Looking back over the past year, it’s unfathomable that Trump’s time in office has only been fifteen months. Indeed, it feels as if fifteen years have passed. In the book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, one of the writers accurately depicted what every citizen is experiencing by conveying that we are locked in an abusive relationship with the current occupant of the White House. In my personal life, I’ve been lucky to never have been in an abusive relationship, but I certainly never expected this type of emotional turmoil caused by a president.
There has literally been a daily onslaught of drama caused by Trump that would rival any soap opera production. The past fifteen months has brought us the “Muslim Ban;” a revolving door of appointees; attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act; revelations of Russian manipulation of our election; the questionable firing of FBI Director James Comey; Devin Nunes’s efforts to emulate James Bond; Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia Investigation, his nervousness during questions by Senator Kamala Harris in his Senate testimony, and a plethora of “I do not recall” responses that made me wonder if he even remembers his own name; raids and indictments on Trump’s inner circle for illegal activities; the Republican “tax scam;” Trump’s embarrassing actions during summits with world leaders; allegations by two women that they had affairs with Trump while he was married, and Trump’s never ending stream of childish tweets to bully people or news outlets he disagrees with in order to divert attention from a new scandal. Indeed, it appears that maybe he should be awarded the Emmy that he coveted, but not for The Apprentice, but instead it should be a Daytime Emmy for “Best Soap Opera – White House Edition.”
The endless political theater made me feel that I was traveling a road that I never wanted to take. I wasn’t taking “the road less traveled,” but instead I was taking the road “where angels fear to tread.” I believe that most people cannot sustain this type of instability for long before physical and emotional symptoms arise. So, in January and February, I endured a bout of “ennui.” I dreaded the dawn of each new morning, kept the television off, isolated myself from loved ones, and had no ambition or ability to write anything of substance. My reaction, though, was just as unhealthy as the toxicity of our current political climate. I realized that I needed to take steps that I call “self-care” to alleviate my weariness. So, I made plans to make short trip out of the country to our friendly and stable neighbor to the north, Canada.
I almost titled this piece, “Dear Canada,” as a love letter to a country that cured my ailing soul. In Canada, I found not only a beautiful country, but numerous happy and friendly citizens and a stable government. In essence, I found my “holy grail.” Yes, to me, it was akin to finding a mysterious or mythical object that holds miraculous or curative powers. During my time there, I became relaxed and rejuvenated.
I was not the only American making a sojourn to our northern ally as I met many other U.S. citizens weary of life with Trump and seeking a respite. Naturally, we bonded in our mutual dislike of “The Donald” and basked in the light and stability of a country that embraced and comforted us.
Viewing Canadian news was a revelation. The most significant story was an almost twenty-four-hour filibuster over what would now be trivial in the states. I watched as a Canadian politician started singing and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought them coffee and doughnuts. The rest of their news was dedicated to the continued disarray of the American political system. I laughed as the newswoman remarked that Trump had made a declaration about possible tariffs and a trade war, but only to “change his mind an hour later.” Personally, I admire her ability not to “roll her eyes” while she uttered these comments because, I found, the tone of her voice exposed her true feelings.
While there, I discussed our current president with several Canadians, who I discovered disliked him, too. They were baffled by his election and our electoral college system. During our conversations, I offered to trade Trump for Trudeau and throw in Trump’s family for free, but sadly, I found no “takers” for this deal. I don’t blame them as it would be a win-lose scenario.
Based on my experience, I recommend any American feeling the “Trump Blues,” to take a trip to Canada or take positive steps toward “self-care.”