Month: December 2021

Background Briefing: December 30, 2021


Background Briefing’s September 5, 2021 broadcast on the Global Growth of Plutocratic Populism


In this last week of the year between Christmas and the New Year as the year comes to a close, we are looking back on Background Briefing’s coverage of the major stories and issues of the year 2021. And nothing could be more important of significant than the possibility that American democracy could come to an end and that a one-party neo-fascist state headed by a disgraced and demented conman could spell the end of 240 years of rule of the people by the people and for the people. On September 5, 2021 we spoke about the growth of Plutocratic Populism with Jan-Werner Muller, a professor of politics at Princeton University. He is the author of What Is Populism?, Contesting Democracy: Political Ideas in 20th Century Europe and his latest book is Democracy Rules and he has an article at The New Statesman, “Beyond the culture wars: Why democracies across the globe are in crisis.” We investigated the global growth of “plutocratic populism” in which working class voters voted against their own interests in supporting Brexit in the U.K. and Trump in the U.S.


Our October 25, 2021 Broadcast on the Red State Secession to Create a Permanent Tyranny of the Minority

Then on the October 25, 2021 broadcast of Background Briefing we examined the accumulating evidence that the January 6 coup attempt was planned at the highest level of the Trump administration with, as Trump said to his acting AG, “his” Republicans in the House doing the rest to overturn the election. Joining us to discuss the history of insurrection in this country was Sean Wilentz, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University whose books include The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008, Bob Dylan in America, and The Politicians and the Egalitarians and his latest, No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding. We looked into his essay in the journal Liberties, “The Tyranny of the Minority, from Calhoun to Trump,” and assessed the possibility that we already have a virtual secession of the Red States determined to hold onto white power and privilege and how the McConnell Filibuster feeds the anti-government fervor skillfully exploited by the charlatan Trump, who claims that he alone can set things right. Above all, it solidifies the modern Republicans’ strategy to succeed where the Slave Power and the Jim Crow segregationists ultimately failed: to bend the nation permanently to the will of a fiercely determined minority.


The December 8, 2021 Broadcast Trying to Understand the Hate and Anger-Filled Trump Party With No Policies, Plans or Platform

Then finally we go to the broadcast of Background Briefing from December 8, 2021 when we tried to understand the new GOP, the Trump Party and its rank and file who seem to be consumed by hate and anger, following a leader who is all about himself and a party that has no policies, plans, programs or a platform for that matter. Joining us was John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent whose books include People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy, and most recently, The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics. We discussed his article at The Capital Times, “Ron Johnson’s crackpot criticism of Dr. Fauci is part of a deadly chorus of GOP misinformation” and another at The Nation, “Today’s GOP Would Excommunicate Bob Dole” to assess what can be done to stop the party now displaying the angry and hate-filled faces of Margorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz from becoming a permanent one-party tyranny of the minority in the United States led by a grifter who demands and receives cult-like loyalty to him.