The bumper sticker on the Subaru with the New Hampshire license plates read :
Save democracy. Jail Hillary.
Once again a hockey tournament had beckoned me and I was playing for a team from Massachusetts who were making their annual trip to Montreal in order to experience the night life…and play hockey. I had met most of the players before three years previously at the same tournament but this was my first return trip since then. We were congregating and getting ourselves reacquainted when Stan asked we three Canadians who were helping his squad out…”So, what do you guys think of the election ?”
Silence. I smiled…noncommittally. Geoff and Wayne, the other two Ottawa guys who had come, were not political. I am. I have always been a slightly left-of -centre Pierre Trudeau- voting (and once for the N.D.P which I later lived to regret) Liberal. As far as American elections go, I have supported the Democratic Party all the way. It just so happens that I don’t have a vote. I am an aging white male, however. Some would call me an opinionated s.o.b., but only those with uninformed, misguided viewpoints. I have lived long enough to know that any discussion about politics and religion can go south in a hurry. We would be playing hockey together for the next couple of days, sharing the puck, a dressing room and beers. Best to just nod and smile.
Stan took it well. “Don’t want to get into it, huh ?” He smiled to show his understanding. But since he had brought it up….
“What do you think, Stan?”
“Who do you want to look at for the next four years… old Bill or Melania and Ivanka?” was his logic. Every voter has to have their own motivation to get him or herself to the voting booth.
I’m cool with that.
It’s one reason why I’ve always liked Americans and found them easy to talk to. I know it’s a stereotype but it has also always been my personal experience that they are more outgoing and friendly than their neighbours to the north. I know some find their lack of reticence loud and overbearing; I find it a starting point for interesting conversations.
“You tell me,” Stan continued, “how Bill and Hillary could leave the White House millions of dollars in debt through their legal fees and then just a few short years later, they’re worth two hundred million dollars. I’m an independent businessman. I have to go out and find my customers, provide them service and then collect my own bills. I think Trump understands that.”
A short, stocky fellow with a distinct Mid-Eastern look chimed in. “They should not only lock Hillary up, they should string her up.”
Okay, Dorothy, I thought to myself, I’m not only not in Kansas anymore, but I’m not at a politically-correct Ottawa cocktail party either.
Stan introduced Hillary’s non-fan. “This is Brian… our radical Islamist terrorist.” Turns out that was not quite the case; Brian’s grandfather had come to the U.S. seventy years before and now Brian was Americanized enough to have “a lot of guns, most of them rifles because I’m a hunter, although I have handguns too. But I keep them locked up.” Brian was going to be playing on my right wing this weekend; I guess in more ways than one. And I made a mental note to be sure to keep passing him the puck.
Only one of the lot admitted to be voting the Democratic ticket and even he wasn’t a fanatic about it. “He’s an idiot and she’s a crook,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Billy’s a left-wing Democrat,” Stan explained. He made it sound like an apology.
So I’ll be watching closely on November 8th. I won’t be deviating from my chronic support for the Democratic Party. Once again I’ll go back to hockey to sum up the situation. “Predictions are for gypsies,” said the eight-time Montreal Canadien Stanley Cup winning coach, Toe Blake. Nowadays we would have to label them female Roma psychics.
And if anyone of that persuasion is out there, please let me know what you see !