Videos and podcasts from around the web that address the issues of political polarization, the decline of democracy, the culture war, and potential remedies.

American Experience - Original Theme

I've always loved this intro theme to the PBS documentary series American Experience. The weaving of the music and images captures my idea of the goodness of America in all of its diversity and complexity. As citizens, it's up to us to preserve it.

The Righteous Mind - Bill Moyers Interview with Jonathan Haidt - 2012

Jonathan Haidt discusses his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion with Bill Moyers.

Braver Angels - ABC Nightline

A 2018 ABC Nightline segment on Braver Angels a bipartisan national group trying to bridge political divisions in our nation.

HATE Inc. 

Journalist and author Matt Taibbi presented a lecture on his book "Hate Inc.: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another." 

Antifa Documentary

As riots and protests spread nationwide, some politicians and news media pointed to violence by Antifa as the culprit.

Homegrown Hate: The War Among Us

This documentary investigates hate & white supremacy in America, hosted by Linsey Davis.


April 1, 2020. In the first episode of Common Sense since 2018, political and history podcaster Dan Carlin talks about political polarization, what's driving it, and what's at stake as the world as we know it is turned upside down by a global pandemic.

Listen here...

Do You Live in a Bubble? Take the Quiz

Do you live in a bubble?

There exists a new upper class that's completely disconnected from the average white American and American culture at large, argues Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist and author.

Take this 25-question quiz, based on a similar one published in Murray's 2012 book, "Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010," to find out just how thick your bubble is.

Take the quiz

Collapse of Weimar Germany and The Death of Democracy

Chris Hedges talks to Professor Benjamin Hett about the collapse of democracy in Germany's Weimar Republic and its descent into fascism - and which features of the collapse may be applicable to the democratic experiment in America. Hett is professor of history at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; his new book is 'The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic'.

How the Net Destroyed Democracy

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school's Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

Patrick Deneen: Why Liberalism Failed

Liberalism, write Patrick Deneen, "has been for modern Americans like water for a fish, an encompassing political ecosystem in which we have swum, unaware of its existence." 

Deneen, a political theorist at Notre Dame, isn't talking about the liberalism of the left, the liberalism of Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi. He's talking about the liberalism that drives both the left and the right, the one that elevates individual flourishing over groups, families, places, nature. That's the liberalism that is wrecking our societies and our happiness, Deneen says, and while the left and the right often disagree on how to achieve it, they're both disastrously bought into its core ideas. 

Deneen's book, Why Liberalism Failed, has become a quiet sensation, gaining plaudits from conservative pundits and even showing up on Barack Obama's reading list. His is a radical critique, and while I disagree with much of it, the things it gets right are important. 

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why.