Amid the toxicity and personal politics of the 2016 presidential election, I covered this SF State public lecture series focused squarely on the issues, and on modeling old-school civics. The tricky part: it would not be published until after the election, so I had to avoid anything that smacked of prediction. In a sidebar interview, author and poli-sci professor Robert C. Smith's observations about backlash and division were not quite a prediction, but especially in 20-20 hindsight, they were spot-on.
It’s Q-and-A time at the end of an environmental panel discussion in the 2016 Presidential Election Public Lecture Series at SF State. Amid poli-sci majors in their 20s and silver-haired lifelong learners scattered across the McKenna Theater, a 44-year-old undergraduate — a history major — grapples with the torrent of information that just came at him about issues from fracking to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Raising his hand, he prods the panel of faculty experts to boil it down: “What are two or three things the American people can do to arrest the global warming problem?”