A podcast about how America got here and what (we think) is next
What does this election tell us about our country? The Washington Post investigates what the last four years have revealed about our path forward.
In 2020 alone the American people faced a global pandemic, dire economic conditions and nationwide unrest over police brutality and systemic racism. In this podcast, hosted by The Washington Post’s Eugene Scott, you’ll hear from members of The Post’s award-winning politics team on what this moment in history tells us about the future of our divided country.
By the time conventions officially nominated our two presidential candidates, this election year had tested the country and our systems in extraordinary ways. This episode looks back at the first half of an election year that began with a presidential impeachment trial — and that wasn’t the most unusual thing about it.
The race is over, but tribal party politics and a president unwilling to concede mean big challenges for the transition. We go behind the scenes of the final weeks of the campaigns, election night and the days that followed to begin to unpack what the result says about the future.
The first 100 days
What will a Biden administration prioritize, and how likely is the GOP to get on board? This episode explores the plans being crafted by the Biden team to implement an ambitious agenda that reverses course on key issues -- like battling the coronavirus pandemic and addressing climate change -- and the potential long-term impact of Trump’s continued refusal to accept the legitimacy of the president-elect.
OMB pick Neera Tanden on Biden’s coronavirus response
In episode 3, Neera Tanden ran us through some of the Biden team’s priorities for the first 100 days in office. In this bonus material from that interview, Tanden offers thoughts on how President-elect Biden will approach vaccine distribution and coronavirus safety measures, and why the demographics of the virus’s impact have slowed the policy response.
In episode 3, Washington Post reporter Paul Kane previewed President-elect Joe Biden’s tough path in working with a divided Congress. In this bonus material you didn't previously hear, Kane shares stories from Biden’s own decades as a senator and discusses how that experience colors Biden’s sense of the possibilities for bipartisanship.
For four years, Republican politicians have fallen in lockstep with Trump, and emerging politicians have succeeded with Trump-esque tactics and sycophantism. And in the 2020 election, it worked. The GOP lost the presidency, but found surprising success down ballot. Now, as the president’s efforts to overturn the election results force a schism in the party, asking members to choose sides, we look at the future of the GOP and of Trumpism. What does it mean to be a Republican in 2021, and how will the party deal with the partisan rancor it has stirred up?
Acts of insurrection
On Jan. 6, Congress gathered to certify the electoral college vote, anticipating an unusual day of challenges to what is typically a ceremonial process. But a different crisis emerged — a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol in a terrifying riot. Who are these people, and what role will they play as we look toward the country’s future? We take a look at the meaning and impact of a day unparalleled in American history.
In December, we talked to Rep. Donna Shalala, fresh off the loss of her seat to a Republican challenger, and to Julián Castro, one of the many Democrats who vied for the party’s presidential nomination. They shared their hopes for the future of the Democratic Party, and the path forward from the party’s surprising down ballot losses.
Our changing country
As a new president takes office, we explore what this election and transition have revealed about who we are as a country — our demographics, our beliefs and our priorities. What shifts are emerging, and what do they tell us about who we are becoming?