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We are days out from what could be the most high-stakes election of our lifetimes. If Trump loses, will he go quietly? Which parts of the constitution will he trample on the way out? If Trump wins, how much more can American institutions take—and what recourse will Congress have to hold him to account?
Our Deputy Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Dan Schulman got the chance this week to pose all these questions and more to a real expert on this stuff, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, during a special Mother Jones livestreamed event this week. Early in his career, he was an assistant attorney general in Massachusetts and he served as general counsel of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. (One piece of trivia: Congressman Raskin once represented Ross Perot when he was frozen out of the 1996 presidential debates.) He’s a member of the judiciary and oversight committees, where he has investigated the Trump administration’s politicization of the census, white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, the mistreatment of immigrants in for-profit detention centers, and other issues.
Raskin didn't hold back during Dan’s conversation about his fixes to democracy, describing the Republican Party as "a mass religious cult surrounding an organized crime family." He noted: “A failed state, that’s where we are right now. A failed state is one that doesn’t protect the population against disease, against random gun violence, against people getting into office and using it as an instrument of money-making and private corruption. We’ve become a banana republic under this guy.”
We're bringing you this conversation, lightly edited, for today's bonus episode of the Mother Jones Podcast.