Looking Ahead...To The Last Election

"America in the Election Mirror" Panelists

"America in the Election Mirror" Panelists Doug Smith, Jeffrey Lenowitz, Madeleine Lopez, and moderator Cynthia Cohen (left to right)

Oct 27, 2016

In October the Center sponsored two conversations looking at the then-approaching presidential election in terms of larger issues, providing frameworks, guiding questions and ideas for moving forward.

How Are We Talking About Immigration in the Election?" moderated by Marci McPhee of the Ethics Center, was cosponsored by the Office of Community Service, Intercultural Center, Latin American and Latino Studies Department and Politics Department as part of a statewide Presidential Election Teach-In sponsored by Massachusetts Campus Compact.

Madeleine Lopez, director of the Intercultural Center and professor of history, spoke about forced repatriation of immigrants in the 1930's, and the ways people of different ethnicities have been targeted over American history. Brian Fried of the Politics Department (pictured below) explored different ways nations confer citizenship, noting "Immigration issues get to the heart of who we want to be as a society."Brian Fried

A few weeks later “America in the Election Mirror: What can we learn about America from the 2016 presidential election?" was presented as part of Fall Fest 2016, cosponsored by Intercultural Center, Politics and History Departments.

Panelist Jeffrey Lenowitz (professor of politics) noted that the skills needed to win an election are not the same as the skills needed to govern, calling this election season "political entertainment" that rarely addressed substantive issues.

A student asked, "Isn't it better to have a few informed voters than masses of uninformed voters?" In her response, Lopez, a panelist for this discussion as well, noted that "The founding vision excluded women, non-landowners, Native Americans, and counted blacks as only 3/5. I vote today partly to honor those who fought for the right to vote." Moderator Cynthia Cohen of the Ethics Center pointed to the systematic suppression of voters even today in many areas.

Doug Smith of the Legal Studies Program ended with a note of optimism: "We can look for opportunities to leverage this moment to create change," he said.