EDITORIAL: “Four Horsemen of Calumny”

Canadian society has ills, to be sure but not like that of the United States.

Many people may see the United States of the 1950s as being the darkest of times for American society. The polarization and division in the nation are at their peak, we hope. A well-known American senator, Margaret Chase Smith, criticized the American government, politicians and political leaders writing that she did not want the Republican Party to ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigoty and Smear.

Chase Smith’s anxiety and worries are as valid today as they were in her time, the time of the Senator Joe McCarthy era. For those unfamiliar with Senator Joe, he was the anti-communist proponent who accused many government representatives of being communists or members of the Communist Party, without any proof or evidence to support his claims. He painted many Hollywood writers, performers and celebrities with the same smears, many of whom had their livelihoods destroyed.

The United States today mirrors the nation then. They hold media bombasts such as Sean Hannity of Fox News, and podcasters such as Glenn Beck and Joe Rogan in high regard regardless of the extreme views they express. These commentators promote right-wing philosophies critical of politically conservative or central views. These media agents divide American society and polarize it by supporting extreme political positions with no thought to uniting, calming and supporting the unification of the nation.

So what does this have to do with Canada? We may not have divisive commentators such as the American ones, Pierre Poilievre notwithstanding. But we do not have a united society. We have symptoms of social maladies: public building graffiti, social media bashing, racism, misogyny, sexism and ageism. We have political problems: apathy, the non-participatory electorate, and political candidates unwilling to explain their positions in public forums. Canada may not have the gun violence as the Americans, but we do have gun violence. The number of incidences is less, relative to our smaller population.

However, we should not bury our heads in the social sand. We have problems and we need to work on them, find solutions and launch programs and policies to deal with them.

Uniting our Canadian society should be the goal of every citizen. Practice rather than preach unity, equality, universal opportunity and equal acceptance of every citizen. Let’s start with support for the new Ontario government and its leader.

 

 

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