Let’s talk American politics: Written from a foreign perspective

Let’s talk American politics: Written from a foreign perspective

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By Kayleigh de Vrij

We all know by now that the American Presidential elections are in full force. I mean, how could you not notice? Big billboards on the side of the high-ways, cars with big bumper stickers, newspapers that are reporting daily about the elections, social media, television, radio. It’s out there. Not to mention that these elections are more highlighted and more talked about than I can remember with previous elections. 

Hilary Clinton vs. Donald Trump might be one of the most interesting and controversial elections ever. On one hand, you have Clinton whom people don’t seem to really trust because of her emailing scandals and other sketchy cases she was involved in. On the other hand, you have Trump, a real estate mogul who is known for his racial slurs and controversial statements. 

How did it come this far? Well, a lot of people who know me, know my stance on America’s political system and yes, I am about to go into a full rant on why I think this system is a joke.

For one, this system is based on outdated ideas that might have worked back in the day, but is now just used as a way to create loopholes to justify actions that are not benefiting this country at all. (I’m looking at you, second amendment). Also, the elections itself seem like a joke. This is a system where if the picture perfect image of the American dream stereotype, married with kids and a house with a white picket fence, is not achieved by a candidate or the president they will lose voters or popularity. Shouldn’t a person be judged on competence rather than their personal life? Who cares if someone is married or not? If the person is capable and competent in running this country why does it matter? 

Now, I also have to be fair and say that this system is not the only system that has faults. Every political system in this world has some sort of fault. This one is just more obvious because the U.S. is one of the major superpowers in this world and therefore is more looked upon and talked about. I mean, when the elections are going on, the whole world is watching. I remember when Obama won, my whole country was cheering because we supported him. Even though we can’t obviously vote for a candidate, the one that becomes president still affects my country and other countries as well, so we always hope for the best. 

I live in Washington State, a very liberal and progressive state, which I really like and a lot of people told me that once I would travel to the South and other places in the U.S. I would be able to tell that I’ve been living in a liberal bubble. I’ve always been told that the South is a really conservative part of the U.S. and a lot of the people there are republicans (which is true). So naturally I had this image in my head that once I traveled to the South I would see a lot of Trump signs and billboards. This was however not the case. In all my time spent in the South I only saw one Trump billboard and I was surprised by this because I’ve seen more signs in liberal Washington State than in all of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee together. I guess even the republicans are ashamed of their candidate, and if they’re not they should be. 

So let’s talk about living as a foreign student in the United States during election time and how it affects me. Does it really? Me personally, I don’t think so. Would it affect my country? Possibly, but I don’t have a crystal ball. That doesn’t say I have don’t have a clear preference for who I want to win. 

In the end, I can talk about politics all I want but like comedian Bo Burnham said: “I only know my own ideas of other people's ideas." 

Kayleigh de Vrij, from the Netherlands, attends Green River College in Auburn, Washington. She is majoring in Gender Studies. She intended to go to Green River College for nine months as a gap year experience but has extended her stay by six months to finish the Gender Studies program and to transfer to University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands.​