Wherever the Road Leads

Alex: I Was Wrong

I HAVE Changed

There has been a lot of animated discussion since Donald Trump’s election, some of it between my cousin, Alex, and me. The last in-depth conversation that I had with my cousin Alex, may have been when I was a foot-loose and fancy-free teenager, and he was in the throes of getting married and starting a life of responsibilities. It would take me several more decades to become responsible, and, for the most part, I chose to lose contact with the family.

Some fifty years later, we are discovering that we have vastly different – read ‘opposite’ – political views. Perhaps in frustration, Alex accused me of having changed. I thought, “I haven’t changed, I’ve always had very conservative viewpoints. How can he say that I’ve changed?”

However, I was ignoring the elephant in the room. Of course I’ve changed…

I’m American.

A card-carrying, flag-waving, proud, patriotic Yankee Doodle Dandy. I chose to become an American. I wanted to become an American. I paid $1,000 in fees to become an American. I was vetted, I was interviewed, studied and took the test to become an American. Nearly a year in the process, finally, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance and was sworn in as an American. I carry an American passport and vote in American elections.

More than that, though. I have lived in these glorious United States of America for twenty-odd years. I have become acclimatized, experienced, have embraced and am blessed to live the American life and American ways.

Two plus years ago when, for the first time in decades I returned to Canada – Toronto – for an extended period of time, I experienced culture shock. Big time. Perhaps because I was naive or perhaps because I didn’t realize how much I had changed, I very, very wrongly assumed that I could walk across the border into Canada and everything would be identical to my life in the US. Wrong-O. Big time wrong-O. “Yankee Go Home”, I was rightly chided. Similar in many ways, our two countries are vastly different in many others.

Perhaps that is what most Canadians don’t realize.

Since Trump’s election, I have used the phrase on numerous occasions that Canadians are “hemorrhaging” over the election’s results. Not just in the liberal-leaning Toronto Star, not just in a blog that I read done by a woman from Western Canada who blogged that Trump was elected by racists… all 59 million of us, not just in the Facebook comments from my Canadian family-members, but at Costco in Scarborough, where Sue was the lone Trump supporter amidst a sea of angst-ridden, hand-wringing, cross-section of Canadian Society, right down to the Retirement Home where my mother lives. She told me that she is thrilled with the election’s outcome but keeps her mouth shut in fear of the Anti-Trump, blue-rinse mob.

Canada has gone down the political road that its voters have chosen. It is not the political road that I would have chosen, but that doesn’t mean that the Canadian voters are wrong. It’s their choice.

It would be pleasant if American voters might be afforded the same privilege. We voted for change, please accept, don’t berate. That is the opinion of the kind and diplomatic me. The American Southern Redneck me wants to scream FFS, STFU. It’s not your country, it’s not your election. YOU don’t live here. WE do. WE voted.

And mostly, when your main source for American election information was CNN, you’re not being told the whole story.

The Clinton Campaign and CNN – the Clinton News Network – did their best to paint Donald Trump as a monster. Obviously, in Canada at least, they were very successful. Very briefly, Trump did not call ALL Mexicans rapists and murderers, he said that some of those sneaking into the country illegally were. Fact. Trump did indeed say he wanted temporarily to ban ALL Muslims, though he moderated his tone in time. To me, that simply makes sense. Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, did something very similar in 1979. Trump did not say that ALL Muslims were terrorists, but until we can figure out who is and who isn’t, let’s shut the gate for a little while. Makes sense to me. Muslims terrorists have impacted this country greatly since – and prior to – 9/11. He seems to believe that LGBT is a State issue, not a Federal issue. He’s not against them.

Trump did indeed engage in some locker-room talk. No justifying that. However, we 59 million chose to overlook the trivial from years gone by and focus on what mattered: immigration, terrorism, border security, job creation in the manufacturing sector, slowing down government growth and EPA regulations and – I believe the kicker to the vast majority of Canadians – getting the government out of the Health Care Industry.

“Make America Great Again!”

It was an ugly campaign on both sides. Donald Trump has a vision for change and improvement. Other than “Donald is a Bum”, I’m not sure what Hillary’s vision was. Perhaps if Joe Biden had been the Democrat candidate, Trump would not have been elected. Hillary was a very flawed candidate, which her supporters and CNN seem to overlook easily in favor of the mantra, “Donald is a Bum”.

I hesitate to use this video, as this guy – an Englishmen with insight – uses language even worse than my acronyms above. However, he makes some valid, humorous points. If you decide to click on the arrow to start the video, I do caution you that this guy’s parents must have been sailors as the language is raw.

So, yes, Alex, you were right. I have changed. My perspective is completely different. A little like the bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig? The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed! As a Canadian, I may have been involved but as an American, I’m committed. And passionate.

To Miss Angelika, a part of my extended McGreek family, I apologize for making it personal. You have every right in the world to your opinion. Free speech: it’s what makes both countries wonderful.


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  1. Alistair Mair  November 14, 2016

    Well said. It is too bad some Canadian politicians chose to side with Clinton. We need to mind our own business. Our relationship will not change with the USA . Perhaps Trudeau will not be in the White House again. Harper was never invited.
    See you soon


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