God Bless The USA - Thanks To Trump, They're Gonna Need It!
The Unbelievable Has Happened
Never in my wildest dreams could I have seen this coming.
I know citizens across the globe are feeling much the same way in the wake of yesterday's United States election results.
God help us all.
One newspaper - I forget which one - has been keeping track of how many times Trump lied over the course of his campaign. 560 times. That's mind boggling. People apparently forgave him.
He talked about women in ways that were so unbelievably insulting and demeaning that people with daughters cringed and squirmed at the thought that he could potentially be representing the United States on the world stage. People apparently forgave him, saying that it was just locker room talk.
My own two daughters are not big fans of Trump, for much the same reasons. At 7 and 12, the kids are pretty well informed for their ages, and my 12 year old in particular was concerned over the prospects of Trump actually becoming president.
All this being said, I'm Canadian. You'd think that I really wouldn't need to worry all that much about what happens down south. The thing is, the United States is one of my country's largest trading partners, and like it or not, we have a tendency to follow whatever America does. I'm very curious to see what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes of his new colleague in the Oval Office.
I'm certain that President Barack Obama is sitting in bed right now thinking, "How do you like me now, America?" when it comes to those who weren't his biggest fans over the last eight years. Orange is the New Black, indeed.
I suspect that female world leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are questioning what could happen when they first meet with President Trump.
I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday, who is a fairly new Canadian citizen - she went through the citizenship ceremony around two or three years ago. She moved here from Lebanon several years before that, and follows the Muslim faith. She is deeply worried that Trump will have Muslims wearing some sort of identifier, just as another infamous world leader did with those of the Jewish faith in the early 1940s.
The fact that these are conversations that are actually occurring in the western world frightens me deeply. It was frightening enough reading about in History class when I was a teenager, and now it feels almost like I'm seeing history come to life.
There have been some moments of levity in spite of the current angst that seems to have descended over social media (the rest of my world is only slowly waking up now). Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt noted that he learned yesterday that America is more sexist than it is racist - and, as he said, the USA is "pretty f-ing racist." While the tenor of the comment is definitely serious, how it was put was priceless, and made me smile at least in spite of my concerns for America over at least the next four years.
I also feel for Hillary Clinton. This has been an absolutely horrific campaign for her, and she has tried to muster all the dignity she can to get through it. She's been dragged through the mud by her rival almost daily since the election campaign started, and while she is no saint herself, she seems to have done her best to hold her head high through all the muckraking that the Donald put her through. Yet, America still couldn't bring themselves to vote in a woman.
Yes, a woman who apparently has more than a few challenges when it comes to using appropriate email servers, but a woman nonetheless.
Satirical Boston Globe Front Page
Not Everyone Voted For Trump - Remember That
Months ago, Canadians were chuckling over the statements by some Americans that they would be moving north should Trump secure the presidency.
There was news this morning that the Canadian immigration site crashed during the United States election coverage, so perhaps there are more than a few disgruntled Americans looking to move to Canada - maybe they were more than a little serious.
The late, great comedian Robin Williams once likened Canada to an apartment over a really great house party. Judging from a lot of the comments being bounced across social media this morning, with words like "racist," "sexist," and "xenophobic" looming large, I think there are a lot of disillusioned people currently trying to cope out there.
Are the election results disappointing? Absolutely - no one could have predicted that, with the way Donald Trump shot off his mouth throughout the campaign, spewing a lot of vitriolic xenophobic nonsense while steadfastly ignoring much in the way of policy, he would have been deemed the right man for the job.
It will be very tempting to paint all Americans with the same brush; it's tempting to say that because Trump won the election, Americans are terribly xenophobic and racist, not to mention sexist. The thing of it is, just because someone is from the USA does not mean they were a Trump supporter, and it sure doesn't mean all Americans are misguided louts that are only a few steps up from cavemen.
There are a whole lot of people out there who know that the America that Trump seems to see and the America they see are two different things. There are people who still believe in equality and truth, even when their new president does not.
These are going to be worrisome times, that is for sure, but we have to remember that at their core, a handful (or even a few handfuls) of people who support someone who is apparently unstable like Trump do not represent the whole, just as there are always people everywhere who don't represent the entirety of their communities.
Look for the good and embrace it.