Tomorrow is Election Day here in the United States. Tomorrow is the day that we come together and collectively decide the future of our nation, and the stakes have never been higher.
The effects of tomorrow’s vote will be felt around the world.
As a citizen of one of the most powerful nations in the world, I’m acutely aware of just how important this election is not only for those of us living here, but for how this election will impact the rest of the world as well. As a citizen of a powerful country, I have a responsibility to consider not just how my vote will matter in my own life, but how it will matter to the world at large.
The world is watching.
As a member of the travel blogging community and as somebody who is lucky enough to have people I call friends who live all over the world, I’ve heard a lot of talk from the citizens of other countries and what they think of this election. Some of them are scared about what it will mean for their own lives. Some of them think the U.S. election is a big joke. Some of them are just smug that their country isn’t a big circus like mine has become.
Me? I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of what’s happening in my country. I’m terrified of what might happen. I’m worried about my future. I’m sad that the country I was born in and that I love is so divided.
It’s not a joke. It’s my life. I live here. I love people here. The country I call home is a wonderful place with wonderful things in it and wonderful people, but there is also a lot of bad. To blindly state that we are the best and everything is great is a naive point of view, but there are those who hold that view.
I’m sad for my nation, but I’m also hopeful that we will make the right choice tomorrow.
The thing is, however, that it’s complicated.
I’m going to wear my political views on my sleeve for a moment and let you know that I am one of those West Coast Liberal Democrats that the other side loves to complain about so much. I want things like universal healthcare and assistance for the student loan crisis. I want us to find diplomatic solutions to conflicts and only resort to war when we have no other choice. I don’t want my tax dollars to go towards hurting people, but I do want them to go towards helping people. I want our sick and our elderly to be taken care of in this country. I want to open our borders to hard working immigrants who have something to contribute to this country.
I know people who feel differently. I know people who see universal health care and student loan forgiveness as only a tax on their hard earned dollars. They see war as a necessary tactic to keep our citizens safe. They see immigration as something that will take away their jobs.
I don’t agree... but I see their side. I do.
The thing we all have to remember about this election is that each and every one of us wants what we perceive to be the best thing for the country. We all want what’s best for the country. We all love this country and want to improve it. We just disagree on what will be an improvement.
We need to come together and we need to find some common ground. When this election is over, we all still have to live together.
Heather Hopkins is a travel blogger living in San Diego, California. You can read more of her writing on her blog at ArtTravelEatRepeat.com.