Danish Reporter Discusses How The World Views Presidential Election

Jake Neher/WDET

Henning Hoeg (left) with Stephen Henderson (right)

Donald Trump has said on many occasions that he believes there is a nationalist political movement growing throughout North America and Europe. He sites the Brexit decision as proof that there are more people out there than polls indicate who want to prioritize their country over a globalism attached to harboring refugees and resolving international conflicts.

Whether or not he’s right about growing nationalism, Trump has also been the centerpiece of international scrutiny and satire, with frequent comparisons to Adolf Hitler.

What is the European perception of our unprecedented election cycle?

Is Hillary Clinton any more popular in the countries where she must build relationships if she becomes president?  

The question I usually get is ‘What is going on?’” says Henning Høeg, a Danish journalist who is based out of Metro Detroit. Høeg says people in Denmark used to find Trump amusing or strange, but “now it’s just downright scary for a lot of people.”

Høeg says that fear is in part due to Trump’s comments about NATO. Trump has suggested if he were president he wouldn’t honor NATO relationships if some of the allies weren’t contributing their financial part. He says that concerns Danes who know the importance of NATO in maintaining peace in Europe.

They’re starting to get worried… Then the joke stops.”

Høeg says the flamboyance of Trump simply doesn’t resonate in Denmark.

Even the extremes in Denmark are very moderate,” he says. He says a recent poll suggests only 4 percent of Denmark voters said they would vote for Donald Trump, where most voters preferred Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Høeg says only one of every five voters in Denmark are interested in exiting from the European Union as Great Britain voted to do earlier this year.

When something like Brexit happens, it also has the opposite effect in a place like Denmark.” 

To hear more of the conversation on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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