In World News: International perspectives on the U.S. presidential election

For some students, the outcome of this election will hold a double meaning — affecting U.S. relations with their home country as well as domestic policy in the U.S., their host country. Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have discussed their positions on policies ranging from healthcare, to immigration and the economy. As the campaign season comes to a close, U.S. residents wait alongside other countries to see who they will be dealing with for the next four years.
According to assistant professor of international relations Timothy Taylor, there is “high interest or at least more sensitivity” in the international community surrounding this election because Donald Trump has been explicitly “non-committal toward existing alliances,” which is troubling for states like the Philippines and New Zealand that rely on the U.S. for defense. Taylor believes uncertainty from a potentially non-committal foreign policy has made the U.S. presidential election more internationally visible.    
In that atmosphere of uncertainty, Russia has requested to send monitors to observe U.S. elections this year in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The requests came shortly after Trump pronounced the election as “rigged” at the third and final presidential debate — they were denied in all three states. The U.S. has accused Russia of meddling in U.S. elections this year, including hacking into the Democratic National Committee emails. Clinton holds that Russia is behind the hacking, citing government reports, while Trump denies the probability it was Russia.
In the final debate, Clinton and Trump also discussed trade policy, mentioning intentions to hold China accountable in trade deals. Freshman and international student from China, Danny Du remarked that China generally prefers Republican candidates because they more closely align with Chinese social values. Du, who will not be able to vote in the election, admitted that he is “a big fan of the Republican party, but not this year’s Republican party. This year I am a Republican in exile.” Du explained how widely varied the opinions of his friends and family are in China, ranging from ardent Clinton supporter to Donald Trump fan.
In Mexico, according to sophomore Mexican-American Brian Salcedo, talk of the election has surrounded President Enrique Peña Nieto’s decision to meet with Donald Trump in August to discuss building a wall along the border among other topics. Although President Peña Nieto clarified post meeting that Mexico would not pay for a wall, many people in Mexico were indignant that he would meet with Trump after the way he characterized Mexicans as “Rapists. And some I assume are good people.” Salcedo mentioned that U.S. presidential elections always interest Mexico because they share a border, but this year it is especially relevant because of both candidates’ positions on immigration. He added, “A wall isn’t going to solve anything for the U.S. We want to see [the U.S.] progress forward. [We] want both countries to grow.”
One challenge that U.S. citizens like sophomore Talya Bultema face while living in a country like Turkey, is handling “negative interactions when their home and host country are not on good terms with each other.” Bultema believes interactions between countries on the international stage greatly impact personal relations between people representing those countries. Bultema explained that “Due to the animosity between Kurds and Turks, our president and much of the government hates the fact that Clinton wants to arm the Kurds in Syria, and therefore hope she doesn’t win.”
Amid mudslinging and record high unfavorable ratings, some Canadians have taken to Twitter to comment on an effort to encourage Americans, disappointed with their candidates. The Garden Collective in Canada began the hashtag #tellamericaitsgreat as a play off of Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” “[A]s their closest friends and neighbours, we thought we should take a minute to help remind them that no matter how bad things might seem at the moment, there are lots of reasons why we think they’re still pretty great,” The Garden wrote.  Americans have responded with tweets of gratitude using the hashtag, #tellcanadathankyou.

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