The Lawfare Podcast: Larry Jacobs on America's Broken Political Process

By Jen Patja Howell
Friday, April 15, 2022, 5:01 AM

American political life is defined by what can seem like a paradox. Our society is incredibly politically polarized, but our parties are as weak as they've ever been. How else could a reality TV star have so quickly and completely taken control of one of our major political parties?

For Larry Jacobs, a political scientist and professor at the University of Minnesota, the weakness of our parties is a major threat to American democracy. But as he explains in his new book, “Democracy under Fire: Donald Trump and the Breaking of American History,” the roots of this weakness go back all the way to the earliest years of the United States and today manifest in our broken system of presidential primaries.

Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Larry about his new book, his diagnosis of what ails American politics and what, if anything, can be done to fix it.