International Views On Trump's Presidency

President Donald Trump was officially inaugurated into presidency on January 20th. Ever since then, the American people have been loud and clear with their opinions on our newly inaugurated government leader. While the national impact has been elucidated, the media and the American people have been neglecting the precedent and effect President Trump has on the rest of the world.

I reached out to the international members of the Lithium team to hear their thoughts as citizens of their nations. May the following interviews serve as an empathetic and illuminative pathway to further understand the United States’ current political stance in the world.


United States President Donald Trump swearing into office on January 20. Courtesy of Chip Somodevilla / Getty.

Lithium: Where are you from, and can you tell me what the general political view is where you live?

Wen Hsaio: Taiwan. We're a democratic country. The current government party in charge leans towards independence [of Taiwan] more than [the] one-China policy (obviously).

Ruby McVicar: I'm from Sydney, Australia and down here it's a bit of a mixed bag politics wise, as it really depends where you go. If you go to the rich northern suburbs or out far far west I'd say a fair amount are right wing, whereas perhaps where I live, the middle class suburbs, everyone is pretty left. I think if you tally it all up, though, it’s about 55-60% right wing (but I think if you talked to teens you might get a different outcome).

Dvita Kapadia: [I’m from] India, but I live in Oman. India is a democratic republic. Oman has a benevolent monarchy.

Faith Sumastre: I am from Canada. Some of our political views are in favour/support of universal health care, student loans, multilateralism, multiculturalism, and making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

LM: Did you, and your nation, think Trump would win the presidency?

WH: No, no, no, definitely not.

RM: No, everyone down here thought it was really just a big joke until he actually won.

DK: Not in a thousand years.

FS: There were poll results I heard on the radio the morning of November 8th and it was about the election. The poll options were Hillary and Trump and Canadians got to choose who they would vote for [if they were able to]. I don't remember the exact percentages/numbers, but I do remember that a vast majority would vote for Clinton, a minuscule number would vote for Trump, and the rest didn't want to vote at all. I guess you could say that Canada, or particularly my city, didn't think Trump would win.




The former presidential couple pictured here, welcoming the Trumps into the White House before the January 20 inauguration. Courtesy of Jim Watson / AFP / Getty.

Lithium: How do Trump’s success in his actions and attitude impact that of your nation?
WH: Not that directly.


RM: I think he's influenced a lot of supporters who uphold the same values, and they've started to come out with their opinions loud and clear, etc.


DK: I live in a Muslim country where many believe that the U.S. is their chance for higher education. Trump’s attack on Islam dwindles these opportunities.


FS: I used to think it wouldn’t affect my country, but we are allies. We've always been. Trump's success can affect Canada in many ways. We have innumerable climate projects with America and Donald Trump has vowed to get rid of Obama's policies and so on and so forth. With these projects gone, we wouldn't have a climate policy. Canada wants to welcome all refugees in need of asylum/safety and with our borders and security working closely, it's most likely that Trump won't approve any of it as he has talked about it with an abhorrent and suspicious attitude toward refugees. This success also affects our military because Trump refuses to be allies if we don't spend more of our GDP on the military and Canada just can't agree with spending more money. As for the last example, Canada exports 75% of their goods down to the U.S. and Trump has expressed his skepticism on the North America Free Trade Act and there's a possibility that he can dispose of it.

Lithium: Do you see any changes happening where you live because of Trump's election? Do you anticipate any?
WH: China has been showing hostility towards [Taiwan] since then.


RM: I feel like Australian politics are always a bit of a hit and miss (we've had a new prime minister nearly every year). Everyone kind of ignores the two major parties (because to be honest, they haven't really done anything) and this has led to minor parties who share the same views as Trump to become much more open and loud about their opinions. (Look up Pauline Hanson and you'll get what I mean.) However, Trump is such a wild card that I—and to be honest the rest of Australia—really don't know what to expect.


DK: My friends studying in places like Texas are terrified. In the end, it’s not about Trump’s power but the mentality of the people who voted for him [sic].


FS: Socially, my friends, classmates and my relatives don't talk much about American politics so nothing has changed there. I've heard on the news every now and then that this presidency has divided America and now everyone's showing their true colours on their political views, but I personally don't think I've seen anything change in my city. The morning after November 8th, I do recall that Canada looked a little sad. The atmosphere here just seemed like we were mourning for America, like we were sad because they were sad. As if their loss was our loss as well. Other than that, I don't anticipate anything yet to happen in Canada with Trump's success. I don't really know what to expect because if I've learned anything about this election, it's that anything can happen.

Lithium: Has Trump expressed any new foreign policies with your nation? If so, what is the impact of it?


WH: I mean, well, hey. I am going to be biased about this, but Donald Trump stirred up quite a controversy by tweeting [the tweets below] because technically, the United States don't admit Taiwan as a country. This angered Chinese internet users, causing them to heavily criticize him even though a lot of Chinese-Americans were pro-Trump. But to me? It's very, very reassuring [that] Trump is holding opinions of Taiwan being a country, admitting that we have a president rather than “a leader of the Taiwan district”. A lot of people on the Trump team are also pro-Taiwan-independency so this is VERY, very reassuring.

RM: Not directly. However, he has said if our allies are in danger, don't expect us to come running to you for help. I have heard that some of what he might do may impact the trans-pacific trade.


DK: Not that I know of.


FS: I don't think that I've heard about any new foreign policies with Canada yet.


Lithium: Anything else you'd like to add?


RM: As a personal note: seriously, we thought the whole thing was a big joke. No one actually thought America would really elect this guy. Like, yikes! We thought Tony Abbott was bad. Good luck, America.


FS: Though I may not be an American citizen, I think that albeit the next four years might be difficult for a big population of you due to this presidency, you shouldn't let it affect you. I know that it sounds so trivial coming from someone who's non-American, but I feel like we'll only get stronger from this. We shouldn't give up before the next four years even start. You can still make this your year. No matter what the future holds, you're gonna live through it, and who knows? Maybe one day you'll tell your kids about how you survived it.

Anon: I wrote a poem . . .  I don’t know if it’ll help.

A Leap of Faith
The United States of America –
a luxuriant dream land
that perhaps someday
i might escape to

a land that never sleeps:
shimmers with the sunrise
sparkles in the moonlight;
skyscrapers blinking like lost lovers along the skyline

a land of Happiness and
Freedom, a land in which
I can speak the thoughts that strangle
my world with no consequences

a land of Acceptance
where all genders hold hands
in Unison and where people
marry for love no matter which religion

a land of Liberty where
poor souls escape foreign lands
in hopes of liberation and equality
no matter what color, filled with chivalry

a land Where Dreams Come True
a sacred Disneyland for those
looking for an opportunity,
and to fall in love with something new.

Dear Mr. Trump,
The United States is my solace,
my escape from the mentality
of those around me,
I have had a multitude of people
come up to me and suggest I change my plan for university
and in all honesty,
I am terrified

But  - I do have Faith
that words might just be words
and you might act against
you’re the patronizing thoughts

From a queer woman living in a Muslim country,
I have Faith in the land of Freedom,
Acceptance and Liberty where I might
still escape to and have My Dreams Come True

Interviews conducted by Danielle Leard.

5 comments

  1. Super glad to be a part of this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love this. It's so great to have your eyes opened to other perspectives

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so interesting, I love seeing how different cultures can view a single event

    ReplyDelete