I remember a confounding demonstration that Michael Moore presented in one of his documentaries to show how different societies provided health care. He seemed to walk up to a stranger’s front door on a Canadian street and unannounced open it, presumably something you could not do today in an American neighbourhood where doors are all safely locked against whatever’s outside. Now this display of Canadian open and fearless neighbourliness made me wonder where in Canada Moore had performed this demonstration; maybe Rosedale, Forest Hill or The Bridal Path, because where I grew up in the city of Toronto, Canada before Mr. Moore had begun documenting societies, I had to carry a key to open my parents’ door; or remain on the street till sunrise. This perspective of Canadian openness at least in the part of Canada, or in the family that I grew up in, seems to parallel what I’ve been hearing almost forever about making laws to control gun violence, a solution I can’t recall ever hearing to stop the increasing number of shootings on Toronto streets where I’ve assumed we’ve had plenty of restrictive gun laws with the only one ever at issue being a federal long gun registry (eventually rescinded) that recorded the names of rifle owners. And despite the seeming increasing nightly reports of shootings in Toronto we hear nothing about increasing legal control of guns; maybe because no one’s ever thought you could get a gun in Toronto; at least that’s what I thought in the years before Mayor Miller’s scathing this is unacceptable response to a publicised Toronto shooting about 10 years and several mayors ago, the first of the many shootings that now seem to happen nightly. One would think that those who say that gun laws could stop someone from shooting a bunch of innocent people in the U.S. might consider the effect of gun laws in Canada where hardly anyone ever got shot on Toronto streets until 10 years ago, maybe the kind of society back then that might have given Michael Moore the false impression that Canadians never locked their front doors. In fact my impression that anyone would allow neighbours easy access to their home seemed to be created by American movies and television shows in the days when one seemed to never hear of mass shootings or bombings of innocent strangers.
The photo below from a June 9, 2012 Toronto Star depicts the aftermath of a shooting in the Toronto Eaton Centre food court.
Canada’s latest Liberal government minister on her way to discuss Canada’s international economic plight with the new American administration announced she’d be speaking for Canada’s middle class. Middle class, a vague sociological expression denoting a privileged group that everyone wants to be a member of, whose every effort seems motivated by a desire to be designated upper class.
I wrote what’s below under “Haves and Have Nots” in October 2015 when media began mocking Mr. Trump’s white working class supporters:
Lately, maybe because politicians on both sides of the Canada United States border sympathizing with the plight of the middle class, and dismissing “the working class” as reported in U.S., and Canada, I’ve begun thinking that maybe its the middle class and neither the working class nor the filthy rich like Mr. Trump and the Clintons who are responsible for the rise of haves and have-nots here in North America.
What’s been happening to us in the West is happening to both men and women. The better life style advertised by retailers who market imported consumables are doing so at the expense of people whose jobs they have exported or whose wages they keep low. Women in the families of those running those global entities do exceedingly well whether they or their relatives are CEO‘s, CFO‘s, COO‘s, VP of whatever, or president. But the many women with title less relatives or associates will invariably work in an office cubicle recording data, in a call center responding to consumer complaints or as a cashier receiving cash for items imported from Mexico, China and South East Asia, and will work more than one job to survive, experience low pay and forever face the threat of having their job transported to far away places, in one case to a place as far away as India.
I read an online article yesterday (August 22, 2016) that suggested that though Mr. Trump’s supporters have been identified as men who have lost jobs to current free trade arrangements, he is better received in areas where people are still working and have benefited from an improving economy. Those who one might have expected to be among Mr. Trump’s devotees, those whose jobs have gone to places like Mexico or even as far off as India favour Mrs. Clinton and her Democrats.
That article reminds me of a Migration News review of the 2012 election that characterizes voters according to skin tone and racial background. Their analysis indicates that “Obama won the majority of votes from every subgroup of voters except white men and the elderly.” by which we can assume that white men and the elderly voted for Republican Romney. And Mr. Obama won 80% of the non white vote. These results seem to confirm that Mr. Trump’s followers may be those who still have jobs and are pleased with their prospects simply because it’s difficult to imagine that the non white voters 80% of whom voted for Obama, and many of whom are likely immigrants are better employed than their white counterparts. Now of course I am biased, perhaps because for years I’ve been reading that Republicans favour the rich, and because I believe that the elderly are better off than the young of whatever race, gender or colour.
Consequently I’d recommend that more accurate assessments of election results should be based on incomes and not race, skin colour, or even gender. I think Mr. Powel’s Republican affiliation may be illustrative, for in the 2008 election he supported Mr. Obama the Democrat, but seemed to be less supportive of him before the 2012 election when he said that he favoured Obama in 2008 because of the historic aspect of Obama’s candidacy, a motive he suggested that had ceased to be relevant in 2012.