A few thoughts on sleeping with the elephant after US midterms

While my beloved housemate joked about my intense interest ( “obsession” ) in the Trump midterm election, the thought of the US continuing with the unbroken authority of Trump was too much to bear. And I made myself ill sitting glued to the ups and downs of the midterms.

I followed the election as though it were an elephant. At the Washington Press Club on March 24, 1969, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau mused about living next to the United States: “It is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly or even tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, we can feel every twitch and grunt” of the giant pachyderm to the south.

Sometimes Canadians are sensitive to the elephant’s movements because elephantine GOP handlers advise our CONS on policy.

Sometimes our borders open to refugees fleeing the elephant’s Muslim Ban.

Sometimes our dreams fill with elephant wars that our government already shares in.

Sometimes our nuclear nightmares bloom in the elephant’s broken treaties and increased isolationism.

Sometimes the elephant generates an uptick in hate bigotry so misogynist and white supremacist outbursts and terrorism increase here too.

We are not without fault or error. As continental bedmates, we share the memory foam of history that spells out our collective historical wrongs as settler colonies and nation states forged in theft, exclusions and hierarchies.

But now we sleep with a neighbour turned fascist.

The US judicial system may be permanently twisted into the hateful scowl of the ultra right Xian misogynist Kavanaugh. But I am glad that this morning, the brute to the south has some enemies within who are empowered to change the course of government and hopefully bring him to account.

For all our sakes.

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