This week is a really important one for Americans. From Super Tuesday, on March 3rd, to Saturday, March 7th, Democrats are voting for their favorite candidate who will run for Presidency against Donald Trump. This week is also the week when Democrats living abroad can participate in the elections.
To put Trump out of the White House is the main goal of Democrats. And not just in the United-States. In Toulouse, Democrats Abroad operate a polling station from Super Tuesday on March 3rd to Saturday, March 7th. Meredith Wheeler, Vice Chair of the association, moved to France twenty years ago. Like many of her compatriots, she wasn’t expecting Donald Trump to win in 2016. “I was horrified to see a man like that in the White House”, she remembers. To her, the current President of the United-States is a catastrophe and the worst of her lifetime. “I want him defeated and I hope he goes to jail”, she adds. Even as an American expat, Meredith still feels the need to participate in this primary. “I grew up in the United-States, I still have family there. I feel connected to the States and I’m still concerned about what happen there. I want to vote in the elections and have my say”, she explains.
Maria, in France for 43 years, feels the same way : “I’m voting in order to hopefully have the United-States to be in a good place and a good direction”. Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, both expats saw from afar their country changing and it has been pretty difficult for them. “I think he has a base of 40% that supports him and that’s really disturbing”, Meredith says. She also confides that if Trump is reelected next november, maybe she will give up her American citizenship. “I can’t be affiliated with a country that would elect that kind of person to the highest office”, the Vice Chair explains. Additionally, she is nervous about the Supreme Court of the United-States.
Meredith believes that if Americans have four more years of Trump appointing conservatives judges, there will be a huge impact on women’s rights. “They are going to roll back the right of a woman to have a termination. They are very right-wing, very retrogressive”, she assures. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 15 states out of 50 introduced, moved or enacted six-week abortion bans in 2019. Maria feels very sad about what it is happening to America : “Trump is trying to bypass the Constitution all the time, he is undermining the system”. She adds : “He changed the way that Americans were seeing in the world, I think that Trump has done terrible things for that”.
If Americans elect a Democratic President, it will be a release for Meredith. “I would feel proud to be an American for a change”, she declares. The Vice chair of Democrats Abroad in Toulouse isn’t afraid about the coming presidential election. On the contrary, she feels motivated to do everything in her power, even abroad, to put a Democrat in the Oval Office. But not only : “We need to retake the Senate and make sure we hold on to the House. We need democratic majorities in all of those, we are betting on taking those back to the Democrats”. As for Maria, any Democratic candidate would be much better than Trump. Let’s see what will tip the scales.