The election from a foreign perspective

Nikisun Shrestha's Staff Headshot

The 2016 Presidential Election has been nothing short of absolute madness. After months of activity, which at times can be termed as being less than presidential, the election has come down to two major party candidates and a bunch of independent runners. The final candidates in this election could not have been more of a polar opposite in terms of experience, political correctness and of course, gender. It may be due to this fact that the 2016 Presidential Election has been the most watched debate in United States history, but America is not the only one who has got a close eye on the election. The world outside is watching as well, including me, an international student studying in the U.S. 

I have to admit, like most other demographic of my age, I “felt the Bern.” Needless to say, these two candidates are not my first choice, and I completely get the regret some of the first time eligible young voters feel in having to vote for them. The choice that they make now is not just deciding the fate of America, but in some ways influencing the futures of other nations too. 

The U.S. is an integral part of the global community and a frontrunner in terms of making global plans and policies. So, whoever America votes for right now will have the power to influence actions in places like India which is nearly 8,500 miles away which in turn affects the activities in my home country of Nepal. This is why this election matters to me and I am disappointed in the fact that I don’t have a say in this process of nominating the candidate who might later go on and influence the operations in my country.

The campaigns and the polling process this year seem fairly normal, like any previous election. However, on a closer look, this election has been like none of the preceding ones. Some of the actions that have taken place have been surprisingly similar in nature to elections of foreign nations the U.S. has been rarely associated to. Violent clashes amongst supporters of opposing parties in Zambia, opposition parties complaining about legitimacy of election results in Ethiopia and Burundi sounds eerily familiar in this election.

On top of this, the constantly emerging controversies regarding accountability in “Emailgate” or the racist and sexist messages that are carried out have made this election interesting but disappointing to watch. 

 

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America is a torchbearer of democracy and when it is carrying out an election, on which the very concept of democracy is based, I feel that the country should be aware of being a benchmark for other countries like mine. My country, which never had political stability, looks up to America in terms of where we should be. What has happened this election, it almost decreases the persona of America that it had before.

However, people still have the chance to vote and influence the result of this election and I hope the voters have made the right choice today, not just for their sake, but also for the sake of people living outside of America.

 

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