26 episodes

A podcast for those of us who want something more than what we've come to expect from politics -- and from our political discourse. Each week, More Than Politics will feature a conversation that helps put today’s politics in context, that honestly and charitably explores the issues of the day, that encourages us to engage in politics in a moral, even loving way. Hosted by Julie Varner Walsh, a former lobbyist for the Catholic Church, current mother of five / writer at www.thesewallsblog.com.

More Than Politics Julie Varner Walsh

    • News
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

A podcast for those of us who want something more than what we've come to expect from politics -- and from our political discourse. Each week, More Than Politics will feature a conversation that helps put today’s politics in context, that honestly and charitably explores the issues of the day, that encourages us to engage in politics in a moral, even loving way. Hosted by Julie Varner Walsh, a former lobbyist for the Catholic Church, current mother of five / writer at www.thesewallsblog.com.

    MTP 23: Where Free Speech Meets Big Tech (Part 2) with David Hancharik

    MTP 23: Where Free Speech Meets Big Tech (Part 2) with David Hancharik

    In this week’s episode (the second of a two-part conversation) Julie Walsh talks with David Hancharik, an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 36 years. David and Julie discuss the controversy regarding free speech and “Big Tech” – the technology companies that make our internet and social media usage possible. 
    In the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, social media companies suspended accounts (President Trump’s most notable among them) and hosting companies took websites offline. To many, these actions felt like attacks on Americans’ freedom of speech. 
    But were they? It’s not such a simple question. Do private companies infringe on individuals’ freedom of speech when they don’t permit them to use the companies’ platforms? In a world where most political speech has moved online, have those platforms come to be our newest, and most important, public square? And which is more important: companies’ rights to their private property or individuals’ rights to use that property for public speech?
    David and Julie spoke at such length on these questions (and more) that we split the conversation into two episodes. This episode covers: the Fairness Doctrine; the differences between bias, accuracy, and fairness; the question of whether office-holders should always be allowed access to social media platforms; how social media companies cooperate with the government when it comes to threats to public officials; the unintended consequences that might result from efforts to restrict social media companies’ ability to censor content on their sites; and the importance of considering matters of conscience when it comes to those who work in “Big Tech.”
     
    David Hancharik is an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications field for over 36 years. A majority of his experience has been in the areas of satellite communications for consumer and national security applications. While David’s primary responsibilities have been in the analysis and design of these systems, he is also involved in business development and exposed to commercial and national security industry customer communities. 
    David has taught scriptural studies throughout his adult life and has been a Catholic Catechist for the past ten years. He is keenly aware of the moral benefits and evils that are made possible by the telecommunications industry, as well as how conscience considerations are applied within it.
     
    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 37 min
    MTP 22: Where Free Speech Meets Big Tech (Part 1) with David Hancharik

    MTP 22: Where Free Speech Meets Big Tech (Part 1) with David Hancharik

    In this week’s episode Julie Walsh talks with David Hancharik, an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 36 years. David and Julie discuss the controversy regarding free speech and “Big Tech” – the technology companies that make our internet and social media usage possible. 
    In the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, social media companies suspended accounts (President Trump’s most notable among them) and hosting companies took websites offline. To many, these actions felt like attacks on Americans’ freedom of speech. 
    But were they? It’s not such a simple question. Do private companies infringe on individuals’ freedom of speech when they don’t permit them to use the companies’ platforms? In a world where most political speech has moved online, have those platforms come to be our newest, and most important, public square? And which is more important: companies’ rights to their private property or individuals’ rights to use that property for public speech?
    David and Julie spoke at such length on these questions (and more) that we’re splitting the conversation into two episodes. This first episode covers: the often-discussed (but perhaps seldom understood) “Section 230” of the Communications Decency Act; how the right to free speech interacts with the right to private property; the concept of the public square; what “Big Tech” currently protects its users from; the enormity of the current moment; and the fact that “Big Tech” is made up of real, individual people, each with their own consciences.

    David Hancharik is an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications field for over 36 years. A majority of his experience has been in the areas of satellite communications for consumer and national security applications. While David’s primary responsibilities have been in the analysis and design of these systems, he is also involved in business development and exposed to commercial and national security industry customer communities. 
    David has taught scriptural studies throughout his adult life and has been a Catholic Catechist for the past ten years. He is keenly aware of the moral benefits and evils that are made possible by the telecommunications industry, as well as how conscience considerations are applied within it.

    You can find the text of “Section 230” here.

    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 51 min
    MTP 21: Reconstruction and Criminal Justice: discussing the era and its continued impact with Dede Miller

    MTP 21: Reconstruction and Criminal Justice: discussing the era and its continued impact with Dede Miller

    In this episode Julie Varner Walsh talks with historian Dede Miller for the second part in a series on Reconstruction. Reconstruction was the period immediately following the Civil War, in which the Confederate south was brought back into the fold and millions of formerly enslaved people began to make their way in a new America.

    While Reconstruction is perhaps less well-known to most Americans than slavery, Jim Crow, or the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, its impact has nevertheless continued to be felt in our politics and society – especially when it comes to racial inequality.

    In this second part of the series, Julie and Dede discuss the topic of criminal justice. They talk about the legacy that Reconstruction-era “black codes” and policies of imprisonment and forced labor have left in American society, right down to the modern day.


    Dede Miller is a wife, a mother of two, a historian, and a former teacher. She holds an M.A. in History and specializes in 18th and 19th century trans-Atlantic slavery and slave revolutions, African-American history, and black political identity.

    Dede is a black woman and convert to Catholicism who has a deep love for her community and her faith. She is a founding member and President of Catholics United for Black Lives and is deeply invested in using the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to address the racial divide in America.


    To learn more about Dede, follow her on Instagram @dedes.journey. To learn more about Catholics United for Black Lives, check out their website at www.cubl.org and follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @cublorg.

    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 41 min
    MTP 20: From One Presidency to the Next with Dr. Michael Towle

    MTP 20: From One Presidency to the Next with Dr. Michael Towle

    Julie Walsh and Dr. Michael Towle discuss this moment of transition from one presidential administration to the next: the end of the Trump administration, including the Capitol insurrection and the president’s second impeachment – and the beginning of the Biden administration, including where our parties, our politics, and our country might be heading next.

    Dr. Michael Towle is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Mount Saint Mary’s University, where he has taught since 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Dr. Towle teaches introductory and advanced courses in American politics, including Parties and Elections, The American Presidency, Congressional Politics, and the Supreme Court and Constitutional Law.

    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 52 min
    MTP 19: Reconstruction and Voting: discussing the era and its continued impact with Dede Miller

    MTP 19: Reconstruction and Voting: discussing the era and its continued impact with Dede Miller

    In this episode Julie Varner Walsh talks with historian Dede Miller for the first part in a series on Reconstruction. Reconstruction was the period immediately following the Civil War, in which the Confederate south was brought back into the fold and millions of formerly enslaved people began to make their way in a new America.
    While Reconstruction is perhaps less well-known to most Americans than slavery, Jim Crow, or the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, its impact has nevertheless continued to be felt in our politics and society – especially when it comes to racial inequality.
    In this first part of the series, Julie and Dede discuss the topic of voting. They talk about black Americans’ political engagement in the years following the Civil War, the mounting violence that resulted in black disenfranchisement, and the vestiges of disenfranchisement that we continue to see today.
    And lastly, in an addendum to the originally-recorded conversation, Dede explains the Wilmington coup of 1898, which, as the only known coup in the history of the United States, has attracted much attention in the wake of the January 6th attack on the US. Capitol.
    Dede Miller is a wife, a mother of two, a historian, and a former teacher. She holds an M.A. in History and specializes in 18th and 19th century trans-Atlantic slavery and slave revolutions, African-American history, and black political identity.
    Dede is a black woman and convert to Catholicism who has a deep love for her community and her faith. She is a founding member and President of Catholics United for Black Lives and is deeply invested in using the principles of Catholic Social Teaching to address the racial divide in America.
    To learn more about Dede, follow her on Instagram at @dedes.journey. To learn more about Catholics United for Black Lives, check out their website at www.cubl.org and follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @cublorg. 
     
    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 1 hr 18 min
    MTP 18: Unreal: Insurrection at the Capitol and an Unconceded Election

    MTP 18: Unreal: Insurrection at the Capitol and an Unconceded Election

    Julie Varner Walsh goes solo for this episode, reflecting on the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as the 2020 election and its aftermath.
     
    ***
    A onetime federal government employee, onetime lobbyist, and longtime student of politics, Julie Varner Walsh’s life has always centered around politics and her Catholic faith. And that has made for some strange combinations. Raised Republican, she worked mostly with Democrats when she was a lobbyist for the Catholic Church on poverty, immigration, and health care matters. Today she finds herself politically homeless, but not politically aimless. Walsh has found purpose in encouraging people to look beyond labels, to focus more on the moral implications of politics than the partisan horse race.
     
    Follow Julie on Instagram and Facebook, and visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitics to learn more about this podcast.
    Theme music is by purple-planet.com

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

EricaWight ,

Great podcast!!!

In a country where politics always seems to be heated and divisive, it is wonderful to get a kind, interesting, and smart take on the current politics in the US.

Angel Weis ,

Just what I needed to hear

Beth Williby strongly recommended listening to this podcast and she was right. Thank you for articulating so many of my feelings and hopes in such a calm yet powerful manner. This was just the gift I needed this morning.

Nolovehere ,

Excellent approach toward bridging the divides

Rather than sell a single viewpoint, this podcast does an outstanding job of exploring multiple, differing views and approaches to a wide variety of issues. Intelligent, thoughtful and measured, Julie Varner Walsh truly seeks to explore and understand positions different than her own. In a world of hectic, screaming voices, the calm approach and reflective pauses are a welcome change! Looking forward to many more episodes.

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