My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Bruce Carlson

Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history

401 Episoden

  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    Drug Legalization Before it Was Cool: The Story of Kurt Schmoke


    timore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was called a madman, a "brilliant spokesman for a bad idea," and e even the most dangerous man in America when he called for drug legalization in the late 80s and early 90s. Those were forbidden ideas then. Yet Schmoke's statements seem prophetic now, and his radical plans are the basis of drug policy in many cities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    Disorder at the Capitol in History


    Comments from Jan 7, 2021 about the events of 1/6 and the historical context of the Capitol and safety of the government on this episode, previously unreleased. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

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  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    The Forgotten Forage War of 1777: Realities of the Revolution


    Did New Jersey Save the Revolutionary Cause? Maybe. Amid a sea of troubles, irregular units fight off the British and make their stay in New Jersey less than hospitable. A bit about George Washington's offensive campaign to be sure that the new nation would not be garrisoned. And it happened in New Jersey (we should be clear with a large contingent of soldiers from all across the Eastern Seaboard).   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Tricornes and Tomahawks - Realities of the Revolution Part I


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    About Those Hessians: Realities of the Revolution


    It's easy to forget that Hessians were people too, with the way they are discussed in history. A bit about the German "mercenaries" for the British Side in the Revolution in this episode. We discuss their true purpose and story, the impact on the Revolution and American motives. How some Hessians switched sides, or just settled down in the country they were assigned to conquer.   And we tell one Hessian's story, found in his diary by German relatives.  Since Hessians figure prominently in the Battle of Trenton, a special treat: Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer make a brief appearance on the show. Their podcast Road to Now is a favorite of My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. Check 'em out at Road to Now ( And Road to Now Theology -  We are part of Airwave Media Network.  To advertise on this podcast, contact [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    Shooting Behind Trees? Realities of The Revolution


    We look at a unsung Revolutionary War battle, The Battle of Camden, a loss for the American side that would nonetheless have some positive long-term effects, and demonstrate a common theory about the Revolution is wrong.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    What Would Cicero Say? Interview with Professor Rob Goodman of Ryerson University on Speech Issues, Modern and Ancient


    Through most of American history, calling someone a Cicero was the highest democratic honor. John Adams wrote of the Roman orator, that “as all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united in the same character, his authority should have great weight.” Thomas Jefferson said Cicero was “the father of eloquence and philosophy” John Quincy Adams dramatically said that if he did not have book of Cicero at hand it was having to live without "of one of my limbs.” And a young Abraham Lincoln reading from a borrowed library benefited greatly from his works, as well as others.   We talk to Ryerson University professor of politics and author of Words on Fire Rob Goodman about these topics. Through close readings of Cicero – and his predecessors, rivals, and successors – political theorist and former speechwriter Rob Goodman tracks the development of this ideal, in which speech is both spontaneous and stylized, and in which the pursuit of eloquence mitigates political inequalities. For Cicero, speech was essential. More than just talking or Cicero referred to speech as “what has united us in the bonds of justice, law, and civil order, this that has separated us from savagery and barbarism”. Speech was to Cicero a sign of humanity’s inherently communal and cooperative nature and one of our greatest tools in creating a prosperous life for ourselves. "Be no Atticus," John Quincy Adams told his good friend Charles Sumner when he thought he got to reclusive and too bookish and didn't get out there in the debate.  He almost could of said, "be more like Atticus's friend Cicero!" Cicero took part in debate, spoke to defend the republic and celebrated those who did. Rob Goodman's book Words on Fire is available here - We are part of Airwave Media Network. Check out the other shows there - airwave Advertise on our podcast - [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    Lincoln on Infrastructure


    Known in history for his role in ending slavery and prosecuting the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln's most important issue in his time as an elected official was infrastructure. And in that, he was little different than his pioneer constituents. In this episode, we talk about Lincoln's roots, his arguments countering objections to improvement projects (that have relevance today), and how it shaped slavery and other political issues of his time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast

    Harris and the Vice Presidency in a Historical Context


    Office or incumbent? The office has been described as a nullity and a spare tire. The historic incumbents include many 'also-rans' and some did very little to speak of in office, or anywhere.. A few did not speak to the President while in office. One VP was described as a "smiling mediocrity" (and that was supposed to be a good thing). So can you judge an occupant? The media certainly thinks so, and has made Kamala Harris a topic of attention. Is this fair? On one hand, there's an overall critical tinge to coverage that seems to have started January 21st. On the other there are some historic facts behind it, as Harris has the best predictable chance of becoming President of any modern VP, and comes from less years experience in Washington than recent incumbents. Can history add anything to such a partisan divide question? Spurred on by an article from Bill Scher in Washington Monthly - check it out [] we look at this question. Is it, as Scher suggests, the office and we need to cut its newest incumbent slack? Or does the incumbent drive? Is there any way to judge a Vice President? Short answer - We think there can be VP success and failure, but in the end, it's a political job with political goals, and that's what watchers of politics should be focused on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    The 1890's Part IV: Imperialism Just Happened


    A look at not only the Spanish-American War but the events leading up to it, including those events in Spanish politics that made tough talk as desirable in The Cortez as it was in the Congress. A look at the drift of American projection of power in the Harrison and Cleveland administrations. How McKinley wins an election on curing depression and the money supply, but his Presidency quickly is defined by foreign policy as the U.S. begins a war with Spain. Also the aftermath of that war, and the lack of results in the decade for African Americans. Finally, and of course, Roosevelt. And reflections on the role and proper historical position of Roosevelt. Music by Lee Rosevere from his Music for Podcasts - (why does his 'Music for True Crime Podcasts work for a podcast on imperalism? Hmmm.) check him out on Lee Rosevere. This concludes our series on the 1890's. If you liked it PLEASE TELL OTHERS!! We are part of Airwave Media Network Want to advertise on the podcast? - contact [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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