What I'm trying to describe is this oppressive sense I have of being surrounded by people whose beliefs I do not share. The symptoms first popped up after Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto. They have became noticeably worse since Stephen Harper won a majority government.
So if claustrophobia is (according to Merriam-Webster) the "abnormal dread of being in closed or narrow spaces", what I'm stricken by is the "abnormal dread of being in the company of closed or narrow people". I know that being a warm-hearted, diversity-loving left-leaner means that I should respect other people, that I should try to understand other points of view and mentally embrace my adversaries. That kind of thing. But for the past few days, whenever I see people, I think: "Are you one of them? One of the stupid people I don't agree with and who voted for a Prime Minister who is going to put women who want to have abortions in mega-prisons?"
At some point, I'm sure I'll feel a renewed sense of the beautiful contradictions inherent in the Human Condition, and a renewed sense of smugness about how I'm able to sense all those beautiful contradictions. But right now, I just wish I could live in a place where everyone shared my beliefs. Why do they have to do all that hating of immigrants in Sweden? If it wasn't for all the racism in Sweden, I could totally live there.
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