Twenty-four hours ago I was optimistic and happy. I was anticipating that history would be made: that for the first time ever a woman would be elected a President of that great big nation just south of Canada. Even though I'm not American, I think that following US politics is as Canadian and maple syrup, toques, and talking about the weather.
I didn't realize the impact that the candidate of a major party being a woman would have on me. It's one thing to acknowledge that yes, in theory, woman can do anything, but it's another to see it happening. And not just happening, but to see a competent, kind, knowledgable, determined, intelligent, strong, unfuckwithable, and qualified woman being the one to do it. I did my research. I would have voted FOR Hillary and not just against Trump.
I was ready to cry tears of joy when it happened.
But then it didn't. I felt bad at 9:14 pm and turned off my TV. I tried to do something else. Netflix, books, marking, cleaning.... none of of those things appealed to me. I was in purgatory. I wanted to stay away from the election, but I kept peeking on social media.
Finally I realized I needed to sleep. I woke up at 4:30 am, lay awake in bed, wondering should I check. I think I had a confusing dream where Hillary did pull ahead and hoped that was reality. It wasn't.
I had to call my mom and cry this morning. Not the happy tears that I wanted. But the tears that you cry when your foundations are shaken.
I believe in the good of humanity. I believe that most people are just trying to do the best job they can of being alive, and that would should try to understand everyone based upon our shared humanity. I believe that working hard and being kind will lead to great things. I believe in helping others, in community, and in the equality of all. I believe in using my privilege to help the oppressed in our society.
It's not just that the candidate I believed in lost; it's that she lost to the worst, most unqualified, racist, mysogynist, ignorant, self-serving, ill-equipped candidate in history. This is a person that shares in none of my beliefs. The fact that millions of people voted for this man sickens me and saddens me to my core. There is something broken with humanity and it hurts me.
I'm at work. My period 2 class is in a presentation and I should be marking but I can't concentrate. I'm thankful to live in Canada where currently we have done the opposite: we last elected a leader that is compassionate, strives for equality, understands science, and listens to others. I'm thankful that as our neighbours are divided, we are more-or-less together. We're not perfect, we have problems and some shameful history to deal with (our treatment of indigenous people), but we're doing OK.
However, I would have said the same about our neighbours to the south a few years ago as they elected their first black president. It's scary how quickly things can change, and how anger and hate can resurface quickly. This is something for Canadians to be cautious about, lest we rest upon our laurels too easily.
I am most shattered for the fact that those who struggle most society will be hurt the most by this new leader. I think about the impact this will have on people of colour, women, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, and anyone else who does not fit into this leader's narrow view of humanity.