New York Times columnist Ross Douthat joined Banter to discuss what it’s like being a conservative who writes for a predominantly liberal audience, the state of religion in America, and why the Star Wars sequels represent all that is wrong with modern American society.

Ross Douthat is a fellow at AEI and a columnist for The New York Times. In 2009 he became their youngest-ever columnist, taking the position at the age of 29. He’s the author of several books, including “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the American Elite” and “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.” His new book, “The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success,” is out February 25.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik recently emerged as a rising star of the GOP for her role in the Trump impeachment hearings. She has long been on the national stage, though, having become the youngest ever Congresswoman when elected at the age of 30 in 2014. Congresswoman Stefanik joined us this week to discuss impeachment, how Republicans can appeal to younger Americans, the GOP’s approach to environmentalism, and more.

Elise Stefanik represents New York’s 21st congressional district. An Albany-native, she earned a BA in Government from Harvard University in 2006.

This week we sat down with David French to discuss the new media venture he is helping launch, The Dispatch. We also discuss if he is optimistic about the future of conservatism in America, the Democratic primary race, identity politics, impeachment, the meaning of “David French-ism,” his near-presidential run in 2016, and much more.

David French recently joined The Dispatch as a senior editor after several years as a staff writer at National Review. Before that he was president of the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education and served as a JAG officer in the US Army during the Iraq War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star.

This week we sat down with the great Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic to discuss a few of her recent essays on the craziness of college admissions, what is happening on college campuses, the meaning of Jordan Peterson, and much more.

Caitlin Flanagan has written for The Atlantic since 2001 and is the author of two books: “To Hell with All That” and “Girl Land.” Her subjects have included modern family life, college admissions, adolescence, sexuality, and the culture wars. She was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and she has won a National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism. Before becoming a writer, she was an English teacher and college counselor at Harvard-Westlake school.

This week we sat down with Andrew Sullivan, blogger extraordinaire and former editor of The New Republic. A gay conservative who helped pioneer the marriage equality movement, he was pals with Boris Johnson at Oxford, did his PhD at Harvard, and writes one of the best columns we read each week — a Friday essay on politics and society for New York magazine.

He joined us this week for a long interview in which we discuss everything from his upbringing in Britain, his college days with Boris Johnson, his experience in the gay rights movement, his views on religious liberty laws, President Trump’s impeachment, and much more.

According to some polls, more millennials today support socialism than capitalism. Is this a temporary blip or a more worrying long-term trend? Paul Ryan worries it is the latter, and the former Speaker joined this week’s episode of Banter to discuss how conservatives can go about changing this. We also ask Speaker Ryan about inequality, poverty, evidence-based policymaking, and much more in a rapid-fire Q&A.

Paul Ryan, who served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives from October 2015 to January 2019, is a distinguished visiting fellow in the practice of public policy at AEI. He is also a professor-of-the-practice at the University of Notre Dame, where he is teaching political science and economics. At AEI, Speaker Ryan’s work focuses on opportunity, mobility, the social safety net, and entitlement reform.

American global leadership may be out of fashion, but New York Times columnist Bret Stephens argues that the alternative is far worse. Stephens joins Banter to discuss foreign policy under President Trump and make the case that the world — and America — are far better off when America is leading it.

Bret Stephens joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in April 2017. Before that, he was deputy editorial page editor and foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal and editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post. He has reported from around the world and interviewed scores of world leaders, and is the author of “America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.” Mr. Stephens is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including two honorary doctorates and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He was raised in Mexico City and holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an MSc. from the London School of Economics.

Many people take for granted that China and America have entered another Cold War. Yet unlike 40 years ago, America has extensive ties with its new rival, giving China tremendous leverage over America through education, trade, technology, investment, and countless other means. General Robert Spalding argues that these ties are part of a conscious Chinese effort to conduct a “stealth war” against the US, and American policymakers are failing to keep up.

Brigadier General Robert Spalding (USAF, Ret.) has served as a senior director on the National Security Council and was the chief architect for the National Security Strategy. He is a former China strategist for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Attaché in Beijing, and senior defense official. He holds a PhD in economics and mathematics from the University of Missouri and is fluent in Mandarin. His new book, “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept,” is out now.

In October, A. Wayne Johnson — one of the Trump administration’s senior student loan officials — announced his resignation, calling the federal student loan system “fundamentally broken.” He then proposed the government should forgive most outstanding student debt and terminate the student loan program. Dr. Johnson makes this case as a conservative and long-time Republican, and he joined this week’s edition of Banter to discuss his plan with three skeptical hosts.

Dr. A. Wayne Johnson was appointed the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid in 2017 and resigned earlier this year. He is the Founder, Chairman, and former CEO of First Performance Corporation, a global payment card technology platform company. Dr. Johnson’s business experience includes working as a senior executive with TSYS, First Data, VISA, Deloitte, and as Chief Executive Officer for companies in both the banking and information processing sectors. A native of Macon, Georgia, Dr. Johnson holds a PhD and a Bachelor’s Degree from Mercer University, and an MBA from Emory University.

Today we take for granted that everyday Americans can invest on Wall Street at an affordable price, but Joe Ricketts helped make that happen. He founded Ameritrade with just $12,500 borrowed from friends and family, and through risk-taking and perseverance grew it into a company now worth $30 billion. He joined the show this week to discuss his journey and what it says about America’s free-enterprise system.

Joe Ricketts is the founder, former CEO, and retired chairman of online brokerage TD Ameritrade. He is also the author of the new book, “The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get: An Entrepreneur’s Memoir.

Mike Giglio joins the show to discuss his new book, “Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate.” Based on in-depth reporting with protagonists on all sides of the conflict, the book provides a ground-level view of events from the Arab Spring to the battle for Mosul.

We discuss how he became a correspondent and found himself in an ancient Turkish border town; his experiences interviewing jihadis, Syrian rebels, Kurdish nationalists, and elite Iraqi shock troops; and what lessons he’s drawn from him time covering the Syrian Civil War and the US-led war against ISIS.

“Globalism” has become an epithet to leaders across the world like Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán. But not to Dalibor Rohac, author of the new book, “In Defense of Globalism,” which advocates an alternative, cosmopolitan conservative tradition, in contrast to the more nationalist turn sweeping the West in recent years. He makes the case for global institutions such as the EU and answers globalism’s critics in the first half of this show.

Then, why is Britain gearing up for another election? Will the Brexit saga ever end? And can the Tories expect to capture the sweeping majority that eluded Theresa May in 2017? Dalibor addresses these questions and more.

Critics of President Donald Trump often point to his violation of norms as one example of the threat his presidency poses to American democracy. Kim Strassel of The Wall Street Journal makes the near-opposite case — that it is Trump’s most avid opponents who, in their zeal to bring down the president, are most undermining this country’s foundations. She joined this week’s episode of Banter to discuss her argument in light of her new book, “Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.”

Kimberley Strassel is a member of the editorial board for The Wall Street Journal. She writes editorials, as well as the weekly Potomac Watch political column, from her base in Washington, D.C. An Oregon native, Ms. Strassel is a graduate of Princeton University and is the bestselling author of “The Intimidation Game.

Spurred on by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson, the policymakers in the twentieth century enacted numerous ambitious reforms to curb environmental degradation. But many policies came with a high opportunity cost in lost economic growth.

Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, joined the show this week to discuss approaches to conservation that bridge this impasse.

Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz joins the show to discuss the major foreign policy challenges facing the United States today. In a far-reaching conversation, Amb. Wolfowitz discusses the threat posed by China, developments in Iraq and the Middle East, and the appeal of democratic capitalism to developing countries.

Amb. Wolfowitz is a visiting scholar at AEI where he works on development and national security issues. Before joining AEI, he spent more than three decades in public service and higher education, working in the administrations of seven different presidents.

Michael Rubin returns to the show to analyze the ongoing events in Syria and provide a greater perspective on Turkey’s relationship with the Kurds. We also discuss what a post-Erdogan Turkey could look like, how Assad and Iran might react to Turkish troops invading Syria, and what the United States’ overriding objective in the Middle East should be.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches Arab politics, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Iraq, the Kurds, terrorism, and Turkey. He concurrently teaches classes on terrorism for the FBI and on security, politics, religion, and history for US and NATO military units.

AEI Senior Fellow Karlyn Bowman returned to Banter to discuss recent polling on impending impeachment proceedings against President Trump. We discuss the effects impeachment might have on the 2020 elections, and what the history of the Clinton impeachment and Nixon resignation can tell us about the present day. We close with a brief discussion on the state of the Democratic primary race.

Karlyn Bowman is a Senior Fellow at AEI and studies American public opinion. She is also a columnist at Forbes and the editor of the AEI Political Report.

Columns and commentary today are filled with references to the crumbling liberal world order and the resurgence of populism, nationalism, or some odious combination of the two. But what was this liberal, rules-based system, and how long did it truly reign? AEI visiting scholar Colin Dueck returned to Banter to discuss in light of his forthcoming book, “Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism.

Colin discusses the history and trajectory of US foreign policy since the founding, and the evolution of the international since World War II. Then, how does conservative nationalism manifest itself in foreign affairs, and is it an authentic representation of voters’ desires, or an elite project carried out in spite of an opposed or at least apathetic public? Finally, we close with a few questions on the future of US relations with China, Russia, and the European Union.

As a young reporter in the 1980s, Jason DeParle moved in with a family in the Philippines to write about Manilla’s shantytowns. He kept in touch as the family migrated to the Gulf, the United States, and elsewhere over the ensuing decades, and tells the family’s story in his new book, “A Good Provider is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century.”

On this episode, Jason joined us to discuss this family’s journey from the Philippines to the Persian Gulf to the suburbs of Houston, Texas. Throughout, Jason explains the economic forces shaping current global migration trends as well as the enduring appeal of the United States to many future Americans who just happened to be born elsewhere.

The phrase “Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act” doesn’t exactly still beating hearts — and yet that provision may be responsible for the internet as we know it. So argues Jeff Kosseff in his new book, “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet.” By stating that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider,” Section 230 has allowed the proliferation of platforms like Facebook and YouTube that rely on user-generated content.

But recently many politicians on both the right and left have started questioning Section 230’s merits. On this episode, we talked with Jeff about what role Section 230 has played in the development of the modern internet, and what could happen if the government significantly alters it. We also discussed alleged social media censorship and bias in Silicon Valley, antitrust concerns about Big Tech, and much more.