Paul Matzko — Impolitic’s resident libertarian — is a Ph.D.-trained historian, with a specialization in the intersection of religion and politics in twentieth-century America. He’s currently hard at work on his first book, which examines the most successful episode of state censorship since the Second Red Scare: the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ largely-forgotten efforts to suppress right-wing radio in the 1960s. A native of Greenville, SC, Paul now lives in central New Jersey. He blogs at paulmatzko.com and tweets at @PMatzko.
Sean Trainor — Impolitic’s socialist in residence — teaches history and writing at the University of Florida. A occasional freelance journalist (when his teaching schedule permits), Sean’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, TIME, Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Gainesville Sun, and many other publications. In his adopted hometown of Gainesville, FL, he is a member of the city’s fledgling chapter of Socialist Alternative and is currently involved in campaigns to unionize Gainesville workers, restore voting rights to non-violent ex-felons in the state of Florida, and guarantee a living wage for employees of the city’s ten largest employers. He blogs at seantrainor.org and tweets at @ess_trainor.
Paul and Sean met as history graduate students at the Pennsylvania State University in 2010. They’ve been arguing about politics ever since.
For the first years of their friendship, the majority of their arguments took place in Penn State’s history grad office (often when they were supposed to be preparing for class or dissertating) or over lunch at State College, PA’s Big Bowl Noodle House (a local treasure). Alas, their days of arguing politics over delicious noodles were numbered. In 2015, Sean finished his Ph.D. and moved to Gainesville, FL. A year later, Paul finished up and moved to central New Jersey. But, thanks to the miracle of technology, Paul and Sean have been able to continue their arguments remotely.
In the fall of 2016, with election season in full swing, Paul and Sean decided to follow the recommendation of Paul’s spouse and turn their conversations into a podcast. Both were frustrated by the opportunism, hypocrisy, and emptiness of the election season’s partisan rhetoric and felt the time was right for rigorous, ideological arguments offered up by friends with no formal ties to either of the major parties.
And so, after several months of research and procrastination — and a few weeks of failed rehearsals — Impolitic was born. Now, the podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, with new episodes available every Monday.