Democracy Should Be Divided – but Not This Divided, Says Bernard-Henri Lévy


I’m so sad when I remember the first speech
of Barack Obama, which I heard in 2004 in the Democratic Convention endorsing John Kerry. He said, “There is no blue states and red
states of America, I know only United States of America.” So such a long way down since this first speech
of the young senator of Illinois. We are so far from the United States of America,
which he was thinking of at this time. America is divided as never because of what? A lot because of Mr. Trump, a lot because
of the sort of campaign he did; vulgar, populist, aggressive, counting on fascists passions
in part of his electorate. And this has created an unprecedented division
in the American society. I like division. It belongs to democracy. It’s part of democracy. Democracy is, of course, a society divided
with itself inside itself but not to this point. if I had to make a parallel I would say probably
Berlusconi. In general America show the road and Europe
follows. And this time it’s a European country who
did show the world and America has followed. Because the pattern, the pattern. The godfather of this sort of new spectacular
populism, populism based on TV, populism based on real television – is Silvio Berlusconi
in Italy, exactly the same. He started with the same program as Donald
Trump. He acted with women exactly as Donald Trump
is reported, true or false, to behave. He had the same sort of despise of his enemies
and of his friends as Trump, and he, Berlusconi, created the same sort of division which you
are facing today in America. And it’s not very good news because this did
cost a lot to Italy. Italy, which is the very fatherland of art
and beauty was partly damaged, if not destroyed, by these Berlusconi eras, years. Because this sort of non-politics, it is not
politics, politics is a brave great world. What Berlusconi or trump do is not politics
it’s something else. It’s a circus, it’s games of circus, it’s
Game of Thrones. It’s deals as Trump says, it’s cool (coup?). It is not politics. It does not have the nobility of politics. So this sort of non-politics damages strongly
a country. And for someone like me who is so attached
to America – I was defined years ago by my friend Adam Gopnik as an anti-anti-American. Anti-Americanism for me is a plague. I hate that. It’s a form of fascism – anti-Americanism
as itself. And so for me I am such a lover of America,
such a friend of America. I spent a month of my life touring America
on the footsteps of Toqueville13 years ago. It’s heartbreaking. If Trump has full powers, if he acts in America
like in a shop of toys where he can buy the biggest toys or eat the best pastries and
fill himself with the most creamy pastries he can find in the bakery then it will feed
anti-Americanism. If the civil society in this country reinvents
the checks and balances system, which will be frozen with a Republican party who gets
everything, Congress, Senate, a lot of governors and so on. So the balance, the checks and balances have
to come from elsewhere. From the churches, from the associations of
citizens, from new protester movements which are still to be born. If this works then I think America will give
to the world a new image of itself, which will be a great one, which will be an image
of a great nation standing firmly on its feet and values and own words against a cartoon
president, a caricature of your self. If there is a sort of democratic uprising,
democratic peaceful uprising of civil society saying, “Not in our name.” If abroad we have the feeling that some of
the acts, which will be done are not done and taken in your name or in the name of a
big part of the society, then maybe it will improve the image of America in the world.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I for one am against having any political parties. George Washington himself was against them. He said they would divide the nation and allow corrupt individuals to rise to power. He was right. The political parties divide us, they make it us against them. So while we are fighting amongst ourselves, we will not notice the corruption of those in power.

  2. Obama wasn't populist?! Remember all the "change" nonsense? Give me a break, besides trump made the exact same speech. He also called for a United America

  3. first of all before anything this is no democratic society lol never has been never will be… anyways funny how it says on the thumbnail that we will send a message to the world and he says in the middle that we get it from them… and to not see that the "check and balances" he talks about have NEVER been there is basically white privilege… any law that does not comply with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is basically written by a supremacist

  4. From the UK it actually looks like it's less about what Trumps done and more about the royal mess the regressive left has made of things. If I were American, I'm not sure I would be republican but I would be giving Trump a chance and giving him an open mind instead of complaining and shouting at those who have different opinions to me.

  5. I am more of a libertarian but damn people, Trump won't the election the same way that every other president has won in the sense that he won the electoral college. The democratic hypocrisy is amazing, I kept hearing "if Trump loses republicans will riot and use hate speech!" We'll look who is name calling and rioting, the democrats. My political views change the older I get and I am close, or was close to voting democrat but not with the way they have been conducting themselves as of late. Get your shit together!

  6. Maybe if the media stopped deliberately trying to divide the population with identity politics and other bullshit we wouldn't be this divided?

  7. we're not divided because of trump dumb ass. trump is the result of the division. we are divided because the left fails to deal rationally with problems, and the right is tired of being called racist when they are not. and the right is stuck in riligous dogma as allways. what makes me mad is where are all the anti war protests with obama. idiots think because obama did it that it must have been for good. he's done more drone strikes, and bombed more countries than bush ever did and nobody seems to care. because the press and Hollywood don't hold him accountable. trump hasn't even been in office yet and we have had more protests than in the entire Obama administration. I don't patron either party but the left needs to get it together. pc and social justice are not going to hold it together. it needs to re brand itself and be the peoples party not the donar class party. And the right needs to shed it's athoritariaan side more. something I never considered is that as time goes on the conservative ends up being the classical liberal if the left makes progress. and I think that's what's starting to be true. I consider myself a classical liberal and I'm starting to agree with conservitive ideas a lot lately. but I could be making a shift as well as I age. but the left makes it hard to be their friend when they are shutting down oposing viewpoints and causing violence in the streets with this election cycle. regressive ideas are everywhere somehow. anti white bigotry is overlooked with cultural Marxism taking front seat. the US is divided but it's not trump. he just capitalized on it. we need to get back to civility. and from where I'm looking that would mean that the progressives and Democrats need to calm down. it's the only people I see making a fuss. I didn't see the Republicans doing this when Obama took office. and I was at his presidential ball and inauguration. so just some food for thought

  8. If this Globalist zionist warmonger says that Trump was a bad choice…, then you Americans are on the Right path !

    FUCK YOU BHL !!

  9. Or it could be how obama has said one thing and lead another path. You blame Trump but Obama has brought the US to our knees. You are brainwashed or part of the system trying to oppress us. It's terrible what you socialists are doing to the world. You blame trump, but it's people like you that ruin the world

  10. ignorant voters gave us our first fascist. well done america. i don't care how much he "speaks his mind"…so does a 4 yo but I would not want him has my president. that along with the fact he is known womanizer, belligerent and psycho. we are all screwed. look at his "draining the swamp" rhetoric then filling it up with rich know-nothings…graft. sheeple wake up!

  11. Big thing picks alot of BIG SNOBS what dumb ass would say Italy a country that has had over 50 goverments in a hundred years and act like anything other then the media and the way we consume it has caused the problems of division!

  12. it can be just as divided as it wants to be, it can be revolution too. if it can be all of this, then its simple. the title is wrong

  13. it can be just as divided as it wants to be, it can be revolution too. if it can be all of this, then its simple. the title is wromg

  14. liberal ideology is based in communism , but also fascism is based in communism , so in other words liberal ideology= fascism . wtf!!!? 😕😐

  15. I think blaming Trump is an understandable but immature thing to do. People voted for trump out of spite of the left and the media, trump was a repulsively refreshing voice in that he was something to break the monotony. And if the democrats had put forward a half decent candidate, they would have won without a doubt.

  16. I find it very hypocritical to say trump divided the country when you are doing the exact same thing is this video. People are divided because neither side is willing to take responsibility for their own actions. Trump is simply an after effect of Obama's multiple failures. Rather than working together to make lead our country into the future we are forced to pick sides. Our country is allowing toxic ideas to spread like wildfire because rather than having civilized discussions we fight each other.

  17. If you are a fan of division when it hurts your ideological opponents but not when it hurts your allies, you are an opportunist and an unprincipled coward.

    I find it ironic that these voices take issue with the "circus show" of Berlusconi and Trump (superfluous connection by the way) but had little to say about the antics of the far left, whether it be environmental extremists, radical feminists, or animal rights fanatics who have normalized the use of sociopathic tactics in service of a supposed greater good. The condemnation of Trump as "vulgar" and "aggressive" is a perfect example of how the left scrounges up a few principles only when their sick tactics and ways of thought become inconveniently wielded in the hands of the enemy.

    This critique of Trump, like so many before and after it, relies on a sense of formalized group disgust masquerading as analysis while remaining blind to the larger context of contradictions that makes such criticism absurd to those who do not share similar prejudices.

    Also, it misses the point of just how and why Trump won. He won by relatively innocuous means. It is leftist hysteria that has made politically illiterate neurotics unable to accept just how un-scary and un-fascist their supposed doomsday turned out to be. The old leftist motto: "when your bullshit is exposed, double down." "Eternal revolution," even if it's totally unnecessary.

  18. 2017 hopefully the end of political correctness, it had a 40 year run ,,,and now may have a terminal illness from which I hope it does not recover.

  19. I think this will be a win win. If the left does the right thing and calm down, great. If not, they will spell their own and lasting defeat.

  20. lmao this guy is retarded nothing Trump has ever done or said could be considered fascist or extreme, this is how liberals are twisting the truth and freedom of speech into something which should be restricted and censored into something only the elite deem appropriate.

  21. hahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oooooh fuck … BHL talking about political division and credibility … pfiouuuuu that was a good one guys, greatest comedy channel evah !!!

  22. And the comment section is full of reasonable and intelligent political discourse.
    And REASONABLE, that's a word I find important.

  23. Trump said he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and not lose a single vote. His voters are an illogical cult. Can't reason with them.

  24. We are witnessing division because the two parties are having their coalitions break apart. In a parliamentary system the parties forming the coalition lose control and a new election occurs for the prime minister. The United States is not as flexible since its a 2 party system. Working religious class whites are falling out with the tax cut, free trade wealthy elite, while young democrats and those who are more socialist are falling out with the wall street rich elites in the party.

    All the xenophobia, racism, sexism, and other stuff is smoke for the fact that the serfs are grabbing their pitchforks and the lords are fortifying their gates. This is what happens when the wealth gap reaches a critical point. Both parties are as strong as the bridge in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Strong wood they are not. Republicans only won congress because people voted trump and then just checked down. So the party really has no base, this congressional control is an illusion. The democrat elites are trying to stem the resentment by their younger and more socialist members against democrat corrupt elite bankers by attacking trump.

    The media and the wealthy elites in both parties and Washington insiders who work in that environment don't know what to do and are trying anything to pit peoples anger at someone other than them.

    Im sure this guy is smart but he seems to be in post election head up my ass mode. Im not happy about how things are, but blaming one guy is fucking retarded. There are bigger more complex things going on that have been smoldering for decades.

  25. The thing that keeps me happy is knowing that Trump and his supporters are not the future. They are just what stands in our way to a better world.

  26. In Biology we already know that genetic diversity is the key for a successful species. Social biology is not much different. The best ideas are born out of rigorous debate and exchange of different kind of ideas.

  27. If there's any division in this country it's between liberals and reality. We got dead cops, three cities burned to the ground, retarded people tortured in bathrooms and forced to curse Donald Trump , yet liberals don't recognize any division until somebody comes along and fights back

  28. I take it this guy had his head up his ass through the last 8 years. I remember the Repubs doing the exact same thing that dems are doing now. I remember how some of my friends had signs calling him the anti Christ and how he should return to Kenya. That he is a socialist Muslim anti Christ that wants to take your guns, put you through death panels, and FEMA camps. I believe big think believes it's only divisive when lefties do it, but when righties do it. It's all because of their god given right to be "patriots".

  29. See how Trump does before you are ready to start labeling him as this and that.. You're supposed to be a big thinker.. Clearly you are not able to wait until he even steps foot in office before you judge the guy. America has put up with Obama.. America sure as hell can survive Trump.

  30. What he forgot to say was the way Berlusconi made his money during his almost 2 decades of politics vs how Trump earned it through the remnants of the free market.

    I don't expect you to understand the difference, but who cares? He won through a democratic process! Deal with it …

  31. Beware everywhere that guy's on the video goes, war and misery follows… This guy should be banned from every country for the sake of world peace…

  32. I am Ashamed White Man that a Peeping tump Predator Lier Hater 0Knowlege 0Honor 0Values 0Respect is in power. I am sick that he is In. I am not Democrat or Republican I vote for who I think can run the country. I voted for President Obama and he did a Awesome Job. Obama understood climate change that's the reason we're going green in 50 years call RMI Reinventing fire. Peeping tump has 0KNOWLEGE on climate or the world. It's sad that people think he is Smart. They think Money is intelligence. Doesn't matter how he got it , when his Father gave it to him and his father was KKK. Peeping trump won from scaring people and cheating that's not winning. Trump said ( I can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes) now murder is ok? one person dead and three wounded from a Trumper at a voting booth. Why vote if you're going to die.. this is Sick . and now Russia also helped I'm getting trump in. We will stand for Freedom for All. The Sleeping Giants are Awaken. A Storm is coming…

  33. Trump has truely exposed the reality of politics. Others pretended this wasn't they way of politics by fake smiles and nods but they can't keep that up now.

  34. If problems are not discussed and fixed, it creates divade, if all sides are not listened, it also creates a divade, of course, democratic processes are painfully long if we take in account all the sides and rather than finding a middle ground people decide to move too fast into one direction, which does show greater progress, but what is that progress worth if we're at war now. 🙁

  35. Never ever support trump.  Trump supporters have told me I should be shot by firing squad.  I've been told by trump supporters I should be tortured and killed.  I served under Bush in the Marines and was honorably discharged.   I never received threats of death from the left.  I will vehemently oppose trump and his supporters.  They are dangerous, evil and without honor.

  36. in the lyrics of kanye west' – go hard. ima tell you like Obama told me, fuck you Mexicans and native Americans I'm out of here.

  37. This really is quite ridiculous. He blames Trump, who hasn't yet got his feet under the table, yet Obama has been in office for two terms. That seems a little unreasonable.
    But added to that, pretty much the same sentiments are being expressed over here in the UK and Europe. Or no doubt Trump is responsible for that too?
    I'm far from being a Trump fan, but this is quite ridiculously biased and rather shallow. It very much parallels the left thinking dominating at the moment in academia, government and also in most forms and sources of media.
    But of course anyone who doesn't simply fully agree is literally worse than Hitler. Far/Alt right, and a racist xenophobe, misogynistic sexist, islamophobe bigot.
    Big Think really should be reported to the trades descriptions dept, for clearly false advertisement.

  38. big think should just disable likes and dislikes because people dont like to listen to ideas that dont fit their world view perfectly

  39. Search "BHL entarté" on YT if you want to know what we French think of this guy… (no need to speak French, it's very visual ^^)

  40. ..don't recall Trumps supporters rioting and beating up people when Barack Obama was elected 8 yrs ago. There are some very narcissistic selfish people in the US who don't like it when things don't go their way. Sad that MSM has help cause this and endorsed unruly dissent rather than see the behavior as unacceptable.

  41. Here you have one of the most heated French personalities. There is a reason why people can't stand him. Try to figure it out. I won't say it, because I don't want to go so low. But for sure he is shameful to the entire human race.

  42. The greatest argument against democracy is a 30 minute discussion with the average voter. Trump is the most unqualified person to ever hold the position and the electoral college, which was intended to prevent someone like Trump from becoming president, did the exact opposite of what it was designed to do. Welcome to the Corporate States Of America.

  43. Don't listen to this idiot. He was always wrong in every statement he endorsed in France. A big looser and a dangerous one because somehow the media love him in Europe.

  44. I'm sorry to say this guy and his views on a Democratic Republic is vary scewed . this kind of thinking is how Germany took them Twice . he Means will but is Vary Naive . and that is Vary dangerous …

  45. It is a bad kind of division, but I still think this amount of division is good.. I don't like all the bad things trump promotes, but theres a greater thing over that, trump is the hope for people to realize what we call democracy is not working, modern politics sux.. I live in latin america, always think a huge change is what we need.

  46. Trump did not create the division in the U.S., Trump EXPLOITED the division that was already there. The INTERNET is the main catalyst of the division in the U.S. by allowing the creation of information echo chambers in which people are now able to spew lies, fake news, and hatred to groups of like minded people who also only tune into similar biased hate filled information sources.
    Unless people learn how to THINK CRITICALLY this is only going to get worse : (

  47. HAHA, He said he liked "Democracy". He's so silly, we don't have Democracy in the U'S'. We have the Electoral Collage.

  48. This a chart from The Migration Policy Institute (link at the bottom of this post) shows a vast increase in the number of immigrants coming here over the last few decades. These people obviously put in a lot of effort to be here, so I'd say that the U.S.A.s "reputation" around the would is just fine.

    http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/immigrant-population-over-time?width=1000&height=850&iframe=true

  49. I'm French and I can tell you that this game is probably the most hated guy in the whole country (or maybe Francois Hollande is, I'm not sure) but he keeps being invited everywhere as if he owned the network…

  50. Happy to hear how much you love America Mr. Lévy. Sorry to have to report to you that your understanding of American politics is far to shallow to speak intelligently on this particular subject. Yes you are entitled to your opinion but you obviously have no clear insight into how/why Trump won the Presidency of the United States. Please do not take this as an insult as it is perfectly understandable that you would lack the proper perspective since you do not live here. Because of this, I would recommend that you worry about Berlusconi and let "We the People" of America worry about Trump.

  51. This video adds to the division by blaming one side. Obama is just as responsible for the division as trump. Democrats and globalists as much as republicans and populists. The issue is the downfall of education and of the media and the increase of echo chambers through social media.

  52. when there is a party that solely exist on keeping their base stupid and fearful, of course there's going to be division. the division is by education. science and facts deniers vs those who make decisions based on the facts and science. the Repubs have actively tried to discredit facts and science because it does not fit their bullshit narrative. then they cut school funding and programs and restrict higher education only to the rich, as well as medical care. when you are aligned with those who use "alternative facts" you deserve to be mocked and protested against because you are actively not using logic in order to push your narrative.

  53. It is amazing how brainwashed people are by obama. How he fooled all of you guys. He violated the constitution on almost a daily basis, lied in almost every speech, set race relations back a hundred years and invited terrorists into our country. The list goes on and on about how bad he was. Why are people so vexed by his lies?

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