I have lived in England, Italy and now France. I have visited Scotland, Wales (separate countries even though they are part of the UK), France (in the past), Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Slovenia in Europe, and several States in the US on a road trip. I have friends and relatives all over the globe. I am a Citizen of the World.
Last June, I had to come to terms with a decision that would remove, from me and mine, the rights and opportunities that we have had for forty-three years. We were able to move (almost) seamlessly to Italy when Hubby was offered a job in Milan. We all benefited from reciprocal healthcare – an important factor with two small children. The kids were accepted into school without any problems. When we had to return to the UK (not our choice), we did that without bureaucratic problems, on the whole. During the course of our renewed stay in England, we entered and left other European countries with great ease, giving our children further opportunities to expand their education (which is not just book learning!). We will now – if the full might of the withdrawal from the EU actually comes to pass, in spite of the referendum only being advisory and a significant number of the electorate not voting for ‘Leave’ – have to look at the rest of Europe with totally different eyes and totter our way into its future.
In the last few months, we have had to adjust to another bombshell. A man, who is as ill-suited to the ultimate position in a major country as a mud pie, has been elected to that very position. I still have no idea how that happened, in spite of many friends attempting to explain it to me. Regardless of any political affiliation, it should have been obvious to anyone with any sensitivity and intellect that this man is not a leader of men – or women. With failed marriages and businesses behind him, utter contempt for a vast variety of social groups – including the one that makes up half the world’s population – and a suspicious unwillingness to declare his taxes, I wouldn’t trust him to clear the snow from my drive. I sincerely want to hope that many of the people who voted for him were completely hoodwinked into thinking that they would be getting something else, although I fear that a significant number actually think the way that he does. He does not, however, have a moral mandate to run the country (if I understand it correctly) if more people actually voted for the other Party than for him (not going into personal details here), whereas the Electoral College – afraid for their futures – toed the line and confirmed him as President.
The vast majority of the people I know are as incredulous as I am and we would like this to be a bad dream from which we can wake up – soon. So, between the non-vote for the UK to leave the EU and the non-vote in the Presidential Election, where’s that positivity I was looking for?
Well, I know that there is a groundswell of people pushing against both of these issues, both inside government and outside it. I know that there are more people who believe in all the liberties we have come to accept than those who are trying to erode or destroy them. I know that there cannot be a future in which this autocratic form of government can once more become the norm.
I can’t be wrong. I just can’t.