National and Local Experts Discuss Trump, Raimondo, and the Future of America
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Murphy joined former President of the Boston Globe Mike Sheehan, GoLocalProv News Editor Kate Nagle, and former Providence Journal Editorial Page Editor and now GoLocal Columnist Robert Whitcomb in a discussion of the state of America — “Where is America Going?”
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE
Sheehan said America has entered into a new era of dissatisfaction, but historically said America’s political mood is like a pendulum — a "whipsaw" -- swinging from the likes of Barack Obama to Donald Trump. Whitcomb, meanwhile predicted the next U.S. President is likely to be far more "stable."
The broadcast event was held at the Pavilion at Grace Church in downtown Providence was broadcast on Thursday night across nine social media platforms. The evening's event was moderated by GoLocal CEO and Co-Founder Josh Fenton.
SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT BELOW
Sheehan who served as the head of the Globe for three years discussed American’s frustration with their future and the threats of change and technology.
The sweeping discussion touched on everything from Donald Trump’s character, to Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s political future, and the potential for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Presidential possibilities. The panel also addressed the importance and loss of “trust” in American institutions — religion, government, and the media.
Sheehan and Murphy raised the importance of the impact of the splintering of media — it is no longer about television and newspapers — it is now dozens of ways consumer and voters communicate and collect social media.
“I think social media provides consumer and voters access to information that they deem more reliable,” said Murphy, citing that people would rather look at Yelp reviews rather than a food critic's write-up.
“You cannot buy your way through [messaging] with a big fat media buy anymore,” said Sheehan, who for ten years headed Hill Holliday, one of America’s largest advertising agencies.
The one hour and twenty-minute discussion included questions from the audience — questions were offered by marijuana activist Anne Armstrong and gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo — both raising questions about the bias and impact of the media.
Ed Zesk, former head of the Rhode Hospital Association, said that the roots of dissatisfaction that gave rise to Trump are still there -- including the role of money in politics -- and challenged the Democratic Party to come up with a viable candidate sooner rather than later to take on Trump.
The panel agreed that the energy and momentum are now with the Democrats and to look for a rebalancing of Congress at the mid-terms.
“If I were a betting man, I would bet that the Democrats would take the House,” said Murphy. Whitcomb pointed out that Trump’s polling numbers were continuing to improve in recent weeks and that ultimately voters will vote their pocketbooks.
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