Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 29, 2016 - Hr 3

May 29, 2016
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Donald Trump earns a thunderous reception at the "Rolling Thunder" motorcycle rally for POW/MIA causes in Washington, D.C. With thousands of bikers in attendance, observers noted a distinct lack of "paid protesters" on hand for the event. Coincidence? We review the latest criticisms of Trump emanating from leftist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (i.e. "Pocahontas") and survey Trump's rhetorical approaches to political combat. Plus, with Memorial Day in mind, we discuss America's current "identity crisis" and the surprisingly strong "survival instinct" being exhibited by American voters today. How did Beltway elites not see this coming? And why is the Acela Corridor now entertaining fantasies of mass disenfranchisement? Also, we ask, might President Obama be angling for Secretary-General of the United Nations? With music and listener calls. 

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 29, 2016 - Hr 2

May 29, 2016
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On the Nature of Patriotism in America. Why does the progressive left harbor a pejorative view of patriotic sentiment? Should simple, straightforward patriotism be regarded with more respect in the eyes of Western intellectuals? We visit on matters of war and peace with John Andrews, former Nixon speechwriter and president of the Colorado Senate. What to make of President Obama's oddly denatured speech in Hiroshima? What framework best encapsulates the contrasts between Obama and Donald Trump? Plus, we offer reference notes on Thucydides, Confucius, Giacomo Leopardi and Isaiah Berlin. With music, listener calls and Memorial Day tributes.       

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 29, 2016 - Hr 1

May 29, 2016
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On the approach to Memorial Day Weekend in America, President Obama visits Hiroshima, Japan to share his sentiments about the future of humanity. As Obama calls for a global "moral revolution" and hopes for a "world without nuclear weapons," we find ourselves questioning the realism of his lofty assumptions about human nature. Some naiveté involved herein? Could Obama's halting, hesitating form of 'patriotism' be paving the way for its opposite in his successor? Meanwhile, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump passes the magic number of 1237 delegates and stays on offense against the Clintons. As the GOP unifies, the Democrats plunge into further disarray. In spite of widespread buttressing from the media, is the Hillary campaign prematurely imploding? Could Bernie Sanders take California? Also, we discuss the enduring pathologies of Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney and the "Never Trump" fringes. With Memorial Day tributes and listener calls.          

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 22, 2016 - Hr 3

May 22, 2016
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Why do most commentators overlook the "immigration" issue when explaining the rise of Donald Trump? We offer our thesis that Trump, among other things, has inserted strong leadership within "the great disconnect" between the American people and their oblivious Ruling Classes on matters of border security. We listen to Ann Coulter describe this phenomenon to the BBC, and pause over Coulter's sobering remarks on what becomes of America should Trump lose in November: "It's over. We're gonna be homesick for the rest of our lives -- because America is gone." Also, we discuss the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, the loss of "noblesse oblige" in America, and the enduring illogic of small "pockets" of Never-Trumpdom even as he "reaches out" to the resistance. Plus, John Cleese of Monty Python describes the psychological benefits of political "extremism." With astronomical observances to a Blue Moon, some yodeling and listener calls. 

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 22, 2016 - Hr 2

May 22, 2016
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A conversation with Dr. Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and professor of Government/Political Science at Claremont McKenna College. We discuss Kesler's forthcoming essay "Donald Trump and the Conservative Cause." Moving forward, how might the Trump Phenomenon connect with conservatism? A sketch of preliminaries to placing Trump in context with the Framers, the Constitution and American political history. With music and listener calls. 

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 22, 2016 - Hr 1

May 22, 2016
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The "conventional wisdom" is already out the window as Donald Trump pulls ahead of Hillary Clinton in the polls. We survey Hillary's joyless "Bataan Death March" campaign and marvel at her inability to defeat socialist opponent Bernie Sanders. The Democrats appear more divided and disgruntled than ever, as Sanders goes on the warpath against Hillary and shows no signs of letting up. Meanwhile, Trump has a good week uniting the GOP and going on offense against both Clintons. Trump releases his list of potential SCOTUS nominees, makes peace with Megyn Kelly and earns the endorsement of Jack Nicklaus. Trump advisor Stephen Miller previews an aggressive campaign strategy for the general election, and Charles Krauthammer raises the white flag on behalf of demoralized Never Trumpers. With music, listener calls and vignettes on child-rearing.         

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 15, 2016 - Hr 3

May 15, 2016
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Newt Gingrich for Vice President? We assess the pro's & con's of this potential running mate for Trump -- and continue to come down in favor. We listen to Gingrich discuss the state of the race and his hardening stance toward the fringes of Never-Trumpdom. Must the present choice be binary -- Clinton OR Trump? Is it a species of sophistry to pretend otherwise? With callers we debate nationalism, globalism and the meaning of "conservatism." We suggest a reasonable measure of Trumpian "nationalism" may now be required to conserve these United States. Perhaps Republican voters may be sensing as much, with their stunning electoral verdicts of late. Plus, we make note of the "Hindus for Trump" movement in India. With music and listener calls.   

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 15, 2016 - Hr 2

May 15, 2016
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President Reagan, the Cold War and The Day After. As prompted by this week's episode of The Americans -- a TV series about KGB spies living in Washington during the 1980s -- we revisit the evening of November 20,1983 when ABC aired a ghastly prime-time movie about nuclear annihilation. Watched by over 100 million Americans, The Day After stunned the world and provoked a wide range of partisan reactions. We review the Cold War in context and survey the responses of William F. Buckley, George Will, Carl Sagan and Ronald Reagan himself, who had noted in his diary that the program left him "greatly depressed." With the benefit of historical hindsight, we suggest there is much to be commended about President Reagan's leadership through those tense and uncertain times. And we ask: Are our present-day foreign policy establishments equally equipped in prudence? With music and listener calls.          

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 15, 2016 - Hr 1

May 15, 2016
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The "Never Trump" movement appears to have achieved full-dissipation. Third Party plotter Bill Kristol admits he's "unhappy" and "depressed" while anti-Trump Sen. Ben Sasse earns a formal "reprimand" from Republican voters in Nebraska. Megadonor Sheldon Adelson signs on for Trump and columnist Dana Milbank literally "eats his words with a fork and spoon." We examine the refined & exquisite "conscience" of Never Trumpers as we offer a range of subtle, gentle and good-natured attempts to persuade them back unto today's GOP. But even so, are "blacklists" in the offing? Why has the Washington Post assigned no less than 20 reporters to investigate Trump? Bob Woodward stumbles through an explanation, while Donald Trump ascribes unwholesome motives to WaPo owner Jeff Bezos. Meanwhile, a struggling Hillary Clinton continues to unify Republicans far more than Democrats. With music and listener calls.        

Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn - May 8, 2016 - Hr 3

May 8, 2016
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The fault lines for the general election begin to take shape as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trade barbs on "women's issues." We listen to audio of Trump accusing Hillary of being an "enabler" of her husband's unsavory activities. With billions of dollars about to be spent, we anticipate a great deal of hardball politics ahead unto November. Also, we speculate on the surprisingly significant role played by the state of Colorado in Trump's ability to win the primary a bit ahead of schedule. Did Colorado inadvertently drive home the "elections are rigged" meme? We survey Patrick Buchanan's take on the Trump triumph, and ponder the risks of his "compromising" with Establishment forces moving forward. We continue to float the trial balloon of "Newt Gingrich for VP" and take another look at Hillary's menacing plans for "Old King Coal." An unexpected gold mine for the Blue Collar Billionaire? Also, is John Kerry right to advise new college graduates to prepare for a "borderless world"? Or might we have already passed peak globalism? With Mother's Day music and listener calls.