Upcoming Political Talks in NYC

By Alison Durkee

It’s a turbulent political time right now, to say the least. Get a better handle on politics and delve deeper into hot-button topics with these upcoming talks and events in NYC.

Upcoming events this fall will focus on our current Trump-fueled political moment, including the chance to hear from key players. As the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry heats up, spend time with one of the primary politicians behind it, Rep. Adam Schiff, as he appears in conversation with journalist Nicholas Kristof October 14, or get insights from former Trump administration player and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at an event November 12. Those looking for broader insights into our fractured political moment, meanwhile, can head to an October 15 presentation on the political economy of Trumpism, or an October 11 talk with author Tim Carney on his book Alienated America, which considers how failing social connections in America have contributed to our current great divide. For those hoping not just to understand our political moment but actively fight against it, head to the Public Theater October 13 for a Public Forum event with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who will discuss how to turn protests into lasting change.

New Yorkers simply looking for October debate plans are also in luck. Spend this month’s October 15 Democratic debate night in Queens at Q.E.D., which will screen the debate Mystery Science Theater 3000-style with running commentary. Back in Manhattan, the podcast Pod Damn America will also host a debate watch party of its own, which promises “cutting commentary and hilarious riffs.”

Other upcoming events will give attendees insights into broader political ideas or aspects of the political world. An October 14 panel discussion will consider populism and its concerning effect on democracy, while Senator Rand Paul will appear at an October 12 event to make his case against socialism. Author Ayn Rand, whose ideologies have long inspired the Right, will be the focus of an event October 15, as Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed author Lisa Duggan examines our current “neoliberal, contemporary culture of greed” and its Randian influences. Over at the New-York Historical Society, MSNBC host Ari Melber will delve into the Fourth Estate and how the press has historically and presently covered the federal government on October 19, and a November 7 event will look at how America’s historic “pursuit of liberty” has forged both a sense of American identity and American nationalism.

This fall will also offer the chance to dive deep into specific political issues being debated today. The criminal justice system will come under scrutiny with an upcoming event on drug policy as an international issue October 16, as well as an event that same evening with civil rights attorney Ben Crump (above) on racial discrimination within the justice system. Another social justice issue, the fight for reproductive rights, will be at the center of a November 14 panel discussion at NYU School of Law, as legal experts consider the political and legal questions that abortion and contraception raise.

New Yorkers interested in immigration can head to an October 17 event on the U.S.’s chaotic immigration enforcement regime, or push for a bolder solution at the 2019 Open Borders Conference on October 19. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and the struggles it faces, meanwhile, will be at the center of an October 17 conversation with Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico author Ed Morales. Beyond the U.S.’s own borders, consider the country’s relationship with China at an event October 16, which will delve into the “great decoupling” between the two superpower nations and the technological arms race we find ourselves in today.

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