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Air Date 5/9/2023

Today, we take a look at the hyper-polarization of our era and the anti-democratic instincts of the right taking hold in state legislatures. Building on a decade of gerrymandering and voter suppression within a structurally undemocratic American system that has helped Republicans create minority rule in many places and unearned super-majorities in others, they have now turned to simply ejecting their elected political opponents from fully representing their constituents.

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Ch. 1: Long division: America’s busy state legislatures - The Intelligence from The Economist - Air Date 2-9-23

America’s Congress may be gridlocked, but its state legislatures certainly aren’t. 

Ch. 2: GOP legislatures gaming elections, suppressing voting - The BradCast - Air Date 5-4-23

In Ohio, Republicans are pushing a scheme to raise the qualification threshold for ballot initiatives before voters can mobilize to stop them.

Ch. 3: Banned MT Dem Zooey Zephyr: Silencing me is 'using decorum as a tool of oppression' - The Last Word - Air Date 4-26-23

MSNBC's Ali Velshi reports on the vote Wednesday by Montana House Republicans to ban Democratic State Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who is trans, after she spoke out against anti-trans legislation.

Ch. 4: Have State Legislatures Gone Rogue? - The New Yorker Radio Hour - Air Date 5-5-23

The story of two lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee legislature captured headlines across the country.

Ch. 5: Deciding the Fate of Democracy in North Carolina - The Laura Flanders Show - Air Date 5-7-23

So far, 27 people in North Carolina have been indicted in connection with the effort to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th.

Ch. 6: “Courage Is Contagious”: Zooey Zephyr & Justin Jones on the GOP’s Silencing of State Lawmakers - Democracy Now! - Air Date 4-28-23

Tennessee’s Justin Jones and Montana’s Zooey Zephyr, two Democratic state lawmakers who were both punished by their Republican-led legislatures for peaceful protests, say the only way to fight such anti-democratic moves is through broad solidarity.

Ch. 7: North Carolina lawmaker Tricia Cotham switches to GOP, votes to ban abortion - All In with Chris Hayes - Air Date 5-4-23

"This is a woman who spoke movingly about her own abortion on the floor of the North Carolina statehouse in 2015 when she was arguing against abortion restrictions," says Chris Hayes on State Rep. Tricia Cotham.

Ch. 8: “Rising Tide of Fascism”: Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones Warns of GOP’s Embrace of Authoritarianism - Democracy Now! - Air Date 4-28-23

The largely white Tennessee House of Representatives, with its heavily gerrymandered Republican supermajority, expelled two members, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, the two youngest Black representatives in the House.

Ch. 9: Tyranny of the Minority: How American Democracy Came to the Breaking Point - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs - Air Date 5-1-23

Steven Levitsky is David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University.


Ch. 10: The Polarization Of State Legislatures - Not Another Politics Podcast - Air Date 3-1-23

Are state legislatures polarizing as well? And, if they are, what can that tell us about the state of our democracy?


Ch. 11: Thoughts on big ideas to redistribute wealth - Dave from Olympia, WA


Ch. 12: Final comments on an analogy that explains the dangers of poorly framed arguments


Description: A distorted, high-contrast photo of an American flag on a flag pole against a dark red sky.

Credit: "redflag" by AK Rockerfeller, Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 | Changes: Cropped


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