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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: April, 2024
Apr 29, 2024

Jonah Goldberg is one of America’s most well-known conservative intellectuals, with a resume that includes more than two decades at The National Review, twelve years as a commentator on Fox News, and two New York Times Bestsellers. In recent years, however, the changing definition of “conservative” in American politics has put Jonah at odds with the party that they once called home. In this episode, recorded live at Word of South Festival in Tallahassee, Florida, Jonah joins Ben & Bob for a discussion that ranges from the history and politics of the Supreme Court, to the Constitutional Convention, to the reasons that Jonah thinks that journalists should avoid becoming friends with politicians. We also discuss Jonah’s reasons for leaving Fox News after more than a decade as a Fox contributor, as well as his decisions to co-found The Dispatch and join the team at CNN.

 

To hear more from Jonah Goldberg, check out his podcast, The Remnant, or pick up a copy of Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy. You can also find out more about his work and speaking engagements at his website, JonahGoldberg.com.

 

This episode was recorded live at Word of South Festival on April 27, 2024. Ben & Bob would like to give special thanks to WOS founder Mark Mustian and the other WOS organizers for the invitation, to Rick & Linda Hyson for the hospitality during our stay in Tallahassee, and to Florida State University for sponsoring the event!

An extended version of this conversation, which includes more than 20 minutes of additional conversation is available to our supporters on Patreon. Click here to listen to the extended episode! Thanks to our Patrons for keeping the show going!

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 22, 2024

Can learning the skills required to do good history serve as an antidote to conspiracy theory? Cathy Gorn & Don Wildman think so, and in this episode they join us to discuss their work to teach those skills in the 6th-12th grade classroom through National History Day, a program that reaches more than half a million students and tens of thousands of teachers each year. We agree with them and think National History Day is an American treasure, so we hope you enjoy this conversation about what goes into creating good history, how we can better teach that to the public, and how your kids can get involved in National History Day.

 

Click here to learn more about National History Day programs for students & teachers.

 

Dr. Cathy Gorn has spent more than four decades working with National History Day and currently serves as NHD’s Executive Director.

 

Don Wildman is a podcast & documentary host whose projects include Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel) & the podcast American History Hit. He currently serves as Co-Chair of National History Day’s Development Committee.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 15, 2024

Ben and Bob are heading to Tallahassee on April 27 for a live recording at Word of South Festival and the show is free! Click here for details.

The Harlem Globetrotters are one of those great parts of American culture that almost everyone knows and loves. For most of us today, the Globetrotters are outstanding entertainers. But did you know that in the mid-20th century the Globetrotters were probably the single best basketball team on the planet? Did you know that they did travel the globe as agents of the US Department of State during the Cold War, but that they are not, in fact, from Harlem? If you want to know how all of this happened (and how the Globetrotters saved the NBA), you’re going to love this interview with historian Ben Green on the History of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Ben Green is the author of Spinning the Globe: The Rise, Fall and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters.

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #56, which originally aired on May 1, 2017. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer.

Apr 8, 2024

The election of 2016 was a lot of things. It was a showdown between two candidates who had been household names for decades. It was the second time in five elections where the winning candidate lost the popular vote. And, most relevant here, it was eight years ago and one of the candidates in that election is running again in 2024, so we’ve still got a long time before we can see the full impact it had on US history.


For now though, we can say that the narrow margin by which Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton has already cast third parties- both candidates and outside actors- as central characters in the narrative of 2016. Did Jill Stein’s Green Party run hand the election to Donald Trump, as some Clinton supporters claim? Is it true that Russia “hacked the election?” Or did the Democratic National Committee’s advocacy for Hillary Clinton deny the party a winning candidate. Let’s try to find out.

 

Welcome to the final installment of The Road to Now’s Third Party Series. Today: the election of 2016 and ever after w/ John Heilemann.

 

John Heileman is a journalist and national affairs analyst for NBC News & MSNBC. You can hear him weekly on his podcast Hell & High Water w/ John Heilemann.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Apr 1, 2024

Hear the extended version of this episode by supporting The Road to Now on Patreon! Click here to join.

 

On December 13, 2000, Democratic Candidate Al Gore conceded that year’s Presidential Election to Republican George W. Bush. Gore’s concession speech marked a dramatic conclusion to an election that had been contested for more than a month, with partisans from both major parties flocking to Florida to recount ballots in hopes that the few hundred votes that separated the candidates would fall in their favor. Ultimately, however, the final decision on the election came from the Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 to stop the recount, handing Florida’s 25 electoral votes, and thus the Presidency, to George W. Bush who carried the state with just 537 more votes than Gore.

 

The election of 2000 was unusual in several ways. It was the first time an election was decided by a Supreme Court ruling. It was the first election since 1888 in which the winner of the popular vote lost the election. And despite the dramatic scenes that came out of those days between the election and Gore’s concession, and the many passionate criticisms leveled by Democrats- that the electoral college was undemocratic, that the Supreme Court had usurped the election, that voters for Ralph Nader and other third party candidates had handed the election to Bush- few critics pointed to the fact that only 50.3% of eligible voters showed up to the polls- the second lowest turnout in American history.

 

Why was the election of 2000 so uninteresting to so many voters? Why did the Supreme Court decide to intervene in the election, and was it a case of judicial overreach, as so many critics claimed? And in the end, is it fair to say that those who voted for Nader and other third party candidates were the deciding factor in the election? Let’s find out.

 

Welcome to the Road to Now’s Third Party Election Series. Today, part 7: The election of 2000 w/ Doug Heye.

 

Doug Heye is a political commentator who previously served as Communications Director for the Republican National Committee and Deputy Chief of Staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. You can follow him on twitter at @DougHeye.

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

 

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