Like probably 80% of Europe I’m looking at the new US president in shock and disbelief. But if course it’s not my election and therefore none of my business – but what I am really profoundly sad about is that I absolutely did not believe this could happen.
I had no idea that life in America has become so bad, so impossible, so difficult for so many people that they decided that waking up to Trump is the end, not the beginning of a nightmare.
And I feel I should have had an inkling that this would happen, after all that’s what friends are for, to feel and empathize when a friend is hurting.
See, I have always thought of “us” in Europe and the US as friends, as peoples who, inspite of smaller differences, basically share the same values – but now the realisation dawns on me that maybe that is no longer the case.
I for one was always happy and proud to live in and be part of “the West” and of course whatever “the West” stands for was always epitomized in the US. But “the West” that Trump represents is a different country – at least for me.
And then there was Brexit. Now this, for me, was personal!
If I still lived in England, as I did for 5 years in the late ’90s, Brexit would have meant me! I would have been the economic migrant that would have gone on that list of foreign workers. I would have been the one to be criticised for using the scarce resources of the NHS. I would have been the one who would not have been sure if I would be able to stay in the country where my children were born and where I paid my taxes, I would have been a pawn in negotiations. I would have been one of the reasons that the UK left the EU, just to be able to get rid of me (because, let’s be honest, it was never about the sovereignty of Parliament in the face of the EU bureacracy…)
So yes, Brexit really hurt!
For an Anglophile like me 2016 hasn’t been a good year!
So I’m glad there is sewing to occupy my mind on a day like today that has profoundly shaken me up. My next sewing job might be therapeutic enough: bagging my new winter coat.
Here’s to new beginnings!