The power of words
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.