Senior editor for Business Insider and host of KCRW’s Left, Right & Center Josh Barro knows it’s not easy to keep your sanity during this election season. Next week he’s coming to LA to host LRC Live at the Ace Theater. Before he gets here we wanted to know if there was anything out on the campaign trail that still inspires him and what we should keep talking about when the election is over.
What’s the most inspiring moment of the campaign so far?
Everybody is going to say this, but it was when Khizr Khan held up his pocket constitution so Donald Trump could shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
The most confounding moment?
Watching the Republican Party, from Paul Ryan on down the organizational chart, get behind a fascist through a combination of careerism, cynicism, naïveté and bigotry.
What’s your favorite drink?
Knob Creek Manhattan, straight up
Preferred drink if Trump wins?
Donald Trump is not going to win this election.
If Hillary wins?
Champagne. And then I’ll go to sleep for a week.
What’s the most important thing the candidates are not talking about?
While both candidates are talking about Syria, I don’t think either of them is grappling very seriously with the lack of good options for American action there.
The most important thing the press isn’t talking about?
Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda. In fairness, I also thought this wasn’t very important for a while, because Republicans in Congress would block her legislative agenda. In that case, her actual policy agenda would have to be not what’s in her campaign policy papers, but an extension of what President Obama is doing now, trying to act as much as possible through executive authority. But now that there is some chance Democrats will sweep back into control of both chambers of Congress, it’s time to think in more detail with what Democrats would do with the power to legislate.
What’s the one thing you wish every citizen knew?
I wish they knew that real media outlets are more reliable than conspiracy websites and email forwards.
What’s your favorite political movie?
“Quiz Show,” about the congressional investigation into the 1950s game show rigging scandals.
What’s your favorite song to get you through this election campaign?
Anything other than “Fight Song.”
What’s your favorite thing about LA?
I live in New York, but in part thanks to Left, Right & Center, I get to LA every couple of months. I think it’s America’s best restaurant city. It’s much harder to find good Korean tacos in New York. I also like that people in LA follow politics while retaining a psychologically healthy distance from it. New York and Washington have been sucked into a Trump vortex for the last 15 months; in LA, it feels more like I can breathe.
In Election 2016, facts are up for debate, satire seems insufficient, and the two major-party candidates are the least popular in history. The bitter contest between Trump and Clinton is less about policy than identity and what makes America great (again?). Where can you turn to make sense of the madness?
Join KCRW’s trusted team of informed thinkers on Oct. 20 for a live broadcast of Left, Right & Center. We’ll take an unflinching look at the probable winners, the clear losers and the inevitable consequences of choosing left, right or center – or none of the above – on November 8th.