Did you play truth or consequences or truth or dare as a child?
It was never truth AND consequences, or truth AND dare.
In this instant-gratification era, our information appetite gorges on boundless supplies of data and sentiment, both validated and distorted to the point they grow indistinguishable.
We’ve been witnessing disdain for the ‘right to know’(we have no legal right, but we have a sense of outrage when we are prevented from knowing). For example, Justin Trudeau prorogued parliament – not just hitting a reset button or pause/postpone switch – but rather, the start-over button rather than reveal what he’d done in the WE scandal. To say nothing of his malfeasance in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Is that political obfuscation any different to Canadians than election dirty-tricks are to Americans?
Sure, they are different, but they aren’t far removed from each other or from the mores of societies that see people cheat, bribe, bully, and out-hustle opponents.
Outrageous acts often trigger spleen-venting by those offended …
Nobody is immune.
If we’ve not done it, we’ve had it done to us.
Most of the time, these issues are small, their cuts are shallow, and we suck it up.
We live to fight another day; we get smarter in the process.
And a year later, or a decade later, our memory shifts into a new gear of remembering called ‘convenient forgetfulness’ of some inconvenient facts.
And for political operatives, they perceive the short-term memory of voters is less than four years …
And then they pull partisans through the knothole of knowledge and ethics removal once again.
Today it’s news, tomorrow it’s ‘just politics,’ and a few years from now, we’ll call it ‘post-modern history of politics’ or some similar catchy name.
History is a mystery to most of us because we read about it long after in books which represent, accurately or not, the author’s rearview mirror view and supporting evidence – leaving out much, and often leaving out the opposing views of ‘what really happened.’
In recent days we who have been glued to TV coverage of the U.S. election and tabulation of results – whichever side you’ve been cheering for, have seen a few facets of a problematic multi-faceted conflation of history and hyperbole, mystery and illogic – and that’s only one view.
Every time there is a contest, there is usually one winner and one or more people who are losers. We know this in every competitive aspect of life. Our parents schooled us in not being sore losers at the same time as they taught us to stand up for our rights and to not be bullied …
I’ve been involved in the losing end of many situations – and this is something most of us have dealt with; it hurts to lose. Whether or not it was a fair contest, losing sucks.
Win or lose, how we deal with the event is not about the win or the loss as much as it is about how we handle ourselves in victory or in defeat. We can always see it clearly and brilliantly from our perspective, but not at all easily from the other guy’s viewpoint.
To our American friends, your experiment as a country is intact.
Your country is intact, but your future is no more certain than anyone’s right now.
Pressing issues of economic and public health concerns are going to retake center stage, as they should. The world is in a surreal state right now, but the shock and awe of recent days must be set aside for the greater good.
The farmer facing a crop failure or natural disaster is focused on next year. The defeated politician licks their wounds and says, “What’s next?”
As wounds go, the earth has not been hurt.
Is democracy in good shape?
I believe it is.
For fun yesterday, I switched for a few hours – from CNN to FOX, listening to the same news the way we watch the toilet-bowl swirl, wondering if it swirls the opposite way on the other side of the world. As you might expect, I was made dizzy.