We Asked People From Other Countries What They Think About Donald Trump
If you're among the many Americans terrified by the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president, a lot of people across the globe are right there with you.
The US wields unparalleled influence in the world.
America is one of the founding members of both NATO and the United Nations (and a permanent member of the UN Security Council).
America also has the strongest and most robust economy in the world, and its decisions regarding business and trade impact global markets.
Accordingly, whoever leads the United States essentially leads the world in many respects. This is precisely why much of the globe breathes a collective sigh of relief whenever Americans elect a president who seems relatively diplomatic, tolerant and practical.
But Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is currently the GOP frontrunner, is none of those things.
The fact he's dominating the Republican field right now is extremely disconcerting, given his rhetoric and proposed policies are inherently xenophobic and bigoted. It's safe to say people around the world are very unsettled with the idea of a man like Trump becoming president.
As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently put it,
One of the hard parts about being a diplomat, when you go abroad, you don't want to criticize your country, and so trying to explain what's going on to foreigners is hard, but they are looking at us as if we've lost our minds. And they were very nervous because I think that the messages coming out from Donald Trump are quite scary in terms of keeping people out of America and building walls and threatening and saying, we'll make them do whatever. That is not the language of a commander in chief.
During recent trips to Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Albright said people asked her,
What is going on in America?
It's a fair question.
Given all that's happening, we decided to reach out to people across the world and ask them what they think about Donald Trump and why they think he's not suited to be president. What they had to say was not pretty.
The nature of this question might've been somewhat presumptuous, but none of those who responded took issue with the notion the real estate mogul should not be the leader of the free world.
Indeed, if the world could vote in the US presidential election, it seems highly unlikely Trump would emerge victorious.
Here's what people everywhere from Scotland to Syria had to say about Donald Trump.
Darren, 27, from Edinburgh, UK
The United States means a great deal to me: My girlfriend and her wonderful family are American. I called it home for 18 months of my life, when I lived and worked in the great state of Maine; and some of my best friends from graduate school are Americans. My major problem with Trump is that, contrary to his rhetoric and that of this supporters, he is the worst type of politician – a demagogue whose political ambition is rooted in his own narcissism, rather than a sincere desire to improve the lives of his constituents. And whilst Trump continues his campaign of self-aggrandisement, he is doing untold damage to America both domestically and internationally – and it pisses me off! Why the Republican party constantly overlooks candidates like John Huntsman and John Kasich perplexes me, but I hope they wake up to the hurricane that is ripping through the Republican party… the United States… and, potentially, the world!
Emilya, 29, from Baku, Azerbaijan
It is literally scary that a person like Donald Trump actually has an opportunity to be a presidential candidate. It is scary that a country like America does not have a mechanism in place to ensure people like Trump are not allowed to run. And it is also scary to realize how many people support him, and how many people cannot comprehend what this could lead to. America is not just any country, and it never has never been. It is [one of the] most powerful states on the planet, and the world cares about who will be its next president – whether we like it or not it will impact us as well. With the current situation in the world, where war is around the corner of almost every house, why are many Americans voting for the person with the most radical views on almost every issue? Do we want more war in the world? Are we really up for the third world war? What strikes me the most is how Trump represents the complete opposite of America's fundamental values. Isn't America all about equality and liberty? How is Trump representing any of that? This person has no respect for anyone, he has no shame or manners whatsoever. And it's not funny anymore. Presidential elections are NOT entertainment. This joke has to come to an end. Would we let this person to be a teacher in the school? No. Would we let him to be a policeman? No. In fact, if it wasn't for his family's wealth I doubt Trump would ever be able to find a job with his intelligence level and attitude toward life. So how come we are running the risk of having him as a president of America?
Yahya, 30, from Aleppo, Syria
I don't want Americans to vote for Trump because I believe he would change a beautiful and successful country into a lost cause (like his own business). As a person who is studying to be a policy maker, I believe Trump has the least amount knowledge about policy of all the candidates. He just pretends to know what he's talking about. Shouting out loud that 'we will do this and we will do that' is not a way to lead a country.
Maurice, 26, from Dunbar, UK
I believe that Donald Trump's ignorance and stupidity would make him the most dangerous person in the world, were he to win the election. There is no place for his level of close-mindedness in the modern age. He is a fossil who champions everything we, as an intelligent species, should strive to eradicate; from misogyny to xenophobia. He is the embodiment of white privilege and therefore is too far removed from the reality of normal human life to be able to represent the people of America. He is too full of misguided or even just plain incorrect assumptions and preconceptions to safely or sensibly be given any sort of voice in the international community. Trump would be hilarious were he not such a threat to life as we know it. Feel the Bern.
Sina, 27, from Aachen, Germany
In 'The Iliad' the absolute ruler Agamemnon is the commander-in-chief of the Greek army, using its power to take over the whole Aegean. The biggest lesson to learn from this story is that military power, in the hands of a leader who uses it to fight his political battles, will bring us death on both sides. While 'The Iliad' is mythology, these leaders seem to continue to exist… Today, the US President is in a similar position. If he so wished, his military can go to war any day with no other state or institution being able to stop him. President Trump's decisions, therefore, could cost the whole world, and people from other countries wouldn't have any say about this. Trump prefers to let actions speak louder than words and he is clearly not interested in diplomatic solutions to problems. My personal belief is that even if a leader has great resources to successfully compete with others, diplomacy should take precedence. In Europe, after all, the EU now succeeds in providing 60 years of peace after millennia of perpetual war. Trump supporters call that weak, I call it efficient. All economic or political criticism aside, peace is in everyone's favor. Trump's foreign policy approach makes it hard to believe the US will be able to abstain from conflict that will not only take American lives in combat, but those of non-Americans, which I cannot believe many people view as an OK price to pay for their own illusion of safety. As a non-American, I am hoping American citizens realize what kind of responsibility they have over the entire planet to make sure the power over a military that could virtually extinguish the entire Middle East is not given to somebody who sees dying civilians as just collateral damage in the fight against terror.
Tom, 37, from Glasgow, UK
He appears to embody the very worst introspective and xenophobic characteristics of a portion of Americans. This is aggravated by his limited intellect. A fool with great power is to be feared.
Jade, 23, from Melbourne, Australia
I'm mad about Donald Trump because the US is supposed to be a role model. You're the strongest exporter of culture in the Western world and although you may not have asked for it, the US is a sort of litmus test for the rest of us on what is normal and acceptable and what isn't. That is why I'm angry, not because some Americans are determined to sink their own ship but because you don't realize you'll be sinking ours as well.
Andrea, 31, from Vancouver Island, Canada
All of his extreme Republican ideals aside (which I personally take issue with), he just seems sort of... absurd? He comes across as an unstable, xenophobic, flagrant liar and the idea of him running the country next door is terrifying. It's like a really bad joke that's gone too far. John Oliver's back-mole analogy was perfect.
Jordy, 23, from Arnhem, the Netherlands
First of all, this is the opinion of one Dutch citizen, not the entire country. I am not a fan of Trump, however my ideas about him are probably influenced by what I read and hear and henceforth I might be biased. However, personally, I am rather surprised that there are so many people who vote for Donald Trump. At first, it all seemed like a joke, but he is gaining a massive amount of support. It's only fair to give an example of why I would not vote for Trump. His remarks about building a wall on the US-Mexico border, banning Muslims (even temporarily) and dealing with the illegal immigrants are remarkable to say the least, yet it is beyond my belief that there are so many people who support those ideas. I find them outdated and unrealistic, not to mention history has shown us that targeting certain groups in society has never been the answer. It only leads to more negativism, and it could endanger the relationships that America has with other countries. Those who vote for Trump need to take a good look at him and ask themselves the question 'Would he be able to achieve (uphold?) all that he says and if so, would this really be for the best of the United States of America?'
Aili, 23, from Stockholm, Sweden
I was raised in Sweden but have a very close connection to my Chilean roots, where my father is from. My views on Trump are rooted in both societies. America, as a powerful world actor, and by default, the American electorate has a moral responsibility to the rest of the world to provide a credible and capable leader. Whereas this is not always what happens, the foreseeable consequences of Donald Trump as President of the United States have been largely outside of my grasp, both because of his largely erratical nature and non-sensical replies in debates, but also because up until now I could honestly not think of him a serious contender for the post. Being so backwards and uninformed both rhetorically and politically it is extremely difficult for me to see why anyone would vote for him, whether Democrat or Republican. As a South American I cannot help but be offended by his empirically unsupported comments about Hispanics, and as a Swede I am extremely concerned about how a political tide placing Trump in power will play out in American society nationally. From the Swedish experience, allowing an openly xenophobic party into parliament has translated into a seriously alarming upswing of open racist attitudes in day-to-day life. I can only guess what having an openly xenophobic president would do to America, which does certainly not need to go back in history in racial equality. On the international level I cannot see any advantages of seeing Trump in power, where his extreme views and careless leadership style, insulting other countries' leaders and giving few, if any, viable solutions to problems on the international arena, will be major obstacles and likely be extremely damaging for U.S. credibility and reputation as an international actor. Basically, without wanting to sound as childish as he does, Donald Trump seems to be as aware of world affairs as he is of the state of his own hair, and nobody wants a leader like that to be in charge of one of the most powerful countries in the world.