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February 13, 2020
As primary season kicks off, Democratic voters around the country face a deeper choice than electability: Is the best response to Donald Trump a return to comity and unity in our politics, or must they embrace the ugly conflict that fundamental change will likely require? We get advice on confronting the enormity of the choice from Deidre Dejear, a voting advocate in Iowa. Plus, a look back at another election in which voters faced a similar choice--and when politics collapsed into outright warfare. - Deidre Dejear became the first black candidate to win a statewide primary in Iowa when she ran for Secretary of State in 2018. She later became Kamala Harris' Iowa campaign chair. - LeeAnna Keith is author of When It Was Grand.  Hosted by Kai Wright. Produced by Jessica Miller. Special thanks to the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa.
February 6, 2020
Last year, the California Attorney General held a tense press conference at a tiny elementary school in the one working class, black neighborhood of the mostly wealthy and white Marin County. His office had concluded that the local district "knowingly and intentionally" maintained a segregated school, violating the 14th amendment. He ordered them to fix it, but for local officials and families, the path forward remains unclear, as is the question: what does "equal protection" mean? Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Marianne McCune.
January 30, 2020
Elbert Lester has lived his full 94 years in Quitman County, Mississippi, on land he and his family own. That’s exceptional for black people in this area, and some family members even say the land came to them through “40 acres and a mule.” But that's pretty unlikely, so host Kai Wright goes on a search for the truth, and uncovers a story about an old and fundamental question in American politics -- one at the center of the current election: Who are the rightful owners of this country’s staggering wealth? - John Willis is author of Forgotten Time - Eric Foner is author of The Second Founding The United States of Anxiety’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
January 16, 2020
When the Civil War ended, America set out to do something no other country had tried before: to build the world's first multiracial democracy. More than 150 years later, we’re still trying to pull it off. Will the 2020 election bring us closer to that goal? Follow Kai Wright on Twitter @Kai_Wright.
April 23, 2019
From host Kai Wright and the team that brought you The United States of Anxiety, a new show about what's not working about our society, how we can do better and why we have to. In episode one, we investigate one of the longest-running public health epidemics in American history and the ongoing fight for accountability.  Subscribe to The Stakes here. Follow Kai on Twitter at @kai_wright. Support for WNYC reporting on lead is provided by the New York State Health Foundation, improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Learn more at www.nyshealth.org. Additional support for WNYC’s health coverage is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
November 15, 2018
The junior senator from New York has quickly developed a reputation as a political firebrand - one who's willing to challenge men who abuse their power, even when they're among her closest allies. Think Al Franken and Bill Clinton. Over the past decade, she went from being a newly-elected U.S. Representative appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat to become one of the Democratic Party's most-likely contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination. What does Kirsten Gillibrand's rise tell us about the relationship between gender and power in American politics?
November 9, 2018
Before “Yes we can!”, there was “¡Sí se puede!” – the workers’ rallying cry coined by lifelong activist Dolores Huerta. In this episode, Huerta (now 88) is interviewed by her daughter Juana about the role gender played in her work and family life. Plus, what the midterm results mean going forward. This episode was produced in partnership with Latino USA, a weekly Latino news and culture program from NPR and the Futuro Media Group. Check out their version of this story here. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.
November 5, 2018
Shrill, strident, bossy. These are the misogynistic slurs women often face when they run for elected office. In this episode, we meet Rena Cook, a voice coach in Oklahoma who’s training progressive, female candidates on how to subvert our inbuilt biases about women’s voices. Plus, we look back on what the 1977 National Women’s Conference did (and didn’t) do for feminism. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.
October 31, 2018
Women running for office are often forced to play by different rules. We look at two candidates: Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Mikie Sherrill in suburban New Jersey. Both are Democrats fighting their way into Republican territory, but in very different ways. Plus, Michigan’s first female governor weighs in on all the “don’ts” for women politicians. This episode is a collaboration with Death, Sex, and Money, another WNYC Studios podcast. Check out their full episode on Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan.  The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.
October 25, 2018
Rural Texas has a reputation as solid Republican territory, but hidden within those large swathes of red are small, individual flecks of blue. In this episode, we bring you the story of a group of progressive, Texan women who are organizing — in secret — out of fear of retaliation from their neighbors. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. Special thanks to Professor Shannon McGregor in the Department of Communication at The University of Utah and to Caroline Covington for her reporting in Burnet, Texas. Additional thanks to Emily Van Duyn, whose full study "Hidden Democracy: Political Dissent in Rural America" is available in the Journal of Communication, a publication of the International Communication Association.    
October 18, 2018
Journalist and activist Ida B. Wells is in some ways a forgotten figure, overlooked even in black civil rights history. But her reporting on lynchings across the South was unwavering in its mission: calling America out on racial injustice. And, why black women are no longer willing to play the role of “Magical Negro” in U.S. politics. The United States of Anxiety recently recorded a live episode remembering the life and work of Ida B. Wells at The Greene Space. Watch the whole event here. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.  This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.  
October 10, 2018
Jeannette Rankin had a belief: That women were essential to the health of our democracy. She became the first woman elected to Congress over a century ago. Now, Kathleen Williams is vying to follow in her footsteps. Plus, what if we filled all 435 seats in the House with women? Would it make a difference? The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. Loading...
October 2, 2018
Playboy was never just about the pictures or the articles. The magazine helped create a men's liberation movement, founded on the notion that men could have anything they wanted. From Donald Trump to Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner's concept of the "indoor man" has had a lasting influence. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.    
September 25, 2018
Paula Casey is on a mission. She wants to erect a statue in Memphis dedicated to those who fought for a woman’s right to vote more than a century ago. The problem: There’s a Confederate monument in the way. And… meet the woman who vowed to shut down women’s suffrage forever. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.
September 18, 2018
When Barbara Mikulski arrived in the Senate, all the podiums were built for men… and so was Washington's power structure. So she changed it. In this episode, Mikulski and three of her female Senate colleagues look back at Anita Hill's testimony and the 1992 elections that followed it, the last “Year of the Woman.” The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.
September 17, 2018
Jennifer Willoughby was in an abusive marriage. Saily Avelenda was unhappy with her congressman, who'd held office for over two decades without facing a serious contender. They didn’t know they were about to topple two political giants. Plus, want to know the real reason the 2018 midterms could make history? It has to do with a number political scientists call the "gender gap." Note: WNYC made several attempts to reach Rob Porter for comment. He did not respond before this episode was released.  The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.
September 14, 2018
Women gained the right to vote nearly a century ago. Yet, power is still concentrated in the hands of men. In a year that’s seen a surge of female candidates, the question at the heart of the 2018 midterms is: Who is our democracy for?
August 9, 2018
A record number of women are running for office this primary season, which means there's a groundswell of energy around targeting female voters with campaign ads. For our next season of the United States of Anxiety, we’re focusing on power and gender, and we’ve partnered with ProPublica to look at how political advertising targets people of different genders differently on Facebook. Unlike broadcast television ads, which are heavily regulated, we have no idea how individual voters are micro-targeted on Facebook. It’s still the Wild West. Nor do we know about potentially unethical or misleading advertising that may be happening. We do know from the Cambridge Analytica scandal that much of the misinformation spread in 2016 targeted people based on their race and gender. And we know that this is an election in which gender is expected to be a decisive factor. What can you do? Download the ProPublica Ad Tracker Extension - You can download the Facebook Political Ad Collector from the Chrome Web Store or the Mozilla Add-ons Store. NOTE: ProPublica is NOT collecting any private information from you. The plugin simply copies the ads you are seeing in your unique feed. You can read more about how ProPublica is protecting your privacy here. See the ads that other people are seeing - take a look through ProPublica’s database of political ads Send us tips - Have you seen any political ads that appear to target you by your gender? Or target you by your race? Have you seen any political ads that appear to celebrate women? Or any ads that seem misogynistic? Take a screenshot and email us at narrative@wnyc.org to tell us what you’re seeing.  By doing this, you'll be part of groundbreaking research — remember this is the first election cycle since Facebook changed its policies. And you'll also be helping WNYC and ProPublica bring you reporting and analysis about these campaign ads. To get started, visit propublica.org/facebook.  
March 20, 2018
America incarcerates more people than any country in the world. It starts with kids. On any given night, roughly 53,000 young people are in some form of lockup. Nearly 60 percent are black or Latino. We all make dumb mistakes in our youth. But for these kids, those same destructive choices have a lasting impact. Mass incarceration starts young. From the team that brought you The United States of Anxiety, Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice tells the stories of young lives forever changed by collisions with law and order. In this episode, meet Z, a kid who had his first encounters with law enforcement when he was just 12 years old. Now, at 16, he’s sitting in detention on an armed robbery charge. Z's story introduces the questions: What happens once we decide a child is a criminal? What does society owe those children, beyond punishment? And what are the human consequences of the expansion and hardening of criminal justice policies that began in the 1990s – consequences disproportionately experienced by black and brown youth? Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Subscribe on iTunes.
October 10, 2017
We've got a story from the WNYC newsroom that we really want to share with you. Our WNYC colleagues, Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker investigate how President Trump's two eldest children avoided criminal charges in a probe related to the Trump SoHo. 
September 11, 2017
President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace." Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us." David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.   Pamela Geller and David Yerulshami(Pamela Geller) So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism.  But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country. Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the so-called "counter-Jihad" movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic. "Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely." Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law. Episode Contributors Kai Wright Matt Katz Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
September 11, 2017
One Brooklyn woman's complicated relationship with the hijab and the experience of living in between worlds.
August 23, 2017
In the wake of the recent violence in Charlottesville, where a protester was killed by a white supremacist, dozens of monuments to the Confederacy are being taken down. It's an extraordinary moment in American history, and in this episode, we stop to ask: When did the Confederate flag start showing up in the North? The story brings together segregationists like Strom Thurmond with Southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd and TV's The Dukes of Hazzard. All of them helped bring the flag to a national audience in the 20th century, as white Americans struggled to make sense of the civil rights movement, and in many cases, pushed back. Additionally, WNYC is mapping the locations of Confederate flags in New York state. If you've spotted one, please let us know here! A Confederate flag in Delaware County, NY (Christina Hunt Wood)
July 4, 2017
This fourth of July, one year after the podcast began, we look back at a culture that’s made us so anxious, but also what holds us together, and where we’re going as a nation. Since nothing seems to bind Americans more together than food, we’re starting off with a key marker of American culture--pie. Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann spend some time partaking in a key American tradition-baking a cherry pie.They’ll talk pie-making with food writer Kathy Gunst, coming together in the kitchen and what gets passed down along with a recipe.  Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann bake a pie. (Cayce Means) Then we’ll turn to Nancy Solomon, who's having a BBQ on a very diverse block in New Jersey where everyone from Donald Trump supporters to liberal lesbians live. We’ll hear about their anxieties, and see just what they’re doing to alleviate any potential tensions as the state gears up for a gubernatorial election later this year. Jim O’Grady delves into what exactly the Declaration of Independence means today. Finally, we’ll be listening in to you, and your thoughts and fears, about the cultural wars in America. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jim O’Grady Arun Venugopal Nancy Solomon Karen Frillmann Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Sources: Professor Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University, author of Original Intents Professor Andrew Schocket, Bowling Green State University, author of Fighting over the Founders The New York Public Library and it's original copy of The Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's hand
July 3, 2017
As the opioid epidemic continues to increase, we take a look back at the Sixties when the War on Drugs, a federal effort to decrease illegal drug use, was beginning to take shape. It was a decade of intense change in America as political assassinations took place, the Black power movement rose, and the Vietnam War intensified. It was also a time that conservatives, scared about the future of their country, were beginning to fight back. No one understood this more than Richard M. Nixon during his second run for president in 1968. Nixon knew that many people, especially southern whites, were afraid of the social progress that the country was making at the time. He also knew that drug use and crime were going up and that tapping into the fears and anxieties, while tying them to race, may have been just the strategy he needed to win. “The wave of crime is not going to be the wave of the future in the United States of America,” Nixon said in 1968 as he accepted the Republican nomination, becoming the law and order candidate.It worked, and when he was elected he decided to make good on his promise, focusing not only on crime, which is often a state issue, but drugs. Drugs were a federal issue that was gaining traction among the public and in the political realm, as heroin use spread among both Americans at home and US soldiers in Vietnam.Christopher Johnson looks at the beginning of the War on Drugs in America, from it’s roots with the Southern Strategy, to the strange support for methadone treatment centers, to the so-calledRockefeller Drug Laws in New York. “America’s public enemy number 1 in the US is drug abuse,"declared Nixon in 1971 as he launched the War on Drugs. “In order to defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” Though he didn’t utter the phrase, Nixon's "War On Drugs" was a costly offensive whose long-lasting impact on drug policy, law enforcement and American culture continues today.Episode Contributors:Kai WrightChristopher JohnsonKaren FrillmannThe United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpWNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
June 23, 2017
This week we’re looking at a President Richard M. Nixon, a man obsessed with winning. Whether it was an election or becoming a great leader, he would go to great lengths to ensure his success. But Nixon felt he was surrounded by enemies, so to make sure he triumphed, he had his staff create an “Enemies List:” a document with hundreds of people he thought could do him harm. It was part of the White House "Political Enemies Project," and included people ranging from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to members of the media to business and labor leaders. “It just so unpresidential for presidents to have enemies," said John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel who disclosed the existence of the list when he testified before the Senate Watergate committee. “I mean, theoretically, the President is the President of the United States, not the President of the Republican or Democratic Party, or the President of the people who voted for him. We don't like to think of our leaders as being that narrow-minded that they think everybody is their enemy who isn't their friend.” Beyond it’s existence, the list was also remarkable because Nixon and his aides considered using it to try and find ways to use the power of the federal government to go after their enemies. How? One way was through the IRS. Charlie Herman looks at Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List,” an unprecedented step taken by an embattled President who worried about being betrayed by everyone around him. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Charlie Herman Karen Frillmann Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.
June 20, 2017
In 2016, the campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” highlighted an important cultural shift. It represented the idea that the country needed to return to its “traditions” in order to be prosperous as it was once before. This “return to values” is particularly targeted at groups like Brujas, a radical youth collective in New York City that is rejecting these traditional ideas of America through art, politics, and skateboarding. Brujas, which means witches in Spanish, represents a new generation of revolutionaries that are unafraid to blur the lines between culture and activism. They are all for disrupting the patriarchy, trans-liberation, prison abolition and are doing it through the world of skateboarding, politics, and art, and they are doing so unapologetically.    Sophia Paliza-Carre takes us inside this new youth group formed in a skatepark in the Bronx and primarily made up of women of color to learn about their ideas on politics, activism, and what it means to be carefree young activists in 2017. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Sophia Paliza Carre Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp  WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.  
June 13, 2017
There’s been much progress for the LGBTQ community over the past decade: the legal debate over same-sex marriage has been resolved, popular culture has largely embraced gay and lesbian people, and transgender people are gaining legal recognition. But as LGBTQ people make these strides, other groups have begun to claim that their religious rights are threatened by these cultural and political shifts. Now, these religious groups are asking for protections too. This year alone, dozens of bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, aiming to restore or protect the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. There have been fights over a bakeries refusing to bake a cakes for same-sex wedding ceremonies, doctors who wish to refuse services to transgender folks because of religious beliefs, and more. In this episode, we travel to the state of Mississippi, where a bitter fight against a religious freedom bill called HB 1523 is being waged between the state and a group of people who say the bill violates their civil liberties -- even their religious freedom itself. The bill, aimed to protect people of faith from “government discrimination,” defines marriage as a heterosexual union, says that sex belongs only within a marriage between a man and a woman, and calls gender a fixed trait at birth. Mississippi governor Phil Bryant said HB 1523's goals do not include discrimination or harm, but said of its opponents, “If they’re interested in protecting people’s rights and also understand that people of faith have rights.”  One of those opponents is Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear, a lesbian pastor who ministers to an LGBT welcoming church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She, her wife, Susan Mangum, and her church, Joshua Generation MCC, have joined in a class action lawsuit against Gov. Bryant and the state. She feels that when most people hear about a piece of legislation claiming to protect religious freedom, they're all for it. The problem is, she adds, most people don't fully understand what it does. “It is discrimination in a pretty little religious box," she says. "We're good at putting things in religious boxes here in the south.”  Pastor Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear(Reniqua Allen) In many ways, this battle between religious freedom and civil liberties isn't anything new. We'll speak with Rims Barber, a minister and veteran civil rights activist in Jackson, Mississippi, and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB 1523. He says that the culture wars we're witnessing today mirror those of the Civil Rights Movement. Barber officiated the first interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi, and helped desegregate its schools, all while other citizens said they shouldn't have to comply because of their religious liberties. Then, Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer will show us how those fights helped galvanize a powerful political force in America: the religious right. And, we'll hear the origin story of religious freedom bills like HB 1523.   Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jessica Miller Karen Frillmann Jillian Weinberger Reniqua Allen Matt Boynton Bill Moss The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp 
WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
June 6, 2017
At the height of the election season last September, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”  The comments spread like wildfire, and the next day, Clinton walked them back.  Yet the sentiment that a new movement of white nationalists was growing is true. Kai Wright takes a look at the so-called “basket of deplorables” and the alt-right movement that has emerged in recent years, from neo-Nazis to people fighting in the so-called “war on men.” He also chats with Note to Self's Manoush Zomorodi and Kat Aaron about how white supremacists are arming themselves online. “The goal is just chaos. The goal is to shut down civic discourse to make spaces where people are discussing important topics just so toxic that most people shut down,” said Aaron. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jessica Miller Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp 
WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
May 30, 2017
The culture wars of the Boomer generation still shape our politics today. In this episode we look at those culture wars from another vantage point. Instead of focusing on the debates themselves, we ask the question: How do people move from radical politics to political violence? On June 7, 1970 the group of young radical leftists known as the Weathermen, accidentally detonated bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. Their goal was to bomb an officers' event at the Army Base Fort Dix in New Jersey to protest the Vietnam war, but instead the bombs exploded in the basement and killed three of the five activists. Two fled. One was Cathy Wilkerson.   WNYC producer Paige Cowett talks to Wilkerson 47 years later about what caused her to believe that bombing soldiers was justified. “The sad thing is I don't think we did think about it very much," said Wilkerson. “You think about the political impact. I think that's the way it is with warfare. You don't think about the life of the people that you're hurting or killing.” Cowett also speaks with historian Micheal Kazin, a radical leftist who did not resort to violent tactics, as well as Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and terrorism expert, who discusses the psychology of political radicalization.  Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Paige Cowett Karen Frillmann   The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 
May 23, 2017
In the 1920s, composer Aaron Copland took off for Paris. His search for a uniquely American classical music resulted in some of the most familiar and patriotic music of the 20th Century — including his famous piece, "Fanfare for the Common Man." WNYC's Sara Fishko ("Fishko Files") follows Copland’s story through the 1930s and '40s in America, when the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism and the unprecedented collective effort during World War II united Americans against a common enemy. Copland's music was transformed during that "Popular Front" period — with a simplified, accessible approach. Fishko sits down with the distinguished contemporary composer John Corigliano ("The Red Violin") to deconstruct the sound of the "Americana style." The departure from European traditions created a new and remarkable connection between music and the American politics of the time. But Copland's activism and creative output — and that of many artists and intellectuals — would be threatened and dramatically altered by the swing to the right in American politics in the 1950s. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Sara Fishko Karen Frillmann Olivia Briley Bill Moss The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
May 16, 2017
During the last election, when asked his opinion about experts and intellectuals, Trump supporter Fiore Napolitano voiced a fairly common sentiment from his cohort, "I've got more brains in my little thumb." That made us wonder whether hostility to intellect is an underestimated feature of American politics, which prompted us to formulate some questions. What's up, America? Why the qualms about erudition and expertise? Where does this wariness spring from, and what role did it play in the rise of Donald Trump — who was opposed by just about every intellectual associated with either party but whose supporters simply did not care about that issue? We talk to the learned and those who loathe them, including writers and commentators, a neuroscientist, and a gun shop owner in a red-voting part of upstate New York. We quote a fiery pamphlet penned by a yeoman farmer from the Revolutionary Era, and we delve into the 1963 book that describes and frames this issue better and more enduringly than any other. Jim O’Grady walks us through the centuries-long debate about intellectualism, elitism, and our reverence for the common man. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jim O'Grady Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
May 11, 2017
Starting with the 1925 Scopes Trial — also known as the "trial of the century" — we look at one of the most controversial topics in our time: the debate over evolution versus a Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible. It started with a substitute teacher in Tennessee who believed that evolution should be taught in the classroom. What followed was a fiery debate that rocketed around the world. The Scopes Trial reminds us that science has often upset the establishment. Kai Wright explores how the powerful have tried to convince us that science gets it wrong. Then Amanda Aronczyk looks at just when we began to doubt the whole idea of climate change. She’ll take us back to that day in 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen warned the United States Congress that climate change was real. And she reminds us that Republican President George H.W. Bush touted himself as being pro-environment. “I’m an environmentalist... And I always will be," he said. "And that is not inconsistent with being a businessman. Nor is it with being a conservative.” She then brings us to to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, when action on climate change led to a political divide within the Republican party. Today, President Trump considers climate change a "hoax" and is considering withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. It's a radical change in 25 years. We'll tell you how we got there. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Amanda Aronczyk Jillian Weinberger Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.  
May 9, 2017
The city of Olathe, Kansas, has been shaken since February when a man gunned down two Indian immigrants in a bar there. Witnesses say the shooter yelled,  “Go back to your country!” It was the first hate-crime killing after the 2016 presidential election. WNYC’s Arun Venugopal traveled to Kansas to speak with members of the Indian community about how they’re dealing with the deaths, and with their changing status in America. We hear from Professor Raj Bhala, a specialist in international law who is half-Indian and half-Scottish, along with his wife Kara, a Chinese-American woman from Malaysia. The couple is dreading July 1, when a law allowing the concealed carry of weapons on college campuses goes into effect. Kara Tan Bhala even wrote her U.S. Senators and congresswoman about concerns for her husband's safety. The congresswoman, the only one to reply, sent a defense of the Second Amendment. “It just made me feel as if my voice wasn't being heard in a very conservative state and that perhaps it was time to just take a break from the country and come back when things get better," Tan Bhala said. "I know things go in cycles so the pendulum has swung really one way to quite an extreme. We're waiting for it to swing slowly back.” But for the first time since the couple arrived in 2003, they are seriously considering leaving the state — and the country.  Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Arun Venugopal Karen Frillmann The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
May 3, 2017
From activists in the current resistance movement to a McDonald's worker just trying to survive, get to know Americans fighting for what they believe in and shaping the future of the country's political culture. The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks—aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had – and we’re asking, What are you willing to fight for? 
May 3, 2017
The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks – aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had – and we’re asking, What are you willing to fight for?  The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios. Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 22, 2016
With The United States of Anxiety, WNYC Studios and The Nation brought forth the ideas and concerns that made up part of the coalition bringing President-elect Donald Trump from his midtown Manhattan But with Hillary Clinton besting the President-elect in the popular vote by over one million votes to date, and protests of "Not My President" erupting across the country, it remains a question if the tides of discontent will ever pacify in the country. In the midst of this turmoil Anna Sale, host of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money, questions the perceived differences that so many voters feel after this divisive election cycle. But this is the fourth time the popular vote has diverged from the Electoral College's ultimate choice of President of the United States and "Not My President" signs previously emerged in 2001 at the Inauguration of similarly-elected George W. Bush and then again in 2005. Therefore, we explore the notion of what keeps this country united following elections leaving us only feeling divided. About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 21, 2016
In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain dubbed then-Senator Obama the "biggest celebrity in the world" in a scathing campaign commercial. But after this most recent election, it seemed like America had moved beyond mere fame and instead was on the path to elect which candidate would serve best as Entertainer-in-Chief.This notion of campaigning for the Political People's Choice Award pulls to the very strings of American society today. Throughout The United States of Anxiety, we saw that in many communities, shifting demographics and economic realities caused residents--old and new--to question if they had now become embattled in the middle of a culture clash. WNYC's Ilya Marritz is joined by drag performer Lady Bunny and author Jeff Chang, as he fields calls from individuals to find out how they are utilizing culture during the post-election season. And after calls for self-reflection from protesters and actors' during Vice President-elect Mike Pence's visit to the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' recently, we examine elements in the cultural zeitgeist be deployed to express politically-based emotions and what effects that films, books, music and other cultural touchstones have on us following this election. Plus, while Hillary Clinton had 'Fight Song' and President-elect Donald Trump played 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' blasting on the campaign trail, we look to find a unifying anthem for the country and maybe even the world for the Trump Administration. About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 18, 2016
Whether you prefer dark meat, white meat, Tofurky or just mashed potatoes, most Americans can agree that the 2016 presidential election was contentious. With neither candidate managing to garner 50-percent of the vote and in a world of charged media outlets, families coming together for Thanksgiving Dinner face the likely prospect of heated political conversation landing on their holiday platters. And, as The United States of Anxiety found, the caustic nature of politics not only wears away one's patience but also one's health. So to ensure that the hardest thing you will be between this holiday season is a poorly baked dinner roll, WNYC's Brian Lehrer takes counsel from humorist Henry Alford and Emory philosophy professor George Yancy, PhD, on how to avoid the pitfalls of cross-party dinner conversation.  Plus across the hour, Brian will be joined by Mary Harris of WNYC Studios's Only Human podcast to provide insights on how to actually listen to those who may have divergent views. About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 17, 2016
About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 16, 2016
This election, tweet-storms and email servers were more prominent than stump speeches and policy papers. Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's Note to Self, looks at how technology shaped our politics, and where the tech world might go under President Trump.  About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 15, 2016
Throughout The United States of Anxiety, Long Island-resident Patty Dwyer acted as a gateway to the perspectives of individuals forming the wave that swept Donald Trump from New York billionaire to President-elect. And with exit polling suggesting that Democratic nominee-Hillary Clinton gained the support of only 54-percent of women voters, it appears that gender in the voting booth was not deeply intertwined with gender on the ticket. All Things Considered host Jami Floyd discusses the women who helped vault Donald Trump into the White House and what motivates them. In particular, we delve deeper into what conditions allowed female voters to disregard President-elect Trump's previous comments on women and charge directly into this year's electoral rabbit hole. About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 14, 2016
In this election cycle, anxiety emerged as a dominant theme for voters across the political spectrum.  This is where The United States of Anxiety began--documenting the experiences and perspectives which informed voters as they selected their candidate for President of the United States and caused them to grapple with the idea of their lives if the other side prevailed. But following a campaign season built on divisiveness from both sides of the aisle and an election results split between the popular vote and the Electoral College, the anxiety that permeated the election has not dissipated with the determination of the 45th President. The Takeaway's John Hockenberry fields the accounts of individuals preparing for a Trump Administration, and asks what hopes or fears they are carrying into the next four years. Plus, what can the President-elect do--if anything--to assuage the concerns of Americans and live up to his campaign promise to 'make America great'? About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 10, 2016
So, here we are. The race is over and Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States. WNYC Studios and The Nation take the temperature of the country following the unprecedented election of a consummate political outsider. WNYC’s Arun Venugopal checks-in with Trump supporter Patty Dwyer and gauges her reaction on a come-from-behind political victory that shook the world. The Nation's Julianne Hing reports from Arizona, where the defeat of long-standing anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio is nonetheless tempered by the elevation of Donald Trump. Plus, Matt Katz and Chris Arnade return to the white working-class voters who propelled Trump to the White House. And Stephen Nessesn returns us to Patchogue to find out how a community that was nearly torn apart by anti-immigrant violence learned to heal and what they're bracing for in Donald Trump's America. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Arun Venugopal Stephen Nessen Julianne Hing Matt Katz Karen Frillmann Joseph Capriglione About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
November 4, 2016
This election certainly feels stressful. As Amanda Aronczyk from WNYC's Only Human podcast told us in Episode 7, it's possible to measure the election's effect on us biologically. This bonus episode explains more about the experiment the Only Human team did. 
November 3, 2016
Stress is a part of everyday life. But in this election filled with bombast, 24-hour news coverage, and October Surprises emerging at nearly every turn, the road to November 8th often appears overwhelming. Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we explore the burgeoning field of biopolitics and uncover how our bodies respond to 2016’s political circus. WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk sits down with neuroscientist Jeffrey French and political scientist Kevin Smith, as we perform an unusual test to find out just what in this election is causing voters’ stress. Plus, learn how our bodies’ natural response systems can indicate where we locate ourselves along the political spectrum. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Amanda Aronczyk Karen Frillmann Joseph Capriglione About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
October 27, 2016
Gang violence and a drug epidemic might not be the first things one thinks about when they picture the American suburbs, but they have become prominent facts of life for many residents in Suffolk County, Long Island. In fact, the leafy New York suburb led the Empire State in heroin and opioid overdose deaths in 2014.  WNYC Studios and The Nation set out to understand how these problems emerged in the first place. WNYC’s Arun Venugopal sits down with Anthony, a former-drug user who recounts how he became addicted while growing up in the leafy environs of Long Island's South Shore. To better understand why record numbers of people are dying of drug overdoses in the suburbs we talk to two individuals on the front lines of treatment to gain their insight into what has caused the uptick in drug use, and how Donald Trump figures into the conversation. Then, The Nation’s Julianne Hing goes to Brentwood, NY, a Long Island town dealing with gang violence, where the remains of five murdered teenagers have been discovered in the past six weeks. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Arun Venugopal Julianne Hing Karen Frillmann Joseph Capriglione About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
October 20, 2016
Once again, race has become a central issue in a presidential campaign. But this time, it's not all about people of color. It's also about white Americans, and what their place is in 21st century America. This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation examine the history of what it means and has meant to be white in the United States of America. WNYC’s Jim O’Grady accompanies journalist Chris Arnade to Long Island. What they find is that as the economy has transitioned away from manual labor, it's struck at the very heart of the way many working-class Americans define masculinity, and, in turn, themselves. Plus, The Nation’s Kai Wright explores this notion with a group of Italian Americans who document their families' journey from immigrant scapegoats to full-fledged "whiteness." Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Jim O'Grady Karen Frillmann Joseph Capriglione About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
October 13, 2016
So how did we get to this point? Where a nominee for a major party has been heard bragging about assaulting women. The United States of Anxiety has been listening carefully to Trump supporters in an effort to understand this election season. This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation turn once again to Patty Dwyer. We then go down the rabbit hole with WNYC reporter Matt Katz and take a look at the media landscape that helped create this moment. Finally, we visit with another Long Island resident, Joselo Lucero. Just after Election Day in 2008, Joselo’s brother, Marcelo Lucero was murdered during the course of a hate crime. Though separated by years, these two events—the rise of Donald Trump and the murder of Marcelo Lucero—may have arisen from a single reality: individuals listening to inflammatory language. Episode Contributors: Kai Wright Arun Venugopal Matt Katz Julianne Hing Karen Frillman Joseph Capriglione In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I
October 6, 2016
Tom McCarthy, a retired NYPD detective and lifelong Long Island resident, has spent much of his adult life straddling two very different worlds. Each day he would leave the calm of his suburban community to patrol the notorious Queensbridge housing projects. This was in 1989, at the height of the crack epidemic, and what Tom saw in New York's public housing felt worlds away from his suburban Eden. But now, the line that once separated Tom’s home from his work feels like it's dissipating. It's exemplified by leafy Suffolk County leading all of New York state in heroin overdose deaths last year. What's brought about this change in the suburbs? For many, the problems seem to stem not from within, but from the outside, coming over our southern border. Donald Trump has repeatedly bemoaned the crime and drugs that he says Mexican immigrants who are here illegally are bringing into the United States. He has said he'll deport this population and send them to "the back of the line." But of all the controversial things the Republican nominee has said, sending immigrants here illegally to the back of the line is actually quite mainstream. In fact, it's been advocated by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The idea projects order, fairness and a sense of fairness. There's only one problem, according to Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist who helped to workshop "the back of the line" phrase in the early-2000's: the line doesn't exist, leaving the country's immigration process a hopeless hall of mirrors for people trying to do the right thing and enter the country legally. Episode Contributors: Arun Venugopal Julianne Hing About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.
September 29, 2016
The idea of an idyllic 'suburbia' has been a touchstone along the cultural landscape of America for over 70 years. From Norman Rockwell's 1943 Freedom from Want to the printed pages of Martha Stewart's Living, the trimmed hedges, white picket fences and—most importantly—families who live behind them, have become the consummate symbol encapsulating the American Dream. For Patty Dwyer's mother — Mrs. Johnson — Long Island was the American Dream and she's called the village of Patchogue on the Island's South Shore home for nearly 50 years. In fact, Long Island had always been a refuge for her, after spending summers at her uncle’s house in Farmingville throughout her youth. So when a mysterious figure appeared outside her doorway in Jamaica, Queens in 1958, Mrs. Johnson left the city for the 'burbs. Suburbia was a Garden of Eden for people like Mrs. Johnson. Apolitical for much of her life, she does not fully recall her voting record but experiences genuine pain towards the racial divisions she sees in America, including the death of Eric Garner. Yet, she also believes that Trump’s projection of strength, and prioritization of American citizens is the best antidote to her view of a faltering nation.  Plus, WNYC Studios and The Nation speak with University of Boulder’s Kwame Holmes to decipher the so-called “White Flight” movement that brought millions of Americans out of cities and into the suburbs. Following World War II, a massive housing shortage found itself intermingling with growing white anxiety spurred from the 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education; a combination that would initiate one of the most significant alterations to American society and how Americans live. Following World War II, the suburbs offered three key attractions for the residents moving to them in droves. According to Lawrence Levy of Hofstra University: they were safe; they were secure; and, they were segregated.   Episode Contributor: Arun Venugopal About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 
September 22, 2016
For many voters, this election is not simply about deciding the next President of the United States, or even setting the landscape of national politics. Instead, it serves as a referendum on what it means to be innately American. Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we travel to East Long Island to embark on a new journey beyond the constant churn of daily headlines. There we will begin the journey documenting not only what Americans are thinking, but what events transpired that brought them to their current state of mind. First we meet Patty, a one-time Obama supporter who now can be found protesting on highway overpasses, and skeptical of the president for whom she once voted. Patty had high hopes for the Obama Presidency; she thought he could heal a nation still grappling with its racial history. Instead, she says he's only made those divisions worse. Patty's dealt with her own hardships over the past decade as well: She was forced to sell her dream home after a divorce, her son battled addiction to prescription drugs, and she had her hours cut at her job. In short, Patty thinks the country is changing, and not for the better, and she thinks that Donald Drumpf is uniquely qualified to turn the tide. In time, we turn our attention to Leni, a woman attempting to keep her family from unraveling, as her fiancé fights deportation. About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 
September 19, 2016
About the show: In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle. The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation.  Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 
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