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October 18, 2020 1:51 pm

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October 18, 2020 1:51 pm

David Pogue looks at how extreme weather events are bringing the issue of climate change home to more and more Americans. Erin Moriarty examines the key voting bloc of suburban women in battleground states. Nick Whitaker talks with Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza. Ben Mankiewicz checks in with actor Elliott Gould. John Dickerson discusses the perils of polls, and Tracy Smith discovers longtime Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth’s new passion: Japanese ink painting.

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I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. Wildfires and hurricanes this season have once again put the issue of climate change front and center in the presidential campaign and the national conversation. And with the year we've been having, the experts are saying it's time to get worried, really worried.

David Pogue will report our cover story. In case there was any doubt, 2020 has offered some pretty good evidence that the climate is changing. We always put climate change on the back burner as something we can deal with later, but we're out of time for that. But 2020 has also offered some tiny signs of hope. In one generation, we've taken the planet from basic stability to the brink of catastrophe, but it's also kind of exhilarating. It means that we are the authors of our fate.

Climate change and update coming up on Sunday morning. Christopher Cross is a singer-songwriter with some of music's most memorable hits, to his credit. But as he'll explain to Serena Altschul, for him, this year has been anything but smooth sailing. Christopher Cross is a five-time Grammy Award winner.

This year, he's also something else. What were some of the things you were saying to yourself in those darkest moments? I can tell you that I had a few conversations with whoever he or she is and just saying, you know, if you could just get me out of here, I will be a better person.

Christopher Cross's long recovery from COVID later on Sunday morning. We're in conversation this morning with Elliott Gould, the Oscar-nominated actor who has always done things his own way, as our Ben Mankiewicz discovers. What do you got against Terry Benedict?

There are character actors, and then there are characters. Elliott Gould happens to be both. Where are you from? I'm from Brooklyn, New York. I was conceived in Far Rockaway.

My next question was, where were you conceived? Elliott Gould on big parts and big breakups. What ended the marriage with Barbara?

Because she became more important than us. Ahead on Sunday morning. Mark Whitaker talks to Alicia Garza, who coined the rallying cry, Black Lives Matter, plus stories from Faith Salie and John Dickerson on politics. It's Sunday morning, the 18th of October, 2020, and we'll be back. One wildfire after another, and a hurricane season for the record books. Cause for concern, says our David Pogue, who reports our cover story. Authorities believe the virus originated here at the large Wuhan Seafood and Animal Market. The CDC is on guard. Experts worry it could become a pandemic. 2020 has been a year of non-stop crises. The coronavirus has infected Wall Street.

Some wore masks as protection from one epidemic, while demanding an end to another. For a while there, it was almost possible to forget an ongoing crisis that used to have our attention, climate change. Parts of Newport Beach are flooded tonight. But nature found a way to remind us. In the Midwest, punishing 100 mile an hour winds. In the Southwest, a brutal succession of floods and droughts.

On the coasts, Delta is bearing down on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. A freakish number of devastating hurricanes. And in our western states, the combination of the high heat and dry brush makes for explosive fires, historic mega fires that sent a plume of ash and smoke all the way to the East Coast. More than 4 million acres have burned in California alone.

Just to put that into perspective, that is larger than the state of Connecticut. And these fires are still burning. Chief Daniel Berlant is an assistant deputy director for Cal Fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Our climate here in California has been changing now for decades. In fact, this year's fire seasons are on average 75 days longer than they were in the 70s. Where are we in the fire season right now? This year's fire season will likely just roll right into 2021. So this ain't over yet. There is no end in sight. In the last 20 years, we've experienced twice the number of weather disasters as we did in the previous 20 years. The cost so far?

About $3 trillion. Yes, climate change is back in the headlines. We always put climate change on the back burner as something we can deal with later. But we're out of time for that.

There is no later. We need to deal with it now. Ayanna Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and co-editor of All We Can Save, a book of essays by women climate leaders. I asked her for a climate change refresher. We burn all these fossil fuels. All these greenhouse gases go up in the air. It's carbon dioxide. It's methane. And they create this layer of gases that's basically like a blanket on top of the planet. That blanket traps heat from the sun that would have bounced back out into space. It's funny we call it the greenhouse effect, because most people don't spend a lot of time hanging out in greenhouses. I think it should be called the dog in the car in summer effect.

Ooh, totally. Because isn't it the same thing? The sun comes into the car.

It doesn't fully bounce out. So the car gets really hot inside. That's a much better analogy. The planet is now warmer than in the entire history of human civilization. It's like we've landed on a new planet with a new set of climate conditions, and we have to figure out what of the civilization that we've brought with us to this point can survive these conditions.

David Wallace-Wells is the deputy editor of New York magazine and the author of The Uninhabitable Earth, a book that explores what will happen if we don't cut our carbon emissions soon. He says it's not just about warmer weather. It changes the whole system. Rainstorms are going to be more intense. The oceans are heating up, which means that hurricanes are going to become more intense and more frequent, as they already are. There are going to be extreme droughts as well as extreme rainfalls. It's just a kind of a scrambling of what had been a very stable system on which we've erected all of human civilization. David Wallace-And it's not just unstable weather. It's unstable us. David Wallace-Agricultural yields could fall by half or more over the course of the century if we don't change course. It affects respiratory illnesses, cancer.

It affects cognitive performance, development of children. David Wallace-If you've been paying attention, none of this is news. What is new is that public opinion about the climate crisis is finally changing. So when you see these headlines, 70 percent of Americans are now at least mildly curious.

That's not something to brag about. It still seems really low to me. David Wallace-To me, something like 70 or 75 percent of the country expressing concern about an issue seems really high. We live in an incredibly polarized world where most of these issues, if you can nudge it past 50 percent, you're doing incredibly well. David Wallace-So what took us so long to become alarmed? David Wallace-Until quite recently, people didn't see the effects in their lives. I think almost no one now can look at their TV screens and think to themselves, climate change isn't real. David Wallace-The federal government has done virtually nothing about climate change in the last few years.

But in many ways, the country has marched right ahead anyway. The mayors of 438 cities, the governors of 25 states, and 700 universities have committed to cutting their emissions, mostly in line with the Paris Agreement. That's the 2016 international commitment to limit the Earth's heating up to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or less in the next 80 years. About a thousand major corporations have pledged to cut their emissions to Paris Agreement levels, too. And why would corporations go green?

Because of public pressure, investor pressure, and employee pressure. Technology has been marching on, too. For example, these babies, direct air capture machines, huge fans that extract carbon dioxide back out of the air. From there, the plan is to store it underground, turn it into fuels or building materials, or even sell it to carbonated drink companies. David Wallace-They can take carbon out of the atmosphere at a cost of about $100 a ton. That's much more expensive than it would cost to not put carbon up there in the first place. Those prices will probably fall further.

Eleven of these plants are already operating as pilot projects. Now, you don't want to use these to solve the whole problem because, among other things, it would mean essentially barnacling the whole planet with plantations of carbon capture machines. But I do think that there is a role for carbon capture.

Whatever steps we take, we'll have to take them fairly. Research shows that extreme weather hits hardest in low-income areas and communities of color. It's people in low-lying areas, people near waterfronts that aren't protected, but also people who don't have the resources to leave. Everyone in Hurricane Katrina who was trying to get out of New Orleans couldn't.

A lot of people didn't have cars. It's often a privilege to get to leave before a storm. All over the world, we're building some of the most expensive public works projects in human history. Defenses against rising sea levels and flooding from intense rains. And in New York... New York is so valuable that we're going to have to protect it. And so there are a variety of plans that are already in place, but there are also much more ambitious plans that haven't yet gotten greenlit to enclose the entire harbor in a seawall.

That would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. So there's some good news. More people are talking about the climate crisis. More countries are doing something about it.

Even China. And last year, for the first time, the price of clean renewable energy fell below the price of burning coal. On the other hand, we're getting started far too late. I asked David Wallace-Wells if the latest developments give him any hope. So if you're hoping to preserve the planet of our grandparents, there's no reason for hope. If you're hoping to preserve the climate as we know it today, there's really no reason for hope there either. But I think that the worst case scenarios are getting considerably less likely because a lot of this action has taken place, a lot of the political momentum that we're seeing. We're in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. Scientists like Ayana Elizabeth Johnson are more skeptical.

I don't really think of myself as an optimist, but as a realist, so much of this change is already baked in. Things are really dire. But I'm also not giving up. And honestly, like, who are we to give up?

We have to try. Black Lives Matter. Those words describe a movement, and behind them, a woman.

Contributor Mark Whitaker introduces us to Alicia Garza. This summer, the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage. From global protests, to a renamed plaza in Washington, D.C., to murals adorning neighborhoods throughout the country. And last month, the movement's founders, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, found themselves on the cover of Time magazine. My hope in helping to put this forward wasn't to start a movement. Alicia Garza coined the phrase, Black Lives Matter.

My hope was to actually change people's minds, to change the way that we see ourselves, so that we can stand in a stronger footing to be able to change the things that we don't like that are happening around us. We met the Oakland-based activist at Marcus Books, the country's oldest black bookstore, to discuss Garza's soon-to-be-released book. I wanted to make sure that we were in a place that really represents the legacy and the enduring tradition of black organizing and black resistance.

The purpose of Power is Garza's own story of black organizing and black resistance. While many might remember first hearing the phrase, Black Lives Matter, during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the movement actually began a year earlier. We, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty.

The day George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. After the verdict's announcement, a stunned Garza penned several Facebook posts. Was that a phrase, was that just something that came pouring out? Well, let me just say, I'm not a big Twitter user, so when I first used the words Black Lives Matter, it was on Facebook. Patrisse Cullors, a Los Angeles-based activist who was Twitter savvy, added a hashtag.

I thought it was a pound sign. She broke down what hashtags are to me, and that's how Black Lives Matter was born. Now called the hashtag heard round the world, Black Lives Matter is a worldwide phenomenon. Garza traces her own path to activism to her mother and her upbringing during the 1980s and 90s in an affluent suburb of San Francisco, where she says being an outsider gave her a unique vantage point. I grew up with the ethos that you always fight for the underdog. Black folks forever had been working hard to get ahead, but that this country wasn't working hard for black people and didn't plan to.

Garza also credits MTV News for broadening her perspective. With stories about the apartheid system in South Africa, We're finally dismantling the racist system of apartheid, famine in Ethiopia, and domestic politics. This was a time when there was a big debate happening nationally about the epidemic of teen pregnancy, and there was a big fight over whether or not young people should have the tools that they needed to make decisions as they were making choices about whether or not to have sex. That was your first big cause as an activist when you were still in... I was 12 years old.

I was in middle school. In her book, Garza accounts a formative moment at age 17, a run-in with a police officer who found her smoking marijuana with a friend and let her off with only a warning. I was a kid who was doing things that kids do, and I was given a shot, but most black kids who were my age at that time are not given a shot. And guaranteed, if I had been a 17-year-old black girl in West Oakland caught with the same amount of marijuana, I would have spent not just the night, but I would have had a criminal record. The takeaway from this encounter resonates with Garza today.

I think the moral of that story is this. We have a criminal system that is intent on treating some people differently than others. It's actually baked into the architecture of that system. And what this movement is fighting for, it is to frankly dismantle a system that was designed to criminalize black people, that was designed to criminalize poor people and people of color and other oppressed people. So when you use the term dismantle, I think some people are confused right now about exactly what that means. Does it mean dismantling a certain kind of policing in certain communities? What do you want dismantled? Well, I didn't talk about dismantling police. I talked about dismantling systems. And so when we talk about dismantling systems that are harmful to our communities, it means taking them apart and stopping our usage of them.

But we can't just dismantle without building something in its place. And I think what's important for all of us to engage in is a reimagining of what it looks like to have dignified communities where we are not patrolling communities with guns and tanks. Alicia Garza is now focusing her efforts beyond Black Lives Matter, founding groups aimed at empowering women and building black political power. And so what do you tell people when, as I'm sure they do on a daily basis, white folks say, what can we do to help?

What do you tell them? Well, I say you can join a movement. So being in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, being a part of this larger movement for change in this country and around the world can't be about charity.

I don't want to fight next to anybody who's like, you know, I'm doing this because you people need this. And for those who think Black Lives Matter is merely a social media movement, Alicia Garza offers this. The story of movements is not about how many people follow you on social media. It's about how many people will step forward. And you can have a million followers on Twitter and not get one person to step forward and take action. So is the leader or the founder of one of the most famous social media movements of the modern era telling us that social media isn't everything? Well, I can tell you as the founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which is now considered to be the largest protest movement in history, that hashtags do not start movements.

People do. The baseball season is entering its final innings, but Steve Hartman has found a promising rookie whose career has barely begun. There you go. A couple weeks ago, Brian Robinson and his son Carter were at this batting cage in Montgomery, Alabama, when a random stranger threw him a high hard one to the heart. There was this bucket of balls with a note. The note read, hope someone can use some of these baseballs.

I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds. The writer went on to say that his family is now grown and gone, but what he wouldn't give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. If you are a father, cherish these times.

Brian and his wife, Stormy, read that note with tears in their eyes. It felt like a moment for us. It still does. It does.

We need to soak in more of our kids and time with our kids. Just the message the author intended. I was just hoping it would inspire some people. Randy Long used to love watching and coaching his kids. So much so that when he came across that old bucket of balls in his garage, he couldn't bring himself to just throw away the memories. He says he needed closure. It was like a goodbye, wasn't it? Yeah, I think it was a sign off, a sign off type thing.

Okay, that chapter is gone. Let's see what else, you know, what else is coming on. But unbeknownst to Randy, his baseball days were headed into extra innings. You want a fist bump? Just recently, he met up with the Robinsons and learned about a void in Carter's life.

The boy lost both his grandfathers at a very young age. They never saw him play. We'd love for you to come watch. All right. Randy said he'd definitely be at the next game and then asked Carter for a little catch. Right where I had it. You see the smile on my face, Carter? This is bringing back memories. It seems now Iowa isn't the only state with a field of dreams. It's what I've always wanted for him. I'm sure a lot of people across the country now are realizing that's not just a bucket of balls anymore.

No, it's a fountain of youth and a binding force for generations. We're in conversation this morning with Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Gould. He's talking with our man in Hollywood, Ben Mankiewicz. For Elliot Gould, all the world's a stage, even when that stage is a backyard patio in Los Angeles. To be or not to be, that's the question. Gould is rehearsing Shakespeare.

Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows. But he's not playing Hamlet. He simply decided at age 82 it was time to memorize it.

You people ought to be arrested. Now what was that? Look, we all go way back and I owe you from the thing with the guy in the place. He's never been a typical Hollywood star. Not now and not in 1970 when Time magazine put him on its cover. Donald Sutherland, one of my best partners, great actor, said to me, what good does it do to know everything when you don't understand anything?

He's not going to be walking out of there. I'm sorry. I thought the guy was okay. I never saw one like him before. Pretty sure Gould understands acting. For seven decades, from The Long Goodbye to the Ocean's movies and Friends.

Boy, I'm glad I wore the big belt today. His characters have been unconventional and distinctive. Six times he played himself hosting Saturday Night Live, a return home to his New York roots. Where are you from? I'm from Brooklyn, New York. I was conceived in Far Rockaway and born and brought up in Brooklyn. My next question was, where were you conceived, so. His birth certificate reads Elliot Goldstein.

His mother, Lucille, changed his last name without telling him. She also nudged him into show business. My mother would say to me, I'm your severest critic. She used that word and all you have to do is please me. And I thought, that's not very fair as I got told.

I said that what you're saying then is I can't please myself until you're pleased. At eight or nine, his parents enrolled their shy, withdrawn kid in a song and dance school. He was good and in 1962, at 23, earned the lead in a Broadway musical, I Can Get It For You Wholesale.

From now on, I'm telling you my catching days are through. And that's where he met an actress playing his secretary, another Brooklynite, 19 years old. How did you get her to go out with you? So after her last audition, they say thank you. She then was very flummoxed as to being right there and not knowing what's going to happen next. And so she announced her phone number and she said, would somebody call me? And I remember her number and I called her. And then you guys started dating after she came? And we got married and we had a son and we had a great life. You got married? I didn't know that.

It's not in my, it's not in my notes. They were an it couple. One night you're going to be sitting around here laughing and kidding, just like that. And there's going to be a knock on the door, you see? And they're all big, big fellas. She became a superstar while he had back-to-back breakout films.

Come on. First, he earned an Oscar nomination in a bold comedy about the sexual revolution, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. With Robert Culp, Diane Cannon, and Natalie Wood. Natalie Wood, Diane Cannon. Natalie Wood, she's so missed.

Yes, but a man can't really savor his martini without an olive, you know? And then as trapper John McIntyre in M.A.S.H. for director Robert Altman.

Doesn't quite make it. The fame came at a cost. Gould and Streisand, who had a son, Jason, in 1966, stayed together for eight years until they divorced in 1971. What ended the marriage with Barbara? Well, Barbara asked me at one point, because she's still writing her book, she said, why did we grow apart? And I said, my question would be, how could we have grown apart? And the answer to that is that we didn't grow together. And the reason for that was because she became more important than us. And then I also said to her, we did great.

We made it very fast. And nobody has what we have. There's you and me and our kids. He owes you money? Yeah, $50,000. 50 grand. 50 grand.

After the divorce, Gould collaborated twice more with Altman. They'll lose their undies when they play for those kind of stakes. As Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye. Wait a second, lady, I've got a big decision to make here. And as an addicted gambler in California Split, that one hit close to home. You used to gamble a lot. Well, I mean, I'm obsessive compulsive, you know, and my family had no money.

And I'm second generation American. And so I would, I would sort of gamble like, you know, a lot of people have that, you know. Did you lose a lot of money? I can't say I made a lot of money. I mean, you know.

Nobody makes a lot of money. And fittingly, it was in Las Vegas where Gould met the king. And we went backstage and I met Elvis and Elvis and I were in the same room. And Elvis said it was carrying a gold gilded 45 in his belt. And Elvis looked at me and said, you're crazy, man. Hey, man, you're crazy. And I said, I ain't crazy, Elvis. I'm scared just like you, you know. And then he said to me, he said, well, why did you and Barbara split?

You're two of my favorite people. And I said, shut up, Elvis. Shut up, Elvis. Wait, so shut up, Elvis. Shut up, Elvis, yeah. The Elvis story is good.

The Groucho one might be better. Groucho Marx was home, bedridden. Gould came to visit. And so a light bulb blew. And so I was able to get a fresh light bulb.

I took my shoes off, got back on his bed, took the used one out, put the new one in. And Groucho gave me the greatest review I'll ever get, which was, that's the best acting I've ever seen you do, you know. Light bulb or not, Gould has staying power. He keeps acting, keeps thinking, and finding peace in the present. To be in the moment. And this is everything. And you're in the moment.

I am and I am in the moment, yeah. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount Plus. This is The Takeout with Major Garrett. This week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest mid-term money men. List for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise. In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan.

For more from this week's conversation, follow The Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Women marched in the streets of Washington and other cities yesterday. Proof, our Erin Moriarty explains, that it would be wrong to assume women are of one mind in this campaign. Is it fair to say that in 2020, it's really not an issue of red and blue anymore? It comes down to pink.

Women voters have been driving the election outcomes for the better part of the last 30 years. I'm Kate and I am a mom of two. Kate Spitalmeister, Erica Rawland, Patsy Crawford. I love family and friends.

I've been married for 19 years. Karen Watkins, Atifa Robinson. I'm a community advocate. They are members of what may be one of the most crucial voting blocks this year. Suburban women in battleground states. The most important issue to me is Obamacare.

That's been a lifeline for us. What's in stake for this election is racial equity, health equity, and social and economical equity. I believe under the Trump administration is going to be the best future for our children, for our families. Women have always been very committed to voting, at least since 1980. They've been out voting men.

But I think this level of the sense our vote is fundamental to the future, I think is new and different. Lauren Leader, who runs All In Together, a nonpartisan voter education group, says women on both ends of the political spectrum are unusually energized this year, a trend that's been building since 1980, when Ronald Reagan won the presidency. You saw the sort of left-leaning feminist women who were entering the workforce, you know, those working girls with their shoulder pads, and you saw huge numbers of women on the conservative end of the scale also come out. A generation later, it was white women who tipped the scales and helped put President Trump in office. Somebody said, suburban women, how's Trump doing?

But do you remember last time, too? They said, women don't like Trump. I said, I think they do.

I think they do. Patsy Crawford and Erica Rolland live in Wood County, Ohio, and both ones voted for Barack Obama, but in 2016, they swung right for then-candidate Trump, just like their county itself. I realize that God and country is the most important thing about my kid's future.

I believe that he's been the most pro-life president yet. At the same time, a lot of other women, like Kate Spitlemeister, living in suburban Wisconsin, couldn't bring themselves to vote for either major candidate. A lot of us, myself included, thought, there's no way Trump's going to win. So we voted third party, which I did myself. And those votes in the battleground states, in Michigan and Wisconsin, where the election was very tight, where the president won by just 11,000 or 12,000 votes, the votes of those women had a hugely outsized influence on the impact of the election.

Suburban women in states like Ohio and Wisconsin could again prove pivotal in this election, especially white women without college degrees. So neither President Trump nor former Vice President Joe Biden are taking them for granted. If Donald Trump had his way, I would no longer have health insurance coverage. Both campaigns have launched an all-out assault of political advertising. Joe Biden could tear our country down.

Erica Franklin Fowler heads the Wesleyan Media Project at Connecticut's Wesleyan University. Trump has been sort of overwhelmingly focused in the summer on crime and public safety. You've reached 911.

I'm sorry that there is no one here to answer your emergency call. Whereas Biden has been much more heavily focused on sort of core issues of health care and COVID response. And I feel like my grandmother didn't matter. But in today's suburbs, one political message may not fit all. Does a campaign take a risk by reducing them to simple descriptions like soccer mom, security mom, suburban mothers? I think anytime you try to take any one demographic and fit them into a neat little box, there is a danger for backlash.

This past summer, President Trump was sharply criticized by some on social media for tweets referring to suburban housewives of America. Lawless criminals terrorize Kenosha. And an ad produced by a pro-Trump group seemed to be designed to stoke fear. But Kate Spittelmeister, who lives in Kenosha, the site of violent protests this summer, sees the unrest in a different light. In our neighborhoods, there were armed people, just regular citizens. And those armed citizens stood at the entrances to our subdivisions. And that was way more terrifying to me than what was happening downtown.

Atifah Robinson also lives in a Kenosha suburb. The radical left-wing mob's agenda, take over our cities. Those addresses encouraged people to create a divide between our communities.

And what I've learned, if we sit down and talk about the situation, what we have as a common ground is that we do want to see change. The fact is that American suburbs are now extraordinarily diverse. Over 30 percent, women, people of color, live in American suburbs. Both Karen Watkins and Patsy Crawford, living in Ohio suburbs, came to the U.S. as children. Patsy, a Brazilian immigrant, supports the president's wall.

I'm all about doing it the right way. I mean, we had to follow the laws and go through the naturalization process. But Karen, whose mom is Japanese, thinks the country should be more welcoming. I believe that anybody who wants to come here, you know, should have the same opportunities.

They spend the money in our economy and they contribute to society and our country. Are there any undecided voters anymore? Not many. Lots and lots of pollsters have said the numbers of undecided in this election are really very minimal. And with only 16 days until the election, most voters are so entrenched that no ad, news event, or even scandal is likely to change their minds.

Donald Trump said, prior to being elected, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and people would still vote for him. Is there anything that the president could do that would make you change the vote before this election? That would do it.

That would do it. Strong leadership when America needs it. Still, in the end, if the election is tight, an ad that doesn't win new hearts may still be successful if it inflames hearts already won.

Turnout is everything, and it's especially everything in those all-important battlegrounds, states where it does often come down to just a few thousand votes. Thanks to hit songs like that one, Christopher Cross has been riding high for years. Until this year, when COVID-19 brought him low, he describes his ordeal to our Serena Altschul. Christopher Cross has performed his number one hit, sailing thousands of times before. But never like this. It's his first session back in a recording studio, since the 69-year-old was stricken with the coronavirus that nearly killed him. There was some, you know, come to Jesus moments or whatever, where I was looking for any help I could get, you know, through this, to get out of this thing, because I wasn't sure. Unsure and starting over, much of Cross's life now is new.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of his self-titled debut album. It was a blockbuster, earning Cross five Grammy awards, including Best New Artist.

For a while, he was a king of easy listening, with songs like Never Be the Same Again, Think of Laura, and the Oscar-winning theme to the movie, Arthur. Cross was set to launch a national tour this year, but 2020 had other plans. Where were you when you think you were exposed? It was early March that I went to Mexico City for a concert, and to be frank, you know, nobody knew about masks or anything like that. You know, no one wore masks on the plane.

No one was doing that. We weren't made aware that it was a problem. Cross and his girlfriend Joy tested positive for COVID-19. We both got very sick with COVID. We were sick for about three weeks. The biggest thing I remember was just incredible malaise. Just, you couldn't lift your head. They both quarantined, and Joy improved.

Cross thought he was getting better, too, and in April felt good enough to go shopping. And I went to the market, and when I got home, I just, my legs just gave out. Wow.

That was it. Couldn't walk at all. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease that was in the heart of Mexico City. Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves.

His doctor believes it was caused by COVID. You know, just boom, I'm paralyzed. I'm in the hospital, but I can't turn over. I can barely do anything. My hands were also paralytic, which was hard because I played the guitar, of course.

I wasn't sure whether I would get that back. Paralyzed in the intensive care unit, Cross didn't know if he would live or die. I was in the hospital about 10 days, and it was the worst 10 days of my life. I couldn't walk, could barely move, and so it was certainly the darkest of times for me. You know, it was really touch and go and tough. What were some of the things you were saying to yourself in those kind of darkest moments? I can tell you that I had a few conversations, you know, when I was in there with whoever he or she is and just saying, you know, if you could just get me out of here, I will be a better person, you know, and just, you know, that sort of thing.

You know, it's very, very hard. I mean, you're just looking for any sign of light, you know, in that darkness. So whatever I did, it worked. I got out of there. Here I am.

And here he is, outside Austin, Texas. While the paralysis was temporary, the effects still linger. Cross, who was in a wheelchair, considers himself a long-haul COVID survivor. He now uses a cane. So yeah, my walking is affected. My speech at times can be affected.

Memory is a big deal, too. Just neurologically, I'm kind of a little foggy, you know. Now, I'm on medication, a nerve pain medication, which also can cause some of the fogginess, but until I can get off of it at some point, I won't really know how clear I would be. But most people with Guillain-Barre heal about 90 to 100 percent over about a year. That's what my prognosis is. That's the prognosis that you will heal, and you're on a trajectory towards healing.

Well, that's my hope, yeah. Part of that healing is playing the music, something unthinkable only a few months ago. It's not like I'm that big a celebrity, but it's important for people to know you can get this disease. And so I felt it was sort of my obligation that I wanted to share with people, look, you know, this is a big deal. Like, you got to wear your mask.

You got to take care of each other because, you know, this could happen to you. Cross can't wait to tour again. And what a moment it will be. What will that feel like for you when you head back out on stage for the first time? I don't know whether I'll walk out with my cane and I'll sit down on a stool, but I've got to tell you, and it's hard to, you know, keep it together here. But, you know, my fans, I know them, and they love me.

I really feel in my heart, at least, that the fans are going to be with me. Earlier, we talked about the critical role women play in this year's election. Now, Faith Salie tells us, an entire century after women's suffrage became the law of the land. Three of the movement's founding mothers have finally been put on a pedestal. At a time when many statues are coming down, some lofty women are going up and breaking the bronze ceiling.

Three, two, one. A monument to suffrage pioneers Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was recently unveiled in New York City's Central Park. The first statue of real, non-fictional women. Hillary Clinton helped commemorate the event, which marked the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. Though, it's important to note that it would take many more decades for black women's suffrage to truly be protected by law. I would say that a tremendous weight has been lifted, about 7,000 pounds.

Artist Meredith Bergman spent three years bringing her creation to life. Why is it important to choose these particular pioneers? Well, these are the pioneers that history has elevated.

They were the most accomplished, they were the loudest, but there's many, many others. And there are many other cities putting women on pedestals. Cambridge, Massachusetts is considering designs for its suffrage monument.

Last year, Richmond, Virginia, honored suffragist Adele Clark. And now a statue of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is planned in her birthplace, Brooklyn, New York. But putting the first statues of real women in Central Park hasn't exactly been a walk in the park. How can you have statues of men everywhere? And the only statues of women are Mother Goose, Alice in Wonderland. We needed real women. A few years back, we spoke with Colleen Jenkins, who happens to be Elizabeth Cady Stanton's great-great-granddaughter, and Pam Elam, who run the Monumental Women campaign, sponsors of the statue.

They said immediately, no, there will be no new statues in Central Park. It's a historical collection. No, we persisted. The city finally gave permission for Anthony and Stanton to stand among famous men like Shakespeare and, you know, Fitzgreen Halleck. But there was another problem.

Every commission that I've worked on has involved controversy, and things have to be reconsidered and often redesigned. Bergman's original design featured just Stanton and Anthony, along with a scroll naming many women of color who also played roles in the suffrage movement. But when the city rejected the scroll, only Anthony and Stanton were left standing. And this design was met with backlash from Gloria Steinem, among others, not only for its lack of diversity, but also because of Anthony and Stanton's expressions of racist ideas. Susan B. Anthony said she'd rather cut off her right arm than give the black man the right to vote over the woman.

And so I remember being so both hurt by that sentiment. Do I look up to Susan B. Anthony, who was defending part of what I believed in, that all women should have the right to vote? Or what do I do with this kind of racist rhetoric of hers? Solomisha Tillett is a professor of African American studies at Rutgers University. Do you think there should be monuments of Stanton and Anthony? It would be sexist not to include their voices and their experiences, but also it would be racist not to understand that their championing of women's rights did not include the women who were fighting alongside them, like Sojourner Truth. And it is Sojourner Truth, a woman who escaped slavery to become one of America's greatest orators, who now has a seat at the monument's table. Some historians have said that the addition of truth is still problematic because this depiction doesn't accurately represent the suffrage movement.

To have them in this kind of interracial harmony is not just inaccurate, but also it's kind of harmful. To have a sanitized, whitewashed version of the women's movement doesn't serve any of us who call ourselves feminists in 2020. Her mouth is open. What is she saying?

I leave it up to you. Controversy notwithstanding, Bergman says the statue is an artistic interpretation. They represent different kinds of activism. Sojourner Truth, who was famous for speaking, is speaking. Stanton, who wrote wonderful speeches and books, is about to write. And Susan B. Anthony is showing them papers and pamphlets that she has brought from all her activism.

The fight for rights and representation continues to unfold. As this monument shows us, part of the challenge and beauty of America is that we have so many stories to tell. Millions of people are going to walk by this statue every year. What do you want this monument to say to them?

Oh, wow. I think I want the monument to say to them, get busy. Just 16 days until America decides, and we're being buried by a blizzard of polls. Thoughts on that from John Dickerson of 60 Minutes. We are in the high season of political polls.

Feels like we're pelted with a new one by the hour. Public interest and the looming Election Day charge the atmosphere. Are the polls solid? Can they be trusted? What's the sample size?

I've never been called. Partisans bicker over interpreting the polls as if the election were on the line in that moment. In jittery times, polling keeps everyone hopped up. Maybe we should ignore them.

We'll know soon enough. But we should not ignore the polls if for no other reason than political polling encourages humility. That's useful in politics or any other public issue, in an age where everyone thinks they're so right about everything. Over the whole stew of political polling looms the belief that the polls were wrong in the last election. This is the popular view.

It is also the wrong view. In 2016, the average of national polls showed that Hillary Clinton was leading by around 3 percent. When the votes came in, she won the popular vote by a hair over 2 percent.

Very close. What was wrong was the way a lot of us thought about the polls and thought about the forecasts being made about who might win the election. Hillary Clinton was given anywhere from a 70 to 99 percent chance of winning. Many people, even some who follow elections for a living, decided to round that number up to 100 percent. The polls aren't to blame for that any more than the weather forecaster deserves the blame for your lack of an umbrella when a 30 percent chance of rain is predicted. In this way, the political class repeated a familiar mistake of leaning too hard on the numbers. In 1936, they overread a poll taken in Literary Digest, which showed Alf Landon beating Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They missed by a mile because the poll participants looked more like the Literary Digest audience than the actual electorate. They misunderstood who would be voting, a mistake some pollsters also made in the Midwestern states in 2016. It's the reason pollsters will be the first to warn about the uncertainty of polls. Voters and pundits may need certainty from them, but that's on us.

Don't blame the polls for that. I'm Jane Pauley. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Hi, podcast peeps. It's me, Drew Barrymore.

Oh, my goodness. I want to tell you about our new show. It's the Drew's News podcast. And in each episode, me and a weekly guest are going to cover all the quirky, fun, inspiring and informative stories that exist out in the world because, well, I need it. And maybe you do, too, from the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television. So watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 19:09:44 / 2023-01-28 19:29:01 / 19

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