The World and Everything in It – July 22, 2020


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

Democrats have a strategy to win back control of the Senate this year. We’ll talk about which races to watch.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.

Also, World Tour. 

Plus a man who carves those lovely creatures you ride on a carousel:

RIDGE: So you have to remember when you get hundreds of kids climbing all over, it’s got to be strong. It’s got to be fixable. It’s got to be durable.

BASHAM: And Janie B. Cheaney on using your personal power to repair the world.

REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, July 22nd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now here’s Kent Covington with today’s news.


DOJ: Chinese hackers targeted COVID-19 research » The Justice Department on Tuesday indicted two Chinese suspects … on charges of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in intellectual property and trade secrets from companies around the world.

John Demers is assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. He said the Chinese plot was wide ranging. 

DEMERS: The campaign targeted intellectual property and confidential business information held by the private sector, including COVID-19 related testing, treatment, and vaccines. 

The indictment gives the Justice Department an opportunity to condemn the actions and potentially deter future attacks. 

And FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich said it’s time to hold China accountable. 

BOWDICH: China’s hacking of foreign companies to benefit Chinese state-owned enterprises is only part of their playbook. We’re bringing these charges today to put the Chinese leaders directing these cyberattacks on notice. 

U.S. officials say Li Xiayou and Dong Jiazhi, have been trying to hack tech companies, political dissidents, activists, and clergy in the United States, China, and Hong Kong for a decade.

White House resumes daily coronavirus briefings » After a near three-month hiatus, the White House resumed coronavirus briefings on Tuesday. 

TRUMP: Today I want to provide an update on our response to the China virus. 

President Trump spoke to reporters at the White House for nearly 30 minutes. He highlighted progress in finding a safe, effective vaccine for the coronavirus … as well as expanded testing.

But he acknowledged the recent surge of the outbreak in Sun Belt states … and conceded that the pandemic will likely get worse before it gets better. 

He also continued his recent push to encourage Americans to wear masks in public. 

TRUMP: Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get. 

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway had been pushing for the president to resume the daily briefings. She noted that the president’s approval numbers were higher when he was in front of the public, speaking regularly about the coronavirus response. 

Unlike briefings earlier this year, the president appeared by himself. Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force did not join him on the podium. 

Trump excluding those in US illegally from reapportionment » Also on Tuesday, the president signed a memorandum to bar people in the country illegally from being counted in congressional reapportionment. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has more.

LJ: The president said protecting the rule of law and the democratic process—quote … “warrant the exclusion of illegal aliens from the apportionment base … to the extent feasible and to the maximum extent of the president’s discretion.”

The move drew promises of court challenges.

Reapportionment decides the distribution of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives based on changes in population.

Last year, the Supreme Court blocked the administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census form. Trump then ordered the Census Bureau to gather citizenship data from the administrative records of federal and state agencies. 

That order also is being challenged in the courts.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones. 

FBI arrests Ohio house speaker, four others in bribery investigation » FBI agents raided the rural farm of the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Tuesday. The bureau arrested Larry Householder and four other people in a $60 million dollar bribery investigation.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers told reporters …

DEVILLERS: The conspiracy was to pass and maintain a $1.5 billion dollar bailout in exchange for $61 million dollars in dark money that were used for various things. 

DeVillers called it “likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of Ohio.” 

The Republican speaker was one of the driving forces behind a financial bailout for Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, which appeared to be tied to several targets of the investigation. The legislation added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million dollars a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.

The FBI also arrested Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, longtime Statehouse lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes, co-founder of a Columbus-based consulting firm.

Planned Parenthood of NY denounces founder Margaret Sanger » Planned Parenthood’s New York affiliate is taking steps to distance itself from one of the group’s founders. WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports. 

AJ: Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is removing the name of Margaret Sanger from its building … over her historic support for eugenics.

Karen Seltzer heads the board of the New York affiliate. She called the move a—quote—“overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color.” End quote. 

The abortion giant’s New York chapter is also talking to the city about replacing Sanger’s name on street signs. 

Eugenics the practice of selective breeding of human populations … largely based on a belief in improving the human race by limiting births among the poor and ethnic minorities. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johnansen.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: the battle for the Senate majority.

Plus, Janie B. Cheaney on the power of persuasion.

This is The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 22nd of July, 2020.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. 

First up … Washington Wednesday.

The race for the White House will certainly get the most attention during the next four months. But it’s not the only battle Democrats are waging to regain political power.

REICHARD: In 20-18, Democrats took control of the U.S. House with a commanding majority. They’re hoping to repeat that victory this year in the Senate. To pull it off, party leaders are focused on just a few very competitive contests.

Joining us now to talk about these hotly contested races is Jamie Dean. She’s WORLD’s national editor and a veteran political campaign reporter. Good morning, Jamie!

JAMIE DEAN, GUEST: Good morning, Mary.

REICHARD: Let’s start with some basic math. Where does the Senate stand now, and what would Democrats need to do to win control in November?

DEAN: The Republican Party currently holds a majority in the Senate: 53-47. So if Democrats win three seats in November, they would achieve a 50-50 tie. And that would be with the hopes that a Democratic vice president would break any impasse on voting.

But Democrats are preparing for the likelihood of losing a seat in Alabama, so the party would need to flip four GOP seats (and win the White House) to achieve the same result.

REICHARD: Okay, what if President Trump wins the presidency?

DEAN: In that case, Democrats would need to flip five seats—if they lose Alabama—to achieve an outright majority. Now that scenario (Trump winning the presidency while the GOP loses the Senate) is possible but seems pretty unlikely.

So Democrats are really focusing on winning at least four seats.

The good news for Democrats is that the GOP has more ground to protect: Twenty-three Republican seats are up for grabs this fall. Democrats are defending only 12 spots. But only a handful of all those seats are considered potential swing states that could be in play.

REICHARD: You mentioned Alabama being the one seat Democrats are likely to lose. Remind us what’s going on there.

DEAN: Democratic Senator Doug Jones is up for reelection in Alabama. Jones first took the seat nearly three years ago in an unusual victory.

In 2017, Alabama held a special election after Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions left that post to become the U.S. attorney general. A Democrat had not held a Senate seat in Alabama since 1997, but Jones prevailed over Republican Roy Moore.

Moore was the former chief justice of Alabama, and he looked poised to win the race until he faced sexual misconduct allegations from years earlier. Moore denied those accusations, but Jones won by about 2 percentage points.

Democrats aren’t expecting a similar blip this fall: Jones’ approval rating hovers around 41 percent, and President Trump is popular in the state.

In an electoral twist, Sessions returned to run for his old seat this year, but Trump backed former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville over his former attorney general. Tuberville easily beat Sessions earlier this month in the primary, he’s slated to face off against Jones.

REICHARD: Do Republicans have any other seats they hope to pick up?

DEAN: They’ve had their eye on Michigan. The GOP has had high hopes for Republican candidate John James to defeat Democratic Sen. Gary Peters. James is an African American business owner and a combat veteran and has been considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He lost a surprisingly competitive Senate race in 2018, so this time around he’s running with a higher name recognition.

And he’s running in a state Trump narrowly won: In 2016, Trump became the first GOP presidential nominee to prevail in Michigan since 1988. The president’s prospects in the state are less clear this cycle (he’s trailed Biden in polls this summer). And while James raised more money than his opponent in the first quarter, he’s lagged behind by about 10 percentage points in recent polls.

So Republicans probably won’t strike Michigan off the list, but they’re likely running election scenarios without a Wolverine win.

REICHARD: You said earlier that Democrats are focused on four key seats. They’re the ones pollsters think are most likely to flip. I have a list here, so let’s go through them one by one. First up: Colorado.

DEAN: Colorado appears to be the lowest hanging fruit for Democrats. The state has been moving farther left in recent years: Democratic presidential candidates carried the state in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Democrats gained control of the state Senate in 2018 and retained the governor’s seat as well.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper got into the Senate race after leaving a brief run for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner likely faces an uphill battle to keep his seat.

REICHARD: Next up, a state whose long-serving senator seems more and more out of step with the rest of her party.

DEAN: Maine is a fiercely independent state, and Republican Sen. Susan Collins may face a tight contest to keep the seat she’s held since 1997. She faces a Democratic challenge from state House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Collins is the only Republican senator in New England and has largely run on the independent streak that has made her a swing senator when it comes to votes among her Republican colleagues.

She voted to acquit Democratic President Bill Clinton in his 1999 impeachment trial, and she’s flummoxed pro-life advocates with a pro-abortion voting record.

But Collins also cast the pivotal vote to advance Supreme Court Justice Brett Kava­naugh’s nomination, and that’s a move she has since said cost her some votes. It’s difficult to predict how independent voters in Maine will respond to her bid this fall, but Republicans are nervous.

REICHARD: That’s Maine. Now, let’s go to your home state!

DEAN: In North Carolina, the races grow tighter in a closely watched swing state. This is a contest that may turn out to be the most expensive Senate battle this fall. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is trying to hang on to the seat that he won in 2014.

The president narrowly trails Biden in polls in North Carolina, and Tillis is going to be on the same ballot with a Democratic governor up for reelection, Roy Cooper. And Cooper has enjoyed elevated approval ratings for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

If those numbers hold, it could make it difficult for Tillis to prevail over Democratic opponent Cal Cunningham in the fall. Tillis has publicly commended Cooper’s response to the pandemic—perhaps a sign his campaign is aware how the governor’s race affects the Senate contest.

REICHARD: Then last on the list, here is Arizona.

DEAN: Arizona seems less likely to be in the most-likely-to-flip category: The state has a Republican governor, and the GOP holds both the state House and Senate chambers. Trump prevailed in Arizona by about 4 percentage points in the 2016 election.

But it’s also a state with an unusual electoral history: Republican Sen. Martha McSally lost her first Senate race against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in 2018. A few weeks later, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to fill the Senate seat left empty after the death of Republican Sen. John McCain.

This cycle, McSally is running to hold her position against Democrat Mark Kelly. He’s a retired astronaut who raised $11 million in the first three months of 2020. McSally reported raising $6.4 million in the same period and trails Kelly in recent polls.

REICHARD: Ok. So now that we know which races to watch, remind us what’s at stake in the outcome of the Senate election.

DEAN: That partially depends on the outcome of the presidential election. If the GOP does manage to maintain control of the Senate even with a Biden victory, the party could exercise “the power of prevention,” blocking major legislation and judicial appointments.

If Democrats win a narrow Senate victory and a Biden presidency, they would still face difficulty passing some pieces of major legislation: In the Senate, it usually takes overcoming a 60-vote threshold to pass major bills that don’t involve spending.

Democrats did use a process called budget reconciliation to bypass the 60-vote threshold and pass key portions of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans used the process to pass tax cut legislation in 2017.

That means Democrats could try to use that process to pass legislation with spending attached.

REICHARD: What about judicial appointments?

DEAN: Democrats would be able to approve judicial appointments with a simple majority: Democrats changed the Senate rules in 2013 to eliminate the filibuster on federal judicial nominees. In 2017, Republicans changed the rules to allow a simple majority also to proceed on Supreme Court nominations.

The GOP has used that smoother process to confirm a record number of judicial nominees, including two Supreme Court justices.

REICHARD: And what about that so-called “nuclear option” for passing legislation?

DEAN: A handful of Democratic senators have advocated abandoning the 60-vote threshold on major legislation—a move some call “the nuclear option” because of its power to allow a simple majority of the party in power to pass laws far more easily.

In 2018, Trump urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the “nuclear option” to pass legislation funding a border wall.

But senators on both sides of the aisle have resisted calls to allow a simple majority to gain nearly unfettered power in passing legislation: They realize neither party stays in power forever.

But as the presidential elections approach, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is leading an effort to push Democrats to abandon the 60-vote threshold if the party wins control of the Senate in November.

Other prominent Democratic senators have said they still don’t favor changing the threshold. But one very notable Democrat has now said he’s open to it: Joe Biden has opposed eliminating the filibuster in the past, but just last week told a group of reporters he may be open to it.

And depending on the political climate next year, it may be tempting: Democrats would only need 51 votes to change the rules.

REICHARD: Well, we’ll keep an eye on that, won’t we? Jamie Dean is WORLD’s national editor. You can read her story about the Senate races in the latest edition of WORLD Magazine. We’ll link to it in today’s transcript. Thanks so much for joining us today!

DEAN: You’re welcome!


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Gunmen attack wedding in Nigeria—We start today here in Africa.

Gunmen attacked a wedding in northern Nigeria Sunday night. The attackers stormed in on motorcycles and opened fire on the wedding guests. They killed at least 18 people and injured 30 others. The bride and groom escaped unhurt.

The shooting is the latest tragedy to hit the region. More than 100 people were killed between April and June. Last week, a senator from the region asked the government to intervene.

AUDIO [0:23] “To please…send police and armed men to come save the land of my people and their property.”

Farmers and herders in the region continue to fight over grazing and water rights. The conflict is also fraught with religious and ethnic tensions: Most of the herders are Muslim and traditionally nomadic, while many of the farmers are Christians of various ethnic groups. Government-brokered truces have failed to stop the violence so far.

Zimbabwe journalist arrested—Next we go to Zimbabwe.

AUDIO [0:19] PEOPLE TALKING

Police arrested a prominent journalist Monday. They barged into Hopewell Chin’ono’s apartment, claiming he incited violence. Chin’ono is a fierce critic of Zimbabwe’s president and has written about government corruption.

His lawyer said the police didn’t have a warrant for the arrest. 

AUDIO “They broke the glass in the door and he has been abducted.”

Amnesty International accused the government of “misusing the criminal justice system” to persecute critics.

Authorities also arrested a politician who was organizing a protest against the government.

Flooding in China—Next to Asia.

AUDIO [0:44] Rushing water

Heavy rains have pummeled China for weeks, causing massive floods and landslides. Rivers in the Yangtze basin have overflowed their banks, submerging homes and streets. Residents piled into boats and makeshift rafts to escape the deluge. At least 140 people are dead or missing. Over 1 million have had to evacuate. 

Seasonal flooding strikes China every year, but this is the worst it has been in decades. One villager said his town had been without electricity for a week. And although it’s time for the rice harvest, that crop was completely underwater.

Arson in France—Next we go to Europe.

AUDIO FLAMES CRACKLING

A 15th-century French cathedral went up in flames on Saturday. The blaze broke out in three different places inside the Gothic structure. More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze for two hours.

They stopped the fire from spreading to the main body of the church … but the flames destroyed a 17th-century organ and multiple stained-glass windows. Police say arson is the likely cause and launched a criminal investigation. They detained a cathedral volunteer for questioning, but later released him.

Tom Moore knighted—And finally, we end today in the United Kingdom.

AUDIO [0:23] BAGPIPES, CAMERAS CLICKING

Queen Elizabeth knighted Tom Moore on Friday in an outdoor ceremony at Windsor Castle. Moore is a 100-year-old veteran of World War Two. He became a national celebrity earlier this year when he raised millions of pounds for the U.K.’s National Health Service. He raised the money by walking laps around his backyard.

The Queen knighted Moore with her father’s sword and praised him for his fundraising efforts.

Earlier in the day, Moore tweeted that he was “ready and raring to go for what is a very special day.”

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Humans may not like quarantine, but the animal world is having a heyday. 

Take New England, where chipmunks went nuts this spring gorging on a bumper crop of their favorite snacks: acorns, hickory nuts and beech nuts. 

That in turn led to a bumper crop … of baby chipmunks. Cute as can be, but now they’re driving homeowners nuts!

Jody Clement lives in New Hampshire. She told WMUR  the little rodents are everywhere!

CLEMENT: They’re always along the side, going near the steps, going into any barrels, trying to get into anything they can.

Chipmunks are digging holes in gardens, tunneling under lawns, and digging up tulip bulbs. 

Sadly for the chipmunks, they are near the bottom of the food chain.  Birds of prey, snakes, foxes and raccoons take care of the problem, eventually.

Silver linings, as long as you’re not a chipmunk!

It’s The World and Everything in It.


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Wednesday, July 22nd. 

Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It: The sound of children on a carousel…you probably haven’t heard that in a while.

Most amusement rides around the country remain shut down. But WORLD Radio intern Vivian Jones takes us to meet a Tennessee man who makes those memorable characters found on the merry-go-round.

AMBI FROM OUTSIDE THE SHOP

CORRESPONDENT, VIVIAN JONES: Soddy Daisy is a small town nestled at the foot of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. Down the street from a car repair shop, there’s an unassuming tan building with a small sign that reads: “Horsin’ Around.” If you’re not looking for it, you might miss it. 

From all over the country—and around the world—people travel here to learn the historic craft of carving carousel animals. 

RIDGE: My name is Larry Ridge, been carving since I was 14… I am the owner here at Horsin’ Around Carving School, but sometimes I refer to myself as the keeper because we have…people and animals that need someone to take care of them…

Horsin’ Around is the only full-time carousel carving school in the United States. Since its founding, more than 800 students have studied carving at the school.

RIDGE: In the United States, we don’t have a formal apprentice program like they do in Europe. In Europe… you go to the school, they teach you how to use this tool, this technique to accomplish that carving… In the United States, we pretty much figured out on our own. It’s a self taught type of thing. 

Inside, the shop is a woodworker’s dream. About a dozen workbenches are set up in two rows. A yellow sign hanging from the ceiling says “old timer crossing.” Taped to one wall, life-size carousel horse diagrams map how pieces of wood will be assembled. 

Ridge says many of the patterns carvers use today have historic roots. One classic pattern for a lion was originally used in European synagogues. 

RIDGE: When some of the Russian Jews… immigrated to America to get away from persecution…they’d been carving in synagogues or churches. And then all of a sudden, it’s like, I need a carver. Can you carve me a lion? Sure. I got a lion pattern… And now we use it as a carousel animal. But their history had it back in Europe is the lion of Judah. 

Tools cover the workbenches, along with bits of carousel animal anatomy in various stages of completion.

There’s a bright pink pig, one of her feet broken off, visiting the shop for repairs. 

And the unfinished head and neck of a giraffe wearing a pair of sunglasses. 

RIDGE: I always like to say that the history of America is written on the side of the carousel horse… 

The newest carousel animals are rough wood blocks glued together, just beginning to take shape. 

The oldest are faded and broken down, tired from carrying children on their merry way for nearly 100 years. 

RIDGE: That right here is actually an antique that we’re restoring. It’s from the 1900s…they were beautiful animals, they did a great job on them. That’s what we all try to achieve. 

AMBI: TOOLS CLINKING, CARVING 

Carving a carousel horse is a vast undertaking. One horse can take hundreds of hours to complete. The amount of materials depends on the size of the horse.

RIDGE: In most cases, you’re talking about 100 board feet of basswood, which is from the linden tree. It’s the classical carving wood… It’s a medium density hardwood… We get ours from of the north in Pennsylvania, Michigan…even some from Canada…

The techniques and tools Ridge uses while teaching his students are exactly the same as his predecessors used more than a century ago. 

JONES: What are these tools here?
RIDGE: These are all the carving chisels, you’ll notice each one of them has a specific profile… This one is a number nine, they call it because it’s a half circle… I can take one of these chisels… and I can find a cut on any of these animals that matches that. 

Carousel animals aren’t carved from one single piece. They’re usually more than a hundred pieces glued together. They’re carved in stages. First, Ridge and his students assemble the large body and saddle, where the rider will sit. Then they move on to the neck, face, legs, and hooves. 

RIDGE: We’ll keep it apart as long as we can. It’s easier to do it you know in small quantity and then… we’ll go ahead and glue them all together and then carve the thing as a unit at that point before we sand it and prime it. 

The animals are carved entirely from wood, except for their eyes. Those are glass, and they’re added toward the end of the creation. 

RIDGE: You can carve on an animal for weeks and weeks and weeks. And it’s got a personality… but then as soon as you put the eyes in there… you’ll be carving along you’ll look up that eyes got you kind of sizing you up and so you have to be a little bit more attentive at that point.

Once a horse is fully assembled and carved, it’s sanded, painted and finished. It has to be sturdy. 

RIDGE: So you have to remember when you get hundreds of kids climbing all over, it’s got to be strong. It’s got to be fixable. It’s got to be durable.

When the carousel animal is complete, it’s a work of art. And it’s also quite valuable. Ridge says antique carousel horses can sell for anywhere between $1,000 dollars and $50,000 dollars.  

To many carvers learning at the Horsin’ Around school, their new masterpiece is priceless. Ridge speaks of one 88 year old student.

RIDGE: She’s done five… the last two that she made, we converted to rocking horses, and she gave them to her nieces who had their first child… So now they’ve got an heirloom… and the kid could get all kinds of mileage out of it…

Larry Ridge is passing down carousel art through his own family, but in a different way. He’s working together with his son and grandson on a horse project funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Their horse will be made from a historic pattern, and decorated with a Tennessee tristar symbol, festooned with irises, the state flower. 

Ridge says training new custodians for the historic techniques of carving is what the school is all about. 

AMBI – VOICE AND CARVING SOUNDS

RIDGE: So we do try to keep the faith if you will…trying to maintain what the guy did 100 years ago…We’re keeping a lot of things trying to keep them alive here: old processes, old techniques, even restoring old animals that would normally be thrown away or burnt or, you know, sent to the landfill…

AMBI – VOICE AND CARVING SOUNDS

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Vivian Jones in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Wednesday, July 22nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. How do you use your power? To destroy, or to build up? Here’s WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney.

JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: My first year in high school, I felt unseen; just one of 2,000 other students who thronged the halls at every bell. With my one friend, I hatched a plan to sneak in with a couple of screwdrivers before first period and remove as many light-switch covers and other hardware as possible. Because those were the days before surveillance cameras, we got away with it. For the next few days, every time I passed one of those little acts of vandalism, I thought, I did that.

It was small and silly, but at the time I was also small and silly. Still, I wonder if I was motivated by the same impulse that causes spray-painted slogans and smashed windows.

That’s one form of power, exercised mostly by people who feel themselves unseen. Corporately, though, they can impose change by signs and slogans—or Molotov cocktails. Certain kinds of change may happen: the law and policy kind. But true change will come from the heart, not from law or policy.

Here’s another definition of power, from Andy Crouch’s book, Culture Making: quote, “the ability to successfully propose a new cultural good.” Notice the verb. Political change must be imposed by law and threat. Cultural change can only be proposed, by persuasion and example. Imposition forces; proposition appeals. One breeds resentment, the other sympathy.

To take one example, the legalization of same-sex marriage came about not by vandalizing wedding chapels, but by persuading enough of the public that marriage was a basic human right. Though argued from the wrong premise, it worked.

When it comes to racial reconciliation, the worst thing we can tell people is that they are powerless. No one (except perhaps the very old, the very young, or the very sick) is powerless. Everyone has a certain degree of power and a platform for using it. Some will have a lot more than others, but all it takes is a voice, a mind, and a will.

The question is, how will you use your power?

The world proposes one way: get in their face, make demands, and break stuff.

Jesus offers another way: “He who would be great among you must become your servant.”

Martin Luther King Jr. understood this. He could not impose his will on America, but he could persuade Americans by challenging our collective conscience, harnessing the idealism of youth, and reminding us of our own founding ideals. He invested his power in service, not violence. And change happened.

They say peaceful power doesn’t work anymore. I say it’s the only thing that works. Destruction squanders power; investment builds it. Whatever you have in your hand builds your power base, which grows as you share your knowledge, skills, and connections with someone else. This kind of power builds slowly and doesn’t always grab headlines. But it works. 

I’m Janie B. Cheaney.


MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Tomorrow: Toppled monuments are revealing time capsules buried beneath them. We’ll hear from historians about what the capsules reveal. 

And, we’ll tell you the heroic story of a search and rescue mission on the high seas.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Romans teaches we are to pursue the things that make for peace and the building up of one another. 

I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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