From Politics in Question:

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Mike Signer joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider how democratic self-governments respond to extremism during times of crisis. Signer has worked to promote democratic resilience for over twenty years as a public servant, author, attorney, executive, and advocate. He served as the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia during the Unite the Right rally of 2017. Afterwards, he founded and chaired the Communities Overcoming Extremism: the After Charlottesville Project, a bipartisan coalition including the Anti-Defamation League, the Ford Foundation, the Charles Koch Institute, the Fetzer Institute, and New America. Signer is currently vice president and general counsel of the country’s largest independent digital design agency. He’s taught at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. He is the author of three books: Cry Havoc: Charlottesville and American Democracy under Siege (PublicAffairs, 2020), Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father (PublicAffairs, 2015), and Demagogue: the Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Signer has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Time, and has been interviewed on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, The Rachel Maddow Show, AC360, and NPR. Most importantly, Signer is the proud parent of twin five-year-old boys.

How do crises challenge government at the municipal, state, and national levels? How do Americans hold officials in these governments accountable for the decisions they make during such trying times? Who is to blame when things go poorly? How can we give leaders space to make difficult decisions? And what effect does polarization have on how our leaders respond to crises? These are some of the questions Mike, Julia, Lee, and James discuss on this week’s episode.

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