Why The Right Went Wrong w/ E.J. Dionne Jr.

This Saturday, Matthew LaClair will be speaking with professor of g0vernment issues and author, E.J. Dionne Jr. Dionne is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, a government professor at Georgetown University and a frequent commentator on politics for NPR, ABC’s “This Week” and MSNBC.  He is also a long-time columnist for the Washington Post and spent 14 years at the New York Times, where he covered politics and reported from Albany, Washington, Paris, Rome and Beirut.

Dionne is the author of six books including his latest and the subject of our discussion, Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond.  He tells the story of the evolving (or rather devolving) Conservative movement, starting with Barry Goldwater and resulting in the politics of today including the extremist views of Donald Trump, the current presidential nominee of the Republican Party.  Dionne weaves together the cast of characters that have shaped the Republican party and the political right, interviewing many of them in the hopes of understanding their movement from within. What happened to mainstream Conservatism? What role has religion played in its development? How has liberalism grappled with the evolving political right and how should honest journalists grapple with the vitriol and extremism of it?

Fund-Drive Special!


A discussion about Dr. Joy DeGruy and Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

Economic Inequality & the Problem with Work w/Kathi Weeks and Michael D. Yates

Many secular humanists traditionally focused on the so-called hard sciences and religion in their analyses but this is clearly not enough. In time, many also address the social sciences and key political issues from Human Rights to Separation of Church and State to the crises of Climate Change. However, the willingness to apply the scientific method, healthy skepticism, and humanistic ethics to our more central political structures has been very lacking…even the willingness to take on the illusion of “free will” gets more traction with humanist in America. This is why we try to cover these issues when we can on this show. Today we will address our economic system and what it means to be a contributor within its boundaries…as well as what is at the core of one of our greatest problems today, massive inequality.

Capitalism can be, and has been, described in a great many ways. From the Austrian and Chicago Schools of economic thought to the Keynesian models to the Marxist and Anarchist analyses. Among those who do the academic work required to grapple with all of this, we will find sometimes complex, often contradictory, and always passionate points-of-view on what we should do about capitalism here in the 21st Century. Among the general populous in the United States, on the other hand, we find confusion, misapplied labels, dogmatism and not a little anger.

We’ve talked about this from different angles and tried to make sense of it all via political science, history, social science, and even evolutionary biology and neuroscience. After all, Capitalism didn’t spring up out of nowhere, and it doesn’t exist in vacuum – being value-neutral as some might want to believe. So today we are going to look at the capitalist condition from both overarching and under-arching perspectives…The former being the huge inequality problem we now face, and the latter being what is at the core of the capitalist system…Work. To do this, we will be speaking with two special guests: Kathi Weeks and Michael D. Yates.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Author, professor, and historian Garry Wills speaks with Matthew LaClair on American politics, religion, and this history of the Catholic Church. Northwestern Prof. Emeritus Garry Wills is the author of around 40 books, the latest being The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis. Wills has received numerous prizes for his work including the Merle Curti Award of the American Historical Association, the National Book Critics Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a reviewer for the New York Review of Books. His most recent review discussed the new book Why The Right Went Wrong by E.J. Dionne Jr., who will be our guest for April 23rd.

A life-long Catholic, Prof. Wills has grappled with the inconsistencies and irrationality of certain beliefs, such as the literal story of Noah’s Ark, Transubstantiation, and other supernatural claims, while maintaining a core belief in Heaven, Hell, and the divinity and resurrection of Jesus on Earth. ETFF opens the door to Wills to explain how he and other theists distinguish the symbolic from the literal. What do theists and non-theists of all stripes have in common? What makes us different? Are our differences important?

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret


For this show we will explore the psychology, history, and political climate that has fueled the rise of the Right-Wing and its most prominent symbol of today, Donald Trump. Our first guest will be Dr. Leon Seltzer, a psychologist practicing in Del Mar, California. Dr. Seltzer is the author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy, and is a frequent writer for Psychology Today, where he writes on subjects such as anger management and conflict resolution. He most recently published 3 parts of a 5-part series in Psychology Today called “Outrage and Outrageousness: The Secret to Trump’s Popularity.”
Following Dr. Seltzer, we will speak with attorney Tom Turnipseed, who served as the executive director to conservative George Wallace’s 1968 campaign. Joining him will be his wife, Judy, who also worked in the Wallace campaign. The Turnipseed’s experienced dramatic political and personal changes since then. Mr. Turnipseed later served as Chairman of the Board of the Center for Democratic Renewal, worked as the co-council for Macedonia Baptist Church in Clarendon County, S.C. in their case against the Ku Klux Klan for burning their church in 1997, and has promoted additional progressive causes.
What leads people to promote and support racism, and what led some of them to change? What is the psychology behind Donald Trump and his most adamant supporters? What can we learn from the past to change the present?

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret

We occasionally have the opportunity to speak with people in the arts rather than academia to examine other ways of understanding where we’re at as well as where we want to be and how to get there. For this show, I had the chance to talk with humorist Danny Katch about how to understand what it means when we hear the term ‘socialism’ bandied about – especially since the Bernie Sanders campaign for president – what socialism actually is, and can it be re-envisioned for today’s world-gone-crazy?

And for the first time on Equal Time, we will speak with the founding members of a rock band whose mission it is – besides making good music – to cut through what historian Morris Berman refers to as our American political ‘fog.’ The New York founded The Last Internationale.

Naturalistic Support Workshop


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On Grief and Loss