FAU Lifelong Learning Society, Jupiter
Robert P. Watson, Ph.D.

 Political Science

Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., is Professor of American Studies at Lynn University, Senior Fellow at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship and the political analyst for WPTV 5 (NBC). He has published 34 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, book chapters and essays on topics in American politics and history, been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets across the US and internationally and has served on the boards of numerous scholarly journals, academic associations and presidential foundations. Professor Watson has won numerous awards, including the Distinguished Professor of the Year awards at both FAU and Lynn (twice) and FAU’s Faculty Service award (twice).

Dysfunctional Politics
Reforming a Broken System

Everyone agrees that the American political system isn't working. Hyper-partisanship, special interests, and careerist politicians more interested in their own reelection than the national interest have brought the legislative agenda to a grinding halt. The crisis in Washington has exacted a terrible toll on the country and is unsustainable. This course will explore the root causes of a number of problems plaguing the system, while providing proper historical context. That done, each lecture will conclude with a look at both Democratic and Republican proposals for addressing the issue and offer an agenda for reform and renewal.

Eight Lectures
  1. What happened to statesmanship and compromise? An analysis of gridlock and political warfare in the age of hyper-partisanship.
  2. What happened to fair, competitive elections? An analysis of gerrymandering and the reelection of careerist politicians.
  3. What happened to clean bills, legislative leadership, and up-and-down votes? An analysis of shameful legislative maneuvers and rules.
  4. Does my vote count? An analysis of the Electoral College and voter suppression.
  5. What happened to fiscal sanity? An analysis of debts, deficits, and the budgetary process.
  6. Understanding presidential campaigns and elections — An analysis of primaries, front-loading, and nominations.
  7. But some of us are more equal than others — An analysis of big money, super-PACs, and the lobbying industry.
  8. Edward Murrow, where have you gone? An analysis of the crisis in political reporting and social media.
Course # W8M5X — Eight Weeks (ANNEX)
  Place:Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
  Dates:Mondays — January 12, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9; No class on January 19
  Time:3:45—5:15 p.m.
  Fee:$68/member; $98/non-member