On the podiums, on the precipice, on the people: US presidential election
It’s about ‘feeling the Bern’, Trumping up a level, Hillary(ious) overtures and Cruzing for a bruising. Yes indeed. One of the world’s biggest political circuses is in full swing and Denmark is stuck right in the middle of it.
Brace yourself for the 2016 US presidential election. Because now … it’s show time.
Feeling the Bern
With such a wide range of eclectic and controversial candidates this time around, think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, it’s safe to say this election is arguably as exciting as it’s ever been in Denmark, and leading Danish US analyst Mads Fuglede is in little doubt as to why.
“The fact that Denmark was mentioned and put forward as an example to follow has contributed to that, and I think most Danes see in Bernie Sanders a candidate who would be almost someone you could find among Danish politicians,” Fuglede told the Copenhagen Post Weekly.
“There is a huge backing for him, as many Danes wants the rest of the world to become like Denmark as part of our parochial chauvinism, and in that regard, when someone actually wants to push their country in that direction, it pleases many Danes as it feeds into our belief that we’ve created the most perfect society on this planet.”
Little impact expected
Fuglede contended that the US election will probably not have much of an effect on Danish-US trade relationships, but if Sanders is elected, there is little doubt the nation will experience a state of euphoria similar to that seen following President Obama’s first win eight years ago.
“It will have little or no impact whatsoever, whether it is Bernie or Trump or whoever,” said Fuglede.
“The Danish-US relationship has been robust for almost two decades in its current form. It’s a very strong alliance and we want to do everything we can to keep it like that. It goes beyond personalities. Many Danes would be pleased if Bernie was elected, but we won’t see any increase in trade or anything like
“Instead we’d probably see the same effect we saw when Obama was elected the first time around, which would be a lowering of anti-Americanism in Denmark and more people would be more pro-US for a little while.”
Danes dig Dems – period
Fuglede went on to estimate that about 90-95 percent of Danes would prefer a Democrat to win, and while Sanders is Denmark’s clear-cut favourite, a Hillary Clinton win would also attract approval as America’s first female president.
The expert pointed to the strong Clinton brand in Denmark – Bill Clinton is held in particularly high regard here – and that Hillary would probably get things up and running with Denmark very smoothly and quickly.
A Clinton triumph would also spell an end to what causes most Danish nightmares: Donald Trump becoming president or, and what perhaps should be the real nightmare scenario for Danes, Ted Cruz winning.
“My feeling is that most Danes are surprised that Trump is doing so well and if he were to become president it would terrify many Danes,” said Fuglede.
“I think with Trump it’s not so much his politics as the way he communicates them, and with Cruz the communication is more professional and something we’ve seen before, but the underlying politics is something that’s very extreme. There is no right-wing party in Denmark that embraces that kind of policy at all in Denmark.”
Fuglede stated that moderates like Paul Ryan or John Kasich would be the preferred candidates in Denmark, but ultimately, Danes disregard Republicans from the onset.
“And it’s like that in most of Europe, I think,” he argued.