Suddenly, I became aware that this comment thread had opened a window for me into the American ideal of freedom and how virulently many Americans support the First Amendment without any consideration of the violence that hate speech causes. I realized that the concepts of inclusivity, diversity and multiculturalism that I had studied were not the first things on these people's minds. I began to think that these concepts didn't figure into their equation at all.
A minority is defined as dangerous by a segment of society that clings to traditional views of acceptability. They fail to recognize prejudices inherent in their views until a hard-won fight for equal rights and shifting zeitgeist forces them to move on, foisting their fears on the next marginalized group.
The Donald Trump phenomena in the United States reminds me of our experience in Toronto, Canada, when a so-called everyman mayor who appealed to angry populism was elected. Ford's behaviour proved to be such a distraction that much of his agenda, such as it was, stalled at every step. Ford, like Trump, loved to attack people on their appearance, ethnicity and gender. Over time, personality-driven, badly behaved leaders will get to the point of alienating all but their most ardent allies.
My appetite for big issues and my desire to be a part of the larger debates all pointed me in the direction of the American political spectrum. Because really, who cares what happens in my local city politics? Even my Canadian national elections didn't have any substantial consequences. Things up here would be OK, no matter which way they went. But what happened in the U.S.? Now that was big, that mattered. But like any buzz, it wears off. Quicker and quicker the more artificial the substance.
Netflix's House of Cards was nominated for four Golden Globes just hours before they launched their Season 2 trailer. Unfortunately, Season 2 will be the final season for House of Cards, citing the actors' and producers' preferences to do movies over a television series. Here are 11 questions to be answered in House of Cards Season two.
Obama and political strategist David Axelrod are confident that the Congressional Republicans will put aside their personal disdain for Obama and domestic partisan concerns and support Obama's limited military strike against Syria. I predict Obama will not obtain Congressional support and will suffer a humiliating personal and political defeat.
In the 10 years that have passed since the invasion of Iraq, an endless number of lessons have been drawn. The Iraq War left behind five-million Iraqi orphans, took more than 100,000 Iraqi lives, forced four- to five-million Iraqis to flee heir homes and communities, displaced ancient Iraqi minority groups, and devastated much of Iraq's infrastructure and economy. These are the human and material costs of an unwarranted war.
The "big three" as I call them (the intolerant, the anti-intellectual and the undesirable) began to migrate to the GOP in significant numbers in 2008. These folks have remained in the party ever since, pushing it closer to their political agenda and off a political cliff. This is one American phenomenon that there should be no interest in embracing.
The American electorate has sent the Republican Party a message: the Republican Party has to be inclusive in order to remain a political force. The post-election reaction from Republican pundits suggests that they heard that message. What isn't clear is whether they understood that message, or heard what they wanted to hear.
As an old friend who wishes nothing but the best for your country, I am worried about what one election night commentator described as the ongoing "ideological civil war" in America. In the past, after this initial polarization, there is a seeking for common ground and a coming together in order to "get things done." In recent years, however, this has not occurred. Continued polarization and conflict over the economic crisis is also of great concern to us in Canada, since our economic prosperity is very much tied to that of our largest trading partner.
Long story short, Canadian editorial pages have devoted a lot more column space to American affairs than our own as of late. But I mean, given the choice between covering a ferocious battle between two men vying for leadership of the free world and a vague conspiracy theory that some guy named Gary Ritz may have not done enough to monitor Albertan beef processing -- well, what would you choose?