Hollywood on the Potomac

'A Time to Build'

March 10, 2020

“Welcome to a book event in the age of Corona. We kinda joked we were going to put a sign out front that said no French kissing, social distance appreciated,” said Juleanna Glover who hosted a book party at her home in Washington, DC with Christopher Reiter and co-hosted by Jon Ward in honor of author Yuval Levine for: A Time to Build.

Book synopsis: “A leading conservative intellectual argues that to renew America we must recommit to our institutions.  Americans are living through a social crisis. Our politics is polarized and bitterly divided. Culture wars rage on campus, in the media, social media, and other arenas of our common life. And for too many Americans, alienation can descend into despair, weakening families and communities and even driving an explosion of opioid abuse. Left and right alike have responded with populist anger at our institutions, and use only metaphors of destruction to describe the path forward: cleaning house, draining swamps. But, as Yuval Levin argues, this is a misguided prescription, rooted in a defective diagnosis. The social crisis we confront is defined not by an oppressive presence but by a debilitating absence of the forces that unite us and militate against alienation. As Levin argues, now is not a time to tear down, but rather to build and rebuild by committing ourselves to the institutions around us. From the military to churches, from families to schools, these institutions provide the forms and structures we need to be free. By taking concrete steps to help them be more trustworthy, we can renew the ties that bind Americans to one another.”  Hatchette Books

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New Generation of Leaders

March 8, 2020

"Baby boomers also did a lot of job hopping in their youth so it may not be totally a millenium thing," author Charlotte Alter told Hollywood on the Potomac when asked about millennial job loyalty at a book party in her honor co-hosted by Cliff Sloan and Mary Lou Hartman at the home of Susan Tolson & Charles Rivkin. While the book is about politicians, we were curious about this aspect of millennial interaction on the job front since she had accumulated so much data on them.”But I also think that a lot of this has to do with the types of jobs that people are getting and the types of benefits they get. I think a lot of the jobs that are available to young people right now don’t offer benefits, don’t offer health insurance, aren’t paying them that much, so they don’t necessarily feel that sense of loyalty because they don’t feel like the employer has a sense of loyalty to that. I think it’s something like 40% of millennials work as freelancers now. That’s just a way that our economy has fundamentally changed where they don’t have the same kind of long-term corporate employment with all the protections that come with it and with those protections come loyalty.”

Book synopsis:  “In The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For, TIME correspondent Charlotte Alter defines the class of young leaders who are remaking the nation–how grappling with 9/11 as teens, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying Wall Street and protesting with Black Lives Matter, and shouldering their way into a financially rigged political system has shaped the people who will govern the future. Alter gives the big-picture look at how this generation governs differently than their elders, and how they may drag us out of our current political despair. Millennials have already revolutionized technology, commerce, and media and have powered the major social movements of our time. Now government is ripe for disruption. The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For is a hopeful glimpse into a bright new generation of political leaders, and what America might look like when they are in charge.” Penguin Random House

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'Contract to Unite America'

March 3, 2020

“Why would anybody want to be in politics these days?” Hollywood on the Potomac asked the author of Contract to Unite America Neal, Simon at a book party in his honor at the home of Juleanna Glover & Christopher Reiter in Washington, DC co-hosted by Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics. “Well, this is part of what the book’s about, particularly with our current system. I think most people start off with good intentions but if you want to be in office and you want to remain in office, you’re forced into one camp or the other. Every incentive pushes you there. So I think most people in our government actually are good people who are just responding to bad incentives.”

Simon ran for office “because I feel like the system is so broken. I would talk about it at my kitchen table all the time with my kids and talk about it with a lot of people around me. And I was encouraged to run and it felt like I had an opportunity to maybe make a difference. I knew I was a long shot from the start, but I really ran on a set of principles of trying to make our government function better than it does today.”

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