Encountering a personality like Trump's is highly unusual. People like him can't rationally exist, we tell ourselves. He possesses a multitude of confounding characteristics that defy his office and position in life. But, with his combination of skills and deficiencies, he did win the presidency, didn't he? Yet we remain incredulous and struggle to come to terms with how this happened.
Some feel like impeachment is just around the corner. And if is not currently, then Trump will do something so reprehensible that the Republican Party will realize the folly of their ways and move forward with an impeachment process. This is not going to happen as long as the Republicans control Congress.
To be exceptional is to be unusual, rare or outstanding. Right now, we are none of those things. To be exceptional is to figure out a way to make it safe for refugees fleeing the U.S. to come to Canada and to give them a chance to contribute to our country, without having to go underground yet again.
They launch crusades of violence against the easiest of targets: the racialized Other, the immigrant, the slum dweller, the refugee. They promise a return to a Utopian past at the expense of their chosen scapegoats - each one of a certain colour, geographic origin or religion - only to guarantee an impoverished future for us all.
All of a sudden, it was OK for America to get back into hate crimes again. Behaviour that had been previously seen as scary stories from a discarded history text book are suddenly back in the news. Here we are, a long history of "haven't we become so much better" wiped clean with story after story of bigotry, Islamophobia, and Neo-Nazi ideals rising from the ashes.
The high level of cooperation between Canada and the United States over many decades has deeply intertwined our two countries and preserving Canada's long-held partnership with the United States will no doubt be at the top of Prime Minister Trudeau's to-do list in Washington. But he must be clear in sharing the message that mutual observance and commitment to upholding human rights must be at the very centre of the special bond between Canada and the United States. Worryingly, President Trump has so far given much reason to believe that regard for human rights is not high on his own to-do list.
The powerful extreme narcissist will never stop trying to silence those who question or oppose them but when we unite, we become equally powerful, if not more so. When we stand together and stand up up for what's right, we become empowered to create positive change in our own lives and in the world.