Above photo: AMIDEAST mock ballots
It’s Tuesday, November 8th. And it’s been a fairly normal (busy, as always!!) day here. I went to school in the morning, then Moroccan Arabic class at AMIDEAST in the afternoon. Then I stayed at the gym for around three hours, where I went to Zumba and also took an elastic-band class. I got home around 8:30.
It’s ten now, and I’ve just finished dinner. Now I have a few hours to read (Into the Wild! thanks Kyra #yesabroadbookclub), blog, go on social media, and…
…follow the presidential election.
Before coming to Morocco, I told myself that I would not spend too much time reading political news from the United States. It’s addictive—once I start, I don’t stop, and in NC, I used to spend at least an hour each day reading articles and editorials + watching low-quality cable news at the gym + discussing daily events with my brother, who somehow manages to follow politics more closely than I do.
Also, I come from the swing state of North Carolina. Politicians come to our state; my friends and I talk about politics frequently. In NC, even if you don’t seek out political information by yourself, it comes to you through conversations, mail, and so on.
However, living abroad doesn’t remove you from the election. You just experience it in a different way. I answer lots of questions (“who do you think will win?” is a popular one. answer: I honestly don’t know, but I’ll trust FiveThirtyEight for now). I explained the electoral college to people at my internship and how it leads to certain “more-important” swing states that candidates tend to focus on.
2016 is an interesting election year to be abroad. I’ve really been able to put into perspective how important this election is not only for us Americans, but also for people around the world. The English teacher at school likes to ask questions: “Why can’t Donald Trump Make America Great Again?” “Is American foreign policy good or bad?” My friends at school, too, know that the election is today, and they ask about our opinions on the candidates. They are anxious about the results, just like we are.
It’s late. I’m going to resist the temptation to watch the election and just go to sleep. When I wake up, we’ll already have known who’ll be our next president.