Kenneth Lee

Kenneth Lee

Hong Kong

As an “outsider” who’s kind of on the inside, how do you feel about the United States election?

I think what’s been missing in this election has been what the United States means for the world. I think a lot of people are choosing their candidates for very inward reasons, like what their domestic politics are, like what Trump would mean to middle America. I’m not saying that’s not important, but I do feel that America still has a very important place in the wider world. Where I’m from in Hong Kong, America is still being looked up to as a place where you can come here, immigrate here, and prosper here. And, you know, the whole standard fare about America’s allies and its international commitments to Europe, Middle East, and Asia is common as well. If we entertain the prospects of someone like Donald Trump entering the presidency, I just cannot imagine what this would mean for America’s allies as well as what it would mean for the image of the States as a welcoming place for families, individuals, or anyone in the world.

If you were a citizen, who would you vote for and why?

I would really want to vote for HC. My roommates have ballots scattered around the house and…I’m not going to steal theirs and fill it out for them. That’d be absolutely illegal.

Any opinions on the candidates?

So what’s interesting is that I’ve heard a lot of people say that when Obama was elected, we went past race and we are in a post-racial world. I think we can comfortably say that’s not true, and this country is suffering from racial problems more than ever. If we elect Clinton, I don’t know that people would say we’ve moved into a post-gender world because what this election has done is really bring out the sexism that is still very pervasive in America. Hillary has done so much in her life and her career to stand on the same stage as a bigot, really. If a woman had to dedicate so much of her life to public service, just to share the same stage as a man who…well I’m not going to go into what he did – I think everyone knows – I think that really shows that we’re very very far away from a post-gender world.

Hong Kong has elections. America has elections. What do you think about the two?

I think at this time of the election, because of how people receive the candidates from the two major parties, there’s a lot of disillusionment about democracy and whether your vote counts. Coming from a place like Hong Kong where the democratic structures that were set up 20 years ago are getting more and more precarious every day, I would say that it’s very important to cherish what you already have, lest the one day you no longer have it. So I would say that it’s very important for people in the US to cherish and to feel blessed that they live in a country with a government that is responsive to their demands and provides outlets for them to interact with officials accountable for their own actions.

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