As election day nears, polling companies are trying to gauge the sentiment of voters on their candidate preference. But who can forget the times we are in. We are in the thick of a pandemic and this has thrown a whole new dimension to voting.
“The virus has already dramatically affected the election process and with Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19 there is a whole new spin to the American 2020 elections. As Americans, we are also not sure what election day will look like,” said Thomas Koenig, a Dubai-based construction director for a private company in the UAE.
American expats in the UAE share their notes on their preferred candidate, the challenges of voting this year among other things. Take a look at what they say.
Jean Candiotte, a media consultant based in Dubai, said the US has been an example for the world on how democracy can be successful and how people can thrive within it. “The talk being thrown around by our leaders of the possibility of voter fraud is dangerous. If true — it would signify a real threat to our nation. More realistically — the talk is false and is being used as a horrible tactic to discourage people from feeling empowered, and that their vote counts.”
Candiotte, however, urged all the candidates to make sure their ballots have been received by their local counties. She said: “What I want as an American living abroad is to know that my country will be a safe, vibrant, healthy place to return to after my time overseas. There is a terrible division in the US right now, one that is in itself spreading like a “virus” — and this is not the country I knew a few years ago. I want to see this healed.”
Koenig, 63 said: “One reason Donald Trump was elected in 2016 was because he had no political experience and offered a change to the lobbyist-controlled ‘Washington DC swamp’. He has since been running the country like a business while keeping all his campaign promises from foreign affairs like the recent Middle East peace deal he negotiated, to eliminating NAFTA and bringing manufacturing back to the US where it started many years ago.”
For Koenig, the Trump administration has achieved more in the last term than any other administration has done. “Trump has lowered unemployment to an all-time low for Asian, Hispanic and Black-Americans as well. He has also helped lower taxes for middle class Americans, thus boosting the US economy.”
Koenig said that as an expat he sees the US is currently in dire need of resuming law and order to the entire country and the Republican party has a better chance at restoring this. “Biden’s record demonstrates how he has sold out the US for his personal financial gain where President Trump has given up personal gain for his country.”
Another American expat living in Dubai, Akousa Fox, an educator and artist said: “No leader should delegate from a platform by telling long tales. The current administration has questionable financial quests. They have made prejudicial remarks and created unethical environmental pursuits. The administration is engaging in bipartisan international relationships. There is a saying that “when The USA sneezes” the rest of the world catches a cold”.
Fox said: “In current times, we are dealing with civil unrest and sickness. We are being forced to recognise our moralistic fibre regarding race relations. The USA could learn many things from the UAE on how to lead. The present administration is covered in selfish state of ventures,” said Akousa.
According to this American expat, education has taken a back seat and people are feeling hopeless about it. “There are professions that have not earned a salary increase in eight years. As a concerned American expat I believe it would serve the USA to invest in their infrastructure as well.”
She said “loan forgiveness” and “business loan opportunities” need to be implemented in the country. “Companies have been hoarding money for years. And under the Trump administration it has gotten worse. The USA needs peace and at this time they are a country riddled by drugs, crime and civil unrest that they all created. This administration enjoys the sitcoms, but real life is not a sitcom and the current admiration have lost respect internationally, therefore they need to be replaced by others who are healthier in mind and spirit.”