You may not want to believe it. But, Max Fawcett writes, Trumpism has arrived in Canada:
For more than four years now, Canadians have watched the slow-motion collapse of American democracy with a mixture of horror and schadenfreude. In retrospect, we probably should have spent that time preparing our own country for the arrival of the political virus that Donald Trump created and is now spreading here. After the events of the last few weeks, it’s become clear that it’s already infected thousands of people — and it’s moving fast.
Witness the surge in abuse and violence directed towards journalists during the recent Ottawa protests. As veteran Global reporter Sean O'Shea noted, “I’ve never personally experienced so much personal harassment while covering a story. I had rarely needed a bodyguard before. Covering the protests, television crews at all networks needed security staff to do our jobs safely. That’s a sad fact.”
So too is the fact that journalists were verbally harassed and even spat on by protesters for simply doing their jobs, something their American peers had to deal with more and more over the last few years. As Brent Jolly, the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, said in an interview last week, “This is what happens when you have brains scrambled by misinformation.”
A lot of those brains -- and a lot of that misinformation -- has found a home in the Conservative Party:
Just as Trumpism transformed the Republican Party from a political vehicle for the interests of the wealthy into a clearing house for conspiracy theories and other flavours of paranoid nonsense, so too has it corrupted Canada’s Conservatives and alienated any remaining moderates in their midst.
Take the way they’ve tried to portray the protests in Ottawa. Just as Republicans did in the wake of their near-insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, Conservatives in Canada have tried to spin our own anti-democratic movement that sought to overturn the will of the people as a benign expression of patriotism. In the House of Commons, MP Lianne Rood suggested it was “like a Canada Day times a thousand — bigger than any Canada Day I’ve ever seen in this country.”
But while the Conservative Party of Canada has clearly decided it wants to learn to live with the virus of Trumpism, the rest of us must try to fight it off.
We can begin that fight by battling misinformation. Trumpism thrives on it and creates its own Big Lie. Over the weekend, Trump told the CPAC conference in Washington that Justin Trudeau had established a dictatorship in Canada -- as Russian tanks and troops rolled into Ukraine. The Conservatives would desperately like you to believe that. But a minority government refutes that claim.
There is a lot more misinformation that needs to be refuted.
Image: Global News