People in the United States (and around the world) are waking up to a different reality this morning. Democracy has spoken, and while many people may not like what they’re hearing, the truth of the matter is that despite the outcome, American voices were heard loud and clear – they want change.

You’ve all heard the adjectives used to describe President-elect Donald Trump: bigot, racist, sexist, mysoginist…the list is a long one. The presidential campaign of 2016 was one of the ugliest in recent memory, sinking to a depth many had not thought possible, forever changing people’s perception of what is “acceptable” in the political arena.

As a Canadian who feels far removed from the American political process, I too could not look away from the train wreck occurring south of the border. The fact that Donald Trump not only received the Republican nomination for President of the United States, but then went on to win the election, seems to defy human logic. Trump’s campaign was run on fear, xenophobia, and a brand of male chauvinism that had no place in the homes of the American voter.

As a teacher and father to a young child, I’ll be taking yesterday’s election results as an opportunity to remind my son and my students that, while they may not agree with the outcome, they still must respect it. I’ll reiterate that we are fortunate to live in a part of the world where we have the democratic right to cast a ballot for who we want to lead us, and that if we do not exercise that right, then we do not have grounds for complaining when things do not go our way.

Mind you, you gotta give Trump credit – he did absolutely everything he needed to do to win. His tactics were disgusting and outright appalling, but seemed to resonate with enough voters to get him into the White House. Perhaps people will look back on the Trump presidency as a time of political reform that challenges the establishment. His win signifies a desire for change in the United States.

Now the real work begins. While the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign was overrun with old school male bravado, Trump’s acceptance speech last night took on quite a different tone from those at many of the rallies held over the last few weeks. Even Trump realizes that, while he was able to act like a complete asshole during the campaign and get away with it (it’s what got him elected), he now has to collaborate with policymakers in Washington and leaders from around the world. I think what people may have overlooked last night was that the Republicans also retained control over Congress, ultimately creating a political environment where Trump can do almost anything he wants…

Your move, Donald.

‘Til the next post.