What Trump Understood About the War on Terror That Others Missed

What Trump Understood About the War on Terror That Others Missed

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In this episode of The Ezra Klein Show podcast, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Spencer Ackerman and Klein trace the corrosion that the War on Terror has wrought on American political culture. Ackerman pulls no punches in this sobering, penetrating conversation, as he indicts conservatives and liberals alike for contributing to a pervasive, entrenched culture of fear and rage. Anyone with an interest in politics or recent American history will find this a compelling analysis.


America’s War on Terror introduced a way of thinking that now pervades US politics.

Fear was at the core of the War on Terror that followed the September 11, 2001, attacks, and it continues to fuel today’s “fear narrative” – a political stance that believes an existential peril is menacing America, a threat that comes from those who hate the United States for the free nation that it is. These enemies happen to be people of color, particularly Muslims and immigrants. This “atmosphere of emergency” appears to justify brutality in defending the United States’ values. Underlying this concept is an insistence on American righteousness and a hostility to the...

About the Podcast

Spencer Ackerman is senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast. Ezra Klein is a columnist for The New York Times and the host of the politics podcast The Ezra Klein Show.

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