Episodes

  • For the past month, the House select committee on Jan. 6 has held a series of public hearings on President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Yesterday it surprised all of us with some of its most stunning evidence yet.

    In revelatory testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, divulged details about just how much Trump and some of his supporters knew about the potential for violence at the Capitol before Jan. 6. According to Hutchinson, Trump knew that the crowd was heavily armed, but that didn’t stop him from calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol anyway. “They’re not here to hurt me,” she overheard him say.

    Host Jane Coaston is joined by The Times’s columnist Bret Stephens and editorial board member Michelle Cottle to unpack the new testimony and what it might mean for Trump — and the future of the G.O.P.

    Recommended reading from this episode:

    Michelle Cottle’s Opinion essay “Cassidy Hutchinson Did Her Job”Bret Stephens’ column “Will the Jan. 6 Committee Finally Bring Down the Cult of Trump?”The Wall Street Journal opinion essay “Trump Needs an Apprentice”

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available by the end of the day on the Times website.)

  • From New York to San Francisco, there’s a sense that crime is on the rise in American cities. And in some ways, that’s true: Violent crime has risen. Murders are up nearly 40 percent since 2019. But property crime has fallen for years. And how we define crime, and what’s causing its increase, is a complicated issue — as is what we should do about it.

    So on today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Rafael Mangual and Alex Kingsbury to debate what’s really going on with crime rates and why people feel so unsafe.

    Mangual is a senior fellow and the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. “I do think this is more than just a bad-vibes moment in a lot of places. It really is as bad as it’s ever been or close to it,” Mangual says. Alex, an editor at large at New York Times Opinion, thinks we need to first change the narrative of how we understand crime. “Crime as a general term is just really broad,” Alex says, adding, “Where you sit determines what you see.”

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Rafael Mangual’s book, “Criminal (In)Justice”“The Argument” police reform round table episode: “Policing Is Not Broken, It’s ‘Literally Designed to Work in This Way’”

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • Missing episodes?

    Click here to refresh the feed.

  • When does creative license become cultural appropriation? Take “American Dirt” and “The Help,” two books by white authors that drew criticism for their portrayals of characters of color. Artists’ job is to imagine and create, but what do we do when they get it wrong?

    To discuss, Jane Coaston is joined by the Opinion writers Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang. Roxane is an author of multiple books, including “Hunger” and “Bad Feminist.” Jay is a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and writes a twice-weekly newsletter. In their work, both have thought deeply about the thorny issues of writing across identities — including what makes work authentic, the pressure of representation for writers of color and the roles social media and the publishing industry play in literary criticism. “I don’t think it’s that complicated,” Roxane says. “It’s not that we divorce identity from the conversation. It’s that we treat it as inherent because we can’t separate out parts of ourselves.”

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “White Fever Dreams” by Roxane Gay in Gay Magazine“The Pity of the Elites” by Jay Caspian Kang

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • On Thursday, a bipartisan House select committee will begin public hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. The weeks ahead will be awash with news as the committee reveals what happened in the days and weeks before the attack — and to what extent the rioters were emboldened, or enabled, by the White House and Republican lawmakers.

    To wade through the news and help us understand what to pay attention to as the hearings unfold, host Jane Coaston calls upon two experts on the Republican Party.

    Nicole Hemmer is an author and historian of conservative media. Ross Douthat is a Times Opinion columnist. They give their takes on what narratives might play out in the hearings and comment on the danger of far-right extremism in the G.O.P. “I don’t see an incentive structure that pulls the Republican Party in general away from procedural extremism, or even really at the moment, anything that pulls them back to a majoritarian democratic process,” Hemmer says.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “What Oprah Winfrey Knows About American History That Tucker Carlson Doesn’t” by Nicole Hemmer in The New York Times“Are We Witnessing the Mainstreaming of White Power in America?” episode from The Ezra Klein Show“Why Would John Eastman Want to Overturn an Election for Trump?” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • The recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, indicate that gun violence, and how to address it, is a conversation we unfortunately need to keep having. But what policies would make a difference and stop some of these mass casualty events?

    On today’s episode, host Jane Coaston focuses on the solutions to gun violence and what measures would help stop mass shootings specifically, in addition to curbing homicides, suicides and other forms of gun violence. The three policy proposals up for debate: red-flag laws, background checks and age limits.

    Jane is joined by Charles C.W. Cooke, senior writer for National Review, and Alex Kingsbury, Times Opinion editor at large and editorial board member. Cooke isn’t convinced that gun laws will ameliorate America’s gun problem. “It’s just not the case that every single tightening of the gun law improves things. It doesn’t,” he says. On the other side is Kingsbury, who feels that we need gun control measures and that it’s about time the government finds a solution to the problem. “I mean, you just can’t look at the death toll that the weapons have inflicted on the society and say that we overregulate weapons in this society,” Kingsbury says.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “It’s Too Late to Ban Assault Weapons” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“Gunman in ____ Kills __” by Alex Kingsbury in The New York Times“This Is Why We Need Guns” by Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • Two years ago, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests across America, gathering an estimated 15 million people into the streets during the summer of 2020. Since then, Americans of all political persuasions have taken to the streets to make their views known, on everything from mask mandates to abortion rights. But did protesting result in any real change? And looking back, where does that moment of collective outrage fit in the broader history of dissent in America?

    This week, host Jane Coaston wants to know whether there is a “right” way to protest, and what makes a protest successful. To talk it through, she’s joined by the conservative writer David French of The Dispatch and the Times Opinion columnist Charles Blow. “I think a lot of times what the protest does is that it crystallizes and defines the parameters of morality on an issue,” Blow says. “It is a narrative-setting or -changing event.” But French argues that sometimes, in pursuit of raising awareness, protests can go too far. “If a group of people can menace a public official with enough ferocity that they can undermine the will of the people, you’re really beginning to undermine the notion of democracy itself,” he says.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Leave the Justices Alone at Home” by the Washington Post editorial board“Protests Might Not Change the Court’s Decision. We Should Take to the Streets Anyway” by Jay Caspian Kang in The New York Times“Do Protests Even Work?” by Zeynep Tufekci in The Atlantic

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • If you’re confused about the current state of the economy and where it’s headed, you’re not alone. The United States is experiencing inflation at the highest rate since the 1980s, and most Americans generally feel as bad about the economy as they did during the Great Recession of 2008. At the same time, unemployment is low and wages are rising.

    On today’s episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston consults two economics reporters to break down these conflicting trends in the economy and to ask the question so many people want answered: Are things going to get worse before they get better?

    Peter Coy is an Opinion writer for The New York Times. Alexandra Scaggs is a senior writer at Barron’s, where she covers bonds markets. Both have different takes on how the Federal Reserve can try to bring inflation down without long-term repercussions, including a recession. “There are people who would say, well, fine, that’s what needs to happen, if that’s what it takes to extinguish this high inflation, so be it,” Coy says. “And I’m just saying, I’m not willing to go that far.”

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Unemployment Is Low. That Doesn’t Mean the Economy Is Fine.” by Peter Coy in The New York Times“How Should Democrats Respond to Rising Inflation and High Gas Prices?” by John Cassidy in The New Yorker“Making Sense of a Complicated Economy,” EconoFact Chats episode from EconoFact

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • May is chock-full of primary elections, and they are starting to provide a picture of how deep the G.O.P. is entrenched in Trumpism. J.D. Vance, the 37-year-old venture capitalist and author of the acclaimed memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” won the Republican Senate primary in Ohio — with the endorsement of Donald Trump. The rise of Vance paints a telling portrait of how the G.O.P. is evolving in its appeal to its conservative base. Vance eagerly sought Trump’s endorsement and praise. Does it mean that the party is becoming a “populism of tribal loyalty,” as suggested by one of today’s guests?

    Today on “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston wants to know what this month’s Republican primary elections can actually tell us about the future of the G.O.P. and if it signals more Trump in 2024. She is joined two conservative writers, David French and Christopher Caldwell.

    French is a senior editor of “The Dispatch” and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Caldwell is a contributing writer for New York Times Opinion. “I don’t think anyone disputes that there’s a wide open lane for populist incitement,” French says. “I think the issue with J.D. Vance and the issue with the Republican Party in general is this move that says, we’re going to indulge it. We’re going to stoke it.”

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “The Decline of Ohio and the Rise of J.D. Vance” by Christopher Caldwell in The New York Times“What if There Is No Such Thing as ‘Trumpism'?” by Jane Coaston in The National Review

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • It was a historic twist in an already historic case: A draft opinion of a Supreme Court decision overturning two landmark rulings — Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — leaked to Politico, which published the 98-page document on Monday night. Chief Justice John Roberts said that the draft opinion was authentic but that “it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”

    Even with that caveat, it seems to be a sign of where things are headed — the end of abortion rights as a constitutional right in America.

    On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by the Times Opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg and editorial board member Jesse Wegman to discuss the implications of the draft opinion and the future of abortion rights in America.

    What is your take on the Roe v. Wade draft leak? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the episode.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson Supreme Court caseGriswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court case“The Next Frontier for the Anti-Abortion Movement: A Nationwide Ban” by Caroline Kitchener in The Washington Post“Thoughts on a Post-Roe Agenda” by Patrick T. Brown in National Review

    (A full transcript of the episode is available on The Times website.)

  • Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, states barring transgender athletes from participating in sports and censoring school curriculums around queer and gender identity — a wave of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation is spreading across the country, sustained in large part by the political right. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year alone, more than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in state legislatures.

    Why has this issue become the focus of the Republican Party? And how is the way society treats individuals who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. changing?

    In today’s episode, Jane Coaston convenes her Times Opinion colleagues, the columnists Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg, to debate this issue. Ross brings his conservative lens to the topic of L.G.B.T.Q. issues and Michelle shares a more liberal outlook. In the middle is Jane, who brings a deeply personal perspective to the table: “I think that a lot of these bills seem to spring from what I would say, a willful misunderstanding of how people like me became ourselves,” she says.

    What are your thoughts on the recent anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War” by Ross Douthat in The New York Times“Gender Unicorn” from Trans Student Educational Resources

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • From Amazon and Starbucks to large media companies, unionization has become a siren call for workers — white- and blue-collar — fighting for rights and fair wages. But in 2022, after two years of a pandemic, how have our ideas about unions changed? And are Democrats, the so-called party of the unions, still allies in the fight for workers’ rights?

    On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston asks two leading labor voices in America to debate the current role of unions, how the watershed vote at an Amazon warehouse is changing their work and whether Democrats have failed workers.

    Liz Shuler is the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Jane McAlevey is an organizer and a campaign strategist and the author of the recent book “A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing and the Fight for Democracy.”

    “People used to say, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ It’s the base, stupid, in my argument,” McAlevey says, emphasizing the need for unions and large organizations like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to learn from Amazon and focus on bringing more workers into the fold. “If we don’t return to bottom-up organizing, we’re simply not going to have the political muscle to force Democrats and Republicans to do that which they must: to honor the essential workers coming out of this pandemic.”

    What’s your take on unions? How do you think unions should capitalize on this moment? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell)” by Jane McAlevey“The People, United, Must Fight Hard or Be Defeated” by Binyamin Appelbaum in The New York Times

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • President Biden has described the world as being in a “battle between democracy and autocracy.” And Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent victory in Hungary, especially, has marked it as a country in pursuit of what Orban calls an “illiberal democracy.” So what has happened to liberalism, and why is it so deeply challenged today?

    On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings the Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp and the Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens together to debate what’s gone wrong with liberalism. Both take vastly different positions on what the biggest challenge to liberalism is today and how to approach it, but they agree on one thing: Western liberalism is in danger, largely in part from what’s happening abroad.

    “I think liberalism is under profound threat in the United States, even more so in states in Europe, and the person who is effectively the global champion of that illiberal worldview right now strikes me as Vladimir Putin,” Stephens says.

    In January, Beauchamp posted on Twitter: "The biggest challenge for liberalism today is the use of its own key features against it: free speech enabling the spread of authoritarian propaganda, democracy empowering illiberal leaders, markets producing an unresponsive oligarchic class."

    How do you think liberalism is being challenged today? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Europe’s Other Threat to Democracy” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“The Anti-Liberal Moment” by Zack Beauchamp on Vox“America Could Use a Liberal Party” by Bret Stephens in The New York Times“The War in Ukraine, Explained,” Part 1 and Part 2, on the “Vox Conversations” podcast with Zack Beauchamp

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its sixth week. Atrocities committed by Russian troops have reached new levels; in Bucha, recent photos show dead, unarmed civilians lining the streets. The harrowing scenes have prompted NATO leaders to consider taking new measures against Russia, namely to equip Ukraine with more weapons and impose more sanctions on Russia.

    But will those measures be enough? With President Biden now calling the atrocities “war crimes” and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland “acts of genocide,” what more should NATO do to help protect Ukraine and its sovereignty?

    On today’s episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston calls upon the former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove to give context and answers to these large questions. Breedlove is now the distinguished chair of the Frontier Europe Initiative at the Middle East Institute, and he has a lot to say about the alliance’s approach to Russia. “There are people in our government and people in NATO that believe if we keep doing nothing and we just keep doing what we’re doing, supplying them, that the risk will not grow. I’m here to tell you the risk is growing every day,” he says.

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • Technology defines nearly every facet of our modern world. It almost feels that to exist today in the Western world, one has no choice but to engage in it. As a result, Big Tech holds an incredible amount of power — power that continues to play a role in the Russia-Ukraine war.

    As the war has intensified, tech companies have been forced to take a side. It’s become what the Times reporters Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel described as a “defining geopolitical moment for some of the world’s biggest tech companies.” Spotify decided last Friday to suspend its services in Russia because of recently enacted Russian legislation that restricts access to news. Apple Pay also suspended services for Russia’s Mir cards, the country’s largest card payment system.

    It’s clear Big Tech companies hold big power. But should they? And do their moves in Russia highlight that they have too much influence in some countries? Is it time to finally reconsider tech regulation, and if so, who should be responsible for determining regulation?

    This week, Jane Coaston brings together two writers who spend their time reporting on the role technology plays in our lives. Charlie Warzel is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and writes the newsletter “Galaxy Brain,” about tech, media and politics. Robby Soave is a senior editor at the libertarian magazine “Reason” and is the author of the book “Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future.”

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Charlie Warzel’s newsletter, “Galaxy Brain,” for The AtlanticRobby Soave’s YouTube show, “Rising”“Ukraine War Tests the Power of Tech Giants” by Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel“TikTok Was Designed for War” by Chris Stokel-Walker in Wired“Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future” by Robby Soave.“Sway” episode with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld: “The Corporations Passing — and Failing — the Ukraine Morality Test”

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • How should America respond to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? This week, Jane Coaston sought out perspectives of a particular group on this complex question: conservatives. The group has long been divided on foreign policy and, more recently, over Putin and Russia. Could loyalty to Donald Trump lead some Republicans to support Putin?

    In today’s episode, these questions are tested by two conservative writers — and their answers are far from aligned.

    Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior writer at National Review. He feels strongly that the United States and NATO should avoid further involvement in the conflict and argues that a declaration of neutrality by Ukraine would be a good path forward. “I think neutrality is a real strategic position that can help some countries remain independent, sovereign and avoid war,” he says.

    David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch. He sits on the opposite side; He is for NATO expansion and believes the United States should further help to defend Ukraine. “It’s so necessary for the West — without risking nuclear conflict with Russia — to demonstrate for a generation, if possible, that this form of aggressive warfare is going to cost far, far more than anything that Russia will gain,” he says.

    Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, independent or none of those, we want to hear from you. What’s your take on Ukraine, and how do you think the Republican Party should be reacting? Share your thoughts in the comments on this page after you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search for Home” by Michael Brendan Dougherty“The French Press” newsletter by David French“Divided We Fall: America’s Succession Thread and How to Restore Our Nation” by David French“The War in Ukraine Is a Blow to the Nationalist, Postliberal Right” by David French“Wartime’s Macabre Predictions of a Populist Defeat” by Michael Brendan Dougherty in National Review

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • This week, an antiwar protester interrupted a Moscow broadcast with a sign in Russian reading: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” With the Russian government promoting propaganda on news channels and most recently passing a law to punish people spreading “false information” about the Ukraine invasion, it’s been hard to distill what is actually going on in both Russia and Ukraine right now. The confusion has resulted in what Masha Gessen recently described as parallel realities transpiring in Russia and an outright denial of war in Ukraine.

    So how can you make sense of what is true in our world of information, especially when anyone can use propaganda not only to change your mind but also to overwhelm you?

    Jane Coaston talks to the Soviet-born British journalist Peter Pomerantsev to talk about propaganda and how those in power — and the everyday person — use it to undermine the fabric of society and our collective understanding. Pomerantsev is a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the 2019 book “This Is Not Propaganda.” He talks to Jane about Vladimir Putin’s mythmaking and propaganda machine and how we as information consumers can make sense of what we know as truth.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Ukrainians Find That Relatives in Russia Don’t Believe It’s a War” by Valerie Hopkins in The New York Times“Putin No Longer Seems Like a Master of Disinformation” by Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times“This Is Not Propaganda” by Peter Pomerantsev“Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible” by Peter Pomerantsev“The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays” by Siegfried Kracauer

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • We’re headed into the third year of pandemic life, and one thing is clear: We’re all exhausted from Covid. Virus caseloads are waning across the country, masks are coming off, people are traveling more, and office workers have new return dates. Does that mean the pandemic is over? Maybe. And maybe not.

    On Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing, saying that 70 percent of Americans no longer need to heed those recommendations. But for a lot of people, like parents of kids under 5 and those who are immunocompromised, this presents more challenges. It’s clear the burden of managing Covid risk increasingly rests on the individual, so what are we supposed to do now?

    It’s a lot to contemplate. So on today’s show, Jane puts that question to two experts to help the rest of us.

    Dr. Monica Gandhi is an infectious-disease physician whose previous work on H.I.V. informs her assessment of public health messaging during this pandemic. Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is the chief health officer at Indiana University and has spent the pandemic thinking about how to keep his community safe. The good news? Both of them think we’ve got the tools to move forward safely.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “Overcaution Carries Its Own Danger to Children” by Monica Gandhi in The Atlantic.“Why Hospitalizations Are Now a Better Indicator of Covid’s Impact” by Monica Gandhi and Leslie Bienen in The New York Times.“Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant” in The New England Journal of Medicine.“To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors” by Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times.“Immune Cells Mean Omicron Won’t Swamp Hospitals in Vaccinated Areas” by Michael Daignault and Monica Gandhi in The Washington Post.“We Need to Talk About Covid” Part 1 and Part 2 from “The Daily.”

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • It’s been a week since Russia invaded Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled Ukraine and Russia continues to target major Ukrainian cities with powerful weapons. And amidst the chaos of war – President Biden held his first State of the Union address. Yara Bayoumy, the world and national security editor for Times Opinion, and the columnists Thomas Friedman and Ross Douthat joined Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a Times Opinion podcast host, to discuss what could happen next.

    Listen to Jane's interview this week with retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman here.

  • In the days since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine, its citizens have taken up arms to defend their borders and their right to self-determination. Where is the rest of the world in all of this?

    To help understand the current situation and how we got here, Jane Coaston talks with Alexander Vindman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was the director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council from 2018 to 2020. Vindman was also a key witness at Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, having listened in on the notorious 2019 call in which Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Vindman says of the Western response to the invasion, “We need to drop these incremental approaches that are intended for a kind of peacetime environment,” because “we’re in a new Cold War.”

    What is your take on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Alexander Vindman’s book, “Here, Right Matters: An American Story”“America Could Have Done So Much More to Protect Ukraine,” by Alexander Vindman in The Atlantic“Not One Inch: America, Russia, And the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate,” by M.E. SarotteAn interview with the historian Serhii Plokhy in The New Yorker: “Vladimir Putin’s Revisionist History of Russia and Ukraine”People to follow on Twitter, as suggested by Alexander Vindman: Igor Girkin, Michael Kofman, Rob Lee, Michael McFaulThe Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society’s Ukraine crisis response fundThe MOAS humanitarian relief effort for Ukraine

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

  • An American flag, football, the national anthem, “Make America Great Again” — all of these can be symbols of American patriotism, but to whom? In 2022, the notion of being a patriot is complex to say the least, and in a divided nation one might ask: Who gets to be called a patriot, and what does patriotism really mean in America?

    This week, Jane and her guests dig into how each of them feels about patriotism and how our two dominant political parties use the idea to their own ends.

    Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser from 2009 to 2017, posits that a fundamental sense of patriotism still holds in America today. “This has always been about the story we tell about ourselves and that we don’t live up to,” Ben says. “I think patriotism is basically about the effort to live up to the better version of the story that America tells us about itself.”

    Jamelle Bouie is a columnist with Times Opinion and resists the idea that it’s possible to forge a unifying sense of patriotism across the country. America is simply too large and too diverse to unite on a baseline of meaning. Patriotism, he argues, rests at the individual level: “I think all you have to do is identify what are the things that are valuable to you? What are the things that are important to you? And you pursue them,” he says.

    What does patriotism mean to you? Would you call yourself a patriot? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments on The New York Times website once you’ve listened to the debate.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    “After the Fall” Being American in the World We’ve Made” by Ben Rhodes.“This Is No Time for Passive Patriotism” by Ben Rhodes in The Atlantic.“After Nationalism: Being American in an Age of Division” by Samuel Goldman.“The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” by William James in the International Journal of Ethics.

    (A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)