January 5, 2017
To the Editor,
I am writing about Sherwood Hines’ article Post Truth. Although some good points were made, there were some points made that could be potentially misleading to your readers.
First off, from what I understand, this is a community paper, and as such I don’t know how relevant the points in the article are to the fine folk of Bancroft. I mean, we’re simple people (as in non-complex). We’re straight-forward and hardworking with a myriad of concerns on our plate such as employment, eating and heating. As a result this article is not as locally relevant as say the one beside it, which was ‘Tis the season to think local — which was spot on.
Secondly, the article itself goes off the rails in a few spots:
Post truth implies that what has gone before has been truthful. I disagree. There have been many instances where politicians and the media have told us things that have later turned out to be false, “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,” “NAFTA will provide jobs,” “CSIS does not collect data on ordinary Canadians,” etc.
Of greater concern is the portrayal of term “populism” and tying it to the recent election of Trump. Hines implies that the majority of voters in the U.S. are uneducated and therefore easily led astray by some sort of pied piper. The author then engages in reckless fear mongering: “kick immigrants out, bring back the death penalty, put women back in the kitchen, allow corporal punishment in schools” — Seriously?! I don’t know of anyone who says this, politically or otherwise. Is that what you really think the masses want?
I will tell you what the masses want. They want to be left alone and they want to be left with a decent amount of the fruits of their labour. That’s pretty much it. That’s the point that everyone is missing — both politicians and the media -— and that’s why Trump won. Admittedly Trump is an ego-centric, unvarnished, shoot-from-the-hip type of character, and most people see that. They voted for him anyway because they are tired of the establishment — the polished politicians who say one thing and do another. They are tired of constantly being told what they can and cannot do, by all levels of government. We are over-regulated and over-taxed, with little positive to show for it.
So forgive me/us when academics come along and tell us we need to do more than we are already doing and give even more money than we are already giving often for things that are either unproven or have no local benefit (i.e. global warming/climate change). Most of us are having a hard time making ends meet.
Now I will admit that the author makes an excellent point about our jobs being exported to other countries as a result of bad policy, and benefiting only the elite. Although I have not lived in Bancroft that long, but I am sure NAFTA was not kind to this town, and what little industry was here has gone elsewhere with little if anything to take its place. That is why we should be even more concerned about the recent TransPacific Partnership — a policy few know anything about. From what little I know it will be more devastating to this country, and local communities, than NAFTA. Now that’s something to hold our MP’s feet to the fire about.
Sadly, our politicians no longer represent us, and our communities. Corporate interests drive legislation now. By all means voice your concerns, but put all your eggs in that basket. As well, try to become more resilient and self-sufficient. Put yourself and family and community first ahead of what academics, politicians and the media tell you.
If you make that your New Year’s resolution, you will do well.