Thank You Donald Trump…
Like many of you here on the European side of the big pond, I was up all night watching the U.S. election results, switching back and forth between CNN and France 24 until the last votes were counted and the official news came in. I thought to get a bit of sleep for a while before rising for the day, but couldn’t. The ding of Facebook messages on the computer and phone calls from friends made it impossible to find any rest, so I dragged myself out of bed, bathed, dressed entirely in black without any make-up or jewelry and headed over to Café Charlot for breakfast.
That’s where I am now writing you, with tears streaming down my face that started the moment I saw Roger, one of my favorite waiters, on break at a corner table, who just looked at me with a forlorn face, a shrug of the shoulders and commented, “C’est incroyable, n’est-ce pas?” (It’s incredible, isn’t it?) All I could utter was, “It’s like losing a parent,” and the tears continued. I am in a kind of mourning.
Yesterday had been a particularly fun day having spent it at Après Midi with James Navé teaching us all about StorySLAM and other poetry and storytelling, as well as involving the audience, getting us all excited about the sharing of experiences. I had two Hillary Clinton masks with me that became a hilarious charade as everyone allowed me to photograph them with and without their Hillary personas. There wasn’t a single person who disagreed — everyone was in the spirit of the election of a woman as the next president of the United States. We all knew the election was close, but little did we realize just how close. (Read the whole story and see the photos at Après Midi.)
In the evening before the voting polls came in, a small group of friends and I visited the Mairie de 3ème where a big screen was broadcasting CNN for all to see in the courtyard and then headed over to the Carreau du Temple where the City Hall of the 3rd district was hosting an open house and all night event. The line to enter was too long for our tastes, but we took the opportunity to don our Hillary masks and have some fun among the crowd, while the locals snapped our photos.
Later, in my living room we poured glasses of wine, set out munchies and watched the results until about 1 a.m. when my small group of friends headed home leaving me to be glued to the TV for the rest of the night, depriving me of sleep and hope.
Then it dawned on me: I have Mr. Trump to thank for a lot, really.
To Mr. Trump, I say thank you:
* You have made me appreciate my residence in France even more than I had before. I didn’t move away from the U.S. in 1994 for any reason other than to experience living in France, but now that I’m not living in the U.S. anymore among 50% of a population who agrees with your conservative values, that confirms my love of France and reason to be here even more (national health care, public transportation, free quality education, well-funded cultural programs, etc., etc., etc.).
* I now realize how far we had come in achieving equal rights and how precious those rights are…as women who have the right to decide, as those who choose same-sex marriage, as immigrants seeking opportunity, a better life and who are able and willing to contribute to their new country. (I am an immigrant in a foreign country who has done just that, and my grandparents did exactly that same thing at the turn of the century, adopting the U.S. as their home — the U.S. we used to know.) The thought of possibly losing those rights at the hand of a single rich white man gives their value a whole new meaning and something to truly treasure.
* Mr. Trump, I heard that the Canada’s immigration website crashed last night for some odd reason (?!), so I thank you for sending us more Americans much like me and other Expats to France as well as to other parts of the world as they seek asylum from your potential tyranny. We will provide a haven for those who are open-minded and just, leaving you with just your [email protected]#$%&* followers who you will surely be able to easily control.
To all of you who are interested in pursuing a life outside of his new and “greater” America, we American Expats in France will welcome you. We will gladly help you find a way to make your move, explore ways of earning a living here and help you find a new home for rent or purchase.
Just visit our Web site for information and see our page about Working and Living in France with a link to our recommended immigration attorneys and property resources. Or simply email us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to respond as quickly as possible.
Thank you again, Mr. Trump. You have done us all here a great service.
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. Thanks to Janet Hulstrand and Bonjour Paris for their article yesterday about Après Midi!