Teaching American politics – what is the story behind Donald Trump?

Donald Trump, Seen From Europe

clinton trumpNo doubt, many in Europe are engaged in the presidential election in the USA. This time perhaps more than ever. The United States presidential election of 2016, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, but before that the two parties need to find their presidential candidate. Many predict it will be Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. But the series of presidential primary elections and caucuses take place between February 1 and June 14, 2016, in other words, we still have some months to go before it is decided.

Donald Trump’s strident xenophobic rhetoric, and blatant contempt for and verbal abuse of those who oppose him, are warning signs of a real danger facing the Republican Party and American democracy“. DAN DONOVAN  Dungarvan, Ireland

Lesson plan

  1. Who are the candidates this year? Look at this web page at New York Times and write a short list of the most famous candidates this year on your blog.
  2. Do the 2016 Presidential Election quiz. Write on your blog which 2016 Presidential candidate you side with according to this quiz.
  3. Choose one of the popular issues here and write about the difference between states and parties on that issue.
  4. Watch the videos below and write a post on your blog where you discuss the statement above. Could Donald Trump have been a candidate in  Europe? Write 3 sentences on why you could/could not vote for Donald Trump.
  5. Choose 2 republicans and 2 democrats to follow on Twitter and share some of their best tweets about the election, explain your choices.
  6. What are the images for the democratic and republican party? Explain their significance.
  7. How many delegates do the candidates need? Read the Delegate Tracker here.
  8. Read 2 newspapers’ coverages of the US on the election and write a short paragraph on how they portray the different candidates. Explain your choice of newspapers. Use PressReader.
  9. If I was an American I would be to vote for…………. Write a short paragraph explaining your choice.



  1. 1.The candidates have changed greatly throughout the season. But I consider the most well known to be:
    Donald Trump
    Bernie Sanders
    Ted Cruz
    Hilary Clinton
    Marco Rubio

    2.Apparently, I side the most with Clinton.

    3.The issue I chose is that on gay marriage.
    As time has gone on, it would seem that the overall acceptance of gay marriage has increased steadily.
    There are not a whole lot of differences between states and parties on the issue; but one worthy of note is that same gradual acceptance, even in the most conservative of states.
    Parties however, seem to be more static; with their general stance on the issue remaining true.

    4.There are only few places in Europe where Trump could be a candidate of any success.
    Regardless, I would wholeheartedly refuse to vote for him.
    This is mainly because I disagree with the majority of his stances and stated policies.
    Another reason is that he’s no politician; he’s a business man, and you can’t run a country like you do a business, and considering that Trump has filed for bankruptcy about three times, I’d rather not have him in office.
    The final reason is that he seems to be too nationalistic for my tastes.

    5.The symbols of the parties are the donkey (for democrats), and the elephant (for republicans).
    The donkey is significant because it has implications that link it to the common-man, people the democrats like to represent.
    It’s harder to determine the significance behind the elephant representing the republicans, but it seems to go well together with the party’s nickname: “The Grand Old Party”. Elephants are often seen as being grand creatures, and can live to be fairly old.
    It could also symbolize their determination and stubbornness.

    6.Republicans need 1237 delegates, whereas democrats need 2383.

    7.The depictions of the different candidates varies from paper to paper. Clinton is often depicted as being a corrupt, untrustworthy official; while Sanders is sometimes depicted as a sort of “freedom fighter”, who understands the plight of the common-man, and will significantly aid their situation.
    These are the views I usually observe from the Alaska Daily News (they may vary by author as well).
    The candidate that’s received the most coverage of course, is Trump; who is almost always depicted as violent, racist, sexist (as of late), nationalistic, and even fascist. While these are certainly exaggerated to a degree, they also have their foundation in his statements and projected ideals.
    Because this view is almost universal, there is no sole paper to single out for these depictions.

    8.As an American citizen, I suppose I would vote for Sanders, as I deem him to be the least bad of all the candidates, the one who will do the least damage.
    Of course, I certainly agree with a large number of his stances and planned policies, but I understand that a number of them would be hard to implement.
    So overall, I find him to be the only candidate that would cause the least damage, and would likely avoid becoming too corrupt (if at all); which is enough to make me vote for him.

    1. I wound not say what Trump is depicted as is exaggerated. If we were in a time of crisis, (9/11) or in war then he would be a somewhat ok president. Adolf Hitler rose to power by making people hate the Jews, Adolf Trump, sorry Donald Trump is doing the same thing but with Muslims and Mexicans.

  2. 1. The most common candidates I hear about are Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Cruz.

    2. The candidate I sided with the most according to the survey is Bernie Sanders with 82%

    3. I chose Women’s Wage: It is a myth and there is no need to make extra payments to women. In a statistical study made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that women work less days than men in a year. This difference in work days makes up for the wage gap between men and women with equal requirements. As for individuals of color, they have been found to have less requirements for their work or less education and because of that, they are paid less. On top of that, men of color with the same requirements as women of color were shown to be paid more, and this is, again, because of women working less days.

    4. Donald Trump could not have been a candidate in Europe because of his derogatory use of words for people and his racial biased. On top of that, he also has shown with his current persona to call anyone an idiot or unintelligible because they do not vote for him. If anything, voting for him would be more of a joke than anything else.

    5. The significance behind the two symbols: The Donkey was associated with Andrew Jackson when he was called a Jackass, or a donkey, and was used in a political cartoon in order to show his strong will; the Elephant became associated as the opposing party because of a political cartoon where a donkey made to look like a lion scarred away a zoo, one of the animals was a elephant which also stuck.

    6. CNN portrays very little information besides prediction poles of the candidates and any news about things they have said or decided, and KTUU gives very minimal information if any at all. I chose these new outlets because they were the first names to come to mind.

    7. At the bottom of the Delegate Tracker, you can find the leading candidates and that minimum for nomination. The nomination requirement is 1,237 for Republican nomination, and 2,383 delegates for Democrat nomination.

    8. I wouldn’t vote for anyone. As of right now, the political party system is something that is broken and needs to be abolished as well as the leading candidates are like trying to decide between the lesser of multiple evils. We’ve seen in the past the Hillary Clinton will lie and waste the lives of Military Personnel and Donald Trump is showing to be very biased towards the white population and against people of color. Bernie Sanders is proposing that college be free, but it not proposing how the country pay for this and because of that it shows he either he has an inability to plan, or is going to be a president who keeps secrets.

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