A British introduction to the US election – from someone who knows next to nothing about US politics

Fellow Britons, As 99.99% of you are aware (incase you hadn’t noticed article after meme after tweet on the subject), our mates from across the Atlantic have an election coming up this year. That’s right – love him, hate him, nothing him – Barack Obama is leaving his large white office soon enough. However, why do we the British public seem to be informed so much about it? Do we Brits really need to know when Donald Trump has talked about his penis (does anyone?)? When Hillary Clinton has posted on reddit? When Danny DeVito gets applause for throwing a stool at a podium  to introduce Bernie Sanders? (That one was kind of cool, but I’m slightly biased with DeVito) Surely the amount of information thrown at us day by day should be replaced with other newsworthy topics?

Regardless of that, it is what it is. America’s election is a worldwide event so this handy, basic guide should hopefully give you a tiny bit more interest or just infuriate you more!

1) Democrats? Republicans?
If you follow politics here in the UK then you have a lot of understanding in regards to what these two parties represent – if not just hear me out.  The US is largely split into two main political parties with the Democratic party being on the left and the Republican party on the right. I must add however, as of late in the world of politics this left/right business seems to bare a lot less meaning with major parties angling more to the centre to appease both types of supporters. Think of David Brent in ‘The Office’ perhaps, changing his personality to try and appease his colleagues regardless of how transparent his efforts are.

2) Why does it matter to us?
Well long story short, it matters to you as much as you want it to. It’s hard to turn a blind eye to the fact that America is the most influential and dominant country in the world right now. Take for example the media, whether it be your favourite actor/actress/personality/musician chances are you follow these things regularly regardless of the fact they’re currently in a completely different country to you (to think, you probably know more about these people’s lives than some of your actual friends!). The power of American media is huge, so surely quite a few other things could be huge too? (No, I’m not going back to Trump’s little member) Just think of the influence America had over the UK when George Bush Jr and Tony Blair were knocking around. We ended up fighting an illegal war in Iraq due to a lie regarding nuclear weapons. It’s definitely not ridiculous to say our friendship with America helped this happen. It’s kind of like when Mark gets pressured into saying the gym instructor touched him up in Peep Show because Jeremy wants him fired, Mark goes along with it because he wants the same thing for selfish reasons.

3) We’re all in this together
For those familiar with this particular slogan, apologies – but it fits. Following on from the influence America has on us Brits, we share so much with our allies over the pond that when it comes down to it, it’s difficult to foresee what the consequences of the possible outcomes of the US election could be. I need to do some more reading into it myself, I recommend doing so too because this election season is already quite entertaining as it is. Business relationships could break (not always bad), the economy could fall into the depths of the earth, cthulhu could rise from the ashes but we will probably still do the most British thing possible and ignore it with a pint whilst watching Ant & Dec.

 

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