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(365)

Rank #35 in Documentary category

Society & Culture
News
Politics
Documentary

The United States of Anxiety

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #35 in Documentary category

Society & Culture
News
Politics
Documentary
Read more

The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors past and present who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks — aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had — and we’re asking, “What are you willing to fight for?” WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Nancy, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing With Alec Baldwin and many others.© WNYC Studios

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The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors past and present who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks — aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had — and we’re asking, “What are you willing to fight for?” WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Nancy, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing With Alec Baldwin and many others.© WNYC Studios

iTunes Ratings

365 Ratings
Average Ratings
302
30
11
5
17

It’s back, finally!

By jspeyton - Sep 26 2018
Read more
It’s just as good as always.

More Please

By Chris near Canada - Jun 09 2018
Read more
Keep telling the People’s Stories! I really liked how the second season evolved

iTunes Ratings

365 Ratings
Average Ratings
302
30
11
5
17

It’s back, finally!

By jspeyton - Sep 26 2018
Read more
It’s just as good as always.

More Please

By Chris near Canada - Jun 09 2018
Read more
Keep telling the People’s Stories! I really liked how the second season evolved
Cover image of The United States of Anxiety

The United States of Anxiety

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #35 in Documentary category

Read more

The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America’s political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors past and present who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We’re filling in the blanks — aiming to answer questions you didn’t even know you had — and we’re asking, “What are you willing to fight for?” WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Nancy, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing With Alec Baldwin and many others.© WNYC Studios

Rank #1: Episode 3: This Land Is My Land, That Land Is Your Land

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Tom McCarthy, a retired NYPD detective and lifelong Long Island resident, has spent much of his adult life straddling two very different worlds. Each day he would leave the calm of his suburban community to patrol the notorious Queensbridge housing projects. This was in 1989, at the height of the crack epidemic, and what Tom saw in New York's public housing felt worlds away from his suburban Eden.

But now, the line that once separated Tom’s home from his work feels like it's dissipating. It's exemplified by leafy Suffolk County leading all of New York state in heroin overdose deaths last year.

What's brought about this change in the suburbs? For many, the problems seem to stem not from within, but from the outside, coming over our southern border. Donald Trump has repeatedly bemoaned the crime and drugs that he says Mexican immigrants who are here illegally are bringing into the United States. He has said he'll deport this population and send them to "the back of the line."

But of all the controversial things the Republican nominee has said, sending immigrants here illegally to the back of the line is actually quite mainstream. In fact, it's been advocated by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The idea projects order, fairness and a sense of fairness. There's only one problem, according to Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist who helped to workshop "the back of the line" phrase in the early-2000's: the line doesn't exist, leaving the country's immigration process a hopeless hall of mirrors for people trying to do the right thing and enter the country legally.

Episode Contributors:

Arun Venugopal

Julianne Hing

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 06 2016
31 mins
Play

Rank #2: Episode 4: Down the Rabbit Hole

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So how did we get to this point? Where a nominee for a major party has been heard bragging about assaulting women. The United States of Anxiety has been listening carefully to Trump supporters in an effort to understand this election season.

This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation turn once again to Patty Dwyer. We then go down the rabbit hole with WNYC reporter Matt Katz and take a look at the media landscape that helped create this moment.

Finally, we visit with another Long Island resident, Joselo Lucero. Just after Election Day in 2008, Joselo’s brother, Marcelo Lucero was murdered during the course of a hate crime.

Though separated by years, these two events—the rise of Donald Trump and the murder of Marcelo Lucero—may have arisen from a single reality: individuals listening to inflammatory language.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Matt Katz

Julianne Hing

Karen Frillman

Joseph Capriglione

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

Oct 13 2016
37 mins
Play

Rank #3: Whose Kansas Is it Anyway?

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The city of Olathe, Kansas, has been shaken since February when a man gunned down two Indian immigrants in a bar there. Witnesses say the shooter yelled,  “Go back to your country!” It was the first hate-crime killing after the 2016 presidential election.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal traveled to Kansas to speak with members of the Indian community about how they’re dealing with the deaths, and with their changing status in America. We hear from Professor Raj Bhala, a specialist in international law who is half-Indian and half-Scottish, along with his wife Kara, a Chinese-American woman from Malaysia.

The couple is dreading July 1, when a law allowing the concealed carry of weapons on college campuses goes into effect. Kara Tan Bhala even wrote her U.S. Senators and congresswoman about concerns for her husband's safety. The congresswoman, the only one to reply, sent a defense of the Second Amendment. “It just made me feel as if my voice wasn't being heard in a very conservative state and that perhaps it was time to just take a break from the country and come back when things get better," Tan Bhala said. "I know things go in cycles so the pendulum has swung really one way to quite an extreme. We're waiting for it to swing slowly back.”

But for the first time since the couple arrived in 2003, they are seriously considering leaving the state — and the country. 

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 09 2017
33 mins
Play

Rank #4: The Birth of Climate Denial

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Starting with the 1925 Scopes Trial — also known as the "trial of the century" — we look at one of the most controversial topics in our time: the debate over evolution versus a Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible.

It started with a substitute teacher in Tennessee who believed that evolution should be taught in the classroom. What followed was a fiery debate that rocketed around the world.

The Scopes Trial reminds us that science has often upset the establishment. Kai Wright explores how the powerful have tried to convince us that science gets it wrong.

Then Amanda Aronczyk looks at just when we began to doubt the whole idea of climate change. She’ll take us back to that day in 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen warned the United States Congress that climate change was real. And she reminds us that Republican President George H.W. Bush touted himself as being pro-environment.

“I’m an environmentalist... And I always will be," he said. "And that is not inconsistent with being a businessman. Nor is it with being a conservative.” She then brings us to to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, when action on climate change led to a political divide within the Republican party.

Today, President Trump considers climate change a "hoax" and is considering withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. It's a radical change in 25 years. We'll tell you how we got there.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Amanda Aronczyk

Jillian Weinberger

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 11 2017
37 mins
Play

Rank #5: Episode 5: White Like Me

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Once again, race has become a central issue in a presidential campaign. But this time, it's not all about people of color. It's also about white Americans, and what their place is in 21st century America.

This week, WNYC Studios and The Nation examine the history of what it means and has meant to be white in the United States of America.

WNYC’s Jim O’Grady accompanies journalist Chris Arnade to Long Island. What they find is that as the economy has transitioned away from manual labor, it's struck at the very heart of the way many working-class Americans define masculinity, and, in turn, themselves.

Plus, The Nation’s Kai Wright explores this notion with a group of Italian Americans who document their families' journey from immigrant scapegoats to full-fledged "whiteness."

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O'Grady

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 20 2016
33 mins
Play

Rank #6: How Ivanka Trump And Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal Indictment

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We've got a story from the WNYC newsroom that we really want to share with you. Our WNYC colleagues, Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker investigate how President Trump's two eldest children avoided criminal charges in a probe related to the Trump SoHo. 

Oct 10 2017
18 mins
Play

Rank #7: America's Allergy to Intellect — Why It Keeps Flaring Up

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During the last election, when asked his opinion about experts and intellectuals, Trump supporter Fiore Napolitano voiced a fairly common sentiment from his cohort, "I've got more brains in my little thumb." That made us wonder whether hostility to intellect is an underestimated feature of American politics, which prompted us to formulate some questions.

What's up, America? Why the qualms about erudition and expertise? Where does this wariness spring from, and what role did it play in the rise of Donald Trump — who was opposed by just about every intellectual associated with either party but whose supporters simply did not care about that issue?

We talk to the learned and those who loathe them, including writers and commentators, a neuroscientist, and a gun shop owner in a red-voting part of upstate New York. We quote a fiery pamphlet penned by a yeoman farmer from the Revolutionary Era, and we delve into the 1963 book that describes and frames this issue better and more enduringly than any other.

Jim O’Grady walks us through the centuries-long debate about intellectualism, elitism, and our reverence for the common man.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O'Grady

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 16 2017
27 mins
Play

Rank #8: The New, Old White Supremacist Movement

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At the height of the election season last September, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”  The comments spread like wildfire, and the next day, Clinton walked them back. 

Yet the sentiment that a new movement of white nationalists was growing is true.

Kai Wright takes a look at the so-called “basket of deplorables” and the alt-right movement that has emerged in recent years, from neo-Nazis to people fighting in the so-called “war on men.” He also chats with Note to Self's Manoush Zomorodi and Kat Aaron about how white supremacists are arming themselves online.

“The goal is just chaos. The goal is to shut down civic discourse to make spaces where people are discussing important topics just so toxic that most people shut down,” said Aaron.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jessica Miller

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp


WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jun 06 2017
37 mins
Play

Rank #9: Episode 9: Where Are We Now?

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So, here we are. The race is over and Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States.

WNYC Studios and The Nation take the temperature of the country following the unprecedented election of a consummate political outsider.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal checks-in with Trump supporter Patty Dwyer and gauges her reaction on a come-from-behind political victory that shook the world. The Nation's Julianne Hing reports from Arizona, where the defeat of long-standing anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio is nonetheless tempered by the elevation of Donald Trump.

Plus, Matt Katz and Chris Arnade return to the white working-class voters who propelled Trump to the White House. And Stephen Nessesn returns us to Patchogue to find out how a community that was nearly torn apart by anti-immigrant violence learned to heal and what they're bracing for in Donald Trump's America.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Stephen Nessen

Julianne Hing

Matt Katz

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nationhttp://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Nov 10 2016
47 mins
Play

Rank #10: America's Fourth: Beyond Pie and BBQs

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This fourth of July, one year after the podcast began, we look back at a culture that’s made us so anxious, but also what holds us together, and where we’re going as a nation. Since nothing seems to bind Americans more together than food, we’re starting off with a key marker of American culture--pie. Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann spend some time partaking in a key American tradition-baking a cherry pie.They’ll talk pie-making with food writer Kathy Gunst, coming together in the kitchen and what gets passed down along with a recipe. 

Kai Wright and Karen Frillmann bake a pie.
(Cayce Means)

Then we’ll turn to Nancy Solomon, who's having a BBQ on a very diverse block in New Jersey where everyone from Donald Trump supporters to liberal lesbians live. We’ll hear about their anxieties, and see just what they’re doing to alleviate any potential tensions as the state gears up for a gubernatorial election later this year. Jim O’Grady delves into what exactly the Declaration of Independence means today. Finally, we’ll be listening in to you, and your thoughts and fears, about the cultural wars in America.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jim O’Grady

Arun Venugopal

Nancy Solomon

Karen Frillmann

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Sources:

Professor Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University, author of Original Intents

Professor Andrew Schocket, Bowling Green State University, author of Fighting over the Founders

The New York Public Library and it's original copy of The Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's hand

Jul 04 2017
56 mins
Play

Rank #11: How Politics Turns Violent

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The culture wars of the Boomer generation still shape our politics today. In this episode we look at those culture wars from another vantage point. Instead of focusing on the debates themselves, we ask the question: How do people move from radical politics to political violence?

On June 7, 1970 the group of young radical leftists known as the Weathermen, accidentally detonated bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. Their goal was to bomb an officers' event at the Army Base Fort Dix in New Jersey to protest the Vietnam war, but instead the bombs exploded in the basement and killed three of the five activists. Two fled. One was Cathy Wilkerson.  

WNYC producer Paige Cowett talks to Wilkerson 47 years later about what caused her to believe that bombing soldiers was justified. “The sad thing is I don't think we did think about it very much," said Wilkerson. “You think about the political impact. I think that's the way it is with warfare. You don't think about the life of the people that you're hurting or killing.”

Cowett also speaks with historian Micheal Kazin, a radical leftist who did not resort to violent tactics, as well as Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and terrorism expert, who discusses the psychology of political radicalization. 

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Paige Cowett

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more. 

May 30 2017
37 mins
Play

Rank #12: The Counter-Jihad Movement & the Making of a President

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President George W. Bush, speaking at a mosque on Sept. 17, 2001: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

Donald Trump, campaigning for president on March 9, 2016: "I think Islam hates us."

David Yerushalmi was living in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem speaking on the phone with his father when the planes hit the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. "We got it wrong," Yerushalmi remembers telling his father. Before Sept. 11th, Yerushalmi thought terrorism was about nationalism, a fight over land. Afterward, he decided terrorism committed by Muslim extremists was driven by Islam itself -- and underpinned by Islamic Shariah law.  

Pamela Geller and David Yerulshami(Pamela Geller)

So he packed up his family and moved to New York to become part of a fledgling community of conservatives who would come to be known as counter-jihadists. They had an uphill battle to fight: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush and most Americans, according to polls, did not equate Islam with terrorism. 

But 16 years later, even though there hasn't been another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil committed by a Muslim, America's perspective on Islam has changed -- evidenced most notably by the election of a president who believes the religion itself hates the country.

Yerushalmi is a big reason for this change of heart. He's a behind-the-scenes leader of the so-called "counter-Jihad" movement, filing lawsuits pushing back against the encroachment of Islam in the public sphere and crafting a series of anti-Sharia laws that Muslims and civil rights groups decry as Islamophobic.

"Do I think that the United States is weak enough to collapse either from a kinetic Jihad, meaning war, or even a civilizational Jihad that the Muslim Brotherhood talks about? No. At least not in my lifetime. But do I think it's an existential threat that allows for sleeper cells and the Internet-grown Jihadist that we see day in and day out wreaking so much havoc here and in Europe? Yes. Do I see it as a threat to our freedoms and liberties incrementally through their so-called civilizational Jihad where they use our laws and our freedoms to undermine our laws and our freedoms? Absolutely."

Matt Katz speaks to Yerulshami about what he thinks is the creeping threat of Sharia law.

Episode Contributors

Kai Wright

Matt Katz

Karen Frillmann

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Sep 11 2017
32 mins
Play

Rank #13: The Dream Was Not Mine

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Jennifer Willoughby was in an abusive marriage. Saily Avelenda was unhappy with her congressman, who'd held office for over two decades without facing a serious contender. They didn’t know they were about to topple two political giants. Plus, want to know the real reason the 2018 midterms could make history? It has to do with a number political scientists call the "gender gap."

Note: WNYC made several attempts to reach Rob Porter for comment. He did not respond before this episode was released. 

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 17 2018
36 mins
Play

Rank #14: Music, McCarthy, and the Sound of Americana

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In the 1920s, composer Aaron Copland took off for Paris. His search for a uniquely American classical music resulted in some of the most familiar and patriotic music of the 20th Century — including his famous piece, "Fanfare for the Common Man."

WNYC's Sara Fishko ("Fishko Files") follows Copland’s story through the 1930s and '40s in America, when the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism and the unprecedented collective effort during World War II united Americans against a common enemy. Copland's music was transformed during that "Popular Front" period — with a simplified, accessible approach.

Fishko sits down with the distinguished contemporary composer John Corigliano ("The Red Violin") to deconstruct the sound of the "Americana style." The departure from European traditions created a new and remarkable connection between music and the American politics of the time.

But Copland's activism and creative output — and that of many artists and intellectuals — would be threatened and dramatically altered by the swing to the right in American politics in the 1950s.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Sara Fishko

Karen Frillmann

Olivia Briley

Bill Moss

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

May 23 2017
34 mins
Play

Rank #15: Episode 6: The Kids Are Not Alright

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Gang violence and a drug epidemic might not be the first things one thinks about when they picture the American suburbs, but they have become prominent facts of life for many residents in Suffolk County, Long Island. In fact, the leafy New York suburb led the Empire State in heroin and opioid overdose deaths in 2014. 

WNYC Studios and The Nation set out to understand how these problems emerged in the first place.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal sits down with Anthony, a former-drug user who recounts how he became addicted while growing up in the leafy environs of Long Island's South Shore.

To better understand why record numbers of people are dying of drug overdoses in the suburbs we talk to two individuals on the front lines of treatment to gain their insight into what has caused the uptick in drug use, and how Donald Trump figures into the conversation.

Then, The Nation’s Julianne Hing goes to Brentwood, NY, a Long Island town dealing with gang violence, where the remains of five murdered teenagers have been discovered in the past six weeks.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Julianne Hing

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Oct 27 2016
40 mins
Play

Rank #16: The Drug War

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As the opioid epidemic continues to increase, we take a look back at the Sixties when the War on Drugs, a federal effort to decrease illegal drug use, was beginning to take shape. It was a decade of intense change in America as political assassinations took place, the Black power movement rose, and the Vietnam War intensified. It was also a time that conservatives, scared about the future of their country, were beginning to fight back. No one understood this more than Richard M. Nixon during his second run for president in 1968. Nixon knew that many people, especially southern whites, were afraid of the social progress that the country was making at the time. He also knew that drug use and crime were going up and that tapping into the fears and anxieties, while tying them to race, may have been just the strategy he needed to win. “The wave of crime is not going to be the wave of the future in the United States of America,” Nixon said in 1968 as he accepted the Republican nomination, becoming the law and order candidate.It worked, and when he was elected he decided to make good on his promise, focusing not only on crime, which is often a state issue, but drugs. Drugs were a federal issue that was gaining traction among the public and in the political realm, as heroin use spread among both Americans at home and US soldiers in Vietnam.Christopher Johnson looks at the beginning of the War on Drugs in America, from it’s roots with the Southern Strategy, to the strange support for methadone treatment centers, to the so-calledRockefeller Drug Laws in New York. “America’s public enemy number 1 in the US is drug abuse,"declared Nixon in 1971 as he launched the War on Drugs. “In order to defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” Though he didn’t utter the phrase, Nixon's "War On Drugs" was a costly offensive whose long-lasting impact on drug policy, law enforcement and American culture continues today.Episode Contributors:Kai WrightChristopher JohnsonKaren FrillmannThe United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios<https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wnyc/id127981066?mt=2>.Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpWNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jul 03 2017
35 mins
Play

Rank #17: In Jesus' Name... We Legislate

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There’s been much progress for the LGBTQ community over the past decade: the legal debate over same-sex marriage has been resolved, popular culture has largely embraced gay and lesbian people, and transgender people are gaining legal recognition. But as LGBTQ people make these strides, other groups have begun to claim that their religious rights are threatened by these cultural and political shifts. Now, these religious groups are asking for protections too. This year alone, dozens of bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, aiming to restore or protect the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. There have been fights over a bakeries refusing to bake a cakes for same-sex wedding ceremonies, doctors who wish to refuse services to transgender folks because of religious beliefs, and more.

In this episode, we travel to the state of Mississippi, where a bitter fight against a religious freedom bill called HB 1523 is being waged between the state and a group of people who say the bill violates their civil liberties -- even their religious freedom itself. The bill, aimed to protect people of faith from “government discrimination,” defines marriage as a heterosexual union, says that sex belongs only within a marriage between a man and a woman, and calls gender a fixed trait at birth. Mississippi governor Phil Bryant said HB 1523's goals do not include discrimination or harm, but said of its opponents, “If they’re interested in protecting people’s rights and also understand that people of faith have rights.” 

One of those opponents is Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear, a lesbian pastor who ministers to an LGBT welcoming church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She, her wife, Susan Mangum, and her church, Joshua Generation MCC, have joined in a class action lawsuit against Gov. Bryant and the state. She feels that when most people hear about a piece of legislation claiming to protect religious freedom, they're all for it. The problem is, she adds, most people don't fully understand what it does. “It is discrimination in a pretty little religious box," she says. "We're good at putting things in religious boxes here in the south.” 

Pastor Brandiilynne Mangum-Dear(Reniqua Allen)

In many ways, this battle between religious freedom and civil liberties isn't anything new. We'll speak with Rims Barber, a minister and veteran civil rights activist in Jackson, Mississippi, and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB 1523. He says that the culture wars we're witnessing today mirror those of the Civil Rights Movement. Barber officiated the first interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi, and helped desegregate its schools, all while other citizens said they shouldn't have to comply because of their religious liberties. Then, Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer will show us how those fights helped galvanize a powerful political force in America: the religious right. And, we'll hear the origin story of religious freedom bills like HB 1523.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Jessica Miller

Karen Frillmann

Jillian Weinberger

Reniqua Allen

Matt Boynton

Bill Moss

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios.

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXp


WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Jun 13 2017
33 mins
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Rank #18: We've Been Here Before

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When Barbara Mikulski arrived in the Senate, all the podiums were built for men… and so was Washington's power structure. So she changed it. In this episode, Mikulski and three of her female Senate colleagues look back at Anita Hill's testimony and the 1992 elections that followed it, the last “Year of the Woman.”

The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC’s election coverage is provided by Emerson CollectiveThe New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Sep 18 2018
18 mins
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Rank #19: Nixon's Enemies

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This week we’re looking at a President Richard M. Nixon, a man obsessed with winning. Whether it was an election or becoming a great leader, he would go to great lengths to ensure his success. But Nixon felt he was surrounded by enemies, so to make sure he triumphed, he had his staff create an “Enemies List:” a document with hundreds of people he thought could do him harm. It was part of the White House "Political Enemies Project," and included people ranging from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to members of the media to business and labor leaders.

“It just so unpresidential for presidents to have enemies," said John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel who disclosed the existence of the list when he testified before the Senate Watergate committee. “I mean, theoretically, the President is the President of the United States, not the President of the Republican or Democratic Party, or the President of the people who voted for him. We don't like to think of our leaders as being that narrow-minded that they think everybody is their enemy who isn't their friend.”

Beyond it’s existence, the list was also remarkable because Nixon and his aides considered using it to try and find ways to use the power of the federal government to go after their enemies. How? One way was through the IRS.

Charlie Herman looks at Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List,” an unprecedented step taken by an embattled President who worried about being betrayed by everyone around him.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Charlie Herman

Karen Frillmann

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Jun 23 2017
25 mins
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Rank #20: Episode 7: This Is Your Brain on Politics

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Stress is a part of everyday life. But in this election filled with bombast, 24-hour news coverage, and October Surprises emerging at nearly every turn, the road to November 8th often appears overwhelming.

Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we explore the burgeoning field of biopolitics and uncover how our bodies respond to 2016’s political circus.

WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk sits down with neuroscientist Jeffrey French and political scientist Kevin Smith, as we perform an unusual test to find out just what in this election is causing voters’ stress.

Plus, learn how our bodies’ natural response systems can indicate where we locate ourselves along the political spectrum.

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Amanda Aronczyk

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

About the show:

In a Presidential election cycle big on negativity and short on discussion of issues, anxiety is proving to be a dominant theme -- over the economy, national security, and indeed, what it means to be an American in the 21st century. This podcast brings the voices of people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one. The United States of Anxiety gives you an wide-open window into the polarizing economic, social and political ideas that have people on the edge of their seats during this unprecedented election cycle.

The United States of Anxiety is hosted by Kai Wright and produced by WNYC Studios & The Nation

Listen to more shows from WNYC Studios: http://wny.cc/yzc4304odXpListen to more shows from The Nation: http://apple.co/1V85l3I

WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Radiolab, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin and many more.

Nov 03 2016
41 mins
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