RDI Newsletter Podcast
What‘s worse than voter suppression?

What‘s worse than voter suppression?

September 30, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • What's worse than voter suppression?

New voting laws have garnered a lot of attention this past year as forms of “voter suppression.” Though they may be serious, another class of restrictions poses the greater threat to American democracy.

  • El Salvador's Millennial Dictator

A young, self-declared dictator is exchanging state money for bitcoin, posting memes on Instagram, and marching troops through Congress when he doesn’t get his way. Is this what a Millennial dictatorship looks like?

Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

September 22, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

$2,100 payments are flowing from the federal government to anybody who wants them and no, we don't mean a fourth round of stimulus payments.

  • How to actually steal an election

Russia has just concluded the spectacle the government calls elections, and Putin has proven again that he and his party will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on power.

Why did California even have a recall?

Why did California even have a recall?

September 16, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Why did California even have a recall?

Gavin Newsom's recall is over and nothing's changed. Why on earth did this even happen?

Democracy Dies in Boredom

Democracy Dies in Boredom

September 9, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Democracy Dies in Boredom

Protesters clashed in Portland on August 22nd while police officers stood idly by. Is this what the end of American democracy looks like?

Learning to Live With the Taliban

Learning to Live With the Taliban

September 2, 2021

Narration:  James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Learning to live with the Taliban

The Taliban control Afghanistan for the moment, and the humanitarian crisis is likely just beginning. How are countries managing diplomatic relations with the terrorist group, and what could the failure to help the Afghan people mean?

Who are the Sedition Hunters?

Who are the Sedition Hunters?

August 26, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Who are the Sedition Hunters?

A shadowy group of internet sleuths is using publicly-accessible information to identify participants in the Capitol Riot. But is the emerging technology that they’re taking advantage of too much power for private citizens?

  • Why is the IMF funding dictators?

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has turned his country into a pariah state by crushing pro-democracy protests and hunting down dissidents. So why has the IMF just given him $1 billion with no strings attached?

 

Where’d All the White People Go?

Where’d All the White People Go?

August 19, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

Where'd all the white people go?

  • Recently released data from the Census Bureau is driving headlines that the white population in America declined by 8.6% from 2010 to 2020. But is that actually true?

Can we solve gerrymandering?

  • Redistricting is beginning, and debates about gerrymandering are heating up. Initiatives like establishing independent districting committees promise to depoliticize the process, but would they really solve the problem?
The Plot to Destroy the West

The Plot to Destroy the West

August 12, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • The Plot to Destroy the West

Tucker Carlson’s trip to Hungary dominated headlines last week, and for good reason. But what exactly is Orbán’s plan to replace liberal democracy, and where does Tucker fit in?

  • Whatever happened to the Durham Report?

John Durham’s investigation into the FBI’s probe of the 2016 Trump campaign was once the far right’s greatest hope for proving that the ‘deep state’ was colluding against Trump. But whatever happened to it, and why was it so important in the first place?

Three Elections (Way) Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Elections (Way) Outside Ebbing, Missouri

August 5, 2021

Narration: Executive Director Uriel Epshtein

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

 

It’s August. Europeans are enjoying their generous vacation time, Americans are partying like it’s 2019, and members of Congress  are about to hunker down in their home districts until Labor Day. In other words, it seems like Western democracy might not collapse––at least not for a few weeks.

 

With that in mind, we’ve decided to skip ahead to the fall and highlight three elections with major consequences for the citizens of each country, and the world. In Germany, Angela Merkel will be replaced by a new chancellor––the first in 16 years. In Haiti, a country in free-fall, voters will determine the long-term replacement for the assassinated President Jovenel Moïse. And a potentially destabilizing election in Honduras will pit one corrupt official against another.

Do the Parties Represent the People?

Do the Parties Represent the People?

July 29, 2021

Narration: Executive Director Uriel Epshtein

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Do the parties represent the people?

Ballot initiatives in red and blue states alike have led to results which have surprised and annoyed the majority party. Lately, Republican-led states have been passing legislation to make these processes more arduous, and thus less likely to contradict their interests. But what does it mean that measures put up to a popular vote often run counter to the interests of the party running the state government?

  • Why is democracy failing in Tunisia?

This past Sunday, the president of Tunisia suspended parliament, enacted emergency powers, and removed the prime minister from his post. As the only success story of the Arab Spring, why is Tunisia’s democracy failing now, and what could have been done to prevent it?

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