Background Briefing: June 18, 2018


In Resisting Trump “We Lose Only When We Get Quiet”

We begin with the relentless nature of the Trump Administration’s government by stunt and spectacle and Trump’s constant assault on our political, legal, economic, cultural and social structures in a tyranny of the minority which is demoralizing the outraged majority, making us numb and weakening our resolve to fight back. Dahlia Lithwickwho writes about the courts and the law for Slate Magazine and hosts the podcast Amicus, joins us to discuss her article at Slate “It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care”. With growing signs of outrage as two thirds of Americans now disapprove of Trump’s cruel border policies separating young children from their mothers, we discuss the warning by the head of the Poor People’s Campaign the Reverend William Barber that “We lose only when we get quiet”. And since Republican women like former First Lady Laura Bush and even Melania Trump (with a conspicuous silence from women’s and children’s advocate Ivanka Trump) are speaking out against the callous inhumanity Trump, Sessions, Kelly and Stephen Miller are displaying in the name of the American people, there are signs that truth and justice will prevail in the end.


How Propaganda is Working for Trump

Then we speak with Jason Stanleya Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of “How Propaganda Works” whose forthcoming book is “How Fascism Works”. He joins us to discuss the extent to which Donald Trump has weaponized the advice of the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to “Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it”. Amid signs that Trump’s campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation is working with 36% now having an unfavorable opinion of Mueller and just 32% approving of the inquiry, we will discuss how, thanks to Fox News and other pro-Trump propaganda outlets, propaganda is working for Trump and America is getting closer to fascism.


An Update on the World Cup in Russia

Then finally we look into the FIFA World Cup underway in Russia and the surprising defeat of the soccer powerhouse Germany by Mexico, a victory undermined by Mexican fans chanting a homophobic slur which FIFA is now investigating. Andrei Markovits, Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan and author of “Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism” and “Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture”, joins us for an update on the world’s most-watched sporting event.