Where did the respect go?
Do you ever wonder what makes people think the way they do? What makes people hold the opinions they do? Are those opinions a result of study and understanding? Or do they just blindly repeat what they hear, without knowing what they're saying?
I read something online the other day. It wasn't anything overly shocking, but it struck a chord with me. It was a comment about one of our current politicians and their personal life, and this comment was full of blatant lies and false information—I knew this without even looking it up. But it struck a chord with me because this person commenting was a bully, pure and simple, and the people commenting were agreeing with him for saying that a person would have to be "mentally retarded" for voting for this person he was spreading lies about.
What is it about politics that turns people into such bullies? The current political landscape is pure garbage, and that's a fact. It's common knowledge if people would only open their eyes and look. But people can't be bothered. The popular excuse is that they're all crooks, so why bother voting for any of them? Whether or not people are aware, not voting is not taking a stand. It's surrendering a right that our ancestors fought for with their lives. Does that matter to anyone?
Anyone who knows me knows I have no respect for our current government. But what continues to baffle me is how anyone can vote for our current ruling party and its leader. He was found in contempt of Parliament (first in the history of any Commonwealth nation). He wants to destroy our health care. He has hindered scientists in their work to protect our health and our environment. He has abandoned the men and women who have laid down their lives to protect our country. He has destroyed our reputation as international peacekeepers. The list could go on and on.
He's lied. He's cheated. He doesn't love Canada. He doesn't even like Canada. Canada is a means of power and control. "The Harper Government" is his playground to do with what he wants. And he is a bully. His cronies are bullies, or else well-paid yes-men who willingly obey his every command. That's not my country. That shouldn't be yours, either.
Look at the abundance of anti-bullying rallies and posters we see on a daily basis now. We drum it into kids' heads. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. So why is it that we spend millions to combat bullying in schools, but we rally around and defend a government that does the same thing? Attack ads ad nauseam—full of lies, soundbytes taken out of context—the same soundbytes that die-hard Conservative followers repeat back without even knowing what they're saying. Why? Discussion is a good thing. It opens minds and shares information. But spewing lies and wrong information simply because it was heard on TV or read online is sickening. I posted something on my Facebook page, and a response I got was "Let's abort babies and grow pot with Justin." That's not intelligent discourse; that's spreading lies. It disgusts me.
Our current prime minister identifies as being an evangelical Christian. Many people follow him because of that. Why? In my opinion, bullying, character assassinations, disrespect, lies, secrecy, fear, paranoia—none of those things fall under the "love your neighbour as yourself" command in the Bible. Our current government is Christian simply because it'll get them votes from people who are Christians. However, it would appear that the only god our current government does worship is in square-shaped pieces of plastic in bright shades of green, blue and red, adorned with pictures of our queen and previous leaders.
What about integrity? Respect? Honesty? We've become followers. We're like confused sheep that need to be told what to do or think. That doesn't work. We need to open our eyes and our minds and educate ourselves. It's time for a serious change. The future of our country depends on it. —Sarah Alexander-Williams, Halifax
Last week's story "Halifax's startup scene goes it alone, together" by Michelle Cameron stated that medical social app The Rounds has 1,500 physicians signed up. But the app actually has 15,000 doctors/users. The figure has been changed in the online version, and The Coast apologizes (times 10!) for the error.