After ranting about a person who will not be named here, I realized that I didn’t exactly address how the next President will affect my travels in life.
When I went to Tanzania last summer, I saw Obama’s name spray painted on walls and bridges; they love the guy. My host family had a flashlight they used when the power went out that had Obama’s portrait on it. East Africans love that they are represented in the United States, because many of them still believe it to be the land of opportunity where anyone who works hard can achieve the “American Dream.”
His presidency gave them hope. It was something they could identity us by. When told we were Americans, they would shout, “Obama!” joyfully. Now, this doesn’t happen everywhere, I understand that. However, I believe that the world generally respects him as a man. In fact, after a quick google search, a Pew research study from June of 2015 found that “globally, Obama’s image is mostly positive” (Wike).
In conclusion to the above paragraph, the Obama presidency had a positive impact on my trip to Tanzania. However, a new president will mean different reactions from different groups.
First of all, I would like to address that where I’ll be traveling and working the most, people aren’t exactly big fans of Americans. To put it plainly, Germans think Americans are stupid (Although the above research found that Germany had more confidence in Obama than the U.S., 73% confidence compared to 58% confidence, respectfully). I know this because my best friend is German and she is living in Germany this year surrounded by Germans who think that the majority of Americans are, well, really stupid.
Now, I would like to believe differently. At this point, who could blame them?
All they need to do is look at the presidential front-runners. He-who-must-not-be-named, who I covered succinctly in my previous post, and HRC, a seemingly humanitarian (?), yet corrupt candidate who flip-flops her points every 10 years or so to best suit her needs. Basically, as far as I can tell, they’re both only in it for the power, and will likely stop at nothing to get the nomination. I predict they both will get their party’s nominations, but I hope that I am wrong, because I will be forced to simply pick the lesser of what I believe to be two powerful evils, and that’s just not how I think politics should work.
The reason for this belief contains a lot of self-interest. The next President will be an enormous influence in how the rest of their world shapes the world’s views on Americans as a whole. America is supposed to be a country where everybody’s vote matters, where the majority picks the next president (I don’t believe this is true, but I digress). The election will determine how I am treated in different places around the world. The beliefs and ensuing reign of the victor over American politics will place stereotypes on the head of any person owning an American passport; some will be positive, and some will be negative.
I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. I will vote for the one whose positives more heavily outweigh their negatives. I only wish there was a wider margin between the good and the bad.
However, seeing as Germans will have many negative stereotypes about me to begin with, I’ll have to break some down anyway. Why not break down more?
Citation: Wike, R. (2015, June 24). 7 charts on how the world views President Obama. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/24/7-charts-on-how-the-world-views-president-obama/