Eligible Americans are voting today to elect a new president, that is if they haven’t already done so in the days and weeks gone by. And although the campaign circuit has been plagued with accusations, antagonism and outlandish antics, nevertheless, the decision to be made today will be a monumental one. It will be so even for those of us without a vote, without citizenship, the Un-American. I am an Antiguan, born and raised and it would be a fair assessment to say that here in Antigua, we’ve been just as tuned in to America’s politics, watching debates and quarreling points as most Americans. Because even without a vote, even without a say in the outcome of this election, undoubtedly we know that we’ll be affected by it.
The two main candidates vying today, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, are representing the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. They are two choices that represent entirely different ideals, mandates and backgrounds and America seems quite torn between them. Hilary Clinton brings with her a long history of political clout and qualifications, and though some may argue her cause simply because she’s a woman, the issue of her gender alone does not matter to many. However, she stands as the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major party and as such if elected will be the first female President of the United States of America. It’s a big deal, that when coupled with her platform on inclusivity and matters pertaining not only to women, but across the board with minorities, immigrants and the LGBT community; a win for Hilary will seem like a win for many.
For Donald Trump, his presidential bid, subsequent nomination and candidacy still have many wondering, “just what were they thinking?”. Because while Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State, Donald Trump was on reality TV with the Apprentice. He is also the president of the Trump Organization, several other business holdings with a campaign slogan to make “America Great Again”, though seemingly he has only a vague concept of the rest of the world. A world in which America isn’t regarded as an insulated country but for better or worse, as a chief influencer, ally and even sometimes, the promised land. Those of us on the outside are still tuned into the society, we watch the movies, we sing the songs, we follow the trends. Through foreign trade, investment, aid and travel, the American economy bolsters our own, and tragedies on American soil always hit close to home. It stands to reason too, that if the American president is the leader of the free world then he or she will lead us also.
American influences permeate our society, they intermingle with our everyday life and today we will watch and wait for an outcome we had no part in, but nevertheless affects our lives. It is my dearest hope that all of you who can vote, will do so. By now, you’ve heard all you’re going to and the result is up to you. To not vote is still voting, just as even silence can be heard, but you would have done something by doing nothing and there is no point in that. Go out and vote and you have the privilege of participating in something monumental, wherein you are creating a change that matters to us all.