Image from The Observer - Tyler Kula: Federal Leadership Candidate, Marilyn Gladu
Weighty Political Thoughts ...
Do portly people succeed best in politics?
Addendum Feb 27: Marilyn Gladu's twin? Lynn Beyak finally retracts her racist insults when faced with losing seat on Senate.
I'm thinking about my weight all of a sudden. Am just now beginning to come out of an onslaught of autoimmune difficulties that have lasted several months and finally seem to be abating somewhat. Sadly, I've become suddenly aware that I developed handles in the interim, having focussed less diligently on my chocolate cravings than on the natural pain killers I've been experimenting with.
Now, I see it as crucially imperative that I pay closer attention to my calorie intake or my clothes will no longer fit, and I will feel ugly as well as old.
My sister-in-law once said she dreaded getting old, and I said, "I don't mind if I can be the best-looking old lady on the block." But, for some reason, during my years of political activism in Ottawa, I woke up one day to realize that I had allowed my jeans size to go up to 16 - unthinkable! Obviously I had paid more attention to politics than to my own welfare.
I immediately began to count calories, allowing myself only 1600 a day, and when I finally reached size 10-11, I gave away all of my larger clothing, so that, if I regained any weight at all, I'd have to go to work naked. Which wasn't allowed.
Thereafter, as soon as my waist bands began to feel tight, it was a signal for me to pay more attention to my calorie intake. Consequently, I'm not only keenly aware of my tendency to overeat, I also feel consternation when I see anyone else who has seriously broken the weight barrier.
The phenomenon is most noticeable, I find, among politicians because they are right out there, smiling and well-dressed, proudly announcing "Look at me", though too many are clearly unable to set good health examples for us plebes -- and when the people who are running the country can't even control their waist size, you have to wonder what else they're not good at.
Justin Trudeau is of course the exception that proves the rule, though it's possible that appearances may be far too important to him; he may be a bit too wrapped up in his looks. Other politicians, not so much it seems.
I wisecracked a few days ago that endomorphs rule the world. While this is not true in all cases, the most prominent Canadian politicians are currently in that category, both federally and provincially, (and probably even municipally) -- the Fords in Ontario, for instance, and provincial MPP Lisa MacLeod, who gave me cause to wonder if some of these people aren't hampered mentally by amphetamines used as a weight-loss aid.
Certainly, the first Ford (Rob), had addiction problems: alcohol, for example, and crack cocaine, reportedly, but he clearly had a food addiction as well, and died at 46 of a cancer that feeds on fat cells. (Heavy.com)
The second Ford (Doug) is at least as portly as the first. He prides himself on not touching drugs or alcohol, but brags that his favourite drink is chocolate milk! Not only that, but he feeds his dog milk and cookies (TheStar), which, in my opinion, amounts to animal abuse.
I'm not saying this to put these people down; I know it's politically incorrect to "fat shame", but really I'm just intellectually curious as to why overweight tends to run in the very people one would hope are personally well-disciplined. Well, apparently we, ourselves, encourage them not to be:
LiveScience: Obesity in Politics
Andrew Scheer is quite portly, Stephen Harper was (and still is) as well. And now we've got Marilyn Gladu in the running to fill Scheer's vacated space.
Along with being unhealthily overweight, she has a few other negative attributes that have become quite noticeable, and I can't help wondering if this type of body build indicates a tendency to be also arrogantly right wing and "Christian" in the worst sense.
It's sad that, in addition to her insulting characterization of the Wet'suwet'en leadership as being "like children in need of discipline" she has demanded that the military be brought in against them.
I feel a little scared for any actual children she might have.
Gladu has also been charged with having a "lack of discernment' and a disregard for the "suffering of other human beings". The man so-charging asks:
Gladu had replied to the writer's questions, on behalf of BDS and the Palestinian people, with the flat-out statement that the BDS movement was "anti-Semitic". Spit-spot. And no response to his followup questions were forthcoming until finally a meeting was arranged in which she was actually quite threatening toward him.
I think Conservatives need to carefully read the full article before considering supporting her run at the party leadership. She deliberately gave the false impression that she had the ability to have the man ejected from his place on city council, and also declared that the Palestinians were "squatting" on Israeli property.
She was shamefully disingenuous on all counts.
It's also interesting that both she and Ontario Premier Doug Ford's colleague, Lisa MacLeod, are dangerously overweight and have both revealed themselves to be overly confrontational, to say the least.
Who can forget MacLeod's assault on Eugene Melnyk, manager of the Ottawa Senators:
She later apologized for being "blunt", though she was actually exceedingly, scarily vicious. Not only that, but she had earlier revealed an equally shocking, though different display of emotionality, when Ford first appointed her to a cabinet position: Video
I can't help but wonder if angry, right wing conservatism and brittle mood swings are components of the emotional factors related to obesity.
Consider Trump and Pompeo, both endomorphic.
A good example of their joint nastiness would be the report of how Pompeo attempted to make an NPR reporter look stupid when she asked him a question he didn't want to answer. Trump praised him for the "good job" he had done on her:
CNN: Donald Trump just praised Mike Pompeo for berating an NPR reporter. Yup, really.
One thing is certain, portly people are not necessarily as cuddly as one might at first imagine.
Is this why portly Trump is so wary of portly Kim Jong-un of North Korea? Does he recognize himself in Kim's girth?
Who knows, but what a combination: dangerously angry portly people who also want to run whole countries -- and have bombs to play with.
I don't have the statistics on how serious the obesity problem has become in Canada, but apparently America is being "supersized" to accommodate them:
Well, as long as they are "growing the economy", as Trudeau would say. Portly men, at least, are sure to get ahead in politics, according to one journalist:
Telegraph - 2010: Overweight Male Politicians Are More Popular
Given that assessment, it might be wise of Canada's female politicians to either lose weight or figure out how to be civil with people who irk them, and definitely how not to burst into tears like Sally Field (Video).
But it may well be that all overweight politicians suffer from the following kind of cognitive dissonance -- that is, when professed beliefs run counter to behaviours:
One teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. I know that because I once, many long years ago, sat at dinner with a nurse who was weight conscious, or maybe not conscious at all. She carried with her a vial of saccharine with which to sweeten her coffee, and ate a large piece of lemon meringue pie for dessert. I had to bite my tongue, and you may have guessed by now that it wouldn't have been easy for me to do. Which is what makes the incident so memorable.
Having said all that, I'm now reminded of Boris Johnson. Here's a place to catch up on that endomorph's scuttlebutt.
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