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Matt is joined by Know Your Enemy favorite Sarah Jones to discuss her recent New York Magazine essay, "An Atheist Reconsiders God in the Pandemic." They discuss their shared religious upbringing and college years among fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, why Sarah became an atheist (and Matt didn't), and the reasons she reopened the question…
 
It's impossible to comprehend the state of conservative politics — or American politics in general — without looking closely at the wars we've been waging for the past two decades. The story we've been telling about American conservatism has been incomplete without a deep-dive on the so-called Global War on Terror. Luckily, Spencer Ackerman has wri…
 
This is a slightly different kind of Know Your Enemy episode—a conversation about hope and despair as the effects of climate change bear down upon us. At the center of that conversation is a brilliant new book, Daniel Sherrell's Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of the World, that focuses not on the facts of climate change or how to stop it, but wha…
 
Finally, a deep-dive on William F. Buckley, Jr.! Matt and Sam are joined by Buckley's biographer, Sam Tanenhaus, to talk about WFB's 1965 campaign for mayor of New York City. Topics include: how Buckley's campaign made him the most famous conservative in America; the importance of his candidacy to the conservative movement's rise; the hardline posi…
 
In this episode, Matt and Sam are joined by political theorist and conservative intellectual Samuel Goldman—a very sensible and polite "enemy"—to discuss his brilliant new book, After Nationalism. Topics include: Goldman's punk-rocker past; the influence of Leo Strauss on his thinking; historical attempts to provide Americans with a coherent, endur…
 
It's been over seven months since pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The meaning of the event remains contested. Was it a genuine coup attempt by an extra-parliamentary faction of the Trump movement? Or was it a disorganized and pathetic act of desperation by Fox News-poisoned rubes? Were the protestors inside the Capitol…
 
In this unlocked bonus episode, Matt is joined by historian Eric Rauchway for a deep-dive into his new book, Why the New Deal Matters. It's Rauchway's latest effort to recover Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an anti-fascist political leader who sought to expand the meaning and practice of American democracy—that in a robust democracy, people don't jus…
 
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Matt and Sam are back in the same room — Matt's study — enjoying brown liquor, each other's company, and a surprisingly coherent discussion of the right's latest fixations: our "rainbow regime" and "critical r…
 
In this episode Matt and Sam discuss Ravelstein, Saul Bellow's roman à clef about the Straussian political philosopher Allan Bloom, who achieved late-in-life wealth and fame after publishing his controversial bestseller, The Closing of the American Mind. Along the way they consider the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought, eros and t…
 
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy Every June it happens: conservatives get all hot and bothered by Pride celebrations, and this year has been no different. Why do banal corporate expressions of support for LGBTQ+ rights drive them so mad? How …
 
Subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to this bonus episode, and all of our bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy What is the status of "equality" in the American political tradition? What place does it have in the inheritance that conservatives are trying to preserve? Matt and Sam pick up where they left off in their rec…
 
For a slight change of pace, we invited our dear friend Brandy Jensen—author of the world's best advice column, Jezebel's Ask a Fuck-Up, and features editor at the new Gawker.com—to answer listener questions about reentering the world post-vaccine, dating, conservative relatives, whether the "Trad Caths" are right, and mourning the lives we did not…
 
In this follow-up episode to "Democracy and Its Discontents" (listen here), historian Joshua Tait joins Matt and Sam for a conversation about the intellectual origins of the American Right's hostility to democracy—from John C. Calhoun's invention of the filibuster in the nineteenth century to the writings of conservatives like Russell Kirk, James B…
 
Note: This bonus episode was first published on April 13. We're unlocking it now because we're working on a companion episode that explores in greater detail the intellectual origins of, and justifications for, hostility toward democracy among the founders of the modern American conservative movement. *** In state legislatures across the country, R…
 
Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy to hear this and all our bonus content. In this episode, Matt is joined by historian Eric Rauchway for a deep-dive into his new book, Why the New Deal Matters. It's Rauchway's latest effort to recover Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an anti-fascist political leader who sought to expand the meaning and…
 
At last, Know Your Enemy takes on climate change! Kate Aronoff, staff writer at The New Republic and Dissent editorial board member, joins Matt and Sam to discuss her new book, Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet—And How We Fight Back. The conversations traces the history of collaboration between fossil fuel executives and conservative thin…
 
To listen to this episode, and all of our bonus content, subscribe here: https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy In state legislatures across the country, Republicans are unleashing a fierce assault on voting rights. Hundreds of proposals aimed at restricting ballot access are being considered, and in a few states—most notably Georgia—have already be…
 
This episode is something different: the latest installment of the KYE Film Club, an ongoing series in which Matt and Sam's great friend (and the podcast's producer) Jesse Brenneman guides them through the strange world of terrible conservative movies. The selection this time was "Christmas Cars," a confusing attempt at Confederate nostalgia writte…
 
Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy to hear this and all our bonus content. In recent months, French president Emmanuel Macron, once hailed as the savior of mainstream liberalism, has responded to a series of Islamist terror attacks with a sharp right turn—one he hopes will serve him well in a possible run-off election against the na…
 
No media figure has had a more profound impact on the shape of contemporary conservative politics than Rush Limbaugh. For three hours a day, every weekday since 1988, Rush delighted and ignited his radio audience with a high-octane diatribe against liberal degeneracy — an often comic, always cruel, and never apologetic expression of the white male …
 
Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy to hear this and all our bonus content! From the union-busting, ad-man scion (Brent Sr.), to the fiercely brilliant and troubled National Review editor-turned-Catholic zealot (Brent Jr.), to the insipid media watchdog and Trump apologist (Brent III), and finally, to the ball-cap-wearing January 6 c…
 
Matt and Sam have an in-depth conversation with HIV/AIDs activist Peter Staley to get his perspective on Dr. Anthony Fauci's role in America's response to two of the most devastating public-health emergencies of recent decades: the AIDS crisis and the pandemic that began nearly one year ago. They discuss how Peter got his start in ACT UP (AIDS Coal…
 
Matt and Sam explain West Coast Straussianism, the school of thought behind one of the last acts of the Trump administration: its publication of the "1776 Report," the Right's shabby response to the 1619 Project and blueprint for how the American Founding should be understood and taught. What are the origins of this school of conservative thought? …
 
Matt and Sam are joined by special guests Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes of the You're Wrong About podcast to discuss moral panics—from tales of rampant Satanism in the late 1970s to the Stranger Danger wave in the 1980s and beyond—and their role in the rise of rightwing politics in America. What do such "Save the Children" stories tell us about…
 
Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/knowyourenemy to hear this and all our bonus content. Your hosts explain West Coast Straussianism, the school of conservative thought undergirding the "1776 Report" — the Right's shabby response to the 1619 Project and a blueprint for how the American Founding should be understood and taught.…
 
Matt and Sam take up the question that's dominating The Discourse: Is Donald Trump—and the movement he leads—fascist? To provide an answer, they turn to the rich historiography of fascism and some key essays on the subject published since Trump's election. Along the way, they break down different approaches and sets of criteria for evaluating fasci…
 
Matt and Sam—in a rare, just-the-two-of-them episode—look back at what a bad year revealed about a number of bad people, especially the coterie of rightwing intellectuals and politicians who have downplayed the pandemic, exacerbated anxieties about the uprising against police violence, and played along with Donald Trump's conspiracy-fueled attempts…
 
In this much anticipated crossover event, Matt and Sam take aim at the conservative legal movement with Rhiannon, Michael, and Peter—the brilliant and funny team behind the 5-4 podcast, a Know Your Enemy favorite. For those who are not yet fans of the show, it's "a podcast about how much the Supreme Court sucks" that offers "a progressive and occas…
 
Who is Donald Trump? The great David Roth, co-owner of Defector Media and a columnist at the New Republic, joins Matt and Sam to answer that harrowing question. From Trump's odd lies about his baseball talents to creepy White House Christmas decorations, this conversation was the perfect opportunity to unpack the neuroses, self-protective measures,…
 
Matt and Sam are joined by Dorothy Fortenberry for a wide-ranging conversation about women and politics. Topics include growing up in Washington, D.C; her experiences writing women characters in Hollywood; why the left should take over existing institutions; the complicated Catholic motherhood of Amy Coney Barrett; and much, much more. For those no…
 
Matt and Sam talk to two esteemed guests, Rick Perlstein and Leon Neyfakh, about why U.S. politics took a right turn in the 1970s. “We organize discontent,” as one New Right activist put it—and they did. Fierce battles over desegregation, gay rights, abortion, and the meaning of America itself all paved the way for Ronald Reagan's smashing victory …
 
We released this bonus episode on depression and politics in July, and it quickly became a favorite of our Patreon subscribers. A number of them asked us to make it available in front of the paywall so they could share it with friends and family who have experienced depression and other mental-health issues—so that's what we decided to do. Topics d…
 
From the never-ending culture war over the New York Times's 1619 Project to arguments about the Black Lives Matter protests to President Trump's promise to Make American Great Again, today's political conflicts reflect, to an extraordinary degree, disagreements over the meaning of American history. Jamelle Bouie's New York Times column is one of th…
 
Matt and Sam welcome Yale historian Samuel Moyn to the show for a deep-dive into the Never Trump movement. Who are the Never Trumpers? How seriously should we take the heroic story they tell about themselves? Did they sink Bernie's campaign for the Democratic nomination? Have they reckoned with their role in paving the way for Trump? In trying to a…
 
Matt and Sam are joined by two special guests, Sarah Jones and Marshall Steinbaum, who return to the show to take stock of where we're at: our failed response to the pandemic, the connections between the pandemic and the protests, and how all this might play out in November. The four of us range widely—but be warned, this is not the most inspiring …
 
There's been no shortage of commentary on the rise of the "nones," those Americans who claim no religious affiliation, a trend especially notable among younger people. But that doesn't mean we live in a secular age. Matt and Sam talk to Tara Isabella Burton about her new book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, and the way our search…
 
Matt and Sam are joined by writer and editor Shuja Haider to discuss a topic near and dear to all of our hearts: country music. We talk about country's conservative reputation, the problems with (and virtues of) Ken Burns's recent documentary about country music, and the humane politics that arise from acknowledging—as the best country songs do—our…
 
Here it is—the mailbag episode. Recorded on 4/20 and celebrating a full year of Know Your Enemy, Matt and Sam answer listener questions about: conservatives hiding in plain sight, our favorite conservative novelists, a George W. Bush counterfactual, the right’s response to COVID-19, and—against our better judgment—some Bernie Sanders campaign postm…
 
Matt and Sam are finally joined by the show's longtime bête noire, Marshall Steinbaum, for a deep dive into the Chicago school of economics and the wreckage it's supported—from welcoming the birth defects caused by deregulating the pharmaceutical industry to justifying massive resistance to desegregation to being put in the service of Coronavirus t…
 
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