Know Your Enemy: Masks Off

Know Your Enemy: Masks Off

A look back at what 2020 revealed about the state of American conservatism.

Trump takes his mask off to speak at a rally at the White House on October 10, 2020 (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe, rate, and review to the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Matt and Sam—in a rare, just-the-two-of-them episode—look back at what a bad year revealed about a number of bad people, especially the coterie of right-wing intellectuals and politicians who have downplayed the pandemic, exacerbated anxieties about the uprising against police violence, and played along with Donald Trump’s conspiracy-fueled attempts to steal the presidential election. What holds these efforts together, and what do they say about the state of conservatism? It turns out that 2020 confirmed the anti-democratic, revanchist character of the right in the United States.

Sources Cited:

Matthew Sitman, “Why the Pandemic is Driving Conservative Intellectuals Mad,” New Republic, May 21, 2020

Sam Adler-Bell, “Conservative Incoherence,” Dissent, Summer 2020

Bret Stephens, “America Shouldn’t Have to Play by New York Rules,” New York Times, April 24, 2020

Trump’s Focus as the Pandemic Raged: What Would It Mean for Him? New York Times, December 31, 2020

Luke Broadwater, “Pence Welcomes Futile Bid by G.O.P. Lawmakers to Overturn Election,” New York Times, January 2, 2021

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