WXXI AM News

politics

Will 2018 be the year of young voters? November’s election season is projected to be the first in which millennials will outnumber baby boomers as the largest voter-eligible age group. But will young voters go to the polls?

A new survey shows that only 28 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 say they are “absolutely certain” they’ll vote in the midterms. Why? We sit down with young voters to discuss it.

  • Patrick Coyle, graduate assistant at SUNY Brockport
  • Tom Hebert, communications director for Dr. Jim Maxwell for Congress
  • Marykatherine Woodson, assistant director for residence life at RIT

Is centrism dying in politics? The primary victory of Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez has energized Democrats who argue for a slate of significant changes, starting with single-payer health care. Many Americans self-identify as centrists, but what does that mean?

Our guests debate whether centrism has value, or is just a dodge on pursuing one's ideals. 

Polling shows that the number of Americans who self-identify as non-religious is rising. But many atheists say this is actually a difficult time for them in this country. That’s because lawmakers who cite deeply religious backgrounds often set policy. The Supreme Court is just the latest front in those battles.

We discuss it with a panel of non-religious people and leaders. In studio:

A restaurant owner in Virginia asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment over the weekend. The owner said she knew Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s ban on transgender people in the military, and out respect for her employees who are gay, she told Huckabee Sanders to leave. The move has led to a fierce debate.

Our guests discuss their take on the issue. In studio:

We're joined by Ken Rudin, host of “Political Junkie.” We sit down with Rudin in studio to discuss the latest in national and New York State politics.

We sit down with a panel of conservatives who are concerned about climate change. Our panelists are people who describe themselves as being on the right side of the political spectrum. The stereotype is that progressives care about climate change; conservatives deny it. That's not true of our guests, but that doesn’t mean the solutions are easy, or easily agreed upon.

They share their ideas for what kinds of policies and ideas make sense regarding climate and conservatism. Our guests:

Comedians are often considered to be truth tellers. But in recent years, critics say they have largely become party props, while pushing the typical limits of civility. Michelle Wolf has been criticized for her performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner; Samantha Bee offered a limited apology for her remarks about Ivanka Trump; Robert De Niro rallied the audience at the Tony Awards by firing an epithet at President Trump.

Our panel of comedians will discuss where the line is, and if there should be one. In studio:

The Washington Post writes that Democrats typically campaign on raising taxes for millionaires, or the wealthiest Americans. But when they finally gain power, they don't follow through. That's the case in New Jersey, where state Democrats pushed a millionaire's tax for years, only to back down once they controlled the statehouse.

Our panel discusses what this means for a party that has long claimed to care about income inequality and wage disparity, and has promised to fund health care and social supports with millionaire's taxes. Our guests:

  • Karen Vitale, co-chair of the Rochester Democratic Socialists of America
  • Douglass Jay, writer for Balloon Juice
  • Adrian Hale, activist, veteran, and manager of strategic initiatives for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

A recent Reuters/Ipsos national poll shows the Democratic Party is losing support among millennials. The results of the poll, published last month, also show that millennials increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy. That doesn’t necessarily translate into votes, but it has democratic strategists concerned as they head into election season.

We talk with local millennials about their political affiliations, how those affiliations may have changed, and how they feel about the party system. In studio:

  • Alex Hipolito, legislative assistant to Assemblymember Harry Bronson
  • Carolyn Hoffman, political strategist
  • Nick Nevinger, actor
  • Jessica Fleming, human services professional

W.J.T. Mitchell is a writer and a professor of English and art history at the University of Chicago. He’s in Rochester as a guest of the University of Rochester, discussing his piece, "American Psychosis: Trumpism and the Nightmare of History.”

He joins us to share his perspective on the age of Trump in the context of capitalism and democracy.

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