After watching this U.S. election 2016 very closely in anticipation of seeing the history-making moment a woman might become president of the United States within my lifetime – having lived over 6 decades – I am very sad and disappointed. President Obama had campaigned vigorously for Secretary Clinton calling her during the 17 speeches he gave on her behalf “the most qualified candidate for the office in the history of the United States.” It is even sadder, I feel, when he also stated that Donald Trump is “the least qualified candidate ever to run for the office of the president and unfit to be given the nuclear codes.”
As a feminist I am so proud of Hillary Clinton and what she did in service to the American people – giving little girls hope that they too might be able to hold this office if they worked hard and aimed high. I watched some reporters on television say that their daughters were sobbing Wednesday morning and inconsolable. Secretary Clinton worked often 18-20 hour days to try and help promote her vision and that of many Democrats of a society that offered equality for everyone. She fought the good fight and I hope as I write this she has her feet up and is planning a vacation, although I know that is not even remotely what she wanted. She wanted to break the glass ceiling and give all Americans opportunity, not just the privileged.
Donald Trump presented a very different vision of the United States. A dark and negative vision. Jonathan Freedland writing in “the Guardian” newspaper says of the disgusting election: “The blame for this belongs to one man. Donald Trump has fought a presidential campaign like no other. He has mocked opponents for their looks, belittled women, disparaged war heroes, damned ethnic and other minorities in crude, bigoted language, jeered at disabled people, beaten his chest with bellicose promises of state-sponsored violence that would trample on the U.S. constitution and trigger a third world war, and told dozens of lies every day. While his opponent has offered detailed and substantive policy prescriptions, those have barely got a mention: Trump’s knack for hogging media attention, usually by saying something jaw-droppingly outrageous, has left no room… But Trump does not bear the blame alone… historians of the American republic will judge harshly those who did not stop Trump when they could.”
Did you ever think you would see a presidential candidate in the United States call for the assassination of their opponent? I witnessed this at least 3 times over the campaign as did so many. Of course, he did not use the actual word – however – everyone knew what he meant and many pointed it out; however, I also heard him say, “I could walk down Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and still be supported “(by his voters). This barely raised eyebrows! The ‘new normal’? I watched as I grew up the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and other civil rights advocates; however, I did not think I would live to see a candidate for the office of president call for the murder of their opponent. Well, at least not in a ‘civilized’ country. Why did women vote for him? As Republican dynasty matriarch Barbara Bush asked a reporter – “How can any woman vote for a man that calls women pigs and dogs?” I don’t have the answer, although in the 50s as I was growing up – that was not only acceptable but raised no eyebrows. Two such disparate visions of the future of the United States were presented to the American people and although many are shocked, including myself, I did have a hint of it while visiting the United States in October when one of my closest friends there and her entire family said they would vote for Trump were they eligible to vote. Quite a loud discussion ensued and then we agreed to disagree so as to not destroy our friendship. I was outnumbered 4 to 1 and so it didn’t take my psychic powers in order to realize what was going to happen election day when I began feeling nauseated as soon as voting began.
Everyone is now doing the post-mortem. How did this happen? Why did the majority of Americans make this choice? There were tons of theories, of course, from the experts and amateurs, but the big mystery has been solved. “Democrats stayed home” was the verbal headline last night. Ahhhhh… mystery solved …. the usual suspect … apathy. Trump got out the vote. People who were very angry were very motivated to vocalize and act on their anger. They voted. Democrats did not come out to support their values and participate in democracy, even though both Secretary Clinton and President Obama literally begged them to. Obama even saying he would “take it as a personal insult” if people did not vote for Hillary! President Obama has one of the highest approval ratings a president has ever enjoyed and yet, they did not come out. So, the Americans will now have “no-drama-Obama” being replaced by a man who acted, on the campaign trail, like the ratings-seeking reality-television star that he is. Maybe he will grow into the office? Miracles do happen. Miracles happen every single day. But, at present, Americans have elected a man who has threatened to have Secretary Clinton jailed, 11 million immigrants deported, calls the press “liars, cheats, crooks and scum”, says he will tear up NAFTA and other agreements – including the Paris Climate Accord, build a wall to keep out the Mexicans he called “rapists and murderers”, reverse laws allowing all sorts of civil rights and reinstate water-boarding and other torture methods against the Geneva Convention and dismantle The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). That’s just off the top of my head from what I have heard him say, there is much more that I have forgotten – let’s hope he’s forgotten. But, his voters will want him to walk his talk. They voted for all those things. It’s called democracy. Too bad so many people voted from anger. Michael Moore told Trump voters before election day that they will feel good the day of, and then maybe up to a week or month after and then? That’s the thing about revenge. It doesn’t feel good for long. And, it is like drinking poison.
Some spiritual people today may be chastising themselves for their feelings – don’t. Whether you feel Hillary was the correct choice or if you are celebrating a Trump victory. There is nothing un-spiritual about feelings and it is healthy to express them safely. Allow every person to have their feelings. There is nothing wrong with our feelings – only wrong actions as a result of them. So, express what you feel – you can see that I am – I broke down sobbing when Hillary gave her concession speech. Many said “it was her best speech.” Why? Because she is a “nasty woman?” and folks are glad she is not the first female president of the United States? Today the Russian news reported they too were glad the “cursed-witch” lost. However, there are many nations around the world and many people in America who are truly frightened and with good reason. 46.9 % of eligible voters did not vote at all and thousands spoiled their ballots in anger. However, when we have all had our purge, cut our cords, cleansed our chakras, meditated and detoxed and had some walks in nature and spent time by the water and with animals – we can put this in our rear-view mirror and begin looking through the windshield as one weary man commented today. But, let’s pray for so many Americans who are very fearful right now. One woman said, “basically, anyone who isn’t a white man doesn’t know if they are going to be safe in this country.”
As Canadians , let us not get too smug and complacent that it “could never happen here” as some are saying. Last night, one of our candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada indicated that she is thrilled about Trump’s victory and thinks we can maybe institute a “Canadian values test” for immigrants to Canada. Really? What is “Canadian values” code for? I was born and raised in Canada and I have no idea! But, I know what my own values are – and I vote for them.
Anyone know where I can buy a “nasty woman” t-shirt?
Sending light to Washington, D.C. , U.S.A., and to the new president-elect chosen by the American people.
It is our loss, Secretary Clinton, put your feet up and relax with a good book. Who deserves it more?