In this special post-election podcast – amidst record mail-in voting, lawsuits, social unrest, and partisan polarization – we’re asking a simple question: Was the 2020 run for the White House as unprecedented as we might think? Those in favor of the motion often point to the tech influence, and Silicon Valley’s hand in everything from echo chambers to political advertising to conspiracy theories. Those against often nod to America’s track record of polarization. In 1860, after Abraham Lincoln’s electoral win, for instance, seven states decided to secede. It would be hard, some say, for even 2020 to compete with that. And so in this podcast, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings you those two perspectives: One focused on the past, and one focused on today’s tech, and its future. 

Amy Webb, CEO, Future Today Institute 

Amy Webb is among the nation’s leading futurists and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute. She is an adjunct assistant professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, a nonresident senior fellow at Atlantic Council, and author of “The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity.”


Michael F. Holt, History Professor, University of Virginia 

Michael F. Holt is a professor of American History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning “The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876.”