By Letter to the Editor on October 22, 2019.
Can someone explain to me exactly why Prime Minister Trudeau (yes, Prime Minister Trudeau, not just “Justin,” duly elected under the same system that elected the illustrious conservative Stephen Harper, that paragon of virtue and openness) passed up the opportunity to blame conservative “operatives” for the recent, appalling threat on his life?
At a time of rapidly deteriorating public discourse, itself directly linked to the deliberate and depressingly effective conservative tactics of inciting fear and anger with vicious personal attacks, such a threat has become entirely believable, and an alarming new low. Believable enough to warrant Trudeau wearing a bullet-proof vest and adding visible, bristling security. Or was that all just more theatre from a lightweight drama teacher engaging in more “liberal” histrionics, already vilified for that and for other “effeminate” traits like occasional effusiveness that disqualify him from being a “real, common sense” leader. Like Trump, for example.
Try to imagine anyone from the NDP, the Green Party or the Bloc threatening anyone, period. Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party on the other handÉ but please remember that Bernier came within a hair of winning the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. He formed his own libertarian offshoot upon deciding the Conservatives weren’t conservative enough for him, which begs the question of what exactly do these people want to “conserve”?
The giveaway is the supporter groups all across the country having “strong” and “proud boys” in their group names. So the male heroic myth comes to mind, pumping avid patriotism, traditionalism, militarism and religion, laced with inspiring updates like anti-immigrant views and general anti-feminist and anti-gay anger. Here’s another potential source for climate change denial, too; scientists might get somewhere if we were talking about “Father Nature.” But “boys will be boys,” right? However, toxic masculinity has now been identified for what it is.
So why on earth would the Liberals perpetuate the same “false equivalency” put forward so often – that all politicians and all parties are equally to blame for the surge of hatred and inflammatory rhetoric in politics, when it’s the right wing, exclusively, who are the only real threat, not only to progressives, but to us all? Is this yet another inscrutable variation on that same old tired, heroic male myth?
If so, time to ditch that myth, too.