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The Ezra Klein Show

Vox Media

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
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United States

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Vox Media

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Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.

Language:

English


Episodes

George Will makes the conservative case against democracy

7/15/2019
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It’s a good time to be a Republican. But it’s a bad time, George Will argues, to be a conservative. Hence his new, 700-page manifesto, The Conservative Sensibility, which tries to rescue conservatism from the perversions of the Trumpist GOP. Will’s conservatism is rooted in a deep mistrust of majority rule, and an almost religious veneration of the Founding Fathers, or at least a certain understanding of them. Remember, he writes, “the Constitution of the first consciously modern nation,...

Duration:01:17:43

What deliberative democracy can, and can’t, do (with Jane Mansbridge)

7/11/2019
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Every time I do an episode on polarization, I get a few emails asking: What about deliberative democracy? Couldn’t that be an answer? Deliberative democracy, if you’re not familiar, refers to a broad set of approaches in which citizens get together, with or without their representatives, to deliberate on political questions. Not just vote, or donate money, but actually work through hard questions, in a structured process, together. Jane Mansbridge is the Charles F. Adams professor of...

Duration:00:57:22

Rod Dreher on America’s post-Christian culture war [CORRECTED]

7/8/2019
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[A quick note about this episode - we have fixed an error that caused some listeners to hear overlapping audio in the first portion of the show. Thank you for your understanding, and we're sorry for the issue] In 2017, Rod Dreher published The Benedict Option, a book arguing that America has grown so hostile to Orthodox Christian practice and morals that believers need to retreat into sealed communities to wait out the cultural storm. It’s a window into a mindset that is increasingly...

Duration:01:56:00

Rod Dreher on America’s post-Christian culture war

7/8/2019
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In 2017, Rod Dreher published The Benedict Option, a book arguing that America has grown so hostile to Orthodox Christian practice and morals that believers need to retreat into sealed communities to wait out the cultural storm. It’s a window into a mindset that is increasingly powerful in politics but befuddling to those who don’t share its premise: How have so many white Christians come to feel like America’s most persecuted class? Dreher writes about the monastics, but he lives the...

Duration:01:55:11

White threat in a browning America (Jennifer Richeson re-air)

7/4/2019
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This conversation with Yale psychologist and MacArthur genius Jennifer Richeson first appeared a year ago, and it’s one of my favorites. But I wanted to repost it now for two reasons. First, it’s as a necessary companion to Monday’s conversation with Robert Jones over changing religious dynamics. Richeson focuses on racial demographic change, and in particular, how the perception of losing demographic power pushes people’s politics in a sharply conservative direction. I don’t think it’s...

Duration:01:18:10

Behind the panic in white, Christian America

7/1/2019
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About seven in 10 American seniors are white Christians. Among young adults, fewer than three in 10 are. During the span of the Obama administration, America went from a majority white Christian nation to one where white Christians are a minority. That’s an earthquake, and we’re living in the aftershocks. This is a story that Robert Jones, the head of the Public Religion Research Institute, tells in his book The End of White Christian America. Much of Donald Trump’s support is driven by a...

Duration:01:36:56

An enlightening, frustrating conversation on liberalism (with Adam Gopnik)

6/27/2019
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“Liberalism is as distinct a tradition as exists in political history, but it suffers from being a practice before it is an ideology, a temperament and a tone and a way of managing the world more than a fixed set of beliefs.” That’s from Adam Gopnik’s new book A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism. It is, by turns, a bracing, charming, insightful, irksome defense of the most successful political movement of our age. Liberalism is so successful, in fact, that its...

Duration:01:49:47

The cognitive cost of poverty (with Sendhil Mullainathan)

6/24/2019
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If you’re a Parks and Rec fan, you’ll remember Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness. Right there at the base sits “Capitalism: God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor.” It’s a joke, but not really. Few want to justify the existence of poverty, but when they do, that's how they do it. People in poverty just aren’t smart enough, or hard-working enough, or they’re not making good enough decisions. There’s a moral void in that logic to begin with — but it also gets the reality...

Duration:01:38:33

Failing towards Utopia

6/21/2019
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Nice Try! is a new podcast from Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network that explores stories of people who have tried to design a better world, and what happens when those designs don't go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, follows Avery Trufelman on her quest to understand the perpetual search for the perfect place. Enjoy this special conversation between Ezra and Avery and an excerpt from the recent episode Oneida: Utopia, LLC, and subscribe to Nice Try! for free in your favorite...

Duration:00:20:11

Why liberals and conservatives create such different media (with Danna Young)

6/20/2019
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The debate over polarized media can make the two ecosystems sound equivalent. One is left, the other right, but otherwise they’re the same. That couldn’t be more wrong. They’re structured differently, they work differently, they value different things, they’re built atop different aesthetics. And behind all these differences is something we don’t talk about enough: their audiences, and what those audiences demand. Danna Young is an associate professor of communications at the University of...

Duration:01:35:04

Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo (Live!)

6/17/2019
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“The phrase ‘identity politics’ is a weaponization of the Democrats’ structural advantage in elections from now until eternity,” says Stacey Abrams. In this live interview from 2019’s Code conference, Kara Swisher and I sat down with Abrams and her campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo. Abrams lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, but became a Democratic superstar in the process. She was tapped to give the party’s response to Trump’s State of the Union, and she’s mentioned often as a...

Duration:01:05:54

This changed how I think about love (with Alison Gopnik)

6/13/2019
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Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. She’s published more than 100 journal articles and half a dozen books. She runs a cognitive development and learning lab where she studies how young children come to understand the world around them, and she’s built on that research to do work in AI, to understand how adults form bonds with both children and each other, and to examine what creativity is and how we can nurture it in ourselves...

Duration:01:35:31

The plan behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans

6/10/2019
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Oligarchic capitalism? Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. Opioid deaths? She’s got a plan for that too. Same is true for high housing costs, offshoring, child care, breaking up Big Tech, curbing congressional corruption, indicting presidents, strengthening reproductive rights, forgiving student loans, providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, and fixing the love lives of some of her Twitter followers. Seriously. But how is Warren going to pass any of these plans? Which policy would she...

Duration:00:52:59

Michael Lewis reads my mind

6/5/2019
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Michael Lewis needs little introduction. He’s the author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Big Short, The Blind Side, The Fifth Risk. He’s the host of the new podcast “Against the Rules.” He’s a master at making seemingly boring topics — baseball statistics, government bureaucrats, collateralized debt obligations — riveting. So how does he do it? What I wanted to do in this conversation was understand Lewis’s process. How does he choose his topics? How does he find his characters? How does he...

Duration:01:44:10

How Mitch McConnell convinced Michael Bennet to run for president

6/3/2019
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I’m not sure what I expected Sen. Michael Bennet’s answer to be when I asked him why he was running for president. I didn’t expect it to be “Mitch McConnell.” Since arriving in the Senate in 2009, Bennet has built a reputation as a senator’s senator. He’s smart and measured, thoughtful on policy, and good at working across the aisle. I’ve had colleagues of his tell me they wish he’d run for president, that he’s the kind of guy the country needs. But Bennet’s been radicalized. He believes...

Duration:01:17:43

How the brains of master meditators change

5/30/2019
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Richie Davidson has spent a lifetime studying meditation. He’s studied it as a practitioner, sitting daily, going on retreats, and learning under masters. And he’s pioneered the study of it as a scientist, working with the Dalai Lama to bring master meditators into his lab at the University of Wisconsin and quantifying the way thousands of hours of meditation changed their brains. The word “meditation,” Davidson is quick to note, is akin to the word “sports”: It describes a huge range of...

Duration:01:12:04

Why good people are easily corrupted (with Lawrence Lessig)

5/27/2019
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I’ve been learning from, and arguing with, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig for a decade now. We have a long-running debate over whether money or polarization is the root cause of our political ills. But our debate works because we share a crucial belief: Bad institutions overwhelm good individuals. In his latest book, America, Compromised, Lessig is doing something ambitious: He’s offering a new definition of institutional corruption, then showing how it plays out in politics,...

Duration:01:25:53

The art of attention (with Jenny Odell)

5/23/2019
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“For some, there may be a kind of engineer’s satisfaction in the streamlining and networking of our entire lived experience,” writes Jenny Odell. “And yet a certain nervous feeling, of being overstimulated and unable to sustain a train of thought, lingers.” Odell is the author of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. And she’s a visual artist who has taught digital and physical design at Stanford since 2013, as well as done residencies at Facebook, the San Francisco Planning...

Duration:01:28:25

Matt Yglesias and Jenny Schuetz solve the housing crisis

5/20/2019
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In this special crossover episode, Brookings Institution’s Jenny Schuetz joins The Weeds’ Matt Yglesias to discuss subsidies, zoning reform, and much more.

Duration:01:05:44

What kind of news is cable news? (With Brian Stelter)

5/16/2019
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Brian Stelter is the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, as well as the network’s chief media correspondent. But before he was the host of Reliable Sources, he was just a kid with a blog — a blog that obsessed over the coverage decisions, business models, and consequences of cable news. So he was the perfect person to have this conversation with. I’ve done — and continue to do — a lot of cable news. So I think a lot about the effect cable news has on the political system. How does it change the...

Duration:01:26:46