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Intimidation and the GOP

January 19, 2024
Notes
Transcript
Zack Beauchamp of Vox joins the panel (plus Will Saletan) to discuss Iowa and New Hampshire and the role of death threats in the Republican Party.

Highlights / Lowlights:

Mona: Peter Schickele, Composer and Gleeful Sire of P.D.Q. Bach, Dies at 88

Zack: Cape Verde becomes fourth African country to eliminate malaria

Will:  Trump’s unsubtle crusade to cast foes as less American comes for Haley

Bill: The Anti-Liberal by David Bell in Liberties.

Linda: What the Asa Hutchinson incident reveals (and why it’s important)

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:00

    This podcast is brought to you by Better Help and Magicpoon. Well, welcome to Beg to Differ. The bulwark weekly roundtable discussion featuring civil conversation across the political spectrum. We range from center left, center right, I’m Mona Charen, syndicated columnist, and policy editor at the Bulwark, and I am joined by two of our regulars, Will Saletan of the Brookings in institution and the Wall Street Journal, and Linda Chavez of the Nescannon Center. My Bullwork colleague, Will Saletan, is sitting in this week for Damon Lincoln.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:46

    And our special guest this week is Zach Beacham of Vaux. Welcome, Wanda, all. We are looking forward to a good discussion today of Iowa, New Hampshire, and the great suspense about who the Republican nominee may possibly be. Sorry. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:04

    So so we did have low turnout in Iowa it was the lowest turnout of the last several seasons. Very understandable. The weather was atrocious. But impossible to know whether it was the weather, which, after all, Iowans are accustomed to, or whether it was lack of enthusiasm in any event A huge amount of commentary attention was paid to a hundred and ten thousand Republicans who traips to, gyms and churches to participate in this thing. And Trump won with a little over half the vote.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:45

    So I’m gonna start with you, Linda. First of all, do we pay too much attention to Iowa? I mean, should it be repaired? Yes. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:55

    President Santorum and president Huckabee and all those people can testify Present and Cruise can testify to it’s important. Arguably, it mattered for Barack Obama in two thousand eight. But the Democrats are no longer even doing it. So your views.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:12

    I think we pay way too much attention. It is a very unrepresentative state of the country at large, it is, however, a good representative of Donald Trump’s base it is evangelical. It’s predominantly white, very few minorities, and the one who are there are mostly concentrated in some of the cities. And I think that, the very fact that Iowa has in in past years gotten so much significance in the presidential races. I think it’s not good for our politics.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:52

    And I really believe the Democrats made the wiser decision, to go with South Carolina first and much more representative date of the country. It has lots of rural voters as well, lots of Republicans, but it also has a much more diverse population which reflects the US. There are also some weird issues that Iowans care about. Ethanol has always been a very big concern among Iowa voters, although apparently not Donald Trump’s not being very enthusiastic about ethanol. That did not seem to hurt him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:27

    I don’t think we should be surprised at the outcome. I think there were many of us never trumpers who still consider ourselves on the conservative end of the spectrum who would have liked to see, for example, Nikki Haley come out second. She was edged out. By Ron DeSantis and that at least has kept his campaign on life support, though it’s not clear how much further he can go when he seems to be you know, basically skipping, New Hampshire. We’ll see whether Haley survives.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:59

    It’ll all depend on New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:01

    Zach, One of the things that we see now in American politics is the create your own adventure or create your own reality, rather, So Nikki Haley was, trending in the polls in the days before the caucuses, and there was speculation. Maybe she’d come in second. So in her speech on the night of the caucus, she’s she says, well, it’s now a two person race as if, you know, she just took the text of the speech that she was going to deliver if she had come in second and just read it anyway even though she came in third. But that much having been said, she’s not wrong. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:39

    I mean, Ron DeSantis really doesn’t have a path She doesn’t either. We’ll get to that later. But what do you think?
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:46

    Yeah. I mean, I was about to say what you were just hinting at. Like, it’s a one person race. It’s it’s a Donald Trump race. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:52

    And then there’s the the sort of various different people jockeying for other different positions, whatever it is they want out of running. Right? And it’s like it’s some of them are very clear. Some of them are opaque, but I think it’s correct to say as Haley did that DeSantis is cooked. He’s pulling negatively in New Hampshire and South Sarah Longwell next two states.
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:11

    He invested huge amounts of resources in Iowa only to come in a very, very, very distant third or second place. Excuse me. I mean, people talk about this as if DeSantis won, but actually he got a little over twenty percent of the vote. Donald Trump got an outright majority. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:26

    This is not a win for an Iowa first candidacy. It’s it’s a declaration. I mean, declaration. It’s an obituary. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:35

    That that looks kind of like a second place finish. So, the DeSantis campaign is soldiering on. There’s a funny line where a Republican funder was asked about his claim that he earned a ticket out of Iowa. And the funder said something like, I I wish I knew it was. It’s anonymous.
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:50

    And you know, it’s a coach ticket. It’s a steerage ticket. And, yeah, you know,
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:54

    I think that’s basically right. And it’s Tetahassee.
  • Speaker 3
    0:05:58

    Yeah. Yeah. He’s he’s done. He’s done. He’s done his his campaign is over for actually a lot of interesting reasons.
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:04

    Like, there’s a lot to say about why Ron DeSantis failed. But for now, I think the important thing to note is he’s failed and everything else is just sort of playing out the end of a drama whose script has been written.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:16

    Okay. Well, you know, we can do a little bit of the, pre obituary here of his campaign. What what do you think are the two or three things that doomed him? So I
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:24

    guess for me, the big thing is that DeSantis was was a product of this, like, very specific kind of elite conservative. Right? I don’t mean the, quote unquote, GOP, the infamous GOP elite that opposes Donald Trump I mean the sort of counter elite that has attempted to to try to make sense out of what Trump has meant and develop it, theoretical architecture to incorporate trump into some vision, some broader philosophical understanding of conservatism. Right? These are the sorts of people who find Victor Orbonds government, hungary appealing, the sort of Christopher Rufos of the world.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:01

    Right? And and they were really the primary support base, I think, for the DeSantis campaign, They were its theorists, they were its biggest boosters in the conservative press, that and sort of like anti anti trump cadre. They don’t really like Trump, but they don’t really wanna oppose the Republican party either. And and the problem is that just wasn’t where most of the Republican voters were. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:19

    You had some people who really didn’t want another Trump style candidacy. And you had some people who were, well, a majority of people who are really, really pro trump. And DeSantis was kinda trying to appeal to both camps. But in the end, he ended up being this awkward middle where he could reach neither because his support base was just not you know, one that spoke to actual voters on the ground.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:44

    Well, Salatin, I heard one analyst saying that, one of DeSantis’s mistakes may be a big one was a assuming that Republican voters were going to thrill to an even more pure manga message than they get from Trump. And not recognizing that a huge part of Trump’s appeal that Ron DeSantis doesn’t approach is the entertainment factor. You know, the show, the spectacle. And DeSantis, he has negative charisma. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:17

    So I don’t know. What do you think?
  • Speaker 4
    0:08:18

    Yeah. No. I think I think DeSantis just doesn’t have the personality and what does I I think Zack nailed this, which is the misunderstanding of Trump by DeSantis and all the people behind DeSantis, including, you know, his funders, was that there was an idea here something like, you know, national greatness conservatism, America first, that there and that you could run on that idea without Trump. And what he what he didn’t understand was it’s a cult. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:08:45

    It’s not about an idea. It’s about a man. And if you take the man out, you try to substitute another man who honestly didn’t come across as much of a man, doesn’t work. But can I come back to Nikki Haley for a minute? Sure.
  • Speaker 4
    0:08:59

    And there’s a real serious problem that Nikki Haley has here, which is in Iowa, the entrance polls and the Des Moines register poll both showed that her base is not Republicans. She’s half of her vote was independence crossover Democrats. That was true in Iowa. I’m looking at the New Hampshire polls. In New Hampshire, she is beating Trump among the undeclared people who are coming into that primary.
  • Speaker 4
    0:09:27

    It’s an open primary. That can help her. But among Republicans, Trump is beating her two to one, three to one, and you can’t win a Republican primary without Republicans. You can’t do it. You I mean, in the open ones, in the closed ones, for sure.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:40

    Let
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:40

    me just interrupt for one quick sec, Will. Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t think it’s a completely open primary in New Hampshire. I think if you are a registered democrat, you cannot vote in the Republican primary, but if you are undeclared, you can register as a Republican that day and vote. Correct.
  • Speaker 4
    0:09:57

    You can you can you you have to change the registration, but you can do it. Yeah. And so she they actually are polling, damn it people who are self identified Democrats who are gonna vote or, in some cases, have voted Right. In that primary. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:09

    Okay. Yeah. You’re absolutely right. And not only that, but the polling showed that support for her in Iowa was when it came to voter enthusiasm, it was, like, underneath the floorboards. I mean, you know, people were clearly sort of saying, well, okay, Haley, because I don’t like Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:28

    Which brings me to my question for Bill Galson. Look, I think what everyone has said so far and what we all know is that the Republican Party is pretty far gone. So the Republican Party is, as Will said, it’s a cult and, you know, we know, or or as Zach said, it’s a one man race. Okay. So that’s really not in question.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:48

    I mean, I wrote a piece about the outcome in Iowa where I talked about the silver lining because Twenty five percent said they would not vote for Trump if he’s the nominee. That’s huge. Twenty five percent. We’ll get to breaking it down in a second. Eleven percent of them said that they would vote for Biden.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:07

    Now that’s astounding because Biden has been so thoroughly demonized and, you know, for for most Republicans, that’s like saying you’d vote for the devil. But there is a significant percentage of Republicans out there who are still anti Trump. And let’s remember that our elections are decided by five states and by narrow margins in five states. And that could be the ball game. Course, we still have the third party problem.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:40

    But, anyway, your reaction, Bill.
  • Speaker 5
    0:11:42

    That’s a silver lining extracted with extraordinary effort and I am a political acumen, yo, from a huge heap of drag. As I wrote in my analytical commentary on this week’s results, the Republican party is the party of Donald Trump. He has, I think, irreversibly displaced the party of Ronald Reagan, which was now reduced to a small fraction of its former dominance. I resist the idea that Donald Trump is simply a contentless cult based on his entertainment value. He is that, but there’s content to the cult.
  • Speaker 5
    0:12:29

    He has engineered a profound substantive reorientation of the Republican Party, and I could go down the list of how he’s turned Reaganism on its, on its head in all sorts of ways domestic and foreign, but that would be a waste of time because everybody knows that list. This is a fundamental reorientation not just to the Republican Party, but of American politics, and he did it. So the question is what now? And this is a question we’re gonna be asking ourselves as a country for a very long time assuming that we have the luxury of doing it for a very long time, and that is of course a question. As for the possible Republican desertion of Trump.
  • Speaker 5
    0:13:15

    I think that possibility is very real. It may, however, be counterbalanced by a possible Democratic desertion of Joe Biden. And that is particularly true if you look at some of the fundamental building blocks of the Biden twenty twenty coalition. I have in mind, Hispanics, young voters, and African American males. There’s a lot of softness in the coalition, in all of those areas, Some may simply not vote, some may opt for third party candidates, and some particularly some culturally moderate Latinos, with whom Trump did better in twenty twenty than he did in twenty sixteen by a seven point margin will continue their drift to Donald Trump.
  • Speaker 5
    0:14:05

    I have no idea of how these two weaknesses in the basis of the two presidential contenders will net out, but we have to do double entry bookkeeping here to see what’s going on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:17

    Zach, one of the arguments that some of these unbelievably spineless Republicans made in the last, you know, years is, but most particularly in the past like, six months when the question was, you know, will you challenge Trump? Will you attempt to prevent him from getting the nomination? And they would say over and over again, you know, well. I mean, he can’t win. That’s clear.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:41

    So, you know, that’s the argument is that it the the Republican Party is nominating a clear loser. The Wall Street Journal editorial page goes on about this pretty much every day. Republicans think again, you know, he can’t win a general election. Republican voters are looking at polls showing that Trump is neck and neck with Biden or possibly even ahead, and that argument goes right out the window.
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:06

    It’s just sort of a very strange kind of argumentation because, like, on the one hand, it is true that Trump has serious electoral liabilities. Yeah. Right? He won in twenty sixteen. Narrowly, but he won.
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:20

    And then in every previous election where Trump or Trump supported candidates have been on the ballot, it’s very clear that certain elements of pull of his political persona and approach to politics have turned off a critical slice of voters, including, those sort of, more moderate Republicans, right, who handed the party key defeats, especially in senate races and in the twenty twenty presidential election, in states like Arizona. So I mean, the the aggressive anti democratic stuff, the stuff that’s most objectionable about Trump, I mean, it really does seem to be an electoral drag. On the other hand, Trump has electoral benefits. I do not believe that let’s say nominee Nikki Haley were that to actually happen on, like, earth two or something. Would do nearly as well with, downscale white collar vote or blue collar voters, excuse me, as Trump does.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:07

    Right? He is a way of connecting on a deep cultural level with a certain slice of the electorate that the traditional Reaganite Republican mold just didn’t fit So it’s it’s actually kinda hard to say with confidence whether or not Trump would have been a better general election candidate than the other Republicans that were facing him, which is why that argument ultimately failed. Right? You need to have some really, really clear cut evidence that Donald Trump is gonna destroy your party if you want to take the party back from Donald Trump. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:43

    If that’s gonna be the entire thing that you hang your bitch on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:46

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:46

    Like, the argument better be damn solid, and it just wasn’t. Yeah. So in the end, Republicans who are in the grip Trumpism, ordinary voters were just like, I love my guy and what you’re saying about him doesn’t appear to be obviously true. So so why would I not vote for the guy who I think I I really think speaks for me. And that’s what they did.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:04

    And that’s what they will do.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:06

    Yeah. Well, before we completely Ron DeSantis and Haley. Let’s mention that she is polling close to him in New Hampshire. You’ve already described some of the problems with those, data. And look, there’s an outside chance she could defeat him in New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:24

    Of course, he will immediately say that that is just proof that the Democrats and the Rhino squishes came out for her, and that’s more proof of why she’s completely unacceptable. Let’s say she does pull an upset and she defeats him, which is not out of the question in New Hampshire. What’s the path forward there? The next big contest. Nevada has been completely rigged for Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:46

    That’s a whole other mess where they’re having caucuses and a primary two days apart, and it’s crazy. And by the way, the the head of the Republican Party has been indicted. For being a fake trump elector. But anyway and he’s still in charge. But, Why not?
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:04

    Yeah. One. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:06

    But You know, then she’s she’s gotta go to South Carolina. And in a normal year, you would say, great. She’s she’s her home state. She was governor. He’s pulling thirty points ahead of her, and voters in South Carolina are not like voters in New Hampshire.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:23

    Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:24

    Right. Well, Trump is running away with South Carolina. I mean, it and it’s not like the voters of South Carolina are gonna find out something about either Donald Trump or their own former governor that’s gonna change those numbers.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:37

    Yep.
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:37

    I mean, the the Nikki Haley scenario is that somehow she does so well in New Hampshire. That the illusion of of Trump’s invincibility shatters, and suddenly Republicans have an epiphany. But as we’ve all been discussing, there’s a genuine attachment here. To Donald Trump and what he stands for and what he talks about in the Republican primary. So that that’s just not gonna happen.
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:56

    And this problem that she has with not winning publicans and Republican primaries. It’s not just a problem directly for it. It’s an indirect problem. Donald Trump is already making that point on the campaign trail. He has been in New Hampshire this week, saying Nikki Haley is the candidate of Democrats of Liberals of people crossing over into our primary.
  • Speaker 4
    0:19:17

    That helps him tar her as an alien as, you know, some kind of a Biden stocking horse or whatever. And so so that in itself is already making her weaker, not stronger in the primaries that follow. And Mona, she’s only got one more that’s like New Hampshire, Michigan where things are open. Where she could get another influx of crossover voters. So these primaries are gonna be closed, and she’s gonna lose them.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:40

    Yeah. Alright. Well, let’s leave that there. And then I wanna turn to another aspect of life in America that Trump has changed dramatically. But first, let us talk a little bit about better help.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:53

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    0:20:20

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    0:21:05

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  • Speaker 1
    0:21:28

    Visit betterhelp dot com slash beg to differ today and get ten percent off your first month. That’s betterhelp, h e l p. Dot com slash Beg to Differ, and we thank them for sponsoring this podcast. Alright. So we have been talking about ways in which Donald Trump has transformed the Republican Party in his own image.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:51

    One aspect of that that I have also written about and Zach wrote a really good piece about the threats of violence Because you cannot understand, it seems to me what’s happening in the Republican Party without paying attention actual physical fear. I mean, when Trump first came on the scene, it required just political courage to stand up to him. But now it takes physical courage, right, Zach? In some instances.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:20

    Yeah. During the the course of the piece reporting it, putting it together, etcetera. I I looked at a lot of data, interviewed people who are sort of directly in the metaphorical line of fire, thankfully not the literal line of fire yet. But one of them was, Steven Richard, who’s a Republican. He’s the Maricopa County Recorder, which means he’s in charge of elections and air bonus, most important county.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:41

    And he told me the story about how when he first took office, he was sort of obliged to defend the accuracy of the twenty twenty vote count. Right? This was in early twenty twenty one. And he kept going to these Republican grassroots events that he had been going to for a long time. And as he went there, you know, he’d been a long time republican.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:00

    Right? And as he went there and tried to explain what he was doing, what his job was, and that the the crowd’s got angrier and angrier. He was pushed, shoved, yelled at in his face. He recalls being his you know, his car, someone coming up to it and slamming on the windshield on his way out of the parking lot. And and by the end of it, of this whole enterprise, he no longer felt safe going to these events.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:26

    Like, one of these times, this was going to escalate into, you know, may maybe if not somebody seriously hurting him, then at least somewhat hurting him. Right? And and it certainly hit the signal that he wasn’t welcome there anymore. So he stopped going to these party events. And to me, Steven’s story, he’s still in office or it’s not that he’s left political life, but he’s stopped being a force in shaping the direction of the Arizona Republican party.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:50

    And the way in which he’s been cut out just from be physical presence at events, right, the things that determine the party’s course, to me is sort of a symbol, a synecdoche for what’s been going on in the Republican Party throughout the country. These threats have pushed people in the party either out of its bounds or made them afraid to speak up. It’s not the only reason that’s been true. Right. I think probably electoral considerations matter a lot more than physical safety ones for public officials, but the safety stuff matters too.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:24

    And it means that there’s this extra disciplinary force in the Republican rights preventing a break with Trump. Or at least limiting the ability of there to be a counter faction that supports democracy inside the Republican ranks in a way that’s, like, it’s not just here the the effect and the consequences, It’s the way in which it’s being accomplished through threats of violence that should really disturb all of us because that’s not how politics is supposed to work. In a stable, healthy democracy. And the fact that there is such an influence, right, there is evidence that violence is really changing the way our election are, like, did officials behave should should be a, like, a really bright red warning sign for the future and the health of American democracy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:08

    Linda, after Mitt Romney voted the first impeachment to impeach Trump, being the first person in American history, first senator in American history to vote to impeach a president of his own party. He chose to get personal security at the cost of five thousand dollars a day for himself and his family because of the threats. He is in a position to afford that. Most people aren’t. You know, from the very beginning of the Trump entry on the scene, it was obvious to some of us that a person who encourages violence at his rallies, who says, you know, take them out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:51

    I’ll pay your legal bills. That guy, I wanna punch him in the fay, etcetera. That sends a signal, and it’s unbelievably dangerous and corrupting. And everybody said, oh, you just don’t like his mean tweets. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:04

    It’s a lot more than mean tweets. And, Anna, you know, I recall it wasn’t that long ago that you attended and on stage at a seatback conference and basically had to be escorted out, for your own safety because of the very angry audience that you encountered there. I had a similar experience when Trump was still running at Colorado Christian University. They sponsored a summit called the Western Conservative Summit. My husband was in the back of the room with his cane, ready to defend me because he literally thought they going to attack me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:39

    I mean, we laugh about it, but look at what happened just in the last few weeks. We had several swatting incidents where the police were sent to the home of Jack Smith where they had been told that Jack Smith had shot his wife. You know, let’s just think about that for a minute. If there had not been federal marshals who had intervened and corrected, The story, you might have had police barging in, gunstraw, it could have been really, really tragic. And virtually everyone who takes on Trump in a very public way, anyone who has any authority has been attacked in this way, We’ve listened this week as Eugene Carroll has, again, been on the stand testifying about not just her assault, but the defaming that she’s been subject to.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:37

    And they read, you know, some of the tweets and and messages that had been sent to her including one, you know, suggesting she put a gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger I mean, this is vile. We have not heard one word from Donald Trump saying stop it. You know, it is a repeat of what we saw. Throughout the last campaign, what we saw in January six, where would his own vice president, was being threatened, had to be, shuttled out of the capital and into the basement and being protected there, where instead of saying, you know, stop it and go home, etcetera. He basically was egging on the hang mic pants.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:30

    So this is really dangerous, and I think Zack’s piece was very informative. I think one of the statistics that he mentioned was that in SEC filings, that members of Congress are now spending five times as much on personal security as they did in the past. Is that right, Zach? I think that was
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:48

    Five hundred percent.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:49

    Five hundred percent. Yeah. Five time. Yeah. This used to be the party of one order.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:55

    This used to be the party of, you know, wanting to see streets be calm and there’d be civil you know, civility no longer. And it’s Donald Trump who has led the way, and it given our own history as a nation, we’ve had a lot of violence in our history, not just you know, now. But but in the past, we’ve had people assassinated, the president’s assassinated. It is really worrisome that, this is happening.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:21

    You know, it’s honestly will. It’s it’s heartbreaking to see the country descend to this level. One of the other things in Zack’s piece is about the, local officials, the school boards, you know, the local people who are subjected to these awful and vile threats And I don’t think this was in your peace act, but it it’s been reported elsewhere, you know, that it’s getting harder and harder to get people to serve as election officials now. Because they’re worried about the atmosphere. And, you know, even for things like, do you wanna run for your local school board?
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:58

    And subject yourself to that kind of abuse, if that’s the new mood in America, if that’s what you have to endure. It’s corroding our whole civic life, not just at the presidential level.
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:11

    Right. First of all, Zack’s piece is outstanding, and I recommend everyone go to box and read this. He captures not just the violence itself, but there’s the additional factor of the intimidation caused by the violence. So you don’t actually have to have an violent event for I mean, we there was a violent event January sixth. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:29

    That showed that we’re Hey, we’re serious. We we might do this to you. Then you have the somewhat invisible force field that’s created by that, which intimidates Republican officials. And we know, because we’ve heard it from Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney and others that There were members of Congress who voted not to impeach or not to convict Donald Trump because they were afraid for their personal safety. So the violence is already having an effect.
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:50

    One thing I just wanna add to this conversation, because I’ve been looking at it for the last week, is pulling data on the extent of support for violence inside the Republican Party. We need to understand just how seriously pathological the Republican base has become. And on this question of violence, here’s three questions from the last couple of weeks, polling by CBS News and by the Washington Post University of Maryland. A question, thinking about people who forced their way into the US capital on January sixth, would you describe their actions? And that Paul asked some questions?
  • Speaker 4
    0:31:23

    One of them is would you describe this as patriotism? Now remember, The question is not about people protesting. The question is literally about people who forced their way into the capital. And everyone saw on TV how violent that was. Fifty one percent of Republicans said they described that as patriotism.
  • Speaker 4
    0:31:39

    Fifty nine percent, fifty nine, nearly sixty percent of Republicans described it as defending freedom. They were asked whether they would support or oppose pardons. Again, for people who, quote, forced their way into the US capital. Sixty six percent of Republicans supported pardons for those for those people. Again, not peaceful protesters for the violence.
  • Speaker 4
    0:31:58

    The Washington Post poll said, do you think that the storming of the United States capital on January sixth was an attack on democracy that should never be forgotten? Or that too much is being made of the storming of the United States capital, and it is time to move on. Seventy two percent of Republicans said it’s time to move on. Only twenty four percent said it was an attack on democracy that should not be forgotten. So this is not just an isolated band of Ruffians and this party.
  • Speaker 4
    0:32:27

    This is a party wide, base wide pathology. It is a threat to the United States. It is a threat to our institutions. We we mustn’t dismiss it as a fringe problem. And This is a I think this is Republicans love to talk about cultural sickness.
  • Speaker 4
    0:32:42

    This is a deep cultural sickness that is now spread throughout the republican base And we’re gonna have to find a way to at least hold this party at bay and keep it out of power until we can gradually. I don’t know what better word than domesticate it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:55

    Or have the worst of them die off because if you also look at those polls, the numbers who are over the age of sixty five, who have these really harsh views is much higher than the younger ones. But, Bill, I’d like to pose something to you. I’ve never been, convinced that the people can be relied upon to have the right opinions about most important basic things. Like, I remember looking at at public opinion data going back to the forty and fifties. And there are some really horrifying responses, you know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:31

    Do you think we should, you know, if somebody, you know, speaks out against the war effort, should they be in prison? Yes. Seventy five percent. You know, that kind of thing. So the people are, as the founders understood, they’re moved by their passions, and sometimes they’re not all that well educated, or they’re not all exactly constitutional scholars.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:53

    But In this case, with the collapse of the Republican Party we’ve, has, the elites have been co opted. So What you see now is that, like, when Ted Cruz made the mistake of saying on Fox, that, the January sixth people were insurrectionists. Tucker Carlson brought him called him on the carpet and made him retract and say, no. No. I I I didn’t mean it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:19

    I please, mister Carlson, forgive me. You know, and so he bowed and scraped. And And it’s because the leadership, which is supposed to guide public opinion into more wholesome channels when it gets out of hand. Not only is that not happening, but the elites in the Republican Party are rushing to be at the head of the circus here. What do you think?
  • Speaker 5
    0:34:44

    As I’ve said more than once, there is a reason why JFK’s book profiles and courage is not very long. Yeah. But it does call to mind a saying of Winston Churchill’s. And that is to say courage is the principal virtue because it’s the one that makes all the others possible.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:06

    Oh gosh. I was thinking of a different one. That’s a that’s a great one. But you know what? I was thinking of
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:11

    What was
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:12

    confidence in democracy cannot survive a ten minute conversation with the average voter.
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:20

    Sorry. Alexander Hamilton couldn’t have said it any better. Yeah. Look. What we’re looking at from a standpoint of sort of the template of the virtues is the total absence of courage where it’s most needed.
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:38

    Yeah. And I don’t know how to give people like the current leaders of the Republican Party who are actually followers and not leaders. I don’t know how to give them spinal transplants. I’m not that good a surgeon. Nobody is.
  • Speaker 5
    0:35:54

    And, So I think we have to face the fact that we can wring our hands about this all we want. But the only way of stemming the flood is to defeat Donald Trump in November. Nothing else really matters. In the end. Now, it’s interesting to speculate just to give my mind something better to think about What the situation will look like in the Republican Party?
  • Speaker 5
    0:36:25

    If Donald Trump goes down to defeat at the hands of Joe Biden for the second time in a row, Joe Biden is not widely regarded as the strongest president we’ve ever had. He’s not widely regarded as the most politically impregnable president we’ve ever had. Losing to Biden under these circumstances would be a sign of something foundly wrong, not only with the man who lost him, but also the party that decided that he was their champion. And that defeat were to occur might set in motion forces that are now hard to anticipate or even imagine. That’s the good news.
  • Speaker 5
    0:37:09

    Here is here is the bad news, and I say this with some reluctance out of respect to you and Linda in particular. I do not believe that Donald Trump conjured these forces into existence in twenty fifteen and twenty sixteen. I believe that he was turning something that was already there late in play into something real and powerful in American. Politics. And when historians tell the story of this episode, I think that they’re going to trace you know, a kind of an invisible following out of the moral core of the Republican party that began long before Donald Trump ever appeared on the scene.
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:01

    I know I’m being provocative here, but the idea that he’s simply in vented the new Republican Party is inconsistent with all of human history as I understand it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:12

    Well, I mean, and the record that we have. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:15

    Okay. So go go ahead, Zach. You you joined. I I think we I think we should pursue this. Go ahead.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:19

    You
  • Speaker 5
    0:38:20

    Sure. Complete that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:21

    Jump. I I wanna jump in on Bill’s side before there’s a, there’s a counter offensive, so to speak. And also because it’s a nice opportunity to plug my book. The reactionary spirit, which is coming out, in the summer, where I make an argument very similar to the one that that Bill just outlined, right, is that the the building blocks for Trumpism worth was there. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:42

    And it it, you know, it it had been there for a long time ever since the change in the demographics and the two parties where the former supporters of the solid south, and the sort of racially resentful white voters moved into the Republican Party And we really started to see it emerge after Barack Obama won the two thousand and eight election. Right? You can trace that moment, the rise of the tea party, the spread of state level voting restrictions in a way that we hadn’t seen in decades across Republican controlled states. I mean, all of that is a reaction. To the Obama victory and the changes to American society that are represented.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:15

    So I I don’t think that Trump conjured this out of the air. I also though I’m skeptical that Trump losing again will create an opportunity to fix it. In part because we’ve had this conversation before. Right? We had it in twenty twenty and we had it in twenty twenty two.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:30

    And as Linda pointed out, in the chat. I don’t know, listeners who certainly can’t see this, but the Republicans and Trump certainly will just say it was rigged again. Right? And and it’ll work. And how do you break the fever of a people who refuse to even believe that medicine exists?
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:49

    Let alone take it. Right? And I and I don’t mean to say that ordinary Republicans are are past the point of reason or or, you know, just are are fundamentally different. Than regular American voters of all kinds. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:02

    I I don’t wanna pathologize people, but there is something something that has happened to, like, sort of in an interplay between voters and elites where the voters crave a certain kind of politics that Trump offers. And then the elites offer them that, which then further entrenches them. In this set of ideas, beliefs, norms, culture, even, that has arisen surrounding Trump. And I just have no idea what breaks the feedback loop if the past three elections, right, which have all been disasters for trumpism, haven’t, why would twenty twenty four be different? I I’m just not sure that it would be.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:43

    There there has to be some kind of, I feel like, external shock. Or it’s something unanticipated that breaks the pathway that we’re on right now. That’s what’s happened in other countries that have experienced this kind of democratic rod. I just don’t know what that would be. Almost by by definition.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:59

    Right? Because it’s a it’s a black small event that can’t be anticipated.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:02

    Okay, Linda. I am, very pessimistic. And I do agree that this goes back a long time. I do agree that it goes back really to the southern strategy. It goes back to the, period of Richard Nixon.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:14

    I think those of us Reaganite Republicans who supported Reagan and his policies, sometimes did not want to dig too deeply, into to why some of those policies were supported by some of Reagan’s voters. And I’m thinking specifically of, topics related to race. That’s an area that I’ve spent, you know, my entire career on. The reason I opposed racial preferences and affirmative action are very different, I suspect than the reasons that, some of the opponents of those racial preferences would articulate if, allowed to. I do think that one of the problems is that, you know, we always talk in America about how great it would be if everybody voted.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:03

    Let’s make sure a hundred percent of people vote. No. Not really. It’s not always so good. I think what we saw with Donald Trump is he brought a lot of people into the political process who had not been politically active.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:16

    They were less educated, less informed, did not follow the news. I mean, as Zach suggested, these are people who, you know, in the Scopes monkey trial would probably, not been on the side of the monkey. And, you know, it’s it’s something we don’t like to talk about. But having a population that is not, well rounded in civics that doesn’t understand our history and our institutions and that are more driven by reality TV than anything I mean, that’s one of the reasons that Trump got the numb not one of one of the primary reasons that Trump got the nomination in the first place is it they had a lot of these people who had never thought about, politics before. And now politics has become you know, their gladiator show.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:07

    This is, you know, what they do to entertain themselves, and it’s not been good for America.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:13

    Okay. So I guess it falls to me to defend the honor of conservatism, which I will do. So my brother’s a doctor, and, and he says, you know, everything is always very clear when you look through the retrospective scope. And Look, in real time, few years back, there was a lot of evidence of rot within the democratic coalition. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:36

    I mean, There was hypocrisy, for example, you know, they were very feminist, but they were willing to overlook Bill Clinton’s behavior toward women because it politically convenient. And they were, they indulged in a lot of conspiracy theories about, you know, the twenty, a two thousand four election was rigged by the voting machines. What was the name of the machine? Linda. Dive bold.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:01

    Thank you, Zach. That’s right. So there was a dye Bulwark conspiracy thing that was very popular on the left. And, you know, the left was also guilty of tremendous moral hypocrisy in terms of overlooking the depredations of vicious regimes provided that they were hostile to the United States. And so you could imagine that if say a very radical showman of the left had succeeded like he did in Venezuela, you know, and gotten elected that all of those forces would have been empowered And they might have even come to dominate the Democratic Party, and it could’ve you could’ve looked back and said, you see?
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:43

    It was there all the time. Chavez didn’t invent it. It was always there. Well, I think there’s always those tendency. I’m not trying to deny that they’re there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:52

    I agree with Linda that they were there, and it was, there were things, even in the people that I admired, like Reagan, you know, he did you know, go to Bob Jones, university or whatever. You know, he did a little bit of that, and it wasn’t good. But I do think that it’s too easy to say it had to happen this way because I don’t think it did. I think the party had many more it was mostly full of normies. And then Trump came along, and he kind of stripped away the barriers, and the normal inhibitions that most people have, and suddenly people fell in line.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:31

    And if courts have coincided with the arrival of Twitter and and social media, which gave a huge voice to the previously voiceless and influence and so forth Trump that wasn’t possible before. There were gatekeepers in the media who were now that you could do an end run. So anyway, I think that it’s it’s complicated, but it’s too easy to just point to yeah. I mean, that definitely, there were racists and ugly xenophobes and so on. Within the Republican Coalition, but they were very they were a small part of it until quite recently.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:05

    And now the extremes have become the establishment. Zach.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:09

    Yeah. I mean, the we had a little bit of a test of of a similar theory, I think, during the the twenty sixteen and twenty twenty Bernie Sanders boom, which is not to equate Sanders and Trump because they’re not similar figures. Right. Sanders is much more coloring within the lines, always a self identified socialist, his policies are are nothing like, say, an Hugo Chavez, right, much more like a sort of European social democrat, but there were these berserk forces in the Sanders Coalition. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:36

    And they had a chance to be a send in the Democratic Party. And the answer is they they they didn’t. Right? Not just because Sanders lost But because the the majority the huge majority of the institutional democratic party and the party’s voter base, lined up against them, the sort of, like, Twitter radicals who will go into your mentions anytime you say something that isn’t horribly critical of Israel. On the internet.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:58

    Right? Like, those folks exist in the Democratic party that have exactly that position of sympathizing with violent extremists who are anti American abroad. Right? We’ve seen more of them and heard more of them since the Israel Hamas war than we have in in quite some time.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:12

    Yeah. If I could just real quick to just say, right now, there’s a sudden enthusiasm for the Houthis among a bunch of Lefties who’ve never heard of the Houthis. But, you know, if they’re firing on American ships, they must Must be great.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:24

    But what what’s notable to me about those people is they don’t exist in the democratic party as an institutional factor. Whereas you had in the Republican Party prior to Trump, just on immigration. I could name people like Steve King and Thompson Crado, who wielded power inside the party and represented a significant faction there. You had a I mean, we can go back further. We can talk about back Buchanan.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:47

    We can talk about how Sam Francis, despite being a terrible racist, got something right about where the Republican Party’s base would lie in the future in the nineties. Right? It’s there there’s there’s an asymmetry in the two parties in the way that they were found. There we can speculate what the reasons for that might be. To me, I think it has to do something with the breadth of the democratic base.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:11

    Right? It’s it’s very diverse.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:13

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:14

    Not just well, I’m not just talking in racial terms here. No. No. No. No.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:16

    No. Just terms, sociological terms. Yeah. In a way that’s not true for the Republican Party. And I think that creates a very different sense of identity and and party connection.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:25

    And and so all all of this is to say, right, authoritarianism and extremism and anti democratic politics on the left is Historically, throughout the world, a huge problem. Right? There’s no denying despite myself eating so sort of I’m I’m a liberal first, but I’m also Jonathan Last. Right? I I know that my side has a problem with this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:46

    But in the US, specifically, that just has not historically been a problem in the way that right wing extremism and its democratic politics have been. It’s different in different countries. But specifically in the modern Democratic party, especially, it’s just the the the coalition of forces, the arrangement, the distribution of power is just not there. To power that kind of politics.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:08

    Okay.
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:09

    May I incorporate by reference as the lawyers say? What Zach just said and bring it right up to the present day. Less than forty eight hours ago, I think the Republican candidate around whom right minded people, including people on this show, would like to rally, namely Nikki Haley, said, and I quote, America has never been a racist country.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:38

    Right.
  • Speaker 5
    0:49:39

    What does that tell you? That’s a very powerful question. What does that tell you, Luna.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:44

    Yeah. That that that she feels that the Republican base wants to hear that and needs to hear. And that’s really, it’s a measure of where we are. She wouldn’t have said anything remotely like that in twenty twelve. She wouldn’t.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:57

    No Republican would have.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:59

    Well
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:59

    Well, maybe Tom Ten creator, but
  • Speaker 5
    0:50:01

    You you know what, Mona? You’ve now launched me on a research. Because I will bet you that I can unearth Nikki Haley or someone very much like Nikki Haley in twenty twelve saying exactly that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:18

    Well, okay. Maybe you’re right, but it would have been not as a presidential candidate, you know, as as a governor as a local, you know, with a anyway
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:28

    Can we make this a bet between the two of you, like, with some steaks, a nice bottle of wine or something?
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:35

    I don’t I’m not that confident.
  • Speaker 5
    0:50:39

    That’s the function of debts to smoke
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:42

    Yeah. It’s true. It’s true. Alright. Well, we have to move on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:50:45

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  • Speaker 1
    0:51:25

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  • Speaker 1
    0:51:52

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  • Speaker 1
    0:52:23

    Alright. Well, there was another topic I wanted to get to, but we’ll have to save that for next week, and I’m not telling. So you have to tune in again next week. But Now we come to our highlight or low light of the week. Will Saletan.
  • Speaker 1
    0:52:36

    Start with you.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:38

    Okay. So we’ve been talking here about violence and authoritarianism and other pathologies that are going on in the Republican Party, people are reluctant to use the term fascist One reason why they’re reluctant is when we talk about fashions, we tend to think about regimes that have not just had a strong leader, but have done terrible atrocities that have targeted minorities, for example. We are already there as a country not only do we have a history, obviously, of slavery and discrimination, racial discrimination and other and, you know, internment and stuff like that. Recall, we we were we were discussing earlier about Republican elites and the Republican base and what has held back this this tide of of intolerance and and violence in the Republican Party. I think it has been Republican elites, but in twenty fifteen, Donald Trump stood, in front of an audience in South Sarah Longwell.
  • Speaker 4
    0:53:29

    In in December of twenty fifteen, and he’s proposed a ban on all Muslims coming to America. And he looked around to the audience, and he got favorable response from this, and so he proceeded with this with this horrific idea. That idea is now is now returning. Donald Trump is on the campaign trail. Right now.
  • Speaker 4
    0:53:46

    He has in Iowa in New Hampshire. He just said it again on Wednesday. He is at first of all attacking Nikki Haley for having opposed that ban. Niki Haley took a position against banning Muslims. She said that was un American, unconstitutional, but she supported a ban on travel from certain countries that had history of terrorism.
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:05

    The Trump campaign doesn’t care. They’ve cited the interviews in which she said that, and they’re attacking her for it. Furthermore, when Donald Trump says this on the campaign trail and in the end, he is he is referring not just to Nikki Haley, but to what he repeatedly calls Barack Hussein Obama, and he hits the who the Hussein really hard. Okay? So he’s on the campaign trail three or four times.
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:27

    He says Barack Hussein, Obama, really loud just to make it really clear. He’s also gone out. He’s also retweeting stuff about Nikki Haley and whether she’s eligible to serve as president because her parents are immigrants. So we are seeing So
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:39

    is his mother?
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:40

    Yeah. Right. So we are seeing we are seeing a return to the explicit bigotry and the Islamophobia and the proposals for a kind of fascist agenda that we saw in twenty fifteen. I view this as a major concern, and I wanna keep an eye on it as we go forward, especially if Nikki Haley becomes a threat to Donald Trump because I believe that these bigoted attacks on her, and from Trump himself personally will increase.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:04

    Yep. Thank you for that, Linda.
  • Speaker 2
    0:55:07

    Well, I am going to give a highlight this week. It was one that warmed my heart, really, and it came from Substack from Chris Saliz’s, Substack newsletter. So what? He talked about, the Iowa votes, and he talked about Aza Hutchenson who did, in withdraw after the, Iowa caucus. Aiza Hutchinson only got a hundred and ninety one votes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:55:34

    And when he withdrew, apparently, the DNC thought it would be really a good idea to tweet a kinda nasty, response And despite the, nasty comments by the DNC, the White House chief of staff actually called Aza Hutchenson and apologize for the DSC. And it shows what happens when you have the right people with the right kind of attitude in office. Just as regular listeners of this show may recall ASa Hutchenson was my original favorite in, the Republican primary. He is a decent guy, an experienced guy, a good congressman, a good governor, actually headed up immigration and naturalization. So we know something about some of the issues.
  • Speaker 2
    0:56:24

    And I just thought that was the right thing to do. And, I think the DNC has got egg on its face for it, but it’s nice to see that Joe Biden is willing to reach across the aisle and do the right thing. Yeah. If only decency were really valued. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:56:42

    Bill Bill Goldstein.
  • Speaker 5
    0:56:44

    Well, I should say first of all, if you put a bunch of kids with Twitter fingers in charge of communications for a political party, this is the sort of exploded deleted you’re gonna get. If I had more confidence in the nation’s grown ups, I would plead for them to return to positions of authority, but I’m not sure I won’t. It’ll Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:07

    But, anyway, I actually have a highlight, and the reasons it’s a highlight is gonna take a little bit of explaining, but not too long. I promise you, Leon Wieseltier, who in days gone by, was the longtime sort of back of the magazine editor for the new republic when it was really at its peak of political and cultural influence. A few years ago started a new journal called liberties. Alright. It’s a quarterly, and for your subscription, you get the equivalent of a book of essays.
  • Speaker 5
    0:57:42

    Every quarter, hundreds and hundreds of pages. It is really quite interesting, and what I wanna do is recommend in the most recent issue a review by a Princeton professor by the name of David Bell, of the not only most recent book, but also the career of one Samuel Moine, you know, a law professor and historian at Harvard who recently published a book saying that it’s all the liberals fault, the rise of trumpism, etcetera, because their ambitions were too modest. And so they gave the American people nothing to hope for, nothing to vote for. And, of course, that surrendered the political initiative to not only the conservatives, but ultimately the trumpians. This thesis is to put it mildly preposterous, but, it’s generated a great deal of interest.
  • Speaker 5
    0:58:40

    And Mr. Bell’s review of the book and of the sequence of books leading up to it, I think is the definitive refutation of this entire way of thinking. And if you don’t think it’s definitive, wait for my forthcoming book.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:59

    Alright. We’ve two book plugs Secret Podcast, Zach.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:04

    So I also have the highlight. I guess I figured this was such a gloomy conversation. That it might be nice to to pull something good happening in the world. And and I mean the world because this is a story that might not probably you’re you’re probably not familiar with, and it might not mean a lot to you. I do wanna explain why it why it matters, which is that for the first time in fifty years, a country in sub saharan Africa, has been declared malaria free.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:28

    That’s a quote from the BBC. Kate Verde has succeeded in eradicating malaria. This is I mean, if you don’t know anything about malaria or you’ve just sort of, like, vaguely heard of it as a disease, it’s one of the greatest killers of humanity ever to exist. Right? It kills something like five hundred and eighty thousand people per year in Africa alone on the continent of Africa.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:51

    And that was that was twenty twenty two data. And for a country to eradicate it is a sign of of really I think the most one of the most important stories of the twentieth century and early twenty first century, which is a rapid improvement in the quality of life based primarily on strengthening of state capacity, science, scientific progress, economic growth, improvements in our understanding of public health and how to distribute public health benefits around the world, And that malaria could be eradicated. And there’s, you know, there’s a malaria vaccine that’s being worked on to to ramp up to distribution. There’s all these breakthroughs happening that most of us don’t think about or hear about every day, but have the potential to save millions of lives over the course of their existence, To me, that’s a remarkable testament, not just to the power of science and human ingenuity and to the policy makers in Kate Fair Day, all credit to them, but also to an international system that allows these kinds of benefits of knowledge, technology, and prosperity to be widely shared around the world while they’re still extraordinary unfathomable global inequality. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    1:00:59

    If you’ve ever been to a non developed country, you’ll know what real poverty looks like. But the world isn’t a lot of ways getting better. And so when Trump gives his stump speech about how everything is awful and terrible and what have these people done for anyone lately? I mean, just just look at the numbers on life expectancy mortality, and and global well-being, and you’ll see that the world is serving an awful lot of people really, really, really well. And there’s a lot that’s worth preserving.
  • Speaker 3
    1:01:29

    That other world doesn’t exist today.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:30

    Thank you for that. Also can chime in and recommend for people who would like a sense of perspective about how life has improved, Stephen Pinker’s book, enlightenment now. And, many of his books, you know, trace that things are getting better. Not inexorably, though. We have to be on our guard.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:48

    Alright. Well, I also have highlights. So this must be some sort of record. I think this is a record for Big Beg to Differ. But, I noticed this morning were breakfast, my husband told me that Peter Schickley had passed away.
  • Speaker 1
    1:02:05

    Peter Schickley, for those who don’t know, he created an alter ego called p d q bach. I have a real soft spot for all humorous for musical humor, like, you know, Tom Lara, one of my all time favorites, But Peter Schickley, who was, and this is a highlight. Yes. He died, but he had a long and wonderful life. So that’s why it’s a highlight.
  • Speaker 1
    1:02:28

    And and this is an appreciation. Such hilarious bits. That he would do, that were send ups of classical music’s pomposity, and some of them were just in jokes. He’s a real composer. I mean, he does serious music, and fact, his obit in the New York Times for Flexity.
  • Speaker 1
    1:02:46

    He said he almost felt, that that his real person, Peter Schickely, was almost jealous of p d q bach. P d q bach won five Grammys. Peter Shickley won one. And, for his serious work. But in any event, he did some great musical humor, concerto, for horn and hard art, Hard art was a bunch of automats that that were in New York and Philadelphia back in the nineteen sixties, I think.
  • Speaker 1
    1:03:15

    I actually never saw one, but apparent you’d go in and you’d put a nickel in and the the slide out your food. And, anyway, he I mean, he just had this antic kind of madcap humor, and I think we’ll close with a clip from a piece that he did, that was calling Beethoven’s fifth like a baseball game where he has the announcer talking about possibly trading, you know, that cellist and, you know, anyway, it’s it was just wonderful and hilarious and made the world a better place. So rest in peace Peter Schickley. Thank you for all the humor. And for anybody who’s not exposed to it, it’s all out there on YouTube So enjoy.
  • Speaker 6
    1:04:01

    And they’re off with a four note theme. I don’t know it slow or fast because it keeps stopping, folks. Doesn’t seem to be able to get off the ground, but it does look like we’re coming up to a cadence here. Not the violence didn’t cut off. They weren’t watching.
  • Speaker 6
    1:04:23

    Surprise they weren’t called for holding. There’s that four note theme again in another stop, just cannot to get this off the ground. Tell me, Giff, do you think you would call that four note idea a theme or a motif? Well, Pete, detective turn would be a motif that he uses to build a bid. Thanks for setting me straight on that again.
  • Speaker 6
    1:04:41

    Okay. We’re heading into the second theme section here. We can be can create a little modulation out of the field. Why did you hear that gift? Somebody in that hard section really flubbed that note.
  • Speaker 6
    1:04:57

    That has gotta be one of the worst fumbles I’ve ever witnessed in all my days.
  • Speaker 1
    1:05:03

    And with that, I want to thank our panel, our guests, Zach Beacham, and our regulars, and our producer, Jim Swift, as well as our sound engineer, Jonathan Last, and beg to differ will return next week as every week.
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