Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Chrystia Got Yelled At


Chrystia Freeland is, as Thomas Hobbes described a state of nature, “nasty, brutish, and short.”

You may have come across breathless news accounts of how Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, was variously “attacked,” “assaulted,” or “accosted” (and those are just the A’s) by some unruly citizen who temporarily forgot his place and his sleeves.

If you are on a schedule, allow me to cut to the chase: Chrystia was none of those things. Nor was she threatened, impeded, or harmed in any way. She was subjected to a harangue no worse than one might expect in a heated exchange over a parking space.

Nevertheless, Canada’s state-sponsored media (which is to say, just about the lot of them), has erupted with apoplexy about the safety of politicians, the dignity of public office, and how hard, so very hard, it is to be a woman and do anything or go anywhere.

It practically writes itself. “Growing Concerns” abound, politicians “Condemn” and “Speak Out” in defense of this put-upon damsel who has her own driver.

For what it’s worth, I spent about a decade working in Canadian news media and the landscape is like a Hieronymous Bosch painting, only with hairspray in place of flames. It is peopled by the sort of women who have “Growing Concerns” non-stop, and who assume the rest of the population shares their aggrievement.

Before proceeding further, allow me to play Chrystia’s advocate for a moment. As a man (kinda), I aver that men ought not to go after women in an angry fashion. Normal people, male and female, will understand my reasoning.

First, it is ungallant, and chivalry is not dead whilst I draw breath. Second, as a practical matter, it is a no-win situation, as just about anyone, this writer included, will intervene on the woman’s behalf as a matter of instinct. Finally, notwithstanding the intervention of third parties, there is an intrinsic unfairness to doing so.

Men don’t fight much anymore (probably good for me since, as I type, I am a mere hundred-fitty pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal); nevertheless, when two guys start shouting at each other – say, over the last pair of on-sale slacks at Sears or which was the greatest British Prime Minister (answer: Lord Palmerston) – there is at least the theoretical possibility that they will have to back up their words with fists. Again, in this pansified, lactose-intolerant age, it does not happen so often, but it still could, and both men know it.

But when a man argues with a woman, and since we do not live in a Marvel movie or the fevered imagination of a Wesleyan grad, she is unlikely to lift him over her head and toss him through the uprights.

Agree or not, you take my point.

Chrystia’s interlocutor, however, violates almost none of these norms. Whoever he is, I would be honored to buy him a pair of Sears slacks, full price. While shouting at politicians in public is not my jam (I repair to my study and write pithy prose – QED), his frustration is apt.

I have previously plagiarized somebody or other who proposed that the next world war will be between citizens and their own governments. As we awake each day to some fresh hell of whatever they are doing to us next (“No booster for you until you finish eating your crickets…”), does this not seem more and more the case?

Chrystia Freeland and her patron, Justin Trudeau – and it cannot be said often enough that there is something seriously wrong with both of them – personify the situation.

Lest we forget, it was only a few months ago that Chrystia stood before the nation, giggling and twitching like the demon-possessed creature I believe her to be (prove me wrong, kids), to proclaim that bank accounts of those who supported the Truckers’ Convoy would be frozen. Word went out to investment houses, financial institutions, and even crypto exchanges, lists were distributed, and citizens who had donated even a few dollars to the cause found their assets seized.

Concurrently, horses trampled protesters, windows were smashed as truckers were violently arrested, and political prosecutions, complete with imprisonment without bail, commenced.

At the time, I wrote that Justin, Chrystia, et al., had violated the tenets of free society such that they ought to be drummed out of public life, prosecuted, and, if convicted, imprisoned. My view is unchanged and it does not exceed the boundaries of civil order to say as much; rather, it bolsters that order, since the nature of free society is sufficiently precious and fragile that its undermining cannot be tolerated.

So yes, Chrystia got yelled at. Canada’s federal police force, the RCMP, is “investigating.” What, pray tell, is there to investigate? Lavrentiy Beria himself could look through the case until his eyes fall out and find no crime. But this is the nation, and the world, in which we now live.

Even a lesser-known but strikingly handsome scribe such as this one has a remote concern that my accounts will be seized for publishing a piece such as this (joke’s on you, coppers – don’t spend that all in one place).

The Hobbesian reference at the top was not included merely to give the appearance of sharp cleverness (although there is that). To paraphrase with abandon, Hobbes was describing a broken society, without laws, with no reliable order, in which humanity reverts to its primitive, desperate condition. 

Across the formerly free world, normal people are coming to understand that, to whatever extent law exists, its enforcement is capricious. To wit, the favored few are spared (Hunter Biden, call your office), while the unfavored are hounded (Tamara Lich, call your lawyer).

Only a fool would trust his government today, and it would take a madman to believe it has his best interests at heart. Chrystia Freeland, as much as anyone, is responsible for that.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at