Adam Smith Jordan Peterson

Adam Smith

David Adam Smith, born on June 15, 1965, in Washington, D.C., is a Democratic Congressman representing Washington's 9th District since January 3, 1997. Raised in SeaTac, Washington, his father worked at SeaTac Airport and was active in the local union, influencing Smith's working-class advocacy. A University of Washington School of Law graduate, Smith worked as a prosecutor and pro tem judge in Seattle, honing his legal acumen. Now in his long Congressional tenure, he co-chaired a Caucus in the 116th Congress, demonstrating his legislative leadership. His career reflects a commitment to public service and addressing his constituents' needs. As he seeks re-election in the 2024 primary, Smith continues to play a significant role in shaping policy and representing the interests of his community.

Books Mentioned on The Jordan B Peterson Podcast #395 - Adam Smith

A Deep Dive into the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast Episode with Congressman Adam Smith

In a recent episode of The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, episode number 395, Dr. Jordan Peterson engaged in a thought-provoking conversation with Congressman Adam Smith. This episode, titled “Difficult Conversation as the Precondition to Progress,” delved into various topics including the complexity of political dialogue, the nature of merit and accomplishment, the dynamics of negotiation versus winning, and the intersection of mental health and political action.

The Essence of Political Dialogue

The discussion opened with an exploration of the difficulties and potential of genuine political dialogue. Congressman Smith, who has a history in law and politics, emphasized the importance of listening, especially to those with differing viewpoints. He highlighted his approach to politics as one that is open and engaging, valuing the representation and understanding of all constituents.

Merit and Accomplishment

Peterson and Smith touched upon the dangers of narrowly defining merit and accomplishment. They debated the nature of success, questioning whether current definitions in politics and society at large might be too restrictive or exclusionary.

Negotiation versus Winning

A significant part of the conversation revolved around the difference between negotiating and winning. Congressman Smith pointed out that the goal in discussions should not always be to force agreement but to foster learning and understanding. Both guests agreed on the importance of being open to being challenged and the value of testing ideas through discourse.

Mental Health and Political Action

The episode also covered topics related to mental health and its impact on political action. Congressman Smith shared insights from his book “Lost and Broken: My Journey Back from Chronic Pain and Crippling Anxiety,” discussing the intersection of personal experiences with broader societal issues.

Combatting Political Polarization

One of the key themes of the conversation was the challenge of addressing the current climate of political polarization. Smith, as a Democrat willing to engage in conversation on Peterson’s platform, exemplified the need for bridging divides and understanding opposing perspectives.


This episode of The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast with Congressman Adam Smith provided a deep and nuanced exploration of numerous topics at the heart of current political and social discourse. The conversation underscored the importance of open dialogue, understanding differing viewpoints, and the continuous challenge of navigating the complex landscape of politics and mental health.