The Case against Revolution with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Peter Robinson: She grew up in Africa and the Middle East, lived in Europe, and is now an American. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, on what she herself calls the revolutionary mood. Welcome everyone to another Special Plague Time Edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson. Ayaan, thank you for joining me. Two quotations. One is you. This is a tweet that you put up on June 9. "What the media do not tell you, is that America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you. We have our problems, and we need to address those. But our society and our systems are far from racist." Here's the second quotation. This is a statement by Ben & Jerry's, Ice cream company. "What happened to George Floyd." That is, of course, the brutal killing of George Floyd. "What happened to George Floyd was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated black bodies as the enemy from the beginning." You hold at the ice cream company is not just a little bit mistaken. But completely mistaken. How does an ice cream company come to a conclusion like this about American history and feel that it is somehow its duty to present it? 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: It's cynical. It's a marketing gimmick. And Ben & Jerry's believe that they can get away with it. Peter, the killing of George Floyd, those nine minutes of video are obscene, disgusting. And every one of us who feels outraged is completely justified. I'm outraged by that. But what we've seen in response to the outrage, I'll say there are three kinds. One, peaceful protests, and protesters people saying, "Please, let's address police misconduct, especially towards black men." The second one, it's the rioting, the looting, the destroying of property. And I think that some of it was just for the fun of it really. Young boy, seeking a thrill. And not all young men, some of them even- The third one, which I find quite sinister, is to say all of these calls to defend the police abolish our justice system. People who call themselves Black Lives Matter, but who, from almost every action of theirs show, that they really are not interested in black people, the pain of black people, or how to help black communities thrive. And then you have the Ben & Jerry's with these wells. And that is just, you put all that together and here we are. In America.

Peter Robinson: Here we are. Let me show you, Ayaan, just a piece of video if I may, by the way, you have a cup. As we speak you've written a column that will in a day or two appear in "The Wall Street Journal". I am working from an advanced copy. Viewers should know that their editors... there may be a small change in wording here or there. I'm going to be quoting from an advanced copy. But this is let me your column in "The Wall Street Journal" and then show you just a brief piece of video if I may. This is you. "Outrage and critical thinking seldom go hand in hand. An act of police brutality has become the catalyst for a revolutionary mood." Now just take a look if you would at this piece of video. Ayaan, that was the destruction of a statue of Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant, who, short of Lincoln himself did more to bring about the emancipation of African Americans in this nation than anyone else. Just as an analytical matter, what is going on? How do we get from justified outrage of the killing of a black man, by police, by a white policeman to the toppling of statue of Ulysses S. Grant, on which i think unless I'm missing something, on which it is impossible to place any rational construction?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: This irrational toppling of statues was going on before the killing of George Floyd. It's been going on for years now. It's not just here in the United States. In the United Kingdom, other countries, the iconoclasm, and this impulse to destroy has been with us for a while. What we are seeing now, is this mishmash of people who call themselves Black Lives Matter, have found the hook. They found a way of going about the business of destroying what we stand for. The idea of America. By Constantly harping on the things we did wrong, which we all admit. The slavery, the segregation. We are a nation made up of human beings and we are frail and our human frailties have been well documented in the past. And if you just grab on any one of the most outrageous, of course, the slave trade, and then you say, here we now have a reason to destroy everything that America stands for, and this is what these people are saying, then I think it's thy time now for most of us to stand up and say, No, here's what we value. Is who we are. Also to expose them and say, "Is what they are saying. This is who they say they are." And people like Ben & Jerry's, and I'm not talking about the entire company. I'm talking about the two people who went out and took the knee along with a number of our politicians, media people, sports elites. I think it's also time to call them out and remind them what it is that they're doing and how they're bringing about them. Appeasement calls for more.

Peter Robinson: One more question, if I may, about what, how, and why this is happening now. You referred to a revolutionary mood in your Wall Street Journal column.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Right, right.

Peter Robinson: So, this will take a moment to set up the question, but you will understand what I'm getting at. The moment before the French Revolution, the monarchy is bankrupt. The entire government is written with scandal. And for at least two decades, there has been agitation and unrest. You can see what the revolution arose from. Before the Russian Revolution 1917, you had a core small cadre, but they were professional dedicated revolutionaries, Lenin Stalin, and many others, at work for at least a quarter of a century before the revolution takes place. The monarchy is weak. The peasants across the country want land. And then comes the catastrophe of the First World War. Again, you can see a system coming under increasing pressure. Now, just before this revolutionary moment, in the United States, four months ago, we had a booming economy. Four months ago, African Americans were registering the lowest unemployment rate in history since records began to be kept. Millions of people and especially those least well off in this country were beginning to live better lives. It feels like a revolutionary moment. Of course, I'm not challenging your description of it. But how on earth? This is nothing like France or the pre-Bolshevik moment. How does this happen?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Well, we've been living through a time of rapid change. And I think what you're describing speaks to that. 1989, we defeated the Soviet Union. And we thought we were done. History ended. Of course, it didn't. And what I would say, a vision t0o cold of establishment where we went for globalization. And in that process, I think we did, forget about large swathes of populations living in the United States of America and in other parts of the Western world, Western civilization. being under the years Clinton and his administration didn't see this thing coming. They lived through it, he was distracted. And along came President George W. Bush. And again, he got distracted with 911 and what happened and all these wars, but this process of change and of globalization was going on and on and these inequalities were becoming ever larger. And then we get President Trump whom I think, and I here, someone I never thought I would, Michael Moore, who says in 2016, he is trying to understand what is happening to the white blue-collar, male population and he says, "Hey, you guys, you forgot about you took the businesses away, you took manufacturing away. Here are the economic consequences of globalization that no one was paying attention to except those who are making money from it. And now you have this big middle finger to the establishment." And the crazy thing that we are seeing now is that the establishment is not responding, or at least not all of them are responding with the true American spirit of, "Okay, we made a mistake. How can we salvage this? What can we do to make things right?" That's not what our elite, what our establishment is doing right now. Some of them are taking this cynical path of trying to appease who they think is the mob. Some of them and the others are just really at each other's throats. They don't seem...our leaders are not leading. They're not giving us the sense that they're actually capable of sitting together in a room and saying, "Let's figure this out."

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, from Africa to the United States. Again, I am quoting your column in "The Wall Street Journal", "Growing up in Africa and the Middle East, I had first-hand experience of internecine wars, anarchy, and real racism.". Can you explain? You and I have talked before, and you have made the point, "I'm an African African. I haven't had the full African American experience." And so I understand you're reticent in some ways to talk about your experience. But in my judgment, your perspective is so singular that it's immensely valuable. Tell us how the United States looked to you before you came here.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Peter, before I do that, I also want to acknowledge that descendants of slaves in the United States and descendants of people who lived through segregation, before they had any civil rights, that is really just quite painful and appalling. And I don't in any way want to downplay the pain of the true African American people who live here, and who have suffered here. From the vantage point of an African living in, I was in East Africa, Somalia, and Kenya, I lived in Ethiopia. From a vantage point, America was the beacon of hope, freedom, it was for us, the place to go to where you could get away from the daily pain caused by fellow blacks of this order, anarchy, and tyranny. I was born in 1969. We lived under the dictatorship of Siad Barre, Mohammed Siad Barre. He's one of my tribe. So, It's not even that far, he's a the clanmate. I come from the Darod, clan, he's a Darod. For many Africans the experience of tyranny of disorder, malicious of economic despair for many of us growing up as Africans, and to this day, there are more Africans who wants to come to America and give it a try and want to stay in Africa. And so I have that perspective of saying, we have problems in America. Let's not downplay those problems. The institutions of freedom, the idea of America, let's get together and figure it out. Attitude, please, let's not throw that out.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I'll teach against some of our problems.

Peter Robinson: The next stage in your life, beginning in 1992, you lived in the Netherlands. You didn't come here until 2006. So you will lived in the Netherlands a good long time, making it your home. Enough your home, to find yourself elected to the Dutch parliament. Yet in 2006, you come to this country again, from your column in "The Wall Street Journal", "Unlike in many European countries, in the United States there is almost no difference in the unemployment rate for foreign-born and native-born workers. I came with a confidence that I was far more likely to be judged on my merits in America than on the basis of racial or sexual prejudice.". Even by the standards of the Netherlands, a country that is rich, humane, tolerant, even by the standards of the Netherlands, the United States looked good. Could you explain that?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yes. Netherlands is a free country. It's tolerant, it's a welfare state. You're welcome. And I felt I felt welcome. And I was able to experience through social mobility. Sadly, that's not the case for all immigrants in, say, the Netherlands or France, or any of the Scandinavian countries. The situation is much better here in America. And here is just, it's the data. You look at people who came from India, from other parts of Asia, Vietnam, the Philippines, various countries in Africa, and they're doing very, very well. Because I think these individuals who are doing very well, economically, socially, they're in politics, they have made America their home, and they have wholeheartedly thrust themselves into the American dream and the American destiny. And they share that with everyone else. America is a heterogeneous society, unlike many European societies. It's simply easier to become an American. America is also an idea. It's not about your skin color. It's not about your religion, gender, whatever. I know people are trying to make it all about that. But it isn't. This idea of freedom, leave me alone to do what I want to do for me, as long as I abide by the law, that's America. And in that sense, America is far superior to many of the European countries. Is in other Western countries in terms of assimilating minorities. I think that we don't... what I'm really pushing back against. It's these people who are organizing themselves, like Black Lives Matter who were saying, "Instead of an individual coming to America or an American born individual, lifting themselves... getting the opportunity to lift themselves out of a bad situation, let's just give everything to the government. The government will do it for us." And I think that that idea is a very, very bad one. It's almost always got a bad outcome.

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, to return for a moment. I just want to take straight on this question of race and racism. The two quotations, both are you. Again your column in "The Wall Street Journal". "Although I am a black African, I am keenly aware." You said this a moment ago. "I am keenly aware of the hardships and miseries African Americans have endured. I know the history. I know that there is still racial prejudice.". Again, though, from your tweet of June 9, which you inserted in "The Wall Street Journal" column. "America is the best place on the planet to be black. Alright, how do you square those two? You know the history as you have said, of slavery and segregation, you're well aware of all the economic tables African Americans come lower than the mean as and so forth. And you draw a distinction between racial prejudice and racism. Explain that distinction.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: There are still countries in the world where if you simply by being black, you're spat upon, you're beaten. There are laws in many of these countries... literally being black and being the other, the foreign or the alien. Robs you of your rights in these nations, countries, communities, societies. You'll never get out of that. I look at immigrants, black immigrants, that are trying to come through, a country like Libya. As soon as the Arabs see the black Africans, they react in ways that are just unimaginable in contemporary America. I lived in Saudi Arabia, where, just the misogyny, the gender segregation, and the racism's so in your face, you can't run away from it. So I would like to say to a lot of my fellow black people in America, absolutely, we have our problems, we have racism, but I have never come across a society, so determined to erase racism, as Americans are. Americans are trying to understand what is that we are doing wrong? What is it that we can do right? How can we fix this? That is not the case in the rest of the world. So yes, America is the best place to be black, to be female, to be gay, to be transgender, to be whoever you want to be. And saying that doesn't mean I am denying that we have problems. It's just that compared to any other place in the world, it's the best place to be. You want to argue with that? Travel. Go to those places and see for yourself.

Peter Robinson: All right, you just raised the point. Fixing it, figuring it out. Again, this is Ayaan. This is you in "The Wall Street Journal". "Americans traditionally solved problems asking the old question, "How can we figure this out?" Now there are people among us who don't want to figure it out because social problems are the basis of their power."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yes.

Peter Robinson: That's a very grave charge to level. Explain that.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Let me start on a personal note. I was growing up in my own family, with my mother, my father left when I was about 10 years old. I grew up in a household where my brother and my sister were bitten routinely. We were beaten, we were hit on the head. We were beaten and beaten, we beaten by our teachers. We were abused. And I remember thinking, there's one way out of this misery, everyday misery, education. So even though my father left us, and even though my mother beat the crap out of us, I understood that I had to go to school, get that high school diploma. And once I got the opportunity to go to college, I did that. On a personal level, no one is gonna lift you out of any kind of misery you are, except you. When you are ready, you decide you want to get out, you can appeal for help. And in America, we have a lot of people and a lot of organizations who will help you if you appeal to them. And it's upon many of us to show the way. Here's how to get out of it. The people I'm talking about, right now, Black Lives Matter is in the news and there is mishmash of organizations. It's not what they want. The teacher unions, it's not what they want. Let's discuss the police unions, I'm ambivalent around that seeing what's happening to police what's not happening. But there are lots of special interest groups, that if we resolved all of our problems, they wouldn't have a mission. They wouldn't want to. So, again, you've got to discuss that. But what they're saying too is your critical thinking, the pushback, when you come in the room saying, "I see this from a different perspective. Here are the true and tried and tested ways of lifting people up, black people that are black people, Jason Riley, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, many others, Bob Woodson, they're all coming out and they're saying this is how those people are vilified and kicked out of the home. That's what I mean by- It's not about lifting up black people. It's not about ending racism for them. It's not about social justice. It's about power.

Peter Robinson: As I take it, this is going to be crude, and please correct it or adjust it or amended as you'd like. But there are two competing diagnoses, for how to help African Americans. Here's diagnosis one, American history has placed African Americans in a uniquely vulnerable position, and to overcome racism African Americans require affirmative action, other forms of racial preference, perhaps reparations. The body politic did them the historic injustice. And now we have to take collective political action to correct it. That's diagnosis, one. Diagnosis two, and you just mentioned the people who've done in dedicated large parts of their lives to diagnosis two so to speak, Thomas Sol Shelby, Steele Bob Woodson, Jason Riley- Actually this- Here's something from Jason Riley's book, "False Black Power." Jason Riley notes that for a century between the Civil War and the mid-1960s African American marriages remained...families remained intact on a par with white families that African Americans made- They were starting from a very low level, no doubt of that, but they made consistent progress in educational and economic attainment. And here's Jason Riley on what I'm calling diagnosis too. "Blacks set about acquiring the values, habits, and skills necessary to thrive. The gains were steady and undeniable. If blacks want to begin replenishing that human capital, true power, that is human capital, his true power, they shouldn't look to politicians, they should look to their own past." So, political action, there's an argument, it's not a raw grab for power, there's an argument. Political action is the only hope. And then you have Jason Riley and others saying, "No, no, no, it's a snare and a delusion, education, hard work the example of our own past. That's what we must do." So I guess what I'm getting at is that these two, this is these are not questions of degree or nuance. These are fundamentally opposed analysis. How do we talk about to each other?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: So first let me say, I wholeheartedly agree with Jason Riley. I find him so brave, so wise, and it's just so heartwarming that there are so many of us who see it's exactly what it is human capital versus political. The first diagnosis, diagnosis one, it's all about turning us into victims, robbing us of our agency, giving it to the government or some group who wants to use our misfortunes and spin political power out of it. And the more Jason Rileys we have, the better for us because we get to stand up for ourselves. And for me, that's America. And then you say how do we talk to one another. Those of us who believe in human capital, in developing the values, the habits, the customs, the- You want something, then put 10,000 hours of work into it approach. It doesn't matter what your color is. You will achieve your goal. America gives us that opportunity. We want to have a conversation. But those of us on the Jason Riley side of the argument, we want to talk, we want to have a conversation. We want to present data. We actually are sincere about improving. We know how hard that trajectory is. How hard the journey is to improve one's life and wants communities' lives. The other side, they just want to shove their beliefs that orthodoxies down our throat because they're not interested in conversation. They vilify people like Jason Riley. They don't want the conversation, they want power. And people like me and Jason, we're in their way. People like you are in their way. Now, it's easy to accuse you plainly, and only because of the color of your skin. You're a white man, you have white privilege and therefore Shut up, get out of the way. Give us your wealth. I looked at some of... I went on the Black Lives Matter website. And I looked at what some of their demands are. They are insane. They want to abolish the justice system. They want to abolish the immigration system. They want to defend the military. Now you have to ask yourself, "What has this got to do with black lives and what has it got to do, with judge Floyd?"

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, again for your piece in "The Wall Street Journal".

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yeah.

Peter Robinson: "Mark my words. There will be no resolution of America's problems if free thought and free Speech are no longer upheld as sacrosanct. Without them, honest deliberation, mutual learning, and the American ethic of problem-solving are dead." That's the forward trench. That's where you are willing to fight and you recommend... you insist that all of us fight. First we defend freedom of speech and freedom of thought. Is that correct?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Absolutely. That's correct. And we reform our education system, because every day when we watch this insanity, we ask ourselves, "How is it that so many young people under 30s. How is it that they have become so invested in this?" Listen to the language used, microaggressions, safe spaces, systemic racism, white privilege, black victimhood, intersectionality, where did all this come from? This is what's happening in classrooms. And I thought at first it was only limited to colleges and only some parts within the colleges. Universities, that's where you go to grow up and-

Peter Robinson: Right.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: You've always had groups with fringe ideas. But now it has gone all the way down from K to 12. So, first and foremost, let's look at what our education system is doing to our kids. Our kids are being indoctrinated. They're not being taught. It's not universal. Some schools are better than others. Some teachers are better than others, but we actually do have a problem if a majority of kids Come out, if they're white, they feel that they're racist, and they have something to correct. If they're of color, they feel that they're victims of racism. And that something is odd to them. The education system that produces graduates like that is setting us up for failure. And so for me, I must and foremost, we've got to get together and say, "Well, everyone is saying, reform the police. Wait a second, what about education?"

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, when I was giving a little bit of my life story. I'll keep that brief. It's your life story we're interested in here. But when I was an undergraduate many years ago, the 60s generation of professors was coming into American universities. And a couple of wise older professors who trained during the 50s, not the 60s said, "This is gonna be a problem, but it'll work itself through. Soon enough will come the day when the 60s generation will retire. That day has come.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yeah.

Peter Robinson: And things have gotten worse in the academy, not better. So the first thought it will pass wrong. Second thought which you just mentioned. Well, don't worry about the kid. The faculty may be... faculties may be corrupted in one way or another but the kids, the smart kids will take STEM subjects, they'll avoid the humanities where much of the nonsense takes place. And in any event, they'll be in university for four years, they'll graduate, they'll get jobs, they'll start paying taxes, they will have to adjust to reality. And that will cause them all to recognize that there was a degree of silliness in what they learned. That too appears to have been wrong. How is it that the American Academy, I'm talking about universities, but you just made the point. Not only were the two analyses I gave you wrong, but now it's it's down to the level of K 12. How did this happen? How did...let's put it this way? Again, this is crude, but you know what I mean, adjusted if I'm putting it too crudely, "How did some of the most privileged people in this society, those who benefit from tenure, and academic freedom, and good incomes, and all that society asks them as to use their minds at the service of society what a wonderful way to lead your life? How could people who follow that calling have so- Not all, of course. But how could so many have, in one way or another accepted a dark or negative view of this country? How could that happen? 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I don't know how it could happen. I think you actually gave the answer. It's this combination of complacency where it was all the whole thing is going to pass, and then appeasement when it didn't, and negligence. When you look at the selection, the recruitment, the tenuring of professors, somehow the ideologues found themselves their way to determining our culture. It's absolutely true. Lots of families and kids think I'm not going to study history or political science or any of the other humanities. I'm simply going to go with STEM. What if you are educated in STEM, but you have no sense of history, you have no sense of context. And so what we are seeing the result is not that all our kids have become crazy Marxists. That's not the case. What we're seeing is, they've succeeded in brainwashing. A subset of the student population that then go on to take jobs and leadership positions. But the rest of us are rendered silent. Because we weren't paying attention. We don't know how to respond to a book like this woman, or Robyn D'Angelo, "White Frailty". When you are told you it frailty or fragility?

Peter Robinson: Fragility, I think.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Something. How are you to respond to your kids, when you have this circular reasoning. Let's say you took stem and you're successful, and you worked very, very hard. Maybe you are the child or grandchild of Holocaust survivors. And then this woman comes along and says, and gives you this narrative, "You are where you are because of your white privilege. And if you say, you're white fragility, it's just all the language is absurd. You say no, "But that's not the case. Actually, I don't respond well. My family were in fact, victims of racism there and Germany." I mean, how can we forget the Holocaust? And the very fact that we defend yourself is proof of your racism. That's what we allowed to happen in our universities. We were negligent. We turned away. No one stood up to them. The people who didn't want to do the standing up they're the ones who have been canceled and D platformed and I think year in year out, I think many of us saw this we will worried. And sometimes it's exactly as you describe it. We thought, maybe it's not fight worth having because they'll grow up. They'll grow out of it. And now we're seeing they're not. I just followed the story with JK Rowling, the author of "Harry Potter". But lots and lots and lots of lots of kids will actually read and enjoy literature, and Hachette, a publishing company in the United Kingdom, something like 100 authors have put out a letter condemning her and they want her thrown out. Those are the kinds of graduates we've created. They're not growing out of it. We have to wake up, and we have to make sure that they grow out of it.

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, here's it from an editorial in "The Wall Street Journal" last week. This is not your column. This is an editorial. "The revolutionaries are now in charge. Someone has to stop this. And first and foremost that means the liberal establishment. The leaders of universities, foundations, museums, the media, and corporations need to draw on their remaining moral authority to make the case for a liberal society." Liberal in this instance being used to mean free society, including freedom of speech and freedom of thought. All right. There's a risk. So yes, classical liberalism. "There was a risk that anyone who speaks up will become a mob target. But if one or two lead perhaps others will follow." Does that sound right to you? That some university presidents somewhere has to have the guts to stand up and say, "stop." Some corporate executive as far as I can tell, corporate America, companies of any size or reputation or stability run from Ben & Jerry's, which saying that the country is racist and racist to silence, there's no push. So does that sound right to you, that it has to be liberals, classical liberals in traditionally liberal institutions, including universities who have to stop this?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Absolutely. And I have to, express my admiration for "The Wall Street Journal", especially the editorial pages for doing that. For a good long time now, having the spine to do it. I want to say I'm delighted with JK Rowling. She could have just had a wonderful life and disappeared-

Peter Robinson: She's a very rich woman, she could just disappear and lead up. She could buy a mountain in Switzerland, for goodness sake.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: But she's just out there. And I think that is here they're setting the example. I'm not fired from Stanford. And so I have to also express my admiration for Tom Gilligan, Condoleezza Rice, Matt Sylvan- I think we are seeing more- When I was at Harvard, I want to compliment Nick Burns who stood up for me. Because the mob they tried, I don't know if they went on Twitter. I wasn't on Twitter those days. I don't remember any of them. But they were resolute. They stood up for academic freedom. And the people who wanted to destroy academic freedom. They tried. They try again. They slunk away. And I agree with you. And I agree with that editorial wholeheartedly. It really now is time to stand up for what we value, otherwise we risk economic disaster. We risk anarchy and fragmentation. You know what happens when you abolish the police, you get militias? Do you really want that? Do you want a breakdown of the rule of law?

Peter Robinson: That's the world you grew up in? Is that right?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I grew up in. and I was...and I study. And read in detail the websites of Black Lives Matter. And I think that's where we're heading if we give them what they want.

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, in your last few questions here. In your column in "The Wall Street Journal", you talk about politics. We've been discussing University and what people who have platforms we hope they say and all right. But we have a presidential election coming up. And you have views. So let me ask you about them. This is you in "The Wall Street Journal". "I can't help thinking that another shattering defeat might force sane center-left liberals into saying, "That the election of Donald Trump was not a one-off, and we've got a real problem." So this is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to Democrats of goodwill. To sane Democrats. For your own good, you need to lose again. It's that a fair summary?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: It's a fair summary. It would be a get out of jail card, right? It would be giving them the same liberal moderate Democrats. It should be giving them the opportunity. We've seen this in the UK. I've been following affairs in the United Kingdom for a good long while. It's a get out of jail card. It gives democrats the opportunity to say "We need to throw out this crazy Marxists." Is crazy mad socialists out of the party. Ocasio Cortez, the Bernie Sanders people, Ilhan Omar, these crazy, nutty, radical people, we need to throw them out. We need to go back to the center. We need to also go back to the idea of having a conversation with the other people across the aisle. And somehow- And I don't know why that happened. When I lived in the Netherlands, that's exactly what happened with the Center-Left Party. All the radical groups found their way into these parties, the Center-Left Parties, and then got them unhinged. And the moderate sane people would say, "I'm just going to go do something else and leave the arena to them." That's dangerous. We're a democracy. We're a republic, you need two parties, and both parties have to be healthy and the same. And I know that the republican party has been thrown over and over again into dissecting what their problems are. They need to listen and talk to minorities.

Peter Robinson: Let me cut you, let me cut you because you have a word for Republicans in your piece. "Republicans, too, have to change their ways. They have to talk to young people, to the Hispanic population, to African Americans, who most certainly do not want to see the police in their neighborhoods replaced by woke community organizers. So, Ayaan to Democrats you need to lose again. Ayaan to republicans get with the program. Has that?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yeah.

Peter Robinson: Well, let's just point-blank. What do you make of Donald Trump? Nowhere do you endorse Donald Trump in this column, but if you say to the Democrats for the good of your party in this nation, you need to lose. You're saying Donald Trump needs to win.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I'm not saying Donald Trump needs to win. I am saying, our democracy needs to win. Our public needs to win. And we can't win unless with... please Peter, remind me who said, "We Americans, we do everything wrong." We possibly can do wrong. I'm paraphrasing. Until do remember that?

Peter Robinson: Churchill. It was Churchill. You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: And that's where we at now. I think that's where... I cannot forget the image of- When Brett Kavanaugh was, the scene where he's in the Senate, there are all these senators. And the Republican senators are all white men looking really grim. And that they had to bring someone from the outside to help them cross-examine the accuser. Who's a woman.

Peter Robinson: Correct.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: That's the image of the Republican Party. Anyone who looks at the Republican Party who's young, female, gay, that's what they see. These white old men who are feeling very, very inhibited like they came from some, a centuries ago to Washington. So, the Republicans need to get out of that. 

Peter Robinson: Right.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: And then I don't know they just allowed too much play and now they're having these crazies.

Peter Robinson: Ayaan, a couple of last...two last questions. What's at stake? Mental experiments. Suppose the United States remains paralyzed. Suppose freedom of speech is undermined, replaced. Effective replaced by mob intimidation and the politics of the mob. Appeasing the mob. Let's say the economy continues to function well enough. Ben & Jerry's may be mistaken in its view. It may be encouraging all the wrong impulses, but they'll still remain a profitable ice cream company. People will still lead comfortable lives in this country. But the rule of law will erode, freedom of speech erodes, innovation becomes muted, we decline as China rises. If were to happen, what would the world have lost?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Well, we would have lost the glory of what made America special. That in 244 years, we were able to balance what every human being needs. Which is the balance of freedom and order? So, that goes away. You get only order. You get the tyrant. And we will get a Chinese version of tyranny. And all versions of tyranny. We've seen vary, and we still see to this day various forms of tyranny, and or anarchy. We'll go back to tribalism. And you know what I do come from a tribal society. I understand tribal logic. And what I'm seeing right now happening to America, and especially our universities is an advancement of this tribal logic and so we have a lot to decline of civilization. And that's pretty dramatic. But I don't think we are there yet. I'm optimistic.

Peter Robinson: Thank you.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I'm optimistic. I think we still have our institutions intact. They're dented but they're not destroyed.

Peter Robinson: You would know this and I just plain wouldn't. But you and I both named the African American these terms are don't quite fit but you know what I mean. The African American Conservative Intellectuals of people, the African Americans who subscribe to diagnosis too so to speak. And we both Thomas Sol, Bob Woodson, Shelby Steele, Jason Riley, Ayaan.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Ian Riley

Peter Robinson: But we can can count them. You don't quite need all both all 10 fingers to count them. Are you hopeful that this is a moment when others will come forward? Are you hopeful? What is the Good that could come of with this?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: They are the silent majority. Again, this is my message to the Republican Party. Please, shed this image of all the white man thing and listen to and amplify the voices of African Americans, Hispanics, Indians, Chinese. It doesn't matter what their race is. Skin color is the most superficial thing. Superficial part of humanity. Amplify the voices of those people who chose to come to America because of that balance of having freedom and order. And have found his way out of it. So I'm really really optimistic they are here. They are Americans. They are the ones who are terrified because we fled all these months. And tyrants in our countries of origin. Think about the people who came from a- A woman from Afghanistan wrote to me saying, "These people-" She's in Los Angeles. She said, "These people who are out here now trashing things and destroying, we should send them to Afghanistan so that they can learn lesson." So those of us who fled these places and have become Americans, I think we can if we're just given an opportunity to, to speak up and our voices are amplified. Now you go to the mainstream media, anyone of us who has to say, what Jason Riley says, "We're not going to be published." So the only places you go to are "The Wall Street Journal", Fox News, the Washington Examiner, the Conservative Media, and if you go to the media you are then told, "All your right-wing." But the mainstream media will not publish you, will not give you a voice.

Peter Robinson: Last question, Ayaan. Final time, I'm going to your piece in "The Wall Street Journal". But this is you. "When I hear it's said that the United States is defined above all by its racism, I feel obliged to speak up." Ayaan, you have lived a heroic life. You are raising a family. If you simply said, "I'm done, I'm done. I worked hard in the Netherlands. I've worked hard in this country. I've written books, I've given speeches. Now I need to lead my own life and attend to my family. And I'm done." Instead, you say, and I know because you and I had this conversation. You said to me when I asked if you'd like to record a program. You said, "Let me think about it." Then we had a conversation and you said, "I have consulted a number of advisors, but I have also consulted my conscience." Why do you feel obliged to speak? What keeps you going?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: We're all responsible for our society. We're all responsible for our history. We're responsible for our destiny. When you say, "America is nothing but a racist, imperialist, exploiter of the weak." It's such a blatant untruth. And you say that so that, you can get into power and cause tyranny and anarchy. We're talking about the future of my children. We're talking about the future, your children. And one of us has to stand up. I would say- I hope that all of us who know this stand up and say, Well remember, we are actually the only country that fought a war to free slaves. There are many African countries, many African tribes who practiced and profited from slave trade and other European countries. And there's modern-day slavery going on today. But we America, the only country that actually fought a war. Had these debates. Had a civil rights movement. Look at where we are? If you want to emphasize the negative and that's all you see, go for it, and let's talk about it and correct it. But to destroy everything that is American, the symbols, the language, constitution, the institutions, I'd say to them, "Buzz off."

Peter Robinson: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Thank you. For Uncommon Knowledge, the Hoover Institution and Fox Nation, I'm Peter Robinson.

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