Preview: The Politics of AOCWhat's Left? add
[A preview of a 2h 25m episode available at patreon.com/whatsleft]
A deliriously tired Aimee and Benjamin muddle through a mounting list of concerns they have re the trajectory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's increasingly identitarian rhetoric and political inconsistency. Does she represent the future of a broad based left electoral politics? And why hasn't she endorsed Bernie Sanders already?
The Evolution of Joe Biden and Elizabeth WarrenWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin trace the careers of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren over the past few decades. They look at how each responded to the crises of the 1970s, Reaganism in the 1980s, and the political triangulation of the 1990s. Despite appearing very different now, it turns out they have much more in common.
| Reading |
Mayor Pete Cleans the StreetsWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin discuss the policies of Pete Buttigieg during his time as mayor of South Bend, IN. They examine his inhumane approach to the homeless population, the "makeover" of the city, and his 1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days initiative.
| Further Reading|
Open BordersWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin examine the political implications of different proposals described as "open borders." They talk amnesty, the nation-state, the effect of free movement on the labor market, and why focusing on the border often overlooks America's role in creating conditions that give rise to immigration in the first place.
Million Dollar BernieWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin examine the relevance of character in politics. They talk Bernie's income, Joe Biden's #metoo moment, and two articles questioning whether Pete Buttigieg is "gay enough" to be president.
| Reading |
Christina Cauterucci, "In a Diverse Candidate Field, How Is Pete Buttigieg’s Sexuality Factoring Into His Appeal?" | https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/pete-buttigieg-gay-diversity-white-male-candidate.html
Jacob Bacharach, "Why Pete Buttigieg is bad for gays." | https://theoutline.com/post/7288/why-pete-buttigieg-is-bad-for-gays?zd=1&zi=2coob7vk
Russiagate!What's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin tackle the fallout from the Russia investigation. They discuss the media and the blob, the way these institutions "collude," and the anti-democratic implications that result: manufacturing consent for a securitized and anxious body politic.
| Further Reading |
The Electoral CollegeWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin examine the history of the electoral college in US politics and the political motives of those demanding it be abolished. They talk rural voters, proportional representation, and why the electoral college forces presidential candidates to engage with populations they would otherwise ignore.
How Do We Explain Lone Wolf Terrorism?What's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin examine the various ways liberalism attempts to explain lone wolf terrorism. They discuss the power of dangerous ideas, freedom of speech and civil liberties, and the acceptance of state overreach for protection.
Policy Wonkery, Political WankeryWhat's Left? add
Aimee and Benjamin examine the role of policy white papers in presenting insufficient, means-tested, or outright misleading programs as serious proposals. They look at Elizabeth Warren's "universal" child care program, Andrew Yang's "universal" basic income, and "state single payer" health care.
| Readings |
Elizabeth Warren's Universal Child Care Plan: https://medium.com/@teamwarren/my-plan-for-universal-child-care-762535e6c20a
Andrew Yang's Universal Basic Income Plan: https://www.yang2020.com/what-is-ubi/
The Libertarian Origins of ReparationsWhat's Left? add
In response to Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris announcing their support for slave reparations, Aimee and Benjamin take a deep dive into the practical implementations of reparations and the philosophical and political theory underpinning reparative justice.
"The Case for Reparations," Ta-Nehisi Coates (2014)
"Anarchy, State, and Utopia," Robert Nozick (1974)