Democracy Forum 3/17/23: If Small States Rule, Why Are They So Angry?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

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, Lisa Leaverton, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Rick Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, emerita, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
If Small States Rule, Why Are They So Angry?
Does this small-state bias in the federal government equate to overrepresentation of rural interests?
Does it translate to policies that help rural areas thrive? Are communities in small or rural states actually thriving?
Do people in those communities feel like they’re thriving? Or does “rural resentment” account for minority rule at the federal level?
Senators from small states hold outsize sway in government to the point where they can block measures that the majority of Americans want. How are they using that power?
What does it mean for Maine?

Amy Fried, John Mitchell Nickerson Professor or Political Science, UMaine
Michael Podhorzer, Chairman of the Board of the Analyst Institute; Assistant to the President for Strategic Research at the AFL-CIO

To learn more about this topic:

Paul Ryan Says Even MAGA Diehards Believe Trump Can’t Win in 2024 – The New York Times, March, 2023
Most Rural States 2023 | World Population Review
The Resentment Fueling the Republican Party Is Not Coming From the Suburbs – The New York Times, January, 2023
Rural Americans aren’t included in inflation figures – and for them, the cost of living may be rising faster | The Conversation, January, 2023
Opinion | Can Anything Be Done to Assuage Rural Rage? | The New York Times, January 2023
Opinion | How to fix American democracy during a ‘Great Pulling Apart’ – The Washington Post, January, 2023
Opinion | This Is How Red States Silence Blue Cities. And Democracy |The New York Times<, January, 2023 A Policy Renaissance Is Needed for Rural America to Thrive – The New York Times, December, 2022
America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good – The Atlantic, June 2022
Place-Based Resentment in Contemporary U.S. Elections: The Individual Sources of America’s Urban-Rural Divide, Nicholas Jacobs, B. Kal Munis, September, 2022
At War with Government | Columbia University Press, Amy Fried and Douglas B. Harris, 2021
How Educational Differences Are Widening America’s Political Rift – The New York Times, September, 2021
The Electoral College and the Rural-Urban Divide – The Aspen Institute, February, 2021
James P. Melcher and Amy Fried, “Two Maines in a (Potentially) New Swing State”. Chapter 14 in David A. Schultz and Rafael Jacob (editors), Presidential Swing States, Second Edition, 2018.
Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics | Cambridge University Press, David Hopkins, 2017
The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker| University of Chicago Press, Kathy Cramer, 2016
Strangers in Their Own Land | The New Press, Arlie Russell Hochschild, 2016

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.