Today is the day after the American election. I will freely say that I was really hoping that Hillary Clinton would be elected. As a woman, I strongly feel that it is long overdue for women to be represented and included equally in the world. I know that there are many countries where women have been elected to the highest office, and that many women participate in the American political system at many levels. But this summer, as we were driving home from New Brunswick, and I heard on the radio the analysis of what had happened in the previous couple of weeks at the RNC and DNC, I was brought to tears at the idea of a woman finally being president. I'm not American, I'm Canadian, so it's not really representative of me. But as Canadians, we are inundated with American culture, arts (both fine and popular), news, and we often follow their lead.
We've watched Trump over this entire campaign. We've heard him talk about grabbing women against their will. I just can't bring myself to list all of the ridiculous and terrible things that he's done over this campaign, and further back. And as this is my blog post, and not a newspaper article, I don't have to. Feel free to look it up if you want to know more. I can't help but wonder what is happening that has created this extreme amount of fear, fear that has become acceptance of Donald Trump, and dismissal of Hillary Clinton. What are people so afraid of? And even more importantly, why are we letting fear rule us?
I woke up this morning wondering who had won the election. I hadn't stayed up until the end, and when I went to bed, there were far too many states that were too close to call, or had not enough votes counted yet to be able to make a call. The first thing I said to my boyfriend when the alarm went off was, "I wonder who won." His reply was, "You don't want to know." I clearly had (have) an attachment to Hillary Clinton being president, and an aversion to Donald Trump being president, and this is causing me to suffer. But the biggest thing that I'm feeling is fear. Fear of what might happen with Trump as president. Revolution? Repealing gay rights, gay marriage? What will happen to women's rights over their bodies? Is it going to be harder (it's already very difficult) to get an abortion if you need to? How about Muslims? Immigrants? Refugees? Undocumented families? And he's going to be given the nuclear codes. A man who cannot handle a Twitter account is going to have the nuclear codes.
I went for my walk. I had to run an errand, so I did some city, pavement walking today. I couldn't find a podcast I wanted to listen to, so I just walked and thought. There are a lot of things to be afraid of. But isn't a culture of fear what got us here in the first place? How is my being afraid going to make the world a better place? It won't. It's not a good example for my children. It doesn't add to the collective unconscious in a positive way. And so I'm going to chose not to be afraid. Instead I will breathe (in, out, pause, repeat). I will love — love my family, my friends, my community, my city, my country, my world. I will shine the light into the dark corners where fear lives, and I will work to make this world a better place.