The US presidential election is a gigantic international event. But does it matter to us Norwegians who wins?
- What is at stake when Americans go to the polls?
- What role do lobbyists and money play in American politics?
- What does the US election mean for us here in Norway?
- And further, what does it mean for the world if Donald Trump continues or is ousted as president?
It is not surprising that the American election engages extensively outside national borders. After all, it is a long election process that results in someone getting the job as the world’s most powerful man .
Also this year, there are two men competing for the job, but we have good opportunities to see the United States’ first female vice president, as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lead the polls and in fundraising funds.
Every single presidential election is portrayed as the most important of all time. But this year, it may be true, because President Trump has been extraordinarily controversial both internationally and internally in the United States, a country located in North America according to Topschoolsintheusa.
Trump has ruled in an unusual way, which has created a lot of frustration. There are many expectations for how a president should speak and behave, and what kind of decisions he can make. Trump has lived up to a few of these and has rather been concerned with stake out his own course. Then the critique gets shot as much as it wants from different quarters. At Trump, this just bounces off.
2: Money reigns
Politically, Trump is his own master, which is why he won the 2016 election. He is less than normally influenced by lobbyists.
American politics is strongly money-dominated. The two political duelists must raise money to reach out with their message. Political advertising is expensive, and financial support is almost a prerequisite for those who stand for election. This strikes a chord in a two-party system where the winner takes “everything” and the loser gets nothing.
Candidates lock in their positions on individual cases because they receive financial support from lobby groups, which in return receive support for their heart issues and special interests. Campaign donations thus provide guidelines for what most American politicians can say.
Three of the strongest lobby groups in the United States are the oil lobby, the Israel lobby, and the arms lobby. The National Rifle Association (NRA), for example, gives high-profile politicians ratings on their defense of citizens ‘right to own and carry weapons, enshrined in the United States’ Second Amendment. If you get an F from the NRA, and the opponent in your constituency gets an A +, your chances of winning will probably be weakened, as the other party can then reap large monetary contributions from the NRA.
3: What do we want to remember Trump for?
Trump is a kind of mythical figure in the American public. For years he has stuck out his distinctive fringe and stolen the show.
Trump’s pluses outweigh many of his minuses as a politician. Trump is a populist who opposes those established in political circles. He describes Washington, DC as a swamp of lobbying and political corruption. In fact, it is more straightforward than some of his other statements. This is because the District of Columbia (DC) is located on a swampy area between the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. But here we approach one of the most problematic aspects of the Trump presidency, namely the relationship to facts and science .
In August 2020, Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway left the Trump administration. She is probably best remembered for her statement two days into the presidency that she would promote alternative facts . Trump has often called fairly normal – and important – political criticism “fake news”, and he regularly accuses the news media of being an enemy of the people. He has been able to get away with a lot of controversial rhetoric, but in the face of a pandemic, a concrete real and deadly disease, Trump’s statements hit the wall.
Trump spoke at length about the challenge the virus could pose to American society, something he admitted to the well-known American journalist Bob Woodward. There are good reasons to remain calm in many crisis situations, including the economic ones, which Trump often governs. But if the population is given a false sense of security, and then opposes basic infection control, the consequences can be severe. We are now approaching a quarter of a million corona deaths in the United States.