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The Purple Principle
36 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Online Conspiracies & Virtual Cults: Social Extremes in Our Hyperpartisan Age
Our digital universe is full of information, and misinformation, swirling about constantly, sampled in bits and bytes, most of it rarely gaining more than passing attention. How then does misinformation swirl up into a popular conspiracy theory? How do some conspiracy theories, such as Qanon, eventually gain a loyal cult-like following without physical contact between members or between leaders and followers? In this episode, The Purple Principle speaks with three noted cultic experts on these issues as well as the cult-like aspects of the recent Trump Presidency. Dr. Steven Hassan, author of the 2019 book The Cult of Trump, is uniquely positioned to discuss the Trump years and the differences between healthy and not-so-healthy group identification. He was recruited into the Unification Church from his college cafeteria at age 19. Prof. Doni Whitsett of the USC School of Social Work reminds us that cults formed decades ago, such as Scientology and the Unification Church, are still with us but not garnering much media attention. She further explains that, historically, cults arise when and wherever individuals have a longing for group identity. Rachel Bernstein, cultic therapist and host of the podcast IndoctriNation, observes that today’s online cults still occupy a physical space, but mainly within our brains. Join us for “Online Conspiracies & Virtual Cults” and reflect whether group dynamics have overwhelmed logic and conviction in your life, or that of a loved one. And consider the purple and principled advice our cultic experts convey: the important issue is not where groups fall on the political spectrum, left or right or center, but rather, whether the elements of real democracy are at work, such as consulting external information and questioning internal authority. Original Music by Ryan Adair RooneyTwitter: @purpleprinciplFacebook: @thepurpleprinciplepodcastInstagram: @thepurpleprinciplepodcastOur website: https://fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/online-conspiracies Subscribe to our newsletter: bit.ly/3wDbr4o Our guestsDoni Whitsett, USC Dr. Steven Hassan's Freedom of Mind Resource Center@CultExpert@RBersteinLMFTRachel Bernstein, MFTIndoctriNation PodcastSteven Hassan (2020). The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control. Simon & Schuster. Additional ResourcesHeaven's Gate. Encyclopedia Britannica.The Family International. Encyclopedia Britannica.Unification Church. Encyclopedia Britannica.Karen M. Douglas, Robbie M. Sutton, and Aleksandra Cichocka (2017). “The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories.” Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol. 26(6) 538–542.Evita March & Jordan Springer (2019). “Belief in conspiracy theories: The predictive role of schizotypy, Machiavellianism, and primary psychopathy.” PLOS One. Aleksandra Cichocka, Marta Marchlewska, Agnieszka Golec de Zavala (2016).“Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Predict Conspiracy Beliefs? Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and the Endorsement of Conspiracy Theories.” Social Psychology and Personality Science Vol. 7(2):157-166. Diana Tumminia (1998). “How Prophecy Never Fails: Interpretive Reason in a Flying-Saucer Group.” Sociology of Religion, Vol. 59(2), 157–170. Richard Ostling (2/22/82). “Witness Under Prosecution.” Time.
33 minutes | May 18, 2021
Vaccines Prevent Viruses; What Combats COVID Vax Skepticism? An Interview with Dr. Jeanine Guidry, Director of VCU’s Health & Media Lab
Battling the COVID pandemic has been a war on many fronts – disease management, the race to develop effective vaccines, and now the equally tricky PR battle against vaccine misinformation and skepticism. In this episode, the Purple Principle speaks with Dr. Jeanine Guidry, Director of the Media and Health Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University, on the varied approaches needed to address the multiple forms of COVID vaccine anxiety: concerns about effectiveness, safety, fertility, and personal liberty. No easy task, but Dr. Guidry has been waging similar battles well before founding the Media and Health Lab at VCU. As a graduate student not long ago, she discovered that the vast majority of vaccine-related discussions on Pinterest were anti-vaccine in nature, and her paper on that topic helped alert Pinterest to the issue. Today, Dr. Guidry feels the social media platforms are doing more to combat misinformation in the case of COVID vaccination. But by its very nature, social media misinfo is impossible to quell completely. Thus personal communications with friends, family, clergy, and primary care doctors are an essential front in this war. Purple Principle listeners, and anyone with empathy and accurate info, can be part of current efforts against vaccine skepticism and misinformation within their social networks. Tune in to learn more about challenges of vaccine science communication in “Vaccines Prevent Viruses; What Combats COVID Vax Skepticism?” with featured guest Dr. Jeanine Guidry of Virginia Commonwealth University. Original music by Ryan Adair RooneySubscribe to our newsletter! https://fluentknowledge.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a805f5f26b01137e6d893f779&id=e49bf57788Visit our websitehttps://fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/vaccines-prevent-virusesFollow us on social mediahttps://twitter.com/purpleprinciplhttps://www.instagram.com/thepurpleprinciplepodcast/https://www.facebook.com/thepurpleprinciplepodcastRecommended resources from Dr. GuidryHow to fight misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines: A VCU expert in media and health explainsBuilding Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines. CDC.Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. CDC.Vaccines Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines. World Health Organization.
39 minutes | May 5, 2021
The Politics Industry at Work: And How Would You Like Your Gridlock?
Our national legislative agenda hinges on any one Senator’s vote or abstention or last minute demand… A few months into term and the majority of U.S. House Members already anticipate their next primary battle… Meanwhile, bridges crumble, the border crisis deepens, and gun carnage continues unabated… Might be time to take a fresh look at our political gridlock. This episode’s featured guest, Katherine Gehl (co-author of The Politics Industry) provides a sorely needed new perspective on our two-party duopoly. Applying the “five forces” strategic analysis of her co-author, renowned HBS Professor Michael Porter, Katherine describes her “eureka” moment of recognition: politics industry “suppliers” (meaning, politicians) have so much power while “consumers” (we, the voters) have so very little. How do we unshackle from politics industry gridlock? Katherine’s plan for Final Five voting is the designated first step in changing the incentive structure of politics-as-usual. Combining the benefits of open primaries with ranked choice voting, Final Five voting reduces the polarizing effects of primaries and eliminates the spoiler effect that locks in our two party duopoly. For a master-class in politics industry reform, tune into “The Politics Industry at Work: And How Would You Like Your Gridlock?” Featuring Katherine Gehl, Founder of the Institute for Political Innovation and co-author of The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy (HBR Press, 2020).Original music by Ryan Adair RooneyCheck out our website for show notes, transcripts, and more: https://fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/the-politics-industryFollow us on social media! Twitter: https://twitter.com/purpleprinciplFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepurpleprinciplepodcastInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/thepurpleprinciplepodcast/Show Notes:Katherine M. Gehl & Michael Porter (2020). The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy. Harvard Business School Press.The Institute for Political InnovationKatherine M. Gehl & Michael Porter (2020). “Fixing U.S. Politics: What business can—and must—do to revitalize democracy.” The Harvard Business Review. “The Progressive Era: 1895-1925.” The Wisconsin Historical Society.“President Theodore Roosevelt.” The Miller Center.Michael Porter (1979). “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy.” The Harvard Business Review.Party Affiliation: Gallup Historical Trends. Gallup Polls.A.B. Stoddard (4/19/21). “Can 'Final Five Voting' Cure Our Sick Politics?” Real Clear Politics. Mickey Edwards. Library of Congress.Mickey Edwards (1/13/21). “A Republican Journey.” The Bulwark. Mickey Edwards (2013). The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans. Yale University Press.“The Spoiler Effect.” The Center for Election Science. The Bridge AllianceNational Association of Nonpartisan Reformers
38 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
The Senate Filibuster: Weapon of Obstruction or Shield Against Polarization?
The U.S. system of government is commonly known as one of checks and balances. But a careful review of legislative efforts over the past century might need to revise that description to checks and balances and filibusters. In this episode of The Purple Principle, we look at that awkwardly named but often-debated tactic unique to the U.S. Senate, the filibuster. This rule currently allows any Senator to silently delay a vote on a piece of legislation until a supermajority of 60 Senators votes otherwise. Our guests on Season 2, Episode 4 are two of the most informed writers on this topic: Adam Jentleston, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and author of the recent book, Kill Switch (LiveRight Press, 2021); and Richard Arenberg, former Senior Staffer (to Democratic Senators Levin, Tsongas, and Mitchell) and author of the 2012 book, Defending the Filibuster (Indiana U. Press). Jentleson describes the filibuster as the tool which grinds the government to a halt by presenting an impossibly high 60 vote threshold for major legislation. He cites the failure to pass a bipartisan bill on background checks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as one of many cases in point. Arenburg agrees that polarization is afflicting the current U.S. Senate. But he argues that repealing the filibuster will only exacerbate, not ameliorate, that disease. He also suggests that progressives pushing for filibuster reform today do not fully appreciate what will happen when “the keys to the legislative bulldozer are stolen” and Democrats are no longer in the majority. Both viewpoints have merit. Tune in to learn how we arrived at this moment where so much hinges on this thing called filibuster. And make up your own independent mind whether the filibuster has to go in favor of majority-backed legislation; must stay in favor of minority rights; or needs reform to create a better balance. Original Music by Ryan Adair Rooney.Visit our website: fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/the-senate-filibusterShow Notes:Adam Jentleson (2021). Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy. Liveright Publishing Corporation. Richard Arenberg & Robert Dove (2014). Defending the Filibuster, Revised and Updated Edition: The Soul of the Senate. Indiana University Press.Richard Arenberg: Watson Institute Alex Tausanovitch and Sam Berger (12/5/19). "The Impact of the Filibuster on Federal Policymaking." Center for American Progress. Carl Levin & Richard A. Arenberg (3/29/21). “Progressives Would Miss the Filibuster.” The Wall Street Journal. Sarah Binder (4/22/10). "The History of the Filibuster." The Brookings Institute. Anthony Madonna (2010). “Senate Rules and Procedure: Revisiting the Bank Bill of 1841 and the Development of Senate Obstruction.” University of Georgia.
32 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
What’s Behind Those Red and Blue Maps? The Social Geography of U.S. Polarization
In this episode of The Purple Principle, we wonder, what’s behind those red and blue maps of American political and social geography and our deepening urban-rural divide? To find out, we consult not one but two political scientists named Ryan who have extensively researched the social geography of polarization in the U.S. – Ryan Enos of Harvard University (author of The Space Between Us) and Ryan Strickler of Colorado State ( co-author of Demography, Politics and Partisan Polarization in the US from 1828 to 2016). We start with Dr. Enos by asking what led him to study the politics of place and what factors contribute most to the deepening divisions among those blue and red map areas. The conversation quickly turns to social psychology, as Enos emphasizes the importance of neighbors and neighborhoods in shaping our political views. Ryan Strickler of Colorado State also notes the dangers of our polarizing trends. He notes how much attention is devoted to the siloing effects of social media, while the siloing of physical spaces, such as our neighborhoods, is underappreciated.Is there hope for bridging this chasm? The Purple Principle throws out the possibility of mandatory empathy zones and summer picnics with grape popsicles. But it’s likely that Dr. Enos’ recommendation for changes to housing policy may be more substantive. Tune into Season 2, Episode 3, “What’s Behind Those Red and Blue Maps?” for these other salient insights into the social and political polarization on our maps, across our cities, counties, and right down into our neighborhoods. Original Music by Ryan Adair Rooney.For show notes, transcripts, and to sign up for our newsletter, The Purple Principle in Print, please visit our website: fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/the-geography-of-polarizationShow NotesRyan D. EnosRyan Enos (2017). The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics. Cambridge University Press. Brown, J.R., Enos, R.D. The measurement of partisan sorting for 180 million voters. Nature Human Behavior (2021).Emily Badger, Kevin Quealy, Josh Katz (3/17/21). “A Close-Up Picture of Partisan Segregation, Among 180 Million Voters.” The New York Times. Ryan Strickler David Darmofal & Ryan Strickler (2019). Demography, Politics, and Partisan Polarization in the United States, 1828–2016.Thomas Pettigrew & Linda Tropp (2008). “Allport's Intergroup Contact Hypothesis: Its History and Influence.” Mark DiCamillo (2020). “The profound changes that have occurred in the California electorate over the past thirty years.” UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies.Israel Shenker (12/28/72). “2 Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens.” The New York Times.Laura J. Nelson, Joe Mozingo (2/14/19). “Bullet train went from peak California innovation to the project from hell.” Los Angeles Times.
29 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
When Martians Land, Pigs Fly, and Americans Reach Consensus: Civic Genius & Citizen Panel Forums
We’ve all seen and heard the sad decline of civil discussions at congressional town hall forums over the past decade or two. The anger, the shouting, the gotcha questions. Not to mention generous amounts of obfuscation from congressional representatives. The result being that even before COVID, many members of Congress and other elected officials began to abandon town halls all together. But the non-profit, non-partisan group Civic Genius sensed opportunity where others just heard shouting. One of several deliberative democracy efforts, Civic Genius, in partnership with the survey group Voice of the People, holds surprisingly civil and productive “Citizen Panel” forums, where participants deliberate and present bipartisan recommendations to their district’s Congressional Representative. In the process, the group aims to revive the Congressional town hall tradition and give civil society a shot in the arm. This episode features interviews with Civic Genius’s Executive Director, Jillian Youngblood, who leads the Citizen Panel effort, as well as Dr. Steve Kull of Voice of the People, the survey group facilitating selection and orientation of citizens on topics as tricky and timely as police reform and immigration, among others. Tune into Episode Two (Season Two) of the Purple Principle, “When Martians Land, Pigs Fly, and Americans Reach Consensus,” for a refreshing earful of civility. And please visit our website for info on past and future episodes, as well as access to our newsletter, The Purple Principle in Print.For this episode's show notes, transcript, and more, visit our website.Original Music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
34 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Portrait of the Arsonist As Young Congressman: Historian Julian Zelizer (Burning Down the House) on the inflammatory influence of Newt Gingrich
Does history create vulnerabilities that any number of populist politicians could seize upon? Or do exceptional populists create those opportunities only he or she can exploit?There’s no simple answer to that question. But it does frame the informative discussion we have surrounding a major populist figure, Newt Gingrich, on our first Season Two episode with Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. Zelizer’s most recent book is Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party. A 2020 New York Times Notable selection, Burning Down the House focuses on Gingrich’s unprecedented 1989 takedown of then-Speaker of the House, Jim Wright, on relatively minor corruption charges. In our Purple Principle interview, Dr. Zelizer points to this as a major turning point on our unfortunate path toward greater polarization. Please tune in for Season 2, Episode 1, “Portrait of the Arsonist as Young Congressman: historian Julian Zelizer on the inflammatory influence of Newt Gingrich.” Original Music by Ryan Adair RooneySource NotesJulian Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton School of Public & International AffairsNewt Gingrich: Rise to Power" (July 30, 1999) C-SPANJulian Zelizer (2020). Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party. Penguin Press.Associated Press (January 27, 2012) Coach honed debating skills of young Newt Gingrich. Associated Press (5/2/76). Humphrey Reports Rockefeller Rejected Role as Running Mate. The New York Times. John J. Pitney, Jr. (11/22/11). “Five myths about Newt Gingrich.” The Washington Post.Charles Coles Diggs, Jr. U.S. House of Representatives. History. Congressional Black CaucusJo Thomas (March 24, 1978). Rep. Diggs of Michigan Indicted On 35 Counts in Kickback Case. New York Times.Gail Sheehy (Sep. 1995) The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich. Vanity Fair.Newt Gingrich. U.S. House of Representatives.Party Divisions of the House of Representatives, 1789 to PresentThomas P. O'Neill. Encyclopedia Britannica. Ron Elving (4/12/18) Ryan's Speakership Makes 7 In A Row Ending In Frustration — Or Worse. NPRHouse Speaker Jim Wright - Resignation Address (5/31/89).Steven V. Roberts (12/8/86). “For new Speaker, new role is seen.” The New York Times. Julian E Zelizer, Kevin M Kruse (2017). Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974. WW Norton & Company. A 1978 Speech By Gingrich. The Long March Of Newt Gingrich: PBS. Howard Fineman (4/3/89), “For the Son of CSPAN, Exposure = Power.” Newsweek.
29 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
We're Polarized; Now What? The Hard Work of Depolarization: Season One Finale (Part Two of Two)
To some degree, all Americans realize we’ve become more polarized in recent times. Those at one extreme obsess about the other, while those in between wonder if that incessant tug of war will fray our social fabric to the breaking point.Fortunately, there are committed individuals and groups working hard to combat polarization. In Part Two of our season finale (“We’re Polarized; Now What?”), we highlight this important work. First off, the anti-gerrymandering efforts of the Campaign Legal Center, founded by Trevor Potter (former Chair of the Federal Election Commission). Then John Opdycke, President of the non-profit Open Primaries, explains why the opening of closed primaries to independent voters is an important means of combating gerrymandering and polarizing primaries. And Scott Siebel of Fair Vote discusses why Ranked Choice Voting (now adopted in Maine and Alaska at the state level) is an important prescription for our political ills. And what analysis of U.S. politics would be complete without discussion of money? In light of the new high of $14 billion spent on the 2020 election cycle, Joan Mandle, Executive Director of Democracy Matters, outlines some methods for reigning in the influence of money on elections and policy. Last but not least, we visit with Charles Wheelan, founder of Unite America and our first featured guest on Season One of the Purple Principle. He recounts the strategic shifts at Unite America toward electing moderates from both parties and the legislative progress that might then accrue. If you think U.S. politics is broken, you might be right. But these and other democracy repair experts are hard at work. Tune in to restore some optimism on the path ahead, daunting as that may seem. And please stay tuned to Season Two of the Purple Principle, launching in March. Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
21 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Polarization as Plague: Season One Finale (Part One)
A first presidential impeachment… the COVID pandemic with great dissension over shutdowns, social distancing and mask-wearing…Our hotly contested 2020 election followed by major efforts at election reversal culminating with insurrection and a second impeachment trial... It’s been quite a year, much too full of subject matter since we started researching and producing Purple Principle episodes on the theme of polarization. Episode 22, “Polarization as Plague,” is Part One of our two-part season finale. We start off in the neuroscience laboratory with previous featured guests, Dr. Abigail Marsh of Georgetown (Ep 4, “Heard from the Herd”) and Dr. Jay Van Bavel (Ep 9, “Your Brain on Partisanship”) for a quick lesson on the brain structures underlying political orientation and the brain functions fueling partisanship. Yet brains haven’t changed in millenia. Why are we more partisan of late? Look no further than the polarizing nature of our two party political system, as noted by both Dr. Van Bavel and noted author and historian, Dr. Geoffrey Kabaservice (author of Rule and Ruin, Oxford Press). We also consult media experts from two different but equally influential domains: Dr. Robert Elliott Smith (University College London) on the polarizing algorithms of social media and Dr. Dominik Stecula on opinion-based Cable News. What is a polarized nation and society to do? Several experts weigh in on that question during this fast-moving finale focused on the hyperpartisan plague. Please tune in, share us on social media, review us on Apple Music, and subscribe to our newsletter, The Purple Principle in Print, which collects the latest and greatest articles, trends, and issues around the perils of partisanship.Original Music composed by Ryan Adair Rooney.Source Notes:Keith PooleData. Voteview. Lauren Sibilia. Vermont General Assembly. Party Affiliation. Gallup. Abigail Marsh. Georgetown University. Abigail Marsh. The Laboratory on Social and Affective Neuroscience. Across the Table. Pew Research Center. Political Polarization in the American Public. Pew Research Center. DeAngelis, T. (2001). “All you need is contact.” American Psychological Association 32:10. Robert Elliott Smith.Dominik Stecula Kate Kenski et. al. (2017). "Broadcasting versus Narrowcasting: Do Mass Media Exist in the Twenty-First Century?." In The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication. : Oxford University Press.“Fourth Congressional District.” Congressman Jason Altmire. Jason Altmire (2017). Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It. Sunbury Press. E. McGhee et. al. (2014). A Primary Cause of Partisanship? Nomination Systems and Legislator Ideology. American Journal of Political Science, 58(2), 337-351.Myq Kaplan. Jay Van BavelCikara, M., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2014). The Neuroscience of Intergroup Relations: An Integrative Review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(3), 245–274. Carolyn Funk et. al. (10/17/12). Genetic and Environmental Transmission of Political Orientations. Political Psychology 34 (6). Trevor Potter. Campaign Legal Center. “A primer on gerrymandering and political polarization.” Brookings Institute.Geoffrey Kabaservice (2011).Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea PartyGeoffrey Kabaservice, Niskanen Center Andrew Gelman More in CommonThe Hidden Tribes of America India Opzoomer (9/24/20). “America Speaks: What do they think about cross-party marriages?” YouGov. Alaskans for Better Elections - Yes on 2 for Better Elections “Ranked Choice Voting 101.” FairVote. John Opdycke. Open Primaries.
35 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
2020 Polling in Hindsight: Someone Please Answer the Phone
Anyone casually following the 2020 election this year may have noticed a particular pattern in polling trends and election results. That pattern, in key presidential states as well as Senate races, went something like this: Democrat ahead… Democrat still ahead... Democrat a bit ahead, days away from the election… But then: Republican wins by a fair amount. How was so much polling inaccuracy possible again in 2020 at nearly all levels?Episode 21 of the Purple Principle, “2020 Polling in Hindsight,” attempts to answer that vexing question by consulting two polling experts – Dr. Natalie Jackson, Director of Research at PRRI and Dr. Brian Schaffner of Tufts University. Dr. Jackson gives a sense of the technological challenges faced today by pollsters now that few individuals answer their phones, both landline or mobile. On top of that, a sizable number of bright red Republicans are mistrustful of pollsters and unlikely to participate even when contacted. But for indie-minded Purple Principle listeners, Dr. Jackson does confirm that the independent position often predicts which way the American majority will swing. Dr. Shaffner mentions that in today’s polarized environment, some respondents deliberately give dishonest answers to pollsters, often venting ideological views in the process. It also appears a “non-trivial” number of voters split their tickets in 2020, marking the Pro-Biden (or anti-Trump) box up top, but hedging against Democratic control down-ballot as well. What’s a pollster to do in a polarized age with a mistrustful slice of electorate and a shifting political landscape? No simple answers but a lot of helpful insights and information in Episode 21, “2020 Polling in Hindsight (Someone Please Answer the Phone)”. For a transcript or electronic sources for this episode: www.fluentknowledge.com/shows/the-purple-principle/2020-polling-in-hindsightAre you in the “Exhausted American Majority” tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at The Purple Principle.Source Notes:Changing Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage, Pew Research Center Increasing Support for Religiously Based Service Refusals, PRRI National Council on Public Polls Analysis Of Final 2012 Pre-Election Polls Raymond La Raja and Brian Schaffner (2015). Campaign Finance and Political Polarization. University of Michigan Press. Nick Hatley and Courtney Kennedy. “State Election Polls and Weighting Factors.” Pew Research Center Methods. Brian F Schaffner, Samantha Luks, Misinformation or Expressive Responding? What an Inauguration Crowd Can Tell Us about the source of Political Misinformation in Surveys, Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 82, Issue 1, Spring 2018, Pages 135–147.Danielle Kurtzelben (11/19/20). “Why Were The Polls Off? Pollsters Have Some Early Theories.” NPR. Lila Harakles (11/9/20). “The 2020 election showed that polls could not anticipate voter turnout.” The Maine Campus. Parker Richards (11/3/18). “Republican Governors in New England Defy the Blue Wave.” The Atlantic. Deja Thomas and Juliana Menasce Horowitz (9/16/20). “Black Lives Matter support down since June, still strong among Black adults.” Pew Research Center. Jasmine Aguilera (11/5/20). “The Complexities of the 2020 'Latino Vote' Were Overlooked, Again.” Time. Elaine Kamarck and Alexander Podkul (10/23/18). “Political polarization and voters in the 2018 congressional primaries.” Brookings Institute. Christine Zhang and Courtney Weaver (12/30/20). “Underestimating Trump: the US polling industry under fire.” The Financial Times. Eli Yokley (1/25/21). “Biden's Initial Approval Rating Is Higher Than Trump's Ever Was.” Morning Consult. Dhrumil Mehta (6/19/18). “Separating Families At The Border Is Really Unpopular.” FiveThirtyEight.Natalie Jackson (12/5/20). “Trump-Biden polls damaged trust because voters saw them as predictions.” USA Today.
26 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Polarization at the Tipping Point: The Long Term and Wide-Angled Views
A Major Pandemic… Election 2020 that lasted weeks… Election Denial 2020 is still going months later… Insurrection… Impeachment… And possibly more to come. There’s been a lot of polarized and polarizing events over the past few months. So it seems time to step back and take a longer range, wider-angle view of partisanship in our DisUnited States. The Purple Principle does that in Episode 20 with featured guests Dr. Andrew Gelman of Columbia University (Departments of Political Science and Statistics) and Stephen Hawkins, Research Director of the international non-profit, More in Common, authors of the seminal study on American political identity, The Hidden Tribes. Dr. Gelman explains how polarization is measured over time with modern statistical techniques, which reveal how seemingly unrelated issue positions can form into partisan constellations. Why, for example, should someone’s position on the minimum wage correlate with their view on global warming? Logically, there’s little connection. But in our partisan age, these correlations are increasing over time, if not yet fully correlated. Stephen Hawkins of More in Common defines the seven tribal identities identified through extensive psychology-driven polling. More in Common defines the four groups in the American center as “The Exhausted Majority.” Hawkins explains that those suffering from partisan exhaustion tune out from political news while our tribal wings consume more media, thus incentivizing media companies to play to their outrage. What’s a polarized nation to do? Hawkins suggests the answer may lie back in the Cold War, when a common enemy solidified American identity. Tune in to learn more about the major trends in polarization and our surprisingly complex political tribalism in Episode 20, “Polarization at the Tipping Point.”Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: purpleprinciple.com/polarization-at-the-tipping-point/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
28 minutes | Dec 31, 2020
Repodcast of Declaration of Independents, Alaska Style: Ballot Measure Two Takes on Polarization
The Year 2020 has not exactly been brimming with good news. Certainly in terms of public health and the economy, you could say it was the worst of times and the worst of times. But we did find a bright audio spot in Purple Principle Episode 13, which we repodcast today with important new information, most notably that Alaska’s ambitious Ballot Measure Two has officially passed. Ballot Measure Two packaged together the opening of statewide primaries to non-partisan or independent voters with top four ranked choice voting and greater campaign finance transparency – all in one referendum! But Alaskan politics is different. A remarkable 57% of Alaskan voters are registered as either non-partisan or unaffiliated voters. The drafters of Alaska Ballot Measure Two sought to preserve and enhance this non-partisan political culture toward more cooperative governance. This repodcast features excerpted interviews with the successful Campaign Manager of Alaskans for Better Elections, Shea Siegert, on the challenges surmounted by Ballot Measure Two. Join us as The Purple Principle takes an audio cruise through our nation’s most indie-minded state while asking if Alaska might inspire similar efforts against polarization among the lower 48.
19 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
Civil Society and Campus Politics: Two Collegians Take on Polarization
Colleges have come to be known as havens for divisive politics, cancel culture, and trollism, all miserably co-existing with academic stress, social pressure and stale pizza. In Episode 18, “Civil society and Campus Politics,” The Purple Principle profiles two college students pushing back against the polarizing forces on college campuses and the nation writ large. Avinash Bakshi, President of the Penn State College Independents, describes the importance of having a third, less tribal option among political groups on his campus of 40,000 undergraduates. While Tyler Swanson, sophomore at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and founder of the student-run Bipartisan Post, decided fact-based reportage was the best method to counter disinformation, echo chambers, and polarization on his and other campuses around the country.Tune in to hear that all is not quite lost in our not so United States, assuming a growing number of college students like Avinash and Tyler join the fight against polarization as a true threat to American higher education, politics, and society.
40 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Party Dynamics and the 2020 Election in Context: A Discussion with Historian Geoffrey Kabaservice (Niskanen Center)
Inaccurate polling… Split-ticket results… Denial of election results by large numbers of Republican voters and members of Congress...There have been plenty of head-scratching developments related to the 2020 election. In Episode 17, “Party Dynamics in Context,” we turn to noted historian and columnist, Geoffrey Kabaservice, for 2020 election analysis. Given the demise of moderates in the Republican party, Dr. Kabaservice explains that today’s unprecedented Republican loyalty to Donald Trump, the individual, rather than to the party, is not entirely surprising. He also explains why swing voters seem to have gone for President-elect Joe Biden but not for Democrat candidates down ballot, as had been expected. What about the future of the Republican Party and for bipartisan governance within a closely divided Congress? Dr. Kabaservice is not optimistic about major legislation but does see some hope for a centrist coalition in the House of Representatives. For an informed, contextual view of the 2020 election and current party dynamics, tune into Episode 17 of the Purple Principle with Dr. Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of Rule to Ruin (Oxford Press) and Director of Policy Studies, Niskanen Center. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/party-dynamics-and-the-2020-election-in-contextAre you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
41 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Democracy & Elections Under Stress: A Discussion with Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center
The 2020 election has revealed the partisan state of American politics and society like no other event in recent history. How did we get to this point? Our special guest today, Trevor Potter, Founder and President of the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), provides insight into that question and suggestions for rehabilitating our polarized polity. Gerrymandering, the partisan drawing of electoral districts, is one major factor. In Episode 16, “Democracy & Elections Under Stress,” Trevor Potter (a former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission) describes how the long-practiced art of gerrymandering has become a polarizing science in the age of big data. Potter’s nonpartisan group, the CLC, is working to combat gerrymandering through litigation and the establishment of independent redistricting commissions at the state level. Potter also outlines CLC initiatives in campaign finance transparency and ranked choice voting. Last but not least, Trevor Potter (General Counsel to John’s McCain’s presidential campaigns) comments on attempts by the Trump campaign to block and overturn 2020 election results in several pivotal states. He commends the courage and professionalism of Secretaries of State and election officials from both parties for adhering to democratic process. Tune in to learn more about our democracy and our elections under stress in Episode 16, with Trevor Potter, Founder and Chairman of Campaign Legal Center, and Former Chairman of Federal Election Commission. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/democracy--elections-under-stress-a-discussion-with-trevor-potter-of-the-campaign-legal-center/ Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com
28 minutes | Nov 19, 2020
The Second Coming Turns 100 (Part II): A Discussion of W.B. Yeats’ Classic Poem of Polarization with Briona Nic Dhiarmada, documentary filmmaker & Concurrent Professor of Film & Irish Studies (University of Notre Dame)
Exactly one hundred years ago this month, at a time of political polarization and the Spanish Flu pandemic, William Butler Yeats published “The Second Coming,” a poem premised on the cycles of history that resonates today with striking immediacy. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, the worst are full of passionate intensity... These and other enduring lines from “The Second Coming” are now part of our collective vocabulary. In Episode 15, “The Second Coming Turns 100," we look at the historical context in which Yeats conceived and published the poem with special guest, prize-winning documentary filmmaker Briona Nic Dhiarmada, Professor of Film and Irish Studies at Notre Dame University. Find out more about the poem, its birthplace, and remarkable composer, Nobel Prize-winning poet, W.B. Yeats, in Episode 15, “The Second Coming Turns 100," Part 2. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/the-centennial-of-w-b-yeats-the-second-coming-part-2/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
23 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
The Second Coming Turns 100 (Part I): A Discussion of W.B. Yeats’ Classic Poem of Polarization with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Paul Muldoon (Princeton University)
How does a century-old poem written in Ireland as European civil wars erupted in the aftermath of World War I still resonate in our own partisan era? That is the central question The Purple Principle asks in both Episode 14 and 15, as the classic poem, “The Second Coming”, by William Butler Yeats, turns one hundred years young. In Episode 14, our special guest is another great Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, author of 15 collections of poetry, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Professor of Poetry at Princeton University. Muldoon speaks about the poem’s insight and longevity, the influences at work on Yeats as he wrote it, and the impact Yeats still exerts on poetry today. The center cannot hold.. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity… Lines published one hundred years ago this month (November 1920) that still speak to us today here in the U.S., as we polarize over COVID, election results, and other issues. Tune in to learn more about the remarkable relevance and endurance of “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats with special guest, the renowned Irish poet, Paul Muldoon.Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/the-second-coming-turns-100/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
25 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
Declaration of Independents, Alaska Style: Ballot Question Two Takes on Political Partisanship
The great state of Alaska is different in many ways – its vast size, low population, and great distance from “the lower 48” (states). Politics in Alaska is different as well: a remarkable 57% of Alaskans are registered as either non-partisan or unaffiliated voters. The proponents of Alaska Ballot Measure 2 would like to preserve and enhance the state’s non-partisan political culture. This measure would create an open unified primary system, top four ranked choice voting, and greater campaign finance transparency. If passed this year, it would be one of the most comprehensive and significant reforms to state level elections in U.S. history. Episode 13 features Campaign Manager of Alaskans for Better Elections Shea Siegert on both the challenges and rewards of Ballot Measure 2. Join The Purple Principle as we take an audio cruise through our nation’s most independent-minded state, meeting notable Alaskans along the way, and learning that electoral change never comes easy. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/declaration-of-independents-alaska-style/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
19 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
Non-Partisan David vs. the D.C. Disenfranchisement Goliath: Independent Krucoff Promotes Douglass County MD as the Future of Washington DC
Independent candidate David Krucoff is running for the non-voting D.C. Congress position without much hope of unseating incumbent Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton for her 16th term. Instead, Krucoff seeks to call attention to his non-partisan “retrocession” solution to D.C. disenfranchisement – the creation of Douglass (as in Frederick Douglass) County, Maryland as the new and fully enfranchised home for Washington, D.C. citizens. Could David’s retrocession proposal slay the D.C. disenfranchisement Goliath? Krucoff says he’s in it for the long game with the hope of seeing Douglass County, Maryland created before the 2030 census. Tune in to find out how non-partisan candidates and proposals can take on partisan politics on Episode 12 of The Purple Principle. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/a-discussion-with-non-partisan-dc-candidate-for-congress-krucoff/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
27 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Science, Comedy & Partisanship
What makes a stand-up comedian wake up one day and decide comedy needs more science? A road comic for 13 years, Shane Mauss made this enlightened decision 5 years ago in launching his science podcast, Here We Are, and then expanded it by creating Stand Up Science comedy shows, inviting local professors around the country on stage to discuss their research. We asked Shane about the origin of his scientific interests, as well as the challenges of doing regular and Stand Up Science shows around our highly partisan nation. The result is that science has a lighter side, and comedy an important edge, on this episode of the Purple Principle, Science Comedy & Partisanship, with featured guest, Shane Mauss. Original music composed and created by Ryan Adair Rooney. For a transcript or sources for this episode: https://purpleprinciple.com/science-comedy--partisanship-shane-mauss-stands-up-and-speaks-out/Are you in the Exhausted American Majority tired of partisan politics? Are you a purple mediator in a red and blue family? Sign up for our blog postings or share your own purple tale at purpleprinciple.com.
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