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Race and Realignment: How will the Democratic and Republican parties reformulate after 2016?
- Avik Roy (Opinion editor at Forbes Magazine and a founder of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) - will join in Skype)
- James Simms (Forbes Contributor and freelance reporter and television and radio commentator in Tokyo)
- Ben Karp (ICAS Fellow and a founder of the Eliezer Society)
The recent contest between Republican nominee Donald J. Trump and Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton was a campaign unprecedented in its vitriol and divisiveness that roiled the electorate with claims of corruption, moral depravity, sexism and racism. In fact, though both candidates were white, there was significantly more racial and ethnic clamor in this cycle than the historic 2008 nomination of America’s first major party African-American candidate.
The election of the first black president, Barack Obama, elicited widespread hopes for a post-racial United States. If a mostly white electorate could elect a black man to its highest office, wasn’t the legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow discrimination finally over, and racism now relegated to history’s dust-heap? The 2016 presidential election showdown clearly shows that this was not the case.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement, which grew exponentially and publicly during Obama’s tenure, has put the history of racial policing on the national agenda, while nativist sentiment seems at an all time high with talk of a wall being built to keep out Mexicans. Social media has become a public outlet for extreme positions including sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry. Prejudices hidden in the codified “dog-whistles” of 2008 and 2012 are now proudly shouted as if over bullhorns, millions of such opinions openly expressed on media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Now that the election is over, how will these issues continue to steer U.S. voter affiliations and social media alliances? As new political categories such as “alt-right,” “neo-liberal” and “progressive left” have emerged, the longstanding liberal-conservative binary has been disrupted. From the chaos and acrimony of the recent election, will a new political order be institutionalized?
To help answer these questions, a panel of political experts will map the parameters of these debates and give their insight about the recent election and its implications for American politics.
Opinion editor at Forbes Magazine and a founder of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) - will join in Skype
Avik Roy has been a banker, hedge fund manager, consultant and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Roy has worked on three Republican presidential campaigns; as senior health care advisor to Governor Mitt Romney in 2012 and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in 2016, and as a senior advisor to former Texas governor Rick Perry. Roy has recently gained national attention as an activist for a GOP that takes diversity seriously, not only as a strategy, but as a reflection of core values. Roy is an opinion editor at Forbes Magazine and has recently founded FREOPP, the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. He was educated at MIT and Yale, where he was the chairman of the Conservative Party at the Yale Political Union.
Forbes Contributor and freelance reporter and television and radio commentator in Tokyo
James Simms, a Forbes Contributor and freelance reporter and television and radio commentator in Tokyo, has covered the Japanese economy and politics for two decades, including as a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. In June, he was elected as the president of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan, one of the largest and oldest press clubs in the world, with over 3,000 members, including more than 300 journalists. In 2013-2014, he was a Scripps Journalism Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he researched energy policy, seismology, seismic engineering, and disaster and risk management. Previously, he spent 15 years at Dow Jones, including as The Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street columnist in Tokyo analyzing corporations, policy issues and the economies in Japan and South Korea. In 2011, he won the highest writing award at Dow Jones for a series on Japan’s budget and bureaucracy. He has conducted hundreds of interviews for print and television, including for CNBC, and covered Asia’s financial crisis and the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. He currently is working on a book proposal on the history and lessons of the Fukushima accident.
ICAS Fellow and a founder of the Eliezer Society
Ben Karp is an ICAS Fellow, who holds degrees in English, history and African American Studies from Goucher College and Yale University. He is a founder of the Eliezer Society, described by Time Magazine as an organization which has “attracted some of the world’s most influential speakers,” and has worked on political campaigns, including as a finance chair of Senator Cory Booker’s first campaign for mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Ben came to Japan in 2002, establishing a jewelry distribution business, developing points of sale at Mitsukoshi and other major Japanese department stores. He has also worked in Tokyo as a business consultant and lectured at universities on a range of subjects, and has published articles and been quoted in The Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Beast.