Editorial – There goes the neighbourhood

Jeff Burgar

People with much to lose, speaking out about issues, are running scared.

Here is an example: The “respectable politician” is being interviewed for the evening news about policing in Edmonton. He starts off by saying, “Let’s make it clear I am not criticizing all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day protecting and serving us all.”

He then says he has doubts how a particular case was handled by some of those same brave men and women.

In the United States, every story about FBI handling of Hillary Clinton’s infamous emails, or the FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s “Russian collusion” comes with it a comment. Always, it is along the lines of, “First, let me say there are hundreds of thousands of agents every day working hard to make America safe…”

Why is this? Well, politicians, and perhaps even newscasters, must think we, the public, are a stupid, silly, foolish lot who will all be triggered over the most innocent of words. There are indeed moronic politicians who think their best course to office is to grasp at anything and everything to beat their opponents over the head.

Take last week’s broadsides from our own Alberta United Conservative Party.

NDP Environment Minister Shannon Phillips tweeted recently about an environment contest in Lethbridge. She posted “Use reusable shopping bags, take shorter showers, unplug electronics devises, eliminate vehicle idling and eat less meat.”

According to the UCP, this is a slam against the wonderful beef producers in Alberta. Ric McIver and Jason Kenney both piled on, trashing Phillips.

Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity of it all!

As a CBC report on this item pointed out – McIver and Kenney – in their blabbing about eating more meat and eating steaks – by their standards themselves must be dead against “farmers who grow lentils and other pulses, which vegetarians use as sources for protein.”

Arguing the merits of meat over vegetables, or vice versa, is not the real issue here. The real issue is politicians grasping at straws to make a news item, all the while thinking the public is too stupid to notice.

“Fake News”, the twisting and conniving to make even the most innocent of comments, or lack thereof, sound horrible and obnoxious, has officially arrived in Alberta. Courtesy of the United Conservative Party. As Donald Trump would say, “This is bigly conniving and just more Fake News.”

Kenney and McIver should both be ashamed of themselves for trying to drag Albertans into nonsense politics like this. Instead of having real discussion about real issues, is this what they think it takes to score points?

We can’t be really, really that stupid to go along with such nonsense.

 

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