Apologizing For Trump All Over The World

Apologizing for Trump All Over The World

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Søren Kierkegaard

As Americans traveling in Europe we do apologize often for our behavior. But we may have outdone ourselves with Trump. Trump represents the America that the world hates. He embodies the worst anti-American stereotypes: vulgar, violent, cash-obsessed, racist.  I recently returned from Europe and the Middle East and found myself on the Trump Apology Tour. They are just baffled by how we have this Republican candidate.’To be a potential leader of a nation of immigrants and be anti-immigration and xenophobic plays into other countries fears.

The world seemed to like Obama. Traveling in 2008 was fun when it came to politics.  Since the rise of Trump, you can’t really travel out of the US without a barrage of  political questions.

In South Africa, I was often asked who do you think is worse Zuma or Trump? We’ve never competed with corrupt, dictator types before for unpopularity.  “Why is Trump so popular with Americans?” asked the man at border control in Jordan. Are they allowed to ask that while holding your passport? As usual, I immediately have to distance myself from the Donald. ”No Idea. It’s terrifying.” He smiled and stamped my passport. 

America is no stranger to embarrassing exports but we may have outdone ourselves with Donald Trump. They feel that what started as a bad joke might become a reality. Europeans are definitely feeling that now they have a reason to act superior.”What do you think of Trump?’ they ask. What I think is that Trump destroys everything I do as a traveler to make an impact on how people see Americans.

Fly safe,
JAZ

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Why I Will Vote In An Election That Nobody Wants

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” Abraham Lincoln

The Republicans seem to feel that if Obama can be elected President than anyone can – even a reality star who has never held any public office. Hillary Clinton who seemed like a viable first woman president is now untrustworthy and very unlikable.

I voted when I turned eighteen and then I didn’t vote for a long time.  I always believed that the lesser of two evils was still an evil.  Political participation felt ineffective and protesting seemed the way to create change. After I had kids, I felt differently. I was responsible for everything including earthquakes, climate change, crime and the economy. It was my responsibility to my children to vote people into office who also felt responsible and would make the world better for them. 

I’ve spent time in countries that are run by dictatorships, the military or have corrupt elections and governments.  Watching the movie An African Election, makes you realize that having a vote is not a given for everyone. I can’t not vote anymore, even though this election is troublesome to me.

The right to vote is mentioned more often in the Constitution than anything else. Perhaps the mentality was that voting was a privilege and it needed to be a right. For a long time it was only the “right people” who could vote. This is something we are so adamant about when we see it in other countries. Our vote may not seem so important to us now  but we would be so much worse without it.

Will my vote this year be who do I hate less? Neither of them have the qualities that  I picture in a leader. When I think of what a leader of a country is supposed to be I think of words like stability, peace, tolerance, fairness, honesty, character, substance, and justice. Didn’t we learn in Elementary School to build bridges not walls and to never tell a lie? The system is clearly broken. It seems that no one good and really qualified  wants to grow up and be President of the United States anymore. Instead it is “clowns to the left of me jokers to the right, Here am stuck in the middle…….”

Who would Jesus vote for?

Fly safe,

JAZ