388. US Presidential Election 2016 – Trump vs Clinton (with Sarah & Sebastian) Part 1

The presidential election in the USA is about a month away and I’ve been meaning to talk about this subject on the podcast for ages. So in this episode you’re going to hear me in conversation with a couple of American friends of mine who you might already know from their previous appearances on this podcast – Sarah Donnelly and Sebastian Marx. We sat down in my flat today to talk about the elections, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, their thoughts, feelings, opinions and predictions on the whole thing.

The conversation you’re about to hear is very fast moving with quite a lot of specific vocabulary about American politics. It’s quite passionate and opinionated in places. I certainly hope that it is an interesting conversation for you to listen to and that you enjoy hearing about this subject from two American people in their own words.

Because it is so fast moving and we had so many things to say I expect that this will be a difficult one for you to follow. I think this will be a challenging episode. So, if it’s hard to keep up with – don’t be surprised. That’s quite normal because I think this is a fast conversation for any learner of English to keep up with.

Alright, I don’t want to go on about it any more in the introduction here, suffice to say that I know this is a fast moving and opinionated conversation so strap in, focus, listen carefully and I hope you enjoy it.



  • Ptholome

    About Mitt Romney’s Mormom family in Mexico you spoke in this episode around 19 minute.

  • Sergei

    Luke, do your agree with Clinton that Russia is a threat to USA and the other world?

    • Which other world?

      • Sergei

        Other countries

      • I think both Russia and USA are a threat to each other and the rest of the world too, but it’s probably a lot more complicated than that. Basically, there are powerful forces which are in opposition to each other. They are using proxies and propaganda to gain advantages, and ordinary people in many countries are just caught in the middle of it.

        Also, I’m no fan of Trump, but that does not mean I agree with everything Clinton says and does.

        Anyway, I don’t know why my opinion on this of any importance.

        What do you think Segei? What is your answer to your own question?

      • Sergei

        In my opinion the main mistake when western people think of Russia is the stereotype that Russia is the same as former Soviet Union. That is not true.
        Only nearly equal economies are able to compete with each other.
        The facts are, the US economy is about 16.5% and the Russia’s economy is 3% in global economy. Moreover, russian economy completly depends on global one. The question is, are the russians idiots to saw the branch on which they are sitting.
        In WW2 the only contry that lost 25 millions lives is Russia. EVERY family lost min. 1 person.

        Clinton serves for 1%. Everyone knows that.Or it is still conspiracy theory?
        I asked you Luke because I’m trying to sort out why are you go for that woman.

      • Please do not think that I am a big fan of Hillary. I’m not.
        But I’m even less of a fan of Trump.
        I think he’s the worse candidate of the two and I sincerely hope he doesn’t become president.
        But of course there are plenty of problems with Clinton too. I am very aware of those problems and I worry about them a lot.
        I’m not standing proudly in support of Clinton. If anything, I’m sitting with my head in my hands.

        It’s a very negative election. Both candidates have spent much of the time focusing on how the other one is unfit to be president. Most of the arguments have been personal attacks, which is understandable because both candidates have a lotto answer for. But regrettably, not much time has been spent talking about policies.

        Generally speaking I prefer the policies of Clinton. But don’t assume that means I agree with everything she represents.
        Also, don’t assume that I have opinions about Russia because I don’t like Trump.
        Don’t make assumptions and don’t jump to conclusions.

        I don’t envy the US voters. They have an awful choice to make between two candidates who are unappealing in different ways.
        I am afraid that whatever happens and whoever wins the election, we are facing an increasingly problematic future.
        In fact we are facing a problematic and divided future due to many complex factors. It’s not just a case of good guys vs bad guys, this country vs that country, or whatever.

        I feel bad about the current state of politics in the USA but I also feel similarly bad about situations in many other countries including my own. The world is in pretty bad shape right now as far as I can see, but it’s very hard to uncover the truth in the face of media bias, the possibility of propaganda and so on. It feels like we are powerless against huge forces beyond our control. It’s very easy to get dragged into a ‘them vs us’ mentality. Everything’s twisted.

        The whole subject makes me feel quite bad.

        So, please don’t get me wrong – I’m not a defender of Hillary. I just think she’s the slightly better candidate of the two. But of course I am not ignoring her problems – the secrecy, her connections and all that stuff.
        It’s very suspicious and worrying – but I cannot say for sure what’s going on and I am not going to jump to conclusions.

        Similarly, I am not going to jump to conclusions about the whole global situation, including what role Russia is playing, or how the UK government is involved, or how Julian Assange and Wikileaks are involved, or why the FBI chose to renew investigations into Hillary at this moment, or how the Panama papers are significant, or what will happen as a result of Brexit in Europe, or what the war in Syria really means, or how ISIS are involved, or where all the migrants should go, or how many people died or should have died in WW2 (I’m quite sure that nobody should have died – and I agree that it’s deeply sad that the USSR lost so many people – it’s staggering and awful) …and I’m not sure how all of us can deal with climate change, or who the 1% are, or whether we’re receiving messages from outer space, or who’s going to win the Premiership this year, or what I’m going to eat for lunch today, or anything for that matter.

        I’m not sure what’s going on and I’m not jumping to conclusions, except about my lunch – I’m pretty sure it will be a ham and cheese sandwich – but that doesn’t mean I hate vegans.

        Similarly, just because I express some preference for Hillary, it doesn’t mean I have particular opinions about Russia. I don’t.

      • Sergei

        Thank you for long detailed reply.