Armed Members of Congress. Bloodshed in the Capitol. Talk of Secession. We’ve Seen It Before

January 25th, 2021
Screen-Shot-2020-08-12-at-12-03-40-AM.pngFor some of us, a sense of history is the only thing that gets us through each day. As divided as we are, as angry as we are, as exhausted as many of us are, history tells us that we’ve been here before. 
And while history doesn’t exactly repeat itself, as Mark Twain says, it often rhymes. To better understand our current moment, the run up to the Civil War gives us clues. 
 
We were a country going through transformation. Members of congress were armed. One congressman beat up a member of the Senate. Bloodshed was a part of Washington. Succession was on everyone's mind. Lincoln, with all his skills, could not prevent the war. All he could do was try and manage it. 
 
David Reynolds put all of this in perspective in his new work of history Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times.
 
My conversation with David Reynolds:

The Hispanic Republican Vote

January 19th, 2021
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The great baseball manager Casey Stengel famously said that he never makes predictions, especially about the future. That also might be good advice for political pundits. 
 
For months in the run-up to the election, we heard pundits talk about the Latino vote, that they were all reachable by Democrats and it was just a matter of Democrats committing more time, more energy, and resources. Latinos were just waiting to be given a reason to vote for Democrats. The problem is the demographics, history, culture, and the hard numbers of the election results themselves tell us that this is simply not true. 
 
 Since around 1972, Hispanic Republicans have developed their own partisan identities and an actual loyalty to The Republican Party. Even to this day, there were issues that continue to draw Latino voters into The Republican Party. 
 
Imagine if this took place in the Trump era, what it might mean in the future for Republicans. Clearly, Latinos are not a monolithic group, but rather complicated human beings that are not just pieces to be moved around on a political chess board. Bringing this all into bold relief is Geraldo Cadava. 
 
Geraldo Cadava is an associate professor of history and Latinx studies at Northwestern University and the author of The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump.
 
My WhoWhatWhy conversation with Geraldo Cadava
 

 
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It’s Time For America to Create a New Origin Story

January 8th, 2021
Screen%2BShot%2B2021-01-08%2Bat%2B10.30.09%2BAM.pngIf you follow business, you know that part of the lure of every company is its founding story or myth. 
 
Over time the myth takes on a life of its own, as it comes to define the company and its products. In a similar way it’s true of nations, including the United States. 
 
We were a nation forged from disparate regions. The Northeast, the South, the West, Midwest. Each with different cultures, different philosophies and demographics. And yet we have bought into the myth of one nation, one United States. The proverbial “shining city on the hill.” 
 
It seems that every few decades the patina wears off. The myth and the differences come to the surface and we struggle to hold it all together. We are living through that now. 
 
To explain why we need listen to Colin Woodward, author of Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood.
 
My conversation with Colin Woodard: 
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