November 4, 2020- 10:00 A.M (Tunisia Time)- The day after Election Day
You know that scene in Titanic where the people in the lifeboats are rowing away from the sinking ship? That’s a bit what it felt like waking up this morning. I see the state of the things back home and I feel guilt for leaving behind my family and friends.
I feel guilty that I wasn’t inundated with political ads daily.
I feel guilty that I work for a school that is well-funded, where I am respected as an educator. I get supportive, polite emails from parents wanting to know how they can help me and help their child. It’s a nice change from being ignored by administration, yelled at by parents, and physically harmed by students back in the states.
But I digress… This morning, I assumed I would wake up to election results. I could sleep through the stressful news coverage and just hear the good news in the morning. But instead I’m sitting here, writing out my thoughts because it’s currently undetermined and the margins are way too close for comfort.
I am confused and hurt. Why is it this close? Why do close to 50% of Americans think Trump is the best choice to lead and represent our country? I’m not trying to be snarky. I truly don’t get it. He is a sociopath. He thinks women are objects. He makes blatant lies with no apologies. He incites hatred and racism. He is only looking out for himself. Why do you like him?
Do you know that people from other countries feel sorry for us? When people ask me where I’m from, a little part of me is embarrassed to say America. Sometimes, I consider lying and saying I’m from Canada because I don’t want to be associated with the corrupt government, the hatred and violence of white supremisists, and the idiocracy of those who think they know more than scientists and doctors because they read an article on some random website.
Most of us have been indoctrinated to think we live in the “greatest country in the world.” Well, nowhere is perfect, but I can speak from experience that moving to Africa, I feel safer than I did back home. In Tunisia, the rate of gun ownership is 0.1 per 100 residents. (In case you are curious, that rate in the US is 90 guns per 100 residents- a 900% increase.) I don’t really worry about school shootings any more. (I don’t want to come off as naive. I do understand that Tunisia has it’s issues and I happen to live in a bubble here. It is a 3rd World Country and that comes with obstacles.)
Again, I digress… Is it a religious thing? Is that why people I know voted for him? Is it soley for the abortion issue? You realize, despite his tear gas, Bible photo op, that Trump is as far from moral and spiritual as you can get, right? He doesn’t give a shit about unborn babies. And if you are that concerned about the sanctity of life, why aren’t you concerned about lynchings and children locked in cages at the border and people dying from lack of healthcare or the incompetence of how the pandemic has been handled?
He is a monster. Please tell me you see that. He’s not funny or cool or down-to-earth. He’s an infant. He’s ego personified. I feel like I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone where everyone is seeing something else I don’t see.
I’m glad I got out. I’m glad I’m not in America right now. I wish I could have brought the people I love with me. And yet, I understand my privilege. I understand that because most of my friends and family are white, middle class, they will be fine. How messed up is it that those two arbitrary factors make or break you in our country? I’m sad for the place I call home. I can’t stand that it is so divided and filled with hatred. And I really hate that, no matter who wins the presidency, we will still have half of the country that stands behind the ideals that put Trump in office the first time around.
4 thoughts on “The Guilt of Escape”
Fear. People are willing to overlook almost anything when their fear is that strong. Fear of government control. The lockdown was very traumatic for Republicans. Fear of politicians. He doesn’t talk/act like them and they like that. Fear of immigrants and anyone who isn’t white. Fear of police reform. White people who voted for him don’t see how the last four years have effected people of color, LGBTQ communities and women. They think it hasn’t been that bad. Certainly not compared to how bad it would be to be controlled by the government. I figured it would be close. I’m not surprised by the numbers for Trump. Especially with his blatant voter suppression tactics. I’m glad you’re not here. It’s hard to watch up close. The effects of his divisiveness are being felt in our work and it’s not great. But we’ll be okay. I won’t give up. I’ll keep trying to make a place that you’ll be proud to say you’re from.
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Spot on! It always comes down to fear. You’re right. I’m sorry it’s taking a toll. Sending good vibes from afar.
You’ve put your finger right on something many of us are going to struggle with each day going forward … knowing that nearly half the people I encounter will have done something that I consider nearly criminal and certainly irresponsible. My answer is to find my own version of “Tunisia” here, my neighbors, friends, family and do what I can for and with them. I feel the need to really think small now, what’s in my field of influence? Anyway, you made me think and feel on this topic. Well said. Keep writing. 🙂
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Thanks, Frank. You are absolutely right about focusing on what’s in front of you. Thinking “big” is too stressful of a headspace to be in often. You can change YOUR world through your thoughts and actions.
Appreciate your encouragement. 😊