Assistant Professor of Government Erica De Bruin, Professor of Economics Ann Owen, and Director of Orientation and First-year Programs Tessa Chefalo appeared prominently in The Washington Post, American Public Media’s Marketplace, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, respectively, this month.
In “No, Trump is not attempting a coup.’ Here’s why the distinction matters,” published in The Washington Post, De Bruin responded in her op-ed to oft-expressed fears in the media that President Trump might be attempting such a maneuver. De Bruin, author of the new book How to Prevent Coups d'État: Counterbalancing and Regime Survival, writes, “It’s important that we describe the crisis accurately. That will shape our response.”
Published on Nov. 15, her essay outlines how “the steps Trump and other Republicans officials have taken to discredit the results of the election … do not constitute a coup.” Specifically, De Bruin writes, the steps taken thus far do not involve the threat of violence, a coup component.
But De Bruin points to an equally grave danger. “To prevent democratic backsliding, the bigger threat to the survival of democratic institutions in the United States, the focus should be on putting public pressure on civilian elites within the Republican Party to veer from their present reckless course,” she says. “The real damage to American democracy under way may be more mundane than a coup, but in the long run has the potential to be just as dangerous.”
Professor of Economics Ann Owen, a regular commentator on American Public Media’s Marketplace, discussed what it means to distort competition, a charge lodged against Amazon by the European Union. In the segment, “What is market distortion?” broadcast to more than 400 public radio stations nationwide, Owen explained how distortion can lead to a reduced competition that “could potentially drive some of those sellers out of business.” She reminded listeners, however, that “a totally distortion-free market exists ‘only in the textbooks.’”
Lucy Naughton ’24 shared her experiences as a first-year student at Hamilton and the complications wrought by the pandemic in the Chronicle of Higher Education article “Meet COVID-19’s freshman class,” published on Nov. 10. Tessa Chefalo outlined some new ways that the College is helping students engage since COVID restrictions have eliminated many of the usual opportunities. “Feeling connected to your peers is a really big part of feeling like you belong on a college campus,” said Chefalo.
Naughton ended her comments with what the Chronicle described as “a small silver lining: Unlike their older peers, freshmen don’t have anything to compare it with. ‘It’s going to be weird to come to college and not have to wear masks and be able to have friends in your room,’ Naughton said, hastily adding, ‘I will really appreciate it.’”