7/6 When Partisan Discord Last Dominated American Democracy w/ Jon Grinspan

July 6, 2021

Sam and Emma are back from the July 4th holiday with Smithsonian curator Jon Grinspan, author of his latest book The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915 on the last time partisanship was the primary driver in American democracy. Grinspan, inspired by the precedence for our modern political era that he found in the Gilded Age, looks into how the post-Reconstruction era saw a crisis of democracy in the shadow of boosted political partisanship and party identification. He walks through the mass public participation in the wake of the Civil War, with politics acting as a central sphere of public life that saw campaign marches and public elections, involving – on the social level – even those without suffrage. Emma, Sam, and Jon next explore how the contentious 1977 election of Rutherford B. Hayes saw voters start to turn their back on Reconstruction policies as voter disenfranchisement starts to spring up in the South, and elites in the North rebrand politics as a private, subtle matter in order to discourage the working class, including freed Black folks and immigrants, from political involvement. They round out the interview by reflecting on the lessons for the modern era, remembering that these crises of democracy – even when clouded by partisanship, political violence, and distrust – have been worked out of before. Emma and Sam finish off the first half by discussing two big upcoming stories, including the impact of this holiday weekend on COVID rates, and the continuing Republican fight against a comprehensive infrastructure package before they chat about Donny Deutch’s nightmare situation of Americans dreaming less of labor and focusing more on the quality of their lives.

And in the Fun Half: Nomiki Konst joins Sam and Emma as they keep holiday workers at the Haslet, TX Walmart in their mind after their consumer’s rousing performance on the 3rd, and then they enjoy Fox’s Clay Travis point out how their viewers’ outrage is reflective of the horrible state of politics in our country that makes us so willing to get outraged by outrageous culture war. Oochie Wally calls in to tackle last week’s Crypto Fascist and racists’ incessant pathologizing of any Black demographical statistic that they could use to mislead the public. Eli in the Netherlands gets the crew into a discussion of institutional schooling and alternatives, before they watch Trump finally extend a hand to the “good hardworking people” that don’t pay taxes on the company car (his CFO). Then, Joanna from Queens discusses how AOC has become Tim Pool’s ultimate cock block, and Noah from the Crowder Mug Club speaks on his intimate relationship with Stephen’s true self and why following science is basically stupid, plus, your calls and IMs!

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