On the latest Reason podcast, Nick Gillespie and Reason magazine editor in chief Katherine Mangu-Ward are joined by Andrew Ferguson, a staffer at The Weekly Standard and author of a series of best-selling books ranging from Land of Lincoln to Crazy U.
The choice between leading presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been likened to having to decide between being shot and being poisoned, contracting different sorts of STDs, or electing a giant douche versus a turd sandwich. So which is it? And how do we feel about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate who is polling at historically high numbers yet still manages to disappoint somehow? (Here’s a clue: One of us calls him a “buffoon,” another is unimpressed but less caustic, and a third says nice things). While Donald Trump has been rising slightly in the poll, does his likely defeat portend a conservative and Republican crackup that will force the right to rethink a process and set of positions that has kept them out of the White House since George W. Bush left with historically high disapproval numbers?
Mangu-Ward discusses her lead piece in the new issue of Reason (currently available only to subscribers), in which she praises American free-speech laws and traditions even as they permit all sorts of crazy talk to flourish:
There’s something heartening, however, to be found in the deep awfulness of [Donald Trump's] public statements over the years: the fact that he remains a free man despite uttering them. Because in quite a few otherwise civilized countries, a good deal of what leaves the GOP presidential nominee’s mouth on the topic of Muslims, women, and Mexicans could land him in jail.
And Ferguson explains his description of Tom Wolfe as “America’s greatest living essayist” and his new book, The Kingdom of Speech, as doing to uncritical evolutionary scientists what previous tomes did to artists and architects.
It’s a lively, fast-paced, and intermittently nasty conversation. Listen by clicking below. Produced by Ian Keyser.
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