Conservatives, Big and Small

One can get the measure of a man not from his guarded, careful behaviour, but rather from his occasional slip-up, his less careful moments, when the ‘true self’ comes forth.  Such was the case in Sherbrooke, Quebec the other day, when the Prime Minister, on his largely unscripted tour, at least so the story goes, responded solely in French, to a question in English about receiving English services in officially bilingual Quebec.  The blindness of such behaviour, to the needs of his questioner and to how this gaffe would be perceived, whether willed or not, gives a window into the mind of Trudeau, whose father was the father of the bureaucratic nightmare of making both French and English mandatory for any federal government services. (The recent French-language PC leadership debate shows that bilingualism has not taken root).  Trudeau Jr. seems a man wandering within his own a priori ideas of what Canada is and should be, locked within a self-reinforcing bubble, with a very limited capacity to see reality as it really is.  In this case, the obvious mannerly thing would have been to respond to a question in English, about English services, in English, as Trudeau belatedly, and in a limited way, admitted.

While we’re on politics, alas, Kevin O’Leary, the multimillionaire businessman, has thrown his hat into the Progressive Conservative leadership race.  O’Leary was host of the embarrassing show Dragon’s Den, where ordinary people prostrate themselves before a panel of uber-rich people, begging for their investment in their inventions and products, in exchange for a large take of any prospective profits. Besides the arrogance that such rich people naturally develop , a big part of the reason it is so difficult for them to enter the kingdom of heaven, an entrance that requires the foundation of humility (I am not sure if O’Leary’s ‘act’ in the show is just that, an act, for there are exceptions), but more to the point, O’Leary is more progressive than conservative. He is not pro-life, and enthusiastically supports euthanasia murder-suicide and someone’s right to ‘marry a goat’ if that brings them, ahem, ‘happiness’.  Of course, he is hoping to cash in, pardon the pun, on the Trump effect, that an ‘effective’ capitalist (read: a ‘winner’ and a guy who made it in the world) will triumph over a bunch of politicians. As the headline put it, the race is now his to lose. But Canada has already lost, as we lose any sense of tradition, morality and sanity in our societal and political cohesion.  It is all about money and jobs and security for me, myself and I.  But such a self-centred attitude is no basis for the future of our country, regardless of whether O’Leary’s ‘fiscal conservatism’ is marginally better than the economic, debt-driven recklessness of the Liberals.

While on the conservative theme, I do wish all the best to Jason Kenney out west, as he tries to ‘unite the right’, while the PC’s in Alberta contemplate a coup. This is all of a piece with the fact that conservatives themselves are not ‘united’ around any real philosophical and moral principles, a fruit, one may suppose, of decades of disastrous and deleterious education in our universities and in the broader culture.  We are a nation of tolerant, moral relativists, what Chesterton presciently observed as barbarians in nice clothing. If barbarians we are, then barbarism is what we will get, whether dressed up in Liberal or PC dress.

On that note, give a listen to this brief CBC interview with Noreen Campbell, a nurse suffering from the last stages mouth cancer, just days before she had herself ‘euthanized’.  It is emotional and eye-opening, showing the thought of the ‘other side’ in this debate, unhinged from moral principles. One can see the future in whole thanaphilia, love of death, and it is not pretty. May God have mercy on her soul.