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A progressive vision to make America great

Vox’s Matt Yglesias on Twitter, climate change, and 1 billion Americans.

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Demonstrators take part in the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, or La Marcha, on April 10, 2006, on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
David S. Holloway/Getty Images

Matt Yglesias is a co-founder and senior correspondent at Vox, my co-host on The Weeds podcast, and my oldest friend in journalism. Matt’s college blog was an inspiration for my own, and since then we’ve worked together, podcasted together, and even started Vox together. I’ve learned an enormous amount from him, both when we agree and when we disagree.

A lot has changed since Matt and I started blogging in the early 2000s — and we’ve changed, too. So we start this conversation by discussing how social media has altered American politics, why Matt went from a war hawk to a near-pacifist on US foreign policy, what it’s like to go from attacking the establishment to being seen as part of the establishment, and the way the Obama administration disillusioned him.

But Matt has also recently written a new book, One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. In it, he argues that the path to ensure American greatness and preeminence on the world stage is a combination of mass immigration, pro-family policy, and overhauling America’s housing and transportation systems. In this conversation on The Ezra Klein Show, we discuss how to reconcile that vision with the reality of climate change, what a genuinely progressive pro-family agenda would look like, Donald Trump’s housing policy dog-whistling, why we should be allowing a lot more legal immigration, and much more.

My conversation with Matt can be heard on The Ezra Klein Show.

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Matt Yglesias’s book recommendations

Justice, Gender, and the Family by Susan M. Okin

Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama

A Farewell to Alms by Gregory Clark