Politics and its Discontents

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Reflections, Observations, and Analyses Pertaining to the Canadian Political Scene
Updated: 35 min 8 sec ago

An Easy-To-Use Weapon Against Fake News

11 hours 36 min ago

People of a certain 'vintage' will well remember the above commercial, in which a family appears to take great delight in fooling dad about the spread he is using. All in all, a humorous and harmless deception, one with no lasting consequences. Today, however, we face challenges to truth that the people of that commercial's era could never have imagined, challenges that are not the least bit amusing: the proliferation of fake news, aided and abetted by the ubiquitous Internet.

What defences do we have against such manipulations? Actually, there are many, only one of which I shall address in today's post.

We live in a very rushed world, one in which people often do not take the time to properly assess the information they access. Now, thanks to an exciting software innovation, that task has been made easier. Daniel Sieradski has created a browser plug-in that, with an extensive data base, flashes a warning at the top of one's screen alerting users to the questionable provenance of any given site. Interviewed on CBC's As It Happens, he explained why he created it:
It was in response to Mark Zuckerberg's statement that Facebook couldn't really handle the problem of fake news without a massive effort requiring the development of an algorithm and all these other things. I was able to work out a solution in just about an hour that showed that that was nonsense and that this issue could be easily addressed, if they really wanted to invest their energy in it.Its principle seems elegantly simple:
Basically, it scans a given web page for the presence of links and then checks the links against a database that has been compiled of fake news sites, satire sites, conspiracy theory sites and so on and then it inserts a warning label adjacent to the link letting the user know that it is not exactly a reliable source of information.The beauty of this approach is that it censors nothing; it simply issues a warning of unreliable content, and it is then up to the readers as to what they do with that information.

I strongly recommend that readers give it a try. Compatible with the majority of web browsers, I installed it on Chrome, and then tested it by consulting a list of fake news sites. It worked flawlessly on the ones I went to.

If you are interested, here is the link to the software. A further explanation as to its operating basis is supplied there as well:
The list of domains powering the B.S. Detector was somewhat indiscriminately compiled from various sources around the web. We are actively reviewing this dataset, categorizing entries, and removing misidentified domains. We thus cannot guarantee complete accuracy of our data at the moment. You can view the complete list here.

Domain classifications include:

Fake News: Sources that fabricate stories out of whole cloth with the intent of pranking the public.
Satire: Sources that provide humorous commentary on current events in the form of fake news.
Extreme Bias: Sources that traffic in political propaganda and gross distortions of fact.
Conspiracy Theory: Sources that are well-known promoters of kooky conspiracy theories.
Rumor Mill: Sources that traffic in rumors, innuendo, and unverified claims.
State News: Sources in repressive states operating under government sanction.
Junk Science: Sources that promote scientifically dubious claims.
Hate Group: Sources that actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination.Incorporating the plug-in is one defence against the increasingly strong assaults on truth and accuracy being mounted by those who seek to impose their distorted and indefensible views on the world. In a future post, I shall discuss the hard work that is also required if this battle is ever to be won.Recommend this Post

Beguiling Words

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 06:37

The propaganda machine of the extreme right has scored a double hit, it would seem. Not only do they and their racist brethren have Breibart-founder Steve Bannon warmly ensconced in the White House as chief strategist and Senior Counselor to Donald Trump (whether he will also be keeping the president's seat warm in the Oval office in what are certain to be frequent presidential absences is anyone's guess), but many in Congress now appear to be conduits for Breitbart propaganda.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, headed by Republican Lamar Smith, has a new weapon in its attack on climate science: Breibart 'science':

The content of this tweet is the same sort of thing you’d get if you fed a bull 20 kilos of Ex-Lax and stood behind it for a while. Global warming, of course, is real. The Breitbart article in question is written by James Delingpole, a flat-out climate change denier who has a history of writing grossly misleading articles about global warming. He gets this information from yet another climate change denier, David Rose, who wrote an article for the execrable Daily Mail claiming that global temperatures have dropped by an entire degree Celsius since this summer. Contrary to what the Daily Mail might have to say, global temperature is indeed increasing.

In a nutshell, Rose is guilty of extreme cherry-picking. He looked at a single temperature data set from a specific layer of the Earth’s atmosphere and only used measurements over land. And to make matters worse, he only used data going back to 1998, a big no-no: That year was unusually warm, so starting there falsely makes it look like temperatures haven’t risen much.

He also is chasing local fluctuations and ignoring the decadeslong trend. And that trend is up. The Earth is heating up. If you want more details, Tamino at Open Mind debunks Rose’s claims quite thoroughly.Somehow, I doubt that the propaganda machine in Washington is going to alter too many people's thinking. The true believers of climate denialism will dismiss the critiques, and those who trust the scientific data will be unmoved by such blatant attempts at manipulation.

But what it does show is that the need for critical thinking is greater now than it ever was. In what I hope will be my next post, I will discuss some of the ways one can vet information for its veracity or falseness.
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And Speaking of Our Post-Truth World

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 06:20
Yesterday's post dealt with the challenges real journalism faces in this era of presidential prevarications and attacks on the media.

The following video, via Mother Jones, shows what critical thinkers everywhere have to contend with.

Considering the above, we, as a species, clearly have little to be arrogant about.Recommend this Post

Surviving In A Post-Truth World

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 09:24
Reading my morning paper, the Toronto Star, I came across a notice to subscribers that rates are once again increasing. As part of what is frequently referred to as their 'legacy readers," I am not happy about this, but I will continue with my subscription, despite the fact that I have full access to a complete digital version of it and hundreds of other papers through my local library via its Press Display service.

Why? First of all, I much prefer the print version of anything I read, but secondly, and more importantly, it is only through a steady income stream that newspapers can fulfill their traditional roles as safeguards of our democracy.

And lord knows that we need those safeguards, especially given the explosion of fake news sites, some of which may have influenced the U.S. election, not to mention the attacks on traditional media much in evidence these days, instigated, aided and abetted by demagogues like Donald Trump. Consider this:

The above campaign rally brought out this observation from the New York Times:
...even reporters long accustomed to the toxic fervor of Trump rallies were startled — and even frightened — at the vitriol of a Cincinnati crowd on Thursday evening as more than 15,000 supporters flashed homemade signs, flipped middle fingers and lashed out in tirades often laced with profanity as journalists made their way to a crammed, fenced-in island in the center of the floor.Or how about this scene from another rally?

Last week, veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour was given an award honouring her for her extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom. Her acceptance speech, which you can see here, expressed her concerns over this kind of pillorying, a concern that the CBC's Diana Swain discussed with her:

It would not be wrong to conclude that the mainstream media, through a combination of laziness, obedience to corporate imperatives and frequent abandonment of their sacred responsibilities, deserve criticism. But it would be wrong to conclude that they no longer have a place in informing the public through deep research, factual renditions of stories and fearless resistance to the pressures from unhinged members of the public, opportunistic, manipulative politicos and feckless employers.

I shall continue to do my part in trying to realize the above ideal by paying for the paper I most trust. I leave you with the reflections of a Star letter-writer, who recognizes the challenges facing traditional media today:
Journalist Christiane Amanpour’s address last week to the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York is extremely relevant. The need for the mainstream media to re-commit to an unwavering role in delivering pure facts is more important now than ever.

Some news outlets may have been more committed to delivering facts than others. So it’s up to readers, viewers and listeners to decide where they get their information.

But too many, it seems, have relied over the past year or more on social media. Donald Trump aside, this has been a very dangerous trend. And dwindling ratings/circulation and news coverage budgets have not helped.

The media have always been under attack from one source or other, but never to the degree that we’re seeing now. And it’s not only from Trump. While re-dedicating themselves to ever-higher standards, media will now have to reinvent themselves to deal with what social media is pumping out in the form of fake news (to which Trump has been just one major contributor).

Some social media may also have learned some lessons from this and may have accepted responsibility, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged.

Amanpour asked a very good question off the top. What would Ed Murrow do? Fifty-one years after his death, the iconic CBS newsman is still regarded by a (admittedly-dwindling) number of reporters as a leading light in truthful, gutsy, advocacy journalism. He took on an earlier narcissist sociopath in the 1950s by the name of McCarthy – and won. Joe McCarthy self-destructed within months.

Nobody – doubtless including himself – knows what will happen with a Trump presidency. As we know, he’s already reversed himself on several issues, probably thanks to prevailing wisdom that has eked its way through to the Trump Tower. He may, in fact, moderate his attitude about mainstream media, as well. Who knows?

But the same media are going to have to figure out how to deal with this guy in, one hopes, some constructive way. And Trump will be forever totally unpredictable.

Amanpour’s warnings are critically important at this worrisome time. She has articulated the urgency of the message better than we’ve heard from anyone else to date.

Ian Sutton, Kingston
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The World Needs More People Like This

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 07:32
Living in Texas, I doubt this man will have endeared himself to many. All the more reason to laud his courage and integrity in displaying this sign outside of the Islamic Center of Irving, Texas.

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The Fight Must Continue

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 07:28
Because I am quite a private person, I rarely discuss anything personal on my blog. But I will, to a small extent, break that general rule today to convey something I have come to understand.

The catalyst for today's post is a comment that Kirby Evans made in response to something I posted yesterday, two videos depicting the empowerment of homophobes and racists now that the demagogue Trump has been elected president. Kirby is one of the bloggers that I read regularly and deeply respect for his heartfelt convictions and analyses. Since he made the comments public on my blog, I am sure he will not mind me featuring them in this post:
I must admit, Lorne, that I have largely lost heart. I avoid the news, can't bring myself to write blogposts. I just feel like all the years of fighting have left me drained and bereft of my humanity. In my dad's last years he was continually predicting the return of the 1930s because he said that the spirit of hate is too strong to keep down. As sad as it sounds, I am glad he didn't live to see this stuff. I know I need to keep fighting for my daughter's sake if nothing else. But I just don't know how any more. I feel like the tide of history has changed and we are just going to lose.Here is what I wrote in response:
I felt the same way in the immediate aftermath of Trump's election, Kirby, but somehow found renewed purpose. I hope you will regain your spirit, Kirby.

Thoughtful, reflective and analytical voices like yours are far too important to be silenced. The war, in my view, is always worth fighting, if only to deny final victory to the rabid right, the morally twisted, and the outright bigots who live amongst us.What I didn't mention was the catalyst for my renewed purpose, which is where the story gets a little more personal than I am usually comfortable with.

It was probably two days after the Trump victory that I received a phone call from an organization looking for someone to canvas on my street for their charitable cause. Although it was a worthy one, I immediately responded by telling her that I wasn't interested. It wasn't my refusal that was noteworthy, since it is not the kind of thing I do, but it was what I felt when I refused, which I will come back to momentarily.

Probably the same day, or perhaps the next, I was coming out of a library branch and walking to a nearby grocery store when a man sitting on a bench asked me if I had some spare change for a coffee and a doughnut from a nearby Tim Horton's. As is my usual practice, I said "No." (I should add here that I usually refuse such requests in the full knowledge that the area where I live is well-served with organizations providing breakfasts, lunches and dinners seven days a week, and we prefer to donate to organizations rather than individuals.)

My refusal was not delivered with any rancour, and his response was, "Oh." Yet something didn't feel right to me. As I continued my walk to the store, it occurred to me what it was. It was not that I had refused his request or the request of the telephone solicitor that bothered me. It was my realization of a certain mean-spiritedness I felt in issuing those refusals. It dawned upon me that I had, indeed, been deeply affected by the repudiation of my values and principles thanks to the Trump election and I had, in fact, allowed that victory to infect my own psyche. In a word, I think I had momentarily surrendered to the power of darkness cast by Trump and was, in fact, acting as a Trump supporter would have.

I am not sure if I am explaining myself clearly here, but the fact of my refusal was not the issue. I will repeat, it was what I felt when issuing the refusals. To counteract that, upon my return from the store I went into Tim Horton's and bought a gift certificate, hoping the man was still on the bench down the street. He was, and he once more made the same request of me. I handed him the gift card.

Such gestures may be largely meaningless, and certainly are unusual for me. But it hit me with full force that the only way to combat the darkness enveloping us now is to be proactive, to be on guard against such psychic infection, and to carry on as best we can in fighting the forces that would have us devolve into a lower form of existence.

I hope Kirby Evans at some point finds a renewed sense of purpose and resumes his blog. Win or lose, we all have a role to play in this fight, if only to deny final victory to the barbarians at the gate.Recommend this Post

More Discrimination Thanks To Trump

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:32
I see reports and videos daily about the actions taken by the unhinged right-wing, the bigoted and the morally diseased. Most I choose not to include on my blog, but two especially egregious examples merit further attention. Both are brought to you from Raw Story:

Recommend this Post

(Bitter) Fruits Of Our Neoliberal Governments

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 07:22

It would seem that Star reader Douglas Porter of Peterborough sees with unusual clarity what so many prefer to ignore:
It seems that many things in history do a repeat cycle about every 80 years. I hate to think that we are on target for another societal unravelling evidenced by what we are seeing in the EU, U.K. and the U.S. that’s similar to what happened in the mid 1930s Europe prior to World War II.

But when 40 to 50 per cent of everyday working people are experiencing a steady 30-year decline in living standards and feel nothing but despair for the future, they often fall for the appeal of a charismatic strongman (or woman) who promises prosperity and better times ahead.

We are seeing a polarization of people that is worsening with more and more of us living in our silos and social media and sneering elites fanning the flames. It’s pretty clear the major cause is increasing income inequality and poverty.

Here in Ontario we are seeing hundreds of thousands of people driven into financial distress, low income status or poverty by an essential public service called electricity. Our government can’t even provide the basics of life any more in an affordable manner. Not housing, energy, child care, pharmacare or basic dental care.

Canada is the only Western democracy without a food security program, if you can believe it. What the hell kind of society are we creating? Water, electricity, food, affordable housing and even Internet in today’s world should be considered human rights, not luxuries. And remember that people outside of the bigger cities pay several times more for hydro, and those with electric heat and hot water pay about three times more again. Some 60,000 people had their hydro cut off last year and 600,000 were behind on their bills.

The Ontario government’s answer to everything is more booze — to kill the pain I suppose. Their electricity pricing is economic insanity and cruel social policy like nothing I’ve seen in 50 years. A vicious attack on the poor and utterly immoral. As if booze, drugs and gambling weren’t enough.
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Our Post-Privacy Era

Sun, 11/27/2016 - 06:36

Have you ever found yourself, whether intentionally or by accident, on a webpage discussing STDs? Or how about a porn site? Perhaps you are interested in the online recruiting methodology ISIS? How about the latest research on the use of hallucinogenics to treat alcoholism or PTSD? Whatever you intent might have been, those searches, indeed, all searches, will now be preserved by law by your ISP if you live in Britain.

In a frightening development that would not surprise Orwell but should shock and appall the rest of us, Big Brother has flexed his mighty muscles:
After months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities — from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors — powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country.

Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom.The Investigatory Powers Bill — dubbed the "snoopers' charter" by critics — was passed by Parliament this month after more than a year of debate and amendments. It will become law when it receives the formality of royal assent next week. While this chilling bill will not provide access to the individual pages you may have consulted, it will provide the websites visited as well as the apps used and messaging services utilized.

As if this bold intrusion into citizens' privacy weren't enough,
Officials won't need a warrant to access the data, and the list of bodies that can see it includes not just the police and intelligence services, but government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency.So shouldn't people simply rely on encryption methods to keep their communications private? Unfortunately, it's not that simple:
Service providers are also concerned by the law's provision that firms can be asked to remove encryption to let spies access communications. Internet companies say that could weaken the security of online shopping, banking and a host of other activities that rely on encryption.It might be tempting for Canadians to heave a sigh of relief that they do not live in this brave new British world. But that would be unspeakably naive, considering the wish-list of our own RCMP:
The RCMP is lobbying the Prime Minister's Office for new powers to bypass digital roadblocks in cases where national security threats and other "high priority" suspects hide online and operate anonymously beyond the reach of police.

"I can safely say that there's criminal activity going on every day that's facilitated by technology that we aren't acting on," RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told CBC News and the Toronto Star in an exclusive interview.There will undoubtedly be those lazy thinkers who claim that since their own lives are above reproach, they have nothing to hide. Putting aside the obvious objections to such capitulations, perhaps they should consider this:

Today's idle online curiosity may very well become tomorrow's crime.

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I'll Keep Posting These Kind Of Videos

Sat, 11/26/2016 - 06:00
.... whenever I find them.

Meanwhile, these letters from Star readers remind us that the threat of racism is never far from home. We must be constantly vigilant and ready to take action against it:
Re: Signs in Toronto urge white people to join ‘alt-right’.

Marilyn May is correct in asserting that these fringe racist groups are emboldened by the attention such beliefs have received in the press with the ascent of Donald Trump and right-wing xenophobia in the U.S.

Before we get too smug; we should reflect on the fanaticism displayed by our own Rob Ford and the so-called Ford Nation. While that issue was not racist, it was a reflection of the resentment of certain groups against what they considered the elites in downtown Toronto, or the fringes versus the centre.

There will always be tribalism amongst humans and, on a smaller scale, this gives a sense of belonging and coherence in many groups. When it becomes confrontational, it is dangerous and inimical to the public peace.

In times of rapid technological and social change, we experience high levels of personal and social stress, no matter how comfortable and safe we might be compared to our forefathers.

It is interesting to note that the support of radical Trumpism has a religious twist. Christians, in particular, feel threatened and scared by the apparent incursion of other, foreign faiths or from those who have no faith at all.

I’m not sure Jesus would have approved.

Sigmund Roseth, Mississauga

It comes as no surprise to me that Donald Trump’s victory has emboldened those who periodically pop their intellectual manhole covers and bring their hateful views to the light of day.

The only difference is they believe there is now a place for their unfortunate views and they choose to remain above ground a little longer and soak up some sun.

I, however, have a great deal of faith in my fellow Canadians and don’t believe there to be fertile soil for open displays of hate here. These misguided bigots will soon enough discover this and retreat their views from whence they came, replacing their manhole covers firmly.

David Ottenbrite, Mississauga

What a mournful state of affairs has gripped Toronto. Strange indeed that men in Toronto think that because Donald Trump loves to hurl racist slurs, it makes it legal for white men in our city to do the same.

The whole world will regret that such a man could ever be elected by any group of people. Shame on the U.S. voters

Joy Taylor, Scarborough

Not only should we heed columnist Desmond Cole’s advice not to be smug. Since the appearance of alt-right posters in east-end Toronto and other reported terrible incidents of racism, we should avoid complacency about such attitudes within our society. We must be vigilant, call out unacceptable behaviour and develop strong positive responses.

Paul A. Wilson, TorontoRecommend this Post

For What It's Worth

Fri, 11/25/2016 - 09:17

Unfortunately, bias and prejudice are an ingrained part of human nature, and as much as we might wish to deny it, there are demons that reside in all of us. The only honest way to deal with them, in my view, is to admit to and confront them as the first steps in overcoming them.

Like many Canadians, I have long wanted to believe that we occupy a higher moral ground than, for example, the United States, when it comes to racial, ethnic and religious equality. Of course, both history and recent events, including what was covered in this podcast, show that to be but wishful thinking. The internment of Japanese-Canadians and Italian-Canadians during WW11 is a historical rebuke to such notions, but there are other, lesser-known blots on our collective conscience.

You may have heard that a Canadian banknote set to circulate in 2018 will feature the first woman who is not the Queen. While the top five finalists are all worthy choices, my preference is for this woman:

Most people have heard of Rosa Parks, but how many know about Viola Desmond?
A business woman and beautician, Desmond is best known for her stand against racism as a black woman in Nova Scotia. While attending a movie in 1946, Desmond daringly took a seat on the main floor of the theatre rather than the balcony — reserved for non-white customers — after being refused a floor seat by the cashier. She was convicted in court for her actions, but was posthumously granted a pardon in 2010.And this video conveys the situation she faced with such courage and conviction:

Historical injustices can never really be atoned for. However, they can be acknowledged and used to educate all of us, with the hope they they will never, ever happen again, however fond and unrealistic an aspiration that may be.
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Use Your Words

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 14:29
This, courtesy of our friends at Raw Story:

(function(d, s, id) { if (d.getElementById(id)) return; var js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//cdn4.wibbitz.com/static.js"; d.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].appendChild(js); }(document, "script", "wibbitz-static-embed"));Recommend this Post

Words Are Important

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 06:40

Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

- Excerpt from George Orwell's Politics and the English Language

As a reader, writer and retired English teacher, words have always been important to me. Words rarely exist in a vacuum; they are almost always laden with context, either implicit or carefully spelled out. They have the power to convey meaning and truth, but they also have tremendous power to either help to heal or to destroy. Words need to be respected.

It is within this context that I was very happy to see ThinkProgress offer this note from its editors:
You can learn everything you need to know about the “alt-right” by looking at the man who popularized its name. Credit goes to Richard Spencer, head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute (NPI), and one of the country’s leading contemporary advocates of ideological racism.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Spencer keynoted an NPI conference in Washington, D.C. Over the course of his speech, he approvingly quoted Nazi propaganda, said that the United States is meant to be a “white country,” and suggested that many political commentators are “soulless golem” controlled by Jewish media interests.

... ThinkProgress will no longer treat “alt-right” as an accurate descriptor of either a movement or its members. We will only use the name when quoting others. When appending our own description to men like Spencer and groups like NPI, we will use terms we consider more accurate, such as “white nationalist” or “white supremacist.”We will describe people and movements as neo-Nazis only when they identify as such, or adopt important aspects of Nazi rhetoric and iconography.

The point here is not to call people names, but simply to describe them as they are. We won’t do racists’ public relations work for them. Nor should other news outlets.An article by Lindy West in The Guardian makes a similar point:
In my column last week, I wrote: “One defining aspect of alt-right white supremacy is that it vehemently denies its own existence … This erosion of language is an authoritarian tactic designed to stifle dissent. If you cannot call something by its name, then how can you fight it?”

So I was heartened yesterday when KUOW, a public radio station in Seattle, released a statement announcing that they will be substituting “white supremacy” or “white nationalism” for “alt-right”. The reasoning, laid out in a memo to staff: “‘Alt right’ doesn’t mean anything, and normalises something that is far from normal. So we need to plain-speak it.”Such measures as described above are all to the good. As I wrote in a recent post, New Yorker writer David Remnick points out the fact that the media are now beginning to 'normalize' Donald Trump and his ilk. This must not be allowed to continue, and it is to be hoped that more news agencies will find the courage and integrity to tell things as they are, not the way their corporate masters and Trump racists want us to believe.

I leave you with one final warning from Orwell:
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Recommend this Post

How Can We Remain On The Sidelines?

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 17:54
We cannot be silent in the face of this:

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No One Escapes Blame: A Guest Post

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 09:45

In this guest post, my good friend Dom offers a point of view worth serious consideration. In contrast to my post yesterday, in which I heaped scorn on those who either voted for Donald Trump or absented themselves from the electoral process, Dom argues that there is plenty of blame to be borne by everyone, included the progressives.

In the spirit of a good rant:

If Americans want to take a long hard look at the reason Donald Trump won the election, I would suggest the left and centre in the U.S. get a mirror. Have a good look. They are the reason that a pussy-grabbing, tax-dodging, bankruptcy-profiteering, climate-denying, war-mongering, white-supremacy-supporting, health-care-abolishing demagogue and narcissist won the presidency of the United States. That’s right. The left is responsible.


Because of their arrogance. Because of their sanctimonious dismissiveness of the right. Because of their seeming cultural superiority over the right. Because of their unwillingness to have meaningful conversation with the right. Because of their constant insults of the right. Because of their “club-left” and exclusionary attitudes the right. That’s why.

How can any rational person think that the U.S. Democrats were going to win an election when their platform was to insult the right? “Trump”et across the country that the only answer is theirs. Remind right-wing voters on a daily basis that the Washington Elite is the only answer and that their concerns are secondary to those of every other special interest group on the planet. Divide and leave out of the equation. That was the platform Hillary Clinton and her Democratic party put forward.

Hillary Clinton: a corporate-supporting elite who pretends to have the interest of the working class. That is the leader the Democrats chose to represent the middle and working class? The U.S. citizens were supposed to go to the polls and chant, “Well, at least she’s not Trump.” This is what the “the land of the free and the brave” boldly offered its citizens: a woman who stands for nothing, and a man who stands for the 15th century. But I digress.… the right put forth the man that represents their interests. Yes, a fearful-to-your-bones interest, but nevertheless a clear choice. What the hell did Hillary stand for? You would never know, for it was buried so deep, I doubt she would be able to find it with a soul-searching GPS.

And don’t even think of getting me started on the protesting abstainers. Their arrogance and narcissism is beyond anything I have witnessed of Donald Trump. To think that abdicating responsibility for voting makes a statement is beyond comprehension. Votes “count”. “Count.” Arithmetic, simple arithmetic. When you don’t vote, you don’t count! There is no 'greater cause' in abstaining from a vote. There is no point to be made in choosing not to vote. The only point you are making is that you are a narcissist. You choose not to participate because you believe you’re special and your sacred vote should not be tainted. What you really are is irresponsible and self-indulgent.

Trump was elected by the left. He was rocketed to power because of an unwillingness to adopt inclusiveness of the right by the left. There is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. has been put on a path toward oligarchy, and it has the majority of its people to blame.

There can only be one thing left to say: “You get the government you deserve.”Recommend this Post