I read your Editorial weekly and often enjoy your observations, opinions and commentary on local issues. The December 5 edition struck a cord, namely that “the character of our public conversations is becoming more and more alarming”. I do believe that Trump’s willingness to boldly state whatever he wants, true or not, is partly to blame. There certainly seems to be a greater willingness to cross the line when it comes to making inappropriate comments.
I am not a participant of social media platforms, but am well aware of how easily people can access the internet and fly off the handle spreading their ideology, with or without fact, in seconds. I am saddened but not surprised to hear that some members of our community have taken part in this type of banter on such a public forum. Our community is usually a very welcoming community. Sad to hear that our federal political leaders visited the area and were then attacked on social media by “disrespectful… immature… and disgraceful” comments. I can only hope that the RCMP will investigate any threatening or hateful comments made. It should not be too difficult to trace the source of these comments.
I have a similar story to share that did not take place on social media. One or two days after the byelection held in our riding, I was at a local gas station, in Kemptville. I had to enter the store to get a receipt. There was one elderly man in front of me and he proceeded to state out loud to the cashier “that anyone who voted Liberal should be shot”.
I did not hear what led up to this statement, so I did not confront the elderly man. The cashier and I shared a look of confusion but went on with our usual business. It was not until I read your Editorial that I was reminded of this incident. It could have been taken as an outright threat and dealt with in an entirely different way.
The Canada I am proud of is one that is open to differences. Differences in culture, appearance, opinions, political ideologies…, are welcome in the country I want to live in.
I can only hope that this type of bold, negative public commentary will remain a rare event.