Who Has the Ear of Your Legislators and Why They Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done

We’re six months away from one of the most consequential midterm elections in modern history, and Americans are fed up with Congress. Politicians have gotten a bad rap throughout history, but today’s legislators are setting record lows in approval ratings and public trust. What gives? Why do they disappoint us so often? Are they really ignoring our needs and demands, or are we misunderstanding the challenges they face?

In this episode, Sarah Anderson shows that it’s a little of both: politicians don’t listen to all constituents equally, but they also can’t just snap their fingers and fulfill our wishes.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

Coriolanus

In Coriolanus, Shakespeare brings us to a Rome in a time of transitional government, leadership, citizenship. Great warrior Coriolanus returns from battle and is asked to run for office, his pride and disregard for the plebeians leads to ruin.

Can Shakespeare still teach us about leadership?

Host Jeffery A. Jenkins (@jaj7d) is joined by guests Carla Della Gatta (@CarlaDellaGatta ), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), and Donnajean Ward (@DonnajeanWard).

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of Coriolanus click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle PlayStitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

In Defense of Our Political Party System (Sort Of)”

Did the recent government shutdown cause your confidence in government to soar?

We thought not. Luckily, Anthony spoke with UC San Diego prof Thad Kousser about where gridlock comes from, what to do about it, and whether politicians really deserve all the blame they get.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

All the President’s Men (40th Anniversary Edition)

Bernstein and Woodward published All the President’s Men a mere three months before Nixon’s resignation. We’re revisiting (or visiting for the first time) this classic work of political journalism in the wake of the many callbacks since the 2016 Presidential election. Are dirty tricks just part of politics? What role does the press play? Are there parallels to the Trump administration?

Featuring host Jeffery Jenkins (@jaj7d ‏), and guests Aubrey Hicks (@AubreyHi), Lisa Schweitzer (@drschweitzer), and Donnajean Ward (@DonnajeanWard).

To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of All the President’s Men click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle PlayStitcher or your favorite podcasting app!

Good Governance and the Democratic Process

The “causes of faction are…sown in the nature of man,” said James Madison. But could the founders have foreseen the level of political polarization we’re seeing today? They certainly tried. That’s why we have separation of powers, checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights. In many ways, these institutions are under attack. Power has been concentrated, and minority rights have been threatened. How shall become of our constitutional system?

In this episode, we navigate this treacherous onslaught with Dean Jack Knott.

Listen to the individual episodes on the Our American Discourse page, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Our American Discourse

Great knowledge need not wither on the academic vine. We bring you the smartest minds from the University of Southern California and beyond, wrestling with the defining challenges of our time. In their research, we find wisdom. In their voice, hope.

Hosted by Anthony W. Orlando, Our American Discourse reminds us that we’re never too different to learn from each other, nor too divided to find common ground.

Listen to the individual episodes on the Our American Discourse page, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Bebitch Jeffe discusses Bernie Sanders’ union endorsement

KQED radio talked to Bedrosian faculty affiliate Sherry Bebitch Jeffe this week to hear her reaction to Bernie Sanders’ recent endorsement from the National Nurses United labor union. “It must be giving Hillary Clinton a little bit of nervousness,” she told KQED’s Tara Siler Monday afternoon, adding Clinton was now forced to react to Sanders. “Another thing…

Is Trump’s Impact Overblown? Sherry Bebitch Jeffe responds

Bedrosian Center faculty Sherry Bebitch Jeffe published an opinion piece last week analyzing the impact Donald Trump’s presidential campaign might have on the Republican Party. In doing so, she draws a comparison to former California Governor Pete Wilson’s 1994 reelection campaign, and the legacy his campaign has had on Latino voters in California. See an…