Feb 27, 2017
As an American expat living in China, like it or not you inevitably field questions concerning your opinions on newly elected president Donald Trump. Months and months ago talk mainly revolved around his political viability and his seemingly limitless boorish behavior but now the talk shifts to something much more startling and depressing: Donald Trump is actually president of the United States of America.
Having been in office for less than a month, Trump has already received dozens of lawsuits nationwide for things such as the “Muslim ban” and seen the incredible Women’s March uprisings across America. Late night talk show hosts have no shortage of material to poke fun at the president and Saturday Night Live’s ratings have skyrocketed. When it comes to comedy, nothing provides richer material than an unscrupulous rich man who says he’s for the everyman. Thanks to Trump’s comical and puzzling choices for positions such as the Secretary of Education (a woman who has no actual experience in public education) and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (a man who is a neurosurgeon by trade), we are all left scratching our heads in all seriousness with this simple question: Is this real life?
Beyond his petulant behavior, blatant misogyny and incredibly inflated sense of self, part of what is uniquely concerning to expats such as myself is that Trump seems to view everything in a win or lose mentality. Part of his campaign’s focal points was lambasting foreign countries such as China and Mexico for “stealing” American jobs and not playing fair. In particular, Trump demonstrates a clear distrust for all things Chinese. In this absurd political game he seems to be playing, the only way for America to win is for countries like China, Mexico and Iraq to lose.
During such historically awful moments it is difficult to see the good that is happening. But it is happening right now. The Women’s Marches and protests across the world in defiance of President Trump have shown what is likely to be a very difficult but contested battle over the course of his presidency. In many ways we are in the midst of a movement. This was, perhaps, most clearly demonstrated when Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter by Coretta Scott King during the open discussion on the nomination of Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General. Warren’s attempt was blocked by her Republican colleagues and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell uttered the now infamous words when describing her actions: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” McConnell gave birth to what will likely be the rallying call for Trump critics and, in particular, women who have been told to remain silent in the face of wrongdoings. Persist, the movement will.
About the Column
Luke is a mental health counselor from Seattle, Washington in the United States. He moved to Suzhou in 2016 and currently works as the Psychological Counselor for international students at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Though his current position consists of counseling students, Luke also enjoys working with couples, parents and families. Previously Luke worked in the Kurdish region of Iraq and in private practice in Seattle. In his spare time Luke enjoys cooking, meeting new people, playing board games and traveling to different countries.