Opinion | A misrepresented presidency

Beyond the candidates, their political programs and their temperament, beyond the opinion one has of one or other of the contenders, of one or other of the parties, one thing is worrisome: when the media, with a few exceptions sides with a candidate, even if it means lying and distorting reality.

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By Olivier Jolicoeur.

When the oligarchs of the web censor reports that could harm their preferred candidate, when they hire fact-checkers who in reality serve as auditors of ideological conformity, democracy is in danger.

If such a thing happens in the United States, the world’s greatest power, it could very well happen here too. It should worry everyone, people on the right and left, conservatives and liberals, libertarians and social democrats.

For the past four years, there has been continuous anger towards the current President, in the United States and elsewhere. Like the Two Minutes of Hate in 1984, there is an absolute and regular need to profess revulsion and disgust with the President. Reason does not matter, but to be socially accepted, one must unreservedly hate the evil Mr. Orange.

All his accomplishments must be minimized and denigrated, even if some of them are remarkable and would have been agreed upon in another context:

  • A historically low unemployment rate for black communities, for Hispanics and for minorities; no, he is a racist.
  • Generous funding for traditionally black universities; no, he is a white supremacist.
  • Major reform of the criminal justice system; he is a racist and a white supremacist, probably a neo-Nazi too.
  • Execution of Al-Baghdadi and Soleimani terrorists; World War III!! (We are still waiting for this third great war…)
  • Drastic reduction in insulin and epinephrine costs; radio silence.
  • A historic peace treaty in the Middle East; a neo-colonialist strategy, probably.
  • There were very fine people on both sides, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white supremacists because they should be condemned totally. “We take everything off after the comma and talk about it for four years!

This is not to mention the supposed collusion with Russia in the 2016 election and the purely partisan attempt to impeach. This list could go on for pages and pages.

Donald J. Trump is the new Emmanuel Goldstein.

Conversely, Biden’s endless blunders and nonsense are ignored, his corruption scandals ignored and censored, allegations of sexual misconduct against him dismissed out of hand, the list could be long too…

Let it be understood that I am not a sad convinced. Trump does not have a presidential temperament, he is not an inspiring head of state, he is not a rallying force and his policies are imperfect, but when I observe American politics, I try to do so with a neutral eye, to see the good and the bad without ideological presuppositions (what a radical idea, I know).

I don’t support any candidate otherwise, it’s not my country, I’m just observing. Having said that, I can’t help but see the media manipulation, the domination of the ideologies of the radical left in the media and the intellectual laziness in trying to explain the “Trump phenomenon”. These observations extend north of the border. This is disturbing.

In another respect, if you look at the media coverage in Quebec, you would think you were the 51st state in the United States. One would almost think that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett was made in a Quebec or Canadian court.

I do not minimize the importance of taking an interest in American politics, I am a fervent follower of it myself, I think we have a lot to learn from American political institutions and their constitution is, in my opinion, a jewel of History. But while one could recite Democratic politics by heart, one was almost unaware of the existence of the leadership race of the Conservative Party of Canada, the leadership race of the Parti Québécois.

While we know in which states Biden is leading and by how many points, we ignore the content of Bill 66, we ignore the eternal Trudeau scandals, we downplay the local social and political issues that directly affect us. How can we fail to see in this flagrant Americanization of our politics and our society’s cultural assimilation by the American empire? Shouldn’t our anti-colonial diverse elites be outraged?

I don’t know who will win this election, if I had to predict I’d put a small deuce on Trump, but beyond the winner, the social climate is worrying. The “fourth estate” is more corrupt and ideologically motivated than ever, and discussion and disagreement between ideological opponents is made almost impossible.

This is worrying.

Olivier Jolicoeur is a student in environmental geography at Université de Montréal. On the lookout for social and political current events, he is interested in issues that affect identity, territory and the environment, but above all, he recognizes the virtue of legitimate disagreement and debate between ideological adversaries.

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