Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Guessing Justin Trudeau's Mental Age

Not to brag, but I was embarrassed by Justin Trudeau BEFORE he went to India.

The Good Book instructs that whoever says to his brother, “You fool!” shall be in danger of hellfire, so let me address this a gentler way.

In assessing others, particularly political leaders, we tend toward familiar terms to gauge their qualities – experience, intelligence, wisdom, honesty, and so on.

Each of these is important, certainly, but to consider any one, or even several of them to be dispositive paints an incomplete picture. It is unsatisfactory.

What we are really talking about, though we rarely use the word, is a person’s essence.

Is this a person of substance? Do their values resonate and do they have the means to uphold them?

People of profound experience or nonpareil intelligence can nevertheless be badly wrong. In fact, they often are.

I do not, therefore, choose to pile on the global mockery of Trudeau’s recent India trip by dismissing him as “stupid” or “inexperienced.” Besides that such characterizations can be off-putting, or at least unhelpful, they miss the point.

Among the many weaknesses of the Conservative Party’s disastrous 2015 campaign to prevent Justin from ascending to his father’s seat as Canada’s prime minister was their ubiquitous slogan, “Just not ready.”

The implication was that the younger Trudeau was simply lacking in time served and, after a few more years of professional politics, would be all set for the big chair.

To civilians like me, pulling our hair out as we watched a winnable election slip away, this failed to address the instinct of millions of Canadians, left and right, that Justin Trudeau was not a person of educable depth.

Having inherited a family fortune and, effectively, the leadership of the Liberal Party, Justin enjoys a more privileged life than you or I ever will. As we sometimes see with children of celebrities, or those who achieve fame too young, arrested development sets in.

To wit, such people do not mature because they do not have to.

As a rough estimate, I would assess Justin a mental age of about 15.

I do not mean a precocious 15, either. In fact, I mean a particular sort of teenager, with which you might be familiar.

I mean the kid in the class who adores the sound of his own voice, who stands in awe of his own intellect, and whose overall obtuseness is obvious to everyone but himself.

He is the sort of self-promoting, mean-spirited virtue-signaller who is always leading some politically correct campaign, just so he can make a speech in assembly or get himself interviewed by the local news.

Cast your mind back to your schooldays and I bet you can picture that kid. I certainly know who it was for me (as does everyone who was in my class except, I suspect, the person himself).

If you still know that person, have they changed much?

Among the little I know of the Conservatives’ current leader, Andrew Scheer, is that he has shocked me twice: once, by winning the speakership of the House of Commons; and again by becoming head of his party.

He is younger than Trudeau, but reassuringly more mature.

Jovial and unobtrusive, Scheer seems the ideal antidote to Trudeau’s brand of electric nothingness.

In an interview on Election Night 2015, I referred to Justin Trudeau as a “ridiculous ballerina.” Without irony, I apologize for that. It’s no way to talk about people.

But as a Canadian, he wields greater power over my life than does the leader of any other free country over its citizens.

Consequently, it is in my personal interest, and that of my nation, to point out when our prime minister is fundamentally unsuited to the job.

His India debacle is just the latest, searing example that Justin Trudeau is not ready, and never will be.

One hopes our long, national facepalm is almost over.

Theo Caldwell hates to say he told you so. Contact him at