It’s a small world after all. So small we can go from Florida to Alaska to Arizona to California in one episode. A magically tragic journey through American politics and history.
Brad and Dan begin the road trop in Florida, where Uncle Ron DeSantis has labeled Disney the wokest place on earth due to its opposition for the Don’t Say Gay bill. Marjorie Taylor Greene stated that Disney wants to indoctrinate children with sexual filth. While it’s laughable to think of Disney as “woke,” the absolute temper tantrum GOP leaders have thrown over this matter is reflective of how extremism has become the only virtue in GOP politics.
In order to understand how this works and where it came from, Brad and Dan turn to the news that Sarah Palin is running for Congress in Alaska. While this may not seem like big news nationally, it opens a window into the “Palinization” of politics over the last fifteen years. Brad and Dan recall how and why John McCain chose Palin as his running mate and what this unleashed in the Republican party: Birtherism, the Tea Party, obstructionism, xenophobia, and so on.
From an examination of McCain, they look to his predecessor in the Senate, Barry Goldwater, who also ran for president and courted radical White Christians in order to get ahead in the polls. What emerges from this picture is a look at American politics that shows how for 65 years Republicans have tried to use extremists for political gain, only to unleash a disease on the American body politic.
Link to Satanic Panic Episode: https://getpodcast.com/podcast/straight-white-american-jesus/satanic-panic-then-and-now_1c0f630e61
Link to the Graham and Dias article at NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/06/us/christian-right-wing-politics.html
Link to Goldwater’s remarks on regretting alliance with White Christian nationalists: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/16/us/excerpts-from-goldwater-remarks.html
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