Democracy Works: A 2020 Preview

Jan 13, 2020

This week, we begin a new year and a new season with a look ahead what 2020 will mean for democracy in the United States and around the world. We know that there will be a Census and an election, but will they be carried out in a democratic way? The escalating conflict with Iran is another unknown, but one that will no doubt have ramifications for democracy in the U.S. and abroad.

We also look at how political polarization has changed since 2016 and the implications of that change on just about every aspect of our lives. From impeachment to Iran, we see that Americans are more divided than ever. It's unclear what that will mean as tensions with Iran escalate.

Underlying some of this polarization is our media environment. Little about the way Americans consume news on social platforms has changed since 2016. Disinformation and fake news are already starting to spread in advance of the 2020 election.

Note: You'll hear some discussion in this episode about Facebook and deepfake videos. After we recorded, Facebook announced that it would begin taking steps to remove videos that have been manipulated using artificial intelligence, making exceptions for satire, parody, and videos that have been edited solely to omit or change the order of words.