Background Briefing: November 4, 2018


A Frantic Trump Campaigns to Hold the Senate But Not the House

We begin in the closing days before a watershed election with Kevin O’Leary, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine and a former reporter for Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times whose forthcoming book is “Reactionary Revolution: The GOP’s Attack on the Founders and the American Idea”. He joins us to discuss the frantic last-minute racist demagoguery and fear-mongering spewing from Trump at rallies in states where Republicans hope to hold onto their slim majority in the senate, and whether Trump’s lack of focus on the House means that flipping more than enough Republican House seats in California and across the country is increasingly likely.


Trump Doubles Down on Racial Resentment

Then we will examine how economic factors rather than racial resentment played a larger role in Trump’s 2016 election based on a new study at INET, the Institute for New Economic Thinking “The Economic and Social Roots of Populist Rebellion: Support for Donald Trump in 2016”.  A co-author of the report, Thomas Ferguson joins us. He is professor emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts and we will discuss how after taking credit for the economic recovery that Obama brought about, Trump is now doubling down on racial resentment both in terms of immigrant-bashing and casting China, the Democrats, globalists and the press as the enemy.


The American Right’s Drive for Permanent Minority Rule

Then finally in the closing days before a watershed election we will get an analysis of whether the majority in this country will show up at the polls in sufficient numbers to overcome the vote rigging by the minority.Ian Samuel, a Professor of Law at Indiana University joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “Rigging the vote: How the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule”and what strategies can be employed to reverse the formidable project of the Republican Right to install permanent minority rule to guarantee control of the government even though fewer and fewer Americans support their policies and programs. This growing tyranny of the minority should be clear since the last two Republican presidents entered office with fewer votes than their opponents got, and the last two justices to join the Supreme Court were confirmed with lifetime appointments to the court by senators who received 22 million fewer votes than the senators who voted against him in the case of Gorsuch. And in the case of Kavanaugh he was confirmed by senators who received 38 million fewer votes than the senators who voted no. So the challenge is not just to win on Tuesday but to wrestle back control from the entrenched minority with an overwhelming victory, then begin the work of leveling the playing field.