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Journalist Fareed Zakariah explains ‘global Trumpism’

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Distinguished Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakariah explained the rising trend of global Trumpism at the Flint Center for performing arts on Feb. 28 and March 1 as part of Foothill’s Celebrity Forum Speakers series.

Zakariah explained the transformation of American politics into “the greatest political reality show in history.”

“People will always remember the words. They remember F.D.R.’s ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself,’” Zakariah said.  “What will they remember about the 2016 campaign? Marco Rubio accusing Trump of having a small penis?”

Zakariah provided his viewers with a historical context for the pushback against globalization in both the United States and the rest of the world.

He began with the idea that Americans are living in an extraordinary period of stability, “created and marked by the end of the Cold War,” he said.

He emphasized political stability, economic convergence and the technological revolution as effects of globalization, stimulated by the United States’ government and citizens.

“Globalization has benefited the United States’ dominance in market share,” Zakariah said, emphasising the importance of immigration for vibrant societies and the need for an economy driven by young people.

“But there’s another story, “ Zakariah said. “Right wing populism is not only growing in the United States, but all around Europe as well.”

Zakariah drew the crowd’s attention to the effect globalization had on jobs, and connected the same trends that brought peace and stability to the world as also severely affecting American workers.

Zakariah said Trump represents a cultural reaction, as evidenced by his campaign. “It’s much easier to sell fear than to sell hope… he said ‘your life is very hard. Mexicans are taking your jobs, the Chinese are taking your factories, and the Muslims are taking your businesses.’”

In the final moments of the speech, Zakariah stunned the audience by acknowledging the topic of radical Islams.

“The only way you’re gonna succeed is by destroying this strain within Islam … by allying with moderate Muslims,” he said.

Zakariah was also highly critical of the Muslim ban. “The problem with bans is this blanket nature of it. If you’re trying to find needles in a haystack, you don’t add more hay,” he said.

Zakariah reaffirmed his confidence in the strength of American ideals, both within the country and in its global influence to conclude his panel. “American culture is unique in its civic mindedness. It’s one thing to come out and see the opera, it’s another to come out and see a man telling you what to think politically and economically.

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