Alexander Heffner

Alexander Heffner is host of The Open Mind on PBS and co-author of A Documentary History of the United States.

 

Recent Articles

High Crimes With Impunity

Constitutional scholar Frank Bowman III discusses his new book High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump.

Patrick Semansky/AP Photo President Donald Trump walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, September 12, 2019. The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is re-publishing this conversation. Frank Bowman III is professor of law at the University of Missouri and visiting professor at Georgetown Law. A constitutional scholar, Bowman is author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump . This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Alexander Heffner : Historically frame for us what the catalysts have been in moving the momentum, the bar towards impeachment. You could identify tweets, you could mention Helsinki or Charlottesville as events that morally, ethically, if not legally, ought to be a catalyst for what we consider high crimes and misdemeanors. Frank Bowman III: I think it’s dangerous constitutionally to think about impeaching...

A Popular Electoral College?

Republican political strategist Ed Lopez discusses the federalist argument for the National Popular Vote.

The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is re-publishing this conversation. We discuss the National Popular Vote movement with one of its grassroots advocates on the eastern seaboard, Ed Lopez-Reyes. A Connecticut-based Republican strategist, Lopez is chief consultant of Wolf and King Strategies and, from 2002 through 2010, served on the Joint Intelligence Operations Center’s Europe Analytics Center in imagery and counterterrorism. Heffner : What is your argument for the National Popular Vote? Lopez : The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is basically a bill that state legislatures can choose to pass. It becomes a contract between a number of states. And when we reach the 270 Electoral College vote threshold, it activates a compact, which means that these states would take into account what the popular vote result is and put the weight of that result on the Electoral College votes so that...

Rescuing the Soul of the Presidency

Historian Stephen Knott considers the contemporary character of the nation.

Andrew Harnik/AP Photo "Jackson stirred the pot. Andrew Johnson stirred the pot. Richard Nixon stirred the pot. Donald Trump is stirring the pot," says presidential historian Stephen Knott. The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is re-publishing this conversation. The American presidency has devolved from the neutral unifying office envisioned by the framers of the Constitution into the demagogic partisan entity of the present, argues historian Stephen Knott in his forthcoming book The Lost Soul of the American Presidency . Knott is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and previously served as co-chair of the presidential oral history program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Alexander Heffner: What does the soul of the presidency mean? Stephen Knott : I don’t mean to suggest that the presidency has a...

Life-and-Death Decisions: Why Some States Vote to Block Health Care Reform

Jonathan Metzl, author of “Dying of Whiteness,” discusses how racial resentment has fueled a backlash against health care policy designed to include immigrants and minorities—with deadly consequences for working-class white Americans.

Kimberlee Kruesi/Associated Press A floral funeral wreath was placed outside the Idaho state Senate chambers in March 2016 to protest the body's failure to pass a Medicaid expansion bill. The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is re-publishing this conversation. In his new Basic Books book “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland,” Jonathan Metzl reveals how the backlash policies against a multicultural America have mortal consequences even for the people they promise to help. Metzl is professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University where he also directs the Center for Medicine, Health and Society. He is research director of the Safe Tennessee Project, a nonpartisan volunteer-based organization concerned with gun-related injuries and fatalities. Alexander Heffner : What did you discover about these resentments and over...

The Super State Strategy

Grassroots organizers Ethan Todras-Whitehill and Catherine Vaughan of Swing Left discuss their plans to restore democratic accountability.

The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is re-publishing this conversation. These are two leading organizers in the movement to rebuild and preserve American democracy: Ethan Todras-Whitehill is the cofounder and executive director of Swing Left, and Catherine Vaughan is the chief strategy officer of Swing Left. She was previously the CEO and cofounder of Flippable, an organization to support candidates running for state office. This year Swing Left recently launched a Super State Strategy for 2020 designed to organize victories across the White House, the U.S. Senate and state in 11 so-called Super States so that volunteers and donors can multiply their impact up and down the ballot. Alexander Heffner : What are you hoping to accomplish by January 2021? Ethan Todras-Whitehill : I think obviously we’d like to see a new occupant of the White House. I think everyone would agree that’s the most...

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