Skip to main content Skip to navigation
CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Is this the stupidest moment in US history? Probably not, but it might be most dangerous

“Are we living through the stupidest possible moment in American history?” I genuinely wanted to know.

Let the record show that Cornell Clayton paused. In fairness, he was being set up.

Cornell Clayton.
Clayton

Clayton is a professor and the director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University. He studies subjects like politics, polarization, civility and our discourse.

Perhaps, he suggested, it might not be “whether we are living through an unusually ‘stupid’ period in history, as much as whether a politics based on the Enlightenment values of science, reason and humanism — upon which this country and other modern democracies are founded — has become more vulnerable in the face of broad social, cultural and economic changes.”

Socially, things like globalization, the technology revolution, and the various cultural revolutions,” Clayton proposed, have given “rise to a ‘tribal’ or identity style of politics on both the left and the right.”

Find out more

The News Tribune
https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/matt-driscoll/article243836252.html

 

Pandemic makes teaching abroad ‘surreal experience’

Tom Preston.
Preston

Thomas Preston, a political science professor at Washington State University and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.

“It has been interesting to be under martial law, with the police vehicles constantly announcing from loudspeakers to stay in your homes or risk death!” Preston wrote almost 50 days into the southeastern European country’s 65-day lockdown. “Seeing convoys of disinfectant trucks going past, spraying the streets and buildings with chemicals, also has been unusual, to say the least. But these measures have really been effective, with Romania having only 11,000 cases and 600 deaths, and the peak having already been reached!”

Preston was a few weeks into teaching graduate seminars on political psychology and international security at Ovidius University when the U.S. Department of State suspended the Fulbright program and ordered all awardees to come home. But he and his wife, Leeanne Noble, decided to shelter in-place instead.

Find out more

Mirage News

WSU Insider

Are stay-home orders unconstitutional? Local experts examine the question

Cornell Clayton.
Clayton

KREM 2 News reached out to local educators in the Inland Northwest, who specialize in the study of Constitutional law, to discuss the current stay-home orders. Dr. Cornell Clayton, professor of political science and director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute at Washington State University acknowledged that there is indeed a question of our own individual rights when it comes to these state-mandated restrictions.

“And as is often the case,” says Clayton, “we sometimes jump from a reasonable discussion about public policy to a constitutional argument.”

Implicating constitutional rights is not the same as violating them; and debating public policy is not the same as decrying unconstitutionality. Clayton agreed it is legal for state courts to enforce stay-at-home orders, and the federal government supports the state court systems in these restrictions.

Find out more

Krem

U.S. professor teaching in Romania composes quarantine blues

Tom Preston.
Preston

Tom Preston, a professor of political science at WSU and currently teaching at the Ovidius University in Constanţa, a city on the Romanian coast of the Black Sea, has composed a “Lockdown, Breakdown, Quarantine Blues.”

“Tom Preston, a professor of political science and Fulbright grantee at Ovidius, chose not to return home and stayed in Constanţa. Between his teaching and research activities, he spends some of his time performing. Here is one of his works, about the situation we are all going through,” Mihai Gîrţu, the prorector of Ovidius University, wrote, quoted by daily Adevarul.

Thomas Preston is a specialist in security policy, foreign affairs, and political psychology, according to his resume available on the website of Washington State University, his home university. He is a C.O. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Washington State University.

Find out more

Romania-Insider

Engaging our statewide community

Over the next four weeks, four WSU researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences will share their work and expertise with communities across the state of Washington.

The WSU faculty are members of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau and the initial cohort of WSU Foley Fellows.

Clockwise from top left, Rebecca Craft, Travis Ridout, Matthew Sutton, & Stephen Stehr.
Clockwise from top left, Rebecca Craft, Travis Ridout, Matthew Sutton, & Stephen Stehr.

Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s roster of presenters are professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour.

The four WSU faculty presentations begin with:

  • Higher Power: The History of Evangelicals in American PoliticsTuesday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m.
    Indian Trail Library, Spokane WA

    Matthew Sutton, an Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of history, traces the history of the religious right in America, from its early roots to its rise to power under Ronald Reagan and into the current era.

Find out more

WSU Insider