It’s not news that this election cycle has been a nail-biter. The world has endured so much this year, I don’t think anyone needs a recap… With everything that has happened in 2020, it feels in some ways like this election is the cherry on top of a steaming pile of garbage! There is so much at stake in the USA with the future of healthcare, race equality, international relations, education, the Supreme Court… Not to mention how the world will be impacted in regards to the pandemic short term and climate change long term based on who is in office. Suffice it to say, emotions are running high and it feels like the two-party system is more divided than ever.
As an American living in Europe, and moreover, in France, I find there tends to be a huge disconnect between myself and many of my family members when it comes to discussing politics. It is often hard to reconcile my feelings with theirs because, as they love to remind me, ‘Well, you don’t live here anymore, so you don’t really know what it’s like.’ On one hand, this is true. Living on the ground and watching from afar do lend to having vastly different perspectives. I am able to observe from a safe distance while my family is in the midst of the chaos. On the other hand, distance from a situation is said to give you the opportunity to see things more clearly. This year, in particular, with the loss and fear around COVID-19 has been a tough one as we navigate being so far from each other in so many ways.
This sentiment is one I’ve shared with other Americans that I know living in France. I’ve found it has become so important to me to be able to commiserate and communicate with fellow Americans. After all, for many of us, part of why we have chosen to live in France is for the security that we feel from the sort of governing that exists here. A belief in socialized healthcare, education, and a generally progressive outlook is a commonality that Americans in France tend to share. It’s difficult when we look at our home country and see our compatriots, friends and families struggling to acquire what are considered basic human rights in France.
At the heart of all the stress surrounding this election is hope, I believe. Hope for an administration that will care about and support all of its constituents and not only the rich ones. Hope for a President that will be a representative we can be proud of internationally. Hope for equity and equality to become the standard for all Americans, citizens and immigrants alike. I know I will continue to hold that hope close to my heart as we approach November 4th. If you are feeling the same way…may the odds be ever in our favor!