As part of our election coverage, we are reaching out to American voters from all walks of life to let you know how they are casting their ballots this election and how they perceive the election in their local communities and in their current life situation. In “Here, there, everywhere—Americans report to the ballot box” we present their answers mostly unedited. They are snapshots of the American voters in the weeks before the 2020 election. The views and opinions expressed in this series are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Teach About U.S.
Here you can see the Washington D.C. area marked in red with Virgina on the southwest.
Our first interviewee Dalair is a 28-year-old black male from Texas, currently living in Virginia, near Washington DC, who completed his bachelor’s degree before starting to work in Information Technology.
Q: Did you vote in the presidential 2016 election?
Q: Have you registered to vote? If so, what was the process like and is there anything you wish were different?
DALAIR: Yes, I am registered. It only took 10-15 minutes. There isn’t anything I wish were different.
Q: Do you discuss politics with friends/family/classmates/co-workers/…? Why (not)? How?
DALAIR: Yes, I do, because there are lots of different opinions and I like to understand how people's opinions shape their lives.
Q: What is important to you when selecting a presidential candidate? Why is this important
DALAIR: 2nd Amendment rights, property and tax rights, individualistic states' rights, and morality
Q: How do you feel about the current state of politics in the U.S?
DALAIR: People are more emotional than logical. A lot of people have put themselves in bad situations and expect politicians to hold their hand and get them out of it. Decades of participation trophies have caused a lot of people to believe that their political opinions are valid.
Q: What is your opinion in regard to the current protests (you may choose which protests
you want to expand on)?
DALAIR: BLM/Antifa Protest are useless and misguided, very contradictory. I don’t support either. Most people simply don’t want to accept that they made bad choices in life and need someone to blame them on. Outrage culture has become so big that a lot of people feel that they need to be upset about something to function. It’s similar to people spending all their time watching sports or other TV shows. It keeps your mind off your own problems.
Q: Which media do you use to inform yourself about the election?
DALAIR: Collection of all news sources left and right. But mostly Twitter. There are more unbiased nonmedia backed reporters providing on the ground information. Not much point in watching things like Fox/CNN. All mass media has its own bias. You can often get information faster via Twitter
Q: Is there an issue in your community not being discussed?
DALAIR: Community property taxes raise, arbitrary laws increase, citizens’ rights to protect their property are diminishing.
Q: What do you feel foreigners don’t understand about the U.S. election?
DALAIR: Foreigners do not understand how slavery, civil war, mass immigration, decades of recent war - being the most dominant country for hundreds of years has shaped American mindset on the ground. These things can’t all be learned from books. I also believe many foreigners don’t understand or want to accept. - Europe especially – that the peace and prosperity of their countries is a near-direct result of American intervention in the middle east and Asia. Europeans view Americans as arrogant, despite American success being earned. I view it similarly to a child that rebels against their parents. American acts as a parent country most of the modern world lives under the “empire” that America has created. No one wants to accept that someone has power over them.
Q: Have you followed the presidential race from abroad? How does that differ from your
previous experiences in the U.S.?
DALAIR: I lived in Korea during the 2016 election. - Koreans couldn’t care less
Q: What would you recommend a German student analyze in your state?
DALAIR: Read the American constitution and compare it to the closest thing Germany has. Freedom of speech and the right to bear arms are important to Americans- whereas Germany does not have those rights. Those two things play a big part in shaping why Americans act American.