Monday, November 21, 2016

What She Said, What They Said

"She" is Lauren Messervey, a Canadian writer and blogger, who wrote an open letter to Mr. Obama in the Huffington Post  on November 9, 2016.

Ms. Messervey expressed what so many of us -- dare I say, most of us -- up here above the border would like to say -- and to repeat often in the days ahead -- as Mr. Trump tries to shape his cabinet, a definite challenge and a bit of a scary one for those of us who are watching on the sidelines.  (Please Note: I can no longer call him Mr. T for that would confuse him with our 'Mr. T' -- Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau -- and believe you me, there is a distinct difference that doesn't just come from the almost thirty-year gap in their ages.)

Mr. Obama and Mr. Trudeau,
at the White House March, 2016

Canadians are going to miss you, Mr. Obama.  We can sense even now that when they eventually meet face-to-face, Mr. Trudeau will be polite, respectful, staunch, firm and speak through gritted teeth in response to pretty much anything Mr. Trump has to say that would contravene not only Canadian values but also basic human decency -- anything that would smack of misogyny, xenophobia, racism and downright meanness.

That's not to say we don't have those things up here.  We do.  But we are -- collectively, in faith communities and education communities and the public square and in education and in social discourse -- doing our darnedest to learn, to grow, to combat these scourges that threaten humanity, just as much (if not more) than climate change or natural disaster.

We're going to miss Mrs. Obama, too.  She is so intelligent, sensitive, articulate and funny -- and brought these qualities to the fore in our own "First Lady" (we don't generally call PM's wives that), Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.  BFFs, methinks...

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (L) and
Michelle Obama (R) - 2016

"They" are the members of Canada's Parliament, who represent the Canadian people.  Lest you think that only Liberal Party supporters will miss the Obamas..let me remind you that I've voted Conservative for the past few I'm not 'towing' any 'party line'.  Up here, ALL of our political parties -- Conservative, Liberal, New Democratic (that's left of Liberal, for y'all who might not know) -- expressed their feelings for Mr. Obama in June of this year when he spoke in our House of Commons in Ottawa, when they stood as one to acknowledge him and his Presidency:

This is how we still feel about you, dear friends...but I confess that I am certain I am not alone in my trepidation about the man Americans have now elected to replace Mr. Obama.

Mr. Trump has big shoes to fill, and for the sake of the whole world, he'd better fill them bigly.

P.S. I was 7 when Queen Elizabeth II opened the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Our cottage on a bay in the St. Lawrence was across the road from the Seaway route, many miles away across the water.  I remember that event distinctly.  Mr. Trump has not (to date) decided to close the U.S. portion of that major waterway and trade route -- perhaps because he is unaware of its existence...One can only hope!

1 comment:

Christine Staver said...

I hear you, Margaret. We just signed up for a bus to go to Washington DC to march in the womans march on January 21. I have never marched in a protest march, but must do it now.