Spring 2023 Fellow
Michael D. Bishop is a former United States Congressman and the Founder and President of American General Counsel PLC. Prior to returning to his private law practice, Michael was elected and served in the United States Congress (2014-2018). During his tenure in Congress, Michael was appointed to the House committees on Ways and Means, the Judiciary, and Higher Education. While serving in Congress, Michael championed legislation signed into law by both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Michael has been around the world meeting with leaders and representing the United States government in global affairs.
Since his service in Congress, Michael has dedicated much of his time to education as an Aspen Rodel Fellow and a George Washington University Graduate School Fellow, where he focused on the restoration of civility to bi-partisan government. Michael has also been appointed to the Princeton University Initiative on the Constitutional Powers of Congress and the Commission on the Continuity of Congress, providing testimony before the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Modernization.
Preceding his service in the United States Congress, Michael worked as an attorney, and was elected to and served in the Michigan State legislature, serving in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate (1998-2010). While serving in the Michigan Senate, he was chosen by his peers to serve as the Senate Majority Leader.
Michael is licensed to practice law in the state of Michigan, the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also a licensed Real Estate Broker and served as President of Freedom Realty, Inc. Michael is a graduate of the University of Michigan (1989) and received his law degree from Michigan State University Law (1993). He is a lifelong resident of Rochester, Michigan, where he lives with his wife, Cristina, and their three children, Benjamin, Gabriella, and Nathan (and dog, Koda).
Study Group: The 21st Century Transformation of Politics – Can We Still Bridge Divides?
Given the challenges and opportunities facing American democracy today, can we still bridge divides? This study group explored how we can promote solutions to polarization in Congress and beyond. With pressures of 24/7 news, how do we reverse erosion of civil discourse in government? How can we educate an electorate immersed in its own echo chamber of social media? What role do modern campaigns have in shaping the growing divide in our nation?
Spring 2023 Semester Recap
Mike Bishop said this about his experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future: “I am reminded that life is a continuous learning process. The highlight of my CPF fellowship was having the privilege of engaging with and learning from bright and motivated student leaders. It was truly inspiring to witness their uninhibited eagerness to tackle issues and find constructive solutions. They showed the natural instinct to set aside ideological differences and prioritize the greater good, with the goal of finding common ground via civil discourse. My time at USC has restored my faith in the future. Despite the challenges we face, I am optimistic that these student leaders are up to the challenge.”
USC students in Mike’s study group shared this about their experience:
“Being a part of Mike’s study group opened my eyes to the variety of perspectives out there. We took everyday issues in politics that tend to be incredibly divisive and we looked at them from the other side. We really tried to put ourselves in the other side’s shoes in order to get a full grasp of the issue before coming up with possible solutions or responses. I feel like this approach is so important and relevant to politics today, as polarization makes us move farther in opposite directions ideologically. The approach to politics that Mike brings to the table is so important and will absolutely have an impact on how I approach issues and politics in the future.”
“This study group gave me a better understanding of the reasons why there is such a significant political divide in the United States, as well as the lack of belief in news and media. I will never forget his advice to ‘Get a position you know is right and plant your feet; otherwise you might be rolled over.’ Mike brought in a guest speaker who gave deep insight to the future of the election process and the potential reform of the elector college. This idea was very interesting and made more passionate about the idea of a career in politics.”
“Participating in Mike’s study group was a great experience! In today’s political climate, it feels pretty rare to see public officials engaging in respectful and productive conversations. On some level, it can even be hard to have those conversations in our own lives. It provided an open forum for respectful discourse. Throughout the experience, we engaged in meaningful conversations around the topic of bridging divides and challenged ourselves to think through different sides to the issue. It was great to hear about Mike’s experience in government and engage with him on a variety of different issues!”
“I learned a lot about the value of conversation. I was glad to hear that a member of Congress could connect with our problems and give insight into how party politics is affected at a national scale. The insight Mike offered was valuable and gave me a new perspective on the different viewpoints within Congress and how we can hope to influence them in the future. My favorite part was participating in the conversations and being able to pick the brain of a congressman that worked so closely with the system that we live under.”
Congressman Bishop shared his thoughts on the importance of politics, his first political experience, and his advice for having respectful political discourse in his “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow Mike Bishop” video.