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The Election from a European Perspective

For the past few months, I have been studying and working in Europe and as a result, have missed most of the election craziness back home. While I’m obviously very invested in the outcome, my physical distance from the U.S. and the conversations I’ve had with people from all around the world has given me a unique outside perspective on the election. I can say that from both an American and a global point of view, Trump would be a complete disaster as president.

 

First off, as an American, I may have to seriously consider cancelling my return flight home if Trump wins the election. I’ll admit that Clinton was not my first choice for president;  I voted for Bernie because he seemed like he would hold himself accountable to the people, not to fellow politicians or billionaires. Unfortunately, he did not get the nomination, which I think is another reflection of how broken our political system is, and now Clinton is our only chance to defeat Trump. If this was any other election, I would consider voting third party, but this is not the time to do so. We deserve a political system where candidates from any party have an equal chance of winning, and parties do not root against their own candidates in favor of others before the primaries are even finished. I hope that this election will lead to a political reform regardless of who wins, but the goal now is to minimize the damage the outcome will cause. And if Trump wins, the damage will be catastrophic.

 

Yes, Clinton has a shady past with various allegations involving emails, political dealings, and the treatment of the women her husband had affairs with. However, when you compare her history to Trump’s, I cannot fathom how people who condemn her actions can even begin to excuse or ignore his. He mocked a reporter with a disability and tried to make the reporter the bad guy. He is in favor of a database system for tracking Muslims, which eerily sounds like Hitler’s plan during the Holocaust. Numerous women have accused him of sexual assault, and with the way rape accusations are treated in this country, he questions why they didn’t come forward sooner. He claims that not paying his federal taxes makes him smart, yet when a single mother in poverty needs government assistance, she’s considered a “welfare queen”. His two major selling points, that he is a businessman and a political outsider that can fix our broken political system, fall flat; his businesses are in poor shape and despite wanting to “make America great again”, he has offered no concrete plans on how to do so (but is sure to let us know they’re “good”). He accuses Clinton of playing the “woman card”, because clearly being a woman in politics is an easy feat; if Trump was a woman, he would have been out of the election the second he raised his voice. Electing him would be a huge step backwards from all the progress we’ve made as a society under the Obama administration.

 

 

During my travels I have spoken to many different people from dozens of countries, and NOT A SINGLE PERSON thinks Trump would make a good president. In fact, most people ask me how embarrassing it must be to have this man running for office and how they are losing respect for our country. I could write for days about all the things that people do not understand about America (cough cough gun control), but for now, I’ll focus on Trump.

Usually the first thing people ask me when I tell them where I’m from is Trump, and how he’s gotten as far as he has. He’s a topic of frequent conversation and ridicule among my floormates, coworkers, and fellow travellers. People here watch the debates like they’re a comedy show, and crack up at every word that comes out of his mouth. For them, it’s entertaining; for us, it’s a nightmare. Is this how we want the rest of the world viewing the U.S.? Do people want the person who is suppose to represent our country and deal with foreign affairs to be a laughingstock among other countries? The more I hear about the stunts Trump pulls and the excuses his supporters make for him, the more distant I feel from my country, the place I am suppose to call home. America is quickly losing its status as one of the greatest countries in the world, and this election could be the final nail in the coffin. So please go out and vote, and no matter how much you may dislike Clinton, think of how a Trump presidency will make America look to the rest of the world.

 

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Lindsay Marum

Northeastern

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