Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Stephen Harper and the Caricature of Justin Trudeau
From the moment Justin Trudeau was named Liberal leader, Stephen Harper and his foul Cons went after him in what can only be described as a bestial manner.
The brutish Harper has tried to portray Trudeau as foppish dilettante, not ready, and too dangerous to be prime minister. He has questioned his masculinity. Him and his Cons now calling him a terrorist sympathizer.
But most of all the depraved bully Harper has tried to turn him into caricature, a cardboard cutout, a doll. So he could more easily destroy him.
So in that regard I found Jonathan Kay's impressions of the real Justin Trudeau, the man behind that caricature, both interesting and moving.
I waited for her to arrive in her VW Rabbit before cueing up my tiny, tinny record player in my room upstairs. As she opened the door and entered the foyer I cranked up the volume and rushed to the top of the stairs. “Listen, mom,” I yelled down to her. “It’s our song!” Her reaction was to stare up at me, happy to see me but a little confused because she couldn’t hear the music at all. The volume on my record player was about half the level of a modern cell phone. I remember being crushed by that, so desperate was I to inject a sense of magic into every moment that we did have together as a family.
The portrait of a child and his mother and the pain of divorce.
The portrait of a far more complex man.
Trudeau often is described as “charismatic,” a word that aptly describes his presence in a large room full of strangers. But among the people who know him well, there is something more complex and melancholy at work—an inchoate urge to protect the man from further pain. Even after all this time, I feel that protective urge assert itself when I hear Conservatives casting Trudeau as a dilettante who glided through life on the strength of his surname. No one glides through a mother’s abandonment.
One who isn't a boob.
Trudeau probably reads more than any other politician I know. And yet you wouldn’t know this from the way he talks about ideas: His boyish, eager-to-please personality leads him to project publicly in a way that can seem intellectually unsophisticated. Political oratory always sounds best when it’s relaxed and natural. Trudeau’s hyperactive personality makes that a difficult act for him to pull off.
But does, whatever you think about him, embody change better than any of the other leaders...
If Justin Trudeau crashes and burns later this month, it won’t be because he is juvenile, or dumb, or “not ready.” It will be because his profound connection with young people—an outgrowth of his cultural interests, his young age, and the course of his own psychological development—naturally brings him into the gravitational field of modish, youth-oriented policies and postures (think marijuana, quasi-pacifism, proportional representation, bioethics) that are alienating to the older, stodgier voters who decide elections.
And that's important. Because as I wrote yesterday, it may well be that Trudeau is now the only leader who can blunt Stephen Harper's ghastly wedge issues. And stop him from using fear and loathing to win the next election. So that does need to be considered.
Of course at this point I also feel the urgent need to remind my NDP friends, that I'm still clinging to the dream...
And still planning to vote for Olivia Chow, for sentimental reasons.
But I should also say that should Justin Trudeau become prime minister, hopefully of a coalition government, I would not be unhappy.
I would celebrate the end of a nightmare.
And probably live quite happily in his kind of Canada...
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