Our American Discourse, Ep. 32: 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.

Prof. Anderson is an Associate Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She serves as the director of the Center for Social Solutions to Environmental Problems, prior to which she served as a legislative assistant in Congress and received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, or Stitcher.

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“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey and Ryan Hedden.