Paradox Podcast Episode 47: How Do We Rebuild Everything? (with Guest Brendan Loy)

The Paradox team is back after a little post-election break. Confused, concerned Coloradan Brendan Loy was our returning guest this week to talk about listening to people better (and most especially the people who disagree with us) in a post-Trump world. 

Terrible Opinions

Matthias: I disagree with the recent piece from Rachel Held Evans about leaving evangelicalism. We should learn to listen to each other better instead of creating more distance.

Brendan: I love Rachel Platten's "Fight Song."

Jordan: Even though Twitter has been insane over the Hamilton stuff, I'm glad it happened because vice-president-elect Mike Pence's reaction was so kind and appropriate even in the midst of the crazy.

How can we be kind? 

As people who opposed now-president-elect Donald Trump during the election, we wanted to chat about better ways to talk to people, how to rebuild trust, and what lines in the sand we want to draw going into a Trump administration. 

Brendan points out flaws in the Hillary Clinton campaign's messaging, which he describes as "crafted by Brooklyn liberals for Brooklyn liberals," and analyzes why it failed to reach voters. 

We detail our two biggest questions in the wake of the election: "How do we disagree without yelling at people?" and "Can journalists rebuild trust?" Brendan points out that we need to keep the lines clear between genuine bigotry and political incorrectness as well as the distinctions between policies we disagree with vs. actions that will destroy the Republic. 

Predictions

Jordan: Lorelai will say the famous last four words in the Netflix "Gilmore Girls" special that's coming out this weekend.

Matthias: More of a promise than a prediction: I'll stop attacking the crazy left. We need to engage and amplify voices we respect and like and that is what I want to do.

Paradox Podcast Episode 46: We'll Need a Rebuilding Year after the Most Polarizing Election in History (with Guest Dina Fraioli)

To cap off this insane election year, we invited political strategist and One Direction fan Dina Fraioli back to talk about who held the line in 2016 and whether or not the GOP survives. 

Terrible Opinions

Matthias tries to make Jordan's head explode by saying Trump wouldn't be able to do that many horrible things as president even though he's a "monster." Dina praises "establishment" Mitch McConnell, saying he would "delight" in blocking President Hillary Clinton. Jordan says BuzzFeed, the land of endless cat listicles, actually has some great long-form writing and published "the piece of this election" with Katherine Miller's heartfelt How Donald Trump Broke The Conservative Movement (And My Heart)

Don't f*** with the Clintons (unless you're Mitch McConnell)

Dina taps her 15 years of experience working for in politics envision a Clinton presidency. She thinks Hillary as president would be willing to work across the aisle, and if Republicans hold Congress, McConnell can lead them in blocking her as needed (a big "if" when the GOP may not hold the House and the Senate). 

We share some of our "silver linings" in 2016, a year when "everybody showed us who they were" and very few people held the line on their principles. Dina says this next period will be a "rebuilding year" since we don't even know what a Republican is anymore and it may be time for a conservative party. 

Predictions 

Matthias and Jordan have some fun with pop culture predictions, with Matthias saying that Mel Gibson's new movie will be a moderate success that makes him viable again as a director. Jordan is hopeful that the new "Gilmore Girls" special on Netflix will be thoughtfully produced and please the show's devoted fans. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 45: The GOP Has 99 Problems and Women Voters Are Just One (with Guest Marybeth Glenn)

Jordan and Matthias welcomed Marybeth Glenn of epic tweet storm fame this week to talk about the future of the GOP, Hillary Clinton’s scorn for the rule of law, and the real conflict of our time: Cubs vs. Cardinals.

Terrible Opinions

Resident feminist and pop-culture-lover Jordan is uncomfortable with the report that the Netflix show “Jessica Jones” has only female directors in its second season. Marybeth demands that the Chicago Cubs lose the World Series. Matthias explains why he thinks Clinton is the true “burn it to the ground” candidate.

The GOP’s Woman Problem … and Millennial Problem … and Urban Problem … and …

We ask Marybeth what brought on her insightful viral Twitter rant about the GOP, sexism, Trump and Republican women. 

Marybeth explores the idea of a new conservative party that appeals to “middle-of-the-road” voters and gives her argument why anyone who supported Trump should not helm the GOP moving forward. We discuss Evan McMullin and the possibility of a new party as well as the GOP’s issues with women, millennials, and minority and urban voters.

Predictions

Jordan predicts that even in the age of binge-watching, it will take her several months to finish “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because it’s such an intense show. Matthias says there will be no rioting after the election. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 44: Where Will the Alt-Right Hide on Nov. 9? (with Guest Ryan Moy)

Matthias and Jordan are back this week to chat with Ryan Moy (@alwaysonoffense) about the future of the GOP and whether or not it can find "basic values as a party" and rebuild after the election. 

Terrible Opinions

Ryan is apparently very, very particular when it comes to his Halloween candy. Jordan is upset that Jonah Peretti's bizarre tweet about Ivanka Trump is only one more example of the media industry tossing ethics out the window to get attention. Matthias thinks "journalists" like Kevin Robillard of Politico who take decent people out of context and sic Twitter trolls on them should be (metaphorically) burned at the stake. 

Consultants! Reince! Dumpster fire!

Analysis, predictions, fears and hopes blend in our take on what the post-election conservative landscape will look like. Matthias really wants to know who exactly will be responsible for steering the GOP after Nov. 8. Is it enough for the GOP to replace Reince? Are those conversations already happening and is a plan for the party's future after Donald Trump in the works? Ryan discusses the possibility that Carly Fiorina will be tapped as the new GOP chair and details what she would bring to the table, while Jordan speculates on what the most powerful combination would be for 2020. We debate whether or not the alt-right will continue to infect the conservative movement after the election. 

Predictions

Matthias depresses everyone with the prediction that the media will continue to give the alt-right oxygen by covering white supremacist events and otherwise bringing attention to their cause. Jordan points out that Trump's reaction if he loses the election could determine whether or not the media continues to make a profit from that kind of coverage (if he goes on that long vacation as promised and disappears from public view, not so much). She predicts that most of the GOP will wake up after the election and attempt to shock everyone with how much Trump never happened. Ryan predicts that Trump TV will launch and will be a fairly successful enterprise. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 42: There's Hope on Nov. 9th (with Guest Noah Rothman)

Matthias and Jordan are back with a guest to bring more Terrible Opinions and a nuanced perspective on the 2016 election and the current state of the GOP. Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine joined us this week to offer some hope for Republicans after this election. His recommendation? Enough forgiveness to go around, a healthy dose of humility, and a good hard look at what went wrong. 

We discuss the big story from the weekend: Donald Trump's lewd comments about women as caught on videotape. Jordan wonders why people drew the line at this particular moment; Noah points out that these quotes are particularly damning because they're completely candid. Is this what the candidate is really like when no one's looking? 

We touch on the Trump-Clinton debate and the general horror that is the 2016 election, but mostly try to focus on what comes next. Noah details the healing process that will be necessary for the GOP to move forward and notes that anyone who took the risk of standing against Trump will be politically elevated after the election (see: Ben Sasse, Mike Lee). Matthias wonders if we can do anything about a political landscape that is post-truth and so obviously, dangerously partisan. Jordan hopes the GOP can move beyond the factions that divided the party and made way for someone like Trump. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 41: The Downfall of Everything

This week on the Paradox Podcast, our regular hosts cover Hillary's campaign and what is going wrong with her as a candidate. We also discuss how the press can possibly recover from this election.

Terrible Opinions

Matthias: Attacking Trump's weight is insane and we should never ever do it. 

Jordan: I love Top 40 music. There's something wonderful about hearing a song and immediately remembering where you were and what was happening when everyone was listening to it.  

Zach: Voters are to blame for this election

Predictions

Matthias: Georgia Tech will have a good season, 3 or fewer losses

Zach: This will get a lot worse before it gets better.

Jordan: Paradox will have some news soon.

Episode 40: The Health of Hillary and the Health of the GOP (with Guest Jay Caruso)

Jay Caruso of RedState joins us in our ongoing conversation about the renewal of the Republican party.

But we start off with terrible opinions. Matthias feels that Ben Carson wasn't suited for politics, but thinks he's a nice guy and still really likes him. Jordan notes that the outrage mob on went way too far bashing the "women in headphones" piece. It was dumb, but they made an industry out of being angry at it. Zach asks that, if you're going to make faces at a baby, you should make eye contact with the parents. Jay doesn't think that Hillary's coughing thing was a big deal (but her fainting may alter that position).

We talk with Jay about rebuilding the GOP, specifically about his piece in the National Review, in which he walks through how the GOP can reach out to minority and urban voters after a Hillary victory.

We also discuss the alt right and try to figure out how to balance the need to recognize them as a news story with how covering their every move gives them oxygen, energy, and the money they need to continue.

For predictions,  Jay notes that, we're going to see the elimination of the network TV model in the next five years.

Episode 39: Jason Pye Says We Can Rebuild Conservatism While Hating Harambe Memes

For part 2 in our Rebuilding Conservatism series, Jason Pye (Director of Communication at FreedomWorks) joins us. Jason brings us a vision of rebuilding conservatism from a policy perspective that focuses on amplifying and supporting conservative voices within Congress.

Matthias: I feel like Danielle Morrill's piece on work life balance comes from a place of extreme privilege and can be a toxic attitude for many people.

Jason: I'm tired of the Harambe nonsense and also I love Nihilist Arby's.

Jordan: I love Kim Kardashian and I think she uses the free market to her advantage.

Zach Noble: They've found that using robot babies in sex ed courses DOESN'T disuade girls from having babies and that's great. We should have more kids.

We then talk about Jason's work with Freedom Works and the House Freedom Caucus and how to connect with the core conservative movement that is influencing policy within Congress.

For predictions...

Matthias: bots (automated comment generators) will play an increasing role in the dark part of campaigns

Jason: The Georgia Bulldogs will go 9-3 and will beat Georgia Tech in the last game of the season.

Zach: The Magnificent 7 remake will be great.

Jordan: Nothing at the 2016 Video Music Awards will be weirder than the 2016 presidential campaign.

Episode 38: Rebuilding Conservatism: Reaching the Voters the GOP Has Ignored (with Guest Evan Siegfried)

Joining us this week is Evan Siegfried, author of the book GOP GPS: How to Find the Millennials and Urban Voters the Republican Party Needs to Survive

For our terrible opinions: Evan feels like the Ryan Lochte scandal was a godsend for Brazil since he was able to overshadow every disastrous thing that happened at the Rio Olympics. Zach thinks Fox and Drudge are worse than the Washington Post and the New York Times when it comes to bias. Jordan expresses her frustration at the media glee over the naked Donald Trump statues across the country.

The majority of the podcast is spent talking with Evan about his book and about the GOP's crisis in terms of reaching millennials and minorities. We also talk about the GOP and technology, where the right has fallen behind and how they can catch up.

For predictions, Evan predicts there is a lot more negative stuff about Trump that will come out in the coming weeks (probably related to Russia). Matthias thinks Trump will bounce up in the next few weeks but will then dive back down. Jordan thinks Rubio will win in Florida.

Episode 37: Being Fair to Hillary, Also Education Sucks

For episode 37, the Paradox team is just exhausted with this whole year.
Terrible Opinions
Zach: The name of the President of the Harvard GOP club is funny and Philip Bump is fine with making fun of his (very ridiculous) name. Matthias loudly disagrees.
Jordan: It was unfair when people got angry at Hillary for the Orlando shooter showing up at her rally.
Matthias: Evan McMullin is running for president. He is a ridiculous choice and he is being incredibly unfair to Hillary Clinton (inasmuch as he implies that she has no experience in dealing with terrorism).
Also, Zach brings up a study on teacher pay (indicating that teachers make far less money than comparable workers) and Matthias looks at this with the national employment data.

Paradox Podcast Episode 36: Democratic Convention, the Death of Shame, and Birds vs. Bunnies

In Terrible Opinions this week, Matthias says we should couple abortion restrictions and gun restrictions in CDC research as a way to make sure everyone is constantly angry, Zach likes Larry Sabato's idea of adding former presidents & vice presidents as "national senators," and Jordan thinks that asking a candidate's child questions about the candidate's sexual past should be off limits. 

We cover the Democratic National Convention and the extent to which the Democrats remain divided even as they work to coalesce around Hillary as the nominee. 

For predictions, Matthias says Chelsea Clinton will run for president in 2024, Jordan says the Netflix special for "Gilmore Girls" will mention the current election and Zach says there will be a leaked "Clinton sex story" scandal, either real or fabricated, before the election is over.

Paradox Podcast Episode 35: The GOP Convention & What The Future Holds

After a little break, Zach, Jordan, and Matthias are back with our terrible opinions just in time to talk about the GOP Convention. Zach thinks Tim Kaine is a great VP pick. Matthias thinks that, if Democrats want to beat Trump, they need to stop defending Hillary and admit she is a disaster area. Jordan thinks it is awesome that people love Pokemon Go (and that it is not an indication of the fall of all culture) and also admires Bernie Sanders for staying loyal to the Democrat party even through his fight disrupt the party.

The team then covers the key moments of the GOP convention, including Ted Cruz's speech and political future. Having mostly given up on the presidential race this year, we talk about how 2020 is likely to pan out in the GOP primary. 

For predictions, Matthias thinks Hillary's emails will come out via Wikileaks sometime around September and October.

Paradox Podcast Episode 34: Brexit, Sit-In Politics and Breaking Pledges

Matthias, Jordan and Zach are back for more Terrible Opinions, predictions and (we hope) nuanced opinions about the state of things in politics and culture. In this week's episode, Zach and Matthias debate a plot point in a recent "Game of Thrones" episode, we discuss our (lack of) opinions on Brexit, and we lament the "purposely uninformed" voter. 

The media lost it this week when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, with culture war lines clearly falling along Leave for the right and Remain for the left. None of us have a definite opinion either way, but we discuss possible economic fallout as well as the overreaction of the left. 

Another important topic recently has been whether or not the government can put you on a secret list and take away your constitutional rights. We make fun of liberals just a little bit after the ridiculous Democratic sit-in, which was 1) catered and 2) useless. Zach reminds listeners that the ACLU was also against the "no fly/no buy" ban on gun sales, so maybe not everyone has gone crazy. 

We end by giving Matthias a hard time for unlocking his Twitter account and contradicting his vow to keep it locked down until after the election. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 33: Comic Books, Press Freedom and Responsibility (with guest Becket Adams)

Matthias, Jordan and Zach welcome back guest Becket Adams for Unpopular Opinions, Predictions and plenty of discussion about the topic of the hour: free speech.

We call out journalists who defend Gawker's invasion of privacy as supposed "freedom of the press" but ignore clear First Amendment violations by the IRS. The free speech discussion continues with a debate over Donald Trump's decision to block a BuzzFeed reporter's access to a press conference. Becket notes that Trump is setting up a pay-to-play system if the reporter was blocked because BuzzFeed decided not to run any GOP ads this election.

While we mention Orlando, we refrain from any hot takes. We wrap up with predictions, some frivolous (Zach predicts a soccer game's outcome and Jordan talks about the "Ghostbusters" reboot) and one grim (Becket predicts that terror attacks will boost Trump in the election).

Paradox Podcast Episode 32: The GOP's Ongoing Data Problem and the Nature of Candidate Support (with guest Jerri Ann Henry)

Matthias, Jordan and Zach are joined by political strategist and data guru Jerri Ann Henry on a "depressing" podcast episode to discuss some of the horrifying nuances of 2016. Zach admits that he appreciated Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech; Jerri Ann explains to us why election 2016 means that Data Is Dead; and Jordan laments how the Trump supporters and protesters alike who were being violent and generally horrible distracted from the real problem (Trump). Matthias and Zach debate whether or not Speaker Ryan had a choice when it came to striking his conservative colors to the GOP's racist, misogynistic, xenophobic flagbearer. We end with some pop culture fluff by discussing the new "Ghostbusters" movie and whether or not we're excited about seeing it.  

Paradox Podcast Episode 31: Sophie’s Rubio Choice, Please Save Us Libertarians, and Gawker Is a Disaster

Matthias, Jordan and Zach are back for more Terrible Opinions, predictions and rants about 2016 and beyond. In this episode, we discuss the downfall of Marco Rubio and lament his apology for the infamous "small hands" comment. Matthias has a Terrible Opinion about the gender wage gap, while Jordan dismisses the grammar police of Twitter. Zach is kerflummoxed at Donald Trump's blatantly ridiculous plan to "open up" California water. We also discuss the strange goings-on at the Libertarian Convention and talk about how terrible 2016 is all around whatever political "team" you happen to be on. 

 

Paradox Podcast Episode 30: Anarchy, Reason and Hillary's Worrisome Polling Numbers

Matthias and Jordan mourn the general state of things in this horrible election season. Jordan laments that conservatives are left without a party since the Republican Party is no longer welcoming to conservatives and the libertarian movement doesn't match their values either. We debate what the libertarian movement stands for and whether or not it makes religious liberty a priority. Neither of us is angry at Speaker Ryan for trying to work with Trump, and we work through the nuances of Trump "support" as graded from Trey Gowdy to Nikki Haley to Ryan. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 29: Trumpy McTrumpface, Methodists and Minivans

Matthias, Jordan and Zach are back for more horrible opinions and predictions and generally trying to figure out the crazy world we live in.

Terrible Opinions: 

Matthias - Minivans are awesome, substantially better than SUVs.

Jordan - Uber and Lyft are incredibly overrated.

Zach - We need a system where you could either get basic income or you could vote.

General Election Stuff

The Paradox team talks about the latest Trump weirdness. This week that happens to be the "Trump faked being his own publicist" scandal. We discuss Scott Adams, hypnosis and the nature of tribal allegiance in politics.

Methodists and Culture

Zach believes Methodists will shift very culturally liberal; the team talks about the religion and denominational differences.

Predictions

Jordan - I don't think the grassroots conservative infrastructure will come around to supporting Trump.

Zach - Methodists will completely accept homosexuality, including gay marriage within the Methodist church.

Matthias - We'll see a recession within 12 to 18 months. 

Paradox Podcast Episode 28: Voting on Conscience, Kids and Culture

Join Matthias, Jordan and Zach as we tackle Mother's Day and the destroyed scraps of the Republican party.

Terrible Opinions 

Zach: You shouldn't buy cards. I get a ton of free cards and you should repackage them to fit the occasion.

Matthias: We need to stop making a big deal out of accomplished kids because the pressure to be "successful" before they even get to college is damaging to childhood & damaging to all sorts of experiences that can be used for college applications.

Jordan: We're not supposed to care about identity politics, but I'm excited that a woman is a presidential candidate for the first time (and that we'll probably have the first female president)

2016 Voting Strategies - 24:00

Matthias declares that he's voting for Bernie Sanders in the Most Meaningless Primary of All Time (the Washington primary). The team then discusses voting strategies that maximizes the #NeverTrump strategy and when it would makes sense to vote for a third-party candidate or Hillary Clinton. 

Kids and Culture - 37:00

How do we raise kids in a culture in which kids are expected to engage in movies, media, and content that is reprehensible? Zach struggles over how to engage cultural landmarks like "Game of Thrones" while raising a child. Matthias reveals his strategy for easing his kids into an R-rated world.

Predictions - 52:00

Jordan - Ben Sasse will not run as a third-party candidate and we need to save him for an election that isn't a disaster.

Zach - Trump carries fewer than half of the formerly Confederate states.

Matthias - We're looking at a lower turnout election than 2012 because people vote when they care about something and no one cares about anything this election.