Not heading for Canada yet

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 at 8:55pm

haberman-hardyI am very disappointed by the election results. “Depressed” would be a mild description.

That said I am making some tough decisions. Do I cut and run? Or do I stay and fight?

As a young man, I did a lot of running, until I decided to fight. And since that day, I have not stopped fighting. We have gained far too much to just give up and leave. That time may come, and that prospect saddens me a great deal, but now is not that time for me.

I don’t think 50 percent of the people in our country are racist bigots. I do think a great deal of our country was unhappy with the situation they found themselves in over the past decade.

The populist appeal of that man (he who must not be named) is exactly what the Democrats used to have, but ceded to politically savvy strategists who figured things would be business as usual. They weren’t. And they won’t be anymore.

Do I think a dark side of the American populace has been empowered and uncovered? Yes. It is the same group that have always been there, but at different times in our history they have felt more or less empowered.

Do I have hope? As hard as it is to muster, yes I do.

I know that I am stronger than I ever suspected, and I believe the other 50 percent of America is as well.

There is no easy win; there is no jackpot, and there is no candidate who can be a savior. We have to do that ourselves.

We have to start by figuring out how to reach the non-racist part of the electorate who voted Republican, and we have to make the case that fairness, equality, peace and sanity can prevail. We can only do that if we stay involved and refuse to give up.

Now, I have still not processed the stunning election results from Tuesday night, and I suspect every pollster and pundit feels the same way. That will take some time and lots of coffee and perhaps some crying.

By the looks of the Canadian immigration website last night, which crashed from an overload of queries, a lot of people are considering running away. To be honest, my partner and I discussed that as well. But in the cold light of morning, I don’t think I am ready to do that.

Giving away my community, my family, my friends, my church and running away, abandoning my life and my work to live as a refugee in the Great White North is not appealing. (Nothing against Canada; I love your country and your poutine, but I am not done with America just yet.)

The American experiment has come too far to be destroyed by one election.

And to those who do not accept the results of the election I say this, remember how appalled we were when Trump said he would not accept the results? If we don’t, we simply prove we are petulant children, stomping our feet with our fingers in our ears screaming “la la la la la.”

That solves nothing.

We have lived through Reagan, Bush the greater and Bush the lesser, and I pray that we can live through a single term of this. It will not be easy, but having lived through police raids on gay bars, anti-war protests, civil rights marches, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the “Macarena,” in the words of Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive.”

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

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