The Toronto Star presented an editorial today by Emma Healey (H/T JNW # 1) that was very one sided, intolerant and essentially anti-democratic. A Toronto writer and poet, Healey refers to what U.S. Republican Donald Trump says and believes about campaign issues, and those who support him, as ridiculous, very serious and “evil.”
The irony is that Healey doesn’t seem to see that her narrow minded social consensus point of view is precisely why Trump has a following. He has a following because an awful lot of Americans — like a lot of Canadians — are just plain fed up with being told what is acceptable to think and do.
For example, Healey is outraged at the way Trump spoke to Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly during the 1st Republican debate. On that topic, she writes: “Since announcing his candidacy in June, Trump has been making a particularly hateful name for himself in the field of American politics. From his misogynist attacks on Fox pundit Megyn Kelly … to his virulently xenophobic stance on immigration, you’d be well within your rights to think he’s more caricature than human being.”
Did Trump lack finesse in his responses to Kelly? For sure. But more caricature than human being? Hardly. What Healey doesn’t seem to consider is the reality that Kelly and her colleagues hoped “to get Trump” that night — so that he would be forced out of the political race.
Then, there is Healey’s comment that Trump has a “virulently xenophobic stance on immigration.” Yes, I know, Trump referred to some of the Mexicans crossing the Southern U.S. border illegally as murderers and rapists. Yet, few of his detractors questioned whether what he said was true or not.
However, the full extent of Healey’s liberal/progressive intolerance is within her final paragraph:
“There are different ways for evil to seep into public discourse and politics. It can grab hold of people’s fears and prejudices, inflating and exploiting them. Or it can seep between the cracks of our inattention and complacency and flourish there, like mould.”
Got that? “It [evil conservative views or evil politically incorrect views] can grab hold of people’s fears and prejudices, inflating and exploiting them.” Which explains in a nutshell exactly why the left in the U.S. and Canada are so intolerant of most Conservative views.
Yet, it is not necessarily the same in reverse. For example, if I listen to Thomas Mulcair talk about paying $15.00 a day for one million nationwide day care spaces, it most definitely taps into my fears and prejudices about fiscal management and how my taxes would likely have to go up with an NDP federal government. However, I would never say Mulcair’s views are dangerous or evil. I simply don’t agree with him and I recognize that he and Healey have a right to their viewpoint.
Which brings me to the current Canadian federal election. When Healey talks about grabbing hold of people’s fears and prejudices, is she hinting that is what PM Harper and his Conservative campaign are doing regarding terrorism? If so, it completely ignores that the Canadian Conservative position on the Middle East is the same as that of the Barack Obama liberal Democrats in the U.S. In other words, it’s about leadership and preparing for the future. If Islamofascism (e.g., ISIS) makes us afraid, so what? It is the reality facing the world today.
The crux of the matter is that Healey’s notion that her liberal progressive worldview should be the preferred social consensus, and that anything to the contrary is ridiculous or evil, is the opposite to promoting positive public discourse and politics — whether it is describing Trump in the U.S. or Harper in Canada.