High school students fill a street as they head to join others during a walkout to protest the election of Donald Trump as president, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Seattle. A spokesman with Seattle Public Schools estimates that about 2,300 students from 14 middle and high schools participated in the walkout and said that students who walk out of class will get an "unexcused absence." (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The US election: An inside look at an American student’s beliefs

6 mins read

Now that we’re in debate season the world is gathering to watch the US election. Tensions are high especially for citizens of America who are voting on their future and to preserve their democracy.

So far, we have witnessed the battling of President Donald Trump and candidate Joe Biden for their campaigns to be heard, both of them eager to present two wildly different American futures for them to choose between.

Trump has now served his four years in the oval office. However, America’s president doesn’t look eager to give up the White House yet. We as a people have to listen not only to the candidate’s arguments for serving in office but also the people who will live in their government.

Although the implications of American policies and politics can appear detached from us, this is not the case. Globalism and our intrinsic relationship with the Western superpower can support that.

America being regarded as the “leader of the free world” shows an example, even if not a direct one, for other nations, shaping our direction of policy and style of politics. This can be reflected in Boris Johnson’s methods.

Brig reached out to American students of the University of Stirling. For our first take on the American election, we reached out to Damon Savenelli, a fourth-year journalism student who is from Connecticut, a blue state that hasn’t voted for a Republican since 1988.

Savenelli said when asked about his political beliefs;

“I am registered as a Democrat but wouldn’t say I support either party.  I believe each party has had a role to play in the decline and unravelling of the country that we have witnessed over the past few years.”

There have been statements suggesting that Trump will refuse to step down if he loses the election. Questions have been raised about the strength of democracy in America and what that even means anymore.

For years, America has prided itself on being the “leader of the free world”. However, since Trump has been in the White House, the meaning has changed. Presidential elections were once one of the finest forms of democracy recognised, however, this year is paved for a new form of it.

Although, democracy has been bent to Trump’s will. In the time he has been in office he has operated within his own means. No longer has there been a controlled system anymore but rather a disorganised mess of actions.

An example of this is the restrictions placed on the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the blatant disregard of handling a pandemic. It’s suggested this could have perhaps been prevented had there been a stronger opposition against Trump four years ago.

However, Trump’s bumbling and massive mistakes have been recognised. Savenelli commented on the state of democracy in America:

“Over the past four years, Donald Trump and Republicans have stomped all over American democracy while the Democrats (and others) stood idly by.  Nobody has stepped up to hold the president accountable for his words and actions.  America is meant to be the pinnacle of democratic civilization but instead, I can say that I am fully embarrassed and appalled by the actions of my government and people over the past four years.”

Speaking with brave honesty of the undemocratic moves Trump has created, Savenelli continued to say:

“Everything from voter suppression to the damage done to the free press in America, we have witnessed it all over these four years.  I am extremely concerned about the integrity of democracy in America as well as the human rights of all citizens.  The events that will take place over the next couple of months will certainly not be pleasant, no matter which candidate emerges victorious. I expect there to be violence and unrest in some form.”

Naturally, this election has already created a stir. Many citizens of America are angry at the sheer volume of controversial decisions the current administration has created since 2016.

There’s anger in the air in every direction. A rise in white supremacy is perhaps even a baseline of the violence that had occurred all in favour of Trump. To say America’s current president has toyed with the world like it’s his personal playground would not be unseemly.

In this time, we have to support our American peers. Not only will they be impacted in America but also the students among us will be affected by the results that are announced tomorrow. When asked what he hopes he had for democracy, Savenelli said:

“I cast my vote with the hope that American democracy will prevail above all of this. I continue to educate myself as I believe this will be a major turning point in American history.”

Featured image credit: Time.com

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Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.

Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.

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