Opinion by Eva Sartorius

America does need a reset. Perhaps more of an overhaul, and its own kind of green revolution. A change of path that has nothing to do with climate change. It has to choose the path that will take it past what one prominent dissident calls ‘end stage capitalism’.

The first few times I heard the term I moved past it without taking much heed, but then the catastrophic election that put Donald Trump in the oval office. What bothered me the most was the fact that he just didn’t give a dam about the conventions of the office, and had (has) little interest in the actual job itself. He is what he has always been the lazy son of a rich man. Not exactly stupid but not inclined to learn anything. There were things he should have know because he had been hanging out with the top flight politicians for decades. The one that floored me was that Obama had to tell him that he had to replace all of Obama’s people starting with the entire staff of one wing of the white house. They are still not staffing up critical positions. For instance Rex Tillerson is leaving many posts empty. To the point that Hilary Clinton obeserved that they had no idea what they didn’t know and had no interest in finding out.

The worst of it isn’t these yahoos playing at world politics, it is the people who put them there. The ‘donor class’ or the -as I like to call them ‘The batship crazy billionaires’. The money these guys have poured into the machine to get the results they want is mind boggling. If we had the money that they used to drive that country to the edge we could have wiped out AIDS. But that is not what they want to do.

For some reason they really hate the world and 99% of the people and are determined to grind it down. I could go into a long gripe here about the Kochs, Mercers, and Devosses but they are not my concern this time.

Its the reality star lifestyle. The problem with this genre is that it makes things look too easy. The first thing about the survivors was that they weren’t alone, and they only had to stay for a while. They didn’t have to live there for the rest of their lives. Then came Naked and Afraid…America’s got talent, the Voice. What these shows don’t make explicitly clear is that it takes real talent, and serious amounts of work. The people who hitch their wagons to those stars have to go back to their real lives. When Trump goes back to his real life i wonder if the new show will be Celebrity Corrections.

But it is happening here too. After the BC election the Leader of the Green Party walked out and using his first, and likely greatest, five minutes of fame didn’t talk about the environment. It was the campaign financing and money coming in from out of the country. Something about ‘The Wild West.’

We are falling under the thrall too. In Alberta we are not just blessed with a son of a former PM for a PM, we also have the daughter of a former NDP party leader as our new party leader and Premier.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation came swanning in bless the new UPC with its ideas about how to trim 10 billion from our budget with out beating up the doctors and teachers. He was going to save money on the retiring civil servants. I don’t think that is the best deal ever. It called to mind Govenor Brownbeck of Kansas who implemented all those fiscal ideas everyone was crooning about and bankrupted the state. While the rest of Kansas was left to clean up the mess he was given a job as some sort of ambassor to the world for what passes for religious freedom in the States. Here is a life lesson – the guy that makes the mess frequently doesn’t have to clean it up.

Government is a matter of details, and good government is boring. Trump has made American politics alarming revolting, and unexpected. He has no manners, no understanding, and no concern for the damage he is doing.

The CTF may have some manners, they’re discrete. They ‘protect the privacy of their donors’, so kind of them. It could also be that they don’t want everyone to know where the money is coming from. In the States a bunch of these groups which were made to look like orgainically grown local concerns were actually all the result of Koch money getting passed around.

We need to make some real choices here. Decide what our own conservatism is instead of taking on the slogans and concepts of a right wing that is trying to rip up the social contract they do have. They like to call it the Shinning city on the hill. But not so much. Canada is rated the 8th most peaceful country in the world, America is something like 112th. Our life expenctancy out rates theirs as does our education sytem.

Does anyone want to give up medicare, knowing that there is an education for each child, or that understanding that as silly as It may sound when Trudeau the younger corrects with ‘peoplekind’ we don’t have an idiot with a great big nuclear button that works, and since the last budget bill passed a CIA that doesn’t have congessional oversight anymore, it reports to Trump and Pompeo sort of like he wanted the FBI to.

We can’t sit back and relax thinking well at least it’s not like it is down there. We have to make sure it doesn’t get that way. Campaign finance reform for starters. Getting protectionist about trade. Some bozo got up on TV and announced that he agreed with Trump that we were being very unfair to the US on trade – the subject was dairy. He admitted that they would not be happy with anything less than the dismantling of supply side economics. He suggested that since we only had 9000 dairy farms in Canada maybe we should just give them that one. But that is not the only marketing board we have, and once they got a foot in they would not stop there and 9,000 farms is still 9,000 farms.

It is easy to criticise supply side system but capitalism blows chunks too. I found one piece that suggested that if the labourers on some diary farms in the states were to get paid a living wage the cost of milk would have to double.

That could make our supply rather perilous. When I lived down by Drayton Valley there were a lot of diary farms around. They didn’t milk outside They had to have nice snug warm barns. That is an added cost. But choke these guys to death and we will have no option but to buy American diary at whatever price they decree.

These are the choices that lay before us. Do we want some tool in a shinny suit telling us to go along or do we say no, I am Canadian and this is what Canada is to us. It,s not a reality show, its a place where we live and will pass on to our children and grand children.

Eva Sartorius

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