Konstantin Kisin is a stand-up comedian, the co-host of the YouTube show and podcast "TRIGGERnometry," and is the author of the forthcoming book, "An Immigrant's Love Letter to the West."
During our conversation, Konstantin talks about the experience, terror, and totalitarianism of Soviet communism, his upbringing in and the lived experience of the collapse of the Soviet Union, differences in values between the West and other civilizational powers, the role of comedy in a free society, the importance and clarity of Martin Luther King's dream that individuals be "judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," freedom of speech, and the corrosive threat of polarization, political correctness, identity politics, and equality of outcome movements to Western civilization.
Konstantin is one of the most eloquent and informed public voices about the state of modern Russia, the war in Ukraine, and the importance of upholding Western values. His appreciation for Western values is evident, and his story might help us all be a bit more grateful, mindful, informed about, and protective of the sacred freedoms and opportunities that have been bestowed upon us by past generations.
(02:50) Journey from the Soviet Union to the West
(09:57) What about the Soviet experiment matters to a modern audience?
(15:45) What was the Soviet experiment about?
(21:08) The 1990's Russian experience of democracy
(31:45) Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in Russia
(36:54) The importance of Western beliefs, ideas, and values
(48:45) MLK's ethical, cultural north star - and a quote on truth
(53:53) The threat of polarization - and Western beliefs on liberty vs. other civilizations
(01:06:41) The primary threats to America and the West are internal
(01:13:40) Mark Normand's "new N-word" and the role of comedy in a free society
(01:20:52) Hope for the future
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