Being an American Abroad | #5

(NOTE: I did not have WIFI access so I am updating all of these after returning homeThis is from a journal entry!)

I consider myself to be a liberal voter, I voted for Bernie in the primaries and Hillary in the general. It has been an interesting experience being in Ireland during these last few months. America is being closely watched from all angles, so as I travel through Ireland and the United Kingdom I am often questioned about the current state of affairs. “How did this happen?” ,”Why is this happening?”, and “Did you vote for Donald Trump?” are all questions I was frequently asked when it was revealed that I am an American. At first, it was fun. I really do enjoy talking about politics with people. I was in the Cavern Club in Liverpool (where The Beatles played many of their first shows) and I got into a heated argument with two Scottish men about American politics. Initially when they found out I was American they seemed borderline angry with me.  They were convinced that all Americans were complicit in the election of Trump and everything that he has done since. This continued to be a theme. I grew tired of constantly having to justify myself. I did not want to have to be the token spokesperson for the US in the spaces I entered.

I do understand where they were coming from. There were many times this summer that I would read the news and be confused by what was going on and being said back at home. I love the United States for all of its flaws and triumphs, its continual growth inspires me; but still I was taken aback by the actions of the president. I cannot imagine being a casual reader of United States politics prior to Trump being elected and then having to cope with the constant influx of confusing news. It can be difficult to understand what is happening, and if you have access to someone who might be able to clear anything up you should take it. Which is what these people did. As a country we will not fully understand his impact until we are separated from this moment we find ourselves in. Being surrounded by non-Americans gave me a good peek at how the world is viewing the United States right now. For the country’s sake I hope that we quickly move past this moment because the world is watching.

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