I'm a massive fan of road tripping across the U.S. To date, I've driven across, through, explored, ate and slept in 43 states. And they've all been fantastically individual whilst solidly being part of their United nation. It has always been my ambition to cover every state and I'm very close to realising that dream. However, since Election Day back in November 2016, for the very first time, I'm genuinely no longer sure whether I really want to spend my hard earned money on visiting the remaining targets.
|OK, so this isn't one of my targets because I've already been, but who wouldn't want to see this again?|
I know that Donald Trump got fewer votes than Clinton (which is another thing, America: WTF??), but I also know he got a great deal of support and, with his attitude towards women, gay rights, same sex marriage, Trans bathroom laws, Black Lives Matter and, well basically everything that's not run by white people, I have to admit to being really disheartened by the results. I'm not even American, so I can't begin to imagine how those guys are feeling. Not the Trump supporters, obviously; I'm sure they're thrilled. Anyway, I already thought America WAS great, but I don't have to live there, so I maybe don't get to have much of an opinion on that one. Unfortunately, I have one, anyway.
My whole love for the US came from travelling there. From north to Deep south east to west coast, through massive sprawling cities to endless deserts; I love it all. But, the thing I've always loved most was the people. I've spent years defending Americans to British people who think they've all got guns and believe in creationism. They don't (some do, but I've been lucky enough not to meet them). The Americans I've met have been a huge mixture of city slickers, country dwellers, rich, poor, black, white, Latino, gay, straight, Jewish, Christian, educated, uneducated; the list is endless, but they all had one thing in common: their kindness. Seriously; they're the friendliest people I've ever met.
|If is isn't one of the most stunning sights in the world, I don't know what is.|
However, after years spent defending them, I'm officially giving up. I can't defend the election results; they really make me sad. One of the things I love about roadtriping in America is the diversity. I adored speaking Spanish to locals in Santa Fe, joining in Scottish and Irish traditions in NYC for St Pat's, exploring the Rockies with outdoorsy Colorado natives and going shopping for amazing Wisconsin cheddar with friends from Woodville. It's the differences between them all that makes it such a wonderful country. It was built on immigration and its populated by fabulous people, cultures and traditions. I also staunchly beloved in freedom of speech.
My final 7 states were all red on Wednesday morning. I've visited the blue ones already. I got married in New Mexico 3 months ago and was incredibly relieved to see it staying blue. It's not that I support Clinton, because I don't, it's just that I believe in equality for everyone, regardless of their beliefs, colour or, well...anything, really. Who am I to judge racism experienced by POC every day? I can't; I'm not them. I don't understand and I never will. But just because I don't understand it doesn't mean I don't try. And it certainly doesn't mean I stand for discrimination of any type. And that's why I'm so sad.
So, there will be no more State bagging for the foreseeable future from me. Not unless the new guy can show me he's really not a racist, bigoted, sexist, foul mouthed horror. And, as he's already more than confirmed that's EXACTLY what he is, I wouldn't believe him anyway.
Who knows, though; maybe I'll be totally wrong. I hope so.