Every few weeks, the political science and international relations community gets together to eat pizza and talk politics.
Crowds vary by topic, but on Monday, Jan. 29, the hottest question of the 2024 election drew one of the largest turnouts in the event’s history: Will former President Donald Trump win and what will happen if he does?
“There is no buzz around this election like when (Barack) Obama or Bernie (Sanders) were candidates, both of whom had a lot of appeal with students in their first campaigns,” Richard Fox said , Ph.D., director of international relations and partner. chair of political science and international relations. “We always say, ‘This is the most important election of our lifetime.’ This might be more true than ever this time around, and so we thought it was important to start talking about it more publicly.
“Pizza and Politics” was created and presented by Fox, who invited his colleague Michael Genovese, Ph.D., professor of political science and international relations, president of the Global Policy Institute, as speaker.
Fox incorporated his research on voter data and polling into the presentation, while Genovese spoke about the potential political ramifications of another Trump presidency.
“Obviously at this point, barring any very unforeseen events that might happen, it’s already a two-person race,” Fox said.
These “unforeseen things” highlighted by Fox include a dramatic shift in the voting base, Trump’s four ongoing trials, and the possible death or illness of two of the longest-running presidential candidates in history.
After Fox’s relatively light-hearted presentation, the focus shifted to Genovese, who cracked a few jokes about age and had everyone laughing, before everyone fell silent as he laid out what he viewed as the potential reality of another Trump presidency.
“You might think, ‘Oh, here’s just a few more college professors, probably left-wing, probably Democratic, who will be pro-Biden and spout ‘I hate the Trump agenda.’ So I’m going to take a different attitude on this. I want to try to make you hear (Trump’s) words: what he said, what he did, what he plans,” Genovese said.
“Trump’s words” were put on screen in parts of Project 2025, a policy plan developed by more than 450 conservative think tanks through the Heritage Foundation, to empower conservative presidents like Trump , whose presidency they describe as “a triumph that offered the best”. chance to reverse the left’s relentless march of progress for its own sake. »
“’A Trump victory in 2024 would absolutely convince countless Americans that virtue is for fools,’” Genovese said, quoting commentator David French.
Genovese also cited Trump’s “lack of understanding of federal law, in which Trump had claimed he could ‘do whatever he wants’ with Article 2, the clause of the Constitution that dictates specific powers to the executive power”.
“We usually say, ‘This is going to be the most important election of your life.’ We say this every four years, and it’s never really true, (but) it might be true this time because the very direction of the country is at stake,” Genovese said. “Do we want to become a more authoritarian or more power? of the legal system? …Whoever wins, it will be an important event for our country in the years to come.”
Participation in this Pizza and Politics show reached a record level, with more than 50 students actively present. “I think a lot of kids recognize that this is going to be extremely important. And a lot of them, I think, are on the fence; they don’t know where they want to go. And that’s why they want to listen to different points of view and different perspectives,” Genovese said.
Both professors concluded that while nothing is set in stone, Trump has a real chance of winning. However, as election frontrunners, Trump and Biden were chosen so early in the election season that it is shaping up to be one of the longest presidential elections in American history. Voters and candidates now have more time than ever to shake things up.