After watching last night's Republican National Convention, I made up my mind. I am moving out of the United States. Don't get me wrong, I love this country. My family and I are all immigrants from around the world - Cuba, Sweden, and China - and the United States has offered us many opportunities. But the United States today is so far removed from ideals coined by our Founding Fathers who provided that all people are given the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." What I have seen this summer refutes that.
This summer has been fraught with contentious politics and unprecedented violence stemming from mass shootings, police brutality, and terrorist attacks around the world. The senseless murders of POC at the hands of police and the killing of police officers exemplifies this changed America. Anyone who knows their American history should recall the violence that characterized race relations in the 19th century. Have we really progressed since then?
When the Republican National Convention rolled around, I did not want to watch it. After seeing and hearing Donald Trump ad nauseum since the beginning of the campaign season, I was tired of him and did not want to hear what his supporters or his wife had to say about him. But, my mom turned it on, and I watched because I figured it would be an interesting experience. I was not disappointed.
The fact that one of the stars of Duck Dynasty was one of the first speakers on the docket speaks for itself. After that, it was basically a laundry-list of every person who is angry with the Democratic establishment and is now throwing their support behind Trump who will [supposedly] "Make America Great Again!"
According to the GOP website, last night's program dealt with the topic of "Make America Safe Again" and cited the following as the description for the night's events:
From attacks on our own soil and overseas to the tragedy in Benghazi, the policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us vulnerable. Our immigration system is broken, leaving our country open to security threats and the negative consequences of illegal immigration. A Donald Trump administration will listen to and learn from our nation's heroes who have put themselves in harm's way and pursue a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again.
But the real kicker was when Melania Trump gave her speech, which was good before it was discovered that she plagiarized part of it from Michelle Obama's speech. Oh right. That. To which the Trump campaign says that she only copied "fragments of words" Last I checked, even using "fragments of words" is grounds for plagiarism in most schools and academic circles. But I guess they do things differently in Trump's world.
So, back to why I'm (potentially) moving. Yes, there is violence in Europe. Take for instance the stabbing on a train in Germany. Or, the attacks in Nice. But the rhetoric spouted by Trump and his followers has been disheartening to say the least and the possibility of a Trump presidency scares me. Even if Trump does not win, Trump supporters will still be out there and their feelings towards hot button issues such as immigration, US military presence overseas, and the economy will remain. This, combined with the escalated violence from mass shootings - because somehow, the United States still does not have common sense gun control laws - have me thinking that things might be better across the pond. As a dual-citizen between the United States and Sweden, I plan on taking full advantage of my Swedish citizenship to escape a Trump presidency. Here's to what the rest of the RNC holds, and here's to watching our nation begin its downward spiral.