Young Americans in Ireland: ‘He got Ohio, he f***ing got Ohio’

Democrats Abroad host viewing party for election at Arlington Hotel, Dublin

“He got Ohio, he f***ing got Ohio,” shouted Anna Cras as she watched the 2016 US election results flood in after a bitter, controversial and historic campaign.

Twenty-five minutes later, Donald Trump had won Florida and the 27-year-old US transplant had had enough. Ms Cras, and hundreds of other American Democratic voters and Irish spectators, slowly trickled out of Dublin's Arlington Hotel, where they had been following the election early Wednesday morning.

Hosted by American Democrats living abroad, the viewing party was optimistically called the “Gathering to watch the Election of the 1st Female President of the USA”.

Stars and stripes draped bar tables, and Hillary Clinton paraphernalia adorned blue blazer lapels, as an excited crowed excitedly hooted and hollered. But five hours after Ms Clinton won Vermont, a Trump presidency looked more and more possible, leaving the throng figuratively and literally deflated.


Chris Bohorquez waited eight years to cast his ballot for the Democratic candidate. As a 12-year-old, the first-generation American watched Ms Clinton run for president and admired her tenacity, her experience and her history advocating for minorities. "I just think she's kickass," he said.

Mr Bohorquez’s parents immigrated legally to the US from Colombia and Honduras before he was born. He also has undocumented family members living in America and so was deeply engaged with the political rhetoric concerning immigration this election.

“A lot of the things she says resonate with me as a Hispanic, as someone from the lower middle class,” he added. “Her policies would give lower classes and minorities opportunities to rise up.”

While immigration reform is needed, Mr Trump’s policies, on the other hand are ludicrous, the 20-year-old political science student said. Mr Trump has blanketed a whole community as criminals, which is dangerous and wrong, Mr Bohorquez added.

“They’re yearning for opportunity in a country that stands for opportunity,” he said. “But no one really gets that, they just think ‘they’re coming here to steal our jobs’, and Trump really embodies that attitude.”

By 4am, Mr Bohorquez, originally from New Jersey, was ready to have a quick nap before heading to the airport to go back to Paris, where he is currently on exchange.

Neither he nor Ms Cras expected the 2016 Presidential Election to be this close. "If Clinton was up against someone else, I could have seen her lose, but I didn't expect this, not at all," said Ms Cras, who is registered to vote in Minnesota. "I feel like I want to throw up."

Ms Cras predicts an apocalyptic scenario should she wake up to a Trump presidency. Economic recession, growing unemployment rates, disintegrated foreign relations and trade ties with countries in Europe with global consequences, and a surge in racially-motivated violence across the US will be symptoms, she said.

“I thought this was gonna be a slam dunk,” Ms Cras added. “A Trump presidency will ruin the entire world, not just America.”

Also in the Arlington on Wednesday morning was Jashaun Bowens (20), a psychology student at University of Illinois, Chicago, who was originally hoping for a Bernie Sanders presidency. When Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, however, the psychology student cast his vote for Ms Clinton "to keep Donald Trump away from the White House".

And this is the first time 20-year-old Bohorquez, originally from New Jersey, has been old enough to vote in a US federal election. The choice, the first-generation American added, was always clear.

While Ms Clinton has been promoting Hispanic and other minority voices for her entire political career, he said, Donald Trump has inflamed “ignorant” views of the South and Central American immigrant community.

“They’re yearning for opportunity in a country that stands for opportunity,” he said. “But no one really gets that, they just think ‘they’re coming here to steal our jobs,’ and Trump really embodies that attitude.”