Guardians of the Republic tackles the issues of the day, but with a fresh twist you won’t find in a typical politics podcast. While we discuss the latest developments in politics and polling – and offer a few “hot takes” on the news of the week – our primary mission is calling out the erosion of behavioral norms in political life.
The hosts, pollster Patrick Murray and actor Ian Kahn, bring a unique and engaging perspective to the weighty issues facing America today. They delve into the data and cast a critical eye on the performative aspect of politics, while maintaining a bird’s eye view of the nation’s political landscape.
The Guardians of the Republic podcast was born out of deep loyalty to a country that appears to be at the breaking point. Too many of our leaders are willing to nurture rifts in the American public and destabilize the structure of government for short term political gain – with little apparent concern for how these cynical acts undermine the public’s faith in our fundamental political values.
This is not the first time the United States has faced such a challenge. In 1787, America was in crisis. Rebellion threatened to divide the new country as political leaders in the various states refused to abide by a common code of conduct.
The U.S. Constitution arose from this turmoil. Its purpose was not to lay out a set of common policies for the nation, but to create institutions and processes that would engender public trust and “foster the development of an American character.”
More than anything, our nation’s peace and prosperity relies on leaders upholding the norms of behavior implicit in our constitutional framework. The founders clearly understood that this enterprise requires self-sacrifice and vigilance. When he was asked at the end of the Constitutional Convention what type of government had been produced, Ben Franklin responded, “A Republic… if you can keep it.”
The Constitution has survived many serious challenges, from the Civil War to the Great Depression. We are confident that America can be guided by what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” to regain our sense of common purpose. But that will only happen when politicians show true leadership by putting the preservation of public faith in our institutional norms ahead of their own partisan advantage. As the signers of the Declaration of Independence did in 1776, we must again “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
The Guardians of the Republic podcast theme music is a tribute to the spirit of the American Revolution. The tune, Chester, rivaled Yankee Doodle as the most popular song during the war and was considered the new nation’s unofficial national anthem.
The version used here is courtesy of the Fifes and Drums of the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, New Jersey – site of the crucial tide-turning battle that followed Washington’s Christmas night crossing of the Delaware River. Click to hear the full version of Chester.