A Jamaican Opinion on the USA 2016 Presidential Outcome

The 2016 USA presidential events were followed by Jamaicans, more than many Jamaicans followed all the Jamaican elections in their lifetimes. Is that statement worrisome to anyone else?……

American current events are a big deal to us because if the USA sneezes, Jamaica catches the cold (or bronchopneumonia). Literally. We depend on the United States for just about everything: food, clothes, shoes, medicines, foreign exchange, loans, free aid, opinions, you name it. That being said, I do understand the interest. The newly inaugurated president led a campaign endorsing racism and xenophobia. With Jamaica’s racial composition of 91% Black, and our largest migration number annually being to the United States, the potential worsening of racial tensions and impending deportations should he enact his campaign policies, are enough to frighten us.

What I cannot understand, however, are the number of Jamaicans shocked at or becoming emotional about the outcome. United States’ citizens are mounting protests, having record-number turnout at women’s marches and low inauguration support. This implies some kind of disagreement with a Trump presidency. If this is so, why didn’t the Americans speak before? Did they think someone else would have voted Clinton? Did they think “Chu, he could never win,” and turn off their TVs, leaving franchise in the hands of those who wanted him to win? However, the Jamaicans upset about the outcome are most likely the same ones who would allow him to win, had we been able to cast our ballot and choose another victor. Trump, if nominated for Prime Minister of Jamaica, would have WON. Let it sink in.

That prevailing attitude of “I don’t care” would have allowed him to win locally, with our 47.72% 2016 election voter turnout, the lowest percentage turnout in Jamaica’s history (besides 1983…which cannot count for obvious reasons, contested by one political party). That statistic gets worse when you consider the number of adults even enumerated. 🤔 Therefore, Jamaicans who are howling, please hush and exercise your franchise when Jamaica goes to the polls at the next constitutionally due general election in 2021. Just like in America, there was and always is a lesser of 2 evils. What we should howl at instead is for change in the voting system to allow each person’s vote a chance to decide who wins the race. We shouldn’t cry over poor decisions and spilt milk.

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Rochelle | Adventuresfromelle

Adventures from Elle is a blog for locals & visitors who want to experience the best of Jamaica, one adventure at a time. Also a budget travel blog, Adventures from Elle is written by Rochelle Knight, a junior doctor who began this blog as a student & wants to see the world, starting with her own country. She frequents off-the-beaten-path waterfalls, beaches and places with interesting history. Join her in Jamaica!

2 thoughts on “A Jamaican Opinion on the USA 2016 Presidential Outcome

  1. Interesting viewpoint. Though I think much of the disbelief among the populous of any country regarding election outcome results from the lack of knowledge on the process of elections. Even some educated individuals are dumb founded as it concerns the role of government in societies. That being said, with those fundamental ingredients missing from one’s intellectual arsenal, I am not surprised at anything people dish out in the ramblings of opinions.

    I do agree with you regarding the voting thing on one area of thought. I think that people should have direct influence on the outcome of elections. Passing along individual power to an intermediary group(s) is absolute nonsense from a personal perspective. I also believe the presidential or prime minister terms are too long. Furthermore, decisions made by governments are largely held in secret, only the spill-over or highlights are ever shared with the public. Everything else is shrouded in secrecy and media diversion whenever necessary.

    Governments also do very small changes and publicize those changes, while they make vast decisions at the same time, under-shadowing the large objective and slipping by.

    Too many things wring with government, laws, regulations and politics as a whole. Especially laws, are so outdated, we almost live in the stone age. Why is a law that was invented 200 years ago still governing modern people? The people (those intelligent enough and action based) will need to slowly need to become self sufficient and reject the government until they have direct control again.


    1. This is so well said, it should be it’s own blog post Leon 🙂 But yes, we really need to be more mindful as a people, put more input into our own governance and stop thinking it’s someone else’s job or that it does not concern us.

      I’d love to see civics introduced or reintroduced into the curriculum for high school students. I think it would spark some interest on politics in gen-Y as well as encourage well-needed discussion and pave the way for action. I know there’s a lot I’d learn from such a class if the curriculum were well-designed and not constrained by exams, essays, credit towards GPA and that sort of thing.


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