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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3774 posts
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American's abroad in today's political climate...
This isn't really meant to be a political post. People are entitled to their views and affiliations.

For those that have been abroad recently, what have your experiences been with the foreigners you've met abroad when it comes to their perceptions of our political landscape? Non issue? Curious? Hateful? Understanding? Supportive?

For us at least this year, I was a little hesitant going to some of the Eastern European countries, particularly arriving in Belgrade a week after their massive protests against NATO and the US on the 20th Anniversary of the bombings there. I was like oh, shite.

Our personal experience was that American politics didn't really come up that often. Most of the people we met were very friendly.

When it did, it was about Trump frankly. Not being political, it's just that I found those that wanted to talk US politics focused on him. Either they were reserved and didn't say much or were openly questioning. We did get a few snide comments about him when they heard we were Americans unprovoked. Some asked what's going on in our country.

I've always found it useful to study up on the politics of their countries so that I could offer objective retorts or questions to them so that the conversations became more balanced. To remind them we all have our struggles internally. It became a more objective conversation often at that point.

Best yet to just shrug, smile or try to change the subject. Overall, didn't feel that unwelcome as an American. Pretty much to the contrary and a pleasant surprise.

Any experiences good or bad you'd like to share? It's something people surely think about these days when they go abroad. The events in Iran certainly have me thinking about our upcoming trip to Europe in April. Won't deter me and I'll try to be a great Ambassador of our country like always.
This post was edited on 1/4 at 10:53 am


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
26508 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

When it did, it was about Trump frankly. Not being political, it's just that I found those that wanted to talk US politics focused on him.


I don’t think that’s unusual. My two times in Europe were during the Bush and Obama years, and anytime American politics came up, they brought up the current president.


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42
vilma4prez
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Jan 2009
5332 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I was at a pub in London last year and this couple I befriended brought up trump and started bashing American politics... blah blah blah..

I just mentioned Brexit and they agreed to disagree.

It was all in jest though, no real disgust.


OldHickory
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Apr 2012
5600 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I was in London in 1776. They were all chanting “Death to America!” It was a scene.

frick Iran. No logical human being would defend that tyrannically religious dictatorship.

Well-traveled adults can have a conversation about differences and act civil towards each other. But some folks are crazy. I have strong opinions, but I don’t aggressively express them... but if you ask, you’re going to hear them. America is great. Be humble, but be proud. And if you’re surrounded by big dudes or pretty women, just keep your mouth shut.


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69
AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
19080 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
While in Bali for our honeymoon, we did a snorkeling thing. We were on a boat with a few other couples, one of whom was from Germany.

We were all chatting and when they discovered we were American, they started talking about how crazy Trump is.

While I don’t disagree with them, it took everything in me to not point out that maybe two people from Germany shouldn’t be pointing fingers when it comes to the sanity of other countries’ leadership...


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10290 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
Rarely have I encountered people talking politics to me while abroad. A few notable exceptions: cab drivers, who the world over seem to like to discuss odd topics. Rode across London with a cabbie who adored Trump, was stridently pro brexit, and believed that British police should be armed. after about 3 miles, finally figured out that we weren’t interested in talking politics. Then he switched into tourism promotion mode and said that he loved Americans and we should go home and tell all of our friends to visit.

Other exception: walked out of our AirBnB on a rare sunny morning in Edinburgh and into a 10,000 person strong Scottish independence rally. EVERYone there wanted to talk politics.....9,950 were pro independence, and the 50 obnoxious screamers were unionists.


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34
Fat Bastard
Boston College Fan
Member since Mar 2009
45519 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

started bashing American politics.


prolly open borders economic morons like many left wingers here.


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119
Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
27143 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
Politics generally don't come up unless we hang out with someone we meet more than once. Brits will sometimes try to troll you but they have their own issues now so aren't so high & mighty. And basically all Euro countries are becoming more nationalistic so their politics are similar to ours.


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22
Teddy Ruxpin
LSU Fan
TX
Member since Oct 2006
33792 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I've heard a few negative things about how some Germans handle themselves abroad (know it alls ) and had a similar thing happen to me on Safari in South Africa.

Prior to bushwalk where guides have rifles. Guide, German, and myself in a small group before starting.

German: Notes the rifle, talks about it with guide, notes he was a pretty good marksmen in the military.

Unprovoked as he's talking turns to me and says to my face while doing a trigger motion, "Americans like to shoot kids in schools" (Stoneman Douglas was month prior)

Guide just said "Wow" with a WTF face.

I held back my Nazi comment as well.

Dude had been a dick to everyone the whole time he was there and disliked by every nationality so I just let it roll.

Besides that douche I've only really received positive vibes.
This post was edited on 1/5 at 12:53 am


mrgreenpants
Ohio State Fan
paisaland
Member since Mar 2018
335 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
usually is bad form to talk politics in another country..
(most folks dont)

but if you're really worried about it..
...just say you are "actually" from canada

the politic subject will get dropped.

everyone loves canucks... and also no one really knows anything about their country or people (or politics)


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cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
pullarius dominus
Member since Oct 2012
10631 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
My wife is a Brit and I work as an expat, the vast majority of folks I deal with on a daily basis are not Americans and politics rarely comes up.

The last person I had a conversation with about politcs that got sideways was a Uni student who is a friend of mines daughter, she just had to put her anti Trump nonsense on display, her parents were embarassed and I treated her like a child which made her more angry.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11136 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
You have to remember that big cities like London and Paris are always liberal like in the states. Go in the country and small towns and their political views often change drastically, just like the states.

I generally don’t try to talk politics, but yes the big city people generally haste Trump and liked Obama. Definitely agree to educate yourself and deflect. Absolutely not worth making someone mad abroad or getting offended yourself.


wiltznucs
South Florida Fan
Apollo Beach, FL
Member since Sep 2005
8404 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
Didn’t deal with much of it when I visited Europe several months back. Paris was still rioting about their own Government at the time.

Trump and tariffs was definitely a subject of discussion when I was in Brazil this Fall. Basically the sentiment was a mix of shock that it’s happening to us plus them taking some comfort in the fact that they’ve dealt with political corruption forever and their belief that it’s basically now an institution here in the States. I certainly would not call their sentiment anti-American so much as feeling sad for the direction they think we’re heading.

Many also stated that they felt uncomfortable traveling in the States outside of places like Florida with high Latino/Spanish populations. That’s a shame.
This post was edited on 1/5 at 8:05 am


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Athanatos
Vanderbilt Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
7337 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

.just say you are "actually" from canada


Why would I admit to that?

I’ve never had any issues with discussing politics abroad during the last three presidencies. People have opinions, and some people voice them, but it’s not like I will ever see most of these people again.


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41
Bestbank Tiger
Tulane Fan
The Landmass
Member since Jan 2005
48870 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

just say you are "actually" from canada


I'd rather be associated with DJT than Blackface Trudeau.


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64
cave canem
Mississippi St. Fan
pullarius dominus
Member since Oct 2012
10631 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

You have to remember that big cities like London and Paris are always liberal like in the states. Go in the country and small towns and their political views often change drastically, just like the states.



really paw paw, you dont say.

I was in a town I lived in for a quite a while and still own a home in, I think I know the political leanings there far better than you but thanks for your advice.

Do you even read post before responding?

And for clarity sake IDGAF she was bad mouthing Trump, I just found it rude and boring and ignored her.


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
19080 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

Unprovoked as he's talking turns to me and says to my face while doing a trigger motion, "Americans like to shoot kids in schools" (Stoneman Douglas was month prior) Guide just said "Wow" with a WTF face. I held back my Nazi comment as well.


One of those moments where you don’t feel like starting a whole thing and just enjoy your vacation.

But at the same time you really want to say, “yeah, Americans also like to send their kids to camp in the summer. I seem to remember the Germans are big fans of camps as well.”
This post was edited on 1/5 at 9:08 am


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81
mrgreenpants
Ohio State Fan
paisaland
Member since Mar 2018
335 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
well.

since my sister labels me a "radical ultra conservative" and i'd prefer not having to vote for a liberal like president trump.

so..
it is generally polite (and appreciated by travel companions) if i bail out of political conversations as opposed to getting into 3 hour debates on how their country is a shining example of the deadends of socialism.

no thanks.

if i dont like the politics of somewhere.. i'll simply move or go elsewhere.
i have no desire to try changing how people think. (or vote in their country)

i will say..
in latin american..most folks worth knowing are actually on the conservative side...

conservative enough.. where not long ago landowners(in central colombia) collectively funded "security" to keep the freeloading commie types from squatting and ruining their lands
(was pretty darn affective too)


This post was edited on 1/5 at 9:36 am


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25
baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11136 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
quote:

Do you even read post before responding?


Bruh I didn’t quote you did I? I was just responding to the thread. Sorry you’ve been on the rig so long and need to get laid or something. But chill out.

My point still stands, people think everyone in the UK for instance is as liberal as Londoners. But the fact is it’s like people in Chicago compared to the rest of the state.


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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25651 posts
 Online 

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
No issues. Sometimes they ask what I think about Trump. I tell them there's good and bad just like with anyone. I'm no there to get into political discussions.


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