With just under two weeks left until Americans vote for their next president, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the horserace between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Just as the destruction wrought by Exxon and other oil giants can’t be contained by political boundaries, the repercussions of elections worldwide ripple across the globe. We’d be remiss to forget that the fight against the fossil fuel industry is global — and so is the rise of populist ethno-nationalism.
Democracy is a precious, imperfect thing. Here in the United States, the right to vote did not include people who did not look like the Founding Fathers until social movements took principled action to expand suffrage. Both voting and protesting are the hallowed pillars of democracy — and the climate movement needs to do both in order to win.
We asked some global voices to weigh in on what this election means to those outside the United States. They cannot vote in November, but they will feel the effects of Americans’ decisions at the polling booths. Let’s end the threat of international catastrophe that is Donald Trump by electing Hillary Clinton — then let’s get back in the streets to hold her accountable.
Angelique from the United Kingdom
Trump is creating an environment of hate in the US, as Farage, Le Penn and other leaders have done Europe. My friend Jo, a British Politician was murdered on the street for her liberal views in no small part because of hate, xenophobia, racism becoming normalised in Britain and around the world. For me – and so many others – this is personal. I stand with everyone in the US working to get out the vote and stand up against Trump.
The election is an opportunity for our friends in the US to make the right choice. It’s the difference between a race to the top and a race to the bottom for climate action; the difference between continued international leadership and a massive backward step with a climate denier and inward-looking nationalist. The US has the opportunity to firmly REJECT that push from the right and prioritise the values that make the US a great country. And that matters not just to the US, but to the world.
Clemence from France
The election in US is terrifying. Whether or not Donald Trump becomes President, his campaign shows that our movement can’t fight for climate justice without fighting against regressive populist forces across the world.
Mahir from Turkey
This election is a farce. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump seem to tap into similar fears but from different ideological infrastructures — which is not unique to the US. The resurgence of rightwing populism is by no means a solely American phenomenon, either. Compared to Turkey, American democracy looked better protected before Trump. Well, I think we can now agree that the civilisation is indeed a very thin ice layer everywhere.
Renato from the Philippines
Never think this election is just about you. The person the Philippines elects won’t affect you much, no matter the choice we make. The same is not true for who you elect, and how it affects us. If you feed even that 5% chance Trump will win, we here feel it too, in the neck, and the possibility of effectively fighting against far worse climate change plummets.
From a people who’ve lived under US-sponsored martial law, we know nothing is ever given as a gift. You claw inch by inch now so you can win miles later. Make Hillary win and then fight her like hell the next day. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for non-Americans. We need you to defeat the climate denier and his mad cause and then make your movement even stronger.