Spotlight accused of polarizing readers

To the editor

Re Editorial November 22, 2018 “It’s a cold, cold climate change”

EDITORIAL: It’s a cold, cold climate change

Quote: “The right is ramping up anti-immigration rhetoric.” Your statement is a perfect example of how classic media (print and cable TV) polarize our culture. This statement is not only wrong, but misleading. It is, as you say, a “narrative that supports your own ideas.” Never mind the fact that both Conservative and Liberal governments have welcomed hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year for generations demonstrating that Canadians of all stripes wholeheartedly welcome immigrants. The issue isn’t anti-immigration, but whether people come in legally or not, whether there are consequences for jumping the queue or not or whether they should integrate….or not.

“Control the language and you control the masses,” said George Orwell. You say we shouldn’t resort to labels but that’s far easier said than done because identity politics have become so ingrained in our public discourse. The most common labels, (left, right, divisive, extremist, alt right and the latest pejorative, he or she is “controversial) polarize people, silence public discourse, write people off and don’t challenge the actual soundness of the ideas they represent. Do that long enough and low and behold, you end up with a “populist” movement (God forbid!) that surprises no one except the politicians, media and academia. Even bad ideas need open and honest analysis.

No one person is consistently “left” or “right”. The issues are too complex. Comments like the one above result in people throwing up their hands in frustration with the result that they stop buying newspapers. I want our town newspaper survive and flourish. A new approach is necessary.

Jerome Tjerkstra

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