A look of disbelieving horror crept on to the faces of those who had gathered in the Hotel Negresco in Nice to watch the results of this morning’s American election. The Riviera Chapter of Democrats Abroad had invited fellow US expats and friends from around the world to watch the momentous event, but there was disappointment all round as the party lost out to the Republicans.
Of the 100-plus people who had said they would come to the event at one of Nice’s most historic addresses, just a handful showed. Too great was the blow that property tycoon Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton, a woman many believed would become America’s first female president.
Nevertheless, from 6am, democrats and their families gathered to watch the vote unfold on a large screen showing live CNN footage.
Speaking about Donald Trump’s unexpected win, event organiser Dr. Frederick J. Curlin - who has lived in the Côte d’Azur for 11 years - said, “I was hopeful [Hillary would make it], but I wasn’t completely confident. Now it seems my cautions are coming to the fore… The ‘Achilles heel’ of the Unites States is racism. This is a historical fact and the root of all evil. Trump will encourage racism and bring more discord into our country. He now has very much power. I wish my children and grandchildren could live in Europe.”
Melissa Pizarro in Nice said, “While in shock, it's not hard to believe. [I] Have always been proud to call myself an American, but today I refuse to be proud when the country I love so much lacks any consideration for humanity. I refuse to ever acknowledge him as my president.”
Other American expats have spoken out on social media, expressing their shock and sometimes their anger at the shocking outcome.
“In shock and profoundly shaken up,” said Pauline Bera from Provence.
Kate Carter in Brittany said, “I think we will see a very different America, full of racism and hatred. I feel sorry for all the decent Americans who didn't vote for him.”
Others seemed so riled by result that they couldn’t bring themselves to share their opinion, such as Pernille Simonsen who said, “Pretty sure FB [Facebook] would delete my comment because of foul language…”
The Riviera Chapter of the Democrats Abroad will be hosting its next event - Political Wine - on Wednesday 7th December at the Café Pinocchio on the Promenade des Anglais at 6pm. The event is open to all Americans and international friends irrespective of nationality. Lead by Doc Curlin, the event will discuss: The American Presidential Election, How, Why and Results. It is free to attend.