I’m not eager to get political on here. That being said, we are 4 days from a presidential election, tempers are a little hot, and people are getting nervous. One of my favorite things about podcasts is how they give you a peek into the lives of other people and allow you to see the world they see for just a little while. It might change your opinion, it might not, but hopefully you walk away with a better understanding of people different than you. Will I Know Anyone At This Party by This American Life does just that.
The prologue includes a song speculating about Paul Ryan’s difficult spot in this election sung by the incomparable Neil Patrick Harris. John Wllison Conley closes out the show by singing a song from the perspective of Reince Priebus. I don’t normally like musical numbers in podcasts but these are very well done. They’re fun to listen to and you’re left almost feeling sorry for Paul and Reince.
The majority of the episode deals with immigration but not necessarily what we should do about it. Zoe Chace explores how immigration became such a huge issue in our country at a time when illegal immigration just isn’t happening like it used to. We meet some people running for office and some citizens who are fearful of different things. We get to explore the origins of these fears as well as how they grew and spread so much that they’ve changed our politics.
Shows like this provide us with a good opportunity to look at why others think the way they do and also evaluate how we see a subject. Maybe it’s more complicated than we thought and maybe we shouldn’t be quite so dismissive of others.
*A good companion episode that deals with almost the exact same subject matter would be Millenial’s I Never Talk About Politics.