If you’re struggling to make sense of the 2016 election (that should be all of you — it’s confusing!), then let me recommend that you check out Election Shock Therapy, a weekly podcast from four of my colleagues at Bethel University.
Produced by my frequent podcasting collaborator Sam Mulberry, EST features Chris Moore (PhD, Ohio State), Andy Bramsen (PhD, Notre Dame), and the newest member of our Political Science department, Mitchell Krumm (PhD, Indiana).
Mitchell takes the place of our late colleague Stacey Hunter Hecht, who co-hosted a podcast like this (The Policast) with Sam and me in 2008 and 2012. So among its other virtues, EST is a fine tribute to Stacey, who was committed to helping the public — and especially evangelicals like those who graduate from and send their kids to Bethel — become more thoughtful voters. In three episodes so far, Chris, Andy, Mitchell, and Sam have touched on everything from polls to debates to third parties, with significant time given to discussing the importance of likability and truth-telling in the presidential campaign.
If you’re hoping to spend 45 minutes listening to political partisans shout talking points at each other, look elsewhere. Andy, Chris, and Mitchell act like the political scientists they are, making the insights of their discipline accessible to a broad audience. Mitchell’s field is American politics, but I also appreciate that Andy and Chris bring expertise in comparative politics and international relations, respectively. (Episode 2 started to get into foreign policy, timed as it was to coincide with Donald Trump’s odd visit to Mexico.)
Sam serves well as a proxy for the audience, asking the questions that bewilder most of us. And, of course, you can submit your own questions and comments by emailing the EST crew.
To subscribe to Election Shock Therapy or to download individual episodes, search for the podcast in the iTunes store or click this link. (Or listen to it at Podbean.) And be sure to rate and review EST, to help others find it.
And if you’re at Bethel or elsewhere in the Twin Cities area, be sure to attend a live recording of Election Shock Therapy next Tuesday morning (September 20, 10:20am) in the Bethel Library.