Discourse Theory: Trailer Park Boys is one of the most progressive shows in media history

I know you guys are going to think I’m crazy, but just listen to my theory. I firmly assert that Trailer Park Boys is one of the greatest progressive works of art in the history of television, if not in all of human history.

Among some of the themes TPB deals with:

Ableism and Disability

Transgender and Sex Worker RIghts

Recycling

Animal Care

Fat Shaming

LGBT and Sexuality Issues

Racial Identity Issues

Honestly, I know a lot of people think this is crazy but Trailer Park Boys touches on so many other issues than any series out there. I dare you to find me a more inclusive, progressive show that tackles the hard issues. 

-S3NATOR

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Victory, when yuh winning it’s a sweet story. But when yuh not then the war is bitter. Yuh quick to call me a sinner, only Jah Jah know my history. So wi haffi give the King glory. Like the tree planted by the river, iya smile with the sun. Cyah keep we down, cause wi have to overcome. ♫” 

Keznamdi ft Chronixx - Victory (2017)

Beyond Bernie

Allegedly fun fact: I took this picture in Wisconsin last year. 

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer for Bernie Sanders last year, to canvas in rural Iowa on his behalf before the caucuses, to canvas in Madison for him, to attend his rallies, to call strangers in far-flung states to get the word out about his campaign, to wear a Bernie pin on my black winter coat and to wear my Bernie Sanders is Magical unicorn shirt wherever I could.  I think Bernie is rad, and I like many of his policy positions.

But Bernie’s not going to be around forever.  What happens after Bernie dies?  Who will we take our cues from?  Many people will try to take up the Bernie Sanders mantle when he’s gone.  How will we differentiate between progressives and those who pretend to be progressive?  Who will we follow?  Or, more importantly, should we really follow or take our queues from a politician?  Politicians do not have strong track records of trustworthiness.

We also run the risk, and I would argue that some have already done this, of deifying Bernie Sanders.  Bernie is not perfect.  Barrack Obama was not perfect.  Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton were not perfect.   Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not perfect.  We cannot simply agree with everything he says and does just like we shouldn’t agree with Hillary Clinton’s push to bomb Libya and overthrow the Libyan government as Secretary of State or FDR’s decision to set up internment camps for American citizens.  It’s like Bernie has said: Not Me, Us.

Instead of one man, we need something more to guide us in reforming our political system.  We need to look beyond one person.  We need to look beyond Bernie.  Instead, we need values and policy proposals, like these:

  • The $15 minimum wage, a living wage
  • End citizens united and outlaw 501c4 organizations
  • Ensure that the rich pay their taxes
  • Universal healthcare
  • Universal housing and clean water
  • Support clean energy and honor international agreements to reduce pollution
  • Expand maternity and paternity leave
  • Make higher post-secondary education affordable
  • Facilitate workers’ ability to organize
  • Ramp down the war on terror
  • Cut military spending
  • End regime change wars
  • Protect social security
  • Investing in voter access and solving gerrymandering
  • Ending the war on drugs and legalizing cannabis use
  • Investing in public health and mental health programs
  • Consider reparations and embrace opportunities to end racial conflict
  • Rebuild infrastructure through high speed rail and other projects
  • Cease the privatization of common supported programmes like space and atmospheric research and exploration, transportation, and the military
  • Reduce the power of the national security state
  • Fight corruption and monopolization
  • Encourage involvement in the political process beyond voting
  • Much, much more

And you may not agree with my list of policy proposals and goals, which is okay.  We don’t have to agree on literally every policy proposal.  That’s an unreasonable expectation.  But we do need to agree to policies that are backed by shared values like anti-corruption, equality for all, intersectionality, environmentalism, workers’ empowerment, anti-warmongering, anti-corporatism, social security, and the like.  If we do not, then values like greed, corruption, corporatism, and privatization will continue to dominate American policy.

I saw someone pose the question the other day: can Bernie Sanders save America?  The truth is: only we can save America.  We, the hundreds of millions, the 99%, the downtrodden, the unemployed, the middle class, the poor, the black and brown and red and yellow, the disabled, the social justice warriors, the millennials, and everyone else who shares our values and stands to gain from a more just and fair America.

Peace and love,
Tom