Donald Trump

Both the Grammys and the State of the Union Worship at the Cult of the Presidency: Podcast

Working toward a de-presidentified future while trying to imagine an immigration deal that isn't awful


Truer every year? ||| Reason

Last night's Grammy Awards telecast included not just the headline-making reading by Hillary Clinton of Michael Wolff's Trump-trashing bestseller Fire and Fury but also a set-up from host James Corden pointing out—as if it were a normal or admirable thing—that previous Grammys for Best Spoken Word Album have gone to Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore. Is that not a sign that—as will be in evidence during tomorrow's State of the Union address—we are a nation still in thrall to the Cult of the Presidency?

That question kicks off today's Reason Podcast, which features Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch debating the news of the week. How can we "de-presidentify" the SOTU? Suderman wants presidents to read policy white papers. Mangu-Ward suggests pointing out that "America is an idea about eagles." And Gillespie argues that Trump's own behavior has already demystified the Oval Office in overdue ways. Other discussion includes deal-points on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Steven Spielberg's missed opportunity to trash Ben Bradlee in The Post, and the audio-visual problematics of Luke and Laura.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

"Grammys Have Time for Hillary Clinton, But Not Lorde, To Perform?," by Nick Gillespie

"The Necessity of Stephen Miller," by Ross Douthat in The New York Times

"Are Microschools the Next Big Thing?" by Tyler Koteskey

"How Immigration Crackdowns Screw Up Americans' Lives," by Shikha Dalmia

"Why Trump Supporters Are Bringing an Elephant Man to the Beauty Pageant," by Matt Welch

"When the Entire Democratic Party Was Like Donald Trump," by Matt Welch

"The Cult of the Presidency," by Gene Healy

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