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The Argument

New York Times

Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. A weekly ideas show, hosted by Jane Coaston.

Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. A weekly ideas show, hosted by Jane Coaston.


United States


Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. A weekly ideas show, hosted by Jane Coaston.






Is Crime That Bad, or Are the Vibes Just Off?

From New York to San Francisco, there’s a sense that crime is on the rise in American cities. And in some ways, that’s true: Violent crime has risen. Murders are up nearly 40 percent since 2019. But property crime has fallen for years. And how we define crime, and what’s causing its increase, is a complicated issue — as is what we should do about it. So on today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Rafael Mangual and Alex Kingsbury to debate what’s really going on with...


Who Can Write About What? A Conversation With Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang

When does creative license become cultural appropriation? Take “American Dirt” and “The Help,” two books by white authors that drew criticism for their portrayals of characters of color. Artists’ job is to imagine and create, but what do we do when they get it wrong? To discuss, Jane Coaston is joined by the Opinion writers Roxane Gay and Jay Caspian Kang. Roxane is an author of multiple books, including “Hunger” and “Bad Feminist.” Jay is a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and...


Best- and Worst-Case Outcomes of the Jan. 6 Public Hearings

On Thursday, a bipartisan House select committee will begin public hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. The weeks ahead will be awash with news as the committee reveals what happened in the days and weeks before the attack — and to what extent the rioters were emboldened, or enabled, by the White House and Republican lawmakers. To wade through the news and help us understand what to pay attention to as the hearings unfold, host Jane Coaston calls upon two experts on the...


A Debate Over ‘Common Sense’ Gun Legislation

The recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, indicate that gun violence, and how to address it, is a conversation we unfortunately need to keep having. But what policies would make a difference and stop some of these mass casualty events? On today’s episode, host Jane Coaston focuses on the solutions to gun violence and what measures would help stop mass shootings specifically, in addition to curbing homicides, suicides and other forms of gun violence. The three policy proposals up...


Who Decides the Right Way to Protest?

Two years ago, the murder of George Floyd sparked protests across America, gathering an estimated 15 million people into the streets during the summer of 2020. Since then, Americans of all political persuasions have taken to the streets to make their views known, on everything from mask mandates to abortion rights. But did protesting result in any real change? And looking back, where does that moment of collective outrage fit in the broader history of dissent in America? This week, host...


The Economy Is Weird. Two Experts on Where It Goes From Here.

If you’re confused about the current state of the economy and where it’s headed, you’re not alone. The United States is experiencing inflation at the highest rate since the 1980s, and most Americans generally feel as bad about the economy as they did during the Great Recession of 2008. At the same time, unemployment is low and wages are rising. On today’s episode of “The Argument,” host Jane Coaston consults two economics reporters to break down these conflicting trends in the economy and...


Trump, the Primaries and the ‘Populism of Resentment’ Shaping the G.O.P.

May is chock-full of primary elections, and they are starting to provide a picture of how deep the G.O.P. is entrenched in Trumpism. J.D. Vance, the 37-year-old venture capitalist and author of the acclaimed memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” won the Republican Senate primary in Ohio — with the endorsement of Donald Trump. The rise of Vance paints a telling portrait of how the G.O.P. is evolving in its appeal to its conservative base. Vance eagerly sought Trump’s endorsement and praise. Does it mean...


‘You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet’: What’s Next if Roe Goes

It was a historic twist in an already historic case: A draft opinion of a Supreme Court decision overturning two landmark rulings — Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — leaked to Politico, which published the 98-page document on Monday night. Chief Justice John Roberts said that the draft opinion was authentic but that “it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” Even with that caveat, it seems to be a sign of where...


How Did Queer Kids Become the Battlefield For the Right’s Midterm Strategy?

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, states barring transgender athletes from participating in sports and censoring school curriculums around queer and gender identity — a wave of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation is spreading across the country, sustained in large part by the political right. According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year alone, more than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in state legislatures. Why has this issue become the focus of the Republican Party? And how is...


From Amazon to Starbucks, America Is Unionizing. Will Politics Catch Up?

From Amazon and Starbucks to large media companies, unionization has become a siren call for workers — white- and blue-collar — fighting for rights and fair wages. But in 2022, after two years of a pandemic, how have our ideas about unions changed? And are Democrats, the so-called party of the unions, still allies in the fight for workers’ rights? On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston asks two leading labor voices in America to debate the current role of unions, how the...


The Dangerous Lesson Viktor Orban Taught Republicans

President Biden has described the world as being in a “battle between democracy and autocracy.” And Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent victory in Hungary, especially, has marked it as a country in pursuit of what Orban calls an “illiberal democracy.” So what has happened to liberalism, and why is it so deeply challenged today? On today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston brings the Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp and the Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens together to...


Why Russian Sanctions Won’t Stop Putin

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its sixth week. Atrocities committed by Russian troops have reached new levels; in Bucha, recent photos show dead, unarmed civilians lining the streets. The harrowing scenes have prompted NATO leaders to consider taking new measures against Russia, namely to equip Ukraine with more weapons and impose more sanctions on Russia. But will those measures be enough? With President Biden now calling the atrocities “war crimes” and Prime Minister Mateusz...


Ukraine Made Big Tech Pick a Side — But Who Are the Losers?

Technology defines nearly every facet of our modern world. It almost feels that to exist today in the Western world, one has no choice but to engage in it. As a result, Big Tech holds an incredible amount of power — power that continues to play a role in the Russia-Ukraine war. As the war has intensified, tech companies have been forced to take a side. It’s become what the Times reporters Adam Satariano and Sheera Frenkel described as a “defining geopolitical moment for some of the world’s...


It’s Not About Putin: Two Conservatives Break Down the G.O.P. Split Over Ukraine

How should America respond to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? This week, Jane Coaston sought out perspectives of a particular group on this complex question: conservatives. The group has long been divided on foreign policy and, more recently, over Putin and Russia. Could loyalty to Donald Trump lead some Republicans to support Putin? In today’s episode, these questions are tested by two conservative writers — and their answers are far from aligned. Michael Brendan Dougherty is a...


Putin Is ‘High Off His Own Propaganda Supply’

This week, an antiwar protester interrupted a Moscow broadcast with a sign in Russian reading: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” With the Russian government promoting propaganda on news channels and most recently passing a law to punish people spreading “false information” about the Ukraine invasion, it’s been hard to distill what is actually going on in both Russia and Ukraine right now. The confusion has resulted in what Masha Gessen recently...


The New Phase of the Pandemic Is Covid Exhaustion

We’re headed into the third year of pandemic life, and one thing is clear: We’re all exhausted from Covid. Virus caseloads are waning across the country, masks are coming off, people are traveling more, and office workers have new return dates. Does that mean the pandemic is over? Maybe. And maybe not. On Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on mask wearing and social distancing, saying that 70 percent of Americans no longer need to heed those...


Opinion Roundtable: The 'Dirty Compromise' That Could Stop Putin

It’s been a week since Russia invaded Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled Ukraine and Russia continues to target major Ukrainian cities with powerful weapons. And amidst the chaos of war – President Biden held his first State of the Union address. Yara Bayoumy, the world and national security editor for Times Opinion, and the columnists Thomas Friedman and Ross Douthat joined Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a Times Opinion podcast host, to discuss what could happen next. Listen to...


Alexander Vindman on Why It’s the ‘Beginning of the End’ for Putin

In the days since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine, its citizens have taken up arms to defend their borders and their right to self-determination. Where is the rest of the world in all of this? To help understand the current situation and how we got here, Jane Coaston talks with Alexander Vindman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was the director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council from 2018 to 2020. Vindman was also a key witness at...


The Complex Truth About American Patriotism

An American flag, football, the national anthem, “Make America Great Again” — all of these can be symbols of American patriotism, but to whom? In 2022, the notion of being a patriot is complex to say the least, and in a divided nation one might ask: Who gets to be called a patriot, and what does patriotism really mean in America? This week, Jane and her guests dig into how each of them feels about patriotism and how our two dominant political parties use the idea to their own ends. Ben...


‘This is About the Future of Freedom’: What Does America Owe Ukrainians?

The U.S. State Department recently ordered all nonemergency diplomats and embassy employees to leave Ukraine, signaling that its personnel believe a Russian invasion of Ukraine may be imminent. Such a move by Russia would be the most consequential invasion in Europe since World War II. If Russia acts, what is America’s responsibility to Ukraine? Two of Jane’s Opinion colleagues, Bret Stephens and Farah Stockman, join her to tackle that question today. Both Bret and Farah have reported on...