Spontaneous, smart and fun. Interview podcasts with some of the world's most creative thinkers. Join highly experienced journalists Richard Davies and Jim Meigs each week as they search for ways to make the world a better place. They ask thoughtful, unusual questions, and play with fascinating, contrarian ideas.
30 years ago this month the Berlin Wall came down, and Richard was there, reporting the story for ABC News. In those heady days of November, 1989, there was tremendous hope for the future of liberal democracy. In the next few years, most of Eastern Europe would emerge from the shackles of totalitarian communism.
But today, populism and nativism are on the rise in much of the world. Democratic institutions, civic norms, and a free press are all facing new challenges.
We speak with public affairs and political consultant Reed Galen, and look at whether the case for greater civility is overshadowed by the need to push back hard against the populists, and those who sneer at compromise, tolerance, reason, flexibility and other vital pillars of a functioning democracy.
"The Democrats are playing chess and Trump's eating the pieces," says Reed, who resigned from the Republican Party in 2016. "He will take your civility and squash you with it."
Further thoughts from Reed on civility here.
With this episode we start a new feature: Jim and Richard Recommend. We lift the curtain on what we're listening to, reading and watching.
- Music: Singer-songwriter Belinda Carlisle.
- Movie: "Parasite" by Korean director Joon Ho Bong.
This podcast is an urgent, radical, yet practical response to the crisis of political polarization that is tearing America apart. Instead of mere tolerance and civility, we discuss how and why we should love our enemies.
A response is needed to our culture of contempt, where many think of those who they disagree with as bad people. Millions are organizing their social lives and curating their news and information to avoid hearing viewpoints different than their own.
The Outrage Industrial Complex-- angry politicians, cable TV and talk radio pundits, campus activists and Twitter trolls-- profits out of making us miserable and wrecking public life. An exhausted majority of Americans is tired of how divided we've become. This show looks at how to fix it.
In his new book, "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt", best-selling author and social scientist, Arthur Brooks, makes the case for something that is far more life affirming than mere tolerance and civility. He explains a new way to lead based not on attacking others, but on bridging national divides and mending personal relationships.
"You increase anxiety and stress in your own life when you treat somebody else with contempt," Arthur tells us. "The reason why I talk about love your enemies is because I believe that contempt in our society today is not just a terrible thing that we do, it's also a habit that we're engaged in."
The episode is a joint production with "Half Hour of Heterodoxy". Deb Mashek, Executive Director of Heterodox Academy is our co-host.
With a simple Facebook post saying that she wanted to end partisan gerrymandering, Katie Fahey sparked the beginnings of an extraordinary grassroots campaign. Katie is in her late 20's. With neither connections nor deep pockets, she started Voters Not Politicians to change Michigan's State Constitution.
Hundreds of thousands of signatures were collected,. The movement pulled off a remarkable feat, winning a ballot measure that will create an independent citizen commission to decide the shape of congressional and state legislature districts.
The goal was simple: voters - not politicians or lobbyists - would compromise and draw electoral maps that cannot favor one party or candidate. When the campaign needed money to print petitions and organize meetings, volunteers asked family and friends to contribute.
Richard Davies is a podcast consultant and narrator. During three decades with ABC News, Richard was a news reporter, newscaster, show host and business correspondent. Richard reported from four continents and 35 U.S. states. He covered the 2008 Wall Street financial crash; the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany; 1984 - 2016 Presidential elections; OPEC oil conferences; the run-up to the First Gulf War (on assignment for six weeks in Jordan); the assassination of Anwar Sadat; and the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11. Richard is located in Gilford, CT.
Jim Meigs is a veteran magazine editor and writer. He has been editor-in-chief of four magazines, including, most recently, Popular Mechanics. In his 10 years there he updated that century-old magazine to become a distinctive voice on modern technological issues including energy, infrastructure, green technology, and digital privacy. Meigs has also covered environmental issues and adventure travel at National Geographic Adventure, and entertainment at the movie magazine Premiere, and at Entertainment Weekly. He began his career covering the consumer tech industry. As a freelance writer he has written for Rolling Stone, Details and other publications. He is currently working on a book about man-made disasters.