The Good Fight, with Ben Wikler








July 2017
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For two long decades, gun safety reform was a nonstarter. And then came the Newtown massacre. Outrage swept the country. Politicians vowed to act. And in Zionsville, Indiana, a stay-at-home mother of five logged on to Facebook and created a page that would become the epicenter of a new movement of moms to demand action and save lives. 

That mom, Shannon Watts, was a political neophyte, but her communications expertise—honed in her past career as a PR pro—made her an instant force to be reckoned with. Within a year, she and her network became the grassroots partner of Michael Bloomberg's campaign to stem the tide of gun violence in America. And this week, Bloomberg and Watts announced a new organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, and a $50 million plan to hold anti-safety politicians accountable in this year's elections... with far greater investments possible down the line. 


Today on The Good Fight, Shannon shares her story, her strategy, and the reasons why change is possible in a country where tens of thousands die from gunshots every year.

Direct download: 1920Meet20Bloomberg27s20supermom20secret20weapon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT

Everyone working at the border crossing knew that it was happening: brutal violence and abuses by border patrol agents. Sometimes even lethally. But the U.S. Customs and Border Protection wasn't talking, and politicians seemed more concerned with increasing its size and military power than in holding it accountable. 
Enter John Carlos Frey, muckraker. 
An investigative reporter of the old school, he got a tip about a secret videotape of a killing, in which a dozen border patrol agents brutally beat a hogtied migrant. Where thousands of reported abuses hadn't made a dent in official policy, maybe this video could spark a change. And so the dogged hunt began, leading to an expose that would trigger Congressional outrage, a buried investigation, and finally an official shift that could pave the way to lifesaving changes. On today's Good Fight, we examine the power of an image to awaken a nation to an outrage—and look at the dark side of the political drive to "secure the border." 
Featuring John Carlos Frey, activist Hannah Hafter, and a Win Report with Garlin Gilchrist II of
Direct download: 18_The_muckraker_and_the_border_patrol.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm EDT

Big Oil. Bankers. Global mega-corporations. Those are the powerful. But sometimes, the powerless win too—and this episode is about one of those times. It's the story of the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights in New York, and the surging movement across the country of nannies, home health aides, and other domestic workers who are fighting for the rights and dignity that every worker deserves. 

If you think taking care of kids all day isn't work, that's probably because you haven't done it. But for decades, even the most basic labor laws haven't protected the millions of Americans whose job involves taking care of others in their homes. 

Our guests are at the vanguard of closing that ludicrious loophole. Ai-Jen Poo, head of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Barbara Young, longtime nanny turned NDWA organizer, tell us how the movement began, what it took to win the first statewide law in America—and how their vision now extends not just to protecting domestic workers across the country, but to ensuring that every family can access the support and care their loved ones need. 

All that, plus a Win Report that you won't want to miss.

Direct download: 17_The_nanny_uprising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

An all-Win Report episode! The latest victories and defeats—plus a special Winportunity report from MSNBC's Irin Carmon, who just watched the Supreme Court argue over whether corporations can have religions... and if so, whether corporations like Hobby Lobby can refuse to cover birth control prescriptions for their employees. 
In the Win Report proper, we cover Georgia's crazy new gun law, a ban on plastic bottles that will bring a smile to the heart of every bottle-nosed dolphin in the Pacific, and a bevy of other fights from across the country. Tune in, spread the word, email us at, and learn more here:
Direct download: 16_Guns_in_libraries_Hobby_Lobby_birth_control_happy_dolphins.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

For 5 million unlucky Americans, health care reform currently means... zilch. But as Ron Pollack, the country's leading health care advocate, explains on this episode, this is a fight we're going to win. And as you'll realize as he tells amazing stories about the battles he's helped win in decades past (you'll find out how Nixon was essentially hoodwinked into launching the national Food Stamp program), Ron's a guy you should listen to.  

Plus:'s Anna Galland tells us why Bobby Jindal's administration in Louisiana is suing for telling the truth; a real-life emotional moment at Good Fight headquarters; an epic Win Report... and a listener contest you'll definitely want to enter. |

Direct download: 15_The_dumb_reason_5_million_are_uninsured.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:23pm EDT

In Uganda, under the new anti-gay law, you—you reading this now—would almost certainly be a criminal. Know gay people, but don't report them? Prison. "Promote homosexuality" by posting on Facebook or Twitter about gay rights, or doing an interview for a podcast? Prison. Gay yourself? Life sentence. 

But Frank Mugisha, an openly gay activist for equality, isn't leaving. And his allies, in Uganda and around the world, aren't giving up either. 

In this episode, through interviews with Frank and with Andre Banks, who runs the global advocacy group All Out, we tell the story of the fight against Uganda's insanely harsh new law—a law whose origins are uncomfortably close to home.  

Learn more at

Direct download: 14_This_interview_is_illegal_in_Uganda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

A year ago, President Obama did something jaw-dropping, and not in a good way: He proposed, in his budget, cuts to Social Security benefits. This year, though? The cuts were gone. To understand why he made the proposal, and why he reversed course, you have to understand a much bigger battle. The debt ceiling, the rolling fiscal crises, the doomed Grand Bargain—they're all actually one story, and to understand the Social Security showdown is to see how they fit together. In this episode, we take you behind the scenes of the progressive flank in that fight, and celebrate a win years in the making. 

More info:

Direct download: 13_Social_Security_cuts_DOA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

The Iran sanctions bill was the kind of measure that usually passes Congress unanimously. And, as always, dozens of Senators signed on right away—even though the law would've destroyed the most promising US-Iran peace negotiations in a generation, and put us on a road to war. 

But then, suddenly, the bill collapsed. 

What happened? On this episode of The Good Fight, we take you behind the scenes of the rapid-response, highly strategic progressive mobilization that pulled Democratic Senators away, at the last second, from an incredibly dangerous vote. It's the story of a movement that learned a key lesson from Iraq in 2003: the best way to stop a needless war is before it begins. And it's the win that keeps hope alive for the agreement that the US, Iran, and other countries are negotiating even now, a deal that could offer a transformative breakthrough for peace after decades of hostility. 

All that, plus the Win Report... and an encounter with an overenthusiastic vacuum cleaner. Find links to sources, music credits, and more at

Direct download: 12_War_with_Iran_canceled_until_further_notice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

The story of Utah's same-sex marriage movement starts with chutzpah and ends with a ridiculously, touchingly exuberant series of victory celebrations. You might get halfway through before you mist up, but don't count on it. Telling the story are Mark Lawrence, the man behind the lawsuit that struck down Utah's vicious anti-equality constitutional amendment, and his friend Troy Williams, an activist who more than earns his unofficial title as "the gay mayor of Salt Lake City." Plus, a delightful non-war with Iran and a win-tastic Win Report guest-hosted by the New Organizing Institute's Bridget Todd.

Episode notes and email signup:

Direct download: 11_Gay_marriage_in_Utah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

When Heather McGhee's new job was announced, Elizabeth Warren called her "a champion," the head of the AFL-CIO said he was "thrilled," and Chris Hayes hailed her as "hands down one of the most impressive, ferociously intelligent, committed, passionate people I've had the great fortune to meet in progressive politics." 

She's 33. She recently helped pass a law that saves consumers $20 billion a year. And she was just chosen to become the president of one of America's leading think tanks. 

In this interview, a special mini episode of The Good Fight, you'll meet Heather McGhee, one of the first of the millennial generation to lead a major political institution and one of America's foremost voices on inequality, money in politics, and the path to reform. You'll hear her story, you'll learn about your country, and you might just shed a little cynicism along the way.

Show notes and email signup:

Direct download: 10_More_leaders_like_this_please.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT