I won’t rehash the stories here, you can read them yourself, just Google, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Senator Mike Duffy for the details.
What irks me about these stories is the sanctimonious way they are being reported. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of either of the men at the centre of these scandals. They are both arrogant politicians who are behaving as thought they are above the law but the media is no less arrogant. In the case of Rob Ford there is very little proof aside from a grainy cell phone video of a man who looks similar to the mayor and in the case of Mr. Duffy, he’s not the only Senator to try and make an end run around the system and claim a tax credit where he wasn’t really eligible for one. At the end of the day both stories smell like an ideological battle between democratically elected officials and a self-appointed media watch dog bent on discrediting the people they disagree with.
I wrote about this phenomenon in my recent book “Meekonomics; Kingdom Economics from a Love Based Mentality”, here’s an excerpt from the chapter entitled “Let’s All Share; When Caretakers Rule the World”. (Buy it now)
Time and time again throughout history once a person or group of people rises to power on a care-taker agenda, once they accomplish what they set out to do, they quickly succumb to the ruler mentality that is present in all of us.
When care-takers become rulers they are much slower to recognize when they have lost their way. When faced with opposition a care-taker’s first response is to view their opponent as simply ignorant so they launch a public awareness and education campaign. When that doesn’t work they seek to discredit their opponents and make them look stupid. As the debate descends deeper and deeper into a school yard orgy of name calling and vilification the final step is for the once benevolent care-taker to simply oppress the opposition and go about business as usual as if they didn’t exist. This is often achieved through the systematic use of violence in many forms such as arrest, assassination and disappearance.
Augusto Pinochet of Chile was a master at making his opponents simply disappear when they became too vocal and started to gain popular support. Years after he was finally over thrown, as a result of a new collectivist movement, hundreds of opposition leaders, journalists, trade union members and just average citizens who dared to speak up against Pinochet’s policies were found in mass graves deep in the Chilean jungle, some showing signs that they had been buried alive! Similarly, during the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine the ruling party sought to silence the opposition leader by poisoning him before he could be elected.
Fortunately, in a truly democratic society, with organized opposition and a regular election cycle these extreme examples are rare. That is not say that the same stages of the regime change cycle don’t exist they just move more quickly and rarely end violently. As I write this the United States, arguable the world’s most politically advanced and peaceful democracy is just days away from a presidential election. One need only look at the evolution of political advertising seen during this or any election cycle of the last thirty or so years to know that campaigning has become more and more aggressive over the years. What started out as simple educational ads designed to put forth one particular candidate’s views on a subject have become more personal and less cordial. Is it really that hard for us to see the potential for a Ukrainian style poisoning or even a few good old fashion Pinochetesque disappearances in our future?
Do you see? What’s playing out in the media these days is really just another example of what happens when we try to manage the political economy from our own bias. There has to be a better way, a third way, a love centered way.