I give more of my time to podcasts than any other medium. My favourite podcasters are constant companions as I go about my day. So as I process the shocking outcome of the US presidential election this week, I’m not surprised that the responses I’ve valued most have been podcast episodes.
I’ve chosen two episodes—one a heartfelt exploration of two voters’ post-election emotions, one a thoughtful analysis of the lessons to be learned—to highlight today. They deserve the widest possible audience.
Exponent is a podcast about business and technology, but the hosts frequently have interesting thoughts on politics as well (unsurprisingly, considering how much overlap there is between those three fields). In particular, Facebook’s and Twitter’s impact on political opinion has been a long-running theme of their discussions.
There are many quotable insights in this episode, but I want to pick out one early comment that cuts to the heart of what I’ve seen expressed on Twitter (both this week and after the Brexit referendum):
If you’re politically engaged, you might find that this episode touches a nerve or two. But approach it with an open mind and I promise you will find it valuable, as an alternative way of interpreting recent events if nothing else.
Two ordinary Americans who voted Hillary, working through the hangover (in every sense of the word) from election night. It’s very low key and personal, and they make a genuine effort to be inclusive and light-hearted despite feeling anything but those things. It’s sweet, funny, scary, and reflective, and they’re not afraid to divert onto whimsy and trivialities to keep the conversation light.
This was a wonderful respite from the cheerless fatalism affecting so many people I know and like at the moment.
The commentariat smoothly switched from articles chronicling Trump’s ‘inevitable’ defeat to opinion pieces ‘explaining’ his victory. Many are enlightening (or at least thought-provoking), but these more cynical notes are worth bearing in mind:
Please note: the same people now telling you why Trump won are the same people who spent the last week telling you why he was going to lose.— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 9, 2016
Donald Trump won by such a small margin you could literally blame anything and have a compelling argument.— SOS Discussion (@TayDiscus) November 11, 2016