The way my 8 year old son drones on about the Illuminati, you'd think he was a budding little conspiracy theorist. But as his mom, I know everything he thinks he knows about the Illuminati he picked up from a 2 bit video game.
Ah, well, everyone's got to start their interest in political machinations somewhere.
I gotta hand it to Trump. Thanks to him, there's more people interested right now in the future of politics than ever. The fact that my kid and his buddies actually TALK about Donald Trump and his policies in grades 2 and 3 is amazing to me. I can't even remember what I thought about anything when I was in grade 3. For all I know, I think we were still eating paste.
Nevertheless, while we should keep an eyeball on the south the way it surely was smart for the entire Europe and Asiatic continents in 1938, we also shouldn't ignore the people playing "let's pretend" right here at home... Like, good ol "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary, a self-described barracuda and general nasty dude who I watched for YEARS tear up people on Dragons Den and Shark Tank, trying to run for leadership of a party in an electoral system that we can't actively vote against him in.
I've tap-danced on the outskirts of two worlds my entire life. As the daughter of a doctor, I've been placed firmly upper middle class in the social strata of privileges. I've had education and means that place me outside of the world of the lower and lower-middle classes. But, not so far that I haven't been friends with the people who have had to eat a ketchup sandwich.
Equally far away from me, however, has been the upper class. My father always wanted to be part of the elite. He placed us in private school, which I hated. I was the vulgar commoner among the kids who would be silver spoon heirs to millions (this was the 80s when a million was still a lot). We were new money. Our father still had to work.
Though I've never been a part of it, I saw what it meant to be part of that 1%. It's literally an entirely different world; it's a social club of connections, nepotism, and favours. It's a place where children graduate and take their places under the wings of their parents' cronies. They train to build or inherit and enjoy a financial empire. Work for them is often more like a hobby, and social interaction frequently doubles as machination.
The mystery to me, as always, is why people want to try to pretend that they belong to this world nevertheless. It is not an achievement that is possible. That's why they are the 1%. Even if they obtained the means to enter the world, they're not likely to ever be a part of it the way the "old money" is. Not really. And yet, history has proven time and time again that people will continue to vote against their own best interests - and if not because they have been duped into believing that a multi-billionaire cares about their well being, then because they hope someone will overturn the table, and the pieces of the game of life will somehow fall out in their favour.
That's how America ended up with Trump.
But this is Canada, you say. Fine. Let's talk about the rich here in Canada.
If you go to conservative.ca, this treat is waiting for you as the very first slide:
Why yes, that's a bunch of conservatives playing beer pong in a frat house on campus, with Rona Ambrose front and centre. The same Rona Ambrose who vacationed on a billionaire's yacht while the PC party was flaking on Trudeau for taking his own vacation on a private island.
Let's be serious and honest with ourselves, and look at what this picture represents. This is an elite social club comprised of people of means discussing politics in an environment that many of our children will not belong to: an upper echelon frat house. If the photo wasn't telling enough, then the photos of the various club members add their own words. Loudly. Scant handfuls of well-dressed youth, predominantly white, predominantly male, being photographed hanging out in upscale restaurants.
Oh, but they're playing beer pong while perfectly coifed and in their suit jackets! So accessible and representative of the rest of us. Yes, this clearly looks like the cast of the next Animal House. NEVER YOU MIND about the subtexts inherent in this photo. Never you mind even the sheer irresponsibility of appealing to youth by reaching out first and foremost to them with a drinking game.
I bless Teen Vogue for taking an interest in engaging and educating youth, just as I did The Rolling Stone Magazine for bringing a higher standard of journalism to mainstream media. With our children being targeted and inducted into politics with sound bytes and Tweedicts, it's clear that a Canadian media entity has room to expand and grow as a legitimate political news source for kids. In the next couple of decades, I believe we might finally see a revolution in the political arena and party platforms go (rightfully) the way of the dodo.
Conservative politics has a place. But I fear it has gotten out of touch with caring about the interests of the majority of people, and I don't like the look of the party in my son's future, if they continue down their path. They certainly don't represent me or promote things to help me. And if they don't represent the interests of someone who's firmly middle class, what about the rest of us?
If it's a choice between worlds, I'll take the ketchup sandwich.
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