From one of our commenters…. Trupeers, on Juniors Victory
…Trudeau’s rhetoric is based on a fundamental lie or silenced contradiction; he says he is all about positive and non-divisive politics but he can only make this claim by way of demonizing Harper (he learned from Obama demonizing Bush in the name of hope and change) and by extension anyone who voted for Harper or who admits that democracy is dependent on an intellectually vigorous, risky, but mostly non-violent process of mutual othering between stronger and weaker demographics. JT’s rhetoric is thus a performative contradiction, and a form of scapegoating those he thinks deserve it. He can say tonight that Conservatives are his neighbours but this is window dressing. If he had lost he would have had a hard time transcending his deep resentment of Harperites. Harper’s position on the niqab, e.g., was ultimately too disgusting for Justin to respect in any way. Only winning power can make him neighborly, heh heh.
JT says his is the politics of inclusion and diversity, but how can any one leader represent in himself the basis of a seriously democratic politics in which all are included? It is the Queen’s non-political job to represent all Canadians, not the Prime Minister’s. The Prime Minister by his very nature must be divisive (and so I don’t totally resent that I resent Justin Trudeau; I just wish he would grow beyond the Utopianism I gave up around age 19). And if he tries as PM to represent all Canadians, he can only become the drama Queen, a job many wanted Harper to play and the latter’s attempts were revealingly pathetic. Politics that does not take our differences as existentially significant is politics in what sense exactly? It is the politics in which all are imperially included except those (many) who take positions that are not allowed because they contravene some universal principle, which in Justin’s case are determined by a victimary ideology in which people must accept that they belong to groups deemed to be historical victimizers or victims, as determined by postnational, post democratic, elites, and not by open debate in Parliament which would be too risky, they say. Thus, the minority Muslim Brotherhood’s othering of infidels and “aposates” can be ignored, but not Harper’s othering (because it’s white, Christian), though in not ignoring Harper’s othering it must be denied by “right thinking” people that it is in any way necessary to our democratic debate (as if righteous thinkers could have a “debate” without someone to scapegoat). Those, including secular Muslims who have spoken out against the niqab as a symbol of a violent Islamism, those (e.g. clearheaded Jews) who fear the Muslim Brotherhood influence on Trudeau, those who have fled the rape and murder of Islamists in the Middle East, have just been clearly told that we are not part of Trudeau’s inclusive Canada as long as we recognize certain existential enemies as such. (I wait for the day some daring European (most likely) refugee goes to a citizenship ceremony wearing a “racist” symbol that Trudeau can’t help but ban….)
Blinded by Utopianism and the victimary thinking that has become culturally dominant, the media cannot see that Trudeau’s is not politics of a truly democratic sort; it is the politics that demands conformity on “diversity”, on the totalitarian impulse to shut up old white dinosaurs or upstarts who don’t properly play to ascribed identities. Pierre Trudeau, for all his failings from my point of view, could at least face down his opponents and cross swords in open debate. Pierre could really piss off, e.g., a Rene Levesque and his followers for having the wrong kind of identity. Pierre could hold his own. Justin will be always wanting to encourage conformity because he has forgotten, or never known, along with all the young people brainwashed in the universities of the last 20 years, that democratic politics was founded on and depends on frank and open debate in which ruling national majorities willfully other minorities (ideally in a way that defers violence, but there are no guarantees) and the minorities fight back, thus showing their value and dignity, revealing the mistaken stereotypes and thus providing us with real social information instead of just hurt pride, without expecting their difference and dignity to be simply guaranteed by supra-political potentates. This is asking a lot but isn’t it a lesser burden than minorities will have to face if we go all in on allowing the Justin Trudeaus of the world to mediate or more likely ignore our differences? What if everyone becomes a hurt minority making competing victim claims on the Emperor? Chinese vs. Muslim vs. Gay? Where will the productivity (shared work, and the social tolerance for socially disruptive entrepreneurial difference making) come from to keep the system going? Will those with the biggest bribes or most foreign influence win at the “human rights” tribunal, or at the tribunals determining what cultural practises are too “costly” for the state or medical system to support? What does Justin really know and love about you, if we can’t really debate it? Will he demand that certain touchy subjects are shut up until they can no longer be shut up (because they won’t really go away until they are worked through)? And then what?
Yes Harper’s anti-barbarian politics are ugly and capable of provoking violence. But I think they’re more likely, via mutual engagement, to point towards a modus vivendi than shutting up debate about differences. Just as Germany had to go through a process of de-Nazification, yet no country ever has had an official policy of de-Communization, our one world elites only have eyes for only one kind of ugliness and risk and mass murder. The Utopian promise that we can overcome our differences cannot be challenged, which means rule becomes more arbitrary and uninformed (ugly feedback is outlawed, the system becomes ignorant) until unhappy reality breaks out with a vengeance. As we see in Europe today, the postnational elites cannot acknowledge that their politics has led to violence, as with the rape gangs of Sweden, UK, Germany, surely just harbingers of more fundamental violence to come when welfare states collapse under their growing demographic imbalances because there has not been a way for locals to debate and mediate fundamental differences between truly different cultures, because we have forgotten that democracy is about naming enemies, calling them to account, discovering through debate new understandings of rights and obligations. There are certain jobs which courts and tribunals just cannot effectively do. Newly defining rights and obligations (instead of judging cases on established terms) is one of them. Certain things have to be hashed out in open rivalry or resentment and victim thinking only grows.
Trudeau is right that if we don’t accept his Utopian vision, we can only have ugly and risky politics. But what is a politics in which all our differences will be transcended under the Great Leader (whether he claims to be a man of “peace” or “war” there is no difference when he claims to represent everyone)? You can still come to citizenship ceremonies, I’m sure, wearing a Mao suit and cap, the millions he murdered notwithstanding. You can probably go in a Che or Fidel shirt and get a laugh out of a few of the judges.
I just hope we will still have blogs like this one to attempt some real democratic feedback to the rule Justinian. All the above blather is only to suggest it will require remembering why real democracy has always been about ugly and risky othering, about (Pierre) Trudeaus giving Salmon Arm fingers to his majority’s “losers” but without demanding they conform to his blessed vision of diversity. Such a perspective may entail humility and spirit of gentlemanly conduct. Pierre in old age criticized his younger ideas about multiculturalism, a fact Justin ignores.
One last example. Does Justin think that we no longer hear about Orange-Green (Irish religious) violence in Canada (common 1-200 years ago) because some great leader shut that up on the demands of a ditzy mayor that “it’s got to stop”? No, we no longer hear about it because it was transcended through national debates in which energies were used up not shut up, in a still mysterious historical process in which the more dominant Orangemen eventually gave up their particular identity and beefs because these were abstracted and to a degree preserved in a new kind of national identity, which is why the Protestant Ulster culture, which through immigration became the dominant ethnicity in English Canada by the late nineteenth century (although by then it had already started becoming Canadianized, made less particularly Irish), is one you rarely hear represented anymore.