Jay Footlik and Rick Smotkin Lead Panel at Kuwait University
On a recent trip to Kuwait, ACYPL Board of Trustees members Jay Footlik and Rick Smotkin sat down for a panel discussion on a range of topics at Kuwait University. Jay, who is CEO of the policy consultancy Global Policy Initiatives, and Rick, who is Vice President of Government Affairs for Comcast, mostly focused on the upcoming election, a source of great interest even for many people living outside of the United States. The speakers also stressed the importance of intercultural communication, emphasizing the unique benefits that come from friendship between peoples of different nations.
“Foreign policy issues rarely figure in US poll campaigns – No Democrat, Republican want to be branded pro-war”, Kuwait Times: http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2012/10/01/foreign-policy-issues-rarely-figure-in-us-poll-campaigns-no-democrat-republican-want-to-be-branded-pro-war/
In the course of their conversation, Footlik and Smotkin educated their audience about the misconceptions many people have regarding American politics and democracy. In one such moment, Smotkin explained that most Republicans and Democrats agreed about effective policy in the Middle East, even though foreign media may portray the situation differently.
But the conversation between Footlik, a Democrat, and Smotkin, a Republican, also had its disagreements. When the subject of money in politics arose, the two speakers shared their fundamentally opposed views about the influence of campaign contributions in the wake of the Citizens United decision. However, with great respect for each other, the two were civil in their discussion and neither denigrated the other for holding an opposing view.
“Democracy molded by nations, not dictated”, KUNA: http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2265822&language=en