American Politics Abroad*

Katrina Matthews-Mcgann
November 26, 2016

*This blog is a few weeks late but I still feel it applies.

As the United States is still in turmoil over the results of the presidential election, I thought I would say a few words on what it’s like being an American citizen abroad at this crucial time. First and foremost, let me make it clear that this blog is taking a polarizing view of the elections. As a minority woman, Donald Trump becoming president is literally the worst possible outcome this election could have produced for me personally. I’m extremely disappointed in American politics right now and am also very concerned about the future the nation. I was in full support of Hillary Clinton and when I saw that Trump won, my heart literally dropped to the floor, it was that intense of a disappointment.

            I feel like the 2016 election is going to be one of those significant events where I’ll always remember the exact details. Years on when my grandchildren go over their history homework and they ask me what it was like when Donald Trump was elected president I’ll answer them: “Well kids, I was in Spain at the time so the results didn’t get to us until the following morning after election day. It was a cold, dark morning (which should have been my first clue) and I remember going to sleep November 8th and seeing Hillary Clinton was up in the polls. I was able to rest easy that night, only to wake up and see on CNN that Donald Trump had surpassed every and all expectations and became president of the United States. The rest of that day was basically crap.”

            All the events leading up to the election were stressful enough, but nobody thought Trump would win. And then he did. And things got even more stressful. The worst part of it, besides realizing that the political state of my country of residence would be extremely biased toward the conservative side when I returned home, was having to go about everyday life in Spain as if things weren’t falling apart back at home.

            We were all still expected to go to classes (which, I guess in all fairness, isn’t that ridiculous of a request) and participate like we normally would on any other day. What I couldn’t comprehend was that the professors were genuinely confused when we weren’t all paying rapt attention in their classes.

            It was actually quite interesting to see this election from a new international viewpoint. Every Spanish person I had talked to about the election before the results came out wholeheartedly agreed that Trump was the worst candidate and that there was no way he could win. I saw that other nations, in Europe especially, were as much concerned about the results of the election as the rest of us. But the striking thing was that once the election was over, everyone else acknowledged that yeah, this was a terrible thing to happen but, *shrug*, what are you gonna do? I suppose I expected everyone else to be in anguish over the results like me and other American students were. I couldn’t understand how they could just move on and go about their day like what happened was just some standard, run of the mill, boring election result.

            But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was just the way of the world. I remember when the Brexit results came in. As an International Relations major, I was a bit more invested in this event than my friends were. But their reaction was almost exactly the same as the Spanish during this election: “Wow, that really sucks for them over there in Europe. I hope this doesn’t make things too expensive for me when I go over there for study abroad.” I guess when you’re not from the specific country where things are going a little crazy, you’re not that emotionally involved enough to obsess over it for an extended period of time.

This realization helped me have a little more patience with my professors during classes on November 9th. I successfully refrained from shouting out “Donald Trump just became president!! I don’t care about verb conjugations!!! Stop this madness!! AHHHHH!!!!”

             Now that it’s been the better part of the week, things have definitely calmed down here but the same can’t be said for what’s happening back at home.

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Katrina Matthews-Mcgann

<p>I&#39;m a third year college student excited about seeing everything this amazing planet has to offer. Originally from Oregon, I&#39;ve slowly been finding my place in the world through travels throughout North America, China, and now Europe! I hope this blog offers advice, inspiration, and a bit of humor for any current and future travelers.</p>

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