“The People Have Spoken” – A Canadian’s View of the American 2016 Election

For what it’s worth, I’m attempting to put down my thoughts on what happened on November 8th in the US. For like all you Americans, we here in Canada are still reeling and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Yes, I know some of you are probably wondering why I am writing about this because I should be writing about my travels as this is what my blog is all about. Well, truth be told, I haven’t been doing much travelling lately…that won’t begin until the latter part of December… so there hasn’t been much to write about in that department. Then you may ask, why should I be so concerned about what is happening in American politics? Firstly, like most Canadians I care about what happens to our neighbour to the south. Whatever happens there will undoubtedly affect us here. Secondly, I have American friends and blog readers from the US, and I know how disappointed and afraid they must be feeling right now.

Trump’s victory has certainly stirred me up as I expect it has for most of us up here in Canada and the rest of the world. This man may not know much about how the world of politics works… or the world for that matter…and, yes, he has shown a shocking narrow-mindedness and said some scary things, but he certainly has an uncanny genius for attracting publicity. Did he make all his nasty remarks about women and minorities and promises about cancelling the Paris Accord, re-writing NAFTA, etc. just for the publicity so he could get elected? Was he intelligent enough to think of such a ploy that he knew would grab America’s attention? Let’s hope so because this could be your only hope.

Now for a few more thoughts which have grabbed my mind regarding this historic election….

The reasons for Trump’s win and the aftermath for the for the next four years has to be looked at a strong ‘wake up call’ for all Americans…. and other countries, too. We are well aware that corporate greed, racial discrimination, selfishness, crime, climate change disasters, and lack of employment are all contributing to the feeling of helplessness that many people around the world are feeling. The gap between the rich and poor appears to be getting wider. For this reason it’s not been a huge surprise to me that he won since he seems to have struck a chord for those people who are feeling disenfranchised. They fear that what made America a great country is rapidly fading away.

I can certainly understand the sadness and despair that many Americans must be feeling, but I can’t help but think that there is a lesson to be learned here. The fact that he won is proof that the average American is not happy with the present status quo and wants change. They want to go back to the way it was, but you and I know that isn’t possible. You have to go forward, not backward. You need some real leadership to do this and it’s preposterous to think that Trump can do it. However, if he isn’t the answer, then maybe he is the catalyst to the much-needed change the people want?

This leads me  to Hillary’s brilliant concession speech. To assuage the people’s despair, she carefully crafted it to give Americans some hope. In spite of her painful defeat, she was able to graciously offer her help and promise to work with and not against Trump. Did I hear this or was I imagining it? And that was not all ….. she then made a plea for all Americans to do the same. She is such a fighter for the people as we all know, so my bet is that if anyone can have an effect on this loose cannon president, it will be Hillary’ speech.

Furthermore, I don’t think you should give up on “the Donald”… not yet anyway. He is a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality but if he wants to really help the little guy and if he wants to gain the respect of those Republicans he has to work with and the people who are counting on him, then maybe he will choose his words more carefully and change his behavior. Perhaps he will take Hillary’s parting words seriously out of the admiration he claims to have for her? You can only hope…

After listening to Hillary’s concession speech on You Tube, I quickly tuned into Trump’s and couldn’t help notice how different the two atmospheres were. Where the feeling at Hillary’s was filled with love and adoration, the one at the Donald’s was stilted and uncomfortable with little to no emotion. How peculiar! Wouldn’t you expect there to be some joy after his win? Instead, there was just fear. Perhaps he and those around him really are afraid of what he has got himself into, and if so, then could this not be a good thing? Maybe he will start to listen now that he realizes he doesn’t have the answers and will accept help from those who have more experience? You can only hope…

One thing which we probably can all agree on is that this man has a lot of growing up to do. If all those who will be working with him realize this and treat him with some respect and an “open mind” (Hillary’s words) then just maybe he could turn out to be a decent president. He loves attention so if those he works with can come together to help him instead of quarrelling amongst themselves, then they could leave him to keep on doing what he does best which seems to be connecting to the little guys and getting the media’s attention.

Such an idealistic picture, you say, and from a naive Canadian. Perhaps… but I believe you must try to see the positive by visualizing a positive rather than a negative outcome by remembering Hillary’s words to not give up the fight: “Fight for what is right” she said to all the young women of America. It is right is to honour what the majority of people voted for, get over your disappointment, pull together, and go forward bravely to show the rest of the world that all isn’t coming to an end and truth and reason will prevail. I would guess that all of this and more is said in your Declaration of Independence as drawn up by the Founders of your great country. Perhaps more attention could be paid to this by everyone who loves their country and wants it to continue as a respected world leader.

And finally, please remember that as your northern neighbour we are here to help if you want it. Our Prime Minister has already stated he will work closely with your new President. For those who won’t be able to take the heat and uncertainty that is bound to come in the next four years, you can always escape to Canada… if you have the patience to deal with the red tape of becoming a Canadian citizen. Somehow, I don’t think many will do it. Instead you will stay and tough it out because right now your country needs you more than ever.img_0412

8 thoughts on ““The People Have Spoken” – A Canadian’s View of the American 2016 Election

  1. So articulate & insightful Betty. My head is still shaking; my thoughts reeling. Your clearness of thought is much welcome. Deep breaths. One day at a time.

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    • Great to hear from you, Linnea, off in Spain. We were thinking of going there in March but Italy has won out. I will be going to Thailand and Viet Nam first while Graham goes to Florence. Then we’ll meet up in Rome.

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  2. Hey Betty, I was really impressed with your take on our election. You’re so much more well informed than 90% of our electorate! You had some really intuitive observations. Personally, I’m oscillating between between my many emotions that keep swooping over me in waves….anger, fear & a will to try and be mindful of why this has happened. I know we have to accept the outcome and try to make the best of it but I have to tell you …..a return to Canada is looking pretty appealing right now!!! In he meantime, Thailand & Vietnam are going to be a nice respite!!!

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