Politics & Polls #134: The Republican Party Featuring Jeff Flake
Donald Trump’s presidency has raised serious questions about the future direction of the Republican Party. Former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has been among those to raise concerns about the party.
In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the GOP with Flake, who outlines some of his divergences with the President’s views.
Flake, who was a U.S. Senator in Arizona from 2013 to 2019, expresses concern that the Republican party has seemed to abandon what it believes to be right in favor of what makes for an effective campaigning message. Flake further asserts his view that Republicans have failed to fully internalize what he believes to have been a ringing defeat during the midterm elections.
While in the Senate, Flake worked on the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law and chaired the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee. He previously served as the executive director of the Goldwater Institute and then spent six terms in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller: “Conscious of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.”
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Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He has written more than 900 op-eds, including his popular weekly column for CNN.com and The Atlantic. This year, he is the distinguished senior fellow at the New York Historical Society, where he is writing a biography of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for Yale University's Jewish Lives Series. He is the author and editor of more than 19 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. In January 2019, Norton will publish his new book, co-authored with Kevin Kruse, “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.” In spring 2020, Penguin Press will publish his other book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and New America.
Wang is a professor at Princeton University, appointed in neuroscience with affiliate appointments in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Center for Information Technology Policy. An alumnus of Caltech, where he received a B.S. with honors in physics, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Stanford University School of Medicine. He conducted postdoctoral research at Duke University Medical Center and at Bell Labs Lucent Technologies. He has also worked on science and education policy for the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He is noted for his application of data analytics and poll aggregation to American politics. He is leading an effort at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project to build a 50-state data resource for legislative-quality citizen redistricting. His work to define a state-level legal theory to limit partisan gerrymandering recently won Common Cause’s Gerrymandering Standard Writing Contest. His neuroscience research concerns how the brain learns from sensory experience in early life, adulthood and autism.