Q&A: He’s served presidents, and now he’s democracy that is serving

Arthur Blaustein, 87, is passionate about community solution. Now resigned after having a long tenure as teacher of community development, politics and public policy at UC Berkeley, he’s simply released the 3rd version of “Democracy just isn’t a Spectator Sport.” The civic engagement handbook carries a conversation of community solution, inspirational tales, companies with volunteer possibilities, and a preface imploring individuals to get involved with the 2020 election campaign.

Blaustein started volunteering in university and got hooked. He taught college dropouts in Harlem, became involved with American Jewish Congress and chaired its social action committee. He headed south utilizing the American Legion Willard directly Post, supporting voting that is equal for several People in the us (“We idea we settled that,” he stated regarding present assaults on voting rights), as well as in 1965 marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Blaustein ended up being appointed to your nationwide Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity by President Jimmy Carter, also to the board associated with National Endowment for the Humanities by President Bill Clinton, serving under five presidents in most.

J.: You start your guide by writing that election anxiety condition emerged into the 2016 election cycle and it is “on the rise,” and describe the “long fall down the slippery slope of anti-democratic policies and behavior” that put our democracy in danger. You’ve been through numerous elections, is that one actually therefore important?

Arthur Blaustein: I’ve been involved with every campaign that is presidential since 1960. Here is the many dangerous while the most terrifying. There has been two terrifying periods in my own life — the very first had been the McCarthy age, the 2nd was the missile crisis that is cuban. But this will be more threatening.

Why? One of several candidates, Donald Trump, could be the worst president we’ve ever had in america. He’s a pathological liar and a sociopath, he could be unstable … and that’s a combination that is deadly. You don’t know very well what he could be likely to do. He knows absolutely absolutely nothing about US history, American values, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. All he knows is really what he sees on Fox Information.

Just just just How did Trump’s election effect your writing?

It forced me personally to use in the brand new introduction a governmental interpretation of what’s going on. Having taught for several these years, the main theme of my teaching had been the significance of democratic values and democracy to your U.S. But we currently see democracy being subverted.

In your guide you list 25 reasons why you should vote. just exactly just What do you believe will be the top five?

Jobs at an income wage, affordable healthcare, the Supreme Court, the surroundings and international warming, honest federal federal federal government.

A Arthur that is young Blaustein component into the Selma Civil Rights marches in 1965. (Photo/Courtesy Blaustein)

exactly exactly What would you tell those people who are disillusioned and want to sit the Nov. out 3 election?

Democracy reaches stake. Should you want to turn this nation as a banana republic or fascist nation, don’t vote. If Trump wins you’re going to own competition wars in this nation, it’s going to be such in pretty bad shape. It might be therefore dystopian. I’m actually a target type of man, but I’m frightened.

You started volunteering in college and possess served a few presidents. Exactly what are a number of your many unforgettable experiences?

I obtained one thing from every one. Under Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, we served in VISTA Volunteers in Service to America. That has been an eye fixed opener — how cruel poverty can be, and just how lots of people were included. When you look at the National Endowment for the Humanities, we served regarding the general general general general public funds committee for museums, libraries, universities, general general public television and radio. We discovered great deal about their value and value.

The time that is first volunteered was at university, in 1956, as a new Democrat. We wanted to simply simply just take a lady around to talk. It absolutely was Eleanor Roosevelt. That has been an experience that is amazing.

What’s the state that is current of participation and volunteerism in this nation?

Pupils are actually community that is doing in center schools, prep schools, high schools … Young folks are actually devoted to civic engagement and democratic values and assisting this nation. They’re more engaged, down seriously to 12 yrs old.

Does Judaism influence the way you’ve drawn in your daily life?

It possessed an payday loans Kentucky online effect that is big. The thought of justice, integrity of character, community — all of them are essential.







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