Day: September 1, 2022

Background Briefing: September 1, 2022


In Tonight’s Speech Will Biden Go From Semi Fascist to Full on Fascist in Describing the MAGA Republicans?

We begin with President Biden’s address to the nation tonight in which he is expected to warn about the threats to American democracy from the MAGA Republicans. Having recently described the Trump cult followers as not believing in the will of the people or democracy itself, venturing to use the term semi-fascist, we discuss how much further Biden might go in his speech tonight and speak with Jason Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of How Propaganda Works which was the winner of the 2016 PROSE award for philosophy. His latest book is How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.


Is Fascism in America’s Political DNA or Has Trump Brought it Into the Mainstream?

Then we explore further whether fascism is in the political DNA of the country or that it has been brought into the political mainstream by Trump who clearly admires authoritarians and would like to have the power of murderous dictators like Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin. Joining us is Lincoln Mitchell, a professor of Political Science at Columbia University, where he also serves as an associate scholar in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He is the author of numerous books on the former Soviet states, baseball, and democracy the latest of which is The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992. We discuss his article at NBC News, “Why Mikhail Gorbachev is a cautionary tale for the United States.”


Across the Country Infrastructure is Breaking Down From Underinvestment and Climate Change

Then finally, with the city of Jackson, Mississippi without drinking water and infrastructure breaking down across the country from underinvestment compounded by the ravages of extreme climate caused by global warming, we speak with Mikhail Chester, a Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and Director of the Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University. The co-author of The Rightful Place of Science: Infrastructure and the Anthropocene, he has an article at The Scientific American, “The Slow Bake of Our Infrastructure.”