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The Ezra Klein Show

New York Times Opinion

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*** Named a best podcast of 2021 by Time, Vulture, Esquire and The Atlantic. *** Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be jus ...
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Joe Biden’s presidency has been dominated by two foreign policy crises: the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. The funding the United States has provided in those wars — billions to both Ukraine and Israel — has drawn backlash from both the right and the left. And now, as the conflicts move into new stages with no clear end game, Biden’s policies are increa…
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We received thousands of questions in response to last week’s audio essay arguing that Democrats should consider choosing a candidate at August’s D.N.C. convention. Among them: Is there any chance Joe Biden would actually step down? Would an open convention be undemocratic? Is there another candidate who can bridge the progressive and moderate divi…
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Last week on the show, I argued that the Democrats should pick their nominee at the Democratic National Convention in August. It’s an idea that sounds novel but is really old-fashioned. This is how most presidential nominees have been picked in American history. All the machinery to do it is still there; we just stopped using it. But Democrats may …
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Biden is faltering and Democrats have no plan B. There is another path to winning in 2024 — and I think they should take it. But it would require them to embrace an old-fashioned approach to winning a campaign. Mentioned: The Lincoln Miracle by Edward Achorn If you have a question for the AMA, you can call 212-556-7300 and leave a voice message or …
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For years, Agnes Callard has been on a mission to take ethical philosophy out of the ivory tower. She examines everyday human experiences — jockeying for status, navigating jealousy, marriage — with dazzling detail, publishing regularly in mainstream publications. And she tries to live by her philosophy, too, even if it violates social conventions,…
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“If only we had a partner for peace.” That’s been the refrain in the Israel-Palestinian conflict for as long as I’ve followed it. But the truth is you don’t need just a partner — you need two partners able to deliver at the same time. So you could see it as a tragedy of history that Salam Fayyad joined the Palestinian Authority in 2002, at the heig…
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Around 40 percent of people who marry eventually get a divorce. Almost half of children are born to unmarried women. The number of close friends Americans report having has been on a steep decline since the 1990s, especially among men. Millions of us are growing old alone. We are living out a radical experiment in how we live, love, parent and age …
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Political analysts used to say that the Democratic Party was riding a demographic wave that would lead to an era of dominance. But that “coalition of the ascendant” never quite jelled. The party did benefit from a rise in nonwhite voters and college-educated professionals, but it has also shed voters without a college degree. All this has made the …
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If you’re a Democrat, how worried should you be right now? It’s strangely hard to answer that question. On the one hand, polls suggest Democrats should be very worried. President Biden looks weaker than he did as a candidate in 2020, and in matchups with Donald Trump, the election looks like a coin flip. On the other hand, Democrats staved off an e…
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It’s been just over 100 days since Hamas’s attack on Israel, and the costs of the war are staggering. In polling from late fall, 64 percent of Gazans reported that a family member had been killed or injured. Nearly two million Gazans — almost the entire population — have been displaced from their homes, and analysis of satellite imagery reveals tha…
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The fact that Donald Trump is the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination in 2024 has created a chasm in our politics. In the past, Democrats and Republicans at least understood why members of the other party liked their chosen candidates. Most conservatives weren’t confused why liberals liked Barack Obama, and vice versa for George W. Bush. But for…
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There’s this incredible dissonance at the center of our politics right now. On the one hand, all the polling suggests that Donald Trump is about to win Iowa Republican caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. He seems overwhelmingly likely to be his party’s nominee, and so possibly our next president. On the other hand, he could be constitutionally …
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Being on the internet just doesn’t feel as fun anymore. As more of our digital life is driven by algorithms, it’s become a lot easier to find movies or TV shows or music that fits our preferences pretty well. But it feels harder to find things that are strange and surprising — the kinds of culture that help you, as an individual, develop your own s…
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I’m convinced that attention is the most important human faculty. Your life, after all, is just the sum total of the things you’ve paid attention to. And we lament our attention issues all the time: how distracted we are, how drained we feel, how hard it is to stay focused or present. And yet, while there’s no shortage of advice on how to improve o…
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“We rarely think about chips, yet they’ve created the modern world,” writes the historian Chris Miller. He’s not exaggerating. Semiconductors power everything from our phones and computers to cars, planes, advanced military equipment, and A.I. systems. Chips are the foundation of modern economic prosperity, military strength and geopolitical power.…
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The holidays are one of the most social times of the year, filled with parties and family get-togethers. Many of us see friends and loved ones who we barely — or never — saw all year. Maybe we resolve to stay in better touch in the new year. But then somehow, once again, life gets in the way. This is not an accident. More and more people are living…
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It’s become something of a tradition on “The Ezra Klein Show” to end the year with an “Ask Me Anything” episode. So as 2023 comes to a close, I sat down with our new senior editor, Claire Gordon, to answer listeners’ questions about everything from the Israel-Hamas war to my thoughts on parenting. We discuss whether the war in Gaza has affected my …
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India is known as a country of paradoxes, and a new one has recently emerged. At the same time that the country is poised to become a major global player — with a booming economy and a population that recently surpassed China’s — its democracy is showing signs of decay. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration have silenced critics and i…
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Before Oct. 7, Israel appeared to many to be sliding into a “one-state reality,” where it had functional control over Gaza and the West Bank, but the Palestinians who lived there were denied full rights. In 2021, a group of hundreds of former senior defense and diplomatic officials in Israel published a report warning that this was a catastrophe — …
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Here are two thoughts I believe need to be held at once: Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7 was heinous, murderous and unforgivable, and that makes it more, not less, important to try to understand what Hamas is, how it sees itself and how it presents itself to Palestinians. Tareq Baconi is the author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palesti…
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Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the release of ChatGPT. A lot has happened since. OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, recently dominated headlines again after the nonprofit board of directors fired C.E.O. Sam Altman, only for him to return several days later. But that drama isn’t actually the most important thing going on in the A.I. world, …
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Every day, we consume a mind-boggling amount of information. We scan online news articles, sift through text messages and emails, scroll through our social-media feeds — and that’s usually before we even get out of bed in the morning. In 2009, a team of researchers found that the average American consumed about 34 gigabytes of information a day. Un…
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It is too early to talk about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. With the trauma of Oct. 7 still fresh for the Israeli public and with the ongoing devastation in Gaza, any talk of conflict-ending solutions is cruel fantasy. But it wasn’t always. Peace efforts in the Middle East have been tried over and over again. It is not a history…
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This is a conversation about the relationship between Jewishness and the Jewish State. About believing some aspects of Israel have become indefensible and also believing that Israel itself must be defended. About what it means when a religion built on the lessons of exile creates a state that inflicts exile on others. About the ugly, recurrent real…
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A New York Times and Siena College poll released Nov. 5 showed Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in five of the six key swing states, with a notable jump in support among nonwhite and young voters. In response, Democrats freaked out. But then two days later, voters across the country actually went to the polls, and Democrats and Democratic-associated …
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Earlier this week, we heard a Palestinian perspective on the conflict. Today, I wanted to have on an Israeli perspective. Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author, most recently, of “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.” In this episode, we discuss Halevi’s unusual education as an Israeli Defe…
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Before there can be any kind of stable coexistence of people in Israel and Palestine, there will have to be a stable coexistence of narratives. And that’s what we’ll be attempting this week on the show: to look at both the present and the past through Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. The point is not to choose between them. The point is to rea…
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The day before Hamas’s horrific attacks in Israel, the Arab Barometer, one of the leading polling operations in the Arab world, was finishing up a survey of public opinion in Gaza. The result is a remarkable snapshot of how Gazans felt about Hamas and hoped the conflict with Israel would end. And what Gazans were thinking on Oct. 6 matters, now tha…
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“Two things are true: Israel must do something, and what it’s doing now is indefensible.” So writes Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent at Vox. Almost a month has passed since Hamas fighters slaughtered over 1,400 people in Israel and the state mounted its furious response. For weeks, Israel has laid siege to Gaza, cutting off water and electric…
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After factional infighting dominated the G.O.P.’s struggle to elect a House speaker, it feels weirdly quaint to revisit Mitt Romney’s career. He’s served as governor, U.S. senator and presidential nominee for a Republican Party now nearly unrecognizable from what it was when he started out. At the end of his time in public office, Romney has found …
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Grief moves slowly and war moves quickly. After Hamas assailants killed at least 1,400 Israelis and took hundreds more hostage, Israel dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza in the first week of a conflict that is still ongoing. So far, more than 5,000 Palestinians are reported dead and many more injured. There’s no one way to cover this that reconc…
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Oct. 7 was Israel’s Sept. 11. That’s been the refrain. I fear that analogy carries so much more truth than the people making it intend. Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com. You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Tw…
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It’s a time of contrast and contradiction for gender queerness in America: At the same time that about 5 percent of Americans under 30 identify as transgender or nonbinary, over 20 states have passed some sort of restriction on gender-affirming care for children. In 2023 alone, over 550 anti-trans bills have been introduced across the country. The …
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The New Right has been associated with everyone from Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri to right-wing influencers and Catholic integralists. The breadth of the term can make it hard to define: Is the New Right a budding ideological movement or a toxic online subculture? What does it mean if it’s both? Stephanie Slade is a senior editor at the magazine…
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With four ongoing criminal investigations, Donald Trump is the most indicted president in U.S. history. After years of defying unwritten norms, he will now be subject to a criminal justice system defined by norms and precedents. What does due process look like for a former president? Ken White is a former federal prosecutor, a practicing criminal d…
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Love it or hate it, self-care has transformed from a radical feminist concept into a multibillion-dollar industry. But the wellness boom doesn’t seem to be making a dent in Americans’ stress levels. In 2021, 34 percent of women reported feeling burned out at work, along with 26 percent of men. Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a psychiatrist, has observed how we…
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Public libraries around the country have become major battlegrounds for today’s culture wars. In 2022, the American Library Association noted a record 1,269 attempts at censorship — almost double the number recorded in 2021. Library events like drag story times and other children’s programming have also attracted protest. How should we understand t…
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This summer has been a parade of broken climate records. June was the hottest June and July was not just the hottest July but the hottest month ever on record. At the same time, it looks like we are at the start of a green revolution: Decarbonization efforts have gone far better than what many had hoped for just a few years ago, and renewable energ…
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Should schools have been closed down? Were lockdowns a mistake? Was masking even effective? Was the economic stimulus too big? These are the questions that have defined the national conversation about Covid in recent months. They have been the subject of congressional hearings led by Republicans, of G.O.P. candidate stump speeches and of too many T…
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The global decarbonization effort is colliding headfirst with the realities of great power politics. China currently controls more than 75 percent of the world’s electric vehicle battery and solar photovoltaic manufacturing supply chains. It also processes the bulk of the so-called critical minerals, like lithium, cobalt and graphite, that are esse…
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You can’t understand the modern Republican Party without understanding the complete collapse of trust in mainstream institutions that has taken place among its voters over the last half-century. In 1964, 73 percent of Republicans said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing always or most of the time. Today, that number is down to…
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The 2024 Republican presidential primary is officially underway, and Donald Trump is dominating the field. But this is a very different contest than it was in 2016. Back then, the Republican Party was the party of foreign policy interventionism, free trade and cutting entitlements, and Trump was the insurgent outsider unafraid to buck the consensus…
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The world economy has experienced many shocks over the past few years: A pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Skyrocketing inflation. These are the stories that have dominated headlines — and for good reason. But they’ve also overshadowed a set of deeper, more fundamental shifts — the rise of China as an economic superpower, the fracturing of tr…
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As I head into a three-month book leave, I wanted to take some time to address a wide array of listeners’ questions. My column editor, Aaron Retica, joins me for a conversation that ranges from the content of my forthcoming book and President Biden’s climate record to the simulation hypothesis and legalized psychedelic therapy. We also discuss what…
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When Barbara Kingsolver set out to write her latest novel, “Demon Copperhead,” she was already considered one of the most accomplished writers of our time. She had won awards including the Women’s Prize for Fiction and a National Humanities Medal, and had a track record of best-selling books, including “The Poisonwood Bible” and “Unsheltered.” But …
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California has around half of the nation’s unsheltered homeless population. The state’s homelessness crisis has become a talking point for Republicans and a warning sign for Democrats in blue cities and states across the country. Last month, the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at the University of California, San Francisco, released a l…
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There are few actors as widely beloved as Tom Hanks. Hanks has acted in over 75 films in his 46-year career, winning the best actor Academy Award two years in a row, for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump.” And more recently, he’s the author of the short story collection “Uncommon Type” and the novel “The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Master…
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Since the release of ChatGPT, huge amounts of attention and funding have been directed toward chatbots. These A.I. systems are trained on copious amounts of human-generated data and designed to predict the next word in a given sentence. They are hilarious and eerie and at times dangerous. But what if, instead of building A.I. systems that mimic hum…
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The Inflation Reduction Act was the largest piece of climate legislation ever passed in the United States, setting aside hundreds of billions of dollars for decarbonizing the economy. But the money was always just a first step. The fate of the act’s goals hinges on whether those investments can build the energy system of the future — everything fro…
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It’s hard to think of a more celebrated figure of the 20th century than Martin Luther King Jr. He has a national memorial in Washington, D.C. His birthday is one of just 11 federal holidays. His words and legacy are routinely evoked by politicians of both major parties. I would go as far as to say he should be considered one of America’s founding f…
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