Not only Russia, but also Russian citizens should get involved in the American elections. Because the outcome of these elections will have a major effect on them too. I don’t mean that citizens should influence the elections in a covert way, but in an open and transparent way. Not only by Russian citizens, but by citizens across the world. Not only should global citizens try to influence the outcome of US-elections, but also the elections of countries across the world.
We, the global citizens, will have to demand our seat on the table of national governments, and their national policies. Because our future depends on it. The policies in one country have an influence on the lives of citizens in other countries. Your life and that of your family could be directly affected. That’s why you’ve every right to get involved and try to influence the outcome of an election in a country which is not your own.
Think of policies on climate change, global trade, the global financial system, refugees and international terrorism. Policies on these subjects from other countries impact your life!
That you don’t have a right to vote in another country doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to let your voice be heard there. So, when I talk about influencing, I am talking about influencing on ideas and opinions that shape the direction in which a country is going.
American politicians always proclaim that the United States of America is the only superpower left in the world. If this statement is correct, then what the US does or does not do has relatively speaking the most influence around the world. In other words, US-policies have a big influence on the lives of people in rest of the world. In this US election year, where the world is faced with the real possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, that’s even more true than normal. In Europe the vast majority of the people don’t want Trump as an American President. It would be a disaster for us.
Many European political leaders have spoken out against Trump and his bigotry, racism and hatred towards religious minorities. Which is a recent example of politicians who get involved in the elections of another country. These politicians, ironically, are often the same people who say on their national television programs that one shouldn’t get involved in the elections of another country. Especially, when it is interference of a foreign country in their national policies. The hypocrisy.
I also realize that political statements are less an interference from foreign powers, than hacking email accounts of public officials. Nevertheless, making remarks about Trump from European politicians is interfering in American politics. I have nothing against that. Hacks of emails is more complicated, because there’s always in play the violation of the privacy of a person.
More important than the possible foreign elected officials are the policies that might get adopted by them in their respective countries.
You can think of “to regulate or to deregulate the big banks”. They’re big banks, because they operate all over the world. They make money all over the world. They influence governments for pro-bank policies all over the world. Big banks have lost their nationalities a long time ago: they’re global players. The bank system is much more a global system, than a national system. For those who weren’t aware of it the 2008 global financial crisis, after the mortgage bubble in the United States collapsed, was a giant wake-up call.
The same kind of a story applies to “fossil fuel companies”. These companies also have lost their nationality, and are global players. Big fossil fuels companies, ExxonMobil, Shell and others, influence governments all over the world for pro-fossil fuel policies. Strict environmental regulations in other countries by their governments are important for the survival of the human race as a whole. That’s you and me, and the other 7.4 billion people in our world. We all need a habitable planet to live in, whatever your nationality and wherever you live. The practices of global fossil fuel companies and national governments is a very important part of our collective survival.
Or look to “global trade” in general. The different international trade treaties between multiple countries, like: TPP, TTIP, CETA. In all these global trade deals you have a clause called the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement”. Global arbitrage for global companies instead of the national courts. Again global companies play chess in a global playing field. We, as global citizens, have to do same to be really able to push back for our interests. The nation games are over on the major issues that have an effect on our lives.
Or look to “war and refugees”. Or in future, more and more “climate change and refugees”. Millions of refugees have to get shelter all over the world. If one country does not for fill its obligations the burden on another country becomes a lot bigger. Interconnectivity was never only a theory. The difference is that we start to notice it more in our daily lives. How much we are dependent on the actions of others.
Or look to “international terrorism”. Terrorists nowadays also operate on a global scale, which makes it a lot more difficult for national agencies to fight them. We really need a NATO like organization for the fight against terrorism. We need to have global policies to deal with failed states to make sure terrorists don’t have territory from which they they can grow their terrorist activities. A nation-state solution for a global problem is foolish.
In short, a lot of policies that directly influence your life as a citizen are influenced by decisions that aren’t made in the country where you happen to live.
So, off course, I as a Dutch-European man am going to do my very best to influence to outcome of the American elections. I am going to try and be so effective as I can possible be. Go where I think I can make the biggest contribution for the views that I share. It doesn’t matter how small my contributions are: it is the many small contributions of many global citizens which will make the real difference.
One way I am influencing is by writing a blog-series, which you can also find on Twitter under #SoProgressive.
A lot of political leaders still think and work from the nation-state world view. They don’t live in a global village. They live in a national village. Where policies on global trade, international terrorism, climate change, refugees and the global financial system is a national affair. A sovereign thing to decide on. A fantasy left from 20th century.
I have a message for the incoming President of the United States of America: if US-policies in my believe impact my life and the lives of the people I love, then I will get involved in US-politics and I won’t apologize for it. Same goes for all the other world leaders and heads of state out there. Don’t fear the Russian hackers, politicians! Fear we the people. We the global citizens, whatever our nationality. Our humanity has no boundaries! And neither do our political actions.
We welcome you to our global village.