Vox Conversations
Vox Conversations
Stacey Abrams on minority rule, voting rights, and the future of democracy
1 hour 10 minutes Posted Nov 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm.
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Show notes

We’re one day away from the election, though who-knows-how-many days from finding out who won it. But there’s more at stake than whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be our next president. 

There is a fight behind the fight, a battle that will decide all the others. America is not a democracy, and Republicans want to keep it that way. America is not a democracy, and Democrats — at least some Democrats — want to make it more of one. 

Democracy has, in particular, become Stacey Abrams’ animating mission. In 2018, Abrams lost the George gubernatorial race by a razor-thin margin amidst rampant voter suppression. Since then, as the founder of Fair Fight, she’s turned her attention to the deeper fight, the one that sets the rules under which elections like her plays out. In her recent book, Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America, Abrams makes the case that the fight over democracy is the central question of our politics right now with more power and clarity than any other politician I’ve heard. 

In my view, Abrams is right. And so she’s exactly the person to hear from on the eve of the election. We discuss the GOP’s turn against “rank democracy,” the role of demographic change, how Republicans have cemented minority rule across America political institutions, why we potentially face a “doom loop of democracy,” the changing face of voter suppression in the 21st century, what a system that actually wanted people to vote would look like, why democracy and economic equality are inextricably linked, and much more.

One thing to note in this conversation: You won't hear Trump's name all that much. It's the Republican Party, not just Trump, that has turned against democracy, and that is implementing the turn against democracy. And it's the Democratic Party, not just Joe Biden, that will have to decide whether democracy is worth protecting, and achieving. Democracy is on the ballot in 2020 and beyond, but it's not just on the presidential voting line.


"The fight is for democracy." Ezra Klein, Vox

The Dictator's Learning Curve by William Dobson

My previous EK Show conversation with Abrams

Book recommendations:

Ida by Paula Giddings 

Charged by Emily Bazelon 

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead 

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