Sep 15, 2020
Many Evangelicals and conservatives share an embattlement mindset. Somehow we’re always losing the culture wars despite political gains and cultural acceptance, and even when we’re in the majority politically or enjoy unprecedented influence we can’t shake the feeling that the other shoe is about to drop. No majority, position, or gain is ever secure and we’re just one election away from losing everything.
But where does this embattlement mindset come from? Is it simply crackpot paranoia? Is there something embedded in the histories of the Right and Evangelicalism that gives this mindset an air of legitimacy? Or is it a little bit of both?
Paul Matzko joins Josh to answer these questions by exploring the murky histories of the radio Right in the 1960s, Kennedy’s successful efforts at censoring opposition, and the cultural significance of Evangelicals’ evolution from The Painter of Light Thomas Kinkade to The Painter of Trump Jon McNaughton.
Paul Matzko is a historian (PhD, Penn State) specializing in the intersection of politics and religion in twentieth century America. His work also draws from media studies, public choice economics, gender studies, and social movement theory.
Paul’s book The Radio Right, was published earlier this year, which tells the story of the 1960s far Right, who were frustrated by what they perceived to be liberal bias in the national media, particularly the media's sycophantic relationship with the John F. Kennedy administration. His book provides the essential pre-history for the last four decades of conservative activism, as well as the historical context for current issues of political bias and censorship in the media.
Paul has taught multiple courses at Penn State, both on campus and online, and worked as an adjunct at Princeton University. He is currently the Assistant Editor for Tech and Innovation at Libertarianism.org, an outreach of the Cato Institute, where he runs a regular column and also hosts a podcast on emerging technology called Building Tomorrow. He cohosts the Impolitic podcast dedicated to friendly conversations on politics, culture, and history from the standpoint of his own libertarian views and the socialists views of his friend Sean Trainor.
Paul can be found on Twitter @PMatzko