I have been wanting to write this for a while, shying away from the idea because I didn’t think I knew enough. And that remains true. I’m just an ordinary, 27-year-old Canadian citizen who reads a decent amount of news so I can hold my own in conversation.
I am not politically educated enough to properly comment on the election. But I am human enough to know this election has created a world that I don’t want to be part of.
Society has come a long way. It’s baffling, really, the things we can do. Get a cab, order dinner, find a date for Friday night – all within ten minutes and without speaking to a single soul. Deliver pizza by drone. Be transported into entirely new [virtual] realities. Walk on the fucking moon.
The world has come so unbelievably far, yet as people, we have somehow regressed even further.
We are basing the 2016 presidential election on whether the candidate has or has not sexually assaulted someone. Whether or not they are racist. Whether or not they are a decent enough person to run a country.
How the actual fuck is this what it has come down to? How is it that these things – these fundamental components of being a human being – are what we’re using to validate who will be president of a country? How is it necessary – in the final presidential debate – for a candidate to stand up and state, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” How can society possibly be at a point where that doesn’t go without saying?
In May 2016, Canada received the news that Gord Downie had a brain tumor, and The Tragically Hip – our iconically Canadian band – would be hitting the road for a final tour. In August, CBC aired the final show, commercial-free for 3.5 hours so a nation could band together: through the music of a dying man that embodied everything we believed made us who we were. For a musical performance full of spirit. Full of life. Full of good.
And as I, along with the rest of the country, watched the final Hip concert surrounded by friends, food and a fridge full of beer, I felt not only immensely proud to be Canadian, but also proud to be a human. This was everything humanity needed to be: Supportive. Appreciative. And so very, very kind.
But as I sit here watching the presidential election unfold, there is no part of me that feels proud – to be Canadian, to be a human being. I don’t feel grateful to live “up here” while chaos ensues “down there.” I’m not vain enough to believe we’re really that different. Instead, I simply feel defeated. Frustrated. And sad that this is what we are.
I’m not naive enough to think that this is almost over; that after November 8th we’re in the clear. Sure, it’ll calm down eventually. @TheRealDonaldTrump will stop being referenced in every meme and SNL will find new material. But unfortunately, in my ordinary, politically uneducated opinion, I think this election has done much more than place two opposing people in positions of authority. Regardless of the outcome, this process has elected the type of world we believe we live in. The type of society we believe can work; one based on hate, arrogance and pointing the finger.
I am a 27-year-old Canadian. I don’t know much – just enough to get by in conversation. All I know is that this election has created a world that does not make me feel good. And in my opinion – isn’t that really all it comes down to?