Against the backdrop of a tumultuous political climate, North Central’s political science department hosted its fifth year of Topics In Politics (TIP) Talks. Professor William Muck, Whitney Roberts, Suzanne Chod and guest speaker David Iglesias all delivered 15-minute presentations on topics within their special interest.
Dr. Muck opened the TIP Talk with the ever-enticing subject of conspiracy theories. Specifically, Muck discussed the John. F. Kennedy assassination, which was given a recent spark of interest by the release of previously sealed files related to the assassination.
Stemming from JFK, Muck talked about the way Americans look at conspiracies through a doomsday lens; the cause of mystery is always rooted in evil when in almost every case, the truth is quite benign. Muck closed by warning the public about the trend of normalizing conspiracy theories, and how citizens can actively resist that by looking at the theories with logic and reason instead.
Professor Whitney Roberts spoke on how citizens have the potential to be the fourth branch of government. She talked about how citizens at the local level can make an impact in government by taking stances on important issues. Roberts used examples of current protests as a way to show that citizens can make an impact even if they’re not involved in politics directly.
Dr. Suzanne Chod spoke about the female experience in Congress. She brought attention to the sexual exploitation that women experience when attempting to be allowed into the exclusive “big boys club.” Congressmen have said things like “Did you bring your knee pads” to congresswomen and others who work in Congress, in order to maintain power and exert their dominance.
David Iglesias, a former United States attorney, compared the infamous Watergate scandal to our current presidential situation. He brought attention to the number of people who have been indicted, convicted and imprisoned through each president since Nixon.
Using this data as a base, he discussed the current indictments and potential imprisonments of Trump campaign officials over Russian election interference, which has been circulating within the national news for months. While Iglesias strayed from paralleling Watergate to the Trump investigations, he did close by saying if they are similar, the latter is only just beginning.
The next TIP Talk is expected to be held during Winter Term.
Editor’s note: this article has been corrected to state this the fifth year of TIP Talks, not fourth.