US election podcast: Can Biden deliver?

On the road across middle America, voters told us they want the country to heal. But is this even possible?

Mary Fitzgerald headshot in circle, small
Aaron headshot.jpg
Mary Fitzgerald Freddie Stuart Aaron White
17 November 2020, 3.28am
A Joe Biden celebration in County Mayo, Ireland
Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

In this ourVoices podcast special, openDemocracy’s Editor in Chief Mary Fitzgerald travels 1,400 miles across the midwestern United States with North America economics editor, Aaron White.

Their journey starts on the eve of the US election in the city of Louisville, Kentucky – where Mary’s family has lived for generations – and ends on the east coast in Philadelphia, right as jubilant crowds are proclaiming Biden the winner.

Despite the carnival, they found a country facing a dark winter; with nearly half a million COVID deaths projected by year-end, and an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression. People from all walks of life say they desperately need unity and leadership.

But with Republicans still likely to wield Senate control, much of Biden’s agenda will be blocked. And, as we heard in episode 1, the coalition that propelled him to power is fragile.

With the country and Washington DC more fractured than ever, is there any hope that Biden can deliver what’s needed? And what are the consequences if he doesn’t?

Listen in on their journey and discover what’s happening outside the current political system: on the streets of big cities, in small towns in the rural midwest – and among a new generation of activists daring to imagine a radically different future.

Listen below – and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Soundcloud.

Why is journalism failing democracy?

In rich countries, local media is struggling to survive. The people who produce and consume the news are increasingly elites living in big cities. Why is this happening, what does it mean for democracy and what can we do about it?

Join us for this free live discussion on 7 October at 6.30pm UK time/1.30pm EDT.

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