Michael Bitzer

Political Columnist

Dr. Michael Bitzer is an associate professor of politics and history at Catawba College, where he also serves as the 2011-2012 Swink Professor for Excellence in Classroom Teaching and the chair of the department of history & politics.  A native South Carolinian, he holds graduate degrees in both history and political science from Clemson University and The University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Bitzer’s studies have focused on Southern politics, campaigns and elections, and a variety of topics in American politics.

With the start of school, some Shakespearean snippets on the silly season we are all suffering through in politics:

Wednesday’s Charlotte Talks will speak with Kristen Soltis Anderson, author of “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America,” along with a researcher from the Pew Research Center on the role of the newest generation that is now shaping society, and the American electorate.

The official kick-off event of the Republican presidential primary debate season came and went, and with few surprises, it seems like the field will stay locked in its current state.

The candidate who seemed to have the best evening was Florida’s U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. He showed a level of poise and preparedness that was consistent throughout the evening. Rubio is already polling among the top tier. It felt like he may rise as the ‘anti-Donald’ candidate, if he can capitalize on his debate performance.  

With the rise of Donald Trump in a series of polls, there is a feeling that he may be pulling down the Republican Party as a

The tragic event at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, has become a focal point for a wide variety of issues confronting not just Charleston and the Palmetto State, but more likely the entire nation.

As the funerals begin for the nine black victims, slain at the hands and gun of a white-supremacist terrorist, the echo of an all-too-familiar question abounds yet again: how and why could this have happened?

With the pending U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage expected, and the issue of whether North Carolina magistrate’s should be allowed a ‘religious objection’ to performing same-sex marriages, the culture wars over social issues are still being fought in earnest.

Yes, it’s a year and a half away from the November 2016 general election, but already the punditry and analysis has begun in terms of what could happen in the looming presidential contest.

With the presidential primary campaign heating up, the Republican field has become “anybody’s game.” It’s still fairly quiet on the Democratic side, with the possibility of a Clinton coronation still looming.

But the likelihood that the general election will be a similar cakewalk for Hillary Clinton isn’t borne out from the fact that most of the states, and thus the Electoral College votes, are already baked in for one side over the other.

With the first official “hat in the ring” by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the free-for-all race for the Republican presidential nomination is off and running, to be followed in early April by fellow conservative U.S. Senator Rand Paul - all leading to another crowded Republican primary field.

In many sports, there’s the notion of an unforced error. It's something that the player did that costs the player, or their team.

In the game of politics, politicians commit unforced errors as well. But when you’re talking about the ultimate prize of power, those unforced errors can be more damaging than a simple dropped shot.

Recently, there have been two major unforced errors committed by both sides of the political fence.  While the scores may be different for both sides, the damage done shows the lack of strategy and, at its core, thinking by both players.

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