May 22 - Austria's Split Vote for a Far Right President; Will Trump Break Up the GOP; Who Benefits From the Killing of the Taliban Leader?

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the elections in Austria that are too close to call but could result in the election of a far right candidate as the first head of state of an E.U. country. Christian Schueller, a reporter and correspondent in Austria who covers Eastern Europe for Austria’s TV network ORF and previously reported from Turkey and Iran for ORF, joins us. We discuss the rise of Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party that has been propelled by anxiety and a resurgent nativism as a result of the influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. We discuss recent incidents of cultural clashes between Austrians and immigrants from the Middle East and whether the Green Party candidate, an economics professor, can squeak by with mail-in ballots that will decide this 50/50 election.

Part 2

Then we speak with Sean Wilentz, Professor of American History at Princeton University and author of “The Politicians and the Egalitarians, The Hidden History of American Politics”. We will discuss the historical record of nativism in the United States and how much its revival with Donald Trump’s candidacy is a repeat of the past anti-immigrant “Know Nothing” movement and whether the divisions that Donald Trump is creating within the Republican Party will lead to a break-up of the GOP. We also discuss Sean Wilentz’s latest article at the New York Times, “If Trump Breaks Up the GOP, It Won’t be a First”.


Sean Wilentz

Part 3

Then finally we examine the assassination by drone of the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mansour and whether it will have any impact on the military situation in Afghanistan or, since Mansour was opposed to any compromise or peace agreement, will his death open the way for peace talks between the government in Kabul and the Taliban. Chris Fair, a former United Nations Political Officer in Afghanistan, and a professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program joins us to discuss the extent to which Pakistan may have helped in targeting the Taliban leader and what the rise in the influence and military clout of the Pakistani-supported Haqqani network means for the future of Afghanistan.

C. Christine Fair and canine associate, Ms. Oppenheimer