November 9, 2016

Paris, Day 1: Versailles + Tough Reflections

college fashion, study abroad outfit, versailles
palace of versailles
palace of versailles
hall of mirrors
gardens of versailles
college fashion, study abroad outfit
marie antoinette's house

My words will most definitely not match my photos today, and that's okay.

Just over a week ago, I was waltzing around Paris. 

Today, I not only found out that a vile man would become the next US president, but that my mom voted for him. 

My mom voted for Donald Trump. 

I would write the same sentence a million times if the numbing repetition would make the nightmare disappear. But even acknowledging the fact once makes me shudder with horror and boil in shame. 

I want to believe that the media painted Trump as a misogynist, racist psychopath, and that he's actually a very nice man qualified to lead our country. But that would be horribly naive.

I want to believe that checks and balances will prevent the imminent damage of Trump's proclaimed foreign and domestic policy. But we thought that he would never make it through the primary, and most definitely never reach the White House. And he did. 

When I told my parents to vote on November 8th, I didn't realize I should've specified. 

I'm speechless that half the country and even part of my family selected someone so starkly against America's founding ideals of equality, freedom, and happiness. I'm in shock, and I want to understand.

I'm usually reticent about politics, and I'm not sure why--maybe because it doesn't feel tasteful to discuss such polarized topics, maybe because I'm afraid of offending others. Or maybe because I'm terrified of discovering what those close to me believe.

My mother's vote, if anything, has shown me that it's time to start a dialogue. Yes, the democratic party didn't handle the primaries well. Yes, our choices weren't ideal this election, but are they ever? America chose a man who embodies the opposite of love and progress to become our president, and I want to know how and why. My mother, an educated middle-class minority woman, chose Donald Trump to be president, and I want to know how and why. 

I'm hurting. America is hurting. I feel betrayed and ashamed of my country, and my family. 

But we must look ahead. Groupthink, propaganda, corruption, polarization, lack of education, fear, blindess, hate--something led to this result. Whatever it was, I want to fix it. 

Whatever it was, let's fix it together.

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