Background Briefing: December 26, 2018

By the Year 2040, 30% Will Choose 70 Out of 100 Senators

We continue our look back on the most important stories of 2018 with a look into the present challenge the Democrats have of overcoming a baseline deficit of having to win 8% more votes than the Republicans just to break even and the even greater challenge they have into the future because by the year 2040, 70% of Americans will live in 15 mostly blue states, meaning that 30% of the population in red states who will be older, whiter, more rural, more male and less educated, will choose 70 out of 100 senators. Norman Ornstein a contributing writer to The Atlantic and the author of numerous bestsellers, the latest of which is “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”, joins us to discuss the growing tyranny of the minority in America.


Trump is Becoming Increasingly Unhinged

Then we go to a conversation from July 22, 2018 on how President Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged as he desperately tries to keep one step ahead of the sheriff by pulling off reality TV stunts on a daily basis to distract the press and feed his base instead of governing, we speak with Lance Dodes. A Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute who was a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is a contributor to the recent book assessing President Trump, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”, he joins us to discuss the increasing pressure of narcissistic mortification undoing Trump as the reality of his incompetence and amateurism becomes overwhelming.


Trump’s Dog Whistles Are Now a Howl

Then finally we revisit an interview from August 16th about the coded racial politics that Trump used in his campaign and continues to deploy in his presidency with an escalating fury of late in which his dog whistles have turned into a howl. Ian Haney Lopez, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and author of “Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class”, joins us to discuss the race-class narrative project he is part of that seeks to educate the 99% of Americans who are being manipulated into manufactured racial and cultural divisions to serve the interests of the 1%. We examine how Trump is the ultimate test case of this strategy since he ran as a populist but rules as a plutocrat. And in collusion with Fox News, Trump continually riles up his base with racial resentment to get them to vote against their own interests while distracting Americans from realizing that whites, blacks and browns have so much more in common with each other than they do with the billionaires. Meanwhile the billionaires are afraid of real democratic representation and have managed to disguise plutocratic rule by buying politicians and dressing up elections with the trappings of democracy.