150 episodes

A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.

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    • Politics

A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker's executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden.

    A Teen-age Trump Tries to Win His High School’s Election

    A Teen-age Trump Tries to Win His High School’s Election

    Every year, Townsend Harris High School, in Queens, New York, holds a schoolwide election simulation. Students are assigned roles and begin campaigning in September. Every candidate has a staff, raises money, and makes ads for the school’s radio and television network. This fall, the school simulated the Democratic and Republican primaries. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden got into a rap battle. The American Family Association joined the fray and released a rap of its own. 

     

    The New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman first observed the simulation during the primaries of the 2016 Presidential election. At the time, he saw that Trump’s political arrival was greeted with distaste at a school where many students come from immigrant families. “There was some stuff Donald Trump was saying that, if you heard from any other candidate, it would frankly be disgusting,” Justin, who played Pete Buttigieg this cycle, said. But Togay, who was assigned the role of Trump—he’s a Democrat in real life—was determined to make the President more appealing to his classmates. “In preparation, I watched Alec Baldwin for a couple weeks,” he tells Rothman. For Togay and the Townsend Harris student body, Donald Trump’s unprecedented Presidency is normal. “We’ve seen what’s actually going on in Washington, because it’s been like a reality show to us,” Justin said. “This isn’t really surprising. This isn’t new.”

    • 17 min
    After Two Primary Contests, What’s Ahead for the Democratic Race?

    After Two Primary Contests, What’s Ahead for the Democratic Race?

    On Tuesday, voters in New Hampshire cast their ballots in the Democratic Presidential primary. Following the debacle surrounding the Iowa caucuses, many Democrats hoped that the results from New Hampshire would bring clarity to the race. Bernie Sanders won, arguably making him the front-runner. But close behind him was Pete Buttigieg, who also narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, and Amy Klobuchar, whose third-place finish gave her campaign renewed energy. Benjamin Wallace-Wells joins Eric Lach to discuss the New Hampshire primaries and how a clear picture of the future of the Democratic contest remains elusive.

    • 19 min
    The Black Vote in 2020

    The Black Vote in 2020

    The last time a Democrat won the White House, he had enormous support from black voters; lower support from black voters was one of many reasons Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. Marcus Ferrell, a political organizer from Atlanta, tells Radio Hour about the importance of turning out “unlikely voters” in order to win an election, which, for him, means black men. Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker staff writer and historian, points out that the four Democratic front-runners, all of whom are white, may struggle to get the turnout they need. Cobb tells David Remnick that Joe Biden’s strong lead may begin to fall after his weak showing among largely white voters in Iowa; Pete Buttigieg has very low support among South Carolina voters, and even faces opposition from black constituents in his home town, South Bend. But Bernie Sanders, Cobb says, seems to have made inroads with at least younger black voters since 2016.

    • 17 min
    Disasters at America’s Polling Places

    Disasters at America’s Polling Places

    On Monday, at the Iowa caucuses, a new smartphone app was used to report the results from each precinct. The app proved faulty, leading to a catastrophic failure to collect and report vote totals. In theory, advances in voting technology make voting easier and more accessible. In practice, they have introduced new vulnerabilities that can be exploited to suppress or undermine the will of the voters. Sue Halpern joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the recent history of voter suppression and malfunctions at polling places and whether the 2020 election can be saved.

    • 17 min
    Jill Lepore on Democracy in Peril, Then and Now

    Jill Lepore on Democracy in Peril, Then and Now

    In the nineteen-thirties, authoritarian regimes were on the rise around the world—as they are again today—and democratic governments that came into existence after the First World War were toppling. “American democracy, too, staggered,” Jill Lepore wrote in The New Yorker, “weakened by corruption, monopoly, apathy, inequality, political violence, hucksterism, racial injustice, unemployment, even starvation.” Lepore talks with David Remnick about how Americans rallied to save democracy, and how we might apply those lessons in a new era with similar problems. 

    • 16 min
    The Trump-Netanyahu “Deal of the Century”

    The Trump-Netanyahu “Deal of the Century”

    On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced his Administration’s Middle East peace plan. The unveiling occurred in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial of Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and on the day that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, in three cases. While nominally presenting a two-state solution, the plan heavily favors Israeli interests. Robin Wright joins Dorothy Wickenden to discuss the Trump Administration’s plan in the Middle East and the dangers that Trump and Netanyahu pose to the future of democracy in their countries.

    • 13 min

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