#1221 Strategies to take back power for the left ​

Air Date: 10–23-2018
Today we take a look at various strategies, some institutional and some organizational, for the left to take back power and steer the country back toward small D democracy

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Ch. 1: Talking with progressive leaders on taking back power - We the People with Nina Turner - Air Date 8-13-18

As mid-term elections near, Nina Turner talks with actress and activist Susan Surrandon, political leader Kimberly Ellis and political activist Jim Hightower about what actually makes America great, and what we can change to improve it.

Ch. 2: Should Blue States Make Voting Mandatory? - Majority Report (@MajorityFM) - Air Date: 01-03-17

Author and labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan joins the show and discusses the notion of compulsory voting.

Ch. 3: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE- Help Flip Toss Up Battleground House Races in NC, TX, & VA! - Best of the Left Activism

Take action! Click the title and/or scroll down for quick links and resources from this segment.

Ch. 4: Ranked Choice Voting vs The Corrupt Establishment - @RepresentUs - Air Date 3-14-17

What if you never had to vote for the lesser of two evils again? Ranked Choice Voting is a small tweak that would be a huge step towards fixing our broken elections.

Ch. 5: Why ranked-choice voting is a terrible idea - Bradcast from @TheBradBlog - Air Date 6-13-18

Brad discusses why, although he is sympathetic to the reasoning behind ranked-choice voting, he prefers the alternative of approval voting for the sake of simplicity.

Ch. 6: Outvote - Getting Dem Friends to Vote: There's an App for That - WNYC - Air Date 8-28-2018

Two Boston-based engineers developed an app that enables people to nudge their friends by text to tell them to go vote. With Outvote, the text comes from someone you know instead of someone you don't.

Ch. 7: David Faris on how and why to fight dirty - Chapo Trap House - Air Date 5-27-18

Political scientist David Faris discusses his book “It’s Time To Fight Dirty”. Faris outlines all the ways a slim democratic majority could and should shortcut norms and the constitution to build enduring power.

Ch. 8: Joe Dinkin of Working Families Party and building progressive infrastructure - The Dig (@thedigradio) - Air Date 10-21-17

Joe Dinkin, of the Working Families Party, discusses the promise and pitfalls of fighting within the Democratic Party.



Ch. 9: Thoughts on Choice as a litmus test - Matthew from Central Valley of Northern California


Ch. 10: Final comments on how to be pro-choice without moralizing and the need to add vote-by-mail to our list of progressive demands



REGISTER TO VOTE: RocktheVote.org/register-to-vote/

CONFIRM VOTER REGISTRATION: HeadCount.org/verify-voter-registration/

CHECK VOTING DATES & POLICIES: RocktheVote.org/voting-information/

VOTER ID INFO/HELP: VoteRiders & 866ourvote.org

All Battleground Info/Resources: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q.

Early Voting Information by State


North Carolina

NC-09: Dan McCready

Red to Blue NC-09

NC-13: Kathy Manning

Red to Blue NC-13


TX-07: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher

Red to Blue TX-07

TX-32: Colin Allred

Red to Blue TX-32


VA-02: Elaine Luria

Red to Blue VA-02

VA-07: Abigail Spanberger

Red to Blue VA-07

Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman 




Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 1 reaction

  • Sean Dodd
    commented 2018-10-28 16:14:49 -0400
    It was with much interest that I cued up ‘Strategies to Take Back Power for the Left.’ But I was quickly disappointed to find that most of the “strategies” in question were an odd mix of authoritarianism and resignation.

    Legally requiring people to vote is authoritarian. Using an app to track your friends’ voter registration and voting history and then “nudge” them into voting as you want them to is also authoritarian (at the level of invasive social scolding). Opposing ranked-choice voting is a non-progressive endorsement of the status quo of our current two-party winner-take-all system. And bemoaning the sad fact that political parties in the US really don’t stand for anything, because that’s just how it is, is a terribly uninspiring form of resignation.

    Notably absent from this episode was what the Left should do to inspire Americans to support its agenda and vote for its candidates. Instead of examining the ways that the Left should improve its standing with the American public, you chose to traffic in silly gimmicks and excuses.

    If we really want to promote a Left politics, we need to focus more on what the Left is, what it is not, and how to reform and rebrand it for success with the American voter. In the process, there needs to be some honest introspection about some rather inconvenient truths:

    • The Democratic Party is not the Left;
    • In America, the political establishment runs from center right to far right—there is no Left party in power;
    • Groupthink, authoritarianism, and social scolding are highly illiberal symptoms of the Left’s failings, not markers of its strengths;
    • If the Left wants electoral success, it cannot afford to remain a bottomless grab bag of infinitely nuanced identity politics—instead, it must consolidate its agenda around a few key issues that are of greatest salience for the American people;
    • The Left urgently needs to stop playing the part of shrill social scold, because its smug intolerance of traditional customs and beliefs makes it a weak antagonist, not a strong protagonist, in American society.

    Sooner or later, we need to have such an honest discussion about what the Left actually stands for, why it has been floundering, and how it must be reformed and rebranded for success with the American voter.
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