Putting peo­ple first will win the day

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - OPINION -

Last week marked the first an­niver­sary of Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as pres­i­dent of the United States.

The en­su­ing year has, without a doubt, been a wild one.

Repub­li­cans are suf­fer­ing through the pangs of iden­tity cri­sis as their own pres­i­dent tries to re-ori­ent what it means to be an Amer­i­can con­ser­va­tive.

Trump him­self has strug­gled to en­act some of his elec­tion pledges in a timely man­ner, no­tably the over­haul of Oba­macare and the con­struc­tion of a wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der.

Mean­while, Democrats re­main apoplec­tic over their un­ex­pected elec­toral loss. In­stead of soul-search­ing, they re­main mired in de­nial and de­fi­ance.

In­stead of search­ing for ways to re­build, they’re work­ing over­time to de­stroy and dis­credit a pres­i­dent they de­spise, naively kidding them­selves he’ll soon be im­peached and obliv­i­ous to the di­vi­sion they’re sow­ing across Amer­ica.

These con­ver­sa­tions south of the bor­der have, as they of­ten do, el­bowed their way into Cana­dian pub­lic dis­course, fre­quently on di­vi­sive cul­tural is­sues and fu­elled by the poi­soned state of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

We shouldn’t let our­selves get bogged down in these con­ver­sa­tions.

In­stead, we should re­mem­ber our sim­i­lar­i­ties mat­ter more than our dif­fer­ences. What mat­ters most are the is­sues that bring us to­gether.

There was one big thing that hap­pened dur­ing the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion that in­spired not just Amer­i­cans, but peo­ple in Canada and around the world: the idea of putting peo­ple first.

There’s an in­cred­i­ble frustration that the es­tab­lish­ment and the po­lit­i­cal elites aren’t lis­ten­ing to peo­ple and not at­ten­tive to their needs and wishes.

This doesn’t just come across in the elec­tion of Trump. It partly ex­plained Bernie San­ders’ ini­tial mo­men­tum. It’s a non­par­ti­san is­sue.

To­day, politi­cians and in­sid­ers too of­ten pan­der to spe­cial in­ter­ests and agen­das. And when they get too caught up in them, they lose sight of reg­u­lar peo­ple’s in­ter­ests.

It’s how gov­ern­ment’s sin­gle-minded ob­ses­sion with cli­mate change re­sults in car­bon taxes and pol­icy that will hurt reg­u­lar folks and do lit­tle to noth­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment.

The Edel­man Trust Barom­e­ter re­leased in Fe­bru­ary re­vealed Cana­dian trust in the es­tab­lish­ment has plum­meted.

If the po­lit­i­cal class want the num­bers to im­prove, they need to ac­tu­ally put the peo­ple first.

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