When it comes to stump speeches, presidential contenders want their words to resonate with as many voters as possible – which may explain why Donald Trump speaks to the public at a 4th grade reading level. Today, the strategy of simplicity. Then, they say charity begins at home - but can altruism go too far? We take a look at the complicated motivations behind the actions of extreme "do-gooders", and the strangely hostile reactions they sometimes face from the world around them.
Listen to the full show.
According to a recent review by the Boston Globe, Donald Trump’s speeches operate at the fourth-grade level. To some, Trump’s simplistic rhetoric and bombastic swipes at rivals reveal that he’s too crude to hold high office…but it’s working on a broad level. Matt Viser wrote about the results for the Globe.
At the 1896 Democratic convention, William Jennings Bryan gave a speech that electrified his party and won him the nomination. His “Cross of Gold” speech is known today as one of the most important oratorical performances in American history.
You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.
Although New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary is still months away, the invisible primary is in full swing, and many votes have already been cast – by endorsements. Just how important are these political endorsements? And who is leading the invisible primary? Well, Aaron Bycoffe is meticulously tracking the political endorsements of each presidential candidate for FiveThirtyEight, so he had some ideas for us.
If someone offers to donate a kidney to a stranger, should we be impressed - or concerned? Larissa MacFarquhar, staff writer for The New Yorker, profiles extreme "do-gooders" in a new book called Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices and the Overpowering Urge to Help. In this interview, she talks about the strange, sometime hostile reactions faced by those who exercise high levels of altruism.