A Divided Union: Structural Challenges to Bipartisanship
We’re bringing back our two favorite former Congressmen who served on opposite sides of the aisle and were repeatedly thwarted by a dysfunctional system when they (wait for it) tried to work across the aisle in Congress.
We’re bringing back our two favorite former Congressmen who served on opposite sides of the aisle and were repeatedly thwarted by a dysfunctional system when they (wait for it) tried to work across the aisle in Congress. A lot has happened since we chatted with them last time in 2018 — including their consideration of mounting bipartisan ticket for the presidency, and one of them leaving his political party — so we thought it was time to hang out again. Oh and they wrote a book together.
A Divided Union delves deep into ten pressing political challenges that former US Representatives Patrick Murphy and David Jolly (serving on opposite sides of the aisle in Congress) have identified over their multiple terms in Congress and that continue to plague the American electorate today. In an introduction describing their unique paths to Congress, Murphy and Jolly focus in detail on key institutional barriers they faced in Washington in attempting to do the job voters elected them to do. They introduce us to geographic challenges, demographic change, a polarized media, gerrymandering, the role of money in politics, the structure of primary elections, and several other aspects of political life on Capitol Hill. Purchase the book online here.
Presented in partnership with Florida Humanities and Tallahassee Democrat, through the generous support of Florida Humanities.
“And Then We Shall Save Our Country” is an excerpt from Lincoln’s annual address to Congress in 1862, when the country was in the grips of the Civil War. Here is more of the text:
The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
We challenge our fellow citizens to rise with the occasion.