These days, when it comes to public discourse, nuance is nowhere to be found. Michael Harris writes:
There is no public discourse, just an ongoing screed between those fighting for the controls. It’s not just sex, lies and videotape that is used to bring the opponent low — but a hearty boot to the meat pies if you can manage to get the other guy down. The mayhem etiquette of cage-fighting has vanquished any vestige of the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Welcome to Trumpland and the skewed reality of the alt-right.
Making matters worse, we have entered the Age of Dishonesty and Deception as author Ralph Keyes calls it, where casual dishonesty has become a pandemic in public life. What does that mean? All the whoppers no longer come from Burger King.
Consider the reaction to Justin Trudeau's statement following the death of Fidel Castro:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lamented the passing of a world leader and family friend, and offered condolences to the Castros in the name of a deep friendship between the Canadian and Cuban people that runs back to the days of his father, Pierre Trudeau.
Stephen Harper’s son, Ben, called Trudeau’s statement about Castro “an embarrassment for Canada.”
Since Ben’s father set the record in that department, perhaps he could offer further enlightenment to the Great Unwashed. Perhaps Ben might share his wisdom on the subject of his father’s words of praise for the despot who ran Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, when he died. The record shows that Harper spent $175,000 to send Governor-General David Johnston to Saudi Arabia to personally convey his condolences. Nice treatment for a misogynistic dictator with a human rights record far worse than Castro’s.
US Senator Marco Rubio saw Trudeau’s remarks as flowers for a brutal dictator, misplaced compassion for a political thug who brought opposition to his revolution to an abrupt end against a wall or deep inside a prison.
No one remembers Fulgencio Batista, the dictator Castro replaced. Donald Trump has made degraded discourse and outrageous lying normal. And we follow the Pied Piper, fools that we are.
Image: The Road To Cuba