One day before the election, Sayeh Yousefi sends the message to American voters.
America is the beacon of democracy. It may not be the most perfect country, but it serves as a perpetual reminder to us all of the merits of hard-work and rebellion in the name of freedom. The country that continues to set standards for other, often times developing, countries, is now on the verge of becoming an absolute joke of a nation.
By potentially electing a misinformed, ignorant bigot as president, America no longer remains the country we all look up to. It then becomes the country we all ridicule for its failures in giving in to fear over logic.
Ever since I was a child, this romanticized ideal of America and its promised democracy instilled a hope in me: hope that eventually I would be able to live in a country where I could exercise the rights and freedoms that were retained from me while I lived in the Middle East.
To this day, every time I cross the border into the States, I’m overwhelmed by a sense of awe and amazement at the magnitude of the history and greatness of the country I am entering. I know, at a small-scale level, there are very few differences between Canada and America, besides things like using miles instead of kilometres or having Dunkin Donuts instead of Tim Horton’s, but on a larger scale, the nations’ histories are incomparable.
Hard work of generations of immigrants
A nation’s present state is an intricately woven web of its history and its perseverance. Every building or skyscraper I see serves as a reminder of the foundation this nation is built upon – the ideals of freedom and democracy coupled with the hard work of generations of determined workers and immigrants who believed in this nation enough to dedicate their lives to developing it.
As a Canadian citizen, I have to admit a much greater sense of contingency and urgency associated with the U.S. election. The last Canadian election, although one of the largest upsets and most controversial in recent history, did not garner nearly as much attention as the U.S. election. Why? Because we didn’t have this much at stake. Our most conservative and traditional leaders don’t nearly compare to the Donald himself, and for that we are proud. Although it may appear that my admiration for American greatly overpowers my love for my own country, Canada, I really do value Canada in its own way.
The ‘idea’ of America – the nation of hopes, freedoms, hard work and success, is what appeals to the hopeful artist aspect of me. However, the progressive, diverse, and accepting nature of Canada is one that I often take for granted, but am eternally proud of.
I am proud to be a citizen of a nation that accepts immigrants with pride, a nation that is not ashamed of its diversity, but wears its colours like an intricately woven mosaic, one whose pieces wouldn’t be complete without one another. Our diversity is what makes us strong as a nation, and for this, we are eternally proud to call ourselves Canadian.
This upcoming U.S. election is both a testament and a shame to this ideal of democracy. The fact that a candidate so unfit to take on the position of president is now one of two leading candidates in the race proves that anyone can in fact run for president, there is no process of elimination on the basis on competency.
The power entirely lies in the hands of the people, the voters who decide the future of their country, be it for better or for worse.
At this point, we can only hope that Americans will realize the greatness and magnitude of their country, and vote in accordance with the beliefs and values of American democracy.