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The Pandemic, Protests and the Presidential Election

man voting
Man voting in 2019 June Primary. Photo: Crixell Matthews / VPM

A year that started with President Donald Trump riding a 50-year low in unemployment and facing a deeply divided Democratic primary field has devolved into a summer of pandemic, protests and the worst economy in a generation. The White House and Senate are up for grabs this November -- whatever November will look like, what with the controversies of absentee voting and a potential Zoom nominating convention. 

This week on Full Disclosure Live, host Roben Farzad discussed the upcoming election with Robert Costa, host of Washington Week on PBS and national political reporter at the Washington Post, and Jane Coaston, senior politics reporter at Vox with a focus on the GOP, conservatism, the far-right and white nationalism

“Making Juneteenth a federal holiday does not mark the end of racial reconciliation in this country, but it does begin to get at that reconciliation that had never really happened for African Americans.” - Jane Coaston

Starting the show, writer and independent journalist Samantha Willis sent a dispatch about journalism, racism, and her hope for America.

Episode excerpt

The following excerpt was edited for clarity.


Roben Farzad: Please introduce me, going back to your June 11 byline, to the Mitt Romney-Gary Johnso-Mike Bloomberg voter who's embracing "Black Lives Matter."

Jane Coaston: I was so fascinated by this because I live in DC and when I was walking around, I went down to Lafayette Square about two days after the use of tear gas outside the White House. I saw this truck, this older model Toyota, and it had a bunch of stickers for conservative or Republican candidates, but in the middle had a "Black Lives Matter" sign, it also had stickers for a libertarian presidential candidate at the time, 2016 Gary Johnson. I was so interested in this and I tweeted out a picture and said, "If you are this person, please get in touch with me." Then the person whose truck it was did. His protest is to clean up the streets. He's been at the protests outside the White House pretty much every day. He wanted to send me a special message when he saw that Mitt Romney had taken part in a Black Lives Matter protest. He direct messaged me on Twitter and said, "Please tell everyone how proud I am of my guy Mitt." I think that for me, when we talk about politics, so often we talk about politics as a team sport. I've often joked that politics is a sport for people who don't like sports. But for most Americans, that's not how they think about politics. They don't think of themselves as I am a Trump voter, I am a Clinton voter, I am a Biden voter. They think of themselves as well, I'm pretty conservative on these issues, but my sister is gay. And I'm really concerned about racism in our community and I'm a Christian, but I don't go to church very often, but it's still very important to me. You think people are so multifaceted, their politics are as well. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we turn people into teams.


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