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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3778 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
Interesting points about Croatians. My uneducated opinion is that there are certain "former Yugoslavian countries" that tend to be more favorable to the US than others (i.e. Kosovo, Albania, Croatia possibly).

They've certainly suffered through their share of political strife since the break up of Yugoslavia and independence in 1991. For Croats, the U.S. supported their "democratic" factions and movements that would promote the split of Yugoslavia. US involvement with NATO and the eventual bombing of their enemy in the conflict, Serbia, was another factor.

I've been twice, and again, politics rarely came up though. Hell, felt very comfortable in Serbia for that matter and still correspond with some Serbians on Facebook. Seem to be wonderful people that just want freedom and live their lives peacefully. They sure as hell can party I'll say that!


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Spirit of Dunson
Columbia Fan
Member since Mar 2007
22976 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I lived in Europe the last 5 years and now live in Asia. For the most part, people seem to be pretty good about splitting a country's leadership or politics from the individuals. So, I've never had any issues. Most are interested in US politics so are happy to discuss the topic, but I've never experienced anything disrespectful or more ignorant than what I would expect from an average American. Granted, I don't wear MAGA hats or any other outwardly overt political stuff...


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Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Feb 2012
56998 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
In my recent trips (all Europe) it's been almost entirely about Trump. We did talk at length with a Scotsman about Brexit.

Surprisingly, it's been probably 80-20 pro-Trump. Not necessarily rah rah MAGA, but "I get Trump and why Americans support him, etc." I think part of that is most of the political conversations come up with working class folks - tour guides, black cab drivers, etc. and I guess some of the Trump populism resonates there. We don't initiate it unless it seems like the person is hinting that they want to talk about it, which has happened a good bit.

We did have one hired driver a few years ago who was adamant that Cuba was paradise and they had an ideal health/education system. We were stuck in his car for like 2 hours and just let him ramble as not to get into it with a pretty serious socialist. One of the Normandy guides we had last year was probably pretty left leaning but we got along great with him and we all pushed one another a bit (but not far enough to make it uncomfortable).

Overall I've found there are a lot of curious people and they may well not have pure love for America/Trump, but if you're firm but polite and know what you're talking about (especially if you know a lot about their own politics), it's completely amicable and non-hostile even if you acknowledge support for Trump.

FWIW I'm conservative, but I have no interest in pretending they all love him - I'm sure most don't. But we've had zero interactions of the kind you're probably thinking of: unsolicited "what's happening to America!" type stuff. Honestly I get that 100x as much traveling out West and in the NE/New England when people learn we're from the South.


Spirit of Dunson
Columbia Fan
Member since Mar 2007
22976 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I think you are right about it being a class thing. I work with white collar professionals overseas and all are very very anti Trump. They're vocal about it.
My local friends that are more working class are also not fans of Trump, but it is more of a curiosity for them than hate. They say they wouldn't vote for him themselves, but they get why Americans would.
But I'm not sure about your 80-20 pro-Trump estimate. I haven't experienced anything like that anywhere (except Central Russia in 2016 haha!).


TxTiger82
Wisconsin Fan
Member since Sep 2004
32698 posts

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

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?



The rest of the world is having their fair share of issues with right-wing populism. You see it in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Brazil, the Philippines, India, etc. They don't have a leg to stand on.
This post was edited on 1/11 at 5:36 pm


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Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
67405 posts

re: American's abroad in today's political climate...
I’ve had many Europeans want to talk politics with me. So many that it actually surprises me.

I kind of try to just judge the room because I don’t want to make a whole thing of it and my wife hates politics.

Shocking number of them, especially in Italy and Spain, loved Trump. I did not expect that.

With others that are clearly asking because they think he’s a buffoon I laugh with them about it. Sometimes we have conversations about the perception he has over there and what the actual reality is, both good and bad.

It’s pretty interesting sometimes.


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Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Member since Feb 2012
56998 posts

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

But I'm not sure about your 80-20 pro-Trump estimate. I haven't experienced anything like that anywhere (except Central Russia in 2016 haha!).



That's just a breakdown of our experience. I'm not really looking to get into political debates when traveling, in large part because I assume it'll be mostly negative if I do. So it's more about who baits us into it, and those people are predominately either cab drivers and the like, or people we're spending hours with (tour guides, drivers, train companions, etc.). Most of those people (but not all) have leaned "pro." I think curiosity is the right word, but I tend to treat those as "pro" because the anti-Trump folks are so resolute.

It's as if have questions about why something Trump says/does makes sense to them personally, but in their media and their country, everything is almost universally portrayed as negative and they don't get a chance to explore it. It's like they're excited to finally talk to someone openly who will discuss it from a fairly pro-Trump perspective.


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