A shock and awe styled political spectrum has developed around the 2017 US presidency. Facts are skewed often, policy is generated inexplicably, decisions appear to be made hastily and what is most shocking – most surprising – earth shaking: We (observers of American political theatre) are shocked that promises are being kept.
In May 2012 my partner and I went to Los Angeles. We stayed in the subdued Thousand Oaks suburb. We drove the I5 to San Rafael in Marin County where we would stay with family after seeing the Los Angeles area. The drive along the I5 was lined with farmland growing a sizeable chunk of California’s exports.
In the fields deeply tanned men with black facial hair were bent over in the soil. Often they would have, what looked like soaked hoodies covering their necks from the unrelenting sun. The jobs are hard manual labor that many pampered North Americans, myself included, would eschew. Many of these workers are migrants.
The New York Times reports: California Farmers Backed Trump, but Now Fear Losing Field Workers.
“If you only have legal labor, certain parts of this industry and this region will not exist,” said Harold McClarty, a fourth-generation farmer in Kingsburg whose operation grows, packs and ships peaches, plums and grapes throughout the country. “If we sent all these people back, it would be a total disaster.” [my emphasis].
“A total disaster” would be had because farmers like McClarty did not know that their unabashedly anti-immigration presidential pick would actually enact anti-immigrant policies. The state of politics in United States and in Canada is one where we listen to our politicians wax on politically correct with zero-content and know all the while they will do as they wish and not as they promise. Along comes a demagogue president and his supporters are shocked that he followed through on his promise of anti-immigration policies. An anti-immigration sentiment is a terrible way to lead the free world. However, north of the border, Prime minister Justin Trudeau abandoned Canadian electoral reform, breaking a key campaign promise. Thanks for maintaining the status quo Mr. Trudeau. Perhaps this is all a good thing. Perhaps we need this cataclysmic presidency to finally drive mainstream politics off the cliff and rebuild it into something resembling evidence based, reason based, accountable governance.