Surprisingly, this isn’t a throw-your-hands-up-at-the-state-of-the-world question regarding a certain toupéed individual; it’s a genuine question for anyone who wants to understand more about the US Presidential Election on November 8th. UK politics can be confusing enough (what even is the House of Lords?), so trying to figure out a whole other country’s system is a bit of a task. But for you lovely people, I have done ten minutes of research to bring you an easy guide to this terrifying election.
Ready? Me neither.
Who is standing and what for?
Obviously we know it will be Trump and Hillary, but they each represent a party and have running mates that could become vice-president. Hillary represents the Democrats, the blue party. Confusingly, blue is associated with the Conservatives here but the Democrats are much more like Labour. Hillary has chosen Tim Kaine to be her running mate, an experienced politician who has roots in the Midwest of America and speaks fluent Spanish, which will apparently appeal to Latino voters. I thought actually being Latino was best for that, but whatever.
Trump is standing for the Republicans, the red party. I would compare them to the Conservatives but, as you’ve probably noticed, they have the capacity to be UKIP on steroids. Trump’s running mate is Mike Pence, a guy literally no one had heard of apart from when in 2015 he signed a bill saying businesses in Indiana could discriminate against same sex married couples. Charming.
How does voting work?
When Americans vote on November 8th, they won’t actually be voting directly for the President. They’ll be voting for electors, who represent the state in a similar way to how we vote for MP’s from certain parties. The number of electors differ from state to state for a reason genuinely too boring to write, but there are 538 electors in total. After the popular (the actual people) vote, you’ll see each state going blue or red depending on if they voted in more Democrat or Republican electors. Each elector voted in gets 1 vote. The candidate who becomes President has to get over 270 of the electoral vote.
We’ll have a pretty good idea on who will be President on November 8th. But because it’s only the popular vote it won’t actually be official for bloody ages because the electors only vote on the 18th of December. Then, the President won’t get properly sworn in until 20th January 2017 — a helluva wait.
If you want to hear an unnervingly deadpan American man explain this in more detail, click here and skip to 2.28 for the part about the Presidency.
Why is everyone gabbing on about Hillary’s emails?
Basically, while Hillary was Secretary of State she used a private email address from her home in NY to conduct business on, not a secure state one. This was a problem because of the classified nature of the emails, but the FBI decided Hilz shouldn’t face charges. Then on Friday, the director of the FBI James Comey announced the emails were important to an unrelated case, and despite there being protocols to stop this kind of interference before an election, Comey reported it to Congress and people got mad. Yes, it’s as convoluted as it sounds. And yes, apparently equivalent to grabbing someone’s pussy and threatening to wall off the entirety of Mexico.
What happens if Trump actually wins?
Well, if Trump wins, he gets unprecedented control of the nuclear codes that could destroy the world. Both the Gold Codes and the Nuclear Football — yeah, that’s a thing — are at his disposal, and only his. If the President says do, you have to do. And if he has to go up against Putin, let’s not expect those nuclear codes to be in the ground for long…Then beyond that, his potential for harm includes but is not limited to: a rise in Islamaphobia, banning of abortion, mass deportation, disregard of climate change, and general hell on earth. But let’s swiftly move on.
So how does it affect the UK?
See above point about nuclear codes. It also means our parliament might have to engage in actual conversation with him, and now Boris Johnson is the foreign secretary all I can foresee are various extreme facial expressions and hair whipping.
And I’ll just leave you with that image.
You can’t control the US Election, but you can control your bank balance. Find out more at Loot.