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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Leaders Set the Example


Leaders set the tone for society.  There's an expression for it in Italian that translates into "the fish stinks from the head."  If our representatives are combative, insisting that policy development and debate is a blood sport - well, that's the pinnacle of our democracy, isn't it?  Everything else should probably function the same way.

It's a well-known fact that you need to stir people's emotions to get them to act, though the focus in politics tends to be acting by donating, voting or parroting partisan messages.  The truth is, though, there are always those who will escalate things further, given fodder to do so.

Think how different things would be in Ferguson right now if the cops had less artillery on their side, if - as is likely the case for most of the predominantly-white police force - they didn't feel like their whole way of life was threatened by a mass of Others.
What is political rhetoric if not a call to action against a dangerous Zombie Hoard of inhuman partisan Others?  They must be stopped, their throats must be stepped on, their careers destroyed.

Actual words used by actual political people.  These people, though, are supposed to know they're actors on a stage, that none of the combativeness really means anything in the real world.  It's all sales, street-theatre.

The public, though, are intended to buy the message as authentic, real, and the threats as clear and present dangers.

If Justin Trudeau is a threat to the nation, surely he must be stopped.  If Stephen Harper is devil-spawn, surely he must be removed.

Be wary about treating the people as sheep, partisans; you never know where the real wolves are hiding.

UPDATE: I finally got to see Winter Soldier.  The wheels within wheels, the cells deeper within being the ones with the guts to do what really needs done, the willingness to sacrifice the people to create that better world for them - it all sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?
Leaders don't hide within and force sacrifices from others.  They don't crave and hoard power.
Leaders lead by example.

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