Hello, 2019: What Lies Ahead On The National And World Stages In The New Year

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A reveler celebrates as confetti falls during a celebration of the new year in New York's Times Square in New York on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, as they take part in a New Year's Eve celebration. (Adam Hunger/AP)
A reveler celebrates as confetti falls during a celebration of the new year in New York's Times Square in New York on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, as they take part in a New Year's Eve celebration. (Adam Hunger/AP)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Welcome to 2019. We'll talk with some big thinkers about the major political, economic and cultural forces that will shape the New Year.


Beverly Gage, historian, professor of history and director of the program in grand strategy at Yale University. Author of the forthcoming "G-Man: J Edgar Hoover and the American Century." (@beverlygage)

Diane Swonk, chief economist and managing director with the consulting firm Grant Thornton. Specialist on the economics of the labor market. (@DianeSwonk)

Ian Lustick, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania (@PennSAS), specializing in comparative politics, international relations and Middle East politics. Author of the forthcoming "Paradigm Lost in the Promised Land: The Impossibility of Two States, the Reality of One."

Two Republicans Share Differing Views: Who's To Blame For Government Dysfunction?

Callers John and Duane, both self-identified Republicans, weighed in on the current state of the country and the government during the broadcast. For John, the president represents a departure from the GOP values he stands behind. For Duane, Democratic leadership in Congress is to blame for legislative stalling.

Here's their conversation, which was moderated by host Meghna Chakrabarti.

John: "I'm a business owner here in the Bangor, Maine, area. The way things have been going for me, personally — I'm a Republican, I am very disappointed with the state of the United States at the moment. To kind of touch base with what [Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal] said, I'd rather go down the road with someone who has pride and honesty, than to go down the road of someone who is a liar and a deceiver. So, in a nutshell, I was raised in the type of sense where you go down working hard for someone who is honest, and works hard, and tells the truth, and someone who is a liar, even if you seem like you're making money and the economy is going good and everything is great, you just don't follow that just because you're doing appear to be doing good on paper."

Duane: "I think he's wrong about that. I think that Congress and the Senate and all of the politicians are liars. They'll tell you one thing and do another. Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, Dick Durbin — every one of them needs to go. They are the problem. They've been the problem all along. They don't want a border wall, but yet they live behind a gated community. They don't want firearms for legal people, but yet they have armed bodyguards. I tell you what we need to do. Let's get rid of them or cut their pay."

John: "The way I respond to that is that I've been a Republican for over 50 years, and the first thing, the problem with what he's saying is, it's not true. He is right, there is a lot of corruption in the world, period. But when you've got people that do fact checks who can determine — if a person says, 'That building,' for example, 'That Home Depot building logo color is orange,' and then another fellow comes by saying, 'No, that's purple,' it's just the facts. It's just the way it is. I'm sorry this gentleman feels the way he feels, but he has to have concrete information to prove it. He has to prove what he's saying. I can prove what I'm saying. Donald Trump is a liar. He should not be a part of our Republican Party at all. I miss [George W.] Bush. You may not like Bush, but you know what? At the end of the day, you knew you had someone that was going to say, 'You may not like me, but this is the way it is and this is the truth.' "

Duane: "It's just like this: You look at Bill Clinton's term, the Republicans, the Contract for America. The Republicans worked with Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton got a lot of stuff done because the Republicans didn't pull the other way. They went with him on some stuff, and some of it wasn't that great but they still went with him. Nancy Pelosi and every one of those guys in the Democratic Party are spiteful, vindictive people. They don't want to get nothing done. Look at California. California is in debt more than most countries are."

Listen to the full exchange, along with responses from our roundtable guests, with the audio player below.

From The Reading List

CBS News: "A look ahead: What's next for Washington in 2019?" — "If you think this year has felt like a political rollercoaster ride, you might want to fasten your seat belts even tighter for next year.

"'2019 has the potential, I think, to be one of those cataclysmic years that historians write about,' said USA Today's Susan Page, who says President Trump's battles of the past two years will pale in comparison to those he'll face when Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats take control of the House on January 3.

"'He's been president for two years with no effective Congressional oversight of himself or of his administration,' Page said. 'And that is about to change.'

"House Democrats will have subpoena power, and they plan to use it to compel testimony from a parade of potentially incriminating witnesses and to uncover secret documents, including the president's tax returns."

Foreign Policy: "10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019" — "In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot.

"As the era of largely uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international order has been thrown into turmoil. More leaders are tempted more often to test limits, jostle for power, and seek to bolster their influence—or diminish that of their rivals—by meddling in foreign conflicts. Multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional, zero-sum politics. Instruments of collective action, such as the United Nations Security Council, are paralyzed; those of collective accountability, including the International Criminal Court, are ignored and disparaged.

"Nostalgia can be deceptive. Too fond a portrayal of the era of Western hegemony would be misleading. Iraq’s chemical weapons use against Iran in the 1980s; the 1990s bloodletting in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Somalia; the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Sri Lanka’s brutal 2009 campaign against the Tamils; and the collapse of Libya and South Sudan: all these happened at a time of—in some cases because of—U.S. dominance and a reasonably coherent West. A liberal and nominally rules-based order hardly stopped those setting the rules from discarding them when they saw fit. The erosion of Western influence, in short, looks different from Moscow, Beijing, and the developing world than it does from Brussels, London, or Washington."


Washington Post: "2019: The Year in Preview" — "If there’s one thing this past year taught us, it’s that predicting the future is a dangerous business in a world where even the present sometimes seems hard to understand. But while it may be impossible to know exactly how the year will go, the broad outlines of the debates, ideas and trouble spots that we’ll all be looking back on this time next December are already emerging. So once again, we’ve asked Washington Post beat reporters and columnists to forecast the big stories, themes and questions they think will dominate 2019. Here’s Outlook’s third annual Year in Preview."

CBS News: "A look ahead: What's next for the Middle East in 2019?" — "In the Middle East, division, strife and shifting alliances have emerged – including an unlikely one between Israel and Saudi Arabia against a common perceived enemy: Iran. Proxy wars have also flared.

"'Unpredictability is the most common denomination in the Middle East,' said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli diplomat.

"Doane asked, 'For people who have a passing knowledge or interest in the Middle East, what should they be looking for in 2019?'

"Pinkas replied, 'Three things, I think: The expansion of ISIS and Hezbollah military activities (ISIS is not dead by any measure); the major question of Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal; and the absence of a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace process.' "

Stefano Kotsonis produced this show for broadcast.

This article was originally published on January 02, 2019.

This program aired on January 2, 2019.


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