This site is where we post about our travels around the world in our sailboat, and thus, kept far from the discussions of politics. However, since the political nature of the Presidential Election of 2016 has so unfortunately made it into my travel world, I thought maybe a view from the outside may be appropriate.
I am by nature, a non-political person. I want what most people want, equality and fairness for everyone in my country; and thus I vote accordingly. I was brought up in a Republican family with a devoutly Democratic grandmother, both of which influenced my values as well as my life experiences. It never helped to get involved in politics in my job nor my friendships….but I can only stay silent for so long when it comes to what is happening in America now. Sure, I laugh and “like” things on Facebook (odd how that has become so much part of our culture) with regards to politics, but I generally refrain from any outright sermons as I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum; and feel that is just plain rude anyway. But I feel that a view from the outside would benefit all Americans while making decisions in the 2016 election.
I have been absent from my country for the past three years, aside from a few visits home. I don’t earn an income or pay taxes anymore, nor do I partake in any benefits. During this time away, I have traveled by boat through fifteen nations. Unlike what you hear from people who only read stuff on the interwebs, we have always got a glorious welcome from all countries and fellow travelers from their respective countries. We fly our American flag tall and proud, just like anyone else, and have never had a negative remark from anyone. It is the popular response of travelers from the US who have back packed through Europe during the Bush administration, to say that people hate America…it is simply not true! I don’t know how many kayukas and dug out canoes full of people from obscure little islands have rowed up with their fist in the air sporting a big thumbs up stating in their best English “America, yes yes, Obama!”. It makes you very humble when you realize what an impact we have on the world.
I currently live in Vava’u, Tonga. A little island with a miniscule population of 15,000. But in those 15,000 people are Tongans, Samoans, Australians, New Zealanders, English, Germans, Belgians, Americans, Canadians and Swiss (and probably many more that I have left out). It makes for a very worldly discussion when out bar hopping….and I love it. But lately, all talk turns to the Americans with looks of bewilderment as to how we could have let this happen….by this, I mean Donald Trump. For the first time I have found myself defending my country and sometimes, gulp, even apologizing for making such a mockery of such an important election process.
Donald Trump craps on everything we have fought for and represent as Americans. He is a racist, a misogynist, a hate monger and a blowhard. No one should believe that he truly wants to “make America great again”; and I think it is pretty awesome right now! But forget all that, this is not a post about my political views, but of those from other countries who are influenced by everything we do.
I have a Swiss friend here who is an amazing person to have these discussions with. All he wants to know is how a country as great as ours, who have accomplished such an amazing amount of things in such a short amount of time, who have been through all the layers of racism, hate and corruption and come out on top….could ever believe that a man such as Donald Trump could lead with success. He is shocked that we would be entertaining such a buffoon, but also a man who wants to create a socialist republic or a woman who is so obviously corrupt her campaign is literally hiding in the media shadows of the idiocrity of an orange man who resembles a basketball with teeth. His reaction is like all others….shock, and a bit scared, because no matter who we elect, it will affect the world as well.
What to take from this is how the hell did these people get where they are, and what have we become as a country to allow them to get there. There are a lot of good people in politics that could have run a moderate “cleaner” campaign. But we have turned our great electorate process into a reality TV show.
We have made so many good steps in the extremely moderate Obama administration that it would be a shame to throw it all away. Sure, not everything he did worked out or was the best for the nation…but numbers don’t lie and I can’t think of a time where the stock market was higher, the jobless rate was lower or the general perception of the United States from foreign countries was stronger. We are a young country, we have made mistakes and wrong turns. But to let hate and fear take over a country that has made leaps and bounds to get rid of that type of behavior is just sad. Our Forefathers would be ashamed.
No matter what your political views are, this country was founded on a set of principles that talked about acceptance and forward thinking. Aside from the Native Americans, we are all immigrants…all taken in by this great land; it is what has made our country so strong. The current political climate in America is hostile, and that has to stop to become stronger.
You did not have to read this, but if you did, thank you. I hope you realize that when we vote, we not only represent our country, but a world view as well. As a country, we ARE better than Donald Trump. Speak out about our delegates, let people know you are unhappy, but please don’t grasp on to the most hopeless straw that is Donald Trump and his hate mongering speeches….WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!