The elected individual representing us on the national stage in Ottawa has made a clear statement that she stands for a demagogic political and social movement that supports white supremacy and bigotry, rejects scientific evidence, propagates conspiracy theories, and undermines democratic institutions.
Indeed, our (Portage-Lisgar) MP (Candice Bergen) has rightfully condemned last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But who in their right mind wouldn’t?
Do oppressive words and ideologies need to become abhorrent actions with real consequences—from people that look and think like oneself, no less—before the message hits ever closer to home? Should one have to wait for extremely radical views to gain a violent, or deadly, foothold in a floundering democracy before saying “that’s it, I’m out”? Has history taught us anything?
Ms. Bergen, are you really out, though? It’s one thing to cry foul at ostensibly the most atrocious and damaging act of the MAGA movement to date, which jeopardized the lives of your privileged, lawmaking counterparts south of the border. It’s another thing to show your constituents north of the border you openly and fully dissociate yourself from any toxic ideologies or groups that lead to the perpetuation of such violence and intolerance in the first place.
And you haven’t. Not through apology nor explanation for why you would choose to insensitively endorse a white nationalist agenda while holding public office. Is Canada not “great” enough? Yes, I know, “it’s only a MAGA hat.” For five long years, I’ve been hearing that same weak argument and it’s not like the world didn’t know what MAGA followers stood for, even before Trump’s election. However, its symbolism, even in jest, sends a strong message to the people you represent in Portage-Lisgar and across Canada. Constituents like myself would like to know where you stand, Ms. Bergen. Perhaps, no answer is an answer?
Within reason, I am a proponent of free speech and the diversity of individual opinions and values. When those opinions and values intentionally or complacently harm or oppress marginalized groups, disregard human rights, or threaten democracy, I believe they demand swift accountability—particularly on the part of our elected officials.
Josh Wright