KWCW Show of the Week: “A Changing Tide: The Presidency, Past and Present (A Philosophical Investigation)”

Trevor Press and Zach Turner are up early every Friday morning to give you some amusing lessons about the history of presidential elections.

Eric Anderson, A&E Editor

According to the hosts of “A Changing Tide: The Presidency, Past and Present (A Philosophical Investigation),” senior economics and psychology major Trevor Press and senior philosophy major Zach Turner, the long title of their show is no accident.

“We pride ourselves on our long titles,” Press said. “We want a descriptive title so that every time, people know what they’re getting into.”

With a different show every semester, Press and Turner have delved into a myriad of different subjects, including creation myths, fairy tales and the American Dream. This semester, the “Changing Tide” hosts are tackling the subject of the U.S. presidential election, from the very beginning to the present day.

“People were saying this [current election] is the worst election ever, and I was curious,” Turner said. “What if [it] wasn’t?”

“It’s…important to recognize that the current election is the way it is because of all the previous elections, and what’s happened in those previous elections,” Press said. “So you can’t really say that previous elections don’t have anything to do with the current election, [and] there’s still a lot to be learned in terms of what that process is like now.”

“A Changing Tide” covers each of the presidential elections chronologically, progressing toward the current election in a nonpartisan fashion. Over the course of doing the show, Turner and Press discovered interesting facts in doing research for their show.

“[John C. Calhoun] was the vice presidential running mate of both the top two candidates [in 1824],” Press said. “[John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson] both chose him as their vice presidential nominee, and so [Calhoun] was kinda, like, hedging his bets so he said yes to both of them. And so of course he became…Vice President, and then, after that [in 1828], he ditched [Adams] for [Jackson].”

“I just kinda like to imagine that being like [Joe] Biden walking around the White House wearing like a [Mitt] Romney hat or something,” Press said. “That’d be so awkward.”

While the show is largely historical, the duo take time to address poignant comparisons between the past and the present.

“[W]hen there is a good…statement to be made about the current election, we make that statement,” Turner said.

Turner and Press noted that the “Changing Tide” in their title references the rough history of presidential elections.

“It’s not a smooth tide,” Press said. “It’s like whitecaps.”

The hosts also emphasized their show’s humor, with a lighthearted approach to their subject.

“When it’s early, and you’re tired, it’s a little bit funny because you’re a little bit on edge anyways,” Press said. “Every once in a while you might giggle…because you’re a little bit cuckoo like we are.”

“It’s not so funny that you’re not gonna be able to like, fall back asleep if you wanted to, but if you didn’t…it’s funny enough that you’ll…stay awake,” Turner added.

Both hosts described learning about the elections as one of the more fun aspects of the show.

“I really enjoy the…learning for each episode,” Turner said. “What’s fun for me is trying to make that learning…accessible, and also make it…interesting slash a little bit funny.”

The hosts acknowledged that, after they complete their study of elections this semester, they hope to tackle topics relating to the future in their next show, their final as Whitman students.

“A Changing Tide: The Presidency, Past and Present (A Philosophical Investigation)” airs from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Friday.