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On political bluster: Do you really think that?

 Dear politician from Canada and/or America:

When you say that artists are not ordinary working people, but elitists who attend galas funded by taxpayers, do you really mean that?
I mean, I think you are smart enough to know that most artists live below the poverty line (and that is with government grants) and that the occasional gala is a often a private sector event for which artists occasionally have to borrow/pilfer from theatre costume departments (and you know who you are if you are reading this) in order to be suitably attired.

So if you do think that way, then you are woefully ignorant about something that is important to me. And if you ARE wordly enough to  know these simple truths, then I am pissed off, because you are creating a wedge issue, fabricating class warfare and insulting hard-working artists in order to get votes. And I have to say, that's really crummy of you.

When you say that, in addition the screening process for film and television funding that already exists, that there needs to be an extra filter at the government level so that offensive works don't get government funding, do you really mean that? 
Because someone famous once said that great art comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. And while that quote covers only part of it, it does beg the question: Just how comfortable are you?

When you say that the best people come from small towns and that people who live in urban centres and read the newspaper are condescending elitists, do you really mean that?  

I mean, as a politician, I sure hope you read the paper and know people from large cities and small towns alike. And I am pretty sure you know that good and bad people exist in equal measure in both places.  And if you don't know that, then you are frighteningly ignorant about a good chunk of the population you are aiming to serve.

And if you do know that, and continue to use that language, then you are trying to wedge a divide between me, a city dweller, and my fellow citizens who live in rural areas. And that reverse-snobbery is insulting and condescending to all of us who won't be manipulated by false divisions.

When you campaign for years that abstinence education is more effective than teaching kids about contraception, and then your daughter gets knocked up before she graduates high school, do you still mean it when you say abstinence education works? And when you say it's her choice to keep the baby, but then you campaign against the choice to terminate or keep an unwanted pregnancy: Do you mean it?

I mean, of course you mean, it. But that's some serious cognitive dissonance you have going on there. And while I can usually handle the occasional hypocrisy/cognitive dissonance with my peers, they are not going out and writing public policy.

When you say that you want 14-year-old violent offenders to be given adult sentences because it will scare them out of performing criminal acts, do you really think that?

I mean, I am sure you remember being 14. And that foresight and a sense of consequence were hardly guiding factors in your decision-making. But since we are speaking about foresight and a sense of consequence, do you think that incarceration with hardened adult criminals will do anything close to rehabilitating these teens?

Because if you think that, then you sound kind of ignorant or else totally unconcerned with rehabilitation of young violent offenders. And if you don't think that, then you are politicizing kids (who could probably do with a different sort of focus from their leaders) in order to gain votes through fear.

Because the complicated mixture of rethinking social programs, appropriate punishment, neighbourhood policing, early and affordable childcare and gun control  - maybe we don't have that perfect formula figured out yet, but I want to know that you are working on it. But I guess that sort of thinking doesn't make a good sound byte.




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9.24.2008
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post #1406
bio: adina
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9/24/2008
22:11

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