I’m Canadian. Our federal and provincial governments operate on a very different formula than those of our American neighbours. Our political systems are far from perfect, and there will always be room for more improvement as time and generations pass by. Last year we had both our federal and provincial elections within months apart from each other. The floodgates of unprincipled passion, uninformed opinions, ad hominem rhetoric and wax intelligence spewed like an angry volcano on social media. The constant debating and bickering eventually compelled me to join in on the mudslinging and get burned in the process. But one thing I have to say, and I’m sure many of my readers can sympathize, is this…
I am done with American politics.
I, for one, am tired of reading and hearing the extreme mass hysteria – not just from the far right, but from the far left as well. Given how Trump tends to play on the fears and emotions of the ultraconservatives, many liberals seem to cast the assumption that every Republican is a stupid, uneducated, gun-toting, racial-profiling, misogynistic, redneck inbred who can’t imagine a world not being flat outside of the Bible-belt states. On the other hand, many conservatives have conjured the impression that everyone who supports Billary is a male-hating, tree-hugging, gender-swapping, pro-abortion communist who drinks gluten-free vegan lattes while reading the Quran.
Is this what America has been narrowed down to? These two dichotomies?
While I am thankful to not be in a position to cast my vote between only two options, my heart aches for my American friends who feel compelled to choose one extreme over another — both sides being dishonest, manipulative and utterly corrupt. While one candidate’s victory may lead the nation further into a cesspool of relativistic moral degradation, the other may very well create further division among ethnic groups, deepen societal prejudices and stigmas, destroy international bridges that took years to build up and possibly start a third world war with a slip of the tongue.
After this November’s election, one thing is for certain – North America will never be the same. Give it a four-year term or even a decade or two, this country will be rendered unrecognizable. But maybe this is a telltale sign that we, as a society, have been placing our hopes on something (or someone) so fallible that we are banging our heads against the wall to a pulp in hopes that these leaders will somehow miraculously turn things around? And yet year after year, we readily change out the old elected officials like soiled diapers and freely embrace newly ordained ones — only to complain about how disappointed we are of them as time goes by.
C.S. Lewis once quoted,
“I feel a strong desire to tell you — and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me — which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs — pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking about which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.”
Regardless of who wins, if we want to change our society for the good of our nation, people are going to have to get along whether they are Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative. Serj Tankian (frontman of the metal band System of a Down) named his debut solo album Elect the dead as a means of informing people that we are the cause of a world that’s gone wrong. In order to reverse the consequences of our collective actions, we need to learn from our past mistakes. We need to be rooted in our history, our ancient philosophies and scriptures. We need to understand our fallibility as human beings and set our sights and goals towards something bigger than ourselves and our nation’s leaders.
And if all else fails, despite our collective efforts, perhaps we do need to be saved from ourselves. Perhaps we really are in need of a saviour.