How to Save American Democracy From the Trump 2.0 Revenge Machine
We begin as this year ends with selected programs from our archives following yesterday’s coverage of events from the middle of the year, today we will cover stories from later in the year before special programming on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We will begin with a broadcast of Background Briefing from July 23, 2023 How to Save American Democracy From the Trump 2.0 Revenge Machine. We began with the unavoidable observation that Donald Trump appears to have the Republican presidential nomination wrapped up and that the growing number of indictments and criminal trials he will be facing only seems to strengthen the MAGA movement and boost his chances to be elected the next president of the United States. Joining us to discuss the best chance of beating Trump by forming a coalition of Democrats and traditional Republicans was Miles Taylor, a national security expert who works in Washington, DC. He served as chief of staff for Kirstjen Nielsen, the former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, where he published an “Anonymous” essay in The New York Times, blowing the whistle on presidential misconduct. He later published the #1 national bestseller A Warning, revealed himself to be the author, and launched a campaign of ex-officials, the Renew America Movement, to oppose Donald Trump’s reelection and his new book is Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy from the Next Trump.
How the US Constitution’s Protection Against a Tyranny of the Majority Has Enabled the Opposite
Then we go to a broadcast of Background Briefing from September 19, 2023 How the US Constitution’s Protection Against a Tyranny of the Majority Has Enabled the Opposite. We began with how the U.S. Constitution, which was designed in part to protect against a tyranny of the majority, has generated the opposite problem by enabling a tyranny of the minority with the U.S. today more vulnerable to minority rule or even anti-democratic rule than any other established democracy. We were joined by two scholars with the most insight into the health of democracy at home and abroad, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, professors of government at Harvard University and the authors of the New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, which won the Goldsmith Book Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Time, and Foreign Affairs. Steven Levitsky’s research focuses on Latin America and the developing world and he is the author of Competitive Authoritarianism and Daniel Ziblatt studies Europe from the nineteenth century to the present and is the author of Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy. We discussed their latest book, just out, Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point.
After the 565th Mass Shooting This Year, a Look at Red and Yellow Flag Laws
Then finally we play a broadcast of Background Briefing from October 29, 2023 After the 565th Mass Shooting This Year, a Look at Red and Yellow Flag Laws. Following the 565th mass shooting this year, we examined the glaring inadequacy of the red and yellow flag laws meant to confiscate firearms from mentally ill people who pose a danger to themselves and others. We spoke with Jonathan Metzl, professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and director of its Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. A prominent expert on gun violence and mental illness, he is the author of several books including Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland, and his forthcoming book is What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms.