10/28 Why The New Deal Matters Today w/ Eric Rauchway

October 28, 2021

Emma hosts Eric Rauchway, Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, to discuss his recent book Why The New Deal Matters, on the lessons we can take looking back on that period in US legislative history. Professor Rauchway and Emma first reflect on the laughable comparisons Biden go as the “new FDR” towards the start of his administration, before a discussion of how FDR worked to immediately pass specific tailored legislation that has become so incredibly naturalized that we hardly think about it as social policy, ranging from social security, to our highways and parks. Next, they jump into FDR’s motives for the New Deal, looking at the growing unrest regarding the inaction of government in the midst of the great depression, and the resulting turn towards Right-wing anti-government taking off in Europe, then they discuss FDR’s aim (beyond material benefits) of re-establishing the belief that your government works for you. Professor Rauchway also dives into FDR’s relationship to civil rights, as his social policy worked to bolster indigenous land rights and Black employment opportunities, even though he really did not go out of his way to address racism and white supremacy, before he and Emma also look at the important environmental policy that came out of the New Deal as FDR saw the public relationship to public lands, and the energy we got from it, as central to restoring a feeling of power and political agency to the hands of the people. They also discuss FDR’s relationship to activism, particularly organized labor, as he worked to let workers fight for what they wanted, even with antagonism to his state, and encouraged attempts by organizers to push his policy further to the left. Wrapping up the interview, Eric and Emma take on some of FDR’s unique practices in terms of passing his agenda, before touching on the shadow of the New Deal, with its inspiration of LBJ’s administration, and why we’re overdue for a new coming of New Deal-style legislation. Emma also discusses the complete gutting of reconciliation and Israel’s more recent genocidal replacement policy.

And in the Fun Half: Emma, Brandon, and Matt celebrate one year of EmMajority Report with the masochism of admiring Sinema and Romney’s Ted Lasso cosplay alongside Amazon’s upcoming “Mayor Pete” doc, and Brandon gives his side by side comps of Lasso and Young Sheldon against the magnum opus that is United States of Al. Becky calls in to clarify that anti-natalism is, indeed, against childbirth, the MR crew admires the community-driven solution to punitive criminal justice with Dads on Duty, and Chris from Taiwan discusses his work on Sheila Nezhad’s campaign for Mayor of Minneapolis, plus, your calls and IMs!

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