When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it
Wise lyrics by The Avett Brothers. Words that might help us deal with the shocking results of the US election. In most cases your life really doesn’t change by the man that’s elected, although I wish they’d added “or woman” in there!
In Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, one in which she finally, belatedly, sounded authentic, she spoke to all of her female supporters about thrusting through that gender barrier. “I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will – and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”
And what of, against all odds, polls and projections, the Donald even giving an acceptance speech? After weeks – no months – of scandals and gaffes? Jonathon Gatehouse was prompted to write this in Maclean’s magazine last week: “Trump is now globally famous, but his brand, once associated with aspirations and excess, has been drastically altered. No one is going to buy a steak, or bottle of cologne, or cheap Chinese-made tie with his name on it in hopes that it might make them appear classy. The same goes for condo developments. A planned golf course and residential complex in Dubai has already been scrubbed of his name and image. Bookings at Trump Hotels were down 60 per cent in the first half of the year. In September, the company quietly announced a new, Donald-less brand, Scion. Maybe it’s time to revert to the original family name – Drumpf.” Hrumph. Well, he may not be classy, but by democratic process, the man whose family was once known as Drumpf, is now President of the United States of America.
Trump’s acceptance speech, which I couldn’t bear to watch after his cringeworthy behaviour in the debates, was surprisingly devoid of braggadociousness. He spoke well of his opponent. “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.” Wow. The man who used fear to divide the country? “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division . . .To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” So true. And phew. Could the weight of the Presidency elevate his behaviour?
So, how does a man with no government experience make it to the highest office in the land anyway? Here’s a quote that surfaced this morning, from him, from People Magazine 1998. “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” Yikes!
My husband B is American. When I woke up at 4 this morning and my iPhone displayed the CBC alert with the dreadful news, I said, “Couldn’t you have voted harder? More times? Geez.” Then I couldn’t sleep, imagining this man with awful orange hair looking down on me, as a woman AND a Canadian, while overseeing the building of a high concrete wall in Port Huron, Michigan, his finger firmly on the nuke button.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, huh? Markets in turmoil last night have already stabilized and are showing gains today. As B says, “The sun still comes up in the morning.” One of my American Facebook friends, echoing the sentiments of many frustrated American voters, said “I simply didn’t like either candidate and would have preferred neither won if that could have been possible.” He posted this great advice by “some unknown poster”:
“You can’t control who wins the election but YOU CAN control what YOU do the day after The President-Elect has been determined.
You can be happy. You can work hard. You can be kind. You can love others. You can make a difference.
You can pray for the new President to lead well and make great decisions. You can realize you still live in a democracy whose founding fathers designed one of the greatest and most enviable Constitutions ever drafted For the people.
You can help heal someone. You can feed the poor and help the needy.
You can make America great by simply being great at what you do.
The President will be in control of running the country, but you and only you are in control of running your life.
Today will not be a catastrophe. It will be another day to be your best and bring out the best in others.
Leadership is important.
But one person doesn’t make America.
WE make America.”
Well-said! Your neighbours (yes, with a “u” in there!) to the north applaud your grace in coming to terms with this most unprecedented election, as we do the same up here. Just note: we have no intention of paying for that wall. Lol.
As the Avetts sing, “Decide what to be and go be it.” And be damned good at it!
I went golfing, this morning, w/ my 87 year old father, the sun was up!
Rita, I read and re-read this and teared up as , like the rest of the world, I was numb by the results of this election. but I loved you stated your true feelings , then ended with such a powerful positive note. I currently am in California with Tara, awaiting her first born, and as I went for my daily walk, I thought..”the sun is shining, we are in good health, we are waiting for this baby to make a grand entrance ,”. Let me have the strength to accept this in a positive way…and your writings helped me with this strength,,,thanks for that Rita
Well said! I’m still shocked, horrified
Interesting times. I imagine we will be more interested, aware and informed with what happens now. There is a good documentary on CBC from the last election that explains the deep divisions and challenges in the USA. It really helped me to understand why the election happened like this. Thanks for your insights.