The Argument

Follow The Argument
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

The other side is dangerously wrong. They think you are too. But for democracy to work, we need to hear each other out. Each week New York Times Opinion columnists David Leonhardt, Michelle Goldberg and Ross Douthat explain the arguments from across the political spectrum. Their candid debates help…

The New York Times Opinion


    • Nov 23, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 35m AVG DURATION
    • 213 EPISODES

    4.1 from 5,776 ratings Listeners of The Argument that love the show mention: ross douthat, jane coaston, columnists, goldberg, doh, spindrift, eagerly look forward, nyt, ross provides, differing perspectives, michelle makes, one major flaw, secession, three person, intelligent and articulate, agree to disagree, respectful discussion, collegial, love jane, jane is a great.



    Search for episodes from The Argument with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from The Argument

    Best of: Is the News Media Setting Trump Up for Another Win?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 33:18


    This week, we're bringing you an episode from our archives that's more relevant than ever.After former President Donald Trump's recent announcement of his 2024 White House bid — and his reinstatement on Twitter — there's the matter of the media: What role should the press play in preserving democratic institutions?When we first asked this question back in December 2021, Times Opinion columnist Ross Douthat pushed back on media critics like N.Y.U. associate professor Jay Rosen, who asserted that the press should strive to be “pro-truth, pro-voting, anti-racist, and aggressively pro-democracy.” Ross disagreed, claiming that such a stance could feed more polarization. Together, Jane, Ross and Jay debate how the press should cover politics, and Donald Trump, in a democratic society.Mentioned in this episode:“Can the Press Prevent a Trump Restoration?” by Ross Douthat“You Cannot Keep From Getting Swept up in Trump's Agenda Without a Firm Grasp on Your Own” and “Two Paths Forward for the American Press,” by Jay Rosen, published in PressThink in May 2020 and November 2020, respectively.(A full transcript of the episode is available on the Times website.)

    Has Donald Trump Lost His Grip on the Republican Party?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 25:47


    Donald Trump is running for president — again. Yet the results of last week's midterms and the red wave that wasn't signaled that perhaps Trump's hold on the Republican Party isn't so strong after all. But now that he's back on the presidential stage, what does it mean for the future of the Republican Party? Today on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston convenes two conservative writers to provide an analysis of the party now. Ross Douthat is a columnist for Times Opinion and Kevin D. Williamson is a national correspondent for The Dispatch. Together they discuss the G.O.P.'s post-midterm vibes, how a Trump vs. DeSantis battle could play out and what the conservative movement really stands for.Note: This episode contains explicit language.Read more from this episode:Kevin D. Williamson's guest essay, “Why Trump Could Win Again”Ross Douthat's newsletter for New York Times Opinion and his column “Did Ron DeSantis Just Become the 2024 Republican Frontrunner?”Sohrab Ahmari's guest essay, “Why the Red Wave Didn't Materialize”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    About Last Night: Michelle Cottle and Ross Douthat on the Midterms Winners and Losers

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 24:37


    As midterm election results continue to trickle in, one thing is clear: There's no predicting American voters. After an unexpected showing for Democrats in tight races across the country, Jane Coaston speaks with the Times editorial board member Michelle Cottle and the Opinion columnist Ross Douthat to recap what happened at the polls. Together they discuss how the Democrats won “the expectations game,” who had the worst night (Donald Trump) and what the clouded results reveal about the bigger story of American democracy. “What we are looking at is an electorate that is feeling unsettled, and neither party made the case that they were going to provide the strength, stability, normalcy to create a wave election,” Cottle says.(A full transcript of the episode will be available on the Times website.)

    The Price of $5 Donations: Is Small-Dollar Fund-Raising Doing More Harm Than Good?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 33:45


    As midterm frenzy reaches its peak, your inbox might be full of imploring fund-raising emails with increasingly desperate headlines: “Just $3 can make all the difference.” “Can you chip in today?” “Ultimately, it's up to you.” In theory, the small-dollar donation model is a good thing: It enables voters to have a say in who their candidates are and counterbalances the influence of superdonors and industry lobbyists. But as extremist candidates increasingly adopt grass-roots approaches and self-fund-raise their way into Congress, could small-dollar donations be doing more harm to our democracy than good?Today's guests come to the debate from different positions. Tim Miller is a former Republican strategist and current writer at large for The Bulwark who believes that there are real dangers to the grass-roots model. “Our online fund-raising system is not only enriching scam artists, clogging our inboxes and inflaming the electorate; it is also empowering our politics' most nefarious actors,” Miller wrote recently in a guest essay for Times Opinion. On the other side is Micah Sifry, a co-founder of Civic Hall and the writer of The Connector, a newsletter about democracy, organizing and tech. Sifry thinks that, yes, small-dollar donations fund extremists, but they can also enable progressive politicians to hold powerful interests accountable as independently funded candidates. “Some politicians are going to get money for their campaigns who I disagree with, but you've got to live with that because the alternative is oligarchy,” Sifry says.Mentioned in this episode:“The Most Toxic Politicians Are Dragging Us to Hell With Emails and Texts,” by Tim Miller in The New York Times“Fed Up With Democratic Emails? You're Not the Only One.” by Lara Putnam and Micah Sifry in The New York Times“Don't Blame Our Toxic Politics on Online Fund-raising,” by Micah Sifry in Medium(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    ‘Maybe Gen Z Is Just Kinder': How America's Youngest Voters are Shaping Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 34:53


    Members of Gen Z (Americans under 26 years old) have come of age during the Trump presidency and a pandemic, in an era of protests over police violence, attacks on reproductive rights, rising economic inequality, and frequent school shootings. These young people are calling for major changes, but many aren't confident that politicians will act with the urgency necessary to carry them out. As Gen Z voters consider the midterms, they are prioritizing the issues, not party allegiance.But with a history of low turnout, and disenchantment with politics across the spectrum, will young voters be moved enough by the issues to show up at the polls? And if so, will there be enough of them to sway decisive races?Today on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston convenes three voters in their early 20s to talk about how their families and communities have affected their politics, what matters most to them at the ballot box, and what they wish older Americans and politicians understood about people their age.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Has Polling Broken Politics?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 30:09


    Election Day is just three weeks away — and that means it's peak polling season. For political hobbyists, polling is the new sports betting: gamifying elections to predict outcomes that haven't always proven accurate. If the 2016 election revealed anything, it's that polls are sometimes off — very off. So as America faces another high-stakes election, how much faith should we put in them?On today's episode, Jane Coaston brings together two experts to diagnose what we're getting wrong in both how we conduct polls, and how we interpret the data they give us. Margie Omero is a longtime Democratic pollster and focus group moderator. Nate Silver, who prefers to call himself a “forecaster” rather than a pollster, is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight. Together, the two tackle how polling both reflects and affects the national political mood, and whether our appetite for election predictions is doing democracy more harm than good.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Is America Headed for Another Civil War?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 38:52


    America is divided and battling many different internal “wars” — over politics, culture, language, religion. Is it possible all this internal division could culminate in a civil war? Today's episode of “The Argument” brings together Jamelle Bouie and Tim Alberta to assess. Bouie is a Times Opinion columnist and historian of America's Civil War. Alberta is a staff writer at The Atlantic and made the case that the F.B.I. Mar-a-Lago search is the tipping point for political violence that could put our democracy at stake.Mentioned in this episode:“The Civil War” documentary by Ken Burns“Oklahoma City” documentary from PBS“Bring the War Home” by Kathleen Belew“What Comes After the Search Warrant?” by Tim Alberta in The Atlantic“Why We Are Not Facing the Prospect of a Second Civil War” by Jamelle Bouie in The New York Times“Bad Losers” by Tim Alberta in The Atlantic(A full transcript of the episode is available on the Times website.)

    Are You ‘Third-Party-Curious'? Andrew Yang and David Jolly Would Like a Word.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 30:57


    For years, hopeful reformers have touted the promise of third parties as an antidote to our political polarization. But when so many of the issues that voters care about most — like abortion, or climate change, or guns — are also the most divisive, can any third party actually bring voters together under a big tent? Or will it just fracture the electorate further?Today's guests say it's worth it to try. Andrew Yang and David Jolly are two of the co-founders of the Forward Party, a new political party focused on advancing election reform measures, including open primaries, independent redistricting commissions in every state and the widespread adoption of ranked choice voting. Yang is a former Democratic candidate for president and a former Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City. Jolly is a former Republican congressman and executive chairman of the Serve America Movement. Together, they joined Jane Coaston live onstage at the Texas Tribune Festival to discuss why they've built a party and not a nonprofit, what kinds of candidates they want to see run under their banner and what Democrats are getting wrong in their midterm strategy right now.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    After Dobbs: What Is Feminist Sex?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 30:17


    What is good sex? It's a complicated question that feminists have wrestled with for decades. From destigmatizing premarital sex to embracing no-strings-attached hookup culture of more recent decades, feminism has often focused winning sexual freedoms for women. But some feminists have been asking if those victories have had unintended consequences, such as the devaluing of emotional intimacy in relationships. So: What kind of sexual liberation actually makes women freer? And how do we need to reset our cultural norms to get there?In the final installment of our three-part feminism series on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Michelle Goldberg. Willis Aronowitz is the sex and love columnist at Teen Vogue, and the author of “Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure and an Unfinished Revolution.” She's also the daughter of Ellen Willis, a leader of the pro-sex feminist movement in the late 1960s and after. Goldberg is a Times Opinion columnist who has been writing about feminism for decades. The two discuss what it means to be sexually liberated, the limitations — and the rewards — of monogamy and just how much the individual choices people make in the bedroom shape the broader feminist movement.Mentioned in this episode:“The Case Against the Sexual Revolution,” by Louise Perry“I Still Believe in the Power of Sexual Freedom,” by Nona Willis Aronowitz in The New York Times“When Sexual Liberation Is Oppressive,” by Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    After Dobbs: Feminism Beyond the Gender Binary

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 31:46


    As the feminist movement has regrouped in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, one of the more surprising debates that has emerged has been one about semantics. Some feminists argue that using inclusive phrases like “pregnant person” in reproductive rights advocacy minimizes the experiences of cisgender women. So where do trans and nonbinary people fit within feminism's big tent? And if the trans rights movement and the feminist movement are fighting for many of the same things — most critically, the protection of bodily autonomy — why can't they get on the same page?In part two of our series on the future of feminism, Jane Coaston is joined by two trans feminists and writers, Dr. Jennifer Finney Boylan and Thomas Page McBee. Together, they discuss how the gender binary has informed their own identification, how they've felt supported — or left behind — by mainstream feminism, and how they want the two movements to work together going forward.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    After Dobbs: Does ‘Big Tent' Feminism Exist? Should It?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 44:07


    For decades, the story of the American feminist movement seemed like a progression of hard-won gains: Title IX, Roe v. Wade, the Violence Against Women Act, #MeToo. But in a post-“lean in” and post-Roe America, the momentum seems to have reversed, leaving some feminists to wonder: What are we fighting for? And who is in that fight?So this week, “The Argument” is kicking off a three-part series to dive into the state of feminism today. In the first episode, Jane Coaston brings together two people who have helped shaped how we think about feminism. Anne-Marie Slaughter is the chief executive of New America and wrote the influential 2012 Atlantic essay “Why Women Can't Have It All.” The article was critiqued by our second guest, Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (and a Times columnist). Ten years later, the two women discuss what's next for feminism — personal disagreements included — and debate Jane's fundamental question: Is feminism an identity that you claim or an action that you take?(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    What Should High Schoolers Read?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 34:26


    Book banning has surged in America's classrooms. The free speech advocacy organization PEN America has compiled a list of more than 1,500 reported instances of books being banned in public schools and libraries in less than a year. As students head back to school, what are the books we do and don't want our kids to read? And what are the values America's students are meant to take away from the pages of books?So on this episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is talking to two writers and teachers to figure out what high school English syllabuses should look like in 2022. Kaitlyn Greenidge is a contributing Opinion writer and novelist who has taught high school English and creative writing, and designed English curriculums for for-profit companies. Esau McCaulley, also a contributing Opinion writer, is an associate professor at Wheaton College.Greenidge argues that at their best, English classes and the books read in them should be a place to find mutual understanding. “When you're talking about what we should read in English class, you're really talking about how to make a common language for people to talk across,” Greenidge says. But the question of whose stories are included in that common language — especially when it comes to what makes up the Western canon — is especially fraught. And to McCaulley, how teachers put a book in context is just as important as what their students are reading in the first place. “That's what makes discussions around the canon complicated,” he says.” Because the teacher has to be able to see these texts as both powerful and profoundly broken, because they're written by humans who often have those contradictions in themselves.”Mentioned in this episode:From New York Times Opinion: “What Is School For?”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Best of: Does the Supreme Court Need More Justices?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 42:32


    Today, we're re-airing one of our most timely debates from earlier this year: Reforming the Supreme Court. This episode originally aired before the Dobbs decision was released this summer.2022 is a big year for supporters of Supreme Court reform. Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that gave women nationwide the right to have abortions, has been overturned, and the debate around changing the way we structure the bench — in particular, packing the court — is getting only more heated.The past decade has brought a shift in the makeup of the court — from Brett Kavanaugh, appointed despite sexual assault allegations, to Merrick Garland, blocked from confirmation, and Amy Coney Barrett, rushed to confirmation.It's the culmination of decades of effort by Republicans to make the courts more conservative. And now Democrats want to push back by introducing some radical changes.Today, Jane Coaston brings together two guests who disagree on whether altering Supreme Court practices is the right call and, if yes, what kind of changes would make sense for the highest judicial body in the nation.Russ Feingold is the president of the American Constitution Society and was a Democratic senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011. Russ Miller is an attorney and law professor at Washington and Lee and the head of the Max Planck Law Network in Germany.Mentioned in this episode:“Americans No Longer Have Faith in the U.S. Supreme Court. That Has Justices Worried,” by Russ Feingold in The Guardian, published in October 2021.“We Don't Need to Reform the Supreme Court,” by Russ Miller in Just Security, published in February 2021.“The Future of Supreme Court Reform,” by Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman in Harvard Law Review, published in May 2021.

    Best of: Cancel America's Student Loan Debt! But How?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 46:21


    Today, with the Biden Administration weighing whether to extend the federal student loan payment freeze, we're re-airing one of our most timely debates from last year: Canceling student loan debt. The problem of student loan debt has reached crisis proportions. As a college degree has grown increasingly necessary for economic mobility, so has the $1.7 trillion in student loan debt that Americans have taken on to access that opportunity. President Biden has put some debt cancellation on the table, but progressive Democrats are pushing him for more. So what is the fairest way to correct course?Astra Taylor — an author, a documentarian and a co-founder of the Debt Collective — dukes it out with Sandy Baum, an economist and a nonresident senior fellow at the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. While the activist and the economist agree that addressing the crisis requires dramatic measures, they disagree on how to get there.Is canceling everyone's debt progressive policy, as Taylor contends? Or does it end up being a regressive measure, as Baum insists? Jane hears them both out. And she offers a royal history tour after Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.Mentioned in this episode:Astra Taylor in The Nation: “The Case for Wide-Scale Debt Relief”Sandy Baum in Education Next: “Mass Debt Forgiveness Is Not a Progressive Idea”Astra Taylor's documentary for The Intercept: “You Are Not a Loan”Sandy Baum for the Urban Institute: “Strengthening the Federal Role in the Federal-State Partnership for Funding Higher Education”Jane's recommendation: Lucy Worsley's three-episode mini-series “Secrets of the Six Wives”

    American Idols: Dr. Oz, Trump and the Celebrity to Politics Pipeline

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 28:29


    Celebrities. They are ubiquitous in American culture and now, ever increasingly, in our politics. From Donald Trump to Dr. Oz, the memeification of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — the power of celebrity has gripped our democracy and society. We want our elected officials to be superstars, but is that a good thing?So today, host Jane Coaston is joined by Jessica Bennett, contributing editor to Times Opinion and Frank Bruni, a contributing Opinion writer, to discuss our modern celebrity politics phenomenon and how it's shaping our cultural and political realities.“I'm distressed that we've conflated celebrity and politics because I think it gives politicians the wrong goals, the wrong motives,” Bruni says. And a lot of that is on us — the fans.“We place values on celebrities that may not actually represent them, and they become something outside of themselves,” Bennett says. “They start to represent something that has nothing to do with the person who's actually there.”Warning: This episode contains explicit language.Mentioned in this episode:“Dr. Does-It-All” by Frank Bruni in The New York Times Magazine“He's Sorry, She's Sorry, Everybody Is Sorry. Does It Matter?” by Jessica BennettSign up for Frank Bruni's newsletter for New York Times Opinion here.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Your Blue State Won't Save You: Why State Politics Is National Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 30:47


    Last week, Kansans voted in overwhelming numbers to protect abortion rights in their State Constitution — the first instance since the overruling of Roe v. Wade in which voters have been able to weigh in on the issue directly. But local battles aren't just limited to abortion. There's guns. There's school curriculums. Most crucially, there's voting rights. As national politics becomes increasingly polarized and stalemates in Congress continue, how we live is going to be decided by local legislation. It's time we step into the state houses and see what's happening there.So on today's episode, guests Zack Beauchamp and Nicole Hemmer help Jane Coaston understand what these state-level legislative battles mean for national politics. Beauchamp covers the Republican Party for Vox, and Hemmer is a historian of conservative media and an associate professor at Vanderbilt University. Both share the belief that state governments have become powerful machines in influencing the U.S. constitutional system, but to what extent that influence is helpful or harmful to American democracy depends. “This idea of the states as the laboratories of democracy, being able to try out different policies and different programs and see how they work in the state — that's great,” Hemmer says. “But they've become these laboratories of illiberalism in recent years. And that's something that we have to reckon with.”Mentioned in this episode:“Why the G.O.P. Should Be the Party of Voting Rights” by Nicole Hemmer“Republican Control of State Government Is Bad for Democracy” by Zack Beauchamp“Democrats Chase Shiny Objects. Here's How They Can Build Real Power.” From “The Ezra Klein Show” with Amanda Litman.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.) 

    What's God Got to Do With It? The Rise of Christian Nationalism in American Politics.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 32:48


    The sweeping rise of Christian nationalism on the right has taken extreme forms since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. From “Stop the Steal” to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and now, the overturn of Roe v. Wade — Christian nationalist rhetoric has undergirded it all. But given that a majority of Americans identify as Christian, faith also isn't going anywhere in our politics. So what would a better relationship between church and state look like?To discuss, Jane Coaston brings together two people who are at the heart of the Christian nationalism debate. Katherine Stewart is the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism” and has reported on the Christian right for over a decade. Esau McCaulley is a contributing writer for Times Opinion and theologian-in-residence at Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago.Stewart feels that the movement is paving the way to something with graver consequence. “This is a movement that wants to promote theocratic policies,” she says. “But theocracy is really not the end point. It's sort of a means to an end, which is authoritarianism.” McCaulley agrees the danger is real. But to him, there's a place for faith-informed arguments in the public square. “When you try to enforce your religion as the base of your argument and the sole way of being a good American, that's Christian nationalism,” he says. “And when you're saying, well, hold on, here is a value that I want to advocate for, perhaps this is my best presentation of the issue, let's vote and let society decide — I think that's the best that you can hope for.”Mentioned in this episode:“Christian Nationalists Are Excited About What Comes Next” by Katherine Stewart in The New York Times“How Religion Can Help Put Our Democracy Back Together” by Richard Just in The Washington Post Magazine(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    What We Actually Mean When We Talk About Biden's Age

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 28:07


    American politics has an age problem. At least, that's what voters think. According to a new New York Times/Siena College poll, 33 percent of Democrats who want a different candidate for president in 2024 pointed to Joe Biden's age as a motivating factor. But a nearly equal percentage say they aren't keen to have Biden for a second term because of his job performance — or lack thereof. Could the answer to appease voters be that Democrats just need some young blood? Or is there a deeper rift between voters — especially young ones — and political leadership?Jane Coaston brings together Michelle Cottle, a Times editorial board member, and David Brooks, an Opinion columnist, to parse out what we are really talking about when we talk about age in politics. “What is age actually a proxy for?” Cottle asks. “Is it your concerns about fading ability, or is it concerns about a lack of fighting spirit?” But for Brooks, the question is centered more on stagnancy: “Why has the gerontocracy been able to stay in power? What is it about these people that they've been able to persevere and just stick around?”Mentioned in this episode:“The Case for Age Limits in American Politics” by Jack Holmes in EsquireYou can read Michelle Cottle's work in The New York Times here and David Brooks's work here(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    A View From the Right on Progressives' ‘Moral Crusade'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 25:44


    For years, Republicans have been known as the party of moral outrage. Take for instance the recent book banning wars, or Florida's “Don't Say Gay” bill. But Democrats aren't immune to moral outrage. At least that's what Noah Rothman, a conservative writer and commentator, believes. He is the author of the new book “The Rise of the New Puritans: Fighting Back Against Progressives' War on Fun.” In it, he argues that progressives, in their pursuit of liberal ideals, are fueling a movement of moral panics more reminiscent of 17th-century preachifying than 1960s liberalism — and that we're all worse off for it.Host Jane Coaston has doubts. So on today's episode, she invites Rothman and the editor at large for Times Opinion, Alex Kingsbury, to debate if moral outrage has really moved from the right to the left. “Are Republicans cultural revanchists? Of course they are. That's not new,” says Rothman. “What's new [is], progressives are joining them in the fight.”Mentioned in this episode:“Noah Rothman on the ‘Unjustice' of Social Justice Politics” from Vox Conversations“The Rise of the New Puritans” by Noah Rothman(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    First Person: Why One Progressive Public Defender Hoped for an N.R.A. Victory

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 32:32


    Today we're bringing you an episode of another Times Opinion show, First Person. Hours after this episode was released, the Supreme Court overturned New York State's gun-permitting system — a decision with major implications for the regulation of guns outside the home. The case was, unsurprisingly, backed by the National Rifle Association. But it also found supporters in typically liberal public defenders, like Sharone Mitchell Jr.Mitchell is the public defender for Cook County, which includes Chicago, a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Growing up on the South Side, Mitchell was raised to believe that guns are dangerous and harmful, a view that was reinforced by his experiences as a public defender and gun control advocate. But those experiences have also led him to believe that gun-permitting laws are harmful, as he explains to Lulu Garcia-Navarro in this episode.

    Roe Gave Us Modern Politics. Who Are the Parties Without It?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 31:26


    For nearly 50 years, the issue of abortion has driven voters of all persuasions to the polls. But now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned and the question of reproductive rights has been returned to the states, America's political parties are going to have to figure out how to metabolize that energy in the years ahead. To discuss what comes next for Democrats and Republicans alike, host Jane Coaston is joined by Times Opinion columnists Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg. As colleagues, they've been debating abortion with each other, on this podcast and in the pages of the paper, for years.So in today's episode, they convene again to share their thoughts on this watershed moment in America's political history. “The reason I, and many people I know, feel such intense despair is not just because a right that they cared about deeply is no longer protected, but because it seems like the democratic process is short circuited at every turn,” Goldberg says. But Douthat feels that may just be a good thing for the future of American democracy, especially for states. “Whatever happens with state laws or national laws, it makes a big difference to a lot of people's relationship to this country to have the abortion debate return to the democratic process,” he says.Mentioned in this episode:Mentioned in this episode:“The Abortion Stories We Don't Hear” audio project“The End of Roe Is Just the Beginning” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times“Lessons From the Terrible Triumph of the Anti-Abortion Movement” by Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    ‘This Really Changes Things': Three Opinion Writers on Cassidy Hutchinson's Jan. 6 Testimony

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 20:08


    For the past month, the House select committee on Jan. 6 has held a series of public hearings on President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Yesterday it surprised all of us with some of its most stunning evidence yet.In revelatory testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, divulged details about just how much Trump and some of his supporters knew about the potential for violence at the Capitol before Jan. 6. According to Hutchinson, Trump knew that the crowd was heavily armed, but that didn't stop him from calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol anyway. “They're not here to hurt me,” she overheard him say.Host Jane Coaston is joined by The Times's columnist Bret Stephens and editorial board member Michelle Cottle to unpack the new testimony and what it might mean for Trump — and the future of the G.O.P.Recommended reading from this episode:Michelle Cottle's Opinion essay “Cassidy Hutchinson Did Her Job”Bret Stephens' column “Will the Jan. 6 Committee Finally Bring Down the Cult of Trump?”The Wall Street Journal opinion essay “Trump Needs an Apprentice”(A full transcript of the episode will be available by the end of the day on the Times website.)

    Is Crime That Bad, or Are the Vibes Just Off?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 36:38


    From New York to San Francisco, there's a sense that crime is on the rise in American cities. And in some ways, that's true: Violent crime has risen. Murders are up nearly 40 percent since 2019. But property crime has fallen for years. And how we define crime, and what's causing its increase, is a complicated issue — as is what we should do about it.So on today's episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Rafael Mangual and Alex Kingsbury to debate what's really going on with crime rates and why people feel so unsafe.Mangual is a senior fellow and the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. “I do think this is more than just a bad-vibes moment in a lot of places. It really is as bad as it's ever been or close to it,” Mangual says. Alex, an editor at large at New York Times Opinion, thinks we need to first change the narrative of how we understand crime. “Crime as a general term is just really broad,” Alex says, adding, “Where you sit determines what you see.”Mentioned in this episode:Rafael Mangual's book, “Criminal (In)Justice”“The Argument” police reform round table episode: “Policing Is Not Broken, It's ‘Literally Designed to Work in This Way'”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Who Can Write About What? A Conversation With Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 27:18


    When does creative license become cultural appropriation? Take “American Dirt” and “The Help,” two books by white authors that drew criticism for their portrayals of characters of color. Artists' job is to imagine and create, but what do we do when they get it wrong?To discuss, Jane Coaston is joined by the Opinion writers Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang. Roxane is an author of multiple books, including “Hunger” and “Bad Feminist.” Jay is a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and writes a twice-weekly newsletter. In their work, both have thought deeply about the thorny issues of writing across identities — including what makes work authentic, the pressure of representation for writers of color and the roles social media and the publishing industry play in literary criticism. “I don't think it's that complicated,” Roxane says. “It's not that we divorce identity from the conversation. It's that we treat it as inherent because we can't separate out parts of ourselves.”Mentioned in this episode:“White Fever Dreams” by Roxane Gay in Gay Magazine“The Pity of the Elites” by Jay Caspian Kang(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Best- and Worst-Case Outcomes of the Jan. 6 Public Hearings

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 32:13


    On Thursday, a bipartisan House select committee will begin public hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. The weeks ahead will be awash with news as the committee reveals what happened in the days and weeks before the attack — and to what extent the rioters were emboldened, or enabled, by the White House and Republican lawmakers.To wade through the news and help us understand what to pay attention to as the hearings unfold, host Jane Coaston calls upon two experts on the Republican Party.Nicole Hemmer is an author and historian of conservative media. Ross Douthat is a Times Opinion columnist. They give their takes on what narratives might play out in the hearings and comment on the danger of far-right extremism in the G.O.P. “I don't see an incentive structure that pulls the Republican Party in general away from procedural extremism, or even really at the moment, anything that pulls them back to a majoritarian democratic process,” Hemmer says.Mentioned in this episode:“What Oprah Winfrey Knows About American History That Tucker Carlson Doesn't” by Nicole Hemmer in The New York Times“Are We Witnessing the Mainstreaming of White Power in America?” episode from The Ezra Klein Show“Why Would John Eastman Want to Overturn an Election for Trump?” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    A Debate Over ‘Common Sense' Gun Legislation

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 29:42


    The recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, indicate that gun violence, and how to address it, is a conversation we unfortunately need to keep having. But what policies would make a difference and stop some of these mass casualty events?On today's episode, host Jane Coaston focuses on the solutions to gun violence and what measures would help stop mass shootings specifically, in addition to curbing homicides, suicides and other forms of gun violence. The three policy proposals up for debate: red-flag laws, background checks and age limits.Jane is joined by Charles C.W. Cooke, senior writer for National Review, and Alex Kingsbury, Times Opinion editor at large and editorial board member. Cooke isn't convinced that gun laws will ameliorate America's gun problem. “It's just not the case that every single tightening of the gun law improves things. It doesn't,” he says. On the other side is Kingsbury, who feels that we need gun control measures and that it's about time the government finds a solution to the problem. “I mean, you just can't look at the death toll that the weapons have inflicted on the society and say that we overregulate weapons in this society,” Kingsbury says.Mentioned in this episode:“It's Too Late to Ban Assault Weapons” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“Gunman in ____ Kills __” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“This Is Why We Need Guns” by Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Who Decides the Right Way to Protest?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 33:22


    Two years ago, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests across America, gathering an estimated 15 million people into the streets during the summer of 2020. Since then, Americans of all political persuasions have taken to the streets to make their views known, on everything from mask mandates to abortion rights. But did protesting result in any real change? And looking back, where does that moment of collective outrage fit in the broader history of dissent in America?This week, host Jane Coaston wants to know whether there is a “right” way to protest, and what makes a protest successful. To talk it through, she's joined by the conservative writer David French of The Dispatch and the Times Opinion columnist Charles Blow. “I think a lot of times what the protest does is that it crystallizes and defines the parameters of morality on an issue,” Blow says. “It is a narrative-setting or -changing event.” But French argues that sometimes, in pursuit of raising awareness, protests can go too far. “If a group of people can menace a public official with enough ferocity that they can undermine the will of the people, you're really beginning to undermine the notion of democracy itself,” he says.Mentioned in this episode:“Leave the Justices Alone at Home” by the Washington Post editorial board“Protests Might Not Change the Court's Decision. We Should Take to the Streets Anyway” by Jay Caspian Kang in The New York Times“Do Protests Even Work?” by Zeynep Tufekci in The Atlantic(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    The Economy Is Weird. Two Experts on Where It Goes From Here.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 27:21


    If you're confused about the current state of the economy and where it's headed, you're not alone. The United States is experiencing inflation at the highest rate since the 1980s, and most Americans generally feel as bad about the economy as they did during the Great Recession of 2008. At the same time, unemployment is low and wages are rising.On today's episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston consults two economics reporters to break down these conflicting trends in the economy and to ask the question so many people want answered: Are things going to get worse before they get better?Peter Coy is an Opinion writer for The New York Times. Alexandra Scaggs is a senior writer at Barron's, where she covers bonds markets. Both have different takes on how the Federal Reserve can try to bring inflation down without long-term repercussions, including a recession. “There are people who would say, well, fine, that's what needs to happen, if that's what it takes to extinguish this high inflation, so be it,” Coy says. “And I'm just saying, I'm not willing to go that far.”Mentioned in this episode:“Unemployment Is Low. That Doesn't Mean the Economy Is Fine.” by Peter Coy in The New York Times“How Should Democrats Respond to Rising Inflation and High Gas Prices?” by John Cassidy in The New Yorker“Making Sense of a Complicated Economy,” EconoFact Chats episode from EconoFact(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Trump, the Primaries and the ‘Populism of Resentment' Shaping the G.O.P.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 32:44


    May is chock-full of primary elections, and they are starting to provide a picture of how deep the G.O.P. is entrenched in Trumpism. J.D. Vance, the 37-year-old venture capitalist and author of the acclaimed memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” won the Republican Senate primary in Ohio — with the endorsement of Donald Trump. The rise of Vance paints a telling portrait of how the G.O.P. is evolving in its appeal to its conservative base. Vance eagerly sought Trump's endorsement and praise. Does it mean that the party is becoming a “populism of tribal loyalty,” as suggested by one of today's guests?Today on “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston wants to know what this month's Republican primary elections can actually tell us about the future of the G.O.P. and if it signals more Trump in 2024. She is joined two conservative writers, David French and Christopher Caldwell.French is a senior editor of “The Dispatch” and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Caldwell is a contributing writer for New York Times Opinion. “I don't think anyone disputes that there's a wide open lane for populist incitement,” French says. “I think the issue with J.D. Vance and the issue with the Republican Party in general is this move that says, we're going to indulge it. We're going to stoke it.”Mentioned in this episode:“The Decline of Ohio and the Rise of J.D. Vance” by Christopher Caldwell in The New York Times“What if There Is No Such Thing as ‘Trumpism'?” by Jane Coaston in The National Review(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    ‘You Haven't Seen Anything Yet': What's Next if Roe Goes

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 28:56


    It was a historic twist in an already historic case: A draft opinion of a Supreme Court decision overturning two landmark rulings — Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — leaked to Politico, which published the 98-page document on Monday night. Chief Justice John Roberts said that the draft opinion was authentic but that “it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”Even with that caveat, it seems to be a sign of where things are headed — the end of abortion rights as a constitutional right in America.On today's episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by the Times Opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg and editorial board member Jesse Wegman to discuss the implications of the draft opinion and the future of abortion rights in America.What is your take on the Roe v. Wade draft leak? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts on The New York Times website once you've listened to the episode.Mentioned in this episode:Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson Supreme Court caseGriswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court case“The Next Frontier for the Anti-Abortion Movement: A Nationwide Ban” by Caroline Kitchener in The Washington Post“Thoughts on a Post-Roe Agenda” by Patrick T. Brown in National Review(A full transcript of the episode is available on The Times website.)

    How Did Queer Kids Become the Battlefield For the Right's Midterm Strategy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 38:38


    Florida's “Don't Say Gay” bill, states barring transgender athletes from participating in sports and censoring school curriculums around queer and gender identity — a wave of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation is spreading across the country, sustained in large part by the political right. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year alone, more than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in state legislatures.Why has this issue become the focus of the Republican Party? And how is the way society treats individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. changing?In today's episode, Jane Coaston convenes her Times Opinion colleagues, the columnists Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg, to debate this issue. Ross brings his conservative lens to the topic of L.G.B.T.Q. issues and Michelle shares a more liberal outlook. In the middle is Jane, who brings a deeply personal perspective to the table: “I think that a lot of these bills seem to spring from what I would say, a willful misunderstanding of how people like me became ourselves,” she says.What are your thoughts on the recent anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:“How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times“Gender Unicorn” from Trans Student Educational Resources(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    From Amazon to Starbucks, America Is Unionizing. Will Politics Catch Up?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 29:22


    From Amazon and Starbucks to large media companies, unionization has become a siren call for workers — white- and blue-collar — fighting for rights and fair wages. But in 2022, after two years of a pandemic, how have our ideas about unions changed? And are Democrats, the so-called party of the unions, still allies in the fight for workers' rights?On today's episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston asks two leading labor voices in America to debate the current role of unions, how the watershed vote at an Amazon warehouse is changing their work and whether Democrats have failed workers.Liz Shuler is the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Jane McAlevey is an organizer and a campaign strategist and the author of the recent book “A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing and the Fight for Democracy.”“People used to say, ‘It's the economy, stupid.' It's the base, stupid, in my argument,” McAlevey says, emphasizing the need for unions and large organizations like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to learn from Amazon and focus on bringing more workers into the fold. “If we don't return to bottom-up organizing, we're simply not going to have the political muscle to force Democrats and Republicans to do that which they must: to honor the essential workers coming out of this pandemic.”What's your take on unions? How do you think unions should capitalize on this moment? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:“Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell)” by Jane McAlevey“The People, United, Must Fight Hard or Be Defeated” by Binyamin Appelbaum in The New York Times(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    The Dangerous Lesson Viktor Orban Taught Republicans

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 43:24


    President Biden has described the world as being in a “battle between democracy and autocracy.” And Prime Minister Viktor Orban's recent victory in Hungary, especially, has marked it as a country in pursuit of what Orban calls an “illiberal democracy.” So what has happened to liberalism, and why is it so deeply challenged today?On today's episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings the Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp and the Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens together to debate what's gone wrong with liberalism. Both take vastly different positions on what the biggest challenge to liberalism is today and how to approach it, but they agree on one thing: Western liberalism is in danger, largely in part from what's happening abroad.“I think liberalism is under profound threat in the United States, even more so in states in Europe, and the person who is effectively the global champion of that illiberal worldview right now strikes me as Vladimir Putin,” Stephens says.In January, Beauchamp posted on Twitter: "The biggest challenge for liberalism today is the use of its own key features against it: free speech enabling the spread of authoritarian propaganda, democracy empowering illiberal leaders, markets producing an unresponsive oligarchic class."How do you think liberalism is being challenged today? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:“Europe's Other Threat to Democracy” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“The Anti-Liberal Moment” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“America Could Use a Liberal Party” by Bret Stephens in The New York Times“The War in Ukraine, Explained,” Part 1 and Part 2, on the “Vox Conversations” podcast with Zack Beauchamp(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Why Russian Sanctions Won't Stop Putin

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 37:00


    The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its sixth week. Atrocities committed by Russian troops have reached new levels; in Bucha, recent photos show dead, unarmed civilians lining the streets. The harrowing scenes have prompted NATO leaders to consider taking new measures against Russia, namely to equip Ukraine with more weapons and impose more sanctions on Russia.But will those measures be enough? With President Biden now calling the atrocities “war crimes” and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland “acts of genocide,” what more should NATO do to help protect Ukraine and its sovereignty?On today's episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston calls upon the former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove to give context and answers to these large questions. Breedlove is now the distinguished chair of the Frontier Europe Initiative at the Middle East Institute, and he has a lot to say about the alliance's approach to Russia. “There are people in our government and people in NATO that believe if we keep doing nothing and we just keep doing what we're doing, supplying them, that the risk will not grow. I'm here to tell you the risk is growing every day,” he says.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Ukraine Made Big Tech Pick a Side — But Who Are the Losers?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 28:26


    Technology defines nearly every facet of our modern world. It almost feels that to exist today in the Western world, one has no choice but to engage in it. As a result, Big Tech holds an incredible amount of power — power that continues to play a role in the Russia-Ukraine war.As the war has intensified, tech companies have been forced to take a side. It's become what the Times reporters Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel described as a “defining geopolitical moment for some of the world's biggest tech companies.” Spotify decided last Friday to suspend its services in Russia because of recently enacted Russian legislation that restricts access to news. Apple Pay also suspended services for Russia's Mir cards, the country's largest card payment system.It's clear Big Tech companies hold big power. But should they? And do their moves in Russia highlight that they have too much influence in some countries? Is it time to finally reconsider tech regulation, and if so, who should be responsible for determining regulation?This week, Jane Coaston brings together two writers who spend their time reporting on the role technology plays in our lives. Charlie Warzel is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and writes the newsletter “Galaxy Brain,” about tech, media and politics. Robby Soave is a senior editor at the libertarian magazine “Reason” and is the author of the book “Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future.”Mentioned in this episode:Charlie Warzel's newsletter, “Galaxy Brain,” for The AtlanticRobby Soave's YouTube show, “Rising”“Ukraine War Tests the Power of Tech Giants” by Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel“TikTok Was Designed for War” by Chris Stokel-Walker in Wired“Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future” by Robby Soave.“Sway” episode with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld: “The Corporations Passing — and Failing — the Ukraine Morality Test”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    It's Not About Putin: Two Conservatives Break Down the G.O.P. Split Over Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 44:35


    How should America respond to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine? This week, Jane Coaston sought out perspectives of a particular group on this complex question: conservatives. The group has long been divided on foreign policy and, more recently, over Putin and Russia. Could loyalty to Donald Trump lead some Republicans to support Putin?In today's episode, these questions are tested by two conservative writers — and their answers are far from aligned.Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior writer at National Review. He feels strongly that the United States and NATO should avoid further involvement in the conflict and argues that a declaration of neutrality by Ukraine would be a good path forward. “I think neutrality is a real strategic position that can help some countries remain independent, sovereign and avoid war,” he says.David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch. He sits on the opposite side; He is for NATO expansion and believes the United States should further help to defend Ukraine. “It's so necessary for the West — without risking nuclear conflict with Russia — to demonstrate for a generation, if possible, that this form of aggressive warfare is going to cost far, far more than anything that Russia will gain,” he says.Whether you're a Republican, Democrat, independent or none of those, we want to hear from you. What's your take on Ukraine, and how do you think the Republican Party should be reacting? Share your thoughts in the comments on this page after you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:“My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home” by Michael Brendan Dougherty“The French Press” newsletter by David French“Divided We Fall: America's Succession Thread and How to Restore Our Nation” by David French“The War in Ukraine Is a Blow to the Nationalist, Postliberal Right” by David French“Wartime's Macabre Predictions of a Populist Defeat” by Michael Brendan Dougherty in National Review(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Putin Is ‘High Off His Own Propaganda Supply'

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 34:34


    This week, an antiwar protester interrupted a Moscow broadcast with a sign in Russian reading: “Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” With the Russian government promoting propaganda on news channels and most recently passing a law to punish people spreading “false information” about the Ukraine invasion, it's been hard to distill what is actually going on in both Russia and Ukraine right now. The confusion has resulted in what Masha Gessen recently described as parallel realities transpiring in Russia and an outright denial of war in Ukraine.So how can you make sense of what is true in our world of information, especially when anyone can use propaganda not only to change your mind but also to overwhelm you?Jane Coaston talks to the Soviet-born British journalist Peter Pomerantsev to talk about propaganda and how those in power — and the everyday person — use it to undermine the fabric of society and our collective understanding. Pomerantsev is a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the 2019 book “This Is Not Propaganda.” He talks to Jane about Vladimir Putin's mythmaking and propaganda machine and how we as information consumers can make sense of what we know as truth.Mentioned in this episode:“Ukrainians Find That Relatives in Russia Don't Believe It's a War” by Valerie Hopkins in The New York Times“Putin No Longer Seems Like a Master of Disinformation” by Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times“This Is Not Propaganda” by Peter Pomerantsev“Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible” by Peter Pomerantsev“The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays” by Siegfried Kracauer(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    The New Phase of the Pandemic Is Covid Exhaustion

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 39:21


    We're headed into the third year of pandemic life, and one thing is clear: We're all exhausted from Covid. Virus caseloads are waning across the country, masks are coming off, people are traveling more, and office workers have new return dates. Does that mean the pandemic is over? Maybe. And maybe not.On Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing, saying that 70 percent of Americans no longer need to heed those recommendations. But for a lot of people, like parents of kids under 5 and those who are immunocompromised, this presents more challenges. It's clear the burden of managing Covid risk increasingly rests on the individual, so what are we supposed to do now?It's a lot to contemplate. So on today's show, Jane puts that question to two experts to help the rest of us.Dr. Monica Gandhi is an infectious-disease physician whose previous work on H.I.V. informs her assessment of public health messaging during this pandemic. Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is the chief health officer at Indiana University and has spent the pandemic thinking about how to keep his community safe. The good news? Both of them think we've got the tools to move forward safely.Mentioned in this episode:“Overcaution Carries Its Own Danger to Children” by Monica Gandhi in The Atlantic.“Why Hospitalizations Are Now a Better Indicator of Covid's Impact” by Monica Gandhi and Leslie Bienen in The New York Times.“Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant” in The New England Journal of Medicine.“To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors” by Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times.“Immune Cells Mean Omicron Won't Swamp Hospitals in Vaccinated Areas” by Michael Daignault and Monica Gandhi in The Washington Post.“We Need to Talk About Covid” Part 1 and Part 2 from “The Daily.”(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    Opinion Roundtable: The 'Dirty Compromise' That Could Stop Putin

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2022 28:24


    It's been a week since Russia invaded Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled Ukraine and Russia continues to target major Ukrainian cities with powerful weapons. And amidst the chaos of war – President Biden held his first State of the Union address. Yara Bayoumy, the world and national security editor for Times Opinion, and the columnists Thomas Friedman and Ross Douthat joined Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a Times Opinion podcast host, to discuss what could happen next.Listen to Jane's interview this week with retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman here. 

    Alexander Vindman on Why It's the ‘Beginning of the End' for Putin

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2022 36:14


    In the days since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine, its citizens have taken up arms to defend their borders and their right to self-determination. Where is the rest of the world in all of this?To help understand the current situation and how we got here, Jane Coaston talks with Alexander Vindman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was the director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council from 2018 to 2020. Vindman was also a key witness at Donald Trump's first impeachment trial, having listened in on the notorious 2019 call in which Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Vindman says of the Western response to the invasion, “We need to drop these incremental approaches that are intended for a kind of peacetime environment,” because “we're in a new Cold War.”What is your take on Russia's invasion of Ukraine? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:Alexander Vindman's book, “Here, Right Matters: An American Story”“America Could Have Done So Much More to Protect Ukraine,” by Alexander Vindman in The Atlantic“Not One Inch: America, Russia, And the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate,” by M.E. SarotteAn interview with the historian Serhii Plokhy in The New Yorker: “Vladimir Putin's Revisionist History of Russia and Ukraine”People to follow on Twitter, as suggested by Alexander Vindman: Igor Girkin, Michael Kofman, Rob Lee, Michael McFaulThe Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society's Ukraine crisis response fundThe MOAS humanitarian relief effort for Ukraine(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    The Complex Truth About American Patriotism

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 36:54


    An American flag, football, the national anthem, “Make America Great Again” — all of these can be symbols of American patriotism, but to whom? In 2022, the notion of being a patriot is complex to say the least, and in a divided nation one might ask: Who gets to be called a patriot, and what does patriotism really mean in America?This week, Jane and her guests dig into how each of them feels about patriotism and how our two dominant political parties use the idea to their own ends.Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser from 2009 to 2017, posits that a fundamental sense of patriotism still holds in America today. “This has always been about the story we tell about ourselves and that we don't live up to,” Ben says. “I think patriotism is basically about the effort to live up to the better version of the story that America tells us about itself.”Jamelle Bouie is a columnist with Times Opinion and resists the idea that it's possible to forge a unifying sense of patriotism across the country. America is simply too large and too diverse to unite on a baseline of meaning. Patriotism, he argues, rests at the individual level: “I think all you have to do is identify what are the things that are valuable to you? What are the things that are important to you? And you pursue them,” he says.What does patriotism mean to you? Would you call yourself a patriot? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:“After the Fall” Being American in the World We've Made” by Ben Rhodes.“This Is No Time for Passive Patriotism” by Ben Rhodes in The Atlantic.“After Nationalism: Being American in an Age of Division” by Samuel Goldman.“The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” by William James in the International Journal of Ethics.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

    ‘This is About the Future of Freedom': What Does America Owe Ukrainians?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2022 37:16


    The U.S. State Department recently ordered all nonemergency diplomats and embassy employees to leave Ukraine, signaling that its personnel believe a Russian invasion of Ukraine may be imminent. Such a move by Russia would be the most consequential invasion in Europe since World War II.If Russia acts, what is America's responsibility to Ukraine?Two of Jane's Opinion colleagues, Bret Stephens and Farah Stockman, join her to tackle that question today. Both Bret and Farah have reported on foreign policy. Bret, a columnist for Times Opinion, told Jane: “I think Ukraine ought to be what Ukrainians want it to be. Vladimir Putin is unwilling to let Ukrainians decide their own future.”Farah, a member of the Times editorial board, sees wars as dirty pursuits that are often antithetical to democracy and freedom. Farah argues that America needs to focus on its own battles before engaging in international conflicts. “We need to do a better job picking our battles, we really do, because we have to protect ourselves and our own democracy first,” she says. “We cannot help anyone else if we're in disarray. And guess what? We're in disarray right now, we really are.”Mentioned in this episode:“Bring Back the Free World” by Bret Stephens.“Putin's Pickle” by Julia Ioffe in Puck.“Stop asking what Putin wants and start asking what Ukrainians want” by Mychailo Wynnyckyj

    Affirmative Action Isn't Perfect. Should We Keep It Anyway?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2022 45:01


    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases, one involving Harvard and the other the University of North Carolina, that could reshape college admissions. Both schools are being accused of race-based discrimination in their admission practices. In the coming year, the court will examine whether it's lawful for college admissions offices to consider a student's race.These cases and others have brought into focus the role affirmative action plays in higher education, and whether it helps or impedes the overall goal of achieving racial equity on college campuses.So the question Jane debates this week is: Should we end affirmative action?On today's episode, the Opinion writer Jay Caspian Kang sets the stage by sharing with Jane his view that affirmative action policies merely make for “cosmetically diverse” campuses, rather than contributing to broader social justice initiatives.Jay and Jane's conversation is followed by a debate between two guests with starkly different views. Ian Rowe, the former chief executive of Public Prep, a nonprofit charter school network, believes that race-based affirmative action needs to be retired in favor of class-based solutions. Natasha Warikoo, a professor of sociology at Tufts University, believes affirmative action is worth saving, and we should find ways to reframe it.What is your take on affirmative action: end it, or keep it? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on this page once you've listened to the debate.Mentioned in this episode:Jay Caspian Kang's newsletter on politics, culture and the economy.Natasha Warikoo's book “The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions and Meritocracy at Elite Universities.”“The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been Unequal — And How to Set Them Right,” by Adam Harris.“Can Affirmative Action Survive?” by Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker.“Affirmative Action Shouldn't Be About Diversity,” by Kimberly Reyes in The Atlantic.

    Can Democrats Win When They Talk About Race?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2022 44:27


    With the midterm elections just nine months away, the Democrats face some hefty existential questions that need answers: Who are they in this post- and possibly pre-Trump era of American politics? Are they simply the anti-Trump party? Or are they the party of progress? Who are the voters they need to turn out in November? Should they excite the base by building a coalition united against white supremacy, or should they moderate their message to win over Republican-defectors?This week on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings together two voices that represent the factions in the Democratic Party's existential struggle. Lanae Erickson is the senior vice president of social policy, education and politics at the center-left think tank Third Way. She argues that Democrats need to make their platform as broadly popular as possible in order to bring more voters under the party's big tent. That's the way to win, and then enact progressive policies.Steve Phillips disagrees. He's the founder of the political media organization Democracy in Color and author of the book “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.” He counterargues that the Democrats must run and win as the party united around a vision of a multiracial, just society, unapologetically calling out racism on the other side of the ticket.The two political strategists strongly disagree on what the party needs to do to win in November, but they agree on one thing: Democrats are afraid and need to answer the question of who they are, fast.Mentioned in this episode:“The Argument” episode debating the future of the Republican Party: “Can the G.O.P. Recover From the ‘Big Lie'? We Asked 2 Conservatives”“The Ezra Klein Show” episode with Ron Klain: “What Biden's Chief of Staff Has Learned, One Year In.”Joe Biden For President first campaign video: “America Is an Idea.”Steve Phillips's book “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority” and his forthcoming “How We Win the Civil War: Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good.”Steve Phillips's podcast, “Democracy in Color.”

    ‘Hell Hath No Fury Like a Voter Scorned': What 14 Swing Voters Have to Say

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2022 32:44


    A year into the Biden administration, most of us can agree on one thing: The United States remains a deeply divided nation, with polarizing opinions on all sides. But what about the voices from the middle, the independents? Swing voters are arguably one of the most consequential groups for the midterm elections, so we wanted to hear from them about how they view President Biden's first year and the current state of American democracy.So this month the veteran G.O.P pollster Frank Luntz convened a focus group of 14 self-identified independents and moderates to get their perspectives. And there seems to be a striking theme: They're exasperated. As Nick from Pennsylvania put it, “We've been promised a lot by past politicians, and it just seems that nothing ever changes.”This week, Luntz debriefs Jane on the group's findings — namely, that independents are very disappointed and don't see much hope for either party. His takeaway? “Independents are simple rejecters. They reject both the left and the right. They reject the past president and the current president. And in some ways they're actually even more negative because they don't see a way out.”Mentioned in this episode:“‘The Lowest Point in My Lifetime': How 14 Independent Voters Feel About America”“Why Republican Voters Think Americans Have to Get Over Jan. 6”“‘We Barely Qualify as a Democracy Anymore': Democratic Voters Fear for America”Sign up for one of Frank Luntz's focus groups

    Does the Supreme Court Need More Justices?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 42:03


    2022 is a big year for supporters of Supreme Court reform. Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that gave women nationwide the right to have abortions, might be overturned, and the debate around changing the way we structure the bench — in particular, packing the court — is getting only more heated.The past decade has brought a shift in the makeup of the court — from Brett Kavanaugh, appointed despite sexual assault allegations, to Merrick Garland, blocked from confirmation, and Amy Coney Barrett, rushed to confirmation.It's the culmination of decades of effort by Republicans to make the courts more conservative. And now Democrats want to push back by introducing some radical changes.Today, Jane Coaston brings together two guests who disagree on whether altering Supreme Court practices is the right call and, if yes, what kind of changes would make sense for the highest judicial body in the nation.Russ Feingold is the president of the American Constitution Society and was a Democratic senator from Wisconsin from 1993 to 2011. And Russ Miller is an attorney and law professor at Washington and Lee and the head of the Max Planck Law Network in Germany.Mentioned in this episode:“Americans No Longer Have Faith in the U.S. Supreme Court. That Has Justices Worried,” by Russ Feingold in The Guardian, published in October 2021.“We Don't Need to Reform The Supreme Court,” by Russ Miller in Just Security, published in February 2021.“The Future of Supreme Court Reform,” by Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman in Harvard Law Review, published in May 2021.

    Can the G.O.P. Recover From the 'Big Lie'? We Asked 2 Conservatives

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 37:13


    There's a divide in the Republican Party between those who believe the ‘Big Lie' — that the election was stolen from President Donald Trump — and those who don't. But which side is ultimately the future of the party?That's the question Jane Coaston poses to Charlie Sykes, a founder and editor at large of The Bulwark, and Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review.Sykes and Lowry discuss what the G.O.P. has learned from Donald Trump's tenure as president and what Glenn Youngkin's gubernatorial victory in Virginia might mean for the Republican midterms playbook. They also debate whether it's Representative Liz Cheney or Marjorie Taylor Greene who's a harbinger of the party to come.Also, if you're a Republican, we want to hear from you. What do you think of the party right now and where it should go next? Would you be excited to vote for Trump in 2024? Or if you're a former Republican, why did you leave the party? And who would you rather vote for instead? Leave us a voice mail message at (347) 915-4324 and we'll share some of your responses later this month.Mentioned in this episode:“Against Trump,” editorial in National Review“Trump: Maybe,” by Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review“The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism,” by Matthew Continetti“Blunt Report Says G.O.P. Needs to Regroup for '16,” Times report on the G.O.P. 2012 autopsy

    American Democracy: A Status Check

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2022 44:16


    Just how much trouble is American democracy in? When we look to 2024, it's easy to focus on the doomsday scenario: an election where legitimate results get thrown out. But our democracy has been eroding for years — and we've never been an equal democracy for everyone in the first place.Host Jane Coaston discusses the state of the U.S. democracy and whether Jan. 6 was a turning point with Masha Gessen, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and Corey Robin, a political scientist at Brooklyn College.Mentioned in this episode:“We Won't Know the Exact Moment When Democracy Dies” by Masha Gessen“By Declaring Victory, Donald Trump Is Attempting An Autocratic Breakthrough” with the interview with Bálint Magyar, by Masha Gessen“The Anatomy of Post-Communist Regimes” by Bálint Magyar“Trump and the Trapped Country” by Corey Robin

    The ‘End of an Ending': Was 2021 Really The Worst?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 34:41


    As the days left in 2021 dwindle, you may feel that annual tug to judge this calendar year as cruelly as possible. After all, it was yet another year lived in a pandemic, on a warming planet, with teetering democracies and aspirational autocrats (tune in next week for that debate). But is it actually true? Did the world really get worse in 2021?For this Very NYT Opinion New Year's Eve* episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston called upon podcast listeners and Opinion voices like the columnists Michelle Goldberg, Farhad Manjoo and Jamelle Bouie, the editorial board member Michelle Cottle and the musician and contributing writer Tom Morello to make the case for whether the world will enter 2022 a little bit better, or a little bit worse for wear.*close enoughMentioned in this episode:Michelle Goldberg's column “The Problem of Political Despair”Michelle Cottle's editorials on Liz Cheney, Joe Manchin, progressive frustrations with Democrats and the future elections that could shake both partiesJamelle Bouie's newsletter on “Nightmare on Elm Street” — sign up for Jamelle's newsletter hereFarhad Manjoo's columns on the wind and solar energy boom, the California drought and the carbon footprint of travelTom Morello's newsletter on his 98-year-old mom's radical compassion — sign up for Tom's newsletter here“Devil Put the Coal in the Ground,” by Steve Earle“The Argument” episode on qualified immunity and Tony Timpa's case

    Sherrilyn Ifill: ‘There Is No Guarantee We Make It Out of This Period as a Democracy'

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 25:44


    Last month, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges related to the shooting of two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisc. Before, during and after the trial, journalists and pundits broke down the most sensational moments on the stand, and many tried to discern what Rittenhouse's not-guilty decision meant about the country at large. People were eager to draw direct connections between the arguments used in court and the inequities that are seen in the country on a daily basis.But is looking at the Rittenhouse trial and other high-profile cases really the best way to understand where we are as a nation?This is a question that Sherrilyn Ifill has had to contend with during the nearly 10 years she's led the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Ifill oversaw the LDF as they sued the Trump administration and as the battle over voting rights has escalated over the past four years.Jane and Ifill discuss how the LDF has navigated the role of practicing law while advocating political movements in the country. Ifill also shares why she decided to step down from the LDF next April, and what she will be working on next.Mentioned in this episode:A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality and the Law, published in 2018.The LDF's Statement on the Acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse published on Nov. 19, 2021.

    Is News Media Setting Trump Up For Another Win?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 33:10


    With the midterms just months away and the 2024 presidential race around the corner, the press is gearing up to cover more deeply polarizing election cycles.And how it should do that is an equally polarizing question. The media's role in preserving — and reporting on — our democratic institutions is up for discussion.Last week, the New York Times Opinion columnist Ross Douthat pushed back on media critics like the N.Y.U. associate professor Jay Rosen. Jay asserts that the press should strive to be “pro-truth, pro-voting, anti-racist, and aggressively pro-democracy.”Ross disagrees, claiming that such a stance could feed more polarization.So, this week Jane Coaston invited Ross and Jay to the show for a lively debate over how the press should cover politics in a democratic society.Mentioned in this episode:“Can the Press Prevent a Trump Restoration?” by Ross Douthat, published last week“You Cannot Keep From Getting Swept up in Trump's Agenda Without a Firm Grasp on Your Own” and “Two Paths Forward for the American Press,” by Jay Rosen, published in PressThink in May 2020 and November 2020, respectively.

    Claim The Argument

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel