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Anyone following US politics?

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As an American living in my home country, I'm wondering how our current politics appear to those living in other countries, especially Japan. If you have any interest at all in the matter, what do you think of our various candidates and their positions?

My Japanese wife talked to her brother the other day, and he expressed the opinion that Japanese people have a negative view of Donald Trump. If true, it would not surprise me; I've found on the whole that Japanese are an enlightened and intelligent people.
 

Uncle Frank

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Most Americans I talk to feel this is the nastiest election they have ever seen . AllBad.jpg
 

thomas

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We are bombarded here with all sorts of details on the primaries too. All I can say (and sorry, I'm not Japanese): the Republican campaign has turned from slightly amusing into simply revolting.
 

mdchachi

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My Japanese wife talked to her brother the other day, and he expressed the opinion that Japanese people have a negative view of Donald Trump. If true, it would not surprise me; I've found on the whole that Japanese are an enlightened and intelligent people.
That's the media's fault. They are not fair. They keep showing his misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, bullying, narcissistic, egomaniacal side. :roflmao:
 
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Interesting young lady, caster55. Is she an exception in her Japanese perception of Trump?

A point of culture and language:

My brother-in-law did say "Japanese people" don't like Trump (or something to the effect). I've noticed that Japanese people often say, "Japanese people think...." And when I hear that I know damn well that's not how all Japanese people think. With people, there are always exceptions to the rule.

I'm not sure how to interpret "Japanese people think." I know it can't mean all, so does it mean most Japanese think that way? Or does it only mean the speaker thinks that way.
 

WonkoTheSane

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In my experience it usually means the speaker feels that way. Just as it often does for Americans and every other culture.

Almost every human assumes his or her views are both correct and commonly held.
 

mdchachi

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Interesting young lady, caster55. Is she an exception in her Japanese perception of Trump?
I believe so. In the same way that these people seem to be an exception also.
She lost me at the "He is so honest" line. He's arguably the least honest. (That's not just my opinion, see Donald Trump's file | PolitiFact).
Fortunately she can't vote.

I'm not sure how to interpret "Japanese people think." I know it can't mean all, so does it mean most Japanese think that way? Or does it only mean the speaker thinks that way.
It means the speaker thinks that most Japanese think that way. It doesn't necessarily mean the speaker thinks that way. (Although they probably do unless they say something to the contrary.)
 
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sendaiben

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My impression of the US election is that it is both fascinating and slightly puzzling.

Bernie Sanders would be a normal politician in Europe, Hillary Clinton about as far to the right as would be electable, and Cruz dangerously unhinged. As for The Donald, I don't think he'd have made it off TV...
 

sendaiben

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I personally don't like her, but she has the advantage of not being evil or insane. I don't think she'd make a good president -too concerned with her own benefit.

I'd love to see Bernie Sanders elected, but if he loses the nomination then I'll be rooting for the Libertarian :)
 

Dotanbatan

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Here is my non AMerican opinion on the remaining candidates:

Democrats:

Mr Sanders - Principled, honest and genuinely interested in making America a better place for all Americans. Would find it almost impossible to get any policies through congress. Why do most Americans not understand the difference between Socialism and Communism? Its like comparing Conservatism to Fascism. They are very, very different.

Ms Clinton - Intelligent, experienced politician both domestically and internationally. She also has a broad desire to see the country improve for the many rather than the few. She is however an unappealing personality, which works against her. I do think she will be a good President however; determined but also able to compromise when necessary to get policies through congress.

Republicans:

Mr Trump - Not very intelligent, egomaniacal liar and fraudster, who has pulled off one of the biggest con tricks the world has ever seen ... by playing on the frustrations of the less fortunate and easily influenced masses of Americans, persuaded them that he would make America a better place for them. I still have faith in the great nation of America that they will send this moronic, TV star back to his awful ivory tower and not let him anywhere near a position of actual power, let alone the White House.

Mr Cruz - A highly intelligent and extremely dangerous politician. The Republican party understand how much his extreme stances on a myriad of issues could damage the party as well as the country. I shudder at the thought of him in the White House. But fear there is a very real possibility of it happening.

Mr Kasich - The lesser of three bad eggs. Has some redeeming sides to him but still, ridiculously conservative if you compare him to Reagan or Bush Snr. Has almost no chance of winning as things stand.

I often speak about politics and world issues with Japanese colleagues who seem to be well informed; they are fascinated by the complexities of Clinton and fear the hateful rhetoric of Trump.
 

nice gaijin

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Trump started as a protest campaign, aiming only to give him a platform to further his own interests and get close to the nomination so he could claim that he "could've won." His successes in the primaries have inflated his ego to the point that he's shifted to assume the role of a legitimate nominee. At this point, it seems likely that he'll take the Republican nomination, which I think will be devastating for their party. The GOP might show just how little the primary votes matter and gives the nod to someone else, which would also weaken the party. Basically, they've shot themselves in the foot and they have no one to blame but themselves. His attitude during the primaries have appealed only to a vocal minority of overall voters, whilst proving equally repulsive to the rest of us. Trump's best bet in the general election would be to go up against Clinton, as he is a bully whose only weapon is character assassination, and she's the most vulnerable to that tactic. I'd like to think that most Americans see him for what he is; a small man with a big ego, whose vulgar demagoguery has no place in this century. But it's hard to say for sure; everyone has their own opinion and voice and narrative, and oftentimes the loudest narrative is the one that gets heard. My theory is that his whole campaign is a pitch for his next reality show, the Trump House.

Ted Cruz strikes me as a sociopath who's been chasing the white house his whole life. Best case scenario if he wins would be that he has no idea what to do with it. Worst case scenario, he knows exactly what to do with it. I haven't heard anything from his mouth that strikes me as a viable policy. He plays the religion card too freely, which isolates his supporters from the rest of the country. I don't think he's the same brand of egomaniac as Trump; he's much more calculating. I don't see him as a strong candidate, and I think either of the Democratic nominees would beat him in a general election.

Kasich is the most moderate of the Republican candidates, and it's anyone's guess why he's still holding onto his campaign. He hasn't garnered enough support to take the nomination.

Clinton is the "stay the course" candidate, promising to extend the policies of the Obama administration. I think she's a political opportunist, and so invested in the status quo that nothing of note will come from her administration. I also think her e-mail server will be a huge achilles heel, as details come out it shows more and more that she plays statecraft like a board game, with little concern for the collateral damage. She's not very likable, too chummy with corporate interests, and doesn't seem interested in fixing disparities. I don't know if she'd make a "good" president or not, but I doubt much would change under her watch.

Sanders is a political unicorn, and he gets my vote. His record is impressively consistent, and he's been on the right side of history without needing to flip flop. He's the candidate that has tried to do the right thing because it's the right thing, which gives me a high opinion of him. Not taking money from corporate sponsors and superPACs is a huge sign that he lives his principles, and it hasn't seemed to hurt his campaign much. Reinstating Glass-Steagall, repealing Citizens United, and taxing Wall Street speculation are all important steps for creating political and economic equity in the US, and he's the only proponent of all three. Despite being Jewish, he supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. His biggest weakness is the strength of the status quo that benefits the other candidates, and the media's reluctance to give him a platform, claiming that Hillary is a shoo-in for the nomination. The few who benefit the most from the way things are do not want him in power, and are throwing a lot of weight behind his competition. If he does take the nomination, I think we'll see some interesting polarization within the parties, and partisanship will take a back-seat to the influential either voting their morals or voting their self-interests. His ambition for change is impressive, and he's the only one who seems willing to see it through. Whether he'll be able to rally enough support to affect that change is still a big question mark.
 
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Sanders, an admitted socialist, is too far left to be elected here in the US.

Kasich is a moderate and the guy I personally support, even though he has no chance.

Meanwhile, Trump says Japan and S. Korea should get their own nuclear weapons. "He doesn't understand Japanese people at all," says my wife.
 

nahadef

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The few Japanese I've talked about the election with think Trump is a stupid, obnoxious man. For the record, these are successful, professional Abe supporters.

I'm simply amazed that if the Republicans win, there could very well be a president worse than George Bush Jr, and I simply didn't think that was possible.
 
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