Democracy Forum 3/19/21: Is that for real? Conspiracy Theories in American Politics

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Participatory Democracy: Is that for real? Conspiracy Theories in American Politics

We’ll talk about the political and social conditions that give rise to conspiracy movements.
Why are people drawn to these ideas?
What are the conditions in civil society that are feeding into these trends?
How have these moments come up in our history?
How have we gotten past it before?
Can democracy function when these beliefs are widespread?


Jamie McKown, James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity at College of the Atlantic
Joanne Miller, Associate Professor, Political Science & International Relations, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Delaware

To learn more about this topic:
Speaking of Psychology: Why people believe in conspiracy theories, with Karen Douglas, PhD, podcast of the American Psychological Association
Gender Differences in COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory Beliefs, Erin C. Cassese, Christina E. Farhart, and Joanne M. Miller. 2020
A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, Nancy L. Rosenblum and Russell Muirhead, 2019

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Michael Fisher, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.