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Two facts to intelligently discuss the US election

Hats at a Donald Trump rally in America

The American election will be held on November 8th and may factor into speaking tests like the GBC held around this time, as this race has had historically high levels of coverage.

By now Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are household names and it would be difficult to find someone without an opinion on this issue. However, in countries that only casually follow American politics such as Japan, the story may seem overly complex and confusing.

Indeed, the race that has been hard-fought and at times vicious. However, there are a couple of facts that should stand out from the numerous scandals.

Firstly, as the award-winning website Politifact points out, Donald Trump has told an astonishing number of outright lies. Take a look at his scorecard: 71% of his statements are either mostly false, false or completely ridiculous. On numerous occasions, Trump has said a statement, for example that global warming is a hoax started by the Chinese, and then later claimed that he never made such a statement. Hillary Clinton on the other hand has been careful to say mostly factually correct statements, scoring slightly better than Barack Obama.

Secondly, even the most hard-fought political races in America have ended with the loser conceding victory to the winner. The peaceful transition of power is a benchmark of democracy. Donald Trump has suggested that he would not accept a loss, and when asked point-blank in the third presidential debate, he said he would “keep you in suspense.” This has been roundly denounced, even his vice presidential running mate has said the opposite.

The issues that America is facing are numerous and complex, but truth and democracy are two simple concepts that should resonate with the vast majority of people in any country. If you are asked about this topic in the GBC test or in casual conversation, these two facts should be all you need to form a cohesive argument.

  • household name [noun] - a very well-known name
  • hoax [noun] - a widely-believed false event 
  • to be asked point-blank [verb] - asked directly and aggressively
  • resonate with - produce a positive feeling or reaction with people