Why I'm Disappointed In America

I thought we were better than this.
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react as they watch election returns showing Donald Trump
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react as they watch election returns showing Donald Trump winning in Florida at the election night rally in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016

When I woke up this morning, I was optimistic. I knew the election would be close, but I did not think it would be this close. Nor, did I think he would have a decent chance at winning. But look at where we are now.

As a student at Hillary’s alma mater, Wellesley College, I might be perceived as biased by some, or the fact that I, too, am a woman might lead some to think I would automatically choose her simply because we are the same gender. You would be wrong on both counts. I voted for Hillary Clinton because she is the most qualified candidate and would maintain our country’s equilibrium in the world.

On campus there were events hosted to celebrate and bring together alumnae and students from around the area, the country, and the world. I only went for a little while, to soak in the atmosphere and take a few pictures, with the intention to watch the results come in with a few friends in our dorm. Even though we all brought assignments with us to do while the results came in, nothing got done. Instead, we were glued to the screen as the results trickled in and it became apparent that things were not looking our way.

It is quarter to one in the morning, so not all of the results have come in, but looking at the writing on the wall and the statistical reports coming in, it is becoming clear that we have lost.

I became a United States citizen at the age of six months when I was adopted from China, and moved to the United States when I was around two years old. Growing up, I learned about the greatness of the United States, how it was a global super power, and how my family of immigrants exemplified American values. With these election results, I have become disenchanted. I will admit that when Trump appeared to become a serious contender, my strong belief in the United States started to crumble piece by piece until it is simply crushed into dust.

In this early morning, I am disappointed in my country. I thought we were better than this. I thought we could select the more qualified candidate to our highest governmental office to prove to ourselves and the world that we are indeed “the best country in the world.” We proved the haters right tonight when we, presumably, elected a bigot, a racist, and a misogynist to the highest office in the land.

When I took AP: United States Government and Politics, I fell in love with our political system and how it enabled the government to function as an extension of the wishes of its peoples. I thought we had a system that enabled us to function as the democracy that we set out to be when we seceded from Great Britain. Now, I do not know what to think. I am disheartened by the actions of my country. I am ashamed to say that I am from North Carolina, a state that went to Trump, and I am ashamed to be an American.

I thought we were better than this. I thought we could think beyond prejudice and stereotypes. I thought we could think beyond what politicians and talking heads say, and figure out facts for ourselves. I thought we could think beyond what electing a president means for the United States, and think about what it means for the rest of the world. I thought we could rise above the stereotype of the selfish American who only looks out for their own self-interest. I thought, and I thought, and I thought. I thought wrong.