A new three credit course at Savannah State University is dedicated to helping students understand how billionaire businessman Donald Trump managed to ascend to political ranks and position himself as the possible next president of the United States.
The course, “The Trump Factor in American Politics,” was the brainchild of political science professor Robert Smith, who said he in an interview with The College Fix that he was inspired to dedicate a class to Trump’s political rise after hearing classroom discussions about the GOP candidate.
Student conversations about Trump were “mostly critical,” Smith said. But the professor also reported being pleased that the candidate seemed to inspire broader “important discussions and other connections to understanding American electoral politics” among his students.
The class, according to the professor, will provide an opportunity to teach students about “the more general impact on how candidates for president navigate the nominating process and what may be a fundamental redirection for the Republican Party and perhaps presidential campaigns overall.”
While it’s likely the class will serve largely as a forum for students to denigrate Trump, Smith said he hopes to leave plenty of room for objective analysis of the Trump phenomenon.
“Certainly students will have a very strong opinion one way or another, and my goal is to offer some objectivity,” he added. “We will look through a scholarly lens to examine the Trump phenomenon, and what are some ramifications if he moves on into the general election.”
It’s not often that we get to say this about things happening on modern college campuses, but Smith’s Trump-focused political science class is a refreshing development for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s a sign that there are still colleges in the U.S. which have maintained at least some sanity. That students at the school are even willing to have a conversation about Trump is more than can be said about the easily-triggered snowflakes at some other universities. Just last month, students at Emory University declared they felt “threatened” by the very mention of Trump’s name on campus.
But more importantly, the class recognizes that the nation has entered uncharted political territory and that it’s worth talking about how we got here.
Perhaps someone ought to send a syllabus to the Washington establishment. In particular, the Republican Party could use a little education about how Trump has managed to edge out the establishment’s preferred candidates with remarkable popular support among voters. Because for all the bitching and moaning about Trump we’ve heard from the Republican establishment over the past several months, reflection of the problems in the party that have drawn so many voters into the Trump camp have been remarkably scarce.