How the world is watching the 2020 Election
The U.S. presidential election, how we submitted our ballots, how — days later — we continue to tally our votes, how some of us have protested the counting of those votes, and how we know who received the most votes but don’t yet know the race’s winner has captivated, confounded, amused and discouraged the rest of the world, which, according to the journalists who cover it, watches us intently.
"It's certainly the top story in Germany and Europe,” Washington Post foreign affairs reporter Rick Noack said.
"Oh, absolutely. No one's talking about nothing else,” Herald Sun investigations editor James Campbell said.
"A lot of them are laughing because that's all we can do,” Irish Independent opinion columnist Ian O’Doherty said.
"They can't understand what is the legal process,” Iran International Canada correspondent Mohammad Tajdolati said.
"In a truly Canadian way, we're trying to sit back and be polite and let you guys handle it,” Global News parliamentary correspondent Mike Le Couteur said.
Noack spoke to Fox 5 from Berlin, Campbell from Melbourne, O’Doherty from Dublin, Le Couteur from Ottowa, and Tajdolati from Toronto. All reported staying up very late or waking up very early to follow live coverage of our election.
"It's the best fun I've ever had with my clothes on for an entire night,” O’Doherty said.
"There's a sense that it could hurt not only the United States and its allies,” Noack said, “but also democracy overall."
All also admitted to some confusion as to why the United States still selects a president using the electoral college.
“I mean, you guys sent someone to the moon,” Campbell said.
"[The United States] is like the kid who went away and did really really well,” O’Doherty said. “And we like to scold."
"The U.S. has been seen in a lot of countries as a role model democracy,” Noack said.
And Noack reports, after the last couple of days, many in Germany and elsewhere in Europe now view the United States as a fading — if not a fallen — role model.
"A president who contests the result or says the things he has said is something a lot of people abroad weren't necessarily prepared for,” Noack said.
On Election Night, Trump baselessly called the election “a fraud on the American public” and demanded all voting stop.
"The boarding up of the shops before the election,” Campbell said. “That's the kind of stuff you don't usually expect to see in a first-world country."
"Two major newspapers in Germany compared Donald Trump to a late Roman emperor,” Noack said.
But whether we ever were, will remain or become a nation-state led by an individual with no interest in democracy presiding over a doomed society as those papers allege, in Germany, the UK, Iran, Australia, Canada and the rest of the world, people look anxiously to the final results of our election because they know their futures, their countries’ futures and the planet’s remain closely tied to ours.
"They are impatient to have the result,” Tajdolati said.
"That's all we will be talking about,” O’Doherty said.
"And he told me: ‘Dad, it's super close in Georgia. It's less than 1 percent,’” Le Couteur said of a recent conversation with his young son.
"Everyone is aware,” Noack said, “that whatever is happening over the next few hours is also going to determine a lot of what's happening next in Europe and other parts of the world."
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