A comment on yesterday’s post

First of all, I did know Premier Notley’s name, but published wrongly because I didn’t review the article closely enough.  I have to take more time.  Sorry about that.

My view of the new populism and nativism that is the current political phenomenon all over the western world is that at least part of it has to do with many people feeling left out of the benefits of globalization, certainly left out of the promises that had been made with the creation of NAFTA, the EU, etc.  Some people (what I referred to earlier as the 1%) have benefited greatly. Perhaps that an exaggeration – maybe it’s more like 10%.  But the vast majority at least feels like it has been left behind, left out, simply losing their positons of entitlement.  And unscrupulous politicians – Trump, Leitch, Alexander (?) to name just a few of the North America politicos – have jumped on the emotions of the growing numbers of unemployed and dispossessed to gain political advantage.  While they themselves are “elites”, they rail against the elites as if they themselves had (and have) no part in the present economic conditions.   And again, this is not just a North American phenomenon.  We can see it clearly in Western Europe.  An interesting interview with a Toronto academic (one of the “elites” no doubt) on the CBC news at 6 with Dwight Drummond had similar things to say and Thomas Walkom in The Star this morning re-iterates much of what I believe.  No doubt this one reason why I read The Star – I find my own views echoed constantly.  They are preaching to the converted it seems (at least in my case).The lead letter in The Star under the heading “Rightists Carve any kind of Publicity” addressees the issue of the media paying too much attention to people like Trump and Leitch while ignoring the less extreme and aggressive right-wing ideologues.  The writer suggests that this is not only detrimental to the democratic process but gives the extremists an unfair advantage.  In times of economic dislocation, politicians need to be careful of inciting the simmering anger and frustration of those who are suffering.  It’s all too easy to blame “the other” – new comers, so-called visible minorities, anyone who is “different” from me.  Leaders – political, business, religious – have to lead, not further enrage.


1 thought on “A comment on yesterday’s post

  1. Jim Gregory

    This is a lovely, thoughtful reply, Stephen, although I suspect rightists “crave” rather than “carve” any kind of publicity. But with those darn rightists, who knows? You and I agree that extremists on either side are a matter of concern. So let’s think more about one exaggeration that is sometimes made on the Left and which you repeat here, namely that “the vast majority at least feels like it has been left behind.” In the recent American election, it was Mr. Trump who spoke for this vast majority and yet Ms. Clinton, friend of Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, won the popular vote. So, regardless what the Star tells its readers to think, this is scarcely a vast majority unless you’re accusing Clinton supporters of false consciousness. Beyond that, here’s wishing you both happy holidays.



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