Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Death of Expertise”

Tom Nichols’ The Death of Expertise is a broad look at the antipathy toward “experts” and “expertise” among the citizenry of contemporary United States. Nichols contends that this antipathy is dangerous for our democracy, that this distrust not only makes for unhealthy conversation but damages both political and public relationships with the very experts’ guidance.

We discuss the argument, the nature of expertise, the role of the academic in civic education, and the state of civics in general. Find out if we liked this book and who we think should read it.

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 16: What’s Lost in the Transition from Refugee to American Citizen

What becomes of a refugee when they’re no longer a refugee? We spend so much time talking about migration caps and vetting that we seem to ignore all the Americans living amongst us, trying to acclimate to their new country after the harrowing journey from their former homeland. Would it surprise you to learn that they start their new life in substantial debt? Or that they don’t have many of the basic items they need to live, let alone feel like a human being? Wouldn’t you like to know how you can help?

In this episode, Miry Whitehill tells us the inspirational story of how she started helping these former refugee families—and how she created an easy way for you to help them too.

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 8: Who’s Really in Charge? Government Bureaucracy Under Attack

Bureaucracy is so boring. The word is just dripping with lethargy. Who cares? Not you, right? Well then, you’re in for an unwelcome surprise because the people who run our government from day to day aren’t the ones you voted for. They’re the bureaucracy, and the very survival of our democracy depends on them. They execute the laws of this nation, and lately they’ve been doing it without supportive leadership, without the trust of the public, without a voice.

In this episode, William Resh is their voice, and we would be wise to listen.

Prof. Resh is an assistant professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. His recent book, Rethinking the Administrative Presidency: Trust, Intellectual Capital, and Appointee-Careerist Relations in the George W. Bush Administration, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2015.

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 iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

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