Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Reflections part one

The Americans have voted, and election day is over. Note that I'm not saying the election is over, that won't happen till the next President is sworn in. Right now it appears that it will be Trump standing at the podium taking the oath of office. I am horrified and appalled.

The Hilary Clinton of today would have made a fine Republican a generation ago. One might not have liked where you think she would have taken the USA, but it can be largely summed up as "same old, same old", with minor differences. You might disagree with her politics, but at least she's playing the political game by the understood rules. With Trump, all bets are off. Nobody knows what he's going to do, probably himself included. He's demonstrated zero respect for the rules and conventions of political life. It's scary that some people think that's a good thing.

I'm sure glad I live in Canada right now, though Alberta has a mini-wanna-be Trump running for office. His minions have already driven two female candidates out of the race for the leadership of the PC party. I'd like to believe the party voters will reject Kenny, but that's what I believed about Trump.

I quote a buddy. "Politics is awful in both the states and here in Alberta with bullying, misogyny, xenophobia, racism, homophobia. I feel like we've stepped back in time 50 years and lost decades of education. Where is the respect? The level of vulgarity that is the new norm is atrocious."

Exactly so. There are days I fear for our way of life, of going to the polls to vote for people to run the country, and trusting the results. To elect politicians that will respect the rules of political life, and respect all the people they are paid to represent. I mean ALL of them, whether they just arrived from Syria hoping their children can grow up in peace and safety, or have 8 great-grandparents born here, or their ancestors have been here for time out of human memory. ALL of them, no matter their gender, their skin colour, which god they worship if any at all, whether they are homeless or live in Mount Royal. To inspire people to continue to build on the efforts of the past, to make the future a better place for all of us, as opposed to divisive actions based on fear and ignorance.

The last several Republican Presidents were an unmitigated disaster. I didn't like their policies or their actions, but I wasn't afraid. For the first time since I was a small child, when it seemed that it was a few minutes to midnight on the Doomsday clock for nuclear war, I am afraid of what's going to happen.

Maybe Trump will govern better than any of us expect, which will piss off his base. Maybe he will recognize the depths of his ignorance and having appointed wise advisors will listen to them. Maybe he will revert to the moderate positions he held a decade or so ago. I certainly wouldn't bet on those things. The only certain bet is that he's surprised lots of people at every step along the way, and it's fair to assume that will continue.

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