Sunday, November 29, 2015
Surely we can agree that what Christians need most is a good talking-to from people who don't share their beliefs.
It's quite something, isn't it? The same people who spend this time of year kicking over crèches, expunging Christmas carols, and ensuring no Christian prays in public nevertheless have an ironclad grasp of what Jesus thinks about everything from immigration, to abortion, to gay marriage and guns.
People who wouldn't dream of calling Caitlyn Jenner "Bruce" or pointing out that he's not a woman (much less "woman of the year") are perfectly at ease lecturing adherents of a faith they don't even follow.
On issue after issue, Christians routinely earn a jolly good spanking for not living up to leftists' standards or for questioning the supremacy of liberal orthodoxy.
The leitmotif is that Christians are hypocritical, failing to meet moral obligations that the critics themselves do not recognize.
Of particular bemusement is the glee displayed whenever a prominent Christian is caught misbehaving, as though this reveals some previously hidden truth about the faith. But if the jackals knew anything about Jesus’ stated mission, they’d know Christianity is a religion for bad people.
If you were already perfect, you wouldn’t need it. This is why Jesus is not a Christian.
And so we endure the know-it-all smirks of media types, the insufferable sanctimony of leftist celebrities and, of course, the ubiquitous, judgey rants of angry, showerless hippies.
Speaking of which, Barack Obama called it “shameful” and “not American” to consider prioritizing refugee status for Middle Eastern Christians who are fleeing ISIS and the Syrian civil war.
Why is that? Christianity has been the most persecuted religion in the world for some time, and the treatment of Christians in Syria and Iraq has been especially vicious. If they were of any other faith, would giving them special protection be likewise ruled out of bounds?
The question of Syrian refugees has occasioned a field day for those who sneer at Christians. To wit, anyone who questions the importation of tens of thousands of people about whom we know very little and have understandable security concerns is, ipso facto, making baby Jesus cry,
Knock it off, gaylord.
I honestly don't know what Jesus would do about the Syrian refugees, and neither do you. Certainly, he would prescribe love and compassion, but how best to apply that? Is welcoming a city-sized population of unknowable people from a region rife with terrorism compassionate to those who might be put at risk?
Would the best thing for Syrians be to establish safe zones close to their home, or even to help them win their country back?
These are difficult questions, with which many good people are grappling.
But it requires an egregious caliber of self-regard to suppose you know for certain what the answer is, based on a book you probably haven't read and don't believe, and to encapsulate your high-mindedness in a cartoon on your Facebook page.
Even George Stromboulopoulos, who should be saying nothing but sorry for his weekly desecration of the formerly revered institution of Hockey Night in Canada, delivered a bizarre little lecture to the “Bible Belt” by way of that damn Kermit meme.
Revealing the quality of judgment that sees him appear coast-to-coast-to-coast each week in pajamas fashioned into suits, Snuffalupagus enlists Kermit to equate Syrian refugees with a certain other “Middle Eastern family seeking shelter, fleeing persecution” at Christmastime. Get it?
He states it’s, “hard to disagree with the facts” but then mentions that “technically” Joseph and Mary were just traveling for the census of Caesar Augustus before adding, incomprehensively, “but it adds to the poignancy of the refusal.”
Never mind that this is hipster doofus nose-ring nonsense – there’s a dig at Christians to be had so, as the kids say, I’m just going to leave this right here.
In my previous column, I mentioned the politically correct spontaneous combustion of Liberal Cabinet Minister Chrystia Freeland on Real Time with Bill Maher. I bring it up again for two reasons: First, stupidity of this sort cannot be confined to a single session of prose; second, as she is my Member of Parliament, I claim the special privilege of acute embarrassment.
In her mangled wreck of a discourse, in which she attempted to create an equivalence among extremists of all religions, Freeland noted, “The Bible says, ‘an eye for an eye.’”
Neither Freeland, nor her fellow panelists, nor even columnists purporting to upbraid her for her performance possessed the biblical literacy to know that Jesus specifically refuted that concept. This is how we got the expression, “turn the other cheek” (which the Lutherans famously adapted to, “kiss my ass”).
Nevertheless, despite knowing almost nothing about the religion, while oversimplifying and misinterpreting what little they have gleaned, the left are quite sure that whatever has gone wrong, Christians are somehow to blame.
Which of course brings us to Colorado, and the recent shooting in and around a Planned Parenthood clinic.
In the media and online, it was striking to see the clawing desperation for the perpetrator to be a practicing Christian.
Even after it was revealed that Robert Lewis Dear has no religious bent (he isn’t even a Republican!), the UK’s Daily Mail reported that a cross “was displayed outside his house.” Have a look at the “display” yourself.
Egads, it’s a pair of sticks which, if you look at sideways, yeah, kinda looks like a cross (either that, or…I got nothing, it’s a pair of sticks).
No matter – to these people, he may as well have erected a scale replica of Christ the Redeemer on his roof.
Among the most relentless accusers are former or nominal Christians, eager for the “strange new respect” of the mainstream left.
An erstwhile friend of mine, who has made a career of hopping back and forth between sides in the culture wars and sneering at whomever he disagrees with at the moment, was quick to proclaim, “Many ‘Christians’ should be deeply ashamed today.”
Mind you, this was without knowing the shooter’s religion or political affiliation – and he has none, to speak of. Based solely on the fact that he was inside a clinic of Planned Parenthood – where no staff or patients were injured – he is presumed to be Christian and his guilt is extrapolated to other adherents of what is (for now) the world’s largest religion.
Now, my old pal may be a toothache and a bore, but he is far from anomalous. The internet and the airwaves were inundated with silly-bears of this sort, complete with the tiresome, preening self-righteousness the supposedly tolerant reserve for Christians.
But you know what? Let’s give it to them. Let’s assume the shooter was a tambourine-banging, Benny Hinn-believing, white suit-wearing Christian weirdo (or, if you like, a busy-fingered pederast protected by Vatican City’s lavender mafia – whatever stereotype makes you feel most self-satisfied).
Isn’t this when the reflex to proclaim that a person’s religion has nothing to do with their actions kicks in?
Just ask John “You Name It” Kerry about all the other things that cause people to do bad things before religion is to blame.
What’s that you say? Only one religion benefits from that kind of rote, politically correct defence? You’re almost there.
It’s true, Islam inspires people to find new and exciting ways to explain away the plain truth of some of its adherents’ behaviour. But no other religion would be so swiftly, viciously, and comprehensively villainized for the actions of one believer as Christianity.
Sure, a lot of people don’t like Israel, but no responsible, otherwise employable person would come out against “Jews” immediately after an attack like the one in Colorado, even if there were evidence of a Jewish culprit.
So, while Islam is uniquely protected and cherished by those who wish to think well of themselves, it is merely first among equals. Perhaps Islam’s defenders are so eager and unequivocal in their insistence that the religion has nothing to do with violence because they’ve had so many opportunities to rehearse this line.
Among many other things, political correctness is a conscious choice to invert reality. In this case, whenever we are attacked by radical Muslims, the acceptable leftist reaction is to insist that the group most in need of protection and accommodation is Muslims.
Only Christians can be instantly blamed, and subjected to collective guilt.
To those who indulge in these daily little judgments and mass assumptions, I say the following:
I am a Christian, but not a very good one. In fact, I’m Presbyterian, which barely even counts. I’m not supposed to tell you I think you’re a dope and your worldview is mush-minded idiocy (in this way, I do the job other Christians won’t). I do and it is, but that’s between me and God.
Which brings up another point – if you knew my religion’s holy book nearly as well as your smug status updates and moronic hashtags suggest, you’d know you weren’t put on this earth to be my judge. Jesus specifically said that before you worry about the speck in my eye, you ought to take the stick out of somewhere yourself.
Theo Caldwell is standing in the dark. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, November 23, 2015
For ages, it seemed “racist” was the only world liberals knew, much like “Hodor.”
No matter the crisis or quandary, just give them a minute and those on the left could explain how racism, probably yours, was the cause of it all.
It was the only rhetorical move they had – and the only one they needed. No matter how abstract, they would apply it to any policy dispute, as in, “Oh, you aren’t in favour of Obamacare? Racist!”
Obviously, the technique has not lost its utility, as demonstrated by the shrieking eels currently making themselves heard across American college campuses.
But along the way, they came up with a new catch-all: “climate change” (actually, their original term was “global warming” but, as there has been no “warming” in almost 20 years, they’ve had to adapt).
Democratic presidential candidate and angry Muppet Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called climate change the greatest crisis we face (in this inanity, he is far from alone), and has even averred that this invented problem is the cause of Islamic terrorism and responsible for ISIS.
Funny how climate change doesn’t cause Christians or Jews to go on murderous rampages.
This is, of course, an exquisite vintage of stupid, but it does not end there.
A popular liberal claim is that 300,000 people die from climate change every year. As to which specific people these might be, that’s where the reception gets a little fuzzy. ‘Twas always thus.
Socialists love people in groups of a million or more. Consequently, they insist their preferred crises are walloping some colossal number of people, rather than give a name – just one – of a victim and explain specifically how that person was affected.
For example, aid worker Anita Datar, who devoted her life to helping others, was gunned down by Islamic terrorists. She was one among many victims of this genuine crisis this month alone, and their names are easy to find.
Presumably, the roster of those killed by climate change is alongside the list of those who’ve died from second-hand smoke.
My pal Gerry Nicholls recently quipped that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, frustrated at not being taken seriously, ordered Canadian war planes to bomb climate change. Not for the first time, Gerry might be on to something.
If we are fed up with leaders who insist on obsessing over a made-up crisis in the face of a real one, we should just tell them ISIS has a sasquatch-sized carbon footprint. That’ll make their bull run.
Speaking of bull, Hillary Clinton boldly asserts that Muslims, “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”
If you subscribe to the belief that the vast majority of Muslims are neither terrorists not terrorist sympathizers (and I do), it is still patently obvious that Islam has at least something to do with terrorism.
But the worldview of people like Hillary, Justin, and Bernie is not about facts. It is about something else entirely.
Among the many life lessons to be gleaned from Kung Fu Panda is that we must let go of the illusion of control. It is well-documented that liberals are all about controlling their fellow man. Here, they strive to control the very nature of mankind.
It would be more convenient if Muslims had nothing to do with terrorism, which were really caused by climate change, and if any assertion to the contrary could be dismissed as racism.
Speaking of which, it is bemusing when leftists who wish to call you anti-Muslim scream “Racist!” as though this worldwide religion of over a billion adherents were somehow a race.
As the kids say, what the actual F?
The truth is, ISIS is not under control (nor is it “contained”) and no amount of insisting that our problems are of our own making, and thereby mutable by altering our own behaviour, will make them so.
To the liberal mind, however, it is always our fault (or, more particularly, your fault), and there is no problem too complex to be encapsulated by that dopey Facebook meme of Kermit the Frog drinking his damn tea. But that’s none of my business.
Steve Sailer has described political correctness as a “war on noticing.”
If you notice, therefore, that there has been no actual global warming in nigh two decades, or that a lot of “workplace violence” tends to be prefaced with “Allahu Akbar!” then you are declaring hostilities.
As to the former, it is impossible to take environmentalists’ worship of “science” seriously, or even to respect their capacity for basic mental agility after watching the Congressional testimony of Sierra Club President Aaron Mair on this topic. Take a look, I’ll wait.
And as to the latter, bear in mind that that same US government that promises to subject “Syrian refugees” to strict scrutiny also scrutinized Nidal Hasan right up to the rank of Army Major before he self-deployed as a “Soldier of Allah” and slaughtered his colleagues at Fort Hood.
Whether American-born like Hasan or foreign unfortunates like those fleeing the Middle East, the liberal mind has a willful blind spot when it comes to Muslims.
Incidentally, if your appetite has been whetted for footage of leftists discrediting their own positions through witless, inarticulate defences thereof, have a gander at Liberal Cabinet Minister Chrystia Freeland on Real Time with Bill Maher recently. Take your time, I’ll be here.
Where were we? Oh, right – you’re a racist. Also, 97 percent of scientists agree you’re worse than Hitler.
Racism and climate change are the one-two purse-slaps of political correctness.
On the topic of those Syrian refugees, accusations of racism have been predictably and ubiquitously leveled at all those who voice concerns about importing tens of thousands of unknowable people from such a hotbed of climate change.
As Canadian commentator Rex Murphy wisely noted, “Keeping our eyes open does not close our hearts.”
To the left, people who use their eyes, or their brains, or who speak the truth, are all racists. Just live with it. It’s how they roll.
Liberals refuse to see, and so they are perpetually mystified by the obvious. Also, it seems they want to be mad at someone, anyone. Political correctness offers permissible rage, moral superiority, and the ability to shrink existential problems to manageable size.
To the climate change obsessives, I say with the utmost compassion, you really need to get over it. Open your eyes, please, as we could use your help with the real problems of our age.
And to those who have, do, or will call me a racist: Y’all can kiss my black ass.
I will not go back and forth in a discussion instituted in bad faith, nor am I required to prove my innocence to self-appointed judges. Also, your fly is open.
Do they really believe it? That is, do otherwise cogent, seemingly sane adults honestly think the major challenges of this world can be miniaturized and explained away by first world obsessions? Or, as I suspect, are they just repeating received wisdom, having learned their outrage phonetically?
Either way, if you blame racism or climate change, without irony, for the crises of our time, you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.
Theo Caldwell has a dream. Contact him at email@example.com
Monday, November 16, 2015
Anger is a funny thing. It gets a bad rap, but it serves a purpose.
I have written before that accusations of anger are a common device to delegitimize and dismiss opposing viewpoints. Similarly, you may have heard it said that the first man to raise his voice has lost the argument. That’s bollocks on stilts.
Wrath may be a deadly sin, but it’s not the same. Anger is a legitimate emotion, gifted to us for a reason, and hopefully deployed with just cause. Conversely, wrath connotes an unhinged, unfocused fury, also suggesting vengeance, which belongs to God.
Jesus showed anger. He also wept. He knew there is a time for each.
With a monsoon of respect for my newly tri-coloured friends all over Facebook, and the world leaders and private citizens repeating the “our hearts go out” mantra after the terrorist attacks in Paris, this is not a time to wallow in sadness. This is a time for anger.
As I type, the three days of mourning declared by French President Francois Hollande are concluding and his promised, pitiless ass-kicking has commenced. That is good.
What we need now is a controlled burn, a tempered rage, as we remember what was done to those poor souls in Paris, then look at our loved ones and recognize that, given the opportunity, our enemies will do the same to them.
This is not over, not by a long chalk. We must summon the will, and the anger, to end this war on our terms.
To begin, we must recognize what we are fighting. For many people, this is uncomfortable, and forces them to articulate truths they have been conditioned to believe are hateful or bigoted. But this need not be so.
We may acknowledge that our adversaries are human, and came into this world worthy of the love and dignity of every living person. As the poet Terence wrote, “Humani nihil a me alienum puto,” or, “I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”
But we must also realize that they are in the thrall of a great evil. Radical Islam is a powerful thing and, like other murderous ideologies we have known – Nazism and communism among them – it can seduce people by the millions.
If we accept the popular insistence that 90 percent of the world’s Muslims are not bent on jihad toward the West – or 95 or 99 percent, let’s say – then even a best-case scenario leaves us with 13 million people eager for our death. That’s several times more numerous than the largest standing army the world has ever known.
The hippy-dippy formulation that “religion” is to blame is willfully blind to the destructive tendencies of one religion in particular.
A friend of mine, whose views I respect in all areas except his snide denunciation of faith, posited that all those offering “prayers” for Paris should remember that “praying” is what motivated the terrorists in the first place.
Honestly, cut the crap. If, God forbid, you find yourself the victim of a suicide bomber or held hostage by a group of fanatics, you know damn well they won’t be Methodists.
Insisting on a false equivalence among every religion while placing yourself serenely above it all only makes things harder and causes you to look like a pompous dick.
Likewise, scolds who rush to tell us we shouldn’t condemn “all Muslims” are lecturing no constituency of consequence.
No one is condemning “all” Muslims (in fact, a number of people refuse to condemn any). But it is safer and easier to tut-tut the rest of us than to name and confront real evil.
To those people I would reply, instead of preaching and coming up with ways to make yourself look good, perhaps pitch in and help – because, like it or not, you’re in this fix with us.
It’s often said that politics is downstream from culture. Consequently, if men like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau insist on chirping about “climate change” in this time of genuine crisis, it is because we allow it.
What we say to one another, and the things we believe in, matter a great deal. And so, if we allow ourselves to define our enemy in the form of radical Islam, we must then consider our side of the conflict.
What does our society stand for and is it worth defending? Are we nothing more than environmentalism, political correctness, and Caitlyn Jenner? If so, then let our surrender continue apace.
If, however, we maintain some flicker of the liberty bequeathed to us by generations past, and if we possess even a sliver of their courage, then I say that is worth fighting for. And I have a righteous anger at those who would take those things away.
I do not want this fight. I want to live in peace with my wife and family. But I am honked off that I will be leaving them a world less free and more unsafe than the one I have known.
Part of this fight is to be honest with ourselves, to afflict our own comfort. Hard decisions have to be made, both at home and abroad. Again and again, we will have to choose the lesser of two evils.
On immigration, for example, we must consider options that shake our sense of our own goodness, such as curtailing or ceasing the entry of people from Muslim-majority countries.
This includes the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees scheduled to receive asylum in Canada and the United States.
If it helps, consider that the United Nations has estimated that 75 percent of those fleeing Syria are men, and as many as 80 percent of the millions streaming across Europe are not Syrian at all, nor are they refugees. They are economic migrants, leaving nations where there is no civil war in order to find better lives in the West.
One feels empathy for such people, and guilt for denying them the opportunities of a society to which we had the great blessing to be born.
Nevertheless, we must proceed. Consider the number of hostiles outlined above. The risk is too great. As Mark Steyn notes of Paris, the barbarians are inside and there are no gates.
The imperfect but necessary solution to the refugee crisis is to establish safe zones in Syria and Turkey. This is accomplished as part of our overseas obligation: to destroy ISIS and take away its territory.
Western leaders are goaded by political adversaries and journalists with the shibboleth of favouring “boots on the ground” in Syria.
No sane person wants war. Even so, the correct response is yes, boots will be on the ground, in the air, and up ISIS’s ass, as necessary.
ISIS is not an insurgency. It is a state, controlling land across numerous countries, of the approximate size of the United Kingdom. This must not stand, and our response cannot be piecemeal. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, who knew a thing or two about military victory (and defeat), “If you start to take Vienna, take Vienna.”
Our military response must be overwhelming and sustained, until ISIS is destroyed in its lair. In so doing, we will kill those who would kill us.
It is supposed that Islam grew from the God of Abraham revealing Himself to a new people. If that is so, then that God knows that sometimes, bad guys have to die. You can look it up.
Most important, we need to remember that this is a war of ideas, and we must be fearless in defence of ours. We believe in freedom and the value of all human life (don’t we?). We reject cruelty and subjugation, and those who would impose the mortal supremacy of their beliefs on others deserve the business end of our might and anger.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, herself a victim of radical Islam, avers that, “European governments must do their own proselytizing in Muslim communities, promoting the superiority of liberal ideas. This means directly challenging the Islamic theology that is used by the Islamist predators to turn the heads and hearts of Muslims with the intent of converting them into enemies of their host countries.”
Just so. But to this, I would add that the conviction and strength of all of us is what shapes this fight, and informs what governments will do.
We elect leaders of disparate skills and character, and in time they all come and go. But what each of us believes and what we can bear – that is what will decide this conflict.
As the lyric goes, we have to choose to win or lose – and it’s time we started winning.
Theo Caldwell is damn mad. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 12, 2015
As the expression goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.
Specifically, if you find yourself made queasy by the group hugs among our new Liberal rulers, our moral and intellectual superiors in the news media, and the people we pay to make our lives that much more difficult through the public bureaucracy, you are in excellent company.
And since the Canadian federal election, you’ve been under pressure to get in line and start smiling like everyone else, haven’t you?
Resist that pressure to conform, push through the nausea, and keep speaking your mind.
Don’t be fooled by all the grinning, oleaginous calls for comity and putting differences aside. As I’ve written previously, this is what the left always does after winning an election – they declare the time for partisanship is at an end and it’s better that you just get with the program rather than stick to your principles.
Ask yourself – would they be so accommodating if we had won? Were they so eager to beat swords into ploughshares last time we prevailed?
Instead, I propose that we keep taking the piss out of them for the next four years at least, until we are hoarse and our ribs ache from laughing. Not only will this numb the pain and pass the time, but liberals are at their preening, unattractive worst when on the business end of humour.
It’s not that they can’t take a joke – it’s that they willfully refuse to acknowledge a joke when it’s at their expense. Rather, they attempt to recast mockery as intolerance, hate, violence, and, of course, “anger.”
It’s been awhile since I first supposed that “angry” is the new “racist.”
That is, the leftist tactic of accusing every opponent of racism having grown tired from overuse, they instead denounce those who disrupt sandbox play as furious and unhinged.
My own commentary has been called harsh. This puts me in mind of the one time I ran for public office, 15 years ago. I was 27 years old and advocated a few simple ideas: more free votes in Parliament, fixed election dates, lower taxes, and reducing government spending and debt.
For this, and for the unpardonable sin of running against the Liberals, I cannot count the number of times I was called a racist.
One morning, while canvassing outside a subway station, some urban beta-male (whom I guaran-damn-tee is some kinda Twitter tough guy nowadays) called me a Nazi, flashed a “Heil, Hitler!” salute, then ran through the turnstile and down the stairs before I could discuss it with him further.
I and my fellow candidates, many of whom were likewise economy-focused amateurs participating in the process for the first time, were called “bigots” and “Holocaust deniers” by a Liberal cabinet minister who shall remain nameless (hint: It was Elinor Caplan). And that person goes around with “Honourable” in front of her name.
Yet I’M harsh? Serve it on toast.
They’re getting better at it, but not much. A commenter on my previous column took issue with my characterization of Liberals as bionically stupid, but inelegantly attempted to conflate my derision of the left for their ideas with bigotry of the worst kind: “Every time someone expresses hatred towards another party, race, country, etc., by pigeonholing them and describing them in black-and-white ways, they are doing a disservice to society and to themselves.”
See how that works?
My ridicule of the left in general and Liberals as a party is juxtaposed with racial and national prejudice, in hopes of drawing an equivalence. Also, it’s “hatred.”
Never mind that judging people by skin colour rather than character content is the exact opposite of what I propounded. Persiflage is upgraded to incitement, as well.
Watch for that move.
The left cannot defeat you with ideas, gentle reader (to the extent they have any, they’ve all been discredited by the 20th century), but they will criminalize you if you’re not careful.
Beat them to the punch and never apologize, it says here.
And as to this “hatred” business, let’s dispense with that right now, my leftist friends: I don’t hate you and I’m not angry with you – no moreso than I could hate or be angry with a two-year-old monkey.
I think you’re misguided, I’m often embarrassed for you, I do worry you’re going to hurt yourself by chewing through a cord or swallowing car keys – but hate? Never.
The disingenuous little flower who attempted to re-characterize me from a poor man’s Mark Steyn (which I strive to be) to a Republican Robert Byrd (as if the GOP would tolerate one) concluded his whinge with a familiar plea: “Take the ‘other’ to lunch and listen to them.”
Ah, the old “listen” routine, as though we can ever escape hearing from the left. Now I’m meant to buy them a meal, too?
We’ve listened, we’ve heard you, and we think you’re already out to lunch.
This is reminiscent of agitators perpetually calling for a “conversation” about race, gender, what-have-you, or people who want to tell you about their religion but almost never want you to tell them about yours.
Of course we listen and talk to them.
We hear from liberals in the media non-stop, both in news and entertainment. We even have an inside joke with them about the movies and TV shows they produce (more of a plot twist, actually): Look for the first character to profess Christianity and he’s the true villain, in league with Big Business and neo-Nazis.
And they’re always full of good tips for real-life Christians about what Jesus would think about this policy issue or that one, and how we can adjust our views to be more Christ-like.
On a personal level, we talk to them all the time. They teach our kids, for heavens’ sake. They’re the ones who organize the Peace Assembly (formerly, “Remembrance Day Service”) and the Winter Festival (formerly, “Christmas Concert”).
Theirs is the mindset that gave us political correctness, government-enforced multiculturalism, and mandatory bilingualism coast-to-coast. (Speaking of which, I happened to read the French label on my shower curtain this morning: “Rideau de Douche.” Sounds a lot like Ottawa these days.)
Which brings us back to the news media, the Liberal Party, and members of the risibly named “public service.”
Of course journalists are feeling “sunny.” Their party was victorious.
Civil servants are all giddy, too. Like Arthur and England, the left and the bureaucracy are one.
Kevin D. Williamson calls the government payroll a more dignified form of public dependency for relatively low-skilled and mainly unenterprising people, whose main purpose is to stand between citizens and the things they wish to achieve, charging a fee to get out of the way.
It’s a question of who’s king of the castle.
Someone suggested to me that the next Conservative leader should promise two billion dollars for the CBC on the campaign trail then, after winning the election, put Ezra Levant in charge of the place.
Howzat for a hidden agenda?
You’d have the Friendly Giant digging oil fields with his bare hands. Tell me that’s not win-win.
Alas, the current CBC is just as it always was. Still, one wonders at how swiftly they go from antagonistic to prostrate once their preferred party takes power.
Peter Mansbridge is smarter than Justin Trudeau (heck, Peter Puck is smarter than Justin Trudeau). Why, then, does the venerable newsman feel the need to give the young ruler a full rub-down on the occasion of his swearing-in?
Is it purely pecuniary, as the Liberals have promised to give the CBC more money? One senses it is less a matter of quid pro quo than simply a shared ideology – and identity.
It is notable that both men have had wonderful careers handed to them with very little effort.
Mansbridge tells how he was hired by a CBC manager who liked the sound of his voice when he made a lost luggage announcement at the airport (perhaps the last unbiased report he ever gave).
And as for Justin, well…
We on the right have long since come to terms with that the CBC is about. We also accept that, among the rest of established news media, there is precious little comfort to be found.
About the Toronto Star, the less that is said, the better. As for the Globe and Mail and its affiliates, their girlish squeals that pass for analysis are barely worth mentioning.
The National Post, which features some genuinely top-notch columnists (take a bow, Chris Selley), is nonetheless too ideologically confused to be reliable.
Indeed, this is a long-standing problem and is part of why the then-Editor in Chief invited me to write columns for that paper almost a decade ago. I did so for three years, often frustrated by a hard-left opinion editor whose views on abortion, for just one example, made Henry Morgentaler look like Rick Santorum.
He also, in our first meeting, advised me that his major challenge was finding female columnists. Naively, I wondered aloud if his major challenge weren’t to find simply good columnists, such that readership would increase. I was young(ish) then, and not yet fully aware that, in the leftist worldview, everything – education systems, military and foreign policy, and certainly media outlets – are nothing more than the apparatus for politically correct, social engineering claptrap.
Consider another of the Post’s opinion editors, Andrew Coyne, who recently resigned his editorial position (while bravely keeping his lucrative column space) when the publishers spiked his endorsement of the NDP, and you get the picture.
Writing in the Post, Christie Blatchford purports to chide Mansbridge for conflicted and shoddy journalism. What she ends up doing is slagging Mansbridge for not massaging Justin quite the right way.
Justin’s a genius, you see, for not making too much of softball questions and letting Mansbridge do all the work. He not only found Justin’s lost luggage, he carried it for him, too.
It’s a question of perspective. J.J. McCullough has written a tremendous piece imagining what it might be like if the media reported on Stephen Harper’s first day in office like they reported on Justin’s.
Because when it’s a Liberal ascending, it’s “sunny ways,” no matter what. For just one example, as we speak, they are literally dumping tons of crap into the St. Lawrence River. Can you imagine the hysterical media outrage if a Conservative Environment Minister signed off on that?
I have heard from a number of people who suppose that after Justin inevitably founders in office, the media might admit their mistake. Fat chance. As with Barack Obama, they will double down, blame everyone else, and willfully deny the obvious.
But the market is changing. One feels for victims of now-routine layoffs at large media companies but, from a consumer’s perspective, it’s not hard to see why this happens. Traditional news media are predictably leftist, humourless and flat-footed. Who wants to pay for that?
New outlets, like The Rebel and Taki’s Magazine, represent a different business model. Even so, it’s often suggested that the powers that be will try to stifle us, or haul us up in front of one of their little star chambers. If only.
My friend Kathy Shaidle and I are in competition to see which of us can be first to garner a “human rights” complaint. We know you’re out there, you little crapweasels, and a word of advice – you’re better off sticking with me.
Put yourselves in a room with Shaidle and she’ll make what Ezra and Steyn did to you look like Mansbridge interviewing Justin.
(Incidentally, ever notice that “Human Rights Commission” has the same initials as “Hillary Rodham Clinton”? Discuss.)
Fortunately, we no longer have to hold still and be lectured on what is acceptable, or funny, or hateful or out-of-bounds by a handful of privileged, coddled, news media fossils.
You know why?
“Because it’s 2015.”
Theo Caldwell is the monster at the end of this book. Contact him at email@example.com
Saturday, November 7, 2015
If you’ve ever wondered what the meek will be like after they inherit the earth, have a look at a modern democracy after the left wins an election.
Actually, it doesn’t even need to be an election. A favourable court ruling will do.
Point being, you will see waves of intolerance, outbreaks of idiocy and, at no extra charge, lots and lots of smugness.
In Canada, as Liberal Justin Trudeau has been installed as prime minister, along with his quota-based cabinet, a George Clooney-type cloud of smug wafts over the capital and, conveyed and exacerbated by major news outlets, into every home in the nation.
Liberals are many things: Race-obsessed, certainly; smug, you betcha; but, more than anything, they are good ol’ fashioned stupid – so much so, they’re not even wrong, they’re just out where the buses don’t run.
For example, raise your hand if, since Justin’s election victory, you or an opinion-maker with whom you agree has criticized the Liberal worldview only to be countered with, “You don’t understand how democracy works!”
The presumption transgresses stupidity into a kind of derangement: We won the election, therefore you no longer have the right to disagree with us.
Specifically, the Liberals were elected by fewer than 40 percent of the Canadian electorate, with a lower percentage of the vote than the Conservatives, led by the Dread Pirate Harper, had won four years before and somehow, they think this gives them a monopoly on acceptable opinion.
We understand democracy just fine. It is the left who don’t understand how Canada works.
Similarly, when I ascribe near-dictatorial powers to a Canadian prime minister with a majority, as I and others have done for decades, we are pointing out a bipartisan condition of the nation’s parliament. Canada lacks the Constitutional checks and balances of the United States, or even the intraparty leadership mechanisms of other Westminster systems, such as Australia or the United Kingdom, and therefore vests greater power in its head of government.
Benighted to this basic and uncontroversial fact of the country they were so eager to “take back,” Liberals absurdly suppose that we are making a charge against Justin in particular, then point to some dastardly excess, real or imagined, of his predecessor, who is irrelevant to the discussion.
But since they keep bringing him up: I don’t give a sweet tinker’s damn about Stephen Harper, never much cared for him, and rarely write about him. While he deserves credit for winning in the first place, he did his party, and his country, a grave disservice by hanging on too long and losing.
About the nicest thing I’ve said about Harper is that he was the best available leader in this recent election – the other options being Justin, Thomas Mulcair, and Mulcair’s beard.
And now look where we are: A really rich guy who used to be a mime or something has been given his dad’s old job and near-total power and we’re all supposed to say that’s super. Moreover, any dissent is an affront to “democracy!”
Speaking of dissent, remember when it was the highest form of patriotism? In the United States, that was when George W. Bush was president. But somewhere about 12 noon on January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama took over, dissent became racist.
It happens that fast, gentle reader.
Let us return to that aforementioned, quota-attaining, ceiling-shattering cabinet of Justin’s, as it provides a valuable object lesson.
“Great to see the diversity!” enthused a city councillor of my acquaintance, who has been described as a spinning 8-ball of leftist clichés.
Ah, the diversity!
Bathe in it. Rub it all over yourself. Don’t be shy, really get in there.
To leftists, as you know, diversity means people who look different but think alike.
Diversity of opinion, however, is so not cool.
And therein lies an advantage of the right. Conservatives are culturally bilingual. We know what the left thinks, awash as we are in their bilge from our first day in school, to every movie and TV show, to every time we are trapped in an airport lounge, forced to watch CNN.
About us, they haven't a clue, hence the absurd caricatures they construct of conservatives as unintelligent troglodytes or vampiric billionaires. Moreover, they have an extreme, phobic reaction to arguments from the other side, like someone who burns down their house to kill a spider.
I am scrupulous about including my email at the bottom of every column I publish, such that the like-minded may heap praise upon me and the angry left may unburden themselves, if they must.
Most important, if I have made a mistake or my ideas can be improved upon, I wish to know.
I endeavour to write back to every person who writes me, positive or negative, but I find the secondary-market discussion interesting.
Detractors, in particular, would rather talk about you than to you. They'd rather take a picayune point that they disagree with, or likely don't understand, and make a day of it elsewhere than come to you for clarification. Because, as you know, it isn't about you at all.
It's about them, their bias confirmation, tapping that reward center, being affirmed by their tribe.
Kathy Shaidle is fond of saying that it is best to read online columns from the bottom up – that is, start with the comments (take note, Sun Media).
Taking her advice to heart, I considered some leftist reaction to my most recent column, starting with this gem:
“Seeing that our new Defence Minister wears a turban and our new Minister of Democratic Institutions, who is in charge of reforming our entire electoral system, is a 30 year old Muslim woman. It’s so great to have our country back.”
See, that is how people know you’re stupid. That, right there.
Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s new Minister of National Defence, is a human being, with skills and aspirations – and, according to some reports, a legitimate ass-kicker – and you reduce the man to what he’s got on his head.
Throughout history, wonderful deeds and dastardly acts have been performed by people in all kinds of headwear.
It is even rumoured that Beethoven composed his entire Eroica symphony while wearing Hello, Kitty! earmuffs. And so?
To be clear, I don’t care if the Defence Minister comes to work in nothing but a codpiece and a unicorn mask, softly singing, “My horn can pierce the sky.” I care what he thinks and how competent he is. I know, I know, that’s racist.
And to be clearer still, for gentle Liberals who deliberately misunderstand in order to call someone a bigot, I am not making fun of people in turbans – I am making fun of you.
Another commenter, whom I believe to be Margaret Atwood employing a nom de plume, wrote:
“Justin just kicked your political ass…It’s about time you started acting Canadian.”
That last bit is at once ominous and idiotic, is it not?
Where, pray tell, is one sent to learn to “act Canadian”? And by whose standard?
To readers of a certain vintage, it is familiar to hear Liberals once again lecture us on how their values are, ipso facto, “Canadian” values.
No, you dweebs, they’re just your values, and north of 60 percent of the country didn’t vote for you, either.
And while we’re at it, I’m tired of being told how “sunny” I’m supposed to be. My country has just elected as its leader the dumbest man I have ever seen wearing a tie. Don’t expect me to act chipper.
I’m not interested in playing along, or going about grinning like an imbecile while the nation is stupefied and ransacked. It is my patriotic duty to help elect someone else at our earliest opportunity.
And anyway, our new, sunshine-worshipping overlords aren’t as cheery as all that.
On “social media,” the inaptly termed domain of the most unsocial, light-averse, pock-marked wretches known to man, their misery is even more pronounced.
We who opine in the public square, particularly from the right, are acutely familiar with the standard liberal rejoinders. Time was, you couldn't say boo without some online vigilante calling you a racist. That still happens, of course, but even the left seems to feel that's getting a little played.
My favourite epithet is “someone called,” meant to characterize you as beneath their notice, even as they are clearly noticing and writing about you, as in, “Someone called Theo Caldwell is a H8R and needs to STFU #lovewins.”
This is, some anonymous internet dork purports to have read your work, then goes to the trouble of commenting on it, but feels the need to preface his queeny remarks by pretending he doesn’t know who you are.
Since you don't know me, would you value my opinion more if I told you I were wearing a turban as I type? Top hat? How about a sombrero?
Of course not, because these prejudices only go one way.
Likewise, if, say, Lisa Raitt or Michelle Rampel were to become Conservative leader and challenge Justin in the next federal election, would these people cooing about all the women, women everywhere in the Liberal cabinet be as excited about electing a female prime minister?
Watch this space.
Meantime, maybe ask Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina how that "break the glass ceiling" stuff works out when you're on the right.
Liberals may be race-obsessed knobs and gender-parity fetishists, but only when it suits their interests.
To the left, politics is everything, and it isn’t just personal – it’s religious. They yearn to be ruled, to bow down to a god of their own making. Since Moses, liberals have been worshipping a Golden Mooncalf in one form or another.
And, like true believers, they are relentless. From being barely alive like Steve Austin after the crash, they always come roaring back, dumber than they were before: Dumber, angrier, more smug.
Indeed, when Justin is conjuring a thought, you can almost hear that bionic noise as the scene goes to slow motion.
For example, asked to explain the deliberate 50-50 split of women and men in his cabinet, he replied, "It's 2015."
The follow-up should be, "Exactly. And in 2015, can we not treat people as people, judge them on their merits, or must we continue to apply quotas, as though we are nothing more than our colour or sex?"
But no, not only is the pat answer accepted, Liberals praise it and hashtag it and point to it as a feat of superhuman mental strength.
In case you are unprepared: Justin will say similar, shorthand, stupid things over the next four years, and each emittance will be lauded as Solomonic wisdom. Get used to it.
But Liberals, like all fanatics, harbour a secret doubt. They can't name it, maybe don't even recognize it, but if we're right and they're wrong, their universe collapses.
Let's speed this up a bit: We are right, Justin is a very silly man, and they should take their citizenship more seriously than to put someone like that in charge. Geez, he's not even wearing a hat.
Our hope is that, once the Liberals are done playing with the shiny buttons, breaking things, and putting things in their mouths that they really shouldn’t, there will be enough left of our country to rebuild.
Theo Caldwell made you look. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 5, 2015
“If he can do it, so can I!”
This sentiment has been bouncing around Canadian cultural and political circles lately, as the nation sees Liberal leader and noted lightweight Justin Trudeau installed as prime minister.
Specifically, as the 43-year-old Justin, who can claim no accomplishment other than surviving childbirth, is granted near-dictatorial federal power, decent people in various fields are wondering if they could also wade into politics and attain similar, sudden success.
The short answer is: No, you can’t.
The quickest explanation is that, unlike you, Justin inherited a kajillion dollars and the Liberal Party of Canada and, when he was good and ready, took up his post in the family business.
You couldn’t surpass Justin from a standing start any more than you could run a bigger cable company than Ed Rogers, or a larger grocery chain than Galen Weston, Jr.
Even as a scion of another political family, the son of a successful, recent prime minister, that tack won’t work if you’re a Conservative (Mark Mulroney, please call your office).
We in Canada don’t talk about liberal media bias quite as much, or as loudly, as they do in the United States (nor, as it happens, do we talk as much about individual liberty – and we ought to), but it is nonetheless a reality.
If a Conservative leadership candidate were as dazed and underqualified as Justin, he would be hooted off the stage. Indeed, even if that person were credentialed to the teeth, the media default is to characterize right-wingers as stupid or evil, so we’d get one or both.
So, exhaling in unison, let us agree that we cannot do what Justin just did – at least, not the same way.
Rather, to be successful in anything like the near future, Conservatives must be different from anything we have seen before, innovative, visionary, funny, and engaging. Most important, they must refuse to play by the media’s rules.
If this advice seems Trumpian, it bears mentioning that, so far at least, the approach has worked, albeit in another country. But take the recent presidential debate performances of Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, if you prefer.
Naming the mainstream media’s biases and refusing to accept their assumptions, these men are changing the nature of the national argument.
Gotcha stuff doesn’t work if you refuse to let it. But not an inch must be given. One sniveling apology or craven clarification is like a drop of blood to a school of piranha.
A successful leader of the right must reject the premises of the news media, advocate traditional values eschewed by recent predecessors, take the case directly to the people, and make them laugh (for the right reasons).
You show me a respectable, Conservative Member of Parliament, who has served in various capacities and mouths media-approved pieties, and I’ll show you a loser.
If there is no excitement or pizazz to Justin’s principal opponent, his reign will make Mackenzie King’s look like Kim Campbell’s.
On the left, the response to Justin’s coronation seems rather different and, true to form, denies the obvious reality of how we got here.
Writing in the Globe and Mail, Leah McLaren gives Justin a public tongue-bath, emblematic of the embarrassing, corporate vapidity of that newspaper and its affiliates.
Rather than depict Justin as the life-lottery jackpot winner he clearly is, McLaren carries on as if he were some kind of overachiever. This is how it’s going to be, is it?
As I’ve written previously, Justin is too obviously vacant and not of favoured ethnic background such that we have to pretend he’s a genius, as was the case with Barack Obama. Even so, are we meant to act like Justin becoming prime minister was an accomplishment, rather than inevitable?
Speaking of which, while most readers immediately appreciated the Justin-Obama parallel (and it has been gratifying to see the same, basic column re-published repeatedly under different bylines), a number have suggested that Justin is less Canada’s Obama than its George W. Bush. Presumably, they mean the advantage of a prominent name and infrastructure in federal politics.
Interesting assignment: Seek out the musings of those who characterized George W. Bush as a dunderhead who fell into the family business and got lucky. Do they say anything similar about Justin now?
For those who somehow think the comparison might be unfavourable to the 43rd president, consider that unlike Justin, who did not complete a number of degree programs, Bush actually graduated from both Yale and Harvard and became a two-term governor of Texas before winning national office. As to the competence of the two men in leading governments, we’ll just see, won’t we?
I will say, having met both men, if I had to choose one of them as my partner for a to-the-death game of Trivial Pursuit, that would be my easiest decision of the day.
As to the affirmative action component of the leftist worldview, columnist Anthony Furey opines on the ridiculousness of Justin’s quota-driven Cabinet appointments, noting that Justin himself “rose to power on everything but merit.”
The need to bean-count people by race, gender and, increasingly, sexual orientation is an absurd tic of the left in general, the Liberal Party in particular, and is shared by their closest allies: mainstream journalists.
One reason major Canadian news outlets are so unwatchable, unlistenable, barely readable and gawdawful is that they are the most glaring affirmative action racket in the country, aside from government – albeit prioritizing gender before race.
It’s not that women or members of preferred minority groups cannot perform the required tasks. It’s that those ensconced in prominent positions are there because of identity politics, crowding out more talented, intelligent and, certainly, conservative members of the same cohort.
If you are employed by a large operation, look at your own workplace. You can probably identify young, eager women and people of various colours who could do things better than the sinecured mediocrities above them who are always leaving at 3 to pick up their kid, while simultaneously complaining how sexist life is (and you can perhaps also recognize that the most common obstacle to women rising in the workplace isn’t men – it’s other women).
If you are an employer, you know how difficult it is to hire and retain good people. You are likely bemused whenever you hear some breathless news report about workplace discrimination against women, or a glass ceiling, or what a misogynist racist you probably are. (Incidentally, the irony of that report being read aloud by a 20-something woman with a Media Arts degree and earning six figures for getting the words in the right order is probably not lost on you.)
You know that if you can find a good, competent person who can do the job for a fair wage and will stick around, you don’t care what colour or gender they are (I am addressing these comments, of course, to people who live in the real world, rather than the imaginary villains of leftist fantasies, wherein liberals are always Denzel Washington in Philadelphia, or Dolly Parton in 9 to 5, etc.).
If that person happens to be of a particular sex, hue, or persuasion, such that hiring them keeps the diversity enforcers off your back a little longer, so be it, but this is not your chief concern.
I recall some years ago, being at the home of a prominent Liberal Party member, forming a volunteer committee to deal with some municipal issue. As people put up their hands for various assignments, our host stopped midway, counted the men and women, said he wanted there to be “gender balance” and so started the process all over again.
This is simply how these people talk. They cannot help it, and they know no other way to be.
Similarly, a Liberal female friend of mine, in a casual conversation about racial quotas that I should have known to leap through the window or fake a seizure to avoid, snapped at me, “I DO know, Theo, that things go best when people from different cultures work together.”
I was struck by the finality with which she made the remark, as though she were slapping down the Queen of Spades in a game of Hearts.
Since the Tower of Babel, that has been bollocks on stilts.
Diversity of thought is what matters. The rest is window-dressing at best, and a disaster at worst.
Please remember this when some gimlet-eyed complainer wails about the number of straight, white males on a panel or in a particular profession. By that logic, if you put Justin and, say, Ezra Levant on the same committee, do you suppose it would be lopsided, with both of them saying the same things?
But again, further to Furey’s comments, this touchy-feely, multi-culti, set-aside psychobabble applies to you, not them. As he points out, the Liberals are the only major federal political party that has never had a female leader, even as it lectures the rest of us on what Stanley Kowalski chauvinists we all are. But don’t expect their current boss to step aside in the name of gender diversity.
There is perhaps no more privileged, coddled, entitled person in all of Canada than Justin Trudeau. To be clear, Justin has become the second-youngest prime minister in Canadian history by virtue of being a wealthy, white, male heir of a family business, bearing its brand name as his own, assisted by an ideologically uniform news media, and exempted from the credentialing requirements and professional rigours of any adult reading this column.
In short, Justin is the beneficiary of the precisely the same patriarchal, Old Boy nepotism of which the left incessantly accuses the rest of society.
Which is why, my aspiring conservative compatriots, we cannot hope to achieve success the same way – nor should we want to.
It is not in our nature to divvy people up by skin colour, sex and proclivity. We believe that, at long last, it is time to treat people, simply, as people.
Let us rise or fall, sink or swim, tumble or soar based on our own merits. That is our game. Let’s not play theirs.
If we can meet this challenge with vigour, wit, wisdom and good humour we may yet, to borrow a phrase, take our country back.
Theo Caldwell is taller than he looks. Contact him at email@example.com