Ambassador (ret) Steve McCann Delivers Keynote Address at Forum on the State of American Democracy

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Ambassador (ret) Steve McCann, founder and CEO of The Stevenson Group, was the keynote speaker at a Forum on the State of American Democracy, held at Virginia International University, Fairfax, VA on May 18, 2018.

Panel discussing the state of democracy in the U.S.

The forum consisted of two panels of academics, journalists, and business people who spoke on the state of democracy both in the United States and internationally before a audience of faculty of the university. The first panel discussed the disturbing trend of backtracking on democratic reforms internationally and the trend globally toward autocracy, and the lessons that can be learned here in the U.S. in light of the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections. The second panel then looked at the state of democracy in the United States, emphasizing the fact that political polarization is at its highest since the Reconstruction era following the Civil War, and the trend of closed electoral primaries resulting in mostly extreme candidates in general elections. It was pointed out that while the US has a business climate that is favorable to small and medium-sized enterprises (ranked third in the world), in terms of inequality of income, the US ranks as one of the worst when compared with other developed economies, outperforming only countries like Burundi, El Salvador, and Iran.

McCann delivers keynote address

In his keynote address, McCann acknowledged that the challenges to democracy are great, but stated that as long as the populace remains alert and active, and we continue to abide by the Constitution and honor the rule of law, there is no danger of the U.S. becoming an autocratic state.

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