How Your Germs Control Your Politics (with David Wong)


Stop me if you've heard this one before: a charismatic populist leader rises to power by warning of immigrants who are are "filthy" and "bring disease." It's no coincidence the greatest deplorable leaders through the ages use the same coded language to talk about people who are "other."

It's psychology. Quite understandably, it's human nature to fear disease. It's why rats are icky to us and I ceremonially burn my clothes after I go to Disneyland. But if you know what you're looking for, you'll see how diseases are are framed as exotic and foreign as an excuse to gang up on different nationalities: SARS, ban Chinese people; Ebola, ban everybody from Africa; sickness in general, build that wall.

On this week's podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked executive editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to talk about how this weird germ theory controls how you think about everything.


What The Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror (David Wong)

4 Creepy Things That Secretly Control Your Personality (Cracked)

The Germ Theory of Democracy, Dictatorship, And All Your Most Cherished Beliefs (Pacific Standard)

What Is The Monkeysphere? (Cracked)

The Limits of Friendship (The New Yorker)

Before Rosa Parks, There Was Claudette Colman (NPR)

6 Big Differences That Turn City Dwellers Into Liberals (Cracked)

How Half of America Lost It's F**king Mind (Cracked)

The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives (TED)

The Bath Riots (The Dollop)

The Bath Riots: Indignity Along the Mexican Border (NPR)

5 Scientific Ways to Trick Yourself into Being a Good Person (Cracked)

The Stuff in Your Bedroom Signals How You Vote (Slate)

Alex Jones Retracts Chobani Claims to Resolve Lawsuit (New York Times)

Donald Trump: Mexican migrants bring 'tremendous infectious disease' to US (The Guardian)

Rick Perry: Illegal immigration is 'like a disease' (Dallas News)

John Hughes month continues this week on Cracked Movie Club! Subscribe to hear the Movie Club crew break down The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and more with obscure behind-the-scenes stories, insane fan theories and After Hours-style interpretations of your favorite movies.

To get The Cracked Podcast and Cracked Movie Club ad-free, as well as our new subscriber-only podcast Cracked Mailbag, make sure to sign up for the Cracked Private Reserve.

If you're in Los Angeles next month, make sure to catch the next live Cracked Podcast taping on Saturday, November 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre. Alex Schmidt will be joined by Cracked's Cody Johnston, Katie Goldin and more to discuss all the crazy political news that's happened in 2017 that Donald Trump distracted us from noticing. Tickets are $7 and available HERE.

If you're looking to support The Cracked Podcast and spruce up your wardrobe with some nifty tees, check out the awesome Cracked Podcast merch we've got at

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