Best Of: Want to Save Democracy? Run For Office.
This week, we’re revisiting some of our favorite episodes from the year. For those who make New Year’s resolutions, today’s conversation might plant the seed for a bold one: Running for office.
Amanda Litman is a co-founder of Run for Something, which recruits and supports young, progressive candidates who want to run for office. We spoke in February 2022, but our conversation remains relevant as ever. It’s about the mechanics of American democracy, the confusions and myths that keep so many of us from participating in them and the practical question of what it means to step off the sidelines and, well, run for something.
We also talk about why Democrats tend to chase “shiny objects” over real political power, what right-leaning organizations have been up to that liberals should envy, how you probably have more control over issues like abortion and climate change than you think, what it actually takes to run a local campaign, the three questions prospective candidates should be able to answer, and more.
This is the rare conversation about democracy that left me feeling better, rather than worse, about what’s possible. I think it’ll do the same for you.
This episode contains strong language.
“Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections” by Isaac Arnsdorf, Doug Bock Clark, Alexandra Berzon and Anjeanette Damon
What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer
Find out what elected offices you can run for
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman
Thoughts? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Guest suggestions? Fill out this form.
You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.
“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Our executive producer is Irene Noguchi. Special thanks to Kristin Lin.