Communication
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mason Event Panelists: Global Anxiety About Change Fueling Trump and Brexit

by Matt Powers

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2016 Communication Industry Forum panelists

FAIRFAX, Va. -- In front of a hall filled with college students, the senior vice president of a multinational corporation said that the outcome of Brexit was obvious to anyone in Europe at the time.

“Brexit happened because there was a lot of anxiety about the global transformation that was happening,” said Torie Clarke, senior vice president of global affairs at SAP, a German multinational software corporation. She said that Bernie Sanders was part of this trend as well.

Clarke was part of a panel at the annual Communication Industry Forum at George Mason University held Tuesday, Oct. 25. This year's event was called "Political and policy communications: Impact, ethics and the art of persuasion." The forum was aimed at connecting students with leaders in politics and communications.

Clarke and other panelists began debating how Trump and Brexit were part of larger trends in society. One panelist, Arzu Tuncata Tarimcilar, also said there was a lot of anger not just in the United States, but everywhere.

The panel discussion continued to explore the source of this anger. Former Governor Martin O’Malley said that many people perceived that the system was rigged against them.

Professor Emily Varga said, “When people are angry they feel like they’re losing something.” She also said that people are voting for Trump because they feel like they're losing, and they're willing to try anything to get ahead.

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