The US Election

The US election. It’s been two weeks now. I didn’t want to write about it, but I can’t stop thinking about it. For the first several days, I felt shock and tears, then came anger. As a dual citizen, I voted. Of course, I did. My sadness and anger are not about my candidate not winning. I’ve been on the losing side of elections plenty of times. And family and friends have been on different sides — we’ve argued, and yet we’ve always managed to find some common ground, a way to be together and to laugh again.

But this election feels qualitatively different from any other in my lifetime. I am left trying to make sense of the fact that some people I love dearly — family and friends — voted for a man who is openly a white supremacist, a misogynist, and a bigot, a climate-change denier. I don’t know how to bridge that gap, or even if I want to try. The gulf between them and me seems unimaginably deep and broad. For the first time in my life I find myself questioning what lives in their hearts. Laughter seems impossible.

I am terrified of the havoc this president-elect could wreak upon the world. A man so ignorant of world geopolitics that he can praise Putin. A man so thin-skinned that he must tweet in response to every insult, real and imagined. Are we really going to allow this man to be in control of nuclear weapons?

I am distraught at the hate his election has already unleashed, world-wide, upon people of colour and those in the LGBT community. He has emboldened the haters among us. We now know, to our dismay, what many of his supporters meant by “feeling muzzled by political correctness.”

To the extent that this new president-elect actually tries to help people who are impoverished or just barely making a living by working several jobs, I will support him. To the extent that he seeks to undo environmental protections, withdraw from action to curb climate change, undo civil rights protections for minorities, women’s rights, or persecute people in the LGBT community, I will do everything I can to oppose him.

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