I would like to thank Republican presidential nominee Mr. Donald J. Trump.
Thank you, Trump, for putting a symbolic, spray-tanned face on a segment of the population who relish in outrage, but come up empty on progressive solutions; who hark back to the “good ol’ days” but fail to reminisce on the racism and bigotry millions have worked hard to overcome; for identifying those who fear people different from themselves, who feel they are dangerous, as Trump voters.
Thank you, Trump, for giving us the adjective “Trumpian” to describe the childish, vindictive actions of those who reached an age of stagnation in high school locker rooms; those who can not be held to their own very words or standards; those who use facts sparingly and only when convenient.
Thank you, Trump, for showing us the flaws in the current American political system; for showing us that vulgar comments made 10 years ago are enough to get a television host fired, but not enough for a presidential nominee to resign.
Thank you, Trump, for giving the bullies, the internet trolls, those who delight in causing others to feel bad about themselves someone to look up to; for perpetuating the sickening disease that is the current trend of online, inhuman discourse.
Thank you for being “anti-establishment” and displaying quite handily how that does not equate with intelligence; how you can show your disdain for the system without having any legitimate way of fixing the inherent problems; how it is somehow OK to constantly search for justification in outrage instead of working toward solutions.
Thank you, Trump, for showing us what the modern, Western dictator would look like; for fuelling distrust for media and for demonstrating the importance of democracy in a time when voters are more disenfranchised than ever; for showing us how to be a bad loser who can’t take a joke and for giving American voters a demagogue as a reminder of why every vote matters.
I sometimes take solace in the fact that the Canadian election is over, but Trumpian attitudes are not new, and have permeated since the rise of the orange tide.
I see them right here at home. Trump plays to the outrage, something that is not of short supply in Penticton. Whether it is in the online comments section, at council meetings or otherwise, people continually seek vindication from what they deem justifiable disdain.
Many are so eager to jump down throats, facts be damned. We as a society now revel in it. We don’t want to work forward together, but by ourselves against. Us-and-them politics.
Our letters to the editor since I have arrived in Penticton have been overwhelmingly negative, as are the comments online. Empathy and progressive solutions seem to be in short supply as it is much easier to just be mad or fed up than to offer a helping hand or propose a solution.
The rhetoric that thinks it’s OK to call for the murder of petty criminals, or people wearing clown masks, advocates racist bigotry and constantly adds nothing but pompous, self-aggrandizing attempts to push up above others, needs to stop.
I would especially like to thank Trump for proving we are not regressing as a society by losing the election Nov. 8 with the assured grace of a 1,000 doves.
Dale Boyd is the A&E editor for the Penticton Western News. Twitter: @DaleWBoyd