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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Columns

Atmosphere of election reflects our society


Amid one of the most controversial elections in U.S. history, Americans are biting their nails as the general election creeps closer and closer.

Early voting has turned out unexpected numbers, and the inevitable final tally is closer than we care to acknowledge. Yet, in the furor of a brutal presidential campaign, many have forgotten that the world is still watching.

Ask an American what they think of opinions on the 2016 election from outside the country, and quite a few will tell you that it doesn’t matter as those people are not U.S. citizens.

The truth is, they are wrong. It does.

U.S. cannot trade with itself and it certainly cannot borrow its own money. If a war were to come to our coasts, it would be in our best interest to have loyal allies. Once a candidate is elected, foreign governments will ask “How diplomatic is this new president?” and “Will our country benefit from keeping ties with the U.S.?”

So much dirt has already been flung between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that some countries are already despairing both candidates.

In a series of interviews, one man in Tokyo compared Clinton to “an empress.” Iranians drew parallels to Trump and their own former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in this article.

“Donald Trump? After Barack Obama?” said Ferial Haffajee, editor of South Africa’s City Press newspaper, in an article for CNN. “For those South Africans paying attention at this point in the U.S. presidential race, the primary campaign has prompted furrowed eyebrows. Indeed, the word ‘incredulous’ best describes the response here to Trump’s howl-a-minute, holler-a-minute, horror-a-minute bid to become the Republican nominee.”

It’s amazing how much coverage the presidential campaign has received around the world, even in countries that don’t necessarily care for the U.S. or its citizens. It just shows how we are being closely scrutinized.

As a democracy, who we choose as our candidates reflect how we think and our desires for this country.

“America is a friend, in other words. Even left-leaning Canadians politicians such as Justin Trudeau will tell you as much,” said Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of Canada’s The Walrus magazine, for CNN. “But the face that this friend has shown us during the current presidential campaign — of naked religious bigotry, of race paranoia, of curdled nostalgia for mythologized ‘greatness’ — is not a face we recognize or appreciate. And once the voting is done on November 8, we hope it is a face that Americans never show to the world again.”

As one of the most powerful countries in the world, the U.S. should be scrutinized. Although we aren’t the most popular within the U.N., our country is still looked up to and a stronghold in its own right.

If we can’t present a well-spoken, diplomatic candidate to strengthen relationships between us and other countries, what is there to offer?

Who will citizens of the United States choose to reflect them? The answer to this question is in, no doubt about it, those who show up to the polls in this election.

Senior staff Columnist Caprice Carter is a communication junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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