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The landscape of dirty politics

['Perspectives with Shirley Hallee']
['Perspectives with Shirley Hallee']

Perspectives with Shirley Hallee

There has been a lot in the news about the political scene in the United States. The Mueller Report indicates there is reason to impeach Donald Trump. Trump seems to have AG William Barr in his back pocket; and at the same time the Democrats in Congress have been trying to get information on Trump's finances. Known for his frivolous use of law suits, the President is suing individuals, banks, and even Congress in an attempt to prevent his personal and corporate information from becoming public.

More than 20 individuals are now campaigning for the opportunity to run against Trump in the 2020 election...while the man with the elaborate comb-over is using his Twitter account to insult the top potential candidates. Rather than speaking to the issues of the day, Donald Trump has chosen the dirty politics path. Attack, insult...and never let the true issues become part of any debate.

Unfortunately, it would seem there may be some in this country who are taking Trump's path in governing...and also in dealing with the opposition. A recent report by Fox News, an ultra-conservative TV network in the states, has favourably compared Doug Ford to Donald Trump...much to Ford's liking. It can also be noted that some people in Ford's political party – at the national level - appear to be using Trump's tactic of smears and insults to enhance their potential victory in the upcoming election.

I have to admit I almost missed one such incident. I had the TV on and I switched channels from the news to a home renovation show...or it might have been the Oprah channel. Ads were playing so I began to check my e-mails and messages. Suddenly Trump's image appears on the TV and a voice

begins to list shortcomings. Then, just a suddenly another image appears. It was that of Justin Trudeau. It seems the opposing political party wanted the viewer to see Trudeau's character to be similar to that of Trump.

I am quite certain my mouth fell open. I was in shock. Innuendo was being used, and what was suggested was so far from reality it was actually laughable. I suspect whoever put that political ad out there will be pulling it quite soon. Trump has made it clear that he no longer likes Justin Trudeau...making a comparison somewhat difficult. The other thing that I found a bit upsetting is that this was played at the very start of the month of May. Our election will take place in the fall...and it is just a tad early for campaigning, even smear campaigning.

This particular ad was so short...maybe 30 seconds, and no more than a minute. I did not see who had taken credit for the ad. I could be wrong; however, I suspect it might be a PC creation. I certainly don't see the Green Party or the NDP as the authors of this kind of message.

No political party and no person is perfect. I have defended our Prime Minister's stance regarding the SNC Lavalin affair. I believe he had the best person dealing with the U.S. regarding trade issues. He has maintained his cool through the times that Trump was insulting him and this country. He has been welcoming of those immigrating into Canada, and he has been fairly proactive regarding climate change issues.

I am becoming quite concerned regarding the level of intolerance for other races, religions, and for women's rights that we are now seeing in this country. I am also very concerned that big oil money is impeding the development of sustainable energy sources. I wonder if those kinds of forces might be responsible for the political ad that appeared on my television screen?

Shirley Hallee is a freelance writer living in Amherst. Her column appears weekly in the Amherst News.

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