Making Democracy Work

Democracy Forum

Democracy Forum on WERU FM Community Radio

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July 20 -- Distrust in Government: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?

The League of Women Voters Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM produces a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy. It's called the Democracy Forum.

Broadcasts may be heard live from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor. Listen live on the Web at WERU FM.

Here is information about our upcoming broadcast.

July 20 -- Distrust in Government: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?

I think you all know that I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help. -- President Ronald Reagan, The President's News Conference, August 12, 1986

We'll talk about the waxing and waning of Americans' trust in government, why a little skepticism may be a good thing, how partisanship plays into the equation, and how too much distrust may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. We'll take listener calls during the second half of the show.

Special Guests:

  • Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine.
  • Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Key Topics:

  • Has there been a steady decline of trust in government, particularly in the 21st century?
  • Do we need a little distrust to make democracy work and keep it relatively free of corruption?
  • Is the current distrust in government out of the ordinary ebb and flow? Has it gone too far? How can we tell?
  • Have our attitudes about government been "played" for partisan advantage? How so and to what end?
  • Is this equally true at the state level as it is at the federal level?
  • What can we do to realign our attitudes?

To learn more, follow these links to related articles and essays:

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.

Recent Topics in this Series

June
STATE PRE-EMPTION: Who's Got the Power?

May
IMMIGRATION: Can We Live Without It?

April
RANKED CHOICE VOTING: How Will It Work in Maine?

March
GERRYMANDERING: What's the Big Deal?

February
PRIMARY ELECTIONS: What Are They Good For?

November
TEN MONTHS IN: Taking Stock in Maine

October
POLITICAL PARTIES: Do They Still Matter?

September
CENSUS 2020: Making Sense of the Census

July
CIVIL DISCOURSE: Can We Do It?

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.