January 25 - The Political Earthquake Splitting Parties; Billionaires in Backrooms and Up Front in the Race; From Euphoria to Despair: Tahrir Five Years Later

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the tectonic shifts underway in the U.S. political landscape that are also occurring in Europe where both the far left and the far right are peeling away from the traditional socialist and conservative parties in the form of more radical left parties like Podemos and Syriza and more radical right parties like the National Front in France gaining ground. Michael Lind, a co-founder of the New America Foundation whose latest book is “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States” joins us to discuss how the same dynamic is underway in the United States with the traditional Republican moderates all but extinct as the GOP, which now has Ronald Reagan at its center, moves further to the right with a populist demagogue Donald Trump competing against a far-right ideologue, Ted Cruz, for leadership. While on the Democratic side Hillary Clinton is barely holding the center as a Democratic Socialist moves the party to the left.

Part 2

Then we look into Michael Bloomberg’s possible entry into the presidential race which means that not only do we have billionaires in the backrooms deciding who will be president, we have them up front, with another billionaire considering joining Donald Trump in the race. Jeffrey Winters, a professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and author of “Oligarchy” joins us to discuss the brazen nature of America’s oligarchs who have not only captured the economy but are now moving not just to buy our politician, but to buy the White House itself.

Part 3

The finally, on the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square that ousted the Mubarak dictatorship, we  discuss the fate of the pro-democracy activists now that euphoria has turned to despair with Egypt firmly in control of an even more repressive military regime under General Sisi, while those who led the revolution are either in jail or in exile. Nancy Okail, the Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy joins us to discuss how and why the revolution failed and what the nature of the next revolution will be.