2017 Korean Presidential Election
The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
I live thousands of miles away, and I still vote. All I have to do is submit my ballot in the mail a few weeks before the election. As an African-American, I am a huge advocate when it comes to the issue of voting. Too many of our people struggled and died fighting for the right to vote. To honor those that allowed me this opportunity, I always exercise my right to vote.
The night of the 2016 Presidential Election, it was Wednesday morning here in Korea. I was at work, and my Korean co-teachers were also following the election. Americans weren't the only ones anticipating the outcome; people around the world were watching and waiting for the results. Hearts were racing the entire night. When the polls closed, and the winner was revealed, millions of people around the world were devastated, including myself. How could Trump, someone so dishonest, hateful, and misogynistic become the leader of the free world. I kept thinking, what kind of example are we setting for the world and for our children.
When I told Anaya that Trump had won the election, she didn't believe me. After hearing about all the craziness that occurred during the election, she laughed and said, "You're lying right?"
I turned to her and woefully replied, "Anaya, I wish I was."
The next morning, as Anaya was eating her cereal, she uttered, "I can't believe Trump is president. I don't want to be a citizen anymore."
I belted out a light chuckle, but then I thought about it. Even though she was 9 years old, her words were so strong. Kids are smarter than we make them out to be. They pay attention even when we think they aren't. In 2008, Obama became a symbol of hope and inspiration for our children, but now take a look at what it has come to. We tell our kids do right and things will prevail, but many times it only applies to a select few. It doesn't apply to OUR children, and that's why it hurts.
Our children are affected by this. They are innocent and defenseless. You want to protect your children from the hate that exists in this world and you can't. You always want better for your children. The reality of America's hidden truths really infuriates me, and this only furthers the notion that I may never move back.
Fear and ignorance are the key ingredients to Trump's success, and this fear was the fuel that enacted the recent travel ban. The ban even included U.S. citizens and green card holders from each of the banned countries. So many people around the world were not able to return home. I saw videos of Syrian Americans who voted for Trump and how their family members were affected by the ban. People are clueless about how these decisions affect the world until they are the ones affected.
North Korean Threat
Here in Korea, anyone that is employed here has access to healthcare, regardless of citizenship. The amount you pay is based on your income. Each month 4% of your salary is put towards your health insurance and your employer contributes another 4%. When my husband had pneumonia in 2015, he had to be hospitalized for 5 days. With the Korean National Health Insurance we only had to pay $500. Can you imagine the cost of a 5 day hospital stay in the U.S.? When Anaya was younger, she had a fever and an ear infection. Including both the doctor’s visit and medicine, I only paid $15. Here, healthcare is affordable and everyone has access to it. So many countries have implemented a similar healthcare system that works for it’s citizens and not the corporations. If it can work in these other countries, I am positive that it can work in the U.S. For the U.S. to be a nation based on Christian principles, I cannot understand why there are so many people who are against the idea of providing EVERYONE with affordable insurance. It is a right that we all deserve.
It's only been 4 months since Trump was elected into office and so many executive orders have been signed that are destructive to so many people. People who voted for Trump are beginning to voice their regrets, but in the end, they got what they asked for. In just a period of 4 months, there has been a series of chaotic events that Trump has created. Within the span of 4 years, imagine how much more anarchy we will have to endure. I began to think, if Trump were elected for a 2nd term, Anaya would be almost 18 when he leaves office. That is entirely way too long! We have no time to "wait and see" what he'll destroy next. After witnessing the success of how Koreans banded together to impeach their last president and how massive protests helped reverse the travel ban, I pray Americans will use that as inspiration to challenge the Trump administration and develop strategies to dismantle their fascist regime.