On the plane from Dallas to Buenos Aires, Argentina, I spent hours playing through my first meeting with my host mom, Marcela. Expecting a simple “Hola, ¿Cómo estás?” I found myself surprised when Marcela asked in Spanish, “What are your thoughts on the American presidential race?”
This was, of course, not the first topic we discussed, but the issue managed to be brought up on the short taxi ride between la Universidad de Belgrano and our apartment. Prior to beginning an in-depth study of Argentina’s past, present, and future through a UMKC class, I had no grasp on the country’s political system. This made me that much more surprised when Marcela began asking questions regarding American politics; she was very interested in my thoughts on Donald Trump’s platform, President Obama’s stances, and the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. If I would not have known otherwise, I would have thought I was speaking to another American!
American politics have become integrated into Argentine culture. The candidates are on the evening news, discussed over dinner, and researched online. American political actions are of so much interest to those outside of the United States because they will likely make an international impact. As an American citizen, my political opinions are unique and interest Argentines (and trust me, they’re not afraid to ask about them!). This has encouraged me to stay more up to date than ever on the presidential race.
U.S. political coverage is not restricted by American borders. It is ingrained in Argentine culture, just as it is ingrained in American culture. By studying in Argentina, I have realized that maintaining a healthy international image is foundational when selecting a candidate to be president. Don’t forget—the world will be watching on election day!