Saturday, July 21, 2018

Theresa Rabbia on Dr. Andrew Roth's Talk at Chautauqua Institution

Dr. Andrew Roth, past interim president of St. Bonaventure University, spoke about the shattering of the American story, which is a lecture that resonated with me greatly. Dr. Roth made the bold claim that the year of 1968 foreshadowed everything within the next 50 years up to today with the entire Trump administration. In 1968, there were numerous landmark events that occurred and Dr. Roth went on and listed multiple. These include the Vietnam War, the Space Race, Paris Peace talks, the assassination of MLK, banning of birth control, and the election of Richard Nixon to name only a few. All of the different events that occurred took a toll on the American Identity; people no longer could agree on what exactly defines America. There was a great struggle to define America, which led to the outbreak of culture wars. The pressing issues being fought over are still fought over today: abortion, gun rights, homosexuality, women’s rights, church v. state, etc. 1968 was only the start to these great debates which have escalated all the way to 2018 and will most likely continue into the future. Dr. Roth finished his lecture with a glimpse of optimism saying that we can change the America we see today if we strip it and recall the fundamentals of America. We need to go back into time and recognize what made America so special in the past and incorporate it in today’s society and then we can have a more solid American Identity.

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