The Open Visions Forum season came to an exciting close on Thursday, Feb. 22 as seasoned journalist, published author and lead anchor for BBC America, Katty Kay, came to speak at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The event kicked off with an introduction by Open Visions Forum Founder and Director Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., before Kay took to the podium. Kay covered a range of topics throughout the night including the amount of polarization, especially politically, in the U.S., her comments on the Washington Establishment, and the success and failures of our recent American leaders. All of these statements were covered in a non-biased fashion with a few jokes thrown in by Kay to break up the relatively heavy subject material.
Kay touched upon the shift of power that is occurring in our world today, commenting on the rise of power in China and the decline of such in Russia. She noted that, “power is up for grabs around the world,” and proceeded to highlight a few differences between the way the U.S. and U.K. are run through the use of her “three G’s,” God, guns and government.
The fact that America seems to be pulling out of foreign affairs when the world needs them most was Kay’s next talking point. She emphasized that other world powers are now looking to China to address global concerns about issues such as world-trade and climate change.
Kay then transitioned her speech to address the U.S. from a domestic standpoint, rather than its international influence on the world as a whole. She discussed important upcoming events, such as the midterm elections and the 2020 election, highlighting that the Democrats were no longer as confident about winning back the House of Representatives as they had once been. She noted that Trump’s approval rating has moved very little during his presidency and said supporters are still very much in agreement with his views on immigration and political correctness in Washington.
The Russia Investigation became a topic of conversation later in the lecture, with Kay reporting that those outside of Washington knew very little about the investigation itself, stating that she “had never seen such a tight lipped ship.”
However, Kay ended the lecture on a positive note by addressing the audience about the topics that give her hope for America’s future role in the world.
“The thing that makes me optimistic in a world that is quite gloomy… is the energy and commitment and seriousness with which college-age kids are taking their responsibilities in the world,” stated Kay. She went on to describe how college-aged kids are heavily involved in a wide array of politically charged topics from gun control, to sexual harassment in the workplace, to climate change.
Kay excitedly announced that more women are running for office than ever before. Having authored two books on subjects, such as how to be a successful and confident woman in today’s world, she quoted that, “Woman in office work in a more bipartisan way than their male counterparts.”
Junior Olivia Piluso highlighted some of her favorite aspects of Kay’s speech, “I really loved how she tied together women and politics and how it is important to have female leadership in a male-driven society.”
When the lecture ended the forum transformed into a more discussion oriented panel. Panel members included: Dr. Eliasoph, President Mark R. Nemec, Ph.D., and student Haleigh Doherty ’18. Discussion on this panel covered topics such as women in the workforce to news reliability in the twenty-first century.
In response to Kay’s reply to her question regarding what women should know about entering the workforce, Doherty said, “Her answer really resonated with me in how it can be our strive to be perfect that prevents us from taking risks in our lives and careers.”
Overall, Kay’s speech touched upon some of the most pressing matters of today’s political climate. Junior Alexander Ante, an economics major, shared his thoughts on Kay’s speech, “Katty Kay gave an expert view of U.S. diplomatic relation globally as well as an extremely intimate picture of what is happening in washington globally.”