Just a second ago, I overheard an Australian news anchor on TV talking live with an American in L.A. At the end of their conversation he said, “Now go vote, the world is counting on you.”
This interaction is one of several I’ve either whitnessed or experienced when a non-American discusses politics with an American since I’ve been overseas. Why? Because it’s true- the world is counting on us. While at home in the states many are merely focused on making their individual lives easier and fighting to defend their political stance, there is a whole world out there that is watching and anxiously waiting to hear what fate the American people chose.
“Trump or Hillary?” is one of the most common questions I get when Aussies, or any other nationality, realize I’m American. I won’t get into my personal opinions but I will say I have not yet met one non-American who understands why any of us would support a racist and egomaniac as our leader. “I love your country,” an Aussie told me once, “but that’s not your country.” I couldn’t agree more.
Watching the debates, scrolling through the heated social media posts and observing the crazy mess of what is the 2016 presidential election unfold from another country has been an eye-opening experience. While I had heard how much influence America has on the rest of the world, I can now feel it. And while I always heard America’s leaders had a significant impact overseas, I now know it. Our leader is their leader to many countries. Our example is their example. And our hope is their hope.
In Australia, elections are based off of parties. Rather than voting for an individual, such as Trump or Hillary, you vote for the party that aligns with your stance on the majority of issues. So for a second, don’t think about the candidates as people, parties or scandals, just think of what their campaign stands for and who they are fighting for. And then think of your American history classes and remember what and who we’ve been fighting for since the the beginning. What’s the phrase that made us different? Perhaps “liberty and justice for all” rings a bell? To me, and it seems to many around the world, that’s the American spirit the rest of the world is counting on us to preserve. Because if we can all come together for a common good, perhaps they can too.