• Vanderbilt University

    Trump didn’t bring white working-class voters to the Republican Party. He kept them away.

    Republican leaders and political analysts have widely embraced and promoted that Donald Trump uniquely attracted working-class voters to the GOP. New research including survey data on voting behavior going back to the 1980s contradicts this assumption. In fact, Trump’s term in office stalled a long-term trend of White working-class voters moving to the Republican Party. Read More

    Apr. 15, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Hazardous Misinformation: Key Policy Levers

    Digital technology allows for the frictionless spread of information, including false and manipulated content. As a nation that has enshrined freedom of speech in the First Amendment of our Constitution, the policy levers available to U.S. officials to confront the free flow of dangerous misinformation—whether pertaining to COVID-19, elections or other matters of existential significance to lives and our democratic institutions—are necessarily circumscribed. Thankfully, misinformation scholars have proposed policies that comply with Constitutional limitations and have the potential to mitigate the hazards of misinformation.  Read More

    Apr. 13, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Civics 101: Keep Demagogues Out of Democracy

    Political philosophers from the Greeks to the framers of the U.S. Constitution to Abraham Lincoln all warned of the mortal danger that demagogues pose to democracies. Vital to their understanding of that danger was their familiarity with Greek and Roman history and political philosophy. These foundational principles of democracy should not only be taught to students in Civics 101 but deserve continued emphasis to Americans of all ages.  Read More

    Apr. 7, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Learning from the Nashville model of social change

    The Nashville model is a replicable model — if not in all its details, then certainly in its principles — for contemporary justice movements. It shows that clearly articulated objectives are crucial to building credibility. The effectiveness of the Nashville campaign was rooted in the intensive workshops on nonviolence that preceded the actual sit-ins. Read More

    Apr. 6, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    The Republic of the Inattentive

    Despite conventional wisdom, behavioral evidence repeatedly suggests that most Americans are not avid consumers of political news. Instead, they are spending an astounding amount of time engaging with entertainment media. It is time to face the extent to which politics and non-political media consumption are closely intertwined. The role of ‘The Apprentice’ in the rise of President Trump is one such example. Going forward, politicians need to rewrite the standard political playbook to reach an inattentive public. Read More

    Apr. 5, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Legislative Effectiveness and the Waning Powers of Committee Chairs

    Committee chairs in the 116th Congress in the House and Senate continue a trend of decreasing lawmaking effectiveness as consistently reported in the Center for Effective Lawmaking comprehensive dataset (1973-2020). Perhaps restoring some of their prominence would offer opportunities for Congress to address America’s greatest public policy challenges. As seen in The Hill with the title "Committee chairs continue their lawmaking decline" (March 26, 2021). Read More

    Mar. 27, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    State-by-State Decisions on Shutdowns Minimize COVID’s Economic Impact

    Minimizing the personal and economic costs of a global pandemic requires the coordination of federal, state and local governments. When it comes to implementing stay-at-home orders with the simultaneous and competing goals of minimizing community spread and business dislocation, our data-driven analysis demonstrates the value of public policy discretion at the state and local level. Read More

    Mar. 2, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    When Polarization Hits the Pews

    America’s political fractures reach beyond polling places and into the church pews.  Christian church leaders and laypeople should heed their faith’s fundamental creeds to foster “big tent” congregations where church members can practice what they preach by listening and modeling civil dialogue. Read More

    Feb. 22, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Trench Warfare: The 2020 Election in Historical Perspective

    Donald Trump’s presidency was one of the most tumultuous in U.S. history. His four years in the White House were a cavalcade of crises, scandals, lies and norm-busting. But through all the drama, public opinion was remarkably unmoved. Read More

    Feb. 9, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Words Matter: What an Inaugural Address Means Now

    Presidents’ words create national identity. For better or worse, presidential rhetoric tells the American people who they are. Ultimately, a president’s voice must provide the American people with a concrete vision of how—and more importantly, why—to move forward together. Read More

    Jan. 15, 2021