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Lack of grace

The last presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle has come to an end. People across the nation and world watched the confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While many people were disheartened by both, most were concerned with Trump’s “irreverence,” to put it nicely.
Watching this debate season has been like watching the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. They’re bad, but any true “Star Wars” fan is obligated to watch them. You just want them to be over as soon as possible.
In my opinion, Hillary won. She was far more prepared and balanced than Trump. I actually think it’s unfair she’s facing such a lowly opponent. The Republican Party and this country deserve better.
I am Brazilian, and Brazilians – even though we understand almost nothing about your elections – still don’t understand why so many Americans love Trump so much.
I’m not saying that we’re ignorant of American politics. I supported Bush’s reelection. I cheered for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. This year, I was for Bernie, but I never minded Hillary being the final nominee.
Even though I wasn’t ignorant, I always placed America as a whole on a pedestal. It’s pretty common for underdeveloped countries to have a sense of inferiority toward wealthy nations like America, Canada, Japan and the European nations. We tend to think that anything they do is better, and, in most cases, that’s true for education, organization, structure, etc.
I can honestly say that this election has caught me off guard. I thought it was impossible for Americans to choose a presidential candidate like Donald Trump – because he’s a populist. Countries in South America know populists all too well, and we’re finally getting rid of them.
Like any stereotypical populist, Trump places himself as the only one that can fix things and the most knowledgeable of all. He tells the audience exactly what they want to hear, flaming the yearnings of ordinary people that feel marginalized, but with no real solutions to anything. Those are the characteristics of a populist and off the top of my head I can easily name at least 10 populist presidents in South America that were around in the last 30 years. The thing is that, most of the time, a populist leader is a tyrant in disguise – a true wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I would never seriously suggest that Brazil has any moral superiority over the Unites States, because we don’t. But while there are bizarre candidates in Brazil, they often assume lower political positions.
For all the negative political aspects that Brazil has suffered – and there have been a lot – we at least have never had a nominee that disrespects people, has no regard for civility and cannot cite clear positions on issues.
The worst part of the debate was when Trump implied he wouldn’t recognize Hillary as president if she won. That is more than deplorable; it’s just foul. I guess Trump thinks he’s living in North Korea.
I’m disappointed in you, America, and I know most Americans are too. When you’re being compared to Brazil’s political scene, you know things are bad.
“Hey, you! Brazilian guy! Aren’t ya gonna talk about the crooked Hillary?!”
Glad you asked, random reader. I can honestly say that all the things that Hillary has done are so small and insignificant compared to what Brazilian politicians have done, that I couldn’t care less. Believe me.
I recently saw a letter from George W. H. Bush to Bill Clinton, as the latter was about to become president. The content was graceful and friendly with no hint of animosity. It looks like a letter to an old friend. America has lost this in this election cycle, and it’s all because a lack of grace.

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