3367 – How the Early 90’s Birthed An Authoritarian Movement w/ John Ganz

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with John Ganz, writer of the Unpopular Front newsletter on SubStack, to discuss his recent book When the Clock Broke: Con Men, Conspiracists, and How America Cracked Up in the Early 1990s. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Netanyahu’s rejection of (supposedly) his own peace plan, Israel’s pivot to Lebanon, another State Department resignation over Biden’s Gaza policy, this week’s primaries, Biden’s polling numbers, the Supreme Court’s agenda, flight attendant labor action, and DeSantis’ vetoing of all state arts grants, before parsing through some stories that help explain who George Latimer, primary opponent to Jamaal Bowman, really is. John Ganz then joins, diving right into his metaphor of the broken clock, inspired by the right-wing’s 1990s movement to “break the clock” of social democracy and Francis Fukuyama’s concept of the Neoliberal consensus as the “end of history,” and how it provides a lens into the evolution of the far-right GOP we see today. Ganz then walks through some of the major players in the end of conservatism as we knew it, including the GOP establishment’s rejection (and the voters’ embrace) of KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, the shortcomings of George H. W. Bush’s establishment centrism, and the fore-knowledge of libertarian Pat Buchanan, who would go on to serve as a central rhetorical influence for the presidential campaign of one Donald Trump. Expanding on this, John, Sam, and Emma explore how this era saw the conservative establishment begin to embrace the talk-show culture-war populism of Rush Limbaugh, which, alongside Bill Clinton’s elitism and assimilation to Reagan economics, allowed for the GOP to somehow frame its anti-democratic and anti-working class policies as an anti-elitist anti-establishment agenda. After diving a little deeper into the right wing’s ability (internationally) to frame itself as the ideology for-the-people over the first two decades of the 21st Century, Ganz touches on Biden’s presidency as a continuation of the left wing’s inability to progress its (supposedly progressive) politics, wrapping up the interview with a brief assessment of the future of the US’ two political parties post-Trump and Biden.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma watch Will Cain try to comprehend Patrick Bet-David’s genius value-taintment, executive pill-mill Dr. Ronny Jackson suddenly has a problem with drugged-up presidents, and Donald Trump has something to say about boats and sharks… we just can’t figure out what it is. Corey from South Carolina discusses a GOP fundraising attempt at a Juneteenth celebration, Matt from San Diego explores money in politics, and Louisiana’s Governor attempts to defend LA’s new 10-Commandments commandment for what is perhaps the worst school system in the US, plus, your calls and IMs!

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