A Viewpoint

imageAs a Canadian I have always had great respect and admiration for our neighbour to the south.  The United States of America is in some ways an unfathomable mystery.  Founded on noble principles, it’s history is a long struggle of good against evil.  It is framed by hope, persistance, grandeur and respect.  What often struck me on my initial visits to the U.S. and in my contacts with Americans was their innate cheerfulness, good humour and relaxed self- confidence.  There was, I felt, a benign indulgence that customs officers, cab drivers, policemen and waitresses bestowed upon me in my first visits. Later, as I made deep and loving friendships with Americans, I felt the depth of culture, faith and love for their country and for the rest of the world.  That has been my personal experience and it has shaped my view of the United States more than decades of news and TV stories about the very important problems the country struggled with.  As an outsider, certainly I cordially detested some presidents just as I felt deep and genuine affection and respect for others.

During the recent Presidential campaign I was amazed and disconcerted that Donald Trump could have risen to the status of Republican candidate.  I listened with alarm to his ignorant, detestable and sometimes ludicrous statements delivered at rallies and notably during his debates with his  Democratic rival.

He was elected.  Enough ink has been spilled in shock and astonishment over this outcome. I will spare you any more. We, and I use this pronoun as a member of the global community, must make the best of it.  Let us hope and pray that Mr. Trump makes the best of it.  Given his stated views and goals it would be naive to assume that ” the best” in terms of the advancement of poor people, women or the handicapped can be achieved.  As for environmental concerns, observe who will, under his guidance, be responsible for the transfer of files from the  EPA.  Google Myron Ebell and weep for our planet.

In his acceptance speech, Donal Trump talked, for the first time in my observation, about ” inclusion , harmony, respect”.  Did Melania give him a few tips on speech plaigarizing?  Too little  too late  Mr Trump.  I suppose we can make a virtue of necessity and evoke this mysterious esteem for the ” office ” of President. Does it magically bestow upon the incumbent virtue, dignity, intelligence?

Was not Hitler Chancellor of Germany?

Is not Vladimir Putin President of the Russian Federation?

Are there not doctors who pursue money rather than the good of patients?

Are there not mothers and fathers who abuse their children?

Are there  not priests who betray the trust of souls in their care?

Are there not writers who close their eyes to the truth or who distort it?

The titles of Chacellor  doctor, parent, pastor or writer do not of themselves bestow virtue or demand respect.  It is the individual who shows  by his or her right action that he or she is worthy of respect and is worthy to carry such a title.  I am a dreamer and therefore hold some faint spark of hope that Donald Trump may astonish me by his good actions as President of the United States.

The picture?  Just feels like this these days: a frail human attempt to control fire….with a few sparks of hope present too

 

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