In his latest book, THEY DON’T REPRESENT US: Reclaiming Our Democracy, Harvard Law School professor LAWRENCE LESSIG points out big problems the U.S. is NOT solving, and adds, “The crisis in America is not its president. Its president is the consequence of a crisis much more fundamental…The core problem with our democracy today is that it is essentially unrepresentative. We should secure, finally, a representative democracy…let’s just try it for once… and see if things get better.” We talk about how democracy is broken and how we can fix it.
In his newest book, We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the 21st Century, ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, Dean of Berkeley Law, makes the case that the right has since the 1970s developed and enacted a clear vision of constitutional interpretation. He calls on progressives to fight back with an alternative vision based on fulfilling the Constitution’s promise of liberty and justice for all.
I turn to constitutional scholar ERWIN CHEMERINSKY to talk about legal issues raised by the Trump administration. How far is this Supreme Court going to go in weakening the separation between church and state? Is Trump violating the law by making money – including taxpayer’s money – from his businesses and properties? Who’s going to enforce that law? How bad is it that he belittles and scapegoats the judiciary? Is it too early to think about impeachment? We’ve only got a half hour, but we cover a lot.
Free Forum – (1) Sessions is AG, Trump’s attacking judiciary. so you’ll hear longtime NYT Supreme Court reporter LINDA GREENHOUSE (originally aired May 2005) (2) Betsy DeVos confirmed by Pence so you’ll hear 30+ year LA public school teacher RAFE ESQUITHWritten on February 12th, 2017
Originally aired November 2005
The last week gave us an Attorney General with a terrible record on civil rights and the drug war, a Supreme Court nominee in the mold of Scalia, the President attacking the judiciary, and an Education Secretary with no experience of public school. Listen to my 2005 interviews with the wise and knowledgeable Linda Greenhouse and Rafe Esquith, award-winning 5th grade teacher, famous for the Hobart Shakespearians.
The gap between rich and poor is huge and growing…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations fight federal regulations…the influence of money in politics is greater than ever…new inventions speed the pace of daily life.
Sound familiar? Those headlines from the early 1900s set the scene for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book The Bully Pulpit-a history of the first decade of the Progressive era – a time when courageous journalists and an ambitious president took on the Robber Barons – the 1% of their day – and won.
Goodwin tells the tale through the long friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – a relationship that serves both until it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that cripples the progressive wing of the Republican Party and helps elect Woodrow Wilson.
Getting equal billing in her account is the golden age of journalism led by the muckraking press at McClure’s magazine. Together a bold and progressive press and a strong and progressive president served the people of the US rather than the super wealthy and the corporations. What lessons can we learn to help us turn this country around a century later?