18-15 Segment 1: The Rise of Confrontational Politics

 

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Controversial politicians are nothing new in American politics, but the recent election of Donald Trump proved just how influential high-conflict politicians can be on the public. However, many people wonder what makes these high-conflict individuals so appealing, and how they manage to argue their way into powerful positions. We talk to two experts about how high-conflict politicians become so successful.

Bill Eddy, president of the High Conflict Institute and author of Trump Bubbles: The Dramatic Rise and Fall of High-Conflict Politicians, explains that a high-conflict person (HCP) is an individual that exhibits a repetitive narrow pattern of behavior, an all-or-nothing attitude, and intense emotions that easily distract them from being focused on problem solving. Many of their patterns of behavior become predictable, but Eddy states high-conflict individuals must first do something damaging before people realize. Yet, these high-conflict people still tend to attract an audience. He explains that high-conflict people are appealing in times of turmoil because they are able to make situations look simple. Furthermore, Eddy explains two other influencing factors in their success: the system of communication between a high-conflict person and the public, and that individuals ability to manipulate this system. Through understanding these different factors, high-conflict people are capable of gaining a following that allows them to become successful.

Another way that high-conflict people are able to appeal to a large audience and increase their opportunity for success is through emotion. Lauren A. Wright, PhD, political scientist and author of On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today, explains that studies have shown that being able to observe a person’s facial expressions, rather than just hearing the person speak, can influence people to be more inclined toward that person. Because of this, television and other visual media play a very important role in the public’s perception of a person.

How does this provide an advantage to politicians? This unconscious absorption of expression allows high-conflict politicians to easily spread their anger to their followers, while also establishing a loving relationship with them even though they have never met. However, when handling situations with a high-conflict person, Eddy explains that it is important to use E.A.R. statements. These statements rely on empathy, attention, and respect which can calm someone with a high-conflict personality because it shows them that you are aware that they are working hard and that you appreciate the work that they have done.

Guests:

  • Bill Eddy, president of the High Conflict Institute and author of Trump Bubbles: The Dramatic Rise and Fall of High-Conflict Politicians
  • Laura A. Wright, PhD; political scientist and author of On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today

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18-14 Segment 2: Religious Strife and Refugees: The 1947 Partition of India

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The partition of India in 1947 is a historical event that often goes untold, despite being one of the largest mass migrations in the world. But, author Veera Hiranandani feels that it is important to talk about this time in history more now than ever. The author, whose book The Night Diary details the story of a young girl who lives in the midst of the partition of India, explains that this important event in history is losing the opportunity to be told by the people who experienced it because many of the people who were children during the partition are in their 80s and older. With this in mind, Hiranandani set out to write a book that focused on aspects of the partition of India that many people are unaware of.

Throughout the course of the novel, this event is told through the eyes of a 12 year-old girl which was done purposefully in order to convey a few points. Hiranandani wanted to honor the pain experienced from the amount of violence at this time without focusing on it too much due to the intended audience of her book. Another important point brought up by Hiranandani in The Night Diary was the division of religious beliefs at the time. She explains that these prominent divisions make it difficult for people to understand and overcome these differences. Finally, she wanted to address how the events of this history are still relatable today. The novel works to humanize refugees by depicting the character as typical 12 year-old that is worried about average everyday experiences. Hiranandani explains that she does this in order to help people look at the refugee as a young girl instead of othering her. In order to learn more about the partition of India, listen to this weeks show and pick up a copy of Hiranandani’s book, The Night Diary.

Guest:

  • Veera Hiranandani, author of The Night Diary

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17-36 Segment 1: Bobby Kennedy’s Legacy

 

Although he never became president, Bobby Kennedy spearheaded a great deal of change in America with his work in civil rights, crime fighting and by combatting corruption. Our guest remembers this icon and talks about his more personal side, how he helped his brother John become president, and how his legacy inspires liberals and conservatives to this day.

Guest:

  • Larry Tye, author of Bobby Kennedy: The making of a liberal icon

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17-09 Segment 1: Post-Election Protests: Can They Make Real Change?

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Since the election, protests for issues on both sides of the political spectrum have grabbed headlines. A women’s march, a march for life, a march for science, the list goes on. But can these protests make a difference, and if so, where? We talk to political science experts about movements that have succeeded in the past and how change may come about, specifically when it comes to the electoral college system that some feel over-values certain states over others.

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16-39 Segment 1: Robert Kennedy: Remember a fallen icon

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Although he never became president, Bobby Kennedy spearheaded a great deal of change in America with his work in civil rights, crime fighting and by combatting corruption. Our guest remembers this icon and talks about his more personal side, how he helped his brother John become president, and how his legacy inspires liberals and conservatives to this day.

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16-35 Segment 1: Women Running for President

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Hillary Clinton is running for president as the Democratic nominee this year, and for many people she’s the first woman to ever seek that job. It might surprise you to know, however, that hundreds of women have run for president. One of our guests introduces three other prominent females who made progress in running for the White House. The other talks about the private side of Secretary Clinton and how, as First Lady, she tried to keep family life as normal as possible for the president and her daughter, Chelsea.

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16-13 Segment 1: The Political Classroom: Teaching Civics

 

Synopsis: Civics classes in many grade schools and high schools aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago, when teachers lectured on “how a bill becomes a law” to a roomful of bored students. These days, kids are more likely to discuss and debate some of the most pressing issues of the day. We talk to two educators about how some schools are teaching students how to debate correctly, how discussion of hot topics can foster understanding of diverse points of view, and the long-term benefits for students who engage in thoughtful, civil, debate.

Host: Gary Price. Guests: Diana E. Hess, Dean of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Paula McAvoy, Program Director for the Centers for Ethics & Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Both guests are co-authors of the book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education.

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