Tag: misinformation

Background Briefing: December 8, 2021


The American Political Philosopher the New Chancellor of Germany Consulted

We begin with the election today of the new Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz and speak with an American political philosopher who was contacted by Scholz back in December who asked for his advice on winning back working class voters who had moved to the right in support of populist politicians like Trump in the U.S. and the AfD party in Germany. Joining us is Michael Sandel, who teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His books What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? were international best sellers and have been translated into 27 languages, and his course “Justice” was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and has been viewed by tens of millions. His BBC series “The Public Philosopher” explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with participants from around the world, and his latest book is The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? We discuss whether the Democrats will take a cue from Scholz’s success in winning back alienated working class voters and whether they will borrow what was the centerpiece of Scholz’s campaign that showed respect to workers and celebrated the dignity of work.


Trying to Understand the Trump Party Propelled by Hate and Anger With no Policies, Plans or Platform

Then we try 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 is John Nichols, who is The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent. His 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 discuss 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.