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Episode 160: The Legacy of J. Irwin Miller with Geoffrey Kabaservice (REWIND)

Episode 160: The Legacy of J. Irwin Miller with Geoffrey Kabaservice (REWIND)

Looking back at two declining, but important traditions.

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The following is a repeat of an episode originally broadcast in December 2021.

Listen to the Full Episode

I’ve known Geoffrey Kabaservice since we were both writers for David Frum’s news site, Frum Forum. Today Geoffrey is the Vice President of Political Studies at the Niskanen Center and host of the Vital Center Podcast. He’s an author, especially in for our purposes of the book Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party. I brought him on the podcast today to talk about the intersection of two important streams of 20th century American culture, Moderate Republicanism and Mainline Protestantism. Both of these movements drove much of American society and now they are both weakened. We will look at what has been lost as both institutions decline. We’ll also focus on one person where these two streams meet: J. Irwin Miller, the CEO of Cummins Engine, a Rockefeller Republican, and a member of a mainline denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He was also a corporate titan who invested in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana, and allowed it to prosper when other Rust Belt towns withered. If you are someone who is interested in American political and social history, you will love this episode.

Show Notes:

Geoffrey Kabaservice’s Niskanen Center profile

The Rust Belt Didn’t Have to Happen by Aaron Renn (on J. Irwin Miller)

The Vital Center Podcast

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Church and Main is a podcast at the intersection of faith and modern life. Join Pastor Dennis Sanders as he shares the stories of faith interacting with the ever-changing world of the 21st century.