Colorado SpringsNews

International figures Vicente Fox and Nigel Farage to debate nationalism vs. globalism Tuesday at UCCS

Author: Debbie Kelley, The Gazette - April 3, 2018 - Updated: April 3, 2018

Vicente Fox and Nigel Farage (AP photos)

COLORADO SPRINGS — In an effort to bring “reasoned and respectful debate to college campuses,” two prominent world figures will hash out the merits of globalism vs. nationalism Tuesday at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 through 2006 and the first leader from an opposition party since 1910, and Nigel Farage, architect of Brexit, the United Kingdom’s 2019 exit from the European Union, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ent Center for Arts, 5225 N Nevada Ave.

Tom Ragan, a columnist for the Washington Examiner, will serve as moderator.

Admission is free to UCCS students; $20 for faculty and staff; and $40 for public admission. Tickets are available at

Free trade, tariffs, economic protectionism and immigration reform will be among the hot topics discussed.

“They’re both very interesting people,” said Professor Joshua Dunn, director of the UCCS Center for the Study of Government and the Individual, which is sponsoring the event. “they’re engaging and entertaining, so who knows where it might go?

“This debate cuts across political divisions around the world. People typically associated with the left are siding with people on the right, and vice versa.”

The event is the second stop on the Campus Liberty Tour presented by The Steamboat Institute, a nonprofit in Steamboat Springs that advocates for individual liberty and free-market principles.

“They’re very articulate. They debate with reason and logic, not just emotion and hyperbole,” said Jennifer Schubert-Akin, chairman and CEO of The Steamboat Institute. The bigger picture of the four-campus tour is to fill a gap that the institute believes is missing at today’s college campuses, Schubert-Akin said.

“It’s to teach whoever attends critical-thinking skills,” she said. “It’s a skill that needs to be learned and practiced, like playing a piano. We have people on campuses screaming, calling the other side stupid. That doesn’t take a lot of intellectual rigor.

“If people see two leaders on the international stage using logic and reason to present their arguments, I think they’ll learn from that.”

Under Fox’s reign, Mexico achieved the lowest unemployment rate in Latin America, and inflation and interest rates were brought under control.

Farage was a founding member of the UK Independence Party, leading the group from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2016.

The pair appeared at CU-Boulder on Monday and will visit the University of Maryland on Thursday and Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., on Friday.

The program will help broaden ideology and diversity at the campuses, Schubert-Akin said.

Traditionally, U.S. Republicans support free trade more than Democrats do, and the labor movement is generally opposed to free trade agreements, Dunn said. But with President Donald Trump a protectionist, “This is upending these traditional political economic divisions, and it will be fascinating and a valuable experience to see what these two leaders think about this.”

A question-and-answer period will follow the debate.

Debbie Kelley, The Gazette

Debbie Kelley, The Gazette