President Bill Clinton Discusses Fragility of American Democracy With Cornell Professors

Addressing the Cornell community Thursday, former President Bill Clinton voiced the problems he sees within United States democracy and how Cornell students can strengthen these institutions and norms for the future. In the inaugural event in the Milstein State of Democracy Address series, Clinton argued that while the United States has always been divided, Americans must find a way to work together again. Clinton said he believes that democratic norms have long been damaged, and former President Donald Trump only exacerbated them. Still, Clinton remains hopeful and optimistic about the future — because of students like those who tuned in to watch his Zoom webinar. “[Democrats] are younger on average than our competitors, we are more diverse, we have the university network,” Clinton said.

FOX | Spare a Little Change for Democracy

If you’re like me, you’re splitting much of your free time between applying to summer internships and hoping that you get one. If you’re above me, you’ve already locked your summer or even post-graduation plans down, freeing up your next three semesters for a fun and stress-free education. But as we buckle down and put our energy into securing our futures, we should remember that our futures will exist in the context of a broader society. These are not ordinary times we are living in. President Trump’s contempt for democratic institutions has always been obvious, but he has been truly unleashed following his disgraceful acquittal in the Senate.

BROWN | As the Amazon Burns, Brazil’s Political Nightmare Rages On

International outrage continues to grow over the massive destruction caused by forest fires currently burning across the vast Amazon rainforest. But much of the commentary in the West has failed to link the fires to Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his collaborationist allies among the Brazilian business and political elite who are encouraging illegal miners, farmers and ranchers to slash and burn whatever land they deem fit for industry. Bolsonaro and his henchmen are dedicated to the unchecked destruction of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples for short-term profit, and the new Brazilian government is in power thanks to the efforts of a group of reactionary elites who wished to ensure that the 2018 election would be sufficiently rigged in their favor. Western commentary has also largely ignored the human toll of the destruction of the Amazon, as Brazil’s indigenous peoples are engaged in a struggle for their very right to exist. On July 23, a leader of the Wajãpi people in the Northern Amazon was stabbed to death by illegal gold miners on protected ancestral lands, part of a trend of escalating land invasions and violence against indigenous populations.

Cornell Prof. Suzanne Mettler Awarded Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Prof. Suzanne Mettler Ph.D. ’94, the John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions in the Department of Government —  and a leading scholar in American political institutions — was among 167 scholars, artists and scientists awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on April 16. The Guggenheim Fellowship program is intended to help scholars work with as much creative freedom as possible. This year roughly 3,000 people applied. It provides grants to selected individuals for six to twelve months of time, which they can spend in any matter they deem necessary to their research. Since its establishment in 1925 to 2018, the fellowship has awarded $360 million to 18,000 individuals.