To hear it on Fox News, you would think that America is going down the path of no return towards, first, socialism and now, in the latest in a very long line of misrepresentations of democracy, totalitarianism. 

Don’t get me wrong – its wonderful that at least one American can find Canada on a map despite the fact that weather patterns seem to be non-existent north of the 49th parallel. It would just be nice once in a while if that recognition didn’t include the words “socialist”, “ice-covered”, and “relentlessly polite”. 

What strikes me is that there is rarely a middle ground with Fox News. Sure they make the effort occassionally. But like any destructive pattern of behaviour, it doesn’t really count if you don’t make a habit out of it.

Democracy is not about getting it right, its about getting it better.

Every democratic government is a mix of fascist verses socialist tendencies trying to meet in the middle to balance out the power of the individual verses the state.

Most times we get it close enough. Rarely do we get it right. Almost always there are examples of where theory and practice get it wrong.

And that is okay. What matters is the ability to recognize dissonance and having a forum to redress those inequities

To claim that society is headed towards totalitarianism is to suggest that the processes have, or are, breaking down to the point where individuals can no longer engage through a free press, as a direct result of state intervention, in order to effect change.

For example, recently Tucker Carlson cited Quebec’s Stay at Home order as an example of totalitarian over reach by Government. While the family in question was arrested and fined, what he fails to mention is that such actions were not an infringement on the right to protest, nor to seek redress, nor to limit free speech.

Canadians still have a voice in these policies. If we as a society feel that they over reach we have opportunities through the press, the courts, and the ballot box in order to effect change. No one has limited those rights. No one has limited the right of due process. Whether we agree with specific instances of policy and decision making or not, our government leaders are doing exactly what we elected them to do. 

While it is difficult to try to find the line between keeping society safe and individual freedoms of assembly, the point of fact is that power vest in the individuals that make up our society, not in the government. We can change it if we don’t feel it is right.

Now contrast that with the suggestion that Trump is synonymous with the GOP. Essentially, what is suggested in the article here, and will be interesting to see if it actually transpires, is that Trump will be claiming he IS the state and will be setting up processes to limit political candidates and discourse to only those that he deems worthy (read: he can control). Combined with Trump’s love of control the narrative to the point of excluding anything resembling fact, and you have the very definition of totalitarianism. 

When individuals give up, whether through apathy or through intimidation, their ability to critically evaluate fact from rhetoric, it leaves the door open for opportunistic special interests to hijack democracy for their own agendas.

Despite whatever agendas Tucker is trying to promote, that just isn’t happening in Canada, nor the UK whom he also singled out, and, to my mind, never will.

Does that mean instances where police and government policy may overstep in Canada aren’t important to highlight? Absolutely not. Its critical to the effective functioning of our society.

But that also means being cognizant of understanding the hypocrisy of pointing to random light and shadows on the wall of your neighbour’s house all the while ignoring the 800 lb gorilla that is physically mobilizing in your own backyard.

— Kevin Feenan

Leave a Reply