Background Briefing: June 18, 2019


Contrasting the Poor People’s Presidential Forum to Trump’s Cruel and Racist 2020 Election Launch

We begin with yesterday’s contrast to tonight’s launch of Trump’s 2020 election campaign in Orlando, Florida just underway as we go to air, at which Trump is expected to announce a new round of cruelty and racism as next week he unleashes ICE to begin a mass round up of undocumented immigrants for deportation. In contrast the Poor People’s Campaign held a forum yesterday featuring nine Democratic candidates for president at which the interlocking issues that create and sustain poverty – systemic racism, ecological devastation, income inequality and the war economy were discussed. This in contrast to the distorted moral narrative over abortion, gay rights and prayer in school promoted by the religious right instead of the suffering of the poor and marginalized who were the focus of Jesus Christ’s ministry. Greg Kaufmann, a contributing writer for The Nation where his latest article is “Finally, Presidential Candidates are Talking About Poverty”, joins us from the Poor People’s Campaign to discuss how until now, nobody in politics talked about the poor. We assess how the candidates addressed the challenge ahead to respond to Trump and the Republican’s strategy to use race to pit poor people against one another while making it more difficult for them to vote.


Guatemala’s Election a Victory for the Reactionary Forces Behind This Narco-State

Then we speak with Dr. Timothy Smith, a professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University who studies Guatemalan electoral politics, democracy, indigenous languages and immigration. He joins us to discuss the results of Sunday’s elections which were a victory for the reactionary forces behind this narco-state with the most popular reformist candidate disqualified on trumped-up technicalities allowing the two corrupt front-runners to head for the August runoff election. This will ensure that the U.N. Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala will be disbanded in a death blow to democracy resulting in more poor, rural peasants heading north to the U.S.


The Filmmaker of “The Brink” Who Reveals Steve Bannon’s Banality of Evil

Then finally with Steve Bannon’s strategy of demonizing immigrants now back and center in Trump’s 2020 campaign, we speak with a filmmaker who spent over a year with Bannon who she profiles in her new film “The Brink”Alison Klayman joins us to discuss her new film just out on DVD and streaming online which reveals a devious and dishonest subject who the filmmaker came to feel embodied the banality of evil, plotting to unite the American and European alt-right to restore white Christian values and ultra-conservative Catholic patriarchal power.