Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks I’m Moving to Canada

So, you outed me. I voted for Hillary. And no, I don’t consider myself a feminist, and no, I wasn’t necessarily #withher. Did I want a woman to be President? Hells yeah. Did I want Hills? Though I aligned with her on some things, other issues made her not so much my first choice, but I, as many, chose what I believed to be the “lesser of two evils”.

Regardless, I was as dumbfounded as much of the country when I woke up to see that Trump had won the election. I just really didn’t see that coming, given all we had accomplished in, say, the past 100 years. In that time, I think the country has made some relatively major strides for women’s rights, combatting racism and the acceptance of the LGBT communities. Granted, we’ve also had some setbacks, but all in all, I think those areas are in better shape than they were a century ago.

Given the past remarks and actions of Mr. Trump, I don’t get a warm fuzzy that this will continue. He’s kind of been the antithesis of tolerance, if you will, to the point where it’s pretty scary, especially if you ask many women, non-whites, gays or transgenders.

That said, as I perused the news and social media, I was torn between just letting it all slide and voicing my shock at what this country had just done. I’m not a political person by any means – even this post is a bit out of my wheelhouse. So I mentioned something on Facebook about waking up to find out we’d gone back in time 100 years and changed my cover photo to the Canadian National Anthem. That’s about as passive-aggressive as you can get, right? I mean, the joke is, we’re all moving to Canada right? Eh?

So this guy I dated eons ago, who has since moved on and remarried, somehow surfaced late last night. He’s rarely on Facebook as far as I can tell, never posts, but somehow must have been browsing his newsfeed and came upon my cover photo. Here’s his comment. (Note: I have not corrected his grammar or punctuation.)

“Amy, seriously...I'm not a fan of "the Donald" either but do you really feel that one was worse than the other..?? Hilary is just as disgusting.. I'm saddened that out of 280 million people that those 2 turds were our best choice for president. If you still feel that now America is not worth living in then pack your bags and head north, Canada awaits you! While I was in the military, I've been all over the world and there is no other country I'd rather be in no matter who is my president. If you or any of the 50 or so actors and athletes who said they were leaving if trump was elected don't wish to be here, you're free to leave but don't come back in 4 years... I luv ya Amy, you're an amazing woman but I'm very surprised and disappointed..”

Now I’m not gonna lie – at first I was a little taken aback. I had to think: did I post some long rant about moving to Canada? Did I actually write that one candidate was worse than the other? And is he really lumping me in with actors and athletes? (blush) I didn’t really know WHAT to say, but I certainly didn’t want to get involved in a huge debate on Facebook. I mean, to me, Facebook is kind of for fun – yes I know it’s also a place to share events, find missing pets, offer our support and complain about our shitty day, but getting into a no-win, heated, public discussion that nine times out of ten ends up involving everyone including that crazy, out-there acquaintance who you wish you hadn’t accepted their friend request isn’t really what I signed up for.

So I opted for the slightly neutral, passive-aggressive route once again. Because I can. I responded, “I agree with you that neither candidate was optimal and it was definitely a "lesser of two evils" for many voters, including myself. Thanks for your perspective!”

But for some reason, I couldn’t shrug off what he had said. Surprised and disappointed? At what? That I voted for Hillary or that you think I’m abandoning my country and moving to Canada? Was I just too wrapped up in the disbelief and frenzy of yesterday that I had somehow let a righteous opinion escape? I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little outraged yesterday morning – at the percentage of people who voted for him, the percentage of people who DIDN’T vote at all, as well as the percentage of people who “protest voted” which was basically throwing their vote away. But as I read article after article as the day wore on, a few started to reflect more of a level-headed sense of calm. To paraphrase, “It’s done, now it’s up to all of us to come together and give this guy a chance.”

I mean, what else can we really do? MAYBE, as I read, his racist and anti-women comments and actions he made as a “celebrity” were more for shock value – “boys being boys”, as they say. (NOT that that’s an excuse, mind you…) MAYBE he never really thought he’d actually BECOME the President of the United States. We’re not even sure he truly WANTED it, as written by many who thought his campaign was merely a huge publicity stunt devised by a narcissistic businessman.

MAYBE now that he will be taking over the highest seat in the land, he’ll rethink who he is and what he says and how he acts and realize that he and his wife have some very big shoes to fill (yes, I voted for Obama, too, and no matter what you think of him politically, you have to admit that he and Michelle are a pretty Class Act).

Mr. Trump is a shrewd businessman; there’s no doubt about that. Maybe that will come in handy as he navigates these new national and international political waters. There’s something to be said for someone who doesn’t mince words. There’s also something to be said for tact. He’s going to need a delicate balance of the two.

What I’m trying to say, Guy Who Wrote on My Facebook Wall, is that it was just a joke - the Canadian National Anthem thing on my Facebook profile. I’m not moving to Canada. I have a great job here and a couple of kids and my dad is here and I’d really have to brush up on my French and I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the NFL and my Packers for the NHL and the Canadiens. In fact, Lambeau Field is probably as far north as I’ll go anytime soon.

As cliché as it sounds, I’m proud to be an American, and I’m willing to be open-minded about Mr. Trump as President. I hope he will surround himself with the right people, and I hope he will do what’s right and best for our country. I hope he will bring us together as he says he will, and make this country great again. In my opinion, it was pretty great before he showed up.