While traveling through Europe, I was surprised to see how invested other countries were in the U.S. Presidential election. Once people discovered I was an American, one of their first questions was “How did Donald Trump become the Republican candidate?” In Germany, someone even compared him to Hitler. When I was on a tour in London, I passed this sign (featured left, above if you’re using your phone), so I took a picture and sent it to some of my law school amigos who i thought would appreciate the political spin on a barber shop advertisement.
I was asked my opinion about the election so many times, that I began to feel like an unofficial ambassador for the United States. One thing that I had to clarify for most Europeans in these types of discussions was that Trump’s nomination was only reflective of less than half of U.S. population (at the time). The most important point that I communicated to my European associates was that most of Trump’s supporters were simply following the appearance of strength, and his vague message of “Make America Great Again,” he did not and could not articulate a plan to accomplish this message. Further, he had not presented any facts that the U.S. was not already “great.” Perhaps, the most frightening point I made was that his supporters we’re okay with his responses, or lack theoreof.
At this point, my website has been viewed in 20 countries, so I hope that my political posts have clarified some of the major issues surrounding this election for foreigners. More importantly, though, I hope that through these posts, I have convinced some of my American viewers to vote, if they have not exercised their civic duty already.
Today is your last chance to vote for the next President, senators and amendments to state constitutions. At one point in history, the right to vote was only afforded to white men who owned land. Over time, this privilege was extended to minority groups including African-Americans and women. It is truly disheartening to hear and read online that people are choosing to refrain from voting today because they do not support either of the major candidates, especially when so many people sacrificed for these same people to have this right. The fact of the matter is that one of the major candidates will win the election. One is clearly more articulate, experienced, and professional than the other. Furthermore, even if you abstain from voting for a Presidential candidate there are still other issues and elections that are at stake, as I previously mentioned.
If you have any opinion about this election, I implore you to vote, rather than just post about it on social media. In the 2000 election, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by 537 votes in the battleground state of Florida. I remember this scandal because I lived in Florida at the time this occurred. To put it simply, every vote counts.
Yes, this election has been a debacle. Yes, we are all stressed– so much to the point that psychologists have coined the term “Election Stress Disorder.” However, our dignity and respect as a nation are at stake in this election. The world is watching. Please exercise your civic duty and vote!
Here are some funny memes circling the internet at the moment: