121 episodes

Americans don't know how to solve problems. We've lost sight of what institutions are and why they matter. The Long Game is a look at some key institutions, such as political parties, the U.S. Senate, the media, and the church. Support this show at http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame

The Long Gam‪e‬ Jon Ward

    • Government
    • 4.7 • 97 Ratings

Americans don't know how to solve problems. We've lost sight of what institutions are and why they matter. The Long Game is a look at some key institutions, such as political parties, the U.S. Senate, the media, and the church. Support this show at http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame

    Can Americans Still Discuss Their Differences Constructively? David Blankenhorn Is Trying To Make it Happen.

    Can Americans Still Discuss Their Differences Constructively? David Blankenhorn Is Trying To Make it Happen.

    David Blankenhorn is co-founder of Braver Angels, which now has 70 chapters around the country, and has hosted more than 1,400 meetings, Blankenhorn said.


    The mission of Braver Angels is to get Americans to talk to one another, and to have honest conversations about their views on politics. The practice they preach is to get their members to listen to one another, rather than try to persuade each another, because the goal is to reduce alienation and demonization more than anything.


    In other words, they want to bring people together to see that the other side isn't necessarily a bunch of raging maniacs who fit the descriptions that are churned out on cable TV, online and in fundraising emails.


    Blankenhorn started Braver Angels a few years ago in 2017, and this task was tough then. But now, with the rise of conspiracy theories and many Trump supporters having been blue-pilled into an alternative reality, this is even tougher. And we talk at length about this. Blankenhorn is very firm that he doesn't want his group to do a lot of fact-checking.


    I don't know what I think about this. At a certain point, if people are not able to discern basic facts from complete falsehoods, I don't know what good it does to pretend they're nt completely around the bend. But I admire Blankenhorn's desire to bring people together, and I think we need a lot more groups and efforts like this.


    He also discusses how his personal history -- and his rather searing and personally painful experience being a public spokesperson on both sides of the marriage equality debate -- drove him into this work.


    Outro song: "Fire" by Waxahatchee

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 53 min
    Adam Kinzinger says the battle with Trumpism has to be fought in public (bc he knows political parties have lost their power)

    Adam Kinzinger says the battle with Trumpism has to be fought in public (bc he knows political parties have lost their power)

    Adam Kinzinger, 42, has been in Congress since 2010. He's an Air National Guard pilot who flew over 100 combat missions on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He never said much about Trump prior to the election, and has been a reliable conservative vote. But since the election, he's been everywhere.


    He's been the most outspoken Republican elected official to publicly call out the constant lying by former President Trump about the election, and has taken it up several notches since the January 6 assault on the Capitol.


    He voted to impeach Trump, and to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. And he's even formed a political action committee and said he's going to use it to support primary challengers against other Republicans in Congress who are most loyal to Trump, such as Matt Gaetz and Greene. He reiterated to me that he's still planning on doing this and plans are moving forward.


    We also talked about the ways that conservative Christian culture has fallen short in this moment, and how Kinzinger -- who is unabashed about his own Christian faith -- thinks the American church got to this point.


    Outro music: "Any Major Dude Will Tell You" by Steely Dan

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 30 min
    The Congressman Who Became A Qanon Topic Himself: Rep. Tom Malinowski

    The Congressman Who Became A Qanon Topic Himself: Rep. Tom Malinowski

    Tom Malinowski, a Democratic congressman from New Jersey who was working on a resolution last year condemning the Qanon conspiracy cult, when suddenly he became a target of the cult himself, with the help of the Republican party establishment. 


    Malinowski is now involved in trying to come up with legislative solutions to the problem of disinformation and like my last guest, Peter Pomerantsev, he's focused on the way that the social media companies design their platforms in such a way that bad information travels faster and farther than good. But he thinks we need more than just the requirement of transparency about allgorithms. The bill he's proposed would make social media platforms legally liable if it was shown that their algorithm amplified information which led to real world violence.


    Outro music: "Harlem River Blues" by Steve Earle & the Dukes

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 45 min
    Reducing Big Tech Censorship, Preserving Free Speech, and Fighting Disinformation, with Peter Pomerantsev

    Reducing Big Tech Censorship, Preserving Free Speech, and Fighting Disinformation, with Peter Pomerantsev

    Peter Pomerantsev is one of the best thinkers on online disinformation. He's the author of two books, "This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality," and "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia." He is also senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ Institute of Global Affairs, and a senior fellow at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University where he co-directs the Arena Initiative.


    “Fake amplification — everything from gaming algorithms and search engine optimization through to amplification through coordinated inauthentic activity — I think that probably has to end if the internet is going to be a just reflection of society and not this kind of weird funhouse mirror that distorts everything,” Pomerantsev said.


    The way out, he said, is through forcing the tech companies to be transparent about how they are manipulating the spread of information, and holding them accountable to prevent public harms.


    Outro music: "Jubilee Street" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 1 hr 9 min
    If Things Are Going to Hell, Let's Talk Structural Reform with Don Beyer

    If Things Are Going to Hell, Let's Talk Structural Reform with Don Beyer

    Gerrymandering is a major problem. But it's not the only structural cause of radicalization, extremism and polarized politics. I talked with Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia, about some other reform ideas that he's working on with other members of Congress.


    First, they want to introduce ranked choice voting. Second, they want to have members of Congress serve in multi-member districts, rather than only one member per district. And three, they want to expand the size of the House, from 435 members as it stands now to 500 members at first, and probably more beyond that.


    We talk mostly about ranked choice voting, because that's the first reform they are pushing. Beyer said he hopes to have it voted on and passed in the House this year. And this is something I discussed with Lee Drutman a year ago when his new book came out. If you're looking to do a deep dive into these ideas, they're all explored in depth in that book, which is called "Breaking the Two Party Doom Loop."


    The most basic reason to consider ranked choice voting is that it requires a candidate to win with a majority of votes. As it stands, the American system rewards candidates who win a plurality of votes, meaning many officeholders never clear 50 percent support from voters. This is most significant in party primaries, where an extremist or unqualified candidate can win with 30 percent of the vote or less if there are a high number of candidates in the race who split up the vote.


    It also gives voters the ability to vote for a third party candidate without worrying that they are throwing away their vote. If the third party candidate doesn't finish in the top two, and nobody gets above 50 percent, then that person's vote goes to their second choice. This would reduce the spoiler effect of third party candidates and also put pressure on them to nominate serrious candidates if they want to be taken seriously.


    Drutman told me a year ago that "things are going to hell a little bit" and that's why "people have become so engaged in democracy reform."


    I think it's safe to say that things are going to hell a lot these days, and we need structural change to reduce the toxic nature of our politics. This is the kind of conversation we need more of.


    Outro Song: "One Hundred Years" by John McCutcheon

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 45 min
    Russell Moore on the Capitol Insurrection and Why He's Willing to Put His Job On the Line to Speak His Mind

    Russell Moore on the Capitol Insurrection and Why He's Willing to Put His Job On the Line to Speak His Mind

    Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in America, with 15 million or so members in its 47,000 or so congregations.


    Moore was one of the most prominent evangelical critics of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign, but after Trump was elected president, Moore came under attack from Trump supporters inside the SBC who wanted him out of his job, which he took over in 2013. Moore, 49, survived the challenge, but was less outspoken about Trump after that.


    After Trump incited his supporters with two months of lies about the election, encouragement about a “wild” day on January 6, and a speech on that day exhorting them to march on the Capitol, Moore made a decision to speak out against Trump once again. He wrote a 2,600 word essay and sent it out to the ERLC mailing list.


    Moore dismantled the arguments that led to the insurrection, stating clearly that “it is not true — and it never was true — that this election was stolen,” and said that the riot had been “incited and fomented by the President of the United States.”


    Moore said that he thought Trump should resign, or be removed by the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence, or impeached and convicted by Congress. “If I were a Member of Congress, I would vote to impeach. And if I were a United States senator, I would vote to convict. And I would be willing, if necessary, to lose my seat to do so,” Moore wrote.


    “As a matter of fact, I am willing, if necessary, to lose this seat.” That was a reference to his own job, and an acknowledgment that those who tried to get him ousted four years ago might do so again based on his criticism now.


    But it’s unclear whether he is now “almost all alone,” as he wrote he felt for most of the last few years. The shock of the events is still roiling the country, as thousands of armed soldiers patrol the U.S. Capitol and other parts of the capital city.


    Moore’s latest book, his fifth, is rooted in that experience of feeling isolated and afraid. It’s titled, “The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul.”


    Also, to see Moore's list of his favorite 20 books over the last 20 years click here.


    Outro Music: "Look Long" by the Indigo Girls

    Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelonggame.

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

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
97 Ratings

97 Ratings

Bjoifdstjhdtu ,

Adam K interview

Thanks Jon for this interview!
Especially appreciate your insight about ppl being susceptible to being misled bc they are engaged only around an election and then tune out again.
That has been me in the past. But thanks to you and Twitter and a wide variety of sources much less so now.
Will be praying for you and also Country First and Rep Adam K. Grace and Peace

Newishcooker ,

Real Journalism

I found Jon through the recommendation of Dan Koch, of the You Have Permission Podcast. I find Jon’s work to be invariably thought-provoking and deeply honest, even when I disagree with some premises or conclusions. I commend this show without reservation - I’d love to see this type of journalism proliferate.

ReportThis505 ,

Understanding institutions

Institutions are supposed to be grounded ideological ideas that last for years, but what happens when something or someone throws a monkey wrench into the system? This is what Jon Ward tries to answer in his one man band podcast, “The Long Game.”

I was introduced to Jon Ward through an interview with Skye Jetani on “The Holy Post Podcast.” I happened to stumble upon Ward’s podcast later when I heard he interviewed National Review’s Jonah Goldberg.

I have found Ward’s conversations to be refreshingly nuanced and deep. He talks to people from both sides of the political aisle and engages in thoughtful conversation, while acknowledging and maintaining his point of view.

I will echo statements made by other reviewers about the sound quality of the podcast. The background noise is distracting such as the constant fidgeting. I only want to hear the voices of the interviewer and interviewee.

One of the best parts of this podcast is the wide range of guests. From conservatives to liberals, Ward draws in a wide range of perspectives. I think I saw one reviewer say that the interview with Terry Mattingly was bad. That’s complete hogwash and any thinking, reasonable person would know to ignore this bad faith argument by this reviewer. Ward is intellectually honest and he certainly does pose hard questions, but he allows the listener to decide if the interviewer is right or not.

The greatest strength of Ward as a journalist is that he comes from an evangelical background, so he understands the Religious Right. I hope he uses his perspective more in upcoming podcasts to understand religious institutions in politics.

Top Podcasts In Government

Listeners Also Subscribed To