTIN: You are recognized, I think, all over the country, maybe all over the world, for your work -- well, offering practical guidance to preteens
and teens and their parents about their bodies.
That dates to your work with the American Girl series, "The Care and Keeping of You," and then you have subsequently done a book for boys -- and
their parents called "Decoding Boys."
From your standpoint, what's so important about the preteen years and then subsequently the teen years? Why do they matter so much?
NATTERSON: I don't think I have ever met anyone who's desperate to go back, right? So there's that.
But they're very foundational, right? So, if you flash back for just a moment in your own mind to a formative memory, it's going to be (AUDIO GAP)
whether it's very positive or very negative, and it's probably going to be from your tween or teen years.
It's almost never from before that stage. Part of that is that brain development dictates that we remember things much, much better when the
middle part of our brain is fully mature limbic system. That happens when you're a tween.
So you have got these very formative memories, and you're building the foundations of knowledge starting when you're 8, 9, 10. And then, when
you're 12 -- anyone who's raised a teenager knows that, when kids turn 12, some sort of switch goes off in their brain. And suddenly you, the parent,
goes from being really important to really not so important.
And it's a little bit of a farce, because kids are, by and large, still really reliant upon their parents for the feedback and for -- they're
really looking to their parents for role modeling and for approval, but they don't wear that on their sleeve. At 12, they tend to shift to wanting
peer review, I would say, peer support and peer love.
And they take care of shame very seriously. So that all happens around 12. Now you're heading into the teen years. So you have got this ability to
form really foundational memories, and then you layer upon it individuation or a desire for independence.
And the combination of what happens then following, you're 13, you're 14, you're 15, you're 16, and in many states, you can drive. You're starting to
be able to work and get a job and be financially a little bit more independent. Well, we see where that goes.
MARTIN: And now, as we -- as you and I are speaking, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. And many countries around the world have shut their
doors, I mean, literally shut their doors. They have told people to stay home.
And this is happening, as you're telling us, at the very point at which kids this age want to bust loose. What effect do you think this is having
NATTERSON: Well, I have no doubt it's having a tremendous effect. I don't know what that effect is.
And I think that's going to be an incredible thing to study as we move through pandemic and then we get beyond pandemic. We know for sure that
there is a conflict right now between the desire for teenagers to be independent and the shelter-at-home orders that are in place in many parts
of the country.
So, we see that conflict play out. I have heard from many, many parents about how that conflict is evolving in their own home. In some homes, it's
tricky. It's very rough, because kids, given their temperament, their personality, the dynamics in their home, how many people live there, how
narrow and close the space is -- there are so many variables.
Depending on how it all sets up, there are some homes in which this is really hard. There are other homes in which it's actually going OK, that
kids do want to individuate, but they also want to reconnect with their parents, and the parents are loving it, and the kids are thriving.
So there isn't one way to experience pandemic. And there isn't one way, I think, that kids will emerge out the back end, but it's going to be really
interesting to see where it all settles out.
MARTIN: What are you worried about, and what gives you hope right now?
And I'm just going to set the table. In terms of worry, I mean, I think any thinking person is worried about kids who are in truly dire circumstances.
I think people, I think, are -- all around the world are worried about kids who are being preyed upon, particularly sexually and physically.
So, I just think -- let's establish that that's clearly a worry. I think all the social service agencies are telling us that that's a worry.
But, apart from that, for kids who aren't in such dire circumstances, is there anything that you worry about?
NATTERSON: I do want to add to your list of worries all of the health worries.
So there are -- the worries about physical safety are tremendous. And we know that. And I'm also very worried about kids getting coronavirus. While
many do not get ill with coronavirus, we are seeing very clearly that some do, especially with this new MIS-C syndrome, which is sort of the
Kawasaki's-like inflammatory syndrome.
So, not to pile onto your list of worries, but you got to add that one.
But in terms of what do I worry about in -- developmentally for kids or how they express themselves and how they're going to grow and evolve as people,
I worry in a bunch of different directions. When we talk about introverts and extroverts, the way I think of an introvert is someone who draws energy
And I think of an extrovert as someone who draws energy from other people. So, I do worry about extroverts not being able to draw their energy because
they're not sharing space with a wide variety of people.
And we see that play out in lots of different ways, one of which is depression. Introverts, it's not that they're protected from depression,
but they definitely -- the child who does play piano and write and journal and is -- their soul is filled, I think of that as a little protective in
this time, but it doesn't mean that they're immune to depression.
What do I see hope in? Well, two things. One is that I do feel that, as the pandemic goes on, we will be forced, as a culture, to shift our mind-set
from a very selfish me-me-me mind-set to a broader us mind-set, where we think about other people, and we become empathic in a different way, and we
think about our responsibility to care for others.
I wish we had started out that way before this pandemic, but, as a culture, we have not done a great job of thinking about others before ourselves.
Many individuals do, but, as a whole, I don't think we have done a great job.
I think we must get better, because that's one thing that is going to fight coronavirus is our willingness to do little things, put on a mask, right,
to protect the people around us. So that's one thing that gives me hope, is, I am starting to see evidence of a little bit of shift there.
The other thing that gives me hope, honestly, is I see an end to helicopter parenting. I really do. There are...
MARTIN: What do you mean? Because the helicopter is, like, stuck in the house?
NATTERSON: You got it. The helicopter has landed, OK?
The reality is, there is no sport or academic competition to be the best at, at the moment. There is very little getting ahead for the sake of
getting ahead in this current iteration of our world.
And kids, just like their parents, have been charged with the task of figuring out what actually makes them happy. What are you into? Get bored
and figure out how you want to spend your downtime. I think that's the beginning of the end of a parent determining the path for their child in a
very prescriptive way.
And that brings me great hope.
MARTIN: That's interesting, because I would have thought it might be the opposite.
One of my list of worries that -- that I just happened not to add was, parents who were already like all in their kids face all the time, that now
there is no escape.
NATTERSON: it could totally go that way, no question. And I'm sure, in some households, it has.
I just don't see a big avenue for that, right, because what has happened is, sure, you can stack and load in certain directions. But, by and large,
a number of things that parents did to overschedule and overcommit their kids simply don't exist right now.
And so it's been an interesting pivot, I'd say, for the kids, especially the older teenagers, to be able to not push back, but maybe find voice a
little bit more. And I hope they hold onto that.
MARTIN: Do you see any difference between the way, broadly defined, young people who identify as girls might be experiencing this vs. young people
who might identify as boys might be experiencing this?
NATTERSON: Well, it's a great question. And I have a mini-study in my own practice. Again, I can't wait to see data around this.
But, by and large, as girls go through puberty, not all, but many become increasingly vocal about what's happening to them, what their body looks
like, how they're feeling, the milestones they're reaching. That's not an accident.
We have done a really, really good job of giving girls voice. We have reinforced that. And I believe that the MeToo movement has pushed that ball
very far down the field.
But girls are also, by and large, more likely to use their voice. When they go into puberty, for whatever reason, they become a bit chattier. Boys, on
the other hand, again, not all, but most, get quiet, and they get quiet. They retreat behind a closed door. They go to single-syllable answers or
grunts or nothing.
And parents take it very, very personally. And I have come to believe -- and I write a lot about this in "Decoding Boys" -- that there has to be a
chemical connection there. Testosterone has to somehow be involved. No studies on that, but I'd like to see one. So there's a component of that.
And there's also clearly a social component. Right? Something happens where our boys' quiet is reinforced. Oh, it's, he's just going through puberty.
That's just what they do. Cue the closing door.
Now kids are stuck home. And what parents have started to tell me -- and I do have a 14-year-old boy living under my own roof, so I have seen it with
my own eyes -- is that the door isn't shut quite as much, that the sentences aren't quite as short.
And I think that the reason is that our kids leave for school first thing in the morning, and they're gone eight, 10, some of them 12 hours a day.
And I think the coping strategy for many boys has been to come home and to shut the world out. They have had enough, and they just want to shut the
And when you're home all day, and there are only three or four or five people for you to engage with in a physical way and in a sort of meaningful
physical way, you kind of don't want to shut them out all the time.
And I think that's why we're experiencing our boys reemerging and conversing with us. And it's not that they're chatters. I mean, I -- a lot
of parents are telling me their boys are still quiet and reserved and withdrawn for a little -- this period of time, this transitional period of
time, but it feels different. It feels different.
MARTIN: So maybe it's an opportunity, even though it's obviously -- for people who've lost people, family members, loved ones, it's a terrible
time. For people who've lost jobs, it's a terrible time.
But if you can hold that wolf at the door, I think what I hear you saying is, this can be a very rich time and a way to engage with your kids, who
otherwise you might not even be seeing until they're about to go to sleep.
NATTERSON: I think that's right.
And, frankly, there has been a lot of loss. And there will be more loss, I'm sorry to say. And I think that -- we should -- as parents, we should
take advantage of the fact that we have this moment to get through loss as well, that we are together as family units in a very different way than we
ever were before.
And so to embrace that, through loss, there may actually be a silver lining there as well.
MARTIN: Let's talk a little bit more about advice that you might have for parents right now who want to do right by their tweens and teens at home,
who have sympathy for the fact that they can't run out and play soccer or lacrosse, run track, basketball, whatever they -- skateboard, whatever they
like to do, and just realize all the things that they're missing, no prom and being with friends.
And summer camp is a big deal for some kids. Going away for the summer is a huge part of some kids' life and memories.
I mean, do you have some advice for parents trying to help their kids through this time?
So, I think I don't know is probably the most important phrase we can all wrap our brain around. It's a very hard phrase for us to get used to.
Doctors have been historically very bad at that phrase. And I think we're getting a whole lot better at it. And I think some of the best doctors are
the ones who use it often. We don't know.
So, to parents, I would say, on the one hand, have deep empathy for your kids, right, especially for your kids who are hitting milestones that are
going to look and feel different. And that's not just the teenagers who are graduating from high school. There are milestones all along the way that
kids will miss.
And I think be empathic about that. It's very important for parents. But, parents, don't overly dramatize what's happening to your kids. So I have
parents of preschoolers calling me, and they are panicked about their child not being able to have fill in the blank celebration at preschool.
And what I remind the parents is, it's your memory that you're worried about. It's the -- your photo-op. Your kids are actually pretty resilient.
They will be fine. So, don't -- let's live in a middle lane here. Let's not -- let's have empathy, but let's not overly dramatize it, to the point
where we make our children feel that the shift in their current lifestyle is traumatizing to them.
Trauma looks like serious illness and death. Trauma looks like abuse in the home. Trauma doesn't look like missing a lacrosse game. I know that's hard.
I have empathy. But that's different from trauma.
And I think it's on parents to get a little perspective, to pull the lens back, and to help their kids understand what's going on for other people.
I would also say to parents, talk to your kids. I said this before coronavirus. This is my big mantra, talk to your kids, talk to your kids.
Now I believe it more than ever. And if you don't know the answer, if you don't understand what's going on, look it up.
If your kids are old enough, if they're middle or high schoolers, read articles with them or share articles between yourselves or watch videos.
Find reputable news sources that are going to give you reasonable information, which is hard to do these days, because there's a lot of
But educate yourselves and talk about all this. And, finally, do not judge other people. You do you. Do you safely. But leave judgment of other people
aside, because we have got enough to focus on by just trying to take care of ourselves and everyone around us.
So let's do what's right for the world without spending a lot of energy getting angry at the people who are around us.
MARTIN: Dr. Cara Natterson, thank you so much for talking with us.
NATTERSON: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: A load of good advice there.
And finally tonight, we want to focus again on the tragedy of a man's life cut short, and we want to remember George Floyd, the 46-year-old unarmed
black man from Minneapolis who died after a police officer held him down by kneeling on his neck, even as he pleads for his life.
Today, his younger brother made a heartbreaking cry for justice.
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PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: That was my oldest brother. I love him. I'm never going to get my brother back.
We need justice. We need justice. Those four also need to be arrested.
They executed my brother in broad daylight. People had to film that. People had to see that. People pleaded for his life. Kids, I know they were out
there seeing this. Nobody wanted to witness that, nobody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And now listen to the former South Carolina State Senator Bakari Sellers emotional reaction to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: There's just so much pain. You get so tired.
We have black children. I have a 15-year-old daughter. I mean, what do I tell her? I'm raising a son. I have no idea what to tell him.
It's just -- it's hard being black in this country, when your life is not valued.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Sellers' own father was shot and wounded defending an African- American's right to be heard back in the 1960s.
Any successful movement to make black lives truly matter requires entire communities and their elected leaders to stand in solidarity and demand
change together, black and white. That's what happened in the American civil rights movement. And it happened in the anti-apartheid movement in
Tomorrow, we will be delving deeper into this story with Congresswoman from Minneapolis Ilhan Omar.
That's it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcasts and across social media.
Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London.
And, again, we want to leave you with this powerful rendition of "Amazing Grace" by the Minneapolis City Council vice president, who sang it as a
tribute to George Floyd and his family.
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