May 13, 2022 • 1HR 5M

Theory of Change #036: Luke Savage on "The Dead Center"

Centrist elites have stalled political change and made room for the reactionary right


Appears in this episode

Matthew Sheffield
Lots of people want to change the world. But how does change happen? History is filled with stories of people and institutions that spent big and devoted many resources to effect change but have little to show for it. By contrast, many societal developments have happened without forethought from anyone. And of course, change can be negative as well as positive. In each episode of this weekly program, Theory of Change host Matthew Sheffield delves deep with guests to discuss larger trends in politics, religion, media, and technology.
Episode details
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U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema speaking with attendees at the 2022 Update from Capitol Hill hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Episode Summary

As America barrels toward the 2022 midterm elections, polls have been indicating that Democrats could be in for some very bad news in November. Party strategists now are openly contemplating the likelihood of losing both the House and the Senate, which could lead to all sorts of other consequences.

As many people know, the president’s party has historically done worse in off year elections, but it’s worth considering the possibility that Democratic leaders are also rather responsible for the party’s apparent predicament. The rules of American politics have favored small rural states since the country’s beginning, and party leaders seem to have done little to counter Republicans’ efforts to siphon away less-educated voters using religious controversies.

Do Democrats know what they’re doing? It’s a question that’s worth asking. In this episode, I’m joined by Luke Savage, he’s a writer for the socialist magazine Jacobin and the author of a new book “The Dead Center: Reflections on Liberalism After the End of History.”

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