North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) will offer a program discussing how the recent rise of extreme populism in American politics has brought about widespread concern regarding the threat that it poses to our republic and the democratic institutions that sustain us. The attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 was a symptom of a style of politics that has a long history in American society. This lecture will attempt to define the populist impulse, examine the historical roots of populism and analyze how it differs from mainstream political movements such as conservatism and progressivism. The program will take place on Friday, September 17, in the Beem Center, Room 200 on the NIACC campus from 2:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. This free presentation will be facilitated by Bennett Smith, history and political science instructor at NIACC, and will commemorate Constitution Day, which is held on September 17 of each year. This event is offered through the Lifelong Learning Institute and is free and open to the public.
Bennett Smith is an instructor in history and political science at North Iowa Area Community College. He is also an instructor in various lifelong learning programs including the NIACC Lifelong Learning Institute; the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Iowa State University and the LIFE program at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in speech communication and a Master of Arts degree in history from Iowa State University. He has also done graduate work at the University of Iowa in Social Foundations of Education. He is from Clear Lake and currently serves on the Clear Lake City Council.