Dr. Cornel West’s decision to run for President has been embraced with enthusiasm by some on the left, and met with groans of disapproval by others. Disputes over the merits of Dr. West’s candidacy have often pivoted on the question of whether it is more effective for him to run as a third-party candidate or as a Democrat. In a recent piece for The Nation, Bhaskar Sunkara and D.D. Guttenplan make the case for why they believe Dr. West should operate within the Democratic Party. The Marc Steiner Show explores this question with these two authors.

D.D. Guttenplan is the editor-in-chief of The Nation.

Bhaskar Sunkara is the president of The Nation and the founding editor of Jacobin.

Studio / Post-Production: David Hebden


Marc Steiner:  Welcome to the Marc Steiner Show here on The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner. It’s great to have you all with us.

This election is upon us. There’s always a conundrum. Run as Democrats, or launch and support a third party in this election. And the left is in a conundrum. As I said, vote for a Democratic candidate, fight inside the Democratic primaries, or go green, or some other third party, or a mix of those things. Now our electoral system doesn’t allow third parties to gain much traction. But how to change that may be a discussion for another day.

We’ve seen Jesse Jackson and Bernie Sanders run for president inside the Democratic Party from the left, shook things up. We now have probably more progressive officials elected than we’ve had in a long, long time. But Biden and the Dems are really uninspiring. Both he and Trump have high unfavorables in the polls. And while the left does have some power inside the Democratic Party, the right, the racist right, one could even say, some would say the Neofascist right, has strategically built power and is fueling the Republican Party, winning legislative power in over 26 states and is a major force inside that party and across the nation.

So what to do? I’m not by nature a pessimist, but we do face a political dilemma. As we all know, the brilliant charismatic philosopher and political leader, Cornel West, who’s been on this show and on The Real News, has decided to run for president on the Green Party ticket. And here at The Real News and here on the Marc Steiner Show, we’ll be exploring what to do in this election in the coming months. And today we talk with D. D. Guttenplan, editor-in-chief at The Nation magazine, and Bhaskar Sunkara, who’s president of The Nation magazine and founding editor of Jacobin magazine. Both have written numerous books which you’ll find on our site and together they wrote an opinion piece in The Nation called, “Cornel West Should Run as a Democrat. If he wants to go beyond preaching to the converted, he needs to take his socialist politics into the Democratic primaries.” Don and Bhaskar, welcome. Good to have you both with us.

Don Guttenplan:  Good to be here.

Marc Steiner:  So this is a dilemma that has faced progressives on the left forever. In my entire life here as an activist, which has been a while now, longer than I want to remember, it has always been an issue. It’s been an issue since Dems ran as socialists, before that. And here we’re faced with this again. I want to begin with where we are at the moment and how the left, how the progressives, should even begin to approach this election. Because people really are in a conundrum and you hear it all over the place.

Don Guttenplan:  Where we are is we have a president who is a singularly uninspiring prospect for most Democratic voters, not just progressives. Polls say that a strong majority of Democrats would rather somebody else was running. And yet he’s who has been clever enough to show up all of his potential left opposition within the structure of the party; people like Bernie Sanders as surrogates and loyal endorsers. It’s pretty clear that Biden expects to walk to the nomination. It’s equally clear that he does not expect to make a serious case for himself before the general election. It’s also clear that he’s not a young man and he’s one fall on an airplane step or one medical mishap away from being in serious trouble. Kamala Harris is an even less inspiring prospect to most Democratic voters. She has no real base inside the party and not much of a base outside of the California power structure.

So one problem is, without any attention on the Democratic contest, all of the public attention and all of the press attention is focused on the Republicans. Which means that Trump and his challengers, no matter how much they lag him – And it’s an example of how desperate the press is for stories that they’re paying such attention to DeSantis who, as you know, this morning’s polls reveal is at least 40 points behind Trump – But nonetheless, you’ll still see lots of stories about the Republicans and how they differ and what their ideas are and you see no stories about the Democrats. So we’ve seated the stage, we’ve seated the spotlight, and we’ve settled on a candidate who does not particularly inspire, regardless of what you think about his record.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Yeah, Biden is not a very good president, in my opinion. He had a historic opportunity to make certain changes and it seemed early on that he was going to expand the welfare state. But it wasn’t going to be my version of expanding the welfare state; I would want a stronger industrial policy, a bigger role for the state. New deal-like reforms. But it was something, it was more like great society-like reforms in the sense that he was throwing money at real social problems, but he chose not to extend certain programs. He chose to use the end of the pandemic as a way to cut certain vital expansions of the welfare state that we had during the expansion. And all sorts of issues with Biden. 

But the way in which most ordinary Americans approach this election is they recognize the dilemma that we’re in. Because we’re not playing a fair game, we’re playing a rigged game. And this country’s political system is built around a two-party system that can’t be overcome through force of will alone. Marc said that men create their own history, but they don’t create it under conditions of their own choosing. They’re created from conditions that are far beyond them and this is the situation we’re in today.

So it’s a rational choice for the working class in the US to decide which force they would rather be in opposition to. And I personally, despite all my discontent with Biden and the Democratic Party, would much rather be in opposition to the Democratic Party than in opposition to the Republican Party, a far-right Republican Party. And if I thought that voting for Cornel West would solve this dilemma or that the Green Party getting 5% would eventually solve this dilemma in 8 or 12 years, then I certainly would be willing to do the short-term sacrifice now. But I don’t see the route of third-partyism and also, I don’t really see the point of Professor West’s campaign if he’s not even getting the platform in the media that would come from running in the Democratic Party. I don’t understand what the run is accomplishing.

Marc Steiner:  A bunch of questions that popped up from me in the article and this whole question, what we’re facing in this election. I want to pick on a theme in the article first and ask you both what you think Cornel West’s running inside the Democratic Party would do. We’ve seen the Jesse Jackson campaign that I, full disclosure, was part of back in the ’80s. You see Sander’s campaign and what they’ve done to change the political dynamic inside the Democratic Party. What would it mean for Cornel to run? How would it change things? Where would you think people would end up? What would it do differently than his running as a Green where he’ll be on the outside? And Bhaskar, let me let you start off.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  At the very least, Cornel West running as a Democrat, obviously this was a decision that should have been made months ago, would’ve continued the trend of it being clear that there’s a left opposition poll in the US that’s distinct from both corporate Democrats and also distinct from the Republican Party. At its best, that’s what Bernie Sanders did. That’s also what Jesse Jackson did. It said we’re this constituency, we’re distinct, we’re different, we’re organizing seriously against both the neoliberal center and the far right and we’re doing it in the Democratic Party primary.

What the exact results would’ve been, is less clear. I don’t think we would’ve had the same boost that we got in 2016, in 2020 from the Bernie Sanders campaigns because that was really an exceptional, extraordinary period where a candidate of, not just the left, but by American standards, the far left, seemed to be set to run a real challenge and had the potential to become President of the US.

But at the very least, it would’ve kept up that tradition, a very prominent critique of neoliberalism from the center. And for a lot of Americans that are dejected with the state of politics today that feel like they don’t have their concern represented by the mainstream American politics, would’ve been nice to hear that message. But a lot of the people who would vote for Cornel West in the Democratic primary, who would be more sympathetic to his message, are going to perhaps even vilify him because they’re really afraid, rationally so, of a return of Donald Trump or other ghouls like DeSantis.

Marc Steiner:  Don?

Don Guttenplan:  Well, you can’t say where it will end up. And I was there in ’84 and ’88, but I was also there in 2016, and nobody expected, least of all Bernie Sander’s campaign, to get the traction it had. So if Cornel West was running seriously as a Democrat, at the very least he could focus attention on Biden’s broken promises on student debt, on the environment, on really putting his chips on the table for voting rights. All the things that we thought Biden had promised to do that he didn’t do in 2020, West would have a national platform to focus on those.

But it’s also possible that there still exists a serious reservoir of what I would call left populous discontent in this country that Bernie gave representation within the Democratic Party, that Jesse conjured or assembled or convened but was not able to take to full fruition. And if Professor West tapped into that reservoir and things went well for him, he might end up in the White House. Somebody who’s serious about running for president should always consider the possibility that they might be president. It looks now like he doesn’t have to do that.

Marc Steiner:  In light of what we face today –  When Nader and LeDuc ran in 2000, and people can argue that their running helped put Bush in power, that’s a discussion many have had – And when you look at the campaigns we’ve also talked about, in terms of Jesse Jackson and Bernie Sanders, we find ourselves today in a different situation where the right has immense power in this country. They control at least 26 states in this country, as I said at the top of the hour. And the right now has considerable power inside the Republican Party. And is pushing it to the right.

The left doesn’t have, even symbolically, that power inside the Democratic Party or surrounding it. So when you look at the dilemma we face today and the real danger this country faces, even though DeSantis, he’s not going to be president, he’ll not get the nomination. At this point, it looks as if that’s going to be an impossibility. But that voice, that power, is really strong in this country. So what do you think that leaves the progressive end of America? Why is there such an attraction nationally on the progressive side, and how does that play out, do you think, inside or outside the Democratic Party?

Don Guttenplan:  Well, the stakes are higher this time. Disclosure, I voted for Nader in 2000 and I had lots of arguments with people who said, oh, you’ve flipped the election to Bush. Well, first of all, I voted it in Vermont, which was a safe state.

Marc Steiner:  Right, right.

Don Guttenplan:  We didn’t have a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court and he wasn’t making speeches that sounded like they were probably better than the original German. So on the one hand, the stakes are higher. On the other hand, you say the far right has purchased on the Republican Party, I would say yes, but not really, because of their ideology. They have purchased on the Republican Party because of Trump, because Trump’s captured the Republican Party and even his opponents are essentially imitators for the most part.

Now, if Cornel West captured the Democratic Party in the same way, then the Democratic platform and implementation would move a lot to the left. Even the threat of Cornel West capturing the Democratic Party, in other words, even an enthusiastic response to a West candidacy on the Democratic line, would force Biden to scramble for those votes and move his positions to the left. Now, will he keep those promises? Not if we don’t make him. But do we have a hope in hell of making them if we can’t assemble the left constituency identifiable in the Democratic Party? No.

Marc Steiner:  I’ll make a confession here, Bhaskar, on the way to you. I too, in 2000, voted for Nader and LeDuc and had them at the House. But in retrospect, sometimes I thought we might have made a mistake, but at least not in Maryland and not where you were in Vermont. But anyway, Bhaskar, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Yeah, I was 18 in 2008 and I voted green in 2008 for Cynthia McKinney.

Marc Steiner:  Right, right.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  And then I voted for Jill Stein twice. I voted for Howie Hawkins. So I’m in New York, I’m in a safe state. I felt comfortable making those votes. And we would separate here what moral acts we as individuals should do to signal our discontent and make ourselves feel better. Or to not have the stain of voting for a bad leader versus what strategic act the left as institutions, as movements, should make, to again, as I put it before, decide what force to be in opposition to.

So do I think that an organization like The Nation magazine or an organization like the Democratic Socialists of America should spend a lot of time boosting the run of Joe Biden as opposed to supporting down-ballot races and activities and so on? Probably not. But there is a distinction there between what we as individuals do partly in safe states and what our institutions should do. But regardless, we’re in a bind and we’re in a bind that’s been constructed in the US for decades and decades. Well over a century. There’s only been one successful third party in the history of the US. And that’s the Republican Party.

Marc Steiner:  That’s right, exactly.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  And since then, since the 1860s, since the election of the Republican Party, since the second Great American Revolution and emancipation, a lot of new barriers have been constructed. There were ballot access restrictions, the end of fusion voting, and all these structural barriers have been set up. And even the great populace of the 1890s couldn’t overcome them.

Of course, the efforts to change the Democratic Party from within have largely been failures too. We could point to brief moments, we point to the 1930s, and we could point to other efforts later where the Democratic Party has, for a moment at least, aligned with the interests of working-class Americans. But obviously, we need a long-term solution, a long-term movement to get out of this bind. And I  frankly, don’t think that independent, small, third-party runs are the way to do it. We need to create the left discernible forest inside and outside the Democratic Party and await our opportunity to create a Labor-backed Party or some other party that’s to the left.

So eventually, in my opinion, there will need to be a break from the Democratic Party. I don’t think you could will it into being with these races and if anything, third-party races that can be depicted as spoiler attempts might be steps backwards and not forwards to this ultimate goal.

Marc Steiner:  Well, as two people who cover this intensely and write about it a lot and where the left is going in this country, let’s talk for a moment. Because what you just said, Bhaskar, about how it gets done and where we go from here, I’ll give you a small story: In 1972 in the Democratic primary, I was organizing in a community in South Baltimore. A tenants union group and it was divided. There’s a big street called Charles Street, on one side was Sharp-Leadenhall, one of the oldest, free, Black neighborhoods in America. On the other side was South Baltimore, which was a mostly white working-class neighborhood at that time, before it was gentrified.

And we took up to take on the Wallace voters by organizing door to door, and actually turned two Wallace precincts into McGovern precincts. It was organizing. And I say that because I’m thinking about what Max Alvarez covers here at The Real News, which is the intensity of working-class organizing around the country inside unions. So the question is, how does that begin to happen? How do we make the political difference inside the Democratic Party where that ends up in a split, whatever that is? We can’t predict the future. But I want to see what both of you think should be happening now, that’s not happening, that could happen, that could change the nature of the political struggle in this country when it comes to electoral politics. A lightweight question, but go ahead, Bhaskar.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Yeah, some of this is happening, just not on the big enough scale.

Marc Steiner:  Yes.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  But the Democratic Socialists of America is an organization that when I joined it, back when I was 17 years old I joined DSA, it had 5,000 members. Most of them were over 60 years old. You heard a lot of great stories about the past. Yeah, you heard a lot about bickering, about, oh, so-and-so doesn’t like so-and-so because of a dinner party in 1982. But in general, this organization now has gone from 5,000 to peak, close to 90,000-100,000. Now it’s maybe down to around 70,000. There’s been some attrition but still, it’s a significant force in a lot of areas in the US. It’s not this marginal, fringe, sectarian thing. And a lot of the work that DSA chapters do is around tenant organizing. It’s around supporting local labor struggles. It’s around fighting against climate change at the state and local levels. And yes, it’s about supporting elected officials at every level. There are around 300 elected officials at every level in the US that are DSA members or are DSA endorsed.

Recently, the nation took part in a gathering convened by the DSA fund and Jacobin magazine that brought together around 100 or 80 plus staffers of these elected officials together in Washington DC. And it was really incredible to see them all in the same room because almost all of these people were elected post-2016 cycle and onward. So there is a base of dissent. And these are self-described Democratic Socialists. Beyond that, there are much wider progressive communities of people who don’t identify as socialists but are part of the same movement and struggle to build a more equitable world.

So it is being constructed. It’s not being constructed at the pace that we want it to. There are certain barriers and roadblocks that we need to overcome. But there’s still something that people can plug into and there’s a hub of this activity in Democratic Socialists of America. Obviously, at the Nation, we’re a step removed from the day-to-day political struggle. We need to look at things more journalistically and sometimes convey harsh realities to people even when they’re unpopular. But we’re also obviously part of, like The Real News, a broader dissemination of these ideas. There is an American left right now, it’s just weak. There were periods in between that Jackson run that you were a part of and much more recently before the Sanders runs, before Occupy Wall Street, before Black Lives Matter, it was very hard to find the US left. You knew it was there, but it was very hard to find it.

Marc Steiner:  Right. I agree. I agree. Don?

Don Guttenplan:  Well, since Bhaskar quoted Marx, I’m going to quote Trotsky and say–

Marc Steiner:  Go ahead.

Don Guttenplan: –The first thing that occurred to me and the answer to your question is, you can’t realistically hope to make change from the top down in the Democratic Party while it’s Joe Biden’s party. You can’t have a conversation, even an organizing conversation, if you can’t get people to listen to you. And at the moment, the centrists and the corporate Democrats are so secure in their control of the party that they see no reason to listen to us except to listen to us in election years.

Now, if we don’t fight them for control of the party at every level, that’ll carry on. If we take our bat and ball and soak off to the margins, then they have even less reason to listen to us. So part of it is the timeframe, part of it is the circumstance, and part of it is recognizing that there are structures. DSA is one. I would argue that if you’re in a union or any unionized workplace, your union is the best place to put your political energies for the next year because it’s already organized. And you can speak to your fellow workers and you can help organize your shop and you can speak as a union. You can do what the Teamsters have done and the UAW have done and declined to get into bed prematurely with the Democratic Party.

There’s lots of scope for activity and there’s a lot of activity happening, it just isn’t happening at the presidential level. In a way that’s posed the temptation and the gift of the Sanders campaign as a historical example, is that presidential campaigns can be a fantastic organizing platform. They can be that platform even if you don’t win. But if you don’t win, you need to find a way to channel that energy, otherwise, people get discouraged and disaffiliated and disaffected.

Marc Steiner:  Coming back to the heart of the piece the two of you wrote together on Cornel West and running outside the Democratic Party. What do you think the effect of that campaign will be and what do you both see as churning from the progressive side inside the Democratic Party, that gives a little light of hope about organizing for the future? Don, go ahead.

Don Guttenplan:  Well, what gives me hope for organizing for the future is that, as I said, Kamala Harris doesn’t have a base, and Joe Biden is in his eighties. So there’s a new generation coming up, there are new elected officials, there are new party officials like Jane Kleeb in Nebraska, then Wisconsin who are at the table, members of the Democratic National Committee, and Larry Cohen from the Sanders campaign, at the table. So it’s not like we’re trying to break down the doors, we’re already inside the room. The calls are coming from inside the house but at the moment nobody’s answering. So that’s what’s happening in terms of the Democratic Party.

 In terms of the effect of Cornel West’s candidacy as agreeing, it’ll help his book sales, it’ll raise his public profile. I doubt he’ll gather sufficient support to be a spoiler. If he does, I hope we’ll have the good sense to urge people to vote tactically in states where there’s a serious threat of Trump. As we wrote in our editorial, the choice between four more years of Biden and four more years of Trump is not a difficult choice for any progressive.

Marc Steiner:  I agree. I wish more agreed with that. Bhaskar?

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Yeah, I completely agree with what Don said. I actually do think though, that there’s a real threat of Cornel West getting 3%-4% of the vote. And obviously, some of those people will be from people who were totally out of the political process, who weren’t going to vote for Biden. This was one of the fallacies he used to attack and really unfairly smear Ralph Nader in 2000 was this idea that every single Nader vote was going to be a Gore vote. Now, if Cornell West is enough of a threat if he is briefly pulling +5%, then Biden might have to foreground more popular positions from an egalitarian perspective, and that might actually win him some votes.

But in reality, when it comes down to the actual election day, voters will make the rational choice, which is for four more years of a tepid, centrist, neoliberal president over four years of a presidency veering on some right-wing authoritarianism. And those are the real stakes. Sometimes I think about the past left third-party efforts and we’d never been strong enough to be true spoilers. In 1948, we probably got enough votes for the Wallace campaign to be a spoiler but luckily it was a four-way race and the segregationist ran their own candidate. That was the Thurman–

Marc Steiner:  John Thurman, right?

Bhaskar Sunkara:  –Yes. The campaign. So it balanced each other out and Thurman still won. But in this case, there really is probably not a lot of risk of West running, but to the extent that it generates cycles, it takes energy and puts it into a futile third-party race. Or it creates division on the left, between those of us who do support tactically voting and the Democratic Party, and those of us who do support building the Green Party. I think it will be negative.

Marc Steiner:  So let me conclude with this because the work that both of you have done over the years and the work you both still do and the work that comes out of Jacobin and The Nation– So when I look at the last 30 years in this country, I see the work of an organized right-wing that started in the early ’70s that really built power inside the Republican Party and built power in this country. And the fear many people have as they actually are on the ascendancy. What do you both think, from all your work observation and writing and activism, that it takes for progressives on the left, to build the power that, A, stops the growth of the right and, B, captures the hearts and minds of the people in this country to build a movement that actually becomes a power and actually makes some change. What do you think it takes, given what you just wrote? Bhaskar, you can begin and we’ll end up with Don.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Sure. Well, it’s somewhat easier to organize within capitalism for the interests of capitalists than it is to organize masses of working people against the interests of capital. Especially because people are so dependent on their jobs that they rightly see their interests as being often intertwined with the interests of their employers. And if their employers are saying, hey, this new tax or this new social security scheme is going to impact our bottom line, a lot of workers would say, oh, well, that might put my job into jeopardy. There are really rational reasons why people are afraid to take the step of collective action because collective action is often the riskier approach than keeping your head down, maybe relying on your friends and family to get by, or otherwise dropping out of the system.

What we on the left need to do is we need to make collective action a rational choice. And sometimes the rational choice is a radical act in the electoral arena. But often it happens at a local level through organizations to make it easier for tenants to withhold their rent. Or particularly in labor unions, which Don brought up before, but labor unions are the largest force we have on the left in America. And actually, compared to the unions that we had in the ’60s and ’70s on a host of issues, they’ve actually moved further left. They still have a tremendous ability to withhold their labor, to really impact production, to really shape the country. And not to mention tremendous financial resources too.

So whatever change we need needs to go beyond the activist left and create a bridge between the activist left and labor movement activists and the mass of the labor movement in the US. It might be down to 10%, 11% of the country that is organized in unions but there is no larger force in American politics in that engaged 10%, 11% of the public, especially as the rest of American life has become so hollowed out in the civil sphere. The right might be a dangerous force now but the right is not the same organized right that it was in the ’70s and ’80s. Look at Trump; Trump called for mass protests when he was getting indicted. No one showed up. It’s a very, very unusual system we’re in right now where everything is hollowed out, and it only takes a small, coherent force to capture the imagination of many more millions that can change this country.

Marc Steiner:  Don?

Don Guttenplan:  Well, I heard the word small, coherent force. So I’m going to push back a little bit against that and say that the Republicans have one thing that Democrats don’t which is a very clear sense of who their enemies are. And we keep letting corporate Democrats and Centrists buy us off or convinced some of us that we’re on the same side, we’re all in this together. So the left would do a lot better if we could be a lot clearer with people that we’re not all in this together, that when the DCCC calls, you should hang up and that–

Marc Steiner:  Yeah, yeah. Yep.

Don Guttenplan:  Say, oh, don’t let Trump take back the Senate. Well, Trump taking back the Senate would be very bad, but having the Senate in the hands of the DCCC is almost as bad. So we need to be clear about who our enemies are. But also bear in mind that, as Bhaskar said, organizing from within capital to defend capital is a lot easier than organizing to bring it down. And that the only real weapon that we have as small D democrats, is greater numbers. So we have to have majoritarian politics, we have to have small D democratic politics, we have to have what I would call populous politics. And we have to organize around those issues both in the institutions that already exist, whether it’s your church or your union or your school or your campus, and in new institutions that address specific issues.

When you think of what Phyllis Schlafly built, when you think of what the moral majority built inside the Republican Party, they had the advantage that once they got going, they could attract money right away from right-wing funders. We don’t have that. I got an email this morning from Justice Democrats, which is probably the best-organized bellwether, putting pressure on the corporate Democrats from within the Democratic Party institutions saying that they’re end danger of going broke. So we don’t have those money pools available to us but we do have numbers and we do have the power of numbers if we’re willing to use it. And this is partly why we pay so much attention to strikes because strikes are when the working class decides to use their power and their power of numbers.

Marc Steiner:  Both of you have brought up, especially in the last 10 minutes of this conversation, it seems to me we can leap off into a whole deeper conversation. Maybe we’ll do that sometime soon. This has been– A, I want to thank you both for the writing that you’re doing, the work that you’re doing, and B, for taking time with the show today. And C, I’m going to look forward to having you both back to continue this discussion. Thank you both so much for being here and for all you do.

Bhaskar Sunkara:  Thanks so much for having us.

Marc Steiner:  I hope you all enjoyed the conversation today with D. D. Guttenplan, editor of The Nation, and Bhaskar Sunkara, who’s president of The Nation, talking about their article, “Cornel West Should Run as a Democrat. If he wants to go beyond preaching to the converted, he needs to take his socials politics into the Democratic primaries.” And we’ll be linking to this article and their other work, so please check all that out.

And thank you once again for joining us today. And I want to thank Adam Coley, David Hebdon, and Kayla Rivara; without whom any of this would be impossible to produce and make happen. So please, let me know what you thought about what you heard today, and what you’d like us to cover. Write to me at mss@therealnews.com and I’ll get right back to you. And while you’re there, please go to www.therealnews.com/support. Become a monthly donor, and become part of the future with us during the summer campaign for The Real News. I’m Mark Steiner. Take care. And we’ll be talking together soon.

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Host, The Marc Steiner Show
Marc Steiner is the host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on TRNN. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues. He walked his first picket line at age 13, and at age 16 became the youngest person in Maryland arrested at a civil rights protest during the Freedom Rides through Cambridge. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, Marc helped organize poor white communities with the Young Patriots, the white Appalachian counterpart to the Black Panthers. Early in his career he counseled at-risk youth in therapeutic settings and founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system. He also taught theater for 10 years at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From 1993-2018 Marc's signature “Marc Steiner Show” aired on Baltimore’s public radio airwaves, both WYPR—which Marc co-founded—and Morgan State University’s WEAA.