My Unabashed Opinions (Whether You Like Them Or Not) -An Expats View
When I first moved to Sweden 8 years ago, I remember going into my first few Swedish language classes that were full of Iranians, Iraqis, Somalians, Libyans, Afghanis and so forth, and having to introduce myself and where I came from. While I’ve joking told people that I thought about saying Canada instead of the US… I actually wasn’t joking. Obama had just taken office after one of the worst Presidents in history, and it sucked feeling I needed to add “but I didn’t support Bush or the wars” at the end of my introduction. Over the course of Obama’s presidency I slowly felt better about saying I was American to all the new people I met. Swedes admired Obama (for the most part; Guantanamo was one of their major issues with him) and so did I. Now with the orange guy becoming molester and chief… I feel just like the Americans wanting to physically relocate to Canada; except I want to do it ex post facto.
While everyone I know in the US identifies by their skin color, religion or political affiliation, here in Sweden I am almost always identified as American. The orange guy will be the representative for all Americans for the next 4 years whether we want him to be or not. Once again I’ll feel the need to defend myself when someone hears from my speech that I’m foreign and asks where I’m from.
I joked a lot about President Elect P***y Grabber before the fact, but that’s because I misplaced my faith in the American people. Like 90%+ of the world, I too fell victim to thinking that there was no way the country would vote to move so far backwards (hence the “Again” in Drumpf’s slogan). I didn’t see that white America was actually feeling unrepresented from over here in my expat bubble. I guess the politicians they elected to represent them again Obama had to spend all their time trying to repeal Obamacare 70+ times instead of trying to help their base and it’s all the damn Kenyans fault right? Now it’s no longer a joke. This is a reality show too real to watch.
All day yesterday I was reading tweets and stories about all of the hate crimes being committed by people (and children) chanting “Trump 2016!” or “Build the wall!” or “10 feet higher!” or “Go back to where you came from!.” Whether these hate crimes are just being reported on due to the election or not, the fact that the people committing them are using their new President’s name and rhetoric to embolden them in their hate is the unjustifiable part. Minority children were being bullied and beat up at their schools while their fellow classmates and Americans chanted phrases and hate they heard from their TV’s and their parents. Women were being grabbed inappropriately by men – again, sadly nothing new – but this time using President Elect “Give me a Tic Tac’s” name to feel justified in their actions. This is what these people think America being great again is like. The only positive thing for people to keep in mind is that Hillary actually did win the popular vote. It’s not a majority of your fellow Americans that feel like this. Also, even the popular vote was only half of eligible voters, which doesn’t include kids 18 and under. The support for the “You’re Fired!” guy is actually smaller than people think, it’s just being magnified by the media. Check out #safetypin and wear a normal safety pin on your shirt/jacket to let those who are terrified know that you are on their side.
I’m fortunate (I hope) that Drumpf being President won’t affect me as much as it will those of you stateside. I’ll feel the environmental effects of Myron Ebell being appointed head of the EPA, as he believes that climate change isn’t real and that we should all pray to our gods for sunshine and rainbows as we rape the Alberta tar sands for more gas to put into our gas guzzling trucks that make us feel big and strong. I’ll feel the economic effects of President I’d-Date-My-Daughter’s non-plan to save the US economy by pillaging the government and slashing the taxes of the wealthy. I may feel the effect of his anti-immigration policies by having trouble getting in and out of the US when I decide to risk going there. Most of all, I’ll feel the effects he has on my family here and stateside. While many of them are supporters of the former beauty pageant owner, what happens – good or bad – affects them; no matter who they voted for. We’re in the process of claiming my newborn son’s right to be an American citizen, and honestly I’m not sure I want to subject him to that. Not only is the US one of two countries in the world with Citizen Based Taxation, meaning “Taxation without representation” for us expats (my son included once he gets a job), but if President Dump starts a war that imposes the draft for years to come… that could include my son. I will move up to the tip of Sweden and live with the reindeer before my son gets dragged along in the workings of American politicking. Lastly, Sweden is closer to some of the countries that orange Hitler wants to bomb. With nuclear armaments being waved around like each countries’ dick, it’s hard to feel safe even in a country that prefers to not take sides.
To all the Donald supporters: feel proud, feel represented, and feel happy that your guy won. You’re allowed that, but don’t tell me to feel the same. Sure, I’ll cheer the Don when he signs in term limits for Congress. I’ll also clap when he imposes a 5 year waiting time on all government officials before they can become lobbyists. I’ll tip my hat when he removes lobbied cash from all future elections. This stuff will help the progressive army immensely. Outside of those things, I’m turning my back on everything else he does. Whether his policies work – that’s still to be seen. If they don’t… you supporters aren’t allowed to turn your backs on him, because I know that everything good he manages, you are 100% going to take credit for your vote. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. So congrats on making history. You elected the first President who has a pending rape case against him, who has racketeering charges pending in court, who gropes unwilling women and who will stick it to Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. You’re lucky the House and Senate are on your side, because if they weren’t, this new President could already be eligible for an impeachment trial according to many constitutional law professors.
To the rest of you: look up your local Democrat and Independent representatives and urge them to block everything the con man wants to pass, exactly like they did to Obama for 8 straight years. This non-politician doesn’t have the knowledge to find work-arounds like Obama managed. Tell those representatives that if they don’t filibuster everything, you’ll find someone in two years who will. People are saying to give this man a chance like we did Obama. I recall Republicans saying they will do everything in their power to block him from doing anything on day 1; and they did. Let those you see in public who look afraid know that you are out there to protect them and their right to the pursuit of happiness. And for all of your god’s sakes… protect anyone you see being harassed or hurt. If the police you report to won’t help or try to make things worse, tell them to get on their radio and call someone who will protect you. Turn off FOX, CNN and MSNBC and find outlets that give you verified news sans fear-mongering and politicization. It’s okay if the news you find has a bias – we all do – but it also needs to have facts and multiple sources that you can verify if you want. Learn from this election and get informed. You can still register for vote any day of these next 4 years, so don’t stop helping people do that. My vote this election was suppressed by the Texas government. Had they even attempted to notify me until the voting registration deadline was up, I would have needed someone to tell me to check that I was still registered earlier. I’m planning to wreak havoc on local Texas elections from Sweden and make sure that no Dem in Texas is missing my vote whether it affects me or not.
I wasn’t planning on voting for Hillary until literally the last 2 or 3 weeks of this campaign. I was a “Bernie Bro” as the media likes to say. And I’m fucking pissed off about the results. My constitutional right to vote was stolen from me this time. One more vote wouldn’t have made a different in red Texas, but in two years it might. I won’t let you down again America. I may be a dual citizen and live abroad, but I will no longer sit back and watch the country decline from afar. This blog will hopefully be proof of that. Thanks to anyone who read this. Feel free to comment, flame and troll below. – Everett