Thomas Mann to discuss aftermath of 2012 elections
Brookings Institution fellow Thomas Mann will visit Salve Regina Wednesday, Nov. 14 to discuss the aftermath of the 2012 elections and explore the acrimony and hyper-partisanship that has seeped into every part of the political process. His lecture will be held at 6 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.
Congress is deadlocked and its approval ratings are at record lows. America’s two main political parties have given up their traditions of compromise, endangering our very system of constitutional democracy.
In their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” Mann and co-author Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress – and the United States – to the brink of institutional collapse.
The first is the serious mismatch between our political parties, which have become as vehemently adversarial as parliamentary parties, and a governing system that, unlike a parliamentary democracy, makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act. Second, while both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable. The political system faces what the authors call “asymmetric polarization,” with the Republican Party implacably refusing to allow anything that might help the Democrats politically, no matter the cost.
Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. From 1987 to 1999, he was director of governmental studies at Brookings. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association.
Seating for Mann’s lecture is limited and reservations are suggested. For more information, or to reserve a seat, contact the Pell Center at (401) 341-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.