To the Americans, from England with love… and confusion


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Adam Jack Chinnery, Contributing Writer

 “How did it get like this?” “ There are 350 million people in that country, and they have to choose between those two?” “Well he’s not great either.” These expressions are what I hear most when discussing the upcoming Presidential election in the United States when talking with my friends and family in England. To be fair, I think the temptation to believe that other countries have worse politicians than us Brits may make it easier to moan about American politics, but still it’s not a very good picture that has been painted by the United States, especially in this election. 

On October 8, 2020 a YouGov poll was released showing that 61% of the British population would support Joe Biden and just 13% would support the incumbent, Donald Trump. Biden even wins among Conservatives (45% to 26%) and Brexit voters (45% to 25%) although this is one of the best national poll results for Trump in Europe, second to Italy in the YouGov survey! Thus showing that Donald Trump has an extremely low approval rating with us in England and Europe as a whole, even among so called ‘right wing populists’. That’s not to say that we are, as a nation, enthused by Joe Biden, with just 17% saying he would be great or good, with 32% saying average and 13% poor. In the same poll, it said that more people do not believe this coming election will be free and fair than say that they believe it will be. 

Now, why are we so negative towards the upcoming election and the candidates? It could be to do with the political climate, hearing constant pledges about issues that were sorted 50 years ago like abortion or outside of an election campaign such as same sex marriage isn’t fun, especially when it seems never ending! Four years of Brexit proved tiring enough for most! We don’t seem to have crazy ads either- just a designated five minute slot to show a ‘Party Political Broadcast’ on TV. I showed my friend some ads from Ron Desantis to Brian Kemp and he honestly couldn’t believe they are now elected. Elections here in Britain also don’t last two years- more so two months and are much cheaper and somehow easier to run (no dodgy voting machines etc). So, you could say we are used to a much more boring political scene or just don’t have as much fun with politics, bar Elmo and Count Binface, the jury’s out on that one. 

We in Britain often look to America as a bastion of freedom. It still is and judging by how free some of the candidates are in their views and their style, we can only look on with bemusement. That being said, providing there is freedom of speech, expression and regular properly democratic elections, we will look on with awe and say, ‘God bless the United States!’.