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EPISODE # 254

Ravi Gupta on the Lost Debate: Whatever Happened to Reasoned Discussion and Respectable Disagreement?

Shermer speaks with Ravi Gupta, the Founder and CEO of Lost Debate, a new non-profit media company that launched in October 2021 to fight polarization and misinformation online. The company has seed funding of over $7 million dollars, with the largest investment coming from Netflix founder Reed Hastings. Before launching Lost Debate, Ravi founded Arena, where he led a team that helped elect over a hundred candidates and launched the largest campaign staffer training academy in the history of the Democratic Party — an effort that’s trained over 2500 political operatives over the past three years. He was a critical leader in Democrats’ efforts to retake the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 and numerous state houses, including the New York State Senate and Virginia House of Delegates.

Shermer and Gupta discuss: growing up with a Democrat mother and a Republican father; the rise of polarized politics in association with political talk radio, TV, and social media; why Republicans supported (and still support) Trump; what’s in store for our democracy in 2022 and 2024; what it was like working on the Obama campaign from the inside; why freed felons should regain their right to vote after serving their time; education inequality; Joe Rogan, Whoopi Goldberg, and censorship; the moralization motivation behind cancel culture; Critical Race Theory and race relations in America.

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