Incivility wars

Listen 49:00

Guests: Diana Mutz, Joanne Freeman

If you think the rancor in Congress is bad now, back in the days leading up to the Civil War, legislators were throwing punches, overturning chairs, and brandishing weapons in Capitol Hill. The contentious politics of the time – particularly around the issue of slavery – led to more than just verbal barbs being thrown. Yale University historian JOANNE FREEMAN joins us to talk about the Congressional fisticuffs and her book, Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. But first we look at incivility in our current politics with the Presidency of Donald Trump and Democrats beginning to respond in kind. Just last week, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder made the case of tougher political tactics. University of Pennsylvania political scientist DIANA MUTZ weighs in on the impact of incivility on politics and our democracy.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.