Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rage, yes; pointless, not remotely

Scary, but Mrs. Beazly and I (though  thousands of km apart) were posting on virtually the same phenomenon at the same time. (BTW, Mrs. B, what the heck are you doing awake at this hour?)

Punditry from the always enjoyable Ms. Wente:

The media think they understand why people voted as they did. As one Toronto Star pundit helpfully explained, the voters – Ford voters, that is – “were full of largely pointless rage.” Only pointless rage could explain why voters ignored the editorial endorsements of two leading newspapers, as well as a long line of former mayors who begged them, in the name of decency, to vote for George Smitherman. Even Justin Trudeau’s twinkle dust didn’t work.
Both Barack Obama and outgoing Toronto mayor David Miller insist the voters simply don’t appreciate what they’ve accomplished. They say their only real mistake was to not focus enough on positive PR. Both the Democrats and Toronto liberals are convinced they know what’s best for the masses, even if the masses massively disagree. They believe that many of the people who vote for their opponents are basically deluded, ignorant and poorly educated (even though the Republicans are currently leading by 20 per cent among U.S. college graduates). They also believe the people on the other side are basically intolerant, anti-immigrant racists (even though a pre-election poll said half of voters born outside Canada were set to cast votes for Mr. Ford).

Americans believe their country is in crisis, and they’re right. By next year, the United States will reach Third World debt territory. Yet both major parties seem oblivious. Neither of them has a plan, or even publicly acknowledges the severity of the crisis. If the Tea Party does nothing else, it may at least force the Republicans to face this highly unpleasant fact. If Mr. Obama wants a second term, he’ll have to face it too.


Although Canada is far more blessed, even we won’t entirely escape the massive restructuring that faces almost every country in the Western world. The problem is simple. People have a lot more government than they can or will pay for. Mr. Ford and Tea Partiers know that. Scaling down the scope of government is the political challenge of the next generation. And if mainstream politicians stay in denial, they’ll be toast.

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