Veteran Congressman talks on Trump

Long-serving American congressman, Representative Jim McDermott, will join a debate on the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s Presidency at Flinders this week.

Democrat Congressman McDermott served as US Representative from Seattle in Washington State for 28 years after an equally distinguished career in the Washington State Legislature. He retired earlier this year after announcing last year he would not seek re-election.

The senior member of the US Congress, with experience on major legislative committees, is in Adelaide for a six-week residency at Flinders University supported by the Centre for US and Asia Policy Studies (CUSAPS) and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science.

Congressman McDermott believes Americans are facing an uncertain and anxious future under the Trump Administration. His residency provides an opportunity to share his views on the early days of America’s new President with Flinders staff and students. Listen to his recent public address here.

Prior to his political career, he obtained his MD from the University of Illinois with residencies in child and adult psychiatry. He served in the US Navy as a Chief Psychiatrist and as a regional medical officer with the US Foreign Service in Africa. He was an early AIDS activist and was instrumental in shaping the US Congress’s bi-partisan AIDS program in Africa during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Former Representative McDermott will join students and staff in a panel discussion – focusing on Trump’s first 100 days in office – in the Studio (near Grind and Press café) at the Flinders Hub and Plaza, main Bedford Park campus on Wednesday.

Join in the discussion online on Facebook by posting here between 12-2pm on Wednesday 26 April.

Discussion panel leader Dr Rodrigo Praino, Flinders Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy, says the new American administration is struggling.

“Probably for the first time since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, an American president does not have a clear success to point to during the first 100 days of a new administration,” Dr Praino says.

“Instead, President Trump has suffered a political defeat on healthcare, received legal challenges to his travel ban, and generated controversy thanks to a unilateral military intervention in Syria.

“According to some Washington insiders, the President is even having trouble to determine how to ‘brand’ his first 100 days in office.”

Before retiring, Congressman McDermott hosted several Flinders students under the popular Flinders Washington Internship Program.

His visit is the first of Flinders’ Congressman-in-Residence initiative. At a series of seminars and meetings while in South Australia, he wants to share his knowledge and experience with students and young leaders of the future as well as government and non-government groups.

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