The Score: Korea Summit, Net Neutrality, Primary Elections, Napoleon Bonaparte
This week on The Score: Will Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un rid Korea of nuclear arms? What happens now that the primary elections are over? Have we seen the last of Net Neutrality? And why is Napoleon Bonaparte in Richmond?
This week we hear from experts on nuclear diplomacy, Virginia politics, and Internet regulation — plus our film critic puts on another hat to become a museum critic.
First, on Monday night and Tuesday, President Donald Trump was in Singapore to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It was a historic meeting because no other sitting U.S. president has had face time with a North Korean strongman. Whether the ultimate results of the Singapore Summit are equally historic remains an open question, especially in light of Trump’s obsequious behavior toward the murderous human-rights violator Kim.
I went to the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia to speak with political scientist Todd Sechser. Dr. Sechser’s research interests include military coercion, reputations in international relations, the strategic effects of nuclear weapons, and the sources and consequences of military doctrine. Sechser is co-author (with Matthew Fuhrmann) of Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy, published in 2017 by the Cambridge University Press. A few weeks ago, he spoke to us on The Score about the Iran nuclear deal. I asked Dr. Sechser for his overall impressions of the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore.
Early this week, as a result of a vote by the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission, now with a Republican majority, the Net Neutrality regulations imposed on the Internet by the Obama administration’s FCC (then with a Democratic majority) came to an end. It appears, so far, to have had no effect on the way you or I access web sites, Facebook, email, or dating apps.
Not long ago, I spoke to Berin Szóka, president of TechFreedom, about how the government regulates technology. Continuing our conversation, I asked him about his interactions with Members of Congress and congressional staff on tech issues in general. I also asked him to shed some light on the topic of net neutrality. What is it? Who’s for it? Who’s against it?
Primary elections and VMFA
On Tuesday, June 12, Virginia voters went to the polls to nominate candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Forty-five percent of Republican voters chose Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart as their standard-bearer in the Senate race this year. Stewart will face off against Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016, and Libertarian Party nominee Matt Waters.
There were also a number of candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties chosen to run for Congress this fall. I spoke to Geoffrey Skelley of the UVA Center for Politics a couple of days after the election and asked him for his analysis of the results.
Tim Hulsey usually delivers film reviews to The Score. This week he escapes from the cinema and instead goes to a museum. He recommends that we should head to Richmond and see the exhibit about Napoleon at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). It’s got something for history buffs and art lovers alike, and it’s suitable for the whole family.
From the Archives
Given the low voter turnout in this past week’s primary elections in Virginia, I thought I would turn to an old interview with philosophy Professor Jason Brennan, author of The Ethics of Voting. For our “From the Archives” segment, here is my interview with Jason Brennan from July 2011.
Among Brennan’s insights: “Thomas Edison did a lot more for us with his inventions than he ever would have done as a voter. Michelangelo did a lot more with his art than he ever would have done as a voter.” And this: “Private civil society is really important for promoting the common good. If civic virtue is about promoting the common good, then private civil society might be the way to do it.”