Day: May 4, 2021

Background Briefing: May 4, 2021


Trump’s GOP Demands Loyalty to the “Big Lie” While Purging Truth-Tellers

We begin with a Republican Party now in the hands of a wannabe-dictator who lost the last election but launched the “stop the steal” campaign to both make money off his followers and get back into power by pushing the big lie which has become a loyalty test in Trump’s GOP that is now purging those who would dare tell the truth. Geoffrey Kabaservice, director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington D.C. and author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party, joins us to discuss the threat to American democracy that Trump and his GOP poses. With the purging of Liz Cheney from her House leadership position underway because she acknowledged the reality of Trump’s defeat and his responsibility for the attack on the Capitol, there is a very real possibility Trump’s Republican lackeys could lie and cheat their way back into power which would be the beginning of the end of American democracy.


A Half-Ill Informed – Half-Sensible Country Cannot Defeat the Pandemic

Then we look into what can be done to defeat the Covid pandemic in a divided country in which those who have been vaccinated and will be vaccinated are threatened by those who resist vaccination or are against it. Joining us is Lauren Ancel Meyers, a Professor of Integrative Biology and Statistics & Data Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin where she leads an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and public health experts in uncovering the social and biological drivers of epidemics and building practical tools for the CDC and other global health agencies to track and mitigate emerging viral threats, including COVID-19, pandemic influenza, Ebola, HIV, and Zika. We discuss how leadership in some countries have saved the lives of their citizens and why the leaders of other countries like our former president have not.


Removing Trump’s Postmaster General and Reviving Post Office Banking

Then finally we examine efforts to fire Trump’s head of the U.S. Postal Service who appears to have been appointed to destroy the USPS and what can be done to save the more than 31,000 post offices, 42% of which were not generating enough revenue to cover their expenses in 2019. Christopher Shaw, an author, historian, and policy analyst who is the author of the forthcoming book First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat joins us to discuss reviving post office banking and his recent article at Foreign Affairs, “The U.S. Postal Service Was Designed to Serve Democracy.”