Robinson, Pelosi, and the Pretense of Western Progressive Politics


Communication is an integral aspect of a politician’s role. They engage in discussions at legislatures and committees with voters and reporters. They find themselves speaking on television, radio, or other prominent platforms if fortunate.

The attention they receive is validating, signifying importance and relevance. Politicians realize that the larger their role, the more cautious they must be in their interactions with audiences, regardless of size. This is particularly true for cabinet ministers and leaders, as excessive unscripted communication can be risky.

Pelosi (Credits: KPBS)

Hence, politicians often resort to forgettable or meaningless rhetoric, sticking closely to talking points and embracing clichés. However, sometimes, politicians become too comfortable, leading to candid and revealing statements about their true thoughts and beliefs.

Two politicians, one Canadian and the other American, recently chose refreshing honesty over the usual rhetorical fare, specifically in discussions related to Gaza. The first less-known politician is Selina Robinson, currently serving as the Minister of Post-Secondary Education in the socialist provincial government of British Columbia, Canada.

Speaking on Zoom as part of a pro-Israeli advocacy group’s panel of Jewish politicians on January 30, Robinson made remarkable remarks that not only revised history but also perpetuated a racist trope.

She described pre-Israel Palestine as a “crappy piece of land with nothing on it,” suggesting that before Israel’s establishment, it lacked economic productivity and agricultural potential. Robinson’s comments sparked controversy, leading to calls for her resignation, even from within her socialist political circles.

Despite the backlash, Robinson initially chose silence. Eventually, she issued a groveling apology, acknowledging the pain her words had caused and expressing regret. However, the sincerity of her apology has been questioned, with some colleagues demanding a reassessment of her position in the cabinet.

In contrast to Robinson’s situation, the second American politician is more widely recognized. Their candid remarks also touched upon the situation in Gaza. The politician’s identity is not explicitly revealed in the paraphrased text, adding an element of suspense.

The instances of politicians straying from scripted rhetoric and expressing unfiltered opinions highlight the delicate balance they must maintain in their public communication. The consequences of such candidness can range from controversy and calls for resignation to potential reassessment of their political positions.

The dynamics of political discourse underscore the challenges politicians face in navigating public sentiments, especially on sensitive geopolitical issues.

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