Why Foreigners Are Heartbroken Over The U.S. Presidential Election


Today I woke up and it feels like the entire world is burning.

When you have clinically diagnosed anxiety, it can often feel like everything around you is on fire. Sometimes for no reason I get palpitations when I’m standing in a public area full of strangers, other times I feel sick while sitting in the car next to my husband because my brain and body tell me they can feel the Earth moving on its axis. Bile rises to my throat as I get dizzy and claustrophobic.

Most days I can calm myself down. If it gets real bad I get my ’happy pills’ and wait for them to kick in. But often I don’t need to resort to that, I am usually able to silently repeatedly tell myself ”It’s okay, this isn’t real, it’ll be over soon” and after half-an-hour or so the feeling of panic dissipates to something more controllable.

But not today.

No amount of meds, or meditation, or positive thinking is making my head stop spinning or helping me make sense of reality.

Not today after waking up to Donald Trump getting elected. Not today after heartbreakingly finding out some of my loved ones misguidedly support him. Not today after Brexit, after the continuing terrorist attacks all over the world, after David Bowie’s death and Alan Rickman’s, after ISIS, after daily police brutality. Not today after the Philippine supreme court ruled that a dictator is allowed to be buried in the ”Cemetery For Heroes” because hey, the current President says it’s okay. Not today when many poor are dying in my country under the guise of patriotism and my people support it. Not today when my country bleeds for the sins of a shitty-person-become-president and my people tell us to ”get over it, move on.” Not today when the USA seems to be doing the same – ignoring lessons from history by electing a sexist, hateful, racist, inexperienced, ill-tempered, unstable, incompetent white man.

I’ve casually voiced my opinion on social media in a (I feel) polite manner. I didn’t call anyone a Repulicunt or a libtard or any other slur. I’ve attempted to articulate my disappointment and hurt towards people I personally know who support this cheeto AKA poor excuse of a person.

Not only I but many others who also expressed their thoughts and feelings even more gracefully were met with a resounding – “You don’t even live here! You don’t know anything! The US is none of your business!”

How poignant yet ignorant.

The US is arguably the most powerful and influential country in the world. The fact that nearly everybody holds their breath every US Presidential Election is testament of that. And the resounding cry of shock after today’s result is even more concrete proof.

Your politics affects my country’s. It affects India’s, Pakistan’s, Belgium’s, France’s, etc. Not only are right-wing politicians in Europe (and probably North Korea, China, and Russia) rejoicing over this massive political shift, the US Presidential Election results determines the future of many countries’ economies.

For instance, Donald Trump The Cheeto thinks that climate change isn’t real and is something that the Chinese invented. Um, okay. That said, along with his campaign to cease outsourcing from different countries, there’s probably going to be a dip in the manufacture, usage, and practice of alternative energy. Denmark recently made a deal with the US to equip the latter with wind turbines. With Trump’s cray-cray threats and ”platforms,” Danes predict an unfortunate low for the wind industry which will further knock down their already shaky economy.

For the life of me, I can’t imagine why any intelligent, respectful person would exclaim to civil foreigners to ”shut up” about US politics because we ”know nothing.” Maybe we’re not political analysts, maybe we don’t have American citizenship, maybe we were not born there or live there – but this affects all of us. Your misguidedness (which could’ve been projected into something more positive but e-mails are scarier than a narcissistic racist sexual abuser) affects all of us. Donald Trump’s hate campaign affects all of us.

BESIDES – I’m confident many of us foreigners actually READ UP AND RESEARCHED extensively about your own candidates and political-economical news way before the preliminaries even began. I’m not as confident in saying the same about most of Trump supporters, though, but I may be in the wrong. Still, we have at least the knowledge to be able to voice an educated and informed opinion.

Frankly, we are in fear for our friends and loved ones. Those who ARE American close to our hearts who happen to be homosexual, transexual, female, Latino, Black, Middle-Eastern, muslim – all our loved ones who are not CIS and white. I’ve literally gotten calls and text messages from four of my friends living in the US expressing their hopelessness. One of them, a female who is a survivor of sexual assault herself, was in tears. People that we’ve grown up with or met and built real camaraderie with are hurt and afraid. And to see them get attacked / instigated further on social media by Trump supporters after the devastating news that their society supports ignorance, hate, and the possible eradication of their rights and identity – this is not okay.

America, this is not okay.

Yes, you have the right to your vote. But I also have a right to think you fucked up big time and astoundingly proved the stereotypes that Americans are stupid. The rest of the world has the right to dislike Trump, be disappointed, and speak out about it. You have the right to your opinion (how poorly and crudely worded it may be), but as do I, as do we, as do the rest of the world (real freedom and democracy sucks, huh?).

Historically, the USA was an oppressor – a growing superpower which sought even more power by oppressing lesser countries such as my Philippines. America continues to bully the helpless states like that of Palestine and the world tries to forgive you for that anyway. We forgave you for these and so many other atrocities. We forgave you even when you never apologized because you actually seemed to evolve and grow from your mistakes. The results of this election, however, is a sign that you have willfully, purposely decided to regress – for hopelessness? for pride? for religion? for nationalism? for xenophobia? – and that we can not forgive.

I wonder from where so many Americans get the idea that voting is supposed to be some expression of your deepest, most beloved values and virtues rather than a pragmatic, political move meant to shift your country as much closer to your ideal as possible. This strikes me as another example of extreme individualism. Voting isn’t about *you*. It’s about your city, state, and/or country. It doesn’t have to feel transcendently good deep down in your bones. It just has to *do* as much good as you can do, in this particular moment in time.” – brutereason

I’ll continue to strive to treat you with respect despite so many of you laughing at “Libtards” and telling them to “accept” this ugly orange hypersexual mutant. I’ll continue to respect your vote and your country’s decision to elect a(nother) rich white dude who has shown he has zero respect for women and even less skill on how to run a country.

But I’ll never respect the decision to support hate. To support ignorance AND hate whilst ironically calling ignorant those of us who bothered to make an effort to learn about your country’s politics.

As my American friend, Tina Hatch, said, “[sic]Hateful comments (towards Hillary voters) only reinforce the low opinion people have of Trump and those who ardently follow him while they excuse his behaviors. Don’t tell people they have to unify behind this man. Show them why they should.

God bless the world.