Politicians’ Imaginary Friends
I’m going through a bit of emotional turmoil this morning. I came out of my painting studio to find Maggie watching the gold medal hockey game between Canada and Sweden. You have to understand how significant this is.
Maggie hates hockey. She wouldn’t go to see the Senators play if we were given free front row, centre ice tickets and somebody else offered to pay the $300 it costs for a beer and a hotdog.
But, there she is; eyes glued to the television watching the game as if she had been a fan all of her life. She’s even taken to calling the score out to me when somebody gets a goal.
I’ve retreated to the library and think I must be the only person in Canada not watching the game.
To be honest, I’m not in here because I have anything momentous to write but I don’t want to watch hockey and I have a bunch of dog-work to do like cleaning brushes, priming some canvases and I’m procrastinating.
“1 – 0 Bear.”
I’ll get to that stuff in a bit but first I wanted to talk about politicians, their imaginary friends and how they consult with Canadians.
One of the most common references used by politicians lately is how they’ve consulted with a) voters b) Canadians c) Ontarians (pick the province of your choice) d) taxpayers e) the middle class and/or f) every day people.
Well – I’m every day people and a member of at least a couple of those other categories and nobody has ever consulted me. I asked Maggie if she had ever been consulted and she said no she hadn’t which probably explains why she’s watching hockey. She wants to join the in-crowd.
I did an informal survey of family and friends, some of whom are far less ordinary than I am and none of them have ever been consulted either and yet politicians from Andrea Horvath and Kathleen Wynne to Rob Ford, Tim Hudak and Stephen Harper have all claimed to have consulted with and to speak for us
Jim Flaherty told us he consulted with Canadians in putting together his budgets. Allison Redford Alberta’s princess – sorry – I meant premier said she had consulted with the good folks of that province; Pauline Marois consulted with Quebecers in between Klan meetings and, of course, Justin Trudeau said it again last night.
Well, actually, to be fair; he didn’t actually claim to have consulted with Canadians, just to speak on behalf of some of us – the middle class primarily and it was during that speech I had an ephiphany. Now I know who these guys and guyettes are consulting with – they all have imaginary friends and that’s who they talk to.
“2 – 0 Bear”
During his earlier election campaigns, Stephen Harper made reference to his imaginary friends when talking up some of his campaign promises and last night, Justin Trudeau talked about his friend Nathalie.
Nathalie doesn’t actually exist but she is one hell of a decent sort. She’s a single mom earning $40,000 worth of imaginary money every year to provide for herself and her imaginary son. She goes to her imaginary job every day on the very real Champlain bridge in the also real Montreal and then returns to her imaginary home at the end of the day.
She’s a good mom too. She cuts up imaginary orange and lemon wedges for her imaginary son’s imaginary soccer team and no doubt she’s watching the Canada vs Sweden game right now, even as we speak, on her imaginary big screen television.
We’ve reached the point in time in our democracy where our political leaders and the wanna be’s no longer talk with us. They consult with small special interest groups and then create imaginary scenarios and people to rationalize and justify whatever it is they’re trying to do.
Who are they trying to convince – them or us?
Can you imagine, even for a moment, John F. Kennedy, Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. trying to convince people of something by talking about their imaginary friends?
Increasingly, politics is being reduced to a level of adolescent thinking that borders on bizarre.
We’re adults out here. You guys in office or who aspire to be in office can talk to us like adults – if you can summon up the intellectual capacity for it. We don’t need cartoon ads or imaginary friends to help us understand the issues.
What we need is some political leadership – not the simplistic, self-serving foolishness we have now.
“Bear! Canada won the gold. ‘We beat Sweden!”
‘We?’ Good God. As if it isn’t confusing enough, now I have to try and figure out whether the Maggie – hockey fan or the Maggie I married is the imaginary Maggie.
I’m beginning to understand why Clint Eastwood talked to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention. I thought it was dementia but apparently it’s not only politics – it’s normal.
© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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