Scott Carrier's "Home of the Brave" is a quizzical, dryly funny, often soulfully incisive political podcast. Carrier's low-key tone and delivery may take a minute to get used to (especially if you're trying to determine his political leanings by his voice, as I am sometimes stupidly wont to do), but what he says is often fascinating, never simplistic, and quite human.
The most recent episode, "It's All Over Now," begins with several minutes of listener calls edited for maximum impact. In a past episode, Carrier had raised the notion of a protest where thousands would go to Washington and literally surround the White House. His listeners, a dryly funny bunch, are not so sure the plan has merit. One listener says he is "not so into surrounding the White House literally," which leads to a momentary reverie by Carrier on how one might surround the White House "metaphysically." After another plan (everyone shaves their heads and sends all the hair to Washington) is beaten about a bit, Carrier moves on to the meat of the show, where he delivers a quietly stirring op-ed.
For this episode, Carrier's op-ed frames President Trump not as a villain but as a "tragic hero," "a fraud who knows he's doomed to fail," but who "rose to power blending truth and fiction like a jazz musician." Carrier sees a moment soon when Trump will no longer know the difference between reality and lies, "and at this point Donald Trump will have entered The Twilight Zone." He says that we need to take control of the narrative and start characterizing Trump as a tragically flawed Charles Foster Kane type.
That's all well and good (and it really is compelling), but what sold me on "Home of the Brave" was the episode's coda, where Carrier ends the show with audio of Bonnie Raitt performing Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" some years ago on David Letterman's show. Signing off, he says the performance comforted him, because it reminded him that "Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan and David Letterman are bigger and better than Donald Trump."
Title: "Home of the Brave"
Episodes Available: 64
Episode Length: 20 minutes
Where to Download: iTunes
Host: Scott Carrier