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 tenure that is long teacher of community development, politics and public policy at UC Berkeley, he has got simply released the 3rd version of “Democracy isn’t a Spectator Sport.” The engagement that is civic includes a conversation of community solution, inspirational tales, businesses with volunteer possibilities, and a preface imploring visitors to try 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 action that is social committee. He headed south aided by the United states Legion Willard directly Post, supporting voting that is equal for several People in the us (“We idea we settled that,” he said regarding present assaults on voting liberties), plus in 1965 marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Blaustein had been appointed into the nationwide Advisory Council on Economic chance by President Jimmy Carter, and also to the board for the 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 within the 2016 election period and it is “on the rise,” and describe the slide that is“long the slippery slope of anti-democratic policies and behavior” that put our democracy at an increased risk. You’ve been through numerous elections, is this 1 actually so important?

Arthur Blaustein: I’ve been taking part in every presidential campaign period since 1960. This is actually the many dangerous and also the most terrifying. There were two terrifying periods during my life — the initial ended up being the McCarthy age, the next had been the missile crisis that is cuban. But that is more harmful.

Why https://cheapesttitleloans.com/payday-loans-vt/? One of this applicants, Donald Trump, could be the worst president we’ve ever had in america. He could be 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’s likely to do. He understands absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing about US history, American values, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. All he understands is really what he views on Fox Information.

Exactly just exactly exactly 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 training had been the significance of democratic values and democracy towards the U.S. But we currently see democracy being subverted.

In your guide you list 25 reasons why you should vote. Exactly exactly exactly just What you think would be the top five?

Jobs at a full time income wage, affordable medical care, the Supreme Court, the surroundings and international warming, honest federal federal government.

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

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

Democracy are at stake. If you wish to turn this nation into a banana republic or fascist nation, don’t vote. If Trump wins you’re going to possess battle wars in this nation, it’s going to be such in pretty bad shape. It might be therefore dystopian. I’m actually a goal kind of man, but I’m frightened.

You started volunteering in college while having served a few presidents. Exactly what are some of your many experiences that are memorable?

I acquired one thing out of each and every one. Under Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, we served in VISTA Volunteers in Service to America. Which was a watch opener — how poverty that is cruel be, and just how many individuals had been involved. When you look at the National Endowment when it comes to Humanities, We served from the general public funds committee for museums, libraries, universities, general public television and radio. We discovered great deal about their value and value.

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

What’s the present state of civic participation and volunteerism in this nation?

Pupils are now 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, right down to 12 years of age.

Does Judaism influence the way you’ve used your lifetime?

It possessed a large impact. The thought of justice, integrity of character, community — they all are crucial.

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