The Score: Iran Deal, RPV History, Election Laws, Undergraduate Review

This week on The Score – President Trump pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal; UVA undergraduates publish a new review of politics; and a long-time Republican activist looks at changes in the political landscape.

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This week’s show looks at current headlines, looks at the past, and looks to the future. We start with the headlines.

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by withdrawing the United States from the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal, a multilateral compact whose aim was to prevent – or at least delay – the development of nuclear weapons by Iran.

Todd Sechser UVAThe day after the announcement, I spoke at the University of Virginia with Dr. Todd Sechser, who teaches international relations there. Sechser (photo, right) is also a senior fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and coauthor (with Matthew Fuhrmann) of the 2017 book, Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy. His research interests, according to a brief biography, “include military coercion, reputations in international relations, the strategic effects of nuclear weapons, and the sources and consequences of military doctrine.” Sechser explained what the Iran nuclear deal is, why the Trump administration objects to it, and what broader ramifications might result from pulling out now.

Jake Washburne is general registrar in Albemarle County and legislative chair for the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia (VRAV). I met him last Wednesday at his office south of Charlottesville. I wanted to know whether there were any new laws passed by the General Assembly this year that will affect the way elections are run. We ended up talking about recent and proposed legislation regarding elections and voting in Virginia.

Eric Xu UVA Virginia Review of PoliticsEric Xu is a third-year undergraduate at the University of Virginia, editor-in-chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs, and captain of the UVA Quizbowl team. If that’s not enough to keep him busy, he and some classmates have started a new publication called the Virginia Review of Politics. Its first print edition was just published but the Review has an online presence that includes infographics and podcasts. I wanted to learn more about the project: what is its mission? How are articles chosen and edited? Who is the intended reader? Does Bearing Drift have a new competitor? I met Eric at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation near the University’s central grounds.

Randolph Byrd Charlottesville PianoOur fourth interview this week looks back at the recent history of the Republican Party of Virginia and of Republicans and conservatives in general.

Randolph Byrd is a long-time Republican activist who served as chairman of the Fifth Congressional District GOP committee in the 1990s. He worked on his first campaign in high school in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. He has some thoughts about how the Republican party has changed, for better or worse, in his five decades of political participation.

My conversation with Randolph was so interesting that it lasted almost three times longer than a typical segment on The Score. We’ll have more next week and maybe again the week after that.

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