Someone is always happy to think for you

I meet an inordinate number of Albertans who hate President Obama, hate the Affordable Healthcare Act passed by Obama and vocally support the American President-elect who is a proven liar, womanizer, bully and just plain nasty.
Interestingly, these opinions seem to be found most often among people who enjoy snowbird status or are supporters of the extreme right.
It’s ironic. Many of the same bashers of Obamacare are snowbirds who rush home before their six months are up so that they won’t miss out on their publically-funded universal health care benefits.
It’s both a mystery and arrogance that we should have any opinion whatsoever on American health care!
I’ve listened to many academics on Canadian radio and TV shows discussing the era of ‘post-truth’.
Their collective conclusion is that regardless of the evidence, people today are so hardened in their positions that they will accept untruths over truth and contradictory positions to their own moral beliefs to stay loyal to their positions.
That reality can be explained in two words—successful propaganda.
My hope for the New Year is Albertans will become proud Canadians again not pseudo-Americans.
Specifically, that we start respecting ourselves enough to constructively participate in rational, respectful public discourse rather than name-calling and hysteria.
However, that would require many of us to end our steady diet of American news channels and divorce ourselves from the addicting rants and untruths that permeate social media.
It is folly to continue to let unaccountable, talking heads and fake news stories created by the invisible and unknown to shape our opinions.
My hope for this year is Canadians will read multiple publications–magazines, newspapers, books and listen to investigative news shows, history and documentaries from sources still governed by rules of conduct with professional oversight.
If your sole source of information is the internet and twitter, talking heads and columnists, it’s unlikely you will ever hear both sides of a story.
Yet every story has two sides and in a democracy it is critical they both be heard.
If we do not think for ourselves, but let someone else think for us then don’t be too surprised that the long-term outcome is often shocking and contrary to what you wanted or expected.

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