Vision Series: Solon Simmons Talks about Political Dysfunction

Posted: October 7, 2013 at 5:02 am, Last Updated: October 8, 2013 at 6:37 am

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Solon Simmons

Solon Simmons.

Just two weeks after the government was unable to avoid a shutdown over partisan squabbling, Solon Simmons, associate professor in George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, will present a timely lecture on political dysfunction in the United States.

In fact, the subject is the crux of his first book, “The Eclipse of Equality: Arguing America on Meet the Press.”

The book details the atrophy of equality in post-World War II America and discusses the impasse of political discourse as both Democrats and Republicans attempt to split classical ideas of liberalism while allowing equality to fall to the wayside, leading to an inability and unwillingness to bridge the essential gulfs between our major political parties.

The event will be held at Founders Hall on the Arlington Campus on Monday, Oct. 14, at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are not required, and light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

The story Simmons tells, he admits, is not a happy one. These developments are told through an analysis of the staple political program, “Meet the Press,” which debuted on Nov. 6, 1947, making it the longest running program in American television history. The show provides a consistent lens through which the American political system’s evolution — or devolution — can be analyzed.

Simmons is a sociologist and a graduate of the University of Chicago. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has contributed analysis to the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and “Meet the Press.”

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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