With the end of the US Presidential Election in sight, tensions are running high as every country in the world waits with bated breath for America’s decision. I took to the streets of Dublin City to speak with the locals on the matter, and hear the everyday Dubliners’ take on the election: who they think will win the presidency, who they would like to win the presidency, and why.
The majority of Dubliners I spoke to are hoping for a Clinton win, and had some choice words to say about her opposition. But a select few, who want to remain anonymous, support Trump.
One main concern among the interviewees regarding a Trump presidency is the possibility or desire to travel or emigrate to the US: many say they would seriously reconsider their travels, and are also concerned for the wellbeing of Irish immigrants and emigrants in the US, especially those that are undocumented. Watch their answers below.
In Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, businessman Ciaran told IrishCentral: “I think Clinton has a proven track record in American politics. She’s the only one I know who’s been involved in international politics as well.
“Having just returned from the States, and knowing what a lot of Americans think of [Trump] themselves probably reflects the exact same as what I think of him. I think they’d be afraid if he were to get elected, and I’d be the same as well.
“Seeing the comments that he’s made about illegal immigrants and non-nationals in the States, with the amount of non-registered Irish over there, I’d say a lot of them would be very worried.”
Dubliner and mother Karina said she would be concerned for her daughter, who plans to move to New York City next year: “[A Trump presidency] probably would create a different outlook on the US for me. My daughter is planning on doing a graduate visa in March to go to New York for a year, so it could have an impact on her, even, when I think about it that way. I would hesitate, I have to say. And for any Irish person to say that, that’s madness. You know, that we’d hesitate to go to America.
“I’m hoping it’ll be Hillary Clinton,” she added. “Not that she’s that much better than the other one. I wish Michelle Obama had gone for president. That would have been amazing. I’d be quite scared if Donald Trump gets in. He seems to be mad as a brush.
“Hopefully, fingers crossed, he won’t be, because it’s going to have a huge impact on the whole world. So we’re all watching and waiting.”
When I asked Irene Lee of Marino in Dublin what she thought of candidate Donald Trump, she said: “Not a lot. He shoots from the hip, and doesn’t think about what he says. I’d fear for the world if he was made president of the free world.”
“Hopefully Hillary Clinton will win,” she added. “She has more common sense than her rival.”
“He’s an immature child who doesn’t deserve to be where he is,” said Dubliner Stephen Tubbert, a Computing student at Trinity College Dublin.
College students Katelyn, Sarah and Chloe from Kildare and Wicklow told IrishCentral that they were most concerned with the fate of the J1 program, which allows Irish students to spend a term in the US. “They’re kind of attacking the J1ers,” Katelyn said. “[Trump] seems to not really be fond of the Irish.”
However, not all Dubliners I spoke to had these same opinions. Two Philosophy students at Trinity College Dublin, who wanted to keep their identities anonymous, are hoping for a Trump presidency. They are both from Blanchardstown in Dublin.
One told IrishCentral: “He obviously has a lot of character. That’s probably why a lot of people like him. That’s not why I like him, though. Policy-wise, I think he’s probably better, because he’s more nationalistic. Culturally, I think the impact will be better. It’s getting to a point where political correctness and generally Leftist attitudes are taking over, and that’s not good for anyone.”
The other student, who immigrated with his family to Dublin nine years ago, said: “I think [Trump] is arrogant, but he has some good points. Hillary - she’s great and all - she could be the first woman president, which is great. But I think Trump revives democracy. That’s why I like him.”
Another Trump supporter from Limerick, who also wanted to remain anonymous, held one of the more unique theories on Trump’s spot in the election: “I actually think Clinton will win, because Americans can’t be that stupid. But I want Trump to win. I want to see what happens. It’s terrifying, but I want to see what happens.
“I think he’s a gimmick. I think the whole thing started off as a joke, and you guys took it too far, and now he’s just saying outlandish, ridiculous things about groping women without their consent, and things like that, just to see if you’ll still vote for him. His whole campaign was a joke, and now he’s saying all these things to get your fellow countrymen not to vote for him, because I don’t think he wants the job, really. I don’t think he wants to take the pay cut.”
Some people I spoke to said they didn’t prefer either candidate, and wished there was someone else to choose from, like Karina who had been hoping Michelle Obama would run, or Stephen Tubbert, who had been fully supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Another Trinity Student, Steve Murray, who studies English, told IrishCentral that he felt uneasy about either candidate, saying that they both appear to have things to hide from the public.
“Clinton will win by the polls,” he said, “the FBI thing might affect it, but I presume Clinton still will win.
“I feel the media throughout Ireland paints this buffoonish portrait of Trump which seems to easily click together. They’re already supporting Clinton so I dont think its impartial. They’re wanting me to not like him and think he’s an idiot, so I don’t see how he can get support here.
“There’s an unease about both of them. It’s as if they both have stuff to hide.”
TCD students Aisling O’Connor and Madeline Arkins from County Clare told IrishCentral that as it stands they have plans to move to the US after graduating this year, but if Trump is elected, they would reconsider.
“I think, realistically, Clinton will win,” Aisling said. Madeline added: “I think she will win. At this stage, she has to.”