Letter: Distraught society swayed by distraction

The United States is embroiled in the Trump catastrophe and the United Kingdom in the Brexit fiasco.

Disasters come in many forms but those two share something in common: intentional political polarization. The uncertainty brought about by accelerating free trade, industrial automation and global warming is undermining the foundations of Western democracies. Mega-money is buying dishonest politicians and the corrupt politicians become lapdogs of the super-wealthy.

Read more: Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Read more: ‘Somebody’s going to be shot’ in upcoming election campaign, Canada’s top bureaucrat says

There are several ways of redirecting the anger of distraught, disenfranchised members of society. A popular method is known as scapegoating. Enraged citizens are encouraged to focus their wrath on tangible targets, such as defenceless members of an easily identifiable minority.

The current American leader constantly maligns border-jumpers and members of the media. Brexiters point their fingers at economic migrants and European Union bureaucrats.

Manipulative politicians will continue wrapping their self-serving promises in seductive packaging as long as enough stressed-out voters choose to believe there are simple solutions for complex problems.

Lloyd Atkins


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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