During the eight years of the last Bush administration there were many times when I thought about leaving this country. I was ashamed that we had elected a president who could barely talk in complete sentences as well as an incompetent leader who had no clue about world affairs or how to deal with the American economy.
It seemed disgraceful that the American people could elect such a man. What had become of our values? Had we not learned the lessons of history? Had this country become so careless about helping the concept of democracy evolve in a meaningful way? It seemed we had lost our way.
The U.S. became a disgraced country in the view of many other countries. We had elected an incompetent leader. Other major countries rely on us to get it right because they know that whatever happens here affects everyone else. Yet, we set a course that was bad for the whole world.
Now fast track ahead to the nearly post Obama-era eight years later and we are again on the verge of doing something worse than what we did when we elected Bush II. The world is watching us with fear as a billionaire, egomaniacal, racist, misogynist fool makes a bid to become president.
When Trump first threw his hat into the ring most sensible people believed he would not last. The pundits and the talking heads laughed while they actually made him become the Republican front-runner by giving him so much media attention. In part, Trump is a creation of the media and they deserve a lot of the blame for his success.
Leaders and ordinary people around the world are watching the run-up to the American election with a great deal of fear. They realize that this fool may actually become the next President of the United States and they are beginning to understand what is at stake. This was reinforced a few days ago while I was walking around the Villa Borghese in Rome and an Australian couple expressed their fear to me if a Trump presidency becomes reality.
It is becoming clear that Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic nominee and she will have a hard time beating Trump. She is not liked by many voters and she is perceived as being a very untrustworthy person. How can average Americans bring themselves to vote for someone who unashamedly accepts over $200,000 to make a speech to Wall Street insiders?
American history is filled with accounts of Presidential elections where the voters felt they were voting for the lesser of two evils. That may be what appears to be happening with the 2016 election but it is different in many ways. Trump is not only a disgrace to electoral politics but he is a disgrace to the human race.
Americans have proven that they want to turn everyday life into one big reality show. They want to vote for someone who is not a Washington insider, who speaks his mind, even if that mind is not capable of telling the truth and spews hatred and racism at every turn.
This all leads me to consider leaving the country of my birth because it does not reflect anything close to the humane and ethical values that I believe life should be based upon. Sure, we have a lot of privilege here and life is pretty good for many of us. But the rift between the rich and the poor is only getting bigger and what we call democracy has become too dysfunctional.
Then I ask myself if running away solves anything. I know it doesn't and I really don't want to cut all of the ties I have in my homeland just because a bunch of fools are running the show. But we have become so powerless to change anything and voting in America has become a fool's errand.
Would it be better for my peace of mind and my soul to watch all of this from a distance? Would that really make the world a better place?
Richard Davis is a registered nurse. He writes from Guilford and welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.