By Sophia McDermott-Hughes
Sophia is a 16-year-old high school student from New Jersey who is currently doing her study abroad in Panama.
***This is a series of interviews with young people throughout the world. The text you will read consists of direct uncensored quotes from interviewees. That being said, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or beliefs of Americans Resisting Overseas (ARO).
In today’s global era, the events and political upheavals in one country are felt all over the world. The effect is even greater when it comes from a global powerhouse such as the United States. President Donald Trump’s election stunned the world and sent shockwaves throughout. No one can know what consequences his election will have in the long run, but undoubtedly the people who will feel them most strongly are today’s youth. We interviewed young people from around the world to hear their feelings regarding the election of President Donald Trump.
What are your opinions on the president of the United States, Donald Trump?
“My family are farmers. If the TPP was passed, my family would make less money. So, I am glad that he got rid of that.”
Alfred Logren, 17, Sweden – I feel the topics been over discussed. If you just look at the news in Sweden, all you’ll ever see is Trump messes this up, Trump messes that up. It’s like our own politics don’t matter anymore. The Swedish people need to stop giving a f*** and caring about everything he says and does.
Madoka Tachikawame, 18, Japan – First of all, I do not like Trump’s personality. He is too childish and too boastful. But, I like that he got rid of the TPP. My family are farmers. If the TPP was passed, my family would make less money. So, I am glad that he got rid of that. But that’s about all I like. I am absolutely and entirely opposed to him. He doesn’t respect human rights. He might be good at business, but politics is not business. Politics is not about earning money. One thing that really drives me crazy is how the Prime Minister of Japan sucks up to Trump. It’s true that the US is a main trading partner of Japan and that the US army protects the Japanese, but I’m worried that we’re getting friendly with the wrong side.
Nina Bressan, 17, Switzerland – I think that it is horrible that a person as important as the president of the United States has views like his about homosexuality, women, different religions, and also climate change. As the president, he exercises a huge influence over how people think. For me, he is a step back in our development.
What do you think about his attitudes about women?
“He is an example of misogyny, a historic setback.”
Naty Erazo Ospina, 27, Colombia – He is an example of misogyny, a historic setback. He is a man who considers women as objects and degrades their image to a sexual prototype. He does not consider them his peers or equals. That is why his fight against Hillary was not only against her, but also against all women, demonstrating that men triumph and have all the power. A man like that, with the leadership of a country as powerful as the United States, puts all the great progress we have made as women throughout history at risk.
Monica Monserat, 17, Spain – I think that his ideas are outdated and sexist. I think that humanity has evolved but he stayed behind and still thinks about women as if it were still the Medieval Age. He looks at women like objects and it is not like that anymore.
Luke Malhi, 13, England – He is extremely sexist. He said that “women should be punished for having abortions.” To me that is disgraceful. Some women have no choice, they could have been raped, they could be a minor. You can’t tell a woman whether or not they can have an abortion. In a video that was released a while ago, it showed Donald Trump saying “grab them by the pussy” “Don’t even wait”. He treats women as some kind of object that is just there for his pleasure and he can do whatever he likes to without even asking. He has calls women “slobs” and “disgusting animals” if they even try to speak up about his terrible views and policies. There is no place for someone like Trump in modern-day society.
How do you feel about his policies towards immigration?
“right now our southern border with Croatia is covered with a fence. I deeply believe that in both cases this is wrong.”
Montse Dela, 19, Mexico – Immigrants do the hard work in industry and agriculture. They are good workers who work for long hours and low wages, which many Americans would not accept. If Trump makes all of the immigrants return to their countries, the United States will lose many people who are very important to the economy.
Robin Rismal 17 Slovenia – Slovenia has the same “problem” right now. Thousands and thousands of immigrants are coming to Europe from Syria since Slovenia is right on the way to Germany and other countries where immigrants “wish” to go to. And right now our southern border with Croatia is covered with a fence. I deeply believe that in both cases this is wrong. People come to USA in search of a better life and opportunities. Building a wall is not the right way to keep US safe, or save more jobs for Americans.
Ariadne Kertsikof, 18, Greece – Concerning arresting/deporting illegal immigrants, I think it’s a good thing that he’s enforcing the law. Currently refugees from the middle east are continuously flowing into Greece, and the government doesn’t have the means to control their numbers. The refugees are at this point a burden for a country which is not in a position to provide proper education/healthcare and employment to its own citizens. They “live” in refugee camps under horrifying conditions, and at this point there are no prospects of them becoming integrated in society. I’m generally not against refugees – I wish there were more help out there – but I think that governments do have the responsibility for their people, above anyone to take the necessary measures to protect their countries and economies from what they believe the system can’t handle. In an ideal world, yes, they should be able to create the necessary infrastructure to help immigrants and refugees.
What are your views about his policies towards Muslims?
“In any country, even in India, I think instead of resorting to Muslim bans and other policies which create hatred against them, it would be better to help them integrate.”
Grace Fonseca, 15, Costa Rica – Though I do not support anything else that he has done, I do agree with him on this issue. Muslims have brought lot of disasters to the world. Countries need to be more careful with who they let in to protect their citizens from terrorism.
Andres Chaves, 25, Colombia – I think that he is a xenophobic man, and that his decisions are aimed to satisfy the people who elected him, populist decisions that seek to establish a concept of being a superior and unique race compared to others and thus regain a “greatness” that has been lost by the flexibility that America has had with past governments.
Tanya Bhaiji, 18, India – I think it is completely inhumane to refuse refugees. It’s all okay to accept people when we need cheap working IT labours to exploit, but we won’t accept them when they’re not giving us something? In any country, even in India, I think instead of resorting to Muslim bans and other policies which create hatred against them, it would be better to help them integrate and understand the values of the society so that they don’t resort to such terrorist activities.
What are your views on Trump’s environmental policies?
“I don’t understand why he doesn’t believe in global warming. (…) I’m experiencing the change. I am from a country where I feel and see climate change everyday.”
Alice Linehan, 18, Ireland – I think that people are only starting to react to climate issues now that it has become so severe. Unfortunately he isn’t one of these people. To ignore the care given to the environment and to even cut funding for conservation is in my opinion quite ignorant. Humans are destroying the habitats of other species and even though it has become so severe he still chooses to ignore it and see no importance in the change. If he continues on this way I wonder how damaged our environment will be after four years.
Arnatsiaq Jakobsen, 25, Greenland, Denmark – I don’t understand why he doesn’t believe in global warming. It makes me feel frustrated because for me, it’s so obvious that it’s changing. I’m experiencing the change. I am from a country where I feel and see climate change everyday. The weather is different from when I was a child. The fishermen are experiencing the change too. And what I don’t understand is that he doesn’t believe the researchers.
James Dunn, 19, Scotland– I feel like this is the most dangerous part of Trump’s presidency. The dismantling of environment policies and the climate change denial at this point are more dangerous and destructive than any of this racism because, as the most powerful country in the world, America really needs to set a high standard for trying to fight climate change. I feel like our time is really running out in regards to climate change and 4 years of complete denial could be incredibly important for the Earth’s future. If the White House denies climate change it makes it a lot easier for other countries around the world to follow suit and turn a blind eye to the environment.
What is your opinion on Trump’s treatment of the LGBT+ community?
“He should teach all the world to respect people the way they are.”
Cherreeya Chuenkittiphat, 15, Thailand – We cannot choose which sex we are born into. Everyone can choose good things for themselves. We can choose to make ourselves happy. It is not wrong to be gay. It is not wrong to choose your happiness.
Ethan Black, 17, Canada – I am definitely against his thoughts towards gay marriage. It doesn’t really make sense why there should not be marriage equality and extra support for gay people to cope with harassment and things. The Trevor Project is a great example. Trump should be doing more like that instead of taking away protections.
Isabella Opalka, 15, Germany – I think it is very sad that many people in the world think this way. He is the president of the most important country in the world; he should be setting an example. He should teach all the world to respect people the way they are.
Has Trump’s election changed your opinion of the US? If so, how?
“I am much more scared about what the US will do in the future. I wasn’t before. I didn’t even think about it.”
Poppy Driver, 16, Trinidad and Tobago – The outcome on Trump’s presidency has not only changed my opinion on the US, but it has also changed my opinion on the world. Before Trump was elected Republican candidate for the elections, I had hoped that the human race had developed into being more open-minded. Now that he has won, and I have seen the amount of people who have been satisfied with his views, I am very scared for humanity, and I am very worried for the future of America now that it is in Trump’s (tiny) hands.
Jayden McLaruren, 17, Canada – The election was shocking because it shows in numbers how many people support Trump’s ideas. I know that each individual has their own thinking and that many don’t agree with Trump. Still, I think that the US will cause trouble in the world. I am much more scared about what the US will do in the future. I wasn’t before. I didn’t even think about it.
Linda Steck, 15, Switzerland – No. Trump doesn’t represent the US. In the US, there isn’t much corruption, it’s safe, and the people respect each other. The color of your skin or your religion isn’t important. That has not changed since Trump was elected. The people and their values are the same. However, I think that Trump wants to change that, and that makes me very sad.