What Has Been Your Observations So Far About the U.S. Presidential Election and the Nominees?

Linn Katrine Brusletten from Norway studying at the University of Central Oklahoma shares her views about the U.S. Presidential Election and the nominees.

As part of our microscholarship program we asked current international students what their perceptions were about the U.S. Presidential Election so far and the nominees for president.

Linn Katrine Brusletten from Norway studying at the University of Central Oklahoma is our second microscholarship winner for fall 2016. She will receive $100 to help toward her studies for the fall semester.

It is clear that the election coming up this November has greatly engaged the American population. In addition, news about the candidates and their statements have made it far across the world. As a Norwegian students in the U.S., I like to keep track of the news in my home country. At several occasions during the summer, I have been surprised to find news about the election making the front pages of my country’s biggest newspapers. Trump’s radical expressions and Hilary’s questionable behavior have engaged people across the world in a way that I believe no presidential election has ever done.

How does these news make it so far? And why do people care? My first thought is that the election of the American president is, in fact, the election of one of the world’s most powerful people. Because the U.S. has such an influence all over the world, their presidential election do affect everyone.

My second thought is concerning the candidates. It surprises me, that of all the 318 million people living in the U.S., it has come down to the two candidates that we have today. I would imagine that it would have been possible to find someone better suited for the position. I think both candidates greatly stresses the familiar saying that “all publicity is good publicity.” My concern is then: how do two so controversial and debated candidates become the nominees of the two biggest political parties in the U.S.?

Hilary Clinton comes from a known family, she has the experiences needed for the position, and I also do believe her holding office will not affect the U.S. a great deal. There will be some angry republicans that might cause some problems, but other than that, I feel that it will remain status quo. However, if remaining things unchanged is the best idea, that is a different discussion.

Trump also had a known name before entering politics. He also represent something new. I do believe he will try to change the U.S. It might work, or it might fail terribly. There is no question that his character can be a little distasteful to some. He seems to lack the political filter that most politicians frequently use. To some, this disrespectful, straight-forward honesty seems appealing compared to how most politicians express themselves.

I see how both can appeal to different parts of the population. My final observation, and maybe what surprises me the most, is the process. Dividing the political environment of a country into two strictly separated parties, is not a desirable way to do things. In this way, the U.S. creates two majority groups, existing side by side, that are not able to compromise or agree on important matters. To me, this is a recipe for war. If the differences become too big and there is no way to cooperate, both groups are going to feel threatened and uprising is doomed to occur.

As an international student in the U.S., I believe that the country would benefit from more political parties gaining power. I think that the focus of the campaigns should evolve around political goals and not the candidates and their character or life (even though this also matters.) I think corruption; including enormous sponsorships given to candidates from corporations and individuals, should be limited greatly. I am excited about this upcoming election and looking forward to see where it will take the country.

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