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Primary Concerns

By New Republic

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Explore the 2016 election and today’s political news with host Brian Beutler and his friends from both sides of the aisle. A weekly podcast from the New Republic.

Customer Reviews

Smart and Fair

The best political podcast around. Beutler is thoughtful and incisive. Guest are always great. Please do the leftwing v. rightwing conspiracy culture episode.

My favorite new podcast

I’m so glad this podcast exists. Brian Beutler is one of the sharpest observers of contemporary politics, always armed with penetrating questions and insights that cut through the BS of most political commentary. The discussions are thoughtful and lively.

Well-done, thought-provoking

I have enjoyed every episode of this show, at least in part because of the variety of viewpoints represented, and the thoughtful responses that were shared. A great alternative to the shouting matches that too often take place on TV shows.
I enjoyed David Frum’s interview, as well, and I think his analysis of the solutions of the 70s hanging on to prevent new solutions from taking hold is acute, but I think there’s a failure of logic in his attribution, finally, of the radicalization of the Republican party to an attempt on the party of the Elite to liberalize the country too fast. He argues that the reason the Trump voters are rebelling against a perceived compulsion toward diversity is that it is too overwhelming, that somehow liberals (which, oddly, seem somehow to represent the Elites, although the Elites in this country are more likely to be Republican than Democratic) are sweeping them off their feet and forcing the issue, which assumes that the White Supremacist is actually likely to come to some sort of peace with his dethroning as the default power in this country, if given enough time to do so on his own (a concept both naive and indifferent to the injustices that would continue to accrue while poor White Men got more comfortable with the idea that they are not in sole charge anymore). I think Frum is wrong, both because the reaction against socially liberal ideas is being drummed up by the very Elite he blames for forcing it, and because much of the backlash is new and even fictional—for example, the War on Christians, which is a wholly imaginary cause, and the crazy escalation of the abortion issue to include, for heaven’s sake, birth control, a social issue that was put to rest decades ago, until it was raised again as a wholly cynical weapon against the ACA. In my view, what happened is that the GOP was taken over, with the aid of the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court, by interests that, alarmed by the resounding loss of their party to the Obama coalition, set about to whip up opposition to that coalition by every means possible, including encouraging people like Glenn Beck and his ilk to misrepresent what was happening in the country in such a way as to make voters feel disenfranchised.

Primary Concerns
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