It’s hardly a secret that I did not vote for Donald Trump for President. I don’t agree with 95% of what he says and 99% of what he does. I have actually met him twice, neither of which were memorable-just shook hands in a group of people doing the same thing. I believe that he has been a black eye for the United States in the eyes of the world. I almost always look at things from a global perspective for obvious reasons. Of course his Presidency creates many issues for people like me who travel internationally often. Here’s what to expect traveling in the time of Trump.
Before I get into it. I just want to say, I am not a Democrat, I am not a Republican, I am not a Conservative and I am not a Liberal. I am an American who really cares, loves his country greatly and pays attention to politics and global affairs. I believe that every person in America has some liberal and some conservative views and that’s OK. I also believe those are the two most polarizing words in the American vernacular these days and it’s a shame. It’s OK to have differing views but to go crazy on others, whichever side of the aisle you fall, is preposterous and immature.
I believe Congress is a total disaster and it was and still is time for a change. I think term limits on Congress need to be implemented. I am not bitter that Trump won the election at all. I don’t like it but I respect the outcome because I respect America-even those that disagree with me. I won’t even touch on the hacking thing. It wasn’t as if I liked Hillary Clinton either. I believe she would have been status quo, which to me was another 4 years of whatever, but she was the safe candidate.
Initially I really wanted to get behind Donald Trump. I think America needs a strong leader without political ties who would stand up to foreign powers the way President Obama did not. I like Obama a lot as a person but I don’t think he was a strong enough leader and failed miserably in Syria along with Libya, Russia and China. I did however think he brought back a sense of respect for the office of the President and cyclical things like the stock market, gas prices and unemployment all improved greatly to his credit.
Like I said, I wanted to like Trump. But his childish antics, his lewd comments about women and seemingly general lack of knowledge really turned me off. Making fun of disabled people, insulting Gold Star families, his hate filled comments, his blatant lies, his insanely massive ego, his way of internalizing everything, and his tweet storms make me ashamed.
However, what Trump has been and is doing is unsafe for the United States in my view. His recent Muslim ban, while still not 100% clear on what that means has alienated just about everyone in the International community. While he says it’ll make us safer, I feel it does the complete opposite both at home and abroad.
Aside from the obvious backlash something like this will get from liberal groups and the Muslim people throughout the world, 99.999999% of whom are amazing people, he has made us less safe. There will almost certainly be retribution from somewhere in our country. Plus someone like me who travels a lot just became a lot less safe when traveling abroad. So what to expect traveling in the time of Trump, you ask…expect the expected backlash and then prepare for the unexpected.
I started traveling in 1998 during the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton disgraced the office of the President but everyone loved him so traveling when he was President was a breeze. In fact, I was rarely asked about him but that was also before the Internet became big so people had much less information back then.
George W. Bush was a whole other story. I did the majority of my international travel during his Presidency and after starting the Iraq war without viable cause he became enemy #1 in the International community. Everyone I met while traveling during that era, when they found out I was an American would say something to the extent of “I hate your President” or “How could America elect that man”. Obviously that puts you off and I don’t like to engage in political discussions with strangers because people react unpredictably to politics. It’s actually scary at times.
Barack Obama was a champion of the global community. He was the savior, the Anti-Bush and was anointed the greatest President of all-time before he even took office. I mean he won a Nobel Peace Prize before even taking office-what was that?! That said, while he had his ups and downs in the US, abroad he was and still is insanely popular. Traveling with him as President was a pleasure and it made you feel pride to be American and I would have voted for him a 3rd time without question against Trump. Now that brings me back to Trump.
I just spent a week in England. Nearly every single person I met and I meet a lot of people asked me about Trump within a minute of meeting me. Zero percent of those were anything positive. So immediately you’re put on the defensive. This is exactly how it will be for at least the next 4 years. You cannot win this argument so avoid it.
I simply say something to the extent of “I didn’t vote for him” and leave it at that. People will generally leave you alone about it. No matter where you travel that will be what you’re asked about when you’re an American abroad. Think about it, what do your friends and family talk about these days? Trump. He’s the single most polarizing character that America has ever seen. I truly believe that.
I also believe that by the end of his Presidency, he will have done so much damage to the reputation of America around the world that it may take decades for America to recover. I believe that China and Russia will capitalize on him on the global field and I believe there will be an increase in terrorism both home and especially abroad.
So as a traveler traveling in the time of Trump expect to be hassled constantly by any and everyone you meet when they learn you’re American. My advice, based on my time traveling in the Bush years is to make a joke of it so to speak and avoid. You’ve already been pre-judged and cannot win nor change their opinions so don’t try. That’s what to expect when traveling in the time of Trump. Sounds like fun right…being villainized without cause. Welcome to the new world disorder!