It's crunch time for the US. In less than a day, most of the English-speaking world will be plugged into their feeds awaiting the country's decision. And one of the things that's made this election so compelling—for both the left and right— is the sense that getting the other side's candidate will spell the end.
There are fears from the right that Clinton will open up rampant immigration and sink the US economy, while the left counters with their own fears of nuclear strikes and an open assault on democracy. Right now on Tuesday night, Australian time, the stakes seem very high indeed.
We got in touch with some of our local doomsday preppers to see how they're faring. In a climate where more people than usual are talking about disaster, are they feeling pleasantly organised? And if things go to shit, do they think we'll be safe in Australia?
Australian Prepper Blogger, Nurse
VICE: Hi Mathew, do you agree that fear is a big feature of this election?
Mathew Ramadan: I think fear is an essential part of this election. I'm noticing this big racist, misogynistic underbelly of not just America, but the rest of the world. It's more prevalent in what I'm seeing in the people online and even in Australia, especially with One Nation. It's gotten to the point where I'm too uneasy to say anything as I don't want to be punched in the face. I don't even comment on political photos or posts anymore.
Does the US election matter to you?
With politics I like to be up to date and blog to remain educated. It's all about knowing how things affect everybody, no matter who or where you are in the world. I don't know if my surname is a dead giveaway to you, but my grandfather was actually a foreign-born Muslim. I still have family overseas. Honestly, I was actually really excited for Bernie Sanders. If you haven't already guessed, I'm a left-wing supporter, which is very uncommon in the survival community.
How do you feel about Hillary?
I don't think Hillary is as bad as they're making out. People keep going about Hillary's emails, but I'm honestly not hearing anything else. To be honest, the thought of someone like Trump, who has the temperament of my three-year-old daughter, being right next to the trigger of nuclear warfare and codes makes me uncertain. I think Trump is looking at "change" but he's going to first have to let congress decide and try and get past them, and what he is proposing as it's outlandish. I don't think anything will happen with Russia––it's a red herring––it's been something put out there to stir fear.
Has the US election made you more serious about prepping?
Honestly, there's not a lot I can actually do about those things right now. All I can do is make sure that I've got everything I need squared away. Politics was never my motivation, but this election could influence many things to come.
Anonymous Australian prepper
Hi Taylor, let's talk politics. How do you think the US election will affect your prepping in Australia?
If Hillary wins, then this could mean war with China because of the Russia/China alliance, whereas Trump wants peace and to make great deals for Americans. I would also need to start moving my prepping stuff, and activate information networks in case war is triggered. It's possible China might invade Australia. We have many milk-bars and shops owned by Chinese people, which I wouldn't be surprised if they were nothing more than initiating Chinese Military Terror Cells. They always have packages being delivered, could be guns or bombs, we wouldn't know.
Do you think these sorts of "dangers" will be exacerbated if Hillary wins?
Americans will have their rights attacked if Hillary wins. Hillary represents globalism and the end of nationalism, whereas Trump is nationalism—a way to revive the American spirit and save it from globalism. Nationalism is about family. Nationalism is how families gather to create a fire.
Do you think Australia would be directly affected?
Each candidate will have a radical impact on Australia simply by their actions towards nationalism and globalism. Australians are nationalist—we love our Australia Day and ANZAC day. Globalism will force us to become internationalists and to take away our pride in our families and our culture. A family without pride is a dead family.
That's pretty heavy stuff. Would you advise people to consider prepping for this possible political doomsday?
Survivalism is fun when there are no problems, but during a war it'd be bloody awful. So I want Trump to win. He will give us preppers more time to relax and enjoy our prepping. But no matter who wins, I won't stop prepping—it's a lifestyle choice. Some people think it's stupid, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught with your pants down. If shit does hit the fan, we'll be the ones who have the last laugh.
Hi Jay, who is the candidate you believe will have bigger affect on global peace?
I would vote for Trump 100 times before I would vote for Clinton. There are a lot of reasons for that, including Clinton being a career politician. She studied law, and as far as I'm aware doesn't know how the real world works outside politics. Trump, on the other hand, is a self-made billionaire. He's a bragger and he's got a big mouth. He says some stupid things sometimes, but he's very successful and nobody can deny that.
Has the US election affected your prepping?
Really it has. I can see the potential for civil unrest in America, depending on what the outcome is and from an Australian point of view, that unrest could result in a financial problem in America which could cascade globally. I'm just interested to see if the election results are rigged. If Clinton wins we're going to probably have a military conflict over in the Middle East and Europe.
Is being a prepper always political?
No. When people ask me if I'm one of those "doomsday nuts" I always tell them my mindset is one of being prepared. I say, "well, have you got car insurance?" and they say "yes", so I ask, "are you planning on smashing your car up?" The answer is always the same: in case something goes wrong. If that's the case, you're a prepper, it's about looking at the possibilities.
If Clinton wins what do you think will happen?
If Clinton wins the election we have a serious possibility that there will be a military conflict between America and Russia. What format that takes, I don't know. If you look at the way the world is connected from a financial stand point, there'd be no way to fix the problem. If that happens, we're looking at a total financial reset for the entire world and the end of the financial world as we know it.
*Names changed for anonymity purposes.
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