Background Briefing: September 3, 2020


While Trump Offers Simplistic, Strongman Magic, Biden Must Show That Real Strength Does Not Depend on Magic

We begin with Joe Biden’s visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin today and his meeting with the family of Jacob Blake who was shot seven times in the back at close range by a Kenosha police officer sparking protests. Biden’s visit follows Trump’s recent meeting with local Kenosha police officials and we discuss the contrast between supporting the victims of racial violence and the perpetrators and whether Trump’s strategy of division and fear will be more effective with the electorate than Biden’s strategy of hope and healing. Arlie Hochschild, one of the most influential American sociologists who has studied Trump voters and why they support him and is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, joins us to discuss her article at The Guardian “The secret to Donald Trump’s electoral strategy? Emotion, not policy”. She joins us to discuss how Trump offers simplistic, strongman magic to his white, fearful, resentful and humiliated base while Biden faces the challenge of showing that real strength does not depend on magic.


The Overlooked Senate Intelligence Report Puts Mueller’s Report to Shame

Then we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist James Risen who is the Senior National Security Correspondent at The Intercept and a former investigative journalist with The New York Times. He joins us to discuss his latest article at The Intercept “SENATE REPORT SHOWS WHAT MUELLER MISSED ABOUT TRUMP AND RUSSIA“. We look into how the almost 1,000 page Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee report puts the Mueller report to shame and if anybody reads it, it brings the Trump-Russia story to life leaving no doubt about how deeply and dangerously Trump is dependent on and is compromised by Putin.


China’s Orwellian Digital Authoritarian Surveillance State

Then finally we speak with Kai Strittmatter, who was the China correspondent for Germany’s national newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung for more than a decade and has studied China for more than 30 years. He joins us to discuss his new book We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State and how China under Xi Jinping is becoming an Orwellian nightmare of digital authoritarianism with citizen’s loyalty to the regime ranked by a Social Credit System and with a new digital currency being introduced, the lives and finances of the Chinese will be tracked even more closely.