What Next

The Coup Next Time

What if January 6 was just a first attempt?


Episode Notes

Months before the attack on the Capitol, Bart Gellman predicted that the 2020 election would usher in a make-or-break year for American democracy. He was correct. Now, he’s trying to sound the alarm again. This time he says American democratic institutions and systems are being broken before our eyes, and the people in power aren’t doing enough to stop it.

Guest: Barton Gellman, staff writer at The Atlantic.

If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.