“Post-Truth” Politics Alberta-Style
At the recent Reboot Alberta Revival Gathering, the Rebooter Participants had a robust discussion about the “post-truth” political culture. We are seeing party-based political operatives blatantly pushing lies, deceits, misleading and manipulative comments, and commentary, especially through Social Media. Dishonesty in politics has become normalized.
Why We Believe Known Lies:
Ironically humans are prone to accepting and even “believing” these untruths even in the face of rebutting evidence. Part of the reason for this is happening is how our brains work and how easily we are manipulated to believe things that are not true… even as we “know” and are shown they are not true in the face of reliable evidence.
Feeding Fears and Anger
Hyper-partisanship and the uber-competitive pursuit of political power to control citizens rather than serve citizens is driving this systemic abuse in our political culture. The manipulation of messaging by established political parties is using identity politics to feed their Bases are used to enhance fears of “Others.” Their Populist approach, again targeted at the partisan Bases” is intent on directing their anger away from taking personal accountability and responsibility. It encourages them to blame “Others” for one’s personal situation.
It is even more unnerving to realize this is all based on sound neurological science. This is the strategic thinking behind the Kenney War Room and Public Inquiry actions that will use the power of the State, taxpayer money to pursue and abuse “Others” who are on the Kenney Enemies List and deemed to be “Un-Albertan.”
Abusing Power is Dangerous to Our Democracy
This medieval morality play approach to applied political power is pure Propaganda designed to feed the Base and keep them from questioning or critical thinking. It is also designed to intimidate and cower the rest of us. Without an organized and effective resistance to expose and oppose this abuse of power, it will most likely work in dividing us, driving us into even more citizen-based apathy and political indifference.
Will the War Room & Public Inquiry Care About Truth?
The War Room and Public Inquiry directed against Environment groups and “socialist” individuals won’t do anything to fix real problems. It will not assist vulnerable Albertans who are suffering from energy sector job losses and game-changing technological disruptions. It will not improve investment attraction or pipeline access needed to grow our energy-based economy.
The War Room will not uncover any verifiable truth or reliable evidence useable to help “Others” outside the energy sector, who are also suffering the consequences of systemic economic change. It will not enable anyone to adapt to the New Normal of volatile commodity prices and global competition that is outside provincial government control.
What Can We Expect from the War Room
War Room private-sector Contractors will likely operate in ways that are secretive, unaccountable to public scrutiny and definitely not transparent use of our tax money used to pay for these abuses of power. The messages we will get from these activities are likely to be more deceits, misdirections, misleading “half-truths” and manipulations.
This will further undermine the public trust in government, politics, and politicians as if that could actually be perceived as possible these days. The time has come for Moderate Progressive Albertan Citizens to show up. stand up, speak up and act up, as needed, to expose, oppose and dispose of deceit in our politics. Indifference is not an option.