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Such a low bar

Stop telling me how good you are for not tolerating bad things.
ROb opinion 2000-1333

I'm getting a bit tired of people — politicians mostly — telling me how good they are for not tolerating things we all know are very bad.

In recent weeks — through the 'silly season' of federal and municipal elections, and more recently at the provincial Legislature with whistle-blower accusations of sexual harassment, code of conduct violations and just plain ass-hole-ery — the go-to response from those in power has been to denounce these horrible things.

No kidding.

And then some will even 'double-down' by telling us how they have come to be so very understanding of the profoundly obvious.

"I have two daughters of my own ..."  "My parents were teachers ..."  "I grew up in an ethno-diverse and impoverished background..."

Not the point.

We are all human beings. We have all come from somewhere, all had burdens of varying degrees. We should all fully realize rights and wrongs ... especially those of us who are in office or running for office.  Setting the benchmark so low that we first have to explain that we are against racism or sexism or harassment, or child abuse — well that is a sad commentary for all of us.

Standing at a podium, grasping a microphone or staring into a news camera and telling us that sexual harassment or racism, or violence "is bad"? Are you serious? 

An Alberta provincial politician — a person who holds a ministerial position, has been in elected office since 2019, and who is also a trained lawyer - on Friday afternoon, that same person told a nationally-televised press conference that sexual harassment is bad.

"Sexual harassment of any form or type should never ben acceptable in our society," he said, replying to a media question about sexual harassment allegations in another provincial department.

A month before, a local politician stood in front of a gathered group of supporters and was pleased to tell those followers that the political party he was now happily a member of, was not a racist organization.

Is this how low the bar has got? 

Sadly, in many cases, when someone makes what should be a head-shakingly obvious and near-Neanderthal statement like this, some people will actually applaud them for their stance and their commitment to... to...  to what? To firmly grasping the lowest possible rung of the ladder — and feeling accomplished? 

To these people who seem so darned proud of themselves for stepping over such a low bar, how about this .. instead of stating the obvious — the painfully obvious — why not try to solve the issue? We all know these hot-button topics are bad. Those in power are supposed to be there to do something more about it than just agreeing with us. We don't need their agreement or approval (they got that when they got the most votes in the election).  We need their action. 

We need those who actually can make a difference to do more than just fill the air with words. How about actually saying something?

Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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