The first President my kids will remember and the one they won’t 

My son is only about 6 months older than Donald Trump’s two year campaign for the Oval Office. My daughter a couple weeks older than Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.

For the past few weeks I had been dreaming of how different the world of my children would be. Even as Canadian, the American President is an important symbol of power and authority. The first president I remember was Bill Clinton – a white man. My memory is like every other person who had a memory of a president – white men.

But for the past 8 years, a new generation now will remember a person of colour as their first president. And then my son and daughter had the promise of remembering a woman as president.

That promise is gone for now.

I can only hope that things change by 2020, that the outcome to this election is the blip in the trend and the last eight years did signify true change.

And with the ugliness of this past election cycle bombarding the entire world, I can only pray that Americans of all political stripes will repent of the division that brought them to where they are.

I pray that those politicians and other leaders who left significant portions of the population to fall further and further behind as only a few benefitted from unregulated markets and globalization will see that this greedy behaviour is pushing the world into deep crisis that we haven’t seen since the first half of the 20th century.

I pray that those who feel left behind cease using the poor and marginalized – immigrants, Muslims, uppity women and more – as the targets of their frustrations, fears and anxieties. That they will realize that this fear is creating a reality where violence and bigotry is acceptable public discourse.

There are a million reasons and ways the world is so different today than it was before the election. But I am determined to let my children know, whether a woman or another person of colour or LGBTQ person is elected to the presidency or even to be Prime Minister here in Canada or not, that power and authority is not just for white men. I am determined to help them see a world where gender, race, sexual orientation or religion are nothing but side notes in a person’s fitness for presidency.

If this election taught us anything, it is that there is a lot of work to do. And the problems we face are complex and difficult. But my children teach me everyday that the work is worth doing in order to create a world that I want for them. 

So let’s meet back here in 2020, and tell the story of a president I hope will be the one my children first remember.

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6 thoughts on “The first President my kids will remember and the one they won’t ”

  1. Regardless of what one thinks of the accomplishments of the Obama administration over the past 8 years, regardless of how it might be interesting for a woman to be president, this was not the woman to break that glass ceiling and, in my opinion, this was not the president who put us on the path to a better life for all of our citizens. I believe historians will one day recognize he Obama legacy as the failure to implement the socialistic model of his mentor Saul Alinsky, a Chicago community organizer who is best known for his book “Rules For Radicals.” As for Mr. Trump, well, we shall see if he can work around his monumental ego and put us back on the path to greatness by focusing on government programs aimed at helping people to help themselves through better education opportunities, affordable health care, etc., and remove other obstacles in the way of them being able to live a better life. In spite of the greed it does encourage, capitalism is recognized as the best way to accomplish that objective. It isn’t perfect, of course, but it’s all we’ve got that has ever worked well. And, by the way, by the time 2020 rolls around, I hope we have a woman like Condy Rice who steps up to the plate. I’d vote for her. America deserves no less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You probably right that Hilary was not the right candidate for the time. Some of her issues may have been sexism, but some were clearly her complex baggage.

      One commentator made the point that if the Democrats really believed that Trump was the threatening demagogue they claimed he was, they would have put their best candidate forward. But instead they saw the opportunity to elect an unpopular party hack.

      As far as Obama went, I think his inexperience led him to strive for compromise too often in the first half of his administration when he actually had the power to implement policy. I am curious to see how history will remember him. I still think it will be kindly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For starters though, as a Canadian I want to thank Donald Trump for exposing our last two Prime Ministers. We owe a thank you letter to the American people for funding our defense system whereby I am told our NATO agreement calls for a spending level of 2% GDP and we have been spending .9% GDP. Canada just loves the moral high ground surrounding its social programs but do most Canadians know that in this situation, questionable leadership has been using American money and ultimately their poor children to subsidize spending on our poor children by backing up our defense costs. Shame on you Harper and Trudeau–does not make me proud to be a Christian or a Canadian, especially given the dismal condition of our armed forces infrastructure. Guns or butter–and better choices of the Canadian government.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct in saying that Canada has not lived up to our NATO commitment. That is something that our government should address. However, it is not as cut and dry as Trump claimed. Unlike previous super power nations who caused smaller nations to band together (Germany of the early 20th century), the US has been “exporting” security. They have allowed other nations to be delinquent as a way of promoting influence and trade. Trump does not seem to realize this feature of American foreign policy. It has been as much a benefit to American interests and economy to be the security superpower, while taking on the lion’s share in NATO. Does that make it right? I don’t know, but Trump certainly did not talk about this piece of the equation.

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