‘So are you going for your driver’s test or what?’ Qamar, my Uber driver, asked on our way to the BMV.
Me: No, I’ve lived here 9 months and hadn’t thought it important to get my state I.D until today’.
Qamar: I’ve lived here 10 years and never thought I needed to get my citizenship either. But I will now.
We both laugh.
Yes, this is a true conversation between two immigrants the day after the US presidential election. No, this wasn’t a conversation about being scared of what our fate in America looked like. That would be giving the president-elect too much power.
This was a conversation about still WANTING to be in the U.S, PTSD and all. This was us, at least me, saying that inasmuch as Donald Trump’s values and mine aren’t aligned, I deserve to be here and am willing to stay to protect that right. PTSD and all.
This election result was not driven by racism I dare say. Both candidates were white. Either candidate could have won based on that principle alone. This election wasn’t really about sexism either. Hillary won against Bernie.
In a parallel sexist-driven election, we would have had two male candidates.
Objectively speaking, this election was about change. The people wanted a complete shift in politics and governance.
This is not to say that the radical change sought is necessarily a good thing. Theories about what this election result means are abundant. I am no historian nor economist though, so I cannot make informed opinions. Being a human being, however, I am familiar with the concept of change.
Perhaps many Americans felt it was time to bring someone in who will really shake things up. Many Americans did something that many countries are afraid to do. Many Americans took a great risk.
A Trump-led America is like Uber. A startup offering a rather simple solution to a complex logistics problem.
Those who voted for Hillary were content with taxis. They were afraid of the safety implications of strange and possibly inexperienced drivers picking them up.
The Donald fans, on the other hand, were like investors who saw potential in Uber. The company goes on to disrupt the mature taxi industry. Of course not without numerous sexual assault, discrimination and foreign policy law suits to pay for on the way.
The thing with Trump, however, is that we do not know if backing him will result in great payouts for the shareholders and stakeholders like Uber did.
For all we know, it could simply result in a startup that implodes because of the dysfunctional and inexperienced team. Or worse yet, goes into debt within the first year.
What with his track record and all.