As usual, the US Presidential election has taken the world by storm and with the media’s constant bombardment of Trump’s comments on Putin and Russia, we thought it would be a good opportunity to ask several Russians between the ages of 25-35 living in Moscow how they feel about this year’s heated election.
So we made a little questionnaire for young Russians to learn which American candidate they prefer, what they know about the US parties’ symbols and who the best US president would be according to them. The answers are quite fun–check it out yourself.
NOTE: Of course, Moskvaer does not wish to imply that the opinions in this questionnaire represent those held by the majority of Russian citizens, living in Moscow or otherwise.
1. Do you follow news about the US Presidential Election? Why?
Natalya: Some. This time the candidates are unusual.
Ksenia: Yes, to some extent. Because I like to know what’s going on in the world, but mostly, for the jokes and the drama.
Andre: Yes, I read the news now and then. I’m curious about who will become the next president of the US.
Evgenia: I follow the news on the internet. It’s impossible to miss such a big event like the American presidential elections.
Elvina: I mostly read about the US elections on social media and learn news about it from my foreign friends. I can’t say that I’m following the news about it too attentively, but generally I would be gladder if Hillary Clinton wins – won’t be good if the liberal country will be headed by a far right leader like Trump.
2. Why do you think an elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party, and a donkey the symbol of the Democratic Party?
Anton: Elephants don’t forget things, and donkeys although they are stupid, are still hard workers.
Ksenia: I believe the elephant stands for strength, and the donkey is supposed to be smart. I used to know the story of their origin, but I don’t remember it. My guess is, it was a pure coincidence, rather than a bunch of people deciding what symbolizes their beliefs best.
Natalya: The elephant is a symbol of permanence and Republicans are less open to changes. The donkey is stubborn, but I don’t associate it with democrats in fact.
Andre: Caricatures by Thomas Nast.
Evgenia: The elephant is a symbol of something big and strong, while the donkey is a symbol of hard work.
Elvina: To be honest, I have no idea why and can consider those symbols to be quite bizarre choices. Maybe they have existed since the political system in the US was first built and are now just a conventionality. The donkey is a hardworking animal overall, which can take a lot and is sort of closer to people =) The elephant is very powerful and strong, probably they are supposed to demonstrate the power and stability of the party.
Marina: Never thought about it, and I don’t find much sense in symbolism.
3. Do you think the Presidential Election in the US is honest?
Ksenia: Probably, yes.
Natalya: Yes, in general it’s honest.
Andre: I assume they are more honest than Russia’s.
Evgenia: I generally don’t consider the election system in the US to be fair, but at the same time I don’t doubt its transparency.
Elvina: Honesty is an abstract word that has nothing to do with politics and elections. If talking about transparency and compliance of procedures and law, then, most likely, they are so, although there always are some infringements. Depends on how serious they are and how much they influence the result.
Marina: I think that there is always room for falsification and infringements in any election processes no matter what country we are talking about. The difference is only in the sсope of them. I guess that in the US they are rather small.
4. Which Presidential candidate do you like more and why – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Ksenia: Hillary Clinton. She just seems saner.
Natalya: Hillary, because Trump is inadequate.
Andre: Trump. Clinton’s family we’ve already seen in the 90s.
Evgenia: I’ve always sympathized with the Democratic Party of the US, but Hillary Clinton is their worst candidate in my opinion. I can’t say that I sympathize with Trump as well, but in this case I would rather go for him.
Elvina: Hillary Clinton. She represents the Democratic Party and will become the first woman President of the US – that would give a positive influence on the woman’s role in politics in general, which is already a good sign.
Marina: I hope for Clinton’s victory. I just don’t like ugly people, and also I believe that everyone should do his\her own business: to lead a country is not the same thing as to lead a company, not even a big one.
5. Which candidate do you think would be better in terms of mending the relationship between Russia and the US? Why?
Anton: Clinton, but I can’t exactly explain why.
Evgenia: Undoubtedly, Donald Trump. For me, Clinton just doesn’t strike me as a person who is able to build diplomatic connections with other countries.
Elvina: I think it doesn’t matter since external politics of the US (including US-Russia relations) is often stable and more or less same no matter who’s the president.
Marina: Doesn’t matter since Russians will always find something to blame on the American President, be it Clinton or Trump.
6. If you could choose any person in the world to be the next US President, who would it be and why?
Anton: Sergey Sobyanin (Moscow’s Mayor), because he is making something instead of just stealing money from the city budget.
Natalya: Someone altruistic and peaceful, Gandhi for example.
Ksenia: Beyonce. She slays.
Evgenia: I would go for Jimmy Fallon. It would be fun to observe political meetings as challenges from his TV show. At the very least he perfectly parodies Trump, one cannot even notice the difference.
Elvina: My Mom. She knows what is right. 🙂