Late last week I was drawn to a friends Facebook post that espoused how extraordinary Barack Obama was as the 44th President of the United States. She expressed heartbreak at what she saw as a growing divide among the American people under the presidency of Donald Trump. She worries for her American friends and family, including next to kin, that the US is losing its way.
It was a moment put to words on Facebook, accompanied by a video, when something dark, perhaps sinister began bubbling up through what became a long thread of anxious discourse. In response to my friends post one of her Facebook “friends” took great umbrage and spat back in defence of her beloved Trump. It may have been ok, under free speech, to allow for her to express an opposing view. But when the vitriol became personal all bets were off.
Suddenly the longest, most open and undefended border in the world felt like it was rapidly unwinding. We are awkward and periled in these uncertain times. Our next door neighbour has seen and found the need to show its mighty strength through the oval office or Mar a Lago for that matter. And, as true friends and neighbours we have stayed out of it. But enough is enough and locking babies in cages may have been the last straw where it would simply be wrong to remain quiet.
It seems everyday my newsfeed is full of “friends” snapping at each other and emotions are running high with worry. So, why can’t we all just get along?
I suspect the frenzy of (mis)information we consume and the divide and conquer style of the POTUS is exactly the plan. We watch in horror while diversion after diversion clouds and derides our thinking. The result is not really unexpected, neighbour turning on neighbour, just as friends are turning on friends. We must continue to take the high road. This is what we have always done as Canadians and what most of the world has come to expect. One can only hope in the longer scheme of things this will be but a blip on the political map. Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall let’s be sure to treat one another with respect and dignity. After all, like it or not we’re all in this together!