Part of a Series

The Washington Post education writer Laura Meckler joins the show to discuss her new book, Dream Town; the impact of racial integration in Shaker Heights, Ohio, schools; and the challenges facing the education system nationwide. Colin and Erin also talk about newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and the mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine.


Colin Seeberger: Hey y’all. Welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Colin Seeberger. I’m here with lead producer Erin Phillips, who’s filling in for my co-host, Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Erin Phillips: Hey, Colin. I’m hoping Daniella feels better soon, but I’m happy to be here on Halloween week, one of my favorite times of the year, very spooky.

Seeberger: We celebrate Halloween in a big way here at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. We hold a big celebration all throughout the building. So, look forward to seeing what my colleagues have up their sleeves. But it’s always quite a sight to see and people go all out. It’s a ton of fun.

Phillips: Well, I can’t wait to hear more about your Halloween that you had this week. But first, I heard you had an exciting interview as well this week.

Seeberger: I did. I sat down live in the studio with Washington Post education reporter Laura Meckler to talk about her new book, Dream Town, and how to address racial inequities in our education system.

Phillips: Sounds like a really important subject to cover, especially as the school year is well underway and we’re seeing recurring attacks on education from MAGA extremists. But before we get to that, we’ve got to get to some news. Speaking of extremists, the House has finally picked a speaker.

Seeberger: Oh boy, did they ever.

Phillips: Last week, House Republicans elected [Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA), a far-right MAGA extremist, to run the House of Representatives. You may not have heard of MAGA Mike Johnson before, but he’s effectively a replica of [Rep.] Jim Jordan (R-OH) and [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). He has been on the wrong side of history and the issues time and time again: He architected a budget plan that would gut Americans’ health and financial security by slashing Medicare and Social Security by trillions of dollars; he spearheaded efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election; he’s worked to purge LGBTQI+ people from public society, including criminalizing same-sex relationships; and he’s voted with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene 95 percent of the time.

Seeberger: That’s not great.

Phillips: While the American people will surely learn more about his history as we go along, Speaker Johnson isn’t quite making a great first impression. In his first move as speaker, MAGA Mike responded to President Biden’s call to provide additional security assistance to Israel by laying out a plan this week that would hold that funding hostage unless the plan was paid for by defunding the IRS. Let’s not forget the IRS is a critical agency that uses funding like this to go after not only wealthy tax cheats who refuse to pay their fair share but also terrorist organizations. In fact, in 2020, the IRS specifically shut down a cryptocurrency scheme that was funneling money directly to Hamas. And there’s critical aid that our other allies like Ukraine and Taiwan also desperately need. MAGA Mike and his far-right caucus don’t care about our allies or stopping terrorism. They’re using an international crisis to further enrich the ultrawealthy. He is already showing his true colors as a power-hungry opportunist, not a serious leader we need in serious times.

Seeberger: Erin, I hope for the love of God that everyone can find someone to love them like House Republicans love helping ultrawealthy tax cheats. My gosh, they have never met a tax cut for rich people they haven’t liked.

Phillips: It’s true.

Seeberger: It’s pretty crazy. And while we may have a speaker of the House now, we’re still hurtling toward a potential government shutdown. Keep in mind that weeks ago, MAGA Mike refused to vote for a continuing resolution that would keep the lights on in Washington—he effectively voted to shut down the government. And like his predecessor, [Rep.] Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), he had to make dangerous promises to the most extreme members of his caucus in order to get elected. Those members stated plainly, they want to impeach President Biden regardless of the fact that they have no evidence of wrongdoing [and] defund the Department of Justice and special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into former President Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents and his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. They want to end all defense funding to Ukraine, a country fighting for its very existence against Russia. They want to ban health care for transgender youth. And of course, they want to make devastating cuts to programs the American people depend on, things like funding for public schools, child care, the administration of Social Security—the list goes on and on. Johnson’s already indicated he’s actually planning to bring up these radical cuts for a vote in a matter of days.

This a little complicated, but there are some reports suggesting that MAGA Mike and House Republicans may push for a short-term continuing resolution into early next year in order to maximize their leverage on how to fund the government. In the absence of a broader government funding agreement, what MAGA Republicans are doing could actually cause broad, across-the-board spending cuts to the programs Americans rely on that go beyond the deal they themselves agreed to earlier this year. They’re trying to do this to force Democrats to agree to their extreme, far-right spending plans and spin them off, as, quote unquote, “modest.” And they’re hoping the media falls for their game. We’ll be watching this closely in the weeks ahead, and we’ll definitely keep you updated.

Phillips: We sure will, Colin. And now, we unfortunately need to turn to another issue on which far-right Republicans flout the will of the American people, and that’s gun violence. By now, I’m sure you all have heard what happened last week in Lewiston, Maine: A gunman armed with an assault-style rifle killed 18 people at a bowling alley and restaurant and injured 13 others. The victims included Aaron Young, a 14-year-old honor roll student who was killed with his dad, along with Joshua Seal, a sign language interpreter and beloved member of the local deaf community, and many others. I am so sick and tired of having to offer thoughts and prayers to another community ravaged by senseless gun violence. Only in America do we have to worry that a trip to the movie theater, the grocery store, the bowling alley, or even school will be our last because of a mass shooting. And we know exactly why these things happen: because the far right has made sure that Americans have easy access to guns no matter what. The state of Maine has repeatedly blocked commonsense gun measures, even ones Americans overwhelmingly support, like expanded background checks and extreme risk protection orders.

Seeberger: You’re totally right, Erin. You’ll often hear far-right politicians gaslight voters by saying, “Oh, you’ll never be able to prevent these kinds of tragedies from occurring.” But a new study this week shows stricter gun laws passed by 40 states—this is from 1991 to 2016—actually reduced gun deaths by nearly 4,300 people in 2016, or about 10 percent of the nationwide total. And states with stricter gun laws such as background checks and waiting periods consistently had fewer gun deaths.

And that’s something that we’re seeing play out in this story as well. In this case, it’s becoming more and more apparent that red flag laws could have actually prevented the shooter in Lewiston from having access to guns. Five months ago, his family warned the local sheriff that they were concerned about his deteriorating mental health and access to firearms; he had been rejected months before by a firearms store where he attempted to purchase a silencer, and he had a history of making shooting threats online. I mean, come on. If you need a perfect case study, this is it. And yet he was able to legally acquire an assault rifle—a weapon of war.

It’s no wonder that Americans overwhelmingly support commonsense gun safety measures like red flag laws, as well as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In the aftermath of the shooting, Congressman Jared Golden (D-ME)—who represents Lewiston and has previously opposed an assault weapons ban—he changed his tune. He actually called on Congress to ban assault weapons now, and he apologized for his previous vote. It was a stunning change of heart, and I just really want to commend him for his call. It should not take the loss of innocent lives to convince lawmakers to implement policies that Americans want and that will keep us safe. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that was signed into law last year was the first major gun safety legislation in 30 years. It was a great start, but it was just a start. We’ve seen countless deadly mass shootings this year, including several more that happened over the Halloween weekend in places like Tampa, Indianapolis, and elsewhere. It’s why we need our lawmakers to face this problem head on, step up, do what the evidence shows, enact commonsense gun safety measures. And let’s get this done.

Phillips: Let’s get this done, Colin, for sure. Well, that is all the time we have for today. If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod, that’s @TheTentPod.

Seeberger: And stick around for my conversation with Laura Meckler in just a beat.

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Seeberger: Laura Meckler is a national education writer for The Washington Post. She previously reported on the White House, presidential politics, immigration, and health care for The Wall Street Journal. Before that, she was a reporter for the Associated Press and covered state government in Columbus, Ohio. Her new book, Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity, explores the decadeslong pursuit of racial integration in the school system of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Laura, thanks so much for joining us in the studio. It’s great to have you on “The Tent.”

Laura Meckler: It’s so great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Seeberger: I want to start off big picture. Can you tell us about your book, Dream Town? Why did you decide to write it and what is it all about?

Meckler: Sure. Actually, it wasn’t originally a book at all. It was just a story for the newspaper. I was working at The Wall Street Journal at the time. And I was covering a beat on demographics. So, I was thinking about race in America and what I wanted to look at, and I began thinking about my hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is a suburb—inner-ring suburb—of Cleveland, with a very long and interesting history of racial integration. And I grew up understanding that, appreciating that, being proud of that. And yet there was also a yawning academic achievement gap, which I was always sort of vaguely aware of, but then I started looking at more. And I thought, well, maybe there’s a story here about this tension between these two things, this long-term commitment on the part of the community, and yet still, this struggling and yawning gaps. And so that ultimately evolved into a story that I wrote once I moved to The Washington Post, where I cover national education now. And after the story was done—often with a big project you’re kind of ready to move on—in this case, I felt like I had just really scratched the surface. And there was really so much more I wanted to say, and a few people suggested to me that it could be a book, and I thought about it and realized that even though I had never really sought to write a book before, it was not one of my aspirations, that I really did want to turn this into a book. And that’s what happened.

Seeberger: Congratulations.

Meckler: Thank you.

Seeberger: Well, you describe in your book how Shaker Heights became basically a well-known model for racial integration and equity in school systems. Can you talk about the path to getting there? How did that happen? What were some of the steps that helped them to get there? And also, what were some of the roadblocks and challenges?

Meckler: Sure. So, the book actually starts in the beginning of the 20th century. And I started there because I think it’s important to understand what this revolution really was all about. It was founded not as anything dealing with racial integration or equity. In fact, quite the opposite. It was an elite suburb for wealthy Clevelanders—wealthy white Clevelanders—who were leaving the city and looking for the best of the best. And it was beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets and just the prototypical garden suburb. So that’s how it went for the first few decades. But then in the 1950s when the first Black family successfully moved into the community, what started to happen initially was the story of so much of America, which was integration followed by white flight, and eventually resegregation.

But there were people who were living in this neighborhood called Ludlow that decided that they wanted something different. So, this is in the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s where they said, “We don’t actually want to move.” These white families were saying, “We don’t have any interest, we want to stay in this community.” And there was enormous pressure on them from the real estate industry, from the banking industry, all of the systems pushing people toward segregation. And this group of white and Black families living in Ludlow started out with just some conversations with each other and moved to the radical act of a barbecue, where they got to know each other, then block clubs and ultimately a community association with a very innovative housing program, which really was set up to try to counter these forces of resegregation by basically recruiting white people to stay and to come and buy in Ludlow. They had their own housing program. They advertised the community. They showed houses themselves to prospective buyers. They even had a financing arm. So it was an enormous recreation of all the systems but in this different direction. So this was this remarkable housing program that sort of set Shaker on this course—initially just in this one neighborhood. It’s fair to say that the rest of Shaker, as one writer put it, integration was more of a “cocktail party conversation.” It wasn’t really affecting most people. But eventually Black families started moving into other neighborhoods as well. And those neighborhoods replicated this model. And then ultimately, the city itself took this on, this housing work on.

So first it happened in housing, and then it happened in schools. And that story really begins in the late ‘60s when there was a superintendent named Jack Lawson. He was looking around and saw that one of the elementary schools was predominantly Black and many of the others were mostly or completely white. And now we’re 15 years-plus past Brown v. Board [of Education], and [there is] a lot of information out there about how segregated schools are not good for kids. And he led the community to adopt a voluntary school busing plan at a time when most communities were either fighting court orders, resisting tension. In this case—now, it wasn’t that everyone was on board from the start, but ultimately, this was created absent a court order; in fact, they couldn’t find even really any threat of a court order—and a voluntary program where both white and Black families volunteered their own kids to be part of the busing plan. So, and then that ultimately evolved into a redrawing of boundaries so that all of the elementary schools and the junior highs were racially balanced. So, that is sort of the history of how we got to the place where we had this national reputation, first in housing and then in schools, for really progressive integration policies.

Seeberger: That’s so interesting. Can you talk a little bit about what you think can be learned from Shaker Heights’ experience that is worth applying to our education system more broadly to tackle some of these structural challenges, particularly in regards to racial equity?

Meckler: Well, I think before we talk about how to address these challenges, I think we need to talk about the next part of the Shaker story, which was this yawning achievement gap. So, despite all of this progressive work towards integration, there was still segregation within the schools. There was still leveling. The advanced classes were dominated by white students, and the regular and lower-level classes were disproportionately filled with Black students. And no matter how you measured it—test scores, grades, class placement—there were these gaps. And that’s true to this day. So there are both racial diversity in the community and also a lot of economic diversity in the community. In fact, it’s grown more economically diverse. And what I mean by that is that there are more people at the bottom of the economic ladder, people living in poverty, who live in Shaker Heights. And it’s heavily racialized. So the Black community is a lot less wealthy than the white community in Shaker. So you have both this economic and racial diversity, and all the issues that, when you have kids who don’t have the same advantages, bring into the school, it’s the same in Shaker as it is anywhere else. So that’s the challenge. This is a well-resourced school district. This is not a place where everybody is challenged. This is a place with a mix. So how do you find a way to sort of bring everybody up?

So what are some of the answers? I mean, there have been a lot of programs that have been tried and have had success, even if they haven’t necessarily solved the problem. They have free tutoring. Teachers are available for conferences regularly during the course of the week. They have a student group on race relations which goes—high school kids who go in and talk to elementary school kids and middle schoolers about race. And in fact, probably just as important, if not more importantly, talk to each other about race. And they really lead conversations in the community. There’s a program called MAC scholars, that stands for Minority Achievement Committee, and it is essentially a positive role model club for Black male and a separate one for Black female students to model and encourage and reward academic achievement. So there’s a lot of different things that are going on. And, most radically, most sweepingly, I guess we should say, is that a few years ago, they embarked on detracking, which is collapsing the levels and having mixed-ability classes for much of the district. At the high end in the high school, the AP classes, International Baccalaureate classes, are still separate. But below that, the classes have been combined. So there’s been a lot of different things they have tried and they’re still trying.

In terms of the lessons and what people can take away, I’m not here to prescribe what people should be doing. But I do think that there are certainly some structural things that we can learn from this story. And that includes, number one, that this requires deep commitment and over a long period of time. This is not like a 30-day juice cleanse situation where you do it and, “Ah, success!” I don’t know actually that the juice cleanses work either. But it isn’t like that. These are difficult problems, and they require an enormous commitment on the part of everybody. So that’s one thing. It also requires extraordinary communication with the community to make sure that the involved parents understand what’s going on and that they’re on board and also reaching out to parents who are less comfortable getting involved and to feel less at home at a PTA or PTO meeting, who aren’t the people who are going to show up at the principal’s office and make a demand for their kids. That kind of communication with those families is really, really important too. One of the themes that courses through my book is this idea of belonging, this idea that that’s such a key factor, I think, in success for families and for students to create an environment where people feel like this is their space. And because, if you think about, why does it matter if a parent shows up at a PTO meeting? Like, okay, someone’s going to do the carnival. They’re going to raise whatever money they’re going to raise, and what’s the big deal? Well, it is a big deal, because those are the informal networks. Those are the places where you learn, “Hey, did you know this new class is being offered? I bet you can get your kid into that”; “Oh, you want to avoid that teacher, they’re really not very good”; or, “Oh, this is the person to go see if you have a problem.” You learn this kind of informal information when you’re connected.

Seeberger: Word of mouth.

Meckler: So, if you’re not there, then you’re missing those kinds of things. That’s just one example. And there are a lot of Black parents who don’t feel like that’s their space. I went to this one PTO meeting for an elementary school—this is when I was reporting early, several years ago—and it was this really cool presentation about the International Baccalaureate program and about a new way to think and a new way to consider complex problems. And I remember, I was sitting there thinking this is so cool. Like, I would love for my kids to be in a program like this. And you looked around, and there were virtually no Black parents there. And they weren’t learning about this. So, it’s just a small thing that illustrates the larger issue.

Seeberger: Yeah, I remember, I think I actually read one of your stories over the course of the past year. And I believe when some of these changes were actually going into effect, some of that was actually being implemented, I think, during the pandemic. And that was obviously a period of tremendous change for students broadly, and for parents. And I think [it] just kind of underscored the big takeaway that you were talking about, about the need for effective communication, really just being so fundamental to the leadership of the school districts, the principals, the teachers themselves. So definitely a lot of interesting takeaways from this experience.

Meckler: Well, just to follow up on that really briefly, they did do this during the pandemic, in the fall of 2020, which I think was a very difficult time because teachers and students, everyone was already under so much stress.

Seeberger: On edge, yeah.

Meckler: On the other hand, the reason, perhaps, that they did it then—and the reason some people think it was a good time to do this detracking—was because politically, it was much easier to do. As a white parent who supports it told me, there would be no opportunity for the white people to come and stop it before it ever started. So now, I think that’s a questionable way to approach it. I think that a healthier system is one where you go and you make the case, and you get people to buy in, rather than doing it sort of under the cover of night and hope it sticks. But in any case, that’s what happened.

Seeberger: Well, Shaker Heights seems to be moving forward on a host of new ideas and experimenting in a lot of different ways about how we can achieve a more equitable school system. Unfortunately we see, in so many other areas across the country, there’s really a backsliding going on, with bans on certain types of curriculum, books, and even talking about certain identities in the classroom. What impact do you think that these kinds of attacks have on students? And in particular, students of color?

Meckler: Yeah, I mean, for students of color, some students have found this to be very, very difficult. When you’re in a situation—I mean, I think it’s kind of an obvious answer—if you’re in a place where teaching about race is being limited, where you feel like books that speak to you are being pulled from the library, I think that that can be really difficult for families of color and students of color. I mean, I don’t think there’s a lot of mystery there.

Seeberger: And for teachers too.

Meckler: Yeah, there are a lot of teachers who are upset about what’s going on in those states, for sure. Of course, I’m sure there are teachers who support it as well, but we definitely have heard from many teachers who do not.

Seeberger: So, we’ve been hearing from some politicians advancing these bans [who] frame their campaigns as “for parents’ rights.” Sure, it’s a catchy slogan, but can you talk about this approach and whether it actually does anything to actually empower families?

Meckler: Well it depends, I guess, on which families we’re talking about. It certainly empowers some families. There are certainly conservatives who are very upset about things that are happening in schools where they feel that the racial equity agenda or the effort to make trans students feel more comfortable in school, they’re offended by that. So, for them, this is very empowering. Now, for other parents—the problem with the parents’ rights slogan is sort of like, “which parents?”—there are a lot of parents out there, and there’s a wide diversity of opinions among them. So, I think it’s pretty hard for any one agenda to be properly claiming, quote unquote, “parents.” But there are other parents, of course, who are very unsettled and upset about this. So, it’s just like any other part of our polarized political debate, and it’s now just playing out through the lens of schools.

Seeberger: In the classroom, yeah. Well, we like to end these interviews on a positive note when we can. So, our education system is absolutely facing some acute challenges right now. We had the pandemic, obviously. We’ve got these various attacks that we talked about. But we’re also making real strides in local and national policy. What gives you hope in your day-to-day reporting about what’s working, and where there’s real promise to continue to improve?

Meckler: I think this is actually a really hard time for schools—I know you want me to end on an optimistic note here—but I think we actually are in a very difficult moment, to be honest. We didn’t really talk much about that, but the pandemic impacts are real. And it’s academic and social-emotional, and there’s evidence that kids are starting to make up some of the lost ground, but there’s still a ways to go. I do think that these debates that are pulling apart communities, that this will probably crest at some point, and then we will move into a period where activism moves to other fields. But for now, it’s still—especially if you’re living in a place like Florida where this stuff is red hot—it doesn’t really feel optimistic for you, especially if you are really upset about what’s happening there. So, that’s sad, and I don’t have some magic solution. There’s just all sorts of wonderful work being done around the country, people—dedicated teachers and principals, and parents and kids—who are working really hard to try to get what they need, and to get kids what they need. So I think that if you want to feel optimism, walk into a classroom and see what’s actually going on. See a teacher, especially a great teacher, who’s doing that day-in, day-out work. And I think you’ll feel better about it. I was at my kid’s elementary school yesterday, it was the Halloween parade, and the kids are walking by in their fantastic costumes and having fun, and it’s like a period of joy. And I think that we still have all of that, but I don’t want to be too Pollyanna-ish about it.

Seeberger: You don’t want to sugarcoat. Yeah, it is interesting, often I’ve seen this in polling that parents are asked how they feel about their own school, their own kid’s experience, and they’re much more optimistic about it versus what they view as broader systemic challenges in the education system.

Meckler: Well, for sure, that’s a long-standing poll result. In addition, I’ve seen some polling recently, when we see trust in public schools has dropped, it’s actually not parents, but other people in the community who don’t necessarily have kids in the schools but they have opinions, too, that their trust in public schools has dropped. But they’re not experiencing it directly with their own kids but they just have this broader political feeling about what’s going on. So I think that both of those findings point to, when you ask people who are in it about their experience, it’s more positive.

Seeberger: Well, we can’t go on forever, but certainly would just reflect that I think many of the efforts that we’re seeing from conservatives to amplify and fuel culture war challenges in schools are also, in some respects, many of the same people who are advocating for defunding public schools and sending, diverting those monies to private schools in the form of voucher systems that we have seen pop up in state after state after state over the course of the last few years. And [I] think that we can’t really talk about one of those conversations and not also talk about the motivation to divert money out of public schools and give it to students to go to private school—even though we know over 90 percent of kids go to public schools and not everybody is going to be able to go to a private school. So we have to have robust, effective, equitable public schools, and I think it’s definitely conversations that we have to watch both at the same time.

Meckler: Well, and to bring it back around, I would just add to that, there’s a lot of objection and conversation about racial equity work in schools. And some people think it’s great, some people think it’s horrible. But there isn’t as much conversation about what it looks like when you actually are engaged in that work. What does it look like when you try? And I think that that’s one of the things that this book does, is that it is a portrait of a place that is trying and is taking the stuff on. Now, some people will read that and say, “Yep, that’s what I thought it was and I don’t want that.” And other people might read it and say, “Huh, that’s not exactly what I was expecting.” And of course, others will say, “Yes, we need more of that.” So, I think though, that—and I’m a journalist, I’m not an advocate—but the point of this book—and this book is not a polemic by any means, it’s a narrative about one place—but I think what you get, what you take away from it is, OK, this is the inside story of a place that has been at it for a long time, and it’s not like it wholesales. Often, I think these stories are either presented as, “Hey, here’s the perfect example. This is our shining success story,” or, “Look, it all fails.” And this is not either one of those. It’s the messy middle, which is where I think most of us live most of our lives.

Seeberger: The struggle is how you find success too. So, Laura Meckler, thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.” It was great to speak with you. And our listeners, do feel free to check out Laura’s book Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity.

Meckler: Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

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Seeberger: Thanks so much for joining us. Please go back and check out previous episodes. Erin, it is Halloween week.

Phillips: It is one of my favorite times of the year, as previously mentioned.

Seeberger: I can’t say it’s my favorite holiday. But I actually just got back from Las Vegas, where I was taking a few days to unwind after last week’s big IDEAS Conference. And I was there on Halloween. And let me tell you, Vegas is always a show, it’s always a scene. It was something else with Halloween upon us. Folks were dressed in all sorts of crazy stuff. It was a riot.

Phillips: Now, I know you can’t give us details because you know what they say about Vegas.

Seeberger: Yes, it stays in Vegas.

Phillips: Right, so, you can’t give us any details. But I’m sure it was crazy.

Seeberger: It was very nuts. If you want to do Halloween a different way sometime, maybe check out Vegas for Halloween. And yeah, trick-or-treating is not quite a thing, I don’t think. But casino-hopping with the craziest costumes ever absolutely was.

Phillips: That’s its own kind of trick-or-treating. They’re just getting …

Seeberger: Exactly, they’re going for chips.

Phillips: Yeah, exactly.

Seeberger: There you go. There you go. Well, also while I was in Vegas, I may have spent some time in the sports book because it’s the World Series and my hometown team, the Texas Rangers, are in the series this year. They’re playing the Arizona Diamondbacks. And they have actually surged to a 3-1 lead as of this recording—this is Wednesday—and are set to play this evening and may end up actually clinching the World Series. So, we will have to stay tuned, and we’ll see what happens. Last night they just absolutely killed it. They got out to a huge 10-0, 10-1—I forget—lead, I think it was in the second or third inning, and just really took control of the game early on, which is huge for a number of different reasons: in terms of just their morale on both sides and being able to keep your pitching lineup optimized for future games. So it was a huge, huge win last night, and we’ll see what happens in game five.

Phillips: Well, I’m crossing my fingers for you. I have no allegiance to any of the teams in this World Series. I’m a New Englander by birth, as you know, so I’m a Red Sox girlie. And if they’re not playing, I’m not interested. So, I wish you all the best.

Seeberger: Thank you. Us Rangers fans are a little superstitious because the last time that we were in the World Series, we actually were up, it was 3-0 or 3-1, and ended up actually losing the series.

Phillips: What?

Seeberger: Yeah, it was a once-in-a-century kind of thing that happened. So, the ghosts of 2011 loom large for every Texas Rangers fan.

Phillips: It won’t happen again. It won’t happen again. Knock on wood.

Seeberger: Hopefully, it was once in a century and will not happen again. I think we got this if we can just keep it going. Well with that, that’s all the time we have this week. Tune in to the World Series, hopefully watch Texas win, and we’ll talk to you next week.

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“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Colin Seeberger, and co-hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer. Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Em Espey is our booking producer, and Sam Signorelli is our digital producer. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Sam Signorelli

Policy and Outreach Associate, Government Affairs

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations



Explore The Series

Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.


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