Of Conservatism, Ideology and Cowardice

So Patrick Brown has dropped out, one might say ‘again’, but the first resignation was from actually holding the leadership of the Conservative Party, with this second time from running to regain his job. He has cited his reasons in a four-page manifesto which includes the need to fight the ‘charges’ against him, as well as various undefined threats against him and his family. No repentance is evident, in any public way, no self-examination, no mea culpas. Now we are left with a few high-powered women and Doug Ford.

Ah, well, he won’t be much missed, and his version of ‘conservativism’ I hope disappears with him. Given the current crop of candidates, I am not hopeful, with the exception of Mrs. Granic-Allen, who is a mother of four small children; hence, in the faint hope that she wins, and she seems the only real conservative amongst them, she cannot help but be a somewhat distracted leader. How does one raise young ones in need of a mother’s care and attention, while running a province of 10 million plus people? That sounds like the opening line to a Catholic stand-up routine, but it is rather serious, and we are in serious straits, through which even a Catholic, celibate, full-time, philosopher-king in the most Platonic sense would have trouble guiding us.

And speaking of non-philosopher kinglets, at the federal level, Justin Trudeau is back from his costume party tour of India, construed as a near-unmitigated embarrassment on many levels, not least the photo ops in saris and folded hands. Trudeau has that rather unattractive mix of being obsequious and dictatorial in ways that are both troubling and even repulsive, not least his kow-towing to every religion under the Sun, while disdaining the moral principles of the one to which he professes to belong, most evident in his abortion-rights-at-all-costs mentality. Perhaps he was raised that way; however, I cannot help but consider him a symptom of the deep moral, intellectual and spiritual malaise afflicting this nation. Just this morning, his Liberals blamed factions within the Indian government for inviting that would-be, convicted assassin to a state dinner, something the Indians vehemently deny, putting yet another cringe-worthy nail in the coffin of this tenure, and Canadian-Indian relations.

Speaking of which, the new federal budget is an ideological disaster, with yet more billions thrown into the gaping cavernous maw of Indian affairs (this time, Native Indians, if one is still allowed to use that term). Lack of clean drinking water, drug use, alcoholism, despair, apathy, suicide, family breakdown (for what families still exist in any functional form, God bless them). Money has not and will never fix these problems, which are cultural, religious, endemic and only solved by a different view and manner of life. Of course, many Natives are happy at the largesse, which will find its way into various coffers, perhaps do some little good, as the federal debt continues to metastasize into gargantuan and galactic proportions.

There is also the Trudeaupian obsession with the oxymoronic ‘gender equality’ and getting women out into the workforce (the title of the budget is ‘Equality and Growth’). As Bill Morneau’s Swedish counterpart apparently advised him, the best way to enforce ideological change is by a budget, bending people by ways hooked and crooked into your way of thinking and acting by economic coercion. Hence the changes in parental leave, enticing both parents to stay home at taxpayer expense (currently it is by and large women who do so, to care for their children), as well as doles of money for women in ‘STEM’ studies and so on.

Here is a summary from the Huffington Post:

The Grits’ 2018 budget is Canada’s first gender-based-analysis-plus budget. All its policies have been placed through a gendered analysis on how they will affect women and girls. The result is a budget that invests heavily in the advancement of women, from funding five weeks of supplemental parental leave to encourage men to stay home with their kids, to allowing MPs to take maternity leave, to creating a generous “women entrepreneurship strategy,” to spending $30 million to attract women and girls to sports, to addressing violence against women through different programs, including threatening to pull federal funding from any post-secondary institution that doesn’t enact best practices when it comes to addressing sexual assault on campus.

All bought and paid for by you, dear reader. The notion of a traditional ‘family’ is alien, even inimical, to the Liberal mindset.

How many more years is it? And can the damage ever be undone?

And on the topic of damage, what of the disgraced deputy in the Broward county department in Florida, who stood outside with ‘gun drawn’, all butch-and-no-bite, at a safe and respectable distance, until the boy-killer, who could have been stopped much earlier, ended his rampage of his own volition, dropping his rifle from a third story window (which was apparently bulletproof, or he would have killed more, sniper-style), then blending in with the fleeing students.

The killer’s bizarre on-line threats, including that he wanted to kill a whole lot of people, were either ignored, or not followed up. So much for police protection.

Is said deputy a coward? Well, that is a loaded term, and the situation was complex and evolving, as they say (apparently, the officer thought the shootings were happening outside the building).

Whatever his own state (and he has chosen to ‘retire’ after being suspended without pay for a day), I would posit that we all have a strong tendency to avoid death. After all, who wants to face the imminent prospect a high-velocity bullet, especially those who know and have seen what they do to a human body?  No one quite knows what he would do in such a situation.

But it is incumbent upon us to consider what we should do.  Those ‘deputed’, paid and sworn to defend the public, especially the defenceless, have a grave and solemn obligation to put their lives on the line, and lay them down, if need be. If even Christ Himself could fear death, in His human nature, certainly we all can. Yet, like Him, we must ‘set our face like flint’, by a resolute act of the will, and confront even the potential dissolution of our bodies, by means fair or violent.

Yet all-too many of this millennial generation have little or no transcendent dimension to their life, and, at a deep level, have this lurking fear, overt or not, that death ends it all. Given that metaphysical principle, ‘tis not better to live as a coward, than to die and live no more?

Only the prospect of eternity can give a man real courage, to offer one’s life for another, and so enter into a life far more real than this transient and all-too-vulnerable existence.  Without God and beatitude, what point is there to it all, except to avoid death as long as possible? But to paraphrase the old aphorism, those who live only to escape death will die a thousand deaths, before the real one.

Such a transcendent view also gives hope to the relatives of the victims, that the massacred young people, mown down at the very dawn of life, they too will see the face of God. Even the perpetrator, should he truly repent…

Otherwise, if this life is all there is, then it’s all a bowl of bitter and poisonous cherries, eking out a futile existence on a planetary backwater, a ‘tale told by in idiot, signifying nothing’. And all too many of us will continue to stand by, doing nothing.

But we Catholics know that our lives always signify something, for better or worse, and that, as Pope John Paul II declared in Veritatis Splendor, our actions both express and define who we are, on which basis we will in the end be judged.

On that hopeful note, a blessed Lententide to all.