Donald Trump, political experts agree, has transformed American politics. So much so that even before the 2016 presidential campaign is over — let alone before the Republican convention has even officially nominated him — a college professor is going to be teaching a course on Trump and his presidential campaign, the Associated Press is reporting.
The course, entitled “The Trump Factor in American Politics,” will be a three-credit-hour class taught by Robert Smith at Savannah State University in Georgia.
Students “will study Trump’s biography, read excerpts from his best-seller ‘The Art of the Deal,’ dissect some of his more controversial proposals and delve into how Trump became the presumed Republican nominee,” the Associated Press stated.
Savannah State has a 4,000-plus student population and is predominantly African-American.
“Certainly my students were not fans of Trump’s,” Smith said to the Associated Press. “I think that’s probably fair to say across the board.”
Smith added,”I think what students will be discovering is there are some of elements about Donald Trump that will be surprising.”
The goal of the course will be to take an “objective” look at why Donald Trump outlasted 16 Republican primary opponents, how he did it, and what his candidacy means for the future of American presidential politics.
Trump’s Rise: An Exciting Time To Study Politics
Smith further told CNN that this was “a very exciting time” to be teaching about politics on both the Republican and Democrat sides, and “it has fueled a lot of discussion in the classroom.”
A class on the 'Trump factor' is an option for students at Savannah State Univ this summer. I spoke to the teacher https://t.co/4ABqC9Qgs6— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) May 10, 2016
When asked if the students could expect any “surprises” about Trump, Smith mentioned his “background, in terms of his business acumen… his ability to negotiate a variety of deals. I think there’s an ability on his part to connect with a variety of segments of the electorate.”
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The real estate developer and former reality TV star’s rise fascinates political scientists “because Donald Trump has provided high-profile, living disproof of some of the most familiar myths of American politics,” political scientist Emily Thorson wrote in Politico in March.
Among the myths that Trump has exploded, according to Politico, are that “Americans’ political beliefs put them into clearly divided ‘liberal and ‘conservative’ camps.”
For instance, Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee despite going against party orthodoxy on issues like free trade, support of Planned Parenthood, promotion of government-funded healthcare, and taking a much stronger anti-immigration stance than many Republican leaders would consider palatable to the national electorate.
This is especially so among male voters. As Inquisitr reported on May 3, Trump’s support among white males is particularly strong — so much so that a study by a Republican polling firm of over 3,500 Trump supporters found that none of them would change their minds about him, even after watching anti-Trump ads (8 percent of women changed their opinions about him).
These may be among the topics covered by Smith’s college course on Trump, who currently trails Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, by 3.9 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. However, Trump is beating her in two recent polls; one commissioned by Fox News gives him a 45-42 percent lead, while a Rasmussen Reports poll puts him two ahead of Clinton.
Given Clinton’s greater experience as a former First Lady, senator, and secretary of State, this is surprising. Then again, perhaps that’s why this may be the right time for a college course on Donald Trump’s political rise.
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