Opinion

Elections in the United States and Spain

United States

I think the position adopted in Spain with regard to the elections in the United States is not very appropriate. Because I believe that it is desire and analysis from a Eurocentric perspective that guides the opinion of observers, political analysts, the media and citizens in general. It is the desire for the Democratic candidate, who is associated with progressives, to win, and for a controversial and "conservative" figure like Trump not to continue at the head of the great power. It seems that it is not well known who the Americans are, how they vote, what they think, what they believe, what political tradition they have, how, understanding the mechanics of the system, their raison d'être is ignored. If so, not otherwise, its genesis and how a "nation-state" was constituted, which was an uncertain democratic experiment and has come to this day, and functions, with its virtues and defects. 

One might think that Donald Trump is an unfriendly character, that his politics are "selfish" and not very empathetic towards Europe and the rest of the world. That is, whatever you want to say about him, but he is, and this is undeniable, a typical product of American society. A representative of the harshest liberal capitalism, close even to "libertarianism", "anarcho-capitalism", if you will, and the Boston "Tea Party". Representatives of a concept of liberal society taken to its highest expression and embodied in a president who is associated in Europe with populism but has only a few features of it, because they are not comparable political conceptions.

The Republicans have many political faces; they are not only conservative. They believe they represent a tradition of what the United States should be by mandate of the fathers of the fatherland, of its essences and of the reasons why it was constituted as a union of free states, which retained their rights. The individualism and freedom of the person at all costs, the non-interventionist state that is as small as possible, the market as a form of exchange of goods and distribution of wealth, its ethnic, political and religious characteristics, the broad self-government of states and their particular legislation, inviolable freedom, the right to private property and its defence by means of weapons if necessary, pioneering democracy and a long list of characteristics and traditions characteristic of essential liberalism. And which they managed to accommodate, in the form of a state in the shape of a presidentialist federal republic, of which the republicans consider themselves the defenders and custodians. 

Whether their interpretation of the Constitution and history is true or false is now a matter of opinion. But this way of thinking, which is inconceivable to many citizens of the old Europe, is in the minds of many Americans.

For this reason and because we are undoubtedly affected by their foreign policy, their alliances with Spain in particular, with Europe and with NATO, we have an opinion on what we would like to see happen with the result of the elections. And with a president, Trump, who is crude and not very close, as well as with a country which, despite the fact that most of us have not stepped foot in it, influences what happens in the world so decisively. 

But although it is difficult to distance oneself from the elections, it is necessary to bear in mind the unattractiveness of the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, who represents many of the powers-that-be in Washington, his lack of charisma, his age, the shadow of Obama, and other factors. Whereas Trump offers himself as close to the people and the deep, hard-working and religious America, and even as an immigrant as in Florida, although he is mostly white. It is also difficult, and must be analysed, for the US to lose power slowly in the world/global economic concert, which has damaged its industrial economy structurally, with few possibilities of regaining the absolute leadership it once held. This is due, among other things, to opposition from emerging powers such as China, India, Russia, which is rebuilding and a Europe which, whether of its own volition or not, is becoming less and less politically dependent on its American friend.

It is therefore a long and rigorous analysis that we should make of the choices, without bias, without prejudice, and with the most open mind possible. Not an implicit declaration of wishes, legitimate, but lacking in certainty in many cases. Without mixing our political beliefs and traditions when judging the situation. Without thinking about what we would vote or do in the same circumstances, since one political tradition has nothing to do with the other, nor does the political system, or almost anything. Except that we live in a globally interconnected world and that because of this, we appropriate something that is not part of our culture or civility, or politics or society. Even if it is a country that is very close to us and influential in our future. 

Therefore, I understand that we have to put aside our opinion and desires, as well as the influence they generate, and observe with coldness and objectivity the facts and underlying realities. And in this way analyse what happens as what we are, non-voting foreigners. And regardless of our sympathies or antipathies, to attempt to decipher the keys to such an influential and powerful country with our eyes open, not with the Spanish and European political keys that are scarcely applicable to the United States. Therefore, let us not be biased; let us be attentive and well-informed spectators, if possible.