There are more outrageous things in this world than Donald Trump.
Some come easily to mind: The news media that covers him, university campuses where it is politically correct to discuss killing him and social media, where if it were up to many users, he’d already be dead.
I don’t like Trump tweeting or his crass comments but I don’t have time to whine about them. His policies are where we need debate. But to many Canadians, President Trump’s presence in the White House — he’s been at the job for six months — is enough to make their heads explode.
There has never been a president so maligned or policies so twisted. His first two weeks in office, there were 1,000 tweets a day calling for his assassination. The other side didn’t hyperventilate or need safe spaces when Barack Obama was elected and there are few arguments that he has made America a better place. But today’s university campuses, news and social media in the United States and Canada are so driven by ideology and hate for one man that for some of these people, if you don’t hate Trump, you’re the hater for not hating.
They will forgive Obama, who was actually caught — after the fact — spying on American citizens. They will forgive Obama’s lying about health care (you get to keep your doctor and insurance premiums will not rise) and Benghazi (four Americans were killed in Libya because of a video) among a long list of debacles. But Trump has to go because he’s an idiot. That’s not an argument but his enemies are desperately stoking the flames of hate in hopes of impeaching him. For what? There’s no Russia link. Doesn’t matter. Leak false stories and cast the net even wider in the hope that someday something will stick.
When people stoop as low as witch hunts, inventing stories and incessant name calling, all of which has spilled over into Canada, we have a serious crisis. The increasing lack of respect for people and democratic principles is appalling. Trump won. But many people can’t get over it.
I was driving around Ottawa’s flood zone taking photographs, talking to farmers and listening to CFRA, an Ottawa radio station now owned by Bell Media. A listener called in and berated Trump as an idiot, a moron and just crazy. Since host Rob Snow didn’t bother to ask her what could possibly justify such insults, it fired her up to offer five more. If she had been referring to any other living being, it would be considered abuse and defamation of character.
On another day, same radio station, morning announcer Bill Carroll noted that according to an unconfirmed source, Trump’s Catholic press secretary Sean Spicer had really wanted to meet the Pope during a recent meeting in the Vatican. But the spiteful Trump punished Spicer by not allowing him to go.
“If it’s true, Trump is a jerk,” Carroll said.
“Ya,” said his on-air sidekick. “What a jerk.”
Then they spoke as if the unsubstantiated story had really happened and again both called Trump a jerk.
It was a story they couldn’t confirm because they didn’t know where it came from or who said it or whether it even happened. It’s called fake news but it was good enough for CFRA.
The day before Trump’s first presidential press conference, a report surfaced with no witnesses and no evidence, saying that Trump went to Moscow and hired hookers to use a bed as a toilet in a hotel room that was used by former President Obama. An outrageous story that CFRA was only too eager to tell.
This is just one radio station. But it points to the dumbing down and politicizing of our culture and the frightful rise of intolerance.
The university campus is another safe space for anti-Trump vitriol. It’s where you find sympathy for a terrorist but no love for Jews and Christians. Socialism is embraced even though it’s about to crash Venezuela. Isn’t university about higher learning, freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas? Yet, it’s controlled by the politically-correct who define hate speech as “words that provoke violence.” If what you say causes me to punch you in the face, it’s your fault. That is how three-year-olds and troubled teenagers behave. They stomp and flex their appendages when they hear something as awful as “Time for bed.” When two or more are gathered against Trump, they turn into a demonic mob that will not tolerate other views. That’s one reason why most people don’t say anything.
There is something you can do. Stay away from loud groups. Read, especially thoughtful analysis, and listen only to upbeat, thoughtful people. Cynics will just ruin your health. Stop listening to people on radio and elsewhere when their choice argument is an insult. For that matter, avoid the superficial political views on Twitter and Facebook. Whenever you are about to hear a university professor discuss politics, tune out.
It’s amazing how much better I feel.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.