Well anyone who is even vaguely aware of world events can’t have failed to notice that the US has just elected a new President. I’m not going to go into the Electoral College or the different parties as there are many excellent resources on the web for that, but I am going to talk about how it personally affected me.
It was a campaign notable for the division and disinformation (much like the Brexit campaign) and also to my mind for the over confidence of the Democratic Party, who seemed to believe polls rather than talking directly to voters.
I personally have never had the problem with Hilary Clinton that many American’s do, and in fact I did volunteer for the Democrats as I am unable to vote. However to my mind she was not the political candidate to put up against Donald Trump. If as Democrats you are going to criticize the Republican candidate for being elitist and corrupt, then you have to run an opponent without any hint of a taint of these things. There is no denying that President Obama did not walk back his lack of support for Hilary as a candidate when they were competing, well enough to give her any real standing as the inheritor of his legacy. And the whole Bernie thing was a disaster.
I live in the only county that voted blue in the whole of the UP and even in that county I saw many, many Trump/Pence signs. Going door to door was fun and far out of my comfort zone, but even the small number of people I spoke to gave me grave concerns that Trump was far more popular than the Democrats realized. And just like Brexit, I turned out to be right.
I understand the need for change and the feeling that Washington DC is not working for the good of the people. I truly do not understand how a reality television star, self proclaimed billionaire, racist, molester of woman became the answer and the new guiding hand on the tiller of the American dream. I worry that this means America is a darker place than I had imagined and foresee a difficult and scary time ahead for the vulnerable in society.
I was grew up in a socialist country with free health care. I absolutely believe to the core of my being that services like health and education are too important for the quality of the service you get to depend on the amount of money you have. I am confused therefore by the attitude here that needing/accepting help is a weakness and that the vulnerable are blamed for requiring services that cost the tax payer, while the rich are given tax breaks they do not need that would easily fund the services the middle classes take the burden for.
It also leaves me with a personal dilemma. Do I give up being English, so I can vote and try to make changes, or do I remain English and deny myself a voice in my new home.?
- I wrote this in November and then hesitated to post something so political on a lifestyle blog. I recently rediscovered and re-read it and I think that actually the dissonance of being a left wing person in a right wing county, taxed without representation (something I’m sure Americans can understand) is absolutely part of the “immigrant experience” and therefore it deserves a space here. Given the attitude of the President Elect to immigrants and the failure by many Americans to distinguish between those who are here legally and those who aren’t, I fear it is going to become a greater part of the immigrant experience.
The American President (1995) is written by Aaron Sorkin , which if you haven’t seen and you loved West Wing, you should immediately add to your “To Watch” list.
SPOILER ALERT: This is the speech that is at the end of the movie, as an explanation of how campaigns are run, it is eerily on the ball.