Video: Politics and American Political Ideals

In the video below, Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Rogers M. Smith, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, for a discussion of political ideals and political realities in American history. He highlights the importance of building community and political identity by assembling coalitions around narratives that appeal to a broad audience while shaping policy agendas. Professor Smith compares the leadership of Lincoln, Reagan, and Obama in addressing these tasks. He concludes with an analysis of how the issue of race has been approached as American political life has become increasing polarized around issues of inequality and relative international decline.