For the past two years, I have been living abroad in Europe, studying International Business in a top ten business school in France. Not only have I been living abroad, I have been living here during an interesting period in global politics. The time for the Presidential elections in the United States is upon us. For over a year candidates have been campaigning why they should be the one to hold the highest office in the land. These elections, in particular, have gained mass media and recognition, mostly for the wrong reasons.
At my school, there are students from all over the world, many of them are up to date on the election process that is taking place in America, and most of them have a strong opinion on both candidates; Hillary Clinton Democrat, and Donald Trump Republican. The overall feeling from people I have talked to is that they would not even vote in the upcoming election. They feel they would simply be picking the lesser of two evils. “If I were American I would not be happy to vote right now because neither candidate is worthy of the office. I mean trump has dangerous ideas, and is not a professional, while Hillary is a liar, and can’t be trusted.” This is a quote I was able to obtain by a French student in the second year of his Bachelor degree.
The consensus of the GOP nominee whose slogan is “Make America Great Again” is that he is the closest thing to a modern day “free world” dictator, and is unfit to run the United States. Many people here, like in America believe he is gaining traction because he brings out the people who are uneducated, and those who do not like the current government system. The French understand how someone with no political background can be nominated for president. I helped shed light onto this question by explaining to them that the presidency doesn’t need to be won, it can be bought. In this case, Donald Trump has enough money to “self-finance” himself, while his competitor for the democrats has raised enough money through donations and super pacts to finance her campaign.
The other candidate to whom I had previously referred to, is the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. What students in Europe think about the former Secretary of State is that she is the overwhelming favorite candidate to win the Presidential nomination. Although people are skeptical of her credibility due to her involvement in the email scandals she has been accused of, but not taken legal action upon.
The biggest difference between Clinton and Trump in the eyes of French college students is resume. Hillary Clinton has much more political experience than Donald Trump. She was First Lady to her husband, Bill, she has served in government before, as Secretary of State, and is familiar with how government and the White House operates. On the contrary, Donald Trump has no political resume, and students here believe that this will be his biggest problem, running against an opponent with a political background.
All in all, neither candidate is overwhelmingly popular in France, because both possess unfavorable qualities, that are not worthy of the Oval Office. Therefore, this upcoming Presidential election will be closely examined not only in America but all over the globe.