Thinking about Democracy in the Midst of the 2024 US Campaign for the Presidency

The campaign is underway. And the fate of democracy is clearly part of the conversation. But just what do we the people and our leaders mean by democracy? How are we practicing it in a nation long regarded as its exemplar? Once the election is decided and the victor declares that he has a mandate to govern, what conclusions can we begin to draw from the ten-month long campaign season and on what it portends? In our discussion-focused course we will take on these questions, drawing on both the works of scholars, journalists and others, and on our own observations concerning the events, rhetoric, media coverage, and serendipity of a campaign in its final weeks. Our attention here will not be on how the candidates are faring. There are many other sources for that. Our focus will be on the nature, state, and implications of the democracy in action before us. At each of our six sessions we will review two or three articles, podcasts, opinion pieces, and/or YouTube videos that have been shared with course members electronically, and compare our impressions of the campaign during the “week that was.” Putting our heads together, we will have the opportunity to learn from one another and, not least of all, to deliberate collegially at a time when our restive nation is on edge.

Group Leader: Mark Yessian
Venue: Chilton Club
Meets on: Thursday 1 to 3 PM
Starting: 10/10/2024
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 17
Teaching Style: Seminar
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

Mark Yessian has a Ph.D. in political science, three decades in government service at the federal level, and most importantly, an abiding curiosity about political philosophy, American political history, and governance. That curiosity has deepened with the many courses he has led over the years at Beacon Hill Seminars and the Harvard Institute of Learning in Retirement.