Opinion

Commen-Terry: Trump a direct consequence of voter apathy

Terry Farrell

Record staff

No, it wasn’t just a bad dream. It’s the new reality.

Barely a week into his official presidency, Donald Trump has begun to carry out some of the inane campaign promises that somehow got him elected.

Shame on you, Donald Trump.

And shame on you, America.

Or, at least, shame on the vast majority of Americans.

By my calculations, approximately 71 per cent of Americans are to blame for this new reality of hate and intolerance.

According to CNN, an estimated 55 per cent of eligible voters turned out to determine the presidency, with approximately half of those voting for Clinton. Those people are the only ones in the clear here.

Of course, the roughly 26 per cent of the population that voted for Trump are the biggest villains.

I will refrain from calling you all bigots and misogynists. Indeed, simply because you voted for one, does not inherently make you one.

But it does mean that being a bigot and a misogynist was not a deal-breaker for you; that you could somehow get past those two traits; that, somehow, you saw this shell of a human being fit to run your country, and lead the free world. And that is, if not as bad as being an outright chauvinist racist, a pretty close second.

And the fallout is spreading. As is the hate.

It’s sad to think, but it must be recognized: with the President of the United States as a beacon for hatred, racists have been empowered - not only in the United States, but everywhere.

Sunday; a tragic attack on a mosque in Quebec City. While the motive had yet to be confirmed by the time this column went to print, it’s fairly likely to be deemed a hate crime, once the suspect tells his side of the story.

There will be more - hopefully not in our country, but we’d be naive to think another such attack couldn’t evolve. That’s what happens when you allow hatred to grow. That’s what happens when a person as full of hate as Donald Trump is handed the reins of the free world.

And it doesn’t help when you have his cronies, such as press secretary Sean Spicer, declaring that the attack in Quebec somehow justifies his country’s travel ban.

Spicer has yet to go into further detail as to how a ban against Muslims from seven select Middle East countries would have, in any way, prevented a resident Caucasian man from entering a mosque and opening fire. Oh yeah. Alternative facts.

Nor has he, or anyone else involved with this knee-jerk ban, discussed the fact that the chances of a terrorist from Syria trying to enter the United States with authentic Syrian identification are slimmer than me being invited to the White House.

Although I have no experience in the matter, it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that the first rule of terrorist school is “fake ID.”

The next four years will be trying times indeed. We can only hope that there will still be life on the other side.

In the meantime, there is a lesson we can all learn from this, and that’s the harsh reality of what happens when voter apathy takes over. Less than 27 per cent of the American (eligible voter) public actually declared Trump as their leader of choice. But thanks to overwhelming voter apathy, the immediate future of the U.S., North America, and indeed the world is more uncertain than at any previous time in most of our lifetimes.

Think of that the next time you have an opportunity to vote for a government and decide to stay at home instead. Your vote won’t make a difference? It’s a shame 45 per cent of the American public felt the same way. The entire world will be paying the price for that.

Terry Farrell is the editor of the Comox Valley Record

 

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