“This process of election affords a moral certainty that the office of President will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” - Alexander Hamilton

“The vote is a power, a weapon of offense and defense, a prayer.” - Carrie Chapman Catt

"The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen." - Louis Brandeis

"Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender." - Keith Ellison

Democracy Optimist is a thought-provoking public radio series and podcast that delves deep into the heart of democratic processes, elections, and voting rights to ask a simple but vital question: how do we sustain our democracy?  The series is hosted by University of Kentucky Election Law research professor Joshua Douglas, a passionate advocate for civic engagement, and produced by WEKU under the auspices of the Eastern Standard production team. From candid conversations with experts to engaging interviews with everyday champions of democracy, each episode offers a fresh perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the democratic process. Good news on voting rights is possible—if we take seriously the need to protect our democracy. We aim to amplify the diverse voices shaping our political landscape and seek to inspire informed, empowered citizens. Democracy Optimist theme music, (What Does It Mean to Be An) American, is contributed to the series by composer and artist, Madeleine Peyroux.



Books by Joshua Douglas

The Court v. The Voters

Vote for US

The Democracy Optimist Team



Joshua A. Douglas - Writer and Host

Tom Martin - Producer

Ella Fitzgeraldine - Studio Dog

Neil Kesterson - Technical Director and Sound Design

We thank Madeleine Peyroux for our theme music, “American”

Macin Graber and Steven Dabney - Research Assistants

Caitlyn Douglas - Graphic Design

Democracy Optimist is a production of WEKU and Eastern Standard in Partnership with Dynamix Productions

Stations: Contact Us About Adding Democracy Optimist to Your Programming