The 2020 candidates have some bold ideas to tackle some of our country's biggest problems, like climate change, the opioid crisis, and unaffordable health care. A lot of their proposals have been tried in the past. This season, The Impact has those stories: how the big ideas from 2020 candidates succeeded — or failed — in other places, or at other times.
What can Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposal to fight the opioid crisis learn from what the US did to fight the AIDS epidemic? How did Germany — an industrial powerhouse that invented the automobile — manage to implement a Green New Deal? How did public health insurance change Taiwan?
Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
On this special preview:
President Gerald Ford took office at one of the most difficult times in the country’s history. In August 1974, the country had just lived through Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation, and more than a decade of divisive fighting over the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. While millions of Americans fought in Southeast Asia, many others protested the war, at home -- or dodged the draft by fleeing to Canada.
Ford wanted to find a way to bring the country together. Just a few weeks after he took office, he announced a plan to give those who refused to serve in Vietnam a second chance. Ford created a Clemency Review Board, a bipartisan group of men (and one woman) that would decide the fate of the young Americans convicted of refusing induction, or going AWOL, from Vietnam. Those young men could fill out an application, and the board would decide whether they deserved a pardon -- which would erase a felony conviction from their record.
Many of the Democratic candidates for President want to do the same thing today. They’re proposing a Clemency Review Board to review applications from federal inmates, many of whom are serving long sentences because of harsh penalties enacted during the War on Drugs.
In this episode: forgiveness and redress after two long conflicts, the Vietnam War, and the War on Drugs. The Impact looks back at how Ford tried to heal the nation, and how he transformed the lives of two men as a result. And we’ll find out how Ford’s idea might work today, for a new generation of young people behind bars.
Jillian Weinberger, @jbweinz
Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
Newsletter: Vox Sentences
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices