The Truth of the Matters

Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post columnist and host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, is one of the most thoughtful and insightful commentators on matters politic and global. His wide ranging (and sold out) talk at the Granada Theatre, kicking off UCSB’s Arts & Lectures 2016-17 season, focussed mainly on the U.S. presidential campaign and Monday’s debate between Clinton and Trump. He began with the personal, making trenchant observations about how immigrants like himself view America, which is often in stark contrast to the way many Americans do. He arrived on our shores in the late 1970s when there was a great deal of pessimism about the country, similar to the way some people, like Trump, talk about our country now. He carefully deconstructed, with humor and wit, the many ways in which reason is subverted to fit previously held beliefs and tribal affiliations. Can conservative republicans ignore the contradictions to their core tenets and beliefs that Trump represents? Can democrats accept the many shortcomings of Clinton? Of course, it’s a little hard to pin down much of what Trump’s beliefs are, especially as most change frequently. Clinton carries a lot of baggage from a long and sometimes controversial life in politics. In the final analysis, truth matters, and there seems to be precious little of it going around these days. It is refreshing and necessary to hear someone like Fareed Zakaria speak to it so eloquently.

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