The election of Donald Trump shocked America and the world — and that included Dastardly Cleverness host Spencer Critchley. But Spencer believes now that we should have seen Trump coming, like we should have seen the approach of this hyper-partisan crisis of democracy we’re going through.
He’s written a book about it, called Patriots of Two Nations: Why Trump Was Inevitable & What Happens Next, available now at Amazon.com. We hear an excerpt from it in this episode.
In the book, Spencer explains why Trump or someone like him has been on his way since this country’s beginning. The Founders thought they could design a new kind of nation, one based on the Enlightenment triumph of reason. But many Americans rejected the Enlightenment back then, and many still do. So the United States has never been truly united: it’s divided not just by race and class, but by culture and worldview.
Supporters and opponents of Trump see America, loyalty, and even truth very differently.
Uniting those nations is going to require that they finally learn to understand each other. I think that might still be possible.
For the sake of democracy, it has to be.
About Spencer Critchley
Spencer Critchley is a writer, producer, and communications consultant with experience in journalism, film, digital media, public relations, advertising, and music.
As a communication consultant, he has worked for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, former Congressman Sam Farr, the US Department of Labor, the University of California at Berkeley, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and many others.
As a digital media producer, his clients have included David Bowie, Moby, Santana, Britney Spears, and others while he was with Thomas Dolby’s Beatnik Inc; the Silicon Graphics-Time Warner-ATT interactive TV system; Silicon Gaming; and the multiple award-winning Choosing Success multimedia program for CCC/Viacom, described by Wired magazine as “the most inspired piece of educational software ever created.”
As a journalist, he reported stories for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, the Associated Press, and others, winning awards for investigative reporting from the Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Inc. His reporting exposed a cult operating in eight US states, and human rights abuses and murders in post-Gulf War Kuwait.
For CBC Radio, he was a correspondent and guest host for the national entertainment and popular culture show Prime Time, the host of the syndicated Canada Rocks record review, and a contributor to The Entertainers and other programs. He has written for the Huffington Post, O’Reilly Radar, Business Insider, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and other publications, and is the host of the Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good podcast.
As a composer and music producer, he was signed to Warner-Chappell Music Publishing. He created music for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation including for the Peabody Award-winning CBC Radio drama “Paris from Wilde to Morrison” and the series shows Prime Time, Radio Banned, and Metro Morning. He composed the score (with collaborator Marco D’Ambrosio) and produced the music, dialog, and sound design for the Emmy-winning PBS documentary Blink.
Spencer is an adjunct lecturer in Journalism for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He has been a guest speaker for Stanford University’s documentary film program; the American Film Institute, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; Art Center College of Design; California State University Monterey Bay; the American Constitution Society; MacWorld; Intel Developer World; the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC); Interpret America; the New Teacher Center; the California Association of Public Information Officials; and the SXSW, Hot Springs, and Bermuda Film Festivals.
He has been interviewed or quoted by ABC News, the Associated Press, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Deutsche Welle, Fox News, ITV (UK), Sky News (UK), and others.