Listen Here; William F. Buckley Jr and Rev. W. Sloan Coffin Debate
To introduce our two guests leaving represent to you the present of the able to go union. John Townsend. Thank you Mr. Speaker. After all the hard men we've had here this term it's a real pleasure to be able to welcome not only one but two of the native product. Mr. William Frank Buckley will be speaking tonight the opposition is on the executive committee of the Conservative Party and seems to forcefully consistently attack socialism atheism radicalism Mr. Truman for the tenure of Yale. Immediately after graduating from Yale Mr. Buckley wrote that document you all read before you came here got a man at Yale. He then went on to become a senior editor of the American mercury in 1954 wrote McCarthy his epic enemies collaborated Mr. goes out. Since 1955 when he founded it. Mr. Buck has been the editor in chief of National Review. And he's written two more books up from liberalism in 1959. And the Unmaking of the mayor this year is continue to take an intense interest in Yale. It is a great honor as well as a pleasure to welcome here tonight the Reverend William Sloane Coffin. Maybe happy to perhaps be familiar to some of you. During the Korean War Mr Kaufman served in the government on Russian affairs as a member of the CIA. He then served successively as chaplain at Phillips Academy at Williams College and became chaplain of Yale in 1958. Dr. coffin is always trying to believe the church leaders take a strong position on political and social issues. He's not very active in the NWC P.. And one of the organizers of Crossroads Africa himself I'm beginning to get things moving. He's been advisor to the Peace Corps since its inception. And was the first director of the Puerto Rico training center and perhaps the most widely publicized election Dr. coffin with McGovern in 1961 as a freedom writer and was arrested but the ride succeeded in drawing national attention to the inequality in Alabama. It is a very great pleasure to prepare to present to such distinguished apparel. I can't prevent a thing after it starts. But I can present two very distinguished opponents of the debate this evening on the topic resolved. The government has a duty to promote equality as well as to protect liberty. Mr. Buckley will be taking the opposition side. It is a great honor and pleasure introduced first to the government. The Reverend William Sloane Coffin.
The tube Thank you Mr. President ladies and gentlemen is a great pleasure to appear on the same platform with William F. Buckley. So the president is just an undergraduate together at Yale at the time he was only a year behind me which I am. But.
I'm along with many others with a widening of the gap the breathtaking capacity that Mr. Buckley has displayed for manning the barricades relentlessly facing in the wrong direction. But those three and the doctor remarks part of the resolution which reads government has a duty to promote equality as well to protect liberty. Now I think that liberty and equality while distinct are not a separate as that resolution implies.
After all freedom really are two aspects a protective permissive.
If we're going to talk about freedom we have to talk about protection from political oppression and also protection from destitution as a social aspect as well as a political one and I would say that it was the FDR great credit that he recovered this insight in emphasizing the second one and that you might say that famous phrase broke down on both sides but the phrase freedom of speech freedom of religion.
And freedom from want and freedom from fear.
And more recently the civil rights movement too has pointed up these two are aspects free in phase 1 of the Civil Rights Movement negroes had to be protected from political price which is denying them the right to vote and the right to eat hamburgers to travel around the country like any American citizen.
The whole job like any American citizen or wants within the job to be promoted without discrimination perhaps is justified in saying that phase one may actually successfully be concluded very soon.
But now we have a face to what do we say we see the once boarded door American Opportunity being open only to disclose that all the furniture is occupied.
And the only place to sit is on the floor. So this raises I think it's very profound question regarding definition of freedom how free is a man to choose his choices realistically limited the choice of a coldwater kind of choice. How free is the man going to place when in fact there's no place for him to go. In other words.
I don't think you really can talk about significant liberty without a certain measure of equality.
You cannot have a vibrant form of political democracy without a certain measure of economic abundance.
I want to come back to how this works out in the United States but first of all I want to talk very briefly about how often a year to realize this has constantly again and again distorted again and again we've tried to inspire a belief in democracy without encouraging the conditions.
Tended to attribute democracy to moral and ideological virtue and by so doing a blinded ourselves to the degree to which economic abundant political democracy beginning to realize and most Americans the right the duty of the federal government to engage in what kind of a I think it is billions of dollars in foreign aid to bring about economic land reform which could have been brought about without confiscation rather than just improving animal husbandry.
One could call about what kind of a home and how much but not about the necessity. And I would like to. Say that this is a duty perhaps to promote equality which has not been sufficiently recognized by most Americans.
I don't think most Americans in all frankness realize the kind of brutal contrast between our own prosperity and the destitution the rest of the world. But if I'm only good picture of the three billion people in this world. Come trust in the way of 1000 people. Which would mean that 60 people in the town would be Americans and 940 would make up the bulk of the rest of the population. The 60 Americans would control half the total income of the town the 940 would share as best they could the other half the 60 Americans would enjoy 15 times as much of all material goods of the rest of the townspeople on the average and the 60 Americans would have an average life expectancy of seventy one hundred forty.
On the average before they were 40. I think that type.
Of contrast between prosperity slammed up against destitution is pretty brutal and that if it's not our governments and duty to do something about this and perhaps we are really pulling but now it's come back to United States and this understanding of liberty equality as something distinct but not so.
I'm very fond of David part of his book particularly the people of plenty in which he points out historically in the consciousness of most Americans equality through the 19th century and through a good part of the first part of the 20th century equality really met. Parity of competition parity and competition which means that equality was not a value in itself but only of value when you there for equality like access to opportunity would have the connotations of upward mobility from the rich.
I don't think Americans believe in the underdog because they believe in losing cause Americans don't believe in losing cause. But we like to believe in the underdog because that validates our belief that people who are less than equal have a pretty good chance and up with mobility if they just get stuck.
Now for a while this worked very well with the glorious exception of course of Indians and Negroes.
But for reasons which the talk feel so very clear. The chief circumstance which has favored the establishment and maintenance of a democratic system in the United States he wrote is the nature of the territory.
That the Americans and have their ancestors gave them over the quality and freedom.
But God Himself gave them the means of remaining free and equal by placing them upon a boundless continent.
The talk we all understood it was not only horizontal mobility but also an upward mobility made possible by the economic development of American resources which was mobility is produced when Opportunity operating from the top operates with a drawing of people up through the economic funnel and immigration operating from the bottom upward thrust pushing people through.
And I think it has to be said that by and large the system works pretty well for a long time. There was a parity of competition there was access to opportunity largely without benefit.
But now things have changed because access to opportunity access to opportunity is not automatically there.
Perhaps more like one of the reps at Howard University in June 1964 the president said negroes attract as many whites are trapped in heritage the Gateless poverty and he saying very much the same thing as Whitney Young has been saying for some time in a different metaphor. You cannot take a man who for years has been hobbled and liberated. Bring him up to the storing line and I say to him now you're free to compete with all the others. In other words we need to take another look at the concept of parity of competition and I think President Johnson took the situation very seriously when he went on in that speech to say equal opportunity is essential but not enough men and women of all races are born with the same range of ability but ability is not just a product of birth ability as Truxton started by the family that you live with and the neighborhood you live in by the school you go to when the poverty or richness of your surroundings.
It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing a little child.
So who is going to deal with the environment that denies access significant access to opportunity and opportunity to become as best so let me say right away I don't believe the federal government alone.
Not certainly the state and municipal governments have a role to play so to the foundation so to individuals acting in an individual capacity as members of individual private data.
But the federal government must play some role and is an example of this let's take our own city here. I think many criticisms of Mayor Lee a properly leveled by the Hill neighborhood association still cannot take away from Aly the credit rescuing New Haven from corruption but from stagnation. And you haven the federal agency were 60 percent of its funding from eight different federal agencies.
I ask you how are you going to find education in a city with a shrinking tax base in which the rich and the employed so. I fled to the suburbs. How are you going to fund education. Which means not only building up the old school building the new schools are building them in the proper places.
It means recruiting teachers by raising salaries so they have at least a competitive with other professions. It means not only building standards preschool communities are also included.
How are you going to do that without some from the federal gov't. Practically speaking can it be done.
And if we don't the money for education we're going to spend it anyway. Increased welfare police and fire. How are you going to build low income house. Show me one private agency that's willing to take low income housing which means that.
We can't even get the state government in Connecticut to pass a law which would allow tax rebate for all its virtue how they can really truly be low income. How are you going to do low income housing where there are large projects such as the one out there or better yet in selective sites or how do you get money for a rental supplement for the bill and all the rest if you don't do it in part from the federal gov.
Again I'm sure the private agencies should be doing their role playing their role much greater role but I don't see how you can do it without some federal subsidy. What about training. You only have sixty five hundred unemployed at the same time we have thirty five hundred jobs back. What's the problem. The former unskilled and a lot of a draftsman electronic experts and engineers.
Certainly business and labor have been delinquent in not setting up their own kind of training programs for the unskilled but I still don't see how the private agencies or through state or city funds you can do something that takes the place of the manpower retraining act of the federal government.
And just to throw one more thing in the medical schools and this company would simply fold if it weren't for federal subsidies. And Lord knows we have too few doctors already the numbers. Proportionally diminishing as our population grows and Medicare for the poor not adequately possible without the Medicare legislation. So we want talk about these basic things health housing employment and education. Surely there is a need I would suggest to the government to play its role.
And the role is not to drag down the lowest possible common denominator. But they realize that all men have a right to be lifted up to a certain level of calm and dignity.
I suspect that New York has a little bit from Washington traffic problems.
Certainly there are problems diminish these are all the problems there are difficulties there are abuses and needless red tape. But these sins of omission are as nothing. Compared with the mission of the federal government to completely its responsibility.
I once again argue that you cannot separate significantly from some measure of equality that if liberty is to be a viable vibrant thing for any people some measure of general some measure of equality of economic abundance must be issued. As Americans we were right to be proud of every effort that's made by this country to put them out of plumb. But still the greatness of a nation is measured not only by how far it has advanced by how many it is left. We Americans have the right skills but lost them when the economy advanced men women and children for whom the affluent society is neither reality nor even whole.
I would contend that it is less important than to put these people on their feet and. Feel that in particular. The government certainly.
Should perform a duty.
Thank you very much Carol.
Iraq. Ah. Mr. William F. Buckley for two hours.
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen Dr. coffin. And when Doctor Cotton.
Was asked to comment on this in the forthcoming debate.
He made a statement to the elite in news. That I perfectly demonstrate the perils of being the champion.
High school debate has now demonstrated the perils of being runner up.
In the towers.
I agree with Dr. Cotton that the subject is a serious one and that it ought to be made to shed light on the proposition to which I shall attempt to contribute by asking. I hope a couple of generic questions. It seems to me. That when you ask yourselves why equality. You need to ask yourself what in fact are the justification for equality in the. A study one of them and for most of them foremost on one of them perhaps is is the illogical. And yet it seems also plain. That any effort by us to certify what is divine divinely postulated is an act of irrelevance if not an act of profound profanity. If we are indeed equal. By an act of God. We hardly need to ratify his judgement on the matter by any activity of the federal government. Oh another just occasion for the holidays isn't a sense of a spiritual. A concept which even if viewed in secular terms is or at least ought to be. In fact I think necessarily is informed by.
Essentially. Metaphysical presumptions.
It has really to do with with an attitude which so far as I can judge it necessarily discourages any easy materialistic generalities in that it does recognize that the spiritual condition of equality is among.
Men and women. So intimately varied as to make it very difficult to. Trued. Any generality that attempt a correlation between man's material well-being and his spiritual well-being. And inside of course sharply i tell us ised.
By the power of the rich man and the needles.
So that the spiritual justification for equality leaves us Ortley was I think a little beat be known by the impossibility of achieving a state of spiritual quality which transcends the normal corporate problems which perhaps we must end up. Almost exclusively discussing. What is the a fair justification for the polity and. It seems to me that it is humane.
That is to say we must be devoted to the notion that all men have physical needs and that those physical needs must be tended to. Food certainly shelter and certainly medicine certainly. But isn't it and idiot's injunction to suppose that that is a quote federal responsibility. It is a human responsibility. And the point then is to consult my experience you know to determine whether the federal government is most usefully invoked in order to insure. That. Kind of equality.
What is unique about the federal government seems to me is that. It is an agency of force an agency which precisely shouldn't in a free society be invoked unless the demonstration is clear that humanity has failed. Surely most people would agree that it is a most satisfying. Then show in humanity both as regards the man who cares and the man who receives to know that a beneficence is feeling given. Out of a human sense of obligation that it is given as a result of the efficient the working of the majority's will over the minority is the government's way into the public. Surely in a democratic society. One must assume a rational co-ordination between the governors and the government. We must assume that the governors are a majority of the majorities consent.
Leaving the question open. If the majority have implicitly expressed their willingness to give Why then the instrumentality of the federal government unless it is to coerce the morally recalcitrant minority. Therefore in a society devoted to freedom including the freedom of minority is to fail to do their moral duty must in the case be made that absolutely establishes the mechanical necessity of the minority's acquiescence and participation in a particular program in order to justify requiring that minority by force to contribute to. The Polity.
It is presumably a recognition. Of that order of reasoning that has caused Catholic theologians over a period of 50 or 60 years to reaffirm what the pope's call the doctrine of subsidiarity.
That doctrine being that no activity which can be undertaken by private agencies ought to be undertaken by public agencies and that no activities that can be undertaken by little public agencies should be undertaken by.
Higher. Public agencies. But if they if the federal government. Needs to be invoked in order to contribute to equality. Then one needs I think to accept the proposition that humanity has failed itself or if in fact it is official material apology can be forthcoming from the Well-Tempered majority.
But then isn't the federal approach nothing less than a punitive expedition. Against the callous and I know.
It isn't the federal government then engage in an exercise in the kind of sumptuary out there in Islam which would easily justified in insisting that the unwilling minority suffer for holding opinions different from the majority.
I just occasions for reporting. I have among other things got to relate to the potential sources to the disposable resources of any society.
India for instance is explicitly you've got that area and. It is completely committed to the kind of ecology that Dr A coffin has of eloquently stressed the need for. But as a plain matter of fact it hasn't the resources with which to leave its own material want. Nor in fact does America have sufficient resources to relieve India's material world. Professor John Kenneth Galbraith speaking as an ambassador to India.
He said On one occasion that in purely economic terms never mind the purely philosophical problems in purely economic terms. India in fact could not afford. A socialized welfare programs of the kind that the United States can afford. Isn't the passion for equality then de-facto. Can it be an instrument that ends up after all.
But the ingenious few. Who always succeed in maneuvering them out how in the circumstances the ideology of equality in Poland for instance we saw working in the years after nine hundred and fifty six when after and after experimenting with free agriculture ideology closed in again. And as a result of the insufficient ideological So the idea of the people in a program of ideological in co-location was set up which on one occasion was parodied by the Polish student Journal pro post which cited a colloquy between a calmness of ideology and a student the student asked a commissar What is it when there is want in the city and plenty in the country and he answered instantly a right deviation in the party line.
What is it when there is plenty in the city in the country and he answered. They left deviation in the party line. What is it he said when there is water in the city and one in the country and the converse of a balanced application of the party line. What is it when there is plenty in the city and plenty in the country in the hands of the horrors of capitalism.
Is that any society that seeks opportunity. Has got to reckon with the availability of the sources and then has to think intelligently as to how best those resources can be speaking. The left liberal spectrum of American politics is that it is impossible out of a lust for the polity to create those conditions which was substantially relieve the misery of the Polish people but it also seems to me.
That even in the most rudimentary sense. Food shelter education the quality before the law but is in fact a situation which is in them see football.
Even to the parodic matic social philosophy. To have a soda with Leon. Because even assuming you can make society at midnight tonight ex hypothesi it will be only put at 10 minutes past midnight. The conferral. Of equality. Is itself an invitation to inequality. Because if everyone is equally free to cultivate his opportunities inequalities will instantly and the only way in which to preserve existentially polity is to suppress paradoxically equality of opportunity to punish those who are taking seriously the advantages of equality so use them as to create inequality. So it strikes me as a salient in a discussion of this kind to recognize what in fact are the operative presumptions. The operative presumptions are the kind of equality that we can all. Enjoy and. Desiring. Is a kind of equality that can be brought about by various me. This coffin is quick to dismiss the suggestion that those means can circumvent the instrument of the national government but ensuing in doing so he speaks not fact but ideology. He speaks rather that kind of in patients with the local working of humanity which in fact have done more in this country even destroying the uses of a coercive federal government than anything ever accomplished in the history of the world. That has been used towards the kind of the polity that we we're thinking of. He's choose it as a result of an intellectual as in patients with local processes. He fails to mention that great dilemma of the collectivist lumber I mentioned a moment ago that in a democratic government what might one must automatically assume that any federal welfare measure is backed by the majority and that therefore actually does nothing more than an act in auto taxation and then therefore in other circumstances one must justify coercive legislative measures only in terms of the necessity to subjugate the minority. Now is the necessity to subjugate the minority simply because we need their money in order to make it work. Or can we actually if we borrow through the rhetoric of the past 20 or 30 years find that it is a punitive expedition against the minority one that seeks less their dollars and their cooperation irrespective of the workings of their own will. There is a kind of equality that I do believe is descending on us. Which we need. I think most fear it is one probably that transcends even the fighter is of the federal government. It is in and a polity of of cultural circumstance. We know that the rich man and the poor man is equally the victim of bad water or radioactivity of bombs. But he is also the he is also the victim and equally of an approaching the vomiting of an approaching conformity of thought and attitude. The symbol of which is the constant central position of cultural and intellectual and political attitude. It is not only that year after year after year the government has asked the federal government has to do more that of the kind of thing that clearly can be done by the local community or even by the individual state. It is a kind of a predisposition to accept single tuning for us for our own attitude. How can we protect ourselves against to use a Select AK the tyranny of the New York Times. But surely the problem of equality is a problem that was all and more recently taking into it and taking to it into advantage. The modern manifestations of that kind of equality by McLuhan when he speaks of those totality of the circumstances by which we are all bombarded at every moment of our conscious life time by the necessities the imperatives of the fashionable age. It is that kind of equality which I think symbolically resisting what is nothing less. Namely that if the federal government steps in because if humanity has we have no justifying democratic government and we have no end.
Good to talk to you but also to promote equality then set a cross examination section of our debate for the first period. As a privilege of cross-examining every five minutes.
I just got an economist have demonstrated that his latest 961 redistribution of income as engineered by federal welfare measures. Amounted to between 15 and 16 percent of all of the dollars process that is to say a net total of 15 percent of the money raised for federal welfare actually ended up in states different from those from which that money Rose How do you justify it in a democratic society taking money from Connecticut only to return it to Connecticut get a second later Mr. Gore.
I think that there's always a kind of dynamic which operates in this fashion every elected representative talk about what a democracy area elected representative has. To represent his electorate but he also has to represent his own. And sometimes at one remove from the electorate in a fashion which you can't do when he's directly responsible the federal government which the state of Connecticut is not able to do the same with the national churches of I can get a special commission on religion and race in a national way that those directly represent the more conservative churches.
I'm not sure that you really can raise money out of the taxpayer to put in the kind of the necessary education. If you can see maybe this is just a.
Slightly different the other way. To explain to.
Me. It reveals some sort of a vested interest in a continuing.
Act that the representatives in Washington vote exaction and they are nevertheless reelected by the people of that state of Connecticut doesn't actually know what it is. If it did it might not proceed as I think it should. I think that your patience with the democratic processes under circumstances consistent but let me ask you why would you object at the end of every 10 year period beneficiaries 18 or 20 or 22 states whose median income is below the national average more states to contribute to the plight of those minorities.
Do you object or suspect that if it were put away that would be the electorate they would recognize what they were doing the sneaking suspicion that you actually live among.
Come back to the point that represent just a perspective of what is necessary for the general welfare of the country. But I think that this is in the best interest of the country. I have a kind of perspective perhaps from. If you want to do that this is the kind of recognition that a person that other people can't see accountable for public the. Kind of acts in the federal Constitution.
May I ask.
First. It is it is two categories practically in a philosophical discussion. It's almost as unfair. As that to the extent that one seeks to be philosophical one seeks always to reach out for the most desired situation in New York City is obviously to try to catch that which has been the community that he is trying. But he has another function and that is the function of a leader made plain charismatic willingness to exercise that function or constantly remind the citizens of New York largely due to the fact that they are not alone. Good Lord they're so close. According to the designers of many of the reforms they seek to meet or impossible for them to make because of a very intricate set of bridges which are operating in Washington D.C. to disperse money not with reference to meat or even original sources but rather with reference to the leverage exercised like to.
This one is not. This isn't an attempt to score points at all seriously variance in this possibility whether Right and Left might have some kind of connection here. Would you like to see the federal government for us and the state type of large sums of money as a means of getting away from the centralization. Of the state. And the same kind of problem but it would be done through the state. It would be determined that actually operate the thing more well.
It was not only a possibility but a very possibility of President Kennedy's chief economic advisor just as we'll.
Even. Even the most central lies occasionally crumble under some of the paradoxes that result from this mean centralisation on the Stanford Connecticut was identified by the statisticians as the wealthiest city in the world.
The following day the council of Connecticut rejoiced over it having succeeded in persuading the federal government to make $12000 to study the problem of juvenile advancement.
These paradoxes are what caused him to recommend to the president of the United States to the states which otherwise were going to the federal government in order to permit those states to try to solve their own problems in their own way. Struck me as a breath of sanity. Ideological administration. So what you propose are so archly I think to embarrassment is actually being proposed by a prominent member of the university for a Democratic president.
To a. Rather uncommon one I have five minutes to comment on the remarks made during the question.
I'm fraid I can't resist a person slip to be showing one talks about the illogical. Definitions of equality I'd like to give to a very clear theological definitions of equality. One is that a value is a gift and not an achievement. It's something the store conferred and all men are radically the same in terms of the back.
And blast him against to discriminate against another person in terms of his value is not only an offense against the human spirit is blasphemy in the face of the Creator and had a man's value but not of the body Carnot certainly the material of a job doing human work with a human work.
The second definition of the quality of a theological go back to the Greek equality all men are equal.
We all belong to one person point of view Christ died to keep trying to put asunder what God Himself has joined together. And to find some kind of unity to make manifest this kind of unity between human beings of the cause another bird of which people have to see worked out. In some fashion.
Now I was kind of surprised to be sort of operating an ideological framework I thought I was trying to build a factual and I found Mr. Buckley constantly getting back in one ideological framework.
Let me try and just in a very practical sense how do you deal with a good thing if you're trying to make manifest the dignity of another person you're trying to make manifest with other people. If for instance you know the story. New York City and the Mr Buckley were to come along joined by city law not to touch them. And it's good to know you my dear. You are an expert in first day. So what is it to do is go to the nearest phone call the City Hospital and if I have seen happen.
It took the ambulance 45 minutes to get there another 45 minutes to get back to the hospital. What is Mr. Buckley going to do in a situation like that.
Coming from a city hospital I mean the politics of the police force again a matter of city politics. So why do we have so many. Finally once again these are social problems that have to be dealt with on a rather large scale.
I don't see how you can escape the question of politics.
I'm not trying to be ideological and try to be eminently practical. Here are the people in need. Now how in God's name are you going to get the people in need.
I don't do any good to talk about all of that into it.
They. Were in the city because he didn't know.
Now when he says American doesn't have unlimited resources spending 50 billion dollars in the Pentagon and 20 billion dollars for the space program another 30 how a lot of money that would be available the question of what our national priorities are and anybody. Thank you. We.
Were worse on national priorities in this country. No question about the amount of money available. Which will probably be taken up by LBJ I think he'd do it if he didn't have this and would like to see some of these measures really carried through. But I think it can be it can be easily worked out that technologically in this country and if technologically there's no moral excuse it's just that simple. It's only a question of where you want to put your priorities and what you want to do is not a question asked. Let's not talk about the crime create the. Problem.
It'll. It'll. Be.
Knew all. The organs.
I am with you on.
The ball and it is a tribute to his ingenuity but not much to your room that you should have been tempted to succeed. You are going to have me and for you says Mr Barclay has been extremely invasive he has not answered the problems of how we are actually going to cope with the problems of the people of the people of the United States let alone the people of the world we have an annual gross income of six hundred seventy five billion dollars created that gross national income Dr coffin and other federal government know.
It was precisely the workings of a system which stressed certain presumption and certain presumptions which in fact many of them were embodied in the Constitution of the United States. Now that our presumption is in favor of the private sector as opposed to the public sector using it is in favor of the local political entity rather than the massive political entity. Now the question is Has it worked. In fact we do have the kind of surplus to which he paid such eloquent attention in the early part of his last column the nation has followed he has generated a surplus of the kind that all of the other socialist countries that have attempted primarily to do something about it. Let me tell Mr Mr Potter if you want to or a.
Got to tell him something before you start lecturing me. To. Me is that precisely that which has generated which has made it possible.
That generated people letting them be free to produce the kind of dog.
Concern of the humanitarian today is to the presumption against demagogues It's perfectly easy to say that New York and New Haven has problems.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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- William F. Buckley and Rev. W. Sloan Coffin debate the topic resolved "That the Government Has a Duty to Promote Equality as well as To Protect Liberty," for a live audience at Yale University. Sloan speaks in favor of the resolution, and Buckley speaks for the opposition. Sloan talks about freedom, especially protection from political oppression and protection from destitution. Buckley argues that if people are equal as determined by God, then the federal government does not need to be involved. He also argues that the spirit of equality is so varied between people that it is difficult to regulate, and that the responsibility of providing people's material needs should be a human responsibility rather than a governmental responsibility. After their initial arguments, the debaters ask each other direct questions.
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