Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Donald Trump, History, Media, News, Opinion, Politics, Polls, United States, US Election 2020

Grass Roots And Grassroots

 Photograph: Harry Durrant/Getty Images

The Grass Roots was an American rock band in the late sixties and early seventies. Their biggest, but certainly not their only, hit was Midnight Confessions, a song that still gets played on many oldies stations.

On the other hand, the concept of Grassroots politics is significantly different, but no less an integral part of US culture. According to Wikipedia, “Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to affect change at the local, regional, national, or international level”.

That’s the way politics used to work. Men and women – sometimes children – working locally to affect change. Community groups and lawn signs are all part of grassroots politics. Striving for improvements to society from the bottom up.

Today we see the natural progression (regression?) of negativity. Attack ads are much more prevalent than are those promoting positivity.

But that was then and this is now. The man/woman in the street’s opinion really doesn’t seem to matter, which may lead to many of them not bothering to vote. Perhaps I’m being naïve; perhaps it never did. Yet I have to believe that without this input the system is doomed to fail.

I sense that the beginning of the end was the advent of, and essentially total switch to, negative politicking. Grassroots politics focus on positive change; making things better. A new municipal swimming pool or a new president. Today we see the natural progression (regression?) of negativity. Attack ads are much more prevalent than are those promoting positivity. “Never mind what I will do, we must stop my opponent from doing whatever he or she will do” is the mantra.

In Canada, the 1993 election provided us with an example of how our two countries view negative political advertising. The Progressive Conservative (oxymoron?) Party of Canada ran an ad featuring very unflattering photos of Liberal candidate Jean Chrétien, who suffers from “partial paralysis” of his face, which he believes was a birth defect and which his mother thought was the result of a childhood disease or virus. The PCP went on to lose the election and many consider this ad to have been the turning point. Canadians are nice folks; the electors did not like the nastiness.

I fear that a candidate’s platform – remember those? – is less crucial today than criticizing the opponent’s promises – dare I say it – ad nauseam .

However, in the early days of negative campaigning, this mud-slinging was kept to actual pre-election periods and was done by backroom flunkies, for the most part, the candidates kept their hands clean except for ‘approving’ the ads, of course. But the current resident of the Oval Office practices it on a daily basis all year round. From his favourite “fake news” to his total disregard for scientific facts, he constantly demeans the Office he holds.

When United States Senators can say one thing four years ago, then completely flip-flop on that statement today shows incredible disrespect for those who elect them, to say nothing of the process.

Sowing lies and mistruths from the highest office in the land is something totally out of character for any inhabitant of the White House. Sadly this distortion of facts and warping of the electoral process has exposed the many people who are easily duped. The time has come for elected officials at all levels of government to consider what is best for their constituents, not what is best for their own political careers.

When United States Senators can say one thing four years ago, then completely flip-flop on that statement today shows incredible disrespect for those who elect them, to say nothing of the process.

It is a sad turn of events indeed.

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Quebec Election Day: Vote!

It is election day in Quebec. Amid all the campaign posters and stickers that have sprouted up over the last 33 days – evidently in lieu of daffodils, but one hopes spring will get here eventually – one store window stands out. The staff of the downtown Ste. Catherine Street location of Lululemon has turned their athletically garbed mannequins around and tugged their pants down to reveal their mannequin bottoms to passersby.  As they moon pedestrians they also send a message as written on the window in French is an exhortation to “Move your asses and vote”

Lululemon

 

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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