On November 3, United States he will hold his breath on an election day that is expected to be hysterical. Even more nervous will be those Americans who reside outside the country and who, like Claudia, Victor, Annie, Greg and Eva, have already voted for who they want their next president to be: Donald Trump O Joe Biden.
All the interviewees have different ages, personal situations and political inclinations, which leads them to have distant views of what is happening in their native country. Although the crisis of covid-19 has already caused at least 225,000 deaths and almost 8.7 million infections, the pandemic It does not seem to be the main concern of these citizens, who see the elections as a political conflict that goes further.
“Toppling Trump is a moral decision,” he explains. Claudia Waldman, 24 years old, originally from California and who has been studying a master’s degree in Barcelona for a year. Eva Fortes She has been living in the Catalan capital for six years, where she is now a PhD candidate in Political Science, and, like Claudia, she is also from California and will vote for the Democrats. “His management has been terrible and that has caused more deaths from the pandemic,” he says.
In 2016, Wisconsin was a key state in bringing Trump victory. That’s where Annie Graul, who has been in Barcelona for more than 30 years as a writer and organizing secretary for Democrats Abroad. “I would never have voted for Reagan or the Bushes, but they did some things right,” he explains. “I have never felt ashamed of my country like now.”
Among Americans living abroad, Trump is not a particularly popular figure. Even among a longtime Republican like Victor horcasitasFrom a Mexican family, registered in Nebraska and resident in Barcelona for 25 years. “He is inept, a racist and a misogynist,” he says by phone. “I prefer to vote for someone like Biden, who I don’t like, but he’s a good guy even if he doesn’t think like him. The country is ahead of the party,” he adds.
Greg Ryan believes that the aversion towards Trump is so strong that “if he does something good the Democrats will not say it.” This 57-year-old musician and hospitality entrepreneur from Indiana resides in Rubí after many years in Barcelona. Declared a libertarian, he explains that he distrusts “all politicians” and that he voted for Trump to “shake the system.”
Believe that President you are treated unfairly. “Four years ago they said it would cause a recession and a nuclear war and nothing has happened. The economy is doing well, we have not entered any new war, there are more and more Arab countries making peace with Israel and Europeans contribute more to NATO, “he says.
Doubts with Biden
Among the Democrats there are different views about their candidate. While Annie represents the party’s most pro-government vision, Claudia and Eva are not convinced with Biden, whom they see as a “lesser evil.” Like so many other young women, Claudia voted in the primaries for Bernie Sanders and Eva did it for Elizabeth Warren, more progressive options.
Both distrust the management that Biden can do if he returns to the White House, specially in climatic matter and of immigration. “If he wins, it will be to return to the normality that existed with Obama, when what we need is a change. American normality silences the normality of many people,” explains Claudia. “With him and Obama there were also many separations and returns of asylum seekers,” adds Eva.
“He is a corrupt man who has been in Washington for 50 years,” explains Greg, who speaks of a media censorship not to mention that he “used his son to collect his commissions for influence peddling” when he was vice president.
Polarization and fear
The growing Polarization the country is another of the points in which their views do not agree. Although he assures that the Republican party has given “free rein” to a “group of far-rightists”, Victor believes that the political and social division in the country has been exaggerated by the media to “sell more impressive headlines.” A vision Greg agrees with.
Democratic voters see it from the opposite side. “I have Republican friends and, although we love each other, when we make video calls we have to be careful, there is tension because we cannot talk about politics,” Annie confesses. Claudia worries that this polarization will intensify with the arrival of ultra-conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court. “That will have a very strong impact on people’s lives,” he says.
Although all have already voted or have requested to do so without problems, they do mention cases of acquaintances who are having a more difficult time accessing this basic right. “The Republicans have always tried to make it difficult to vote and that is extremely undemocratic,” says Victor, a lifelong Republican. However, for Greg the voting problem goes in the other direction and speaks of thousands of irregularities that facilitate a fraud that hurts Trump. “It’s a lie because they know that voting by mail generally benefits Democrats,” Annie responds.
The president has made these criticisms of the electoral process the basis of his campaign and has not even explained whether he will accept an eventual defeat. That makes an escalation of tension and violence by his followers no longer seem like a dystopian hypothesis. “My mother is very afraid that something might happen,” says Eva. “I suffer for my family,” Annie explains. “They have voted by mail or early because in Wisconsin it is not mandatory to wear a mask,” he adds. “Trump is promoting irrational actions by the ultras,” says Victor. Greg, however, believes that Biden will not accept a defeat either.
As the analysts point out, the Americans interviewed also see it difficult for there to be a clear result on November 3. Perhaps they will have to wait a little longer to find out who will be their next president.