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The World Reacts to the Presidential Election

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Image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Journalists from Germany and Lebanon reflect on how people in the rest of the world are reacting to the U.S. elections.

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Americans weren’t the only ones watching last week’s election results — the rest of the world was too. I

Since the announcement of the outcome, world leaders have extended their congratulations to president-elect Biden, while President Trump and the GOP continue to deny the results of the election. How are people overseas reacting to America’s contentious political climate?

Listen: How the world is reacting to the U.S. presidential election.


Rachel Stern is the editor of The Local Germany. She says as a whole, Germans and most Europeans are relieved by the outcome of the election, adding that the majority of Europeans were concerned about the potential of another four years of Trump.

Throughout the Trump administration, the rise of populism in the U.S. has been a concern of German media. “Over the past couple of years, German media has put out a warning about how quickly fascism rose in Germany and how in the US there’s this divide… They said, ‘Look, this is a warning for our society as well,’” says Stern.

Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Stern says public polling has shown that America’s handling of the crisis has worsened German’s view of the United States. She says that Germans were shocked that President Trump originally refused to wear a mask.

Kareem Chehayeb is a Lebanese journalist, researcher, and political analyst based in Beirut. He says that most people in the Middle East are generally optimistic about America’s election results. “Many in the region are certainly relieved that Trump is gone. Many are skeptical Biden will come up with something far different [in terms of foreign policy], and even if he does, it takes a long time to change course,” says Chehayeb.

On the Trump administration’s pandemic response, Chehayeb says many people in the region were shocked to see the scenes coming out of places like New York City early on in the COVID-19 crisis. “A lot of people in the region, especially in poorer Arab states, look at the welfare state as something they aspire to. And they look to the United States as a land of opportunity,” says Chehayeb on the lack of public services available to the American public during the pandemic.

Written by Detroit Today Associate Producer Clare Brennan.

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