International Perspectives on First U.S. Democratic Presidential Debate


Over 15 million Americans tuned in to the 2016 Democratic presidential debate on October 13th. While Americans may have strong opinions about each candidate’s platforms, most view the debates from a solely American point of view. Viewers tend to lose sight of international discussions about the candidates that may well be interconnected with domestic policy making.

Internationally, the Democratic debate has sparked various narratives about the promises and agendas of the candidates.

The Diario de México and El Universal of Mexico underscore the discussion on immigration reform, and specifically note Hillary Clinton’s ardent support for expansion. As immigration has evolved into a hot-bed of issues in recent elections, it will be interesting to see how the countries from which many immigrants come react toward U.S. policy shifts. As Mexico’s relationship with the United States has become increasingly complicated, it is important for the U.S. to take into account the Mexican side of the issue, and find solutions to compromise on an agenda for immigration less divisive than the present one.

Denmark’s The Copenhagen Post article discusses Denmark’s role in the U.S. debate. The author quotes Bernie Sanders’ comparison between the U.S. education system and that of Denmark, and discusses Hillary Clinton’s rebuttal, brushing off any similarities in education systems of the two countries on the basis of larger structural differences. This deep-seated disagreement could spark Americans politicians and those involved in the education system to further examine educational processes abroad, and possibly create dynamic solutions with elements extrapolated from foreign successes.

Discussion about American politics in Mexico and Denmark reflects an increasingly changing political climate in a world characterized by globalization. As disparate income and unprecedented education costs become nationally pressing issues, it may be increasingly important for American politicians not only to consider the ways in which their policies affect other nations, but also perhaps to take a lesson from successful policies abroad.
It will be fascinating to see international discourse further engendered in upcoming November debates.

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