U.S. Election Proves Worthy of International Attention


If you watched or listened to the news over the past month, you may have noticed that it examined nearly every update related to the U.S. election. It may have seemed excessive, or perhaps even obsessive at times. 

All the U.S. has been able to focus on this past month is the election, but it is for good reason — whoever ended up as the victor would have led the country in one of two drastically different directions.

From the outside looking in, it may seem as if the U.S. has a superiority complex, which at times may be true; however, with this specific election, it is obvious there are clear problems within our nation that need solving. These problems require the nation’s supreme focus. Stephen Collinson, a writer for CNN, said if President Donald Trump had been re-elected, “The most immediate impact … would likely be on the management of the COVID-19 crisis, a deepening disaster that the White House has largely stopped trying to contain,” adding that the relationship between him and Dr. Fauci “seems past mending.”  On the flip side, an election of President-elect Joe Biden would return the U.S. to “truth, science, fact and evidence in every sphere of national life.”

Even other countries had their eyes focused on the election, eager to see the outcome as it not only affects the U.S., but foreign countries as well. David Ignatius, writer for The Washington Post, explained, “Talking with foreign officials in recent weeks, I’ve been struck by the intensity of their interest in what happens on Nov. 3.” Ignatius continued by saying, “To say the world is watching does not begin to describe the global focus on the United States.” 

America’s allies like Australia, Japan and France, among others, are hopeful that this election will produce renewed policy and partnership. Ignatius went further by stating, “Attention on the United States is hyper-focused in a half-dozen world capitals where Trump’s disruptive foreign policy has had the greatest consequences, positive and negative: Russia, North Korea, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.” Whether countries benefited or suffered detriment at the hands of President Trump, their focus was on the U.S. and this election.   

Countries that have benefited from the Trump administration had an especially large interest in this election, such as Russia and North Korea. It is no secret President Trump had been friendly towards Russian President Vladimir Putin in allowing President Putin to “run full throttle.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump’s praise for one another was clear in the release of their letters to one another in 2018. A letter of Kim’s reads, “I cannot forget that moment of history when I firmly held Your Excellency’s hand,” and, three days later, President Trump responded, “The only two leaders who can do it are you and me.”  However, the leniencyor rather, friendshipbetween these leaders may be an element of the past with the election of President-elect Biden. 

America’s focus on its own election this past month has been overwhelming. From every news station to every form of social media, news and updates regarding the election were in surplus. However, this attention was very much warranted, as Joe Biden broke the number of votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate, and it is evident that the country recognizes its own obstacles and is taking action. The attention gathered around this election may have been seen as excessive, but it is justifiedthe U.S. has problems, and without this attention it is unclear whether or not they would have had the opportunity to be fixed.

Cory Bork, FCRH ’23, is a communications and culture major from Robbinsville, N.J.