The Fight to Define Extremism

Two things are true: Bothsidesism can flatten the realities of political extremism in this country. And many voters really do see the Democratic and Republican parties as equally extreme at this moment.

The parties know this. And they’re fighting to convince voters that it’s the other side that’s gone too far. That Republicans are the party of Donald Trump, election denial, Jan. 6 and six-week abortion bans. That Democrats are the party of woke-ism and the Squad.

Today, we talk to two congressmen who have publicly clashed on this question — Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat, and Byron Donalds, a Republican — and press them on the roles they play in the fight.

The Fight to Define Extremism  at george magazine
Photo Illustration by The New York Times; Photos: Alex Brandon/Associated Press, Kenny Holston/The New York Times

First launched in August 2016, three months before the election of Donald Trump, “The Run-Up” is The New York Times’s flagship political podcast. The host, Astead W. Herndon, grapples with the big ideas already animating the 2024 presidential election. Because it’s always about more than who wins and loses. And the next election has already started.

Last season, “The Run-Up” focused on grass-roots voters and shifting attitudes among the bases of both political parties. This season, we go inside the party establishment.

New episodes on Thursdays.

“The Run-Up” is hosted by Astead W. Herndon and produced by Elisa Gutierrez, Caitlin O’Keefe and Anna Foley. The show is edited by Frannie Carr Toth and Lisa Tobin. Engineering by Corey Schreppel and original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano and Elisheba Ittoop. Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.

Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Sam Dolnick, Larissa Anderson, David Halbfinger, Renan Borelli, Mahima Chablani, Desiree Ibekwe, Jeffrey Miranda, Sophia Lanman and Maddy Masiello.

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