St. John Valley

Guest Column: This too shall pass?

Since the election and its discouraging outcome, I haven’t had much hope. That precious elixir is in short supply, and I’m not inclined to share what little of it I have left.

I have to admit that I was somewhat heartened by the fact that the majority of residents here in Madawaska voted for Ms. Clinton and not the current heir apparent to the American Throne. That’s what I feel it will become; a throne, a gilded chair in a house no longer the seat of democracy. Look closely and you’ll see the gilt is merely a cheap brass veneer, what the Brits call trumpery.

Yeah, I entertained silly notions like flight to Canada. It’s right over there, across the river. Technically speaking, I suppose I’m the Canadian version of an ‘anchor baby’; born in Canada to American parents. Lots of us on this side are in a similar situation. Mother was in a hurry and the nearest hospital was Edmundston, New Brunswick. That’s all.

I assume the trolls will tell me “Go back to Canada where you came from.” Except I’m anchored here in the U.S. All my stuff’s here. All my history’s here. My great-great grandfather joined the Union Army to fight against slavery, literally, and was wounded in the charge up Missionary Ridge. He was an Irish immigrant. The Civil War in the Western Theater is not on America’s movie screen, so who cares?

Well, I care. Robert McWhirter married into a Covenanter family, and those Presbyterians were vehemently opposed to the institution of slavery and vehemently opposed to the notion of racial inequality as well. The Covenanters even bucked the American Constitution on the basis it supported slavery. In their view, it was written by slave owners to support that system of human bondage. The very Electoral College insured that slavery counted as a part of the American republican democracy. This notion of one man-one vote was rank nonsense to the Founders and look what we’ve got for their troubles.

This is another version of the American Civil War. The Reconstruction after the first one fell apart and we had to wait a 100 years for the Civil Rights Movement to gain enough steam to overturn some of Jim Crow, but not all of it. The Confederacy still lives in the hearts and minds of some of these peckerwoods, and it’s their White House for the time being.

I’m older now and I’ve seen a lot of things come and go, and I’ve learned what’s best is to resist what’s going on. Change is constant, and any way one looks at it, this too shall pass. Here’s hoping.

I’m sticking around. Like I said, all my stuff’s here.

Dave Wylie’s life and work experience runs the gamut from newspaper editor to carpenter to grant writer to boat builder with lots of other work wedged in-between. Born in 1953 in Canada, he admits not having found what he wants to be when he grows up. Wylie currently is president of a management company that oversees an elderly housing complex and president of the Madawaska Historical Society. He resides in Madawaska.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.