With the US election right around the corner, millions of people await still in the anticipation. Will the US get another four years of Twitter wars and almost comedically sculpted hair or will the reign of Trump finally end?
The election has been followed by both younger and older Americans and people all over the world, but for Americans, it is a matter that directly affects their life. Some young adults in the UK will simply discharge the election buzz and say: “Why should I care?”
It’s true, the US economic and political position in the world is so grand people should always be aware of what is happening, but for a typical UK student sustaining themselves of coffee and Domino’s pizza and going out to student bars on the weekend, it doesn’t seem like it would have a direct effect on their life.
Therefore, the buzz over the presidential debate or electoral campaign can be either dismissed or minimised to only highlight what Trump just did or said.
However, if young adults in the UK are looking for a reason to get themselves familiar with US politics, they should look no further than the UK’s own political office.
The strategies and decisions made by Donald Trump can seem awfully familiar, and not only because you might have seen something similar on a dramatic reality show. Some political moves made by Trump were also adjusted and used by Parliament’s own Boris Johnson.
Johnson is known to give quite extreme speeches and make risky political moves that were not necessarily approved by the public. The same move, although much more extreme, are used by Trump during his run as the 45th president of the United States.
Those strategies are also often used to target a certain audience. For Trump, it’s the majority of the republican voters, whereas for Johnson it is the Conservative party. They both lead with strong campaigns against immigration, whether it is a promise of a yet invisible wall or leading the country into Brexit and all of its consequences.
So far, despite the criticisms and the misfortunes brought to the economic and social structures of both countries, the strategy has been working out in their favour. Trump has served his term as president and Johnson remains in his position as PM.
However, if Trump in all of his glory were to lose the US election that might not only change the relationship that currently exists between the UK and US simply on a mutual understanding of two similar characters but also the way Boris approaches his position.
After all, the PM will get a good look at the disadvantages of the extreme politics conducted by Trump.
This correlation alone might catch the eye of British young adults and get them to pay more attention. Starting to view Trump more as a political leader, whose decisions affect the country and perhaps even Johnson himself and less as a subject of political satire or a Twitter troll.
Trump winning is not the only thing that should catch a British student’s attention. Biden is already winning the popular vote; therefore, it is about time to start imagining America with Joe Biden in charge.
Firstly, it is quite important to know that, unlike Trump who believes Boris Johnson will “do a good job,” Biden is not a big fan of Johnson, calling him a “clone” of Trump.
Furthermore, Biden is not fond of Brexit and how it is affecting countries around the UK. It is predicted that Biden will focus his trades on EU more than the UK, negotiating with Paris and Germany before going for Britain.
Perhaps it has nothing to do with his dislike of both Johnson and his policies and has more to do with the economic situation that the UK has put itself in by voting for Brexit, however that doesn’t change the fact that if the partnership between the UK and US will weaken, it will directly affect all of our lives.
British citizens of all ages have already felt the effects of Brexit. Prices on smaller things, like essential products have been slowly rising to make up for gaps left in the economy after leaving the EU, making it harder for students to spend less of their allowance and save up.
Big companies started taking their main offices away from the UK, due to the shaky situation making it harder for students, and especially international students to get jobs. If the UK will lose some of the support for a country as large as the US it might touch every one of us in a small, but relatively significant way.
Furthermore, whether he would have the support of the US after the election will serve as a big part of Johnson’s decision on how to approach Brexit in general and the UK’s relationship with Europe after Brexit in particular. That, more than anything, will affect the UK economy directly.
Furthermore, now that the EU is promising to conduct legal procedures against the UK, Biden might seem like the more rational choice to come up with long term solutions and unite the nations, when Trump might make more rash and instant decisions resulting in more problems with trades and international relations.
It’s not all bad, though. Biden and Johnson share a lot of views in common, those include approaches towards Russia and China. Furthermore, Biden’s promise of re-engagement with the nuclear deal will lessen the division over Iran.
Perhaps, those common views will unite the UK and US on a global level and strengthen global engagement for both countries. Biden winning might be a promise for a longer-term and thought-through partnership built on common views and rational decision, not just on similar hairstyles and head-on approaches.
When faced with the facts of how the US election will affect the UK in general and its younger citizens, in particular, a lot of young adults had different reactions.
“I do keep updated with the election, but I don’t focus a lot of my attention on it,” said Kamila, a 21-year-old Conde Nast student.
Kamila’s opinion is widely shared by young adults, who are aware of the upcoming election but are not as invested into seeing it through. However, when presented with all the information of the effects the US election will have on the UK economy and politics all the students unanimously agree that it will get their attention focused on the election more.
Due to the strong presence that Trump has on social media, many young adults also see him as a social media celebrity or an almost comedically figure, not as the president of one of the biggest and most influential countries in the world.
A 20-year-old Queen Mary student, John, confirmed it by saying: “I read his tweets and hear a lot about him on social media, but that’s where most of my knowledge of what Trump is doing comes from.”
However, not all UK students are unaware of the effects the US election will have on the rest of the world.
“UK and US are perceived as leaders of the Western world, but both leaders did not handle the pandemic well,” says 21-year-old Dascha, a King’s College London student.
When asked about how the US presidential election will work out for the UK considering the issues caused by Brexit, a 22-year-old recent UCL graduate, Alex, said: “American involvement in the post Brexit negotiations is really needed.”
Furthermore, after discussing all the factors, when asked about who they would vote for if they had a chance, almost every young adult admitted that the years of Trump as president took America into a darker time and they would most certainly vote for Joe Biden.
“Trump is destroying America as a democratic power,” said Alex.
“Men like Donald Trump tie people down and discriminate against people due to their nationality not giving everyone equal opportunities,” Margherita, a 22-year-old student at King’s College London commented.
Overall, although the awareness of all the US political decisions and strategies throughout the UK young adult community should be raised higher, many students are aware of the main facts and figures of the election and are open to looking further into the intricacies of the US election to see how exactly their own lives would be changed by it.
Words: Assiya Mukhamedrakhimova | Subbing: Sam Tabahriti