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Justin Trudeau is a bigger coward than previously imagined; now what?
Spoiler alert: We organize, we relentlessly mock and grind down those most deserving, we chip into campaigns, we do what we can to weather the storm, and then vote like a country depends on it.
In July of 1986, Robert Ballard and two members of his team descended two and a half miles to the ocean floor in their tiny submarine. One year earlier they had been responsible for locating the wreck of the Titanic. After a series of arduous stops and starts, they were finally able to explore the sunken liner at close range. As they shone their lights on the rusted wreck of the lost ship, Ballard shares in his extensive memoirs and novelizations “that the events of that night 74 years earlier seemed to come alive once again.”
In the nauseating case of another Trudeau experiencing another prolonged October crisis — this one, of the confidence and moral clarity variety — we’re witnessing the events of a soon-to-be similarly infamous shipwreck in real-time.
We’ve opined about sinking Liberal ships here before. And that was before 20% in the polls, and fanning the flames of hate against the Jews.
It’s not just the vapid calls for peace with Hamas, the barbaric terror organization that just broke the damned ceasefire your average Tik-Toker continues to shriek for, it’s the way in which it’s being communicated.
Like any pretend expert in the ‘political sciences,’ Trudeau’s hedging on some rhetorical bet no normal man would place. In the same manner as the Ian Bremmers of the world, who run million-dollar think-tanks and consultancies, and who come bearing boiler-plate bromides for every occasion, Trudeau can’t just come out and say “One side is way, way worse, and Hamas just tanked any prospect of a two-station solution, deliberately, and what continues to come next is going to make a whole bunch of people uncomfortable, on both sides.”
Instead, such men of no action find themselves pontificating. They commit words to the airwaves and to print that go nowhere. They build great towers of neo-liberal bafflegab that reach the heavens. They bury every lede. They opine about coalition building and “concerns over what comes next,” because the reality is, they don’t actually know — and even if they did, they lack the intestinal fortitude to speak candidly.
“The consulting class isn’t here to give us real solutions but to traffic in the perception of studied authority. [Bremmer’s books] have more in common with a slick public relations campaign than the political call to arms it purports to be. Can the threat of crisis force us to work together to find collective solutions? We can, we sort of already do, we have to do more, we must, we will, or we’ll perish.”
Writing columns isn’t all that different. At the risk of shattering the fourth wall, there are times when it can be a challenge to land the plane, ethically, when the only natural summation is “we’ll have to see.”
I loathe that part of writing for thousands of wonderful strangers, who share a similar degree of disenfranchisement, and who are deserving of answers of more hardy stock, and policymakers of (any) moral fibre.
It’s why I decided to place the only possible conclusion to these latest matters of institutional cowardice, and the decision to hedge on rampant scenes of anti-Semitism in Canadian streets and across the Western world in the column’s sub-heading. I’m not writing this for a newspaper with corporate sponsors to play it safe for. I’m writing this for you. Better to embrace truth in advertising, when the ability to rearrange letters and organize one’s thoughts is the only product on offer.
Former Chretien strategist Warren Kinsella once described this whole process as “our job is to come down from the hills and shoot the wounded.” For all that he’s gotten wrong, he’s gotten that one right. Only, in this instance, we’re not counting leaders like Justin Trudeau amongst the wounded. With such abdication of responsibility on full display, how could we even accuse them of participating? Of attempting to serve anything but their own interests?
And therein lies the dirty little secret surrounding late-stage ‘woke’ politics, the abandonment of basic governing principles such as not letting downtown cores turn into zombie apocalypses (unless there’s Communist company), and even the increasingly unpopular prosperity-crushing insanity of ‘net zero’: it’s no longer about winning elections, it’s about keeping their employment options open.
Justin Trudeau’s political prospects remain grim. In many ways, he’s yet to even reach the iceberg.
But the decision to not change course, to go down with the ship on matters such as choosing to not expand the carbon tax “carveout” has some precedent. As with the terminally-upset-online Catherine McKenna, who left her climate post to lobby on Canada’s answer to Washington’s ‘K-Street’, if Trudeau can pretend to care just a little while longer about riding out the failed, anti-social designs of net zero ‘til the bitter end, a cushy special interest role will await him after either his walk in the snow or resounding defeat (just not at the family foundation, not when there’s still that much heat).
Besides, a UN-style gig, complete with fraudulent business practices, has always been more to his liking. Where better to take up residency, after largely succeeding in turning large swathes of Canada into a (hopefully salvageable) “post-national” shit hole?
The announcement of a brief, hollow respite for Atlantic Canadians set to freeze this winter may have broken Catherine McKenna’s heart, but that had far more to do with Trudeau's failure to protect Build Back Better kayfabe. He let low-information marks in on the hustle.
Politics can indeed break your heart, Catherine.
It can also give you myocarditis, or leave millions of Jews feeling abandoned to the kinds of mobs tearing down fliers and shooting at Hebrew schools, or leave the working deplorable with the choice between heating or eating this winter.
Politics can even engage in an act as petty as dissolving the straw in your drink, or saddling a little old lady with the indignity of leaving the supermarket empty-handed because she forgot her three-dollar reusable bag, that carries products still wrapped in plastic. (Thankfully, that’s another Trudeau-Guilbeault-McKenna scheme set to bite the dust.)
But politics alone cannot change the tides.
It can harness them, sure. Surf’em, absolutely. To watch Pierre Poilievre bring out seemingly every member of a small town is to bear witness to that reality.
In the case of movements back towards centre, common sense, renewed moral clarity, and even putting the “civil” back in civilization, it’s best we join them; which leaves the answer to “now what?” as clear as it can be.
We organize, we relentlessly mock and grind down those most deserving, we chip into meaningful campaigns, we do what we can to weather the storm, drag everyone we know to the polls, and then vote like a country depends on it, because, sometimes, it actually does.
Your local conservative may not be entirely to your liking, but come election day, you’ll find your ballot stained with less blood libel — and less seawater.
Alexander Brown is a writer, comms director, and part-time politico. If you enjoyed this edition of the newsletter, click to become a free or paid subscriber.