Trump’s victory leaves US voters in Oman concerned

Energy Wednesday 09/November/2016 22:02 PM
By: Times News Service
Trump’s victory leaves US voters in Oman concerned

Muscat: Donald Trump’s elevation to ‘leader of the free world’ has left many Americans in Oman struggling to come to terms with what the future holds.
“Awful”, was how one voted put it, before adding that Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad.
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US citizens living in Oman were just as anxious to vote as those in the United States, but the hardest part about voting here was apparently finding a parking spot.
Freelance artist Debbie Donofrio and her husband Chris voted for the first time since moving to Oman six years ago.
“We didn’t vote in the last election because we felt Obama’s position was safe and he would win,” Donofrio said.
It was soon obvious to Texan Donofrio that sitting on the sidelines wouldn’t be enough this time. It wasn’t until Trump won the Republican nomination this summer that she began to take things seriously.
“Especially after all the things he said, I thought there was no way this was going to happen, and now it has,” she said.
According to the US Embassy, there are 1,200 Americans registered with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme (STEP). The programme gives US citizens the resources needed to maintain a continuous relationship with the embassy regardless of whether they are in Oman or not.
The Federal Voting Assistance Programme online allowed US citizens from all over the world to cast their vote, but only according to their state of residence.
Some states allowed online immediate voting, while others requested their community members to send their vote through the mail.
According to Donofrio, casting her vote for the next president was a ‘piece of cake’, even from almost 15,000 km away.
All that was required was filling out and selecting the online from, which produced the exact ballot that she would have received at her local polling booth in Texas.
In the middle of October, Donofrio finally printed out the ballot after Trump offended her again.
“I was so angry, I wanted to break the TV, and I went upstairs and printed it all out. That infuriated me; I went to the embassy the next day to cast my vote.”
The embassy had placed a box right before the metal detectors to allow for easy access. As Donoforio said, the only hassle she faced was finding a parking spot.
Most of the Americans living in Oman who talked to Times of Oman voiced their disappointment.
“I was hoping for a Clinton win, and for more of the Senate and Congress to go to the Democrats, because I feel that was a better direction for the US. With Trump’s victory, I think it’s definitely taking a step backwards, because while the Obama presidency hasn’t been perfect, America has moved in the right direction in the past years and with a Trump win, I think it’s going to roll back some of the successes that Obama’s had,” said Jesse, an American citizen, who is visiting Oman, and who also voted.
Jill Stehlin, an American residing in Muscat, felt absolutely ‘awful.’ She said, “I think this will be an interesting path taken, and I hope it is done with peace. I’m nervous, but I would have been just as unhappy had Hillary won.
“She was just going to prolong the wars, and prolong Aleppo and prolong Yemen. Whereas Trump, he makes it more of a domestic problem.
“What has changed is that when he was campaigning, keeping the nation safe was Obama’s job. And now that he’s the President-elect, come January 20, it’s his responsibility to keep the country safe. So if it gets out of hand due to the words coming out of his mouth, it’s on his shoulders to keep us safe, so I think it will settle down,” she added.
Sarah, an American photographer, who has been living in the Sultanate for a few years, said: “I am worried for my family, Muslims, people of colour, Hispanics, everybody else, friends who are there.
“I am worried for the healthcare system, I am worried what it means for the rest of the world, I am generally really surprised. I really didn’t think there were that many racist people in the United States.
“It will be worth seeing if Trump actually believed in all that he said or if he was doing it to get the racist Republican vote, and see what he ends up actually doing, but I think that there is a good portion of the United States that is at risk now.”
Earlier today, at an Oman American Business Centre (OABC) breakfast gathering, an American citizen said, “I am very apprehensive about a Trump presidency, and sort of shocked that he has made it this far. I didn’t vote this year because the state I belong to would vote for Democrats anyway. In the past I have voted for the Republicans, but I was not happy with some of the stuff that Bush did.”
A mock election, organised at the event, resulted in a Hillary victory.
“She gained 33 votes to Trump’s 12. Americans living in Oman have responded to the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US elections with mostly disappointment.