Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
Krista Tippett is the host of the award-winning radio show and podcast On Being. In 2014, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. For good reason. She's created, over decades, something rare in American life: spaces where people of different faiths, disciplines, and ideologies discuss divisive questions without becoming more divided, without losing sight of each other's humanity.
Tippett comes from a political family, and spent her early adulthood working on Cold War policy in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. She was a wonk who talked SALT treaties and nuclear policy for a living. But she left that life, believing that there were harder, deeper questions that language wasn’t allowing her to explore, much less answer.
I've been wanting to talk with Tippett because I think this is a moment that challenges our humanity as we engage in the daily thrum of politics. Trump makes everything he touches a bit Trumpier, he calls on our worst selves, he makes it seem more acceptable — even more necessary — to act more like him. And he degrades all of us in the process.
It has never, to me, felt harder to keep hold of decency in public life than it is now. This is something Tippett has rare skill at. Here, she both offers and models an approach all of us can learn from.
Walking the Pastures of Wonder by John O’Donahue
Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows
Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer