Episode

9/29 Winning Rural Voters Back; The Far-Right Rises in Italy w/ Sen. Chloe Maxmin, Canyon Woodward, & Ruth Ben-Ghiat

September 29, 2022

Emma hosts State Senator Chloe Maxmin of Maine’s 13th District and political activist Canyon Woodward to discuss their recent book Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends On It. Then, Emma is joined by Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, to discuss the recent Italian election results and what they mean for Europe and the rest of the world. First, Emma runs through updates on Hurricane Ian’s path of devastation, Schumer’s Continuing Resolution, the White House finally waiving the Jones Act, the DoD joining the DHS and Secret Service in covering up 1/6 texts, and more, before diving into Ron DeSantis’ comments on ANOTHER “once in a century” disaster hitting Florida. Then, she’s joined by Senator Chloe Maxim and Canyon Woodward as they dive into their roots in rural organizing, with Maxim growing up in Maine and Woodward in North Carolina, and meeting during the inception of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement at Harvard, moving from there to running Maxim’s progressive campaigns (first for Maine Statehouse then State Senate) with a focus on grassroots rural organizing. Maxim and Woodward then dive into the tactics that grounded their victories in Maine, with a focus on tailoring their discussions and policy focuses to the interest of the community they were representing, including having strong disagreements with her constituents and working to understand where it comes from, and grounding her programs (such as establishing a Green New Deal for Maine) in the tackling the anxieties and pressures that most concern them (farming, fishing infrastructure, etc). Wrapping up, they tackle how the Democrats lost their foothold on rural voters over the last three decades, with complete disinvestment from the communities, and Democratic leadership (particularly in the wake of the 2010 midterms) shifting any electoral focus to exclusively urban and suburban areas, and exploring what we can learn about Maine (and Maine’s rural voters) from Sarah Giddeon’s loss to Susan Collins. Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Emma then tackle the rise of Giorgia Meloni through Italy’s fascist remnants in the 20th Century and to the top of the new Alt-Right neofascist party Fratelli d’Italia. They tackle the difference between her politics and that of other Italian far-right parties such as La Lega and Forza Italia, Meloni’s history of anti-Semitic neonazi conspiracy theory, and the greater hyper-nationalist yet transnational movement of the far right today, where Meloni sees the GOP as central to the project. They also explore where Meloni’s reign is likely to go next, and what institutional elements of Italian politics can do to fight back.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt and Binder as they tackle the Right Wing reaction to Meloni’s victory, with Jimmy Dore aligning himself with Hillary Clinton and Dave Rubin attempting to put the rise of fascism at the feet of queer people, exploring the uniting features of fascism and the GOP that are preoccupation with (white) community “decline” and an obsession with victimhood. In keeping with right-wing-reactionary insanity, they also touch on reactions from Ben Shaprio and Pedro Gonzalez to Lizzo’s humiliation of the founding fathers by… playing the flute. Sandy from Ontario calls in to discuss the rise of Pierre Poilievre on the Canadian right, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Sen. Maxmin and Canyon’s book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/691154/dirt-road-revival-by-chloe-maxmin-and-canyon-woodward/

Check out the upcoming movie “Rural Runners” that features Sen. Maxmin and Canyon’s campaign here: https://vimeo.com/663434221/cc2be85c42

Check out Ruth on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ruthbenghiat?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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