Listening to ‘Pod Save America’ has today been revealed as the UK’s favourite way of pretending to understand US Politics. In a survey by YouGov, entitled “How do you cope when someone asks you about US Politics as if you understand it?”, the podcast narrowly beat ‘Reading Politico’ into second place. YouGov spokesman John Vox revealed:
“The results here are fascinating. We all know the basics about US Politics – Trump is bad, there’s a Senate, a Congress too I think… that’s about all that most people can understand. Certainly no-one understands stuff like what Congress actually does, or what the difference is between a Senator and a Governor.”
“But most of us feel uncomfortable admitting that we don’t know what the hell is going on over there, or how the guy who lost by 3 million votes gets to be President now. It’s natural to want to at least pretend to understand how the US system works, just so we can get by in middle-class dinner conversations. And it tuns out that our favourite cheat sheet is Pod Save America.”
The podcast, created by former Obama speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett and featuring regular guest contributors, takes a bi-weekly deep dive into US policy issues. When asked about their top pick in the poll, most survey respondents said they weaponised the podcast. This was usually done in order to either best their peers or simply survive a conversation until it moves to more palatable ground. One respondent claimed:
“Nothing confuses people about US politics as much as Pod Save America. I mean, if you thought you didn’t understand their system before, just wait until you hear an episode of this thing. You’ll get people you’ve never, ever heard of before being mentioned about 6 times as though they’re really important. And then you’re like – ‘who the hell is this person!?’ So I write all the names down, and the next time Tim and Sarah have me over for dinner and start talking American politics, I just mention those names a lot. That usually shuts them down nicely”.
Another respondent continued in a similar vein: “Apparently, there are apparently elections happening all the time over there for something or other. It’s so confusing – it’s literally always an election, for the Senate, Congress, the House – wait, are those last two the same thing? I still can’t figure it out. So if anyone ever asks me about US Politics, I just start talking about the elections coming up – usually the other person just nods sagely. It’s a pretty solid deflection strategy”.
A third source revealed: “It’s easiest to just repeat the things you hear on Pod Save America, rather than try to understand them. If anyone tries to talk to me about US politics on anything more than a superficial level, I just mention Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi a few times. That’s when they know I’m serious, and then they usually just abort the conversation.”