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Let’s Talk About Hope.

Join the host, as he interviews remarkable Americans, and delves into their optimistic point of view about the present and future of our country so we can reclaim our sense of agency.

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The urgency of optimism.

Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements, and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism.

We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country.

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Unpacking Psychopathy, Power, and Agency with Dr Emily Bashah

Published on: 01/08/2023

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson welcomes back Dr. Emily Bashah to discuss psychopathy, decision-making, and agency in the context of hierarchy. The two also discuss their book Addictive Ideologies, Stanley Milgram’s 1960s experiment and tyranny.  Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah discuss psychopathy, the mistakes that […]

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Dark Money: How Anonymous Contributions Are Influencing Political Campaigns in the U.S. with Terry Goddard

Published on: 01/08/2023

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson welcomes former Phoenix Mayor and past Attorney General of Arizona Terry Goddard to talk about dark money and the key role it plays in political campaigns. They discuss what dark money is all about, how it’s influencing political campaigns and the […]

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From Surviving an Explosion in Vietnam to Prosecuting Arizona’s Deadliest Mass Shooting: A Talk About Overcoming Adversity and Finding Meaning in Life with Rick Romley

Published on: 12/21/2022

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson welcomes former Maricopa County County Attorney and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Rick Romley to discuss his incredible story of overcoming adversity and finding meaning in life. The two also discuss Romley’s career and the key challenges he faced, as well as […]

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The Dark Passenger, Finding Meaning in Life and the Hierarchy of Agency with Dr. Emily Bashah

Published on: 12/16/2022

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address several questions they received from people in regards to the concern about the arising recession and how to navigate your way through it, as well as the hierarchy of agency, how to navigate difficult conversations and […]

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Danger Zone: The Authoritarian Threat, and the Repercussions for the U.S. with Prof. Michael Beckley

Published on: 12/16/2022

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson is joined by Professor Michael Beckley.   They discuss his new book Danger Zone, the role of China and the threat that exists, as well as how it could affect places like Taiwan and how the U.S. should be responding to it.

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Politically Correct Authoritarians and the Alt-Right: Studies, Principles, and Differences with Dr. Emily Bashah

Published on: 12/02/2022

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson is joined by his co-author of the upcoming book Addictive Ideologies: Dr. Emily Bashah. They talk about the key principles and differences between the Alt-Right and Politically Correct Authoritarians, as well as studies that have covered human psychology in such areas. 

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