An Auditory Education

Students Host Podcast Aiming to Educate the Masses on Political Topics

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Photo courtesy of On Your Left via Instagram

Junior MJ Kelly and Freshman Aidan Cox launched the “On Your Left” podcast on Jan. 15. This podcast covers political topics and aims to educate the public on political and social theories, topics, and issues through a leftist perspective and hopes to help people gain a better understanding and use it to their benefit. “I think the most important aspect to me is the social rights aspect,” Kelly said. “Yes, reading foundational literature by [people] like Marx and Engels is important, but I’d rather have people take other things away from this. I hope somebody listens and starts to make a difference in their life when it comes to being a better ally for others.”

Ruchi Sankolli, Reporter

Students are increasingly taking a stance on political matters and speaking out against issues, as seen recently, with increasing political controversy surrounding the election, political division, etc. Junior MJ Kelly and freshman Aidan Cox have begun and are now hosting a podcast known as “On Your Left” as a means of speaking out against political and social issues as well as educating the masses on several political and social theories. 

“[Our] goal is to help anyone who wishes to really understand leftist theory,” Kelly said. “This show isn’t just for leftists,  it’s for anyone who wants to understand these concepts more.” 

While this podcast, according to Kelly, is more geared towards leftist beliefs, her general goal for hosting this podcast is to influence people regardless of where her audience lies politically. 

Kelly and Cox started this podcast as a result of growing political tensions and increasing confusion regarding political information. Both students decided to use their knowledge and passion for politics and create a platform where they can educate others on political theories and issues. 

“My friends were telling me that they were having a hard time understanding the concepts that appear in leftist theory,” Kelly said. “So, I started breaking it down for them. Then I realized [that] this could be helpful for a lot of teenagers who need a more accessible way to [understand this] theory.” 

Co-host  Aidan Cox said his passion for politics as the reason for taking up this podcast. He enjoys the reality of politics and the vast influences it can have on people. As a result, he finds himself enjoying politics and delving deeper into political issues and topics. 

“My parents are both coaches of the speech side of speech and debate, so they kind of have to keep up with politics,” Cox said. “That transferred over to me, so I got an early start with it. What really interests me about politics is the amount of real people that it affects. Political subjects are so important to me because I, as well as MJ and a lot of others, realize that these are real people affected by the decisions our government makes.”

In addition to discussing leftist theories, the podcast also covers issues in the social aspect of politics, such as women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice. They will also have guests who come to share their political experiences on as well. 

“[We will be talking about a lot of topics],” Kelly said. “Political/economic theory, women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, racial and religious justice and more. We’ll also be having guests on from groups that we aren’t a part of to share their experiences.” 

The podcast will not be covering personal experiences when it comes to racial justice, according to Kelly. She adds that the podcast will cover racial injustice because the goal is to bring awareness to the racial experiences that people of color have.

“Both Aidan and I are white, so it’s not our place to speak on our experiences with those issues,” Kelly said.  “We’re still talking about racial justice because it’s important for us to use our privilege to bring awareness and we will be talking with POC to bring that voice to our audience as well. Our goal is to amplify the voices of POC and not to speak over them.”

Furthermore, taking into account all sides of the issue is what the podcast aims to do as well. According to Cox, all sides of the issue are considered before putting a leftist spin on it while discussing it live. 

“It is a leftist podcast, so we’re putting a leftist spin on how we discuss these issues and topics,” Cox said. “However, when we dive into specific topics, we try to look at all sorts of sources and views so that we can prevent bias. We try to take in all sides of the issues we discuss as much as possible.”

Kelly and Cox have both expressed their hope to correctly educate people regarding political matters. Both also wish to bestow people with this kind of knowledge so as to aid them in making better political decisions and developing their own opinions. 

“What I really hope to do is help people become more educated [on political topics],” Cox said. “There are so many people that make decisions in [politics] because they are just going with the crowd. We hope to get people more informed on the subject so that they can make the best decisions possible when supporting candidates and policy.”

While this podcast puts particular emphasis on the social aspect of politics, the message remains the same. According to Kelly, there are more important themes to be taken from the podcast, rather than expanding literary resources. 

“I think the most important aspect to me is the social rights aspect,” Kelly said. “Yes, reading foundational literature by [people] like Marx and Engels is important, but I’d rather have people take other things away from this. I hope somebody listens and starts to make a difference in their life when it comes to being a better ally for others.”

The full length podcast was launched on  Jan. 15. Students can tune in to “On Your Left” on Anchor, Youtube and Spotify. Students can also keep up with “On Your Left” on Instagram via @onyourleft. More information can be found on their website.

Note: This article was updated on 1/21/2021 in response to some misconceptions about the topic of the article.