On Wednesday, November 9th I woke up to the words “Trump won.” I thought it was a joke, and I angrily grumbled “shut up”. But it was true. When I looked at my phone, Trump was leading in electoral votes and only needed a few more to win. I hit refresh, and he was declared the winner. My heart sank. I was shocked. And even after giving myself a couple weeks to “cool down,” I still find myself in a state of denial with my country’s “decision” (I put this in quotes because the majority of the votes were actually for Hillary Clinton, but that’s a different rant).
Being in Spain, I am somewhat removed from the politics in my country, but the truth is that this election has been widely covered and Spaniards are very much aware of what is happening in the US (and around the world). People asked me before the election who I thought would would win. I thought there might be a tight race, but that Hillary would come through in the end. My view of Trump was that he had some loyal supporters, but that the majority of the country wouldn’t be able to support him after his decisive words about so many people. I was wrong.
“Trump Wins Election in Major Upset”
Upset because he was not predicted to win, upset because he is not a politician, nor does he have political experience, upset because many people were deeply disappointed. Personally, I was heartbroken. Not because a Republican won (I can see myself voting for any party; I vote by candidate and their platform) but because this man is so full of hate, he fuels fear, and completely ignores facts and reality and gets away with it. And obviously there are many people who disagree with me, but how can our country buy into his message of fear and believe what he says when he’s such a bully? I’m not exactly sure why, but I do know that a lot of people are really tired of “politics as usual” and they liked his message of “draining the swamp” (getting rid of the corrupt politicians, the people who have been responsible for everything they hate about the government today). But how can we expect Trump to accomplish this when he’s appointed so many politicians to his cabinet that are the epitome of “politics as usual”?
Frankly, I don’t trust Trump at all, and I’m afraid for our future. As far as the reaction here in Spain, it seems to be similar–that people are generally weary, and afraid of the unknown. What exactly will he be able to accomplish? How will this affect the rest of the world? There’s a definite frustration with Americans, although many people laugh it off as something stupid we’ve done, yet again. That we’ll reap what we sow.
We live in a bit of a bubble in the US. We know there are other countries out there, but we don’t appreciate the effect we have on them (for good or bad). We largely watch local news, sometimes national, but rarely world news. We assume that the way we do things is the best way, and it doesn’t matter what other countries think of it. Unfortunately, we often only see the world through our own lens, we don’t often travel to other countries and walk in others’ shoes.
I really don’t know what’s going to happen–who does? I do know though that Trump and his colleagues deny the existence of climate change, the single most important issue facing us today. And that is dangerous for the entire world, especially considering our high rate of CO2 emissions per capita. Of course there are many other important issues at hand right now, but for me personally, this is the scariest. What else do we have if we don’t have a healthy planet? Many people are scared of other issues as well–Trump’s stance on women’s issues, LGBT issues, Muslims, healthcare…the list goes on. But for now I’m going to focus on climate change.
So, yes, our country has just made a decision that will affect the entire world, as the president will be in charge of enacting legislation concerning pollution, and be in charge of appointing those who will be in charge of our government’s environmental organizations. We’ve already seen evidence of climate change, and we need to do more to stop it. I sincerely hope that Trump will prove me and other skeptics wrong. Until then, I will do everything I can to support the change I believe in, and protect those at risk right now. I’ll try to have the best attitude possible when explaining this to Spaniards and other non-Americans I encounter on my travels. Because they don’t need to be convinced that climate change is real, or that Trump’s ideas are dangerous. They already know, and are waiting to see what we’ll do about it.
If you’re interested in learning more or helping, please watch Before the Flood and help support the following organizations, which will need all the help they can get in the next four years: