Whether you’re new to the political conversation or have been on the trail for years, these podcasts are a godsend in our Trumped-up America. Sit down and tune in for conversations on politics and social issues with domestic and global scope.
1. Pod Save America
Former Obama staffers and founders of Crooked Media Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovett, and Dan Pfeiffer sit down for no-nonsense discussions on everything Trump and beyond. Joined by guest politicians, journalists, and activists, the conversations will keep you in the know and restore you after the latest from Trump’s White House. These conversations are impassioned and informed—you’ll want to join along.
2. Pod Save the People
Activist DeRay Mckesson delivers weekly conversations on social and political movements and their historical contexts. He is joined in conversation by activists and politicians and offers a vision of how we might act to dismantle systemic inequality, big and small.
3. With Friends Like These
Ana Marie Cox brings unlikely voices from across the political spectrum into conversation on myriad social divisions. What follows is funny and frank and, while lighter on politics than other podcasts on this list, offers an uplifting solution to our fractured communities.
4. Lovett or Leave It
Jon Lovett of Pod Save America hosts a solo-show of lighter pop-politics with a rotating panel of comedians and politicians. The conversation is serious and fun, punctuated by games like “What f*cking year is it?!?” and a spin of the Rant Wheel™.
5. The Axe Files
David Axelrod, the Obama administration’s chief strategist, interviews current political actors. His extensive knowledge of the political playing field makes for great interviews and a perspective of non-insanity that so defined all administrations before Trump’s.
6. Call Your Girlfriend
A long-distance discussion on politics and pop culture between best girlfriends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, Call Your Girlfriend offers a personal, feminist reading of the week’s news. The “podcast for long-distance besties everywhere” is a refreshing, challenging, and affirming way to end your week.
7. Slate’s Trumpcast
If you find yourself searching daily for explanations of Trump—of his rise to power, of his cabinet, of the routine horrors of his administration—you are not alone. Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, Jamelle Bouie, Virginia Heffernan, and Josh King speak with experts from all fields to make sense of everything. The conversations that follow are a much-needed response to the madness.
8. The Daily
If you’re too busy for the hour-long dissections of today’s news, Michael Barbaro of the New York Times gives you the long-story-short in just 20 minutes of news and analysis. His discussions are an easy way to start your day off informed and engaged.
9. Left, Right, and Center
KCRW’s hour-long radio show is now available as a weekly podcast, offering a roundtable discussion of politics from Josh Barro, Rich Lowry, and Katrina vanden Heuvel. Voices from the political left and the political right are moderated from the center, given time to both debate and rant. It’s insightful and balanced, and worth a listen for the perspective it offers.
10. This American Life’s Political Reporting Series
Ira Glass digs deep and traces the roots of Trump’s election—from the Breitbart News cell to divisive local politics. It’s a careful collection of the moments leading up to Trump, of the international scope of his ascendance, and of life in the fog of his influence. The podcast presents the current political reality with stories from across the country, a narrative of a vast and complicated moment.
Stats savant Nate Silver sits down with a panel to analyze the week’s news and various trends in the politics. Silver explores everything from gerrymandering to filibusters in terms of impact and efficacy. Though Silver’s award-winning statistics think tank predicted the wrong outcome to 2016’s presidential election, his podcast is a reminder of the relevance of historical and statistical context.