Rebellious politicians consuming media

Graphic by Fani Hsieh

Graphic by Fani Hsieh

How did we get to Donald Trump? That seems to be the question so many of us have been asking ourselves over the past 10 months. Even that seems odd to say.

Donald Trump announced his bid for presidency in June of last year and a month in he was already a clear front runner in the polls.

Every newscaster and their brother expressed surprise and shock at his continued successes through the primary process, and now here we are.

Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States. But, really, how did we get here?

We Canadians had our own Donald Trump for a while in former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Not to trample on a man’s grave, but the successes of Donald Trump and Rob Ford’s ability to ignore the controversies he created seem born of the same political mindset. I remember watching his infamous, “I’ve got more than enough to eat at home,” moment and thinking to myself that it was an unprecedented moment of unabashed, unapologetic, explicit honesty in politics. A moment that defamed, dishonoured and demystified a powerful political office.

But was it really the first of its kind?

How different is Rob Ford from Patrick Brazeau, the suspended Conservative senator who was convicted of assault and cocaine possession? Between the brash reputation and the drugs, I can’t help but see a similarity.

Perhaps there’s also a similarity to other recent political events like Bev Oda’s $12 glass of orange juice paid by the tax payer’s dime, or Stephen Harper’s Conservative government being found in contempt of Parliament and going on to win an election anyways. Those conservatives, so unashamed of their deceitful behaviour.

But wait, what about Justin Trudeau smoking pot as an MP? Our current Prime Minister broke the law while he was an elected official and we gave him a majority government. Or how about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?

Bill first denied the scandal in January of 1998 and even after an impeachment train and subsequent acquittal, he remained president for the last two years of his term. Maybe Liberals aren’t so innocent, either.

Let’s go back even earlier. What about the Iran-Contra scandal with Ronald Reagan? That was a huge breach of the law and the trust of the American people and Reagan never faced any consequences for that.

Or how about the grand-daddy of all political scandals. The one time an American president did resign from office. Recall Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Does anyone really think that if Donald Trump was caught in any one of the scandals I’ve mentioned that he would apologize, let alone resign?

Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

Donald Trump is able to campaign the way he has because over the past 50 years, politicians have time and time again diluted the esteem of their offices. And over time we’ve just stopped holding them accountable for it.

The Republican Party is not responsible for the rise of Donald Trump and neither is the Tea Party. It’s not the media’s fault for giving free air time to him and his opponents who couldn’t stand up to him. It’s our fault — voters of all stripes who have let ideology overshadow integrity.

For further reading on Trump follow this link  – – https://thecord.ca/brash-trump-resonates-with-voters/

One Comment

  1. It’s also the Mainstream Media’s fault in the sense that they only choose the content that will give them the most amount of profitability. Bernie Sanders is by many standards a rebel. He participated in, and was arrested as part the Civil Rights Movement, one of the biggest rebellious movements in US history. Showing these clips, however, would be very unprofitable.for companies like Time-Warner Cable, who own CNN, for instance. This is because he speaks out against corporate greed and their overwhelming control on the American economy.

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