I have hesitated to write before now. It was not until I read the Editorial by David Shanahan, entitled “Beware of Darkness”. That opinion reflected my own feelings over several months of reading in North Grenville of the Provincial decision regarding building a ‘Correctional Facility’ on their land.
I understood what the Province was attempting and followed the points made about choices, consultation, and cooperation. I sympathized with those who felt ‘NO’ and I researched the many points made by those who did not feel that way. Soon, the mood of the community became charged with an agenda that pushed me away from the ‘NO’ voices. I started to hear people move away from providing common sense and well-researched data, toward the building of an irrational platform to attack those who did not share their point of view. As an example of the former, the mantra of ‘increased crime’ became an unverified but (perhaps) scary scenario to raise. For the latter, the extremists took on our local council, painting them with pejorative brush strokes without a whiff of the gratitude many of them should feel for having such an obviously ‘blue sky’, transparent, refreshing approach, and manner of our new municipal council in Kemptville.
Then came the usual indefatigable defender of human rights and an esteemed voice of one of the fairest and most well-researched musers and debaters in our community, Dr. David Shanahan. As soon as I read his following editorial words, I knew it was time to respond:
“Last week, I wrote an article that gently criticized the municipal council, and was then attacked for denying all the good they’ve done. This is in spite of the fact that the article did say they were the best council we’ve ever had since amalgamation and, myriad articles in praise of their efforts over the past almost three years.”
When I hear a warning from a person of his stature and credibility to “Beware the Darkness”, then I believe that it is time to heed, not the warning, but the inevitable potential of misdirected negativity replacing the constructive voices in our society/community. Ad hominems are not appropriate against the messenger (Council or Mayor), perhaps they are never appropriate; however, as said further on by Dr. Shanahan:
“Democracy should mean that we can openly and critically debate issues without resorting to winner-loser behaviour. Agree to disagree, and feel free to state your position either way. Drawing lines in the sand generally means everyone loses in the long run.”
Controlling the thoughts and/or opinions of others is the darkness to which we have witnessed like a foreboding shadow over democracy as propaganda has once again returned to become as virulent in social media as has been the recent hacking of our corporate and government infrastructure. I am feeling that the NO voices in Kemptville are going too far and have lost their initial rational and objectivity. They certainly needed to be heard and have made some good points for our various levels of government to consider. The ad hominem and gaslighting is distracting at best! Thank you Dr. Shanahan for your tempered viewpoint.
You must understand well how Dr. Fauci must feel with all the misinformation about him, fed to the some of the American public.
Graeme Waymark, C.A., B.A., M.A.