Airing views on democracy


Justin Kempf has always had a strong interest in the governing principles of democracy, so much so that he created a blog dedicated to the topic in 2019.

Shortly thereafter, the Carmel resident coupled the blog with a podcast, “Democracy Paradox,” that is closing in on 100 episodes.

CIC COM 0315 Democracy Podcast

“A podcast seemed a natural extension of the blog,” said Kempf, whose first episode aired June 21, 2020. “I had been reading a lot about democracy for a few years and had begun to read books as they were published. A few publishers were even sending me advance copies so I could write reviews on my blog, but I wanted to do more than write about books. I wanted to talk to the authors directly.

“A podcast was a natural format to share the ideas I was learning about.”

Since “Democracy Paradox” first launched, Kempf has interviewed political experts from around the world, including authors, Ivy League professors, Pulitzer Prize winners and even a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Discussions often go well beyond the surface of the topic at hand.

“I enjoy learning about the cutting-edge ideas that are absent from traditional conversations about politics,” Kempf said. “A lot of fascinating ideas circulate in academia that never get discussed in popular conversations about politics. Guests are frequently surprised at how closely I read their work. They often note I read their work closer than their colleagues.”

Kempf, 41, is a business development manager for an industrial distributor and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. His podcast reaches approximately 100 countries and 1,000 cities and has an average audience of about 2,000 per episode.

“Democracy Paradox,” which recently aired its 87th episode, is available each Tuesday on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. For more, visit