Elections from afar: it’s personal

Although the campaigns have been raging for what seems like forever, the 2016 American presidential election is finally drawing near. On November 8, the UK speaks with Americans at the RUG one last time about why this year’s election matters to them and what it’s like to witness the madness from across the ocean.
By Traci White

Question: What is personally at stake for you in these elections?

Career prospects are probably the biggest personal concern.

My wife is a teacher and I’m hoping to get a university job, and for both of us the vast majority of jobs are in public education. Republicans in office have a pretty good track record of cutting public education funding, which means fewer jobs, and generally worse jobs as a result of fewer resources for support.

My pride as a semi-American I suppose, haha.

The only thing which I can imagine might change as a result of the elections is my ability to study there in the future.

My sanity?

Living in the Netherlands makes it a little harder to feel what is personally at stake, but I think everyone in the world will be in trouble if Donald Trump wins.

My faith in the American public’s ability to make informed decisions!

Several bottles of wine in a couple a bets!

And I’d expect the US to become even less open if Trump has any say, which would be a shame. And personally, I’d also prefer a politically experienced person with some generosity of spirit and of sound judgment to become president of the US.

My husband and I just had our first baby in July 2016, so these elections seem to carry even more weight than they have in the past.

Our baby was born in Groningen, but is a U.S. citizen. The elections not only symbolize the future direction of our country, but also will impact many policies that could positively or negatively affect our child’s life. We have this wonderful quote hanging up in our son’s bedroom: ‘Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.’ For him, I want this vision.

Well, I don’t live there and my sons don’t live there, so I guess it’s more a question of how high can I hold my head when people hear that I’m American.

If my country elects Trump, then I won’t be able to hold my head very high. Also, we saw how the unilateralism of Bush’s administration damaged America’s international relations and contributed to the current problems in the Middle East and probably contributed to the rise of terrorist attacks around the world. I shudder to think of the damage that a Trump administration would cause on a global level.


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