Life After Trump
"What happened?" Is a question we'll be asking and hearing for a while yet. I managed to stay up until about 12:30 am on election night. I was holding out hope for a Hillary victory but even then some things were clear. The America I believed in, maybe naively, doesn't really exist. We're not there yet.
I woke up about 3:00 am and checked the news on my phone. The unthinkable had really come to pass. President elect Trump. What the hell happened? How could the polls be so wrong? Didn't everyone see the same things in saw in the news every day? What about the debates? People will be analyzing the outcome of this election for a long time to come. I'm sure that there will be university courses devoted to studying what was happening in America to make this possible.
How could any decent human being vote for someone so utterly under qualified and morally reprehensible to serve as president of the United States? Where will we go from here? Years of progress could be rolled back in the blink of an eye. The thought of that is what terrifies me the most.
Now of course all these feelings I have are directly related to my life experience. I grew up in Western New York during the 1980's. Living in the suburbs, I didn't know anything about inner city life save for what I saw on TV. My favourite movie was Breakin. My parents raised me colour blind. I suffered in school for being a geeky kid but I had a great childhood. We didn't have a lot of extra money but my parents made sure I never wanted for anything.
Years later I moved to Montreal, one of the most liberal and multicultural places in Canada. Of course I'd want everyone to have the opportunities that I was afforded. Immigrants ( hey, I AM ONE), gays (yep, me again), blacks, hispanics, muslims! America is supposed to be the place where with hard work, anyone can build a good life and succeed. Lady Liberty doesn't see the colour of your skin or where you've come from.
What many of us learned on November 8th is that half of us, our neighbors and friends do not agree. Anyone means anyone that looks white and isn't too queer. Oh and it would probably help if you are also male.
I don't want to judge people who voted for Trump's vision of America. I want to understand. Right now I am too blinded by grief for any civil discourse. Those saying that we need to move on and try to unite enrages me. Obama tried to do that for years and was met with nothing but obstruction. This election has told us that going high when the other side goes low is a dead end at the moment.
I have lots of opinions about technology and programming methodologies, and dogs but when it comes to politics and how people live I'm usually happy to do my own thing and not waste my time engaging subjects like religion or gay rights or racism. Live and let live. Shame on me. It's time to say enough is enough. It's only days since the election and we are seeing groups who normally hide in the shadows, now empowered by a president elect who refused to distance himself from the KKK. I'm worried that many people are going to suffer. It's time to turn on the lights.
People disappointed with the results of this election now have a huge job to do. We can't sit back and believe that things will keep progressing to improve life for everyone. Every time we see a woman being harassed in public, or see someone being discriminated against based on skin colour or country of origin we need to speak up. Yes sticking your neck out for someone you don't even know is difficult but a rising tide rises all boats.
I'll always be proud and grateful to be a citizen of two great countries but right now I'm disappointed in America. So this is now my life, after President Trump. Listen. Protect. Fight. Hope. Work.