What Next

The Michigan Democrat Who Said “Enough”

One freshman state senator shows Democrats how to parry Republican attacks designed to stoke fear and anger.


Episode Notes

Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow went viral in April for striking back at an extreme characterization made by a Republican colleague. The video of McMorrow’s speech—viewed over 14 million times—tells a bigger story about how national political rhetoric is affecting local political debates. But is the senator really demonstrating how to reset the terms of debate? Or is she just one more person who went viral for speaking to her echo chamber?

Guest: Mallory McMorrow, a Michigan state senator representing Royal Oak and the suburbs north of Detroit.*

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, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, Anna Rubanova, and Sam Kim.

Correction, May 3, 2022: This show page originally misidentified the Michigan city Royal Oak as Grand Oak.


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.