Gov. Taft Rallies UD Students to Talk Politics

By: Neil Burger – Staff Writer

On the night of October 25, with just two weeks until the election, many UD students were able to join in and listen to a talk about the history of American politics, presidential elections, and where they are now and where they may be headed to in the future.

Sitting on the Sears Recital Hall at The University of Dayton stage to discuss these topics were former Ohio Governor Bob Taft. Taft also currently serves as an instructor and distinguished research assistant here at UD, and alumnus and CEO of Crown Equipment Corporation Jim Dicke.

Both have had extensive experience in the realm of politics. Gov. Taft served in the Ohio House of Representatives from the 65th district, also as Secretary of State of Ohio, and two terms as Governor. Jim Dicke has been long active in the Republican Party with an extensive list of positions on committees, councils, and boards, most recently being elected the National Committeeman for the Republican Party in Ohio. The discussion between these two politically distinguished men was moderated by UD’s Professor of Art History Roger Crum.

Hot election topics like the Supreme Court Appointments, the temperament of the candidates, and who to vote for were all met with a great deal of analysis and explanation from both men, sometimes even injected with witty bits of humor. Mr. Dickey emphasized the importance of the Supreme Court appointments.

He anticipates that the next president, whether it be Trump or Clinton, will have to make multiple Supreme Court appointments given the age of some of the justices and the recent death of Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The appointments made will sway the leaning of the court on whether it will be more liberal or conservative in its interpretations of the law and will have long standing impacts.

Despite the intensity of the seemingly unusual personal attacks between candidates this election, Gov. Taft reminded the audience that it is actually not as unusual as it may seem. Gov. Taft claims it has been fairly common for candidates to attack each other in non-political manors. He cited an example of this between his great grandfather, President William Howard Taft, and President Theodore Roosevelt. During the election of 1912, Roosevelt attacked the over three-hundred pound Taft on his weight, while Taft retorted that Teddy was a demagogue and a dangerous egotist.

When it came down to the topic of choosing who to vote for, both Taft and Dicke agreed that it was important for voters to get educated on the policies of the candidates and to vote candidly. Both men admitted to not enjoying this election cycle, but both expect there will be a great deal of introspection and adjustment on both sides of the political spectrum.

Dicke informed the audience that his vote was for Trump. When asked in a post discussion interview with Flyer News on why students should consider voting for Trump over Clinton, Dicke said that Trump’s economic plans would supply a great deal of jobs to the nation, as well as more opportunities for inner cities by using enterprise zones to revitalize the areas.

Dicke also cited the famous historical reference “It took Nixon to go to China”, meaning that with Trump’s credentials and reputation, he may be able to accomplish tasks that would otherwise face opposition and be immune to certain criticisms while undergoing these tasks.

Gov. Taft did not state his voting position during the talk, but afterwards did disclose to Flyer News that he was undecided on where his vote would go, but that it would not be going to Trump. When Flyer News spoke with Professor Crum after he had moderated the discussion, we asked him what the biggest take away was from this conversation.

He said “These two gentleman demonstrate to long standing political engagement and riding out entities that have been both helpful and detrimental to the nation, and that it is important to be engaged in the political process and to be conscious of the historical continuum”.