Background Briefing: December 6, 2020


Trump’s Mixed Message to Georgia Voters

We begin with the mixed messages Trump is sending to his voters in Georgia following yesterday’s rally in the rural south of the state where a mostly maskless crowd were told the recent election was rigged and Trump’s victory was stolen by the radical, Marxist Democrats. But then he urged these same voters to vote in the January 5th runoff elections run by the same officials he trashed to support Georgia’s two Republican senators, who were wearing masks along with the Secret Service. Joining us is Alan Abramowitz, Professor of Political Science at Emory University whose books include The Polarized Public: Why American Government is so Dysfunctional and The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump. We discuss the possibility that once the Electoral College awards the presidency to Joe Biden on December 14, a lot of the voters Trump fired up with conspiracies and lies will be discouraged, while on the other hand the Republicans could make the argument that they need to prevent the Democrats who control the House and the presidency, from controlling the Senate too.


The Covid Death Toll Inches Toward the 1918-1919 Pandemic Death Toll

Then with an out-of-control pandemic, about which Trump did not utter a word at his Georgia rally, claiming record numbers of lives as new cases overwhelm hospitals and ICU’s to the breaking point, we speak with John Barry, a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and author of The New York Times bestseller, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. He joins us to discuss how the current Covid pandemic is taking us closer to the 1918-1919 death toll of 675,000 American lives.


Authors of the New and Timely Book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again

Then finally we speak with the authors of a new and timely book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It AgainRobert Putnam, the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, a writer and award-winning social entrepreneur and founding contributor to “Weave: The Social Fabric Project,” join us to discuss the “I-We-I” curve of history cycling between the egotistical selfishness of plutocracy and the healing and reconciliation of democracy. With Trump consumed by narcissistic delusions, while Biden promises to heal our frayed nation and be the president of all Americans, the I-We-I contrast could not be greater.