December 9 - An Historical Perspective on Trump's Nativist Constituency; The Revamping of No Child Left Behind; Angela Merkel: The Time Magazine's Person of the Year

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with an historical perspective on the electoral appeal of Donald Trump and look back at right wing populist and nativist movements like the “know-nothing” movement and the presidential campaign of the segregationist George Wallace. American political historian Allan Lichtman, who teaches at American University, joins us. He has studied both the American Right and the presidency and has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984 and we look into the large and growing constituency in America that supports Donald Trump and his policies.

Part 2

Then with the Senate passage of the bi-partisan Every Student Achieves Act that closes the chapter on the controversial No Child Left Behind Act championed by George W. Bush, we speak with Diane Ravitch. She served as Assistant Secretary of Education under George W. Bush and is the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” in which she explains how she came to make a radical break with the No Child Left Behind policies. We discuss the relentless pressure from predatory business interests, home-schooling evangelicals and billionaire dilettantes to privatize education which Diane Ravitch writes about in her latest book “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools”.

Part 3 

Then finally we look into Time magazine’s choice of its 2015 person of the year, Angela Merkel, and speak with Thomas Berger, Professor of International Relations at Boston University who specialized in German politics. We discuss the reasons for Merkel’s popularity at home and abroad and the obvious contrast to her handling of the refugee crisis in Europe and the policy pronouncements of one of the other candidates on Time magazine’s short-list, Donald Trump.