Entries in MassPoliticsProfs by MassPoliticsProfs

You can get a PhD and write books, but the most valuable lessons in politics might come from cleaning ladies.

What kind of president then can be expected? I think we know the answer. Donald Trump has no concern for tradition, previous history, institutionalized decision-making (he depends on himself), international agreements and commitments, or much of anything else that has come to define the sphere of concerns an American president must deal with. He will act as President much as he has in the campaign. He will do things his way. He will depend on what he thinks important or what interests him at the moment, will continue to be unpredictable in how he approaches given situations, will see international relations in terms of trade opportunities, will conduct negotiations on a one-on-one basis and will nurture his financial empire.

Clearly there are problems in all of this.

Cubans honor Fidel Castro as the founder and spirit of their Revolution. From these shores, the view is mixed at best. The fact that the U.S. and Soviets could have engaged in a nuclear World War III over the Cuban missiles is still alarming.  Overall an effort to resolve our differences and work together is long overdue. Fidel Castro’s day is past but Obama’s initiatives could not have advanced if Castro did not accept and support them.

By expressing our rights as citizens with our voices, being of service and learning through volunteering, and pledging to vote, we can move forward in the wake of this election.

William Crotty, author of  Winning the Presidency 2016 (Routledge, 2017), explains what to expect from a Clinton and Trump Presidency.

The following is a guest post by Daniel T. Kirsch, and independent scholar who earned a Ph.D. in political science from UMass, Amherst. He is currently writing a book about the politics of student loans. The author can be contacted at danieltkirsch@gmail.com

Former Massachusetts Governor and current Libertarian nominee for Vice President William F. Weld recently made the assertion that he would be campaigning primarily to defeat Donald Trump. According to Michael Levenson and Frank Phillips’ October 4 story in the Boston Globe, the Weld family fortune scion and Bush family business associate has “denounced Trump as a ‘huckster’ with a ‘screw loose’ and has said his plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants ‘would remind me of Anne Frank hiding in the attic.’” However, a look back at Weld's own political positions and rhetoric reveals some interesting parallels between the rhetoric of Trump and Weld.

“The people of this country are furious,” Trump said at one point in the debate. “There has never been anything like this.” He was correct. In sum, instead of being content on asking for forgiveness for his behavior, Trump engaged in a fierce, highly personalized and, unlike the first debate, well-prepared attack on his opponent, her husband and her views. Clinton responded in kind and the result was a constant series of exchanges, of an intensity and anger unlike any in previous presidential debates in memory. With the debate came the assurance that Donald Trump would fight to the end. With a month to go, the election was far from over.  

After the debate, the instant television analysis was that Pence had done well and had won the debate. Further, a number commenting on his gentlemanly manner of response (as contrast with Kaine’s intensity) immediately pronounced him the frontrunner for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. The lesson would seem to be that a politician who looks unruffled on television while effectively stonewalling an opponent, constantly denying what had taken place in the campaign or in this case what Trump said or did and lying (“not true”, “false,”) qualifies as the perfect future presidential candidate.

The vice presidency has been described as being worth a bucket of warm spit. And yet . . . the television show Veep and political science show some of the obstacles to being just a heartbeat away.

We can barely hear Rush and no one takes Howie seriously. We have a feeble Outrage Industry in Massachusetts. But what we do have is a government that works.

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