56 episodes

Battleground brings you inside the fight for political power. Hosts Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir aren't your typical pundits – in fact, they're not pundits at all. They're doing the work day-in and day-out, and have the inside scoop on what's really happening behind the tweets and headlines. Every week, Amanda and Faiz have a wide-ranging, unguarded, and occasionally profanity-laden conversation with reporters, activists, organizers, political scientists, campaign operatives – and even some conservatives – in order to shine a light on the problems we face and figure out how we can fix them. Both bring deep knowledge and experience building grassroots movements for change. Amanda is the co-founder and executive director Run for Something, which recruits and supports young progressives running for local state and local offices, and host of the Run for Something podcast on Dear Media. Faiz was the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and he's the founder of the progressive media non-profit, More Perfect Union. Listen to new episodes each Thursday on your favorite podcast app.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Battleground with Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir iHeartRadio

    • News
    • 4.8 • 3.1K Ratings

Battleground brings you inside the fight for political power. Hosts Amanda Litman and Faiz Shakir aren't your typical pundits – in fact, they're not pundits at all. They're doing the work day-in and day-out, and have the inside scoop on what's really happening behind the tweets and headlines. Every week, Amanda and Faiz have a wide-ranging, unguarded, and occasionally profanity-laden conversation with reporters, activists, organizers, political scientists, campaign operatives – and even some conservatives – in order to shine a light on the problems we face and figure out how we can fix them. Both bring deep knowledge and experience building grassroots movements for change. Amanda is the co-founder and executive director Run for Something, which recruits and supports young progressives running for local state and local offices, and host of the Run for Something podcast on Dear Media. Faiz was the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, and he's the founder of the progressive media non-profit, More Perfect Union. Listen to new episodes each Thursday on your favorite podcast app.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    QAnon: Coming to a School Board Near You with Mike Rothschild

    QAnon: Coming to a School Board Near You with Mike Rothschild

    America’s lack of media literacy and historical affinity for conspiracy theories have allowed QAnon to move from the dark corners of the web to violence at the US Capitol. Now, much like the Tea Party efforts of last decade, the movement is attempting to take over local governments at a disconcerting pace. 
    Journalist Mike Rothschild (The Storm Is Upon Us) has spent his career investigating how internet culture impacts American politics, and he is one of the go-to resources regarding all things QAnon. Mike joins Amanda on Battleground to discuss how QAnon has been shedding its fringier messaging post-insurrection and organizing politically to capture school boards and easily winnable local seats across the country.  If you’re tempted to dismiss the movement as a passing ‘Boomer fad,’ you might be surprised to learn that every age group and socioeconomic class is represented in QAnon.  Mike calls it the “umbrella of conspiracy theories,” and it  includes 2020 election results deniers, anti-vaxxers, anti-CRT diehards, and the forced-birth brigade. Mike points out (as Amanda does every week) that while many of us get distracted by the shimmer and drama of national politics, the real work of preserving a functional, multicultural democracy is at the unglamorous, hyper-local level. Conservatives are already putting up huge roadblocks to participating in state and national elections; adding a super-motivated band of conspiracy theorists running for school board and town mayor will not bode well for democracy.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 37 min
    The Tyranny of Merit with Michael Sandel

    The Tyranny of Merit with Michael Sandel

    The American dream disappeared generations ago, but we still operate under the myth that ascending the socio-economic ladder is simply a matter of hard work. In reality, America has become a caste system, where those born into privilege will likely stay privileged, while those born into poverty get stuck at the bottom. What’s worse, according to political philosopher Michael Sandel, are the attitudes accompanying this system. Many of those at the top truly believe they’ve ‘earned’ their place, a type of ‘winners and losers’ messaging that gets carried into politics. And to no one's surprise, Republicans are making it work to their political advantage.
    Professor Sandel joins Faiz on Battleground this week to discuss what he calls the “rhetoric of rising”; how dividing society into winners and losers cost Democrats the working-class vote; and what they can do to break the meritocratic spell that’s driving our country into the ground. Hint: electing more working-class people to office is a good start.



    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 41 min
    ICYMI

    ICYMI

    We're taking a break this week at Battleground, and will be back on September 9 with a new episode. Amanda's got some thoughts on how you can stay informed in the meantime.
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 58 sec
    ‘You Can’t Out-Organize a Gerrymander’ with David Daley

    ‘You Can’t Out-Organize a Gerrymander’ with David Daley

    In 2014, Republicans won around 4.3 million more votes in House contests than Democrats, which netted them 247 congressional seats. In 2020, Democrats got approximately 4.7 million more votes, but won only 222 seats. For that unfair advantage, you can thank REDMAP: a Republican project to take state legislatures and then gerrymander districts, in order to win and hold power – even when they get fewer votes.
    David Daley is a senior fellow at FairVote, a nonpartisan organization focused on making elections better, the author of two books on gerrymandering and voting rights, and the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com. With the August release of the 2020 Census data, Daley joins Battleground to sound the alarm on what’s looking more and more like the end of majoritarian rule. He and Amanda discuss the Roberts Court’s decision to stay out of states’ partisan redistricting efforts; the Democrat’s prospects in 2022; and how the party has mostly watched from the sidelines as these anti-democratic efforts unfold.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 40 min
    Why the Market Can’t Solve Our Care Crisis with Ai-jen Poo

    Why the Market Can’t Solve Our Care Crisis with Ai-jen Poo

    It doesn’t matter to Ai-jen Poo whether you call it ‘care infrastructure,’ or something else, as long as it gets funded properly. With Baby Boomers aging and Millennials having kids, we’re heading towards a crisis, thanks in large part to how we’ve neglected the critical role caregivers play in our economy.
    Ai-jen is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a labor advocacy group that works to elevate the rights of domestic workers in the US. She’s been sounding the alarm and pushing for policies that will meet the impending care shortage. The goal is to give families the support they need, and to redefine the care work industry so that it provides quality jobs for an overwhelmingly female workforce that’s also majority women of color. 
    Amanda and Ai-jen discuss the historical devaluation of women’s labor, how technology has changed both the care industry and organizing, and the potentially transformative effects of Biden’s infrastructure plan. Plus, Ai-jen shares a downright inspiring vision of the future, which we could all use right now.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 34 min
    Voting is Not a Constitutional Right with Jessica Huseman

    Voting is Not a Constitutional Right with Jessica Huseman

    If Americans voted the way the Founders intended, most of us wouldn’t get to vote. Amanda talks to Jessica Huseman, the editorial director of Votebeat, to learn about our country’s tortured, and unending, fight for voting rights. Jessica is a former high school history teacher who has spent the last five years reporting on voting administration – the ins and outs of what goes into putting on an election and counting the votes. Votebeat is a nonprofit newsroom that covers voting and also funds and trains journalists to report out that beat for local newsrooms. Jessica gives a crash course on the history of voting in America and then breaks down the battle over voting rights in her home state of Texas. It turns out that Texas’ voting laws are already so restrictive that the bill currently being pushed by Republicans is more likely to disenfranchise voters through incompetent bill writing than through actual design. Jessica also explains why a lot of Texas Democratic voters aren’t impressed by their legislators' decision to flee the state. Finally, Amanda and Jessica talk about local journalism and why it’s absolutely essential for democracy.
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
3.1K Ratings

3.1K Ratings

ccpatter74 ,

Brian Fallon

Excellent interview! More Brian Fallon, please.

efficientlylazy2 ,

Joke

You are just as hypocritical as every other dem. You really think democratic legislators save lives.

Jlcod ,

6/3/21

I knew I would miss David and Steve but I have to say I am really enjoying hearing Amanda and Faiz’s point of view. Their quests are quite good too.

Looking forward to them helping me see all points of view going into the 2022 elections.

Thanks

Top Podcasts In News

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by iHeartRadio