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Good To Know: Trump vs. Hillary PART 3 - Why US Politics Matters to the Rest of the World

- What the World Thinks?
- Does it Matter?
- Be Honest, Can the Results of the US Election Bring About the Apocalypse?


What the World Thinks

  A quick Google search regarding the upcoming US presidential election will land you with pages and pages (and pages) of opinions published by media outlets worldwide on who they think should (and most definitely shouldn't) be the next US President. Generally speaking, Trump has surprised everyone, largely due to his inexperience in politics (and to almost anything he says or does). Global government officials recognize Hillary due to the years they would have dealt with her when she was the US Secretary of State (the US chief foreign affairs adviser - see more on the role of the US Secretary of State here), so there seems to be a greater vote of confidence in her ability, but still that vote of confidence is not overwhelming. Depending on the vested interests of many (whether it's trade, war, immigration, multilateral involvement, etc.), who becomes the next US President carries great importance. And so everyone watches and waits. 

Does it Matter?

  US citizens might be inclined to disregard the opinions of those who do not live in their country or come under their government. And fair enough, those of us who don't live in the US or who are not US citizens are not directly affected by their domestic policies. But regardless, the United States has earned a powerful position in the global arena, and with that comes great responsibility. The US sit as one of the five permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, giving them veto power over the council's decisions (more on that here); they are one of the world's leading trading nations (see some handy graphs on global economics here and here), making them a key player in the global economy with a lot of influence (take the 2008 Global Financial Crisis as an example); and they are consistently ranked amongst the countries in the world with the largest military capacities. They have a large cultural influence through movies, music, television, etc., and the fact that you're reading an article titled "Why US Politics Matters to the Rest of the World" indicates its significance.

  Current US Secretary of State John Kerry has been quoted describing the current US election as "embarrassing". He talks of trying to negotiate deals, build stable relationships with global partners and speak authoritatively to other countries about democracy, but finding the current state of the US and the weakness of the current election in addressing "real issues" as hindering his job and bringing into question the authority of the US on these global matters.

  So yes, what the world thinks does matter. US politics greatly affects global relations and has a lot of influence informing the nature of international norms.

Be Honest, will the Results of the US Presidency Bring About the Apocalypse?

  I doubt it. There might be an apocalypse, I'm definitely not ruling that out, but I don't think the US Presidency will be the sole reason for it. A decline in America's power and influence would result in a shift in international relations rather than an apocalypse, a movement of alliances to coincide with whatever superpower comes next maybe, and perhaps more B-grade Hollywood movies. That's how the world works with superpowers, it always has. The Roman Empire, the British Empire, superpowers change, the world shifts accordingly. It's just that whoever becomes the next superpower will then greatly affect global relations and inform the nature of international norms. And whether for the better or worse, this will matter to us all, including Americans.


- The Sydney Morning Herald have published a great three-part series on the impact of the US election, especially to Australia. It's interactive, thorough and uses many varied sources: PART 1 / PART 2 / PART 3.

- Here are some opinion pieces on how who becomes the next US President may effect global trade and economies: ABC News and the Washington Post.

- A piece on what it might mean for women to have a female US President: published by Time.

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