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…

Some musings on the mid-terms and pre-2016 politics

November 10, 2014, by Sherry Bebitch Jeffe

“One thing is perfectly clear from the mid-term elections—the voters are royally pissed. Exit polling showed a sour crowd—and an electorate that, as it usually is in off- year elections, is older, whiter, more conservative, better off and more likely to vote Republican.”

Sheriff’s Department Scandals Offer Opportunity for Increased Oversight

Today marks the most wide-open election for Los Angeles County Sheriff in more than a century. As the Los Angeles Times noted, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell is favored by many to win the county’s top law enforcement job, a rarity for an organization where most departing sheriffs have had a hand in tabbing…

Is Judge Stevens Right on the Money?

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to dismantle limits on campaign contributions has elicited a fervid reaction from many quarters. But it turns out that legal experts and those worried about the influence of political organizations funded by wealthy individuals aren’t the only ones concerned with the issue of abolition of limits on election spending. You can count former…

The Largest Vote in the World

The dimensions of American myopia are well established. From climate change to health care, the American way of doing business is not always universal. Democracy—that great civic religion—is no different. India, not the United States, boasts the largest democracy in the world, and the nation of 1.2 billion is currently in midst of a mammoth…

Election Day in New York

Sept 9, 2013 – by Jeremy Loudenback – Tomorrow marks an important date for New Yorkers. As polls open for the mayoral election, the city will be guaranteed a new face in the mayor’s office for the first time since 2001. Michael Bloomberg has held the reins through three mostly prosperous terms …