election 2012 | September 27, 2012

At The Ballot Box : Lavin's Political Speakers Assess Election Issues [VIDEO]

With the 2012 American presidential election a little over a month away, several of Lavin's top politcal speakers are analyzing the issues at stake. Whether they are directly involved in the election process, or are simply weighing in on the hot topics, they have a firm grasp on what is happening in the political space, and present insightful and accessible analysis on what counts this election.

Jonathan Haidt - Social Psychologist, Expert on Human Nature and Morality

Jonathan Haidt's analysis of morals and the role they play in society, which he discussed in a popular TED Talk back in 2008, still holds true today. His eye-opening talk detailed sets of moral values—care/harm, fairness/cheating, liberty/oppression, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation—that affect which political party people choose to support. The highly respected speaker highlights the moral differences between conservatives and liberals, eschewing partisanship in favour of sober analysis. "All political movements base appeals on different settings of the foundations—and the culture wars arise from what they choose to emphasize," says Haidt in The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Liberals jack up care, followed by fairness and liberty. They rarely value loyalty and authority. Conservatives dial up all six." Haidt's unique insight into the morality of politics provides a fresh look at our increasingly polarized world.

Kal Penn - Actor, Former Associate Director for The White House

Kal Penn, a well-known actor both in Hollywood films and small-screen television shows, made waves when he announced his plans to take a hiatus from acting to get involved in politics. Getting his start on Obama's first term campaign, Penn served as the President's Liaison to Young Americans, where he advocated the importance of youth voting. He recently gave a rousing, and wildly entertaining, speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he highlighted Obama's first-term achievements and extolled the virtues of political participation. From White Castle (for his role in the Harold and Kumar films) to the White House, Penn's passion for politics is infectious. His enthusiasm and sharp-wit engage all types of audiences and breathes new life, and much needed optimism, into political discourse.

Reggie Love - Former Personal Aide to President Barack Obama

If there's anyone who can tell you what Obama is really like, and whether he practices what he preaches, it's Reggie Love. He served as Obama's "body man", or top personal aide, from 2008 to 2012, when he left Obama's side to pursue his MBA. Giving the President "a shot of youthful cool," (The New York Times), Love uses lessons from his time in politics to provide practical advice on leadership, and stresses the value of actively participating in our democracy. Love is said to have spent more time with Obama than almost anyone else on Earth, and it is his unparalleled insider knowledge that makes Love a leading authority on the Democratic Party's platform.

Robert Kuttner - Author of Obama's Promise and A Presidency in Peril  

When Kuttner first predicted what was in store for Obama's presidency, the veteran journalist argued that it would either be a great success or a great failure—and there would be no room for a middle ground. His hard-hitting analysis of pressing political issues is bold and eye-opening, while still being accessible and easy to follow. His knack for compressing complex political and economical issues into plain English have made him a respected source of insight in the industry. His wealth of journalistic experience (he wrote for The Washington Post during the Watergate era) provides an insiders view into the world of politics, both in his writing and in his rousing speeches.