As a dutch girl with a huge interest in the United States, the annual elections are as exiting for me as the Super Bowl probably is for the American football fans. Every 4 years I closely follow the elections through CNN, social media and the dutch news. And that's what I would like to talk about, how the US elections are seen from the netherlands.
My interest in the American politics actually started with watching Hamilton, besides loving the music, the complexity of the system and difference between the Dutch politics and the US, grabbed my attention. So I started to research the founding fathers, how the system works, and the most important events in the US political history. Because let's be honest, isn't that much. Also, a little detail, my birthday is actually 4th of july! Independence day and date of death of former president and founding father John Adams.
why do the dutch like it so much?
It has been said that the dutch care more about the US elections and politicians than their own. And they are totally right. With several correspondents for every network in Washington and New York, night coverage of the elections and US experts on talkshows, the US elections are more heavily tackled in comparrison to our own. I think I have a theory about why we like it so much better than our own, it's because the US candidates for presidency are so much more exciting than the dull dutch politicians. The rally's are way bigger, there is more show, more music and thought through speeches.
The dutch cover the US elections mostly through the news, but as election day gets closer, the talkshows will fill up with different experts and correspondents. It slowly takes over the dutch news coverage. And on election day, we can't talk about anything other than the race between Trump-Hillary or Trump-Biden. After the victory of Trump 5 years ago, we were very dissapointed in the US of Trump. We just could'nt understand why he won, so the news and talkshows covered the win of Trump, experts sat down to explain why he won and what it meant for the US.
And besides liking the political debates and the peculiar politicians, from an economic view, the US plays a big part for export of raw materials, food supply and medication for the Netherlands. The president plays a big role in the bussines in the country, that is another reason we are so invested in the elections.
So I think it is save to say that the US grabs our dutch, humble attention because of the extravagant handling of campaigning making promises.