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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Watch or listen here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

EPISODE # 254

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

Shermer and Gupta discuss:

  • growing up with a Democrat mother and a Republican father
  • why Republicans supported (and still support) Trump
  • what’s in store for our democracy in 2022 and 2024
  • the rise of polarized politics in association with political talk radio, TV, and social media
  • what it was like working on the Obama campaign from the inside
  • why political parties do not have the power to select candidates that we think they do
  • why freed felons should regain their right to vote after serving their time
  • private schools, zip-code public schools, charter schools, and education inequality
  • Joe Rogan, Whoopi Goldberg, and censorship
  • the moralization motivation behind cancel culture
  • Critical Race Theory and race relations in America.

Ravi Gupta is 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.

Gupta is the co-founder and chair of Second Chance Studios, a media company that exclusively employs the formerly incarcerated, and serves as the co-host of Majority 54, a political podcast about talking to friends and family with different political beliefs — a show that routinely ranks in the top 100 for Apple’s News podcasts. Previously, Ravi was the Founder and former CEO of RePublic Schools, a network of charter schools in the South. RePublic’s two flagship schools are the first and only two charter schools in Tennessee to rank in the top five percent of all public schools for growth and absolute performance. He also founded Reimagine Prep, Mississippi’s first charter school.

Ravi held a number of roles on Obama’s first campaign and first term, including as assistant to David Axelrod and Susan Rice. A native of Staten Island, he graduated from Yale Law School and Binghamton University. He’s the recipient of numerous awards, including the Truman Scholarship, Binghamton’s University Medal (the school’s highest honor), Forbes 30 Under 30, and Crain’s NYC 40 Under 40.

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This episode is sponsored by The Lost Debate:

The Lost Debate (sponsor)

This episode was released on March 15, 2022.

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