Safe for Democracy Podcast
June 20, 2016 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Safe for Democracy Podcast
Safe for Democracy is a site and a podcast dedicated to shining a little light on the darker spots in the history of US foreign policy. It's got a blog here, a show page here, and an RSS feed here. You can also follow on iTunes. The first episode is about the coup in Guatemala.

I got out of the Peace Corps a few months ago and first while taking care of sick parents and now while freelancing in Mexico, I've been taking a run at a podcast for brainwork. The big description of what it's about follows below, but the intro episode's a great primer and it's only six minutes and change.

See what you think.

From the homepage:

Anybody raised in the US knows the story. A grand experiment, a venture against all odds, a city upon a hill; a group of the most sainted Renaissance men in history and the infallible document they wrote; a century of growth, of conquered slavery; the next of terrible wars and a rise to global prominence and domestic bliss; the story of the Greatest Country in the World.

We get that story from birth. From well-meaning parents, from television and books and websites, from our friends and from our teachers. Drilled into us, hammered into us, never questioning what “Greatest” might mean or how to measure it.

If there’s any crack in that narrative, for Vietnam, say, it’s a minor one. There was something wrong in the world and somebody had to do something about it, so we did. And if things got messy, well, we did the best we could, but sometimes people don’t know how to be helped, and it’s a hard job being the world’s protector or policeman or referee. Whatever the outcome, we meant well and we worked towards good.

The story and the band-aids we spread over the cracks are incredibly, drastically false. For the last century and then some, American foreign policy—especially when clandestine or military—has been disastrous, damaging our own interests and playing out the petty ambitions of our leaders on the bodies and souls of millions beyond our shores.

With Safe for Democracy, we want to try to shed a little light on a few of the most egregious missteps in our hundred-year trainwreck, not because any of it's secret—some of our blunders have huge bodies of literature—but because we as a culture are determined to forget the dark spots. It's been a recipe for disaster after disaster, decade after decade.


Safe For Democracy comes in two parts: the podcast and the blog. The show’ll be more or less straight history, in episodes around 90 minutes long, using as many episodes as we need to cover a given topic. The first, Guatemala, will be two episodes, one up to the coup in 1954 and one following the aftermath until the 1990s.

The blog will catch everything else. Stray thoughts, substantive thoughts, any ephemera we turn up while researching the show.

We’re open as hell to commentary, suggestions, and audience participation, so reach out here or on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll get back to you. Until then, keep listening and keep Safe.
Role: Writer, Editor, Web Guy, Etc.
posted by TheProfessor (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This looks dope but the podcast page has some kind of SSL error that makes Chrome freak out.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:56 AM on June 20, 2016

Well what in the what.

It's only when you use https and not http.

Hmm. I've got tons of time with but this is my first go-round with

Looking into it now (frantically).

And thanks, man. I would never have known.
posted by TheProfessor at 12:12 PM on June 20, 2016

Yep, looks as though on Chrome if you're running a site and you have not purchased an SSL certificate and somebody tries to access it through https versus http, it will indeed turn up the Chrome BEWARE GO NO FURTHER thing.

But given that I'm stupid poor at the moment and there's no indication so far of future numbers and that most people get their podcasts through players and not websites, I'm going to hold off on the certificate purchase for now.

Seriously thanks though Foci.
posted by TheProfessor at 2:49 PM on June 20, 2016

You are welcome!

Also, you can get SSL certs for free now.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:27 PM on June 21, 2016

I've only listened to the intro and about half of episode 1, and I'm liking this so far. The production quality and your voice/pacing are much better than several popular, sponsored podcasts I listen to regularly. I like the site too - nice and clean. The inclusion of the bibliography is awesome. I listen to a few history and science podcasts where it's clear they're using research and sometimes just reading it which is fine except I have no way of finding the source and that's annoying. Nicely done.

I enjoy history and "the rest of the story" type things. I also have a lot of commute time to listen to podcasts so I'm always looking for more. This will be a nice addition.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:54 AM on June 22, 2016

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