How has America become so polarized? Has negative partisanship opened the floodgates for disinformation and propaganda in our politics? How is cancel culture related to information warfare? How can those who believe in free government fight back? In this Conversation, Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, shares his perspective. Drawing on his new book, The Constitution of Knowledge, Rauch argues that to understand contemporary polarization, we must focus on deliberate campaigns of disinformation conducted by political actors who benefit from the weakening of institutions through the diffusion of falsehoods and conspiracy theories. Considering the phenomenon of cancel culture, Rauch argues it should be understood as a systematic attempt to weaken the expression of opinions and civil debate upon which American government rests. Though alarmed about the spread of disinformation, Rauch suggests we may be seeing the beginning of mobilization against cancel culture. He calls on those who believe in America’s constitutional government, civil society, and pluralism to stand up on behalf of those institutions.

Subscribe to Conversations With Bill Kristol in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

There is 1 comment.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. mildlyo Member

    I am astounded to discover Mr. Rauch was born in 1960. Listening to this interview on a long walk, I was gulled into thinking I was listening to an academic in his early 20’s writing authoritatively on history. From a man in his 60’s this level of willfully blindness astounds.

    Should there ever be a ten year anniversary edition of “The Constitution of Knowledge”, the revisions to claims of fact will be telling.

    • #1