US elections generally attract the attention of the international public because the US is a key country military, economic and cultural decisions that affect all of mankind.
This political interest leads us to wonder: Who will the world’s public opinion back in these elections? That is, who is the candidate that has garnered the most support across the globe with his/her proposals?
For the second time in recent decades, the US presidential elections have aroused great interest from the international community. The first time this occurred was in 2008, with the emergence of Barak Obama as the first black candidate for the White House stunning the world, and it proved to be a real turning point in the electoral history of the USA.
In those 2008 elections, the international community symbolically voted for Barak Obama, applauding the maturity of US citizens for choosing a politician who belongs to the African-American community, a community that has suffered a great deal in the past and still continues to suffer today.
The current election campaign is also attracting the attention of the international community but this time not because of the candidates’ skin colour. At first, there was an interest in one of the democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton. International analysts wondered: Could Hillary be the USA’s first female president? This country has a strong democracy but a woman has yet to be elected president. This is in contrast to what has taken place in new democracies where women have attained this position, like in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and even in countries with troubled democracies like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Liberia.
The other issue that has captivated international public attention is the controversial proposals of the Republican candidate Donald Trump, who in a few weeks managed to position half the world against the US. His fierce criticism of Latinos awakened a wave of indignation across Latin America. His position against Muslims did the same, and he also angered China by using it in a pejorative way in his political discourse. And, as there are still months before the presidential elections, he will undoubtedly provoke the ire of other cultures and countries. Within weeks Trump undid the lengthy work of American diplomacy, which for years has strived to improve the country’s image across the world.
However, a great part of the international community, and especially the press, are following the triumph of Sanders’ progressive ideas in the US, and the support he is attracting can be easily deduced from the articles and comments published on digital media and social networks. From an American perspective, Sanders’ ideas could be considered novel, but if we look at it from an international perspective he forms part of the new global political trend that demands a new post-capitalist economic culture. It is a great paradox that the US, home to a great number of wealthy and the top ten largest companies in the world, has, at the same time, one of the highest rates of homelessness and of people who are not entitled to healthcare.
And now, symbolically, who will the international community vote for? After an analysis of the international press and the reaction of social networks in regions such as the European Union, the Arab world, Latin America and Africa, we find the following trends:
Firstly, complete outrage for the Republican Donald Trump, because his proposals are considered to be very disrespectful to other ethnicities and cultures.
Secondly, although Hilary Clinton enjoys a certain level of support, there is some rejection of her. This is perhaps due to many preferring not to see a wife of a former president occupying the top position at the White House so as not to give the impression that the US is on its way to being ruled by families of an undeclared royalty. For this reason, the Republicans have done well to marginalize Jeff Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents.
And thirdly, much of the international press shows a huge support for Sanders. In the same way that he is generating great interest within American society, he is achieving the same throughout the rest of the world. He has given a human face to the campaign by talking about the real problems of the people, such as healthcare, the fight against poverty and the right to free tertiary education. Internationally, he is committed to a multilateral policy to solve world problems such as terrorism.
Sanders began from nothing and is reconciling not only American society with itself, but also the US with the rest of the world. And as such much of world’s public would vote for him.