With his attacks on judges and journalists, his attempts to quell inquiries into his campaign’s Russia ties, his early-morning tweetstorms, and so much more, Donald Trump has breached every norm of presidential conduct. And he’s testing the constitutional separation of powers in ways the nation’s founders could never have anticipated.
In this episode, we try to understand Trump’s impact on government—and what his presidency might mean for America’s future—using a metaphor from the aerospace business: gimbal lock. It’s one of the perils that haunted the astronauts on the star-crossed Apollo 13 moon mission, and it may be a useful way to understand what happens when a single powerful figure undercuts the founders’ system of checks and balances, or what journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson has called our “constitutional gyroscope.”
Featured guests include Amy Shira Teitel, Yascha Mounk, and David Eaves.
The Soonish theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. Additional music by Lee Rosevere and Tim Beek, timbeek.com.
As always, there's much more information about this episode on the Soonish show notes page.
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