Letter to the editor: Election proves a shock to local woman abroad

Editor’s note: The writer is a Vergennes resident living abroad in Malaysia.
While my days are usually bursting with adventure and new experiences during this year of world travel, last Wednesday was filled with sorrow and raw emotions regarding the outcome of this presidential election. It’s hard to write something that fully captures how I feel. Not being in the U.S. during this time has been tough enough, but on Wednesday, watching the electoral votes slowly roll in, was like taking a punch to the gut. How can a campaign based on hate, scapegoating and fear mongering actually succeed in 2016?
This letter may be polarizing to some readers, but I cannot stand idly by and be silent. I’ve taken for granted living in a “blue” state, and, because of this, probably have not been proactive enough in past elections and with causes I believe need support. I’m not sure if Hillary was the best choice for our Democratic candidate, however I do know that she inspired and gave hope to millions of people around the world, not just little girls dreaming of being POTUS one day, and it’s my sincere hope that we can continue what she started.
We will not live in fear of a president who embodies the worst in all of us and, explicitly or implicitly, promotes racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism or mocks those with disabilities. That is not the America I know and definitely not the one I want to return to in March. Today was completely shocking for so many and its hard to understand the reasoning behind the outcome — a win for a candidate whose actions and words sought to undermine the legitimacy of our democratic process, while single-handily tearing our nation apart. Here’s to hoping for the best in these years to come. In the meantime, I’ll be sending love to America from Kuala Lumpur.
Abby Benton

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