I’m not even sure what to say about this one… It was amazing to have my good friends Dave & Sue here, but suffice to say a good portion of our time was spent discussing the election. I kept saying it had the makings of a bad joke… “A German, an Australian and 2 Americans were at a rooftop bar in Malaysia…”
Sue took advantage of early voting in SF before she left, and I (hopefully) managed to get in my vote from Singapore via the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot program. The German and Dave were both in the US on work visas, so not eligible to vote.
Bring 16 hours ahead of California had its benefits and its disavantages. All of us woke up early on the 9th, checking for results before they even started coming in. We went out for coffee but ultimately decided we were too glued to our phones so we should just go back to the hotel where at least we had booze and wifi. (The German and I had the foresight to stock up in advance for the occassion.) We hunkered down on the roof deck with a bottle of vodka, our preferred internet devices and news sources.
Despite lots of jokes on the preceeding days, we were all in shock that Trump actually won. It was tough not to be in the US to help comfort our friends and family, but also good to have some distance to process the events. Media coverage slowed considerably when the US was sleeping, so it gave us some relief and the ability to collect our thoughts without feeling the need to constantly search the media for more info.
This wasn’t the President I wanted, however enough people in America did and that is eye-opening. I still can’t believe that voters either support his misogynist, racist, hypocritical remarks, or are so desparate for change that they would overlook those traits (plus his terrible track record in business) and still elect him. Either way, it is hard for me to see anything but a sad state of affairs.
Less than 56% of eligible voters participated in the election. It is so important that people participate within the system, and also use other means to influence the results. Whether or not you like the system, it is your money that funds it, your voice that influences it, and you benefit from all the services provided – whether its fire fighting, roadworks, public schools, etc. And there were many things on the ballot besides President, yet so many opted not to participate. I really wish it was mandatory to vote (like in Australia).
More than ever before, I am motivated to try and make the US a better place – so many people were so unhappy with the candidates that they couldn’t bother to vote, or so desperate for change they voted for someone like Trump – we must make things better.
At the same time, I have zero desire to move back to there when my travel is over… I just don’t think it’s a place that I want to be right now.
If you aren’t registered to vote, please register now. If you qualify for citizenship but never bothered to deal with the paperwork, start now – your tax money is going to this government whether or not you vote, so you should make your voice heard.
Please be kind to each other and help those in need. It is breaking my heart to hear about all of the hate crimes occuring. Never before have they been so close to home – friends of friends are being targeted for being homosexual, a woman on BART is being threatened just for speaking a middle eastern language on her phone. It is disappointing that Trump hasn’t tried to discourage this behaviour, given that he fueled it during his campaign. While there’s no sense worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, there are plenty of horrible things taking place right now. Please look out for each other.