The power of words

Ru­ral Ram­blings

The McLeod River Post - - Points Of View - Staff

Never be­fore have we had so many ways to com­mu­ni­cate and never be­fore has this com­mu­ni­ca­tion been so fast. Those of us in po­si­tions of in­flu­ence, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment can reach mil­lions of peo­ple in a blink of an eye.

For politi­cian seek­ing elec­tion or re-elec­tion it must be tempt­ing to take po­lit­i­cal smear strate­gies and air them to a mass au­di­ence. At­tack­ing each other, other par­ties, groups, na­tions, mi­nori­ties and more. It’s not nice but it’s now new. I sat and watched Charles Chap­lin in The Great Dic­ta­tor the other day. I was sad­dened that this sce­nario played out nearly 80 years ago and yet here we are again. With all the mass tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments one would like to think that the ma­jor­ity of mankind would de­velop with them. I don’t see it.

If lead­ers take on the man­tle of bul­ly­ing, in­sult­ing and even hate­ful speech and at­ti­tudes. Even if to them it is a tool to win sup­port and votes, then, it is only nat­u­ral that some, not all, of their fol­low­ers will take up the ex­am­ple and even take it to the ex­treme. I be­lieve we are see­ing this in the U.S. I think it could get worse. News is rarely good. Good news doesn’t sell well for long. How­ever, what I see com­ing from my TV and In­ter­net is hor­rific to me. It should be for all of us. The at­tack on the syn­a­gogue is aw­ful. “I just want to kill Jews” the shooter is re­ported as say­ing. I will not print his name. It’s sick­en­ing.

Next year in Al­berta we have an elec­tion. The com­pet­ing par­ties couldn’t be any fur­ther apart in terms of poli­cies and ideas. I would like to see, log­i­cal, rea­soned, po­lite de­bate. Not smears, in­sults and empty rhetoric to score points. Yet, I fear that our elec­tion too could be­come nasty. Lead­ers have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to lead, from the front, as they say. Please, set an ex­am­ple that our morals and ethics are bet­ter than oth­ers. Af­ter all it should not be about one party win­ning power, or priv­i­lege or en­ti­tle­ment. The con­cept, I thought, is to rep­re­sent the peo­ple for the good of the peo­ple, all of the peo­ple, re­gard­less of any­thing that sets them apart as dif­fer­ent. That should also mean work­ing cross party for the com­mon good. Will it hap­pen? I fear not but I’m open to be­ing sur­prised.

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