Two days after Election Day, and with the end result of the presidential election nonetheless undecided, specialists from throughout Massachusetts joined GBH Information’ Jim Braude, Margery Eagan, Joe Mathieu, and Arun Rath to debate how the nation would possibly transfer ahead within the weeks and months forward.
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, contemporary off a profitable re-election marketing campaign of his personal, joined Braude and Eagan first and mentioned this yr’s large voter turnout amongst 18- to 34-year-olds, which he noticed as a continuation of the native development from this yr’s Democratic main in Massachusetts. Since 2018, there was a 50% enhance in votes from that demographic in Massachusetts.
“I feel it’s one thing that goes to how energized younger persons are in regards to the problems with racial justice, local weather disaster, the necessity for everybody to get well being care,” Markey mentioned. “There is a actually engaged youthful era that we’ve not seen in current political reminiscence, and I do not assume they are going away.”
Markey additionally mentioned what could happen in the event that former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency, but is left with a Republican-controlled Senate, particularly towards the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing political and social upheaval, and financial pressure.
Phillip Martin, GBH Information senior investigative reporter, has been overlaying the continuing social upheaval in Boston and past. He joined Mathieu to speak about what’s occurring within the nation’s streets as demonstrators rally against voter suppression and the president’s requests to stop vote counting. “The ‘indignant white man’ has spoken — that’s what this election is all about. Plenty of that’s about white grievance,” Martin mentioned, noting that the protests have been peaceable. “The streets are speaking rather a lot louder than many members of Congress as of late.”
Folks have been taking to the streets to demand change for hundreds of years in America, and Malia Lazu, an entrepreneur, founding father of Mass VOTE and lecturer at MIT Sloan College of Administration, started the subsequent panel dialogue by invoking Dr. Martin Luther King and his final aim of reconciliation. “We’re going to determine the best way to work towards and proceed to lean in in direction of justice,” she mentioned.
Lazu and fellow panelists went on to debate the position of the information media and social media in creating and fostering political polarization. Dipayan Ghosh, a former advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and Invoice Clinton who now research digital privateness and civil rights at Harvard College, famous that our society is experiencing a basic shift as know-how modifications how individuals talk. He pointed to the prevalence of disinformation on-line, not solely in English, but in addition in Spanish, as a deep concern.
The know-how could also be new, however the human need to attach isn’t, in keeping with Gregory Fried, professor of political science at Boston School. He defined a traditional tenet of political philosophy, which holds that as political animals individuals must “see one another embodied,” and that anonymity brings out the worst in society. He advised Mathieu that disagreements might be constructive however individuals don’t must react each time, as is all too simple to do on-line.
Lazu famous that the foundation of polarization isn’t just political disagreement; relatively, it is steeped in — and upheld by — centuries of systemic racism. “Somebody that appears like me shouldn’t get shot in mattress whereas sleeping. We have to make individuals’s our bodies and lives matter,” she mentioned, referring to the killing of Breonna Taylor in her residence by police. And, referring to the video of the homicide of George Floyd by the hands of the police that went viral, she added, “it’s not the information media — it’s that 8:47 video.”
So, what’s subsequent? The panelists pointed to a number of areas for optimism within the weeks and months to come back after the election is, lastly, over. Though “actions take time,” Lazu inspired viewers to get artistic about how they’ll hold their activism moving into their very own lives and communities; for instance, by supporting minority companies. Fried mentioned that the large enhance in turnout amongst younger individuals on this yr’s election is the easiest way to reinvigorate the long-held American very best of ‘We The Folks.’
Subsequent up, WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller shared his ideas on the largest problem going through the subsequent president, in addition to the American individuals: overcoming deep political and ideological divisions to as soon as once more unify as a rustic.
“The problem is at all times to rework a crowd right into a neighborhood,” Keller mentioned, borrowing a line from a current letter to the membership of the Archdiocese of Boston from Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley. “Donald Trump has confirmed to be a grasp at drawing and thrilling a crowd. However not so adept at creating a way of neighborhood past his personal slender base. That is why he seems to be headed for defeat.”
“The problem for Joe Biden, if actually he is the subsequent president, and for your entire Congress, goes to be to determine the best way to remodel a crowd into some semblance of a neighborhood,” Keller mentioned.
Because the nation seeks moments of consolation amidst the uncertainty of the previous couple of months, Porsha Olayiwola, the Poet Laureate of Boston, adopted Keller with a robust studying of her poem “what’s the suffrage motion to a blk womyn?: an anthem” as a mirrored image on civic engagement.
Host Arun Rath concluded the dialog with a particular version of In It Together, wherein he talked in regards to the intersection of politics and the pandemic, together with how the coronavirus has disproportionately impacted communities of colour, and the best way to keep self-care in instances of heightened nervousness all through the election, social unrest, and the pandemic. Visitor Michael Curry, Deputy CEO and Basic Counsel of the Massachusetts League of Neighborhood Well being Facilities, known as the pandemic “our nationwide Katrina,” likening the mismangement of the disaster, and ensuing devastation, to the 2005 hurricane.
Watch GBH News Presents – Election 2020: What’s Next in its entirety right here.