Matthew Sitman is a journalist and political commentator. Sitman was raised in central Pennsylvania and attended Grove City College. He received his Ph.D. in political theory from Georgetown University. He taught in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia and, most recently, was the literary editor of the popular news and culture website, The Dish.
Matt and Sam welcome Yale historian Samuel Moyn to the show for a deep-dive into the Never Trump movement.  Who are the Never Trumpers? How seriously should we take the heroic story they tell about themselves? Did they sink Bernie's campaign for the Democratic nomination? Have they reckoned with their role in paving the way for Trump?  In trying to answer these questions the conversation moves from the baleful influence of Never Trumpers to a discussion of historical debates about over the rise of fascism, the perils of "tyrannophobia," and the possibilities for breaking through the hegemony of neoliberals and neoconservatives in our political life.Further Reading:Samuel Moyn, "The Never Trumpers Have Already Won" (New Republic)Robert P. Saldin and Steven M. Teles, "Don't Blame Never Trumpers for the Left's Defeat" (New Republic)Samuel Moyn and David Priestland, "Trump Isn't a Threat to Our Democracy. Hysteria Is" (New York Times)Samuel Moyn, "Interview: We Can't Settle for Human Rights" (Jacobin)Sam Adler-Bell, "The Remnant and the Restless Crowd" (Commonweal)Matthew Sitman, "Riding the Trump Tiger" (Commonweal)Pankaj Mishra, "The Mask It Wears" (London Review of Books)John Ganz, "Finding Neverland: The American Right's Doomed Quest to Rid Itself of Trumpism" (New Republic)Marshall Steinbaum, "Guardians of Property" (Jacobin)Books Cited:Robert P. Saldin and Steven M. Teles, Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elite (Oxford University Press)Samuel Moyn, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (Harvard University Press)James Chappel, Catholic Modern : The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church (Harvard University Press)...and don't forget to support Know Your Enemy on Patreon for bonus episodes! 
Matt and Sam are joined by two special guests, Sarah Jones and Marshall Steinbaum, who return to the show to take stock of where we're at: our failed response to the pandemic, the connections between the pandemic and the protests, and how all this might play out in November.  The four of us range widely—but be warned, this is not the most inspiring conversation. Are there any reasons to be hopeful? Listen and find out.Sources Cited and Further Reading:Eric Levitz, "Coronavirus is Killing Our Economy because It Was Already Sick" (New York Magazine)Sam Adler-Bell, "Conservative Incoherence" (Dissent)Sarah Jones, "Eugenics Isn't Going to Get Us Out of This Mess" (New York Magazine)Sarah Jones, "The Coronavirus Class War" (New York Magazine)Matthew Sitman, "Why the Pandemic is Driving Conservative Intellectuals Mad" (The New Republic)Know Your Enemy bonus episode: What Are Intellectuals Good For? (with further thoughts on the protests that followed George Floyd's murder)
There's been no shortage of commentary on the rise of the "nones," those Americans who claim no religious affiliation, a trend especially notable among younger people. But that doesn't mean we live in a secular age. Matt and Sam talk to Tara Isabella Burton about her new book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, and the way our search for meaning and the need for ritual has met our neoliberal economic order.  What does this spiritual churn mean for our politics? Why do reactionary ideas find a ready audience among those disillusioned with modern life? We take up these questions and more in a wide-ranging conversation about the way we live now.Sources and Recommended Reading:Tara Isabella Burton, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless WorldTara Isabella Burton, "Christianity Gets Weird" (New York Times)Daniel José Camacho, "The Racial Aesthetic of Burton's 'Weird Christians'" (Sojourners)Michael Anton, "Are the Kid Al(t)right?" (Claremont Review of Books) 
Matt and Sam are joined by writer and editor Shuja Haider to discuss a topic near and dear to all of our hearts: country music. We talk about country's conservative reputation, the problems with (and virtues of) Ken Burns's recent documentary about country music, and the humane politics that arise from acknowledging—as the best country songs do—our collective frailty. Plus, a bunch of great music recommendations for your quarantine listening.A playlist featuring every song we mention in the episode, plus a few more bangers can be accessed here.Further Reading:Matthew Sitman, "E Pluribus Country," Dissent, Winter 2020.Shuja Haider, "The Empty Jukebox: Johnny Paycheck and the Return of the Repressed in Country Music," Viewpoint,  March 10, 2015Shuja Haider, "A World That Draws a Line: Interracial Love Songs in American Country Music," Viewpoint, March 1, 2017Shuja Haider, "Canon Fodder," Popula, Sept 13, 2018Cole Stangler, "Emotional Archaeology: An Interview With Ken Burns," Commonweal, Sept 13, 2019Shuja Haider, "The Invention of Twang," The Believer, Aug 1, 2019Shuja Haider, "Somebody Had to Set a Bad Example," Popula, Nov 14, 2018Nick Murray, "The Other Country," LA Review of Books, Nov 1, 2018Jesse Montgomery, "African Chant," Popula, Sept 18, 2018
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Creator Details

Episode Count
27
Podcast Count
4
Total Airtime
1 day, 11 hours
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 080600