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Kamloops News

JONESIE: Back to basics as Trump enters White House

January 19, 2017 - 3:42 PM



I’ve been stunned silent and that’s not like me.

Events south of the border continue to consume me and as a slave to social media, I would wager you are too.

Events. Makes it sound like a fender bender. It’s more like a Via Rail train collided with an oil train, which maybe isn’t a bad analogy. But what do I know.

I’ve been thinking about this for months, unsure of my own conclusions, not wanting to say anything until I felt sure of what I was seeing. I am trying to just observe objectively, but only recently. Until Nov. 8, I was invested like everyone else. My views are right, yours are wrong. I fought strangers and family members because that’s what you do. It’s what you should do, there’s no shame in that.

And of course I still do because convictions don’t and shouldn’t break easily. But that doesn't apply to everything; don’t misconstrue that.

As a journalist, every day since the U.S. Presidential Election was like a blow to both knees, my foundation, and maybe that’s also not a bad analogy. Two institutions of society took whacks to their credibility — legislators and the press. But I'm pretty sure democracy will be fine without those.

I typically and generally take some ownership and responsibility for both. And that the election result came as such a shock sent me inward, probing and questioning my convictions. I don’t know where else to go but the basics and start at the beginning.

One observation: That's hard to do these days. Social media has dialled the noise of politics to 11. Who can think through that? It’s like driving through a blinding white snowstorm of everyone’s opinions and who’s right and who’s wrong. Who likes driving the Coquihalla Highway at night in winter? You can’t even see the road. Of course there's going to be a crash.

I suppose that brings me to Donald Trump. I wrote about him in June and I may have been onto something. But he’s the least interesting part of this. He’s not the disease, he’s the symptom. Patient’s status remains unclear.

One question I do find interesting, though: If Obama was the pendulum swinging from Bush and Trump extended the arc away from Obama — whattaya think are we in for next?

No, I’ve had enough of the politics itself for a while: I need to know why people made this choice, and the role the media played and will play now that the 'what' is determined. Yes, I am aware the U.S. is like a whole other country and stuff, but this movement, this — whatever this is — knows no borders. It will have direct or indirect implications in Canada, in B.C. And it's my responsibility to try and understand it objectively. 

It also has direct implications for me, personally. Trump’s people are my people. My friends, all my family. Like most of his constituents (fans?) they’ve been making this bold, extreme expression. I argued with them, I thought they were nuts — and I still do. I mean, come on. But that's how far I have strayed from where I'm from.

I used to fight for my people all the time. This time I could barely understand them.

What does that make me?

See what I mean by back to basics?

Marshall Jones is the editor of

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