USA elections: Who Americans of Ukrainian origin are going to vote for

Author : Frank Rossavik

Source : Aftenposten

In the USA one million of Americans are of Ukrainian origin. They are known for their political preferences, most of them are Republicans, but this year everything is different.
17:42, 8 November 2016

Open source

When I recently spoke to the Republican office workers in Congress in Washington, I asked what they were doing while the elected ones are immersed into the election campaign.

Some of them replied, that they are constantly getting calls from terrified Ukrainian Americans. They seek assurances that even his own party will be against Trump in case he is elected and tries to weaken the bonds between the USA and Ukraine.

Related: US Elections 2016: Live 2016 Election Results

On Sunday I went to the First Ukrainian Assembly of God, a Protestant church in the area, which is called "Little Ukraine" in the East Village (East Village) in Manhattan. I came to the church after the morning service and got straight to the coffee.

Photographer and filmmaker John Gotman was born in the United States. As political refugees, his parents in 1950 left the Soviet Union, which was then a part of Ukraine.

Although he has American citizenship, he considers himself Ukrainian and wears the Ukrainian yellow-blue flag on his jacket.

Anti-communists traditionally

 "We, Ukrainians in the US, are traditionally conservative and anti-communists. I have never voted for Democrats, but this time I will vote for Clinton, I have to do everything to prevent Trump election", -Gotman says.

He retrieves mobile phone and shows me the famous photo of Vladimir Putin - naked to the waist on a horse. In his phone half-naked Trump is sitting behind Putin, clasping him in his arms.

"Of course, it is a montage, - Gotman grins. - But there is no doubt that Putin would like to see Trump as a president. Trump stated that they are going to reach the agreement with Putin and Ukraine makes no difference for him”- he says.

Besides, Gotman thinks that Trump - a man who only knows how to criticize, cannot offer any suitable solution - "he is a destroyer."

Related: US election 2016: brief guide to the election day

Registered as a Republicans supporter, voting for Clinton

Tetiana Sears, Head of the Economic Department in the management of school affairs in New York, was born in Dnepropetrovsk, lived in the US for 11 years. On Tuesday, she will also vote for Clinton, despite the fact that in the list of voters she is registered as a Republican supporter.

"Trump wants to destroy United States. He is incompetent and arrogant. For example, there is convincing evidence that Russians hacked e-mails of the Democratic Party, but Trump pretends he does not believe it..", - Sears says and shakes her head.

Unlike Gotman, Sears is not particularly sure that a close relationship will be established between Putin and Trump if he becomes president. She believes that the fate of Ukraine depends on Ukrainians themselves in the first place, and she is disappointed in President Petro Poroshenko.

But Sears drew attention to the fact that Trump does not care about the fate of Ukraine, and it is a sufficient reason to vote against him.

Both Gotman and Sears cannot pick a single good word to describe Clinton, and they both consider it necessary to underline in a conversation with me.

Can make a difference in the swinging states

The conversation in the church basement is interfered by others, majority supports Gotman and Sears. But one man says he will vote for Trump, and the rumors about the closeness between Trump and Putin are "regular propaganda". Others tell me with a stretched smile that this man is Russian.

In the US, one million Americans are of Ukrainian origin. They are known for the fact that majority of them are Republicans, but this year is different. As they are not that many, it is unlikely they will influence the outcome of the elections. But in such swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, there is a relatively large number of Ukrainians, so they can play a crucial role if the candidates gain roughly the same number of votes.

Foreign and security policy were in the spotlight during the election campaign, these issues concern many Americans. Hillary Clinton is known as a "hawk", it seems that some fear that as a result of her hard line towards Russia and other countries a third world war may start.

As for Donald Trump, many people - including Ukrainians - fear that he will weaken the US contribution to the struggle for democracy and human rights in the world. Some believe that he himself is a threat of war with his incompetence and impulsivity.

Frank Rossavik

Система Orphus

If you find an error, highlight the desired text and press Ctrl + Enter, to tell about it

see more