The Paw Print
Wednesday evening, Dr. Stephen C. Roberds presented the fifth faculty lecture of the semester. Dr. Roberds, an associate professor of government, presented his research on the scandals in politics. Dr. Roberds speech was entitled “Congressional Scandals” and is available for student viewing on the Adams State College home page under faculty lectures.
Dr. Roberds received his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri- Saint Louis in political science and recently was granted tenure at Adams State College. Roberds focused on the effects of scandals in political elections, mainly those in Congressional campaigns. Although he did mention plenty of scandals starting from the time our government was established, Roberds focused mainly on how they have affected the candidates in the election and re-election process.
Roberds focused on the idea of how Americans will vote during an election based on scandals or incidents involving candidates. Dr. Roberds asked, “What matters most: policy or probity?” He analyzed the idea that voters choose whom they vote for based, not only on their political views, but also on their personal traits. Furthermore, Dr. Roberds identified the normative issue within voting. He stated, “The normative issue namely is what should matter?”
Roberds throughout his lecture continued to stress the idea of the voter and how they react to a scandal. He also mentioned many scandals throughout history and not only the most recent such as the Clinton scandal. He provided a list of scandals which date back to the founding of our country. The idea that some of our most revered historical figures were parts of scandals may change the way we look at a scandal.
Roberds gave statistical data that showed how American voters have reacted towards scandals throughout the years. The data revealed that there are many different elements that contribute to the severity of a scandal, not just the specifics of the scandal. He went over the idea that scandals haven’t gotten more prevalent over the years; they have just been covered more thoroughly by the media.
Overall, Dr. Roberds’ lecture came down to the idea that as the political climate and American values change, so will how citizens react to a scandal. He challenged voters to realize what they are voting for and why. He declared, “Things are not usually equal in politics, and they are not equal in the voting booth. Candidates differ on issues… so what matters most: issues on policy or personal traits?” This was a question that Dr. Roberds couldn’t answer for it is one that each voter must face on their own terms.
The next faculty lecture at Adams State College will be Wednesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in POR room 130. This lecture will be given by assistant professor of teacher education Dr. Sheryl Ludwig and is entitled “Teaching as Community Activism.” This lecture will pertain to the journey to Guatemala made by local educators to help improve the success in education for those that are culturally diverse. For more information or any questions regarding the faculty lectures contact Dr. Robert Astalos.