Episode

3/4 The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America w/ Greg Grandin

March 4, 2019

On today’s show, historian Greg Grandin (@GregGrandin), joins us to discuss his new book, The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America. At the foundation of America is the idea of expansionism. For centuries the United States has expanded its borders, markets, and policy in order to alleviate  domestic issues and would dilute problems of factionalism. Unlike other imperial powers, Grandin believes the United States married the ideas of liberty and imperial domination and created a fundamental national identity where expansion through imperialism could be see as an innate “freedom.” But expansion is also hits limits. USA expansionism has hit walls during the Great Depression and then again Vietnam war; responses to these limitations addressed expansion in new ways. During the Great Depression expansion through socialization via the New Deal brought greater liberation and freedom from tyranny. Under Reagan, liberty and expansion existed as freedom from taxation and the government bureaucracy created after WWII. Moving to 2018, Grandin argues that Trump’s policy and understanding of expansion exists at the southern border, it’s a push back against universal liberalism and the idea that a global economy can lift all ships. Under Trump, the opportunity for growth is gone, there are limits and we need to take care of our own. The Wall is a real representation of hedonistic brutality that inverts the myth of the frontier and expansion, it is an expansion from within.

And in the Fun Half: John Hickenlooper is finally in the race, it’s Riff City at CPAC, Clinton spox on MSNBC already have the knives out for Bernie, white Bernie supporters should be less defensive and listen to criticism, a listener recounts playing poker at a table full of Trump supporters, Doug Jones makes the case to expand the voter rolls, Brandon Straka made it to the CPAC stage, breaking down Donald Trump’s marathon CPAC diatribe, Seinfeld explains the complexity of comedy in 2019, plus your calls and IMs!

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