We talk to the historian Sarah Churchwell about the origins of some of the ideas churning up politics in the age of Trump: 'America First', 'Make America Great Again', 'Fake News'. Where do these phrases come from and what do they mean? We try to unpick the racism from the isolationism and the anti-immigrant from the anti-elitist sentiment. Plus we discuss whether fascism in America was a real threat in the 1930s and whether it's a real threat today. With Andrew Preston, historian of US foreign policy. Next week: the midterms!Read More
This week, as one of our LRB author specials, we talk to regular LRB contributor Jan-Werner Müller about populism, Trump and the state of democracy. Jan has long argued that populism is not just an election winning strategy, it's also a governing philosophy. We ask whether Trump's first year in office bears that out. Does he have a governing philosophy? How does it compare with other populists, from Berlusconi to Modi? And what difference does it make that he has a nuclear arsenal at his disposal? With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.
We recorded this week in the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack, with the election campaign temporarily suspended. We take a step back to review some of the broad themes of the campaign so far and talk about how the main parties have been presenting themselves and what they are trying to achieve. We reflect on the importance of leadership style - what makes Theresa May different from Tony Blair? - and we ask why so little of the election has been about Brexit. With Helen Thompson, Glen Rangwala and Chris Brooke.
We take stock of the latest developments in Washington as the heat intensifies on Trump and the leaking war continues. What do the new revelations tell us about Trump's fitness to be president? What do they tell us about the power struggles inside the administration? We also take a step back to ask about the risks of any showdown between an elected president and the secret state. Might Trump's fate set a precedent for any outsider who takes on the political establishment? Do the Democrats need to be careful what they wish for? Plus, in the week the UK parties start publishing their election manifestos, we ask: what's a manifesto worth anyway? With Helen Thompson, Aaron Rapport and Chris Bickerton.
What makes the Conservatives so good at winning elections - the most successful party in modern political history? Is it money? Leadership? Luck? We talk with Helen Thompson, Chris Brooke and Aaron Rapport about Tory successes and failures and we explore some of the inbuilt quirks of the UK electoral system. Plus we answer some questions posed to us by listeners: How is Mayism different from Milibandism? And what hopes for a progressive alliance?