Let’s Get Civical Is The Podcast That’s Equal Parts Civics Class and Comedy Show
I bet you think you’re pretty well educated about politics. You can probably name most of the Dems who’ve already announced they’re running in 2020 but can you explain what gerrymandering is? What about ‘cloture’? Or ‘quorum’? Politics is more than just the names on the ballot. It’s also the day to day procedures you don’t hear much about, let alone can easily define. You might have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to what party you’ll support but do you really know wtf they do when they’re deep inside this beast called ‘government’? Political strategist Arden Walentowski and comedian Lizzie Stewart have launched a new podcast, Let’s Get Civical, designed to explain just what happens after you cast your ballot.
In the 2016 U.S. election 55.7% of voters turned out. In comparison, countries like Belgium see a voter turnout of 87.21% or 82.61% in Sweden. As passionate as Americans feel about politics and politicians themselves, their emotions don’t translate to votes like they do in most of the civilized world. This frustrates Let’s Get Civical’s co host Arden Walentowski, “Our education system doesn’t do American citizens justice at all,” she says. “I have European friends that know everything about their government, they vote all the time, they participate a lot and I think it has to do with a culture that’s been incubated in their political structure. Americans haven’t had that benefit.” She adds, “If you went to a public school you probably weren’t taught anything about civics. We’re hoping that this podcast will help people.”
Let’s Get Civical is equal parts civics class and comedy show. Co-hosts Walentowski and Arden are openly to the left but their podcast is designed for more than just partisan spin. “We found ourselves, as progressives, railing against the D.C. machine and Trump. But, there’s only so much yelling you can do. You have to understand stuff and have a plan and be productive.” They want to make politics accessible and fun and not just vent about the current administration because, as Walentowski puts it, “It would just be cursing Trump out all the time, which is great to get out frustrations, but it’s not always super productive.”
One of their goals is to hold politicians accountable for their actions in office. “We want to have our hometown congresspeople on. Really get into the nitty gritty about what it is they do for their job. I think part of the reasons Americans say ‘We hate all politicians’ is because they just seem to fly in and fly out and they’re not always representative.” The hosts want to pull back the curtain on all politicians. From crafting legislation to fundraising, there are so many details the average voter just doesn’t know regardless of party affiliation. “We give people civics facts. Those shouldn’t be partisan.”
It’s hard not to acknowledge that this politically themed podcast is hosted by two women right after the success of female candidates in the midterms. “I love it,” says Walentowski. “ It’s a shame it took til 2018 to get to this many women in power. This has to be the turning point. This has to be the moment. We’re fifty percent of the population we should have fifty percent representation in all sectors of government.”
We have a President who is clearly more interested in slogans that will fit on a hat then in facts. If you know what MAGA stands for but not CBO, or FDA then you’re the reason the hosts of Let’s Get Civical are doing what they’re doing, because, as Walentowski says, “This is something that we are hoping creates some sanity within the chaos.”