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One of the reasons for Jagmeet Singh’s rising popularity has been how he handled some difficult moments on the campaign trail.
Singh responded well to Trudeau’s blackface debacle and demonstrated a level of empathy that is rarely seen in a politician.
Singh also speaks in a way that makes him sound much more like a regular person, rather than the obviously scripted and over-practiced cadences of Trudeau and Scheer.
However, Singh has undone much of the goodwill he generated and has sadly revealed himself to be yet another divisive politician who has contempt for those who disagree with him.
During a recent press conference, Jagmeet Singh straight-up said: “We don’t respect Conservatives.”
“Good to know @theJagmeetSingh doesn’t respect conservatives. It’s why I won’t vote for him. #cdnpoli I’d want a PM to respect all Canadians.”
Now, if Singh had said “we disagree with Conservatives,” or we will “campaign against Conservatives,” that wouldn’t be a problem.
After all, Singh is a socialist, and socialists generally aren’t big fans of Conservatives.
However, for Singh to go beyond opposition and disagreement, and to instead say he doesn’t “respect Conservatives,” is a disgrace.
A democracy cannot survive with some level of mutual respect. After all, we all have to live together after the election, and somehow find a way to keep our nation united after a divisive campaign.
Yet, with so many Canadians already rightfully outraged, and with our nation already dangerously divided, Singh’s comments are like throwing gasoline on the fire of those divisions.
If Singh doesn’t respect Conservatives, he’s actually saying he doesn’t respect millions of Canadians.
And if Singh doesn’t respect millions of Canadians, then why should Canadians respect him?
Really, if Singh doesn’t show respect, why should he get respect?
Making this even worse is that many Conservatives have spoken out favourably about Singh when he’s faced racism or prejudice. Singh has repaid that kindness and non-partisanship by saying that Conservatives aren’t worthy of his respect.
So, the next time Singh faces discrimination, millions of Canadians who would have otherwise defended him will justifiably say, “well, if he doesn’t respect us, then nobody should respect him, and he doesn’t deserve to be defended any longer.”
Singh had an opportunity to transcend some of Canada’s deepening partisan divisions, and help tamp down the growing anger and division in Canada. Instead, he has squandered that opportunity and made those divisions even worse.