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...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers
Labels: Jonathan Kay, Justin Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau, Stephen Harper, The End of Con Canada, The Politics of Fear
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Thank you, Simon. It is unfortunate at this stage of the 'game' that I have no idea as to what kind of boyhood Stephen Harper had..........maybe it would cast some light on his true feelings of Life!
Simon, you take politics very seriously as indicated in your writing daily. This is why I read your blog every day. You always have something important to say, so when you said "still planning to vote for Olivia Chow, for sentimental reasons", I frankly was surprised. Isn't this election to important to vote for sentimental reasons? Your reason for voting for Olivia Chow just struck me as odd. It doesn't seem to fit with you. What am I missing?
I dream of an orange wave but could live with Trudeau happily too.
Using Kenney's logic, both he and harper ought to lose their citizenship, but where to send them is the question. Both of these brutish thugs have done more to demean our beloved country than most and nothing would be more befitting to these two than deportation to some far away land. I agree Simon, Trudeau is most deserving of the PM title of the leaders, his youthful energy, charisma and sincerity are what the country so desperately needs to recover from the harper years. If he doesn't win I hope the liberal party doesn't abandon him because he's just getting started and the future is bright, even if we have to endure another 4 years of micromanaged secrecy and further dismantling of Canada. Surely we can muster up enough to turf harper in 2019.
Same here, Simon. While I would have preferred Mulcair to be PM for several reasons (e.g. he had worked hard in Parliament to hold Harper accountable day after day while Trudeau had spent many of those days outside Parliament fundraising for his party; the NDP also opposed C-51 unanimously whereas Trudeau was still defending the indefensible after every single Liberal MP had voted with Harper on this dangerous bill), I would have no problems with Trudeau being PM too. Especially after Trudeau had worked so hard during these debates to hold Harper accountable while Mulcair, unwittingly, ended up looking like he was with Harper sometimes rather than taking him on all the time.
Perhaps the performances of Mulcair and Trudeau at the debates could be summarized thus: Mulcair had worked hard holding Harper accountable in Parliament while most voters were not watching. Trudeau, however, worked smart, holding Harper accountable during the debates while more voters were watching. Thus, as often happens in life, the one who works smart ends up with the cake. But that is life.
Just surprised that Mulcair and the NDP allowed themselves to be so completely outflanked as if they did not see what had happened in Ontario when Wynne had outflanked Horwath by appearing more progressive when it counted.
I also was surprised when you stated that you would vote for Olivia Chow for sentimental reasons. Simon are we not all voting to make sure harper does not get the chance to form government.
What ever Harper may say about Trudeau, he might want to remember, it was Trudeau who got into the ring with Brazeau and won. After that I knew the kid had the guts and stamina to go the distance.
When people think Trudeau isn't ready, well what was Steve doing before he became P.M. He has been P.M. for 9 yrs and he still doesn't get the job right. Any idiot who has passed 8 bills which were in contravention of the Constitution and has them over turned by the Supreme Court of Canada, isn't playing with a full deck. Harper, just isn't ready for a democracy and his party is full of convicted criminals, 17 last count was it?
That Kay piece was am excellent read, thanks for that Simon! It helps underscore why I actually believe in Trudeau, me, someone that was raised around politicians and with MY mothers milk learned to be inherently suspicious of their true natures behind those smiling faces. I actually believe Trudeau will be a more progressive type Liberal within the constraints of the reality he finds once becoming PM (as I have said many times before I truly believe that as bad as the damage we can see it is but the tip of the iceberg to the reality) and he will help bring us back to who we used to be as a people. Simply put, he inspires in ways Mulcair for all his skills as a prosecutor simply appears unable, and no, that is not coming from my partisan's hat on, but my objective political analysts hat on. As I have freely noted before, Mulcair clearly has several very strong positive characteristics and qualities as a political leader and as a potential PM, but he also has his own issues, one of which is that condescending vibe he gives off, which really makes it hard for him to inspire anyone not already sold on his agenda as partisans are. Trudeau will help us wash off the stench Harper has placed on us, and as I have also noted before his experience in restoring such a beaten down wrecked party as the Libs he inherited will stand him in good stead when it comes time to deal with the legacy of Harper on our government.
Trudeau is quite simply the right man for the time and job. His foes understand that which is why they have been so hyperbolic in their attacks and their portrayals of their straw man versions of him. Trudeau is not only ready to lead, he has already shown he IS leading when he defends things like Canadian citizenship and religious freedom a la Niqab. At this point I am now praying for the NDP in the final week to be in the low 20s for national support, because it should cause a massive flood of ABC voters to the Liberals nationwide, and THAT is what is best needed to not only defeat Harper but to deal with the aftermath of his regime IMHO. The added bonus that it will infuriate Harper in ways nothing else ever could given his clear hatred of all things Trudeau is only a satisfying icing on a very substantive cake. Losing to Trudeau would be bad enough, losing his majority to a Trudeau majority, well I simply cannot think of anything that would infuriate Harper more, as well as serve as a harsh repudiation of his and his government's actions, especially in the majority years!
That's my take anyway, not that I expect it comes as much of a shock to you Simon...*chuckle*
hi Kathleen....don't ask I'm sure it must have been horrifying. He was clearly traumatized into believing that the whole world was out to get him, and has never been the same since. And of course the fact that his daddy could only find him a job in the mail room of Imperial Oil, must have made him seethe with rage. As for the rest, only his psychiatrist knows the truth...
hi Pamela...I'm sorry I was just being flippant. I'm actually planning to vote for Chow for very good reasons. Firstly she is favoured to win and there is no chance a Con could grab this riding. Secondly I think she was a better MP than Adam Vaughan, although he is a good guy and was an excellent city councillor. Thirdly, I want to help elect as many women as possible. Fourthly I think the NDP deserves to be rewarded for its courage in opposing Bill C-51. And lastly but not lastly, I would like to see the NDP represented in a coalition government so the Liberals and the NDP would be forced to work together, which has been and always will be my dream...
hi anon....yes I feel that way. I'm sorry for the NDP, and I'm hoping it will recover, but whatever happens anyone is better than the Cons....
hi bc waterboy....I completely agree with you, what those Cons have done to our country is absolutely unbelievable. But those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind, we still do have the desire for change on our side, and Trudeau may embody it enough to sweep all those ugly distractions out of the way. Our secret weapon is the number of Liberal and NDP voters who are willing to switch their votes to either Trudeau or Mulcair when the time comes, and they should be enough to beat Harper or keep him to a narrow minority, so keep your hopes up....
hi anon...yes it is unfair, Mulcair did an excellent job of attacking Stephen Harper in the Commons. But I think he wasn't aggressive enough in the campaign. For some reason he was too cautious, took the party in the rightward direction, and so Trudeau by taking more risks began to look more like the candidate of change. Which of course is helped by his youthful appearance and his energy. And I agree didn't they learn anything from the Horwath debacle? But yeah, at this time in history whatever works to get rid of Harper and his Con thugs is good enough for me....
hi anon....sorry as I explained to Pamela above, I should have explained myself better. She is expected to win in this riding, and there is absolutely no chance a Con could sneak in...
hi e.a.f...you're right it really is outrageous that Harper should have tried to question Justin's masculinity after what he did to Brazeau. Harper wouldn't have lasted thirty seconds in the ring with either of them. And although as a fighter myself, I did question Justin's judgement at the time, he more than impressed me. And watching the match on Sun TV with Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley as the commentators was one of the most enjoyable nights of my life... ;)
hi Scotian...I'm sure you enjoyed that story, and I should have gained enough brownie points with you to last for at lest six months. ;) But I am just trying to be rigorously analytical, this is no time to fool ourselves. And it just may be that Justin has enough of The Force to immunize him against those Con wedge issues. Still I am still planning to vote for the NDP in the hope that we can form a strong coalition government, which as you know has always been my dream...
Simon: This will make you feel better bc you are most likely correct about Olivia Chow being viewed as the better MP. Olivia had represented part of this riding for many years and if she was bad, Vaughan, the Lib incumbent, would be way ahead. He is not. Although the number is small, and calls for caution, this poll shows that Olivia is significantly ahead of Vaughan, the Lib incumbent: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/18/olivia-chow-leads-adam-vaughan-in-spadina-fort-york-forum-poll-suggests.html Therefore, logic argues that she has a much better chance of winning, albeit in your riding, the Cons candidate really has little chance of success anyway as you had also pointed out.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment Simon. I live in your riding, but will be voting for Adam Vaughan. Should be a really interesting election.
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