Slander is not an argument
Author: Scott Pettigrew – Contributor
Brad Wall calls for 15 per cent more refugees to Saskatchewan; “We’ll do our part”, he said. That is the message sent to the country, and the world, from our Premier. In the same breath, the Hon. Mr. Wall mentioned his concern for several aspects of the federal government’s refugee strategy; a question of “how”, not “if.” Nobody is saying that we don’t have a moral responsibility as Canadians to help those in need; at least nobody important, anyways. Almost nobody is saying that Syrian refugees are prone to suddenly become radical Jihadists because of their faith. Nobody is saying these things. Yet, if you listened to the Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and much of the heavily-biased media, that’s exactly what they’re implying. I, however, am not taking the bait. In fact, I think it’s time that somebody ‘steps up to bat’ to defend our premier.
First off, let’s get our facts straight. Brad Wall is the most popular premier in the country. He’s facilitated record economic and population growth in Saskatchewan, taking us from a have-not province to a national leader. He has also been ranked as the best fiscal manager in the country, while also investing unprecedented amounts of money into infrastructure, health care and so much more. In short, Brad Wall is one of the most widely respected and successful politicians in the country, which only makes him more of a target for those who want to destroy his reputation for their own political gain. Nobody can argue with his results; numbers can’t be attacked by critical theory. So instead of focusing empirical and logical criticism, those on the left aligned against him have been eager to stamp a label on him at every opportunity.
As of late, some “interesting sources” (blogs, keyboard warriors and other reputable media outlets like “The Beaverton”) have launched a full-frontal attack against our premier. Many have gone as far to say they are “ashamed” of their Premier, and the American hashtag “refugees welcome” has been co-opted by many Canadians within the discussion of Wall’s statement. I personally love the hashtag, as it’s an excellent way to weed out people who have absolutely no idea what Brad Wall did or didn’t say. What did the man actually say? He advocated for increased screening in order to stop dangerous terrorists from abusing the crisis to infiltrate our country. He also called attention to the large number of voices asserting that the infrastructure is simply not ready for the arrival of the refugees. Citizenship Judges, Diplomats, among several other prominent figures are voicing their logistical concerns, and criticizing the current strategy of the federal government. He also commended the Canadian tradition of offering safe asylum to those fleeing war and crisis, and praised the Liberals for prioritizing the issue. Overall, he asked that the federal government handle the issue on an outcome basis, and not on a self-imposed deadline (a view echoed by many in the UN). Which is, of course, an incredibly logical position to take on an important issue, not a product of bigotry or xenophobia, as many would have you think.
In short, the claims that you’re hearing on the Internet are simply wrong. You can debate whether our security and infrastructure needs can be realized within Trudeau’s refugee deadline; that’s a conversation that has two politically valid perspectives. What can you not debate logically? Whether or not our Premier is a “bigot”, or a “racist”, or a “xenophobe,” as so many on the Internet like to claim. They’re not arguments; they’re slander, used to attack political opposition. And you know what? I’m absolutely fed up with it. I’m fed up with ignorant, ideologically bigoted individuals making outlandish claims about public figures and politicians, and all of the pressure falling on the accused. It’s time that we stop pandering to baseless accusations, and start holding those individuals and outlets to their accusations.
I know that many people have a hard time grasping the reality that Brad Wall is a good man, with good intentions, and proven results. I know that for many people, conservative fiscal policy creating a positive impact for everybody in a society is a reality that they simply cannot push through their ideological minds. I get all of that. What I don’t get? Why the shrillest voices, from the furthest fringes, sare playing such a prominent role in shaping our national and provincial conversations; and it’s time that we all “go to bat” for the truth.