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 hereDirect 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.

Sincerely,
Chris

Chris Alemany
3854 6th Avenue
Port Alberni, BC
V9Y4M2
Unceded Traditional Territory of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath.
h:250-723-0889
m: 250-731-7930


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.

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5 Comments

  1. Just finished a quick read of Adam Olson’s post about politics being based on relationships, but there is a set of relationships that are often left out of the equation. We speak much of the interaction between humans and between human factions, or communities of thought. We often miss the relationship between human intellectual and emotional constructs when they run into the workings of the natural world: too frequently, this consists of using a wilful ignorance or twisting of the workings of physics and biology to justify the continuation of those aspects of human interaction that best serve personal or group interests. This striving for benefit is at the heart of much of the churlishness that drives people like Kenney, Moe, Scheer, Ford et al, to pander to the forces of reaction. Folks may not see this phenomenon as straying from some version of what they recognize as truth, but only because they are unwilling to accept that there might be a position that does align with physics and biology that is very different from their own view and which, if accepted, would strongly indicate that they change direction. Even with Adler, we might do well to keep in mind that most of conservatism, even tempered with compassion and knowledge, is about conserving a position of privilege, often at the expense of the well-being of society in general, and of the shared living space required to maintain life in a fragile planetary system. Thanks for doing this.

  2. Adler’s interview with Kenny was nothing other than a nasty prolonged attack on him and the UCP. I wonder would he ever have the gall to put Trudeau through the wringer like this! I have lost all respect for Adler!

    1. Having listened to Adler for many years, I have no doubt he would have been just as hard on Trudeau. If we are to have a healthy democracy we must allow for our favourite candidates to be held to account. We have to expect that politicians will be able to stand up and take the heat and explain themselves and that there are consequences when they or those who they explicitly or implicitly support do something wrong. That is how we all become better citizens, politicians and members of the public alike. Otherwise we descend into tribalism, which is exactly what has happened of late.

      1. Charles adler adds more to tribalism than anyone …its identity politics that are do scary …he did not even give him the decency of giving an answer before he started speaking over him

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