I’ll jump right in.
When he was first elected I kinda thought to myself: well, there’s another imperfect democracy for you. Apparently, enough people in the right places felt good enough about him to vote for him and I guess his team played better than the other team. Bit of a shocker, but there you go. It happens. Gotta accept it. You deal.
As someone said, he is owed a chance to lead.
So anyways, I did deal. I have enjoyed the parodies, flipped between Fox News and CNN on the satellite radio en-route to city deliveries, downloaded Breitbart, and generally tried to resign myself to the situation and get in touch with my inner right-winger.
And I’ll admit to being able to do right wing. I can give it an airing from time to time. I can rail against big government, political correctness and those who would impinge on my right to freely enterprise. I can even do it without having all my facts straight and be indignantly self-righteous when someone else does the same. And as for free trade deals, I blame them at least partly for this excruciating gap of income, education, opportunity, acceptance and who knows what else between me and the person who made my underpants.
And you know what I realized last night when pondering whether there was a point to this article or not? I think you need two wings to fly. Right and Left Wings. Get it? Perhaps I will neither extend nor belabour the metaphor.
But the fun evaporates when I consider that he might really be an idiot with his finger on the button, for real. And that millions of people chose this man over a perfectly reasonable woman. And not only that, it turns out there are other leaders like him poised to take power in other democracies all over the world. Including in Canada.
As in, people are voting for this sort of thing.
For some reason, this feels intensely personal.
The last time I had an experience like this, where I didn’t know what to do but was becoming aware of a developing situation requiring close attention and possible courageous action was 26 years ago, when I came out.
It’s hard to describe the confusion and frustration of that time except to say that I am reminded of it right now. Very embarrassing to report that I was at my most homophobic leading up to the actual dawn of realization and I took up smoking immediately after. Such was my first experience with handling the turmoil that tends to accompany growth.
Perhaps this time I can do a better job of navigating the rocky shoals of change. This time I can be equipped with some higher principles and more confidence in my abilities.
I can keep my facts straight (if nothing else) and trust intuition and common sense. I can make doubly sure that just because I write creative non-fiction, I do not stray into the world of “alternative facts”. I don’t like to have my credibility questioned but will remember to consider the source before wigging out.
Bravery is always a possibility, if required.
I just have to figure out what it is I am supposed to do.
Anna Helmer would like to point out that the only other even remotely gay woman she knew was Madonna so no wonder she was a little confused about where she might fit in exactly.