January 20, 2017, the day Washington fell into the hands of billionaire bigots, zealots and neoliberal goons, with a twittering, tantrum-prone ten-year-old at the helm, immature for his age.
Part of me still can’t believe it happened, like maybe I’ll wake up soon, white knuckling a pillow, and tell my husband, “Oh my god, I just had the most terrible dream.”
Never have I been happier to be an expat.
But no matter how long I live abroad, I am and always will be an American.
Here in Berlin, 5,654 miles away from where I grew up, I’m still heartbroken; still angry.
I feel for my family: for my sister who might go back to having a “pre-existing condition” because she donated a kidney to save her husband’s life, for my sister-in-law who teaches fifth grade students, nearly all from immigrant families, some of their parents undocumented.
I feel for the Trump voters who didn’t like him but believed his rhetoric, believed he would bring back the jobs they’ve lost, believed he could restore the myth of the American dream. Can you really blame them for wanting to turn back the clock?
I even almost feel for the lowest of the low: the most hateful, the most zealous; the bigots, racists and misogynists. To be so driven by fear and hate, reality seen through the skewed lens of paranoia, any feelings of empathy replaced by stone cold myopic fanaticism is not only utterly despicable, it’s tragic.
I hope we’ll get through this, that things won’t be as bad as we imagine, that this is a test and not the end. I hope we can keep up the fight and make our voices heard.
Only time will tell.