By all accounts, 2016 should be one of the best years of my life. I get to graduate high school, choose a college, turn 18, vote for a woman, drive with an unrestricted license, and take a gap year. Instead, it’s been a year marked by mass shootings, Brexit, and the most ludicrous election ever. Plus, I’ve gotten to watch police brutality and racist comments become mainstream.
I type this out as I watch Donald Trump, the most hateful man to ever run for president, win. While I sit here silently crying I also get the joy of listening to my own mother cry. My wonderful, strong mother, who became an American citizen so that she could vote after feeling helpless watching the 2000 election, is crying. Great.
I wanted my next post on this blog to be a happy update about how I officially scheduled my six month trip to New Zealand, because I did that yesterday. Instead it’s this. Later on, when I don’t feel so empty inside, I will update you all on my further gap year plans. For now, just know that I’ve got a one-way ticket out of this country for January 10th. I’ll be gone before I have to experience a Trump Whitehouse.
And you know what America? I’m angry. Angry at you. I did everything I was suppose to. I graduated high school. I got into college. I registered to vote. I went to political rallies. I tweeted my support and encouragement for the common sense candidate. If only you realised, America, that Hillary Clinton wasn’t the “lesser of two evils” or if you realised that a “protest third party vote” was the dumbest thing you could do. If only you realised how wonderful it would be to have the first woman president, or how impeccable her resume and experience is. Instead we get stuck with the option who was endorsed by the KKK.
I don’t really have an end to this post. I guess it made me feel better writing it, but not really. It’s left me dwelling on the facts that some of the issues I hold most dearly: gun control, affordable healthcare, higher minimum wage, help for low income families, and environmental conservation, will become irrelevant and fictional in this new America. And I don’t want to hear about how “he’ll just get voted out after four years.” The fact is, he will get to appoint Conservative Supreme Court justices, maybe even four, and that will live on longer than him.
I am about to be a young adult in this new America. And you know what? I need Obama Care so that I can be on my parents health insurance until I’ve found my own two feet in the world. I need to know that I can walk into a public building and not be worried that I could get shot. I want to know that if I cannot find a high paying job immediately after college, there is a minimum wage that I can live off of, and housing I can afford. I want to be able to learn and grow from unique individuals with diferent ethnicities and backgrounds. I want to know that I have a right to choose what happens to my body. I want to live in the America, that is frankly, pretty great right now. Thanks Obama.
I always prided myself on being half British and half American. It would seem my mother’s country gave me Brexit, and my father’s gave me Trump. I know that somehow the world will heal from this, but as a very young eighteen year old, I can’t possibly see how.