Lasse Quvang and Mai Jensen are shown here, in Atlanta, during their interview with The World. / Danmarks Socialdemokratiske Ungdom/Facebook
By Marla Murriel / 10.24.2016
With less than three weeks before election day and three bizarre presidential debates behind us, an unexpected group is on the ground stumping hard for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: the Social Democratic Youth of Denmark.
“I’m afraid that if Trump is going to be the president, you’ll have a US who are less concerned with the rest of the world, and when it’s concerned it’s maybe in a more aggressive way,” says Lasse Quvang, one of the volunteers.
He and fellow volunteer Mai Jensen spoke to The World on the day of the final presidential debate, which they watched in Atlanta with other Clinton supporters. Before then, they’d been canvassing in Florida, and they’ll keep moving through states until the election.
“It’s a really important election, not only for the US but for all of the world,” says Jensen. “The consequences if Hillary is not elected president would be, yeah, devastating.”
That fervent disdain — even fear — of a Trump presidency moved these Danish volunteers to come push Americans into caring, especially the ones who lean Democratic. And they’re doing it with such enthusiasm, they even made a video about their day in Atlanta, including their interview with us.
“The big difference from Denmark and the US is that, in Denmark, almost everyone votes,” says Quvang. “We have turnout at 90 percent, so when we go campaigning in Denmark, it’s convincing voters to vote for our party … here in the US, it’s more like mobilizing the Hillary voters, so that’s a big difference for us in this campaign.”
Jensen and Quvang say most Danes want Clinton elected, and that there are some Trump supporters, “but even the right-wing parties in Denmark, they politically agree with the [US] Democrats. They don’t support Trump as a presidential candidate.”
Quvang says Clinton’s experience as secretary of state is what’s important to him, and what he wants the next US president to have. Why does he care, though, being Danish?
“The way she was secretary of state,” he says, “handling big international issues in a diplomatic way, like she did with the Iranians, like she did with the Russians, that’s just the way for the US to be involved in the rest of the world. So there’s a lot at stake for me as a European watching the election.”
For Jensen, it was the issue of global security being at stake, which drove her to come to the States for the first time. She says “it’s like being part of history” and that, the group had an “urgent feeling” to play a part in this election.
“If we can contribute just a little to getting Hillary elected as president, it would be amazing,” she says. “It’s not possible for us to just sit back home in Denmark [on] our hands and not do anything.”