Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Joshua Cohen – Donald Trump's Conviction

Joshua Cohen – Donald Trump's Conviction


My guest this week is my old friend Joshua Cohen. Josh is a political philosopher who teaches at Apple University and UC Berkeley Law School and who co-edits the Boston Review. Josh and I go way back, and he’s responsible for two major developments in my career. As editor of MIT Press’s Boston Review Books imprint, he published my book, Race, Incarceration, and American Values. He also invited me to participate in a conversation on something called “Bloggingheads.” Soon after, Bloggingheads co-founder Robert Wright suggested I start hosting conversations myself, and so The Glenn Show was born.

We begin by talking about life. My life, as reported in my memoir, and Josh’s recent loss of his mother-in-law. From there we move on to Donald Trump’s recently concluded trial. Neither Josh nor I see anything worth celebrating in the former president’s conviction. Still, Josh thinks Trump is a threat to democracy. And yet, as I remind him, half the country supports Trump, and many of them do so because he expresses their contempt for an elite political class that, they feel, has left them behind. We then move on to Gaza, and a new Substack piece I published reflecting on a speech I delivered at the Palm Beach Synagogue in Florida and the problem of self-censorship during wartime. It’s proving to be rather controversial, as I expected it would. Josh suggests that I may have been too hasty in anticipating that, had I aired my views on Gaza at that synagogue, I would have offended the congregation. Do I underestimate my audience’s appetite for dissent?

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0:00 How Josh got Glenn started in podcasting

3:05 Early career advice to Glenn: Don’t be an asshole

6:30 A recent loss in Josh’s life

8:36 Did Trump’s prosecution and conviction set a dangerous precedent?

15:37 Biden’s uninspiring presidential campaign

19:38 Josh: Trump is “an enemy of and a threat to … fundamental political values”

23:22 The problem of the meritocracy

28:54 The “shame” Glenn felt after his speech at a synagogue

39:19 The things left unsaid about the Gaza War

47:22 Were Glenn’s fears about reaction to his thoughts about Gaza overblown?

51:23 Can mistaken ad hominem inferences about audiences initiate self-censorship on the part of speakers?

55:55 When Manhattan Institute President Reihan Salaam when to Berkeley

1:00:58 Josh: Campus protests have basically been a good thing

1:09:33 Josh’s thoughts on what John Rawls might have said about the State of Israel

Recorded June 1, 2024

Links and Readings

Glenn’s writing for Boston Review

Glenn and Josh’s first Bloggingheads conversation

Michael Lind’s UnHerd piece, “Trump’s Conviction Is an Assault on Democracy”

Michael Sandel’s book, The Tyranny of Merit

Michael Sandel’s Boston Review piece, “How Markets Crowd Out Morals”

Michael Sandel discusses The Tyranny of Merit on TGS

Glenn’s Substack post, “Self-Censorship in a Time of War”

Glenn’s 1994 essay, “Self-Censorship in Public Discourse: A Theory of ‘Political Correctness’ and Related Phenomena”

Glenn’s Palm Beach Synagogue speech, “What Has Become of the Partnership between Black and Jews”

John Mearsheimer on TGS

Omer Bartov on TGS

Reihan Salam’s book, Melting Pot or Civil War?

The Kalven Committee Report

John Rawls’s book, A Theory of Justice

John Rawls’s book, The Law of Peoples

Josh’s essay, “Is There a Human Right to Democracy?”

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Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute