Life in progress



I feel nauseous just typing the name. But I’ve stayed quiet long enough. I find I have no choice but to speak out. Why, you ask? I realize the chances of changing the mind of anyone who is determined to put him in office is slim to none. But there are people out there whose voices might be heard. My ultimate plea is to those who can make a difference. Also, I feel by not saying anything, my silence in a way condones the possibility that my children and grandchildren will live in a far less free world than I have enjoyed.

I am Canadian. Let’s get that out of the way right now. I have no say in who becomes President of the United States. That is up to the conscience of the society south of my home’s border. But the fact is, the fateful decision to elect this man President will not affect only those within the U.S.’s borders. It will affect the entire world. Today’s events in Brussels and his reaction to them have magnified that.

Today he said he would close the borders; one assumes he means if he was in charge. On the surface, keeping outsiders out is a simple solution to a complex issue. Yet his talk of walls creates fear and encourages bigotry far more than it serves to protect. I know there are legitimate fears. But how do we fight fear? By being brave and standing together. Not building walls and hiding within them, never letting anyone else in.  Just hours ago, he tweeted, “Time & time again I have been right about terrorism. It’s time to get tough! ” When he claims he will torture and kill the families of terrorists, and when he talks about waterboarding, he sanctions the very same methods of terror that the terrorists are using: violence to get a point across. He is attempting to turn America into a personification of himself: a cowardly, narcissistic little man who acts with great bravado until he is told he’s wrong. Then he lashes out. A true narcissist has no compassion. Anyone who stands in his way, whether they are Muslim, Canadian, or American, will be crushed. A true narcissist thinks the only thing that is “great” is himself. Make America great again, indeed.

The history books are filled with the results of propaganda such as that he spews, but again and again we forget history. Or we ignore it. And again and again we repeat it.  In the next few days I will be writing a book review of Ken Follett’s “Century” trilogy. I was never big into history myself – I’d never go out of my way to learn it. But what I have learned by reading this historical fiction chills me to the bone. The parallels between the social unrest and widespread poverty in Germany leading up to the ELECTION of Hitler are, well, enough to make me come out of the political closet and write this article.

Today, while the present leaders of the world are pulling together their populations, and saying that while they will fight such terror as was perpetuated in Brussels, and earlier in Turkey and France among so may other places, they are also telling us not to allow the terrorists to bring us over to the side of hate. They are saying we need to look beyond the colour of our skin and our religious beliefs, and stand together regardless of our nationalities. The alternative is to fear those who are different, and build walls to keep them out.

Hatred begets hatred: two negatives do not make a positive. We teach our children this. Can we learn it ourselves? I hope we can, before it’s too late.