On November 8 the world will watch closely as the United States heads to the polls to conclude what has been one of the most divisive US elections in generations.
This heated election season has witnessed the improbable rise of Donald Trump, one of the most controversial Presidential candidates in the United States’ history. Trump has gone from being a laughing stock to a serious indicator that a swathe of America feels disenfranchised enough to turn to a leader variously characterised as a racist, tax-cheat and demagogue and a misogynist (a claim verified in no uncertain terms after he was recorded making vulgar and obscene remarks about women).
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has had to unite a Party riven between left-wing Democrats and those closer to the centre. Clinton has proven very unpopular for her own positions on free-trade, controversial speaking engagements, and disregard for Government policy about personal email use.
Two different narratives have accompanied both Trump and Clinton. Trump’s sets out a dystopian vision of an America crippled by social and economic decline, Clinton’s one of regeneration and renewal where enduring values can still serve to unite and heal an increasingly divided nation.
Bringing the US Election to Your Classroom
The result of the 2016 election will be indicative as to which narrative the American people believe to be true, and a signal to the rest of the world as to whether 2016 will continue to be defined by the unexpected or resume a more predictable pattern.
We have gathered a range of excellent videos from the ClickView Exchange to help bring US Politics to your classroom this October. From the unlikely ascension of Trump, to reflections on the Presidency of Barack Obama to the never-ending issue of gun control and police violence these videos are sure to offer something for any classrooms interested in the USA and the upcoming election.
If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these videos as well as over 20,000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.
The rise of Donald Trump has left many election-watchers scratching their heads. How did somebody famous mostly for turning a patchy career in real-estate into reality television stardom get to be one election away from assuming the most powerful office on the planet? The compelling Donald Trump: the Apprentice President tells the story of Trump’s rise to secure the Republican Party Presidential nomination as a film crew follows his progress for 200 days.
Trump’s Angry America sets out the circumstances that enabled this improbable candidate to emerge as a potent force in American Politics. Examining the racially divided town of Bakersfield, California, this revealing programme sheds light on the increasingly visible racial ruptures in American society and the causes of these faults. In turn, it examines how they play into the Trump narrative, which exploits these fissures.
Trump’s candidacy sent shockwaves reverberating throughout the American political establishment. However, his nomination hasn’t been met with quiet acquiescence, rather it has met resistance from all quarters, including the Republican Party. Never Trump meets these objectors, who form a faction within the Republican Party called “Never Trump”. It looks at their motivations, methods and asks that begging question: is the need to keep Trump out worth casting a vote for the other side? This programme has become even more timely since high-profile Republicans began abandoning the candidate very publicly following the release of audio in which he speaks about sexually harassing women.
Election Issues: Guns, Immigration, Policing
Three of the biggest issues this election are immigration, gun control and racism. Much has been made of Donald Trump’s pledges to stop Muslims from entering America and promise to erect a wall along the US’ shared border with Mexico, in this episode of his long-running series Ross Kemp visits the US/Mexico border to gain deeper insight into the experiences of those crossing the border illegally. He learns about what has driven them to risk their lives for a chance to make a life in America.
America’s gun culture has been heavily scrutinised and criticised. In a country where a mass-shooting occurs, on average, every day and where 60% of all murders are by shooting (compared with 18.2% in Australia) gun control always looms in American politics. The programmes: Pride Under Fire, Gunned Down and Guns in the USA: Child’s Play all shed light on America’s disturbing gun culture and why efforts to change it have proven so fruitless.
Finally, the seemingly endless string of African-American deaths at the hands of Police has made headlines across the globe and spurred the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. In turn, policing, police violence and racism have become crucial factors in this election. Policing the Police provides a thought-provoking look at efforts to change the culture of a police department in crime-ridden Newark, New Jersey. In turn, it provides an insight into the complexity of the relationship between the police and those with whom they come into contact on a regular basis.
Obama: A Retrospective
Turning from the incoming to the outgoing, Obama: Eight Years of Power provides a fascinating and comprehensive look at the journey of the Obama administration. Examining some of the key political events of the last eight years including the introduction of Obamacare, ending the war in Afghanistan and battling a Republican dominated Congress, this programme provides a fantastic and far reaching insight into the scale of decision making and extraordinary pressure that faces the President of the United States.
The Presidency through History
If you’re looking for a more historical angle on US politics, these two programmes can assist. The 1976 thriller All the President’s Men is a dramatization of the non-fiction book by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward who made waves for their investigation of the Watergate scandal that would bring down the Nixon Presidency. This was a pivotal event in modern American politics, society and culture as the once impeccable office of President became mired in the muck of corruption and instilled considerable scepticism, once a rarity, into the American psyche.
Before Nixon there was Johnson, best known for escalating the Vietnam War, LBJ was also a giant of social and economic reform. Responsible for a slew of civil rights legislation, Johnson used the office of President to cut deals, strike trades and build an alliance with Martin Luther King Jr. to bring the battle for Civil Rights to the front of American politics. The documentary What the Hell’s the Presidency For? demonstrates the considerable power wielded by the President to radically reshape the United States.
If you have any suggestions for programmes currently on free-to-air television that you feel would make a great resource for teachers and students feel free to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org