Like most North Americans, and others around the world, I intently watched the events of the 2016 U.S. presidential election come to a close last night. Among the heated discussion and social banter between my family and me, we were mostly just in awe. There reached a point where I no longer had any words, as I was captivated by the crumbling of an entire country and continent, occurring simultaneously with every fistful of popcorn and sip of wine I digested.
This morning I woke up in pain; severe neck and lower back pain. It's hard for me to not correlate the pain to the events that I distastefully viewed last night, as it's all too coincidental. Yes, I am still battling injuries from a fairly recent car accident, however my pain acts up in times of stress and anxiety. Yes, this has to be the reason for my bodily struggles today. Thanks, America.
In a time where society and the majority of people have come so far to accept others, the election results were devastating for me to witness. Like many of us, I have friends and family members with disabilities. I am also a teacher to countless minorities and refugees. I have close relations with people, including former students who are part of the LGBTQ community. I have a son who I want to be exposed to and accepting of all of these attributes of individuality just mentioned. Lastly, I am a WOMAN. I am a woman of independence and hard work. I am a woman of education, dedication, and ambition. I woman of strong morals, and a believer that humans are humans, and love is love. If you are an individual who is following societal laws and regulations, while always respecting other humans and living things, then WHY SHOULD ANYTHING ELSE EVEN FU<K!NG MATTER?
I'm confused and distraught over the fact that for such a progressive time in history, America let this happen. If the Americans who voted for Trump did so simply because they "don't like Hillary", shame on you. There will never be a perfect candidate, but there is always a lesser of two evils, and in this case, no matter the scandals or "shadiness", how could people not simply respect and vote for Hillary based on her work ethic, knowledge, and desire to "shatter the glass ceiling"?!
For the Americans who voted for Trump, you are teaching children of the next generation that discrimination is acceptable, victimizing women is encouraged, education and experience in future career choices do not matter, and being an obnoxious bully is admissible. You voted for stronger immigration laws, instilling the idea that current immigrants are not welcome in your country. DO YOU NOT RECALL HOW YOU GOT TO AMERICA? Your distant relatives immigrated at one time, and then proceeded to claim the land as theirs. Highly hypocritical, no? Shame on you.
Trump supporters and voters voted alongside the KKK, and the utmost racist people who, shockingly, seem to somehow still exist on planet Earth. Shame on you.
Trump advocates claim they voted for change, and to "make American great again", but I question how eliminating diversity, shunning cultural differences and instilling fear, rejection, and segregation between gender, race, abilities, and beliefs will make America great? This reminds me all too much of American Author, Kurt Vonnegut's, Harrison Bergeron, a satirical short fiction story, in which the plot resembles and mocks significant events and results of the Cold War, having the American future be controlled and manipulated by the government, and brainwashed into thinking that all should be equal. The idea of everyone being equal, or as Trump desires, white, able-bodied, straight, men, would never do society justice. It is proven that society needs diversity, specific roles, and abilities and differences, in order to healthily function.
On a humanly point of view, do individuals really want to be friends with someone who speaks with such hatred, anger, and ill attitude towards so many people the way Trump does? If so, I will never be friends with those people. If not, why would the most influential country in the world want to be represented by someone who lacks empathy, class and respect? It makes no sense in my mind. *Takes a sip of wine*
Donald Trump, as my students and I discussed today, has so many deficiencies of the qualities that typical leaders possess. Aside from his obnoxious behaviour and words, his diction is extremely weak, and the repitition in his speeches is embarrassingly obvious.
Take this direct example from his victory speech:
"A very special person … I never had a bad second with him, he’s an unbelievable star … so let me tell you about Reince. And I said this, I said, Reince … I know it, Reince is a superstar. But I said, they can’t call you a superstar, Reince, unless we win … Like Secretariat. If Secretariat came in second, Secretariat would not have that great big beautiful bronze bust at the track. But I will tell you Reince is really a star. Where is Reince, get up here. Boy oh boy oh boy … It’s about time you did this, Reince. Say a few words, c’mon, say something."
WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? Excuse me while I take another sip of wine to make sense of it all. Nope, it's still not making sense.
Anyhow, this post is way longer than I intended it to be. I am very, very thankful and proud to be a Canadian citizen, especially during this historical event. If it weren't for the fact that Canada was so closely associated with the U.S., I wouldn't care so much, however that's not the case. Our economy relies heavily on healthy relations, trading and business with our neighbouring country. I have my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that the effects on Canada are minimal. I am glad that my son is too young to have to explain this all to, but if Trump makes it to his full 8 year term (there's not enough wine in the world), I don't quite know how I'll explain this man to Hudson. Perhaps I will tell him that Trump is everything I never want him to grow up to be. Perhaps Trump's antics and quotes will be the foundation for explaining to Hudson that the way we view and treat others is instilled in us at a very young age, and that this is an opportunity to embrace individuality and difference, because that's what his Dad and I model and ingrain in him.
One thing I don't want this to become is Hudson's initial exposure to the evil, unjust ways of the world. If I could, I would shelter him from this for all of eternity.
I suppose the only thing we can do as parents is to raise our own children with the strongest morals, an abundance of open mindedness, and an eternally loving and accepting heart. The rest is out of our control, the control we once thought was possible, but was shattered. The ceiling wasn't shattered (not yet), rather human dignity was.
You and your kids will thank me later,