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Starry-eyed girl that I am, I wanted to believe in you the moment I heard of you. As the leader of a powerful nation, you’ve peaked in terms of ‘powerful woman.’
The moment I saw ‘Conservative Party’ under your website’s biography, I felt an instant disdain. This isn’t some Coke vs. Pepsi rivalry. I don’t view you the way I view people who choose jeans over leggings. This type of distance is more than the ocean separating our countries. Enemies are real to me, and you’re on the other side of the divide.
I’ve read about your views on immigration. I’ve struggled to figure out your true views on LGBT issues. It’s not flattering. All this, combined with my personal disagreement with your wardrobe, makes you easy to dislike.
Then I watched your statement concerning the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower burning. You were composed, dignified, and reasonable. You took responsibility for the flaws which made this fire possible. Apologies were offered, assurances were made, and I realized why I’m so angry at you.
As anyone with a sense of decency would, you thanked all the first responders who arrived at the scene. In a show of humility, you marveled at their bravery. And while this act would be easy to take for granted, I can easily imagine what the headlines the next morning would have looked like had you omitted the words. See, I’m as much a cynic as the rest of the world. I don’t think you understand your constituents the way you claim to. I expect you to slip up one day and reveal that disconnect. I all but eagerly await the moment I can call you out on it.
And yet, you proved me wrong. You revealed no disconnect.
Instead, with the grace a country’s leader should have, you promised to care for the victims, regardless of who they were or what political party they belonged to. Plans to provide first responders with resources, and victims with shelter and grant money, were met with nods and murmurs of approval from your chamber.
Maybe to your surprise, that had my approval, as well.
The 2016 United States presidential election was the first one I was old enough to vote in. On November 8, I was wide-eyed and hopeful. On November 9, I relapsed on cigarettes. That awful, embarrassing day, I heard a lot of everything — a lot of “the country’s falling apart,” and “I’m not racist, but…” The weirdest thing I heard, though, was, “Maybe Trump won’t be that bad.”
I’m a realist. I didn’t believe that for a second. In hindsight, I see I was correct. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to believe it. In the same way I wish I could accept your apologies and trust your promises, I want everything to turn out okay for everyone, regardless of who’s at the helm. I’m a Democrat and a progressive. Sometimes, I feel obligated to hate Republicans and conservatives — people like you. I don’t. I can’t. I’ve befriended Republicans. Hell, I dated a Trump supporter once. He was one of the most gentle people I’ve ever met.
Theresa May, I’m only angry because I think this is all so stupid. It’s not like I’m going to get much from you. I’m not a citizen of your country, you don’t have much influence over my taxes, and I doubt our countries are going to war anytime soon.
While I worry about civil rights and the turmoil in America right now, understand that I still want to believe in you — not as an American ally, or an LGBT supporter, or even as a protector of human rights. I don’t want to care that you’re a conservative. Leadership was never supposed to be about ideological labels and red vs blue. It’s about taking care of your people. Prove that to me.