I returned to the UK two stone heavier with a shortlived American drawl and an addiction to Mexican food and American pancakes.
A love affair with the USA had begun; I really did think it was the best at everything. There were frustrations too at such things as the lack of wordliness of most Americans I met and the belief that their country was the centre of the universe; trying to explain that Liverpool was not in London, what curry was and that it’s possible to have a ‘British’ accent despite having brown skin, was tedious. But I was young and forgiving. The years rolled by. Many dreams of living there, several wonderful holidays to the States – including an incredible honeymoon – later, my husband and I applied to move stateside with our young family. We were denied the visa. Twice. This was despite having a very strong application and an excellent sponsor. I cannot deny, that for various reasons, I was relieved. I had decided, for so many reasons (how long have you got?) that it just isn’t a country where I would feel comfortable raising my children. The love affair had ended.
The morning the US election 2016 results were announced, I walked into my neighbourhood café, stared open-mouthed at the TV screen
and genuinely considered asking the barista to slip some whiskey in my cappuccino to take the edge off my horror. (Note, I hate whiskey.) The café was packed, the staff immobile watching the news aghast. My friend arrived: “I thought of you as soon as I heard the news and I thought Prabs must be so happy they never got the visa to move to there” she said, followed by “this is Brexit supersized”. Well it’s the USA. Everything is supersized. [Ponders whether to elaborate on this…]
We finished coffee, I headed off on household errands and a while later, sat down to write something about this fateful day.
Frankly I stared at my screen paralysed, unable to process what had happened.
The line ‘I don’t know how to explain this to my kids’ was never more true. When your 12 year-old daughter asks “But Mummy why would women vote for a person who has zero respect for females or anyone?”…actually I can’t finish that sentence.
What came to mind was a letter I would address to Trump’s supporters:
So America you have voted.
The nation that has forever believed itself to be the biggest and the best, the land of dreams where anything is possible, you have put a loose canon in the Oval Office (well at least you proved that anything is in fact possible). A belligerent man – who ran his entire campaign on childish outbursts, insult hurling and a whole heap of outlandish straw-clutching – has brought a whole new meaning to the iconic stars and stripes, flying the flag for ignorance, chauvinism, hatred and division etc..
In voting to Make America ‘great again’, you have actually made America an utter laughing stock.
Except what has happened is no laughing matter; it is in fact utterly terrifying, an example of totally incomprehensible democracy. More American Horror Story than American Dream, one could say.
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/prabs-patel/donald-trump_b_12894746.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics