Political Behavior | St. Louis Public Radio

Political Behavior

Steven Webster has recently been conducting studies that involve seeing what happens when he makes people angry.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago, Steven Webster was working in Washington and frequently giving tours of the U.S. Capitol when one particular tour went rather south, to put it mildly – and also sparked his decision to study political science.

“This group happened to be just a husband and wife,” Webster recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air in conversation with host Don Marsh. “I was showing them through the rotunda and everything, and we went into the chamber of the House of Representatives … and they got into a political argument in the House gallery.”

The spat between the two – one of whom was a Democrat and the other a Republican – became so heated and noisy that the House sergeant at arms asked Webster and the couple to leave the space.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2010 - Many Americans view the United States as an exceptional country, destined to spread freedom throughout the world, "the greatest country on God's green earth," in the words of a local DJ. Secondary school texts and countless officials and commentators delight in our unique institutions and unique opportunities.

Commentary: A bumper crop of BS

Nov 18, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 18, 2010 - Asked to cite one quality that a person needed to develop to become an effective writer, Ernest Hemingway replied, "a built-in, shock-proof, bullshit detector."

I learned about bullshit from my father. He was an intelligent and kind man with a keen sense of humor. He'd enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after Pearl Harbor. At the time, he was all of 17. He spent the next four years touring the South Pacific with the First Marine Division. By the time he was honorably discharged at war's end, he'd turned 21 and was finally old enough to buy a bottle of beer legally.