In continuing reaction to the results of the recent American election, division and conflict appear to be increasing, with an emergence of racism and various other abuses, and with some politicians in Canada riding the Trump wave to notoriety.
It appears that Donald Trump’s success was due largely to the hardships of millions in the USA. Trump offered recognition and understanding to such people, so, of course, they have gathered behind him.
During the campaign, there was much ridicule of Trump and of his supporters. To his opponents, joining in ridicule gave a sense of community.
But also, such laughter served more deeply to alienate Trump’s supporters, and to give them community together.
On both sides, it served to deepen the troublesome belief in ‘Us vs Them’.
Many thought we could laugh Trump and his supporters off the stage. The result? He and his supporters now have the stage.
In Canada, we hear of similar alienation rising. As some of us might retreat to our accustomed ways, feeling safe among people we think of as like ourselves, let us be aware of consequences of our attitudes, our words, our actions.
Are we ignoring or deepening harmful divisions in our communities? Or, are we actively sharing in a greater community together, working for solutions to problems in everyone’s best interests? And, are we listening respectfully to one another’s concerns and values?
We have work to do.
In diversity, there is strength.
John Mowat Steven