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“No more jokes: If Trump wins the election, I may revoke my citizenship”

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Following Donald Trump's victory in the New Hampshire primary last night, Stylist's publishing manager and resident American Jamie Klingler explains why the man dividing the States is no longer a joke - and how the prospect of him as President leaves her scared and ashamed...

On November 4, 2008, I headed to the American Embassy at Grovesnor Square where a bunch of expats stood in the cold, holding hands with strangers and cheering as Obama won the presidency. 

Later, I was home at 4am and on the phone with my mother - both of us in happy tears as Obama promised his girls a puppy in his acceptance speech. 

I desperately wished I was home in Philadelphia to celebrate. The next morning, when I went in to the off-license in Holborn where we get milk every day, the owner came from around the corner and hugged me and thanked me for my people doing the right thing. 

The tears started again. It was the proudest I've ever been to be an American in my 14 years as an expat in London.  

Barack Obama and his family celebrate his 2008

Barack Obama's 2008 win: "It was the proudest I've ever been to be an American"

This morning, following Donald Trump's triumph in the New Hampshire primary, my feelings are very different. I'm ashamed and embarrassed and entirely unable to justify or explain last night's results.

When I walked in to work, everyone asked me: what are the US voters possibly thinking?  Could he actually be elected? 

It has gone from being something strictly for The Daily Show to an actual possibility.

I’ve been a dual citizen since 2009.  So I get to vote in both elections and take that responsibility seriously.

But I’m also the only American in a lot of my friend circles. And I’m still proud to be from Philadelphia, still have my accent and still stayed up all night on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl.  As such, I am regularly questioned about the Presidential race.  What started out as funny has turned incredulous. 

And I have no answers.  

Jamie and her boyfriend cheering in the 2012 Obama victory

Jamie and her boyfriend cheering in the 2012 Obama victory

When my family came to visit over Christmas, many English friends were teasing my Dad about the fact that Trump could be our next President. 

It was funny because at that point we all still thought that the sideshow would be ending and the real Republican primary would begin. That isn’t the case now.  

I support Hillary Clinton and I think she's most experienced candidate. Bernie Sanders - who won the Democratic ticket at last night's New Hampshire primary - can't defeat Trump. He doesn’t have the name recognition or the trust that the Clinton family still have among core urban areas.  

So last night's events make Trump a far more viable candidate for President. 

Trump

Trump: making waves with his presidential bid

Trump's political career came to life on the back of the birthers.

He's filed for bankruptcy a number of times. He's on his third wife. He calls his daughter sexy. He wants to pull Muslim's travelling rights. He called Mexican rapists - worth noting his own first wife has accused him of rape.  He's tried to bribe journalists. He's been quoted as saying Republicans are the dumbest Americans; yet that is who he is preying on. 

This sexist, racist man who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog may actually be a contender to be the leader of the free world.

Jamie

Jamie giving the Phillies a cheer at a baseball game

And I can't explain it.  I'm scared. I'm ashamed and dreading walking in to my office this morning.  He is riding on a wave of fear and racism in America and winning.  He’s a bully and not embarrassed about it.  

We're talking about a man who regularly talks about how much he admires Putin (and hates journalists) We're in the middle of a threat from North Korea that will affect the whole world. Trump can't possibly be the person anyone wants in charge. Wake up America.  There is still time. 

I can’t imagine how I will feel come November, if Trump does win. I can’t imagine waking up and being in public and people hearing my accent and asking me how we let this happen. 

It won’t matter that I didn’t vote for him, that I abhor everything he represents. 

All that will matter is that for the first time I will be lucky in that I have the option of renouncing my citizenship. 

If Trump is elected in November that will be a real option. 

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