Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Liberals vs. Liberty

What’s in a name?

As Canada is about to rediscover good and hard, “Liberal” has precious little to do with “Liberty.”

You know the story. If there’s someone telling you what you can say, what you should eat, what car you’re allowed to drive and where you can smoke (answer: nowhere, you racist!), chances are they’re a liberal.

It is possible the starry-eyed younger voters who allegedly propelled Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to victory in last week’s federal election might not mind so much, being the generation of playdates and bicycle helmets and having everything planned and monitored for them. Then again, as always with these things, it is a matter of degree, and experience.

Justin’s priorities read like a liberal Luther’s list of approved pieties, with the sanctity of gay marriage and abortion on demand prominent among them. True to leftist form, there is no tolerance for dissent, either within his party or, increasingly, in the country at large.

On gay marriage, one can hear the squeals already: “It’s the law of the land! Don’t tell me who I can love! Go back to Alabama!”

Fair enough. But what is significant about this issue is the revisionist history and totalitarian mindset it represents.

What is most Orwellian is not the redefinition of marriage, but the way in which we are all obliged to pretend this was always the way of things. Twenty seconds ago, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and even Canada’s two previous Liberal prime ministers, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, assured the public that “gay marriage” was something they opposed.

Now, we are all meant to pretend this was a ceaseless, decades-long struggle for “equality” in which the forces of darkness were, at long last, defeated in the Supreme Courts of Canada and the United States.

That Twilight Zone aspect to the gay marriage debate (as much as there is one anymore) is peculiar enough. But then we get to the liberty-squelching overreach at hand.

What is gay marriage, really, other than the government dictating to religious people and institutions the new terms of their most important sacrament?

Spare me the silly-bears about about “telling people who they can love” (the disingenuousness of that plaint only slightly more grating than its dreadful grammar). Love whomever you like, it says here.

Like most limited government advocates, I concur with Dennis Miller’s philosophy on sexual matters: I don’t care if you enjoy stuffing an armadillo down your pants, just don’t ask to borrow my armadillo.

Indeed, having experienced the bureaucratic nightmare that attends even traditional marriage, I propose that government should get out of the nuptial game altogether. Where are the “separation of church and state” warriors on this one?

Marriage does not belong to government – or at least, it should not – but, in the liberal mindset, everything does.

This is why they gush molten idiocy like, “Government is just another word for the things we choose to do together.” No it isn’t. “Government” is a word for the next thing liberals want to control.

If you oppose, or even question, the liberal agenda, you are plainly corrupted by bigotry, or Big Oil, or the Koch brothers or, of course, the Bible (Incidentally, is the Koran okay with gay marriage? Could someone please check?)

But oh, yeah – “love wins.

Speaking of which, the Bible comes in for a lot of grief from people who haven’t read it (conversely, the Koran gets Spartans at Thermopylae-type defence from people who haven’t read it, either).

Differ even slightly from politically correct orthodoxy and some liberal theologian with a nose ring will be right there to tell you to keep your Bible off her body.

And yet, there are more rules in a campus conduct code than in the entire book of Leviticus.

Even Moses came down the mountain with only Ten Commandments. Thanks to liberals, there are more than that for putting out your trash.

Jesus had two main instructions: Love God and love one another.

Liberals are at their insufferable, preening worst when lecturing Christians on what Jesus would do. These are people who embrace and proclaim the caricatures of Christians as either paedophile priests or the town elders from Footloose.

Return to the topic of abortion from my previous column, and the comfort of men like Justin and Obama with ending the life of a fully formed baby, or leaving it to die on a table if it survives an abortion attempt.

On whose side do you think Jesus would come down – that of the wealthy, well-fed doctors and their liberal enablers, or the mewling infant, struggling for life?

Jesus was on the side of the powerless. In our culture of victimhood, the powerful are those who can accuse others of bigotry. That option is unavailable to speechless infants, in a world where we are ordered to declare an unborn child’s life is “between a woman and her doctor.”

Justin defends his abortion stance as wanting “to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them.” But how is ending a baby’s life in the name of extremist ideology not precisely the opposite?

Liberals want to take away every liberty that little person will ever have.

Jesus had a temper, and he hated some things – lies and hypocrisy come to mind (wealthy environmentalists who fly around on private jets while lecturing others on how to live might consider how this is applicable).

But being as they are so often in error yet never in doubt, I swear, if he were around today, liberals would accuse Jesus of not being Christ-like.

To be sure, Jesus loved his fellow man (so much so, he gave his life for them), but that didn’t mean he went about grinning like an imbecile, bro-hugging everyone like a Burning Man hippie no matter what they did.

He didn’t tell the adulterous woman, “Keep up the good work.” He said, “Go, and sin no more.”

But sin, to the liberal mindset, is very much as Obama defined it: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

Nice work, if you can get it: You get to decide what’s right and wrong, both for yourself and, if you are fortunate enough to achieve high office, for everyone else as well.

Speaking of Obama, a mantra of American liberals is that his presidency failed because Republicans fought him on every issue. Lost on them is that this is precisely how the government is supposed to work. Congressional Republicans were also elected, by the half of America who do not share Obama’s worldview.

Justin will have no such institutional impediments, as a Canadian prime minister with a majority is not inconvenienced by the checks and balances of the American system.

Even so, those of us who speak out against him know we will be labelled enemies of “progress.”

Again, liberals are unacquainted with liberty, benighted to the notion that other visions might hold merit, and therefore all opposition is considered insolence, if not blasphemy.

“Conservative” is similarly a misnomer, by the way, albeit less significant at the moment, as Justinian the First takes up the seat of St. Pierre.

We who aver that government should play a smaller role in daily life, colloquially and as a matter of party affiliation, are termed “conservative.”

In fact, rather than wishing to conserve old systems, we are eager to engineer new ones, part of which involves getting government out of things they have controlled for some time (and for many of us, this includes decriminalizing marijuana and ending America’s idiotic “War on Drugs”).

We believe your property should be yours to do with as you see fit, that your words should be your own to speak and defend, that all lives matter, no matter what colour or how small, and that you, as Thoreau articulated, should be free to live the life you’ve imagined and go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

But again, it is liberals, not conservatives, who hold power today. And don’t they know it.

Liberals are the speech police, the diversity enforcers, the abortion absolutists, the peanut allergy pantywaists, the no-smoking scolds, the conformity Cosa Nostra, and the environmentalist goon squad. But they are not champions of liberty.

Theo Caldwell is a quiet man who’s had enough. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Friday, October 23, 2015

Canada is Over

Nice little country we used to have.

For right-thinking Canadians, election night was about as cheerful as the Red Wedding. Now, as we enter the reign of Justin, First of his Name, we must confront a painful reality: Canada is finished.

This is not merely a political truth. Culture trumps politics.

There is no question a hollow, misguided leader can cause tremendous damage, particularly in Canada where a prime minister with a majority has near-dictatorial power. What is much more important, however, is what it says about a people that they would elect such a leader in the first place.

In an election night musing, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge recalled prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau saying he is always underestimated.

People didn’t underestimate Justin, they overestimated Canadians – specifically, the capacity of the nation’s electorate to know a dimwit when they see one.

I have previously written that Justin is Canada’s Barack Obama. This is true not only inasmuch as both are embarrassing ciphers, but the election of each of these men heralds the end of once-great nations.

To understand this is to comprehend that America, too, is over.

Under Obama, America has taken on more debt than any entity in global history. Nearly 100 million Americans no longer work, and an increasing number of citizens see this as normal.

Internationally, Obama has abdicated the role of leader of the free world on behalf of future presidents.

Culturally, too, the nation is perpetually honked off, divided, and dumb as hell. Again, Obama cannot be blamed for all this, but he both reflects and exacerbates the condition.

Furthermore, electing such a person ratifies political correctness as national policy.

Some have said that racism in America was almost dead until Obama. This is one of those notions that could never find purchase in mainstream discussion. Racism as a concept, business model and organizing principle is alive and well, even as it has been crushed at the individual level.

Socialists love people in groups of a million or more so, while no decent person would behave as or associate with a “racist,” it is constantly claimed that “racism” is everywhere.

Neither you, gentle reader, nor anyone you socialize with would dream of overtly deriding or excluding someone because of their sex or skin colour.

And yet your school, places of employment and worship, your local media outlets and your government do just that as a matter of course.

Certainly, they do so in opposite terms from what we are conditioned to expect – that is, they reverse the targets of bigotry from those portrayed in movies, on TV and in the New York Times – but they are perfectly at ease limiting the number and influence of a particular race (if that race is white, or in the case of college admissions, Asian), and they are utterly unembarrassed to afford special privileges and less demanding standards to races they prefer.

Thus, since 2008, we have been bombarded by the nonsensical insistence that Obama became president despite his race when everyone, with the possible exception of Obama himself, knows he was elected because of it.

In Canada, it is more often gender than race that raises leftist hackles, and Prime Minister Justin promises to continue the Liberal Party policy of set-asides for women.

Taken to its logical conclusion, this would suggest Justin himself should have eschewed the leadership in favour of some distaff colleague, but this disregards a crucial caveat: If you are a wealthy, white, male scion of a political dynasty, and a leftist, you basically have to kill someone to be barred from national office.

This is but one, small instance whereby objective governance will be replaced by political correctness which, as many have observed, is merely totalitarianism masquerading as politeness.

Case in point, in his victory speech, Justin stressed the “positive” nature of his campaign and vision for Canada.

This might seem familiar to readers on the right. By now, you should be used to hearing that if you differ from the statist, politically correct silly-bears of a liberal you are “negative.”

Let’s take a couple issues at random and see how that translates.

On abortion, Justin refuses to say at what stage an unborn child merits some protection and deserves to be respected as a person. In this, he is again similar to Obama who, while an Illinois state senator, repeatedly fought to prevent infants born alive after botched abortions from receiving medical care.

This is “positive”?

Justin has gone so far as to ban anyone with misgivings about abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason, from running as a Liberal Party candidate.

To be clear, for “positive” guys like Justin and Obama, a fully formed baby can be mutilated and killed in the womb, or left to die on a table because, y’know, women.

If this is how you think, you’re not only an idiot, you’re an evil idiot.

Speaking of evil, how about ISIS?

Asked to explain just when he might commit Canada’s military to a cause, if he cannot summon the will to fight these monsters who burn people alive in cages and rape and murder by the thousands, Justin has no answer.

This is because, confronted by true evil, the liberal mind will do almost anything to avoid calling it by its name.

They’ll bandy the word “evil” around, but will only apply it to domestic political opponents like Stephen Harper and George W. Bush, or to people who oppose bike lanes.

A man will convince himself of any number of things, rather than accept an uncomfortable truth. And Trudeau, leftist that he is, believes in nothing but “climate change,” a “woman’s right to choose,” and the indispensability of leave-in conditioner.

We know that in both Canada and the United States, there are many people who share the skewed priorities of Justin and Obama, but they have only recently achieved electoral consequence.

It was bad enough for Justin’s party to choose him as leader. But the Liberals, like the Democrats, have long been a Star Wars bar scene of freaks and nasties. When an entire nation makes the same mistake, however, it’s like volunteering to be Alderaan.

So, when millions of Canadian voices cry out in both official languages, only to be suddenly silenced, you’ll know the reason why.

In Trudeau, Obama will have competition for the title of most politically correct leader in world history. Consequently, freedom will suffer in Canada.

This is because leftist dogma, as embodied by Justin, tolerates no dissent. Moreover, it has an infuriating tendency to declare differing opinions to be illegitimate – even criminal.

It is a worldview in which wanting to keep your own money is “greed,” while confiscating other people’s is not; where Muslim terrorists are not a threat but “climate change” is; where babies’ lives can be snuffed out, subject to the almighty “rights” of “women” – unless those women have the misfortune to live in Syria, in which case they’re on their own.

As with anyone, Justin has mannerisms that are difficult to take, particularly for those of us who are naturally disenchanted by him. For instance, he intermittently hisses “my friends” throughout his speeches, and the sound of him saying “merci” is like someone chewing a banana next to your ear.

But beneath these superficialities lurks the menace of an untrammeled ruler who will grinningly cripple our economy, hasten our capitulation in the war on Islamic terror, and replace what was left of individual freedom and self-sufficiency with fashionable nonsense and government largesse.

And when this Maple Syrup Messiah and his kakistocracy begin to falter, do not expect them or their acolytes to accept responsibility. As Mark Steyn points out, a flailing Justin will blame his predecessor, the competent but monumentally unlikable Harper, as Obama blames Bush to this day.

But there is, for those who care to look, a sliver of hope. Our forefathers forged this nation out of ice and muck and beaver crap. Perhaps, when Justin is done wrecking everything, we can do so again. It will never be the same – a nation never comes all the way back from electing someone like Justin – but we may yet salvage a piece.

Here’s hoping it will be a country where we speak the truth, defend the defenceless, and stand for something once again.

Theo Caldwell is THAT guy. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Friday, October 16, 2015

Justin Trudeau is Canada's Barack Obama

If polls are accurate, an irredeemable nincompoop is about to be become leader of this nation.

The above sentence might have appeared in any number of newspapers in the United States during the unfortunate autumn of 2008.

Alas, it is written in and of my beloved Canada.

Having learned nothing from the past seven years of American decline under President Barack Obama, Canada is poised to elect its own media-approved, know-nothing dilettante in the person of Justin Trudeau.

Justin’s father, Pierre, was a Castro-snuggling socialist and among the most consequential prime ministers in Canadian history. Justin evinces the worst traits of his father, without any of the senior Trudeau’s qualities; to wit, he embodies an utterly unexamined, leftist worldview, while possessing none of the intellectual heft or professional accomplishment to back it up.

One upside is that with Justin, unlike Obama, you can point out the unmistakeable truth that he is a dimwit without being called, y’know, a racist.

Relatedly, we have been spared the enforced soft bigotry of having to pretend Justin is a genius or a brilliant speaker, as was the case with Obama. As to that last, many conservative commentators consented, Stockholm Syndrome-style, with even the great Jonah Goldberg claiming Obama “constructs cathedrals with his words.”

To anyone with ears to hear and courage to bear the scarlet R, Obama was never a good speaker. From the disingenuous address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched his career, to the dithering um’s and ah’s and grammarless, soul-crushing lectures we have come to know, the man is a self-important bore. Obama’s oratory is like sitar music, in that a certain segment of society supposes it looks good on them to pretend they like it, but no one really does.

His plodding, pseudo-thoughtful cadence is that of the faculty lounge – which is also where his politics originate and end.

Justin, likewise, shows no evidence of understanding, or even having contemplated, any political theory beyond precisely what you would expect from a high school drama teacher.

Case in point, when asked the first thing he would do as prime minister, Justin replied, “Call the premiers together, talk about climate change.”

Children speak this way – perhaps your children, because they hear this kind of nonsense all day long from their teachers. But in the real world, actual adults know this is nonsense.

Even if one believes the direst predictions of Al Gore, David Suzuki and noted thinker Leonardo DiCaprio, the notion that having yet another conversation about “climate change” is the first thing a newly elected head of government should do is mind-bendingly stupid.

Further to stupid, Obama is and always was a dumb guy. To cite a few examples at random: When Charlie Gibson challenged him on capital gains taxes in 2008, correctly noting that lower rates lead to higher revenues and that 100 million Americans paid that tax, Obama responded that he would raise the rate anyway, in the name of “fairness.”

Setting aside your views on tax policy, or even basic arithmetic, it seemed clear from Obama’s tone that on the eve of being elected president of the United States, the concept of lower tax rates leading to higher revenue had never even occurred to him before.

In trying to sell Obamacare (and I could shorten this example to just “Obamacare”), he advanced the scenario that pediatricians, doubling as specialists, were spurred by profit-motive to misdiagnose America’s moppets into millions of unnecessary tonsillectomies.

Finally, as Commander-in-Chief of the US military, no matter how tired you might be or whether it’s written phonetically in your teleprompter, you do not repeatedly refer to a “Navy Corpse-man” if you have any brains at all.

And yet, his capacity for self-examination having been vandalized by guilt-ridden liberals telling him he’s brilliant his whole life, Obama really does think he’s smarter than you.

Justin has no such excuse (or impairment). Even so, as a man of the left, his mouth-breathing imbecility is smoothed over by compliant journalists. So when he expresses admiration for communist China, or claims that deficits are a measure of a country’s success (will this be Greece’s century, then?), or says we must reconsider such concepts as space and time, your betters in the news media give it maybe a day, if they must, before the tongue-bathing recommences.

This is how Obama got elected, and it may well work for Justin. In Obama’s case, cringe-inducing ignorance and unscrutinized socialism (not to mention, decades spent listening to a vicious, race-baiting pastor) were crowded out by silly-bears about “Hope” and “Change.”

For Justin, the subterfuges are his “energy” and “youth.”

Canada’s Conservative Party has unwittingly aided this characterization with their slogan that Justin is “Just not ready.” The misbegotten implication is that Justin will eventually become ready.

Experience is irrelevant if your foundation is faulty. If you’re wrong, being wrong for a long time is no help (Joe Biden, please call your office).

A recent caller to my radio program proclaimed that he would vote for Justin solely because he is “young.” By that logic, wouldn’t Canada be better off choosing a prime minister somewhere in that sweet spot between when Justin believes a baby is too developed to abort (when is that, anyway?) and when he goes to his first hockey practice?

Besides which, as with Obama, there was never anything new about Justin’s ideas.

Command economies, central control, and punitive tax rates have been tried in countries large and small, all over the world, and they have never worked – never mind that the totalitarian impulse and religious political fervour that animate the left have killed 100 million people in the last century.

But explaining this to leftists is like playing a game with a child (or playing golf with Bill Clinton). They always want a do-over.

Even so, one suspects that Justin, like Obama, doesn’t even know this much. He really thinks he is something new, and that there is only one acceptable ideology, having given no more thought to limited government than to chuckle at Republican caricatures on The West Wing.

But even here, assuming Justin knows nothing of the outside world, existing as an intellectual bubble boy sealed off from infectious ideas, his own policies are incoherent.

Consider his plan to increase mandatory pension payments from workers and employers. It should be immediately apparent to even the most average mind that this will reduce the take-home pay of working Canadians, while placing costs on employers and thereby hurting the job market.

It is reminiscent of do-gooder leftists who demand increases to the minimum wage, no matter how clearly you demonstrate that this reduces the number of available jobs, hurting the very people they purport to help. There is no teaching these types. Like Obama being asked about capital gains, they want “fairness” and the facts be damned.

In examining Justin’s tax policies, including his sinister, government-speak euphemism that he will “ask” high earners to pay more (try saying “no” – watch what happens), many suggest that Justin is working against his own self-interest, since he himself is rich. Here, they commit the common mistake of conflating net worth and income.

Justin is indeed rich, having inherited millions of dollars. This has insulated him from a number of things (besides heterodox ideas), including concerns over payroll taxes. At no point in his life would the mandatory increase in pension payments he proposes have affected him at all.

This is why some of the most strident leftists in public life are wealthy – from the House of Commons to the US Congress, from the Trudeaus to the Kennedys. They do not work for a living, and any income they earn is irrelevant to their returns on capital. Even if they were to reduce their own investment income through taxation, the orders of magnitude are such that they would never notice. They don’t know what it’s like to have to reduce the family budget to accommodate a tax hike, but they do know what’s best for everyone else.

Always, I prefer to light a candle than curse the darkness. As of this writing, there remains hope that Canada will come to its senses and return an imperfect, but best-available person to power in Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

But, if current trends continue and Canadians elect an obvious mooncalf to lead the country, no one can say they weren’t warned.

Theo Caldwell is a host on Newstalk1010 Radio. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com