If you haven’t listened to the interview between Canadian conservative talk show giant Charles Adler and United Conservative Party of Alberta (UCP) leader Jason Kenney last night, you should. (Podcast listings here – Direct MP3 Download here). It is a barn burner, and it is exactly what there is too little of right now in all political media. I sent him the letter below. We can only hope that his interview is a watershed in the media, *all* media, questioning leaders much more directly and purposely.
Update: Mr. Adler has taken some heat for his interview. More on that after the letter.
Dear Mr. Adler,
First I must say that I write to you as a dyed in the wool leftist. I have never been a member of a political party and I do my best to keep an open mind but also do not shy away from taking a partisan position. I have listened to your radio show on and off for years. I have rolled my eyes in leftist despair and derision on more than one occasion. That said, I hope you can take this as a deeply sincere comment on your interview last night with UCP leader Jason Kenney.
I want to thank you for proving that Conservatism can today include compassion and deference to fact, and that it can evolve with society.
I want to thank you for laying bare the fact that too many mainstream Conservative politicians today, including Kenney in Alberta, Sheer in Ottawa, and Wilkinson in BC are increasingly giving a pass to hateful, vitriolic, and downright obscene behaviour and rhetoric emanating from and growing on the far-right wing of western society and too often finding a quiet home in those supposedly mainstream conservative parties.
Human thought is not a monolith, as much as I or any of us might wish that his or her opinion is the only true and righteous one, and should be the only one in force across the land, that is simply factually incorrect. What’s more, humanity has progressed furthest and fastest when diversity of opinion and search for evidence was respected and used as a path to find and settle on the best rather than the most popular solution.
Your interview gave me hope that Conservative media and commentators will recognize the danger of allowing this tacit acceptance of bigoted, antiquated, and destructive views to flourish within mainstream parties.
I hope you continue to call a spade a spade or to be more blunt, a bigot a bigot, a racist a racist, and a Nazi a Nazi. I look at the world, especially the world of political discourse that we live in today and I can’t believe how far we have fallen. Ten or even five years ago, me mentioning the word “Nazi” in a letter to a media commentator would have rightly been a stamp for the letter to go straight into the round file. Yet today, we have actual nazi and other far-right groups legitimately lurking within the very heart of our political discourse.
It is an incredibly dangerous time and it won’t be solved by the “Left” screaming at the “Right” to smarten up. That will only further the divide. The change has to come from within. I believe that people are generally good. I believe that Canadians are generally progressive and tolerant, whether they identify as Tory or Liberal or whatever else. We need more trusted Conservative voices to speak up for and stand for basic human values of kindness and respect.
We need more Conservative media to hold Conservative politicians to a higher standard. We need media of all stripes to question more regardless of their editorial or ownerships bent. Thank you for doing just that last night.
3854 6th Avenue
Port Alberni, BC
Unceded Traditional Territory of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath.
You can see his explanation of why he was so persistent with Kenney on Twitter here. Or I have reproduced the thread in the images below.