Interview about the Historovox with Bob Garfield of On the Media

My piece on the Historovox has provoked a lot of controversy and pushback. Dan Drezner devoted a column to it in The Washington Post. Others have weighed in on social media. I had a chance to talk with Bob Garfield of the NPR show On the Media about the piece. Have a listen.


  1. Chris Morlock March 2, 2019 at 1:24 am | #

    It’s an interesting and very intellectual way of basically saying that Trump is a continuation of Ronald Reagan clones and the policies really aren’t any different than any other president for the last 40 years, which shows the weakness of the American political system in the face of it’s donor class. Say it as eloquently or as bluntly as you like, there wasn’t much change from the normal trajectory of deregulation and doubling down on pro corporate policy. Many on the left were taken by the progressive-speak of Obama and he was essentially backpedaling 2 months into office. Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the left’s portrayal of him as a new authoritarian demagogue has basically yielded a tax cut and some judicial stacking.

    Historovox is kind of a fancy concept of “SNAFU”.

  2. Rosalind Petchesky March 2, 2019 at 11:41 am | #

    Illuminating, éloquent, and a wake-up for us on the anti-racist feminist left who are so focused on dumping Trump and perceptions of rising fascism we forget sometimes to see the continuities with a long past. However, people of color activists have been saying something like this for a long time, that for Blacks, Native Americans, immigrants, queer and trans people, etc., the surveillance/security state is nothing new. And when you get right down to it, talking about “neoliberalism” is a “weak” way of describing the root causes of endless wars and bargains with real dictators that cut across party lines and présidencies. Why not name corporate capitalism and impérialism, Corey?

  3. DAT April 10, 2019 at 8:19 am | #

    Cory, your point that Trump is “weak” is a strong point, but perhaps we are looking through Historovox from the wrong end. Perhaps it doesn’t tell us about Trump, but rather should remind us how contingent, how frightened, Mussolini was. Trump always seems one more pratfall from being laughed out of office. Can you not invision him saying to himself, “funny? Lets see you laugh this (physical attack) off.” His vindictiveness is well known. Over at Lawyers, guns, & money, one blogger stressed how meritocracy is pernicious and false as “we are all replaceable,” to paraphrase. Does Trump’s churning of his courtiers, always looking for one more abject, more viscous, mean that Trump understands how replaceable we all are? I do think it’s pointed out by others, as well as yourself, just how Trump is an efflorescence of a deep and abiding American strain.
    We note there is no “smoking gun,” no memmo, promulgated by Hitler that in plain language said to kill all Jews. Neither do mafiosi, nor Trump, nor, come to that, medieval kings, speak other than elliptically. Deniably is all. This is a factor in why personal loyalty is so important (to him). Only the so tightly committed will enact the rulers wishes in response to just a suggestion. Only the loyal can be committed to sussing out the ruler’s “gut” before he himself can recognise it’s content. (P.U!)
    One more point on your observation that Trump is “weak.” It, unavoidably, I feel, is implicitly saying that he is not a problem, that we can safely wait him out. I know you explicitly deny that, but then what do we do with your observation? As others have pointed out, I, as a member of a privileged caste, can fret about the possibility of Fascism coming, while for brown people on the southern border, Fascism is already here. Trump’s weakness is no comfort to the children who may never see their biologic families again.

  4. DAT April 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm | #

    Cory, another point about Trump’s weakness. Does your assessment of his weakness change now that he has a canny and sympathetic AG to protect him? His two years have changed our government’s capabilities and focus. He has more and yet more sycophants around him. He may yet be weak, but am I wrong to see him steadily strengthening his position?

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