Politics of dividing and dehumanizing a winning formula

Both provincially and federally, the conservative rank-and-file seem ready to double down on the politics of division

politics dividing and dehumanizing winning formulaRED DEER, Alta. Nov. 13, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch wasted little time in praising the outcome of the most horrid election campaign in living memory. Donald Trump, as silver spooned an elite as ever there was, threw out the elites in Washington to become the next U.S. president.

A fellow elite on the Canadian side, Leitch says it’s an example that needs to be followed in Canada.

“Tonight, our American cousins threw out the elites and elected Donald Trump as their next president. It’s an exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada as well,” Leitch, a former cabinet minister and practising orthopedic pediatric surgeon, said in a report in the National Post.

“It’s the message I’m bringing with my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada. It’s why I’m the only candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada who is standing up for Canadian values.”

Leitch proposes that the 250,000 people wanting to immigrate to Canada each year should be screened in face-to-face meetings for Canadian values. That would be about as easy to implement as building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Just the same, would an admitted sex abuser and known liar, a misogynist and racist individual who doesn’t pay taxes, who has stiffed his workers on their wages and who is currently facing numerous legal suits against him pass Leitch’s test? Just asking.

From her elite position, does Leitch wonder if the sort of campaign she wants to drag into Canada would have happened as it did if Trump’s competitor was not a woman?

You can bet Sandra Jansen and [popup url=”http://www.troymedia.com/author/donnakennedyglans/” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]Donna Kennedy-Glans[/popup] have stared that issue right in its ugly face. Both were running for leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, and both quit on the same day after Jansen experienced that unique kind of harassment reserved for female politicians.

I don’t know how many death threats have been sent to other Alberta premiers, or how many violently sexualized comments have been directed to her predecessors, but Rachel Notley has certainly received her share. As if one example would not be too many.

Notley says reports of harassment against the two candidates are “troubling.”

At the very least.

“If a party or a campaign cannot conduct itself in a way to ensure the most basic of rules around inclusivity – for instance anti-harassment – then quite frankly that party or that campaign is not equipped to govern the province,” Notley told reporters after Jansen stepped down.

But then again, Trump was widely viewed as unfit for office, too.

We’re told this kind of thing happens in politics everywhere. But why do aspiring politicians normalize it? Because the politics of dividing and dehumanizing people seems to be a winning formula.

More to the story: [popup url=”http://www.troymedia.com/2016/11/13/ugly-underbelly-american-left/” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]Ugly underbelly of American left exposed[/popup] by Gavin MacFadyen

Alberta got an New Democrat government, not because the good folks in Wild Rose Country suddenly woke up and found themselves to be socialists. It was because voters were tired of the moribund and corrupt Tory party that had been in office for as long as most Albertans had been alive.

Canadians got Justin Trudeau and the Liberals not because we woke up one day with a sunny ways disposition, but because we had ceased to trust the leadership of the federal Tory party.

Now, both provincially and federally, the rank-and-file of conservative persuasion seem ready to double down on the politics of division.

If you don’t like big-tent conservatism, with all its compromises and accommodations to larger society, you now have licence to demonize and harass those Conservatives you don’t like. If those conservatives happen to be female, all the better and all the easier.

Alberta PC leadership candidate Jason Kenney, as partisan a Tory as anyone needs, wants to unite the right in Alberta and merge with the Wildrose Party.

The Wildrose, now the larger and richer of the two parties, doesn’t see the advantage in merging. Historically, Alberta’s pure-blue Conservatives have been much more to the centre than the Wildrose.

Today? Perhaps not so much. At least Wildrose at one time had a female leader, as did the Alberta Conservatives.

Of course, look what happened to them.

Greg Neiman is a freelance editor, columnist and blogger living in Red Deer, Alta. Greg is included in Troy Media’s Unlimited Access subscription plan.

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