March 23, 2020

#89: Why Does It Require a PhD in Neuroscience Just to Support a Green New Deal?

#89: Why Does It Require a PhD in Neuroscience Just to Support a Green New Deal?

In Episode 89, Quinn & Brian discuss: Taking down the white guy who politically stabbed you (and the planet) in the back.

Our guest is: Dr. Arati Kreibich. She gave us a call a couple weeks back to explain that she’s a freshman Councilmember in Glen Rock, a proud immigrant, a neuroscientist, a mother, and a grassroots organizer who is now running for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, because I GUESS THAT’S WHAT IT’S COME TO.

In the last congressional election, Dr. Kreibich campaigned (a lot) for the current representative, Josh Gottheimer. She saw Josh as an opportunity for the district to move forward, but she’s been disillusioned and disappointed by the decisions he’s made in the name of “bipartisanship.” 

So, instead of backing another rich white man who doesn’t actually care, Dr. Kreibich decided to take Gottheimer down herself. WE'RE IN.

Have feedback or questions? Tweet us, or send a message to funtalk@importantnotimportant.com

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Transcript

Quinn: Welcome to Important, Not Important. My name is Quinn Emmett.

Brian: And I'm Brian Colbert Kennedy.

Quinn: Still is.

Brian: For now.

Quinn: Despite everything. Hey, this is the podcast where we bend the motherfucking arc of history towards a more livable planet, which is a high bar these days for you, for me and for everybody else.

Brian: We're going to dive into a specific question that's affecting everyone on the planet right now.

Quinn: Which again is choosing from a lot of things.

Brian: So many things.

Quinn: If it can kill us or make the future a hell of a lot cooler for everyone, then we are in.

Brian: Our guests are scientists, doctors, engineers, politicians, astronauts, journalists, even a reverend, and we work together toward action steps that our listeners can take with their voice, their vote and their dollar.

Quinn: Right. And this is your friendly reminder that you can send questions, thoughts, and feedback to us on Twitter, Importantnotimp, where we don't have to sanitize it after we receive it. Or you can email us at funtalk@importantnotimportant.com. You can also join tens of thousands of other smart folks and you can subscribe to our free weekly newsletter at importantnotimportant.com, also requires zero [crosstalk 00:01:25].

Brian: Zero [crosstalk 00:01:26].

Quinn: Yeah, it's great. It's great.

Brian: This week's episode is really a story about being stabbed in the back and then how we deal with that. Who's our guest?

Quinn: Oh man, she great.

Brian: She's really great.

Quinn: Our guest is Dr. Arati Kreibich and she is an immigrant, check, mother, check, activist, check, neuroscientists, check, who got one white guy elected. And I know this will surprise many of you, despite making a bunch of promises, it turns out, what's the word? Oh, he sucks.

Brian: Oh, he sucks.

Quinn: Yep. Yep. And so now, she has decided to take him down herself because again, and I want to be clear, this isn't just some random race. We're talking about something affecting everyone on the planet right now, and that is having people in office that actually do what they say they're going to do, and again, more specifically our prism voting for a green new deal and also a Medicare for all because, look around you folks.

Brian: Look what's happening.

Quinn: Yep. But don't go outside your door and look, just look from the window.

Brian: From inside.

Quinn: Yeah, yeah. Yep, yep, yep. So Arati is amazing and holy shit man, we've got to make it happen folks, we need you. So please enjoy a truly fantastic conversation with this inspiring woman.

Brian: Let's go.

Quinn: Our guest today is Dr. Arati Kreibich, and together, we're going to try to figure out, and it has become confusing to me why it takes a PhD in neuroscience to just support a green new deal. Dr. Kreibich, welcome.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Quinn: See how long that lasts.

Brian: No, no. She's excited and she should be just like we are. We're more excited for sure, but thank you honestly very much for being here. If we could get going, Arati, by just telling everybody really quick who you are and what you do.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Sure. My name is Arati Kreibich. I am a neuroscientist by training and right this very minute, besides talking to you all, I am running for Congress in New Jersey's fifth district.

Quinn: Woop.

Brian: Yes.

Quinn: Very exciting. Concise, ready to do this thing.

Brian: Get into it. We love it. We're here to support you. As a reminder to everyone and to you Arati, our goal on this podcast is to provide some quick context for the question or the topic and then we're going to dig into some, not just questions but action oriented questions that get to the core of why we should all give a shit about it and you and what we can all do to help support you. Does that sound good?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: That sounds great.

Quinn: All right. Rock and roll, let's do this thing. Arati, you did say you cheated and listened to some previous episodes, so those hours of your life, you're never going to get back. Could have been knocking on doors. But we do like to start with one important question, Arati, why are you vital to the survival of the species?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I was really hoping you were not going to ask me that question, but...

Quinn: Too bad. Deal with it. C'mon, be bold.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I know, I know. So why am I vital? So my first answer, which always pops into my head is, well, I've taken that first basic step of ensuring the survival of the species because I've reproduced.

Brian: [crosstalk 00:04:58].

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Raising two feminist sons, so hopefully we'll have a more equitable society.

Brian: Love that.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So there is that. And then really, look, what I'm doing right now is fighting for the new deal, I'm fighting for Medicare for all, I'm fighting for the existential crisis that we are in, in this climate. So I think that we need more people like me and like you joining the fight. I think we're all vital to the survival of our species.

Quinn: Yeah. And right now, that feels pretty appropriate with everything that is going on. Well, that sounds pretty great to me. I like it. It's going to take everybody, but I'm really glad that you are leading the way. You're in charge now, congratulations. I'm going to do a quick little context here. I thought about this and couldn't quite settle on exactly what direction I wanted to go. Sometimes these things are super technical if we're focusing on one specific topic and guest is on the front lines of that. Sometimes it's more ethical, sometimes it's more philosophical, sometimes it's longer, sometimes it's shorter.

Quinn: I do believe you'll be able to correct me on this one though if I'm wrong because it is about why we're having this call today. Listeners, sometimes you spend all this time and energy immigrating to a country that's supposed to be a better life and then you get a PhD, and not in the classics or Shakespeare as delightful as the old part can be, but in neuroscience. And then you decide to use that degree and your expertise to focus in on opiate addictions because why not help others, right? That feels pretty time. But that's not enough. Oh no, no.

Quinn: You have knocked out a couple of kids, a couple of feminists sons on the side with your medical doctor husband, because apparently, you've both got a thing for brains because why not? And now you're a working mother who's made intimately aware of how goddamn difficult that is in this country. And then after 2016, which we thought was the darkest year, turns out less so, you say, "Fuck it." And you run for city council because you're acutely aware of how important the climate crisis is and in local action and how much we desperately need Medicare for all because you see it all the time with your husband working, and that's it.

Quinn: Or is it? Because now you decide to become an activist for all these things because you've been so in touch with them. And you spend a bunch of energy now campaigning for this Democrat and you actually get him elected and that's great, except he turns out to be effectively garbage. So what in this very fictional situation, listeners, would you do next? Turns out some of us, not naming names, would take all that life experience and wisdom and say, "Fuck it, I'll do it myself." And it shouldn't have come to moments like this. It shouldn't be this hard. It shouldn't require a woman of such incredible virtue and expertise to get the one deal we need to prevent the planet that we've basically been treating like a one star Airbnb rental from turning into a goddamn fireball.

Quinn: But that's where we find ourselves. And so here we are talking to Arati, who's decided to just get into the game and try to fix it herself. And so we're thankful for that and that's why we're talking to her. I want to find out, though that was the historical version of how things happen, but I've spent some more time recently in our conversations trying to get a little more to the bottom of why. There's a question I like to ask about our guest's past. It's not necessary an explanation of their entire life story, but we're trying to find out the why of why they do what they do and what they're fighting for.

Quinn: So I was making these notes for the conversation. I got to the part of your background where you talked about your grandfather being a freedom fighter. And it felt like the perfect time to ask one of my newer favorite questions, which is, is there a specific relationship you can point to that was a catalyst for your actions to get you where you are today? And I find it's much more involved in specific way of asking, why you? Why this? So I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about that.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: That's a great question. Why me? Why this? Right. Why this is really easy to tell you. It is critical. It is important. It is mind blowing to me that we are not all running around raising an alarm for the kinds of things that are happening around the world, that are happening in our own backyard. Right. As a scientist, as a mom, as a human being, we are all looking at this. We all see the sky is falling for real and none of us, or very few of us anyway, seem to care. And so for me, it was about saying, okay, well, what is going on and why are these people, why is this Congress member who was supposed to be this glimmer of hope for us, right? In 2016, when you [inaudible 00:10:23] my district, this person that I had supported, volunteered for, why is he not taking the lead?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: In fact, I asked him that question.

Quinn: Oh, really.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yes I did, right before he was reelected when we were all knocking on doors for him. I had a huge get out to vote [inaudible 00:10:39] for him in my backyard. 60 people showed up, I knocked on doors, there are pictures of us together because I still believed that despite his very first vote, where he voted to overturn Obama regulations on the environment for health, I still believed that he was going to be fighting for us. So I asked him this, I said, "As the co-chair of the bipartisan, supposed bipartisan problem solving talk is I need you to take up the climate change fight." We just had the IPCC report come out that we had something like a decade and it's a very conservative estimate.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And the answer I got was something like, "I can't use that phrase, climate change, to talk to my constituents because I'm afraid of getting reelected." I mean, I'm paraphrasing here. And that struck me as horrendously wrong. This is not what elected officials are supposed to do, particularly not ones that I helped support, who aren't supposed to be Democrats. This is not just cowardly, this lack of moral and ethical leadership, right? Basically, all you're doing is following that agenda of attacking science and truth and reason, and there can be no greater issue right now than the survival of our species, than this existential crisis that we're in.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And the fact that my elected Congress member that I had supported was not just shying away, but he seemed to be running away from this issue and saying he couldn't use this word. How do you even try to find a problem when you're not even brave or courageous enough to define it and say it. And that to me, it was one of the worst kind of conversations I've had with an elected official. And that was horrifying, considering that I was a council member at the time and I was fighting that fight, right? On a local level with similar constituents as he had. Why me? This was not the plan.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I never thought when I was a little girl that this is what was going to be doing, it really wasn't. When I was little, I wanted to do this crazy thing called science. People laughed at me. I had folks telling me that that's not practical. Maybe you should be something else, get a real job, which frankly follows me to this day. Really didn't think this is what I'm going to do, right? After the 2016 election, we talked about this. For me, public service was something that I always did on the side, knocked on doors for presidential candidates, all of that. Never felt empowered to do it myself.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: But after 2016, the day of the election, my boys and I, they were eight and 11 at the time. We went knocking on doors to get out to vote for Hillary. We all wore pantsuits by the way, matching maybe [inaudible 00:13:30] boots-

Quinn: Sure, going to need to picture that for the show notes, obviously.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah, I'm going to have to get permission from the 14 year old to share that.

Brian: Sure, sure.

Quinn: Oh yeah, yeah. Tell him we'll put it on TikTok. It's fine, it's fine.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yes, that will be key. As he put it, "Mom, that is so cringey." So we came back expecting a celebration. Clearly, that's not what happened. Clearly, explaining that to him or them is still difficult to do for me at this point. But the real kicker was weeks afterwards, so the hate crimes were spiking, all of these things are going on and we turned off the TV, we said, we're not going to watch what's going on. And my eight year old at that time, and parents know this is when all the worries come out, right? He was very worried, couldn't go to sleep.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: He was talking to me in bed, "I'm really worried that you're going to be deported. That you are not going to be my mom in America anymore." Yeah. And that his grandparents, my parents, that they're going to be targeted. And it was wrenching to hear that from my son and it was wrenching to understand that he was so afraid for me after having done all of these things by being here for so long and being a proud patriotic American citizen, and feeling like, wow, my son actually feels as if this could... And this is true, could be taken away from me, from all of us through no fault of our own.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And so while I was able to hug him and tell him, "It's okay, this is not what's going to happen to us." Look, the reality is there are far too many of us who can't do that with any kind of certainty. And to me, it was just a moment that still sticks with me where I thought, how does the rest of my community really feel right now? There's so many of us who feel so much less secure and safe and so much more vulnerable. Either because of how they look, how they act, who they love. And none of that is okay. And I thought back to my grandfather.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I grew up on stories of my grandfather fighting for India's freedom, fighting against British colonialism and all the things that he went through, and how proud he was of fighting, even when it looked like there was no hope. And to me, that felt important that that courage, right? Is part of my family lore. My parents, when they left India, they didn't know what was going to happen. They left for the whole promise of America that doesn't always come true for everybody and it should. And my mom had to take English classes just to feel comfortable enough to get on an airplane with us.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: My dad had been here for a couple of years earlier. So just thinking about really how much folks had done for me to get to a place of being able to do things for others, I just felt compelled to act, really, which is how I got into marching and organizing and being a city council member that I never thought I would be. And it was that same compulsion, but also honestly, anger and frustration and a real sense of, look, I'm a real Democrat. I believed in all of these values and my Congress member does not represent these values.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So if I'm going to say, if I'm going to demand better, I need to step up and do more. So that was it. It's not a complicated answer and I don't know if it's an interesting one, but really just felt like we all have to do more. And I'm at a point where I have to try because if we don't, we're fucked.

Quinn: Yeah, I think that sums it up pretty well. And thank you for sharing all that. I think it does matter to people when they see these things, and Congressman AOC put out this video the other day... Yesterday, maybe-

Quinn: Congressman AOC put out this video the other day, yesterday, maybe, this Twitter video talking about there's been this chitter chatter of, "Oh, if Sanders gets the nomination, which it doesn't look like he will, could she be the vice president?" And literally is she even allowed to because she's so young and she put out this really interesting video talking about like that shit doesn't matter. We need to stop going from hero to hero, from savior to savior because it's about the people on the ground doing it. But at the same time I think it's really interesting, which is 1000% correct. And I love her perspective, she has the soul of a 300 year old person who's lived 10 lives. But, I do think it's interesting because people are, especially in moments like this where everyone's locked in their house, listening to us, unfortunately.

Quinn: I do think we do look to those people and the people that are running for office and especially the people that are in office, I think there's this question of like not just how did they get there, but why? What are the things that drove them to do this? What pissed her off so much as a 28 year old bartender to run for Congress? And not just what, like what was the moment, but why and why did that affect her more? I also think it's helpful because our listeners are so action oriented and they're just out there doing shit every day that I've tried to spend more time on this question because I also think it helps people to hear everything you just said.

Quinn: And they might not have such a historic background or a grandfather that's a freedom fighter, but there are things in people's past that they might not have questioned or thought about or even learned about that can make them go like, "Oh, do I have a family history of like stirring shit up that I need to tap into? Or what are the things I was taught that can of that can apply now?" Because that stuff matters. As much I've really enjoyed hearing that, and I'm thankful you shared it, I do think it matters for people because I think it shows them a way of like looking to the past to help them sort of fight for the future.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: No, that makes sense. And honestly, I will say that tied with that is that I have a history of troublemaking in a good kind of way, I suppose. My entire life. I grew up, I was born in India, the very traditional patriarchal society, and for the most part, my family wasn't that much different than that. And so, I've been told what to do, how I'm supposed to act, who I'm supposed to be my entire life. And as it turns out, as my mom puts it, you've always been stubborn and known your own way somehow. So I've always pushed back against those assumptions of how and what I should do. And I think it's good all of us to do that. And I think when I say that to people, they get it. They're like, you're right. Every one of us has been limited in some way, or folks who have told us that you can't do this and you can't do that. And so we listen or we figure out how to go beyond that.

Quinn: I love it. Good trouble making is always good. I mean, look, some of our listeners are definitely starting to veer towards like pure Batman vigilantism, which, at this point, it's kind of time. Whatever works. Brian claims to be a bartender at night. I don't believe him, though he makes some fantastic cocktails.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: That's a super power, yeah.

Quinn: Look, man, we all need them at this point. Super powers and cocktails, but it does matter. I love when your parents are like, "Yeah, you've always been a trouble maker." It's like, great, go do that. I think you would love a previous guest of ours, Bina Venkataraman, she's now the opinions editor at the Boston globe. She wrote a book last year called "The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age" and there's this sort of theme and line in it that has sort of altered my thing I guess.

Quinn: Helped me find better articulate my own thinking, but also help point me in a much more specific direction going forward. And the line is basically like, "How can we be better ancestors?" I remember the first time I read that and reading her book before we talked to her thinking like, "Oh shit, that is the thing. I'm raising three middle class white kids in Los Angeles. They're going to be fine. But at the same time, both for them, but for everyone else, how can you be a better ancestor? And if you can use that, like you said, to take your past and your grandfather's legacy and what your parents did to be so brave to come over here one by one and then take the English classes just to get on the plane and help you to get your degree and everything, to make you go, "How do I use those things from the past to fight for the future?" I think is so applicable and helpful. Anyways, I think you would love the book. She's fantastic.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: No, I totally love that. I'm actually looking it up right now. Not that I'm not paying attention to you all.

Quinn: No, no, no, no. It's fine. Brian literally text halfway through the episodes.

Brian: Are we still doing this thing?

Quinn: Yeah.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I thought you were making cocktails for us, no?

Quinn: Please, please, please.

Brian: I am, very quietly.

Quinn: Shaking so slowly.

Brian: Arthi, we only really cover topics from the perspective of how is this one thing affecting everyone right now? That's our prism. Will it kill us all or will it make the future a hell of a lot cooler for everyone. One of those is often healthcare in the US, which is obviously a complicated discussion because it's a nightmare. But also because so many other people cover it from so many different angles, which is great. And yet here we are now with a once in a century virus quarantining people all over the world and finally all over our country to their homes.

Brian: A virus that, by the way, is possibly, at least 10 times as deadly as the flu. So many Americans don't have healthcare and they can't afford it or they can't take time off of work because they work in the gig economy or they're an immigrant. The point is that they're going to suffer, and we could have been so much better prepared for this. Could you paint a picture for us, imagine a world where there's a specific Coronavirus, and it hits just like it is now, except we've got Medicare For All in place. How would that be different?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We're dealing with this right now. So I'm in Bergen County, New Jersey, right. We are under state of emergency as of two days ago. We are right next to, where we have New York city, where some of the most amount of cases, at least on the East coast we've had, every day we hear about more folks and we still don't know what the true count is or what the true count could be because of lack of testing. We could have been much better prepared even months ago for a pandemic had we had an administration that believed in science, that would allow for all of these things to happen. So first and foremost, the fact is we need government officials, we need folks who are not only not attacking science but actually believe in it and are going to let our nation's experts in public health efforts do their jobs and not muzzle them and not downplay them for political gain. That in and of itself is a baseline that I never thought I would have to speak out loud.

Brian: It seems a little insane.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We should not have to say it. Honestly. When I was getting my PhD, I thought doing the experiments and the multiple failures that you have when you do the experiments and trying to explain it, I thought that was going to be the hard part. I didn't think that I was going to be older and getting people to believe in science, especially the President to believe in science was going to be something that I've ever going to have to do. And that to me is mind boggling, right? We're raising kids in an environment of this kind of distrust, it does not bode well for our society unless we have people stand up and really talk about why that's dangerous. So that's first and foremost. We don't even have to look that far to figure out what that society would be if we had Medicare for all, if we had any semblance of actual humanity and caring for all of us in this world.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We can look at Europe for example, for some of their policies. Folks there, they're going to follow or they are following the public health guidelines of staying home and self quarantining and all of that because they're not worried that if they stay home for 14 days, they're going to lose their job, that they're not going to have money. They're not worried about lack of universal paid sick leave. And just today, just hours ago we heard that the Senate decided to block the emergency universal paid sick leave act. Where is the humanity in that? We're literally in a pandemic. This is like a horror movie and we still have folks who are determined to be as cruel as possible and it's more than boggles the mind, it feels like a deliberate attack.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We can talk about the fact that when we expand Medicaid and Medicare coverage, folks are not going to be worried about what to do when they're sick. About where any of those expenses are going to be. They're not going to be worried about going to the hospital for respiratory [inaudible 00:00:28:25]. There's a level of freedom and there's a level of security, a basic security, that comes from Medicare for all that can't be described. I think that when you look at the world where we are all feeling a lot more security in how we can actually help each other, there's a lot more that we can do. In emergency situations like this, one can feel a little bit more secure staying home with our kid because we are not worried about childcare, we're not worrying about our jobs. We're not worried about how we can help care for each other. And the fact that we don't have that in what we call one of the richest countries in the world is shameful.

Quinn: Yeah, that sounds about right. It's really interesting to open the newspaper in the morning, whether you're physically opening it, or on your device and read about, this whole thing is such a fascinating, it's going to be terribly traumatic in so many ways. People will die. So many people get sick. So many people will suffer in one way or another. People will lose jobs, lose money, the markets, all of these things just besides just the mental anguish from so many different versions of this, as if people weren't suffering that enough the past few years. It is also this fascinating experiment in a number of ways in that one, Americans are getting up and reading the paper as if we were a developing country, looking at and reading about how things are going in Australia, which to be clear was entirely on fire a month ago.

Quinn: But we're reading about how well they were prepared for two months ago and South Korea has their drive through testing and we're reading and going like, "Well wouldn't that fucking be nice?" And we don't usually have that reaction because that's not usually the case. Even when people go and get their medical care, when they can afford it, it's pretty good. They're living in a vacuum. They don't realize how much it could cost, which is, it could cost nothing.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: But here's the crazy part, so you talk about those people having insurance and saying like how much it could cost. I will tell you, this is how I started off thinking, when I first launched my campaign, that folks in my County weren't going to care about it. I will say that even folks with good insurance, I haven't been to a single event and this is traceable. I haven't been to a single event including like a gun violence vigil that I went to or anti gun violence vigil that I went to where someone hasn't come up to me and told me about healthcare horror stories. And for the most part, the folks who come up to me have had insurance. We talk about how they have decent insurance and yet the bills are crazy, yet they feel burdened, yet the premiums are in pain.

Quinn: Well it's not almost worse, but it's almost like you're in this false sense of security. I have insurance, I got it from my employer or I bought a version of Obamacare that's just been butchered by now and they think they're okay and then they get these bills and go, "Hey, what the fuck? This is completely undoable." Now I can't eat. And that is not an exaggeration. That happens all of the time.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah. And they feel like they can't complain because they have insurance and then we sit and we say, "This is not okay. This is not the way you should be living." And I feel like you give permission for people to really think about how limited their lives are and really understand what is happening and how actually, frankly, the insurance company and the way the healthcare system is deeply limits us as human beings. So then when you add the pandemic on top of it and you realize that we have just screwed up for an order of magnitude that cannot be expressed. The testing itself is completely mind boggling to me. So I was reading reports in the New Yorker, I guess about a month ago about Iran and the fact that they didn't believe in quarantine and masks, and I think there was a famous incident of the health minister saying, "Oh no, everything's okay."

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Their mortality rate was something like 18%. And I thought, wow.

Quinn: It's shocking.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: It is shocking and you know what's even more shocking? We are as unprepared in some way as Iran. And to me, I don't understand how we can get to a point like this unless there are deliberate actions and completely reckless negligence on part of the White House and the administration and the fact that they have so much power, it's devastating. And we definitely need elected leaders that are going to not just stand up against it, but loudly, and form a coalition of other powerful leaders that are going to have the checks and balances. Because Trump may not be there in 2021 which I'm going to do my hardest to make sure he's not. We need other folks in Congress that are going to make sure that they provide all the checks and balances possible in the world so that there isn't another Trump, but also to try and start to correct some of this damage. We're not going to go magically back to where it was four years ago. We've had irreparable harm done to us.

Quinn: And by the way, four years ago, not that great for most people still. And this is the whole, people are like, "Oh, we got to go back." And it's like, no, no, no, the whole thing is we've got to build a new thing and that's actually one of the things I wanted to talk about a little bit, which is, should you win, you will be in a position to be an instrument for this, not just rebuilding, but building anew, which is something we already needed to do, but we will be digging out of a hole that's going to make the 2008 2009 recession look like a hiccup. Rebuilding our economy and our society again, people will have been kept away from one another for the first time in a hundred years, for months probably. And so rebuilding again the economy and the society, which are both different things and entangled, are going to require tremendous tact and empathy and strategy and execution. So what can a freshman representative from the great state of New Jersey, a mother, a scientist, an activist, an immigrant, do to contribute? What would you want to be part of and where can you feel like you can make the biggest difference as we do this truly once in a century rebuilding effort?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: What you said is exactly right. Part of what I was trying to say earlier is really in 2021, or even a few months, what we have is an opportunity to build a system that could hopefully be more equitable for everybody across the board. So fighting for the Green New Deal, fighting for Medicare For All. I think that especially after this pandemic is over, and hopefully soon, look, we're all going to be devastated in multiple different ways. We're all going to have to face the reality of what it was like and what it will be, and this is not to panic anybody, but this is to understand.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And this is not to panic anybody, but this is to understand that pandemics like this frankly, are going to be more common [crosstalk 00:36:09] happened.

Quinn: They are.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We need to be prepared for this. We need to be prepared at the local government level, which is where I am, but also at the federal government level clearly, because one of the things that this is actually shown us is that when states start stepping up and they have to and counties and local, we really need all of the backup. But it's paramount that we have folks in federal government, in Congress who form a broad coalition with other members of Congress, with progressives as we called them, but also with everybody else. I think that people understand now and will understand a lot more about why some of these things are so important.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So 100% when I go home, when I am in Congress, I will be fighting to fix this really broken healthcare system. I will be fighting to make sure that we do have a more equitable Green New Deal, right? I will be fighting to make sure that all of these things that are broken are not just fixed, but that we have an entire new system that really centers on more vulnerable communities, and that are centered on the people. I feel like what we do now is centered on corporations and businesses.

Quinn: Sure.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And that's the reality of where we are in politics today. And this is why we are stymied in almost all efforts to truly make the revolutionary changes that we need. Look, everyday we have crises. I mean we talk about the pandemic right now, but honestly it feels as if they're one, two, three, four new things that hit us on a daily basis. And every day that we don't take bold action, it's a day that we waste, and time is running out.

Quinn: Well, and that's the thing I've always tried to help people understand what the climate crisis is, is this is not to trivialize basically anything, but there are a large number of issues where should we vote in one way or another? Legislate in one way or another? Those are just fixed. It's fairly overnight. Again, this is not to trivialize any of these things, but the difference between like saying giving a section of society the ability to vote, great, now they can vote. That's done, right? Theoretically, I mean they're still fighting. There will be voter suppression. Obviously we got a voting rights bill. Yada, yada. Climate crisis is an actual ticking clock and we're just incredibly behind on it, and there is a point where it is going to be very difficult to dig out of.

Quinn: And that is, this pandemic is a great illustration of that, which is we were not prepared. I mean, Ed Yong wrote such a fantastic article years ago about, hey, to be clear, we're not prepared for something like this. And then it was like, yup, no, that's correct. And again, it's going to be terrible. We didn't get into this to be fear mongers, but we're trying to be objective and I feel like I'm on the phone with Johns Hopkins and such every day, but it is going to be terrible. But at the same time we have to and I have to believe that we will learn from this and be infinitely better prepared for the next one, because there will be another one. And we have to be, because we can't be worst prepared.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: No, and the thing is to have that preparation, we need folks in Congress who are not afraid of saying this is the reality and this is how we need to lead. Whether or not that is going to get you re-elected in two years or six years or however that is. You need to have the moral leadership, the ethical leadership and I don't know, belief in science? Facts?

Quinn: Yeah, details.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Integrity to be able to stand up and say it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if this is an unpopular decision right now because I understand that this is the reality and this is what we need to do towards. And guess what, when you're a leader, you also mold public opinion in that way. You also show the leadership by doing the things that are unpopular supposedly, but are the right things to do. And after all, isn't that why we elect them?

Quinn: Theoretically.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah.

Brian: I don't know what we're doing anymore.

Quinn: That's how it was explained to me in AP political science, but I don't know, man.

Brian: Arati, I'd love to know what gets people to where they are, right? And what inspires and motivates people. Are there some books or some thinkers who have taught you how to evaluate the world around you in your own thinking?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Oh, that's such an interesting question. I don't know that I will say there is one or two or three people, although I do read a lot of... So Ed Yong, I meet him actually quite a bit.

Quinn: He's a treasure.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah, he's great. So followed him for a while. I will say that I follow science, Twitter. I particularly follow women in science inside of Twitter. So I'm all about that. And I think that especially now with a lot of the, Me Too science and other stories that are coming out, I find them to be so fulfilling. I actually tend to find that poetry is what drives me. Maya Angelou is one of my favorite poems. In fact, my now husband, but at the time when we were first dating, his first gift to me was actually a book of Maya Angelou poems, which I still treasure.

Quinn: Nice job.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I know. It's the reason he is my husband now, but no, really it's poetry. Especially strong women poets like Maya Angelou that really I feel like you can have this profound impact and you can have these universal truths that come out through poetry that don't come out any other way. So that speaks to me.

Quinn: I love that. Poetry is wonderful. It feels like the literary equivalent of what's the Japanese term? Forest bathing, just going for the walk in nature. It is so untethered to iPhone notifications from the New York Times. It is such an opposite world and hopefully is. It can be brief, it can be long, but hopefully is evocative enough and different enough to just move you to a different place at least temporarily.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yes, for sure. And not for nothing, but I truly enjoy forest bathing as well, so.

Quinn: Oh, hell yeah.

Brian: I didn't know that there was a term for going and hanging out in the woods. That's incredible.

Quinn: It's a pretty great one too, right?

Brian: Forest bathing.

Quinn: Forest bathing. It's amazing. And usual, with everything and meditation in the past 10 years, there's so much science behind it. They're like, no, you should really just go for a walk in the woods. It will help everything.

Brian: That's so great.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: No, it's great. When I kick my kids out the door, I can now say go forest bathe, instead of just get out of the house. That's great.

Quinn: I love it. Arati, what are some of the biggest obstacles that you run into and how do you feel like those are going to translate into your new career?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So do you mean obstacles through running a primary campaign or just obstacles in life?

Quinn: You tell me. It could be your dog doesn't want to go for a walk. It could be a primary campaign. Could be balancing being a working mother. Again, in cases like this, we want to help illustrate for people like, yeah, shit's really hard and these are the specific things and this is how I at least try to deal with them.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah, no shit is really hard. But I'm fortunate enough to have a fantastic support system so that helps. Nobody, especially these days really enjoys having a primary challenger. The consensus seems to be, especially from the DCCC, right? That you don't primary challenge a Democrat. And I completely reject that premise. Primary's are 100% what we need to do in democracy. We need to have these conversations. We need to really explore the ideas that we need to explore because at least in my case, my Congress member does not reflect the real democratic values. I, in my case, I do and I think we need more folks in Congress who are going to again be reflective of the way we fight for the people. Right? That's the challenge.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: When I first announced, it was incredible the amount of people who told me I was overreaching, that I should wait my turn, that I was never going to win, that I was never going to have a movement, that people were not going to take me seriously. And all of it is not true. I mean we are, despite the hoops that they make us jump through, besides the fact that the DCCC for example, blacklist staff members who go and work for my campaign for example, or the establishment Democrats and elected officials feel like they cannot come out publicly and support me, because I'm running [inaudible 00:45:23] and come in, despite the fact that they know me and respect me, and like me amd think that I have good ideas. Despite the fact that I am not taking corporate PAC money or fossil fuel money, which means that fundraising is extra hard.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Despite all of that, my campaign has gained so much momentum. The fact is we have endorsements from national organizations like progressive change campaign committee. I'm really proud of getting endorsements from national and local indivisible as well as food, water action, all of that. And the fact that we have this grassroots movement, we are knocking on a thousand doors more a week. And that tells you how much this campaign resonates with people in the district, how much it resonates with people who really want this kind of change. And really to me it's about standing up and allowing other folks to see and understand that you can fight for these things, that it's not just all nothing's ever going to change. This is just the way it is.

Quinn: True.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And if you don't fall for it, you're never going to get it. And to me, I think that's one of the most important things that has come out of this campaign. And look, I am definitely never going to out raise my opponents. Definitely not, when I'm not taking corporate PAC money or fossil fuel money, I refuse to.

Quinn: True.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I believe in doing things the right way, but 100% we're outworking him and 100% my volunteers and my team is more dedicated and more committed to this cause then I think his is or really I will put that up against almost any other campaign, especially in establishment campaigns that we have. And it has nothing to do with anything except purely understanding that we need to build that better system. Right? Purely understanding that we need to make life more equitable for everybody. And frankly, at the end of the day, I started off saying this is as an existential crises. It's an existential crisis.

Quinn: Right. Surprise.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I'm leaning to with [inaudible 00:47:36]. So we need more legislators, we need more people who are going to be fighting, who can be voting for the new deal. We need representatives on all levels. Listen, being on council, making sure that we have folks at the local level who also believe in climate change. And move that needle, whether or not you were on the board of ed or the local council or County or state level, that counts. That is really important.

Quinn: Sure.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So there are definitely barriers, definitely as a woman, as a woman of color. But I will tell you, it's amazing that when you're doing the right thing, how many more people come over to your side and join the fight. So I'm going to keep hoping, I'm going to be working hard to make sure that continues to happen.

Quinn: I love that. And if you could just get Brian, the social security numbers of all those people who told you to wait your turn, we'll just go ahead and take care of that. [crosstalk 00:48:29]

Brian: I am ready. I am ready.

Quinn: He's ready to finish the cocktails. Ready to do some beat downs. Arati, again, I think I mentioned this to you and we're so proud of our army here. We have so many listeners who've spent the past few years taking action of some sort, whether it's terrified and calling a representative for the first time in their life and just leaving a message and feeling like, oh my God, I did it. Or they're marching or they ran for something local or even more. Or they're a scientist and they've just been doing it the whole time.

Quinn: As we detailed earlier, you've spent so much of your life using a video game term here, leveling up in this game of helping people in a variety of ways, and now you're trying to help everyone. What advice do you have for people who might be interested in, not necessarily following in your footsteps but who might be interested in learning from you? Are there steps or advice you feel like everyone could benefit from or missteps that they could benefit from even more in hindsight? I'm curious.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I will tell you the same thing that I actually, I was invited to this lovely intern who had a sweet 16, she's one of my earliest volunteers when I was actually running for council. And she asked me to say a few words. And if you could give the same advice I would give myself, go out of your comfort zone even if it means vulnerable and sharing your story, even if it means going a tiny bit out of your comfort zone, do it. Ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Question assumptions and expectations, and honestly at the end of the day, just do it. Just take the chance. Just do it.

Quinn: Can you give me an example of where you've asked for forgiveness instead of permission?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Oh, gosh.

Quinn: Pick one.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So here's the biggest one. I announced my primary challenge and only about 10 people in the world knew I was going to challenge my congress member. So that was definitely a case of not asking for permission and just being bold and doing it. I went ahead and announced it. Not many people knew and people were frankly shocked. And the number one complaint I got from the phone calls that I got that day was, oh my gosh, why didn't you ask for permission? And you absolutely do not ever owe anybody permission.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: This request for permission to do the right thing. So that would be the biggest example I have of not asking for permission. And also not asking for forgiveness either by the way. I think that we, especially women, especially women of color, need to just take up our own space. We need to occupy the space that we have in the world. We don't shrink away from the challenges because we belong here. We have things to say, we are valuable. Our ideas are important and our voices, they might not be as loud as other people, but they are just as important if not more important than others.

Brian: Hell yes.

Quinn: I love every bit of it. And would love if your voices were the loudest or just the only ones at this point would be great.

Brian: If everybody else could just shut up.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Listen, what did Gloria Steinem say? Power can be taken, but not given. Right?

Quinn: Yeah.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So those of us who are a minority in some way, shape or form need to go ahead and start figuring out how to take our own power. And I will tell you that process of taking as she says is empowerment. That's exactly right.

Quinn: Fuck yeah.

Brian: Incredible.

Quinn: Rock and roll.

Brian: On that note, let's get to some action steps. We want to make sure that our listeners can support you and your mission with their voice and their vote and their dollar. So let's get into that and let's start with their voice. What are big actionable, specific questions that we can and should be asking of our representatives.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: We can and should be asking all of our representatives, not only where they stand on pollution and the environment and all of that, but we really should be asking them how are they going to vote for Green New Deal? How are they going to make that a reality? How are they going to help push Medicare for all together? How are they going to help fix a broken healthcare system? And we need to keep asking them over and over and over again. We need to make sure that we know exactly where they are. Pin them down, on specifics of where they are and what they want to do and how you feel about it. I think that's something that is of paramount importance. And you can do this by emailing, by calling if you don't feel like emailing. But I know that a lot of folks like to write letters and emails, and I think those are just as effective.

Quinn: Sure.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And when you see bills that are coming up, make sure that your representative is on the right side of history. And make sure you call and say, we want you to be on this side because it counts. Every phone.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: ... on this side because it counts. Every phone call, every email counts. I will also-

Quinn: Yeah. Not a metaphorical way. They literally count.

Brian: Right. Right.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: They literally do. Actually, I will tell you, even on the local level, we count them. So when we have a topic that seems to be of importance to people, there are times that folks have come to move emails and phone calls they received, one side of the other. And there are people who do make a decision that way. So it does literally count. So that's one thing.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: If you believe in any part of having robust discussions, I would say this sounds ... This may or may not sound like I'm talking about politics, but really have those conversations with your neighbors. Be a little bit brave and start talking about climate change. Be a little bit brave and start sharing your story about the healthcare system that's broken. And you will be surprised at what your neighbors will tell you and how much they will share their stories. And really it's that that connection that we need, real world connection that we need to start building a movement and to start building an understanding of what's really important. So I would say that as well.

Quinn: I love it.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah.

Brian: I mean, and what can everybody do with their vote? I sort of feel like we know.

Quinn: But I think this is actually, we do know. I mean, clearly vote for Arati. But at the same time I think going back to something Arati just said, which is hold people accountable. There's no Green New Deal to vote on first because A, it's not a piece of legislation. It's 50 different things coming together. But people should be on record now how they're going to vote. And it's actually great that they can't vote yet Because if they haven't said yes, fucking primary. Let them know that you're going to support someone else. Let them know that you're aware of that now, that they're being watched that.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah. 100%. This is how I started. Right? So we asked a representative, we asked my Congressman, the one who I'm primarying right now, how he felt about Green New Deal and how he felt about Medicare for All. And he said, "Those pieces of legislation or those concepts are going nowhere, and I don't think they're going to go anywhere."

Quinn: Geeze.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: To me that was mind boggling.

Quinn: Yeah. And you're like, "I had 50 people in my backyard. God damn it."

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Exactly. [crosstalk 00:56:33] And you know what? Yeah, I protested. I protested outside his office. I asked to speak with him with a bunch of other folks and I said, "No, listen. I don't understand why you think it's not going anywhere unless you're making sure it's not going anywhere. This is really important. Right? We need a coalition of people and we need to really push this because this is critical. This is what we want as your constituents. And the fact that you won't even talk about it, that you won't even give it the time of day is what's wrong with the system."

Quinn: Sure. Sure.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: So yeah, absolutely. Primary people. Definitely vote for representatives who are going to have the same values as you, who are going to vote for a Green New Deal, who are going to vote for Medicare for All. At least those concepts. 100% hold them accountable for what they tell you. And I will say, I will add to it, look, vote for and support candidates who are truly not taking corporate PAC money or fossil fuel money because if we really want to progress in American politics, you can't have elected officials that are beholden to corporations that are seeking permission from corporate donors. We need to have elected officials that are only beholden to constituents and to the people.

Quinn: And we actually just had a really good conversation that's going to come out. Well, I mean, we're in space time continuum here. That's coming out right before yours with Dr Leah Stokes, who's a fantastic ... She's a Canadian who for some reason like yourself moved to America and probably regrets it. She says she doesn't. I don't believe her.

Brian: [crosstalk 00:58:17] America.

Quinn: Yeah, I know. It's good. I think she's being held hostage. Anyways, her work, she has a new book coming out, but her work is focused on how when you finally write that letter or you call your representative of whatever level, and you also vote for clean energy or climate action or Medicare for All, whatever it might be, how yes, they count all of those. But then how that gets fucked up by corporate interests and lobbying groups and the fact that, what was the step Brian from our newsletter? They spent $85 million in the 2018 election alone, fossil fuel groups.

Brian: Unbelievable.

Quinn: And so that's not to say those calls and letters aren't being counted. They are. They have to. It's that it's not that simple. And that's what we're fighting against. And so we have to defeat that and then put people in office like yourself who don't answer to that money. And I can't explain enough how it's like herd immunity. If we got enough people in there that don't do that, the entire world changes. Everything changes. Those people have nowhere to send their money anymore. Anyways, how do we throw money at your campaign?

Brian: [crosstalk 00:59:29] Money. Money.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Well, if you go to my ... Yeah. You can go to my website. It's Aratiforcongress.com. So it's A-R-A-T-I-F-O-R congress.com.

Quinn: Congress. Congress.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yes. And there's an [inaudible 00:59:42] link. Please, really, this is definitely a grassroots movement. Any amount that you can contribute is going to go a long way. We are a lean machine. I'm running my campaign out of my house. I've taken over the first floor in my basement. So that money is not going anywhere except in reaching out to the voters.

Quinn: I love that.

Brian: Love it.

Quinn: Scrappy. Scrappy gets it done.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: It's scrappy and it's formidable, I will say. I will put up my team and volunteers against anybody else. We are on it.

Quinn: I love that. All right. Listen, we're getting close to time here.

Brian: It's been an hour or something. We're so sorry to hold you for so long.

Quinn: Yeah, but Skype ruined her day for like 20 minutes before we even got started.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I know. I'm sorry.

Brian: And this has been lovely and worthwhile.

Quinn: No, don't apologize. No, thank you so much for your time. We just have a last couple questions and Brian has told me I'm legally obligated not ... I can't call it a lightning round-

Brian: He calls it a lightning round, which would infer that it's quick. It's not quick.

Quinn: It's quick. She's got to go.

Brian: All right.

Quinn: Dr Kreibich, last few. When was the first time in your life when you realized you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Ooh, first time in my life? Power of change, power to do something meaningful. I would say, this is going to sound very crazy. I was about 10 or maybe nine and I had to help my mom navigate the American visa process. I had to be the one who had to translate a bit of the paperwork for her as well with my younger brothers in tow. And I realized at that moment that I really was the connection between my family and kind of bureaucracy and that there are ways that I could make things easier. So yeah, I think that was it.

Quinn: That's pretty rad. I mean that is a very tangible thing that led to everything else.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: It did.

Quinn: And there's so many stories of people not much less having a daughter, but anyone who can assist them in that process and the process just goes nowhere. Or they forget to fill out one form or one line and they're stuck and they can't go anywhere. And none of this happens. And we don't fix New Jersey. Arati, who is someone in your life that's positively impacted your work in the past six months?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Oh, in the past six months?

Quinn: [crosstalk 01:02:25] specific.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: But they could not have done it beforehand? It's just within the six months? This is very-

Quinn: I mean, look. I don't need your PhD picking apart my questions. Okay? Just answer it.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: [inaudible 01:02:38] some very concrete people.

Brian: You can just say anything and we won't know by the way. You can just lie to us.

Quinn: It really doesn't matter. People lie to us all the time.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I know, but clearly this is an existential crisis for me right now. In the past six months, I will say it's my friend Laura. Laura [inaudible 00:08:59]. She actually helped me with my first run. And in the past six months, she actually was my sort of interim campaign manager putting her life on hold with her two little kids. And she's still helping me and my staff. But she is a badass woman. I have a whole team of badass women, I will tell you. So it's her and everyone else. I'm going to give shout outs. Anna, Mad, Leslie, Kira, Ellis, Becca. They're my kitchen cabinets. They are the ones who not just keep me sane, but bolster me, give me both strength and confidence and a shoulder to cry on all the time. They have changed my life in ways I can't even begin to tell you at this point. And they're the reason that I can do anything that I do. So it's my squad, I suppose.

Brian: Yeah.

Quinn: I love that. Is that kitchen cabinet reference an Andrew Jackson reference? Are you going back that far?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I could be. Except of course mine is way better than [crosstalk 00:10:12]-

Quinn: Oh, I mean, you could have said anyone and it would be better Andrew Jackson. To be clear, I'm just saying that's a very old reference. [crosstalk 00:10:17].

Brian: Yeah, I noticed when you said that, and I had not heard that before. I love that. Doctor-

Quinn: Bring it home, Brian. Bring it home.

Brian: Bringing it home. Thank you, Quinn. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?

Quinn: Self care.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Oh gosh. Self care.

Brian: Your Arati time.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I actually, so this is going to go back to forest bathing. I actually take a walk with my dog. I'm lucky enough to live near an arboretum. It's two blocks away. It's one of my favorite places in the world. So I do that. And/or at the same time call up one of my squad and they let me rant and rave. So both of those things are therapeutic.

Brian: [inaudible 00:11:04].

Quinn: I love it.

Brian: Oh, I got to get out into the woods more.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Also, I hear your cocktails are good for self care.

Brian: They're so good. I make some really good cocktails.

Quinn: Can you send a cocktail in the mail? Is that legal?

Brian: Absolutely legal. [crosstalk 01:05:16].

Quinn: That's fine. It's fine. We got it.

Brian: Arati, if you could send one book to Donald Trump, what book would you send him?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: That is so difficult. I mean, would he read?

Quinn: No, I feel like we need to put a disclaimer. We're 90 episodes in. We need to put a disclaimer. Imagine it's all audible or someone will read it to him or it has pictures.

Brian: Yes.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yeah. Because I mean, that's kind of what I'm thinking. Okay. So for real, I would send him ... I don't know if this would do any good. That's a problem.

Quinn: Oh, I think we're beyond that at this point, to be clear.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I'm going to go with poetry. I would send him The Giving Tree.

Quinn: Oh.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: And with absolutely no hope anything happening. Or I would send him Night by Elie Wiesel and see if either one of the two helps. But honestly, I have-

Quinn: Two good choices. I'll be crying the rest of the day. Thank you. Arati, last thing, any last brief speaking truth to power that you want to say to our listeners before you get out of here?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Speaking truth to power. Any last things? I know the whole world feels like it's falling apart. And I know on a daily basis that it feels like nothing is going to go right. But I find such hope because every day I meet people who really just want to take action and who want to step up. Right? And that's what we did after this shit show of an election in 2016.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I am an optimist. I am an optimist in a let's do the work, we can do it with hardware kind of way. Right? And I know that if we just all step up even a little bit, we're going to make a huge difference. And sometimes that means being brave in real life and having these conversations with our neighbors. And sometimes it means being brave by trying to primary an incumbent Congress member who is one of the most conservative Democrats in power and has voted with Trump more times than not in his first year. But I think we all have it in us to do just a little bit more these days. And I know that's what's going to make us be in the end.

Quinn: That works for me. Get off your asses, people. Let's do it. I mean, don't leave your house. You're not allowed to leave your house.

Brian: Get off your ass inside your house.

Quinn: Yeah. Right, right, right. Digitally. Digitally. Don't go outside. Oh my God.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Also, just wash your hands. [crosstalk 01:08:11].

Quinn: Stop touching your face. Now it's like, I've spent years telling ... I'm sure you feel this way. You've got two boys. Boys are monsters. I've spent my kid's entire life like telling them to stop touching their face. Now I feel like I to tell everybody that.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I know. Between that and washing hands ... Who was not doing this? Why is [crosstalk 01:08:30] anymore. Who is not washing their hands at this point?

Quinn: It's very upsetting. The answer is every guy in every airport bathroom. But we don't have time for that. Anyways, listen.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: This is what I've always suspected.

Quinn: This has been so great. Dr. Arati, Thank you so much for your time, for stalking us. Always love hearing from those stalkers. At least you didn't glue letters to a piece of paper like some people do.

Brian: Oh, no.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: [crosstalk 01:08:58] that was next.

Brian: We'll take it. We will take it.

Quinn: If I didn't pick up. We'll take it. It makes Brian feel pretty good.

Brian: Do you have a Twitter? Can we follow you online? Can we tell people to follow you online, keep up with you?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Yes. Twitter, Facebook, and Insta. It's all Arati 4 Congress. It's A-R-A-T-I, numeral 4 Congress.

Quinn: Oh, that's not clintchy. What is it? What does your son say?

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Oh, cringy.

Quinn: Cringy. Cringy. Yeah, that's not cringy. That's pretty cool the number four in there.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: I should [crosstalk 01:09:29] because I follow you all in the podcast.

Quinn: Oh God, I'm sorry. There's such a wider world out there. All right. Listen, you got a campaign to run and doors to knock on, hopefully with gloves and you're washing hands afterwards.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: Of course.

Quinn: Good luck. We will talk to you very soon. Brian's just going to be taking care of those few people and everything-

Brian: Get those numbers.

Dr. Arati Kreib...: That's good. Thank you.

Quinn: Arati, thank you and we will talk to you soon. I really appreciate it.

Quinn: Thanks to our incredible guest today and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute or awesome workout or dishwashing or fucking dog walking late at night that much more pleasant. As a reminder, please subscribe to our free email newsletter at importantnotimportant.com. It is all the news most vital to our survival as a species.

Brian: And you can follow us all over the internet. You can find us on Twitter at importantnotimp.

Quinn: Just so weird.

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Quinn: Please.

Brian: And you can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player and at our website, importantnotimportant.com.

Quinn: Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blaine for our jamming music, to all of you for listening. And finally, most importantly, to our moms for making us. Have a great day.

Brian: Thanks guys.