Hopeful Democrats gather and cheer, before leaving bitterly disappointed

Country music, pro-Clinton speeches, American flags draped from the ceiling, CNN on the big screen – Americans, Danes and Democrats gathered at Vega in Copenhagen last night to follow the tight race. Many were hoping for a party, but by four in the morning, Clinton supporters knew the game was up.

We spoke to a few of the attendees at the Democrats Abroad election night party in Vega last night. Few understood Trump’s popularity, and several expressed concern about the US’s continued strong role in Nato.

Hans Aaroe, 71, retired (above)

What do you think about these elections?

I think they have been very exciting, and frankly speaking I do not understand the Americans who vote for a guy like Trump. It is just so far from what we believe in Denmark

How do you believe the results will affect Denmark?

If Hillary wins, it will be business as usual. If Trump becomes president, I worry about NATO and how neutral it’ll be. If he continues using the language he has used so far, he will have problems with his allies.

What do you think about Donald Trump’s popularity?

I don’t understand it, I simply don’t. There’s nothing else to say.

What do you think about the choice of candidates Americans had?

I was a huge Bernie supporter. But Clinton and Trump are not the best candidates compared to Obama and JF Kennedy, for example.

Are you sad it’s over?

No, I am happy because I’ve had enough. Look at them arguing again and again on the same topics. It’s unique that you have a guy coming up and destroying his opponents in this way. It’s quite new. Usually you do not behave like that in politics. It’s like one of his talk shows, where you say one-liners all the time. I don’t know his policies, he’s never talked about them.

Are you connected to America?

Yes, I worked a lot in the States building wind turbines. I have a lot of friends there of course.


Helena Bardenfleth, 19, Hospital assistant

Where are you from?

Northern Copenhagen. My oldest sister grew up in the US, but I always lived here.

Why are You here tonight?

I’m a US citizen. My mum is Californian and all my family is here together and excited as we all voted.

Why do these elections matter to you, in Denmark?

Because the US is such a big and powerful country which affects everyone. Whoever sits in the oval office has enormous power

What are your thoughts on Trump’s popularity?

I think it’s truly unbelievable that a man who carries such extreme views and opinions has come so far in the presidential election. That he can gain so much popularity based on what he said and what he’s done, is insane.

What do you think of the choice of candidates?

I was fortunate enough to have a class in high school where we studied the background of Hillary Clinton. Before I was overwhelmed by what I heard from the media and all the scandals, but I am glad that I learned that she is very fit, educated and well equipped. I can understand why people criticise her, but for me it’s not a hard choice.

Are you sad it’s over?

That’s a good question. I feel like I’ve had enough scandals and enough horrific weird reality TV events. Maybe I’d like to get more political perspectives, but enough of this reality show weirdness.

How unique do you consider this race compared to previous ones?

Very. I think it breaks a lot of records for all kind of things, both good and bad. From having a female candidate to Trump coming so far.

As a woman what do you think of Clinton’s candidacy?

It’s nice to see, it’s inspiring, and I hope a lot of people see her as a positive role model.


Asger Bundgaard, 19, Social Democrat activist.

Why are you here tonight?

I am here because I am a part of the Danish Social Democrat youth and was in the US to campaign for Hillary.

How do you think this election will affect Denmark?

I think a lot about NATO and Trump opinions about it.

What do you think about the choice of candidates?

I think it’s crazy that someone could choose Trump.

What do you think about her being a woman?

I don’t think it matters at all. It’s nice if America could get a woman as president but I don’t think it matters. It took a lot for us in Denmark before a woman became prime minister, and I think it matters for the women in the country. But I don’t think you should choose someone based on their gender, but rather for the qualities.


Christian Schøning, 25,  Masters student.

Why are you here?

I’m from New Jersey, but my dad is Danish and I have dual citizenship. I am a member of Democrats Abroad and I am interested in Democratic politics. After my bachelor in the US I got a job and I was travelling back and forth to Denmark, then I got permission to live here and now I’m studying my masters in Copenhagen.

How do you think the results will affect you living in Denmark?

What I have actually realised living in Denmark is that the Danes are incredibly perceptive about what is happening in American politics. If you see the news coverage, I am shocked of how they cover things in detail.

What do you think about Trump’s popularity?

I think that he is ridiculous, and a lot of people think of that. But he has to be taken seriously to the extent that his popularity demonstrates something real. He is connecting with people so we need understand where that mood is coming from, so that politicians can work with those people and prevent the election of a clown like Trump.

What do you think about the choice of candidates Americans had this year?

I have always liked Hillary. I come from a Democratic household and I feel like I saw most people following their parent’s politics. My dad is Danish, so in the US he is seen as very left, and my mum is a proponent of Clinton. We were actually a Clinton household when it was Clinton-Obama in 2008. I like her and her pragmatic approach.

What do you think about her being a woman?

I think it’s fantastic. There are only 20 women out of 100 Senators. But anything at this point that we can do to break the gridlock in Washington is great. She gets stuff done and I am hopeful in that regard, more than Obama.

Are you sad the race is over?

No, I actually just retweeted The Onion, a satirical paper, that says “Millions of people in Times square waiting to watch the election be over”. I agree with that. I think in the US the election season is way too long, they started two years ago. I am glad it is over, either way.

How unique do you think this election was?

I think it was extremely unique. I think Trump has shown all of the conventional wisdom to be wrong. He said that he could kill someone on 5th Avenue and people would still vote for him. I really cannot understand how people can put all that to the side. Trump’s popularity is just shocking in every sense.



By Gabriele Dellisanti

Editorial intern. Media and communications student at Lund University.

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