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Opinion | ‘Democracy Should Not Be Taken for Granted’

Harris’s Jamaican heritage, and her many accomplishments, fuel a particularly deep-welled source of pride throughout the region. She coolly exhales benevolent messaging over the seemingly endless conflagrations of our outgoing leadership. Likewise, the Biden/Harris “unity first” and “facts matter” prescriptive is resoundingly joyful and heartening.

Glen Rowe, Nanaimo, British Columbia: As a neighbor and a friend, I am deeply concerned for the well-being of your country. While I am profoundly relieved that Biden and Harris have won your election, I worry that they will be rendered largely ineffective by Mitch McConnell and his obstructive, anti-democratic crew of Republican senators and the rot in your democracy will continue to spread. My country’s well-being is tied to yours.

Terry Plasse, Sde Yaakov, Israel: I’m a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen and have lived in northern Israel the past six years. Most of the American expats I know in Israel share my negative view of Donald Trump. Israelis without ties to the U.S. are mostly concerned with how he has affected Israel and most favored moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. I think Trump has been unintentionally beneficial to Middle Eastern peace. Not because he did any negotiating, but because several Arab countries in the region have decided that they share more interests with Israel than the U.S. And those shared interests or alliances with Israel may be more valuable than those with the U.S. (an example of transactional diplomacy, which is not a bad thing).

Mohammad Reza Mohammad Karimi, Karaj, Iran: President-elect Biden is expected to correct the global perception that Americans condone lies, violate international commitments, commit fraud, abuse offices and support dictators — as long as they remain economically strong. To do this, Biden needs to show no leniency to Donald Trump and let the law take its natural course. If a court were to sentence Trump to prison, Biden should not try to protect him. This alone will ensure that Trump’s type of misrule is never, ever repeated and the havoc unleashed on the world will become a lesson for all future generations.

Pratik Londhe, Pune, India: The new administration gives me hope, especially for an ambitious climate policy. The U.S. can take the lead and set the example for the rest of the world with something like the Green New Deal. This could set off a chain of events across the globe in favor of renewable energy and sustainable development. The politics in my country repeatedly sidestep this issue.

C.K. Ung, George Town, Penang, Malaysia: The chaos in the U.S. before and after Election Day was a big concern for countries in Southeast Asia. In the months before the election, the U.S. had escalated its military movements in the South China Sea and around Taiwan, maybe to show voters that Trump’s administration is tough on China. With Trump and his supporters taking actions on multiple fronts to retain his presidency, there is a risk that he may actually provoke a shooting war in the South China Sea, which would cause economic hardship to countries in Southeast Asia. Times are bad and people are suffering under the Covid-19 pandemic. We do not need a hot war nearby to add to our suffering.

Jeff Axelrod, Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu, China: Some of my students at the Chinese high school where I teach say they’re a little sad Trump will be leaving. They’ve been entertained and amused by his Twitter feed. But as an American expat, I’ve had several local adults ask for my opinion — they don’t want to offend by stating theirs first — and they’ve been greatly relieved when I’ve told them I’m not a fan. They see him as immature, petty and dangerous.


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