Bob Graham's Call to Service
Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, chair, Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. (AP)

Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida testifies on Capitol Hill on Dec. 11, 2008. (AP)

Here’s a paradox. We hear a lot these days about populism. But as former Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham points out, real participation in politics — especially by young Americans, and especially in local politics — remains dismally low.

Graham cites a lot of reasons. Civics courses, if they’re taught at all, are boring. Our media and political parties aren’t doing enough. And the only way to learn how to participate, he says, is to try it out for yourself.

So he’s written a how-to guide. This hour, On Point: Senator Bob Graham and his “owner’s manual” for American democracy.

You can join the conversation. Are you involved in your town hall meetings, or did you throw your hands up long ago? How much do you know about how your local, state and federal governments work?

You can join the conversation. What’s your story of friendship through the years? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Miami, Florida, is former Senator Bob Graham. He represented Florida as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to 2005 and was governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987. He’s now chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism and also chairs the Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida. His new book is “America, The Owner’s Manual: Making Government Work For You.”

Joining us from Leesburg, Virginia, is Lori Waters, member of the Board of Supervisors for Loudoun County, VA, representing the Broad Run District. She is also former executive director of the Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1967.

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Nov 24, 2015
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks  hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

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Nov 24, 2015
An archival image of a McKinley - Hobart Presidential Campaign Poster from 1896. (Public Domain / WikiCommons)

Republican political strategist Karl Rove is thinking about the McKinley 1896 campaign and the GOP field right now. Karl Rove is with us.

Nov 23, 2015
(Clockwise From Top Left) Filmmaker Lindsay Catherine Harris, Ko Smith, Kailya Warren and Bryant Koger in still images from Harris' "Evoking the Mulatto" multimedia project. (Courtesy the Filmmaker)

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Nov 23, 2015
In this file photo released May 14, 2015 by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, a member of the Islamic State group's vice police known as "Hisba," right, reads a verdict handed down by an Islamic court sentencing many they accused of adultery to lashing, in Raqqa City, Syria. (AP)

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen says the US needs to step up in the fight against ISIS. But there’s a caution flag, too. We’ll dive in.

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