Starting in Mid-September 2016, my long-time friend, Tom Paynter, and I recorded a series of podcasts discussing the Trump-Clinton election. We recorded every week from then through to the election. Below are all of them collected, in order:
Episode 1 – Sept. 11, 2016
Not too long ago it dawned on me that absolutely nowhere have I heard two reasonable people, one a Trump supporter and the other a Hillary supporter, having a reasoned discussion about the election. This certainly isn’t happening on television (not that I watch much of it), and of course it doesn’t happen in print.
Without going into too much background (it’s all in the podcast), this is just to say: my friend Tom Paynter and I are trying out an experiment. He’s a Trump supporter; I’m a Hillary supporter. From now until the election, every week Tom and I will record a discussion about how we’re responding to the news of the week and talk about where our thinking is generally on politics, the election, and the issues which are driving national discourse.
Without further prologue, I give you, Episode 1:
Episode 2 – Sept. 19, 2016
Evidently we made it to a second week of “Tom & Russell Talk Politics.” In this episode:
- Trump’s “Birther” press conference
- Hillary’s health episode
- Russell’s explanation of why he thinks Trump should be disqualified
- Tom’s explanation of why he still thinks it should be Trump
Episode 3 – Sept. 25, 2016
We tried a new episode in the spirit of discussion rather than argument, and while I’m not sure we quite got there, we certainly did take a deep dive on some things. In this episode we talk about:
- The increasing trend toward the media’s calling out Trump falsehoods (not withstanding a sloppy Tweet Russell used as evidence)
- Our fundamentally opposing worldviews on whether immigration is good for America or not
And, for the first time we’re linking to everything we discussed, below the Podcast.
- 18 Falsehoods Tweet from Daniel Dale. (Twitter)
- A week of whoppers from Donald Trump. (NY Times)
- Stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing. (Washington Post)
- Jeff Sessions analysis of Hillary’s immigration plan. (Senate News Release)
- Immigration reform, disparate ideas, disparate futures. (NY Times)
- Vox story on how immigration and xenophobia, not economic uncertainty, is driving the far right. (Vox)
- John Oliver’s Segment on Building the Wall. (John Oliver)
- Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers. (Politico)
- National Academy of Sciences Immigration Study. (Center for Immigration Studies)
- Do immigrants import their economic destiny. (Evonomics)
Episode 4 – Oct. 1, 2016
In this episode:
- We talk about our reactions to Monday’s presidential debate.
- We dive deep on the ethical & moral arguments around immigration, as motivated by a Sam Harris podcast.
Our show notes this week:
- A conversation with William MacAskill (Sam Harris podcast)
- The Hillary for Ohio Tweet on immigration (Twitter)
- Trump’s Alicia Machado Tweet storm (Vox piece embeds it)
Episode 5 – Oct. 10, 2016
Wow, is news moving fast. We recorded this Podcast early Saturday afternoon, which is to say, just after news of Trump’s lewd tape broke, but before moderators had a chance to question him on it during Monday night’s debate. In that debate, Trump made two statements which Tom and I could only speculate about in the podcast.
First, Trump said he did use the nearly $1 billion loss on his tax returns to avoid paying taxes. Second, Trump said he did not assault women by groping them, which he is recorded bragging about in the tape. Both of those tidbits would surely have impacted our conversation if we’d heard about them earlier. I would say we’ll get to them on our next episode, but who knows where this race will be by then.
As usual, here are some show notes:
- Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes (NY Times)
- Vox reaction story to NY Times Trump tax records (Vox)
- Trump’s Return Shows Good Tax Policy at Work (Bloomberg)
- Stepping Over the Dead on a Migrant Boat (NY Times)
- From Orwell to Gladwell and Back (Taki’s Magazine)
Episode 6 – Oct. 16, 2016
As Tom and I mentioned to each other after recording, this was a discouraging discussion. It seems we’ve been around and around on some of these issues, with hours of dialogue and before that countless thousands of words in email, and with no progress.
Our main notes this week come from another Sam Harris podcast, which I do highly recommend:
- The Frontiers of Political Correctness (podcast)
- Democracy for Realists, the book which takes down “Folk” theory (Vox.com)
Episode 7 – Oct. 23, 2016
In which we discuss Trump’s claim that the election is “rigged,” as well as other instances in which the “guardrails” of democracy may be being threatened. Amazingly, we managed an entire episode without talking about immigration. Show notes include:
- Trump urges supporters to monitor polls in “certain areas.” (WaPo)
- Numbers of ballots cast vs. actual instances of voter fraud (Vox.com)
- When Trump says he won’t concede, imagine what his voters hear (Vox.com)
- Can the 2016 election be rigged? Guest post from Roger Stone (The Hill)
Episode 8 – Oct. 29, 2016
In which we take a much needed break from election news to talk about the broader question of what people feel vs. the reality of what’s going on. Show notes include:
- 21 charts that’ll make you change how you think about the election (Vox.com)
- Americans believe diversity is our strength (Marginal Revolution)
- Public has mixed views on immigration (Pew Hispanic)
- How social media creates angry, poorly informed partisans (Vox.com)
- The toxoplasma of online rage, MUST READ (New Statesman)
Episode 9 – Nov. 5, 2016
Our final pre-election podcast, in which it gets ugly. We examine each of our best- and worst-case scenarios for a Trump or Clinton presidency. Show notes:
- The first horrific 100 days of a Trump presidency, from Dana Milbank (WaPo)
- No, Britons were not frantically Googling “What is the EU” post-Brexit vote (IBT)
- Snopes on the “Why the U.S. Can’t Use Nukes” anecdote (Snopes)
Episode 10 – Nov. 12, 2016
In which we pick up the pieces of what happened, what it might mean going forward, and how people should respond to a Trump Presidency.
- The Most Powerful Clown (Sam Harris podcast)
- Trump advisors begin hedging on major campaign pledges (WaPo)
- Revenge of the Deplorables (Bloomberg)
- Explaining It All To You (Current Affairs)