What People Around the World Think of the U.S. Presidential Race

A hand places a white ballot into a ballot box painted like the American flag.

Image: Shutterstock

The run for the presidential office in the United States often causes quite a ruckus not just in the United States, but around the world. As one of its largest and most powerful countries, any political change or turmoil in the U.S. is likely to affect other countries. It comes as no surprise then that people around the world are watching the presidential race closely—and they have plenty of thoughts about how the race is going.

“I am happy that Trump suffered a defeat—let’s hope that this will downsize his chance, because he is dangerous…he is dangerous because someone who wants to kick out foreigners, and treats women as inferior…is unsuitable to be a president,” said Virginia Vicario, a resident of Rome.

Another Italian citizen, Velia Dipietra, said, “I like and support Clinton, but I think she is a bit outdated, partly because she is the wife of a former president, and also a woman.”

The message from the U.K. was slightly more pointed. David Lloyd, a Londoner, said, “How dangerous it would be, how appalling it would be if someone like [Trump] because president of the United States…the most powerful country in the world, in the hands of someone like that.”

Lloyd’s sentiment was echoed by another commenter, Robert Cull of Suffolk, who added, “I think unfortunately Trump could win but think it’s going to be very damaging to America’s image abroad. I think most British people would be viewing him as a bit of an extremist.”

Canada, our northern neighbor, watches nervously. “America is a friend, in other words. Even left-leaning Canadians politicians such as Justin Trudeau will tell you as much. 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,” wrote Jonathan Kay for CNN.

Even as far away as Japan, people do not endorse Trump. “What is troubling is the way [he] and other candidates have tried to stoke people’s fears about other nations and their people as a way of collecting votes,” said Koya Ozeki. “Trump may be the most explicit and controversial in doing so, but he is by no means the only one, at either end of the political spectrum, to suggest America should be scared.”

We’ll see what the end of this year brings to the U.S. government, but the rest of the world is watching just as closely.

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