1202 A New Congress v. A Mid-term President: What Can We Expect?
Thursday, 1-2:30pm, Jan. 17
Church of the Good Shepherd
Instructor: Helen Desfosses
This one-day class, limited to 90 minutes including ample time for questions, will examine three important issues: what usually happens in mid-term elections, what happened in the 2018 midterm-elections, and how can we expect those outcomes to affect the second half of President Trump's term. While the President does not run in midterm elections, all 435 members of the House of Representatives do, as well as dozens of United States Senators. Meanwhile, President Trump’s policies and politics strongly influenced the midterm elections, and he cannot escape their impact on the remaining months of his first term, and whether he will be nominated for, and elected to, a second term. This class will analyze this two-way impact.
The class will also focus on the actual events and processes culminating in November 2018. There were many influential actors, of course, the President primary among them, as he exercised his enthusiasm for campaign rallies, his negativity toward the press, and his concern for maintaining his base. Meanwhile, the uniqueness of Donald Trump played out against the backdrop provided by the Mueller investigation, the publication of blockbuster books, such as Michael Wolff’s “The Fire and the Fury,” and James Comey’s "A Higher Loyalty," and new and ongoing issues, such as immigration, crime, denuclearization, and rumors of Trump’s quest for a Nobel Peace Prize. Additionally, this lecture will assess ongoing and emergent political forces that played a significant role, including citizen action, the role of women, rivalries between workers and elites, and the leadership uncertainties within both major political parties. Finally, we will explore the likely impact of the 2018 midterm elections on the evolution of our country’s political environment, and the all-important 2020 election.
Dr. Helen R. Desfosses has taught many OLLI courses on contemporary politics. She bases her courses on her Ph.D. in political science, her many years of research and teaching, as well as the lessons learned and (some) theories jettisoned through her years of media commentary, campaigning, and serving in elected political office.