David Pakman: Politics of Trump, Biden, Bernie, AOC, Socialism & Wokeism | Lex Fridman Podcast #375

I tweet that and then I finished the day And I wake up the next morning and I Glance at my phone I'm seeing all these Verified accounts that are you know Quote tweeting it and demanding a Retraction and whatever and I go oh okay This looks like it's getting looks like It's getting some attention Um I then continue about my day around Noon I hear from my dad that he got a Hundred messages from you should have Aborted your son to we're gonna find all Of you to whatever else my dad has no Idea what's going on he's like I don't Know what this is but I have a hundred DMs To everything else you can imagine and I start to get emails about you know we You know your Jewish faith this and that And the other thing and so at that point To me I thought this is just going to Get worse and worse and worse and so I Deleted the tweet and I really regret Doing that because over the 48 hours That followed yes the attacks escalated It went through Candace Owens and then At foxnews.com Newsmax kind of peaking With with Donald Trump Jr and it was Horrible The following is a conversation with David packman a left-wing Progressive Political commentator and host of the David backman show I hope to continue to Have many conversations on politics with

Prominent insightful and sometimes Controversial figures across the Political Spectrum David and I have been Planning to speak for a long time and I'm sure we'll speak many more times This conversation was challenging Eye-opening and fun This is the Lex Friedman podcast to Support it please check out our sponsors In the description and now dear friends Here's David backman Are there interesting differences to you Between terms like liberal Democrat Left-wing leftist Progressive Socialist Communist Marxist far left Center left All these labels is there interesting Distinctions between them yeah there's Two sets of distinctions one is if you Just want to say let's define each of These as political terms they're all Different terms you can be a progressive Ideologically but not be a member of the Democratic party many say the Democratic Party isn't even really very Progressive So these are certainly terms that we Could Define uh in order to have a Conversation about the next thing kind Of as a precursor to a conversation Sometimes the terms are used in order to Tag someone with a certain ideology That's not really linked to policy or Any particular political question but They can be used positively or Negatively to just kind of say here is

The image of this individual that I have In my mind so like Marxist is right now Very popularly being used by some on the Right Um to attack Democrats there's very few Actual marxists certainly not in Positions of power in the United States But even among the general population So I think it's important to distinguish Are we defining these terms because we Want to compare and contrast the ideas That a particular group might bring to The discussion or are we using them as Insults or to stifle conversation there Are terms that can be used to start Conversation or to stop it and the use Of those terms is evolving rapidly month By month so the term leftist I think is A relatively popular term now to use the Negative context to describe What an outraged left-wing commentator I Think what you're kind of grasping onto Is that there's probably some set of Ideas that would apply to most of those Who consider themselves to be on the Left the discussion of how that term is Mostly being used is not about policy Ideas you're accurately kind of uh Identifying that and it does seem like Progressive is no longer being used as a Smear and leftist is being used as a Smear more at this point okay but Sometimes some of these terms are useful Like can we try to

Pick the terms that are useful like Liberal and Progressive and Democrat Liberal and Progressive is there an Interesting definable distinction Between liberal and Progressive to you That's a maybe one of the most Interesting ones 10 years ago liberal Often meant what now we mean by Progressive More recently the progressive Socialist-leaning part of the political Spectrum has started to use liberal to Mean Joe Biden to mean someone who is Not really left enough so liberal is Very interesting because I remember Talking with my audience years ago maybe Eight years ago or something like that Where I identified I'm going to now use The term Progressive more commonly to Describe my own beliefs because liberal Has now been made a smear it's being Shifted into something else and it also Means more of like a center-left Politics so it's changed in some sense By by necessity by force and also Because the the Spectrum has shifted to Some degree so the term liberal has Evolved Now liberal meaning some kind of uh Embodiment of the mainstream Democratic Party almost to some degree sometimes I'm called I'm written off by you know Within my space there are all sorts of Shades of Gray which I'm sure we can

Talk about about where I am versus Should be could be or I'm wrongly placed And sometimes an attack on me is he's Just a lib meaning I'm not left enough I'm not Progressive socialist wherever Else you want to go so yeah the the Problem with a lot of these terms and They're used very casually by people who Call into my show is that unless we Actually Define them each time they very Often mean very different things to Different people and often come with an Agenda attached to them and so I find That they often stifle meaningful Conversation rather than encourage it do You sense that there's a drifting Of uh what is the threshold to be a Progressive or is is there it should be Used Progressive synonymously with the Democratic socialists I think we should not use it Synonymously with Democratic Socialist And this is where there's another Linguistic confusion and a political Confusion so we'll first talk about the Linguistic one social democracy versus Democratic socialism very similar words In a different order okay My the way I operate is democratic Socialism is actually a form of Socialism where one would seek to Socialize ownership of the means of Production as an example social Democracy is a very uh highly regulated

Form of capitalism the likes of which we Would see in northern Europe Denmark Etc These are very different things I Associate progressivism in 2023 with Social democracy and would consider Democratic socialism a form of actual Socialism that is different it is we're No longer talking about a capitalist Organization of society so transition From one to the other is a fundamental Shift in house in how Society operates Then absolutely and when you talk about Social democracy you're talking about Socializing a couple more things than we Socialize in most modern uh capitalist Countries I had this conversation with Patrick David recently social democracy Is okay we've socialized the military Already in the United States we've Socialized some health care in the sense Of like the VA and Medicaid Etc we're Talking about socializing a couple more Things still in a capitalist country Democratic socialism would be something Beyond that and and as someone who is Not a Democratic Socialist myself I'm I'm maybe not the best Advocate for explaining exactly how that System would function but it would have Some version of socializing ownership of The means of production businesses Etc So you mentioned you appeared on the pbd Podcast with Patrick bad David Um the debate was pretty intense

I I wasn't I I should say I personally Enjoyed it I thought uh actually you did Well and I thought Patrick did well it Was a good conversation there was a Little bit of tension yeah and I I Thought that Patrick actually so I Disagree with the internet I thought Patrick just took on a kind of Devil's Advocate like he was he was purposely Being stubborn to bring out the best in You but the internet thought that he's Being stubborn not being open to your Ideas I thought the tension between Ideas Um I think a lot of the tension had to Do probably with uh Donald Trump and Trump supporters that certainly could be The case and people wrote to me after People wrote To Me the full gamut of Everything you can imagine from this was Your best thing you've ever done in Public to you got humiliated and your Mother should have aborted you okay so Every and everything in between so you Know take your pick but Um the most interesting feedback I got Was from people who asked me after was It incredibly tense and awkward and Because it seemed so combative and I Think for I'm so used to those types of Tensions in the discussions that I have That it's very comfortable to me it's Not like afterwards it's it's there's a Grudge or it's tense or whatever the

Case may be I'm very comfortable just I I disagree with people and that's it so I did not find anything that happened Inappropriate I disagreed with a lot of The things he said certainly Uh so you've also spoken to Michael Knowles Um I think about the idea of what is a Woman I do Can you speak broadly about your Conversation with the people you Disagree with Uh you know some of the cases it feels Like it's gone wrong the conversations Have gone wrong yeah yeah I mean I think There's a couple different things and I'm the first to tell you that Depending on who I'm talking to I go in With a different attitude about how Quote seriously I'm taking it in the Sense of whether I think it's going to Be a deep policy discussion versus Whether it's going to be more of a Performance for an audience that is Expecting a certain thing and I think There's different types of shows when I Was interviewed by this guy Jesse Lee Peterson in Los Angeles it's very Different for example than when I'm Talking to Patrick Bett David just to Give two two examples I I think The reason I stopped doing the Michael Knowles show was the number of threats I Would get after the fact that's really

The reason I was glad to engage with him To the extent that the interviews were Interesting and you know we could Organize it reasonably efficiently Um but the reason I stepped away was Sort of the aftermath but I did find him To be someone who was abundantly clear About his View and where he comes from And while I could not possibly disagree More with him in terms of politics and Culture and our backgrounds everything Is just so so different I found it easy To engage in the conversation just Because of how upfront and clear he was About what his beliefs were But the number of threats yeah much yeah It was just too much and this um you Know I don't know if how much you saw About this recent Twitter dust up I was Involved in that peaked with Donald Trump Jr tweeting about me and then that Then declining from there let's talk Through it I didn't see it okay I have To understand like uh the way you study Shakespeare I have to study your Twitter I have to understand so much how much of His sarcasm it's mostly sarcasm I mean Here's the thing and I know that there Are people who will say David you're Dealing with such serious issues it's Really not okay not to take everything You do completely seriously but my view Is it's so incredible that I've between Chance and timing and so different

Things falling into a position where This is what I do professionally and It's a career and it's financially Sustainable and all these different Things I don't want to end up taking Myself too seriously because I recognize The timing and luck and all of these Other things and this could have gone a Completely different way so my approach To a lot of this is let's not take Ourselves too seriously and in Particular on Twitter a platform that You know the degree to which it should Be taken very seriously maybe has Changed over time I'm always sort of Thinking a little bit tongue-in-cheek on Twitter so what happened with uh Donald Trump Jr so or the full Arc of it yeah To make give you a one minute Arc and Then we can pick whichever parts we want After A mass shooting now you might say There's like two or three a day you're Correct after the Nashville mass Shooting at a Christian School I tweeted Snarkily tongue-in-cheek to point that Thoughts and prayers not only aren't Particularly useful after a shooting They also don't prevent shootings that There's some confusion about how there Would be a shooting at a Christian School given that it is a place where Prayer is taking place I think I I you

Know jokingly said something like were They not praying enough for correctly in My deep journalistic Integrity you have It I have yourself this is this is the Only display of journalistic I will show today okay and I have a Couple of responses beautiful and you Deleted the Tweet since then which I Regret oh interesting we can talk about That I would love to because it's such a Yeah interesting decision Uh because when you tweet something one Of the things I've also learned is you Don't often understand How it's going to be read it's going to Be analyzed like I mentioned Shakespeare Like there's certain the use of certain Words that you regret saying in a Certain kind of way maybe just because It wasn't as eloquent as as powerful it Didn't actually convey the thing um or It's a distraction to the main message All that kind of stuff okay the actual Tweet is very surprising that there Would be a mass shooting at a Christian School given that lack of prayer is Often blamed for these horrible events Is it possible they weren't praying Enough or correctly despite being a Christian School And um A lot of people quote retweeted that Which I'm assuming was uh The criticism so Colin Wright wrote I

Used to consider you a reasonable Progressive but you clearly devolved Into partisan hackery I'm an atheist it Cannot begin to Fathom using the murder Of children and adults at a Christian School as an opportunity to dunk on the Concept of prayer and you responded I'm Dunking on the people who send thoughts And prayers and do nothing else and the Shootings continue okay I'm sure there's A lot of other interactions there's a Few other hundred thousand interactions So the do you want the ark leading to This yeah so so basically it's going to Display do you know what time of day I Tweeted the original one I feel like it Was in the afternoon or evening of on a Monday 3 42 pm On 27th March 27th which was a Monday Okay so basically I tweet that and then I finish the day and so you tweet and Then you go on with your day I might Have looked once at Twitter and it had 2 000 likes and a few people saying ah This might have missed the mark but it's Sort of like it's one of my 20 000 Tweets I don't know I wake up the next morning my baby Daughter did not sleep till 7 30 the way I would like so she's up at 6am and I Get up and I'm just there starting to Make breakfast and I glance at my phone And I'm starting to this was when

Verified meant a different thing than it Means now I'm seeing all these verified Accounts that are you know quote Tweeting it and demanding a retraction And whatever and I go oh okay this looks Like it's getting looks like it's Getting some attention Um I then continue about my day around Noon I hear from my dad that he got a Hundred messages from you should have Aborted your son to we're gonna find all Of you to whatever else my dad has no Idea what's going on he's like I don't Know what this is but I have a hundred DMs To everything else you can imagine and I start to get emails about you know we You know your Jewish faith this and that And the other thing and so at that point To me I thought this is just going to Get worse and worse and worse and so I Deleted the tweet and I really regret Doing that because over the 48 hours That followed yes the attacks escalated It went through Candace Owens and then At foxnews.com Newsmax kind of peaking With with Donald Trump Jr and it was Horrible I mean Thousands and thousands of the okay but Once I told my audience about what Happened I got thousands of messages From people saying David only someone Who doesn't know you and is determined To interpret this in the worst possible

Faith would think you're blaming kids Who died for getting shot of course you Weren't doing that I wish you hadn't Deleted it so that it would still be up And you would now see the tide kind of Turning on it this was not a fun three Days regardless but I do regret having Deleted it because Um it was a pan I wanted to do the Quickest thing I thought I could to get People to stop trying to find family Members and send them threats and so Around noon that's what I did and the Truth is the threats didn't stop anyway Because everybody had screenshotted it And I do wish I'd left it up And is there some degree Maybe stepping outside yourself do you Regret tweeting that in that it feeds The mockery engine That that fuels Twitter so like does That tweet really represent what you Believe It absolutely represents the disgust With a politics that includes saying we Can't touch guns we just we can't but We're willing to point to mental health Or say we need more prayer in schools or Whatever one thousand percent it Represents that view Is it the type of snark and sarcasm that I would use if given an hour to discuss The topic rather than whatever the Number of characters is now on Twitter

No definitely not and so I am very Cognizant of the fact that it was Unnecessarily provocative How It Was Written I I think I asked similar question to Ben Shapiro do you worry that this style Of presentation can turn you from being Um you know a deeply thoughtful Objective political thinker to somebody Who's just a partisan Hack or partisan uh what's a good word Talking head do you mean with regard to Twitter or the format of my show in General it was so Twitter for now let's Start with Twitter for now and can you Silo your Style of communication on Twitter from Being a virus that affects your mind Right I don't have deep thoughts about the Twitter component Beyond I think across All sorts of disciplines this is not the Best way to most effectively solve Problems And figure out solutions to complex Issues you talk about Twitter now right Now I'm talking about Twitter yes that Being said I think all of us to some Degree have to adapt our content to the Platform that we're using in the same Way that what I post to YouTube is Different than what I post to tick tock Would I post to Twitter is also Different do I think Twitter has been an

Unmitigated good for society no Um have I chosen to step into Twitter as One of the ways in which I get my Message out with the good and the bad Yes and I think that there is a deep Conversation to be had there I think zooming out a little bit in Terms of what I do and I was hoping this Would come up because I think it's Really interesting I will often get emails from people who Say two things I will get the you would Have such a bigger audience if you did X Type emails and usually they are plays To sensationalism Salacious and titillating content more Pop culture Stuff Etc On the other hand it's folks who say Listen what you're doing really isn't as Serious as it could be and it seems like You could do something more serious and You should consider doing Deep Dives you know once it was do a Deep dive into Calvin Coolidge and I was Like nobody will watch that so there It's not by accident that my show is the Way it is right in an hour I'm thinking Of all the platforms I'm on and I'm Saying okay I want to do a relatively Deep dive on The federal budget and I want to talk About some of the Um political tomfoolery going on within

The post office and I'm going to do a Segment about the wacky rally where Trump said crazy things and made up Three words and said he endorsed a Candidate who's named it right I'm Crafting that in total to find a balance Between let's build this audience as Much as I can in order to have a bigger Base to get my message out there and Include the more serious stuff with the Hope that there's a little bit of Something for everyone and I'm finding a Balance between those two sides of the Spectrum it's a deliberate thing and I'm Aware that if I were producing my show 50 years ago the balance would probably Be different and it would probably Change again if we didn't if the show Was Audio Only rather than having all These video platforms it would also be Different but it's a decision that's Proactively made to try to get the best And most out of the hour that I'm Creating every day well it just feels Like there's an entire machine Fed by Twitter and journalism that wants To divide people And the drama of that division Highlighting the the partisan division The drama of that division feels like It's a tension with objective clear Thinking sometimes And so that's the I worry that there's a drug to it

There's too much fun to mock Ridiculous people On on a uh on the other side I think You're right about that and The fact that that is true To me supports I've talked with my Audience about you know like the old Food pyramid which I guess was like Wrong but let's imagine that there was a Pyramid that that made sense uh the Bottom bread I think uh like whole Grains maybe I don't remember it's been A while Junk food is at the very top I'm very Open with my audience The vast majority of what I do is the Top of that pyramid And I tell people very openly I don't Consume a lot of the type of content I Produce And I think it's really important to as A base be doing critical thinking Epistemology how do we believe the Things we believe Basics about the world After that reading history economics Philosophy Etc After that now we're getting into Current events I would mostly be looking At consuming Um primary source reporting things like Associated Press whatever I know Everybody will have a different list of What counts there after that is when I'd

Say indulge in some of the commentary Type stuff that I do If you find that I'm thoughtful enough To make it into that but I'm very open And really what I try to do on my show Often is in being that at the top of the Pyramid tell people there's all this Other stuff that should be forming your Foundation that I hope you're consuming In addition to just watching me and I'm Very open with my audience about that What about the shape the Dynamics the The characteristics of your audience is There some degree to which you're Through mocking maybe Republicans that There's a There's a lean to that audience and then You become captured by the audience do You worry about the audience capture I Worry about it I'm relatively comfortable that it's not Shaping the program to a great degree In the sense that at this point I have a Pretty good sense of the things I can Say that will upset what I might call my Core audience you know one of the Interesting things just to briefly go Back to the Twitter thing was those People who were furious with me on Twitter and they contacted my Advertisers and some advertisers dropped Me and on and on and on none of them are Actually in my audience none of them are Regular consumers of my audience they

Were kind of weaponized Against Me by People who said hey look at this the People who follow Candace Owens on Twitter other than for their kind of Shock value they're not in my audience And with my core audience I know there Are things I can talk about that will Generate Um Displeasure I guess you could say with My audience sometimes when I touch the Israeli-palestinian conflict that will Happen Sometimes on vaccines there's a portion Of my audience that is more generally Skeptical of vaccines Um sometimes on some foreign policy uh Issues or you know I I'm not a big fan Of Marianne Williamson nor Bobby Kennedy Junior's challenges to Joe Biden not Because I love Joe Biden but because I Don't consider them to be the most Serious Challengers I know there's People in my audience who don't like That they get they get mad at me about That and I'm totally okay with that uh And that tension with with my core Audience so in that sense I don't feel As though I've had that audience capture Take place but I know it can happen and I'm very open to to being told ways in Which it may be happening without me Noticing uh so I've uh made a call for Questions on Reddit for this

Conversation There's a lot of good questions that I'll probably bring up but one of them Was about Marianne Williamson Um asking why David thinks she is a Garbage candidate which of course I've Never said but perhaps you have more Eloquently criticized so let's let's go There sure to the 2024 election okay So Biden Joe Biden officially announced That he's running again Donald Trump Officially announced that he's running Again In if that's the matchup who do you Think wins If the election's held today I think Biden Why well first of all I believe he won Last time And if I start with the results from 2020 and I think to myself what has Happened since then that would push or Pull voters one way or the other I have a hard time making a case that Trump is in a better position today than He was in November of 2020. So that's kind of my starting point Which is it's a rematch of an election With a known outcome What has changed And I can't make a case for Circumstances having changed in Trump's Favor to give a couple of state level Examples Florida seems to be kind of

Moving more to the Republican side since 2020 but Trump won that state already in 2020 so it wouldn't really change the Outcome Arizona was close I think Arizona has moved to the left since 2020 So I don't see Trump taking that one Wisconsin I think the same sort of thing Applies so being very like practical That would be kind of the start of my Reasoning Do you think Joe Biden is a better Candidate now than he was In 2020. I think He's a worse candidate This is going to sound ageist but I Think he's a worse candidate in that He's even older and there already seems To be an appetite for younger candidates Particularly on the Democratic voting Side so he's going to be four years Older and in a sense that could be a Liability However he also is going to have four Years of accomplishments now you might Not like the things he's done in which Case that would hurt him but he has Started to accumulate Um not insignificant number of Accomplishments some of the big things That are known inflation reduction act And covet stimulus you know but also Less well-known things like a bunch of Little tweaks to Health Care a bunch of

Little tweaks to student lending there's Been a lot of little things Um at the macro level I don't actually Think Joe Biden has that much to do with This the same way I didn't credit or Attack Trump for a lot of the Macroeconomic stuff but inflation has Started to come down significantly the Stock market's quite steady these sort Of things I think looking historically It's a pretty okay environment for Joe Biden with the exception that he was Already the oldest president to be Inaugurated in 2021 and he would beat His own record in January of 2025 and I Just don't know how voters are going to See that So in terms of just a public human being How would you compare Trump and Biden so If I were to give criticism towards Trump it would be that he's chaotic Maybe to the point of being Disrespectful to a lot of different Groups to a lot of different ideas to a Lot of different nations and leaders and All that kind of stuff and then the Criticism towards Biden would be that He 'd Maybe perhaps because of age or any Other kind of cognitive capabilities is Not really there mentally as a You know in the way that perhaps you Could say like Barack Obama was there

Just mentally being able to handle all Kinds of aspects of being a public Representative of a Nation to the world And to the people of that Nation so Which uh in the competition of Personality flaws which do you think is More powerful you've laid out Fair and I believe accurate assessments Of elements of both of those uh men yeah You haven't weighed in on to what degree You value each of those assessments Which is where I think the the kind of Meat of this question really is Um I don't see and I know that you know Biden's going to get us into World War III World War Three that doesn't seem to Be happening Um I don't see The Biden deficits you listed which I Agree with you on I don't see them as Um Dangerous or threatening to the standing Of the United States In this kind of environment with our Western traditional Western allies and Geopolitics Etc in the way that the sort Of unhinged personality of trump Combined with his lack of knowledge About most issues is a threat so for me If those two are the candidates Biden would be my choice now are there People I would rather see on the Democratic side yes if I knew the President would be a republican can I

Think of better options than Trump Absolutely you know I think it's it's so Funny when in 2012 it was Obama versus Romney the difference seemed so Significant between them thinking back I'm sure I would disagree with Mitt Romney about tax rates and his views on LGBT or I'm sure I I know are different Than mine but it seems without looking At him with rose-colored glasses so Comparatively benign given the the four Years of trump so that's kind of where I Come down even uh McCain and Obama the The differences seemed quite drastic Yeah McCain was interesting because Palin as his running mate opened the Door to the sort of cartoonish stuff That we've started to see on the Republican side Palin Trump Marjorie Taylor green it started going in that Direction which has made the party a bit Of a joke a aside from what you believe The tax rate would be right you can say Taxes are too high but Jewish space Lasers come on you know so uh but but I I agree with you on McCain also so go Back to the political terms we talked About what where in that Spectrum do you Place yourself today Um what which of the label do you think Captures your political views Progressive Social Democrat Um which which again is a capitalist I Own my own business I pay the taxes I'm

Legally required to pay and not a penny More and you know all those things That's where I place myself would you Please yourself to the left of Joe Biden Yes yes Where does the AOC fit into that It's a good question what do you think About AOC as a candidate do you think She eventually runs I think that if she doesn't run into Some kind of Scandal and I don't mean Scandal in the sense of some personal Impropriety that you know but I mean Some kind of major political problem it Seems that she has the staying power to Be an American elected politics for a Long time whether she would even want to Be president versus maybe going to the Senate or being Governor or whatever the Case may be I have no idea what her Ambitions are in that sense but Certainly like policy aside she has this Combination of charisma Likability to some But also something about her personality That angers the people who don't like Her in a way that only fuels her sort of Uh presence which I think applies to Trump as well Um that I do think that she has the Potential to be to have significant Staying power in American politics President I don't know do you think That's the future of uh

Political elections and politics in General is people who are able to Skillfully piss off the other side like AOC and Trump did I think it's an aspect Of it I think it's also understanding How to communicate policy ideas Trump you know I have things I can Praise Trump about if we want to get to That segment at some point you let me Know when that is but I I do think that There are some things Trump is very good At and this is why it's very hard for me To believe that Ron DeSantis has what it Takes to actually fight Trump in a National primary and Um one of those things is Trump has a Even though he often says very strange Things that if you transcribe them you Go that's what language is that that Doesn't make any sense whatsoever in the Moment the way he relates to Um adversaries on stage Etc is very good In that he is very much aware of how it Is going to be seen by the audience and So that's why a lot of times it's more About doesn't matter that a word salad Came out of his mouth how he immediately Responded and related to the person Who's very good so I think that knowing How to be good when Clips are shared all The time often out of context is Extraordinarily important knowing how to Use social media which every election Cycle that means some nothing different

But understanding how to use social Media very important those things are Absolutely So important and whether you're able to Do a deep dive on the deficit it's Certainly useful but I would say it's a Bad thing it's becoming less important In terms of figuring out who we want to Represent us so just lingering on the AOC and then maybe let's throw in Bernie Sanders on that yeah So where do you place yourself and how Do you do the layout of the land of Bernie Sanders AOC Joe Biden and uh David backman my instinct is and the the I'm going to answer it the thing that Makes this tough is Bernie says I'm he's a Democratic Socialist he ran as a Social Democrat he Didn't run on anything that was really Socialism right so I'm going by their Public facing platforms I've been Listening to him for many many years and Uh all the way back to the Thom Hartmann Show and I think using the terms as You've been using them yeah he has I Don't think ever been a Democratic Socialist I haven't heard him speak About socialism I think I've heard him speak about Social programs and the value of social Programs yeah throughout the history of The United States and their and how They've been beneficial my understanding

Is very similar to yours although there May be stuff from the 70s where he Really was talking about those [ __ ] in The 70s yeah yeah you and I even who Weren't around we were doing stuff I Feel like we did yeah my sense would be You know Biden is like Center left and Then I'm to the left of that But maybe just inside of where AOC and Bernie are very very similar to Bernie I Mean I I identify with a lot of Bernie's Ideas Maybe their implementation I'm more Flexible on I'll give you one example Medicare for all One way of trying to get health care to Everybody which Bernie's very big on is You take the current Medicare program You just eliminate the age limit make it Available to everybody pay for it Through taxation interesting however I'm Open to other models if they get Everybody health care that is Good quality and affordable Singapore Has an interesting model Germany has an Interesting model I am I am more Agnostic about how we do it than just Saying let's expand Medicare whether That puts me to the right of of Bernie I Don't I don't know but I'm not like Exactly right there on it has to be Medicare for all yeah that's more of uh That's more just flexibility versus Dogmatism so I don't know if that puts

You to the left or to the right I don't Either what do you think about the Who could term manipulation or the Corruption in the DNC that Perhaps tip the scales against Bernie in The election do you think there was that 2016 or 2020 [Laughter] Uh both I would say uh in different the Dynamics there were different with Hillary Clinton and um like the pressure From Hillary Clinton as a candidate and So on yeah what I mean was there why Didn't Bernie win I guess is one one way To ask okay I think there's a couple things here First the DNC I'm not a Democrat just Your audience may not know I'm just a Independent yeah I mostly vote for Candidates that end up being Democrats In local elections often there's no Party designation so okay I'm obviously On the left I'm not denying that but the Democratic party is as an institution Has never really been interesting to me You're still a rebel that resists Belonging to any institution exactly Right exactly right and whether it Matters I I don't know Um the DNC and the RNC really are Organizations that to some degree exist To justify their own existence because If they were no longer necessary They would go away and so they have to

Assert their value and their importance They do this in a number of different Ways organizing the way that the nominee Is chosen the convention uh working with States on everything from redistricting To whatever else the case may be setting The order of primaries and having some Involved and how that's all going to Happen and also coordinating behind the Scenes uh I guess they would describe it As making sure our candidates don't get In each other's ways we might see it and Say they're picking the the winner There's nothing illegal about them being Involved in picking the winner but we Might say it's not in people's interests I think the 2020 primary was really Interesting Bernie supporter myself I started telling my audience after A couple primaries and even before based On polling and different things I see a Real uphill battle here for Bernie And it's really important people in my Audience are not the average you know Union worker in Michigan who is mostly Working and raising a family and then Goes to vote on primary day and goes to Vote on Election Day if you spend a lot Of time on Reddit and Twitter you're Going to have an inflated sense of Bernie's popularity within the Democratic Party That was my sense And to some degree

We saw that in certain States I don't Have the exact primary order and results In front of me or in my head but the big Turning point was South Carolina South Carolina was when Joe Biden won And won handily Understood to be because of the larger African-American population in South Carolina And right around that exact same time I Actually don't remember now whether it Was the day after or the day before some Of the smaller Democratic candidates Smaller in terms of support got out and Said I'm endorsing Joe Biden and to some Degree of course it was all organized And timed to help Joe Biden there's no Doubt about that this is what the DNC Does it's hard for me to be mad at the DNC because this is sort of like if if We believed they were there to be Unbiased Arbiters and to stay as much on The side as possible it would make sense To be furious that they've gone against Their stated you know kind of mandate But we know that the DNC Negotiates and is it working behind the Scenes and has a favorite that favorite Was Hillary in 2016 2020. so I share the Frustration about the power that the DNC Has but for people who were saying they Did something illegal or whatever else The case may be that that doesn't seem To be the case but this is part of why I

Mean I would love there not to be this Duopoly of Republicans and Democrats and There's probably four major changes that Have to happen in order to make that a Reality but I share the frustration of Folks while recognizing That Reddit was not accurately Representing Bernie's level of Popularity still I wish that the bias Wasn't towards the uh what could be Negatively termed a deep State towards The bureaucracy towards the momentum of The past which I think Joe Biden kind of Represents uh versus new ideas which is Funny to say that Bernie Sanders somehow Represents new ideas because he's also An older gentleman well it's a frame It's a lot of Framing and the other Aspect to that is on paper Joe Biden's platform was arguably the Most Progressive of any Democratic Candidate who won the nomination now of Course there were people who challenged The nominations who were to Joe Biden's Left a lot of this is perspective and it It you know that's how you end up saying The guy who's a couple years older than Biden is actually the guy with the fresh Perspective which is interesting because I don't disagree with you Yeah and you also have to say the Perspective doesn't always align with The policies you're right and you know The actual policies of Joe Biden are

Different than the maybe the perception Of Joe Biden or what he ran on I mean Just two examples I would give are During his campaign he played up a Little bit his interest in doing student Loan forgiveness and something on Cannabis I never bought it I told my Audience I think he's saying this stuff Because this is the way the tide is kind Of the wind is blowing and he's being Advised to say this stuff I don't think He's going to do very much on either of These things he did actually do some Student loan stuff but that would be two Examples I think Okay let's go to the Uh something you alluded to which is the Pros and cons of a particular candidate Well what to you as a Critic of trump What do you are Um the pros the strengths of uh Donald Trump and which you are his biggest Weaknesses the strengths of trump See how I can frame though in a way that Is both accurate and and accurately Assesses my my feeling about it and can Be taken out of context most masterfully Through the clipping process yes Trump's Strengths are mostly superficial and in Terms of presentation Trump was able to I I call it a grift Some on the right say he's just so good At relating to different types of people Trump as a rich guy from New York City

Was able to convince people that he Spent most of his life trying to be kept Isolated from that he had their best Interests in mind that he knew why they Weren't doing well in the 2016 economy And that he had solutions that he was Going to bring forward the truth is He never really liked those people and As soon as they weren't useful to him For a brief period of time he you know That that love affair with his followers Stopped and then now it's back then he Needs them again He didn't really understand the causes Of the problems that those folks were Experiencing and his Solutions were Laughable right like Jared was going to Solve the israeli-palestinian conflict In year one he was going to replace Obamacare in 2017 things that were never Going anywhere anywhere but what he did Really well was he put up a united front Of I know what is ailing you I know how to fix it and I know how to Fix it I guess because he's a Businessman and he's been Above The Fray Of politics for so long knowing how to Use political donations to his Advantage He called that smart Etc I think that's His greatest strength why do you say That the the the the the Jared plan for Israel Palestine and the plan for health Care to improve Obamacare why why do you Say that's laughable well only someone I

Would include the North Korea plan as Well which I'm glad to talk about only Someone who doesn't know anything about The size and scope of these issues could So arrogantly say that they could solve Them in that way and on that time frame I'm all for optimism and and bringing a New face to things absolutely without a Doubt but you know a wall with Mexico That Mexico will pay for at the end of My first term I I know there are people who believed It because they would call into my show And say I'm voting for Trump because of It but it's hard to believe that anybody Serious would fall for that unless you Were deliberately wanting to just Believe whatever was being fed to you or You just hadn't ever thought about these Issues before the health care plan you Know in 2017 they proposed one would Have led to 24 million or so people Ending up without Health Care didn't go Anywhere because it was so terrible and Then in August of 2020 Trump said in in Two weeks I'm gonna finally have my Health care proposal it's 2023. we we Still never got it you know with all of These things when you think them through It was just sort of arrogance and I get The perspective of I want optimism and I Liked that optimism it worked I mean Fair a lot of people saw it and liked it As someone who followed a lot of those

Those issues closely They seemed of course like impossible Promises well it's a double-edged sword Says they're pushed back a little bit if You look at the things I have Um a little bit more knowledge about Which is the space of artificial Intelligence There's a company called deepmind and It's a company called open AI That will laugh to have for a long time When they were talking about that They're going to solve intelligence And now they've made especially Deep Mind and our most recently open AI with GPT they've made progress that most of That Community would not have imagined To be able to make everything from alpha Gold beating the wheelchair uh world go Champion just all the different steps And progress that I can get into were Surprised everybody and they are Legitimately Uh fearlessly pursuing uh the task of Solving intelligence the other aspect he Gets a lot of criticism now but another Example is Elon Musk Uh in I can say a lot of things like SpaceX so commercial space flight he was Laughed at for a long time that that's Possible uh same thing with autopilot in Tesla autonomous vehicles his approach Was harshly criticized by all the Experts and I still criticized to this

Day deeply criticized and I as a person That I believe objectively can look at The progress of autopilot as a Semi-autonomous vehicle system has been Incredibly surprising so the reason I Mention that is sometimes it feels like You need the guy or the gal who's who Makes those uh Preposterous ambitious Statements like we're going to solve Health Care this year Like and then and then there's experts Like yourself that are looking thinking Have you read anything about the history Of the Israel Palestine is a good is it A good example of that do you know There's a history there do you realize How complicated how many people have Tried how many people have failed how Many millions of people hate each other In this in this little uh place in this In this land that like sometimes the Expertise can really weigh you down so It's sort of to push back sometimes you Have to have the almost be naive and Stupid and just rush in with an optimism In order to actually make some progress I agree with you 100 I think it's Interesting that all of the examples you Gave of of successes are from the Technology space Not from politics which I mean listen I Would love to be able to make Headway on Some of these issues more quickly Without a doubt I do think at some point

Though when it comes down to voting and Saying one of these people is going to Be ostensibly in charge for four years Through all of the Departments and Secretaries and choices that they make We we do want to apply some level of Realism with the with the understanding That your examples are from the tech Space and they're good examples there's There's no question about it one thing I'll add to this I recently read Bradley Hope's new book about North Korea and It's really about an activist Um who doesn't even really matter but The in the background of the book It's written much of what is written About happens during the Trump era and When Trump did the first and then the Second Um I guess you'd call them Summits with Kim Jong-un and it actually did seem Like to some degree Trump's we're gonna Handle this like I do a business deal Approach to Kim Jong-un In some sense it actually was logical Because of Kim Jong-un and the way that It was so ego driven and they both as Sort of authoritarians strong men types To different degrees wanted that there Was actually a kernel where I actually Thought as I read it Trump's initial Idea wasn't crazy the problem was he Knew nothing about the backstory of the Relationship he fell for all sorts of

Lies from Kim Jong-un and he made offers That didn't make any sense to me it fell Apart fine but that's an example where I Think Trump's personality was not Actually at its base the the problem When it came to North Korea well there's Other things of this nature that could Go and some people argue goes into the Strengths and pros of Donald Trump for China for example Terrace and China Can you make the case that there's some Positive outcomes of the way Donald Trump Acted with China it's really tough and I'll give you a couple okay then also Cons I'll give you it's tough to make so The China thing is really so just um Very recently to when we're recording This Trump was on Fox News interviewed By a guy named Mark Levin and Trump Proposed a new I call it a conspiracy Theory maybe it will strike you with Something different about China covid And tariffs and Trump's suggestion was That the tariffs cost China so much Money China sent the U.S so much money In tariffs That they released covid as punishment Now there's a couple problems with that One American companies pay the tariffs Trump still doesn't seem to know this Trump seems to believe that when he puts A tariff on Chinese Imports Someone in China is cutting a check to

The United States American companies buy the stuff from China and then American companies cut a Check to the United States for the Tariff Trump doesn't seem to get that but it Still has this thing to the Chinese Economy you can make the argument that If there is a suitable alternative Domestically or from a different country That it will reduce Imports but but it Didn't happen and we actually have Reports now that the tariffs on China Cost about a quarter million American Jobs The other problem with that idea is China created and released the virus in Order to hurt you But as of today 5.7 of the 6.8 million deaths were in Other countries it's a very indirect way You're mostly killing people in other Countries to hurt Trump maybe there was A this is the sort of thing where when I Think about how Trump dealt with China It's very scary because given another Four years who who knows what he might Do if he still doesn't understand how Tariffs work so geopolitics operates In complicated ways with carrots and Sticks and Henry Kissinger has written Quite a lot about this and in some sense The positive aspect here that uh Donald Trump is willing to take big risks in uh

In the game of geopolitics with this uh Giant superpower that is China and a lot Of others are too afraid Too afraid to call them out to come to The table and criticize I certainly think that's an argument That can be made my question would be What tangible positive outcomes did it Lead to and it's tough to identify any But I think it's a great thing I mean Listen One of the things you're kind of getting At maybe indirectly is that there's been This sense that politics has been done Very similarly for a long time and even Between Democrats and Republicans Still even with some policy differences There's still the kind of feeling that It's disconnected folks in DC mostly Dealing with issues that don't directly Affect look I get that I'm with you on That I think the question as to whether Trump's Bluster was positive rather than Extraordinarily humiliating in many ways I just come down on it was an absolute And total humiliation but I understand That you can recognize Trump doesn't Know a lot of stuff but his attitude was Refreshing in some way that's a Reasonable position for someone to take I disagree with it but I understand it But it's trying and failing better than Not trying This goes well beyond politics you know

Wayne Gretzky is weighed in about this Michael Jordan is waiting I mean this is Uh yeah is it better to have tried and Failed than never is it better to have Loved and lost than never to have loved I don't know I mean listen we live Through four years of trump we know what That four-year term was like And it's very hard for me to say that The things he tried Were were overwhelmingly reasonable but I get the point you're trying to make And I appreciate it and and it's if we Don't do any of it then where do we end Up sure we know where we ended up with With Trump and it was pretty Embarrassing Uh okay let's linger uh on some more Strengths we didn't start any new Wars We didn't search something to that yeah That's it's it's interesting there's a Few different approaches uh to dealing With that Um first it's really important to Remember that the Counterpoint to that From the folks who like to say that was That Hillary Clinton was going to start Three Wars sometimes they say four Wars Sometimes they say five Wars okay Um the geopolitical situation during the Four years that Trump was in office I Don't know that they obviously lent Themselves to Wars that Trump just Barely was able to keep us out of I

Think the Russia thing is interesting Because now it's very popular to go back And say you know the reason Putin didn't Do the Ukraine thing when Trump really Right and to somehow give Trump credit For that there's a Counterpoint to it Which is Putin under Trump particularly If Trump got four more years would have Been able to maybe consolidate power in Other ways because of his relationship With Trump I'm not coming down on one Side or the other it's not my area Expertise but it's not the open shut Slam dunk that you know Trump likes to Say it is Putin didn't invade because he Knew I would crush him and okay so it's Not obvious to me that there were Imminently Wars that would have started During that time that being said Um you know for all the criticism of Obama during Crimea Trump seemed to just kind of forget About that after all the criticism and Say I'm not actually going to do Anything about that and so there's there Are foreign policy uh criticisms that That could be made but it is true no new Wars were started under Trump and I I Like that I don't like Wars what do you Think about his handling of kovid Can you say what are the pros and cons Of his handling of coven the con for him Is he'd be president right now if he had Handled it differently

I think it's abundantly clear Um early on and there's now a lot of Really good reporting about the Conversations he was having with Jared Kushner and others He became convinced either because of Things he was being told or because he Decided this is the way it's going to be This is going to go away fine it's in China okay it's in China in Italy okay We have 15 cases but it'll soon be zero Will be open by Easter of 2020. None of it happened If he had handled it in the following Way and I've said this to Rogan and I've Said this to Patrick David and they tend To all see my side of this if Trump had Said listen We don't know how bad this is going to Be but I care too much about the American people to take a shot So it's not going to be two weeks it's Going to be a little bit but I need your Help we're going to bring everybody Together I don't care if you're a Democrat or a republican we're going to Have Maga masks and you could have kept 50 cents on the dollar to pay off stormy Or whoever right but it would have been I think he wins re-election because the Perception was and reality is aversion Of that the perception was that he was Way too Cavalier about it early on uh People died who didn't need to die

And I think that it was arguably The one area where he could have all but Guaranteed that he was going to get Himself reelected well to push back on That I mean because you mentioned sort Of masks and lockdowns kind of a Solution to covid I didn't mention Lockdowns but I'm glad to talk about Politics like there's several solutions To a pandemic yeah broadly speaking and One of them is a vaccine and so you Didn't mention that he'd Fast Track the Development he his administration fast Tracked the development of the vaccine Which surprising he didn't really take Much credit for I think he did I think He tried there's a couple there's a lot There well to me it seems like You could make the case With the Trump hand gestures that his Decisions for fast tracking the Development of the vaccine saved tens of Millions of lives you can make you he Could in the trumpian way make that case So couple different things I know you Don't necessarily follow Trump's rallies As closely as I do and I'm jealous of You for that but Um he did Tout The vaccine stuff hugely For a while Until his audience turned against him And then he had to draw this line where He was going I made the vaccines which

None of you have to take by the way Freedom you don't have to take them but It's fantastic and nobody else could Have done it but don't worry nobody's Gonna make you take the vaccine and he Actually got booed at a couple of his Own rallies when talking about the Vaccines but let's back up a little bit Fast tracking my understanding of what He did is he did what any president in His situation would do and what many World leaders elsewhere did as well Which is he agreed to a pre-purchase Supply of vaccine in order to provide Money to pharmaceutical companies to Scale up the manufacturing which is Absolutely fine But he wants one of the stories he tells Is it usually takes 12 years to develop A vaccine we did it in my nine months Thanks to me Decades of mRNA technology being Developed created the platform in which You can make a particular vaccine in Nine months it didn't have anything to Do with Trump He did pre-fund and say we will buy huge Supply and that provided liquidity to The pharmaceutical companies but he also Delegated control to uh to people to Experts that enable that kind of uh fast Tracking vaccines right he was very Eager for the FDA to approve it because He saw that there would be a political

Benefit he didn't get in the way I guess He didn't get in the way fair I think Now we're on the same page he did not Get in the way of vaccines being Developed which is good presidents and Bureaucracies have a way of getting in The way And I don't uh disagree with that I'm Not aware of really any governments that Got in the way I mean it seemed given The global situation everybody with European countries were pre-purchasing Vaccine uh African countries were who Were going to be later to receive Vaccines were partnering with the European countries that had Pre-purchased but the most interesting Thing about all of this is Trump did Play up the vaccines for a long time Until his his crowd didn't want to hear About it anymore which was crazy it was Sort of like he became a victim of the Monster he created to some degree one of The effects of all this that makes you Truly sad is uh this division over the Vaccines has created distrust in science Yeah and also what makes me sad is the Scientific Leaders Anthony fauci being one of the Representatives of that Community I would say completely dropped the ball In what way they they spoke with Arrogance they spoke down to people they Spoke in a way that's that a great

Scientist does not speak which is they Spoke with certainty Uh with without humility uh like they Have all the wisdom and ever all of us Are too dumb to understand it but They're going to be the parent that Tells us exactly what to do versus Speaking to the immensity of the problem The Deep core of the problem being the Uncertainty we don't know what to do the The terrifying thing about the pandemic We don't know anything about it as it's Happening and so you have to make Decisions you have to take risks about Well maybe you have to overreact in Order to protect the populace but it's In the face of uncertainty they have to Do that not uh not powered empowered by Science somehow and the Deep expertise Is something like Anthony fauci uh Claims to have so like the the I just I'm really troubled by um yeah the Distrust and science that resulted from That and that you have to blame the Leaders I mean to the degree Leaders take responsibility and I think Anthony fauci was the scientific leader Behind Um the American response to the pandemic And I think he failed Uh as a as a scientist as a Representative of science I'm less um I don't know if interested is the right

Word but the kind of the the fauci Review is less interesting to me in Terms of what comes next than the first Part you mentioned which is the distrust In science and sometimes I'll get Voicemails or emails from people in my Audience who say that I have had to Backpedal on certain things related to This and one of the things I tried to do From the beginning was not speak in Certain terms When we really didn't have complete Information so there was this period Where hydroxychloroquine was first sort Of mentioned as a possible treatment Prophylactic or or you know proactive Treatment for covid or active treatment For covid along with a bunch of other Stuff that was Ivermectin there was Vitamin D there were all sorts of Different things and I tried to be Careful to say right now we don't have Rigorous science that tells us that some Of these things work it doesn't mean That won't come in the future at which Point if there was something as cheap as Hydroxychloroquine that treated covet Effectively unbelievable fantastic It's not there's no way it ever will be Determined we don't have that Information right now so it's not Super Wise right now to go and start taking This stuff we eventually learned like With vitamin D having an appropriate

Vitamin D level does seem to be based on What I most recently read generally Protective and a good thing when it Comes to infections of different great Okay so that one we we figured out one Of the really difficult things is that The quote truth about the vaccines did Change and the original again this is All I don't pretend to be an expert but Just someone who's synthesizing the Medical data and writing about it Originally the first vaccine Related to the wild type strain did seem To be very effective not only at Preventing death and serious illness but Also transmission There were people then saying it doesn't Prevent transmission Over time as the variants came forward The vaccine became less effective at That at that point I started telling my Audience something different because as Far as I was concerned the reality on The ground had changed in my mind that's How science works it's not backpedaling It's we're adjusting our beliefs to what Is taking place in the real world well To be fair uh the scientists many of Whom are my friends virologists and Biologists they have way more humility Than people like Anthony faggio were Speaking about this or the CEO of Pfizer Who were speaking about this this is the Fundamental problem here is the way

Science work is has the way science Works is there's usually a lot more Humility and a lot more transparency About what we know what we don't know And Um People like Anthony fauci thought it Would be beneficial for the world if he Speaks with more certainty But because of the political division That formed around that that certainty Resulted in became completely Counterproductive that people didn't Trust anything about the vaccine didn't Trust any institutions there were that Contained the experts that actually knew What they were doing and it basically Didn't trust anything that was coming Out of the mouths of scientists uh some Percent some large percent of the Population so you that made you Completely ineffective and uh Uh at scale as a society trying to Respond to a terrible pandemic and That's where I put a lot of blame on Leaders so political leaders and Scientific leaders are the ones that Should Inspire us to all get together And respond that that should be the case For uh the pandemic that should be the Case in the time of War all this kind of Stuff I I generally agree with you and For me it's really about shared blame And there were a lot of different

Reasons why that the early communication Wasn't good uh part of it was I mean For me I prefer accuracy rather than Overconfidence I would prefer listen we Don't really know right now whether Masks do X or Y what we do know is the Supply is really limited of this type of Mask we're going to try to keep them for The Frontline workers I love that that's The way I want to be communicated to a Call was made to do it differently which Was to say The Masks don't actually help Yeah but the real reason is they want to Keep them for healthcare workers and Then later The Masks are what's going to Solve I'm with I'm with you 100 I think The other layer to it is you can't Ignore the political situation at the Time if Trump had won re-election and The vaccine distribution had taken place While Trump was President rather than Biden my belief is that the same number Of Democrats would have gotten Vaccinated but way more Republicans Would have as well because they were Following not science but political Leaders and when it was Biden in DC Instead of trump a lot of those people Said I don't trust the vaccine but wait It's Trump's vaccine I thought yeah but Something about the way Biden's Distributing it so I do think you can't Ignore that political layer I agree with You the communication was a disaster

Let me ask you about Joe Biden what are The strengths and weaknesses of Joe Biden weaknesses I think are some of the Things you've identified he has not seen As Um high energy he is Um not the same Joe Biden that debated Paul Ryan in 2012 and ran circles around Him in just an incredible debate Performance Uh he is not Inspiring in the way that someone like a Barack Obama was to people coming up and Starting to get interested in politics I Think a lot of those are fair criticisms I think on policy he's not interested in A lot of the things that younger voters Are interested in I mentioned cannabis Reform I mentioned student loans so so I Think that that's a deficit for Biden I Think the upside to Biden is when it Comes to foreign policy diplomacy High-level negotiations knowing how to Engage with allies in a productive way It's tough to find someone with more Experience than Biden I know that there Are counterpoints to what I'm saying and Those include that was the old Biden the New Biden doesn't have it that includes That's just a sign of rot because he's Been around for so long nobody should be Around that long in politics perfectly Reasonable criticisms to talk about but I do see that as one of his strengths

And he also is good at knowing when he Can work with Republicans and when he Can't And not wasting more time than is sort Of expected for posturing reasons and I Think that that's a good thing do you Think he's actually there so in uh Day-to-day operational government given His cognitive capabilities do you think He is um Uh an active and practicing executive I Don't know that I can say that it's Because of what may be going on Cognitively but my sense from the people I talk to is that he's very much Involved in the highest level Geopolitical and big domestic economic Stuff But that a lot of the smaller issues That presidents might or might not be in Sort of plugged into that he's not Plugged into the the details of a lot of The the lower level stuff yeah you could Probably apply the same exact criticism Even more so towards the Donald Trump Administration in terms of being a Practicing active uh executive who's Paying attention like for example like Vladimir Putin is somebody Um Who loves the the role of the executive Has a huge amount of meetings has Constantly tracking information about Agriculture and all the different

Subsystems of government Stalin Funny enough was also extremely good at This so certain people just love the job Of being an executive and I'm not sure If Donald Trump did Um and I'm not sure if uh Joe Biden in This current state has the cognitive Capability too that's a it's a good Question it Kim jong-un's another one by The way you know there's videos of him Uh examining a pottery you know a Factory where they make plates and Making very specific comments about how The plates should be made I think that In that case there's a lot of propaganda Value to it with Trump uh I think you're Probably right you know he did get Involved in the minutia of things I mean Once he pulled out a weather map and With a sharpie drew a different Hurricane path that was more politically Convenient to him that's pretty micro You know saying the weather channel is Wrong I see what you did there this is Okay I see what you did there he went to Puerto Rico and he gave out paper towels After a hurricane now he was shooting Them like free throws which didn't look Very good so he will get involved in the Micro when it's advantageous you know What I mean but I do agree with you that He wants to just kind of make it so Build the wall I don't know just build It figure it out get it done

Quick pause bathroom break sure yeah You're hilarious And just for the sake of completeness I Should mention the subreddit wood Biden Has done There's also what Trump has done but It's not as active and it has like this Master list of all the accomplishments It's Um I recommend people look at it because There's a It's kind of rigorous and interesting With links a list of all the things he's Done just list some of them uh restored Daily Press briefings uh cancel the Keystone Pipeline reverse Trump's Muslim Ban required masks on federal property Rejoins the Paris climate agreement Extends student loan payment freeze Extend eviction freeze historic stimulus Bill as you mentioned hence funding for Border wall and so on and so forth DACA Uh border strengthening of dot cover Joins the World Health Organization and The timing of this of course is Important Yeah several historic stimulus bills Which of course you can criticize or Support Raise the minimum wage for federal Contractors and federal employees for Fifteen dollars There's a lot there's a lot it makes you Realize

Um with both Trump and Biden that There's a bunch of small details That matter yeah like that matter on People's lives like actual little Policies uh Trump did a lot of stuff as Far as I heard for the military like not Big stuff but small stuff Yeah I'd be curious what you're thinking Of I mean I know one of the big things Under Trump was we're going to get trans People out of the military Uh that's not what I was referring you Aren't referring to that uh he Trump That tells you know Trump's hilarious With these stories that he tells and one Of the story and you get to know them if You if you follow him at all he tells The story you know when I came into Office the generals came to me and they Said sir the cupboards are bare we have No bullets and so I rebuilt the military You know the cupboards were bare when Obama left it and it was just terrible But I rebuilt it and the generals I've Got the best generals they said sir it's Incredible what you were able to do you Look into it and it's like yeah that's Not really true like it is true that There are armaments that just like on a Schedule do get replaced and that's part Of the military industrial complex but There's nothing like special Trump Really did but these stories become They take on like a life of their own

And it's interesting to sometimes try to Dig down and figure out like was there Any policy connected to that or is that Just a story Do you think it's possible to have a Good conversation with each of them Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a pot in a Podcast context or in a debate context Absolutely yeah you're saying like could I with either of them oh 100 yeah Joe Biden too sure Yeah but can you dig into that a little More well I mean I don't know what I Think there's maybe something implicit In your in your question but uh this Deeper about the nature of politics and Politicians yes I think with either of Them I mean The political differences wouldn't be an Impediment to having a good conversation With either of them Um I think one of the things that's Really tough in my experience when Talking to elected officials is they Could be super interesting about 100 Different topics but handlers decide or Try to get you to talk about something You don't really care about and Something really narrow which doesn't Bring out your best nor their best and That's a frustration but I think that Given an unstructured three-hour Conversation I think it would be Interesting to talk to both I mean

Listen with with Biden aside from his View on cannabis or whatever his Background and the incredible Unimaginable family tragedy that he had In his first wife and you know multiple Kids dying and I mean it It's just incredible you know and and With Trump I think also you could have An interesting conversation yeah those The human beings or the life story yes There that uh and they're some of the Most successful humans who have ever Lived to have uh Rose to this highest Office in interesting complex ways yes I Mean one of the things I'm troubled by Maybe you can speak to is why we're so Negative towards presidential candidates And presidents why It's just they go through this shitstorm No matter who they are yeah they're like Hated like all the conspiracy theories And just Just the Dynamics of how we talk about Them is vicious if you just look at Reply Stephen Barack Obama on Twitter It's like What is going on here why why because we Look at other leaders in other spaces And we're generally positive about it Yeah there's a couple different things There's this Dynamic which is really Unfortunate which is you ask people do You approve of the job a particular President is doing and very often if at

Any point while they were in office they Did something you don't like people will Say I don't approve and so by its nature What that means is just like the longer You're in office the lower your approval Rating is going to be and very often That's the way it works I mean there's Major events like 911 Spike George W Bush's approval to a incredible level Then it came back down with the Iraq War But there's this unfortunate thing that When when people are just asked you Think Biden's doing a good job if four Months ago Biden did something on health Care that somebody didn't like even if You like most of it a lot of people from That point forward will say I don't Approve they might still vote for them Because they like him better than the Alternative or whatever it's it's just The dynamic of politics and I agree it's It's very does it have to be that way I Don't think it has to be that way but to Unwind it so many things would have to Change I think our election system is part of Why politics is the way it is where you Have two choices and it's first past the Post and we have this electoral college So that depending on which state you Vote in the kind of meaning and Significance of your vote is different If you vote in Montana it's the Republican candidates going to win and

That changes the Dynamics I think that's Part of it Um I think that At a personal level I've experienced This in my life a lot We've become and by we I mean people in The United States to some degree who Talk about this stuff we've become Uncomfortable when there is disagreement And it bleeds over into now we can't Have a normal interpersonal relationship Anymore I'm from Argentina and in Argentina it's really common even in my Family there are incredibly heated Political debates at the start the Middle the end of some kind of gathering But then everybody just goes back to Like okay we disagree on some things but That's okay and we can now go and you Know finish cooking the beef or whatever It is that we're doing and I experienced This even with people who come up to me On the street and they go just earlier Today a guy came up to me and he said RFK all the way baby talking about Bobby Kennedy Jr and I just kind of you know I Said oh all right you know let's see What happens And then there was another moment where The guy ended up standing next to me for Maybe longer than he thought and I could Tell this guy's getting so awkward Because it was an utterance he thought That would just be on the Fly and he'd

Be gone but now we're standing next to Each other waiting for our sandwiches It's like no big deal you know it's just Oh okay you like Bobby Kennedy Jr I'm I Don't plan to vote for it's fine you Know and that's like a socio-cultural Thing I think there's lots of other Countries I've spent time in uh Italy I Have relatives in Israel were like Shouting at each other is sort of like Normal and then you just go back and Finish the me it sounds like shouting I'm sort of exaggerating but very Animated what seemed like big Disagreements and then everybody's cool Yeah I wish it were more normal so maybe The mechanism of going from shouting to Being cool again needs to improve Because maybe we can't solve the Shouting at each other maybe not so Maybe we need to somehow figure out the De-escalation like making up I've had a Few uh recent fights with friends like That yeah for politics no oh No but political style emotionally Drenched stuff and it um It was interesting To go through that full process and then Make up at the end but it was it was a Process and it was a process that Required being in person right talking Through it and it was stressful the Whole the whole thing and maybe because Most of our interactions are online we

Don't get a chance to do that in person Making up again I don't know but uh do You think it's a feature or a bug of the System that we're so we just hate each Well the powerful you mentioned the Online part I think it's if you Mentioned it earlier perfectly which is You take Contentious political issues you create A platform that rewards controversy and Disagreement and limits the number of Characters you can use to express Yourself you kind of throw it into a Baking dish and and you know mix the Entire thing up it's complete in total Chaos and one of the things that you Know I've talked before about all the Angry emails and threats and stuff that I get I'm acutely aware that if I had In-person conversations with most of These people The conversations would basically be Like oh we have different views about How to solve some of the problems we're Facing we probably agree about what the Problem is And we probably share many values but on These particular four issues we may have Very different views That's okay Online that's not the case And it leads to you know the the mess Mess that we get ourselves in but I Think that it's a feature of a lot of

The systems that are being used to Disseminate information Again let me Linger on that do you Regret some of the mockery Uh and the snarky use on Twitter and Even in your show that kind of feeds That division I don't regret it in the sense that it's A calculated part or a tool that I use In addition to figuring out how to Simplify complicated Concepts and Choosing stories that I think are Underrepresented and you know it's it's All part of like the package of what I'm Doing I recognize that my show is not The audio visual visual version of a Peer-reviewed uh you know randomized Controlled trial about abortion views on Abortion or whatever the case like I'm Very much aware of that but I don't Regret including it as a as a tool That I've used to build the community in Some total that I've built over the last More than 10 years I guess I could ask About the different trajectories you Think your show might take so You know the dynamic you had with Donald Trump Jr and maybe Candace Owens is the More appropriate comparison are you okay Having that dance For the next few years between you and Candace Owens and just kind of the Mockery the derision that's a part of That process and and taking part in that

You know I'm fine with it In the sense of personally I tolerate it well Until it crosses the line and people Pull my family in and people right so That's the part that we set the family Stuff aside if I set that aside just in The digital space I'm glad to mix it up Now the truth is Candace Owens has had Me blocked for years up until this Incident She unblocked me just to tweet about What I tweeted about I don't know the Backstory of that genuinely I have no Idea so I don't have a sense that she's Super interested in engaging with me on That but all of these people I mean Candace Owens is welcome on my show Anytime Don Jr's welcome on my show Anytime it's been a decade since I had Ben Shapiro on he's welcome at any time I'm glad to have these conversations and I think it's an important thing and also I wish that everybody was willing to Have the conversations in good faith Rather than as performance uh it's not Even really performance art rather than Being simply performative for an Audience that you have in terms of your Motivations do you see do you worry About the effects of something we spoke Of spoke about offline like the YouTube Algorithm Do you are you driven by the number of

Views Your videos get Are you driven by something else So in my world I guess I would say the Number of views that any platform Generates is a metric that I can choose How to interpret I can choose to Interpret it as I've created content That's interesting to people Or I've created content that's really Angering people and that's why they're Showing up they don't actually like it It's because they're angry or whatever Else the case may be but it is true that There are algorithmic changes that can Take place there something happened in Early January that affected Us on YouTube or there are periods on Tick Tock where you can tell we're doing all The same things Something has happened and then you Never usually figure out what it is so For me it's sort of just like a general Tool to see what is the level of Interest in what I'm doing and are the Numbers so out of whack with what I Would expect that I should look into Whether something deeper is happening Has there been some change to an Algorithm or whatever the case may be I Had a debate once with someone who Accused me of using click bait to Generate views and we had a really Interesting conversation where I said

Tell me really what you mean by that is Your argument that I'm using titles that Don't actually represent what's in the Video no what's in the title is in the Video I go okay so it's not that the Title is dishonest are you same saying I'm deliberately picking titles that Will Garner a larger audience and they Said yeah that's kind of what I mean and I said isn't that kind of what we're all Doing the alternative would be choosing Titles to generate a smaller audience Which seems like a real kind of waste of Time so I'm trying to navigate and play the game In a way that's comfortable but use the Metrics more as a tool than as something To obsess over nevertheless the metrics Are What they are and that they are able to Uh affect your psyche It's very difficult which is why I have A Chrome extension that hides all the Views and all that on YouTube uh for me Uh It's difficult not to let it affect how You think about ideas So maybe your extensive exploration of a Particular topic like healthcare Generated very few views It's difficult for you to still care About Healthcare There's some aspect of the human mind That starts uh being affected by those

Views and I think that's a really Dangerous thing mostly it's it's Um Probably beneficial because it probably Makes you a better presenter if you do Care about a topic a lot you become more Charismatic more you learn sort of in uh Jimmy uh Mr Beast way how to present the Ideas better but it also can affect Which topics you choose to cover what You choose to think about those topics Uh the audience capture those topics and That's a really scary effect I'm really Worried about my own mind and that so I Run from that aggressively One of the things that I include in My Overall approaches I don't think about Any One Clip I think about an entire Show or a week of shows or a month of Shows And so it's less about does anyone clip Do well my view going in is I'm going to Do stuff that won't do that well but I Think it's really important to do and I Want to make it part of my show and so When I did a clip with 10 ideas for Reducing gun violence I know that that's Not going to get 500 000 or a million Views I know it's just not going to and The first day it'll get twelve thousand And I'll go I don't care that's that's Fine there's there's a group of people In my audience that values this stuff And I want to keep doing this stuff

I'll end up surprised sometime and two Weeks later Has 150 000 views because it started Being shared great but I don't go into It thinking these all need to be home Runs by that metric I always go in Saying I want to put out a diversity of Content including stuff that is less Titillating and salacious but is Important to do it's more researched Etc And so that's the way I try to resist Exactly what you're talking about I Think you have to probably know yourself Like for me metrics I just like numbers Too much and for me metrics do affect me This is why I don't pay attention at all Like I can't Um I would love to hire somebody in the Team who cares because we currently have I don't know folks who just all of us Just don't care Um because he probably is good to care Enough to kind of just do good Thumbnails on this kind of stuff to to Pay attention but to me personally I Just find inner peace and focus if I Don't think about the numbers at all Because I find myself Um I just remember a long time ago when I Started a podcast I I would Think that I failed If it didn't do well like if I didn't Celebrate the person well enough I

Didn't do a good job enough of a Conversation when that's not necessarily At all what that means It's it's hard not to this is tough Stuff I mean yeah I know exactly what You're saying and part of it is Ah I mean it's it starts in my you have A little bit of a different situation Than me because you're doing long-form Conversations with people and the prep Is a little bit different one of the Things in my space because I'm reacting Mostly to what's going on in the news And then also picking topics to dive Into it a little bit more deeply is I Have very little control over the news Cycle and there is a a meta metric or a Macro metric that affects me That will quadruple my audience and then Take 75 percent of it away which is the Seasonality of election Cycles Yeah and the first few election Cycles It's very tough because I go it's it's October I'm like At this rate we're gonna have 20 million Subscribers by the next these numbers Are unbelievable and then it's January 30th the inauguration's over the debate Is about the debt ceiling and nothing's Going on and I go nobody's watching my Content this I must have I must have Forgotten to upload like something must Be wrong it's completely beyond my Control so I just and I think part of

What you're saying is I try to focus on The things I can control And understand those that I really have No control over whatsoever and try not To worry about them And try to do the things that make you Happy at the end of the day You mentioned RFK the guy you met what Do you think about uh some of the other Candidates outside of Joe Biden in the In the Democratic party RFK Jr What do you think of him as a candidate I've met him we once had dinner and we Have a number of friends in common which Is what makes this a little more awkward But I think his campaign is basically Sort of like a chaos candidacy to raise Awareness and maybe raise money either For his book or his anti-vaccine Organization children's defense fund I Believe it's called I think there's some Reporting that Steve Bannon really liked The idea of him running as a Democrat Again to just generate chaos I don't find it super interesting I Don't find it worthy of that much Discussion uh smart guy nice guy Has been doing anti-vaccine work that I Don't find particularly inspiring so It's not just anti-covered vaccine it's More broader than them he's been in that Space long before the covet vaccines Yeah yeah I don't find it super Interesting well he also wrote the book

Uh The real Anthony fauci is that the name Of the book did he write that that's Interest I didn't I don't know that's I'm not sure about that I'm aware of That book I didn't know he wrote it I Think I did but it's been uh uh it's Been on my reading list to get uh I've Been trying to get a good balanced Reading list about uh the covet pandemic To understand what the hell happened and Um anytime I start to try to go into That place it's just I'm exhausted by it Well it's interesting to me that you Wouldn't wait longer before delving into Those books to have maybe a more Clear hindsight But I think this is a pretty good time You don't think so like this this is Uh it depends on your goals if you're Thinking of it as a historical event yes You should probably wait longer but if You're thinking about like understanding What is broken about our system that we Responded so poorly That there was so much division what is Broken about our political system that Um it didn't unite us it divided us Who's to blame there's probably a lot of Different narratives but I feel like the More you learn about this the the better You can understand I read um I'm just Vladimir Putin I read like five Biographies already maybe more

Um just it helps to really understand The people involved the organizations Evolved I don't know everything from the Scientists to the political leaders Um It felt like the blog posts and the Tweets didn't quite Captivate they Didn't quite no one of the things I read A ton I don't read any like modern Political books so I don't read the Memoirs of elected officials I don't Read any I just feel like I get enough Of it in my job so my reading list is Just other things it's history it's Narrative non-fiction economics Etc and that's my bias because I'm so Overloaded with a lot of the stuff You're talking about I haven't read any Of Obama's books I didn't read John Bolton's book or you know I I don't read Any of that stuff although I'm sure There there is value to be gleaned from It What about the other candidate that uh According to the subreddit and as you Mentioned you've criticized it a little Bit uh Marianne Williamson do you think What are the pros and cons of horizon Candidate This is another area where many in my Audience really are angry with me yeah I Don't find her candidacy super Interesting I'll tell you the pros and The cons as I see them I do think that

We have elected officials in the U.S Particularly presidents from a really Narrow range of backgrounds so it's Lawyers and uh sometimes business people Very very often lawyers I would I think We would benefit from a much greater Diversity of backgrounds and I once said And that would include uh people from Education people from the Science World People with backgrounds maybe running Non-profits Etc now Marianne Williamson Did I guess at one point run some kind Of small non-profit and some in my Audience thought that credential alone Would make me fall head over heels in Love with the idea of a Marianne Candidacy I've interviewed for her it's Just not for me is the way I like to say It it's the the background of the Woo-woo type stuff is a bit off-putting To me I understand that someone with Literal Christian Bible beliefs that Also I I don't like maybe I'm more Willing to accept as most of our Presidents of course have had those Views because they're otherwise more Qualified but some of the things that She says just strike me as I just I just Don't know I'll give you an example When she was on with Russell Brand she Said there's no such thing as clinical Depression it just means someone in a Clinic told you you have depression I don't believe that to be the case I

Think we have an understanding there's Two types of depression there's like a Genetic predisposition depression There's like a acute some things Happening in my life temporary Depression okay you know when she was Asked about it recently she said I didn't mean it I was just trying to Impress Russell Brand I don't know if I'm more bothered by the Things she first said or by the fact That she wanted to impress Russell Brand But it's just like it's just really not For me and I agree with her on we need To take the climate more seriously we Need to expand access to hell I I'm with All of that stuff now I want to say one Other thing about this Anybody who wants to run should run I am Not suggesting there should be an Uncontested primary for Joe Biden Absolutely so you think it should be Contested well what I mean by contested Is so there's two parts to what we mean By contested will the DNC organize Debates and we'll get to that in a Second but should should anybody who's On the left get out of the way because Joe Biden is President and he's running For re-election absolutely not the Question about should there be debates I Would like there to be debates the DNC Pretty clearly isn't going to organize Them I think if you did them you would

Have to say at what polling level do you Qualify And I don't know exactly where you put That number but I think it would be a Great thing to put Joe Biden on a stage With if you can get what six percent Eight percent I'm not really sure what The number would be I'm totally all for That Was a set of candidates at least from my Perspective so weak Do you have do you have an understanding There's a lot of different answers to This One aspect to this which I think is more Of a socio-cultural thing which I've Recently read about to some degree is The job actually turns off the people Who would be best at it because of what You need to do to become president And it includes All but completely abandoning your Existing day-to-day life job which you May depend on and family to some degree It's horribly uh negative as we already Talked about And at the end of all of that you either Lose and then have to rebuild and maybe You're not in a position to be able to Do that or you win and then now you've Got four years of being one of the most Hated people no matter how good a job You do so I think by its nature it turns Off a lot of people that would otherwise

Be good Um I also think that there's a lot of Posturing from within the parties about Well you might be good but it's not your Time yet so you should wait and then Let's talk about maybe a senate seat Here and there so it's like it's like a Company essentially and they're figuring Out where they want to place people uh I Think all of these things make it so we End up with candidates most people Aren't super thrilled with so it's Difficult for somebody who's young or an Outsider to uh To quickly become a candidate I think That that's true and I think also in a Lot of ways it's just not I mean would You want to be president no I mean I Can't because I wasn't born in the U.S So it's easy for me to say but Um if everyone says no Then we'll get the people that we have No I understand that so I would love to Help somehow Sure and I feel like there's not even a Mechanism for helping except to the Democratic through the voting process But I'm just Annoyed how little technology there is In the whole process how little Innovation there is in the whole process All of this the sad thing is this is Written about a lot which is There's this thing called political

Hobbyism And I think there's a good chance that Some of the people in my audience are Political hobbyists in the sense that They follow this stuff as entertainment To some degree and I've written a lot About how uh I've read a lot and talked A lot about how okay we vote every two Years or every four years in our local Elections Etc and then we think about Politics all the time Neil Postman wrote About this in his book amusing ourselves To death but what are you actually going To do about the kids Starving in this Country and the nuclear buildup in that Country okay if everybody refocused Their attention on their immediate Communities and that could mean any Number it could mean the town or city You live in or it might mean Um an athletic club or whatever if Everybody this time they spent on Political hobbyism they moved somewhere Else which might put me out of a job That's okay I'm willing to lose my job Because I think it would be so Beneficial then our communities would Just be that much better because you can Actually affect change in a much more Tangible way well locally whether it's Obvious people talk about potholes but Other things as well Yeah and I wish our system was more Amenable to that kind of contribution

Hopefully through the digital space it Would be Let me ask you about on the Republican Side Ron DeSantis What do you think of him as a candidate Running against uh Donald Trump I think In the couple of weeks before our our Discussion today His campaign which hasn't even started Has sort of started to implode and this Was something that I started thinking About in September October he really Doesn't seem ready for prime time in the Sense that just being confronted and Confronted is not even the right word Just being asked about Uh some topics he didn't really seem to Want to talk about He responded in such a sort of Disproportionate unhinged way during his Recent trip to Asia he was asked about Why aren't you or why are you responding But in this weird way to Trump's attacks On you and he went into this weird Bobble head thing with a weird smile and Something came out that didn't make any Sense and he sort of got mad at the Reporter and it was just like if you Can't handle that you can't be on a Debate stage with Donald Trump and again For all my criticisms of trump the guy Gets you on a debate stage he can make You look pretty silly he was recently Asked about his role at Guantanamo Bay

When he was an officer in I forget which Branch of the Armed Forces and he just Sort of attacked the journalist asking The question and it just looked very bad And there are increasingly big Republican donors who are not fans of Trump and were sort of hoping to put Their eggs in the Rhonda santis basket Who are saying this guy just doesn't Have what it takes I don't think he can Do it so I don't know if DeSantis will Be able to get away once you're polling 20 something like he is and you haven't Even announced it's very attractive and He probably to some degree is thinking If I wait till 2028 I might not have This opportunity again But Trump's polling 5253 which means Even if DeSantis gets all of the current Non-trump vote he has to figure out how To take something more for Trump from Trump I just don't know how he does it First of all the implosion aspect that's That's part of the process isn't it you Kind of implode a bunch of uh a bunch of Times and then rebuild yourself and Rebuild them because the new cycle kind Of forgets it's possible the problem is If he the first debate is in August So that's only a few months away and the Decision is going to be have to be made Pretty soon and unless he can get a new Momentum going uh I just don't know how He gets what he needs in order to really

Have a shot so would anyone else run Against Donald Trump it's very tough Right now I mean there are other people Running there's this guy Vivek ramaswamy Who's running Nikki Haley is running her Campaign basically Dead on Arrival Um Trump actually does better in polls The more people run when when it's just Him and DeSantis that's the best Scenario for DeSantis it's not great for DeSantis but it's it's uh certainly Better Um but I think the difficulty is this is A question for Republicans to figure out The people who rightly recognized in 2016 that this guy is not good for their Party Um still believe this guy's not good for Their party but many of them recognize That most of the voters are still behind Him You can always say it's early his Polling doesn't really mean anything Anything could happen something major Would have to happen for Trump to lose That lead if he got more uh if he was Arrested two more times and had more Indictments and it just became like this Guy can't even campaign because he's so Busy going from court to court maybe That would make a difference it's really Tough to imagine You said that there are three categories Of people who vote Republican and uh

That Trump introduced the fourth one uh Can you go through The four categories sure so you've got Like your pro-business low tax Republicans these are mostly people like Mitt Romney Mitt Romney has a bit of the Social conservatism as well he's Mormon And that's there but Mitt Romney Primarily particularly as a Northeast Sort of Republican I mean I know Utah But governor of Massachusetts he is like A low tax pro-business type guy you've Got your libertarian type Republicans Who are primarily about freedom and Liberty often they are actually more Socially liberal where they go I don't Care about gay marriage liberal you know I don't care so much about abortion Um and that Overlapped a little bit with the Tea Party Movement in 2010 although tea Party did have a religious component but Sort of like the libertarian Freedom-minded folks and then the Religious conservatives people that Support Canada it's like Josh Hawley or Uh Ted Cruz Etc where their big thing Are social issues often they actually Want uh Christianity being civil Government they don't want separation of Church and state those are traditionally The three Republican groups the one that Trump introduced was people who just Didn't really pay attention to politics

But either followed celebrity or had Grievances that they didn't yet have a Scapegoat for Um and were sort of right-leaning Culturally even though they didn't Attribute that to republicanism And Trump was able to bring them into Politics often for the first time as Voters they could be part of any of Those three groups if they get more into Politics or kind of be their own thing But they're more kind of like Cult of Personality I'm here for Trump types did It have to do anything about the culture Wars and the identity politics all that Kind of stuff Yeah I mean so in 2016 when Trump Mobilized them those weren't really Issues the way they are now so I think At the time at that time it certainly Was not a factor what was the mobilizing Issue I know it was it just anti-hillary In 2016. there he did a good job on Anti-hillary but a lot of it was Identifying real economic problems wage Depression lack of jobs in parts of the Country you know Ohio and Indiana Trump Rightly identified like we have an issue Here we don't have enough Entrepreneurship Etc Um but there was also a lot of Scapegoating that was you know China and People coming through the U.S Mexico Border were popular scapegoats for a lot

Of those problems this gets us kind of To populism Populism is a rhetoric and populism as a Rhetoric doesn't necessarily come with Particular policies you can be A populist uh a user of populist Rhetoric and proposed solutions that Would be more aligned with Bernie or Tucker Carlson Populists will often identify the plight Of the middle class The difference would be Bernie will say We've got to put some restrictions on How much uh billionaires can make and We've got to reinvest in these social Programs Tucker will say BLM taking your House and a brown person from Mexico Taking your job are what we need to deal With So the the populist rhetoric can lend it Lend itself to very different policy and Trump used that very effectively in 2016. why do you think Hillary Clinton Was Hated as intense as she was by a certain Percent of the population it feels like Uh that's the first election eyewitness Where there's a lot of hate Maybe I'm misremembered I don't remember Obama Um I don't remember the degree of hate There was a conspiracy theories that he Wasn't born in this country but I don't

Remember hate towards Obama record death Threats under Obama more than any Previous president right towards who Towards him towards him yeah do you mean More hate between voters or between Voters between voters but like That's I guess what I was speaking to But that hate was directed towards Um The Narrative the thread that Connected all of that in 2016 was Hillary Clinton Few different things Um and I'm not ranking these these are Just all things that come to mind one is Hillary Clinton Had been around in the political space For a long time from her time as first Lady through a senator Secretary of State Etc so I think that there was Enough time for different groups to Develop an antipathy towards her for Different reasons so time Um secondly Trump's branding of her as crooked Was very effective yeah where there were So many people demanding that she be Imprisoned if you ask them what is the Crime they don't know but she should Definitely be locked up that became a Very big thing The email story as it were and uh James Comey doing a second public event about That investigation even though there Wasn't any actual news about it just

Doing a second event about it at the Last minute I think hurt her and also Generated some hate and I don't find Hillary Clinton to be particularly Likable although I voted for her I Thought she was the better candidate and I think that there are others who also Didn't find her particularly likable That those are a lot of impediments to Becoming president I was trying to Understand why there's so many Conspiracy theories about Clinton's in General Bill Clinton and uh Hillary Clinton And I Maybe I'm not researched well enough The of the why of it uh the Y of it Actually the extent of the conspiracy Theories the sort of the the conspiracy Theories that they've killed a lot of People this kind of stuff it's hard for Me to speak to them because I'm aware That they exist but I'm not an expert in Them because they seem so obviously Baseless to the degree that I've Researched them a little bit and then I Move on and uh you know it's been years Since I've looked at this stuff I know There's the Seth Rich one and there's The Clinton Body Count one I think There's one connected to Epstein if I Recall correctly there's all sorts of These different ones Um without speaking to any of them

Specifically because I'm not the expert On Clinton conspiracies uh it does seem As though this stuff for so long has Generated an audience I mean I remember In the supermarket when Bill Clinton was President at the checkout seeing the Tabloids and there were stuff about Hillary birth than alien baby and you Know all the it seems like it's been Titillating to people for a very long Time Well another question from Reddit Speaking of aliens uh I would be curious To hear David's views on conspiracies And conspiracy theories the extent to Which real conspiracies happen and why Conspiracies that have little evidence Behind them manage to be so compelling To people regardless also please bring Up aliens and uaps okay where do we Start the conspiracy what uh so what in General As a person who uh thinks about politics Uh thinks about this world like where do Conspiracy theories fit in for you I Think there have been conspiracies and By conspiracies I'm using a colloquial Definition which is basically uh Individuals working together to Um in a clandestine way impact or affect Some kind of event or phenomenon uh very Very broadly I mean certainly that those Things have happened Um the to pick to jump around to some of

The things that were in there I think The reason that conspiracy theories are So compelling is that it's really tough For a lot of people to accept There are random events Not predictable specifically at a Stochastic level we might be able to Predict them but specifically Unpredictable Bad events in many ways I could be the victim of one or you Could or my family could that's really Scary to a lot of people understandably So and for some people it's less scary And more soothing in a way to say there Aren't really random events like this Somebody planned it and if we had just Known who planned it it just could have Been stopped because we would have known Exactly when That's just a psychological level easier To accept for people and I get that to Some degree because Listen it's it's not the most exciting Thing that everything can just be going Fine and something absolutely horrible Happens and kills who knows some number Of people or so I think that's the the Biggest attractor to a lot of these Conspiracy theories it doesn't apply to All of them though but yeah but there's Still kind of a basic understanding of Human nature where people Some people are greedy and want power

And are corrupted by power So there's a kind of these compelling Narratives that stick That um I don't know the vaccine is a is a Opportunity for a powerful billionaire To implant chips into you so you can Control you further right It doesn't seem What do I want to say It's like for some reason That doesn't seem as crazy as it should Because you think like maybe Hollywood Contributes to that but you think yeah You can imagine an evil person a person That wants more control more power Um and is also at the same time able to Convince themselves as history shows That they actually have the best Interest of the populace in mind that They're trying to do good for the world So they do evil while trying to do good And you can kind of imagine it so it's Like why not And uh do you listen to people in power Uh authorities they kind of look and Sound Shady You know like yeah the the transparency Especially the older ones I think Younger folks are better at being like Real and transparent and just like Revealing their flaws and the basic Humanity but people that are a little Bit older in the positions of power

They're more polished they're more like There it feels like they're presenting a Narrative where the truth is hidden in The shadows so I don't think there's Anything wrong with suspecting Maybe a public figure isn't giving me The full story yeah totally reasonable Thing to question Um I don't think there's anything wrong With exploring a lot of these different Things I think the problem becomes and I Know you've talked about this in so many Different ways with other guests the Problem becomes when we lose a shared Understanding of how we would assess Whether any of these things are true and Then both alleged evidence and an Absence of evidence both become Supportive of the conspiracy theory Because if there's bad evidence you Manipulate it and say it's good evidence If there's no evidence you say the Evidence was obviously hidden by the People who carried out the thing or Whatever so unless we can have a shared Understanding of how we would determine What's true these are common Conversations often between atheists and Religious folks how can we deter like is Is my faith in something or my desire For something to be true a good way to Evaluate whether it is true they're Really similar questions Well let me ask you about Trump on that

Front about the election 2020 election And Maybe the better questions about January 6th do you think January 6th was a big Deal I do How big of a deal compared to what Uh Civil War I think it was less of a big deal than The Civil War okay no I mean so you well It's a very interesting thing though Right because we have not only the the Event that's that's clever actually it's Not only the event but it's what led up To it and what has happened since and Did it change what is considered on the Table That citizens can should or might do if They disagree with the results of an Election so I think that there are Further reaching consequences than just Was the six hour period on January 6th a Bigger smaller deal than the Civil War And there's so much wrapped up into it Um many conspiracy theories flowed from January 6th as well uh 60 Minutes Recently featured a guy named Ray Epps Who was targeted by some on the right Um claiming that he was an instigator or An agent of the FBI or something along Those lines uh there were people Claiming that no real TR was like a no True Scotsman sort of thing like Trump Supporters wouldn't Riot so by

Definition it must have been antifa uh Police let him in or police were you Know all these different things I think It was a big deal in a lot of ways Because it completely made us have to go Back to the top to say okay what are the Parameters of valid discussion and Activism in the United States but what Aspect of the January 6 was bad for you Well I mean like if you're thinking from a Big philosophical political perspective So presumably the number of people hurt And the number of people who died Is not the only metric to consider here Absolutely I think the sum total of what It means about how the United States Operates is what's most concerning and I'll kind of just like flesh it out a Little bit so Summer of 2020. Trump's already saying They're going to cheat Now the polling Is close but it shows that Biden's in a Good position people aren't happy with Trump any reasonable person would look And say it's going to be close but Biden Certainly it wouldn't be a crazy thing If Biden won Trump's already saying They're going to cheat with mail-in Ballots or they're going to cheat with Early voting or they're going to cheat With machines or we should do only in Person or whatever else the case may be

We have the election We knew in certain States how the vote Count was going to go some states stop Counting at 10 pm some states count all Of the mail and stuff up front some Don't everything was completely Predictable Uh at 2 A.M Trump comes out and says I Won Okay but where are you getting that sir As he claims people always refer to him Where are you getting that and with that Statement immediately we see that there Is a large portion of this country that Either is unable or unwilling to say Wait a second The polling all said this was a real Possibility The counting schedules are all being Adhered to All but Trump won that doesn't make any Sense that doesn't happen it builds People are donating Millions to Trump For supposed audits which nobody can Define and lawsuits which go nowhere and It builds and builds and builds and we Have a total separation from a factual Reality there's no reason to think by December 1st right give three weeks to Look through some of the stuff by December 1st there's no reasonable case To be made that Trump actually won But it doesn't end there it goes into Maybe we can just like send different

Electors even though Biden won Arizona Let's just like send I don't remember How many electors it is in Arizona Let's Just like send Republican electors to Say we vote for Trump but that's that's Not democracy that's not the way the System works let's make sure we're ready Ready for what exactly and then it Builds to maybe Mike Pence can just like Prevent Biden from being president or Maybe we can just interfere in this Other way and then it gets to let's Break into the capital It's the height of saying we no longer Comport ourselves attached to what is a Verifiable factual reality And when we no longer do that we're also Willing to commit crimes property crimes Violent crimes okay different degrees in Order to try to have something other Than democracy it wouldn't be democracy If any of those things had happened yeah I I think it's not the height of it I Think There's still a case to be made that That did not leave the realm of protest Versus A violation of the principles of Democracy so to me the height Of what could happen on January 6th is Uh if Donald Trump was much better Executive uh he could take control of The military if it had succeeded No not even succeeded the attempt would

Have been more Um Empowered I understand so like The way not to bring up Hitler every Other word which is something your Subreddit also told me not to do okay It's kind of an important figure it's Interesting to study that moment in History because it reveals so much about Human nature and that all of us are Capable of Good and Evil but thank you Dear subredditor or redditor for your Contribution to the conversation I will Keep bringing up Hitler in the Third Reich and I'll keep bringing up Stalin There's so much to learn from that Anyway the Enough Um an effective practice authoritarian Could roll the tanks out into the city Streets To uh establish order And in so doing pause the process of Democracy As opposed to a few protesters breaking In to a questionably uh protected Building I agree that what you're saying Would be worse I don't want to use it to Minimize what the protesters were intent On doing they failed fortunately I was Both to you the intention was there well The intention was Trump should remain President that's the intention and to

What length they would have been willing To go if by the evening early evening They you know were sort of like forced Out I don't know I agree with you that Trump trying to use the military uh Would absolutely be worse you know There's these reports that he tried to Seize voting machines which is kind of Funny because it's like once you get the Machine at Mar-A-Lago what do you do With it exactly I don't know there's a Like a comedic element to Trump sitting Around with voting machines but he did Float trying to do some other things I Don't believe there's reporting that he Actually tried to use the military I wondered to what degree this opened The door to further things like this With other uh other candidates on you Know even uh in the Democratic party Also Uh do you think there will be more and More questioning of the election results There has been already it's uh very Clearly The Playbook Kerry Lake lost she Ran for governor in Arizona 2022 she Lost what I mean by that is her opponent Received more votes it's like very clear What it means that she lost she insists To this day that she won To this day she did the same grift Trump Did about donate we've got a case we won In the case you didn't win they just set A court date like doesn't know that's

Not what you know lies upon grift upon Lies so they they did it then Um it is I I it's extraordinarily Saddening but it seems like this is now Going to be part of the Playbook do you Think people on the left will start Doing it Uh I don't have a reason to believe that That is going to happen but I'm not Going to say it never could absolutely It certainly could people on the left Could start using it as a tactic right Now there's not a sign that that's going To happen but it's certainly good my Expectation is and I'm not a betting man But I would bet money if Joe Biden loses In November of 2024 He will say I lost he will call the Winner he will concede and he will leave The White House in an orderly fashion You don't think there will be claims of A hacked election the the ability to Hack elections is becoming uh More and more effective With the developments on the artificial Intelligence side the difficulty is You're basically saying Will something happen without me knowing Anything about the election imagine There really was evidence of a hacked Election then I would want those claims To be made but the way elections have Gone in the past I I don't expect that That's a claim that would be made no

Speaking of evidence of things uh that Were claimed What do you think about the hunter Biden Laptop or as you tweeted the laptop from Hell The laptop from Hell TM right uh to what Degree was this uh laptop story Important and to what degree was it not At this point I have said many times If there is any reason to believe that Hunter Biden Joe Biden Naomi Biden Jill Biden Hillary Obama Doug M if there's Any evidence any of them committed a Crime they should be investigated They should be charged And they should be tried period The hunter Biden laptop thing has been Floating around for so long And we still have zero actual Uh pieces of evidence of any crime Particularly involving Joe Biden there's The claim from some that references to The big guy are about Joe Biden getting 10 percent for some illicit it's been Years they've been saying this they've Not been able to bring forward any Evidence on it so my assessment of the Hunter Biden laptop is It seems to mostly be a story about nude Images released without someone's Consent which is illegal in Most states And violates Twitter's own policies That's the main story to me beyond that

I don't know how many people have a copy Of this hard drive at this point Rudy Had it Tucker do you remember when Tucker this this is this is unbelievable Tucker said that he mailed himself A copy a USB stick yeah and it got lost In the mail you you have the mother lode Proving the criminality of Joe and Hunter Biden and I don't you just Dropped it off with a stamp and it got Lost in the mail you don't have a backup Copy you don't so I'm ready for the Evidence to come forward Hunter Biden Has nothing to do with Joe Biden's Administration but as a person who if he Committed a crime charge him investigate Him whatever but it's it's getting it's Almost getting satirical the degree to Which they're talking about the hunter Biden laptop uh what do you think about The the social media aspect of this that That story got censored And what do you think about censorship In General on social media that that Story during an important time in the Electoral process got censored so I uh As a matter of principle I think we have To Define what we mean by censorship but I'm against censorship short of illegal Content I guess is the way I would put It I do respect the company's right to Have terms of service and to enforce Them as long as they're not illegal if Twitter were to say we don't publish

Content from Jewish people okay now We've got a problem on our hands but Um what what is dubious to me Is the claim that had people been able To see Hunter Biden's genitals they Would have voted for Trump which I know It's like David you're you're making Light of and but at the end of the day What exactly is the claim that if you Had known more about Hunter Biden I Guess allegedly hiring prostitutes and And having a drug problem and seeing Pictures you wouldn't have voted for Joe Biden I mean I know me as a voter I Don't feel that way I think uh it's less about the content Of the story and about the actions of uh A social media company To control what you see and what you Don't see so you can imagine a social Media company like Facebook and Twitter Making the same kind of decision about a More impactful story than uh a few dick Pics on a laptop well I think if that Happened then my view might be different Right but I do my general view though on The hunter Biden story is Had the Articles not contained those Images that were illegal in many states And violated Twitter's policies I would Say publish it absolutely I don't think It would have had an impact but I would Be in favor of it being of the links Being allowed a hundred percent

Okay uh you mentioned Tucker what do you Think about talking getting fired from Fox Um you're a media person that works Independently yes Uh Tucker was a media person who doesn't Work independently right Uh yeah what do you what do you think About that particular situation is it Representative of some big shift that's Happening in mainstream media What would the ship be uh basically Mainstream media freaking out because The funding is getting less and less and Less and less and there's going to give More power to individual Commentators basically Tucker Carlson Just starting a podcast So the YouTube channel I think that's What he should do I think that's the Most profitable path rather than maybe Going to work for Newsmax or whatever The case may be but the firing Fundamentally was not a politically Oriented firing that suggests Fox News Is changing its tune politically in any Way there's no evidence of that Whatsoever Um Tucker Carlson basically became a Legal problem for Fox News there's Really Four Points to it one is the 787 And a half million dollar settlement With Dominion partially was because of The

Um claims that went out on Tucker Carlson's program so to some degree Tucker's program was a prominent uh node Of the problematic claims that became The subject of the lawsuit that's number One number two smartmatic which is Another voting Machine Company still has A similarly sized lawsuit against Fox News based on the exact same sorts of Claims it may cost Fox News again so This is now two problems that Tucker's a Big contributor to number three former Tucker staffer has brought a lawsuit and I don't remember the exact claims but I Know that there are claims of different Types of discrimination it seems like it Has legs and that may be a third payout Related to Tucker Carlson and based on The 60 Minutes piece from a few weeks Ago Ray Epps saying Tucker ruined his Life by fomenting conspiracies about him Around January 6th that's ripe for Another lawsuit so to me Tucker's firing was a risk mitigation Strategy uh of many that will be Employed as as these lawsuits come Forward there's no evidence that it's Because Fox didn't like and what we mean by that Who are we talking about Rupert Murdoch Doesn't like or the pre I don't know but I don't have any reason to believe it's Because Tucker's ideas were no longer Welcome on Fox certainly the audience

Liked them so interesting it's not about It's not even about the ratings It's about just the the legal costs Fox is interesting the ratings question Is interesting because Fox unlike most Other or every other cable news channel They negotiate a fee from every cable Subscriber if you have Fox News as a Channel even if you don't watch it Fox Gets a little bit of money they are Dramatically less dependent on ad Revenue than CNN and MSNBC so the Ratings question is an interesting one But Fox's position is different on that Another question from Reddit Both sides are the same in quotes is a Meme notion that has spread Far and wide in American political Discourse on the internet to what extent Do you agree or disagree with this Notion and why do you think it is so Popular now This Reddit comment also says that Podcasts like Russell Brand and Joe Rogan or the legendary comic George Carlin are examples of big proponents of This notion All of which I kind of disagree with Uh Russell Brand Joe Rogan and George Carlin Claim that both sides are the same the Same and use that you know all Politicians are crooked and they suck And this kind of thing I don't know if

They're I don't know if that's true maybe George Carlin anyway let's leave that aside Yeah uh to what degree do you think I do agree with this notion that both Sides are the same left and right The Crooked corrupt politicians they do What politicians do I don't agree that It's the same I think there are Different factions that like to say that Um for different reasons there are some Individuals who want to present Themselves as kind of being Above The Fray of partisan politics and so it's be It I call it enlightened centrism Um do you mean that positively no I mean It negatively yeah it's it's a bit of a Pejorative the idea that I am not going To fall for being a democrat or a Republican I can see that these are just Two sides of the same coin Equally bad lying to ever okay so that's One it's sort of like it's popular at Dinner parties in some circles to go I'm But with all these politicians you know Left and right so that's one side of it The other side of it is that it's often Used when when your side has really Stepped in it it's a popular way To acknowledge that your side has done Something wrong But while framing it as it's not Uniquely wrong and it's not worse than What anybody else does and I find that

It's one of the lamest and most kind of Cringe-inducing things to hear because Of the what comes next and usually what Comes next is not A good accurate criticism of something That took place and a discussion of how To solve a real problem that we have I Find that a conversation Stifler it also Is used to kind of suppress voter Turnout not actively it's not that the People who say that go around saying Don't vote but the idea of course is the More people that believe that it doesn't Really make a difference who you vote For it's going to suppress voter turnout And I want voter turnout to be as high As possible not as low as possible so I Also dislike it for that reason So is it possible to say that one side Is worse than the other in in modern Current political Climate listen I'm a person on the left I'm not pretending to come here as as And not knowing that my view is biased Because I'm a person of the left if you Ask Ben Shapiro he'll tell you something Different I think in 2023 Sum total the influence of the American Right wing If the American right wing were to get Everything it wants It would be a horrifying reality if the Left were to get everything it wants We'd have to figure out a few things

Including exactly how we pay for certain Programs But they're mostly noble goals and I Believe that they are more supportive of An individual Self-determining what they want to do in Life and how they want to live and is More in line with the idea of freedom And liberty than what the right is Currently proposing that's my view And of course people will disagree with Me and they know we get to freedom and Liberty the way that the right wants to Do it okay well we can have that Conversation so I think you've implied in your answer it Was kind of focused on policy It felt like it was focused on policy There's other stuff that people worry About sure Um particularly with the left Uh What uh may be termed the woke mind Virus Where have I heard who's using that term A lot now I'm trying to think I'm not Sure I'm not sure not sure what comes up Uh but the cultural aspect of this that Um You know if you give a lot of power to People on the left as you've gave as an Example there would be a lot of kind of Censorship a suppression of speech and a Kind of uh dividing up of a society of Who is allowed to

Um Basically a reallocation of resources Not based on Merit but based on some Kind of high ethical Notions of what is Right and only a very small percent of The population gets to decide what is What is fair what is right Which is you know uh we already have a Small portion of the population deciding Fair okay yes but I don't know I don't Know how many different ways I can say Kind of a negative characterization of Uh of folks on the left when we're now Comparing it just as a to play Devil's Advocate sure so is that is that Something that you worry about so Paul The setting policies aside uh wokeism Yes how big of a problem is it this is a Great conversation so let's two sides of It okay we have new polling that seems To suggest so-called wokism is kind of More popular in the United States than Anti-wokism and I'll tell you what I Mean by that this is the less Interesting part we'll go to the more Interesting part second Um people sometimes what people mean by Wokism is an overreaction To a perceived Injustice That goes beyond what would be fair and Equitable There was this really interesting poll In it ask questions like for example do

You believe Society has gone too far not Far enough or just about the right Amount in dealing with issues affecting The trans community The woke position which is society Hasn't gone far enough was far more Popular than we've gone too far now the The right-wing media narrative is we've Gone way too far this is out of control And there are lots of other similar Answers it's not a huge margin a lot of These are like 58 to 42 60 to 40. it's Not like 90 to 10 but by a small margin The so-called woke perspective of we Actually haven't yet done enough to fix Some of these issues is a little bit More popular so if we went back to DeSantis this is part of why I think Desantis's anti-woke agenda may just be A political misstep that's really Interesting result I wonder how the Questions are Framed But it's it's still interesting Nevertheless no matter what to hear that People are majority of people in America Awoke and not in the negative sense of The word the poll didn't use the term Woke right right this is a critical Thing let's use the term World Positively the term has kind of been Perverted yes four years ago when the Term was started to be used I would have Said oh yeah woke just means like I have

Become aware of problems that are bigger Than any one person can fix for Themselves that relate to the system I Think that's what and we might disagree On which problems fall under that Category but like it was kind of benign I think now it just means like Outrageously Left wing maybe even with socialist or Marxist undertones it's become a Pejorative at this but also like bullies Like people sure censorers yeah but People that go around calling others Racist uh sometimes oftentimes without Any proof of or justification fair but That's worse that's that's a few folks On Twitter you're saying like the Polling is starting to show that like no They're still Uh most Americans still care about these Issues and want to yeah want to improve And want to make progress I think that's The case and they want to do it in a Genuine way that doesn't suppress or Oppress anybody but now let me get to Like to what degree do I think that Actual when it goes too far is a problem It absolutely exists it we can find Instances of where this exists on the Left Um I've been told many times that as a Jewish Argentinian immigrant to the United States I actually don't qualify as oppressed

Enough Because Jews are privileged now in the U.S and my family had just enough money To leave Argentina so there's this kind Of like oppression Olympics thing where I've been told you don't get to comment For example like a topic in the Latino Community now is are you familiar with Latinx okay in Spanish there's an Analogous movement Where words by their nature sort of like Have a gender so like the word for Friend is Amigo But if it's a woman you would say Amiga So right from there you can tell the Gender that we're talking about and if It's a mixed group you say amigos it's The male with an S but it could include Both there's a movement now which wants To do away with that and put the letter E in it's a new word okay it's a Gender-neutral word amigues Totally new I don't like that and I Don't know anyone no one in my family Uses it and I think it's kind of like a Strange imposition from someone kind of With with a solution in search of a Problem I've been told you moved to the U.S long ago and like your English is Good and like you look white and say Like you don't get to weigh in on that That I think is an example if I Understand correctly of the type of of Thing you're talking about I'm I'm kind

Of being bullied I'm fine I'm surviving Fine but I'm being bullied over it and Disqualified and saying you don't get to Speak on this issue all of those Examples all of that stuff I am completely against and I tell People on the left we're actually Hurting our own movement with this stuff I just don't think it's as big as some Others believe it you don't think it's An existential threat to uh our Civilization in the west to West no I Don't and and I mean look we've got a Biden Administration I see Biden as Center left those who see Biden as Extreme far left this stuff has played Almost no role whatsoever in the first Two plus years of his administration Well there's people that see him far Left as far left There's people on the right who I mean Trump says Biden's a Marxist Socialist Communist Um I haven't heard that because I don't Think that would stick uh very much he Says it at every rally yeah Which I love to tell us that you don't Watch these things it's like How Deeply Researched you are in Trump I can only Imagine how good your Trump oppression Is at this point it's not very sadly It's not it's not all right no but and I'll say one other thing on on that you Know take trans because Tran just to

Talk about it a little bit we haven't Dealt with it much the trans issue has Become huge I believe because the right Is obsessed with it the right is very Much not concerned with gay men anymore It used to be that gay men is like oh we Have to stop gay men from adopting and Unnatural and pedophiles now it's trans It's drag shows Etc I do think that There is a fair question to say how do We deal with trans women in a very small Short list of sports that's real okay My view though is I go okay we have all Issues we have issues related to gender And sexual orientation we have issues Related to Trends within that we have Specifically Sports you can eliminate From that uh trans men nobody's worried Right about women biological women who Are transmit and then when you say it's Only in certain sports that it matters Hey I'm right there I think it's a Complicated question I don't know how we Deal with it I would ask leagues that Have experience with this already and Whatever the problem I have is Pretending that the the uh Vanguard of Left-wing politics right now is trying To force trans women into sports it's Like it's just not the big issue that The right is reacting as if it were but Perhaps because of the right it's Forcing the left uh to To continue discussing it I mean I I

Feel like it uh even in institutions Even at universities it feels like these Ideas of diversity inclusion and Equity Are taking some of the air out of the Room Of um what a university should also care About which is uh Merit And it feels like re-prioritization Is going a little too far the other way Meaning Prioritizing this kind of amorphous Concept of diversity is moving away is Giving power to people that don't care About Merit and I just want to bully People with a big stick that says racism Or sexism or Um anti-diversity And it it kind of suffocates the people That uh care about Merit about Meritocracy about inspiring people from All kinds of backgrounds to succeed and It's just you kind of observe that I'm Sure that happens in all kinds of Institutions and the concern I think the People that are concerned about wilkism Are concerned about at scale what impact Does that have on a society when there's So much conversation about racism and a Decrease oppression not to talk about Merit like who's the actual good person In the room the best person in the room Generically that's a concern to me the Degree to which it's happening at Different institutions

I think is worthy of exploration I know People who work in Academia that are Getting out of Academia because they Don't like the environment on their Campuses for exactly the reason you're Saying so it exists there is no question About it I also think that the idea of a Perfect meritocracy is is maybe not Necessarily the goal in the sense that Um when you talk about perfect Meritocracy someone wrote a book about This who I interviewed about a year and A half ago and whose Name Escapes Me There are problems with a perfect Meritocracy I think what we want to do Is generate roughly equal Um uh um opportunity for people Understanding that there is going to be An outcome on a gradient or a bell curve Allowing people generally speaking to Determine the path that they want to Take and giving them if it's possible The ability to uh pursue that without Suppressing limiting I mean this is like Relatively uncontroversial stuff among I Would argue 95 of the left With the caveats of what you're talking About which I agree exist it would be Nice to know the actual data sometimes People blow stuff out of the proportion What is it's hard it's hard to measure How much self-censorship happens at University campuses that's true I think Also it's sort of like the The Pit Bull

Bite stories thing where when a pit bull Bites a person it's more likely to be Reported on because it fits a certain Narrative and there are right-wing Publications that are very interested in Making this seem as if it is an epidemic I'm the first to say it is happening to A degree I don't know the degree that It's happening to I know a lot of people In Academia only a couple of them say That it's an issue Would they say it though if they Believed it I think they would say it to Me these are just personal contacts it's Not like I'm going to go blabbing to Push back uh I kind of agree with you But at the same time most I mean I'm Deeply connected in Academia I have a Huge number of colleagues most people Self-censor by not thinking about it at All they're like screw it that's deeper Whatever yeah I'm just gonna focus on The thing I love doing which is the work And they don't think about Uh they basically remove themselves from Politics and social issues and they just Kind of say I'm going to do my Engineering I'm going to do my Mathematics sure the problem with that Is it's kind of you can't go anywhere Further to figure it out it's sort of Like there's this funny clip where Jordan Peterson says even atheists are Actually religious they just don't know

It and it's like it's hard to test that You know I don't know okay I mean I Don't I don't but it's a it's a fair Point I mean there may be some people if It has become so toxic for some people They may have repressed it way down into Their subconscious but I don't know how We would know that but you you know Symptoms of it because when certain People speak up Kind of lightly And then a 19 year old or a 20 year old Responds and is outraged the fact that The administration listens to that 19 And 20 year old and then reprimands Whoever spoke up a little bit That's a really dangerous sign to me and I don't really care about these like so I I'm more with you I don't think it's a Big issue but then I notice it I wonder Wait a minute With this kind of environment allow a Young Noam chowski to be around would This environment allow like uh I don't Know like uh What tenure was designed for which is To have controversial thinkers and not Kind of weird controversial things but Really people that challenge Things that should be challenged yeah I I sympathize with that significantly I Always try to look at specific examples Yeah and sometimes I'll look at people I'll ask for them and people will send

Me five and one of them is a legit bona Fide example of what we're talking about And four are kind of like ah there was a Complaint and it was investigated but The teacher's tenure was never in Jeopardy and yeah I don't know that I Chalk this up to a big woke event what Do you think the kind of apparatus of The four-year degree in college is going To look like in 20 years Oh that's I mean we're like day by day That seems to be changing with GPT I Don't know if you've gotten a chance to Interact with chai GPT absolutely my Entire show now is written by Chachi I mean there's uh that's partially a Joke uh it is only because it stopped Looking at the internet at 20 in 2021. If it was current I could completely Just tune it out no I'm kidding but it's A fascinating tool and uh it's changing The nature of how we uh do homework Assignments it's changing the nature of How we learn how we look up new Information how we explore information How we care about things we're Interested in I think it Um I I don't think we'll have Value for a University degree in 20 Years the way we do now I just think it Changes everything I think uh language Models I mean Google search has already In Wikipedia has already Transformed I would say our civilization

But it's there was still a value for Basic education I don't I think that Starts to dissipate uh with with child GPT so I don't I don't know yeah um I I Really I really don't think there's a University the way we think of a University in 20 20 30 years the I mean I have a personal interest in it in that My daughter is 10 months old and I'm Doing the 529 account I'm going through The motions as if But I also recognize you know if she Went to the schools I went to just with The rate of tuition increase you're Talking 200k a year by the time she's 18. and what happens with wages relative To that this is like separate from the Technological thing Um and in my mind I'm thinking is this Going to continue being the right path What I would love to see is so many People that I interact with just by Virtue of what I do Have no foundation in critical thinking Epistemology philosophy or media Literacy and If there were some way to make that the Core of some basic education that Everybody's receiving Which goes beyond you know chat GPT can Do so many things but I've not yet seen Good examples of how it can teach you to Think maybe you have a different view on How chat gbt can teach a user to think

But those skills seem to be so lacking And so many of the people I interact With if there's any positive change to Come from a changing Dynamic with higher Education I wish it would be to go in That direction well no Um chat GPT is actually much better Helping me think than any educator even Books that I've encountered because it It's very good at presenting the full Picture even better than a lot of Wikipedia articles you know on questions Like did the virus leak from a lab It just presents to you all the Different hypotheses the amount of Evidence available to it it's like it's Like a full calm objective picture of it There's no partisanship it's like a Really nice list of things that's Available but I guess what I mean is Does it tell you how as a thinking human You should evaluate the strength of each Of the paragraphs it presents to you you Can literally ask you can ask it to do a Fair okay yeah and then it's actually a Fun It's fun to ask Chad GPT that question Because you'll get good answers and so You basically uh have a kind of Socratic Like uh a deep intimate like great Podcast style conversation with an AI System Every single day for as many hours as You want as it especially as it improves

As and as the interfaces by which you Communicate with the thing improves so Yeah I think I think it will do exactly That which is teach you how to think Because you will offload the memory of Facts and Um equations and whatever else uh School Teaches you you'll offload that to Ai And instead you'll be using your human Mind which is uh what it for now is Uniquely good at which is asking good Questions thinking uh through the Complexities of issues when there's Multiple perspectives on it all of that Well then I stand corrected maybe then I Don't know what college is going to be In 20 years well but you were sort of Commenting it I see to the the financial Aspect of it like why does it even make Sense yeah I'm thinking about the transformative Effects of AI and what it starts to ask What is the What is even education right what do you Suppose what is the purpose of education So one is to give you a kind of a Background knowledge of on a bunch of Different topics but the other is to Discover the thing you're truly Passionate about and the thing you're Really good at such that you can make Money and you can contribute to society And have a fulfilling life yeah and also Learning to interact with other people

Without relationships are built Socializing and so many other things as Well but is that you know that is the Big value of University yeah and maybe You should be called something else can You get that for less than 200k a year Exactly or else yeah no it's a fair Question a kind of social club and you Know one of the things I think about Also is people who are well connected I Mean this has always been this isn't new Right but if you're well connected and You have a sort of drive towards Entrepreneurship and doing your own Thing and you're not pursuing a field That is very licensing dependent like Medicine or law Um getting started four years earlier With some internships can be a privilege In some cases but again that's that path Is available to the people that would Likely do well regardless of whether They went to college and so it's a very Privileged self-selected group anyway Another question from Reddit uh ask David to explain why American style Libertarianism is an unserious Philosophy I don't know what they mean By American style libertarianism I've Talked before about these kind of Utopian Libertarians where uh you know We have we don't have police you just Kind of like hire a for-profit company If you want protection and if there's a

Conflict between two of these private Security companies then I don't know you Figure it out somehow so it's almost Like anarchism If by I don't know what the question Means by that American style Libertarianism but in general my Problems with libertarianism as it is Often presented Come from the work of Sociology as well As human psychology which is the reality That once you get a group that's bigger Than 150 people You really have to start centralizing Some decisions unless you're going to Subdivide the 150 endlessly into 275s That now no longer have contact but then That's not really one Society now it's Two I've not seen good evidence and I've Read a fair bit about this that once you Get Beyond 150 you can keep all Decisions decentralized and once you say Some things need to be centralized then It's a matter of how you do it and it's Going to be some version of government That conflicts with aspects of Libertarianism Well it could be companies right it Could be um it could be more Market Driven which is the idea of anarchism That you're not you don't give any Centralized entity of Monopoly over Violence You know and then if you think that the

Markets are efficient At delivering especially in this 21st Century and beyond Where a market could have perfect Information about people so one of the Issues is that you can manipulate Markets because there's not perfect Information but now in a digital age we Can uh we can be Higher bandwidth participants in the Market so if you're choosing between Different security companies or you're Choosing between different providers Different Services you can do so more Efficiently and more effectively And in the digital space so you could Kind of imagine it but we haven't Successfully done it Uh without governments yeah and I think There's a practical once you get Beyond 150 you also start specializing Um it just is a matter of fact you don't Have everybody isn't growing their own Food some people grow the food and other People do other things and you come Across a lot of the problems that Started at the Agricultural Revolution And whether you say that it's a company That's solving it or a government the Problems are going to be very similar And I've not read anything that to my Satisfaction explains how you deal with That well there's underlying principles Of libertarianism which is putting

Priority at the freedom of the Individual right And that's compelling notion yeah Whenever I do these various political Compass things that put you on two axes On the authoritarian libertarian axis I Am way down on the libertarian side as a Left libertarian so my Tendencies are Always Anti-authoritarian and and Towards that option when it makes sense So I sympathize with that a lot Another question from Reddit ask David What issues he disagrees with you on is There something new idea okay that's Good there you go there's no issues Perfect agreement Uh what's your view on Tesla that's it's A good opportunity to ask what do you Think is Strengths and weaknesses of Elon Musk Uh you mentioned Twitter have you paid Your eight dollars I have not paid my Dollars I don't see the point in paying For it I have no problem paying for Services I use a ton of services I'll Try the free I'll go to the paid Um right now so the way I used to use The verified feed was I would post a Tweet and then the next day when I you Know review what's going on in my social Media I would look at the replies to the Tweet which would give me a mix of Replies from verified and unverified

People but then I also look at the Verified and see who that are Verified public folks have responded to Me or maybe I want to engage with or Whatever the case may be There's I don't even understand why I Would look at the verified feed anymore So I never do because it's random folks Who I don't know and it sort of lost its Utility to me and then yeah sorry to Interrupt but the idea is if everybody Who's human pays the eight dollars it Shows to you that it's not Bots it's at Least humans from the reports about the Number of people that have bought the Blue check mark I think we may be a Thousand years from enough signups in Order to make that sort of like a Reality that was the idea it's an Interesting idea honestly From my experience the obviously I was Seeing all sorts of attack comments some Of which were I'm sure from Bots but I'm Ignoring all of those comments anyway so It really didn't affect my my experience That much I mean here's the thing about Elon and I say this people sometimes Like David you you obviously hate Elon Or you obviously love Elon I was An investor in Tesla starting in 2015 I've since sold all my shares great run Um I'm on my second Tesla right now I probably won't get a third one because I think that electric vehicle technology

Is now maturing such that when my lease Is up I'm going to have many more Options with the range and charging Network that's important to me but I Could be wrong maybe you know I don't Know I have no the Cults of personality Around people they mean nothing to me so For me it's just like people are people Nobody has only good ideas fine I think That what Elon Musk did accelerating and Pushing forward the battery and electric Vehicle technology is unbelievable it's It's a it's a one person Wrecking ball in the best sense of Saying we're not going to slow play this And do okay now Toyota has a Toyota Hasn't actually entered but now whoever We've got a 90 mile range car and next Year it'll be 110 and it's just like We're doing this right now you can Compete or you can opt out and look at What's happened fantastic On the Twitter side of things I don't Really get the whole plan I don't know If it started maybe as kind of a goof of Some kind and it developed into I guess I have to buy it and I think something About it ended up with there was a Clause invoked where I think he did try To get out of buying it but then was Forced you to some degree yeah he was Forced the way Twitter used to work was You followed people And when you looked at your feed you

Either saw the posts from the people you Were following in Reverse chronological Order or posts from the people you Followed algorithmically tailored to What you're most likely to want to see And if You didn't follow someone you generally Wouldn't see their posts unless it was Like a sponsored tweet or someone you Follow quoted or retweeted them fine the For you feed Tick Tock I believe First Had a so-called for you feed the idea is This is stuff you might like based on I Don't know what either demographic data About you your other habits whatever and So it's useless to me it's just it's Just basically mostly right-wing content That that is not interesting what do you Think that is I mean so uh the the Signals that are used to generate the For you page is looking at all your uh Likes all your comments all your uh Blocks and mutes and all that you know That I mean I don't know what it's Looking at okay so it's supposed to be Very pleasant for you I'm sure other People go wow this for you thing is Awesome and I'll get like if you had Insert some right wing or sitting here There we go Twitter used to suppress Right-wing voices and now finally They're getting the fair shake that they Deserve in the fur you feed okay I mean I wonder if there's a left-wing folks

Uh setting their feelings of ilana's Side that are enjoying the for you page That's a really important question Because it's supposed to be people on The left-hand people on the right should Be enjoying the for you page sure yeah I Mean so for me my thought on Elon is Some incredible successes I don't know about Twitter I do think That I I don't believe Elon is a right Winger and when you see interviews with Him Um certainly at least socially and in Many ways culturally seems very moderate Or even somewhat on the left in my Experience or I don't think it's elon's A right winger I don't that's not an Interesting critique it does seem though That throughout the Twitter Escapade he Certainly ended up closer To some voices that may be influencing Him in a particular way uh that's giving Some people that impression you know but As far as like the Elon hate or the Elon Love it's just it's just a person who's Done some interesting things some of Which I like and some of which I could Kind of leave leave aside I have seen uh Folks Be Drift towards the right more In response to just the viciousness of Attacks from the left like who I well Elon and so so you just you do think

He's drifted towards the right uh In uh so I don't think at the core but I Think on the surface okay I think uh and I think Joe Rogan has as well on the Surface because I think maybe you can Correct me but it feels like people on The left attack more viciously Um that has not been my experience well Oh it hasn't no this so so yeah let me Know because my sense was that they Attacked people on the left viciously as Well left attacks the it's its own Because you're not Progressive enough You're not uh you know it's just this Kind of bullying that happens very Intensely no you're a hundred percent Right that when the left Has attacked me Um it's almost as vicious as when the Right attacks me the difference in my Experience is It's a smaller contingent on the left That's willing to Levy those attacks Against me but I'm on the left so to Some degree you could say well that That's to be expected Um there is toxicity on the left but It's intense isn't it like that's what I Mean like the attacks on people who are On the left just uh you're not left Enough yeah that's no that's the and it Is a small number of people I can't deny That that is absolutely uh absolutely a A real phenomenon and um it depending on

What sort of topics you take on publicly You are going to suffer the wrath of That to a greater or or lesser degree But with all of these things what I Always go back to is you know I probably Would have more disagreements with Rogan Today than the last time I was on his Show which was like at the beginning of The pandemic but there would be zero and I've done Clips critical of things that He has said substantive of course To me it's sort of like oh yeah I could Sit down with him and do a podcast and It would be zero big deal and I would Tell them I stand by everything I said About what you said and I would say it To you right now there are people who Write to me and go oh man things must be Really really tense now if you were to Rogan would never have you on because You disagreed and he loves you I'm sure He's just not thinking of me I'm not the Most important thing to Joe Rogan I Think both of us would be able to sit Down and talk about every one of my Criticisms it would not be taken Personally and then we would move on and It would be the next day you get Attacked a lot How do you not let that break you Mentally Oof I don't know uh so let's see I try to I mean I'm in a toxic space the News in politics partisan news and

Politics partisan news and politics on The internet with a social media Component just completely and totally Toxic from a personal perspective when I'm done producing my last show of the Week Until Monday I try to completely tune Out from news and politics altogether Um and also make an effort to just not Look at feedback and and what's going on I also really limit my Vis my visibility Uh I don't need to read every comment I Don't need to look at every email or Every tweet I have 15 minutes each day Where I go through my social media Platforms look at generally what is the Reaction been Maybe include that in my assessment of How I want to tackle a certain issue if I missed a good point or something like That and basically try to move on when Something like we've talked about at the Beginning happens it becomes obsessive I Mean it's unhealthy right where I'm Going oh my God who's attacking me now And scrolling it it becomes uh you know I'm sweating it's horrible but I think This like limiting exposure to that and Remembering that it is impossible to Please everybody yeah and so I'd really Rather have fresh genuine views each day Rather than views that are sort of like Uh restricted and flattened by what I Perceive to be people's preferences

Uh so just can you speak a little more To the full process of creating the David backman show like what as you wake Up because you're doing Five shows a week I have the Letterman Schedule which means I do five shows in Four days I shoot Monday to Thursday but We're doing five episodes basically uh Our guests we schedule in advance I'm Picking six to eight stories each day That are like I said a blend of stuff I Think will be interesting things I want To talk about and things where there's It's being discussed at one layer and I Want to go deeper on it and I feel like I'm able to do that I choose those stories in the morning Record in the early afternoon and we put The show out by that afternoon What the preparation what's the how do You take notes Uh are you on a sheet of paper no sheets Of paper anymore I used to do sheets of Paper I found something about it like it Worked the tactile nature of it it Became inconvenient for sharing the Notes with my team but basically we use A Wiki type system it's called media Wiki which is basically like a Wikipedia Clone old school yeah old school so we Can have Pages for every guest every Topic oh that's interesting I haven't Heard that yeah we I don't know anyone Else was using it it works really well

It it's so fast and it takes up almost No space so it just is a really good Tool uh when my team you know when we Book a guest and they have notes from The publicist they'll put it in there And then I can access it so I'm Basically working off of notes rather Than a script I'll pull any audio visual Stuff that I want so that that's Available Um and it's I mean it's it's really a uh Very seamless you know we're doing this Every day four days a week and so we Have it down to a well-oiled machine Where do you get ideas Everywhere Um I have A bunch of subreddits that I follow that I think are talking about interesting Things I have a curated list for which I Still use Twitter and it is very good For this it's a curated private list of Journalists that I think are doing Interesting work so I'll see what's There look at the sort of standard news Reporting wire Services AP and Reuters Glance at what everything from drudge to CNN to whoever is covering that day look At Google News How do you try to fact check Stuff on your own show it's like is There sources or is there a process I Always try to get to a primary source First and foremost for the facts of the

Story and then I'll use other tools for Background research oftentimes Wikipedia's footnotes I find to be Useful tools chat GPT is a good one it You really have to fact check it but It'll give you ideas of where to do the Fact checking which I think is fantastic Sometimes it gives me information it's Flat out wrong and when you ask for the Source it's like oh yeah that actually Is not real Um which is okay it's part part of the Process yeah but um and then when There's like an expertise type of thing If it's a breaking legal matter I'll Just call like a friend who's a lawyer Or call a friend who's a doctor or Something like that if it lends itself To that let me ask you about the nature Of Truth do you think it's becoming more And more difficult to know what is true And will become continuously continue to Get more difficult especially with GPT I Think the big difficulty Is in getting people to agree as to what Is a statement of fact and what is a Statement of opinion I think once we can Do that reasonable people can more or Less agree on how to get to the truth or If we can't get to it at least figure Out how we would if the information were Available but the at the bigger Challenge I'm having is Someone will call in with an opinion

But say they want to talk about fact And I have to explain to them you're Talking about an opinion and not a fact And this goes back to the lack of Critical thinking and lack of media Literacy uh but that's the bigger Challenge for me right now but I mean I Think the big statements are always Going to be somewhat opinions Like um Was the Palek was the 2020 election Fair I think any answer to that is an opinion I disagree if we Define fair Well yes so then I don't think it's Possible to Define fair in a way that's Not several paragraphs where each Sentence it now has has facts right Right so you what do you mean by fair is It uh who can show up to vote what was The process of how easy it is to vote uh Was there actual uh cheating going on in Different like what is the evidence of That cheating you have to actually get To the actual like details of a thing High level Know uh everything is just going to be An opinion it feels like And you can approximate that to be like It's a well-founded opinion well most of Science is an opinion even physics is an Opinion so like I think there's a Threshold Beyond which an opinion Becomes like uh this is a pretty

Reliable thing to assume for now that This is okay so let me revise so I think Maybe better said I think that the difficulty I mean it is the process you described Is probably the right process and is It's exhausting for mundane things and That causes major problems if we were to Say Is it better for the economy to have a Tax rate on people making over a million Dollars that's 20 or 50 okay what do we Mean by better for the economy It's not an overwhelming task to decide On that we could say well we'll say it's Better for the economy by looking at What was the unemployment rate based on The tax rate on million you know people Earning a million a year and what was GDP and whatever okay we've we've agreed This is a statement we are now in the Realm of just determining what is given The parameters that we've established I Think that that's that's relatively Doable the issue Is with the bigger ones like you're Talking about where what do we mean by a Fair election and fair in whose eyes and But I I am with you that it often Devolves into a conversation about Opinions about what is fair rather than An ascertainment of the facts yeah and It feels like maybe avoiding some of These big

Maybe there's some trigger words too Maybe avoiding them allows you to Actually talk about the facts and Through that educate yourself and learn About like uh whether the virus leaked From a lab or not To me it was always a super interesting Question I don't know why I already got Super touchy about it uh most of the People I know colleagues biologists Thought It's pretty good likelihood that a leak From a lab given everything they just Didn't the evidence is not there for a Either one and so like you should be Able to just openly talk about it unless You're in the uh High political office Where there could be geopolitical Consequences to your statements but in General it's an interesting question you Should be able to talk about it but There's no first of all there's not many Facts around there unfortunately And a lot of the conclusive statements About especially in the early days were Just opinions and so you have to The idea of what is true and uh becomes A little Even mentioning the word truth in that Context it feels um Divisive yeah I completely agree with You which is strange like it really you You think it shouldn't one of the really Good opening questions that I've had

Worked to my advantage when talking with People who I know disagree with me about A contentious topic is how do you think We would figure out X And it often gets people thinking first Collaboratively and obviously we might Have very different opinions but with Something like the covet lab leak I Think it's an interesting one because if You say okay maybe at least maybe it Didn't how would we figure that out who Would we trust to weigh in on that what Evidence would count now we're kind of On the same team and then if we can Establish that then we're on a search For capital T truth together or whatever It's kind of pie in the sky but in some Conversations I've actually had success With that and then you can kind of Realize If uh if there's no amount of evidence That's going to prove a show to you that You're wrong in your current opinion That that's probably a really bad sign For you it's a waste it may be a waste To pursue the conversation further at That point yeah yeah what oh so okay you Think Trump was a good president How do you determine that and what Evidence might exist that would change Your mind there is no evidence Trump was The best president ever I think the Conversation is probably done except Abraham Lincoln right

Uh you mentioned Israel Palestine well What do you think about the situation in Israel and Palestine something you've Thought about spoken about for quite a Time do you think we'll ever see peace In this part of the world I don't know you know I mean I could say Yes honest answer I could say yes I I The you know one of the problems is and I'll give you may not know that the There are people on the left of my Audience who call me a Netanyahu shill Even though I've never been a supporter Of Netanyahu and I'm I'm on the left I Just don't think that some of the Uh kind of black and white Characterizations about Israel are even Remotely accurate and I think most People it's become a sort of litmus test Are you criticizing Israel enough are You showing us that you're actually Left-wing I don't do any of that stuff I Should really look at the situation for What it is that's become a litmus test In American politics uh in the spectrum Of American politics yes Um my view big picture is that uh I Don't Think we're going to really get anywhere Until Some Pre-negotiated terms are set and the Parties to do the negotiating are all Good faith parties for example I don't

Think Israel's right-wing party likud is A particularly good faith Arbiter of Peace because I think likud benefits From their not being peace and the Threat of violence and there is violence It's not just the threat of violence I Don't think Hamas is going to be an Arbiter of peace for the Palestinian People either I think the Palestinian Authority is a question mark I'm not Sure so I think that there need to be Some preconditions that would need to be Set with regard to everything from Settlements to a lot of this minutia big Picture though if I imagine what the Most likely solution looks like it Doesn't mean it's a perfect solution and Obviously it's a solution many people Will say it's not it's not going to Happen I think it's a solution where the Borders are similar to what was being Discussed in the Clinton era to some Degree as many of the settlements as Possible have to go understanding that Some of the bigger ones are just not Going to go and there's going to have to Be meaningful land swaps with which Yasser Arafat seem to be amenable to When he weighed in on it I believe it Was in the 90s the topic of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem Etc is a complicated One but I think that almost certainly Um East Jerusalem is going to have to be Part of an eventual Palestinians day you

Know I mean like we can go as kind of as Far as as we want to with a lot of this Stuff what role does us have to play in This coming to the table with good faith Parties I don't know whether the I go Back and forth between believing that The U.S should play a big role to the U.S should play essentially no role Whatsoever because uh of course of the Funding of Israel that the U.S provides Will the you I don't it's not that I Have a personal problem with American Involvement and somebody like Bill Clinton was arguably relatively well Positioned to try to make something Happen it's more just will there will it Be seen as credible on the global stage And that's I think the most important Thing because at the end of whatever Negotiation takes place both sides need To agree that this is where we are Renouncing all past claims and in the Future if there's a disagreement we Can't go back to that thing from the 80s Or the 90s that's just like a critical Piece of this yeah it has to be stable And uh You know Um materialize into something stable Over years yes Another Difficult conflict going on in the world Is the war in Ukraine what do you think About the Russian invasion of Ukraine in

February 2022 I don't pretend to be an expert on this Issue I think you probably know more About this than I do just from the brief Conversation we had before we started Filming my view as a general Observer of Geopolitics and the way that this area This part of the world is related to American Presidents over the last Several you know Cycles is I don't think It's controversial to say that this was A war of aggression an invasion of Aggression and active aggression by Vladimir Putin Um I Do believe that If Trump had been re-elected Putin may have seen himself as having Other tools with which to try to Um expand influence that may have been Different than geographical uh Pursuits Geographic Pursuits uh but I we don't Know that for sure I also have a really hard time imagining What the end of this looks like and That's very scary because Sometimes the most benign end seems to Be that Putin ends up out of power Either through no longer being alive Or deposed in some way it doesn't feel Like that ladder is super likely the Former there's reports about his health I don't know how accurate they are it's Just hard to imagine a face-saving exit

That is going to be Um even remotely uh what's the word it's Not even a question of acceptable just Um it's not satisfying either just just Not tragic I guess is what I'm looking For in terms of uh Putin speaking to the Russian people and being able to figure Out what to say what kind of narrative To say why this board made sense yes Um the same on the Ukrainian side to Figure out how to exit this war yes uh I Mean to some degree it requires Russian Troops leaving Ukraine and that is Somewhat under the control I mean if of Course it's not up to Ukraine whether The initiative continues but what I am Not thrilled with are some of the Reflexive you know if Trump had been in Power instead of Joe Biden A lot of the reflexive uh comments about Oh you're if you if you say Ukraine is Just acting defensively you're Supporting neo-nazis or some of these Things that have come out of the American Republican Party Seem both wacky and like they would be Saying completely different things if Trump happened to be in the Oval Office They're really proxy attacks on Joe Biden yeah well that in some sense Ukraine is also kind of political litmus Test How you speak about it I think because Of the huge amount of funding that's

Going uh from U.S to Ukraine Um maybe you can correct me if I'm wrong But it seems to It seems to me that this topic has Become politicized already 100 there are People like Marjorie Taylor green and Others saying we should be doing nothing For Ukraine zolenski is a comedian and We're supporting neo-nazis that's it Full stop and you either subscribe to That Um or you don't and it very quickly Becomes Um it very quickly becomes as partisan As so many other issues and it's really The the most disappointing thing is that Some of these issues become incredible Devices divisive but they're simple like For example a conspiracy theory that we Know isn't true it shouldn't be devices Divisive because it's so simple other Issues become divisive and they are Simplified but in reality they are Extraordinarily complex and you lose the Ability to talk about the complexity Because they're becoming partisan uh do You think there will always be war in The world There's a bunch of folks in the Subreddit that were interested in your Different complex doesn't foreign policy So let's talk about war When you look at the war in Ukraine You look at what's going on in Israel

And Palestine you look at the wars Across the world do you think there will Always be War as a redditor put it is it A necessary evil in the game of Geopolitics I used to have what I now Believe is an extremely naive Perspective which is that if we some how If Ali intelligent aliens arrived here It would be so momentous for Homo Sapiens that all of our differences Would immediately be exposed to so Insignificant we would never fight again And we would realize that intelligent Life and then I spoke to people who deal In space exploration and other other Sciences and they all said that's David That's extraordinarily naive there would Be a period during which this was as Momentous as you're imagining and then It would become normal and then we would Go back to many of the same conflicts That we have now sectarian Etc I think that in all likelihood there Will always be Conflict between factions whether it's What we currently think of as War Probably not I mean it seems as though The tactics will evolve and it will be Less about missiles and I don't know Where it's going to go I don't know Whether it's going to become more Biological or cyber or certainly Something we haven't even considered yet But I think there will always be

Conflicts we would refer to in that way Do you agree with Charles key on the his General harsh criticism of U.S foreign Policy in war that's Many actions military actions in the United States are criminal in nature Almost terrorists in nature I am not It's been a decade or more since I've Read any Chomsky and I don't keep up With everything that he has recently Said so I don't want to mischaracterize Any of it in general Americans are Sold the view that were the good guys Spreading Freedom across the world and Knowing Chomsky takes a perspective that Yeah but if you look at the number of Civilians you kill while doing it it's Incomparable to any other military Actions across the world right so I very Much disagree with those who take the View that the US is this Um wonderful Global police force that's Spreading democracy and fixing problems Very very much wrong I think where I've had disagreements With Chomsky in the past is more he Framed he seems to frame the us as a Uniquely bad actor in some of these Cases and I think it's more an Outcropping of the size and wealth of The US and less about uniquely negative Intentions and so I think that would be My general disagreement with Chomsky Based on stuff I read a decade well he

Says that he lives the United States He's an American and so he feels his Focus of criticism should be in America And I think that's one of the great Things about being an American and being In America Is the freedom to criticize harshly sure While being a university Professor by The way Um he's basically the embodiment of why 10 years a really valuable thing I agree Whether you agree with him or not a Question from Reddit Ask David what he plans for his garden This year is this a joke or is it not a Joke I got into gardening a few years Ago Honestly I'm with the baby yeah I can't Do a garden this year it's just and I Have a lot of travel coming up so Everything would die but I did start to Try to figure out gardening if you're Stressed by the toxicity of the social Media World gardening is a great hobby It really is Um but it is extraordinarily time Consuming so I have no Garden planned This year Um other books uh or maybe movies in Your life That had a big impact on you That you know you're thinking about that Diet Has has there been stuff you read forget

It about even just books like blogs or Writers or just sources of information That had Uh that molded you into the intellectual Into the political think there that you Are it's so hard this is sort of like You know you win an Oscar and you you Want to make sure you thank all the Right people I I read so much and have Been reading for so long that it's Really hard to say but I think certainly Um for me narrative non-fiction Has been a fantastic genre to learn not Only about history but also about people And psychology and very often when People say I don't really read like what Can you recommend to me that might be Interesting all depending on you know Knowing them to some degree I'll give recommendations there in terms Of of um just things I picked up Recently that that I think are Interesting Um I've been reading uh a bunch of Neil Postman I read a Jenny O'Dell has a new Book on time and the concept of like Saving Time spending time Etc she just Published it super interesting I just Read Um lansing's book about the Shackleton Voyage in Antarctica in 1914 15 and 16. Super interesting I'm really all over The map I have that one on audiobook I've been me to listen to It's very

Interesting and it seems inconceivable How these guys survived it completely Inconceivable and yet they did Uh it kind of inspires you to think of Uh space exploration and taking on Similar kinds of risky and dangerous Journeys uh in narrative nonfiction I Agree with you very much I've been Reading a lot of 20th century history Um about Stalin And about Hitler rise and fall the Third Reich I've read twice now and I Recommend What did you get out of reading it the Second time Uh So would I uh Uh so the second time I listened to the Audiobook okay as I ran I get the same Thing from it uh as I get maybe reading Uh man search for meaning which is um All the Troubles of day-to-day in the Modern world kind of uh fade away and Dissipate when I'm thinking about the uh You know basically the embodiment of Evil at scale At that recent time in human history so It's it makes me sort of appreciate all The it fills me with gratitude to have All the freedoms all the just simple Joys of life that we have today And um I think the second time I was as I was Reading it uh because William Shire was

There he's the the author he was Directed the whole thing you said to Pick up little details as opposed to Like big things you start to pick up the Little quirks Of uh how history terms and just like These little events you notice of the Dynamics between people in a room during A meeting with Hitler you just notice These little things that are mentioned Because like he was either there Directly or referred uh the next day so You get that's why to me Um rise and fall the Third Reich is Interesting is because it's by a guy Who's there who's reporting on it Um versus a sort of a more distant uh Displaced every time and I also like Biographies I'm a big fan of biographies And um Walter Isaac says she's wearing Some incredible ones and Steve Jobs and And Einstein all that kind of stuff Um Victor Frankel's book is one I've Read a bunch of times yeah and it's so Short and yeah you know reading in General I know a lot of people who read Way more than I do and I also know a lot Of people who don't read at all I mean They haven't read a book since since College essentially to me it's almost Like the amount I get from it it's Almost like a secret weapon where when I Think you know in two or three or four Hundred Pages which I can read in

Whatever 10 days or however long it Takes reading 30 pages a day The amount of information Insights into so many aspects of the Human psyche that I can get it's sort of Like it's not like I'm in a competition For anything in particular with anybody I just do my show but it's sort of like If I'm reading dozens of books a year And you're reading zero I'm exposed to So many different things and ideas that Are not even in your Universe it just Seems like the the power of reading just Seems overwhelming And I I had uh speaking of getting Attacked I had a fun time getting Attacked uh a few months ago for Publishing a reading list some um Reading at least a book A Week Read Um 18 or 19 books from the beginning of The year and I got attacked for the Books you chose or for this is I don't Know for what oh but it got became quite Viral attack for reading that's that's Something uh so it's basically what Happened is that people I I actually Don't it it's not worth folks who know Fair of folks who don't don't even worry About it it's the what I really loved About being attacked for it Is it shows you can get attacked for Anything apparently it's so it's not Like I did something wrong it was kind

Of a beautiful thing and it was Uh the most intensely beautiful display Of absurdity of Twitter and the internet That there would be there were articles Written about me with the book list Um there's no bad books on it the thing I was being mocked for is reading Dostoyevsky reading stuff that uh sounds Like a high school reading list oh I see Or all these kinds of aspects of the Reading list which Doesn't stand up to any sort of Legitimate kind of criticism but the Fact that people are just looking for Single words or single aspects of a Tweet and so on to criticize this yeah And um actually forced me to because I Released a video about you know Summarizing my takeaways from from one Of the books and I've been meaning to do More and more but every time I started To like Want to record it I have this negative feeling they kind Of ruin the fun of sharing with us I Know exactly what you're talking about My advice on that is don't do it just Don't record it yeah because and and is That what you did yeah but I I I think Time cures it but for now I decided not To yes it's just until I'm until I feel Joy when I do it yeah we are in such a Privileged position to even be able to Do this sort of thing right I have taken

On projects and then it sort of sounds Good or I end up doing it because There's some third party that brings the Idea and I feel like I can't really say No or whatever And then when I get in front of the Camera or I have to write something for A while I did a newspaper column that I Hated doing I realized that I'm ruining The exact thing that I have worked to Build which is that I can just do Whatever I want why am I doing this and Sometimes it takes me a week to realize It sometimes it takes me a year But just don't do it that's the in this Case in particular it's also that There's a private thing I enjoy which is Reading right and if sharing that Private thing you enjoy is not fun then Just don't share it that that's um Yeah there's certain things there's Certain private things that should Remain private That's like which is one of the first Things ever I'm I'm the same person Probably as I am publicly but the books It's like man I don't get to share I Guess through these conversations I can Uh share some of the stuff I'm reading And enjoying it because it sucks it Sucks to get attacked for stuff and it Sucks to get attacked for stuff you love Yeah especially reading I mean it's uh You know that's the the bottom of the

Barrel I have these ideas where I'll go You know maybe for my next thing I'll go From politics which is so toxic I'll go To travel blogging because I there's so Many travel bloggers I follow and There's so many interesting places and Then I go wait a second I like traveling And just hanging out now traveling is Going to be my job and now I've got to Bring two cameras with me and I've got To get shots and I've got to film my Food and I'm not gonna do that I'm just Gonna do what I'm doing but then I'll Travel when I want to take a vacation And of course some of it could be fun I Mean I I have to say when I did the one Video on a book in 1984 I really enjoyed It that whole process was fun it was um Um I don't think I've ever thought as hard About a book when I had to make a video About it because I had to like you know I read 1984 I know many times probably Five ten times I don't remember Um I read Animal Farm way more uh but I Don't think I was like what do I think About like what are the key takeaways For me it I didn't really know like if You ask me what I think about even Animal Farm because I haven't done that One and I've read that one I don't know Over 50 times it's probably my favorite Book it's like I would have to struggle And making a video about it but

Basically a little mini lecture yeah Forced me to actually have an opinion About the details of it and to do enough Research to think like okay what is the Historical context of this book I mean It it allowed me to say interesting and To think interesting stuff about the Book I it was I found it to be really Rewarding to basically the old Feynman Thing uh one of the best ways to learn Is to teach yeah I can't think of one Thing I would say about animal farm and I read it again not that long ago but I Don't know what comments you kind of Have a generic comment yeah like uh Authoritarianism and so on whatever yeah But there could be interesting quirks of The book and the characters and the how Uh how corruption happens you could you Could say all kinds of stuff that it may Be contrasting it like even with 1984 it Allowed me to contrast with Brave New World and Um And uh and how that 1984 was politicized And how it's used by the Republican Party of today like you could say a lot Of interesting stuff if you like think About it and write it down on a sheet of Paper maybe you don't need to make a Video about it so I found it to be Really rewarding in general so I I Probably will do more of it but not Always not as a mean professional just

Like with the travel blog I agree with That I mean you get threatened a lot you get Attacked a lot online do you think about Your mortality Well the other day I went to the doctor And he said you know next physical we're Going to be talking about a lot of new Things and so I was thinking about it a Lot that day yeah uh no I mean Um it's funny I like I recently did a Bunch of estate stuff yeah and when you Have intellectual property there's a Question of like okay I have my assets But also If I died tomorrow especially in a Particularly fiery death my YouTube Channel would probably for a while Generate more money because it would be Like oh my goodness this person died in A terrible what happens with a future Revenue stream and all these different Things and it got me thinking about Legacy and about the fact that people Who do this sort of thing it's kind of a New thing in a sense and so you know if You work at ABC News at some point you Just retire and someone else fills in For you How does my career wind down given like I don't actually know the answer I'm not Sure Um what is it I just one day stopped Posting videos

But all my content stays up getting Fewer and fewer views or do I delete Everything do I I don't know what it What is the guy I mean so you my trip to Ukraine because I knew I was going to The front is the first time I did uh I Record a video if I die oh and I post it And give instructions to uh to folks What to do in the so like there's a Closure yeah but it's an interesting Process like what happened this year at Which point does GPT take over and Continue tweeting for David Packer well The tweeting I care less about right now Unless blue becomes something Unbelievable I'm less worried about Twitter but Some of my audience members have been Saying you know some of these tools David are getting good enough that we Could clone your voice and also make it Match video and with scripts you could Just keep pumping out content even if You were gone and I said now that I'm Interested in that I want to learn more About Boy it's going to be a weird future uh What advice do you have to young folks That are facing this future Almost always it's some version of Start right away and that applies in so Many different ways sure so if you're Thinking about oftentimes the context is People want to do what I do and I always

Say Do not sit around for a year Thinking about lighting This is how you never do anything and I Dozens of people who I felt obligated to Talk to on the phone because of a Personal connection I go through all the Advice and I can tell They're not going to do it they just They're it's already sounding too Complicated and so instead they'll sort Of say well I gotta get the right Lighting in the right room and the best Thing you can do no matter what you're Doing is just start right away and that Applies in this business and in whatever Else you're doing if you want to learn a New thing find a new hobby the ability To get data right away about what's Working what's not working and whether You even like this approach that you're Taking is so valuable and it will allow You to iterate and the sooner you do it The cost to a change of direction will Also be lower If there's any I don't do like self-help Or generic advice type stuff but the one Thing that applies in so many situations Is situations is just try it right away And iterate from there yeah start today And then do it every day Or decide hey you know what I figured Out I don't actually want to do it Yeah considerate yeah uh well usually You'll discover you you do

You think we'll make it out of the Century Humanity human civilization out Of the so like to 2100 yeah how much we Got 80 years Yeah uh 77s You think so yeah uh what are the Biggest threats facing our civilization Um I I actually think that uh If you believe That we are on an inflection point of Sorts in changes to society and Acceleration of Technology Etc I think It's really tough to know in 2090 what Will actually be the biggest threat so I Don't know it's so cliche to say nuclear And climate change and another pandemic Technologically the world might look so Different than this yes Unimaginable what it means to be human Is unimaginable and also Um the degree that we make progress out Into space Is also unimaginable I think space is Super interesting and there's people on Both the left and right who for Different reasons are kind of not into The whole space exploration thing the People I hear from the ones on the right Think it's just kind of dumb the ones on The left think it's an excuse not to fix Problems here I think also uh they say It's the play thing of billionaires sure Which is another funny kind of concept Yeah I mean someone's got to pay for it

Uh why not be people who have a lot of Money to to either be billionaires or Governments that are trillionaires or Somebody has to pay for big ambitious Moonshot projects to me the most Interesting thing is that In getting closer to the next step of Space exploration we may well learn Things that can then be used to improve Circumstances here for me it's not one Or the other and I recently read a long Piece about Why why not Mars because it's terrible In every way for supporting life okay so Like that's one perspective but still in So exploring who knows what we might end Up learning so I I'm I'm big on it I Don't um share the view of some on the Left about it so I guess to add to your Advice to young people if a thing seems Terrible you still might want to Consider doing it I would say so yeah How many things have seen I mean listen There are so many trips where the day Before I say Why am I doing this the jet lag I've Gotta do this and that and now who if my Guest host falls through I should just Stay and work and I go hold on You do this every time yep just go you Never regret it you learn something you Try something I never regret the trip Hopefully applies to the conversation we

Had today uh David I'm a big fan of Yours thank you so much for talking Today thank you for being patient with Me we tried to talk earlier Um please continue doing what you're Doing please uh continue being objective And thoughtful and uh Fearless thank you On the internet big fan of yours as well I appreciate it Thanks for listening to this Conversation with David packman to Support this podcast please check out Our sponsors in the description and now Let me leave you with some words from Mahatma Gandhi What difference does it make to the Dead The orphans and the homeless Whether the Mad destruction is wrought Under the name of totalitarianism or in The Holy Name of Liberty or democracy Thank you for listening and hope to see You next time

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