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October 27, 2016

How does the rest of the world view the U.S. election?

Essential question

How might the outcome of the U.S. presidential election affect other countries?

As Election Day draws near, the eyes the world are on the United States and the contentious race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Many nations have a vested interest in the outcome of the U.S. election. The next president will have a major role in international affairs, influencing the global economy and determining the degree to which the U.S. becomes involved in international conflicts such as the civil war in Syria.

Trump has said the U.S. should focus on domestic problems and should stay out of clashes between other countries.

“He will most likely be an isolationist president, which is never good news for the rest of the world,” said Greek foreign analyst Thanos Dokos.

Clinton’s term as Secretary of State gave her four years of experience working with international leaders. She is more likely to intervene in conflicts in regions like the Middle East and satisfy the perception of the U.S. as the world’s policeman, according to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO Secretary General and a former Danish Prime Minister.

“We know from experience that, if the United States retreats, or is perceived to retreat, it will leave behind a vacuum, and that vacuum will be filled by the bad guys,” Rasmussen said.

Key terms

isolationism — the belief that a country should not make agreements, invest money or work with other nations

NATO — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance of European and North American democracies founded after World War II to strengthen international ties between member states and to serve as a counter-balance to the Soviet Union

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. When is Election Day?
  2. Do you think people from other countries are concerned about the outcome of the U.S. presidential race?
  3. What are some examples from history in which the U.S. and other nations have worked together on global issues?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Why do many Europeans fear a Donald Trump presidency?
  2. Why do you think Nigel Farage, the conservative British politician who backed Brexit, is critical of Hillary Clinton?
  3. What are some causes for the weakened relationship between the U.S. and Russia?
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