Dr. John Callahan shares expertise with NEC students in “Trump’s America” course


Dr. Nathan Shrader’s class “Trump’s America” was joined by Dr. John Callahan on Oct. 4. Callahan is a Professor at NEC, who serves as the Military Program Director and works in International Studies as well as Homeland Security Programs. He spoke to the class about a multitude of topics regarding Trump, ranging from foreign policies to the 2020 election.  

“I think it’s really important to take advantage of the timing that we have this election coming up. To focus on something specific to the election, Trump and his past impact, and his potential future impact on the country,” Callahan said. 

If COVID had happened earlier in Trump’s presidency, Callahan said the election could have gone in another direction. 

When students asked if Trump’s rhetoric played a role in the public’s view of his presidency, Callahan said his style of delivery often led to his words being taken out of context. 

Students also asked about his foreign relationships in comparison to President Joe Biden and how the two styles differ. He referenced Trump calling Kim Jun Un “little rocket man” and said this was new territory for a U.S. president. 

Trump villainized the media, Callahan said, which American’s hadn’t seen in the past, and it has left lingering mistrust. 

Trump has never been a person that accepts loss, Callahan said, citing his prior bankruptcy and the election results of 2020. 

He also talked about the importance of political science classes that focus on world leaders and the impact that they have on the world. 

“There are topics classes now, such things like Threats to Democracy, which obviously are a response to the events of the last half decade. If one topic comes or goes, another will rise to replace it, it’s an effort to keep things timely and interesting and relevant and that will always go on,” Callahan said. 

Dr. Shrader said Callahan’s visit went very well and offered the students another point of view on topics they’ve discussed throughout the course thus far.  

“His ability as someone who also worked in the defense department and also has PhD in that field of international politics, he can help the students understand issues that me as an American politics professor, don’t have as much background in,” Shrader said.  “It was good that we could tap into his expertise on this, especially given the current state of the affairs of the world.”

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