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The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

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Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
306 Episodes
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It’s the rare podcast conversation where, as it’s happening, I’m making notes to go back and listen again so I can fully absorb what I heard. But this is that kind of episode. Tracy K. Smith is the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, and a two-time poet laureate of the United States (2017-19). But I’ll be honest: She was an intimidating interview for me. I often find myself frustrated by poetry, yearning for it to simply tell me what it wants to say and feeling aggravated that I can’t seem to crack its code. Preparing for this conversation and (even more so) talking to Smith was a revelation. Poetry, she argues, is about expressing “the feelings that defy language.” The struggle is part of the point: You’re going where language stumbles, where literalism fails. Developing a comfort and ease in those spaces isn’t something we’re taught to do, but it’s something we need to do. And so, on one level, this conversation is simply about poetry: what it is, what it does, how to read it. But on another level, this conversation is also about the ideas and tensions that Smith uses poetry to capture: what it means to be a descendent of slaves, a human in love, a nation divided. Laced throughout our conversation are readings of poems from her most recent book, Wade in the Water, and discussions of some of the hardest questions in the American, and even human, canon. Hearing Smith read her erasure poem, “Declaration,” is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful moments I’ve had on the podcast. There is more to this conversation than I can capture here, but simply put: This isn’t one to miss. And that’s particularly true if, like me, you’re intimidated by poetry. References:  Smith’s lecture before the Library of Congress  Smith’s commencement speech at Wellesley College  Book recommendations:  Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith  Quilting by Lucille Clifton  Bodega by Su Hwang  New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the late 90s Barbara Ehrenreich went undercover as a waitress to discover how people with minimum wage full-time jobs were making ends meet. It turned out, they weren’t. Ehrenreich’s book Nickled and Dimed revealed just how dire the economic conditions of everyday working people were at a time when the economy was supposedly booming. It was a wake up call for many Americans at the time, including me who picked up the book as a curious college student.  Since then Ehrenreich, a journalist by trade, has written on a vast range of topics from the precarity of middle-class existence to the psychological and sociological roots of collective joy to human mortality to her own attempt, as an atheist, to grapple with mystical experiences. Needless to say, this is a widely ranging conversation. References: Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich Nicked and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Fear of Falling by Barbara Ehrenreich Had I Known by Barbara Ehrenreich New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hello! I’m Jane Coaston, filling in for Ezra. My guest today is Tim Carney, a commentary editor at the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  In the wake of the 2016 election, Carney began traveling across the country and poring through county-level data in an attempt to understand the forces that led to Donald Trump’s victory. The culprit, he argues, is not racism or economic anxiety, it's the breakdown of social institutions. In his new book Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, Carney posits that for centuries religious (and other private) institutions formed a much-needed social glue that kept communities together. That social glue, however, has decayed in recent decades, creating a void of despair, alienation, and frustration in so-called “Middle America." Donald Trump did not offer a compelling way to solve these problems, but he was the only candidate willing to name them — and in 2016 that was enough. In this conversation, we discuss Carney's thesis at length, but we also talk about why white evangelicals love Trump so much, how communities of color have responded differently to institutional loss than white communities, the appeal of Bernie Sanders, how Trump's reelection strategy will differ from his 2016 campaign, and much more. I hope this conversation is as interesting for you to listen to as it was for me to have. Book recommendations: Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America by Chris Arnade My Father Left Me Ireland by Michael Brendan Dougherty  The Bible New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Ezra's book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This one was a pleasure. Ta-Nehisi Coates joined me in Brooklyn for part of the “Why We’re Polarized” tour. His description of the book may be my favorite yet. It is, he says, “a cold, atheist book.” We talk about what that means, and from there, go into some of the harder questions raised not so much by the book, but by American history itself. Then Coates asked me a question I never expected to hear from him: Is there anything I could say to leave him with some hope? Don’t miss this one. New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Ezra's book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hello! I’m Sean Illing, Vox’s interviews writer filling in for Ezra while he’s on book tour. My guest today is Martin Hägglund, a philosopher at Yale and the author of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, which I consider to be one of the most ambitious and important books in the last several years. We begin by discussing what it means to live a free and purposeful life without regret or illusion. For Hägglund, this life is all we have. There is no heaven, no afterlife, no eternal beyond. We live and we die and that means that the most important question any of us can possibly ask is, “What should we do with our time?”  We end by talking about the limits of capitalism, namely why it doesn’t really allow us to own our time in the way we ought to. And thus why, for Hägglund, democratic socialism is the only political project that takes the human condition seriously.  This is an unusual conversation, but, I have to say, I loved it. I appreciate and admire Hägglund’s willingness to tackle the biggest questions any us can ever ask, and I think by the end of it you will, too. Book recommendations: Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the other animals by Christine Korsgaard On the Soul (De Anima) by Aristotle  Phenomenology of Spirit by G.W.F Hegel  Follow Sean Illing at Vox or on Twitter @seanilling New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Ezra's book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Guest host - Sean Illing Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
I’ve been a fan of Tim Urban and his site Wait But Why for a long time. Urban uses whimsical illustrations, infographics, and friendly, nontechnical language to explain everything from AI to space exploration to the Fermi Paradox.  Urban's most recent project is an explainer series called “The Story of Us." It began as an attempt to understand what is going on in American politics today, and quickly turned into a deep exploration into humanity's past: how we evolved, the history of civilization, and the way our psychologies have come to interact with the world around us.  My initial theory of this conversation was that Urban’s work has interesting points of convergence and divergence with my book. But once we got to talking, something more interesting emerged: Based on his reading of human history, psychology, and technological advancement, Urban has come to believe we are at an existential fork-in-the-road as a species. A hundred years from now, Urban thinks, our species will either advance so significantly that we will no longer be recognizable as human beings, or we will so lose control of our progress that the human story will end in a destructive apocalypse. I’m less convinced, but open to the idea that I’m wrong. So this, then, isn’t just a conversation about politics and polarization in the present. It’s more fully a conversation about whether the politics of the present are distracting us from the forces that are, even as we speak, deciding our future. References:  Dave Robert’s piece on Tim Urban’s aversion to politics  My conversation with Andrew Yang Book recommendations:  A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich  The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu  Atomic Habits by James Clear New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jill Lepore is a Harvard historian, a New Yorker contributor, the author of These Truths, and one of my favorite past guests on this show. But in this episode, the tables are turned: I’m in the hot seat, and Lepore has some questions. Hard ones. This is, easily, the toughest interview on my book so far. Lepore isn’t quibbling over my solutions or pointing out a contrary study — what she challenges are the premises, epistemology, and meta-structure that form the foundation of my book, and much of my work. Her question, in short, is: What if social science itself is too crude to be a useful way of understanding the political world? But that’s what makes this conversation great. We discuss whether all political science research on polarization might be completely wrong, why (and whether) my book is devoid of individual or institutional “villains,” and whether I am morally obliged to delete my Twitter account, in addition to the missing party in American politics, why I mistrust historical narratives, media polarization, and much more. This is, on one level, a conversation about Why We’re Polarized. But on a deeper level, it’s about different modes of knowledge and whether we can trust them. New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tom Steyer has worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He made his billions running a hedge fund for decades before moving into progressive activism on causes like democratization, climate change, and impeaching Donald Trump. Now, he is running for president of the United States.  Steyer’s primary message on the campaign trial is that we need to get money, lobbyists and corporate influence out of politics. At the same time, he is the living embodiment of much of what he thinks is broken about our system. He used his wealth as a shortcut onto the presidential debate stage and, in doing so, essentially wrote the playbook for any future billionaire who decides they want a shot at winning the highest office in the land.  So, is Steyer the solution to our dysfunctional politics -- or is he part of the problem? That question is a lot bigger than Steyer himself. It is about the kinds of people we think will best represent the interests of non-billionaires. It is about the sort of influence we think wealth should have in our society. It is about whether, in our current political moment, we want to trust the arsonists to put out the fires they helped create. I’ll let you decide the answer. Book recommendations: The Holy Bible War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston The Good Assassin by Paul Vidich New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. Also, we’ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Why We’re Polarized book tour kicked off this week with a wonderful event at Sixth and I in Washington, DC. My conversation partner for this one was New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. Our interview was great, and then the audience questions were so good we had to keep them in as well. We discuss:   • Why things were far worse in the “golden age” of the 1950s and ’60s than they are today • Why the key question isn’t so much “why are we polarized?” as “why weren’t we polarized?” • Why “moderate” Republicans end up losing to conservatives • Why demographic change is the core cleavage of American politics today • How polarization makes bipartisanship irrational and political dysfunction the norm • Why Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are not the causes of polarization but rather the most clear manifestations of it • That more information doesn’t rescue politics • Why America today is not functionally a democracy (and why I hate when people claim it is a “republic” to justify our current system) • Why the most underrated divide in American politics is not that between left and right but between the informed and the uninformed • Why we can’t reverse polarization and instead need to reform our political system so that it can function amid polarization New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Also, we’ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
“The bad days are back” wrote Batya Ungar-Sargon in the Forward in December, “Orthodox Jews are living through a new age of pogroms. This week, as we celebrated the Festival of Lights, there were no fewer than 10 anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area alone.”  Antisemitism is occasionally called “the oldest hatred.” It thrums across continents and eras, finding new targets for old prejudices. But where, exactly, does it come from? Why is it such a hardy weed? And why does this era feel so thick with it?  Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, is the author of Antisemitism: Here and Now. We discuss the earliest forms, tropes, and rationales for antisemitism, and the cultural reasons for their persistence. Lipstadt explains the way right- and left-wing antisemitism differ, and examines the charges of antisemitism levied against some modern politicians, like Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn. We talk about antisemitism in the age of social media and rising party polarization. And we talk about the convergence and divergence of antisemitism and anti-Zionism: what distinguishes a legitimate critique of Israel from an antisemitic slur towards it? This episode airs on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s a reminder that the very worst days lie in living memory, in an age more similar our own than we like to admit.  References:  “Why No One Can Talk About The Attacks Against Orthodox Jews” by Batya Ungar-Sargon Book recommendations:  If This is Man by Primo Levi  Still Alive by Ruth Kluger  The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This is a podcast episode literally years in the making. It’s an excerpt — the first anywhere — from my book Why We’re Polarized. A core argument of the book is that identity is the central driver of political polarization. But to see how it works, we need a better theory of how identities form, what happens when they activate, and where they fit into our conflicts. We’ve been taught to only see identity politics in others. We need to see it in ourselves. If you’re a longtime listener, this excerpt — like the broader book — will tie a lot of threads on this show together. If you’re a new listener, it’ll give you, I hope, a clearer way to understand a powerful driver of our politics and our lives.  Why We’re Polarized comes out on January 28. You can order it, both in text and audiobook forms, at WhyWerePolarized.com. Find the audio book on Audible.com New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With “reeducation" camps in China, religious disenfranchisement in India, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, street violence in Sri Lanka, mass shootings in New Zealand, the flourishing of far-right parties across Europe, and the mainstreaming of Islamophobia in America, there’s been a global surge in anti-Muslim bigotry — often supported by the full power and might of the state. It’s one of the most frightening and undercovered political stories of our time. Mehdi Hasan is a senior writer for the Intercept, the host of the Deconstructed podcast, and the anchor of Al Jazeera’s Up Front. He’s done some of the best reporting on anti-Muslim prejudice and persecutions worldwide, covering everything from Narendra Modi’s rise in India to the treatment of Uighurs in China to the role that social media plays in amplifying anti-Muslim sentiment. We discuss all of that in this conversation, but we also try to answer some deeper questions: Why Muslims? Why now? What is the ideology that drives and justifies anti-Muslim bigotry? What are the political incentives that foster it? Not everything in this conversation is easy to hear. But understanding the scope and scale of the war on Muslims is central to understanding the world we live in, the Orwellian nature of the Islamophobic narrative, and the resentments and traumas we’re inflicting on the future.  Book recommendations: The Fear of Islam by Todd H. Green  The Enemy Within by Sayeeda Warsi  The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Post-debate special!

Post-debate special!

2020-01-1600:59:473

Vox's Matt Yglesias and I unpack the debate that did, and didn't, happen. Related reading: "Joe Biden will never give up on the system" by Ezra Klein "4 winners and 3 losers from the January Democratic debate" Vox Staff "The case for Elizabeth Warren" by Ezra Klein "Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020" by Matthew Yglesias "Joe Biden skates by again" by Matt Yglesias "Elizabeth Warren’s new plan to reform bankruptcy law, explained" by Matt Yglesias "The Third Rail of Calling ‘Sexism’ Warren tried not to talk about it." by Rebecca Traister My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
There is a moral radicalism to the way Cory Booker lives out his politics. He lived for years in a housing project. He leads hunger strikes. He challenges political machines. He’s a vegan. He has a more ambitious policy vision than is often discussed. But beneath that is a far more radical ethical vision than he gets credit for. I think there’s a reason for that. When Booker turns his politics turn outward, they lose clarity. He shies away from drawing bright lines, his answers double back to blur out potential offense. As a result, his arguments for a politics of radical love end up emphasizing his love in ways that obscure his radicalism. As admiring as I am of what Booker demands of himself, I often can’t tell what he’s asking of me. In this conversation, I wanted Booker to risk my discomfort, not just his own. And in his answers, I think you can hear both the remarkable promise and power of Booker’s politics, and some of the challenges that ultimately led him to suspend his campaign. References/Book recommendations: Tightrope by Nicholas Kristof  “Who Killed the Knapp Family” by Nicholas Kristof  The Violence Inside Us by Chris Murphy  My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the way we often conflate two very distinct things when we assign political labels. The first is ideology, which describes our vision of a just society. The second is something less discussed but equally important: temperament. It describes how we approach social problems, how fast we think society can change, and how we understand the constraints upon us.  Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, the editor-in-chief of the public policy journal National Affairs, and the author of the upcoming book A Time to Build. Levin is one of the most thoughtful articulators of both conservative temperament and ideology. And, perhaps for that reason, his is one of the most important criticisms of what the conservative movement has become today. There’s a lot in this conversation, in part because Levin’s book speaks to mine in interesting ways, but among the topics we discuss are:  The conservative view of human nature Why the conservative temperament is increasingly diverging from the conservative movement What theories of American politics get wrong about the reality of American life The case Levin makes to socialists How economic debates are often moral debates in disguise Levin’s rebuttal to my book  The crucial difference between “formative” and “performative” social institutions Why the most fundamental problems in American life are cultural, not economic Why Levin thinks the New York Times should not allow its journalists to be on Twitter Whether we can restore trust in our institutions without changing the incentives and systems that surround them   There’s a lot Levin and I disagree on, but there are few people I learn as much from in disagreement as I learn from him. Book recommendations: Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville  The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet  Statecraft as Soulcraft by George Will  If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: David French on “The Great White Culture War" George Will makes the conservative case against democracy My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Introducing season 3 of The Impact! The 2020 candidates have some bold ideas to tackle some of our country's biggest problems, like climate change, the opioid crisis, and unaffordable health care. A lot of their proposals have been tried before, so, in a sense, the results are in.  This season, The Impact has those stories: how the big ideas from 2020 candidates succeeded — or failed — in other places, or at other times. What can Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposal to fight the opioid crisis learn from what the US did to fight the AIDS epidemic? How did Germany — an industrial powerhouse that invented the automobile — manage to implement a Green New Deal? How did public health insurance change Taiwan? Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. On this special preview: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president with a plan to fight the opioid epidemic. Her legislation would dramatically expand access to addiction treatment and overdose prevention, and it would cost $100 billion over 10 years. Addiction experts agree that this is the kind of money the United States needs to fight the opioid crisis. But it’s a really expensive idea, to help a deeply stigmatized population. How would a President Warren get this through Congress?  It’s been done before, with the legislation Warren is using as a blueprint for her proposal. In 1990, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, the first national coordinated response to the AIDS crisis. In the decades since, the federal government has dedicated billions of dollars to the fight against AIDS, and it’s revolutionized care for people with this once-deadly disease.  But by the time President George H.W. Bush signed the bill into law, hundreds of thousands of people in the US already had HIV/AIDS, and tens of thousands had died.  In this episode, Vox's Jillian Weinberger explores how an epidemic begins, and how it ends. We look at what it took to get the federal government to finally act on AIDS, and what that means for Warren’s plan to fight the opioid crisis, today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
“Socialism” is simultaneously one of the most commonly used and most confusing terms in American politics. Does being a socialist mean advocating for the complete abolition of capitalism, markets, and private property? Does it mean supporting a higher tax rate, Medicare-for-all, and Sen. Bernie Sanders? Or does it simply mean a deep hatred of systemic injustice and the institutions that perpetuate it?  In his new book Why You Should be a Socialist Nathan J Robinson, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Current Affairs magazine, attempts to shed light on these questions. In his writing, Robinson distinguishes between a “socialist economy” (think collective ownership, worker cooperatives, single-payer health care) and what he calls a “socialist ethic": a deep sense of moral outrage that animates agents of radical change. This distinction may sound like a dodge, but I think Robinson gets at something here that — while hard to understand from the outside — is crucial to understanding today's left politics. We also discuss:  - The central role of democracy to the socialist worldview - What it means to be a “libertarian socialist” - What Robinson's socialist utopia would look like  - Why so many socialists have turned on Sen. Elizabeth Warren in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders  - Robinson’s special loathing for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg - What he believes Sanders’s “political revolution” would look like - The lessons of Jeremy Corbyn - Whether the deep difference between liberals and socialists is temperament  - Why “public vs. private” is often a false choice - The challenge of economic growth  And much more.  Book recommendations: Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky The Anarchist FAQ by Ian McKay  The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin  If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: Leftists vs. Liberals with Elizabeth Bruenig Matt Bruenig’s case for single-payer health care Why my politics are bad with Bhaskar Sunkara New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 2010s witnessed a sharp uptick in nonviolent resistance movements all across the globe. Over the course of the last decade we’ve seen record numbers of popular protests, grassroots campaigns, and civic demonstrations advancing causes that range from toppling dictatorial regimes to ending factory farming to advancing a Green New Deal.   So, I thought it would be fitting to kick off 2020 by bringing on Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard specializing in nonviolent resistance. At the beginning of this decade Chenoweth co-authored Why Civil Resistance Works, a landmark study showing that nonviolent movements are twice as effective as violent ones. Since then, she has written dozens of papers on what factors make successful movements successful, why global protests are becoming more and more common, how social media has affected resistance movements and much more.  But Chenoweth doesn’t only study nonviolent movements from an academic perspective; she also advises nonviolent movement leaders around the world (including former EK Show guests Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement and Wayne Hsiung of Direct Action Everywhere) to help them be as effective and strategic as possible in carrying out their goals. This on-the-ground experience combined with a big-picture, academic view of nonviolent resistance makes her perspective essential for understanding one of the most important phenomena of the last decade -- and, in all likelihood, the next one. References: "How social media helps dictators" by Erica Chenoweth "Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works" by Erica Chenoweth Book recommendations: These Truths by Jill Lepore Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keenga-Yamahtta Taylor If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Varshini Prakash on the Sunrise Movement's plan to save humanity When doing the right thing makes you a criminal (with Wayne Hsiung) My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ask Ezra Anything

Ask Ezra Anything

2019-12-3001:31:255

It’s here. The final AMA of 2019. Among the questions you asked: - If you believe that changing someone's mind about a topic, any topic is difficult, how do you function as a journalist? - What’s your opinion on capitalism? - What have you learned about yourself since being a dad that has surprised you the most? - You talk a lot about polarization. But it seems your audience leans liberal. So how do you reconcile that? - Do you believe in free will? - What’s your take on the left/liberal divide? - Red wine or white wine? - We know 2020 will come down to a small collection of swing states. Shouldn’t the Democrats just run whichever candidate will be strongest in those states? - What’s with Vox and NBER papers? - What would get journalists to leave Twitter? - What happens if Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office? All this, plus you get to hear from the mysterious Jeff Geld… My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer, Editor, Guest Interviewer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Here, at the end of the year, I wanted to share one of my favorite episodes of 2019 with you. Earlier this year, two essays on America’s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, “millennial burnout.” The second was Derek Thompson’s Atlantic article on “workism.” The two pieces speak to each other in interesting ways, and to some questions I had been reflecting on as my own relationship to work changes. So I asked the authors to join me for a conversation about what happens when work becomes an identity, capitalism becomes a religion, and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. The conversation exceeded even the high hopes I had for it. Enjoy this one. Book recommendations: Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris White: Essays on Race and Culture by Richard Dyer The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineers - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (145)

Jack Jennaway

Wow. I have read some Ta-Nehisi Coetes, but I've never heard him speak before. He's hilarious!

Feb 17th
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Matt Butters

Very telling that Hasan calls groups like Boko Haram and ISIS "quote unquote terrorist groups".

Feb 7th
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Philly Burbs

Unlike Bloomberg, Tom Snyder followed the rules. I like his ideas. I'm afraid he'd going to split the vote & help Trump win again. No matter how low his numbers are he continues.

Feb 6th
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Vernon Shoemaker

"Institution" is a numinous term and temperament is an approach to that. An older word that suggests institution is "covenant" and is contractual involving a legal framework. This empowers institutional members to accomplish certain tasks. If those tasks are not constructive, or unclear, those institutions will turn their business to conflict with other institutions or individual players outside of their group. This is an irresponsible distraction. An institution is not an absolute good. Where it has betrayed it's ideals or lost track of it's purpose, it should be questioned and reformed. It's members don't derive their identity from belonging, they belong to fulfill a common purpose. "The answer to irresponsibility is responsibility.". Wow!

Jan 25th
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Cheri Anderson Phillips

she talks too fast through most of this, making it difficult to process

Jan 1st
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Gregory Brokaw

1:06:58 Ecomodernism

Dec 25th
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Douglas Ashby

Mr Griffith has some pretty good ideas for converting grid tied energy consumers to alternative sources. But, I heard next to nothing about how to convert our transportation sector. How is he going to fuel the trains, planes and ships that move just about everything. How about the various mining industries that extract metals and other materials that are necessary for all our products. Then there's the agricultural sector that produces and moves our food. Near the end he mentioned that small planes can travel at highway speeds nearly as efficiently as cars. That comes nowhere near fulfilling the need for cargo and passenger planes that are vital to our economy. Also, how much fossil fuel will be burnt producing the alternative energy producers to power the grid? There just seems to be a lot of gaps in his plans.

Dec 22nd
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Peter DeBoer

Pockets of uninhabitable land is bad, but a lot better than a global climate catastrophe. It's as simple as that for me, even if we don't deal with nuclear waste properly.

Dec 17th
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Natalie Schreiber

Furthermore, have you even read the GND put out by Bernie Sanders? He does address this stuff but the media is intent on ignoring him. smh, smh.

Dec 16th
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Natalie Schreiber

my concern about nuclear power is the waste. I live near a nuclear waste site that will be uninhabitable for literally thousands of years. it's irresponsible. why did you not even address this?

Dec 16th
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Daniel Becce

Ezra claims that listeners can't be ethical if they aren't reviewing podcasts. Unless you spend your days behind a MacBook keyboard, this is a high bar. Try leaving a review from a PC, Android, or even an iPhone 6. The reviewing process is what is most broken about podcasting.

Dec 9th
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Gary Haase

Fans of the EPL intuitively get this. #COYS

Nov 29th
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Keyser soze

When your argument can be boiled down to " things were better in the dark ages, the early ones, not those highfalutin later ones," you may have a problem...

Nov 26th
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Grant Robbins

This was a great podcast.

Nov 19th
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Olga Musayev

Isn't Ezra Klein 35? That makes him technically a millennial, but definitely not a Boomer, regardless.

Nov 16th
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Sharon McKinnon

Couldn't listen anymore. Every second word out if the guest was like.

Nov 13th
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Judy Gordon

Hi Ezra, Your conversation with Edward Norton was so interesting! This was the 3rd Norton interview I've listened to in 3 days but it was totally fresh. Your podcast is in my favorite subscription list. Thanks for what you're doing.

Nov 1st
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Otto Bruun IV

Fantastic show

Oct 21st
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Sharon McKinnon

This is the most relatable podcast I've ever heard. Thank you for talking about this.

Oct 14th
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Nicolas Brylle

One of the better conversations in a while. Thank you!

Oct 8th
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