If you’re a non American and anything like me, by now you’re probably fatigued from having Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton headlines being plastered on every form of media (Snapchat, please explain). It’s getting somewhat tiresome, and for a nation of people who are dominantly impartial about our own politics, it’s hard for Australian’s to see the relevance of U.S. presidency to our everyday life. From Trumps supposed multiple sexual harassments to Hillary’s “drug usage” during the second debate, its unclear wether it’s a presidential race or a poorly written day time drama. For us non-American’s the constant wave of open slandering from both Trump and Clinton about each other seems a bit ridiculous. The question presumes of wether the race for presidency over the “free world” is a fight over ideals and policy, or a personality contest. So to clear things up I have decided to make a list of the policies of both contenders and what it means for us in the international community. The U.S. election is particularly important to us in places such as Australia, as we are U.S. allies and we are interdependent on one another for political stability, thus it’s important for the U.S. to have a strong and reliable leader (god help us). Here is a compiled list about what you should know about each candidate;
Although going to Hillary’s campaign page seemed like the best way to source unbiased information on her political policies and ideology, it inevitably turned into my spending a long 20 minutes sifting through her anti-trump propaganda, to find something remotely to do with actual politics (funnily enough her “issues” page had no information on it). But here is what I found:
- Economy: Hillary wants to invest in infrastructure, American manufacturing, research and technology. She want’s to ensure big businesses are paying their share of taxes and ensure the incomes for middle class working families.
What this means for us: If she does carry through with her promises (let’s not hold our breath), this could be good for the international community. If the American dollar is doing well so is the Australian. Hurrah!
- The Environment: Hillary wants to make America the Clean Energy leader of the world, replacing coal towns with clean energy towns, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement,
What this means for us: This could set a great precedent for the international community. As Australian ideals are often aligned with that of America, this could set a standard for Renewable Energy, which the environment I’m sure would be very thankful for.
- On Women’s Equality: Hillary wants to ensure equal pay, affordable child care, guaranteed paid leave, protect women’s rights to safe and legal abortions, and to obviously be the First Female President of the United States- is quite a bit achievement in setting a new social norm.
What this means for us: Well, it has no direct impact upon us. However it opens up international dialogue over gender equality, as well as setting a precedent for nations who are still lagging on equality reforms. Having a female President of the current Global superpower is also pretty important. It demonstrates the potential women can have to rule the world (enter Beyonce)!
- On Immigration: Hillary plans to implement a comprehensive immigration reform policy, and help protect DREAMers, parents of American citizens and lawful citizens from being deported.
What this means for us: Hillary’s plan seems to be the most sensible (and doesn’t include building a gigantic expensive wall across the Mexican border). She recognises that displacing millions of unofficial migrants would cause a greater international issues, therefore allowing them to settle in America and be granted citizenship is a far better solution. This promotes a more stable international relations governance, and encourages similar nations to do the same.
- Terrorism: Hillarys Plan:
– Take out their strongholds in Iraq and Syria
– Dismantling their global terror networks.
– Hardening the defences in the U.S. to prevent an attack.
– Limit lone wolf attacks by radicalised American Muslims
What this means for us: It’s my assumption that Hillary is going to be rather hawkish in terms of engaging in any military movements in this term, the U.S. has involved itself in too much and wants to go on the down low for a while to recoup (which is wise). ISIS doesn’t pose any major existential threats to the U.S. currently (unlike what most media outlets like to suggest), therefore I think Hillary will play it cool which for the International community, and particularly the U.S.’s allies, is a good thing as it means that we too can limit our overseas interventions and recoup. Hillary’s plan to be more inclusive of the Muslim population is also wise, by including Muslim people and reducing xenophobia and discrimination, there will be a lack of incentive for isolated Muslim people to seek inclusion online (aka where most of the radicalisation happens). However, Clintons involvement in International Affairs has been greatly criticised and many speculate that she has some shady international deals going on.
If you haven’t seen any of the news-lines about Trumps outlandish statements, sexual assault allegations or his attempt to interrupt Hilary every time she speaks, then you my friend are very lucky. Trump news should have a channel in it’s own right since he provides both entertainment for the masses and bouts of anxiety for every political scientist with a concern for humanity. Trump is nothing more than a self serving opportunist, serving his own political agenda, and using deliberately outrageous rhetoric to appeal to a certain demographic. However, his personality shouldn’t dominate the real politics of the race, therefore here are some of his proposed policies and how they could potentially effect us abroad.
- Economy: Trump states that he wants to “Create a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the decade”, and as a successful businessman you would hope he would be an expert in terms of money. However, Trump thus far has no plans for infrastructure, research or manufacturing. Like a lot of his policies he seems to talk a lot about having great ideas yet there is no clear plans behind these ideas. On his campaign web page the only details he has provided in terms of the economy are the statements that he will improve the economy, then continues to blast Obama and Clinton for the rest of the page, showing no real insight.
What this means for us: Trump could potentially be great at managing the economy due to his experience as a businessman, however, a nation shouldn’t be run as a business so I am skeptical of how he will be able to balance the nations economy whilst maintaining human basic rights. Furthermore, if the U.S. economy starts to drop that will have an impact upon our Australian dollar, it is important that there is stability.
- The Environment: ” Global warming is an expensive hoax!” apparently.
Funnily enough when I tried to source information on Trump’s environmental policies off of his campaign website there was no information. Apparently the environment is not a concern of Trumps which is wildly concerning. Although there is a section about “Energy” where Trump states that he will make America energy independent and “Unleash America’s $50 Trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, as well as coal reserves.
What this means for us: Trump is not interested in the Environment, clearly, even by outright denying Climate Change, which is almost as insane as him denying that he doesn’t fake tan. By utilising fossil fuels Trump will be reversing any progress into renewable and sustainable clean energy. And why does this matter? Because the world is our playground too, and by resisting clean energy Trump is jeopardising our world’s future. It is clear that the environment will not hinder him for making a few trillion dollars, even at the risk of contributing to global warming.
- On Women’s Equality: “I love Women, no one loves women more than me”… well okay Trump, okay. Trumps track record in relation to women isn’t strong, at all. From the tape of him claiming to grab a woman “by the p****”, his sexual abuse allegations, his stance on abortion and punishing women who abort, its no surprise that he is losing women voters. He states that women who “do a job as well as a man gets paid the same”, which we all know is inherently false. And his plans for paid parental leave exclude many including single parents (who probably need it the most).
What this means for us: I don’t need to explain why misogyny is bad, and Trump seems to be great at it. This is really confounding as it seems the world is progressing so much in relation to women’s rights, yet the U.S. seems to be going backwards
- On Terrorism: “We have a plan, but its a secret”.
Uhm, okay Trump. For some reason I feel like you don’t have a plan.
What this means for us: Trump fails to make me feel reassured on this one. To me this proves a lack of real foresight, planning and leadership. Using the playground tactic of not sharing tactics is not usually how adults play government, and it’s actually worrying. The lack of stability is concerning as International Relations isn’t a child’s game and any form of plan should be available for the public’s discretion, as it is the public that government is representing. As an ally of the U.S. and a military partner its particularly concerning, and if Trump does succeed in taking office it wouldn’t be surprising if Australia and many other allies distance themselves from participating in military actions.
- On Immigration: Trump has made some pretty big statements in regards to immigration, stating that he’s going to build a wall across the Mexican border, and apparently Mexico will be paying for it (which the Mexican president stated they most definitely won’t be). Trump has stated some pretty harmful comments about migrants such as stating that Mexican migrants are the cause of all the gang war and rape in the U.S., as well as stating that only those who “Embrace the American way of life” will be allowed to migrate. He also plans on “returning” all alien migrants, which would be an extremely costly and socially damaging initiative.
What this means for us: This is a super worrying way for a potential leader of the United States to think, it promotes separation and discrimination for everyone who doesn’t fit the white, christian, white picket fence, nuclear family ideal. This is particularly worrying for refugee migrants and muslim migrants as he is already promoting xenophonbic (anti-muslim) rhetoric and supporting discriminatory ideas. If notions like this become more widespread in International rhetoric and relations it could potentially become very harmful and lead to larger issues in the future.
SO, what does this all mean for you?
We’ll we don’t have much control over this matter, being non American citizens. However it is important for you to be informed as even though it’s not our nation, America’s policies can implicitly effect us too. In my opinion this race has already been won, Clinton is leading the race and hasn’t isolated any particular groups of society.
However only time shall tell!
Until next time!