During our recent Provincial election, two highway campaign signs were defaced with graffiti near our home. I am not averse to public protest: if this were Belarus, I might tolerate or even approve of defacing Mr. Lukashenko’s billboards. But this is contemporary British Columbia, where a centre-right party is politely duking it out against a centre-left party, and individual democratic rights are not at stake. Defacing a political campaign sign here in BC is a craven act of cowardice and stupidity.
Far more disturbing than the defacement itself was the actual graffiti on the signs: An “A” superimposed over an “O,” the symbol for anarchy, one of the many extremist political symbols currently on view in the troubled streets of the United States.
The origin of the symbol, dating back to the 1800s, is interesting: the word for anarchy starts with the letter A in many languages, and the O symbolizes order, meaning that with anarchy, there is perfect social order. Good luck with that.
At this moment in time, just before the American election, most of us Canadians are fully absorbed in the high-stakes drama playing out to the south of us. But we must daily remind ourselves: that is them, not us. We are Canadians, we reject political extremism and threats of violence of any stripe, right or left. We are comfortable with three, four or even five political parties in any given jurisdiction, and we don’t engage in the incredibly toxic binary political separation that currently rends the very fabric of American life.
Don’t let this American political extremism seep northward across our border. Be vigilant, and when any evidence of this toxic seepage is seen, move quickly, firmly, and most of all politely, to root it out.