Opinion | How 2020 Changed Our Minds

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Happy New Year and good riddance, 2020! Ross and Michelle ring in 2021 with a reflection on how their opinions changed during “this wild and crazy and terrible and interesting and disastrous and a longer list of adjectives year,” as Ross so eloquently defines 2020. The hosts are joined by a bevy of thoughtful “Argument” listeners who share what — or who — made them look at the world in a new way this year.

Then, Michelle and Ross offer their hopes for 2021, and recommend two streaming options that young and old can enjoy together.

Background Reading:

Ross on why trusting “the science” is a political choice, on why so many of his fellow Republicans cling to the belief the 2020 election was stolen, and whether there will continue to be Trumpism after Donald Trump leaves the White House

Michelle on the damage left by Trump’s presidency, her prediction of a diminished post-presidency Trump, and the column she would rewrite, on Joe Biden’s canvassing tactics

How to listen to “The Argument”:

Press play or read the transcript (found by midday Friday above the center teal eye) at the top of this page, or tune in on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher or your preferred podcast listening app. Tell us what you think at [email protected]

Ross Douthat

I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist since 2009, and I write about politics, religion, pop culture, sociology and the places where they intersect. I’m a Catholic and a conservative, in that order, which means that I’m against abortion and critical of the sexual revolution, but I tend to agree with liberals that the Republican Party is too friendly to the rich. I was against Donald Trump in 2016 for reasons specific to Donald Trump, but in general I think the populist movements in Europe and America have legitimate grievances and I often prefer the populists to the “reasonable” elites. I’ve written books about Harvard, the G.O.P., American Christianity and Pope Francis, and decadence. Benedict XVI was my favorite pope. I review movies for National Review and have strong opinions about many prestige television shows. I have four small children, three girls and a boy, and live in New Haven with my wife. @DouthatNYT

Michelle Goldberg

I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times since 2017, writing mainly about politics, ideology and gender. These days people on the right and the left both use “liberal” as an epithet, but that’s basically what I am, though the nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency has radicalized me and pushed me leftward. I’ve written three books, including one, in 2006, about the danger of right-wing populism in its religious fundamentalist guise. (My other two were about the global battle over reproductive rights and, in a brief detour from politics, about an adventurous Russian émigré who helped bring yoga to the West.) I love to travel; a long time ago, after my husband and I eloped, we spent a year backpacking through Asia. Now we live in Brooklyn with our son and daughter. @michelleinbklyn

“The Argument” is a production of The New York Times Opinion section. The team includes Alison Bruzek, Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez, Vishakha Darbha, Kathy Tu, Kate Sinclair, Paula Szuchman and Isaac Jones. Special thanks to Michelle Harris.

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