Aug 11 • 59M

Clown Car: 8/10/23

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Appears in this episode

Richard Hanania
Inez Stepman
Discussion of politics and current events, with a special focus on the 2024 election.
Episode details

After a two-week hiatus, Inez and I are back to discuss recent events. My critique of my old views and internet persona have led some to ask about my old research on why public figures shouldn’t apologize. Of course, my view is that if you did something wrong, you should admit it. Even if it was the case that it would have been better for me to reply with defiance, and it most certainly wasn’t, I don’t think I could’ve done so and remained honest with my audience.

I talk about the strangeness of Matt Yglesias getting denounced by his followers for having interacted with me on Twitter. The discourse is in a sad state when we can’t have any kind of contact with people we disagree with. I tell Inez that I think that part of the issue is liberals having long existed in a bubble of privilege, where they don’t have to engage with any ideas, or even people, that make them uncomfortable. With Twitter and Substack now supporting free speech, and the declining power of cancellation journalism, power appears to be shifting and the left may find itself forced to become more tolerant by necessity.

In this context, we discuss whether we are actually over the worst of cancel culture. I think that we are. Particularly when it comes to influencing the right, left-wing unpersoning campaigns are becoming less effective.

At about the 45 minute mark we talk about a recent Tablet piece on Obama. I only read the part about him fantasizing about gay sex, whatever that says about my mental state. But Inez says there’s more in there suggesting that perhaps the former president is having an outsized and inappropriate role in running the country today, which I’m quite skeptical of. But again, she read the piece and I didn’t, so decide for yourself.

Finally, we close by talking about the supposedly new track that DeSantis has taken on the question of whether Trump won the 2020 election.

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