Back during the 2014 midterm elections, the US had the worst voter turnout in 72 years. I had proudly completed my absentee ballot while living in Venezuela and never would’ve expected that two years later people would be supporting a hate monger like Donald Trump.
As an American abroad, it’s embarrassing. Point blank. I’m living in the largest Muslim country in the world while the official Republican nominee spouts outrageousness like banning Muslims from the country.
As a person of color, there is no way that I’m foolish enough to think that an individual who is willing to talk badly about one group won’t turn around and talk badly about me tomorrow.
I find it HIGHLY interesting that Trump targets groups (i.e., Latinos and Muslims) that have not amassed their political power yet. He knows better than to come for Black folks the way he’s attacking these other groups.
Then, there are Republicans like Chris Christie who left me feeling betrayed even though I’m a moderate Democrat. How could Christie, the governor of an extremely diverse state, endorse Trump? I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. Was this the same Christie who endorsed Obama, spoke out against climate change after Super Storm Sandy, and just told it like it was let everyone else be damned? The same man I thought…huh, maybe I would cross the political aisle for him? Proximity to power is something that too many people crave at the cost of their own values.
As the election nears, I’ve already double and triple checked that I’m registered to vote. I’m excited that exclusionary voter ID laws are falling in courts, and I’m hoping that Clinton and the Democrats win by a landslide.
Why? Because this election cycle is a referendum on my country. We are a country with serious problems, but we can do better than to offer up hate like this.
May that horrible election turnout two years ago stand in sharp contrast to the upcoming November election turn out. Inclusiveness and love must win out over bigotry and hate.