Episodes

Moving Back to The Politics Guys

Some experiments are great successes while others are learning experiences (if you’re lucky). What I’ve learned from Politics Plus is that running two podcasts, having a day job, and trying to write a book all at the same time is impossible – at least for me. I’ve also learned that while some people liked the idea of a separate interview podcast, a lot more people wanted me to keep the interviews as part of The Politics Guys so that they wouldn’t have to subscribe to yet another podcast. (Which, as someone who subscribes to a whole bunch of podcasts, I completely get.)

While this is it for Politics Plus, I’ll still be interviewing authors and leading thinkers on American politics, economics, history, and culture over at The Politics Guys. My interviews will be interspersed with listener question & comment episodes on the Wednesday edition of The Politics Guys.

Thanks for all your support – I’ll see you over at The Politics Guys!

Behind the Scenes in the Obama (and Trump) White House with Beck Dorey-Stein

I talk to Beck Dorey-Stein, who worked as a White House stenographer from 2012 – 2017. She’s written about her experiences in the just released book, From the Corner of the Oval.

Beck and I talk about:

  • what White House stenographers do (before I read Beck’s book, I didn’t even realize that was still a job)
  • how being in the White House changed how Beck felt about politics
  • if the White House is anything like the TV show The West Wing
  • the insane hours and workloads of White House staffers
  • what happens behind the scenes during crises
  • ‘living the dream’ in the Obama administration
  • her view of President Obama
  • what it was like to come to work the day after Donald Trump was elected
  • what it was like working in the Trump administration
  • and lots more

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot on Political Influence, Persuasion, and Donald Trump

Mike talks to Tali Sharot, director of the Affective Brain Lab and an Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the department of Experimental Psychology at University College London. Dr. Sharot’s research integrates neuroscience, behavioral economics, and psychology to study how emotion influences people’s beliefs, decisions and social interactions. She’s the author of The Optimism Bias and, most recently, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others.

Mike and Dr. Sharot discuss:

  • how some information is like sex and plum pie
  • why Donald Trump was so much more influential than his Republican presidential rivals
  • how our attempts to persuade others can actually boomerang on us, leaving them less persuaded than they were to start with
  • how to go from getting someone to agree with you to getting them to act
  • when crowds are wise and when they’re not
  • and lots more

Follow the Affective Brain Lab on Twitter

Mona Charen on how Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense

Mike talks to Mona Charen, one of the most prominent conservative voices in the United States. She writes a syndicated column that appears in more than 200 newspapers, she’s a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and is the author of the books Useful Idiots, Do-Gooders, and the recently released Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense.

Topics they cover include:

  • differences between pioneering feminists and the ‘second-wave’ feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s
  • feminism and the Marxist concept of ‘false consciousness’
  • what science tells us about biological differences between the sexes
  • whether women can ‘have it all’
  • how sexual empowerment was a wrong turn for the feminist movement
  • the rise of ‘no-fault’ divorces and the damage they’ve done
  • whether ‘my body, my choice’ and ‘safe, legal, and rare’ is a reasonable approach to abortion
  • the ‘Campus Rape Industrial Complex’
  • the transgender movement

Follow Mona Charen on Twitter

David Frum on Trumpocracy

My talk with journalist, author, and policy analyst David Frum. Mr. Frum is currently a senior editor at the Atlantic. From 2014 through 2017, he chaired the board of trustees of the leading UK center-right think tank, Policy Exchange. He’s served as a speechwriter and special assistant to President George W. Bush and as senior adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaigns. He’s also the author of nine books, most recently Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.

In the conversation, we cover, among other things:

  • how Bill Clinton monetized the post-presidency
  • America as a toddler in heavy traffic
  • Donald Trump and punching babies
  • the ‘neither ethical or smart’ Trump administration
  • Congressional leaders enabling Trumpocracy
  • whether the American political system can handle the Trump presidency

Follow David Frum on Twitter

Welcome To Politics Plus!

In this trailer for the podcast, I explain what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, why you should care, and … well, that’s about it.