February 19 - Trump's Presidential Rating on President's Day?; Florida Exposes Trump's Priorities and Human Failings; Trump Distracts Us From the Enactment of the Koch Brothers' Agenda

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin on this President’s Day with the latest survey conducted by 170 members of the American Political Science Association’s President’s and Executive Politics section on presidential legacies and the rankings and ratings of our presidents over the nation’s history. The co-author of the report Justin Vaughn, a Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics at Boise State University, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “How Does Trump Stack up Against the Best – and Worst – Presidents?”  We assess the recent presidential legacies that have soared like President Obama’s going up from 18th place in 2014 to eighth place today, and those that have declined like President Clinton and Andrew Jackson whose embrace by Donald Trump, along with changing attitudes over Jackson’s treatment of Native Americans, might have added to his demise, particularly since our current president has replaced James Buchanan as the worst president in America’s history with Donald Trump after just one year in office, placed at the bottom.

Justin Vaughn, Political Science, studio portrait

Part 2

Then as Trump tweets out a storm of petulant self-obsession instead of acting presidential as the comforter in chief for the grieving families in Florida, we find our president on President’s Day blaming the FBI’s failure to flag the school shooter on the bureau spending too much time investigating him in the Russia probe. An expert on presidential rhetoric, Jennifer Mercieca, a professor in the Department of Communications at Texas A&M University, joins us to discuss Trump’s human failure and rhetorical priorities, as if the pain the parents as going through is an afterthought compared to Trump’s preoccupation with himself and the legal jeopardy he might be in.

Image result for Jennifer Mercieca,

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Nancy Maclean, a Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and the award-winning author of “Democracy in chains, the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America”. She joins us to discuss how much the press and public are distracted by Trump’s daily headline-grabbing antics while behind the scenes the Republicans are making every bit of the Koch Brothers’ agenda the law of the land as America more and more drifts away from democracy towards plutocracy.

Nancy MacLean