Yes. Because you didn't have any trust. I think maybe that that's the secret ingredient that was missing. You got to have some trust "¦.
That's what's been missing, the second part. This administration has had an inability to manage this town. I believe in separate but equal branches. However, we know the engine of all policy offense comes from the White House. The ability to navigate and manage this town has just not been there. If they had that [trust] in the beginning, I think things could've worked out differently.
Looking back on it, when did you give into short-termism?
Let me think about that.
Chuckling, he changes the subject to his successful efforts to shift funding to the National Institute of Health, despite concerns within his own party.
As the wealthiest country in the world, certainly we want to strive for curing disease, saving lives. So the NIH—we're going to take a long-term [argument] for those fiscal hawks who don't want to do anything but reduce the deficit. And I said we have to take a longer-term view—that if we're curing disease, ultimately [that means] less outlays for treatment, because you can get rid of the disease, and we ought to have faith in the long term we can do that. And that was the sort of the message, the narrative I wanted to play.
I got a lot of pushback on both sides: Number one, from my own side, because "¦ many people said, "All we want to do is pay off the deficit. It's that important. We're going to lose our country if we don't do it." So that was a lot of a message. And I said, "Look, I think long term, we'd be much better off as a country if you cured disease and helped treat people and increase their quality of life versus trying to pay off [short-term deficits]." That was a very difficult argument to make "¦
And the other side, on the Democratic side, they were unwilling to even begin to work with me on it because they had viewed the sequestration as doing more damage to the NIH than what they said was such a little amount to go towards research. They weren't about to allow that political hit to be taken away against Republicans.
They wanted it as a wedge.
Yes. And talking about expediency. Very expedient. Go home, gain some credit, you going after those big, bad, nasty Republicans. Very expedient "¦. Just unbelievable. But again, that's long term; this [NIH bill] is a no-brainer. Just a no-brainer. And that's what you're up against. And that's a great example of political expediency in short-termism: People just decide "Hey, give this to me now. I'll be satisfied with that," rather than taking a step back and say we can have a much greater good later.
Cantor shifts the conversation to the unique attributes of young Americans, the so-called millennial generation.
They really are"¦ a generation that's looking for something much bigger than themselves, and to be a part of something. That concept is very long-term. What is their purpose? What is their life about? What are they here for? And if they can see political leaders sort of meet them halfway to that end—to your point, establishing a very important gradient of trust and then real dialogue—you'd have so much ability to dialogue and engage today. They're prone to doing that. There's a great potential, with all the disruption that we talk about. The disruption economically. The disruption through technology "¦. You're at the point that it's the right time for a leader like that. But it is complicated, [and it's] going to take someone very driven and very inspiring to try and slug through the rote responses on the part of everybody else.