Why the U.S. election still could represent a triumph of American democracy

first_img– Advertisement – Biden and his team recognize that history compels them, once elected, to emerge as more than just the victor. America’s internal divisions and a rising tide of international challenges will require the kind of unifying leader that America has had before at such times of dangerous division.The challenges may seem daunting, but they were also daunting when Gerald Ford stepped in after the resignation of Richard Nixon. And the current rifts in the United States are nowhere near as bitter as what faced President Ulysses S. Grant after the Civil War in 1869, when he succeeded Andrew Johnson, the first U.S. president to be impeached. Johnson refused to attend Grant’s inauguration, and Grant refused to ride in the same carriage as Johnson. Yet President Grant brought together a divided country and healed the post-war economy, and his new Department of Justice prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan. Obstacle and opportunity- Advertisement – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks one day after Americans voted in the presidential election, on November 04, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.Drew Angerer | Getty Images Vice President Biden has been consistent as a candidate that he wishes to play a unifying role as the president for all Americans — and alongside the country’s traditional allies.It will not be easy, but it is doable.The Republican gains in the House of Representatives and the party’s likely continued hold on the Senate majority would present both an obstacle and an opportunity for a Democratic president. In the first days of his administration, Biden could strike deals across the aisle to take on the potentially unifying perils of COVID-19 and the economic downturn through more productive stimulus spending and infrastructure investment. With Kamala Harris as the first Black woman to serve as the nation’s vice president, a Biden administration would be well-positioned to support an inclusive, new civil-rights movement.   It’s also far beyond time for the United States to rally its democratic partners around the world in common cause to tackle the rising, systemic, authoritarian challenge posed by China and others – an issue against which US political differences pale in importance.Perhaps a Trump concession to Biden will yet come, which would help the healing. For now, that is difficult to imagine.Under no conditions could one expect anything approaching the power of Senator John McCain’s concession to Barack Obama in 2008. McCain’s speech went viral this week across the country, underscoring the national yearning for that brand of elegance.“In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been,” said McCain then, Obama’s “success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving. This is a historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.”Margin of victoryStill, Vice President Biden would enter office having won a record of nearly 74 million votes and still counting, exceeding the previous highest mark of 69.5 million achieved by President Barack Obama, in whose administration Biden served. The national turnout will exceed 66% of registered voters, the most since Republican President William McKinley defeated his Democratic challenger William Jennings Bryan in 1900, with a 73% turnout.It has become popular among American adversaries and allies alike to espouse the view that the long period of U.S. global leadership that followed World War II, creating the international institutions and rules that have governed the past 75 years, is nearing its end. Some critics point to the divisions, nastiness, and messiness of our 2020 elections as decisive evidence of that.“The U.S. is in degradation,” tweeted Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times in China, who is often considered an unofficial spokesperson for Beijing.Difficult days still lie ahead. This transition could be like none we have ever seen. But this year’s electoral outcome offers more reason for hope than despair.Our current thinking is colored by how we’ve received the results, but the margin of victory over time could allow a President Biden to shift from campaigning to governing with a tone and content that has the potential to be transformative. Don’t forget: President George W. Bush’s 2004 win, which was described as giving him a strong foreign-policy mandate, came with 286 electoral votes and a 2.4-point margin in the popular vote. A Biden win could grow to over 300 electoral votes and a margin of 4.5 to 5 points.A Biden victory would provide an opportunity for Americans to regain their appetite for compromise at home to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges and for international common cause to safeguard the gains in democracy and prosperity of the past 75 years.A gracious concession would help. Thankfully, however, our democracy rests not on the actions of the defeated, but on the votes of our citizens and our constitutional process of transition.Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, prize-winning journalist and president & CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States’ most influential think tanks on global affairs. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as a foreign correspondent, assistant managing editor and as the longest-serving editor of the paper’s European edition. His latest book – “Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth” – was a New York Times best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and subscribe here to Inflection Points, his look each Saturday at the past week’s top stories and trends.This column was originally published in the Atlantic Council blog.For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.center_img – Advertisement – It is now likely that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. He’ll do so with the largest number of votes ever cast for any American presidential candidate in history after an electoral-turnout rate that was the highest since 1900. Though it may not feel that way right now, that outcome would mark a triumph of historic significance for the country’s democratic process and institutions. It would be one that would come despite President Donald Trump’s incendiary, unsubstantiated charges on Thursday of electoral fraud and despite a host of legal challenges that will now play out but be unlikely to change the outcome.Though one would hope the Republican chorus against Trump’s disruptive efforts would be louder, significant voices are joining. Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, whose state is a key battleground, called the president’s charges “disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted, “STOP Spreading debunked misinformation.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

School year kicks off at the Northern Lights College

first_imgWhile there are no major construction announcements forecasted for the Fort St. John campus, the Northern Lights College sponsoring a visit from an internationally-renowned journalist and historian. Lyon says Dr. Gwynn Dyer will be holding a public lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 22. [asset|aid=1854|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ab0df015f4432a9dcfbac3d846c96da4-Lyon 2_1_Pub.mp3] Lyon says this school year is looking to be one of the busiest ones -at all campuses.Advertisement The first week of classes at the Northern Lights College in Fort St. John is officially over. Now, student’s have the weekend to kick back and relax. Communications Manager Brad Lyon says this school year; you might notice more new faces around the city. – Advertisement -[asset|aid=1853|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ab0df015f4432a9dcfbac3d846c96da4-Lyon 1_1_Pub.mp3] The Fort St. John campus hosted a lunch on Thursday for all students. Dawson Creek welcomed their new students by hosting a barbecue on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Lyon says construction has officially begun for the new Energy House in Dawson Creek. Advertisementlast_img read more

Height of planned buildings debated

first_imgVALENCIA – A pair of office buildings planned for a prominent intersection near Six Flags Magic Mountain might be too tall, county officials say. But The Newhall Land and Farming Company this week will make its case that the buildings fit into an overall project that will remake the area’s look. The two four-story buildings are planned for a plateau by Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road. The buildings would be 80 feet tall, and the plateau is 65 feet higher than the intersection, according to county planning officials, who want the project to be redesigned. “There are no natural features that would lessen the impact of the project on the surrounding area,” the officials wrote in a report to the county Regional Planning Commission. The commission on Wednesday will review the project. In their report to the commission, county planners argued that the project is “out of character for the area due to height and mass.” That may be the case now, but from Newhall Land’s perspective the buildings fit just fine into its larger plan for the area, said Marlee Lauffer, spokeswoman for the company. Newhall Land wants to build a development called Entrada on hundreds of acres in the area, bringing in commercial space, offices, stores, restaurants and perhaps homes. County officials have pointed out that the office buildings will stand out to motorists going by on nearby Interstate 5. But Lauffer said other structures in the Santa Clarita Valley also are visible from the I-5. “It’s not an unusual height, and certainly fits in with the overall master plan for the area,” Lauffer said. If the project is approved, the developer could break ground for construction in the summer, and the office towers could be finished in a year. “We think it’s a great land-use plan, so we’re looking forward to presenting it to the commission,” Lauffer said. County planning officials say the project, which would be near several single-story restaurants, would bring needed jobs to an area that has many more homes than employment opportunities. But they have suggested that the project be redesigned so it is shorter and wider, which would make it stand out less. alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Saina Nehwal vs Carolina Marin, World C’ship final: As it happened

first_imgFollow updates from World Championships final clash between Saina Nehwal and Carolina Marin.Updates: Saina Nehwal loses 16-21, 19-21 to Spain’s Carolina Marin. The Indian shuttler settles for a silver, but riveting badminton on display and thanks for tuning in. Both players fighting it out, all nerves out there, Saina leading 17-16. Great fightback by Marin, makes it 12-all and Saina has thrown away a big advantage. Saina Nehwal looking much composed and leading 11-6 in the second game. See-saw battle on in the second game, Saina leading 7-5. Carolina Marin takes the first game 21-16. Saina erred on many occasions in the first game and needs to bring out her top game in the second. Marin one point away to take the first game. Saina fighting it out… The crowd rooting for Marin and that to an Indonesian crowd and that shows the popularity of badminton in Indonesia. Saina trailing 7-11. Saina takes 6-4 lead in the first game with a smash. Lot of net play from Carolina. Lot of buzz in the stadium as Carolina and Saina fight for the gold. Both players now make their way to the court but Saina Nehwal has the advantage when head-to-head is seen with Indian shuttler having won three matches out of four. Go Saina! How Saina stormed into final: World No.2 shuttler Saina Nehwal created history by becoming the first Indian to enter the final of the badminton World Championships as the second seed defeated a stubborn Lindaweni Fanetri 21-17, 21-17 in a women’s singles semi-final here on Saturday.advertisementOlympic bronze medallist Saina prevailed in a 55-minute encounter against the world No.29 Indonesian. In the final on Sunday, the 25-year-old Indian will meet defending champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain, who overcame eighth seeded South Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-17, 15-21, 21-16 in one hour and 30 minutes.Saina holds a 3-1 advantage in career meetings against the world No.1, who defeated the former in the final of this year’s All England Championships.Going into the match, Saina was the heavy favourite but her opponent made a very good start. Saina took some time to attain momentum as Fanetri held a 6-2 lead. But once the former World No.1 found her rhythm, she seized the initiative and pushed her rival on the backfoot.Fanetri was forced to play catch up but remained close to Saina’s score at the Istora Senayan stadium. The Hyderabadi held a three-point lead at 14-11 but Fanetri kept coming back, equalising at 15-all. They were involved in long rallies for the next two points.However, at 17-17, Saina utilised her experience and finished the game in her favour by taking three consecutive points. Saina’s deft net play played a key role in getting the better of the local talent of the same age.At the start of the second game, when the score read 2-1 in favour of strong favourite Saina, Fanetri suffered a knock to her heavily bandaged right knee after a fall but continued her fight. Urged on by a vociferous partisan crowd, Fanetri kept fighting on even though she seemed to be struggling in her movements on the court.At the break, the second seeded Indian held a 11-10 lead before Fanetri equalised. Saina grabbed three points at a stretch to make it 14-11 but Fanetri equalised at the same score with sharp drop shots.But Saina fought back for a 17-14 lead before her opponent employed two sharp smashes to make it 16-17. Saina got two more points before her opponent reduced the deficit to one at 18-17.However, Saina once again wrestled the key moments as she bagged three consecutive points to seal the game 21-17 and march into the final. With this win, the former world junior champion took a 3-1 lead in career meetings against the Indonesian.India has won four bronze medals at the Worlds till date. Prakash Padukone became the first Indian to win the metal in 1983 in men’s singles. India had to wait for another 28 years when Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa clinched the women’s doubles bronze in 2011. P.V. Sindhu won two back-to-back women’s singles bronzes in 2013 and 2014.Meanwhile in the men’s singles competition, world No.1 Chen Long remained on course to defend his title following a dominating 21-9, 21-15 win over talented Japanese and fourth seed Kento Momota.The Chinese will face former world No.1 and three-time runner-up Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who ousted second seed Jan O. Jorgensen of Denmark 21-7, 21-19. Long has a 11-9 head-to-head record against the veteran Malaysian.advertisementMeanwhile for a second year in a row it will be an all Chinese affair in the final of the mixed doubles. Top-ranked pair Zhang Nang and Zhao Yunlei defeated Indonesian duo Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir 20-22, 23-21, 21-12, while fourth seeded Chinese pair Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin beat their second seeded compatriots Xu Chen and Ma Jin 21-13, 15-21, 21-19.last_img read more

Rapper Nicki Minaj pulls out of controversial Saudi Arabia concert

first_imgU.S. rapper Nicki Minaj said on Tuesday that she was pulling out of a planned concert in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. London best pest control Minaj, known for her raunchy outfits and provocative stage performances, was due to headline the Jeddah World Fest music festival on July 18, but her plan to appear was criticized last week on social media.“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” the “Starships” singer said in a statement.The New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week urged Minaj to cancel her performance, saying her appearance would be at odds with the rapper’s participation in festivities in New York marking Gay Pride month in June.Homosexuality is banned in Saudi Arabia.On Tuesday, HRF Chief Executive Thor Halvorssen welcomed Minaj’s change of heart, praising her “inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.”Saudi officials last week said the Jeddah World Fest would be the region’s biggest ever live musical event. Other announced performers include former One Direction British singer Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki.Halvorssen said on Tuesday he hoped Payne would follow Minaj and withdraw.When the concert was announced last week, some Saudis expressed excitement about the latest in a string of performances by Western artists, including Mariah Carey, DJ Tiesto and the Black Eyed Peas.However others were irritated by Minaj’s revealing stage outfits. Saudi women are bound to an extremely conservative dress codeAround a dozen Saudi women activists have been detained for the past year on charges related to human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats in a case that has drawn global attention after last year’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Some Saudis on Tuesday expressed dismay at Minaj’s withdrawal. “You say you’ve educated yourself on the issues but clearly that’s not true. Good job on disappointing whatever fans you had here,” tweeted Jeddah-based Jamil Baabdullah.“I am your biggest fan and I was dying just waiting to see you in Jeddah but you disappointed me thank you,” a user called Mohammed al7 posted on Twitter.center_img Additional reporting by Stephen Kalin in Riyadh; Editing by Bill Berkrot and James Dalgleish  LOS ANGELES (Reuters)last_img read more