A glitchy episode (apologies), as Shadi and Damir record across the Atlantic, with Damir in self-isolation and with shaky internet in Croatia. Damir talks about his run-in with the law, and Shadi admits Republicans' rejection of democratic outcomes is bringing out his uncompromising inner partisan.
Shadi and Damir get together after a long night of watching the results come in from the 2020 Presidential elections and take stock of where they stand. You'll never guess who's the optimist.
Who poses the biggest danger to our country aside from Trump: the wokes, the integralists—or the Never Trumpers themselves? Aaron Sibarium of the Washington Free Beacon joins Shadi and Damir to talk about his new essay about Weimar Germany, polarization, and the allures and dangers of moral certitude.
1 hr 28 min
What is dissolving the social bonds that tie us together in America? Is liberalism decaying? And is there a "successor ideology" waiting in the wings? Special guest Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, joins Shadi and Damir to talk about Jewish identity and American politics in the waning moments of 2020.
1 hr 11 min
Why so angry? Shadi and Damir talk about useful idiocy, neoconservatism, and the dangerous temptation of righteousness in politics. Come for Shadi musing about U2 and stay for Damir rhapsodizing about Guy Debord.
1 hr 6 min
Does rhetorical escalation among our elites belie the stability of the nation today? With Amy Coney Barrett nominated for the Supreme Court and partisan rancor at an all-time high, Shadi and Damir pick apart their doubts about the health of our democracy.
The great Nils Gilman of the Berggruen Institute and Noema joins Shadi and Damir to talk about why the upcoming elections feel existential, why our federal government feels increasingly illegitimate, and why Shadi's most recent piece in The Atlantic has annoyed so many people.
1 hr 5 min
Shadi thinks Damir is getting more worried about how institutions are becoming increasingly woke. Damir reveals the depths of his relentless fatalism. All because NPR thought it was a good idea to interview a radical. Reading List: "One Author's Controversial View: 'In Defense of Looting'," by Natalie Escobar (NPR) "Between Orientalism and Postmodernism: The Changing Nature of Western Feminist Thought Towards the Middle East," by Shadi Hamid (Hawwa) "The Free Floater," by John Gray (TNR)
During a livestream, Shadi and Damir talked about the site redesign and relaunch, why it's smart to abandon Big Tech platforms during the upheavals of the Age of Wokeness, how America is definitively not on the cusp of revolution (no matter what the activists might think), and whether violence was likelier if Trump defeats Biden than vice versa.
It's summer. Damir rings up Shadi to talk about the pleasure of writing and the pain of exercising, before the conversation takes a much darker turn. Required Reading: Islamic Exceptionalism, by Shadi Hamid That Mohammed Tweet, by Shadi Hamid
1 hr 7 min