Guarini Institute Welcomes Senator Ignazio Marino

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On October 30th, Italian Senator Ignazio Marino of the Partito Democratico spoke to John Cabot University students and professors about the U.S. presidential election and how the decisions made by American voters impact the world.

The discussion, which was held in the JCU cafeteria, was opened by Professor Argentieri, Director of the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs, and questions were asked by a number of JCU faculty members and students.

Asked about who best represented the American dream – Barack Obama or Mitt Romney – Marino said, “Although both candidates are very patriotic, something has changed since 9/11. There was an approval of laws to make it harder for immigrants to live in the  USA and develop their dreams, even after having studied in the country. I know what the American Dream is, because I have experienced it, and it pains me to see how much harder it has gotten for foreign skillful professionals to make it happen nowadays. There are still many scholars who travel to the USA for research reasons, but more and more often they are forced to return to their home countries, bringing back what they have learned. This is the opposite of what happened to me in the 80s. I believe that the USA should preserve its openness for their own good, also from the economic point of view. Under this perspective, Obama has a better plan.”

Marino also discussed the so-called Obamacare program, pointing to the numbers that state that there are at least 50 million people without medical assistance in the United States. “If Obama’s healthcare program doesn’t succeed, research shows that by 2022, those 50 million will become 72 million; and this is a problem for a country with such pride and richness like the USA”. He stressed its importance and said Americans deserve to be assisted by their home country. Having a national healthcare system that covers everyone is not a sign of weakness, but evidence of strength and vision.

When asked about the likeability of the candidates, Marino said “likeability” mattered and that it most definitely has a role in elections. “It is important to like a politician, to be able to relate to him and project one’s expectations and dreams” he said. “It might be easier for a young, well-educated black senator than for a white billionaire to run at the time of the most dramatic economic crisis since 1929. You have to think of the people’s feelings when you run. Of course at Bill Clinton’s time it was easier because he didn’t have debts to take care of. At the time you run, people need to find something they like in you, which cannot stop at your thoughts or the program you present.”