Editorial – Insurmountable afflictions

Jeff Burgar

“He is ugly,” the person said. “I never thought about how ugly he is. But he’s really ugly. I’m not going to vote for him.”

This talk was over last week’s presidential debate – Donald Trump versus Joe Biden. You may have watched it. Or you may have seen news reports on the action. Your favourite website might have filled you in on all the details, according to their particular bent. Your friends or relatives might have told you all about it. In one way or another, you have probably been “informed.”

And thus, have been told a conclusion or a result, or formed your own opinion. And, like the person above, it was pretty well a pre-ordained conclusion.

This particular person didn’t like Trump to start with. Now add another reason for the dislike. Ugly. A reason as baseless as the Russian Collusion Hoax or the China virus stories or how violence in American cities is the president’s fault. Certainly, no reason to vote against Trump.

Or put this another way. A candidate being ugly is no reason to vote for the other guy or girl in any election, is it? Yet time and time again, this is exactly how we react. A person’s good looks or beauty really does collect votes. Then of course, there is the “name recognition,” put to good use by so many politicians. MacKay [Peter and Elmer] and Trudeau [Justin and Pierre] being just two of hundreds or thousands of examples.

In fact, so much of our nature seems to be not in finding reasons to like a candidate, even if that is how it looks at first glance. It’s the opposite. To explain, for many people, it isn’t so much that Justin has a famous name, but whoever opposes him usually does not.

Hillary Clinton, no matter how distasteful she actually is, still managed to narrowly beat out Trump in the popular vote. Much of that no doubt due to her name.

It might not trouble you in the slightest to take your local shopping to a town 70-100 km or more away. Not if a local business, right across the road, irritated you in some way. Maybe one of their clerks was snarky. Maybe you didn’t like it when the boss turned down your club’s request for a donation. Maybe you didn’t like it when the same boss said something you didn’t like at a meeting someplace. So off we go, down the highway, or scanning the online stores.

It never occurs to you none of those places support your clubs. None of them pay taxes in your town that supports local services and facilities.

And snarky? Heck, most of those places are too busy taking your money to have time to snark at you. Which is really the bottom line here. None really have had any opportunity to do something to you that you didn’t like.

Don’t like the way a president looks? Next thing you know, his opponent is staring into your eyes with the most sincere expression he can muster.

These days, in this world, it really is true for some: Four years of real accomplishments against 47 years of mediocrity can easily go flying right out the window.

Especially when you are “ugly.”

Share this post