Don't Fall For It


Journalists. Walk into post office and they see not the connective tissue of this country. They see another failing organ of big government. The Post Office has been under siege for decades. No. Thanks to the media from WNYC in New York this is on the media I'm Brooke Gladstone and I'm Bob Garfield the announcement of Kamala Harris for veep unleashing the inevitable racist slurs. But this time journalists were ready for the birther claim is a lie full stop. It is easy to debunk as somebody WHO's two plus two equals tag. Also, scuttling the post office pardoning Susan B. Anthonys, smiling upon Cunanan heading toward election day trump fills Lee ether with many shiny objects. It's Cliche to say this is a distraction. This is a distraction, but the end result is the same. We get distracted why it matters subway stay focused in a news you. After this? Church. Listener Support W. nyc studios. Moved from WNYC NEW YORK. This is on the media. I'm Brooke Gladstone and I'm Bob Garfield the narrative at this year's Democratic National Convention was unambiguous. The upcoming election isn't a referendum on a partisan America because Look John Casick and Colin Powell and even Anonymous Republicans are on the bandwagon. The messaging in fact was barely even about Joe Biden. No we were warned something far more urgent is at stake. Democracy. Itself the science-based action, the hero Zach win three months ago is essential to safeguard lives livelihood and the life of our democracy. And who is standing in the way? Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy. This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down. If that's what it takes for them to win. Funny. They should mention because the backdrop for these saved democracy please was the administration's brazen attempts to gut the US Postal Service. Before the biggest mail in voting exercise in history at the beginning of the weekend. Donald trump basically said I'm going to sabotage the post office at its most basic. This election is about preserving our democracy. During this president's term the. Thinkable has become normal. He has tried to prevent people from voting on the mind the US Postal Service, you know the president may hate the post office, but he's still going to have to send them a change of address card come January simmering crisis boiled over last Thursday when trump admitted that his gutting the institution was intended to hobble voting by mail believed at least by him to favor Democrats they want twenty, five, billion dollars billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to. Have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they aren't getting there by the way those are just two items but if they don't get those two items that means you can't have universal mail in voting because they're not equipped to have it during a Senate hearing on Friday recently appointed Postmaster General Louis to joy was grilled by the Homeland Security Committee about his sweeping cutbacks that intentionally or not fulfilled trump's vision. But as Republicans on the committee were quick to observe. He didn't start the fire or what I've heard so far today. Apparently, the post office never had any issues. There was never any delays. There was never any mail that was late they were never need financial problems. There was never any challenge, the mail in voting's until sixty five days ago when you arrive and then apparently all chaos has broken out in the Post Office Fair Point Senator James Langford but what he and his GOP colleagues failed to point out was that it was their party's own policies that intentionally or not crippled postal service to begin with and according to New Republic Staff. Writer. Alex Shepherd when journalists are talking about the public sector, they tend to be sucked into a similar partisan ideological narrative. Yet, the postal service exists as a kind of symbol of good government and it's one that has been surprisingly resilient to Republican attacks particularly ones aimed at privatizing various public sector services, but that hasn't dimmed their enthusiasm for making widespread demands for greater efficiency that in fact, lower efficiency, these have certainly increased over the last fifteen years, but it feels like we've only started paying attention to them over the last week or so. Now, you just said lead to greater efficiency I by creating lower efficiency and we'll get to that in a moment but first, we should observe that this process goes back decades. Along with the privatization dreams for schools, colleges, social security prisons, even parts of the military. But you right that particular image we have of the post office today really has its origins in two thousand and six house Oh. Yeah. In two thousand and six Congress passed the Postal Accountability and enhancement act known as Paige. And that required USPS to make a number of changes. The most substantial was that required them to fully fund all of their pension seventy five years in advance, which created a seventy two billion dollar hole in the operating budget immediately, no other institution is required to do this, and it immediately turned a profitable arm of the federal government into an unprofitable one now, the timing. Of That was interesting because that was a year in which the USPS was as it had been for several years in the black it was also the year that facebook opened up to everyone and you start to see large standing changes in the way that people communicate that also has provided a hit to the postal services budget, but not as substantial as this one about pensions. Over, the past couple of months, we've observed trump's overt meddling into the post office in the person of his new postmaster. General Louis. Joy He is an. underqualified trump mega donor with financial ties to postal service competitors and next thing you know he was cutting overtime for workers in the middle of a pandemic in advance of an election and had removed mail sorting machines from post offices nationwide, which raised media eyebrows but not exactly at first at least alarm until about a week ago when trump blurted out his sabotage scheme on. Fox Business. These are hard journalistic moments about public sector institutions follow a pattern yet in the case of us. There their few things happening where at the same time? Lewis. Did joy is fulfilling this long standing conservative project of hobbling US PS of creating space in which its competitors can thrive. He is also doing. So at a time where it will almost certainly if not aid the president's reelection campaign than certainly bolster claims that he may make challenging the legitimacy of the election, the press is largely focused on the second one of those still and the first part is I think still gone unnoticed. You send that the Republican strategy over the decades has been to de fund the Post Office for example, by forcing them to fund their pension plan going out seventy five years in order to actually force their service to deteriorate in order ultimately to privatize the organization what Louis Joy has been doing since the spring. is familiar to anyone who's covered the private equity industry in America in recent years it's you look at an organization that's losing money, and then you strip resources from it in the name of efficiency, and then of course, it becomes less efficient and you're in this endless cycle of taking things away. But the larger project I think is ideological as much as it is practical. Conservatives, don't like the fact that this is a government institution that works that the USPS should be treated like a business that's put a giant target on its back the postal service itself is a kind of American value saying that we're all Americans and we all should be connected together. No matter what that costs the drive to privatize that not only would have dramatic consequences for people who rely on USPS to get medication. Or to keep in touch with loved ones particularly incarcerated people but it also would be a betrayal of what I think is an ideal which is that we should have a system that brings us all together. You believe that we've allowed a distorted picture of the public sector to form in the public's mind over decades and and that we even internalized the Reagan doctrine that big government is not the solution but the problem. Drunk the KOOL aid halfway. Yeah. I think that the image of a postal worker remains newman from Seinfeld. The stance. It's not to be. So I'm hanging up. You quit the post office kind of. I'm still collecting checks I'm just not delivering mail. Somebody who's lazy they take a three hour break. The Post Office itself is a drab and dreary place where you waited line for hours and then are told to go somewhere else. It's sort of the DMV next door part of the issue is political and that Democrats have also internalized. Ideas but I think that there's also a sense that journalists walk into a post office and they see not the connective tissue of this country they see another failing organ of big government. One of the strange things about all this handwringing about if the USPS can handle the election is that they just finished a substantial project which is handling the United States census USPS does this kind of work all the time and they've done it despite the fact that they've been hobbled by staffing cuts and demands to to run a business when it's not a business and how do we get the narrative that you just provided? Back into the minds of the media. If in fact we have drunk the KOOL aid. I think that there's a real shyness about communicating values in media. That's not true when it comes to sort of First Amendment issues, members of the press will always beat their chests when they're kicked out of a White House briefing room or something, but you don't get that with other values. Instead, there's a real reliance on others you need advocacy groups, you need the postal workers union. Were members of the Democratic Party but there are a lot of cases where those voices aren't going to be forthcoming and that you need to look institutions for what they provide beyond prophet and efficiency. It's a public service and the American people for the most part recognized as that it's congress that hasn't, and if it does do that, then I think things will get a lot better. Alex, thank you. Thank you. Alex Shepherd is staff writer at the new. Republic. Journalists will be keeping their eyes on the postal service in the coming months, and so will the Hustler's inhabiting are warped media ecosystem? The result will be a flood of information misinformation and even some disinformation New York Times opinion writer Charlie Wars L. Wonders whether we as news consumers given the stakes and the circumstances can even maintain focus on the heart of the story I am worried. That we want if I'm being very honest that we won't be able to focus on it. On Monday of this week, trump floated the idea that he could have not just a second but even a third term. Spider. My campaign, we get a Redo of. We seen him this week pardon Susan B. Anthony Chew was never pardoned. Did. You know that she was never thought. We'd seen him float the idea perhaps pardoning Ed Snowden who he wants called a traitor. I'm not that aware of the snowden situation but I wouldn't started looking at it. There are many many people that seems to be a split decision that many people think that. He should be somehow treated differently and other people think he did very bad things and I'm going to take it's Cliche to say this is the distraction. This is a distraction and it might not even always be intentional but the end result is the same we get distracted. So I'm not very confident that we won't go chasing the shiny objects but the one thing that we can do is when we are focusing on the story when we are focusing on the post office story that we don't get distracted by the shiny objects in that, you know we don't go chasing the refurbished blue mailboxes instead of. What's happening truly behind the scenes administratively in some of these institutions let's talk about those disappearing blue mailboxes. Here it is. You might have already seen it. That's a truck as you can tell being loaded up with blue post office boxes, Mark Delaney snap this photo in north Portland and it went viral in no time journalists Gary he he actually called up the Wisconsin depository for the Mailbox Hartford finishing co and they refurbish mailboxes they take them off the street they fix them, they put them back out and so this is a piece of really incendiary content that's gone incredibly viral that as it turns out. Actually just standard operating procedure. The best way for some of this news to get buried the important news the news about the undermining of norms is for there to be such a flood of muddled information that just becomes a story. That's so saturated that we don't WanNa hear about it anymore and people get bored and move on and for the media we have to keep up the focus on that in terms of you know what we amplify and what we report. Knowing that they're actually bathing the press to. Create a lot of commotion. How does the news consumer find the signal in drown out the distraction? I think there's two important things to keep hold of one is that this is the home stretch for this particular election cycle. This is a moment where it is incredibly important to pay attention is exhausting may be the second part is you need to be mindful of that flooding the zone strategy that your focus is going to be pulled in many different ways and I think being mindful of that helps inoculate against it if to set your priorities of what is important to you and I think the media has signaled that this postal service crippling is the big story right now. So keeping a focus on that, keeping a focus on the pandemic response, picking the things that are important to you and not letting trump's pardon of Susan B. Anthony Distract from the bigger stories. Yeah one. Last thing. On the media's listeners are careful consumers of the news. But. It's pretty well documented than most Americans do not delve too deeply in new stories and where they come from and the issues behind them it's all kind of background noise they tune in or tune out depending on what's going on with the kids and all the other mundane aspects of American life that are themselves overwhelming. So. How should we let that figure into how we cover the story? It's about. Clarity. It's about focusing on that main store. You know it's very clear what the intentions are. He said it and I think drilling down on that not trying to be overly clever about it not trying to you know come up with a a day to story on day one it's the meat and potatoes of what we're supposed to do. Often, we get lost in it because this has been such a complicating. Presidency, with regard to the truth but I think in this case, it's actually a very clear the president trying to erode a bunch of norms and he set it out loud if we need to keep the spotlight on that. Charlie. Thank you so much. Thanks. Charlie. Wars Zell is an opinion writer at large for. New York Times. Coming up why black politicians seeking higher office will always be prey to bogus questions about citizenship this is on the media. This is on the media. I'm Bob Garfield Brooke. Gladstone. Since the announcement of Kamala Harris Joe Biden's running-mate. WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING DONALD TRUMP test driving attack plans and real time will he settled on nasty woman choose probably Nastier than even Pocahontas to Joe Biden our fraud slow joe and phony comma perfect together wrong for America or plain old incompetent I. think she's going to be a big failure. It seems all of the above and more including revving up an old save for the current president that she isn't sufficiently American to run I. Heard it. Today that she doesn't meet the requirements. Malarkey as they say. Comma Harris is a citizen fully. Vp but that didn't stop the live from getting an airing on Newsweek and a mentioned by the president at a press conference. Of course, he did it's a tactic tried and true for distracting the media and dog whistling his base the quintessential shiny object notoriously employed when Obama was running for office I, want him to. Say. This is a really old canard and unfortunately it's still with US Marc. Joseph Stern covers courts and the law for sleet he's. The birtherism lie all the way back to an eighteen. Fifty seven Supreme Court decision. We have to go to the dread Scott decision in eighteen, fifty seven, which was the notorious Supreme Court ruling. That said that black people could not be citizens of the United States that they had no rights that the white man was bound to respect. They are an inferior order, the Supreme Court said, and so they simply cannot obtain citizenship in this nation overt racism of the most rank and of foreign kind, and the dread Scott decision was one of the sparks of the civil war, and after that civil war, the nation passed a constitutional amendment, the fourteenth. WHO's very first sentence is a direct rebuke to dread. Scott's what's it say it says all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction narrows our citizens of the United States. It doesn't just say they will become citizens. These people have always been citizens and we are now ensuring that their citizenship cannot be questioned. Nice idea. Here we are in two thousand, twenty it's still getting questions. So what is new about the CARMELA further lie basically nothing because even though we'd seem to settle the question of birthright citizenship once and for all when the first black senator was sent to Congress in eighteen seventy Hiram revels, some racist senators tried to deny him. To be a senator, you have to have had American citizenship for at least nine years. So these racist Congressman said, we only pass the fourteenth amendment two years ago. That was when this guy got citizenship that was obviously rejected almost out of hand by the senators who had just passed the fourteenth amendment who were still there in the Senate and they were able to say pretty definitively no, we meant to say that these folks have always. been citizens. What we did was confirm a truce that had been widely recognized up until dread Scott reverse it could you give me a quick summary of the differences between the Obama birther lie and the Harris birther lie the Obama birther lie asked dot if he was an American citizen but just whether he was natural worn the Kabul ally Asif, she is a citizen at all. So what does the argument being presented by such people as? John Eastman of the Claremont Institute in Newsweek the title of op-ed was almost polite. Some questions for Kamla Harris about eligibility Eastman's OP. Ed presents arguments that he has been making for many years that those four words subject to the jurisdiction means something totally different from what everybody understood them to mean in eighteen sixty eight. So backup little Kamla. Harris's parents were immigrants to the United States. They were both here. On visas no laws broken. Of course individuals coming to the United States on visas can have children here and it has long been understood that those children become American citizens because they are born on American soil and they don't fall into the exceptions laid out by Congress when it passed the fourteenth amendment but John Eastman has a different theory. He thinks that the words subject to the jurisdiction have this secret meet. And that is that you have to oh, your allegiance exclusively to the United States in order to pass on citizenship to your child even if your child is born in the United States, he says that because Carmela Harris's parents were foreign nationals when she was born, they owed their allegiance to other countries and so they were unable to pass along citizenship to Kamla because they were not fully subject to American jurisdiction instead, they were subject to the jurisdiction of India and Jamaica, but Mark Liss was in Newsweek. op-ed Claremont Institute, which you talk about Eastman is a senior fellow. What is the Claremont Institute? So the Claremont Institute is a conservative think tank although I think tank is a bit of a misnomer here. It's located in. California. It was founded by four students of a guy named Harry Jaffa who was a kind of gold water conservative in the sixties and seventies this was founded in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, nine, and the idea was to spread these goldwater ask. Ideas to revive the celebration of American nationalism American exceptionalism at a time when conservatives perceived it to be on the decline this was the the later part of Jimmy. Carter's presidency, the Malays speech Yada Yada, and so the Claremont Institute burst onto the scene and tribe to kind of intellectualize theories about American nationalism and American identity that had been a little bit further on the fringe of the rights but. We're at that stage making their way to the center of the GOP. But then it started to evolve. Let's say the ninety s and in the early two thousands I would think devolve is maybe a better word look I. Don't think the ceremony institute was ever totally free of media this I'm right. The very ideas that it was promoting had a bit of an undercurrent of whites national. Identity and my view but astor, Jaffa it and after the conservative movement, fully embrace some of these nationalistic ideas, the Claremont. Institute. Moved further and further to the right onto the fringe and instead of just talking about American nationalism, it will talk about almost an American ethnic identity who is truly American and who is an interloper and its main course of attack here was against immigrants mostly from Mexico Central America. DEEM TO BE INFERIOR countries with inferior or in the words of the dread. Scott decision you're being a little nightmare in your article you called it a racist fever swamp with deep connections to the conspiratorial alt-right that had granted a fellowship to a guy named Jack Pa- Sobek who helped promote the pizza gate conspiracy theory. This is the idea that the Democratic Party is involved in some sort of child sex ring so in. The last ten years it has just collapsed into insane paranoid all rights terror of non white people, and almost all of its scholarship is directed toward presenting these outrageous theories about why non white people are not really Americans and especially during the trump presidency has fully embraced the tackiest and most dangerous conspiratorial elements of the Trumpian movement including Pizza Gate, and you say that few if any of the supporters of the birtherism lie. Lack connections to the Clermont in. That includes Eastman. Who wrote the op-ed questioning Kamala Harris eligibility in Newsweek and also Josh Hammer who was the Newsweek editor who commissioned the piece is a former fellow at the institute. It seems like when it comes to birtherism all roads lead to Clermont. Michael Anton who wrote apiece arguing against birthright citizenship in the Washington Post in two thousand eighteen is guess what a senior fellow there as well, and by the way the scholar to really pitch this idea that the children of. Immigrants do knock at birthright citizenship the United States, he was a clermont scholar. His name was Edward earlier, he wrote this book that was just outwardly racist against Mexican immigrants and proposed violently expelling the children of Mexican immigrants who are American citizens back into Mexico because he claimed that they were stateless foreigners. So I assume that you are braced for this Kamala Harris birther thing. Well, when I first saw the piece I have to say I felt nauseated because I knew there was A. Chance I would have to respond and I've written about this issue a great deal and I fear that even responding to these theory is, is like giving more oxygen to the fire because it creates this illusion that there's a debate here and debate has to have two sides and there just isn't another side to this issue. Right? The birther claim is a live full stop. It is as easy to debunk as somebody uses two plus two week ten and still Newsweek publishes this piece. Which means we're going to be talking about it it's going to spread like wildfire across all of the conspiratorial facebook pages that Mark Zuckerberg refuses shutdown. Alan and it's going to become an issue that dogs Kamla Harris just like the Obama, birther Lies Dogs Barack Obama. I mean at one point twenty, five percent of respondents to a poll said that they questioned Barack Obama's citizenship. These things may sound ridiculous but they do gain a purchase. You know we are so much more divided now. As a nation then we were. Even. Turning the last campaign the one before that. I'm just wondering whether this is just meet to a base that has committed itself long ago to The presidency of Donald Trump and whether it'll just sort of bounce off people who don't support him or independence this lie about birthright citizenship it has implications way beyond this presidential election. There are at least eighteen million children or of immigrants in the United States right now if eastern were correct which he is not then all of those people are stateless could be stripped of citizenship stripped of all of their rights and privileges and finally expelled from the country that is extremely frightening. White nationalist fantasy, and the facts that a law professor and someone affiliated with. A think tank can promote it in the pages of Newsweek suggest to me that we need to educate people and explained that. American citizenship does not rest on your parents allegiance to another country or this one. So I kind of hope that there are some people who haven't really thought about this who are reasonable people who can learn from the conversation we're having now and some of the articles that have been written in response to. That this has been settled since at least eighteen, sixty eight and that the next black person who runs for president or vice president is going to have their citizenship challenged, and maybe we can shrink the group of people who buy into it next time around mark. Thank you very much. Thank you so much Mark Joseph. Stern covers courts and the law for slate. As Stern, just observed a lot is riding on how the media covers this particular falsehood against Kamala Harris. So how are we doing? Eugene Scott who writes about identity politics for the fix of the Washington Post says that some media outlets definitely are better now at calling out racism in lies. Welcome to the show Jean. Thanks for having me. You've observed that during the Obama birther escapade outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times we're slow to call anything racist. It was something that did not have to go as unaddressed as did and really could have been stopped earlier on and called out for what it is. If newsrooms were more diverse if individuals who make decisions better reflect the population as a whole could provide some perspective about how those types of rumors effect people. But your general feeling is that there has been some progress from two thousand eight to today and the persistence of this birther lie that at least, some of the media aren't going to be as tied up in false balance without a doubt I. Mean we saw that within the first week cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC. The Washington Post and some other legacy media organizations in their opening graphs they call birtherism lives. It was clear that Camera Harris was eligible for the vice presidency. They referenced the row that birtherism played in president trump's ascendance to the White House we've seen a big shift in newsrooms blatantly call ideas and actions races and I think that quite. It's one of the big changes in media that we saw come with the trump administration. I think our current president has put forward ideas and policies that stowe blatantly discriminated against people because of their identities that newsrooms could not accurately cover what was happening without calling it racism what about Newsweek's participation in elevating the birtherism lie about Harris? Doesn't that indicate a persistent problem in how legacy media covers birtherism it does in by no means was my piece attempting to indicate that the media had handled perfectly but the reality is the way the Newsweek's editor 's responded almost immediately to that column that was so controversial I think demonstrates a change even within legacy media what do you think the impact is of the conservative media? Well, I think we've seen some conservative media outlets to distinguish themselves from the Fox. News is end federalists of the world. We see national review in bulwarks online at even the American conservative be more bowed and separating themselves from ideas that they deem racist in part because I. Think views of the GOP as a whole in the last few years have led many people to conclude that it is a safe place for racist ideas like birtherism. But yes, we obviously also see somebody outlets that are locking step with the trump administration and those organizations. We have no expectation that they will call things up what about the argument that bringing up this birtherism lie at all basically feeds oxygen to the flames. I can't imagine that there's any validity to any argument that suggests that racist should not be called out if any institution and America have been complicit and turning a blind eye to white supremacy, historically, the mainstream media has been of the. And treating idea has an argument S if they should be ignored literally lease blood on hats there have been people who have died have endured significant harm because of editorial decisions to refuse to call racism what it is, and I think what we're seeing in this current moment with semi outlets being more vocal in calling things racists is a recognition that there are people on the other end of these ideas and theories. They're just not thoughts. They have impact on people's lives, and if we want those lives to be protected and valued in if they truly matter, racism has to be called out. So what it is. I totally get that. But I I was just thinking of this example stay with me for second. In, two, thousand, five, the CDC put out a flyer to combat myths about the flu vaccine and it was like false. The side effects of the vaccine are worse than the flu. True. The Flu Vaccine Saves. Lives. And one study found that within thirty minutes older Americans misremembered twenty eight percent of the false statements is true and it took younger people about three days to miss remember it in other words. In trying to combat ally stating the Lai. Might actually entrench it and somebody said that maybe you should make like a truth sandwich say. Kamala Harris is entirely legally entitled to run for the vice presidency of the United. States. Then say B. s about birtherism is falls and then go back and say again there is no question that she is entitled to Run for the vice presidency of the United, states what I'm saying is Should there be a specific protocol for how the media cover lies. Well, there could be, but I think the reality is that so many media outlets are different at their core in terms of what they aim to do and desire to do that. We shouldn't really expect consistency across the board. The reality also is that whether or not someone receives the truth when you're doing some fact, checking isn't. Completely, the responsibility or fought, should I say of the media outlet you're dealing with so many different factors here but what won't leave them to embrace the truth or even know it is ignoring and not addressing it at all, and so that has to be done some things always better than nothing sink. So. Thank you very much eugene take care Eugene. Scott writes about identity politics for the fix at the Washington Post. Coming up Cunanan crawls out from under the rocks of the lunatic fringe and slithers towards the nation's kept. This is Omnimedia. This is on the media. I'm Bob Garfield and I'm Brooke Gladstone in the past two weeks. Denizens of the furthest fringe of the political right have doug new trenches in the heart of the GOP. I A SELF-DESCRIBED PROUD ISLAMAPHOBIA president trump has fired off a series of tweets touting the wing of Laura Luminary far right activists who just won the Republican Nomination Florida's Twenty First District Luma. Calling Islam quote a cancer on humanity and then there's Q. Modry Taylor Green is now likely to win a US House seat in Georgia this November serve in Congress embraced the conspiracy group Cunanan, and other racist offensive attacks which brings us to a total of eleven. Cunanan supporting Republican nominees to run for Congress on the fall ballot. For those who understandably resist encoding this kind of information. Is the anonymous conspiracy theorist who claims that the deep state is out to foil Donald Trump's efforts to save America from Democrats Hollywood Actors Sexual Predators Satanists in cannibals. There have been violent crimes associated with Cunanan, and the FBI has labeled the Group A domestic terrorism threat. The president had this to say about the Cunanan crowd. These people that love our country and they just don't like seeing it. So I don't know really anything about it other than. They do supposedly like me. To Newark Public Staff Writer Alex Parine this new foothold is disquieting, but it masks the real threat making its home in the Republican. Party. For that, he turns to the nominee for North Carolina's eleventh district in North Carolina. Republicans choosing twenty four year old investor madison coauthored in the runoff the vacated by trump chief of staff mark bells a June CNN article described him as quote, the young political newcomer who beat trump's pick likewise an. NPR piece suggested that his biggest challenge would be his youth and thus he was squeezed into a well-known trope if you are looking at the campaign interviews and his website and things like that, he didn't give you a lot there to really dig into issues wives but there were biographical things they missed two that came out later. Yeah I read the article in Jazz Abell Esther Wang she paints a very different portrait of the Guy Yes. He has misled people about being except to the Naval Academy he had not been, but that's been part of his patriotic selling point. He claims to be real estate investor, but he is a real estate investor only in the sense that he started an LLC last year that has purchased one property. He is often photographed with very expensive guns and so on and took a notable European vacation to that has also become subject to more scrutiny. Right. That's to Hitler's vacation spot, which he'd apparently put on his bucket list. You're concerned about elements of his self presentation, one of which being the insignia on one of his guns of flag that tends to fly in places where he is yes and even the name of his investment company. Yes. He named his investment company S. P Q R. Holdings S Q r is an abbreviation for the Latin term senators, populous romanesque, which of the Roman Senate and people. which is the name of a Mary, Beard Book About Ancient Rome. Also, an extremely popular phrase among certain right wing extremist groups. The flag is the Betsy Ross flag, which has the so-called original thirteen states, flag. It's stars in a circle. Again, that could be normal patriotism from WHO's from one of the original thirteen colonies. It's also happens to be a flag that is very popular among the so-called Patriot movement. Another far-right group I mentioned this in Sydney that was on his gun holster it was a spartan soldiers helmet. As far soldiers home is often associated with the oath keepers. One of the most rightwing for anti-government three percenter groups out there. But it's also just maybe a cool symbol to put on your gun holster. There's also the fact that up until this got publicity cawthorn only followed eight hundred people on Twitter eighty-eight is incredibly common white, Supremacist Code Meeting Hail Hitler, but it could just be a coincidence. Again, I don't really know what cawthorn factual beliefs are. What I do know is that it's very unusual for someone as young as him to be an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump and many young enthusiastic supporters of Donald trump enjoy flirting with or toying with symbols of far-right extremism. You argue that Kaufman's rise fits into a pattern that you've seen coming for a while Republican Party filling up with extremists that there's a vacuum at the heart of the party. Well, one source of that vacuum I think we can look at cawthorn age. There's a massive age gap in American Politics Right now that is actually historically unusual whereas the Democrats are frequently having. A sort of generational battle between different factions of young people who wished to the future leaders of the Party in the trump era republicans really only have one kind of person entering Republican politics from a young age. The way that they come to conservative politics is not going to be reading the National Review It's much more likely that they're gonNA come to it through trump or Through a far right group. So what happens to the moderate wing of the party since George W Bush's term when the Republican Party was at a very, very low ebb after Obama's reelection as well they had to sort of determine what they were going to do to regain popularity and a lot of smart people in the party were like we have to get more comfortable with. Multiculturalism. We have to get more comfortable with the fact that America's changing and I think what happened is at doubling down on racial grievance remained the best way to win a Republican primary. They couldn't change their most dedicated voter base. So you say that we're locked into a two party system and that is also something that enabled the far right to take over the Republican Party. Yes. But at this point, it's written into state constitutions in New York. For example, board of elections is controlled by two parties that gives you like a lot of power. If you're able to take control of one of the parties I, think that our politics are not so different from that of many European countries but where they would have a centre-right party in a far right party, we just have one right wing party that the far right is in charge of. Americans might wish to vote for sort of coalition of moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats that might be what Americans want. They are given the option of the Conservative Party and the other party they are more often than not choosing to elevate people who are much more extreme than voters might even belief. So. I don't think that the intellectual firepower there anymore, and what we're seeing is a vacuum ideas into which. All this cookie? Stuff is flooding. Cunanan is actually a great example of the base sort of coming for a party. What I'm worried about is that you could see the organized right taking over the Republican Party in the service of white nationalism. Basically, that's what is scary to me about the candidate about whom I cannot be sure whether or not he traffic's any of this stuff. You're talking about the young Mr Cawthorn about Madison Cawthorn. Exactly. He went to a college for one semester that you described as kind of a either school for Political Conservatives and you've also observed that there's a pretty pricey machine engineered to produce people like cawthorn. There's a lot of money in conservative politics for identifying talent groups like Charlie. Kirk. TURNING-POINT USA and all these others that they go around to identify young people who will be future conservative politicians or fill out the conservative think tanks the computer conservative. My fear now is that when they go to seek out these future leaders, the only people that they will find willing to be part of. Organiz. Republican politics in the era of Donald. Trump. Who is incredibly unpopular among all young people. The only people find are people who are already attracted to far right believes and the alt-right. The three percenters in the oath keepers in the Patriot movement and all those things have been around for a long time. But they have gotten very good at using the Internet to identify like minded people and I worry that they are going to begin entering the conservative institutions. Is the GOP Zombie Party or is it changing its identity in step with a new divisive era? What you know what the scholar? Walter. Dean. Burnham famously called political realignment something that happens every generation or couple of generations is this just the Republican party changing its identity? That's kind of the big question. If this is the opening stages of realignment, it's interesting to consider. Because on the one hand, you have a lot of moderate Republicans who are now identifying with the Democratic Party he just because of Donald Trump at the same time, you have to think that if trump loses. There will be some of the same talk there was in twenty twelve after Mitt Romney lost about how the Republican Party needs to change. Ideally, for the sake of our democracy, I would like it to become a more representative and more centre-right institution but had a lot of opportunities and it's been very hard for them to get off the path or on. Ext. thank you very much. Thank you. Alex Perrine is a staff writer, the New Republic, his recent article is called. Madison Cawthorn is the future of the Republican Party. That's it for this week show on the media's produced by Alana. Casanova Burgess Mike Low Ensure Laya fettered John Hanrahan, Zander Ellen, and Louise's blonde. Do we say goodbye to Eleanor? Nash. We never actually met but has been wonderful on zoo. And our show was edited by Brooke Our Directors Jennifer Munson are engineered. This week was Josh. Yes even though we never got to meet you in the flesh, it was delightful having you on the show. Catcher Rogers is our executive producer on the media is a production of WNYC studios. I'm Brooke Gladstone. Bob Garfield.

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