The World is Watching, America
With half of the country rejoicing the election results, and the other half agonizing in defeat, November 9, 2016 will undoubtedly go down as a notable moment in American history. My intent isn't to rant about my political views (that's what Facebook seems to be for, right?), but to say this: The world watches what the United States does. The world learns from what the United States does. The entire world is impacted by what the United States does.
Prior to election night, one of my European roommates was assigned the task of writing a paper on the American electoral college (coincidental timing). I possessed the daunting task of attempting to explain to her why this system was established, who it is composed of, and how it functions alongside the popular vote (ironic?). Her education was affected by what the United States does.
In the days leading up to the election, my non-American roommates, hailing from across Europe and North Africa, asked me questions and shared their opinions of the two major party candidates. They understood that this election, in particular, was consequential. Then I considered this: How many American millennials closely follow elections in foreign nations? Many of us followed along to witness Brexit unfold, but how invested are we in foreign nations' political climates? I'm also speaking about myself. The world watches what the United States does.
Upon emerging from my room this morning, my roommates immediately commented on our new President Elect. While they knew where I stood politically, they still wanted to discuss my thoughts. They wanted me to go into greater detail regarding the President Elect's policies and how it will change American society. Today, Spanish teachers and students alike wanted to discuss the choice America made yesterday. They were all genuinely invested in learning more about what his election meant for the United States, and the world.
While this post may slightly stray from the intended purpose of this blog, I was able to witness a crucial moment in American history from across the Atlantic Ocean. My objective for moving to Spain was to learn from and about a different culture embracing both the positive and negative aspects of it. What I have learned over the past couple of days, though, is this: the land of the free and the home of the brave has a far greater reach into foreign countries' political, economic, cultural, and social realms than I had ever acknowledged. I wasn't ignorant to the fact that the United States played a role in every country, one way or another. I was ignorant to what that actually looked like.
Whether you're ecstatic about the results of the election, or you're trying to figure out how to move to Canada, know this: how we vote and behave in politics and society not only affects our own nation, but every country in the world. So, America, now that the world is watching, what will you do next?