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An unpredictable lack of magic
Be the target 'far-right' parents in anodyne t-shirts, or other imagined enemies, Trudeau's tried and true approach to 'break country in case of polling emergency' no longer works like it used to.
The days were warm and still, the London skies a faint blue through the smog.
It’s September 7th, 1940, the day in which the Luftwaffe arrived at teatime; the beginning of The Blitz.
Bombs fell throughout the day and night. The night’s raids would kill over four hundred people, maiming sixteen hundred more.
At dawn, Churchill raced into town from his country home, Chequers, to survey the damage, and “most importantly,” as documented in painstaking detail in Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile, “to do so as visibly as possible.”
As Churchill’s chief of staff ‘Pug’ Ismay described the scene:
Churchill understood the power of symbolic acts. He stopped at an air-raid shelter where a bomb had killed forty people and a large crowd was gathering. For a moment, Ismay feared that the onlookers might resent Churchill’s arrival, out of indignation at the government’s failure to protect the city, but these East Enders seemed delighted. Ismay heard someone shout, “Good old Winnie! We thought you’d come and see us. We can take it. Give it’ em back.”
Tough, yes, but at time weeping openly, overcome by the devastation and the resilience of the crowd. In one hand [Churchill] held a large white handkerchief, with which he mopped his eyes; in his other he grasped the handle of his walking stick.
“You see,” an elderly woman called out, “he really cares; he’s crying.”
When he came to a group of dispirited people looking over what remained of their homes, one woman shouted “When are we going to bomb Berlin, Winnie?”
Churchill whirled, shook his fist and walking stick, and snarled, “You leave that to me!”
I find myself wondering more and more about these scenes of real prime ministers showcasing real resolve, against an enemy not invented for the purposes of polling well with wine aunts, vermouth pollsters, and the retired cyclists of Toronto.
We ungrateful ‘normals’ have, for comparison’s sake, a lifetime of far-too-recent history to find occasions wherein the right adults, at the right moment, walked through blood and dust and fire, seeking to inspire and unite, not inflame and divide.
Having just watched Trudeau get booed out of his socks at the Indigenous games, or while thinking back to the PM calling in sick and turning tail on his more-boisterous constituents when they arrived at his door, we North Americans of course know that we don’t have those right adults for the right moment. (Unless you’re looking for dementia-riddled kid-huffers and blackface addicts, in which case, hey, to each their own.)
But there’s indeed something we do have; in these languid dog days of culture war, the usual ‘Liberal’ punches aren’t landing:
Muslims aren’t taking all that kindly to being slandered as dupes of the far-right for not wanting Advanced Gender Ideology 101 on the curriculum… in kindergarten.
“In dismissing the (organic) Muslim pushback against an overbearing Pride agenda as an astroturfed machination of the white-led far-right, progressives are exposing their own dim view of Muslims as a servile and easily manipulated band of nitwits. This patronizing and harmful progressive narrative needs to be called out for the hogwash that it is,” writes Rahim Mohamed.
That “far-right” catalyst, by the way? T-shirts that read “Leave our kids alone.” An utterly benign statement at any other point in human history.
Further unto the breach of Liberal craziness, our pal Rupa Subramanya had her hands full in a battle of wits with a woman known for being no cas-amiga to sober-minded Canadians.
Nevermind the visible turbans (front and centre!) in the crowd, or that in the Tru-Anon vernacular “turbaned” is an appropriate way to refer to Sikhs, once again, in shades of Joe Biden’s “then you ain’t black,” the ‘progressive’ mask slips that minorities are some monolithic voting block that belongs to the far-left, and the far-left alone.
Much as Trudeau’s chief of staff — who has been known to plant a few-hundred columns in her day — would like for these desperate punches to land, they haven’t. And when you work for the “Day-O” guy, you don’t get to play pretend with the politics of bigotry.
In the end, perhaps Jamil Jivani put it best.
The Liberals do not “own minority communities,” just as they don’t own the high ground on matters that should be between parents and their children. And there’s nothing “far-right” about knowing they’re wrong.
In the dog days of culture war, that old Trudeau magic is gone. The wedge won’t fit. The no-longer-liberal centre cannot hold.
For a group that’s more vile than splendid, that division bell now rings hollow.
We’ve proved that we can take it. Now, we “give it’ em back.”
Alexander Brown is a writer, comms director, and part-time politico living in Toronto, Canada. If you enjoyed this piece, join thousands of subscribers. If you’re presently able, paid subscriptions are the best way to support independent media, as well as help the newsletter grow.