My son is only about 6 months older than Donald Trump’s two year campaign for the Oval Office. My daughter a couple weeks older than Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.
For the past few weeks I had been dreaming of how different the world of my children would be. Even as Canadian, the American President is an important symbol of power and authority. The first president I remember was Bill Clinton – a white man. My memory is like every other person who had a memory of a president – white men.
But for the past 8 years, a new generation now will remember a person of colour as their first president. And then my son and daughter had the promise of remembering a woman as president.
That promise is gone for now.
I can only hope that things change by 2020, that the outcome to this election is the blip in the trend and the last eight years did signify true change.
And with the ugliness of this past election cycle bombarding the entire world, I can only pray that Americans of all political stripes will repent of the division that brought them to where they are.
I pray that those politicians and other leaders who left significant portions of the population to fall further and further behind as only a few benefitted from unregulated markets and globalization will see that this greedy behaviour is pushing the world into deep crisis that we haven’t seen since the first half of the 20th century.
I pray that those who feel left behind cease using the poor and marginalized – immigrants, Muslims, uppity women and more – as the targets of their frustrations, fears and anxieties. That they will realize that this fear is creating a reality where violence and bigotry is acceptable public discourse.
There are a million reasons and ways the world is so different today than it was before the election. But I am determined to let my children know, whether a woman or another person of colour or LGBTQ person is elected to the presidency or even to be Prime Minister here in Canada or not, that power and authority is not just for white men. I am determined to help them see a world where gender, race, sexual orientation or religion are nothing but side notes in a person’s fitness for presidency.
If this election taught us anything, it is that there is a lot of work to do. And the problems we face are complex and difficult. But my children teach me everyday that the work is worth doing in order to create a world that I want for them.
So let’s meet back here in 2020, and tell the story of a president I hope will be the one my children first remember.