Evan McCormick, Center for Presidential History, fluent in Spanish and available to discuss the presidential race with Spanish-speaking media platforms.

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release. READ MORE

Republican rhetoric on immigration bodes well for Democrats in November

In the grand scheme of the presidential race, McCormick doesn’t think either party has a candidate who has transcended their party’s general acceptance by the Latin-American community in the United States.

“The way immigration has become a security issue for the Republican party has alienated most Latino voters, with the exception of Cubans in Florida, who still vote Republican because of their distaste for the Castro regime,” McCormick says. “The Democrats seem to be most well-positioned to have a productive relationship with Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“Like Republicans, Democrats are also looking for policy solutions to undocumented migrants, but with fewer security measures and more long-term cooperation and planning,” McCormick adds.

Evan McCormick is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

McCormick is a resident fellow of the Center for Presidential History at SMU who can discuss:

  • border security
  • international trade in the Americas
  • U.S.-Latin American relations
  • international diplomacy

Dedman College professors weigh in on Trump and the final GOP debate

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an SMU news release:
Trump’s biggest gamble yet? 
GOP frontrunner backs out of final debate before Iowa, N.H. votes

SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with tonight’s prime time matchup GOP contest, the final debate before Republicans cast their votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.




214-335-5447, jmwilson@smu.edu

Despite a highly publicized flubbing of a Bible verse at Liberty University on Jan. 18. Trump continues to dominate the polls in Iowa, where evangelical voters are notorious for holding sway, leaving many experts – and rivals – flummoxed that such a traditionally strong voting block has been fractured by the real estate mogul’s camp.

“Anyone who looks at the situation can see Trump is not a profoundly religious person,” Wilson says. “It’s surprising how many evangelical voters seem not to care about that very much when there are committed Christians in the field.”

At one point, Cruz appeared most ready to turn the evangelical vote into a caucus victory, but his one-time lead has evaporated under a barrage of attacks from Trump.

“Part of the reason (Trump’s) been able to reach evangelical voters is a lot of them, when push comes to shove, care more about other issues than religious concerns,” Wilson says. “They care more about immigration positions or anti-terror positions. Not all evangelicals swing that way, but enough for Trump to do OK despite his religious unorthodoxies.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science

    • Can Discuss:

religion and politics
political psychology
voting behavior of religious voters
public opinion and politics





979-450-9437, jaengel@mail.smu.edu

The once-cordial relationship between Cruz and Trump went out the window when Cruz threatened Trump’s lead in Iowa this month, but Engel says the recent animosity between the two doesn’t mean the rivals can’t be friends again in the future.

“We should remember one of the most vicious and heated Republican primaries occurred in 1980 when the two finalists were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” Engel says. “Bush spent a lot of time debunking Regan’s views and even came up with the term, ‘voodoo economics,’ which became the go-to insult for Reaganomics. Despite that, they were able to reconcile at the convention and Bush even served as Reagan’s vice president.”

“The Trump-Cruz rivalry will get a lot uglier before it gets better, but no matter what we see in terms of them tearing each other down for the primary, they could still work together again down the road,” Engel adds.

Engel is director of the SMU Center for Presidential History

          • Can Discuss:

comparison’s to past presidential races
foreign policy
presidential rhetoric


Jeffrey Engel, History, How the Democratic Candidates Did

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Jeffrey Engel, an award-winning American historian and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU, weighs the showings of the three Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley – in the January 25, 2016, town hall.

Jeffrey Engel, History, State of the Union speech “surprisingly confrontational”

Fox 4

Originally Posted: January 13, 2016

Jeffrey Engel, an award-winning American historian and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU, analyzes President Obama’s final State of the Union speech, calling it “surprisingly confrontational.”

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History Ph.D. writes about the history of Latino conservatism

News Taco

Originally Posted: December 17, 2015

By Aaron Sanchez, Commentary & Cuentos

Aaron E. Sanchez is the editor of Commentary and Cuentos, a blog focused on issues of race, politics, and popular culture from a Latino perspective. The posts place these issues in historical, cultural, and intellectual context to better understand our present. Aaron received his Ph.D. in history from Southern Methodist University. He is a happy husband, proud father, and an avid runner.

The coming presidential election has brought Latinos into the spotlight. Primarily, Democratic presidential hopefuls have reached out to the community, hiring key immigration activists and political actors. Yet, it is the Republican Party that has brought forward two Latino presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. But how did a party known most recently for its anti-immigrant stance produce the first two Latino presidential candidates? Many have wondered about how Latinos could be conservatives or if Latino conservatism is an oxymoron. United Farm Worker Union (UFW) co-founder Dolores Huerta even called them “sellouts,” a term with a long history associated with elected Latino officials. Luis Valdez, founder of Teatro Campesino, a Chicano theater troupe associated with the UFW, wrote a 1967 play called “Los Vendidos” aimed at Mexican-American appointees of Ronald Reagan, who was then governor of California. READ MORE

Neil Foley, History, the truth about Mexican-Americans

The New York Review of Books

Originally Posted: December 3, 2015

The tenor of the national debate over immigration changed from the first minutes of Donald Trump’s speech in New York City on June 16 announcing that he was running for the Republican presidential nomination. “The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” the real estate magnate said. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you,” he said, gesturing to the crowd. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Rubio and Trump; drawing by James Ferguson
Here he interjected a brief qualifier. “And some, I assume, are good people.” But he returned quickly to his theme. “I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense,” Trump said. “They’re not sending us the right people.” His crowd cheered, delighted.

Mexican-American and other Latino organizations were outraged. Univisión, the national Spanish-language television network, dropped its telecast of Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants. The Ricky Martin Foundation withdrew a golf tournament from a Trump property. The Spanish-born chef José Andrés abandoned plans for a restaurant in a new Trump hotel in Washington. READ MORE

Listen: Alexis McCrossen, History, Wasting time in America

BYU Radio

Originally Posted: November 24, 2015

Alexis McCrossen, a professor of U.S. social and cultural history, recently talked with “Top of Mind” host Julie Rose on BYUradio about time, including how we spend our leisure hours and how it influences our perception of others.

From the show: “Our relationship to time in America is complicated. It’s immensely valuable to us – ‘time is money,’ right? So we punish people by forcing them to spend time locked up. And we brag about how many hours we work and scoff at the Europeans who put in only 35 hours a week. Yet, we also spend massive amounts of money and time on leisure activities.”

McCrossen is the author of Marking Modern Times: Clocks, Watches and Other Timekeepers in American Life.


Joan of Arc docudrama features Jeremy DuQuesnay Adams and Bonnie Wheeler

The Gospel Herald

Originally Posted: November 18, 2015

Joan of Arc, a groundbreaking docudrama featuring the true story of the young heroine-turned-saint who led the French army to victory over the British during the Hundred Years’ War, will premiere this Thanksgiving holiday on BUYtv.

The thrilling new docudrama was written and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Russell Holt and shares the incredible story of how the deep faith of a humble farm girl enabled her to lead her country to victory, making her one of the most revered Christian figures in all of history. ”

Joan of Arc tells the tale of a simple girl whose steadfast commitment to her personal beliefs and religious faith led her to become a martyr, a military leader and the patron Saint of France by the age of 19,” reads the film’s press release. “Her profound dedication to her faith coupled with her ability to establish strong principles at a young age guided her, France and eventually the United States, to greatness.”

Filmed in France, the docudrama is told in Joan’s own words and uses actual 15th century records of her trial for heresy. In addition, Ryan Little, the award-winning director of photography, brings to life historically accurate dramatic re-enactments of events and battles in their actual locations throughout France. ”

While the story of Joan of Arc has been presented on-screen before and most often told through the lens of the battlefield, our film is told in Joan’s own words from a perspective of faith,” said Derek Marquis, managing director of BYUtv. ”

Although we depict elaborate battle scenes and military strategy, we present a unique mixture of her history and faith, interspersing expert commentary, dramatic re-enactments and angelic visitations. By examining in-depth the short, yet focused life of Joan – a young farm girl who was chosen by God to crown a King and save a nation – our program provides viewers a detailed explanation as to why her tale resonates with people of all faiths.”

The docudrama will also feature a number of renowned historians and religious leaders, including Helen R. Castor Ph.D., Bye-Fellow, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Author of Joan of Arc: A History, Jeremy DuQuesnay Adams Ph.D., Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Medieval Europe, Southern Methodist University, Daniel Hobbins Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, Notre Dame University, Bonnie Wheeler Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University and Director, International Joan of Arc Society, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Gérald R. Caussé, Presiding Bishop, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This groundbreaking, family-friendly docudrama will premiere on Nov. 26th on BYUtv at 6pm MT/8pm ET, followed by a 10-minute behind-the-scenes special and will be rebroadcast throughout the 2015 Holiday Season.

Although she died many years ago, Joan of Arc continues to be an inspirational role model today for people of all ages, as her story is one of undying faith, perseverance, honor and courage.

“We know more about Joan of Arc than most medieval historic figures due to the detailed transcripts from her trial,” said Mr. Holt. “Joan of Arc played a fundamental role in shaping world history by leading the French army to victory against the English forces. The French Navy would later play an indispensable role in United States’ Revolutionary War. Without Joan of Arc’s heroic and divine mission, one could argue the nation of France and the Unites States would not exist as they do today.” READ MORE

Parental Grief Has Often Been a Factor in Presidential Politics

New York Times

Originally Posted: October 22, 2015

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Wednesday that he would not run for president, his reasoning coming as no surprise: His son, Beau, died of brain cancer in May at 46, and Mr. Biden lost valuable time to mount a candidacy as he struggled with his grief.

“Beau is our inspiration,” Mr. Biden, who turns 73 next month, told listeners in the Rose Garden. His son had urged him to run, but in the months following his death, Mr. Biden openly acknowledged his own fragility: sudden breakdowns, drained emotional reserves.

This is not the first time the nation’s political life has been roiled by excruciating grief of a parent who has lost a child. In 1900, as many as three in 10 infants in urban areas died before their first birthdays. No surprise, then, that many 18th- and 19th-century presidents suffered the loss of one or more children. Historians are still tallying the costs to both our leaders and the public. MORE