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America’s Public Forum: Party Factions? Multiparty System? Beyond Two-Party Polarization
April 7 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm EDT
** This event is open to the media upon approval. Media contact: Ciaran O’Connor, [email protected]
From a series of events bridging the worlds of ideas and depolarization, hosted by Braver Angels and friends, “America’s Public Forum.”
It has been clear for some time, that the major American political parties of our time, the Democrats and the Republicans, are quite internally diverse. Among Democrats there are vocal centrist and Blue-Dog Democrats, mainstream liberals, progressive Democrats, and even ascendant communitarian and democratic-socialist groups. Among Republicans there are old-line centrist moderate Republicans, libertarians of various stripes, traditionalists and religious conservatives, newly-ascendant nationalists, and classic business Republicans, and more. And there are even various groups outside these—Independents, third-party types, reformers—who have their own extrapartisan ways of making their voices heard. But in our polarized party system, with a clear red team and blue team, does this real diversity of political interests and passions and opinions have an adequate mode of expression? Do Americans of these diverse political identities have real power to express themselves when our elections, our media landscape, our politics itself, always seems to be focused like a laser on the question of R vs. D?
In the last few years, two books with very different views on this important subject have come out, and Braver Angels is proud and pleased to host the authors of both together in an America’s Public Forum event for their first friendly and insightful public debate on this topic. Steven Teles and Robert Saldin, from the center-right, have written “Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites” and a series of follow-up essays, most importantly “The Future is Faction,” arguing that the two parties must become more deeply factionalized to bring stability and representation to American politics, and that the two-party system should not be overturned. Lee Drutman, from the center-left, has argued, in contrast, that the American political system is too diverse for a two-party system to make sense, and argues in “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America” that a broad institutional switch to multiparty politics is the best way to express American pluralism. His essay “Let a Thousand Parties Bloom” is an excellent distillation of his argument. Drutman, Saldin, and Teles will present their arguments and assess each other’s contrasting approaches. Luke Nathan Phillips will MC the event.
With polarization at the level it’s at now, and with these noted political scientists’ years’ of reflection on our systemic issues, the America’s Public Forum program is proud to present a spirited conversation on this important subject. We will look forward to questions from Americans all over the aisle adding their voices to the conversation!