Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires informed participating citizens. On Keeping Democracy Alive, we delve into dynamics that both inhibit democracy and reinvigorate it. looking into issues from: domestic economic issues to foreign, labor, trade, and education policy, NSA spying, the drug war, prison, police, and judicial issues, electoral and protest politics, middle east realities, right and left wing populism, environmental and energy issues, the wealth gap, and internet issues. Including such issues and movements as the Occupy Movement, Citizens United, safe energy, Jewish Voice for Peace, Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Spiritual Progressives, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies, Wealth for the Common Good, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, BDS, Campaign for America’s Future, TransPacific Partnership, NORML and MPP, the OffNow Coalition, The World Bank and IMF, The Birch Society, and many more. We talk with authors of important new history books for insight into current dilemmas. The idea is to empower listeners with facts behind current problems and with specific opportunities for them to make positive change to revitalize democracy
Guests of note include: Gore Vidal, George McGovern, Claire Conner, Medea Benjamin, Adam Hochschild, Ben Cohen, Bernie Sanders, Anna Gyorgy, Marjorie Cohn, Elias Isquith, Zaid Jilani, Merle Ratner, Peter Van Buren, Brian Kahn, Allen Brownfeld, Michael Hill, Joyce Horman, Debra Sweet, Ken Gloss, Zephyr Teachout, Rev. Bruce Shipman, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Steven Jonas, Alex Pareene, Michael Kazin, Richard Eskow, Patrick Smith, Jules Feffer, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, Eric Zuesse, Guy Saperstein, Richard Rothstein, Chuck Collins, Astra Taylor, Bryan Stephenson, Margaret Flowqers, Kevin Zeese, Roger Hickey, Bob Borosage, Bruce Dancis, Philip Smith, Sean McElwee, Amanda Marcotte, Shane Trejo, Noam Chomsky, MJ Rosenberg, Hedrick Smith, Ellen Brown. Subscribe to RSS Feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/BurtCohen
We Can Make the Popular Vote Rule
The Electoral College was born in a hasty compromise in the 18th century. Could it finally be about to change and enable more democracy? Though you probably haven’t heard of it, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is moving steadily through the states. When it reaches states yielding 270 electors, if becomes law. On this show proponent David Edward Burke talks what what it is and is not. For example though many believe without the Electoral College, large liberal states would steamroll over the more rural states voters. Not true, in fact the reverse would happen. The NPVIC would make each single vote equal in value to each other. Today’s swing states would shrink in importance. The plan is 2/3 of the way there. Grassroots support can get it all the way there, increasing democracy.
One Nation Indivisible: Really? Forever?
Sure, the south was defeated militarily, but their attitudes remained, as we saw in the January 6th insurrection. What we saw is not a fringe, in fact it has deep roots. Disunity is traditional in American history. People in the north talked of secession well before the south. As our population exceeds 330 million, is one government really still able to serve us all? Can we make democracy more effective? Some dismiss talk of breaking down into more governable entities as just nuts. But our guest Richard Kreitner, author of the timely Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union says in the relatively near future, it may not be nuts at all. He points out that the term United States of America was more of an aspirational claim than a name, and was known to be untrue at its time. Can we have, as Lincoln hoped,”a more perfect union?” Time will tell.
Occupy Wall St. 2011 Was Just The Start
From its birth in one block in New York City to more than a thousand town squares, the conversation began ten years ago. It was the first social media driven movement and as Heather McKee Hurwitz writes in her new book Are We the 99%?, The Occupy Movement, Feminism, and Intersectionality, an unintentional take-away was the question of how leadership functions and doesn’t. She looks at the roles of women, black people, queers, and the homeless as compared to white men. Hurwitz focuses on the concept of intersectionality, the potential for connection of all movements for justice. It may have begun ten years ago, but the movement continues in many new ways.
New President: New Better Mideast Policy?
No one likes an outside power coming in and having control over them. But that’s exactly what has pervaded the Middle East for over a hundred years. Some of the effects of America’s recent wars there include epidemics of birth defects and cancer in children in Fallujah, Iraq perhaps from mercury, lead, and uranium in the ground. Not the best way to make friends. On this show Mandy Terc, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP.org) sheds light on realities in the various countries in the huge region. She argues America could gain much from a new policy where we listen to citizens and not just give carte blanche to the Saudis and other dictatorial oil-based regimes. For example we could work with them as allies to resolve the disastrous effects of climate change.
The UK’s Jeremy Corbyn: What Now?
Smeared and driven from leadership of the British Labour Party. Relentlessly attacked by the uniquely powerful British tabloid media, our guest today Matt Sarb-Cousin argues there’s never been a leader like Jeremy Corbyn. Except perhaps America’s own Bernie Sanders. Trump friend Conservative Boris Johnson defeated him in the 2019 election based on their exploitation of economic anxieties. Support for and against Brexit broke down on non-traditional lines. Corbyn supported Brexit to ease harsh austerity measures and now supports a re-vote. Today’s Labour Party is taken over by the Blairite Wing, with the appeal of being more competent managers of the status quo. Though the charge of anti-semitism was painted onto Corbyn, he spoke out against the one percent of Labourites whom it fit. Corbyn continues to stand for transformation to a more equitable, non-imperialist England. He’s not done yet.
Brothers from Another Mother: Trump and Kaiser Wilhelm II
The similarities are uncanny and deeply disturbing: Kaiser Wilhelm II and Donald Trump share an amazing number of attributes. Such as fascination with and envy of more powerful people, the need to belittle other heads of state, believing themselves physically irresistible, desperately needing flattery, living in fantasy worlds, and dismissing reality. According to our guest author of 2010’s The Three Emperors: George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm, both men were basically illiterate. Her recent article asks “What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire.” One important unanswered question is what happens to truth telling and democracy itself after Trump?
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good for people from left
Sometimes Interesting discussions and guests.
To be honest, I would give it 4 stars except with ratings inflation that would do them a disservice. I do think people should know about it and decide for themselves.
Fresh, timely & relevant to todays big questions in society
Burt seems to be able to examine the underlying powers and challenges seeming hell bent on destroying this experiment called democracy - Rick Pickford Chair - Seacoast Arts & Cultural Alliance
From the progressive point of view
About democracy and the state of the people's power today, not only in the US, but how events worldwide may influence our democracy. Host is curious and wants to learn and share how democracy is and is not functioning for all.