The conclusion of the US presidential election is still fresh in the American consciousness. While enough of our peers wanted Donald Trump to triumph over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that he did so, a similarly sized group of citizens saw the results and felt great defeat in a personal sense, and for what they see as a less-than-ideal future for the United States.
Regardless of your sentiments towards Trump and whether or not his words carry much weight to you, he was correct in saying that “it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” a feeling echoed by Clinton, who said that “we owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” The results of the election have caused such grand grief and discouragement that many feel moving to Canada is their best option, and to those people, our beloved Chris Hardwick has a message: Don’t leave when your country needs you most, because it is a nation’s people, not its leaders, who will make it great.
On last night’s episode of @midnight, Hardwick took a minute to address the fact that’s Canada’s immigration website crashed not long after Trump was named President-elect, saying, “I realize we’re all a salad spinner of emotions right now, and feel what you got to feel, […] But the way I see it, now is not the time to abandon America, you guys.”
He went on to speak about how the greatest way we can show we care about our country is to come together and be the best possible versions of ourselves, saying, “I love Canada, but the most American thing you can do is stay here, be the best you you can be. Make your community better, work, love your family, be good to people. […] At the end of the day, it is people, it is each and every one of you, it is you watching, that make a country great. […] We put too much power on that person, whoever that person was going to be, to make our lives better. We have to make our fucking lives better. You guys make America great.”
Hardwick’s message brings to mind what Andrew W.K. said to us around this time last year, telling us that we should strive to “all be our own presidents in our own life” and take ownership of ourselves.
“How can you complain about these politicians or politics in general if you yourself aren’t striving to be admirable, to live with integrity, to be a good person,” he asked. “How can we complain about other things or other shortcomings in society or culture at all if we haven’t even taken the first step, perhaps, individually? How can I lash out at someone when I know I’m failing left and right? So it’s nice to put blame on someone else, or put all your bets and all your hopes on someone else, but unfortunately, for better or worse, it has to start with us, with you and me.”
Overall, the message is this: You may disagree with your neighbor, but empathy is a powerful quality that’s about as important in this moment as it’s ever been. If you identify with your neighbor, let them know that they aren’t alone, that their voice matters, and that they matter. Understand that everybody has their own context, so if their feelings don’t match up with yours, that doesn’t mean their opinions aren’t as reasonable and justifiable and real as the ones you’ve cultivated through your own lens of the world.
Let’s be our best and love each other.
Featured image: AMC