Populism is scary because it is the product of economic despair, inequality, and yes, racism and xenophobia and it’s very much present in Canada.
I am in favour of diversity, equality, immigration, trade, and globalization. Because of this, I am trying very hard to stay optimistic about the future of humankind. I guided by reason and evidence-based policy, and believe that climate change is a dominant priority.
Too many people I converse with deeply pessimist about the economic future of the country and have reservations about diversity. They believe more in moral certainty than reason and evidence, are disdainful and distrustful of media, government and of scientific expertise. Communities which have the least contact with with minority groups are the most hostile to immigration, only proving that they are led by fear and not facts.
We are slowly turning into a society separated along fault lines of education, class and gender. This is why populism is scary.
Doug Ford and his Ontario Progressive Conservatives won thanks to a preponderance of working-class, white male electoral support. They voted for what they cared about even if it was at the detriment of numerous others.
What scares me the most are the people who don’t vote for a party’s policies, but in their anger, they vote to burn the house down using any means possible, even if the history of populist movements show they’ve rarely worked out.