Opinion | How Culpable Is Trump, and How Dangerous is QAnon?
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After Bob Woodward’s latest book revealed just how much President Trump knowingly misled the public about the coronavirus, how much blame does he bear for the nearly 200,000 American lives lost to the virus? Michelle and Ross discuss counterfactuals and disagree about culpability — both the president’s, and that of the alarmed but withholding members of his administration. Then, Opinion writer Charlie Warzel joins the podcast to debunk QAnon, for a conversation about the role the “collaborative fiction” plays in American’s psyche and politics. Is it a collective coping mechanism in difficult times? A remix on old anti-Semitic themes? And is it all Facebook’s fault?
Finally, if your thoughts and notes are as disorganized as Charlie’s, well, he’s got an app for that.
Charlie on Facebook’s outsized power, QAnon in Congress and why it’s the most dangerous conspiracy theory of the 21st century
Ross on what isn’t Trump’s fault, and on Jeffrey Epstein and QAnon
Michelle on Woodward’s revelations and her April 2018 article on QAnon
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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
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, Vishakha Darbha, Kathy Tu, Kristin Lin, Paula Szuchman and Isaac Jones. Theme by Allison Leyton-Brown.
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