Historian Bernard Weissberger. He’s the author of “America Afire,” (William Morrow 2000). The book chronicles the political tumult surrounding the Presidential Election of 1800 between Adams and Jefferson. As in this election, a voting glitch caused confusion. Neither candidate was willing to concede. Weissberger compares the events then, at the birth of the Constitution, to the Gore v. Bush controversy now. He has written more than a dozen books and works on documentaries with Bill Moyers and Ken Burns.
President Obama has been re-elected. Democrats and Republicans have maintained their respective majorities in the Senate and in the House. So does this mean there will be more partisan gridlock? Fresh Air talks with political analyst Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.
Historian Alexander Keyssar. In his new book “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States” (Basic Books), he examines the checkered history of our country’s right to vote, and how this right was not for a time extended to certain groups of people, from propertyless white men, to women, immigrants, and African-Americans. Even now, he argues, that the wealthy and well-educated are for more likely to go to the polls than the poor and under educated. Keyssar is Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University.
Political scientist Robert Pastor, Ph.D. joins us to talk about possible election reforms in the American system after this presidential vote. Pastor is a professor of Political Science at Emory University, and in his former role as a Carter Center Fellow, he helped create international election monitoring teams. He has monitored 20 foreign elections. Pastor is the author of 10 books on subjects such as U-S foreign policy, international trade and democratization.
Attorney Cass Sunstein (SUN-steen). He’s considered by many to be one of the nation’s authorities when it comes to interpreting the U.S. Constitution. He’s the author of “One Case at a Time: Judicial Minimalism on the Supreme Court,” (Harvard University Press) which came out last year. Today, he explains the legal aspects of the election controversy in Florida. He teaches at the University of Chicago.