In time we hate that which we often fear. — William Shakespeare
It’s not the load that breaks; it’s the way you carry it. — Lena Horne
Frank A. Pelaschuk
Some would say this was an American import. There may be some truth to that; as a people we are not predisposed nor very imaginative when it comes to political disruption, law breaking, and mob behaviour so we turn south for lessons importing the vile, racist conspiracy theories of those with agendas of their own that we either miss or don’t care to understand though, it is also true, some need no lessons being naturally predisposed to mean-spirited victimhood with violent acts of stupidity and vulgarity that lends neither liking nor understanding for whatever cause they hope to promote.
They make almost daily appearances in the news, individually, as when knocking to the ground an elderly woman caught unaware, apparently Asian, while she waits for a bus and in mobs spitting furiously attacking politicians, journalists and those of particular hues, cultures, dress, religious beliefs, and relationships. Mostly, they prefer the mob perhaps too cowardly, feeding off the energy and rage of others finding courage in numbers and from the signs of visible fear and consternation of those they target aware that even in the presence of police, they are likely safe provided they don’t go too far and, if they do, their chances of escaping punishment is all but certain because the crowd is too large and the temperature too high for the authorities to risk further inflaming the mob.
But why all that anger, that talk of loss of freedom, that fear of government and authority? Do they really believe their own stories or even understand it? Are the words, the ideas, the thoughts based on any reality or are they merely manifestations of some inner need, a desire in this age of gadgetry when it’s possible for almost anyone to have their moment in the sun, to be recognized, to be assured that, yes, they too matter? Whatever it is, there is rage and its reality cannot be denied but is that fury justified and, if justified, are the objects of that fury the right targets? It is possible the majority of them do not understand that need, are too inarticulate and impatient to find answers else why do they look to others for help turning to the web, seeking others feeling as they do? They do find them on the web in the many thousands like themselves: lost, lonely, bewildered feeling somehow the world has outpaced them and angry that it is so. There, on the web, they have confirmed what they have suspected, they are not alone and soon, in their searching, they begin to hear other voices, ignoring the signs they may not be all they seem with agendas of their own, offering answers and quick fixes mixed with the comfort of promises and assurances that all will be well if drink what is offered. And what is offered? Just more confirmation of victimhood, voices of reason, common sense: the truth. And the truth is, they are not losers, only perceived so by others. If they have failed, it is others who are responsible, shading them from the sun, denying them opportunities to be seen and heard. They haven’t failed but have had their trust and naïveté abused. By whom? Well, the Socialist media with its lies and fake news and its dependance on Big Government supplying them the news regarding governance it deems fit for public consumption including ignoring real criminals and illegal guns while targeting law-abiding gun owners, pushing the feminist agenda of abortion, pandering to Indigenous people with truckloads of public money and apology after apology for crimes of long ago and in which they have no role, pandering to the Black Lives Matter Movement calling for defunding of policing, and creating special rights for every homosexual, transgender, he, she, they and it group possible while, behind it all pulling the strings, is Big Business bleeding dry the true victims.
It’s nonsense but, for those not wishing to look too closely, with enough elements of truth however minute, to fan the flames of intolerance. Maybe they have always been like this but I suspect not. For whatever reason, they feel swamped, overwhelmed and afraid of a life they no longer understand undergoing imperceptible changes no one notices but which transforms them forever into strangers desperate and fearful. When fear turns to anger, danger becomes real. Before we, or even they, realize it, they are “freedom fighters” warring against a common foe the rest of us are too blind, too stupid or simply too indifferent to recognize. We are docile sheep. In reality, it is these folks who have surrendered finding liberation in anger and relief in shedding all responsibility for all the things that went wrong in their lives. Have they ever asked themselves: Does this make sense? Is everyone really the enemy? Why have they targeted me?
Why should they? They don’t care to know. Not really. They just know they are getting s-c-r-e-w-e-d and will not take it anymore.
The stroke of political approval is often enough to encourage the haters, blamers and wallowers of victimhood to do the grunt work and be the public faces of the dirty work waving vulgar placards stating opinions on the Prime Minister and his governance or demanding his resignation or even that he be arrested for treason without explaining in what way when it is they refusing to recognize his government as legitimate. The pawn, stroked and emboldened will risk lives, their own and others, liberty and families, disrupting political events and stalking politicos and their staff condemning as mindless treacherous sheep anyone who supports government mandates, follow advice of medical experts, who obey Canadian laws and the rights of others to be safe while also accepting the legitimacy of their government while, themselves, the angry mob, flocking to websites in search of daily diets of half-baked ideas, outright lies, and conspiracy theories counting the ways in which they have been victimized by a cabal of Big Government, Big Business, Big Science (particularly Climate Change Alarmists), Socialists, abortionists, homosexuals and aliens walking among us helping Bill Gates and drug companies monitor us through bots-loaded Covid-19 vaccines (and why isn’t our government talking about that?).
And while it is true, the targets of hate and violent vitriol can be anyone — even minor disagreement among friends or refusal to be cowed can make one a target — women, particularly those of colour, in business and in the public eye, seem to merit special treatment trolled constantly online and in person by cowardly misogynistic imbeciles; they are threatened with rape, other forms of violence including threats of death at the workplace and at home, they and their families under siege by the ugliest of so-called proponents of “freedom”. Even so, no one of any gender, age, status or condition, fit or disabled, is spared.
Recently, in Alberta, Chrystia Freeland, Liberal MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister and other female members of her group were accosted while attempting to enter an elevator by a loud-mouthed thug and his female accomplice. Armed with Ms. Freeland’s itinerary, they knew where to find her and, once spotting her, began to harass her questioning her right to be in Alberta hurling vile, misogynistic epithets to which bullies often resort. The two stalkers, particularly the man, identified as Elliot McDavid, are large, overweight, and intimidating. Judging from the video highlighting their messages of ugliness and stupidity, both seemed particularly proud of their antics boasting like excited children about the success of their idiotic stunt working better than hoped, clearly demonstrating for the world two prime examples of Mother Nature’s most egregious blunders. They look little different from the troglodyte freedom fighters who occupied Ottawa for several weeks or from those that stormed the US Capital the year before leaving a few outnumbered security members dead.
These people do not act alone. Often in the background they are manipulated by others with their own vile goals. But not all lurk in shadows or on the web. These are politicos so steeped in the stench of ambition and cheapness that there is nothing they will not embrace, nothing that is so low or vile that they will not want you to swallow. Besides, most have made the job easy for them, having swallowed the poison on their own, or so they may think. Still, not folks to take chances or waste time with honesty and a life-time of integrity, these lowlives will stroke the tender sensibilities of those the woo engaging in the dog whistle political codes their supporters understand and appreciate because it is only then that they, the hoi polloi, are convinced the likes of America’s vile Donald Trump, or Canada’s Danielle Smith, Maxime Bernier, Randy Hillier, Leslyn Lewis, and Pierre Poilievre really do know them, get them, feel their pain. If these politicos understand the codes, the rabble know their intelligence has been noted as well as their wants: Make America (Canada) Great Again (let’s keep out the rapists and killers and job stealers crossing from Mexico or America and stop those homosexuals controlling our entertainment and media); restrictions on weapons (an excuse to target legal gun owners while leaving real criminals free to do their thing); the Harper era plan to introduce the Barbaric Cultural Practices snitch line (targeting you know who); illegal immigrants (job stealers); Muslims (who want to impose Shariah Law) and: Critical Race Theory (employed to offer reasons to not teach racial history, diversity, equity etc.). And then we have Leslyn Lewis, vying for the Conservative leadership who, in opposing Covid-19 mandates and vaccines, offers her vile contribution to dog whistle politics by raising the Nuremberg Code (an ethical set of principles passed following the war regarding scientific experimentation on humans). In evoking this, there is no mistaking what she intends by linking Covid-19 vaccines to Nazi experimentation of Jewish holocaust victims.
Coming from a female lawyer/politician of colour strikes me as particularly vile. She not only insults real victims of Nazi scientific experimentation, Jewish holocaust victims, she also cheapens political discourse in demonstrating a reckless disregard for any semblance of truth by conflating the two. In doing this, she has made herself irrelevant, demonstrating her unfitness to be MP let alone leader of a major political party.
Pierre Poilievre, another leadership contender, is, himself, no slouch at political grandstanding and cheap shots. During the Harper era of misrule and error, he made a name for himself when he and his buddy Dean del Mastro (the less said of him, the better), sought to bring disrepute to the House with their moronic actions including personal attacks against the Speaker of the House. Poilievre made a name for himself as Minister of Democratic Reform by seeking to discredit the chief electoral officer of Canada who opposed his Fair Elections Act which would open and close parts of the Elections Act restricting the rights of students away from home and citizens who are homeless from voting. Guess which political party would benefit? If you believe any other party than the Conservative party, you should not be reading this.
Most recently, in proudly being photographed shaking hands with members of the so-called “Freedom” Convoy, he and Lewis and other PC members have demonstrated support to seditionists wanting to overthrow an elected government, going so far as to support their whines of having lost “freedoms” with the Liberal imposition of Covid-19 mandates. A minor inconvenience becomes a loss of freedom? And yet they seem unconcerned about the rights and freedoms of others to be safe from harm by idiots masquerading as freedom fighters when, in truth, with their complete disregard for the well-being of others by refusing to mask, social distance and avoid crowds, could as easily have been members of the death squad infecting innocent citizens.
Poilievre? He’s been a dog whistler long before the term took hold.
And when asked to comment on the Freeland, something he and Lewis and other Conservatives have encouraged with their rhetoric, he made the thing about himself and his wife, saying she, too, has been harassed. That should never happen. Even so, there is much about him I find distasteful and, to my mind — cheap— though when speaking of politicians, that seems an oxymoron but here I am referring to character rather than his benefitting from the public purse.
Dog whistle politics can only lead to more of what happened to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh when confronted on the street and told to “look Canadian” by removing his turban, or protestors throwing pebbles at Trudeau and the thugs who took on Chrystia Freeland. It shouldn’t happen. No one should be subjected to the treatment endured by Freeland, Singh or Trudeau. Yet every day, in Canada, ordinary citizens are accosted daily online and in person, verbally and physically. It should not happen. That it does can be set at the feet of the likes of Leslyn Lewis, Pierre Poilievre, and far too many Conservatives to count. Anger is one thing, but, as John Steinbeck hinted at, when anger turns to fury and fury to action, things become dangerous. To my regret, I too, have not been as judicious as I might have been in writing to MPs. There is no excuse. I have been rude, and even used some euphemisms whose meanings are unmistakable. But I don’t harass, threaten or resort to outright vulgarity. That’s not necessarily a virtue when one is still rude. And I have been.
Now, some of the criticism made against Trudeau and his governance are correct. He is a sanctimonious hypocrite. He has been found to have abused conflict of interest guidelines at least three times and is the first to announce, often at the top of his lungs, moves to make changes that most are happy to support and yet, as with electoral reform, will undermine when be believes the gains will no longer be to his benefit offering excuses and lies for justification. And, as with electoral reform, this boastful feminist (he was more so the first few years as PM) he ensured that Maryam Monsef carried the chain for its failure and that her replacement, Karina Gould, strike the fatal blow to reform. He has accepted free gifts from benefactors, attended many secret fundraising events with Chinese billionaires in attendance who donate to a foundation in his father’s name. He has attempted to subvert the rule of law in the SNC-Lavalin matter, been less than forthcoming regarding sexual harassment allegations when he was 27 and his black face fiasco when even younger. His overweening and oozing sincerity is particularly cloying and even more offensive when one looks at all his broken promises.
I like neither Poilievre nor Trudeau. While both go about it differently, they have done far too much to cheapen and damage politics. But, as far as I know, Trudeau did not go out of his way to shake hands with white supremacist cowardly occupiers of the nation’s capital who do not believe in a democracy that I recognize.
Well, that’s it. I’ve ranted long enough and feel no better for it. I’m hoping this is my final post but make no promises. So, to the one or two who have read this mess over the years, thanks for your patience and endurance.
But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. – Thomas Paine.