Truth Politics & Power: Party Politics

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President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Jan. 28, 2017. In the background is a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson, which Trump had installed in the first few days of his administration.

Truth Politics & Power is a weekly series where host Neal Conan engages with historians, journalists, scholars, poets and even comedians to explore the context and meaning of the Trump era.

This episode explores how Donald Trump thrives in a time of political extremism, obstruction and filibuster. Boston College History Professor Heather Cox Richardson discusses Trump’s affection for another disruptive president, Andrew Jackson. Democratic Strategist Cornell Belcher talks about the seismic charges that shaped both parties after the 1960s, and scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein give insight on the future of our fractured parties in the age of Trump.


  • Friday, April 28 at 8pm on AM820 and New Jersey Public Radio
  • Saturday, April 29 at 10pm on AM820


Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College, specializing in 19th century American history. She's the the author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party, which was published in 2014.

Cornell Belcher is a long-time Democratic Party strategist and pollster who worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. He’s founder and president of brilliant corners Research & Strategies, a polling firm, and author of A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America's Racial-Aversion Crisis.

Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein are co-authors of the 2012 book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism. In the book, they argue that the Republican Party is largely responsible for the dysfunction in Washington. Mann is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.