Dreaming of Our Post-Pandemic Lives. Plus: An Announcement

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Michelle and Ross dream of a post-pandemic world. Michelle is ready to meet with friends again once vaccinated, and Ross wonders if the psychological stress of the pandemic has forever changed U.S. politics.

Then they reflect on what they’ve learned from arguing with each other for more than two years.

A note for our listeners: On Feb. 24, Jane Coaston will take the reins as host of “The Argument.” The show started in 2018 as a place for civil debate, a place that’s as much about listening as it is about talking. This mission isn’t changing. Jane will bring her years of reporting on politics (and sports!) to argue the issues shaping our politics and society. She’ll invite guests who disagree with her and one another, and encourage you to consider — or maybe even reconsider — your point of view. A huge thanks to our original team: David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and Frank Bruni. Keep listening, and you’ll hear them on the show as guests and sometimes agitators.

Credit…Swikar Patel for The New York Times


Background Reading:

  • Ross’s column on some Republicans’ strategy to falsely claim election fraud after the 2020 presidential election.

  • Michelle’s column on the Biden administration’s vaccine plan.


How to listen to “The Argument”:

Tune in on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher or your preferred podcast listening app. Press play in the above player, and find a transcript by midday Friday above the center teal eye. Tell us what you think at [email protected]


Meet the Hosts

Ross Douthat

I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist since 2009, and I write about politics, religion, pop culture, sociology and the places where they intersect. I’m a Catholic and a conservative, in that order, which means that I’m against abortion and critical of the sexual revolution, but I tend to agree with liberals that the Republican Party is too friendly to the rich. I was against Donald Trump in 2016 for reasons specific to Donald Trump, but in general I think the populist movements in Europe and America have legitimate grievances, and I often prefer the populists to the “reasonable” elites. I’ve written books about Harvard, the G.O.P., American Christianity and Pope Francis, and decadence. Benedict XVI was my favorite pope. I review movies for National Review and have strong opinions about many prestige television shows. I have four small children, three girls and a boy, and live in New Haven with my wife. @DouthatNYT

Michelle Goldberg

I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times since 2017, writing mainly about politics, ideology and gender. These days people on the right and the left both use “liberal” as an epithet, but that’s basically what I am, though the nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency has radicalized me and pushed me leftward. I’ve written three books, including one, in 2006, about the danger of right-wing populism in its religious fundamentalist guise. (My other two were about the global battle over reproductive rights and, in a brief detour from politics, about an adventurous Russian émigré who helped bring yoga to the West.) I love to travel; a long time ago, after my husband and I eloped, we spent a year backpacking through Asia. Now we live in Brooklyn with our son and daughter. @michelleinbklyn


“The Argument” is a production of the New York Times Opinion section. The team includes Alison Bruzek, Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez, Vishakha Darbha, Kate Sinclair, Kathy Tu, Paula Szuchman and Isaac Jones. Theme by Allison Leyton-Brown.

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