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Monday, December 15, 2014

Harper Derangement Syndrome, Bullying, and Inconvenient Facts

In his book Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America, Ben Shapiro does a masterful job of dissecting the left’s mindset in debating political issues. It’s amazing how many believe in free speech – a supposedly liberal concept – until someone says something they don’t agree with. Then the gloves are off. Name calling, slander, and shouting nonsense at the opponent becomes fair game.
Shapiro trained under Andrew Breitbart, an American conservative who helped found The Huffington Post along with others like Arianna Huffington. Breitbart thought this was an important multi-partisan experiment for two reasons: 1) having articles from columnists of all political stripes would result in a clash of ideas, and the readership would thus be able to decide which ‘side’ was correct; and 2) the comments sections appearing under each columnists’ article would publicly expose the hyper-partisan, left-wing vitriol that is constantly flung at conservatives who dare express their opinions.
After this weekend’s antics, it’s apparent that Canada’s left is learning a lot from their American friends – bringing was they purportedly decry as “American-style” politics into Canadian political debates.
On Friday I published a piece in the Prince Arthur Herald and the Huffington Post. It appropriately called Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to task for his dictatorial treatment of the Liberal Party as his little playpen. All I did was reiterate already well-known and published facts:
- Trudeau admitted that he admires China’s dictatorship
- Trudeau called in the police to silence dissent and to “acclaim” Andrew Leslie as the candidate for Orleans. It was just the latest in a series of suspicious "elections" to take place with direct interference from the leader's office.
- Trudeau unilaterally declared that all Liberal candidates would be required to vote pro-choice
- Trudeau unilaterally expelled the Senate Liberals (but not really)
That's it. Those four points have been universally reported upon by left-leaning, centrist, and right-leaning news organizations. No big deal, right?
I concluded by asking whether a Prime Minister Trudeau would behave in the same manner as he has with his Liberal Party. At the time of this writing, about 80 hours since the first piece was published, the article has been liked over 10,000 times and shared, tweeted about, and commented on thousands more. Great. It shows that Canadians agree with the message that Trudeau has taken over the Liberal Party and made it his own fiefdom, his own palace where he can do and say whatever he wants.
However, a small but verbal group of Liberals didn’t like that their leader was being mentioned in the same breath as a Chinese dictatorship – even though it was Trudeau who mentioned his admiration for them in the first place.
What ensued would have made even the bullies in Shapiro’s book blush at how well they learned from their American friends. They attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They deflected. They name-called. They attacked the Prince Arthur Herald and the Huffington Post for daring to publish an article that stated facts. They cited laughable conspiracy theories. They brought up statistics about irrelevant topics. They attacked Prime Minister Harper some more. They attacked me some more. Everything-and-the-kitchen sink was thrown about in the most transparent attempt to change the channel. All of these are bully tactics used to bash, belittle, and silence opponents rather than engage in legitimate debate.
The Big Shift documents a “seismic” shift in Canada’s culture, governance, business, and future for a multitude of reasons. Many of the changes, according to Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson, have happened under Conservative governments, whose grassroots policy development and understanding of Canadians’ values have helped them win elections while the Liberals sit in the corner shaking their heads. Those Liberals – “The Laurentian Consensus,” as Bricker and Ibbitson call them - can only shake their heads and belittle their opponents as they arrogantly await their return to power under a new Messiah.
The Liberals, as the arrogantly-once-assumed-to-be-natural-governing-party-of-Canada, are still new to actually having to create policies and ideas that appeal to people. They’re used to putting all their faith in one leader and trusting that he’ll bring them to power. It’s much easier to slander those who disagree with the Messiah than actually question whether he’s really the chosen one and whether he's doing the right thing.
At first, I thought this weekend’s bully tactics demonstrated how little the Liberal Party had changed since Trudeau was anointed leader. But now I realize: this isn’t his father’s Liberal Party.
Daniel Dickin is the author of Liars: The McGuinty-Wynne Record, available in e-book and print through the publisher and Amazon.ca.