Podcast / The Time of Monsters / Jun 16, 2024

Trump Versus the Sharks

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Chris Lehmann on how gibberish resonates with the MAGA base.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Trump Versus The Sharks with Chris Lehmann | The Time of Monsters
byThe Nation Magazine

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Chris Lehmann joins Jeet Heer to discuss Trump's obsession with sharks.

Donald Trump does not like sharks. During his memorable encounter with Stormy Daniels, he fixated on a documentary about the predator that was playing on the hotel television and muttered, “I hope all the sharks die.” The former president returned to this topic at a recent campaign rally where he went on bizarre and lengthy digression asking what would be worse, being electrocuted or being eaten by a shark? Trump said he thought a shark attack would worse.

It's easy to dismiss Trump’s rantings as mere gibberish but my Nation colleague has written incisively on how this rhetoric should be understood not as logic but as an emotional and religious appeal. Chris joined me to talk about Trump’s appeal to his MAGA base. We also take up how Trump is increasingly aligned with Christian nationalism (a topic Chris wrote about here) and how the mainstream media doesn’t offer enough cultural context to make clear just how dangerous Trump’s rhetoric is.

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy

Former president Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Sunset Park on Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Las Vegas.

Former president Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Sunset Park on Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Las Vegas.

(Madeline Carter / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Donald Trump does not like sharks. During his memorable encounter with Stormy Daniels, he fixated on a documentary about the predator that was playing on the hotel television and muttered, “I hope all the sharks die.” The former president returned to this topic at a recent campaign rally where he went on bizarre and lengthy digression asking what would be worse, being electrocuted or being eaten by a shark? Trump said he thought a shark attack would be the worst way to go.

It’s easy to dismiss Trump’s rantings as mere gibberish, but my Nation colleague has written incisively on how this rhetoric should be understood not as logic but as an emotional and religious appeal. Chris joined me to talk about Trump’s appeal to his MAGA base. We also take up how Trump is increasingly aligned with Christian nationalism (a topic Chris wrote about here) and how the mainstream media doesn’t offer enough cultural context to make clear just how dangerous Trump’s rhetoric is.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Joe Biden’s Muddled Middle East Policy | The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer
byThe Nation Magazine

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, David Klion joins Jeet Heer to discuss the President’s mix of hawkish policy and moderate rhetoric.

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy

Subscribe to The Nation to Support all of our podcasts

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the weekly Nation podcast, The Time of Monsters. He also pens the monthly column “Morbid Symptoms.” The author of In Love with Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (2013) and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays and Profiles (2014), Heer has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The American Prospect, The GuardianThe New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

More from The Nation

x