Nov 20, 2020

Matt Yglesias On The Patriotism Of Immigrants, Pro-Trump Minorities, Why Progressives Should Celebrate Progress

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Unafraid conversations about anything

Matt Yglesias, contrarian progressive, joins the Dishcast to discuss the fallout of the 2020 election and his new book, “One Billion Americans,” a patriotic case for making America greater by inviting more immigrants. In the episode we talk about the 2020 election, wokeness and media, the cancel culture on the right, the progressives who find patriotism hokey, the black voters who support Biden more than white liberals do, Matt’s dissent over my use of “Christianists,” the importance of real diversity in newsrooms, and the lack of it in places like the NYT.

Matt also describes how taken aback he was by the progressive backlash over his piece, “Black Lives Matter activism is working,” which celebrated the fact that police shootings of black Americans declined after Ferguson. To listen to that excerpt, along with another one discussing pro-Trump minorities, head to our YouTube page.

(You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player embedded above, or right below it you can click “Listen in podcast app” — which will connect you to the Dishcast feed, allowing all future episodes to come right to your smartphone.)

Thanks for all the reader feedback over the Dishcast so far. At first we had some complaints over the volume levels, since podcasts tend to run quieter as an industry standard, and it’s awkward talking directly into mics, but we’ve adjusted some things and hope this new episode hits the sweet spot. As with everything Dish, the podcast is a work in progress. Here’s a reader responding to the episode with Coleman Hughes:

Best part of the podcast: When you interrupted Coleman. You corrected him and said it was “LGBTQ-PLUS, you bigot!” That’s good times! And it was dialogue. More back-and-forth with the podcast would be nice. At times, it seemed like the conversation was a taking-turns of 4-minute monologues.

2nd best part: You talked about how every gay person is born almost with a tabula rasa of what life is like as a gay person in America. And because of that, there's little cultural/historical gay culture passed down to you. And because of that, individual gay people have a unique individual perspective of America’s treatment of minorities.

And that got Coleman excited. You could tell his mind perked up at this novel insight. Which led to his best part of the podcast: talking about how it’s not quite the same for a young black person as it is for a young gay person, but it is becoming more so. The level of racism he faces is less than his father faced, which was less than his grandfather faced, etc.

Anyway, good job in your 2nd podcast. Advice: More debate. Think of your favorite debates with Hitch. Push your guests’ views. Advice: More lefties. Leftist ideology needs to be challenged, and I nominate you as a champion to do it. Get Ezra. Get Maddow. Get Maher (not a Lefty lefty). Get MSNBC people. Get people with whom you disagree strongly.

Good advice, and stay tuned. Hopefully my conversation with Yglesias assuaged this next reader a bit:

Your podcast with Coleman Hughes was enjoyable, and I agree with your views around the “woke” movement and how the term “white supremacy” has permeated our society in a way that is damaging to our democracy. However, I kept thinking how powerful the podcast would have been if you had had a moderate progressive voice to add to the conversation. I don’t mean someone like AOC, but maybe Pete Buttigieg or Andrew Yang, or a center-left voice from a red state I haven’t heard of. 

Lately, I have been drawn to the center right so I can listen and reflect on some persuasive arguments. I am sick and tired of the extremes and just recently canceled my subscription to the NYT. You, more than a lot of people I listen to, could build that bridge between the center left and the center right. We need a movement in this country, and its voices like yours that contribute to that debate.

As always, keep the feedback and dissent coming, as well as recommendations for guests and topics: