Beltway Banthas Interview: David Barnes & Al Downs

by Beltway Banthas

This week for our interview series, Stephen sits down with David Barnes of Generation Opportunity and Al Downs of Americans for Prosperity. Barnes is a former guest of the show and Al is a first timer. Both come with a deep love and knowledge of Star Wars.

We discuss the political message of the prequels, libertarianism and how it does or does not fit into Star Wars and also how vulnerable America may be to dictatorship. Al Downs and David Barnes dissect the Republic’s deregulation of the banks and whether or not that is an accurate reflection of how government handles crisis, and they also share their favorite moments in the saga.

Follow Al Downs on Twitter @AlbertJDowns 


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Politics and Star Wars fuse together on this unique and fascinating show! Beltway Banthas is your place for insightful political commentary featuring the galaxy far, far, away. Beltway Banthas is a Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and the things that drive daily life. For hosts Stephen Kent & Swara Salih, one of those things is politics. Star Wars draws from our world’s politics just as much as it contributes to it by influencing policymakers, journalists and thought leaders.

On the show, you’ll learn about the politics within the Star Wars universe, from Alderaan & Naboo’s monarchies to the function of the Senate on Coruscant. In between episodes we feature interviews with real world change-makers, and talk with them about how Star Wars impacted their lives and view of the world.

Stephen Kent lives outside of DC with his wife and daughter. He works at a political non-profit that does outreach to millennials. He enjoys political podcasts, cosplay, and making jokes that only he thinks are funny. Connect on Twitter @Stephen_Kent89.

Swara Salih is a true believer, in both The Force and the importance of politics. As an activist, writer and aspiring Jedi, Swara came to Beltway Banthas as a listener and is now with the show full time. He’s a Data Analyst working to get city governments to use data better. Connect with him on Twitter @SwaraSalih1.

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