A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.
The Fight to Turn Georgia Blue
This month, Georgia flipped: its voters picked a Democrat for President for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first-term election. To a significant degree, Charles Bethea says, this was owing to political organizing among Black voters; after all, Donald Trump still received approximately seventy per cent of the white vote. Bethea tells David Remnick about the political evolution of the state, and he speaks with two Democratic organizers: Nsé Ufot, the C.E.O. of the New Georgia Project, and Royce Reeves, Sr., a city commissioner in Cordele, Georgia.
How You Can Help Restore American Democracy
In the weeks since Election Day, Donald Trump has refused to concede defeat, fired his Secretary of Defense, ordered his Attorney General to investigate specious claims of voter fraud, and stoked conspiracy theories that the election was somehow fraudulent. Are his actions the flailing response of a sore loser or an attempt at an authoritarian power grab? Academics and activists believe that, in either case, ordinary citizens have more power than they think they do. Andrew Marantz joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what has been learned in recent years about successful nonviolent resistance movements, and how to take action to perpetuate a stable democracy.
Jane Mayer on the G.O.P.’s Post-Trump Game
The President’s fantastical allegations about “illegal ballots” are being indulged by quite a number of prominent Republicans in Washington, who have declined to acknowledge Joe Biden as President-elect. If Republicans in some key state legislatures go further and appoint electors who disregard their states’ popular votes, the electoral chaos would be disastrous. To understand how the politicians may proceed, David Remnick spoke with Jane Mayer, who has written extensively about today’s GO.P. and the forces that drive it.
A Nobel Laureate on the Politics of Fighting the Coronavirus
This week, the United States set new records for COVID-19 cases. Despite the rising numbers, the Trump Administration continues to downplay the severity of the pandemic. While Donald Trump refuses to concede the 2020 election, President-elect Joe Biden has assembled a task force to help his Administration take immediate action to combat the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Pfizer has announced that it has developed a vaccine that may be more than ninety-per-cent effective against the coronavirus. Harold E. Varmus, a Nobel laureate and former director of the National Institutes of Health, joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss recent developments in the fight against the coronavirus, and what to expect from the year ahead.
The Trump Administration’s Chaotic Attack on the Undocumented
Donald Trump launched his Presidential campaign on the issue of immigration, and after his Inauguration, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement increased sharply. David Remnick talks with the staff writer Jonathan Blitzer, who has been covering Trump’s immigration policy all along. “The Trump Administration got smarter over the last four years,” he tells David Remnick. Rather than the “high drama” of executive orders, they began implementing rules and regulation changes across multiple departments that are much harder to undo. Blitzer explains that the cumulative impact fundamentally alters how the government thinks about immigration.
The Agonizing Election of 2020
In the weeks before Election Day, Joe Biden was polling strongly in Florida and Texas, and Donald Trump’s approval rating was foundering as the pandemic grew steadily worse. But the President did well in traditionally red states, and, as the votes were counted, excited talk of a “Blue Wave” was replaced by speculation about whether a “Blue Wall” in the Midwestern battleground states could enable Biden to eke out a victory. Jelani Cobb, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos join Dorothy Wickenden to discuss what to expect as the two parties confront the difficulties of governing an ever more deeply divided country.