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Keeping It Civil

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Keeping It Civil

School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

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Keeping It Civil is hosted by Henry Thomson and co-produced by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and Arizona PBS. The podcast seeks answers to key questions about the future of American life with fast-paced interviews with scholars and intellectuals.
 
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Bion Bartning is an entrepreneur and investor. He is also the founder of FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism. Bartning talks to Henry about what prompted him to start the Foundation and FAIR’s alternative diversity training and other mechanisms put in place as a response to racism and other ideologies.…
 
Join us as Henry speaks with Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy. Ungar-Sargon talks about how the media is silencing the middle class of America and why the interests of the lower income population are not represented in D.C. We discuss hopefulness that comes from the "goodness of the American pe…
 
In this episode Dr. Nichols, a hip-hop artist, public intellectual and academic, speaks with Henry about hip-hop as a form of public discussion and political activism, about the corrosive effect of social media on civil discourse and the legacy and influence of Bea Gaddy on Nichols' political views.By School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
 
Jane Kamensky talks about American identity in colonial time and at the time of the Revolution and whether we're equipping ourselves and our students with an understanding of the revolutionary era. Henry also discusses with Kamensky the binary of competing narratives of U.S. history and why we need to challenge it…
 
Henry speaks to Eric Kaufmann about political demography, nationalism and a mixed-race population as a future majority in America. Kaufmann discusses the dangers of suppressing opposition to immigration and why repressive tolerance is a bad idea.By School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
 
This episode covers an attack on Salman Rushdie as a “visceral and physical expression” of attempts to suppress free speech. Threats to free speech come not only from the right but the left also, McArdle argues; she calls it a distressing pullback from the values that are necessary to a liberal society.…
 
Kmele Foster is a media entrepreneur and a co-founder of Freethink. Henry spoke to him about the trajectory of human innovation and what the mainstream media gets wrong about progress. They also discussed freedom of speech in higher education and Kmele Foster's critique of Black Lives Matter movement.…
 
This week, Josh speaks with John Tomasi of the Heterodox Academy. They discuss John’s background studying philosophy at the University of Arizona, his conception of the university as an environment for free-thinking and the teaching of leadership, the goals of the Heterodox Academy, the philosophy articulated in his book, “Free Market Fairness,” an…
 
In this conversation with the writer and public policy analyst Michael Lind, Josh and Henry discuss his book, “The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Managerial Elite,” how elites consolidated power in the late twentieth-century, the weakness of modern political parties, the need for “countervailing power,” his argument against sending more s…
 
Heather Wilson, the current President of the University of Texas-El Paso, and former Secretary of the Air Force, has had a distinguished life in public service. In this conversation, Josh and Henry discuss her childhood desire to be a pilot, military service, experience in Congress, and the lessons she’s learned from working in higher education.…
 
In this conversation with Brown University economist Glenn Loury, Josh and Henry discuss his intellectual journey, the strengths of neoclassical economics, his opposition to affirmative action in higher education, and how he thinks about persistent racial disparities.By School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
 
Steven Smith is a political philosopher at Yale. His most recent book, “Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes,” makes the case that patriotism should be restored as a guiding civic value. In discussing his book, Josh and Henry cover his notion of “enlightened patriotism,” the necessity of teaching patriotism in schools, and the challenge of b…
 
The relationship between race and crime is a central part of the American story. In this week’s episode, Josh and Henry talk with Khalil Muhammad, the Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. They discuss the contemporary uses of history in public discourse, his award-winning book, “The Condemnation…
 
Andrew Sullivan has been a fixture in American intellectual life for over thirty years. Josh and Henry covered several topics with him, including the role of the essayist, his journey from traditional print journalism to Substack, his thoughts on the foundations of a liberal society, the potential consequences of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v…
 
Josh and Henry have a wide-ranging conversation with Lara Bazelon, the Director of the Criminal & Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinics at the University of San Francisco School of Law. We discuss her thoughts on systemic racism, her work representing indigent clients, “progressive prosecutors,” and her new book on motherhood, “Ambitious Like…
 
Former Russian journalist Regina Revazova is the fabulous producer of the “Keeping It Civil” podcast. In this personal conversation with Josh and Henry, she describes the illiberalism of life under Putin’s regime, her decision to leave Russia and seek political asylum in the United States, the state of free media in Russia today, and how the war in…
 
H.R. McMaster is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who served for over thirty years, including as National Security Advisor from 2017 to 2018. Henry and Josh begin their conversation with him by discussing his background, his recent book, “Battlegrounds,” and his argument against what he calls “strategic narcissism” on the part of U.S…
 
America’s free and self-governed society was founded on a written constitution, but as Jonathan Rauch argues – following James Madison – the United States relies on an “unwritten constitution,” a body of norms, customs, and traditions, the habits of a self-governing people. For Rauch, a liberal democratic society depends also on the common dedicati…
 
We speak about the relaunch and the importance of the free and open exchange of ideas inherent in the blend of liberal arts and civic leadership education that students can find if they study at ASU with the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. This exchange of ideas serves as the foundation for the Keeping it Civil podcast.…
 
In each episode, hosts Henry Thomson and Josh Sellers interview public intellectuals, scholars and authors with diverging views on pressing issues in America today. Topics range from questions around intellectual orthodoxy to racism, to individual liberty and free speech. This podcast is a partnership between the School of Civic and Economic Though…
 
Walter Russell Mead and Duncan Moench greatly disagree on whether the First World War was a murky battle between two equally imperfect and imperialist forces. They follow up this discussion with a prescient conversation that anticipates the attempted revolt in January, the enormous need for telecommuting to ease the country's housing crisis — and t…
 
Why did American culture build strong community ties in the second quarter of the 20th century only to have it all unravel in the mid-1960s — did immigration restriction play a role? Dr. Moench and acclaimed Harvard sociologist debate the thesis of his latest book The Upswing. This interview was recorded in June, 2020.…
 
Two scholars of political thought with highly contrasting perspectives (and totally different backgrounds) explore what promise the rise of populism may - or may not - hold. Dr. Moench and Prof. Mounk do their best to disagree amicably on the meaning of populism and the political future. (Please note: this interview was recorded on February 28, 202…
 
Has Mexican American immigration been substantively different from German or Irish immigration to the United States — or, is it merely newer? Dr. B. Duncan Moench speaks with Tomás Jiménez to discuss the overlooked similarities —and unseen differences—between Mexican American immigration and its closest historical counterparts.…
 
The Manhattan Institute's Reihan Salam joins Duncan Moench to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of mass immigration. When low-skill workers call for less immigration do they have genuine concerns regarding competition for jobs and benefits - or, are their views always driven by racism?By School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
 
National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru joins Duncan Moench to discuss whether the US is in the midst of a "Cold Civil War." Are Bernie's supporters really clear on what they mean by "socialism" — does it matter? Why does no one seem particularly concerned about the specifics of how new immigrants are assimilating? With right-to-life support h…
 
New York Times writer David Leonhardt joins Duncan Moench to debate how best to conceptualize climate change, why the center-left media doesn’t cover Antifa violence, and whether Joe Biden (or Elizabeth Warren) are "Hillary 2.0." Don't forget to rate us and tell your friends and colleagues about the show!…
 
Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University professor and political philosophy scholar, joins Duncan Moench to discuss being the last (explicitly) conservative professor teaching at an Ivy League university, and how cancel culture reflects serious problems with contemporary liberalism. This discussion includes his dis-invitation from Concordia University’…
 
Al Gharbi’s remarkable life story and the smear campaign that drove him from Univ. of Arizona (5:30); How getting attacked by Fox News spurred his experiment in framing arguments, which changed his life (8:30). Debunking the sociological myths of Trump supporters (12:30). Prejudicial study designs and how they impact our perceptions of Trump suppor…
 
How he knew Trump would win before anyone else (3:00); Identity politics (IP) as the fig leaf covering the obscene wealth of liberal elites (7:00); globalism leads to “existential homeless” (15:30); the so-called liberal world order is genuinely diverse or even liberal at all (22:30); describing thought he calls “white progressive racism” (33:00); …
 
The concept of “social entrepreneurship” — how risk taking and “explosive rewards” relate to social and political movements (31:30) AB’s background as a French horn player (and college drop-out) from Seattle who didn’t know any conservatives (1:00-5:00) What convinced him of the power of the free enterprise system (7:45) There is a moral consensus …
 
The role of honor culture and how the practice of dueling played a role in the lead up to the US Civil War. Parallels between Southern attempts to intimidate Northerners and contemporary politically-correct bullying (25:00) The role of the telegraph in exposing the violence in Congress (12:00) Designated physical intimidators and “enforcers” sent t…
 
Two forms of liberalism — one liberation oriented, the other community oriented (5); Market utility-maximizing thinking creates “statist individualism” (11) Each side of American politics have sides seeking to restrain different parts of liberal excess (12:30); “liberalocrats” operate w/o cultural, moral, or national boundaries but use “social just…
 
Witnessing the end of the Roosevelt coalition and rise of the “silent majority” (7); William F. Buckley’s impact on the formation of “fusion” conservatism (11); lessons of Goldwater’s 1964 campaign (13); Buckley’s relationship with Ronald Reagan (15); the odd role of WFB’s Firing Line in giving voice to left (20); Brookhiser’s experiences on the Co…
 
Liberty vs. equality - which do Americans prefer? Citizens as co-creators of governance 4:00. How to address inequality—redistribution, or “pre-distribution”? 6:30 Would a better voting system create more participation? 15:00 Do legislators need a spirit of compromise for democracy to function? 21:00 Is speech essential to empowerment? 30:00 Punish…
 
The “Reagan” vs. the “Roosevelt” dispensation 1:30.The New Left and New Right - both highly individualistic 6:30. The transition away from family in a govt policy 9:50. Identity politics’ (IP) relationship to “pseudo politics” 12:30. The snobbery of the cultural left 16:30. Building a culture of entrepreneurship inside minority communities 18:30. W…
 
Is Douthat a “populist,” are there any populists in the “mainstream media” — is it even conceivable for an authentic populist to be employed there? The narrow intellectual diversity reflected in the media (5:00). No genuine intellectual outlet for Middle America (9:00). Decay of regional institutions of intellectual thought (11:45). Healthy institu…
 
What makes American religious culture so unique? Is “woke liberalism” part of that religious history, what of Trump’s “empty Christian religiosity”? Americans are Christian heretics (2:30). The transition from older religious environments to the newer ones of today (12:30). Treating the New Left as a religious awakening and a search for a new moral…
 
Part two of Duncan’s interview with Jonah Goldberg. They continue their discussion of the causes of political tribalism and the radical takeover of higher education as well as Goldberg’s views on the rise of populism and identity politics, which he calls a form of identity politics. How do these developments relate to the deterioration of civil soc…
 
Part one of Duncan’s interview with Jonah Goldberg. Duncan and Jonah discuss how the Howard Zinn approach to American history (the so-called “conflict school”) has changed higher education and why American students fail to appreciate the uniqueness of the American liberal tradition.By School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
 
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