I thought I was registered; but when I checked where I was supposed to vote, my name was not found. I missed my chance to vote in one of the most controversial elections in my life time. I had plenty of reminders. Nevertheless, the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Adjusting to so many new things -sights, sounds, places, people, schedules, responsibilities – all these, became priorities. And when the time came to vote, I missed my chance. Not that my vote would have really mattered. My state was not a “swing” state. Should I have voted, I would have voted for an independent candidate who, at the end of the vote count, obtained very few votes, too few to even notice. Most people I talked to did not like either main party candidate. Most mainstream media did not report on independent candidates. Not fair! Perhaps there was an interview I missed. Was there?
Tuesday night I stayed up a little later than usual to watch the election news. But I was just too sleepy to stay up all night, so I went straight to bed. As I lay down, exhausted, I thought, “no doubt, tomorrow I will wake up to the news of the first woman president in the United States.” But, I woke up the next morning and to my surprise, Donald Trump had won. I thought Clinton was unbeatable, unstoppable, untouchable, too powerful to loose. I was wrong.
To my surprise, my feelings were all over the place. Here is my account:
- Sad. Hillary Clinton could have been the very first Madam President. Latin America has had several. There have already been two in Central America: Violeta Chamorro of Nicaragua and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica. Deep inside, I was hopeful.
- Surprised. I did not expected Donald Trump to win. Did anyone, really? The media and the polls were so wrong.
- Confused. I did not understand how Mr. Trump won. I realized that electoral votes really do matter. I don’t care for electoral votes; but at the same time, I understand their purpose. If not for the electoral college, the ones who would really be deciding election outcomes would be the overpopulated, ultra-liberal and secular states of the eastern and western coasts.
- Worried. I wondered what would happen to the thousands of jobs US companies provide to Hondurans in Honduras. Yes, labor is much much cheaper in Honduras; but people need jobs and a honest way to earn a living. Many avoid illegal immigration to the US precisely because they have a way to earn an honest living in their own country. This is a more effective way to of preventing illegal immigration.
- Concerned. As a legal immigrant and a naturalized US Citizen, I have nothing to fear, but I am concerned for those who do live in fear every day. A Muslim friend expressed her fear of going to Walmart. “What should I do if someone attacks me?” Very unlikely in our city. Another friend asked, “What will we do if we can’t use Obamacare anymore? Real fears.
- Angry. Why were there all these protests with signs that read, “Not my president!”? Isn’t this what democracy is? You get what you get and you don’t get upset. I felt angry at those who demand tolerance for all, yet are so intolerant of those who do not think just like they do.
- Hopeful and excited. I don’t believe Mr. Trump will be as lousy a president as we expect him to be. Perhaps we will be surprised. Who knows? We will just have to wait and see.
My four year-old son whispered confidently in my husbands’ ear: “Dad, God is in charge of everything, all people, even presidents.” So true. Yet we continue to long for the day when Jesus returns, not as a baby anymore, but as the mighty King of the Universe. He will make all things right. I look forward to that day.
During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” Daniel 2:19-22