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Who Would the World Vote For As President of the United States?

While only, approximately, 235 million people have the opportunity to vote for President of the United States of America, that does not make interest in the outcome of that contest a solely American interest.

The President of the United States is uniquely powerful in affairs outside the borders of the United States, and will thus often impact the lives of a great number of non Americans.

Thus, it may be of at least passing interest to perspective voters who their peers across the world endorse as the next President.

A caveat before I begin, this list will not examine all 192+ sovereign countries on the Earth, but a handful relevant to American interests. It should also be noted that, just as in the United States, no country is politically homogenous. There are some attempts to reflect this, but the law of averages tells us that there was probably someone in India who was disappointed when Lincoln Chaffee dropped out.

China:

The Diplomat ran an excellent piece, based largely on the work of Matt Hartzell which examined the voting preferences of users of Chinese survey site, Zhihu.

Out of 450 respondents, most identified with Republican candidates, and a whopping 38% with Donald Trump. In a subsequent poll launched by Mr. Hartzell on Zhihu, the candidates feelings on various issues were briefly expounded upon, resulting in both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trouncing the Republican field.

These findings seem to contradict various Chinese bloggers, according to Foreign Policy, who claim that Clinton is unfairly critical of China. These harsh feelings would also likely extend to both Sanders and Ted Cruz who have both supported anti-Chinese legislation during their tenure in the Senate.

Trump has also been stridently anti-China, despite saying that he has lots of Chinese tenants in some of his buildings.

China probably doesn’t have much of a favorite in this field of leading Presidential candidates.

Russia: 

The cooperative mood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been well documented, and likely assisted by Trump’s anti-NATO stance.

The endorsement of President Putin likely influences Mr. Trump’s popularity among Russians, based on Putin’s own approval ratings. State news entity Sputnik News has published a number of articles praising Trump.

France:

France’s government has presented a consistent anti-Trump front.

Shortly after Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim Immigrants, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism”.

The ” others” being referred to is France’s own nativist party, the National Front. The ever delightful French Ambassador to the United States, Géraud Araud, also frequently bashes Trump and the similar National Front movement in his own country. It should then come as no surprise that National Front founder, and political kindred spirit on: trade, immigration, and NATO, Jean-Marie Le Pen offered his support for a Trump Presidency.

However, if the results of France’s recent regional elections are any indicationLe Pen’s support is worth little.

France24, one of France’s premiere international news sites, is pretty scant on individual coverage for the other Republican candidates, though John Kasich received some praise for his positions following his second place showing in New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, Clinton seems to be more popular than Sanders. Nicholas Sarkozy, head of Les Republicains and presumptive candidate for President of the center right party, offered his support for her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Sanders appears to be an after thought on France24’s search algorithms. This may be more reflective of the Senator’s more recent rise to prominence than his agreeability to the average Frenchman however.

Israel & Palestine:

Starting with Palestine, it is safe to assume that Cruz and Rubio competing during debates over who has more disdain for the Palestinian national movement does not endear them to Palestinians.

Kasich and Trump likely would not fair better, due to the former justifying illegal settlements in the West Bank and the latter’s support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in addition to anti-Muslim comments over the past year.

The consensus among Fatah, the Arab Center for research and Policy Decisions, and Al-Najah National University, among others, appears to be that Clinton, while no friend to the Palestinian national movement, is preferable to her Republican competition, according to Al-Monitor.

Sanders in the past has expressed solidarity with Palestinians as well as opposition to military aid to Israel, though his position seems to have shifted to a position that equivocates violence between Israel and Palestine.

Never the less, it seems that Sanders is the more palatable candidate for Palestinians at large.

Among Israelis, national polling done by The Times of Israel found that 38% of Israelis would favor a President Clinton, followed by 23% endorsing a Trump Administration. Sanders, Cruz, and Rubio brought up the rear with 7, 5, and 4 respectively, and leaving 23% of respondents unsure.

This seems to reflect that the opinions of Prime Minister Netanyahu are not influential on Israeli opinions on American Presidential candidates, as the Prime Minister has shamed Mr. Trump for his anti-Muslim comments, whilst presumably being very friendly with Senator Cruz who was among the first to congratulate Netanyahu on his recent electoral victory.

This small sample size of four countries, and one aspirant country, is not representative of the world at large, but is representative of a few of the places most relevant to American interests.

It would be wise then as American voters to consider the political opinions of our friends and rivals abroad, including those not mentioned here, so as to best mold the world in a positive way over the next four years.

Is there a country that we missed that you would be interested in learning more about? Tell us in the comments below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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Millennial Intelligencer: Why Pakistan Might Actually Nuke Itself

Pakistan and India have been at odds since the hasty partition of British India in 1947. Several wars have cemented this antipathy, and fueled the desire in both countries for arms, including nuclear arms. Tensions have run high for decades.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports that Pakistan has 100-120 warheads, and India has 90-110.

The effects of a nuclear exchange between the two is not forecasted to result in radiation reaching Southeast Asia, the world’s breadbasket, but the immediate effects would leave millions dead in the first 24 hours. An environmental contamination, famine, and a massive refugee crisis would also likely ensue.

India has both a qualitative and quantitative advantage in nearly all fields of comparison of conventional military strength. Except nukes.

This information has renewed relevance in light of an announcement by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Aizaz Chaudhary that any Indian incursion into Pakistani territory would be met with low-yield (Theater/Tactical) nuclear weapons.

As no recognized distinction exists between low-yield and high-yield weapons, it is entirely likely that the utilization of low-yield weapons would result in a retaliation by India according to The Diplomat.

Read More: Religious Tensions Rise As Indian Elections Come To Fore

One must then ask, why is Mr. Chaudhary rattling the nuclear saber? The answer lies in the conventional balance of power, and Indian military doctrine.

Simply put, if India was to invade Pakistan, then Pakistan has indicated that it would be willing to use “tactical nuclear warheads” on its own territory in order to slow the advance.

India has both a qualitative and quantitative advantage in nearly all fields of comparison of conventional military strength. Expect nukes.

One of the easier, and sexier, metrics for illustrating this disparity is by comparing the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) of the two countries.

India, due to its historical ties to Russia and the USSR before it, is outfitted with 3,250 MBTs, most of them T-72Ms (“Monkey”models designed for exported by the Soviet Union), and 987 T-90Ss.

Pakistan on the other hand has just shy of 2,500 MBTs which are largely comprised of early and mid Cold War Soviet and American tanks, as well as Chinese models of Soviet Tanks.

The trend continues in defense spending, man power, fixed wing aircraft, artillery, etc.

Thus, one can conclude that Pakistan would likely be defeated in the event of an incursion by India. The only saving grace for Pakistan is its relationship with the United States and China, however India has made plans to counteract this advantage.

“Cold Start” is an Indian Doctrine which would, in theory, negate these advantages. It relies on limited war-fighting in Pakistan itself to destroy Pakistan’s conventional military capabilities, thus making best use of India’s advantages in combined arms but also coming short in provoking Pakistan to use its nuclear arsenal.

A 2008 paper published in International Security, indicated that short gains in territory, no more than 50-80 Kms deep, would probably bring Pakistan to its knees in short order.

This doctrine is failing in one of its objectives as of two days ago, and this official willingness to utilize nuclear weapons on home soil ought to give greater urgency to those interested in maintaining a world order in which an exchange of WMDs is considered unthinkable.

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Photo Credit: US Defense Department/ Public Domain

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