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Talkin‘ Politics & Religion Without Killin‘ Each Other

Talkin‘ Politics & Religion Without Killin‘ Each Other

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Politics and Religion. We’re not supposed to talk about that, right? Wrong! We only say that nowadays because the loudest, most extreme voices have taken over the whole conversation. Well, we‘re taking some of that space back! If you’re dying for some dialogue instead of all the yelling; if you know it’s okay to have differences without having to hate each other; if you believe politics and religion are too important to let ”the screamers” drown out the rest of us and would love some engaging, provocative and fun conversations about this stuff, then ”Talkin‘ Politics & Religion Without Killin‘ Each Other” is for you!
133 Episodes
This is a special BONUS EPISODE of Village SquareCast. Here are the show notes from our friends at The Village Square:   "When Daryl Davis was ten, he didn’t understand hate yet. But then he was the only black scout in a parade to honor Paul Revere’s ride to Concord, when he began getting hit by bottles. It was then that he formed a question in his mind that he’s spent much of a lifetime answering: 'How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?' Failing to find his answer in books and history, as an adult and an accomplished musician, he realized who better to ask than a member of an organization formed around the premise—the KKK. So began our guest’s extraordinary story, in which a black man befriended over 200 KKK members, starting with a grand wizard. We’ll learn how his improbable, impossible, openhearted journey can light our way.   "This important programming is offered in partnership with Florida Humanities as a part of our multi-year series 'UNUM: Democracy Reignited.' Keep reading to meet our streaming partners and learn more about Mr. Davis.   "Musician and Race Reconciliator Daryl Davis, has single-handedly been the impetus for over two hundred White supremacists to renounce their ideology and turn their lives around. As a Black man, Daryl has attended more Ku Klux Klan rallies than most White people and certainly most Blacks — short of being on the wrong end of a rope. His true-life encounters with Grand Dragons, Imperial Wizards, neo-Nazi Commanders are detailed in his documentary Accidental Courtesy, and his riveting first book Klan-Destine Relationships. Daryl tours around the country and around the world performing musical concerts and giving lectures on race reconciliation, inspiring both racists and non-racists to redirect their positions toward working together to truly make America the greatest country it can be.   "We’re delighted to welcome streaming partners Braver Angels,  McCourtney Institute for Democracy, National Institute for Civil Discourse, BridgeUSA, Listen First Project, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future,  Common Ground Committee, Civic Health Project, YOUnify, Citizen Connect, Center for the Humanities at University of Miami, Tallahassee Democrat, WFSU Public Media,and Network for Responsible Public Policy."   Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other is part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.
In this edition, we're joined by former U.S. Attorney, Co-host of the wonderful podcast #SistersInLaw and Legal Analyst for NBC News, Barbara McQuade. We, of course, discussed prominent legal cases such as Dominion Voting's defamation case against Fox News; Moore vs. Harper, the North Carolina case pertaining to voting law that tests the "independent state legislature theory"; the numerous cases against Donald Trump and which ones should concern him the most.   We also discussed what it's like being sworn in as U.S. Attorney on the very day the infamous "underwear bomber" attempted to blow up a plane in her jurisdiction; the importance of humanizing the victims as well as the accused as an attorney; how Barb was mentored by Jennifer Granholm who was a U.S. Attorney, then Governor of Michigan and is now the Secretary of Energy in the Biden Admin.; how the Conservative Legal Movement is distinct from Trumpism; the damage that was done to our institutions, specifically the Dept. of Justice, during the Trump Admin; whether Barb is optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our country; and much more!   Barbara McQuade is a law professor at the University of Michigan, where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and national security law.  She is also a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and a co-host of the excellent podcast #SistersInLaw. From 2010 to 2017, Barbara served as the U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and was the first woman to serve in that position. Barbara also served as vice chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and co-chaired the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, practiced law in Detroit from 1993 to 1998, and served as a law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Professor McQuade graduated from the University of Michigan, then from the University of Michigan Law School and was born not too far away in Detroit, Michigan.   Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other is part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.    Be sure to check out Top of Mind with Julie Rose:
What are the most pressing concerns about the future of the American experiment and Democracy around the world? How can one person impact the many complex systems going on in the world? How can we better understand what's broken in our democracy? How can we work together to fix it? In what ways can we use the emerging medium of podcasting to explore these questions and help come up with solutions? The Democracy Group is a network of podcasts that is united around the goal of answering these questions.    We're joined this week by Jenna Spinelle and Brandon Stover. Jenna is the Communications Specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University and the Founder of the Democracy Group Podcast Network. Jenna also teaches journalism in the College of Communications at Penn State. Brandon Stover is the Network Manager of the Democracy Group, he is the host of the podcast Brandon Stover on Life, and he’s the Founder of Plato University where the mission is to help people find purpose and learn skills for social impact careers.   Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other is part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.    
This was an eye-opening conversation with Shawnee-Lenape Scholar and Author Steven T. Newcomb whose work examines Christendom’s legacy of domination and dehumanization that has resulted in the near destruction of thousands of years of spiritual and ecological wisdom developed by indigenous peoples and nations.   We discussed how much of the history and culture of original nations and peoples was systematically smothered and ultimately lost; how cutting a people off from their traditional teachings is a form of domination and dehumanization; how Old Testament religious concepts form a significant part of the backdrop of federal Indian law and policy; cognitive theory and what it has to do with the history of the United States and federal Indian law; how the American Enterprise (i.e. Empire) is predicated on the assumption of the right of domination at its root; the significance of the Johnson & Graham's Lessee vs. M'Intosh SCOTUS case of 1823 - "the cornerstone of property law in the U.S."; how the claim of the right of domination has become the organizing principle of the planet and much more.   Steven Newcomb has been studying and writing about U.S. federal Indian law and policy since the early 1980s, particularly the application of international law to Indigenous nations and peoples. Mr. Newcomb is the Director of the Indigenous Law Institute, the author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, and the co-producer of the documentary “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code.” Mr. Newcomb has worked on Indigenous Peoples issues at the United Nations for twenty years. His work has been published by Wiley-Blackwell of Oxford, NYU School of Law, Fulcrum Publishing, UCLA School of Law, and the Griffith School of Law in Australia. In May 2016, Mr. Newcomb met Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square and Archbishop Tomasi at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace regarding the papal bulls of the fifteenth century.   Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other is part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.  
Our guest on this episode is Lanae Erickson, SVP at Third Way, a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas. What does it mean to be a pragmatic progressive? How can our country make pragmatic progress on important issues that's actually sustainable: Whether it's immigration, clean energy, the economy, higher education, gun safety or other social issues? Why do so many elected officials and activists treat issues most often as an all or nothing proposition? Has the Biden Administration achieved any major accomplishments? (Spoiler alert: Uh, yeah. And not so coincidentally, most of those legislative accomplishments were negotiated with bipartisan participation.) Is all compromise good? How did certain Democrats lose in Congressional districts Biden won (Eg. CA27, a Biden +12 district)? What does the current makeup of the Democratic Party look like? What about the Republican Party? Which Party is beholden to its extremist wings and which Party is led by a more pragmatic approach?   As Senior Vice President for Social Policy & Politics at Third Way, Lanae tackles hot-button issues like immigration, abortion, religious liberty, education and guns. Previously, Lanae served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She was also Legislative Counsel at Alliance for Justice and before that, at the Legal Rights Center and the Center for Victims of Torture. Lanae’s commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, Politico and PBS NewsHour among other outlets. She has also appeared on NPR, Fox News, CSPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, Bloomberg Television and is a regular contributor to one of our favorite podcasts Politicology! Lanae is also the principal second violinist in DC’s Capital City Symphony.
Are you interested in a shared future among people of vast differences? There is so much to unpack in this conversation with Dr. Roberto Che Espinoza. Here are just a few of the concepts we touched upon: While the nature of God doesn't change, the nature of thought about the idea of God changes - eg. the color of the historical Jesus's skin (he has been depicted most frequently as white when history indicates he was a darker skinned Middle Easterner). What does it mean to "decolonize knowledge production"? How do we as a culture know things (i.e. epistemology)? Where are there gaps or "ruptures" in what we know and how we as a culture know things? We discuss Dr. E's involvement in the response to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017: "Organizing a response to white Supremacy is a big job." We also learned a bit more about the very real threats and attacks he's had to endure from influential figures such as worship leader Sean Feucht and Matt Walsh (@mattwalshblog, 1.3 mil. followers) as well as the Proud Boys. We discussed the fact that "...we have been socialized to reject difference" and how to overcome that disposition. We also explored whether there are people who hold beliefs and views that, by virtue of those beliefs, would render them beyond "en conjunto" - a desire to come together across our differences? We talked about being queer - whether it's an identity or an orientation. How do we engage effectively with those who'd impose their worldview on the rest of us - a worldview that assumes the mantle of owning the exclusive rights to what's "true" and "good"? And that's just the tip of the iceberg!   Dr. Roberto Che Espinoza is a TransQueer Latinx, Activist Scholar, Politicized Theologian and Public Ethicist. Dr. Roberto is the founder of Activist Theology Project which is emerging as Our Collective Becoming, a collaborative team passionate about a commitment to the ethics and politics of en conjunto (togetherness). Our Collective Becoming is a group of politicized theologians and healers, social change agents, and strategy-minded people in the hybrid space of the church, social change, and the academy. Dr. Roberto has spent two decades working on DEIB movements and initiatives focused on new concepts of being and becoming, and decolonizing knowledge production. Most importantly translating theory into action. And Dr. Roberto is a prolific podcaster and writer, most recently of his important latest book Body Becoming: A Path to Liberation. And Dr. E also has a profound Ted Talk that dropped on 2/7/23.
We had a ton of questions for Kevin Singer, President of Neighborly Faith which conducts research and organizes events “introducing Christians to neighbors of every faith.” For example, considering Kevin has Jewish relatives, were there ever discussions about Jewish people's cultural allergy to proselytization and ways that American Evangelicals - perhaps unknowingly - cross that line? How does Neighborly Faith go about "train(ing) tomorrow's leaders to be faithful and flourish in an increasingly diverse world” and “knowing and serving all of our neighbors.” Is it an Evangelical bait and switch? Yaqeen Institute founder Imam Omar Suleiman said at one of NF's events, “I was and am fine with his (SBC President JD Greear) vision of the hereafter not having space for me, so long as it doesn’t become an obstacle to me having space in the here and now.” Is that part of the point of the work Neighborly Faith does? We also discussed where folks that are part of GenZ find meaning as individuals and within communities compared to previous generations?   Kevin was raised at the intersection of his mother’s Evangelical faith and his father’s Reform Jewish roots. He earned graduate degrees in Theology from Wheaton College and Higher Ed from NC State. Kevin has extensive teaching and leadership experience in churches, campus ministries, and colleges. He planted two churches with the North American Mission Board (2009-14) and is also head of Media Relations and PR at Springtide Research Institute. Kevin is a prolific writer with placements in Christianity Today, Religion News, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, InsideHigherEd, and more.
One look at the title of Rabbi Mike's book and one could understand why we loved having him on the pod! With a special return visit from Ronnie Nathan as co-host, we had a great conversation. But here's the thing, if you're one of those folks who goes by the phrase, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" - you're gonna hate this conversation! (Oh and, bless your heart.) Aside from that, we covered a lot of ground. For example, it's okay to question the Bible and wrestle with the idea of God. A rabbi said so! We explored how the Gospels can be interpreted as anti-Jewish. We also discussed whether a Jew could believe in Jesus as the Messiah and still be Jewish.   Rabbi Michael E. Harvey is the Amazon bestselling author of Let’s Talk: A Rabbi Speaks to Christians. An ordained rabbi, he has led congregations and served as a hospital chaplain. Rabbi Mike is passionate about social justice, interfaith cooperation, and bringing deep Jewish learning to the lay public. He has followed these passions in serving his community, including founding and directing the Interfaith Council of the Caribbean as well as directing the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette. He also serves on the rabbinic advisory council of the American Jewish Archives. When he isn’t writing, Rabbi Mike can be found building community and offering a listening ear in a different kind of congregation: as a bartender in Indiana.
Joe Walsh came back for another visit on our program and we covered a lot of ground! Can we share space with folks who have different beliefs than we do - even if they've said some egregious things in the past? If there's a line, where is that line? What does it mean to be a conservative? Is Donald Trump a real conservative? Is Ron DeSantis a conservative? What is a recipe for success for today's conservative media personalities? Is there a trick to their trade? What are effective ways of engaging folks who are still in the MAGA world? Oh, and we get pretty deep into religion too! How did studying the craft of acting prepare Joe for his future jobs as a social worker, an elected official and a radio host? What the hell is wrong in our politics and our country? Most importantly, how do we fix it? And, for the record, Helene Miller Walsh would absolutely get my vote if she ran for office! Joe Walsh is a former U.S. Congressman, a former Presidential candidate, a nationally syndicated radio host (once dubbed “the next Rush Limbaugh), but now a man whose personal mission is to LISTEN. With his growing podcast, WHITE FLAG with JOE WALSH, he surrenders the urge to fight and strives to find a path to unite, not divide. Joe is also the author of F*ck Silence: Calling Trump Out for the Cultish, Moronic, Authoritarian Con Man He Is. He is a former Tea Party firebrand turned woke never-Trumper. He is also definitely a guy who strives to have meaningful conversations with folks from across the spectrum and yearns to give voice to so many who are somewhere in the middle.
If you love charts, data and data analysis, you'll love this conversation. And you'll definitely love this week's guest, Washington Post national columnist Philip Bump's new book THE AFTERMATH about "the Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America." Our conversation covers a lot of ground including how Philip responds to stupidity in politics while still being fair and holding on to the core principles of accuracy and honesty; whether good journalists are merely "preaching to the choir" or actually persuading anyone; what the Baby Boom is and how outsized their influence is - politically and economically; whether social security is really going to run out with all the Boomers drawing on social security; what the demographic differences are between Boomers and other generations; why 4 in 10 Trump voters don't even know anyone who voted for Biden and vice versa; what trends we can reasonably expect as Boomers continue to age; and much more. Philip Bump is a national columnist for The Washington Post; before that he led political coverage for The Atlantic Wire. One of the paper’s most read writers, he focusses on the data behind polls and political rhetoric. He has been on most major media outlets, from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to Fox News’s “Special Report,” and on NPR and PBS. His first book, The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America, looks at the overlap of the end of the baby boom and the upheaval in American politics and the U.S. economy.
This is a fun conversation with tech founder and political strategist, Lucy Caldwell. What causes some issues or politicians to have a "moment" and some others to just die on the vine? How similar is opening a major motion picture with running a political campaign? Can a case be made for open primaries and ranked-choice voting? How can one explain an elected official acting like an extremist while "representing" a purple district? Does it all come down to "algorithm politics"? What is the definition of "memetic candidates" and how bad are they for our politics? Oh, and there is some good advice for Kyrsten Sinema; a hot take or two on Sarah Palin; and some cool stories about running a presidential campaign. Lucy Caldwell has charted a renowned career in the private & public sectors, in politics and tech. She notably served as former Congressman Joe Walsh’s campaign manager during his Presidential primary challenge against Trump and formed Mockingbird Lab to get issue-advocacy organizations to shift towards data-driven tactics. Until 2019, Lucy served as the Chief Strategy Officer & EVP at Crowdskout when the company was named the Best Advocacy Technology Platform by Campaigns & Elections Magazine. You probably recognize Lucy from her appearances on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, and NPR or as a regular contributor on one of our favorite podcasts Politicology.
This is a special episode with Corey's cousins, the Warshawskys. Sheila, Allan, Deena and Jonathan join the pod to recount how our family had to flee Cherny Ostriv, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1920, travel across Europe and finally arrive in America on March 3, 1921. It's possible that the Blicks and Krivals had been in that region for as long as 1,000 years. So what were the circumstances that led to the family's decision to leave the area where they had such deep roots? What was the trip across Europe and then the Atlantic like? How did the family re-establish itself in Newark, NJ and Brooklyn, NY? Then later (1979), what went into the decision on the part of the Warshawski cousins to make "aliyah" to Israel? And, oh yes, we do talk about politics! Trump and Bibi Netanyahu and some other issues come up in our conversation. There's even some disagreement just to keep it fun!
This is a special episode of TP&R. We're sharing an interview Justin Peters did with Corey Nathan on Justin's excellent podcast The Struggle Is Real.   Here are the show notes from the original airing on The Struggle Is Real:   Title: How to Talk Politics and Religion Without Killing Each Other | E55 Corey Nathan   Description: I’ve dreaded some recent get-togethers knowing argumentative political conversations are going to be on the agenda and for quite some time, I’ve taken the approach that it is better to avoid these conversations by staying quiet and giving a friendly nod. That line of thinking is changing for me now. Avoiding participation in these conversations is forgoing the opportunity to learn something new, and maybe even change my mind. Along with that, if I’m not taking the time or initiative to understand someone else’s point of view, I’m only reinforcing the current state of divisiveness between these binary camps of blue and red. I invited Corey Nathan on the podcast to give us inspiration on how this could be done right. He shares his personal story of making amends with his dad when he decided to leave the Jewish faith. In the second half of this episode, Corey shares some basic communication skills to help us have more enabling conversations. Some of my favorites include the feel, felt, found framework, the phrase “help me understand”, and changing our mindset from competition to collaboration. I hope you enjoy my conversation with the stockbroker by day, theater guy by night, Jew from Jersey that became a Christian, and the host of the incredible podcast, Talkin’ Politics & Religion Without Killin’ Each Other…Corey Nathan.   More of Corey: Podcast: Talkin‘ Politics & Religion Without Killin‘ Each Other Instagram: @tpandrpod   More of TSIR: Find show notes and more at Follow us on Instagram at
Happy to share some of our favorite conversations from this last year. Subsequent to our talk with Christie Whitman, the former Republican Governor of New Jersey has gone on to join the Forward Party as Co-Chair along with former Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang. In this conversation with Christine Todd Whitman, the former Governor (of the best state in the union!) and Cabinet Member, we talk about how she started her career in politics by going around the country and actually listening to people. Imagine that! We also discussed how she was able to achieve bipartisan collaboration during her 2 terms as governor of New Jersey; an assessment of how the Biden Administration is doing on climate initiatives; other achievable actions that can have a positive effect on the environment; what she's doing to resist the danger posed by candidates who are brazenly anti-democracy; the encouraging work of States United Democracy Center - "more than a think tank... an action tank"; a sober warning about current governors who are deploying the tactics of dictators; her experience with Donald Trump back when he was screwing over small contractors who built his casinos in New Jersey; and we even get to talk about religion! Christine Todd Whitman is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the States United Democracy Center and she is the President of The Whitman Strategy Group. Governor Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and was the 50th Governor of the State of New Jersey, serving as its first woman governor. Governor Whitman also serves a number of non-profit organizations including as Chairman of the American Security Project, Vice-Chairman of the Trustees of the Eisenhower Fellowships and Advisor on Renew America Movement. Among quite a few other non-profits and causes, she was co-chair of the Commission on the Rule of Law and Democracy at the Brennan Center at New York University. Also during the 2020 election cycle she served as Chair of Republicans and Independents for Biden. And on top of all of that, she is the author of a New York Times best seller called It’s My Party Too: Taking Back the Republican Party... And Bringing the Country Together Again.
What can happen when people from different "tribes" actually get together in person? We often jump to conclusions based merely on how someone votes. But do we take the time to understand how they arrived at that decision? How can we bring our friends and neighbors from a posture of contentiousness to one of curiosity? To put down the weapons of the culture war and pick up a cup of coffee with someone from the "other side"? Does sharing facts change people's minds? Does the tactic of dropping the perfectly worded factoid actually convince anyone of anything? Is there a line someone might cross where they're no longer a person we can even have a conversation with? We can have conversations about what is true, what is meaningful and what is useful. Is that all the same conversation? Monica Guzman is Senior Fellow for Public Practice at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; founder and CEO of Reclaim Curiosity, an organization working to build a more curious world; and cofounder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize. A Mexican immigrant, Latina, and dual US/Mexico citizen, and is the author of I Never Thought of It That Way: How To Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times.
This is a special bonus episode we're sharing of the Village SquareCast. The panel is titled Bridge Building and Bipartisanship. Bridge building?!  (We’re not talking about the Golden Gate, people.)  An industry that was recently unknown and almost nonexistent has exploded in recent years, as average citizens begin to see the sharp growth in political divisions as an emergency that requires our attention. In the midst of a divisive election season, we’ll take a pause to chat with leaders in the bridge building field about the outlook for cooperation across political differences and potential improvements on the horizon that we can all reach for. Is there hope of a tipping point where bridge-building is more prominent than the divide-and-(attempt to)-conquer approach of late?  Might average Americans like our heroic guests and listeners have to roll up their sleeves and show our politicians the way? Speaking of the politicians:  stay tuned until the end to learn about the Common Ground Scorecard where you can find out which candidates on your ballot are interested in bridging divides. #Mavericks Joining the conversation are Pearce Godwin, Founder & CEO of Listen First Project; Kristin Hansen, Executive Director of Civic Health Project; and Liz Joyner, Founder and President of The Village Square. Listen First Project leads the collaborative movement to heal America by bridging divides. They elevate the impact, visibility, and voice of the bridge-building field by aggregating, aligning, and amplifying the efforts of 500 #ListenFirst Coalition partner organizations into large scale, national campaigns and strategies. Together these organizations transform division and contempt into connection and understanding. Civic Health Project is dedicated to reducing America’s toxic partisan polarization and enabling healthier public discourse and decision-making across our citizenry, politics, and media. Through grantmaking, advocacy, and convenings, Civic Health Project supports the most promising research and interventions to reduce political division and foster social cohesion across the country. This episode is part of The Democracy Group’s 2022 Midterm Series.
In this coversation with columnist, public speaker, recovering attorney and playwright, Wajahat Ali, we discuss what it's like to live in a country you love that doesn't always love you back; representation and how often different folks are portrayed as invisible, the sidekick, the punchline or the villain; how it was to be the only Muslim kid going to a Jesuit Catholic H.S.; seeing the common values and stories in both the Bible and the Koran; what it was like, as a Muslim who was born here and grew up here, after 9/11; the dangers in turning our prophets into nothing more than mascots; the tendency to "sell Jesus" with the selling points being the promise of having white teeth, a mansion and a yacht; and so much more. Wajahat Ali is a Daily Beast columnist and co-host of the excellent podcast democracy-ish. His first book Go Back To Where You Came From: And, Other Helpful Recommendations on Becoming American was published in January of 2022. He is all about sharing stories that are by us, for everyone: universal narratives told through a culturally specific lens to entertain, educate and bridge the global divides. You may have seen or heard Wajahat on television and podcasts for his brilliant, incisive, and witty political commentary. His essays, interviews, and reporting have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Guardian, and New York Review of Books.
In this roundtable discussion, we're joined by two friends of the pod, Lori Adams-Brown of A World of Difference and Will Wright of Faithful Politics. We discuss what we got right (and wrong) about the Midterms? What does it all mean for our Democracy? And we begin to take a look ahead to the coming legislative session as well as to 2024. Lori Adams-Brown is a combination of international speaker, business executive, podcaster and relief and development expert. She hosts the popular podcast A World of Difference, celebrating humanity’s unique differences and encouraging us all to make a difference around the world.  Since growing up in international schools in Costa Rica and Venezuela, Lori has spent her career working in Indonesia, Singapore and the San Francisco Bay Area.  She worked in disaster relief in the 2004 Indonesian tsunami where she consulted with the UN coordination efforts, and she has spoken to audiences in Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela and around the US.  Lori speaks 6 languages, and serves on the board of Justice Revival, and volunteers to help resettle Afghan refugees in the SF Bay Area. Will Wright has been interested in politics his whole life. He elected not to run for any office because in the third grade his teacher told him that Black people could never be president (true story). But in 2001 after the world trade center towers collapsed, Will felt the need to do something, so he enlisted in the United States Army as an Infantryman. His unit was one of the initial pushes into the streets of Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After leaving the service, Will traveled the world as a consultant which is where he really experienced how the world works and got the idea to start a podcast that centers around faith and politics. His political leanings tend to favor Democratic policies, but he has voted for Democrats, Libertarians, and Republicans. He wishes that problems could be fixed by civil dialogue, and hopes his podcast - which is called Faithful Politics - can exemplify what that conversation can look like in the world.
Robert Draper is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. He is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush and his latest book Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind. In this episode we explore a number of pressing questions: What are some characteristics of the "mass delusion" that currently plagues our country? Who is a part of it? Who's responsible for it? Will the results of these midterms start to dissipate the MAGA movement? How could Republican leaders and Republican candidates manage to win in primaries and keep the MAGA base without turning off the general electorate? Is it even possible? Where did this notion begin and who is perpetuating the idea that Democrats are bad people and possibly even evil? As a journalist who'd been to war zones all over the world, what was it like to witness first hand the events of January 6th? What are the beliefs and motivations that drive people to participate in the kind of violence that occurred on that day? What were some of the revelations and conclusions that came out of Robert's dinner with MTG? Trump isn't the world's greatest deal maker afterall (go figure). But which two great deals did he make that can explain his takeover of the Republican Party? What was it like getting to know a leader affiliated with the Oath Keepers? Many of the answers to these questions may be very surprising.  
Which states are the bellwethers in the upcoming election? Which states will give the clearest indication of the direction of the House and Senate? Who is showing up to vote that pollsters weren't expecting? And how will those voters who aren't considered "likely voters" change the results? How does a firm like Decision Desk HQ gather the information needed to make election calls as quickly as they do? (Answer: There are 50 states with 50 different ways to get the information.) What is a model? How are election models different from polls? What factors are considered to develop a model? What are some of the differences between DDHQ's model and other models such as fivethirtyeight's? How should we look at projections? We explore these questions and more with DDHQ's Senior Data Scientist Kiel Williams. Kiel Williams is a Senior Data Scientist at Decision Desk HQ. Decision Desk HQ collects, organizes, and reports election night results and provides election related data to media outlets, political organizations, and anyone interested in who votes and how they voted. Kiel specifically performs electoral analysis, polling and manages data operations at DDHQ. Kyle has an undergraduate degree in physics and math from Guilford College and earned his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.
Comments (6)


place in front of your own eyes the definitions hereafter- Democratic Society Republic Society which do you prefer

Dec 2nd

Lizzie the Loser

Trump ended my career and the Cheney dynasty. As he did the Bush Dynasty, the Clinton dynasty, and stained the Obama legacy forever. Kornpop and Kackala are next. WINNING!

Aug 19th

Corey Nathan

FYI. here are the rules of our platforms: Nonsense will be muted. Incivility will be blocked. Spreading of proven falsehoods and threats will be reported.

Aug 18th
Reply (2)

Joseph Njenga

very very insightful!

Dec 10th
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