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Sehar zip recruiter can help you hire. Try it now for free at zip recruiter dotcom slash crooked that zip recruiter dotcom slash crooked. Welcome to Positive America, I'm Jon Favreau. I'm John Lovett. I'm Tommy Vietor on today's Love. It talks to Latasha Brown of Black Voters Matter about the organizing that helped win this election and how it can help us in the Georgia Senate runoffs. Before that, we'll talk about the victory speeches from President elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris after the race was called by every news outlet.
We'll also talk about Donald Trump's continued refusal to concede and what's next as Biden prepares to take office in January.
But first, love it. How is your celebratory pot this weekend? A great time talking to Alyssa. We let very loose Ben. Wikler talked about winning Wisconsin. Then I talked to Zainab Fetchit because you know what? It has been a long election and I felt we deserved it. I want to talk about models and polls. So we did. I finally had to got a chance to talk about why I'm bothered by the models. It was it was a very cathartic episode.
Check it out. Check it out. Nate Silver.
I don't I don't blame Nate Silver. I blame the people that miscues models. People misuse the models.
None of us blamed silver. We all love 538. One more quick note. We mentioned this in the last pod, but coming soon, adopt a state, Georgia. For those of you who want to get involved in the two Senate runoffs.
But you can already request your mail ballot if you're a Georgia voter.
And you can donate directly to John Asaph and Raphael Warnock at Vote Save America Dotcom aGet Mitsch and stay tuned.
Soon, soon, soon adopted state Georgia will be coming.
I just feel like it's a little bit like someone just finished a marathon and they're kind of like leaning over and breathing. And you just tell them you go like, hey, I just have some really bad news. There's a tiger right behind.
You know, it's like I parked the car two miles away. We got to go get her.
Yeah, we're so close. I hear you. I hear you. All right. Let's get to the news on Saturday morning, after America collectively watched nearly ninety six consecutive hours of cable news, every major news outlet followed crooked media and finally called Pennsylvania and the presidency for Joe Biden.
Then on Saturday night, the president elect and Vice President elect Kamala Harris deliver their victory speeches to drive and rally full of supporters in Wilmington, Delaware.
Before we get to the speeches, how about those spontaneous celebrations all over the country after the race was called?
And the congratulations from quite a few foreign leaders. What do you guys think?
There was just the best. It was just the best. I I finally left my couch after four hundred straight hours of watching cable to drive to the liquor store, as one does after winning an historic election.
When I saw people on the corners chanting Joe Biden's name up on Santamonica, hyping people up just like just pure joy, it was the most unbelievable sense of relief.
I've not felt that way. And in four years, I really haven't love it.
Yeah, I felt the same way. You know, I felt as though the victory was meted out in pieces starting Tuesday night. Right. Tuesday night comes, it feels like deeply unsatisfying because the results are coming in slowly. We know there's a red mirage and yet it still looks like a race that you can go, you know, it's like I still trying to drink the sand, you know. Then Wednesday morning, things are looking brighter. The colors are coming back into, you know, the world.
Thursday, you start to feel a Friday. And by Saturday, it was was just a reminder to that. Like, you know, the term president elect is not a term of art. There's no magical moment where you become president elect like we call him president elect, because there's a collective appreciation of the fact that this is now done right. And it is so resounding that doesn't matter that Trump didn't give in. It matters that the media calls it.
It does, because this is a democracy where we do rely on the press like all the institutions that Trump has spent so long assaulting, undermining. You really felt on Saturday that we have hard fights to come. There are fake legal challenges to come. But you felt those institutions do their job and a collective sigh of relief. And millions of people, especially in cities that have been called names and delegitimized and attacked and told they're not real Americans for so long come out into the street and like big cities across the country and say, like, it's our fucking country, too.
It's our country, too. And we won and we won. And it felt fucking great.
It was cathartic more than anything, and it was interesting when they called it Saturday morning, I, of course missed it.
I was putting Charlie down for a nap. I just been watching cable nonstop for five days.
In the five seconds I'm away from the game that you're like when you're like when Walter Mondale turns away from the plant and Dennis the Menace, you know, it's like, don't worry about it.
So every time you're watching it and we're like, very happy.
But it didn't really hit me until outside. I started to like people were walking up and we're in a pretty quiet neighborhood. And then people are like people are walking up and down the street banging pots and pans, screaming. And that's when it hit me. And then we took a drive through the swing district of West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard.
I was it was fucking mayhem, like people leaving out their cars, people who weren't like some people walking by Biden Harris stuff, but some people were not. And just like walking the streets. But if you beeped at them, they'd give you a thumbs up. It was like a knowing excitement from everyone you ran into.
It was like the allies liberating Paris after World War Two. It was just it was unbelievable.
Well, that's the difference is in that case, the fascists did surrender. Well, we'll get to that. I don't know if I was surprised, but I would certainly like very happy to see all the foreign leaders rushed to congratulate him.
What did you what did you think about that from like a foreign policy perspective? That was pretty sweet, right?
Yeah. I mean, it was very even Beeby, even Beeby in the Saudis, especially the day they took their sweet ass time.
And trust me, I noticed they but, you know, you had you had Boris Johnson coming out of the gate pretty fast on Saturday. You had, like, real you had Modi in India putting out a statement pretty quickly. Like people who have built relationships with Trump will align themselves with Trump, were pretty fast out of the gate telling him, you know, nice knowing you. It's been fun. It was great. Yeah.
It's almost as if they weren't motivated by a deep sense of loyalty to him as of. Right. And we're using a relationship with a gun. It was a real sort of spell has been broken moment, yes, like once. All right. So then later that night, we had the speeches in Wilmington, Delaware, at the drive in rally. Let's listen to a clip from Vice President elect Kamala Harris, his victory speech.
But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities and to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they've never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.
I feel like Kamala Harris's barrier breaking history making candidacy here was something we spoke about when she was selected as vice president and then all of a sudden we won and I saw her up there.
And it's like, oh, yeah, this election was history making, right? Like, it just sort of like it was totally under the radar for a couple of months. And it was just so wonderful to see. What did you guys think of her speech? It was a great speech.
Look, I know I swim in a liberal bubble, but I heard from so many people who are toasting, who are cheering, who are crying, who are just like Beyonce proud, were overjoyed watching Kamala Harris speak. And then also just to step back for a second, I think folks should think about the fact that Kamala Harris spoke for a second. The truth is, most politicians are petty. They don't want to get upstaged by their vice president or anybody else.
And Joe Biden knows damn well what a great speaker she is. And he knew there was a chance people might come away more excited about her remarks than his. And he didn't care. He's confident in himself. He's confident in their partnership. You wanted to celebrate the historic nature of her candidacy and she delivered, man. I mean, that was a hell of a speech. It was inspiring. Goosebumps, tears, the whole thing. Yeah, I was struck by two, I felt the same way I felt like it was, I think, subsumed by the scale of how much of a threat Trump himself posed.
But seeing her up there, the first woman, first woman of color, what I really thought when I saw it was we're never going to have an all white or all male Democratic ticket again. And I thought. And I thought. What an extraordinary thing that it was subsumed by the nature of this moment, that what mattered that that she was path breaking and she did talk about it and it was inspiring, but that what was overwhelming to when seeing them both up there is that we have these two.
Like righteous, capable moral leaders who are now who have been saying these things about what they wanted to do, speaking all in the right ways, but now they were doing it with the power of the presidency behind them for the first time. And you felt like they didn't mention Donald Trump by name. And I didn't notice.
I notice, really. It's like he's disappearing. He's disappearing like a photo, like he's in a photo from back to the future. He's just fading out. And that to me was like it was I'm surprised at each moment by just how much I am feeling the emotions of every step. Right. Like at every step it is hitting me about how important it is that they won and what it represents, that's all. It just it just felt so good to have a happy moment, like in a moment that wasn't like you said, it wasn't just a you know, there were plenty of Trump is gone anti Trump moments, those speeches, Comilla speech.
And Biden's speech, I thought were pure moments of this is just a positive, unifying good thing happening.
And you have to think about Trump.
Yeah, yeah. Kamala Harris being elevated to the vice presidency is just wonderful on its own, has nothing to do with Donald Trump. And so here's a clip from President elect Joe Biden speech.
It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They're Americans. They're Americans. The Bible tells us everything, there is a season, a time to build, a time to read, but a time to sow and a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.
It just struck me that once again, this was Joe Biden's message from the very first day that he entered the Democratic primary. And it is once again a very fitting message for the moment.
I also thought it was interesting that, you know, we played the clip where he talked about a time to heal, to come together, which is typical of his message. Before he got there, he really did speak a lot about the diversity of his coalition. And it wasn't just about unity between Republicans and Democrats, which is, you know, sometimes he gets criticized for it was about coming together as a nation in all of our diversity, you know, and he sort of spoke about the broad diversity of his coalition and then ended by saying and especially the African-American community that was there for me when I was down, and I'll be there for you, too.
And I thought that was a really nice moment, because sometimes unity can paper over other important issues, which is, you know, something that he mentioned. What do you guys think of Biden's speech? You know, I wrote down one thing about Biden's speech was that it could have been his announcement speech. You know, I was struck by the consistency and the narrative that he's pulled through. And I think, look, there will be some people on the left who will maybe be frustrated by that, interpret it as not wanting to fight.
I did not interpret it that way. I interpreted as reading the room and understanding that the nation has just been through four years of trauma and now wants to heal and wants to come together, even if there's factions on either side who don't. And yeah, I also was struck by the inclusiveness of the speech. Jake Tapper did a great segment where he pointed out that Biden's speech spoke directly to the disabled community. And for a lot of activists, they felt like that was the first time they'd ever heard themselves represented in a speech at this high of a level and how big and meaningful that was for him.
And, you know, it just shows the care and the thought and the decency that went into the crafting of the speech and the candidacy.
And, you know, there's just it was the happiest I've been in a very long time. And it was so nice to just sort of like soak the whole thing. And I felt so proud for Joe Biden. I could not stop thinking about Beau Biden and how proud he would have been of his dad and how, you know, how much that family has dealt with the past several months between all the shit from Rudy Giuliani and the Trump campaign and how unbelievably proud they must have been.
It's just an incredible moment. Yeah, there was a there someone was holding up a sign in the crowd that was on CNN right before the speech that said you kept your promise to bow, saw that. And I was like, yeah, that got me. Broke me.
Yeah. I also say to you know, he also mentioned trans people. Yeah. Just another another another first. And it reminded me of the convention, too, that, you know, around disability rights, around LGBTQ rights, that, you know, Joe Biden has a kind of avuncular, safe, white moderate. Right. So much like undergirding that kind of part of the electability argument that was like a little bit pernicious during the primary. But you see him up there talking about unity.
You see him using compassion and grief and kind of the values that have made him safe as a means to reach out to trans people, talk about criminal justice reform, talk about Black Lives Matter, kind of showing how you can have an incredibly progressive policy platform while at the same time being this unity figure, being this sort of figure of normalcy, I think speaks to kind of I don't know if that is it to be ultimately like the great victory of his campaign.
And you felt it there.
It also speaks to the coalition that got him elected, right? That is absolutely not. As we dig into the results more, you know, there was some he improved on Clinton's margins in some of these places, especially some places by a little bit.
But this is the coalition that came out in twenty eighteen after years after Trump.
And it is the most diverse coalition that the Democratic Party has ever had.
Yeah, I just one other one other piece of it too. I also think what he said about the pandemic and also today what he said about the pandemic just before we recorded. Right. Just like a serious adult talking about this using reality and science. Right. Pfizer announces that a vaccine may be successful. He's like, this is great news. Here are the reasons to be concerned. Here's why we still have to do these things.
I know I was thinking about this because like we talked about in the last debate, how the bar was set so low for Trump because Trump is so bad that if Trump was just somewhat normal, he would like jump right over that bar.
But it's also true that because Trump was so bad, Joe Biden, just by doing things that normal presidents do, just baseline shit, have a have a covid task force that has scientists and health experts on it.
There's nothing special about that. Of course, you should have health experts and scientists on your fucking go.
It's not a reality. It's not a radiologist you saw on Newsmax, you know, but it seems like refreshing and brilliant. Wonderful, because, like, we haven't had that for four years.
Right. You know. All right.
So I want to talk about all the challenges facing the incoming Biden Harris administration. But their most immediate is former reality TV star Donald Trump. The two time popular vote loser and soon to be one term president is refusing to concede the race because of his fragile ego. And so he's tweeting out conspiracies about voter fraud and threatening frivolous legal actions, none of which would change the outcome of the race, even if a judge ruled in Trump's favor.
Nevertheless, Trump is also reportedly planning to hold a series of campaign style rallies in order to undermine the integrity of the election, though there's another report this morning that maybe they will just be spontaneous rallies that he doesn't appear at.
And he's he's also getting help from most elected Republicans who have either refused to congratulate Joe Biden or parroted Trump's conspiracies like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham did all weekend.
Basically in the Senate, all we have is Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski congratulating President elect Joe Biden. That's all we got. Big surprise. All right. First question, Tommy. How serious are these legal challenges?
I am not taking the legal challenges seriously at all. It's a lot of them have been laughed out of court since we last talked about this. It seems pretty clear that a lot of them would maybe shave down the vote at the margins. But there's just there is no legal pathway that we've seen articulated that would overturn the results of the election. Jared Kushner's efforts to find a Jim Baker like figure, former White House chief of staff, treasury secretary, secretary of state, statesmen of all statements that they worship in Washington, D.C., ended with David Bossie, the Citizens United guy who is not a lawyer.
So that's the crack legal team leading this way. I am so sorry they had wanted Jim Baker, but they accidentally got Jim Baker. Total landscape.
Oh, we got it. We got Otto Scaping and then I'll shut up about the legal thing. But we should talk about the transition at some point because that's more concerning Lovett.
What do you think about the vote, the legal challenges?
Look, here's what we know. Rudy Giuliani found out while live on television that all the networks had called it. He then looked up and prayed to. And then introduced a registered sex offender to lie about what happened in Philadelphia. I am not particularly concerned about it. I think it is much like, you know, I mean, has there ever been a the fall from grace more profound and fall? I mean, yes, there have yes. There have been others that are worse.
But my goodness, Rudy Giuliani. Yikes. But so no, I look, I think I think what is sad about all of this, it is it should be deeply, deeply worrying that people like Ted Cruz, people like Lindsey Graham are signing onto this. And then a bunch of kind of invisible Republicans are putting out mealy mouthed statements that are like we should count all legal votes and no illegal votes, which, of course, is what we've already done.
It should be alarming to us because it would mean that if this election had been closer, if it didn't turn out after the vote counting was done, that we had really won ultimately the states we planned plus Arizona plus Georgia, that it was undeniable we'd be in a much different situation because they might be in a better position to actually steal this election. That should be terrifying. Also, it is dangerous. It is dangerous step. They're not accepting the result.
We can talk about how dangerous it is for the transition, but it is going to be dangerous when you see a bunch of right wing leaders telling millions upon millions of people that this is not not a legitimate outcome. We've talked about stochastic terrorism, stochastic fascism in the past. If enough people hear that, a few of them will take this literally. And it is fucking dangerous. It is dangerous. Even if it's stupid and doesn't work well, it's not only dangerous, it is the most predictable thing in the world.
Everyone predicted this because it happened months before it happened. No one ever thought that Trump would concede. Everyone knew that Trump would peddle conspiracies about the stolen election.
And we all know by now, after four years that that works with his base, not just because everyone believes what Trump said, because he has an entire fucking propaganda network that does that, that is poisoning people's brains in this country so that at least half the country is going to go on believing that this election was stolen.
It's just it was like it is shocking and horrifying. Also inevitable. Yeah. And just, you know, this is not a contested election. Joe Biden's margin over Donald Trump in the state swung the election. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin is already two hundred and twenty thousand votes, which is far more than the just under eighty thousand votes that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by.
You look at every single lawsuit he has filed, even if he won all these lawsuits, it would not shave nearly enough off any of the states, let alone the multiple states he needs to win this election. He has gone, oh, in ten in post-election litigation and ten, according to Mark Elias, just getting like lawsuits thrown out left and right.
He's getting laughed out of courts, even courts with Republican judges he's getting laughed out of. So like this is the anois.
This is what's really fucking infuriating about Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham and all these Republicans were like, well, and even Susan Collins in her statement was like the president should be afforded all of his opportunities to challenge this in courts.
If it was like we're not talking about five hundred votes in Florida in two thousand here. Right.
We're talking about losing lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit and then just keeping them going like one through December.
How many times does he get to challenge the results? He's been he's already been losing like he's just going to do this forever for the next fucking month. He's going to do this until the electors sit in the Electoral College, like, what is this?
It's also, um, you know, these Republicans that are humoring Trump either because they plan on running themselves and want to claim that they did or because they're just profound cowards, whatever. The reason is that they're doing this. They are they are living in the largesse our democracy has afforded them, that we can handle this undermining of those institutions. They are relying on the strength of our system itself to be robust enough that what they're doing doesn't matter because we've been through so many elections where where the first step wasn't the certification of the Electoral College, wasn't the certification of the results.
It was institutions like the press calling it and then individuals accepting it, calling and conceding, not because there aren't inexhaustible legal remedies that you can pretend exists before you, but because they understood it was the right thing to do. We will be fine because we can handle one asshole whose ego and narcissism prevents him from doing this, and a bunch of cowards who will go along because of the economics of their media environment or so heinous. But just because it will come to nothing doesn't mean it shouldn't be incredibly sad and alarming.
Yeah, like on one hand, I don't really care what Donald Trump tweets at this point.
I don't really care that Rudy Giuliani, Pam Bondi, Corey Lewandowski showed up at a place called the Four Seasons Total Landscaping after the president tweeted out that there's going to be an important press conference at the Four Seasons and then had to correct himself and say it was Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which is next to an erotic bookshop that hosts Dildo Madness sales.
And then Rudy Giuliani at that press conference. As you said, Love invited someone who you claimed was a Republican poll watcher in Philadelphia who'd been obstructed from the poll watching process. Turns out that person is actually just a registered sex offender, you know.
And by the way, I want know what is just like, perfect, though. It just symbolizes the entire legal way to do your due diligence.
Rudy, and how am I finding about this dildo sale from you? What are we doing here, Tommy?
How much does it matter whether or not Trump concedes this race?
We were just mentioning the transition once you talk about. Yeah.
So, look, the transition, the period between the election and inauguration is quite short there. And so you have a lot to do. You have to pick heads of agencies. You have to name a million staffers. You have to lay out policy proposals. You have to draft executive orders like it's it's complicated stuff that takes time and takes manpower. And so the thing that's that's concerning to me is that the head of the GSA, the sort of government body that oversees all these resources for the transition, has not certified Joe Biden the winner yet because she is scared of Donald Trump.
She's a political appointee, and that means they can't get access to office space, resources, classified information, all the things you really need to do to plan this stuff. Like I flew from Chicago to D.C. like two or three days after the election to work on the transition team. I suddenly found myself parked in some I think it was like an FBI office building or something downtown where we're all just like cobbled together and started churning. But, you know, that was a new environment for me.
But by law, you have to have been working on this stuff since like May 1st. You had to name a transition director. By mid-September, you had the name succession plan and you had defined all these individuals to run agencies like this stuff takes time. It takes effort. It's like grinding it out. You know, it's work that requires people and manpower and a place to do it, especially on the national security side, where, like, you can't even get access to the information you need until you start the transition process.
So it's still pretty early, like I think the Biden team can catch up here, but it's something to watch because that's a real world implication and it's something that happens. And they're not able to, like, I don't know, do some national security planning like that intelligence get ahead of the pandemic like this could be a reason why.
Yeah, and again, it's just it's the danger of the last four years. Like Trump can tweet and do whatever he wants and yell and hold his fucking rallies and spew is bullshit, all that stuff. But if the entire Republican Party just goes along with him and starts spewing these same conspiracy theories, allowing him not to let Joe Biden launch his transition, potentially fucking with the you know, the GOP legislature is fucking with the electors, then then we're in some shit.
And so I do think there needs to be a lot of pressure on Republicans and elected Republicans in these next couple of weeks to push push Trump out the door here, because that's that's not great.
And it also, dude, just like once again, here we are in a situation where we are confronted by the fact that protections were not legal, they were social, they were political, they were moral, like the GSA acknowledging that the transition has begun depending on the concession of the president when the president is one term president, won't do it right. Like, oh, that's an interesting problem. We had relied on the fact that people can see George H.W. Bush famously, you know, delivered an incredibly warm concession and letter to Bill Clinton.
Right. It's like a part of our our story. And so, like now we're in a situation where we have to have this kind of informal transition. My hope and expectation is that the people around Joe Biden, the people that will become the leaders of his administration, are going to do their best to begin the transition despite the obstacles Trump puts in front of in front of them. But it's yet again, something else we have to look at after Trump is gone to sort of strengthen and put in guard rails against these kinds of abuses.
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So let's talk about what's next for the incoming Biden Harris administration. Despite Trump preventing them from really launching that transition.
They do have a website up and running and they're starting to think about staffing and executive actions. This morning, they announced Biden's coronaviruses task force we mentioned made up entirely of, you know, doctors and health experts. Again, just fucking wild shit here.
And, of course, the thinly sourced gossip about who's getting which cabinet position has already begun a tradition, a very normal tradition that happens before every administration.
So tell me first question. What are some of the quick consequential moves that Biden can make without Congress?
So you could do a lot of stuff when it comes to executive action. One of the things they're talking about is that Biden will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that we are going to rejoin the Paris climate accord. So that walks back Trump's decision to to step away from Paris. The great news all along has been that that action by Trump didn't really go into force until right now. So finally, we'll be back in Paris. I think that's an enormously consequential decision.
It sounds like on day one he's going to create some sort of national supply chain commander to take on the pandemic, to make sure we have all the stuff we need. So there's a bunch of actions like that that he can do quickly. He can get rid of the Muslim ban. So you can walk back a lot of the Trump agenda. You know, things you have to do through Congress is a whole separate matter. But there are things we should all be excited about that he's going be able to do pretty quickly, permanently.
And family separation. I mean, one of the you know, and this was the problem with the last four years, just about every single thing that Trump did around immigration was via executive action. He didn't know he didn't do anything about immigration with Congress.
So, you know, muslimeen immigration.
I just saw that. Schumer Yeah. I said Biden can cancel the first fifty thousand dollars in student debt via executive order and plans to do so in the first 100 days.
That is transformative idea for people. Yeah, I didn't either. I saw that right. For the record. Yeah. And and by the way, also just dreamers no longer have to worry that the president is going to use them and treat them like like an enemy. I mean, that is an extraordinary relief. And those people that have been through the absolute wringer being threatened by this president over and over again, you know, I want to see what happens with Trump's efforts to remove trans people from the military and see how quickly Joe Biden can resolve that.
So, you know, there's a number of places where day one, undoing the damage of Trump that Trump has done, I think is extraordinary environmental regulations that that have probably not that some of which have gone into effect, some of which haven't gone into effect, can be rescinded. I mean, there's just it's a long, long list of really positive changes that can happen almost instantaneously. I am hopeful that Biden will push as hard as he can on executive actions just to just to sort of set expectations.
The challenge is going to be with the Supreme Court the way it is and the courts the way they are.
You know, he should try as much as he can and then see what gets struck down and what doesn't.
But at the very least, undoing the damage that Trump did with his executive orders should be should be doable.
So there is already a list of names being floated for cabinet positions. Obviously, quite a few considerations here. What kind of experience people have, what the cabinet looks like in terms of both diversity and ideology. And of course, one complicating factor is that if the Senate is controlled by Republicans, Mitch McConnell might be able to have veto power over any of Biden's choices for the cabinet. There's already been some reporting that McConnell might force him to have a more moderate cabinet because of this.
Tell me, how do you think Biden should think about his cabinet and sort of handle the appointment process?
Yeah, I mean, when I think back to our transition, the narrative around our cabinet was team of rivals. It was because there was a book on Abraham Lincoln out with that same name. But it also was because he kept on Bob Gates of the Department of Defense, who was a Republican from the Bush administration and named his chief rival in the primary, Hillary Clinton, to be secretary of state. So it was viewed as an attempt to be bipartisan, to touch various constituency groups.
And a lot of it was like selling a narrative of this sort of bipartisan effort to to lead the country.
I think in hindsight, picking your cabinet for messaging purposes, for optics purposes is not a good strategy. For example, keeping Bob Gates of the Department of Defense got you a day or two of good headlines and then two years of headaches because you had a Republican and a fire breathing Republican staff around him, still a DOD. So I think that Joe Biden should pick the most progressive, the most competent, the best people he could find and name them.
And if Mitch McConnell wants to be an obstructionist and block everyone, make him do that, make him leave the country unprepared to run the military or run the State Department, like, move swiftly, move quickly, use power, name competent people who are going to get the shit done that you want. Don't worry about the Department of Transportation having a Republican head. Just so you can say you have a bipartisan cabinet. No one gives a shit. I'm convinced that no one gives a shit.
Well, what do you think? I mean, the challenge, of course, is Mitch McConnell can block it and say, I don't care and then you don't have a cabin.
But then I would like to hear about the Vacancies Act, too, as well. Right. We've seen that's what I've seen Donald Trump use the Vacancies Act in really gross ways. I would like to see Joe Biden parrot some of that and say you were cool with this. Then why is it not OK now? Yeah, it's interesting, right, you see Mitch McConnell and his people already kind of tired of putting the word out there that they're going to try to get Joe Biden to not nominate some on the left in advance.
Right. And like all of this is kind of posturing. Right. Like they're doing that to get Joe Biden to not nominate the people that Joe Biden wants, I think. Right. Right. And so, like, we have to not play that game. Right. Like he should put forward the cabinet that he wants. I think I think that does mean we need to go into it with eyes open that like these are going to be fights.
And some of them we might not win. Right. McConnell does have the ability to prevent Joe Biden from putting people on the cabinet. You know, that happened during the Obama administration. Right. Like, you know, Elizabeth Warren was going to run the CFR famously. Right. So I think it's going to be a lot of those fights. I agree on using the Vacancies Act. I do think to like, you know, one of my hopes that I do think one of obviously we have to fight like hell to win the Senate.
And when those Georgia runoffs, I will say that something I said before this election is something I continue to believe. It is a it is that the fact that we know that Mitch McConnell is going to be intransigent and make legislating so difficult then puts it the onus on Joe Biden to use the powers of the presidency, which has been a kind of pattern we've had for the last several decades, which has expanded the kind of legislative role that the that the presidency plays.
Donald Trump has made that worse with the abuse of the Vacancy Act. It should make us all concerned. It is a sad statement that we're at this point where, like these levers are so broken by Republican blockade of legislating in Congress. But I just think it's the reality that we're in.
My my hope is that Joe Biden has quite a few progressives in his cabinet and that the cabinet truly looks like America like. I know that because it's Joe Biden and because of what his message was and how he ran. It's not going to be a cabinet full of progressives. That's just who he is. Like, forget about Mitch McConnell. But I do agree that he should not be basing these decisions on fucking threats from that asshole. Right.
Like like go with the look. The thing that's also under discussed in cabinet appointments, they're all about ideology and posturing.
And a lot of the times it's just like he needs a lot of experienced people who are ready to hit the ground running during what a great crisis that we're facing right now in both the pandemic and in the economy.
And so I'm sure that as they're picking cabinet appointments, a lot of it's going to just come down to who can really do this job that's out there right now.
But no, I'm I'm very excited to get creative about the Vacancies Act.
I mean, I think you can have some of these appointments for two hundred and ten days, I think was the number, which is, you know, if you can get through your first 100 days agenda with the cabinet that you want, not the cabinet that Mitch McConnell wants you to have, I think that would be I'm sorry if you didn't sound the alarm about Rick Grenell, a literal Twitter troll being head of the DNI, then I don't want to hear what you have to say about Joe Biden's cabinet selections.
And just the competency point is so important. I mean, think about what Bill Barr has been able to do compared to Jeff Sessions, like knowing your way around the building you had to get the job done is so crucial.
Yeah, we need we need people to get into the nooks and crannies, get in there, you know, like we need that. I also say, though, Tom, to your point about whether or not Joe, like, you know, Joe Biden wants to appoint one Republican member in that cabinet, is he going to do it to normal?
And look like all you can hope is that it's a it's like one of the best republics you can get in a cabinet position. That doesn't matter that much.
Yeah, I yeah. I just think like it very well could rhyme with Mazet, you know. I mean like we just said just, it's just he say look, it's a tradition Joe Biden like well you know I'm thinking about like we had Ray LaHood at Trans.
Oh that's why I was the only one that was a Democrat in the Republican administration. You know, Ray LaHood, perfectly fine in transportation.
All right. Well, on that note about sort of ideological debates within the cabinet, we should also talk about the coming debate within the Democratic Party over how to expand our House majority and flip the Senate, starting with the two Georgia runoffs. There were a pair of New York Times interviews over the last few days that said Herndon did with AOC and Conor Lamb, who just squeaked out a victory in his western Pennsylvania district. AOC took objection to the idea voiced by Congresswoman Abigail Spane.
Berger on a phone call with Democrats last week Span Berger said that policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal cost Democrats their seats in more conservative districts. AOC instead pointed out that these Democrats didn't focus enough on digital advertising and organizing, and she specifically mentioned Conor Lamb.
Lamb said that was wrong and that in his experience, his constituents kept telling him that they were, quote, extremely frustrated by the messaging of defunding the police and banning fracking. All right.
We're off to the races. What do you think about this? What did you think about this debate? And is there a way to resolve it, successfully resolve it?
No, this debate is the conversation we will have. And that's a good conversation. This is a good this is the conversation. I think there's ways to have it do I think Svanberg getting angry on a conference call leading to AOC, doing a Times interview leading to Conor Lamb doing a time interview with the most productive way to conduct this very important conversation where tempers are high and there's legitimate, sincere disagreement? Probably not. Probably not.
You know, what I kept thinking is like, imagine if instead of doing telephone through a steady hand in The New York Times, is the entire lamb just like got on a zoom that was broadcast live to everyone and then just like sort of talk to each other there, perhaps moderated by a media company that tries to create a place where all these different factions can come together.
But but no, what I what the young Turks. Yeah, yeah. I mean, look what I thought.
First of all, I thought, like, this feels quick, like the exit polls are completely unreliable. Like, I want to see more information. I want like the full vote counting to be done. I found one of the more interesting parts of the Conor Lamb interview is he basically points out like, oh, my constituents are really bringing this up and think we should take him at his word. But but then the question is, well, you know, Joe Biden doesn't embrace that.
Nancy Pelosi does embrace that. The vast majority of Democrats don't embrace what exactly they did. Conor Lamb, neither did Connor Lamb. So so, like I understand being frustrated by feeling like you're being you know, that a slogan or policies you don't hold are coming into your district and creating a problem for you. But when he was asked, what should the Democrats do differently on that, he didn't really have an answer because a lot of what he's talking about are attacks that are deeply, deeply unfair.
He's talking about misinformation about him. He's talking about, you know, attacks in bad faith against him and other Democrats. And that is a problem for every part of the Democratic coalition. From AOC to Joe Manchin is misinformation and attacks that mislead about the positions that Democrats take.
So now that I said that to me was the missing piece of this whole debate, is that the role that Republicans, their propaganda machine, play in these attacks? Tommy, what do you think?
Yeah, I mean, look, I just I can't stress enough to all listeners that if you see some hot take on Twitter or in the column or something about how people voted this year and why you should really read it with a grain of salt, because the exit polls are normally bad this early. They have to be reweighted to match the actual outcome before you can really learn from them. But this year we did them so differently that they're likely to be even more off.
And, you know, in twenty sixteen, there was this misnomer that fifty three percent of white women voted for Trump when they went back and really dug into the numbers. It was actually forty seven percent of white women voting for Trump. That's a huge difference, but a narrative that was set and was sort of never fixed. So, look, I read The Lamb and AOC sort of back and forth. I didn't love reading it, but I'm a person that lives in this space, so I probably care more than the average person.
I agree that, like all elections are basically nationalized going forward. All news stories are national news stories because of the Internet. And so I don't think there's a scenario where Conolan can tell AFSC not to fight for and believe in the things she wants to believe in and where AOK can tell Conolan what people care about in his district. I think we have to trust everybody to voice the concerns of their own districts and to be able to believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do.
That's why they got elected. I think their jobs, our jobs, the Democratic Party has to figure out how to win those elections in the face of dishonest attacks, nationalize elections. And so there's a lot of things we're really going to need to dig into. I really want to better understand some of these heavily Latino districts that swung hard to Trump. I think we should ignore the national numbers, but we should look at South Florida. We should look at the Texas Rio Grande Valley counties and really try to do a deep dive that will involve, like on the ground face to face interviews with hundreds, if not thousands of people to try to hear from them to sort this stuff out, because it's going to be crucial going forward.
Then I also think, like part of this will be reimagining the map going forward. Like maybe Georgia is going to have to be absolutely central to our strategy to win the White House, win the Senate, redistrict a bunch of House seats to get that majority because things are about to get pretty tough when we go through another round of redistricting. Again, like that's the real bummer of this election. So I've been thinking about this twenty eighteen, we win all these seats in the House, even in sort of more conservative rural districts, Conor Lamb was one of them.
In twenty eighteen, there was a big debate over abolish ice, which in polls was an incredibly unpopular position. And there were a lot of front line Democrats in some of these swing districts that were very nervous about abolishing. It did not matter. At the end of the day, Conolan won and a lot. And Abigail, who wanted a lot of these these congresspeople won.
So what changed between twenty eighteen and twenty twenty? As Tommy said, we don't know demographically yet because the exit polls are sort of locked and so we have to hold on that.
What we do know is that Republican turnout surged in a lot of these places that were just more people who voted for Donald Trump, who didn't vote for him in 2016, who didn't vote at all in twenty sixteen and came out. So if you have a bunch of Trump voters in your district that weren't there in twenty eighteen, you're going to have a harder time. And if that ends up being like a big part of the explanation, then it's not necessarily about a lot of these ideological debates within the party.
It's about the fact that there's a whole bunch more Republicans in your fucking district to deal with, and that means that we have to sort of double down, like you said, Tommy, on in organizing and turning out and registering voters in some of these states that demographically are starting to look better for us, like Georgia, like Arizona, like, you know, we didn't get there in Texas this time.
But I guarantee, like looking at the margins in Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania, knife's edge those margins and did not swing that much between twenty, sixteen and twenty twenty.
Arizona swung a lot between 16 and 20. Georgia swung a lot between 60 and 20. And Texas swung a little bit to just not enough to close it. So if I was thinking about like what to do in 2020, I'd start organizing on the fucking ground in Texas like Petto and a whole bunch of others have been the last couple of years. Because if we need to replace Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania four years from now, if they get even more conservative, like Texas would be able to replace them with electoral votes.
And then we need to hold George on Arizona. But that is the it's sort of on the ground. That's that's where I do agree with AOC. Like a lot of this is canvassing, organizing digital strategy like we've got. We do have to figure out a way to get even better at that.
Yeah, I also, by the way, like defunding complacent about ice. You know, they played a similar role in the national conversation in the sense that, like, we need people to be on the vanguard of these conversations. It does begin to move the Overton Window when you have people saying to fund the police and then you have Democrats, more moderate Democrats, see the reform ideas that I can get behind right now. Here are the places where I think we need to make changes or abolish ice leads to a conversation of how to reform our immigration system.
Like this is politics, right? This is how we shift the Overton Window. This is something Republicans have been extraordinarily good at for a really long time. So, like, we need to do both and we need to be able to win while there are more progressive, further left candidates on the edge short of pushing our politics forward, pushing further and more radical ideas, because we want that while making space for Democrats to win in more moderate parts of the country.
We just have to do both. You guys, real quick, I just saw a tweet. David Bossie tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday so that I guarantee you he, too, is at the White House victory party victory party with Ben Carson. So they may have another super spreader event on their hands. Great work, guys. Way to learn the lessons. That's unreasonable.
And you guys said this like, look, I understand. I've seen the polling.
How unpopular defund the police's right. There's no Democrat that, like, ran on defund the police is a platform.
Activists have talked about defund the police, even if it was the right thing to do to tell the activists not to embrace defund the police, which it's not because the activists and they believe in it and the organizers believe in it. And so, like, you're never going to be able to do that. You're never going to be able to tell people in the streets to not support something like that. You think they're going to listen to Conor Lamb and or even Joe Biden or anyone in the party to not, like, fight for what they deeply believe in?
No. So you're going to need to figure out a way around that.
That's that's sort of where I come down on this. Like, you're just people are going to believe the things they do and talk about things they do. And the right wing is going to twist the positions around and spread misinformation.
And that's how we have to figure out that's that's what we have to combat.
Look, some of the tactical stuff was silly. Like, I'm not sure it makes sense to criticize, like Connor Lamb's digital advertising expenditures when he just won the campaign. I like big picture. I agree that like less TV ad spending, more early investment in organizing is important and more digital organizing is important.
That said, you know, I've talked to some people over the weekend. I do think we maybe underestimated how much it hurt Biden and Democrats not to be knocking on doors, because I talked to some folks who said that after they started knocking on doors, their contact rates at the doors were through the roof and they were reaching people that they were just not getting on the phone. And that might have been part of why we just didn't have. Visibility into what the electorate really looked like based on all the crappy polls that we're also trying to reach people on the phone and on the Internet.
And look, I was someone who pooh poohed that decision, I think was the right thing to do for a while for for health reasons. But there was seemingly an electoral impact that was hard.
That is a job, by the way, just like stepping back to like I think that that's so important because I also think, like before there's plenty of infighting we need to do and have. I'm in I'm in for it. I said, you know, once this election is done, let's invite. That's exciting to me. But like, there are going to be pieces of this that will be sui generis to the pandemic that we just ran a campaign right in the middle of that.
And that will be in some ways unique to Trump. And we have to unpack that, too. There's just a lot that we don't know still, that's all.
Yeah. And well, the one thing that will absolutely help us, regardless of any kind of ideological debate, is on the ground organizing.
And on that note, when we come back, we'll have Leavitt's conversation with one of the best in the business, Latasha Brown of Black Voters Matter.
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It's nice to get it right.
She is an organizer and the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund. Welcome back to Positive America, Latasha Brown.
Hi. Thank you for having me. It's a good day to be alive in America. It is a good day, as was yesterday, as was Saturday. Each day seems to get a little bit brighter. So Saturday night, we watch President elect Joe Biden, Vice President elect Kamala Harris, speak to the nation before we get to analysis, before we get to anything else. How did it feel?
You know, it felt it felt great. It's interesting. I was so happy. I thought I went through every emotion. But listen, I went through every emotion you can have this week because when you were saying going through the days like Friday, I was like, I don't know, Friday and Thursday, a little shaky. Wednesday, I had a complete meltdown. Tuesday, I felt really confident. I was like, we got this. And then and I knew that the that the vote will come in.
But I think what really shocked me and it's funny because on Wednesday, I knew that Biden and the Harris, Biden and Harris ticket was going to win. But the fact that 75 million people voted for this bully, this man who has just been so unkind to people in this country and racism misogynists and, you know, just a liar, like the fact that 75 million people would vote would support him. Really, like I actually had a meltdown.
I actually cried on Wednesday. I was like, what are we doing where people don't love each other? Like, because for me, he has been so rooted in hate and division and fear. You know, it just you know, it was a it was a a somber moment for me. But I will say and the each day went by, I was like, all right, I know what's coming, but y'all need to come on down, hurry up, you know?
And then so Saturday, what I felt is I felt resolved.
I felt like all of this work that we've done and so many other groups has been doing have been doing for the last four years.
And some of us even more than a decade, that this moment, this this moment was all resulting from the coalition of people who love democracy coming together and saying we're going to defeat hate, we're going to fight bigotry, we're going to defeat Trump. I was like, bye bye, bye bye bye.
So nowhere was that fight more important than in Georgia, where we saw the culmination of organizing that have been going on for years. Organization you helped lead organizations. Stacey Abrams helped lead. You know, you were so bullish about Georgia. You were saying, keep an eye on Georgia, watch Georgia. Can you just talk about the moment when it finally happened and we saw the numbers change and the votes had been counted and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had taken the lead in Georgia and we knew that John USCIRF and Reverend Warnock were going to run off.
Well, what I want to say first, John, is I'm never going to tell you. I told you so. Did I say I told you. I'm not going to say I didn't. But I didn't. I just in case I just know because I would never tell you. I told you so. But just in case you didn't say it, you won't say it. I did. Why would you say it? I did say it because I saw it.
I kept telling people I kept saying, yes, the south is great until it ain't right. And so that has been my mantra for actually years because I know the organizing power in the South. What we've seen is, you know, the south isn't red or blue. The South has been under invested. And so when you look at who makes up the south and when you look at the diversity of the south, you would know that the potential has always been there.
It wasn't by accident what we saw on that on that calendar. But I can tell you what I felt, what happened as I was watching Connect in his right on the screen as the rest of us were doing. Right. Being fascinated with. I was like, what one of those one of those screens at home that what was interesting is when they were talking about Georgia, Fulton County, there were several counties that were still out. It was Chad Chatham, it was Fulton County and Clayton County.
And I was like, oh, game over. Like at that point I was like, game over because I knew the work that had been done with Fulton County. I knew the the voters who were in and of Fulton County and what the projected numbers were. And so when I saw that, like before, it's like, you know, when I saw that, I knew when I saw the numbers coming in, I wish I could say I was surprised, but I wasn't like I because you told us.
I told you all that. So, you know, I, I wasn't surprised. I felt like I felt affirmed and resolved. I felt like I want to tell everybody. I just. I want to go on Twitter and say, I told you, they're not Velia, you know, and so that's what I felt. I felt like the power that I knew, the power that is here that we had, that certainly there was something that has been changing in Georgia.
And the piece that I also want to kind of lift up is poetic justice, that in the state that was ground zero for voter suppression. And I've worked all over this nation and I'm from Alabama writes, I can tell you a little bit about voter suppression and so forth for the kind of voter suppression that I witnessed and I saw in the state of Georgia. Right. Just two years ago. And I knew for for for this to be the state that was really the turning point, even in the election predictions to be the state that black voters will come out in mass and actually are on the brink of delivering.
Right. A balance, at least two seats to the Democratic Party. There was something very poetic about that. I'm one of those people. I'm one of those folks that I believe in signs. Yes, I'm her. I'm that person. And I was like, this is a Sangala toljan. I was at a we were campaigning on Monday. No, Tuesday. On Tuesday. We're campaigning and I'm on the street corner yelling and we're trying to get to the end.
And we were standing on Victory Boulevard. And then I look over and it's like this Wal-Mart shopping cart, I mean Plaza and it's Victory Square. And I drive people crazy around science. I was like, I told you I was like going. And they were like, well, how you go.
When I was like, well, on Ventura Boulevard, I told you we're going to win. So it was like I was like the sign was right.
So, you know, you mentioned this, that one of the I think early on, especially, you know, as we were watching the vote numbers come in, we saw that Trump had turned out the Republicans. It turned out an extraordinary turnout, second only to the turnout of Democrats across the country. That was extraordinary turnout in modern history. You know, you helped do that organizing. It is very clear that we're in a tough fight here. Right.
We have to keep up this momentum. We have to keep making sure that people feel invested in the process. We have these two runoffs coming up. One thing you said that you had mentioned this on NBC, that one thing you learned through the Obama years was that we have to keep demanding policies of significance to black communities after this election is done. How do we keep this momentum going? How do we make sure that people feel invested in winning these Senate runoffs and invested in the success of this presidency of those that we helped elect elect, so that we keep this turnout going because it's so clear that we're going to need it?
You know, I think there's a couple of things.
I think part of it is in the messaging that even for us, we had a message that said this is bigger than Biden, that while certainly we wanted to see the vice president elect Biden in office and Vice President Kamala Harris, that sounds so good. I love saying that in office that what was important for us to know is that this was a real opportunity for us to beat back fascism, that we had to recommit ourselves to building a reflective democracy.
And in order to do that, we can't just be transactional. And so if we think that we're just going to vote this election and everything is going to be fine, you know, we are delusional. The truth of the matter is that as long as that thirty eight million people in this country that are in poverty in the wealthiest country in the world, that fundamentally we have to have major structural changes for America to be the nation that we believe that we deserve.
And in order to have that, you have to have a healthy democracy. And in order to have a healthy democracy, you have to have an engaged electorate. And so what I think that we have to think about is that while this election was key, I hope that we don't see this as a just as a transaction moment that we reduce. This was just about getting Trump out of office. Know what this is really about is we have to shape the future going forward, not just because Trump was in office, what Trump did, the gift that Trump did bring up because he did bring us something.
What Trump brought us is Trump made it real for us to understand the fragility of this democracy. Right. Trump made it real for us to recognize. We start seeing you know, it's kind of like even in my home, in my home and during quarantine, I started looking at my walls and started noticing imperfections. And while I never saw before, I thought my wall was fine in my off the wall is fine. And I started seeing these little imperfections in the wall because I was forced to sit in here during quarantine and pay attention.
Trump forced us to pay attention to what is really happening in America. We can no longer just go about our day to day lives and we're going to go to our jobs and go to school and everything is fine and not worry about politics. They'll take care of that. Right. We have to recognize that he has forced us. To sit in this room, to look at these walls, to look at the shape of democracy, to look at the vulnerability that in this moment of covid-19, if there's ever a time that we should be having a discussion around comprehensive health care and health care access, it would be now, if there's any time that we're supposed to be really thinking about this economy, like think about this, this is the wealthiest nation on the earth, on the planet.
Right. And here it is. She could not even sustain her people for two months without screaming and yelling. I'm not going to make it. Something is wrong. If you are a wealthy person and you fall on bad times for two months and you get something, your finances ain't developed, something is not right. My point is there are some economic, structural, economic issues that we've got to deal with this in this in this country as well.
And then I think when we're talking about racism, you know, it's just not enough for us. And I do think that there was this this this sense of American exceptionalism that has had everybody lulled to sleep for years, that, you know, there was this belief, just like we kind of look at the market or if you have a free market economy, it will correct itself. Right. We looked at this thing around democracy. Oh, yeah, OK.
There Republicans are doing voter suppression to black people. Right. But don't worry about it. Democracy will correct itself until millions of white people in this country got a taste of what it feels to feel disenfranchised until white people in this country realize that the very thing, because I remember one of my friends, very good friend of mine in California, who I love to death, was saying early on in the Trump win, when Trump first went into office, there was some things that I said he was going to do.
It seemed like he can't do that. He won't be he's not allowed to do that. And he did it. And I said, you know what? The reason why I know that is because I'm from the Deep South and we live with Trump every day. Like Trump is not a new phenomenon. US for many Trump i.e. Lindsey Graham, I e I can go down the list. The bottom line is that all of us can be disenfranchised just by having a bad leader that puts himself in a position of and abuses his power in a way that he undermines democracy.
None of none of us are immune from that when we let the very fabric of protecting democracy be unraveled. And so when we don't fight for the voting rights of African-Americans or Native Americans or any American in this country, we leave our sales, all of us vulnerable to not just voter suppression, but bondable to the dismantling of democracy. So I'm hoping that we recognize in this moment how critical it is for us to shift how we show up, because on some level we have been complicit and where we found ourselves these last four years.
So we have beaten back this one threat, this threat of Trump, we will remove him and now everybody is paying attention. You're right, there are millions of white people who got a taste of disenfranchisement and they hated it and they're paying attention. And there's big, beautiful coalition is paying attention. Where do you want that attention to go next? After you take a break and and get a chance to to to we all get a chance to catch our breath.
What is to you the next place you want to direct this this big coalition towards towards the work that we still have to do?
You know, I got a million policy ideas I can put on the table, but I'll just tell you what's coming up in my spirit right now to say that at the end of the day, what I want people to do, if they just take this one phrase and let this dog drive in our politics for the love of humanity, what would policy look like if we start operating and saying, I'm going to support this policy for the love of humanity?
And what I mean by that is even when I vote, I don't vote based on what I think about my tax bracket, like not like I'm at some high tax bracket or anything. I'm in plan. But the fact of the matter is, when I vote, I'm always voting for the most vulnerable in my community because I know that if there's a safety net for the most vulnerable of us, then the rest of us will also benefit from that.
And so I am hoping that in this moment that what this coalition will see themselves as is beyond the confinements of a party affiliation, beyond the confines of what we see ourselves as race and gender, that beyond that, at the end of the day, at the core of our humanity, that as we go forward talking about governance, that we govern in the way for the love of humanity, that we create and demand policies that are what's so wrong with everybody having health care.
I'm so confused around that. I don't even understand why there's a debate. Why what? We not want everybody to have health care at the end of the day. Worst case scenario, people could get sick. People get well. I mean, like at the end of the day is ludicrous for me, because I think part of what has happened is that we have we have been taught that it is OK to be selfish in our politics. Right.
Not just in terms of just the political parties, but has been selfish in our politics. And in some ways, we have been a tool in a proxy of actually providing more power, being caught up in the part of the party's right that we have around people. And so everything gets defined within the context of a party paradigm. Right. If you're on a blue team, red team? No, I'm on the humanity team. That's what team I'm on.
And so I really want people to shift their paradigm of why we're doing this, that we're getting so caught up in fights and so caught up in the even the very notion that my rights as a voter is safer, whether it's one party or another party in office. And I know that that's true because what the political landscape is right now, because the Republicans right now are just crazy. There's nothing else I can say. Right. But to allow a man who has just been vicious right now, a man who has left our country vulnerable in the midst of the largest health pandemic, they are complicit.
And I'm not going to and I'm not saying that because a Republican I'm saying it because that is inhumane. And if the Democrats do it, then to the extent they do that, I will call that out, too. And so we're going to have to have some courage to move back to really be able to force the parties to be responsible and accountable to us instead of the opposite. We can no longer just continue to get caught up in this football game at which time you own the red or the blue team.
We got to be on the humanity team and we ought to be on the Rainbow team. And so I think that is really important for us in this moment. You know, I want to just share this little story that I always talk about around diamond and Glass, that if you know how a diamond is created, that all a diamond is is a piece of coal that under extreme pressure over time becomes a diamond. That glass, all glass is sand that's been compacted right in with heat and it becomes glass.
And we know both of those things.
What make both of those elements significant to us is that their properties is because they become clear, they have clarity that in fact the pressure created a circumstances and change transform them, that they became clear substances. I think that we've got to do that in this moment. We got to take all of this pain and this trauma that Trump has created in this moment and that pressure. I'm hoping that pressure doesn't say, well, we got Trump out of office, let's go back home.
But that that that pressure transforms us, that we have more clarity about what we need to bring a nation together, that what really healing is going to be like like we're ready for healing tomorrow. No, we're not we're not ready for healing because we haven't been honest about where the pain. We got to stop the pain if you want to start. Stop the pain if thirty eight million Americans are in poverty. Stop the pain when you've got a prison industrial complex that we are seeing millions of folks more than any place in the world that are locking folks up and throwing away the key and acting like they're not human beings.
Stop the pain. If we want to see folks, hundreds of thousands of people that are dying for covid-19, stop the pain we do got. Sixty eight percent of black women who are voting, who are working low wage jobs that don't have any economic security, but continuously show up for this nation to save America for herself, stop the pain. And so I want us to also feel a certain level of discomfort and pressure in this moment that we take this opportunity to really be able to shape policies boldly and force the political parties right.
To literally not go back to their comfort position, because this ain't about the Democratic Party in power for me. Now, for some folks, it may be right. For me, it is about people having a say and that people being taken care of and that the agenda that works, the agenda that has worked the best and been the most responsible for us has been the agenda by the Democratic Party. But it doesn't go far enough and they've not done enough.
And so we have to pressure ourselves because I'm not asking folks to call to put pressure on anybody else. I'm saying me, I've not done enough. And I work I work 16, 18 hours a week. Right. And so even as much as I've done, I've been very reflective of how I've been complicit and what America has become. Right. And so even my own behavior, I'm looking at how as a consumer, how have I treated the Earth?
Well, when I'm looking at climate change, have I been a good steward of the Earth? Have I been a good neighbor? Have I been a good friend? Have I just been a good human being? And so I think I so want us to make this moment be beyond politics that I want us to make this moment be centered in. And I know, as corny as it may sound to some, but literally within the quotations for the love of humanity.
Natasha Brown. Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you for having me. And make sure to see it right. We still got we set out to celebrate before we hit the ground and do this all over again. Yeah, we got to take a break and then get back to it.
Right. We get a break. You got to celebrate the wins. It makes it sustainable. I do want to tell people that, like, we jump right here, like what we got to do. Take the time just to say America, thank you. Those who helped and had courage. Thank you. This while black people literally and I think black women on the forefront, black women and black men on the forefront and led this charge. This was a collective victory.
This is what happens when we work together. And just like we were able to defeat this regime or whatever he is, whatever you call himself. Right. That fundamentally we can literally radically reimagine this nation and create it to be what we want it to be now, what the political parties feed us, but what we want it to be. So I'm just asking us to lean into this moment, to celebrate and really reorient ourselves and recommit ourselves to literally creating the America that we all deserve.
Natasha Brown couldn't say it better, thank you so much for being here. Have a good one. Yeah. Bye bye. Thanks to Latasha for joining us and a great Monday, Monday, Monday. This was it was nice to have a weekend after Saturday to kind of like get some sleep, think about it, let it sink in so we can have this conversation. That was nice. Yeah, that was nice. It was nice. Now, let's all give until it hurts in Georgia.
That's right. Bye, guys. God Save America is a crooked media production. The executive producer is Michael Martinez, our associate producer is Jordan Waller. It's mixed and edited by Andrew Chadwick.
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