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Available Expert - 2016 Republican National Convention

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Queen's University historian Geoffrey Smith is available to comment on the 2016 Republican Convention - being held on July 18–21, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The first day of the convention saw an attempt by the "Never Trump" movement to call for a floor vote to unbind delegates, speeches by a wide range of presenters - from Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson and actor Scott Baio to former Texas Governor Rick Perry - and an accusation of plagarism against headline speaker Melania Trump.

"The Republican Party: a group of disgruntled folk who feel their idea of the nation slipping away, and longing to return to an irretrievable pastwhich probably never existed," says Dr. Smith. "Their attraction to Trump as an avatar cuts well across class and party lines and settles upon a huge cleavage in American culture, worshiping Mammon while extolling the virtues of a Christian God and the values of the historic Producer Culture. The contradiction is huge - "Yuge!" as the candidate would say - but, as Thomas Frank wrote in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" no one wants to see in the country of the blind."

Dr. Smith is a retired professor, cross-appointed to the Queen’s University Department of History and the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. He taught Conspiracy and Dissent in American History for more than 30 years at Queen's and courses in social and cultural history. He has spoken at length in the media about such issues as the IOC and the Rio Olympics, Donald Trump and violence in American Politics and political discourse.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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