On the face of it, the fact that a middle-aged white heterosexual male of Roman Catholic persuasion is making a credible run in 2019 at becoming Prime Minister of Canada (the most insistently “woke” country in the world) is patently absurd.
Absurd, that is, until you consider that his opponent, the incumbent, is also a middle-aged white heterosexual Roman Catholic male.
One of these men, however, is truly scary – a regressive, intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic reprobate. Or so we are told.
The other is the ultra-hip, feminist-extraordinaire Justin Trudeau, our current Prime Minister and grand-master of the Liberal Party smear machine that is ruthlessly (and with some success) painting Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer as a dimpled menace.
The Liberals’ Choose Forward campaign is officially underway, sure to be attended by the perennial twin banners of the Supreme Leader: “Sunny Ways” and “Doing Politics Differently”. It goes without saying that candidates will be expected to hew tightly, as always, to the Party’s central and inviolable tenet, etched deeply into the stone tablets of its constitution:
“Thou shalt not question the hypocrisy at the centre of the universe.”
The centre of the universe, of course, being Liberal Party headquarters, where “Deflect, Divide, and Dissemble!” – a.k.a. “The Gospel According To Justin” – is almost certainly chanted as mantra each morning by the minions, as prelude to the day’s shenanigans.
For these boot-lickers and flunkies, Andrew Scheer’s tweet early this week about his (relatively) humble roots was like manna from heaven.
I wondered, incidentally, not for the first time, who vets Andrew’s communications. It’s not as if he needs to keep thumping that drum. Everyone knows perfectly well that he’s not the candidate born with a full drawer of silver spoons in his mouth.
And really: “eight siblings in a two-bedroom house on a dirt road” is a tad much. Throw in a beat-up pickup truck and a banjo and you have all the makings of a tacky country song.
The Libs pounced, gleefully stirring up an entire Twitter-storm of sarcasm. Long-time Conservative-hater Stephen Lautens led the charge:
Many iterations followed, each more sneering and supercilious than the last. Gagan Sikand, Liberal MP from Mississauga-Streetsville, piled on merrily:
Scheer (for a change) promptly pushed back:
It didn’t occur to the Liberal mob, apparently, that belittling the poor and the middle class might not be a good look. This is the party, you’ll remember, that concocted the phrase “standing up for the middle class and those working hard to join it”, uttered ad nauseum by Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the fall of 2017 as he flogged a doomed tax grab targeting, you guessed it, the middle class.
(Rarely, it must be said, have we had a Finance Minister of such extraordinary talent. The man has managed against all odds to deliver epic deficits year after year, in blithe defiance of another bedrock Liberal Party tenet: “Budgets Balance Themselves”. Future historians will look back in wonderment, his wizardry sure to be mandatory case study at all the top business schools.)
Scheer’s Twitter pushback was ignored: the Liberals and their acolytes kept flailing away.
“Middle class!?!?!”, howled the mob in jointly feigned outrage, conjuring up a $120,000 annual income number for the ‘80’s Scheer clan out of thin air and extrapolating it to a quarter million bucks (!) in 2019 dollars. “This guy wants us to believe that he grew up middle class!!”
We are to believe, somehow, that by some miracle a librarian-and-nurse couple (a more mundane middle class construct is hard to imagine) pulled down a one-percenter level of income.
How did bright Liberal minds arrive at that number, you ask? Well, his dad, at the end of his career (in 2008) might have earned north of $60,000. And his mom might have earned in excess of $50,000 as a full-time nurse. Added together, voila! $120K, or close enough.
The Liberals ignored the fact that Scheer’s father would have earned a fraction of that amount twenty years earlier, or that one or both of his parents, managing their affairs responsibly as most middle-class two-earner families do, likely worked part-time while raising their brood of three children.
But facts mustn’t obstruct a good Liberal narrative. The necessary trick, in Environment Minister Catharine McKenna’s words is to “say it louder; we’ve learned in the House of Commons, if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it!”. (You may want to take her hyperventilatory declarations of “Climate Emergency!!!" with a pinch or two of salt.)
It’s dispiriting stuff, overall. But hope looms on the horizon. In less than six weeks we have the opportunity to boot these clowns from office.
Yet Andrew Coyne, the (ordinarily) level-headed editor of the National Post, suggested in a column last weekend that the Liberal clowns aren’t much different from the Conservatives aiming to replace them.
By Coyne’s reckoning, Scheer is simply the funhouse-mirror version of Justin Trudeau: distorted, chubbier, and a bit disheveled, but really no different on the inside – just as scheming, dishonest, and self-interested. Two sides of the same bad penny, so to speak.
But Coyne is dead wrong; and he should be ashamed of himself for using his substantial influence and elevated platform to layer additional cynicism onto a political landscape already drowning in it, and for smearing a good and decent family man whose only crime, really, is that he has spent most of his adult life in public office.
Scheer, like most of us, is far from perfect.
But there’s a bright line between imperfection and blatant deception.
It’s a line that Trudeau blew across repeatedly without compunction and without remorse, trampling all over strong and ethical women in his caucus in the process, all of his vaunted “feminism” be damned.
And if we endorse his behaviour by re-electing his government, expect more of the same – and worse - from an emboldened second administration.
After all, what more validation would he need than a ringing endorsement from an electorate willing to turn a blind eye to his misdeeds?
If Canadians are unwilling to hold him to account, if we are willing to accept that the rich and the powerful and the connected are above our laws, if this is the example that we are willing to set for our children, then we, as a democracy have utterly lost our way. In that direction lies the totalitarian abyss.
Sensible people, confronted by an abyss, never “choose forward”.
Please, Canada: on October 21st, choose sensibly.