Michael Steele

Michael Steele is also the former lieutenant governor of Maryland.

Michael Steele, political analyst for MSNBC and former chair of the Republican National Committee, presented his lecture, "Trumpism and the Republican Party: What's Next?", Thursday at the Memorial Union.

Steele spoke for the 18th annual Manatt-Phelps lecture in political science beginning in 2002 and has hosted many political voices since its inception. Current President Joe Biden spoke for the lecture in 2006 when he was a U.S. senator.

"I guess it doesn't matter when a former president openly suggests he does not accept the results of a free and fair election," said Steele during his lecture. "With 60 federal judges and the Supreme Court said there was no fraud. Guess it doesn't matter."

Steele said that the Republican Party needs to make a choice of which side they are on in reference to the divide in the party.

"There are not fine people on both sides," said Steele. "You've gotta make a choice which side you're on. The country? Or the proud boys. The country? Or the Klan."

"Over time, I've been watching Republicans lose their voice on things that matter as they bent the arm of the party towards the motives of a man who was neither a Republican nor a conservative. He was no Ronald Regan," said Steele.

Following the lecture, Steele said he felt welcomed and listened too, and that the crowd was respectful regardless of their political affiliations.

"That's the people of Iowa. Very sophisticated politically, willing to be a part of the conversation," said Steele." I am very grateful to the university for this opportunity."

"I don't think [the Republican party] is what Trump has offered America," said Steele. "I think that it's a bastardization of what Regan, and Eisenhower, and Lincoln stood for."

Prior to the lecture, there was a private reception in which the Manatt and Phelps families were thanked for their contributions, and beverages and heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Karen Kedrowski, the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and a professor of political science at Iowa State, said the Manatt-Phelps lecture is important, having said that it is a wonderful asset and one of the department's biggest events of the year.

"I'm so gratified that we had a great in-person turnout, and I'm sure there were more people who were watching the livestream as well, and I am just so impressed by the quality of questions; Iowa State students never fail to impress me," said Kedrowski.

Serena Williams, a sophomore majoring in political science with a minor in criminal justice, was in attendance and said she enjoyed it.

"It's actually an honor to meet one of my favorite MSNBC political analysts," said Williams. 

"My goal is to become the first black woman Speaker of the House, and even if I don't win, I hope to inspire the next generation of women and girls into the realm of politics because politics isn't just for men-- it's for all genders," said Williams.

A recording of the lecture can be found on the Iowa State Lecture Series website once uploaded.

Kedrowski said that Steele's lecture was very thoughtful, saying that he was asking the right questions.

"What we need are competing parties who don't sink to the lowest common denominator, or hate monger, or deconstruct the administrative state; but argue about policy," said Kedrowski. 

"Fundamentally, both parties are motivated by the same desire to build a better society, and I think that's what [Steele] ultimately hungers for, and mourns that loss in his own political party."


(2) comments

Ryan Hurley

Listened to his lecture, was not very impressed, seemed very much like he wants to go back to neoliberal/neoconservative talking points.

Facts and Logic

I do enjoy the false binary presented - as if the only choice is either be a Democrat (or at least, not a true conservative) or be a part of the Proud Boys or Klan. Honestly, if you believe that almost half the country supports the Proud Boys and the Klan simply because of the way they voted politically, then we've got bigger problems than where any individual political party is headed.

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