Editorial: Don’t get played

Aaron Holmes

Tuesday, December 13 2016

Reject the politics of resentment and divisiveness.

Leaders should rise on their merits. Someone who would divide a population and provoke conflict in order to rise to power can’t be a leader for all, and shouldn’t be a leader at all.

Defend against those political dark arts by standing up in solidarity with everybody.

Elevating or repressing any group creates opportunities for resentment and divisiveness.

Any group. Our PM can march in a pride parade without fear. We’re solid there, but it took a lot of slow courage from a lot of people. What about Muslims? First Nations? Criminals?

Any group. If you allow the stereotyping or marginalizing of Millennials, Environmentalists, or even Politicians, you provide fertile ground for those who want to manipulate your prejudices and your outrage for their benefit.

Any group. If you grouse at Teenagers, Scientists, or Elites, you keep feeding the differences and lock in the groups. Blaming “the Elites” is particularly insidious, because they’re unlikely to stand up and take offence on behalf of elites. It’s a warning that you’re being played.

Point it out. Don’t fight back. Fighting back is counterproductive because it confirms and reinforces: that you’re a group, that you’re vulnerable to being trolled, and that you’re an ‘other’ relative to whoever’s decrying the group.

We have so much more in common with each other than not. Stay vigilant against attempts to marginalize any group. Any group. Don’t take the bait. Attacking any group attacks us all.