The Hamilton Spectator

Here’s the real problem


Michael Peebles, Hamilton

Steve Buist has hit the nail squarely on the head with this column. Clear, evidence-based, critical thinking.

Sharon McKibbon, Hamilton

Normally I enjoy Steve Buist’s thoughtful, wellresear­ched and clearly-presented work in The Spec. Not today.

It’s not just the political right that has lost track of how to think and engage productive­ly. Not a single “moron” is going to change their mind as a result of that column. “F Trudeau” is just a slightly less polite reply to the disdain our PM clearly demonstrat­es toward anyone not “enlightene­d enough” to agree with him on COVID-19, feminism, the environmen­t or transgende­r matters. Insulting skeptics as ignorant is not going to win any converts. It’s a sign of an arrogant, lazy speaker with a weak argument.

Here’s the real problem: There’s a large contingent of people who feel that they’re been ignored, deliberate­ly misled, pushed around and then insulted when they dare question some of the errors and inconsiste­ncies they see. That destroys trust, creating a climate for alternativ­es and, yes, plenty of quackery.

Taking COVID for example, the scientific consensus was wrong in important ways that have yet to be acknowledg­ed.

Our advanced society works because of basic trust in government, social institutio­ns and our fellow citizens. We’re seeing that eroded and it’s a crisis. Blaming and lecturing “the uneducated” isn’t productive, nor is more education the answer. Maybe we should work to understand why so many people are mistrustfu­l and seeking alternativ­e informatio­n. We might just find that arrogance, condescens­ion and lack of nuance from “the educated” are getting in the way.

Jeff Cassidy, Hamilton

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