Faculty talks politics, makes predictions in forum on presidential election
By Bob Dickson
The Master’s College was host to about 120 residents, mostly from the Santa Clarita Valley for a faculty forum on Thursday night aimed at addressing the key issues revolving around next week’s Presidential Election.
On hand were history and political studies professors, Dr. John Stead, Dr. Gregg Frazer and Mathias Kern, each of whom took a turn discussing his area of expertise.
Frazer, who published The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founding Fathers: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution through the University of Kansas Press this year, began with what he termed “a jet tour through the Electoral College,” where he walked attendees through the process our Founding Fathers chose for electing a president.
He gave a vigorous defense for the oft-criticized system, pointing out that the founders debated many of the very issues people bring up today regarding the Electoral College.
He argued that the Founding Fathers deliberately chose a republican form of government, that they avoided a purely democratic, popular-vote based election because they feared political demagoguery and the tyranny of the masses, especially the uneducated masses.
He also gave his prediction for how the electoral vote will play out on Election Day. He sees it going 295-243 in favor of Mitt Romney.
“Keep in mind this is a prediction, not a prophecy,” he joked.
His prediction was met with applause.
Kern, an adjunct professor with a long history of experience in the arena of gloabal politics, talked about foreign policy. Specifically, he unfolded some of the major global challenges facing the United States – challenges the winner of Tuesday’s election will need to tackle in the coming term.
“This is arguably the most important election in our nations’ history,” Kern said. “Foreign policy should be our top priority … the world order that was established after World War II is disintegrating. It’s literally collapsing.”
Kern listed several global developments to support his contention: The Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program, Russia’s growing non-cooperation with the United States, a destabilized Afghanistan and Chinese military expansion in the Pacific.
Kern argued that the planet is moving rapidly toward a world order that reflects a multi-polar system – one with several global regions vying for power. During the Cold War, the world system consisted of two poles. Since then, it has had only one – the United States. But that is changing.
“In geopolitics, the lesson from history is that it is better to be feared than it is to be loved,” Kern said. “There are very few countries that are afraid of us. The United States has lost control and that is very dangerous.”
Stead, who has been a professor at TMC since 1970, talked about the importance of the election from two perspectives. The first was the economy. He talked about the dangers of the U.S. national debt, which he said is spiraling out of control.
“We can’t continue like this,” he said. “Progressives always look to the future, but they never figure out how to pay for anything.”
Another issue Stead brought up – one he believes is being overlooked – is the Supreme Court. The next four years could see the retirement of two Supreme Court justices, he argued, which means whoever wins the election will have an opportunity to shape the future of the U.S. judicial system for several decades.
Frazer added that the senatorial races will also be critical this election. According to his metrics, the margin of majority in the Senate could be as narrow as two (51-49). It could even be tied, which means the vice-president would cast the tie-breaking vote on legislation – just one more reason the presidential race is so critical.
“My students are going to be paying attention to the Senate races on Tuesday night as well,” he said.
The evening wrapped up with a brief question-and-answer session, followed by refreshments and a time to mingle.
The topic of conversation was, of course, politics.