Clinton-Trump Mud Fight Frazzles Ethiopian-Americans

Araya Legesse, 55, from Bethesda, Maryland, is a determined voter in favour of the Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump (photo: Addis Fortune)
Araya Legesse, 55, from Bethesda, Maryland, is a determined voter in favour of the Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump (photo: Addis Fortune)

Ethiopian-Americans are torn between two less-than-ideal presidential candidates.

On a foggy and showery afternoon on Wednesday, Girma Wegderes, 53, was busy at his work place at Colonial Parking, on Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington D.C., attending vehicles coming and departing almost every minute. Working alongside his co-worker, Nigus, he went down the parking lot to pick up a Chevy pickup for a client.

“It`s busy this time of the day,” Girma said, sounding apologetic for interrupting a rather animated conversation on the presidential race in the United States, which is to be determined in just a week.

Originally from Arat Kilo, the upcoming election will be Girma`s seventh vote since he arrived in America 23 years ago. A father of two, Girma lives in Arlington, Virginia. At close to five percent, Arlington is a county which hosts the third largest Ethiopian community in North America, next to Wheaton and Takoma Park, both in the nearby state of Maryland.

Girma always votes for candidates from the Democratic Party, whether it is for the White House, the Congress or the Senate. He will make no exception next week, thus vote for Hillary Clinton, a polished politician running under the Democratic ticket. She is up against Donald Trump, a business mogul known to be anti-establishment, but campaigning as the standard-bearer of the Republicans.

Both candidates are however campaigning in manners that stand out for its lack of civility, unsettling voters such as Justin, a 26-year old nurse who just returned from traveling to South Africa and Benin. This election cycle, Justin said he is terrified of the prospect that one of the two presidential candidates will be elected to the most powerful office in the world. He is displeased with the way the election campaign is conducted; many pundits in Washington D.C. characterize it as nasty, bizarre and un-American. It is marred by allegations of high level corruption, sexual assault and vote rigging.

Read more at: Addis Fortune

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