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American Nihilism

In a somewhat recent tweet, Katherine Boyle pushed people to "believe in something, anything" with pictures of the rapid declines in patriotism and religion paired with massive increases in anxiety and depression. ( In Saagar's recent appearance on the Red Scare pod, they briefly discussed nihilism. One major challenge I see in today is the rise of nihilism specifically within American elites. Everything Everywhere All At Once has an explicitly nihilistic message and it won best picture and a bunch of other awards. In my view, many America's leaders dont believe in America or anything else anymore. What do you both think about the rise of nihilism? How can we counter it, if you think we should? Any reflections would be great.

Tucker vs Trump

Is Tucker Carlson the only person who could beat Donald Trump in a 2024 GOP primary?

RFK Jr and Dem Primary

I personally don't take RFK Jr's candidacy all too seriously and now that Biden has announced he will almost certainly be the nominee, but what I found interesting was in some recent polls RFK Jr was hovering around 20%. I'm wondering what you think causes this. Is it just anti Biden votes? Does the Kennedy name really still hold that much sway in the minds of Democratic primary voters? The fact his candidacy could get 20% in any poll in today's Democratic party just doesn't make sense to me, but what do you think?

Who would you vote for in a Trump vs. Biden 2024 rematch?

Assuming that Biden and Trump become the respective party nominees, who would you vote for in that matchup? Biden is clearly losing some cognitive capacity due to his age, but Trump did January 6 and will probably be on the receiving end of multiple indictments by that point. It seems like the absolute worst grudge rematch of all time, but if you had to choose, who would you vote for and why?

How is it possible that the defence budget increases annually but its not going into defence production?

A common anti-support-to-Ukraine talking point is that the weapons shipments to Ukraine from the US are drawing down US stockpiles, and the US defence production capacity is not able to keep up with this demand. If I misstated that position, please flesh it out further. My real question is: how is it possible that the US defence production isn't capable of reproducing the munitions and weapons that have been sent to Ukraine if the US defence budget increases every year? That's always the part that confused me. The US defence budget has precipitously increased in nominal terms since 2001, so if the money isn't going to defence production, where it it going? Is the problem that I'm looking at the nominal value and not defence spending as a share of the overall budget? Or is the problem that the money is being spent on something OTHER than defence production?