What a show! Returning to the podcast, possibly for the last time, is Steven F. Hayward, author of the Almanac of Environmental Trends, the two-volume Age of Reagan, and other fine books. Hayward has been stirring up trouble on the right lately, first with his essay in the fall issue of the Breakthrough Journal on "Modernizing Conservatism"; then with his recent article at National Review Online and follow-up posts at Powerline comparing Newt Gingrich to Winston Churchill.
We asked Steve to come on the podcast to confess and recant his heresy. Instead, he embraced the charges and doubled-down. Listen and judge for yourself.
(Incidentally, Hayward laid the groundwork for some of this in the second volume of his Age of Reagan. We discussed his assessment of the Reagan Revolution and the present state of the conservative movement on this podcast in 2009.)
Among the questions we discuss:
• Is conservatism failing?
• What, if anything, can replace the Republicans' "starve the beast" strategy?
• Is the welfare state really a "fact of life"?
• What would an ideal tax system look like? How about a progressive consumption tax?
• Can politicians ever stop tinkering with the tax code?
• What can Republican governors teach us?
• Does the United States need a third party?
• Is the gap between left and right unbridgeable?
• And much, much more!
Music heard in this podcast:
• "The Inquisition," Mel Brooks
• "Family Affair," Bobby Hutcherson
• "Heretics," Andrew Bird
• "We Just Disagree," Dave Mason
• "Good King Wencesles," Unknown Artist
Programming note: We've changed the way we identify the episodes. This episode of "The Ben and Joel Podcast" is Vol. 4, No. 8. You might be wondering, whatever happened with Vol. 4, No. 1? Eventually, "lost episodes" become corny clichés.