Jeff begins the podcast by playing an excerpt from a commencement speech given by President Obama at Howard University recently, which has a distinctly integral feeling to it. Before challenging the graduates, Obama puts their place in history in context:
“If you had to choose one moment in history in which you could be born, and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be … What nationality, what gender, what race, whether you’d be rich or poor, gay or straight, what faith you’d be born into … You wouldn’t choose 100 years ago. You wouldn’t choose the ’50s, or the ’60s or the ’70s. You’d choose right now.”
It’s an uplifting introduction based on the big picture, the arc of history, so often lost to us amid our daily toils as the cable news hijacks our amygdalae. “People realize,” says Jeff, “that for all of our problems, that this is indeed the best time to be alive and that it’s getting better.”
Such a vision of progress is a stark contrast to the everyday attitude of first tier consciousness, which is predominantly motivated by fear and lack, or “a sense of not being enough, a sense that something went wrong,” Jeff says. “Human beings drove this thing into a ditch and now we need to fix it or we’re doomed.”
Which brings us to our main story: a fresh look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in their respective roles as the presumptive nominees of their parties. While Clinton still has Sanders breathing down her neck and nudging her left, she has begun to reach out to his supporters. Alas, so has Trump, who may or may not go out of his way to unite the GOP but will definitely try to scoop up as many of those Sanders supporters as he can. Not an entirely mad plan, Jeff thinks.
We’ll be spending a lot of time with these people in the coming months, these out-sized figures in the collective American psyche—each loved and reviled passionately by factions of the population. What are their values, their developmental centers-of-gravity? Can they still surprise us? Jeff looks at the criticism and praise heaped on each of them, and puts their candidacies in the context of the giant moneyed machine that is Washington D.C.
You’ll also hear another familiar voice in the podcast–a certain conservative hockey mom from Wasilla that has a way with words, and she’s talking up Trump!
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