I am weary of this election. I am a Canadian, and I am just exhausted by this entire situation.
Between 1995 and 2014, my family and I would spend a few weeks every summer at my grandparents’ house in Lansing, Michigan. If we were lucky, we would also go to New York to visit our family there. Growing up in a multicultural suburb outside of Toronto I was always excited by our trips to the USA, with each new town or state an adventure into Americana. There was something both familiar and strange about being in America, and there are still many states that I hope to explore. This election has brought to the surface the darker side of America’s psyche. As a Canadian and a woman, I find the events of the past few months disturbing and disappointing. What began with humour at Trump’s hubris has devolved into disbelief that this conversation is even taking place.
When I first heard that Trump was running for GOP candidate, I thought it was amusing. Here was someone so blatantly ignorant, and proud of that ignorance, that he thought he stood a chance against seasoned professionals like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (each despicable in their own special way, just more polished about it). I even remember thinking that Trump was the lesser of the Republican evils, as his stance on women’s reproductive rights seemed to be more moderate than the rest of the party. We know now this isn’t the case. I kept waiting for the day when he would either drop out or be forced out. There was no way that this was more than a publicity stunt, a way for him to get back into the public’s consciousness just in time for the release of a new hotel or TV show. Instead, it is a few weeks away from Election Day and his name is on that ballot. I am guilty of consuming articles about the absurdity of this election as though it is my second job. It is truly a spectacle, in the worst possible way. Just as the GOP’s candidate hits a new low, and the bar sinks farther down, a new scandal is revealed. At first I tried to detox from the election’s constant online predominance, but it has become impossible to escape. I find myself alternating between exasperation, annoyance, and numbness.
As Celia so accurately writes, Clinton is far from a perfect candidate. I was a fan of Sanders and didn’t think that his propositions were so crazy, given my own life in a country with universal healthcare and a self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister. However, I don’t think that Clinton is a poor choice. In fact, I think that she is completely qualified and competent. She is well spoken, calm under pressure and personal attacks, and I don’t believe that she will lose in November. In fact, I don’t even know how this is a legitimate issue – that Clinton is somehow less capable of being the President of the United States of America, than someone who has never held any public office a day in his life. At first I thought that anyone had to be better than Trump, but after watching the debates I am convinced that Clinton herself is, in her own right, a strong candidate. Her performance in the most recent debate solidified my support for her, especially given her unapologetic stand for access to abortion and the upholding of women’s and LGBT rights. Of course, none of this matters at this stage. If someone is still undecided at this point, logical reasoning isn’t going to change their mind. If this came down to merely rational arguments, it would be more than obvious who the winner should be. This election is about emotion – that which women are unfailingly accused of succumbing to whenever they disagree with the status quo.
I have been following this election since the primaries, and with each racist, sexist, lying, gas-lighting thing that I have heard spew from the GOP candidate, I get more tired of the whole damn situation. And this is exactly wherein the danger lies. Michelle Obama was right when she reminded the public that this is not normal, that we cannot let ourselves be lulled into complacency because someone who has said terrible things in the past continues to say terrible things in the present. It is not normal, and it cannot become normal. This isn’t some Orwellian novel, some dystopian future where a man can deny his own statements moments after saying them, and the clocks will continue to strike 13 as if nothing is wrong.
This Canadian is with her.