Dec 6, 2022 • 1HR 19M

Bisexual Classical Liberalism

Discussion of The White Lotus, Season 2, Episodes 5-6

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Richard Hanania
Connected to the Richard Hanania Substack. Discussions with Chris Nicholson on war, Rob Henderson on movies, TV shows, and culture, and more.
Episode details

Rob Henderson joins the podcast to talk about Season 2 of The White Lotus, Episodes 5 and 6. We originally said we would do Episodes 5-7 all together to close out the season, but decided there was enough here to have an additional conversation, and I’m glad we did.

In the course of the discussion, I identify the ideology of the show as “Bisexual Classical Liberalism.” I got this from remembering having previously read that Mike White, the show’s creator, had described himself as a classical liberal. I can’t find this through googling, and maybe it’s an attribution that came from someone else (or something that I just imagined in my head). If you know of anything out there on this, please let me know. Regardless of how White describes himself, I think this ideology I just identified is a great way to understand the worldview of the show, with its openness towards sex, skepticism towards neurotic women and identity politics, and acceptance of human nature. If I were to guess, I’d say that White’s favorite writer is Andrew Sullivan. In Episode 6, we see a nod to the ideas expressed by Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now.

Mike White, looking very bisexual and classical liberal. Source.

Rob and I get into a possible cuckoldry storyline, which Rob doesn’t think there’s a lot of evidence for, but which I think could explain where the show is going. In contrast, we have similar views on what is going on with the hookers. We’ll be back to discuss the season finale next week.

Listen here, or watch the video of our conversation on YouTube.


Me and Rob Henderson on The White Lotus, Season 1

Me and Rob on The White Lotus, Season 2, Episodes 1-4

On Paul Manafort being a literal cuck

Andrew Sullivan on The White Lotus, Season 1