Vice Chair, Bordeaux Chapter
I first came to France in 1962-63 as a student in the University of California’s Education Abroad Program in Bordeaux. I made my home in Bordeaux, raised a family in this lovely town, earned a doctorate with a dissertation in African Literature, and for more than 30 years taught English at l’Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV (Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques), now called Université de Bordeaux, Collège droit, science politique, economie et gestion.
I joined the Bordeaux chapter of DAF several years ago and have frequently attended many events. The 4th of July gatherings are occasions, in particular, for many lively discussions. Barack Obama’s election was for me a watershed year: I phone banked to help get out the vote and also helped American students on the Bordeaux campus register to vote. I felt very proud to be an American.
How fast things change! We Americans have just lived through an extremely noxious presidency and a traumatizing presidential election in which a sitting president attempted to disrupt the lawful election process.
Yes, democracy prevailed and the Democrats, Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, were finally declared the winners. We Americans abroad can hold our heads up once again - but we have also seen just how fragile our democracy is. The fight to defend it can never let up.