In the early 2000s, neoconservatism was the dominant strain of political thought on the right. Bush the younger was president in the U.S. and The West was under attack by Osama Bin Laden. And it was in this time that a young Daniel Goldwater found himself identifying as a neoconservative.

Over time, Daniel has drifted away from his neocon past—or has he? In a special episode of The Goldwaters, Samantha Goldwater-Adler interviews her younger brother to see where his political views lie now, and how much that’s changed in the last 15 or so years.What Samantha wants to find out is, now that we live in the age of Trump, what insight Daniel has into how the mind of a young conservative can be changed.

“There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how do we change people’s minds? How do you shift people over,” Samantha said. “You’ve shifted quite dramatically over the past, let’s say, decade.” Part of Daniel’s advice? Read voices you disagree with to find out where they’re coming from. The other? “I think it’s acknowledging the grievances [of people you disagree with],” Daniel said. “Let’s pay attention to their grievances.”

Further Reading:

  • Daniel Goldwater: Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? By Robert Nozick “It really had a major effect on me. And it influences me a bit to this day,” Daniel said. It’s an essay that argues intellectuals don’t like capitalism as a system because it doesn’t value their skillset as thinkers. “That hostility, and that anger, never really goes away among the intellectual set.”
  • Letters to a Young Contrarian By Christopher Hitchens For his second recommendation, Daniel suggests this book of essays by Hitchens. “The theme being his contrarian impulses, and all the ideologies he’s explored over his life that also had a great influence on me,” Daniel said. “The importance of being provocative, the importance of always questioning the prevailing ideology, and to not be afraid to explore ideologies and to do it with a little bit of charm and wit and live to life like a work of art—and those are fun things.”

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PHOTO CREDIT: Dr Case/Flickr

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