Politics


Breaking My Trump Silence

I have not written a word about Donald Trump since his inauguration. In fact, I've written about him only once since he was elected. That entry is here.

I personally find Trump as POTUS so distasteful and disappointing, I can't write about it. Remember when everyone was loving Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Trump on SNL? I couldn't watch. I find nothing funny about any of this, because the stakes are too damn high.

So why am I breaking my Trump silence and writing about him today? Because he's finally done something completely ridiculous and tone deaf that's equally harmless. This story doesn't end with anyone being deported or killed and doesn't infringe on anyone's freedom or rights. I'd insert a joke about one's rights to a healthy, decent meal, but this surreal happening was 100% optional for all attendees.

The NCAA champion Clemson Tigers football team were welcomed to the White House by Trump who greeted them with fast food. There was McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Dominos served on silver platters, behind a gilded candelabra.

cold

A few thoughts immediately come to mind:

  1. Imagine how cold that fast food was by the time the team got to eat. I personally need my McDonald's fries to be piping hot and fresh from the vat. This food must have been room temperature when the players got to it.
  2. Trump is using the Lincoln silverware and platters... for fast food. There's literally Lincoln gravy boats filled with Chicken McNugget sauces... in their plastic containers. That's ludicrous and perhaps as perfect a symbol of this administration's two years in power as anything I've seen yet.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment if Obama did this. Imagine Obama serving the national champions fast food burgers.
  4. Trump has been in power for two years now. Where on the list of Trump controversies would you rank this? Does it even crack the top 100?
When asked why he went with fast food, Trump said it was because the team featured "very large people that like eating." On that note, we now return to not writing about Trump.

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Nope

block

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The Trump Paradox

The 2017 Presidential Inauguration takes place Friday. I don't think I've written a word here or on Twitter about Donald Trump since he was elected in November. Then, last week, I wrote a couple of Tweets about what I call the Trump Paradox.

When Donald Trump the reality show host writes petty Tweets and makes ludicrous statements, my instinct is to completely ignore him. After all, if 15 years of blogging has taught me anything it's that one should not feed the trolls. Ignoring is the best course of action.

When Donald Trump the President-Elect does the same, my instinct is to continue ignoring. But Trump is about to become the most powerful man on the planet, and how can you ignore statements made by someone with such a title? This is the Trump Paradox.

In essence, the man does not deserve our respect, but the office demands it. It's going to be a rough four years.

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I'm Tired of Being Wrong

In 2000, I didn't think George Dubya Bush had a chance. I wasn't blogging yet, but if I was I'd be linking now to an arrogant post about how Americans aren't dumb enough to elect an idiot like Dubya. I did write this in 2003 and called him naive and stupid.

Fast forward to 2004 when I was certain John Kerry would win the Presidency. It seemed obvious to me. Once again, I was wrong.

Then, there was 2010. I'm still trying to live this entry down. I'd delete it, but it seems to bring such joy to my friends like Il Duce.

Rob Ford, they seem to like you in Ward 2, Etobicoke North. Please run there. Toronto's next mayor won't be a bike lane hating, Transit City killing social conservative who promises to "cut everything but police spending to tame the city budget. Libraries, parks, whatever."

We all know what happened next. Once again, I was wrong.

At this point, I should have learned my lesson, but I most certainly did not. Donald Trump so turned my stomach, I could only handle him in very small doses. I didn't need to worry about him actually winning the election because I was certain Hillary Clinton would prevail. All the analysis, most of the polls, and almost every pundit reinforced my belief that Americans would do the right thing.

Last night, I asked my oldest daughter if she was ready to witness history. At 7pm, I was still confident. In fact, I wondered aloud if they might call Florida in her favour by 9pm and shortly thereafter realize Trump had no path to victory. I smiled at my sleeping 7-month old daughter when I realized she didn't even have to live a full year without a woman president of the United States of America.

In reality, by 9pm I was reassuring my oldest daughter that everything would be okay. Once again, I was wrong. In fact, I think this is the wrongest I've ever been about an election.

Winston Churchill once said the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. I need to stop overestimating these people. I'm tired of being wrong.

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I'm Not Going to Write About Donald Trump

I've yet to write a single word about Donald Trump's pusuit of the most powerful job in the world. To be honest, I kept waiting for common sense to prevail, but here we are....

The RNC is taking place in Cleveland this week, and it's what I'd have expected. Here's a nice synopsis from Daniel Dale, who knows a thing or two about covering populist candidates in pursuit of power.

I've gone this far without writing about Trump, and I'm not going to stop start now.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Liberal Party of Canada has won the 2015 federal election. They will form a majority government.

Here's how the seats break down:

  1. Liberals - 184
  2. Conservatives - 99
  3. NDP - 44
  4. Bloc - 10
  5. Green - 1

Here's how Toronto voted. Every riding in the city elected a Liberal MP. That blue at the top belongs to Thornhill.

toronto

justintrudeau

Good riddance, Harper.

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What's the Big Deal With Wearing a Niqab?

This election has gone on far too long. Shame on Harper. It's so long, a usually informed and engaged chap like me has yet to truly plug-in.

I was at a wedding Saturday and chatted with a buddy who noticed I haven't written about our federal election. The fact is, I did write one entry, but that's it. I just haven't dove in yet.

But I do read the news, listen to the news, and follow the zeitgeist via Twitter, and there's an awful lot of noise about women wearing a niqab during citizenship ceremonies. People seemed outraged that this could one day be permitted. In fact, actual issues of importance have been drowned out by this debate. It's sad.

What am I missing here? Is this plain and simple Islamophobia? Why does it matter if a woman wears a niqab during a citizenship ceremony?

I'm not a fan of any religion. I think it's a big honkin' slice of bullshit designed to oppress and suppress, and I believe we'd all be far better off without any of it, but I respect one's right to follow a religion, even Islam.

I think some people confuse issues, and think women will not be identifying themselves before reciting the oath. The fact is, would-be Canadians are required to provide multiple proofs of identity and those who wear face coverings must remove them before the ceremony in private before a citizenship official. The citizenship ceremony comes after these key steps.

Harper might not be a very good Prime Minister, but he's a very clever campaigner. He's managed to tap into Canadians' racism to win a minority government.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope Canada is better than that.

3kWEDtW

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First-Past-the-Post Voting Leads to Strategic Voting

Back in March I wrote why ranked ballots are better.

The "first-past-the-post" system we currently have forces people like me to vote strategically instead of voting for the person they'd like to lead. For example, those who wanted Olivia Chow to win, but were afraid a vote for Chow would help Doug Ford win, would be able to rank their candidates so a vote for Chow isn't a vote for Ford.

Our current first-past-the-post system forces many of us to vote strategically instead of for the party we want in power. Let's use my riding as an example.

Last election, the Conservative Party candidate won my riding with 40.26% of the vote. The Liberal Party got 34.04% and the NDP got 21.6%. The end result was another CPC MP, helping Stephen Harper stay in power.

It's looking like this is going to happen again. Most of us don't want Harper to win, but we're split between the NDP and Liberal Party. I know who I'd like to see win, but it's more important to me that we defeat the Conservative candidate in my riding. As a result, I will vote strategically. I will vote for the candidate with the best shot at beating the Conservative Party.

We're getting smarter. This time, we're organized. I've joined VoteTogether.ca and I urge you to as well. There's nothing wrong with voting strategically to serve the greater good. The current first-past-the-post voting system demands it.

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Hazel McCallion

Today, Hazel McCallion turned in her Chain of Office. She was Mayor of Mississauga since December 1, 1978.

I was four years old at the time. I have absolutely no memory of a time before Hazel McCallion was Mayor of our neighbour to the west. Hurricane Hazel has always been there. I've even run her 5k.

At 93, after 12 terms of service over 36 years, McCallion deserves a rest. Well done, Hazel. Well done...

hazel

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Rob Ford, Doug Ford and the Crazification Factor

Rob Ford, Doug Ford and the Crazification FactorThe crazification factor is a neologism coined by blogger John Rogers to refer to the portion of the electorate comprising the nuttiest of the wingnuts and the batshit crazy. The passage relates to the 2004 Senate election in Illinois, and reads:

Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% crazification factor in any population.

Furthermore, another factor in Obama's favour at the time that Rogers didn't mention is that the original Republican candidate, Jack Ryan, had been forced to suspend his candidacy after his divorce and custody records were released to the press, revealing that he had taken his former wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to various sex clubs (including, in at least one case, a bondage club) and tried to have her perform sex acts on him out in the open. Keyes was the GOP's last-minute replacement on the ticket after the sordid details of Ryan's divorce came out. So not only was it a normal candidate running against a clearly crazy opponent, but the crazy guy also had the baggage of the last guy's sex scandal following him, and had been drafted into the campaign with little time to prepare.

This 27% support is tattooed in my cranium as the batshit crazy support I thought Rob Ford would end up with. With Rob out and Doug in, I suspect he'll end up with that same 27%.

And 27% won't win you this election,thankfully.

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