Change. It's the permanent law of life; an axiomatic constant that dictates the very cadence and complexion of history. Some people yearn for it, while others fear it entirely; but regardless of how we are affected by it, our lives would bear no meaning in its absence.
There seems to be this prevailing belief that all change is propitious. But obviously that's not the case - newness and variation doesn't always warrant growth and betterment. That's why making decisions on the promise of change alone is a tricky (and sometimes dangerous) game to play.
So when people attempt to substantiate their support for Donald Trump solely on the fact that he is "the change the White House needs," one cannot help but question the vagueness of their rationalization. Is he the felicitous choice just because he's "different" from the other politicians? Does being "different" automatically deem him an advantageous change?
Well no, it doesn't. In fact, when you consider Donald Trump's shady history and polarizing character, he actually isn't so different from the crooked politicians that his obdurate supporters relentlessly try to distinguish him from. If, by their definition, a politician is an untrustworthy person who only to lives to serve his own self-interests, then Donald Trump is a politician. His career is littered with scandals, from racial housing discrimination to multiple sexual assault allegations, that were all fuelled by his own selfish motives.
You know what would have been a nice change? The first woman president of the United States. Even if that meant it would have to be Hillary Clinton. That alone would have been a step forward for women's rights and thus also for humanity. Instead, America chose a cantaloupe-hued reality television star who during his campaign has 1) attacked people from all sorts of races and religions, 2) spewed 560 or so lies to the public, and 3) refused to release his tax returns without any solid reason.
No judgment passed, though. Canadians are guilty of a similar deed in that they elected a leader of celebrity calibre too. Trudeau himself is somewhat a smoke and mirrors act - after a year in office, many of the promises he made to the Canadian people were broken or remain unaddressed despite his initial pledge to tend to them without delay. This consequently suggests that the idea that politicians make promises just for the sake of winning elections, rather than to actually deliver them when they're in office, is not just an American phenomenon.
But there's one striking difference between Trump and Trudeau, and it regards their contrasting demeanors. Sure, policies are important, but character is equally as crucial. The way Trudeau carries himself in the public eye shows that he really does care about his people. Even if he was just putting up an act, he at least has the self-control to refrain from saying anything shocking that could threaten the unity of our country. He understands the importance of his words on a national and global scale. He doesn't call Mexicans rapists, or mock disabled people, or bash women on their looks, or suggest that a Muslim ban would be better for everyone.
Instead, he'll get down on bended knee just so he can talk eye-to-eye with a man in a wheelchair. He'll attend the Taste Of Manila in a Filipino barong, or the Vaisakhi parade in a Sikh turban in honour of their unique cultures. He'll march proudly with the LGBT community in their Pride Parades, even if past Prime Ministers refused to do so. Whether you agree with his policies or not, at least he tries to embrace diversity to the best of his ability. He feels like a people's man. He feels like someone you could look up to. He feels like a leader.
At the end of the day, Trump's presidency is something we're all going to have to learn to accept. Who knows; maybe he actually will be a great leader and prove everybody wrong again, just like he did with this election. But there's no denying that Trump will change the very fabric of our society - he has the power to abolish political correctness and make issues like racism or misogyny even more mainstream than they already are. He could become an excuse for people to act in hateful and aggressive ways. Whether he chooses to execute that influence is another story. That's the risk we all face now. That's the change America voted for.
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