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Politics is Everything Podcast

Ep. 27: Why are Americans so obsessed with fascism?

Fascism has had a firm grip on the American imagination for one hundred years. “Increased polarization in the United States reflects Americans’ deepest fears of what might be happening in the polity,” says Bruce Kucklick, “The disruptive politics of Donald Trump has been grist for fascism-obsessed America.” Kuklick joins us to discuss the roots of fascism in American politics and popular culture based on his new book Fascism Comes to America: A Century of Obsession in Politics and Culture (University of Chicago Press).  

Bruce Kucklick is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ep. 26: Is Ranked Choice Voting a Cure for What Ails Politics?

Are ranked choice voting and multi-member districts a cure for the hyperpartisanship and partisan extremism plaguing politics? In this episode, we talk with Rob Richie, who has been the leader of FairVote since co-founding it in 1992. Richie shares evidence for how ranked choice voting is increasing representation and opportunities for new voices and new players in politics in places where it has been adopted. Mary Peltola, who is the first Alaska native to ever serve in Congress, is one such example.

As a result of ballot Measure 26-228 passing in the 2022 election with 58% of voters approving, Portland is set to become the largest city in the United States to use both ranked choice voting and multi-member City Council districts, a combination known as proportional representation that political scientists agree is a “gold standard” of democratic systems. We also talk with Damon Motz-Story who was part of grassroots efforts to adopt the reforms in Portand.

Links in this Episode:

Portland Charter Review Commission

Ep. 25: Looking Back on 2022 Elections & Looking Ahead to 2024 Elections

2022 was a great year for incumbents and a lot of things did matter – candidate quality, redistricting, reproductive rights and democracy. In this episode, Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Miles Coleman, Associate Editor, assess the 2022 election and why Republicans didn’t do as well as expected in an election that historically pointed to their advantage. They also discuss what divided government but narrow majorities mean for governance, and look ahead to the Georgia runoff and to 2024 elections.

Links in this Episode:

Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Ep. 24: This is a war on democracy and democratic principles.

“This is a war on democracy and democratic principles,” Dr. Yuna Potomkina, Advisor to Ukraine Minister of Defense tells us.  Armed conflict has been raging in Ukraine since early 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. On February 24, 2022, during a last-ditch UN Security Council effort to dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine, Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a full-scale land, sea, and air invasion of Ukraine targeting Ukrainian military assets and cities across the country. Since then, nearly 8 million Ukrainians have been forcibly displaced. An unknown number of Ukrainian children have been forcibly separated and deported to Russia, on top of other war crimes that will cause generational trauma. 

Joining Dr. Potomkina in this episode is Sabina Iliasova, Project Coordinator at Crimea SOS, Liubov Rakovytsia, Chief Operating Officer at Donetsk Institute of Information, and our interpreter is Peter Voitsekhovsky. 

“Ukraine’s success will tell the rest of the world that even a nonnuclear country can come out as a winner against a nuclear state that violated its international commitments and can continue as nuclear free and peaceful,” says Liubov Rakovytsia.   

Our visitors said two of the most important things Americans can do are to keep Ukraine in the public discourse and to send a message of support directly to the people of Ukraine. We have created a form to fill out and will deliver messages to them.

Ep. 23: Wave Watch: Elections 2022

The Senate is coming down to a jump ball situation. Candidates need to avoid a bad toss, and can’t miss a foul or violation. Sabato’s Crystal Ball is still projecting a Republican gain in the House in the high teens or low 20s.

In this episode, we share our live discussion initially held on Twitter Spaces with resident experts Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Miles Coleman, Associate Editor. We talk about our latest projections, what to watch, and the state of play in key Senate, House and Gubernatorial races in the final days of Election 2022. 

Links in this episode:

Center for Politics on Twitter
Sabato’s Crystal Ball
Secretary of State and Attorney General: What to Watch for Next Week in Key Statewide Contests

Ep. 22: A Pumpkin Year for Democrats?

Kyle Kondik discusses changes in Sabato’s Crystal Ball ratings to favor Republicans and he predicts the GOP will take control of the House of Representatives following the 2022 midterm elections. The Crystal Ball says the Senate remains a toss-up. We also talk about how the political environment matters and what to watch in the final week leading up to Election Day 2022.

Ep. 21: ‘Democracy hangs there by a thread.’ ft. Clint Hill & Lisa McCubbin Hill

“Democracy hangs there by a thread really,” Clint Hill says on this episode of Politics Is Everything. “It hangs there by the will of the people. Without the agreement of the people to live by those circumstances, it will not exist. When it has been jeopardized by individuals, or groups or power mongers, it’s very difficult to watch if you’re one of those like myself who accepts the wonders of democracy. Democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people. And it is fragile. It can go either way. We must be careful.”

Clint Hill will forever be remembered as the courageous Secret Service Agent who leapt onto the back of the presidential limousine in the midst of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. For his actions that day, Hill received the nation’s highest civilian award for bravery. His primary responsibility was the protection of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. “I ended up with the best assignment in the secret service,” Hill tells us.  

Lisa McCubbin Hill, an award-winning journalist who has been a television news anchor and reporter for NBC, ABC, and CBS, also joins the conversation to discuss their new book My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy.

Ep. 20: ‘Disagreement is healthy.’ ft. Dr. David Ramadan

“Partisanship has become a problem on a personal level,” says Dr. David Ramadan, a Republican who served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2012 to 2016 in “one of the most Democratic districts in the entire Commonwealth.” Dr. Ramadan discusses ways to reduce extremism in both parties.  

Dr. Ramadan is the Vice President of an innovative EdTech leader, Noodle, the world’s fastest-growing online and lifelong knowledge network of universities, corporations, and learners. He is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University (his alma mater) and is a 2022-23 scholar at the Center for Politics.

Ep. 19: ‘The Only Way Anything Gets Better Is if You Lean In’ ft. Margaret Brennan

Margaret Brennan, moderator of “Face The Nation” on CBS and the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C. joins us to discuss the crisis in confidence in the media and political institutions, and the importance of leaning in to fix the challenges facing our democracy and society. Brennan says we need to be paying more attention to what is happening around the world as “We are literally seeing the foundations of the global order shaken.”

Links in this Episode:

Face the Nation

Ep. 18: How many seats will Republicans end up with in the House of Representatives?

In this episode, Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics, and Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of the Crystal Ball, place the 2022 election in historical context, discuss which races are the hardest to predict and address the state of play as we head into the final three weeks of what is slated to be the most expensive election on record.

Links in this Episode:

Sabato’s Crystal Ball