Etcetera #9: United States In Context
Streets filled with alt-right and antifa protestors. Words met with violence. A House and Senate sharply and at times bitterly opposed to those on the other side of the political aisle. A president whose character and demeanor have divided the nation perhaps more than any other president in recent memory.
How do understand where we are today in the context of the history of the United States? Tom Gordon, professor of history at Northwestern Michigan College for the past twenty years, joins us this week to give our current events an important and insightful historical context.
As always, you can listen to this podcast on Soundcloud; we also encourage you to become part of the conversation by posting thoughts on this page or on our Facebook page. Meanwhile, if you are interested in reading more on the topics discussed, check out these two book recommendations from Mr. Gordon: Amusing Ourselves To Death, by Neil Postman; and Actors, Athletes and Astronauts, by David Canon.
Also, here are some links related to our discussion. I tried to avoid really specific topics (first hundred days, staff turnover, executive orders, approval ratings, etc) in favor of a historical comparison.
- "Challenging a president always means breaking from the party base; the base never breaks first."
- "4 American Presidents With Trump-Like Traits."(PBS) This is from before the election.
- "How Trump stacks up to Reagan, JFK and other presidential greats." (Market Watch)
- "Is Trump 'un-presidential'? Not compared to some past presidents." (Christian Science Monitor) This was from before the election.
- "Fire & tear gas: 9 biggest protests in U.S. history." (HLN)
- "Reflections on Violence in the United States." (The Baffler)