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Meltdown [EN]

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Jacobin Magazine pubblica un articolo su una nuova serie di podcast – intitolata Meltdown – in cui il giornalista David Sirota e il documentarista Alex Gibney propongono un’analisi delle conseguenze politiche e sociali della crisi finanziaria del 2008 e della sua gestione durante la presidenza Obama.

For an event so utterly cataclysmic, the meltdown of 2008–9 is rarely remembered as the formative political and cultural moment it so clearly was, if indeed it is remembered at all. Bringing about millions of foreclosures and a trail of human misery in its wake, the crisis touched virtually anything and everything that came after it, but, alongside the “war on terror,” has fast been relegated to the back burner of the United States’ cultural memory.

La tesi di Sirota, che narra il podcast, è che la crisi politica (definita appunto meltdown) del 2009 è un disastro al pari dei fallimenti e della crisi bancaria dell’anno precedente, ed è strettamente legata alla sconfitta dei Democratici nel 2016 e all’emergere dell’estrema destra nel discorso politico americano.

For parts of the United States’ liberal intelligentsia, the election of Donald Trump was (and still is) an enigma: a kind of one-off rupture in space and time, unexplainable by the laws that typically govern the universe. One possible explanation of these omissions is that a more honest grappling with the financial crisis and its implications inevitably also involves a reckoning with the record of the Obama administration — a reckoning simply too uncomfortable for some to undertake.

Il podcast attinge all’esperienza di Sirota come giornalista e consulente politico, oltre che dal contributo di ospiti come Thomas Frank, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, John Nichols, e Matt Taibbi, e racconta fatti poco noti legati alla crisi, che gli autori ritengono sia stata marginalizzata nella discussione politica successiva.

In questa intervista i due autori approfondiscono alcuni dei temi di Meltdown, inseriti nel più ampio dibattito politico americano, raccontando anche alcuni retroscena. Per esempio di come Sirota abbia ottenuto nel 2006 un’intervista dall’allora senatore Obama:

I was living in Montana at the time and had worked on a couple of campaigns. I was moving into writing a book about corruption, and I had written some small piece about Obama voting for — I think he had voted for a couple of George W. Bush nominees who were terrible. […] And he called me on the phone, this is 2006, and said, “I think you’ve got me pegged wrong. I’m actually a progressive guy. And I think you’re misinterpreting the votes that I cast.” And I said, “Oh, interesting. How about I come spend a day sort of trailing you on Capitol Hill. We’ll have a couple of interviews, and I’ll ask you some questions?”

So, I went and did that. And it was a really fascinating experience because he’s obviously a thinking person. He’s a super impressive guy. One-on-one, he’s obviously a smart guy. But a funny side note is that I came home from the interview and I told my wife, “Wow, this guy is really incredible! He’s amazing! What a mind he’s got!” My wife said, “Don’t write your article yet. Print out the transcript and then let me read it, and then you’ll read it. I want to just see what he said.”

So, she came back, and she said, “Look at all these ways he’s contradicting himself. And he’s not really saying much over there.” And I thought, “Oh my God. This guy’s got the Force,” like in the scene from Star Wars. . . A “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” kind of Force.

Immagine da Pixabay

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