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In-Depth Interview: Author Thomas Frank Talks About His New Book, “Listen, Liberal”

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One of our favorite guests returns, as Thomas Frank drops by the Secret Studio for a freewheeling chat about the #2 corporate party, the Democrats.Tom Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, and the seminal What’s the Matter with Kansas?  His new book just dropped, Listen, Liberal: or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?

Frank’s new book traces the shift of the Democratic Party from its pro-worker stance through the 1960’s to its increasingly corporate focus today.  We talk about airline deregulation in the moderate Carter administration, and the rise of the pro-business Democratic Leadership Council with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.

He peels back the nostalgia of the Clinton boom, and edges up to Democratic blasphemy with a critical review of welfare reform, media deregulation, bank deregulation and the deal with Newt Gingrich to privatize Social Security.

Frank’s key point is that party leaders and political hacks believe that Democrats win when they shift to the right, when in fact the swing voters are drawn to the left, especially on economic issues.

Woven into the conversation are Frank’s comments on the current political circus, why voters are attracted to Trump, and why Clinton supporters feel entitled–because it’s her turn.