You may not know me, but I know you.
Today I am feeling a profound sense of loss. I have been visiting the United States of America since I was a baby and proudly visited every state in the Union over the last few decades. While I am proud to be Canadian, I always felt an affinity for this country - so much so I moved here years ago to fulfill a dream. For those that know me, I love to travel. When I am asked, however, what my favorite country is to travel, some are surprised when I say, the United States. From the snow covered mountains in Colorado, to the white sand beaches of Florida, this country has something for everyone. Including opportunity.
As a young boy growing up in a predominately white city, myself and my family were the subject of racism on a daily basis. As early as I could remember, I would have to run for my life during the lunch hour recess as ten kids would chase me down. So bad was it, I changed schools and over the years, the country where I am originally from, Canada, changed. The demographics changed and people became more accepting. Regardless of what I suffered through, I always remember the face of those bullies. I also found comfort in knowing that Karma would eventually repay them for their indiscretions upon me. Now, I’m not so sure.
What happens now? All branches are under the control of one single party. What happens to all of the gay rights, health care, and reproductive rights of millions and millions of people? The rights that people have fought for over the last hundred + years? Will it all be undone? Will the last 8 years of successes and accomplishments be undone with the stroke of someone's pen? Watching President Obama make his speech today gave me a sense of nostalgia - like that last day of high school where you know you had just finished something special with an amazing group of people for the last number of years and you were all going to part ways, with a feeling of great uncertainty, not knowing what was going to happen next. In this case, the uncertainty isn't a positive feeling.
Van Jones summarized it well the night of the election. The example set on election night is horrific. That one could dedicate their lives to their career and the public, educate themselves and sacrifice everything in pursuit of their country, do good in this world, treat others respectfully and that still not be "enough", while the other with no experience, a consummate bully, no civility, tact, kindness, who perpetually lies, cheats, and steals without remorse or acknowledgement, attacks everyone who isn't him, yet still achieves the highest position of President of the United States of America - discredits everything I have been taught whether by society, my parents, or even any religious institution. What is the lesson? Good things happen to bad people. The bully can still win in the end.
Much to my chagrin I found out that my Dad voted for Trump. I look up to him and consider him the smartest man I know. He could tell I was upset over the next couple of days. When he asked me tonight if I was mad at him, I said I was not mad at him, just disappointed. He didn’t understand why. To me it was simple: he had just voted for the bully that beat me up as a child.
What will happen now?