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America Explained is a podcast about American politics, foreign policy & culture for an international audience. Every fortnight it brings you the voices and perspectives shaping America - and its impact on the world - today. Hosted by historian and column

Andy Gawthorpe


    • Nov 16, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • every other week NEW EPISODES
    • 29m AVG DURATION
    • 64 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from America Explained

    Interpreting the midterms

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 20:45


    *** Check out the free America Explained newsletter for a few posts a month on American politics and foreign policy ***Democrats had one of the best midterm showings of the postwar era. In this episode, Andy explains how Joe Biden's strategy of reaching out to independent and even right-wing voters has been vindicated. He also talks about what's next for the GOP, which has been engulfed in chaos since its poor showing last week.Follow Andy on Twitter for more.CreditsHost - Andy GawthorpeResearcher, editorial assistant - Catherine Wood

    Midterms: What to expect (bonus episode)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 42:00


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few posts a month on American politics and foreign policy *** In this episode, Andy and Catherine discuss next week's midterms. We talk about the current polls and why they seem to have got worse for the Democrats in the last few weeks, then highlight some important ballot initiatives and races taking place across the country. Finally, we talk about what implications the midterms might have for the future of American democracy and U.S. foreign policy towards Ukraine. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Researcher, editorial assistant, host - Catherine Wood

    The politics of student debt relief

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 29:32


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few posts a month on American politics and foreign policy *** In August, President Biden announced substantial student debt forgiveness. This step has been so long coming - and proven so controversial - because the value and role of education have become deeply contested issues in American culture. This episode takes a look at Biden's decision and unpacks why. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Researcher and editorial assistant - Catherine Wood

    How will the Ukraine war end?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 25:26


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few posts a month on American politics and foreign policy *** The war in Ukraine has entered a new phase as Kiev's counteroffensive throws Russia off-balance and raises fears that Moscow might escalate the war to a new level. If the West previously feared that Kiev might quickly collapse, now NATO officials whisper about a more difficult challenge - might Ukraine eventually need to be restrained from pushing Putin so far that he takes an action which might change the world forever? In this episode Andy discusses the dynamics of this new phase of the conflict and why they make the coming months so dangerous. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Researcher and editorial assistant - Catherine Wood

    Primaries: what's the deal?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 24:30


    It always seems to be election season in America, and one reason is the system of primary elections, in which each party picks its candidate before the general election. But why do primaries exist, and are they a good idea? In this episode Andy explores the history of primaries and what impact they have on American politics today. Is there a particular question you want answered about America? Drop me a line below and I'll address it in a future episode. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy's Twitter profile). Email Andy. Credits Andy Gawthorpe - host

    From the archive: Why does the right love Hungary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 21:48


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** The American conservative movement has a strange love affair with Hungary's authoritarian leader Viktor Orban - so much so that recently the biggest annual event in conservative politics will be held in Budapest. In this episode, Andy explores the religious and cultural roots of Orban-mania, and talks about why Hungary is a poor model for the United States. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    What should we cover?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 1:53


    America Explained is taking a two-week summer break. In the meantime, we want to hear from YOU about what you would like us to cover on the show in the coming year. Let Andy know by writing to him either on Twitter or email: https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy's Twitter profile). Email Andy.

    Biden up, Trump down

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 30:54


    What a week. Joe Biden passed the most significant piece of federal climate legislation ever, topping off a streak of recent wins including the lowering of drug prices for working Americans and efforts to revive American manufacturing. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is back where he usually is - mired in scandal and in trouble with the law. What does this contrast tell us about American politics right now, and might Trump finally face his comeuppance? Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Pelosi in Taiwan

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 21:06


    Nancy Pelosi has touched down in Taiwan for a visit which has generated huge pushback from Beijing and divisions in Washington, where Republicans are supportive but the Biden White House wishes she would have just flown home instead. How did we get here? Why is the visit so controversial? And is it a good idea? Andy unpacks it all. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/01/opinion/nancy-pelosi-taiwan-china.html (Tom Friedman on why the trip is reckless). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Biden's Middle East quagmire

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 25:33


    Joe Biden just wrapped up a four-day week to the Middle East in which he delivered the fist-bump heard around the world to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi dictator who Biden previously swore he would never so much as speak to. Why has Biden gone back on the principles that he said would guide his foreign policy? This episode explores the role of oil, China, and much more. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Roe is dead. Long live America?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 25:15


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, destroying the right to an abortion. In this episode Andy talks about the conservative legal theory behind the decision and what it means for the future, and also talks about the likely impact of the decision on American politics. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    AI and the future of warfare

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 38:28


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** How might artificial intelligence change the nature of warfare, and what political and ethical dilemmas does it pose in civilian society? Nowadays popular culture is full of speculation about these questions, but popular films and TV series often run far ahead of reality, while at the same time downplaying the dangers which exist in the real world. In this episode I interviewed Dr. Kenneth Payne, author of a great - and highly-acclaimed - https://www.amazon.com/Warbot-Dawn-Artificially-Intelligent-Conflict/dp/0197611699/ref=sr_1_1?crid=21DD30AQ05FCO&keywords=payne+warbot&qid=1655215535&sprefix=payne+warbo%2Caps%2C138&sr=8-1 (new book) on war and artificial intelligence about these questions, and more. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). https://www.amazon.com/Warbot-Dawn-Artificially-Intelligent-Conflict/dp/0197611699/ref=sr_1_1?crid=21DD30AQ05FCO&keywords=payne+warbot&qid=1655215535&sprefix=payne+warbo%2Caps%2C138&sr=8-1 (Kenneth's new book). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    From the archive: One mass shooting a day

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 21:53


    Hey! Andy here. I've got covid, so I'm reposting this still-topical episode from last year. New stuff coming soon! So far this year, there has been at least one mass shooting per day in the United States. And while you might think that this would lead to calls for tighter gun regulation, the Supreme Court just decided to take up a case which will probably see it declare unconstitutional just the type of regulation which is needed to stem the epidemic of violence. In this episode we explore the surprising origins of the modern gun rights movement in black activism, and the changes which subsequently made it such a powerful force in conservative politics. For more, follow our host https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy Gawthorpe) on Twitter.

    From the archive: Lock Trump up?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 23:38


    This episode from last year took a look at the legal and accountability issues which still dog Trump. Nearly a year later, there is little sign that the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland are seeking justice for Trump's illegal actions during his presidency. What happens to America when presidents are not accountable for their actions? https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    What comes after Roe?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 23:02


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** What does the leaked draft Supreme Court ruling mean for the future of abortion rights in America and of American politics? In this episode Andy breaks down what the ruling would do and why it is dangerous for American democracy. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    From the archive: No, America isn't headed for civil war

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 29:51


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Recently there's been a lot of talk about the idea that America might be headed for a new civil war. But how likely is it that Donald Trump will declare Mar-a-Lago to be the capital of a new MAGA-nated States of America and wage war on the deep state? As Andy explores in this episode, it's not very likely at all - and all of these overblown concerns about civil war are distracting liberals from the much more real - and arguably more dangerous - challenges they face. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Why does the right love Hungary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 21:48


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** The American conservative movement has a strange love affair with Hungary's authoritarian leader Viktor Orban - so much so that next month the biggest annual event in conservative politics will be held in Budapest. In this episode, Andy explores the religious and cultural roots of Orban-mania, and talks about why Hungary is a poor model for the United States. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    What is intersectionality?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2022 38:26


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for occasional written posts on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Intersectionality and critical race theory have become big issues in American politics in recent years. But watching that "debate" - if we can even call it that - has not been a great way to get informed about what these topics mean and what their history is. In this episode I clear it up with Shanah Khan, coordinator of Intersecting Madrid and a researcher into U.S. intersectionality issues. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.intersectmadrid.org%2F&data=04%7C01%7Ca.j.gawthorpe%40hum.leidenuniv.nl%7C9d9b7a0c9b73480c87dc08da10dbd6b1%7Cca2a7f76dbd74ec091086b3d524fb7c8%7C0%7C0%7C637840834195170108%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=Y8r%2BC%2F5b2z9u5S%2F3nyGAQX2f4wzn7jbSgQH8J%2FoWiA4%3D&reserved=0 (Shanah's organization, Intersect Madrid). https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fopen.spotify.com%2Fshow%2F40xmURCXx49tFObn9aTSei%3Fsi%3DaCKICDsCSTObTWv_LJriqA&data=04%7C01%7Ca.j.gawthorpe%40hum.leidenuniv.nl%7C9d9b7a0c9b73480c87dc08da10dbd6b1%7Cca2a7f76dbd74ec091086b3d524fb7c8%7C0%7C0%7C637840834195170108%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=Ccn2M9DXUkk%2FWpCfbD1OgHyMfmYknXUqckyrKKk2%2B%2FM%3D&reserved=0 (Shanah's podcast). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    How is Biden handling Ukraine?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2022 28:09


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** In this episode, Andy discusses how the Biden administration has handled the Russian invasion of Ukraine so far. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Russian nukes on alert (emergency episode)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 27, 2022 20:58


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Just as this episode was being recorded, Russia announced its nuclear forces are being placed on alert. Andy discusses this as well as the current course of the ground conflict, and the truly unprecedented sanctions the West is considering against Russia - so unprecedented they seem to have sparked a nuclear response. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    What to fear in Ukraine (emergency episode)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2022 16:48


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** The Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun. In this extra episode Andy gives a brief rundown of the situation right now and talks about his fears for the coming weeks and months. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    How important is Ukraine to America?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2022 45:12


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** As the crisis over Ukraine continues to unfold, there is one big question hovering behind it: Just how important is the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine to the United States? And is that importance based on material considerations or a broader but more abstract concern about the "liberal international order"? In order to chew over the latest developments in the situation and also address this more fundamental question, I invited back onto the show Edmund Flett, the host of an international affairs podcast here in The Netherlands. https://soundcloud.com/issa_podcast (The podcast Edmund hosts). https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). https://amerex.substack.com/p/nato-should-cut-its-losses-in-ukraine (Check out Andy's post about Ukraine in the America Explained newsletter). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    From the archive: #StopAsianHate

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2022 47:41


    *** Check out the https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained Substack newsletter) for a few free written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Over the past year, more and more attention has been focused on an issue which has long been submerged in mainstream discussions of American politics - racism and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. A wave of scapegoating and hate crimes related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the tragic spa shootings in Atlanta have made it clear how much work there still is to be done to fight this scourge. My guest today, Jeff Le, has been at the forefront of doing that work. A former policymaker who served at the highest levels of California state government as a Deputy Cabinet Secretary and deployed to Afghanistan to serve his country, over the last year Jeff has been speaking out not only about anti-Asian violence but also the structural barriers which face Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in American politics and workplaces. We had a frank and enlightening conversation, and I hope you enjoy it. Follow Andy on Twitter https://twitter.com/andygawt (@andygawt) for more. Links to Jeff's writing https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/04/03/asian-american-aapi-political-power-covid-19-478845 (I Though I Knew How to Succeed as an Asian in U.S. Politics. I Was Wrong) (Politico) https://centerforhealthjournalism.org/2021/05/20/how-california-can-combat-anti-aapi-hate (How California Can Combat Anti-AAPI Attacks) (Center for Health Journalism) https://eu.usatoday.com/in-depth/opinion/voices/2021/05/17/aapi-asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-build-america/4939074001/ (Interview with USA Today). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    No, America isn't headed for civil war

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 29:51


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Recently there's been a lot of talk about the idea that America might be headed for a new civil war. But how likely is it that Donald Trump will declare Mar-a-Lago to be the capital of a new MAGA-nated States of America and wage war on the deep state? As Andy explores in this episode, it's not very likely at all - and all of these overblown concerns about civil war are distracting liberals from the much more real - and arguably more dangerous - challenges they face. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    From the archive: Are Democrats anti-Israel?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 29:58


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** As violence shook the Middle East over the past few weeks, a debate was raging in the United States over American support for Israel. It has seemed to many observers that the Democratic Party is increasingly turning against Israel. This episode breaks down the party's debate over Israel and argues that less has changed than meets the eye. Follow Andy on Twitter https://twitter.com/andygawt (@andygawt) for more. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    The case for abandoning Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 33:18


    *** Check out the free https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Russia is threatening war with Ukraine, and demanding that America give in to a whole host of demands if conflict is to be avoided. In this episode, Andy explores how the roots of this conflict lie in NATO's expansion eastwards after the end of the Cold War, and makes the case that if the United States isn't willing to actually militarily defend Ukraine, the only moral thing to do is to negotiate a way out. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). https://amerex.substack.com/p/nato-should-cut-its-losses-in-ukraine (Check out Andy's post about Ukraine in the America Explained newsletter). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe

    Was Roe v. Wade bad for the left?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 26:56


    *** Check out the https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained Substack newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** We stand on the brink of a transformation in abortion rights in America. Just last week the Supreme Court seemed to indicate its openness to gutting Roe in a decision which could come as soon as next June. Meanwhile, earlier this year Texas used a novel legal strategy to ban most abortions in the state, effectively ending Roe as a national standard. This episode discusses the history of Roe and its sister case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, analyzes the likely political impact of a decision to annul them, and also asks a question posed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg - was seeking to establish abortion rights in the courts rather than Congress ultimately a bad move for the left? https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Biden, the U.S., and China

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 34:48


    *** Check out the https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained Substack newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** After nearly a year in office, how has the Biden administration changed U.S.-China relations? And what sort of legacy was left by Donald Trump? In this wide-ranging conversation with Xiaoxue Martin, a China expert at the Clingendael Institute think tank in The Netherlands, we discuss the overall state of relations and most important sticking points in the relationship - Taiwan and trade. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    How are Democrats doing?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 24:56


    *** Check out the https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained Substack newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** Democrats have enjoyed unified control of the federal government for nearly a year. What have they done with that opportunity? Two developments last week - elections in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere, and the passage by Congress of a historic piece of infrastructure legislation - give us the chance to assess where they're at. Follow https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy on Twitter) for more. Check out two articles Andy wrote in The Guardian last week: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/05/the-real-lesson-of-the-election-results-democrats-must-go-big-and-bold (The real lesson of the election results? Democrats must go big and bold). https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/07/biden-scored-a-major-victory-on-infrastructure-but-is-it-enough (Biden scored a major victory on infrastructure. But is it enough?) Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    From the archive: Race in America

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 35:15


    *** Check out the https://amerex.substack.com/ (America Explained Substack newsletter) for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam *** In this, the first ever episode of America Explained, I talked with Professor Marcia Chatelain from Georgetown about her book Franchise, a history of fast food and capitalism in African-American communities which has now won a Pulitzer Prize. In a conversation taped before the 2020 election, we also talked about how the politics of racial justice might change in the post-Trump era, and whether the high level of racial mobilization we saw in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd might be maintained. Judge for yourself whether we were right, and let me know what you think by email or https://twitter.com/andygawt (on Twitter).

    Special: The U.S., China, and AUKUS

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 40:07


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** This is a special episode in which Andy is interviewed by the host of the ISSA podcast at Leiden University, Edmund Flett, about U.S. foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific, the U.S.-Chinese relationship, and America's latest security relationship in the region. Let https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy know what you think on Twitter) and check out more ISSA podcasts https://soundcloud.com/issa_podcast (here).

    The pivot to Asia is back

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 25:54


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Last week Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a new security agreement aimed at militarily containing China. In this episode I discuss what the agreement is, how it has its roots in the Obama administration, and why Europe is looking less relevant than ever to America's foreign policy. Follow https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy on Twitter) for more. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Who lost Afghanistan?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 34:32


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** It's been about a month since Kabul fell to the Taliban, signifying America's defeat in one of the longest wars it has ever fought. While so much commentary has focused on blaming the Biden administration for either the decision to withdraw or the way the withdrawal was handled, this episode explores the deeper failures which led to America's defeat. I explored these issues with my guest Jeffrey Michaels, a former Pentagon official and NATO historian who is now a senior fellow at the Barcelona Institute for International Affairs. Follow https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy on Twitter) for more. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    From the archive: RAGE!!!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 35:35


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** It's no secret that American politics has been filled with rage in recent years. On cable news, on social media feeds, at demonstrations, riots and insurrections, a seemingly limitless supply of anger has been spilling into view. But what are the consequences of this rage for the health of American democracy? My guest today, Steven Webster from Indiana University, has recently published a book on just that topic. In this episode we talked through how anger reduces faith in government, causes people to abandon their commitment to democracy, and increases their partisan loyalty. I'll be honest - it's not an optimistic conversation. But it is one that will really deepen your understanding of the current political moment. Follow me on Twitter @andygawt for more. Steven's book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/American-Rage-Anger-Shapes-Politics/dp/1108811922 His other academic work: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=vUgcCIAAAAAJ&hl=en Popular article about his work: https://theconversation.com/angry-americans-how-political-rage-helps-campaigns-but-hurts-democracy-145819 Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    The Taliban rout America

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2021 32:29


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** The Taliban are back in Kabul. The U.S.-backed Afghan government and military have collapsed much faster than almost anyone predicted. What does this mean for U.S. politics and foreign policy? And was there another way? Host Andy Gawthorpe breaks down the issues and looks at the long-term issues raised by the weekend's events. Follow https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy on Twitter) for more. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    From the archive: American exceptionalism

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 35:13


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** America Explained is taking a short summer break over August, so we're going to be bringing you two of my favorite episodes from the archive. We'll be back with lots of great new material in September - until then, enjoy this great interview about American exceptionalism with Hilde Restad. Americans have always liked to believe that their country is special - or, as the phrase goes, exceptional. And as a consequence of believing that their country is exceptional, many Americans have also believed that it has a uniquely uplifting and moral role to play in international affairs. But in Donald Trump, America has had a president who explicitly rejected the idea of his country's exceptionality for the first time, calling into question America's role in the world and the strength of its democracy at home. In order to find out more about the significance of Trump's rejection of this idea, I interviewed Dr. Hilde Restad from Bjørknes College in Norway. Hilde is a leading expert on American exceptionalism, and we had a great conversation not just about Trump but also the broader history of the concept, how other recent presidents (particularly Obama) had related to it, and whether we can expect a return to business as usual now that Biden is in office. Hilde's article on Trump and American exceptionalism: https://tnsr.org/2019/12/whither-the-city-upon-a-hill-donald-trump-america-first-and-american-exceptionalism/ Hilde's book: https://www.routledge.com/American-Exceptionalism-An-Idea-that-Made-a-Nation-and-Remade-the-World/Restad/p/book/9781138096769 Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    #StopAsianHate

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2021 47:41


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Over the past year, more and more attention has been focused on an issue which has long been submerged in mainstream discussions of American politics - racism and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. A wave of scapegoating and hate crimes related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the tragic spa shootings in Atlanta have made it clear how much work there still is to be done to fight this scourge. My guest today, Jeff Le, has been at the forefront of doing that work. A former policymaker who served at the highest levels of California state government as a Deputy Cabinet Secretary and deployed to Afghanistan to serve his country, over the last year Jeff has been speaking out not only about anti-Asian violence but also the structural barriers which face Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in American politics and workplaces. We had a frank and enlightening conversation, and I hope you enjoy it. Follow Andy on Twitter https://twitter.com/andygawt (@andygawt) for more. Links to Jeff's writing https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/04/03/asian-american-aapi-political-power-covid-19-478845 (I Though I Knew How to Succeed as an Asian in U.S. Politics. I Was Wrong) (Politico) https://centerforhealthjournalism.org/2021/05/20/how-california-can-combat-anti-aapi-hate (How California Can Combat Anti-AAPI Attacks) (Center for Health Journalism) https://eu.usatoday.com/in-depth/opinion/voices/2021/05/17/aapi-asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-build-america/4939074001/ (Interview with USA Today). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    Lock Trump up?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 23:38


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Last week Trump's business and its Chief Financial Officer were hit by criminal charges related to a tax evasion scheme. But Trump himself hasn't been charged, and there seems little prospect that he will be held accountable for the legion of crimes he seems to have committed both while president and beforehand. What does this mean for his political future? And what does it mean for America when its presidents can commit crimes with impunity? https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Why liberals can't tell stories

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2021 30:28


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** The most successful politicians are often the most successful storytellers. Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan - they all excelled at telling spinning narratives with which their supporters could identify. But what if one side of the political battle is much more adept at telling stories than the other? That's the argument of David Ricci, an emeritus professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who joined me for this episode. In his book Politics Without Stories: The Liberal Predicament, Professor Ricci argued that conservative stories are more effective than liberal stories, giving the left a structural disadvantage in American politics. Tune in to find out why. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Joe Manchin's America

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2021 24:14


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** On Sunday, the Democratic Senator from West Virginia dropped a bombshell. Joe Manchin said he will refuse to vote for any legislation to advance or protect voting rights in America unless ten Republican senators back it as well - an impossibly high bar, particularly at a time when Republicans all over the country are pushing to make voting harder and seize control of the democratic process in the states. This episode explores what's at stake, talks about why the progressive campaign to pressure Manchin to change his mind seems doomed to failure, and talks about what comes next. https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter for more). Usually we release episodes every two weeks. This one comes just a week after our last episode and - unless something big happens - the next, an interview I'm very excited about, will be two weeks from today. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Are Democrats anti-Israel?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2021 29:58


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** As violence shook the Middle East over the past few weeks, a debate was raging in the United States over American support for Israel. It has seemed to many observers that the Democratic Party is increasingly turning against Israel. This episode breaks down the party's debate over Israel and argues that less has changed than meets the eye. Follow Andy on Twitter https://twitter.com/andygawt (@andygawt) for more. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    RAGE!!!

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2021 33:42


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** It's no secret that American politics has been filled with rage in recent years. On cable news, on social media feeds, at demonstrations, riots and insurrections, a seemingly limitless supply of anger has been spilling into view. But what are the consequences of this rage for the health of American democracy? My guest today, Steven Webster from Indiana University, has recently published a book on just that topic. In this episode we talked through how anger reduces faith in government, causes people to abandon their commitment to democracy, and increases their partisan loyalty. I'll be honest - it's not an optimistic conversation. But it is one that will really deepen your understanding of the current political moment. Follow me on Twitter @andygawt for more. Steven's book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/American-Rage-Anger-Shapes-Politics/dp/1108811922 His other academic work: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=vUgcCIAAAAAJ&hl=en Popular article about his work: https://theconversation.com/angry-americans-how-political-rage-helps-campaigns-but-hurts-democracy-145819 Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    Trump, Biden, and Israel (bonus episode)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2021 22:36


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Just a few weeks ago, former Trump administration officials were still claiming that they had brought peace to the Middle East. But the latest round of violence demonstrates that their approach was deeply flawed and only set the conditions for long-term escalation. Meanwhile, the Biden team has clearly been caught flat-footed, having been distracted by other issues and not yet having a clear strategy for the region - or even an ambassador in Israel - in place. This episode explores the recent background of American policy in the region under Trump and the challenges it has created for Biden today. Want more? https://twitter.com/andygawt (Follow Andy on Twitter). Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    One mass shooting a day

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2021 21:53


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** So far this year, there has been at least one mass shooting per day in the United States. And while you might think that this would lead to calls for tighter gun regulation, the Supreme Court just decided to take up a case which will probably see it declare unconstitutional just the type of regulation which is needed to stem the epidemic of violence. In this episode we explore the surprising origins of the modern gun rights movement in black activism, and the changes which subsequently made it such a powerful force in conservative politics. For more, follow our host https://twitter.com/andygawt (Andy Gawthorpe) on Twitter. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop

    The politics of voter suppression

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2021 30:54


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** In response to the Big Lie - that last November's election was stolen from them - Republicans are moving to pass voter suppression legislation across dozens of American states, most prominently in Georgia. In this episode I'm joined by former Obama campaign official Karin Robinson to discuss the scariest parts of the voter suppression effort, how the politics of it affect the Democratic and Republican coalitions, and what the Biden administration might do in response. Links Andy on GOP tensions with Big Business: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/14/republicans-big-business-democrats-us-politics NY Times - what Georgia voting law really does: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/us/politics/georgia-voting-law-annotated.html Trump's Big Lie could backfire in Georgia: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/27/opinions/trump-big-lie-georgia-republicans-voting-restrictions-dantonio/index.html Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    Debating Afghan withdrawal (bonus episode)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2021 19:47


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** This last week, Joe Biden announced the biggest foreign policy move of his administration so far - a plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan this year. In this episode we talk about the arguments for and against withdrawal, why this isn't so straightforward of a win for progressives as it might appear, and how Afghanistan fits into American national security priorities going forward. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    Joe Biden, savior of global democracy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 25:25


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** All over the world, democracy is in retreat and authoritarianism is on the march. The Biden administration has put the advancement of democracy around the world at the center of its foreign policy agenda. But at the same time, American foreign relations always involves relationships with autocrats and dictators. In this episode we take a survey of the world - from the Middle East to Russia and China - to talk about American relations with autocracies and what they mean for this broader pro-democracy agenda. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    Southern border blues

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2021 29:15


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Arrivals of migrants and refugees at the southern border are surging - this year could see over two million border-crossers, the highest level in 20 years. The Biden administration inherited a deeply broken refugee admission system from Trump, but it has also made its own choices which are shaping what is happening at the border - including the decision to keep sending everyone who arrives back, with the exception of unaccompanied children. This decision has come with at a humanitarian cost, with thousands of children packed into detention facilities as they wait to be released into the country. In this episode we explore the recent history of American migration policy, why it is that so many refugees are arriving right now, and what the Biden administration might do in the future to cope with the flow. Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Designer/advisor - Janice Killion Growth consultant - Anne Stoop If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com. Links Breakdown of border crossers by type (and more). https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2021/3/22/22335816/border-crisis-migrant-hurricane-eta-iota (Reasons for refugee flow from Central America). https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/mexico-closes-its-southern-border-to-non-essential-travel (Mexico dispatches troops to border). https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-children-explainer-idUSKBN2BA11B (Why are more children arriving).

    Where's the beef? It's with Uncle Sam

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2021 32:43


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** The coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and animal cruelty in industrial agriculture - all are contributing to a growing awareness that something is amiss in our relationship with animals. Meat alternatives have never been more popular. But at the same time, there are enormous headwinds which keep meat on our plates - cultural, political, even ideas about how meat is linked to masculinity. In this episode I speak to Chris Deutsch, a historian from the University of Missouri, about the history of meat production and consumption in America - and how the U.S. government has worked to encourage Americans to eat more meat. Chris on meatpacking and coronavirus: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/05/01/meatpacking-work-has-gotten-less-safe-now-it-threatens-our-meat-supply/ Follow Chris on Twitter for updates on his book, Beeftopia: @dr_cdeutsch Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Designer/advisor - Janice Killion Growth consultant - Anne Stoop Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    Plague, disaster, and scandal

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2021 28:27


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** It often seemed over the last four years that with so much media attention focused on Donald Trump's daily outrages, there was little oxygen left for more normal types of political scandal. But the coronavirus and the monster winter storm which recently battered the United States have left many state governors trapped in a quagmire of scandal of their own. This episode explores how three of the largest states in the U.S. - Texas, California and New York - are each having struggles of their own. Explaining the Texas power grid's isolation: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-power-failure-could-finally-cause-texas-to-connect-with-the-nations-power-grids1/ Krugman on Texas: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/opinion/texas-storm-power.html Andrew Cuomo is no hero: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/20/andrew-cuomo-new-york-coronavirus-catastrophe California recall effort goes mainstream: https://www.usnews.com/news/elections/articles/2021-02-19/gavin-newsom-and-the-coronavirus-driven-california-recall-effort Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Growth consultant - Anne Stoop Designer/advisor - Janice Killion Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

    American exceptionalism

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2021 36:58


    *** Check out the America Explained Substack newsletter for a few written posts a month on the big issues in U.S. politics and foreign policy and no extra spam: https://amerex.substack.com/ *** Americans have always liked to believe that their country is special - or, as the phrase goes, exceptional. And as a consequence of believing that their country is exceptional, many Americans have also believed that it has a uniquely uplifting and moral role to play in international affairs. But in Donald Trump, America has had a president who explicitly rejected the idea of his country's exceptionality for the first time, calling into question America's role in the world and the strength of its democracy at home. In order to find out more about the significance of Trump's rejection of this idea, I interviewed Dr. Hilde Restad from Bjørknes College in Norway. Hilde is a leading expert on American exceptionalism, and we had a great conversation not just about Trump but also the broader history of the concept, how other recent presidents (particularly Obama) had related to it, and whether we can expect a return to business as usual now that Biden is in office. Hilde's article on Trump and American exceptionalism: https://tnsr.org/2019/12/whither-the-city-upon-a-hill-donald-trump-america-first-and-american-exceptionalism/ Hilde's book: https://www.routledge.com/American-Exceptionalism-An-Idea-that-Made-a-Nation-and-Remade-the-World/Restad/p/book/9781138096769 Credits Host - Andy Gawthorpe Designer/advisor - Janice Killion Check out our Facebook page, where we're growing an international community of listeners interested in American politics, foreign policy & culture. If you have any questions or comments, you can email the show on producer@america-explained.com.

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