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

Look of Web Registration site changes

first_imgStudents said they liked the new look of the Web Registration site now that it has been reformatted.The new site went up on Sunday and now includes a cardinal and gold color scheme, a calendar view with gridlines and an easier method for students to choose classes. It easier to manage the course bin because the home page is no longer split between the course list and course bin.Jenn Kranz, a sophomore majoring in theatre, applauded the improvements for making the site easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing.“The Web Registration is more effectively organized,” Kranz said. “It’s a lot easier to navigate and the new color scheme shows school spirit.”Students appreciate the face-lift and improved functionality. But many feel online registration could still be improved by streamlining the process into one step, rather than separate steps“It’s easier to use and I like the color scheme,” said Amy Beck, a sophomore majoring in French and psychology. “It would have been easier if they got [Web Registration] down to one step.”Associate Registrar Frank Chang said the new site was years in the making.“We have been wanting to do this for [a long] time,” Chang said. “We are always evaluating our systems and finding ways to make them better.”Before making the improvements, the Undergraduate Student Government and administrators solicited suggestions from students through focus groups and other surveys, USG Senior Director of Communications Sabena Suri said.“We are really excited about the fact that the whole system is running really smoothly and we feel like it reflects the changes that the administration and the students really wanted to see,” she said.The improvements aimed at rectifying problems with the old format, such as the difficulty in using the site and its aesthetic unpleasantness.“The changes addressed the fact that the system was outdated and difficult to use, in addition to not being as engaging of a platform as it could have been,” Suri said in an email. “They are best reflected in the aesthetics of the site, especially with the use of the cardinal and gold color scheme.”USG hopes to host a student forum in the next few weeks with representatives from the registrar’s office and Information Technology Services to address online academic resources, such as Web Registration and Blackboard, according to USG President Monish Tyagi.last_img read more

Gatland says all games count on Lions tour

first_imgLions head coach Warren Gatland says his players would be wrong to assume the first warm-up match of their New Zealand tour doesn’t count for much.His side take on a Provincial Barbarians team on Saturday.Sam Warburton captains the side as part of an all-Welsh back-row while Ireland’s Rory Best Ian Henderson and Johnny Sexton all start. Photo © Pat Flynnlast_img

Live Commentary on Asempa FM: Ghana versus Liberia

first_imgGhana’s number one sports station Asempa FM will bring live commentary on the match between the Black Stars and Lone Stars of Liberia at 16:00 GMT (4PM)local time. Commentator Kofi Asare Brako Abatee is already in LiberiaThis game is to mark Liberia’s independence anniversary.The Black Stars were met by hundreds of Ghanaians at the Robert International Airport when they arrived in Monrovia on Monday afternoon ahead of Tuesday’s friendly.The squad of 18 players is led by stand-in captain Asamoah Gyan.SQUAD:Goalkeepers: Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea), Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold)Defenders: Razak Nuhu (Stromgodset, Norway), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Kotoko) Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Osasuna, Spain), Isaac Coffie (Chievo, Italy), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Ukraine), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Solomon Asante (Berekum Chelsea), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France)Strikers: Jordan Ayew (Marseille, France), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Juventus, Italy), Abdul Majeed Warris (Hacken, Sweden), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE).last_img read more

MLS Cup: Departing Tata Martino, Miguel Almiron have eyes on the prize for Atlanta

first_imgAtlanta has taken a different approach to the rest of MLS and delivered short-term success. Saturday’s title would provide a fitting reward.But can United replace Martino? Is there another Almiron? Will Blank, Eales, Bocanegra and others be able to do this all over again? And then again? And again?These are questions that might persist for some time. Atlanta United 1.0 has been a roaring success in MLS.In this era of Designated Players on big-money contracts, prompted by David Beckham’s 2007 arrival in Los Angeles, Atlanta last year became only the fourth expansion side to reach the playoffs. Just 12 months later, the MLS Cup will be contested at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Former Barcelona coach Tata Martino, with the help of owner Arthur Blank, president Darren Eales and technical director Carlos Bocanegra, has built this club from the ground up with a South American flavor.Martino was installed as head coach in September 2016 when Atlanta had just a handful of players to its name and he has since shaped a side playing vibrant, versatile soccer in front of crowds sometimes over 70,000.The stars in Georgia come from Paraguay, Venezuela and Argentina and they defy the stereotype in MLS.Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney made a splash in the United States in 2018, but even they could not match the lofty standards of sought-after playmaker Miguel Almiron or record-breaking goalscorer and MLS MVP Josef Martinez.1 – Josef Martínez finished first in #MLS in, among other categories, goals, shot conversion rate (min. 5 goals), and xG. Dominant. #MLSMVP pic.twitter.com/TGSMCQcTq4— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) December 5, 2018And these players, along with Franco Escobar, the all-action fullback, and exciting winger Hector Villalba, have visited Atlanta en route to the top of the game — rather than on the steep return journey — inspired by Martino.Almiron told The Players’ Tribune last year: “I didn’t know much about MLS. I didn’t know where Atlanta was. I didn’t know anything. But Tata was manager, and that was all I needed to know.”But win or lose against the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup on Saturday and this team, Tata’s team, will be torn apart.Martino has announced his impending departure, with the Mexico job up for grabs. Meanwhile, Almiron’s agent expects his client to be playing in the Premier League next season, as Newcastle United is thought to be a suitor. Martinez, Almiron’s closest ally, may well follow.For Atlanta, though, this was always the plan.There was no expectation that it would follow Portland in relying on South American stars Diego Valeri and Diego Chara season after season.more, Atlanta.#UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/CPEbzTxlb2— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) December 3, 2018Atlanta spent big in relative terms on players whose potential was never likely to be achieved within MLS, with a balance seemingly found where the Five Stripes can enjoy success and then send the likes of Almiron on their way to Europe at a profit. The Paraguay international, signed for $8 million, has an asking price set at around $25 million.Yet even so, with forward planning in place, Atlanta 2.0 may not be so easy to create.Ezequiel Barco, the highly rated Argentina youth international, arrived for a record MLS fee of $15 million last offseason but has failed to set the league alight. The club must more successfully recruit others like Almiron and also replace, in Martino, the most crucial piece.last_img read more