116 episodes

Independent Americans is a weekly news show hosted by Paul Rieckhoff. He’s a fighter, a patriot, and an independent political and media force to be reckoned with. After serving as a soldier in Iraq in 2004, Rieckhoff emerged as one of the most dynamic political and social leaders in America. In every episode, he breaks down the most important issues facing our country. And he interviews the most influential and compelling people. He’s taking on Republicans, Democrats—and everyone in between. If you’re in the angry middle, Independent Americans reminds you that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. Join the Independent Americans movement and subscribe now. Produced by Righteous Media.

Independent Americans with Paul Rieckhoff Righteous Media

    • News
    • 4.6 • 614 Ratings

Independent Americans is a weekly news show hosted by Paul Rieckhoff. He’s a fighter, a patriot, and an independent political and media force to be reckoned with. After serving as a soldier in Iraq in 2004, Rieckhoff emerged as one of the most dynamic political and social leaders in America. In every episode, he breaks down the most important issues facing our country. And he interviews the most influential and compelling people. He’s taking on Republicans, Democrats—and everyone in between. If you’re in the angry middle, Independent Americans reminds you that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. Join the Independent Americans movement and subscribe now. Produced by Righteous Media.

    Ruben Gallego. Congressman & USMC Veteran. Inside The Capitol On January 6th. Political Mortal Kombat. Majorie Taylor Greene Calls Him a “Coward.” Protecting Allies in Afghanistan. Will He Run Against Sen Kyrsten Sinema? Biden is AWOL on Burn Pits.

    Ruben Gallego. Congressman & USMC Veteran. Inside The Capitol On January 6th. Political Mortal Kombat. Majorie Taylor Greene Calls Him a “Coward.” Protecting Allies in Afghanistan. Will He Run Against Sen Kyrsten Sinema? Biden is AWOL on Burn Pits.

    Mortal Kombat is a new movie based on the old video game. And now, it’s the #1 film in America. If you don’t know, it’s about fighting. And it’s also the state of affairs in Washington. In 2021, every day in Congress is a kind of mortal combat. 
    But the violence and fighting in Washington that we’ve seen in the last year--and on the January 6th attack--is not the first violence American has seen in the Capitol. It’s just the first seen by this generation. 
    Our host, activist, author and combat veteran, Paul Rieckhoff ( @PaulRieckhoff), breaks down the history, context and what could happen next. 
    And he talks to Arizona Congressman and Marine Corps infantry combat veteran, Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego). Gallego has been a political combatant in the news a ton lately. He was inside the US Capitol during the attack on January 6th, helping his colleagues put on their gas masks and prepare to fight for their lives. He’s been slamming Republican leadership, serving on the House Armed Services Committee, leading the charge to get veterans healthcare for burn pits and other toxin exposure, and clashing with controversial Republican Congresswoman Majorie Taylor Green. Taylor Green called Gallego a “coward” and Tweeted “Democrats are the enemy within.” 
    Gallego fired back, Tweeting “"I was trying to figure what type of pen to stab your friends with if they overran us on the floor of the House of Representatives while trying to conduct a democratic transition of power. So please shut your seditious, Qanon loving mouth when it comes to who loves America," 
    It’s just another week of fireworks in Washington in 2021. But it’s also almost Mother’s Day--and Independent Americans is bringing light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. We’re bringing the power of the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. And a conversation to test you---to enlighten you---and to help you stay vigilant. Because eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
    If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by joining our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts, and exclusive content. And check out new IA merch.
    Political strategist Paul Begala called Independent Americans, “what all political pods ought to be: fun, engaging, freewheeling, and respectful - even welcoming- of different points of view. I’m a fan.”
    You can also watch video of this show with Ruben Gallego and more than 100 others from Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media. On social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.
    Watch video of this full conversation:
    https://youtu.be/LZ6BtNLjeMI
    And stay vigilant, America.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Paul Begala. America Is Bouncing Off Bottom. Are Democrats Winning or Losing? Biden’s Address & First 100 Days. The Future of Independent Politics. Can Matthew McConaughey Win in Texas? Guns or Shovels. Are Dems Too Woke? Cursing, Drinking & Twitt

    Paul Begala. America Is Bouncing Off Bottom. Are Democrats Winning or Losing? Biden’s Address & First 100 Days. The Future of Independent Politics. Can Matthew McConaughey Win in Texas? Guns or Shovels. Are Dems Too Woke? Cursing, Drinking & Twitt

    “Thank you for your patience.” That’s how President Biden ended his historic and unusual address to the joint session of Congress. After all we’ve been through over the last four years. And after the last year especially, America was in the roughest place of our lifetime. And we hit rock bottom on January 6, 2021. That was the low point of our lifetime. And damn, it was low. But America is now bouncing off bottom. And Biden’s speech laid it out. 100 days are down. The pandemic is on the run. Trump is off the radar. The vaccines are here. The jobs are coming back. The masks are coming down. And hope is in the air. 
    And our host, Paul Rieckhoff ( @PaulRieckhoff), breaks it all down. How Biden’s plan will help combat domestic extremism, how he’s making the smartest and most transformative education investment in America since the GI Bill, and what happens now in Afghanistan. 
    We’re not back yet. But America is on the comeback. And gaining steam fast. But it’s up to all of us to finish the job. But how do we do that? Can our politics do that? Can the Democrats do that? Can the Republicans be a part of that? Are independents the key? 
    We’ve got the perfect guest for this moment. One of the most influential and impactful political strategists of our time. Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) is a guy who knows about bouncing back. He knows about what it takes. He’s been in the war room. And he understands what it means to bounce off bottom. He led a then Presidential candidate in one of the biggest bouncing off bottom campaigns in history.
    Begala was a chief strategist for the 1992 Clinton–Gore campaign, making Clinton the first Democrat to occupy the White House in twelve years. As counselor to Clinton, he coordinated policy, politics, and communications. And later, Begala gained national prominence as part of the political consulting team Carville and Begala, along with fellow Clinton advisor James Carville. They’ve been the Batman and Robin of Democratic politics in America for decades. 
    Begala’s also been a fixture in political media. He was a co-host of Equal Time on MSNBC with Oliver North, and a co-host on CNN’s Crossfire with Tucker Carlson. Begala now appears regularly on CNN and is a Professor at Georgetown University. He’s also a patriotic American. A gun owner. A farmer. A lover of beer. A bigger lover of Texas. And a very proud husband and father of four boys. And in his own way, even partisan Begala is an independent American. He delivers a fun and motivating master class on current American politics. And shares stories and insights from a fascinating life in the mix. And how we can all be a part of the great American recovery.
    Independent Americans is bringing light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. We’re bringing the power of the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. And a conversation to test you---to enlighten you---and to help you stay vigilant. Because eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
    If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by joining our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts, and exclusive content. And check out new IA merch.

    You can also watch video of this show with Paul Begala and 100 others from Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media. On social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.

    Watch video of this full conversation:
    https://youtu.be/MCslcXHJ0do
    And stay vigilant, America. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Baratunde Thurston. Derek Chauvin is Guilty. Analyzing Media Coverage of the Trial. How The Hell Do We Process All This? The George Floyd Murder is the Mỹ Lai Massacre of Policing. Going to High School with Jon Bernthal.

    Baratunde Thurston. Derek Chauvin is Guilty. Analyzing Media Coverage of the Trial. How The Hell Do We Process All This? The George Floyd Murder is the Mỹ Lai Massacre of Policing. Going to High School with Jon Bernthal.

    The biggest verdict of or time is in and Officer Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder. Is America guilty of celebrating too much? Is this a turning point--or just a one-off? Did American political leaders do enough? What are the parallels between the 2020 George Floyd murder video and 2002 beheading video of journalist Daniel Pearl? What happens next?

    Baratunde Thurston (@Baratunde) is back to help us break it all down. The dynamic activist, host of the popular podcast How to Citizen, and author of the bestseller, How To Be Black joined us a year ago for Episode 59. And he rejoins the show now in the midst of a barnstorming tour across the American media landscape that has spanned from Conan to a weekly segment on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.

    He joins his old friend, our host, Independent activist, author, social entrepreneur and Army veteran @PaulRieckhoff for a fascinating, rapid-fire and riveting conversation. Baratunde is a powerful, inspiring and dynamic next-generation thought leader. He’s worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and cleaned bathrooms to pay an education at Harvard. Baratunde serves on the National Board of BUILD, an organization that uses entrepreneurship-based experiential learning to propel underserved youth through to college and career success, serves on the Brooklyn Public Library board of trustees and his TED Talk has over 5 million views. He and Rieckhoff have known each other for over a decade, and they chop it up for a fun, emotional and inspiring conversation that you’ll want to talk about and share.

    The jury has spoken, but America is still deeply divided. And hurting badly. But Independent Americans is bringing light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. And bringing the power of the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by becoming a member of our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts, and exclusive content. And check out new IA merch! Cool hats, camping mugs, t-shirts and more.

    You can also see video of this conversation with Baratunde and 100 others from Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media. Find us on your social media platforms or www.IndependentAmericans.us.

    Watch video of this full conversation:
    ttps://youtu.be/WigelGtKOpM

    And stay vigilant, America. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Jon Bernthal. The Iconic Actor Gets Real About America at a Crossroads. Defining Toughness, and Insurrectionist Using The Punisher Skull. George Floyd, Fatherhood, Sativa, DMX, Pitbulls. Biden's Afghanistan Drawdown.

    Jon Bernthal. The Iconic Actor Gets Real About America at a Crossroads. Defining Toughness, and Insurrectionist Using The Punisher Skull. George Floyd, Fatherhood, Sativa, DMX, Pitbulls. Biden's Afghanistan Drawdown.

    President Biden has declared the war in Afghanistan over. The George Floyd murder case continues to unfold. Coronavirus variants are spreading fast. And the J & J vaccine is on pause. It’s still a tough time in America. 100 days into the Biden presidency, things remain pretty damn turbulent. And Americans are still deeply divided. But millions are vaccinated, our troops are coming home from the longest war in our history, and summer will be here soon. And we are finally looking back on the last few very tough years, and trying to chart a better course forward. That includes exploring what it means to be a leader, to be a citizen, to be a patriot, and to be tough. Far too often in America lately, tough has been defined by a fist. But some are trying to redefine toughness with an open hand--instead of a clenched one. With soft power, instead of hard. And most of all, with an open heart. As we all process the brutal drama of the last year, we’re all exploring what it means to be survivors of this life, this time, and his pandemic. And we’re all at least a little bit tougher. 
    And few have defined American toughness on our screens over the last decade like Jon Bernthal (@JohnnyBernthal). And few define toughness better in real life. After growing up DC, facing down tremendous adversity, and grinding for two decades, Jon has now emerged as one of the most dynamic and exciting actors in Hollywood. America has come to love him in defining roles on The Walking Dead, The Pacific, The Wolf of Wall Street, Fury, Sicario, Baby Driver and Ford v Ferrari. And as Frank Castle, in The Punisher. Soon, he’ll star in The Many Saints of Newark, the prequel of The Sopranos, the reboot of American Gigolo on Showtime, and King Richard, a story about the early days of Venus and Serena Williams. Bernthal’s one of the hardest-working actors in America. He’s also one of the coolest--and one of the most real. 
    He’s married to a nurse, dedicated to his family, and worked for causes ranging from the USO to protecting pitbulls to founding Drops Fill Buckets. Bernthal’s a guy who shaped what it means to be American to the world. And he joins us on Independent Americans for a raw and real conversation spanning the debate around statehood for DC, to the George Floyd trial, to the insurrection in his hometown. Bernthal (a boxer) pulls no punches. He’s known our host, Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff), for 20 years. And he opens up about what makes him happy, the impact of DMX on his life, and why he’s optimistic about the future..
    America is deeply divided. But not about the things Jon’s been a part of. And Independent Americans is killing misinformation like Shane Walsh killed zombies in The Walking Dead. And we're bringing a punishing Frank-Castle-like blast of light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. We're bringing the Fury of the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by becoming a member of our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts, a Zoom Happy Hour event this Friday, and exclusive content. And check out new IA merch! Camping mugs, t-shirt and more.

    You can also see video of this conversation with Jon Bernthal and 100 others from Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media. Find us on your social media platforms or www.IndependentAmericans.us.

    Watch video of this full conversation:
    https://youtu.be/T_GI9cXbGfE

    And stay vigilant, America. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Ethan Nadelmann. Pre-4/20 Marijuana Special Episode. New York Legalizes Cannabis. Should All Drugs Be Legal? Can Weed Spark America’s Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery?

    Ethan Nadelmann. Pre-4/20 Marijuana Special Episode. New York Legalizes Cannabis. Should All Drugs Be Legal? Can Weed Spark America’s Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery?

    The marijuana reform movement is on fire. In the election last year, beneath all the Biden and Trump drama, every single state-level cannabis ballot initiative passed--from New Jersey to Mississippi to South Dakota. And now, New York state has legalized the green stuff. Federal legalization is gaining steam, the industry is exploding and everyone wants in on the weed movement. Marijuana is no longer a partisan or fringe issue--it’s popular, mainstream and key to the future of the American economy post-pandemic. And it’s got tremendous support from most independent Americans. 7 in 10 independents and moderates back legalization. So as 4/20 (the unofficial marijuana holiday) nears, Independent Americans is sparking up the cannabis conversation again--and continuing our focus on the state of affairs, the controversies, and the future of cannabis. And we’re also digging into broader drug policy changes happening in America from opioids to psychedelics to criminal justice reform.  
    And so The Godfather of Drugs returns to IA! Ethan Nadelmann (@EthanNadelmann) has been called America’s real Drug Czar. He joined us way back in Episode 12--and he’s back again to bring his unparalleled insight and experience. Ethan has been the mastermind behind the biggest changes to drug policy in US history. A Harvard PhD and the son of a rabbi, Ethan founded the trailblazing Drug Policy Alliance in 1994 and was a lead strategist behind 30 years of reform--including California’s historic 2014 Prop 47 referendum that reduced drug possession for personal use to a misdemeanor. This pivotal political victory proved to be the first domino to fall in a string of historic national changes and unleashed the wave of legalization of marijuana in states all across America we see now—with more to come soon.
    Easter and Passover are behind us, March Madness is over, the vaccine is hitting millions of arms daily, and things are warming up nationwide. But few issues are heating up more than cannabis. And few have a more fascinating past--or a more exciting future.
    Ethan returns to Independent Americans to chop it up with our host, Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) to break it all down. Rieckhoff is a longtime advocate for drug reform, who has appeared in the media often on the subject, written about it extensively, testified before Congress about the impacts of cannabis for veterans, and spearheaded the landmark VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.
    America is deeply divided. But not about marijuna anymore. And Independent Americans is packing a bowl of light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. Every show is pre-rolled with the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact--to keep you empowered. If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by becoming a member of our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts, Zoom Happy Hour events, and exclusive content. Go check out our cool new IA merch! Durable camping mugs, t-shirts, cool hats and more.
    You can also see video of this conversation with Ethan Nadelmann and 100 other leaders from Chuck D to Chuck Hagel; Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media. Find us on your favorite social media platforms and www.IndependentAmericans.us.
    Watch video of this full conversation:
    https://youtu.be/_K4MxFkoPjU

    And stay vigilant, America.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Rick Sorkin & Sharon Koppelman Spring Break Special! Meet The Son and Mother Hosts of the New Righteous Media Pod: Everybody & Their Mother Has a Podcast. Also, Cannabis is Finally Legal in NY!

    Rick Sorkin & Sharon Koppelman Spring Break Special! Meet The Son and Mother Hosts of the New Righteous Media Pod: Everybody & Their Mother Has a Podcast. Also, Cannabis is Finally Legal in NY!

    It’s spring break this week for millions of kids across America. School’s out, Passover, Easter, and March Madness are also here, and millions nationwide are spending extra time with family. And so are we. In this special episode, we are thrilled to introduce you to two new members of our media family: the captivating hosts of the newest Righteous Media production: Everybody and Their Mother Has a Podcast. 
    Rick and his mom (Sharon) are quarantining together in a secret desert location. And it’s been VERY interesting. And fun and inspiring. This charming, new, weekly podcast will be like a warm cup of cocoa with your mom or best friend. Everybody takes you inside the house with Rick and Sharon, two other humans (and their cat), and along for some very special adventures. From Rick’s music-making, to Sharon’s painting, to their shared passion for supporting and understanding the developmental disabilities of Rick’s brother, to breaking down current events, this show will bring smiles and warmth to your ears every time you download. 
    Rick Sorkin (@RickSorkin) is a Santa Monica-based Music Producer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Creative Strategist, Plant-based Chef and Co-host of Everybody.... He’s also 6’5”, ambidextrous and followed on Twitter by Barack Obama. Born and raised in Philly, Rick earned a Business and Music Degrees from The George Washington University. He’s spent time on Madison Avenue and in the center of Hollywood, where he created and contributed to many of the now-common global digital advertising and talent practices.
    Rick’s co-host is his amazing mom. Sharon Koppelman is an artist and a career educator. Sharon’s guiding philosophy is that everyone benefits personally by contributing to their household and their community, and therefore should be supported to do so regardless of ability level. She is Past Board Chair of SPIN, Inc., a non-profit that provides a life of possibilities and assistance to thousands. Sharon taught in the Philadelphia public school system and was adjunct Assistant Professor at Drexel University, where she taught in the Education program. Sharon’s stand-up comedy experience has so far been limited to a single performance in Philly at the now-legendary Cabaret L’Etage. And now, she has a podcast with her son.
    Things are improving quickly in much of America. But we’re not done with the pandemic yet. The emotional trial in the death of George Floyd is underway, disgusting attacks on Asian-Americans continue, and COVID cases and hospitalizations are rising. But the vaccine is rolling out fast, cannabis was legalized in New York, and Michael Strahan closed the gap in his teeth. These are weird times. And Rick and Sharon join Independent Americans and our host Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) to break it all down. It’s a light-hearted break from the intensity of the last year. And an introduction to two new Righteous Media voices that will help guide you through whatever comes next. 
    America is deeply divided. But Independent Americans is a warm cup of reason that adds light to contrast all the heat of other political pods. Every show brings the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact--to keep you empowered. If you’re a concerned citizen who cares about the future of your country, this is your pod. Be a part of the solution. Join us for exclusive access and events by becoming a member of our Patreon community. Get access to events, guests, merch discounts and exclusive content. Go check out our cool new IA merch! Durable camping mugs, cool hats and more.
    You can also see video of this conversation with Rick Sorkin and Sharon Koppelman and 100 other leaders on the Righteous YouTube page. Independent Americans connects, informs and inspires--and is powered by Righteous Media.
    Subscribe to Everybody & Their Mother Has

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
614 Ratings

614 Ratings

Optknocking ,

Independent thinkers welcome

This is a great podcast. If you’re looking for thoughtful discussion you will likely enjoy this podcast. However, if you’re looking for an echo chamber of one-sided opinion, this show probably isn’t for you.

Sandy McP ,

Impeachment hearing

I disagree with you Paul about the Dems backing down re witnesses being called. They got Butlers affidavit on the record. It was determined the trial w witnesses were be prolonged months. And Dems would not get more senators to convict. There will be a 1/6 Commission. You’ve got a great voice I appreciate and is needed. Gratitude. Sandy McPartlon

Doggy Daddy ,

Very well presented

Newer to the podcast, last 8 months, and its quickly become one of my favorites. Paul presents information in a very unique way and is always mindful of the bigger picture. I think Paul is an important independent voice that represents more Americans than we realize. It’s not all Republican and Democrat, there is a whole nation in between those two.

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