Tag: logic

Background Briefing: August 6, 2019


Grassroots Pressure Can Defeat the NRA

We begin with the turnaround by Ohio’s NRA-approved Republican governor now offering 17 gun safety measures in response to public heckling demanding he do something about gun violence in an encouraging sign that grassroots pressure can break the grip of the NRA which has killed every effort at gun control in the wake of evermore horrific gun massacres. Joshua Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and author of “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea”, joins us to discuss the need for citizens to act on their outrage at the growing lack of public safety in this country because congress is more interested in protecting the rights of a minority of fervent gun owners over the rights of children to be safe at schools, worshippers safe in their places of worship and shoppers safe in malls. And while the NRA has been weakened by internal financial scandals and infiltration by a Russian spy, congressional Republicans are cowering before the same minority of gun owners they fear could organize a grassroots primary challenge. Meanwhile Trump and Mitch McConnell parrot NRA talking points blaming these recurring massacres on video games and mental health but some progress is being made at the state level on Extreme Risk Protection laws which Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal are taking up in the U.S. Senate as Red Flag laws.


Trump Is Starting a Nuclear Cold War with China

Then with the nation roiling from hate and riven by division sown by our racist leader, on the world stage this ignorant and incompetent president is causing as much if not more damage because of what he says and even more from what he does not do to protect democracies and defend allies. Michael Fuchs, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama Administration and is the author with Morton Halperin of “The Survival and the Success of Liberty: A Democracy Agenda for U.S. Foreign Policy”, joins us to discuss Trump’s absence in dealing with rifts between our Asian allies South Korea and Japan and his recklessness in allowing a nuclear Cold War with China to get started.


The Left Can Win with Both Facts and Feelings on Their Side

Then finally we speak with Ben Burgis, who teaches philosophy and Rutgers University and is the author of the new book, just out, “Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left”. He joins us to discuss how the left has ceded too much ground to the right and must learn how to argue and persuade and not react to right wing sophistry dressed up as logic. Rather than leave logic to right wing fantasists like Ben Shapiro, whose slogan is “facts don’t care about your feelings”, instead the left should engage in rigorous evidence-based thinking as the essential tool to win arguments in the service of left politics, with both facts and feelings on their side.