So I am currently in a huge lecture hall with a stern French professor trying to overcome the fact that he is wearing a pink scarf and to command our attention. I am wearing my Barack Obama t-shirt for the second day in a row: 1. because I am gross and fell asleep in my clothes, then got up 20 minutes before my class and had to rush, but also, more importantly: 2. because today, in a foreign country, surrounded by people from all over the world, I am truly proud to be an American.
It is in the past few months, when I have been furthest away from the place that I call home, that I have been able to learn the most about it. Through the eyes of others, I have come to see our country more clearly. Through their words, I have come to understand what we really stand for. Even through their criticisms*, I have come to have hope for all that we can be.
Before I went abroad, I viewed saying that the United States was the most influential country in the world as incredibly arrogant, bordering on insulting. However, every day, no matter where I travel, I see firsthand the influence that our country has on people of all different nationalities, orientations, and circumstances. Besides just adopting so many elements of American culture (whether they realize it or not – one French guy asked me if we have Burger King’s in the U.S. too. Umm…what?), the world looks to the United States for its policies, its actions, and, most importantly, its beliefs.
Whether we like it or not (Bush years anyone?), the leader of our country, the President of the United States, is our representative. Who we elect, or re-elect in this case, tells the world what we truly believe in.
I am proud to have voted for a President who shows the world that we believe that every person deserves to have access to healthcare and education. That equality of opportunity doesn’t stop based on the color of someone’s skin, or their sexual orientation, or whether or not they have to wear a jockstrap when they are playing sports.**
Most importantly, I am proud to have voted for a President that gives me, other Americans, and the world, hope for our future.
In some ways, I am glad to have been out of the country for the past few months of election season. Although I would have loved to watch the same political ads seventeen million times in a row(especially being from Ohio/Wisconsin), I have been glad to be away from the divisiveness that has seemed to characterize this election, instead relying on CNN and the all-reliable, and often hilarious, Twitter, for my political updates.
I know it’s easy to say this when your candidate has won, especially when the other candidate was supported by the ever-douchebag-y and increasingly irrelevant Donald Trump, but I truly hope that we can all start to work together to make this country everything that it can be, Mr. Trump and his ego (which I think is big enough to be counted as a separate person) included. The whole word is looking at us, it’s time to show them the true meaning of a “comeback”.
I know I said that I have been glad to be out of the country for the past few months. However, with a country that is sure to move forward in the next four years, there is one thing that is certain: I can’t wait to come back.
Also, special thanks to Mr. President for making his victory speech especially touching and causing me to tear up reading it while surrounded by a bunch of French students who already think I’m insane based on a coffee/un-tied shoelace incident last week.
FOUR MORE YEARS.
*Yes, our McDonald’s drink sizes ARE abnormally large, among other complaints.
**Gender equality, in case you didn’t get it.