Gene Dattel is Steven Hayward’s extraordinary guest on this week’s show. Gene is the author of a book that deserves to be much better known—Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure (Encounter Books). This remarkably compact book is brimming with details about and revisions to the standard narratives of race relations in America from the colonial era right down to the present. Gene’s complete command of this subject—stemming partly from growing up in the Mississippi delta but also from wide reading and study—is on full display in this far-reaching conversation.

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This very special edition of the Power Line Show features Steve Hayward and two guest hosts—John and Elizabeth Eastman—in an extended conversation with William B. Allen, a teacher and thinker who defies easy description. All three of us were students of Bill Allen way back in the 1980s, and when chance and/or Providence put us all together again with Bill this week in Boulder, Colorado, it was clear we needed to do a podcast.

This “origin story” conversation takes us from Bill’s youth all the way through to the present Age of Trump. We talk a lot about education, political philosophy, the influence of key thinkers such as Harry Jaffa, Martin Diamond, and many many others. We have a lot of laughs along the way—maybe too many—but above all, I think you will come away with a sense of the excitement of discovery in Bill’s classrooms, and acquire a sense of why a generation of students are so devoted to him.

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How “Progressive” is Progressivism? Is there actually a “side of history,” or is that just the lazy formula of presumptive socialists who think they have a monopoly on the truth and don’t need to argue with or persuade anyone? In another of Steve Hayward’s lecture series for the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale, Steve walks through more of the details of Progressivism then and now, showing continuities—and also some important differences—between the Progressivism that emerged a century ago and the “Progressivism” of our current moment.

And naturally, since the subject is Progressivism, we have to offer some Progressive rock as bumper music—a couple of very early Genesis tunes, back before Phil Collins ruined the band by taking them in a pop direction. But that’s a topic for a future show some time.

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Have you had enough of the Mueller Report? Done smoldering over Smollett? Jazzed at opening day for MLB? Then have we got the show for you! This episode features a conversation with Henry Olsen about the lessons of the 2018 midterm, how the Democratic presidential field for 2020 is shaping up (with lots of mockery of course), a genteel argument about Henry’s views about why conservatives should rethink their reflexive support for the electoral college (an admission scandal of a different kind, you might say), and finally a tour of the new season of major league baseball, with Henry’s handicap of the teams that made the best moves. Plus a psychological diagnosis of Clayton Kershaw’s post-season troubles, and whether the Nationals will prosper without Bryce Harper. Something for everyone!

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Ask any knowledgeable conservative to identify their least-favorite president, and more and more the answer these days will come back: Woodrow Wilson! But this was not always so. For a long time FDR held the crown, but in the last generation a number of closer looks have come to recognize that Wilson, and the broader current of Progressive ideology he did so much to champion, is the real turning point (much for the worse) in American political and constitutional thought and practice.

This week Steve Hayward sat down with one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Wilson, R.J. Pestritto of Hillsdale College. R.J. is the author of one the very best books about Wilson’s rich political philosophy, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism. In this wide-ranging and fast-moving conversation, Steve and R.J. talk not only about what’s wrong with Wilson and his legacy, but why conservative thinkers missed his significance for such a long time.

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By popular demand (with some listeners anyway), this episode features another lecture from Steve Hayward’s periodic series for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the topic of “The Endless Quest for Social Equality.” This talk ranges widely from the contentions over income inequality that Thomas Piketty’s book ignited into the current bonfire of Bernie Sanders’s socialist vanity, to the curious findings of social science on other aspects of equality, especially as it bears on the sensitive subject of racism. Finally, Steve examines the role of envy in stoking the current politics of inequality. Envy, once considered one of the seven deadly sins, is not much studied by social scientists for some reason (wonder what that reason could be?), but there is some useful scholarly literature on the issue, and Steve reviews the highlights for us.

Closeout bumper music this week is a live performance of “Burden’s Blooming” from Twiddle.

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In this second part of our long conversation with Fred Siegel, Steve Hayward walks him through the final decay of New York in the 1980s after four decades of unrelenting liberal governance, how Rudy Giuliani turned it around in the 1990s, and what the prospects are for Mayor de Blasio. (Remember that this interview was originally recorded for video four years ago). From there we have a long conversation about what might be called Fred’s summa, his last book The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class. This show is a grand tour of some of the key moments and thinkers of liberalism in the 20th century, and even though this interview was taped before Trump emerged as a presidential candidate in 2015, Fred is remarkably prescient about the defects of conservatism that Trump perceived and exploited, how liberalism was running headlong into the ruin of identity politics, and how the Obama presidency was unwinding in its final year.

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In this special double-episode, Steve Hayward takes the occasion of the last-minute hesitation over the nomination of Neomi Rao for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to talk once again with “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, about the issue of “substantive due process” that apparently worried a couple of Republican senators, and then we bring on our own John Hinderaker for a few observations about CPAC, and especially President Trump’s blockbuster speech. The show ends with Steve starting the execution of our “Cover of the Rolling Stone” strategy to try to attract the great Black Rifle Coffee company as a show sponsor!

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Steve Hayward goes back into the archives for an audio file from a video interview he conducted with Fred Siegel a few years back in which Fred explains how he came to shed the liberalism of his youth. Along the way, he provides a grand tour of some of the leading intellectuals he knew or read in the 1960s and 1970s, how he regarded the Vietnam War, what it was like working as a field rep for George McGovern’s 1972 campaign, and the many things wrong with leftist thought today.

Since the show talks a lot about the sixties, the choice of exit music was obvious: “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield.

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Just in time for the long holiday weekend, an early edition of the Power Line Show, with special guest Justin Buckley Dyer of the University of Missouri. Prof. Dyer is the co-author (with Micah Watson) of a terrific book on C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law. Though Lewis was known as a literary critic and Christian apologist, a lot of his work bears on the deepest political and philosophical problems of our time, even though Lewis wasn’t primarily interested in politics at all. Steve Hayward sat down with Justin recently to talk about the greatness and profound impact of C.S. Lewis, and also the problems of the university today, which listeners may recall have been especially on display at Mizzou over the last few years.

Exit music this week is “New Word Order” by The Word.

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Michael Anton’s controversial 2016 essay “The Flight 93 Election” was compared to Tom Paine’s Common Sense as a tract that grabbed the public imagination. Michael is back now with a new book, After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote That Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose. Steve Hayward talked with Michael Sunday afternoon, bringing us up to date on the Flight 93 thesis two years into the Trump presidency, with observations on where conservatism needs to go next, the growing threat from a militant left, and what kind of person is necessary to succeed Trump in the fullness of time. Bonus question: Is America going the way of ancient Rome? You’ll have to listen to the end to find out.

The first brief bumper tune today is the appropriately named (for today’s topic) “Prep for Flight” by David Newman (it’s from a film soundtrack—bonus points for knowing without looking it up), and we exit with “People Everywhere Just Want to Be Free” from the Rascals, which also fits our main theme in this episode.

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Readers have been asking when we’ll have back Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, “Lucretia,” and your wish is our command. “Lucretia” joins us again with some choice rants about the whole Ralph Northam affair and the Democrat’s “Calhoun moment” on abortion, the invincible ignorance of the new socialists like AOC, and the Wall. But then we turn to the really important subjects: wine, whisky, handguns, and coffee. (Aren’t those the basic building blocks of the Good Life? Socrates surely would have been an NRA member had the NRA been around back then. But who needs the NRA when you have Sparta?)

In keeping with this week’s wide-ranging and indulgent theme, the first bumper is “Why Not?” by Gentle Giant, and the closeout bumper music fits this show perfectly—”Another Brick in the Wall” from Pink Floyd.

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Venezuela has been slowly falling apart for more than a decade, but when matters reached a seeming crisis point last week, Steve Hayward decided it was high time to catch up with Mark Falcoff, the longtime Latin American expert now retired from the American Enterprise Institute, to walk us through the scene (including some terrific trivia about the structure of the Venezuelan army). Then Steve shifts focus to the other member of the new Axis of Evil—Iran—with Kelly Jane Torrance, who follows the Iranian resistance in exile for the Weekly Standard (RIP) and SpectatorUSA. But since Kelly Jane is Canadian, we couldn’t resist a quick detour into the prospects for Justin Trudeau while we’re looking abroad.

Bumper music this week is drawn from Strangefolk; the interlude in the middle is “New Glock II,” and the closeout tune is “Window Seat.”

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Constitutional originalism is the cornerstone of conservative jurisprudence today, but there are several rival versions of originalism, and sometimes you even hear about the “new” originalism, which sounds more like an old Spinal Tap joke. This week Steve Hayward caught up with John Eastman, the Salvatori Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, to talk over how to think about originalism, and also the hot button issue of the moment—whether President Trump has the executive power to go around Congress to get a border wall built, and also who Trump should pick next for the Supreme Court if a vacancy comes up soon.

Closing bumper track this week is “Hollywood” by Spafford.

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This episode offers another of Steve Hayward’s lectures for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the subject of equality. Borrowing from the taxonomy of the legendary political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, Steve explains why 600 percent of the American people are victims of oppression! Steve also reviews some of the disagreements among prominent conservative thinkers about the principle of equality, since it is so badly abused by modern liberalism. This is the first of three lectures Steve will be delivering on the subject of equality. Stay tuned for announcements of the sequels!

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This second installment of Steve Hayward’s conversation with Chris DeMuth takes up Chris’s “origin story” with his work on regulatory reform starting in the Reagan Administration, and taking the story of neoconservatism through its transformations in the 1990s and 2000s. Our conversation ends with Chris’s observations on the current hot button phenomena of populism, nationalism, and the revolt against the out-of-touch transnational elites. (If you missed the first installment, scroll back here.)

Closing bumper music this week is “Spinning” by Trees on Fire.

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Steve Hayward recently sat down to conduct another “origin story” interview with Christopher DeMuth, who is nowadays a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he writes actively about government regulation and the administrative state. Prior to coming to Hudson, Chris was the long time president of the American Enterprise Institute, and served in senior positions in the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. (Of special interest will be Chris’s fascinating account of how the EPA was created in the Nixon White House.) Steve walks Chris through his intellectual and political odyssey beginning with his education at Harvard in the 1960s, and taking him up to the beginning of the Reagan presidency, where we’ll resume the conversation with Part 2 next week.

Bumper music at the end this week is “Forecast” by Railroad Earth.

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Getting Power Line’s own “fab four” (John, PaulGeorge and Ringo, Scott and Steve) together at once is almost as hard as getting The Beatles back together, even though all of the Power Line Fab Four are still living. But we did better than that: For our special year-end wrap-up and prediction show, we also assembled “Yoko Ono” (Susan Vass, aka “Ammo Grrrll”) and “Brian Epstein” (aka, Joe Malchow, who really is our Supremo Producer). We reviewed a few loose ends from the political news of 2018, talked about the politics of Silicon Valley, and made predictions for 2019, which hopefully no one will write down because they will surely be wrong, as most predictions are. Ignore the argument at the end between Steve and Joe about which California appellation produces the best red wines. Joe is wrong.

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This week you’re really in for it, as Steve Hayward presents another of his lectures on conservative thought at Yale for the William F. Buckley Program. Steve decides to tackle the “P-word”—Postmodernism. The term is overused, vague, and, like so many other things, badly corrupted by the left. In fact, the useable parts of it are actually old conservative ideas in some respects—a fresh vindication of Samuel Johnson’s famous review that argued “what’s good is not original, and what’s original is not good.” This is a very preliminary investigation, and the theme needs a lot more work, so listeners who survive this are encouraged to comment and pose further questions for discussion.

The bumper music for this week’s episode was deliberately chosen to fit the topic: “Mad Sounds” by the Arctic Monkeys, and “Childhood’s End” by Marillion, since a lot of what goes under the banner of “postmodernism” is indeed mad, and overcoming it does require some adult maturity.

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This special doubleheader edition takes up the question of whether President Trump’s hush money payments to his temporary girlfriends is indeed a campaign finance violation with campaign finance law expert and California Fair Political Practices Commission member Allison R. Hayward (and in case you’re wondering, the answer is Yes). It’s not so clear cut as many in the media are saying, as the parallel case of John Edwards from 2008 demonstrates. Then Steve Hayward revisits Yuval Levin’s 2016 book Our Fractured Republic in light of the subsequent election of Trump.

Bumper music at the end of today’s show is a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic tune “Dreams” by The Corrs.

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