212 episodes

Conversations with Bill Kristol features in-depth, thought-provoking discussions with leading figures in American public life.

Conversations with Bill Kristol Bill Kristol

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    • 4.4 • 968 Ratings

Conversations with Bill Kristol features in-depth, thought-provoking discussions with leading figures in American public life.

    John McWhorter on Woke Politics, Race, and Education

    John McWhorter on Woke Politics, Race, and Education

    A professor of linguistics at Columbia University and author of the recent book Woke Racism, John McWhorter has been an outspoken critic of woke politics. The appeal to wokeness, he argues, presents a simplistic view of race and attempts to discredit any contrary points of view about ideas and policies. According to McWhorter, the woke end up having disproportionate power simply because of what social media allows them to do to people. He argues that we should stand up to them—and focus on developing policies that can help people rather than shutting down debate.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Ashish Jha on Covid-19: On the Omicron Variant and the Outlook for 2022

    Ashish Jha on Covid-19: On the Omicron Variant and the Outlook for 2022

    Where do things stand with Covid-19? How has the emergence of the Omicron variant changed the situation? What can we expect in the short term and throughout 2022? To discuss these questions, we are joined again by Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. While noting that much still remains unknown about the Omicron variant, Jha suggests that the United States likely will be in for a challenging few months:  We have a lot of data that Omicron is going to spread very rapidly. But that doesn’t answer the question as to whether it’s more contagious inherently, or is it evading our immune response. It’s probably a combination of both. There is now pretty clear data that our vaccines will be pushed to the wall on this. The good news, according to Jha, is our vaccines—especially taken with booster doses—likely will maintain strong protection against hospitalization and serious illness. The bad news is there still are a relatively large number of unvaccinated Americans who are particularly vulnerable. While explaining the situation, Jha also shares his perspective on the public policy and public health choices we have faced in recent months. Jha reflects on what he views as significant failures of the government, particularly the pace of the rollout of boosters and rapid tests. Finally, Jha and Kristol discuss possible paths forward in 2022 and what data we should keep our eyes on from the UK and the rest of the globe.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Shep Melnick on Title IX: Equity, Due Process, and Free Speech on Campus

    Shep Melnick on Title IX: Equity, Due Process, and Free Speech on Campus

    In a recent essay, Shep Melnick, a distinguished scholar of American politics at Boston College, writes: Few federal laws have achieved their initial objective more completely than Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Yet today Title IX is more controversial than ever before. The story of its evolution is a cautionary tale about how good intentions and broadly shared goals can become distorted over time by aggressive cultural combat, and how hard it can be to reverse the damage.

    In this Conversation, and expounding on themes addressed in his book The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education, Melnick traces the transformation of Title IX from 1972 until the present. Conceived as an initiative that would prevent sex discrimination on campus, Title IX, as Melnick explains, became a catchall source for rules and regulations in higher education regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, and offensive speech. Melnick argues that the Obama administration's heavy-handed approach to Title IX enforcement created serious threats to due process and free speech on campus. Melnick praises the more recent efforts of the Department of Education in the Trump administration to roll back some of these problematic guidelines. Finally, he considers why the Biden administration—and universities and colleges—are hesitant to return to the Obama-era policies.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Scott Lincicome on the Economy, Inflation, and the Supply Chain

    Scott Lincicome on the Economy, Inflation, and the Supply Chain

    Why have the costs of basic goods and services been increasing in recent months? Will shortages in stores and delays in orders for durable goods persist—and what is the meaning of the often invoked supply-chain issues? What public policies might help ameliorate the situation? In this Conversation, Scott Lincicome, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, considers the dynamics of the economy during the pandemic—the fiscal stimulus, accommodative monetary policy, dislocations in the global supply chain—and considers possible paths forward beyond the Covid era. He points to container ships backed up in our major ports as an example of how a sclerotic regulatory framework can worsen a serious problem and increase our vulnerability to a threat like supply shocks. Lincicome recommends modernizing infrastructure via automation, increasing our workforce via immigration, and improving our resilience via deregulation.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Linda Chavez: The Border, the Biden Administration, and Immigration Reform

    Linda Chavez: The Border, the Biden Administration, and Immigration Reform

    In recent years, immigration has become a major flashpoint in our politics. Our increasingly rancorous quarrels often serve to obscure rather than clarify policy choices, and make it more difficult to achieve sound policies. As a result, even as attention is given to problems at the border, surprisingly little attention is paid to reforming our broken immigration system. In this Conversation, Linda Chavez, a longtime analyst of immigration and immigration policy, explains that our outdated laws are urgently in need of repair. Chavez points out key areas where the nation as a whole would benefit from new policies, and discusses the obstacles to legislating or implementing them. In particular, President Trump campaigned on immigration restriction and pressed federal agencies to curb immigration in various ways, policies that candidate Biden opposed—but to this point the Biden administration mostly has avoided coming to grips with many aspects of the immigration issue. As a result, important questions like the status of those who were brought to the US as children (DACA), backlogs, delays, unused slots for green cards, problems at the border, and other issues remain unresolved. Chavez outlines an approach to immigration that rejects any idea of open borders but recognizes the value of immigration to the long-term success of the United States—and encourages a streamlining of the immigration process that is beneficial for the economy, good for Americans, and good for immigrants.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Harvey Mansfield on Machiavelli as the Founder of Modernity

    Harvey Mansfield on Machiavelli as the Founder of Modernity

    But since my intent is to write something useful to whoever understands it, it has appeared to me more fitting to go directly to the effectual truth of the thing than to the imagination of it. — Niccolo Machiavelli, in Chapter 15 of The Prince. According to Harvey Mansfield, these lines including the phrase effectual truth—a term invented by Machiavelli—are central to Machiavelli’s founding of the revolution in philosophy, science, and politics that we call modernity. In this Conversation—our 200th episode!—our first and most frequent guest Harvey Mansfield returns to the program to discuss his recent work on Machiavelli, and presents an incisive and provocative account of some of the more challenging and too-little-understood aspects of Machiavelli’s teaching. In particular, Mansfield draws out the world-historical significance of Machiavelli’s discovery or invention of the effectual truth and shows why Machiavelli can justly be called the founder of modernity. This Conversation has also been added to the Harvey Mansfield site on Contemporary Thinkers and the Machiavelli site on Great Thinkers.

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
968 Ratings

968 Ratings

THF Seattle ,

John Mcwhorter

As much as the social justice warriors want to shout down on anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their beliefs, it is unlikely their tactics are effective when persuading the general population. Without gaining more allies, we will not see meaningful progress. Changes are difficult, and it is much easier for right-winged activists influencing people into thinking they are the victims of wokeness instead seeing the wrongs of societal inequality.

enough1000 ,

William Baude

We as citizens of this country can’t take our government for granted. It’s not dead it’s alive and being alive means it needs sunshine, fresh air, water, nutrients.

Mr.Bob Dobalina ,

Warhawking loser

Who is this Never Trump Warhawking grifter? Lol

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