Image - the speaker, book cover, detail from book cover
Past Event

Kenneth Walsh: The Architects of Toxic Politics in America

How did politics become so poisonous in America? Journalist Kenneth Walsh articulates the unique character of the current political moment, and the forces that have created it, by comparing and contrasting the Trump and Biden presidencies with administrations of the past.

Walsh also profiles some of the key political “attack dogs” who have shaped the modern landscape: the campaign strategists, activists, and media figures who have played outsized roles in political campaigns. Drawing on his long career as a journalist specializing in presidential coverage, Walsh argues that due to the complex, often conflicting nature of American government, the angriest, most decisive voices can command media, voter, and legislative attention and thereby maintain and consolidate their power. This results in frustration, alienation, and cynicism, and ultimately a diminishment of voter participation that can reinforce this vicious cycle and lead to electoral disaster.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Photo courtesy the speaker.

June 3, 2024

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Kenneth Walsh

Kenneth Walsh

Journalist; Historian; Former White House Correspondent, U.S. News & World Report; Adjunct Professor, American University School of Communication; Author, The Architects of Toxic Politics in America: Venom and Vitriol

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates