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Politics & Polls #52: How Social Movements Achieve Change with Steven Levingston
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July 20, 2017 06:57 AM PDT
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The Civil Rights Movement is often looked back upon as a time when social activism sparked real political change. During that time, the United States saw some of its greatest leaders guide the country through turbulent years. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy provided different models of leadership, which some argue are needed today.

In this episode, Professor Julian Zelizer interviews Steven Levingston, nonfiction editor at the Washington Post, about the battle over civil rights. Levingston is the author of "Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights", “Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Époque Paris” and “The Kennedy Baby: The Loss that Transformed JFK.”

Politics & Polls #51: The Trump-Russia Story with Benjamin Wittes
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July 13, 2017 01:33 PM PDT
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President Donald Trump has spent his first months faced with a potential scandal involving Russia, an issue that’s only grown since the election with discussions and investigations about possible obstruction and collusion. In recent weeks, this has dominated national political debates, especially in Congress and the White House.

Benjamin Wittes, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog, joins this episode of Politics & Polls to discuss where things stand in the Trump-Russia scandal. The Lawfare blog is “devoted to sober and serious discussion of ‘hard national security choices.’”

Wittes, a journalist who focuses on national security and law, is also a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor After Guantanamo”, published in November 2011; co-editor of “Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change,” published in December 2011; and editor of “Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy,” published in May 2017 by the Brookings Institution Press.

Politics & Polls #50: One-Year Anniversary
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June 29, 2017 08:12 AM PDT
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This week marks the one-year anniversary of Politics & Polls! In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang reflect on everything that’s transpired over the past year from the presidential campaign to President Donald Trump’s election.

Politics & Polls #49: Democracy, Gerrymandering, Federalism & More
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June 22, 2017 06:20 AM PDT
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America’s experienced a blitz of political twists and turns in the past few months, which may cloak some of the deep-rooted challenges still facing the nation. Still looming large in the background are issues related to the political process — like democracy, gerrymandering, voting laws and federalism.

In this episode, the focus turns toward the structure of politics with special guest Heather Gerken, one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law.

Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School and founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism; her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent. Hailed as an “intellectual guru” in the The New York Times, Professor Gerken’s scholarship has been featured in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, NPR, The New York Times, and Time.

At Yale, she founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law. Gerken is also a renowned teacher who has won awards at both Yale and Harvard and was named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers.”

Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. She then served as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2000. Gerken came to Yale in 2006 and became the inaugural J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law in 2008. She will serve as the 17th dean of Yale’s Law School, starting July 1, 2017.

Politics & Polls #48: Wake Up to Politics with Gabe Fleisher
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June 15, 2017 12:22 PM PDT
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One of the ongoing challenges in American politics is appealing to younger demographics - not simply through elections and voter turn-out but engaging young people with the political process. Today’s young people - and even some adults – find politics difficult to digest and unappealing, presenting challenges in the ways that Americans learn, interpret and analyze politics.

Gabe Fleisher, a 15-year-old student in St. Louis, is looking to change that with his newsletter “Wake Up to Politics,” which is sent to 36,000 readers every morning. Our youngest guest to date, Fleisher discusses his newsletter and how to make politics appealing in this episode of Politics & Polls.

Politics & Polls #47: Race Relations in America
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June 08, 2017 07:51 AM PDT
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Race remains a potent political force in America, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential election. Despite the progress that’s been made, race continues to infiltrate many areas of public policy from health care to education to employment.

Professor Eddie Glaude from Princeton University joins this episode of Politics & Polls to discuss current race relations in America. Glaude, chair of the Center for African American Studies and William S. Todd Professor of Religion and African Studies at Princeton.

Politics & Polls #46: Trump’s 'Gaslighting of America' with Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca
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June 01, 2017 06:44 AM PDT
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President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media persist while journalists continue to grapple with how to cover such a tumultuous presidency. Amidst the clamor, new voices in journalism have risen to the top, positioning themselves as political power players in a media-saturated world.

Among these voices is Lauren Duca, an award-winning journalist at Teen Vogue. In December 2016, Duca penned an essay, “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America,” which argued that Trump relies on deceit to undermine the truth so his critics question their own judgment. The essay quickly went viral, generating more than one million views to date.

Duca joins this episode of Politics & Polls to discuss her essay, her work at Teen Vogue and the future of journalism under the Trump administration.

Politics & Polls #45: Inside Hillary Clinton’s ‘Doomed’ Campaign
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May 25, 2017 06:52 AM PDT
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More than 100 insider sources helped journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes lift the veil on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the many avoidable missteps that turned a winnable election into a stunning defeat.

Allen and Parnes’ new book, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” digs deeper to illuminate a flawed campaign that resulted in a defeat that shocked the world.

In this episode, professor Julian Zelizer interviews Allen and Parnes about their #1 New York Times best-seller.

Politics & Polls #44: A Disastrous Week in Washington
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May 18, 2017 06:38 AM PDT
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Washington has been hit with a trifecta of catastrophic events in the past week.

First, President Donald Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, justifying his decision by pointing toward Comey’s mishandling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump later changed course, admitting he fired Comey for continuing the investigation about Russia’s role in disrupting the 2016 election.

Just days later, news broke that Trump shared classified information about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office — a decision defended by Trump and Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Trump’s national security advisor.

Now, Comey has returned to the spotlight following media reports that he wrote a memo about a conversation in which Trump told him to end the Michael Flynn investigation. (Flynn was forced to resign his role as national security advisor after just 24 days, due to his secret communications with the Russians.)

How have the dramatic events of this week changed Washington? What’s next in the ongoing saga of the Trump presidency? Is an investigation or impeachment possible? Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss this and more in episode #44 of Politics and Polls.

Politics & Polls #44: A Disastrous Week in Washington
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May 18, 2017 06:37 AM PDT
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Washington has been hit with a trifecta of catastrophic events in the past week.

First, President Donald Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, justifying his decision by pointing toward Comey’s mishandling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump later changed course, admitting he fired Comey for continuing the investigation about Russia’s role in disrupting the 2016 election.

Just days later, news broke that Trump shared classified information about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office — a decision defended by Trump and Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Trump’s national security advisor.

Now, Comey has returned to the spotlight following media reports that he wrote a memo about a conversation in which Trump told him to end the Michael Flynn investigation. (Flynn was forced to resign his role as national security advisor after just 24 days, due to his secret communications with the Russians.)

How have the dramatic events of this week changed Washington? What’s next in the ongoing saga of the Trump presidency? Is an investigation or impeachment possible? Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss this and more in episode #44 of Politics and Polls.

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