#166 Populism: Bigger Than Trump? Salena Zito

Was Donald Trump's election a one-off event, or did it represent a fundamental realignment of American politics?

Washington-based political experts wrongly called the 2016 election, and our guest, Salena Zito, author of "The Great Revolt", argues that they keep blowing it today. Democrats who ignore the concerns of those who went for Obama in 2012, but then backed Trump four years later, do so at their peril.

We examine the spread of populism that is reshaping American politics on the right and the left, and why it may have much more staying power than critics would like to admit.

Despite President Trump's weak approval ratings, the coalition that brought him to the White House is largely holding together. Salena drove many thousands of miles on back roads, speaking with hundreds of Trump voters in ten Great Lake swing counties while reporting for the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, and contributing to The Atlantic. 

She takes them seriously. From "red-blooded blue-collared" conservative populists to "rough rebounders" and "girl gun power" supporters, we learn why so many believe that Trump stands up for working people against powerful corporate interests.

"Modern populism today is a healthy skepticism of large things, big institutions, big government, big entertainment, big sports," says Salena. "This coalition isn't just impacting the ballot, its having an impact on how we shop and how we consume things."

In this episode we look at the roots of populism, but also take a skeptical view of its future.

#165 Can Podcasting Save The Planet?

From ancient times to the present day, women and men have brought meaning to their lives through storytelling.

Before the invention of the printing press, ancient societies passed on the knowledge and wisdom of one generation to the next through oral history. 

Today, no other medium is as intimate and personal as podcasting. We are the town criers of our time.

In this "Quick Fix" episode, Richard and Jim discuss the future of podcasting-- an industry that faces both opportunities and challenges. 

More than 550,000 podcasts are on iTunes-- and the number is growing every week. So is the audience. But while two-thirds of Americans have heard of the term "podcast," fewer than one-in-five are regular listeners. 

Last week in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement-- the annual trade show, rally and conference-- Tom Webster of Edison Research said: "The key to moving from 48 million weekly podcast listeners to the 100 million mark is understanding why those people familiar with the term “podcasting” have never listened."

The launch of the new Google Podcasts app may go a long way towards reaching this goal. Until now, Apple has been the dominant player. Smart speakers present a great growth opportunity, bringing new ways to listen to podcasts. And each year podcasting reaches into an ever-widening circle of communities and interests. 

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