The Potentially Insane Future Of American Politics | KERA News

The Potentially Insane Future Of American Politics

Sep 1, 2016

This year’s presidential election campaign has been full of surprises – and surprising candidates.

On Think, Krys Boyd talked with Brookings Institution senior fellow, Jonathan Rauch, about what it all means for the future of American politics. His article, “How American Politics Went Insane” appears in The Atlantic.

The KERA Interview

Jonathan Rauch on …

… this year’s election:

“One of the interesting things this year, which tells me that chaos  is not just about Trump, it’s going deeper, is that of the final four major candidates to make it through the primary process three were renegades whose business model  is to be outsiders running essentially against their own party or the party whose nomination they were seeking.”    

… why political parties lost power:

“We’ve spent the last forty or fifty years systematically weakening and in some cases demolishing the tools that political professionals and insiders in parties have to rely on in order to organize politics and get leaders and get followers to follow leaders. We don’t have a crisis of leadership in American politics, we have a crisis of followership. It’s like herding cats which is really hard to do, to mix metaphors, if you don’t have carrots and sticks”     

… who was behind this:

“My generation, the baby boomers, came along and said, 'Well it’s just a bunch of corruption, you know, political money, smoke filled rooms, pork barrel spending, party leaders influencing the nominations.' We decided to get rid of all that. We made war on our political leaders, insiders and parties and what we didn’t realize is that we were destroying the ability of the political system to be organized and therefore to do stuff.”