Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten
Summary: Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers on the most important ideas and issues of our time, and all time. Discussions focus on topics ranging from national security and foreign affairs, to economics and politics and philosophy and culture with a classical Liberal bent and a grounding in history. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten challenges the prevailing progressive orthodoxy with a contrarian conservative/libertarian counter-narrative based in individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong, national interest-oriented and prudently used defense. Host Ben Weingarten is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, Senior Contributor at The Federalist and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media, a conservative media consulting and production company.
Did the 'Deep State' Deep Six Pentagon's Lovinger Over Discovery of Shady Defense Department Contracts to FBI Trump Informant Stefan Halper?
Former CIA operative Charles Sam Faddis, author of "Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA," sits down with Ben Weingarten to discuss his contrarian support for revoking former CIA Dir John Brennan's security clearance, politicization plaguing intel and NatSec, how to reform our institutions and drive accountability, lessons from Iraq re intervention and national interest, China's chilling dominance in intel and NatSec, the threatening nexus of failed states-narcos-Hezbollah from our South and more.
Jonathan Neumann, author of "To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel," sits down with Ben Weingarten to discuss how 'tikkun olam' became the ethos of non-Orthodox Jewry, the perversion of Jewish values and principles by those who have supplanted the religion with Leftism -- justified by a baseless theory of tikkun olam, why Neumann argues "Jewish social justice effectively has no need for Jews qua Jews", the correlation between tikkun olam and anti-Zionism and much more.
Iran expert Michael Ledeen chats with Ben Weingarten on whether Iran's regime will survive, what the US might do to help topple it, the phony Sunni-Shia split, Iran's dissidents and more. We also discuss historical targeting by the NatSec and foreign policy establishment of pro-Israel and/or Iran hawks, and the related sackings of Larry Franklin and Gen Michael Flynn. Ledeen, who co-authored a book with Flynn, surmises Flynn falsely pled guilty, and explains why he believes Flynn was politically targeted.
Nationally syndicated radio host, prolific columnist and co-founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, chats with Ben Weingarten about how Prager developed his conservative views -- contrary to his Jewish intellectual peers, how religiosity and one's view of human nature impacts one's politics, reason versus emotion on the Left and Right and the practical consequences, the importance of Western values in immigration policy, the state of free speech in America, social media censorship and PragerU and much more.
Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law, one of the preeminent classical liberal thinkers in modern American history, chats with Ben Weingarten about private property rights and eminent domain, why classical liberalism is the most sound of philosophies and minimal regulation the most prudent of policies, whether America should abolish the administrative state, attacks on free speech, the wisdom or lack thereof in regulating social media companies and much more.
Rachelle Peterson of the National Association of Scholars chats with Ben Weingarten about the aims and activities of China's Confucius Institutes on U.S. college campuses, including their Communist party backing and oversight, subjecting of U.S. programs to Chinese law, the leverage such Institutes provide over American schools, their propagandizing and whitewashing of Chinese atrocities and human rights abuses, surveillance and alleged espionage efforts and legislative efforts to probe and counter them.
For Independence Day, we take a deep dive into the Declaration of Independence, discussing: Its unique place in human history; the link between natural law, faith and freedom; the Founders' emphasis on virtue to sustain limited govt; the criticality of the Declaration to the Constitution; parallels between King George's abuses and today's federal Leviathan from the administrative state to sanctuary cities; the Founders' views on slavery, Lincoln and Frederick Douglass; defending liberty against tyranny.
Doug Schoen, Democrat pollster and political consultant chats with Ben Weingarten about his lessons from a life as a master practitioner and student of politics, his insider view of government and how it has impacted his political philosophy, the threats facing us both globally in terms of China and Russia, and at home in terms of the bloat of government, rot in our institutions and our inability to share in a common vision for America. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigideas.
Penn Law professor Amy Wax chats with Ben Weingarten about the superiority of bourgeois values, the comments on race and academic performance that got her ousted from teaching her first-year class, the ramifications of her case for academic freedom, Wax's criticism of affirmative action and diversity, the state of free speech on college campuses, grappling with uncomfortable truths, the anti-Western nature of the modern academy and much more. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigideas.
Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review, one of the nation’s foremost NatSec analysts/legal experts, and former Assistant US Atty in the SDNY chats with Ben Weingarten about Russiagate, the pervasive unethical and at times lawless behavior of law enforcement and the intelligence community re Trump and Russia versus Hillary Clinton and her e-mail server, the apparently limitless Mueller special counsel mandate, obstruction of justice and much more. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigidea
Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review, one of the nation’s foremost NatSec analysts/legal experts, and former Assistant US Atty in the SDNY chats with Ben Weingarten about prosecuting the Blind Sheikh -- mastermind of the first WTC attack -- and what it taught Andy about Islamic supremacism, what animates jihadists, willful blindness towards jihad, why US Middle East policy fails from Libya to Syria and collapsing Iran's Khomeinist regime. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigideas.
Andrew Klavan, a screenwriter, bestselling novelist, contributor to City Journal and PJ Media and proprietor of The Daily Wire's 'The Andrew Klavan Show,' chats with Ben Weingarten about his intellectual journey from liberal to conservative, the criticality of culture to politics and how conservatives can compete, regressive progressivism, political correctness and saying the unsayable, Islam, freedom of speech and Silicon Valley and much more. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigideas.
Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal and author most recently of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe sits down with host Ben Weingarten, Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Senior Contributor at The Federalist to discuss identity politics, multiculturalism and criminal justice. Show notes, transcript and more at benweingarten.com/bigideas.