“First we overlook evil. Then we permit evil. Then we legalize evil. Then we promote evil. Then we celebrate evil. Then we persecute those who still call it evil.” Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Looking back at 2019, Father Longenecker’s observation describes perfectly one of three major trends of the year. The second trend, as declared by Bloomberg News, was that 2019 was the year socialism became a dirty word. So did globalism while nationalism continues its upward trend.
Third was the public exposure of widespread corruption among many of the prominent personalities and institutions St. Paul might have called the ‘powers and principalities’ of 2019. Wherein the uncovering of the carefully hidden truths of the private lives of rich and powerful figures led to their speedy downfall or total loss of reputation – from Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew and Harvey Weinstein to the latest Vatican banking scandal.
But there’s a sense too that this current phenomenon of unprecedented public exposure is still building, suggesting that 2020 could well be a year of domino power shifts, as globalism is overcome by nationalism and populism, further destabilizing the Left and its elites around the world.
Third was the public exposure of widespread corruption among many of the prominent personalities and institutions which Saint Paul might have called the ‘powers and principalities’ of 2019. Wherein the uncovering of the carefully hidden truths of the private lives of rich and powerful figures led to their speedy downfall or total loss of their reputations – from Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew and Harvey Weinstein to the latest Vatican banking scandal.
But first to the international scene beginning with the re-election of Britain’s Tory prime minister, Boris Johnson, which now means that the United Kingdom appears set to exit the European Union by January 31, 2020, after a four-year struggle with elitist Brits, Eurocrats and hardworking Brits who want their country back from the EU’s hyper-controlling bureaucracy and its diktats. “We’re at long last breaking out of the European prison,” exulted Brexit promoter Nigel Farage over Britain’s overwhelming second rejection of the EU in the December 12th election. Farage also predicted the anti-EU revolt will spread quickly across Europe.
Much to the disgust of Labour Party opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn who hoped to become the vanguard of a global socialist movement. But he will now step down in humiliation as the most unpopular opposition leader in British history having overseen his party’s worst election defeat since 1935.
To his supporters, the 70-year-old offered a chance to deliver a radical leftist agenda, shaking up the economy and reversing a decade of Conservative public spending cuts. His vision also attracted droves of young supporters, celebrity backing and the endorsement of other promoters of the global green socialist movement such as high-profile U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
But it was not to be. Corbyn’s socialism was soundly rejected by average Brits fed up with the arrogance of London’s leftist glitterati. Nor were they buying the claims of UK media that the race between Corbyn and Johnson was tight. It was not. In the end, four years after his initial referendum vote, the average Brit had not changed his mind. Not one bit.
There’s a huge lesson here too because the success of the second Brexit vote is not only reflective of the Brits disgust for elites and their lapdog media, it also confirms yet again that the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was no accident. And that in Europe 2019, socialism had indeed become a dirty word.
Europe turns Right
It’s true, dissenting media claims notwithstanding. Nowadays, you can count the number of left-leaning governments in Europe with the fingers of one hand as the falling popularity of this once dominant force reached new depths. In fact, its brand now looks like an anachronism, though the mainstream media still refuses to admit the alleged swing by Brits towards radical ideology was not only untrue, it’s also hugely dysfunctional when it comes to the actual running of any nation’s business.
Which is why the year ended with the humiliation of the Britain’s Labour Party and Germany’s Social Democrats who are now more unpopular than at any time in living memory. And in Italy and Spain, the center-left are in government only due to precarious alliances with anti-establishment groups that grew out of the 2008 financial crisis. That leaves Portugal as a left-wing oasis in Europe.
In France, meanwhile, traumatized by the partial destruction of Notre Dame in Paris and still roiled by the Gilet Jaune (now the longest-running series of protests in French history), recent riots over pension reform may actually destabilize centrist president Emmanuel Macron – a strong supporter of the EU – despite the fact the French socialist party is now on life support. So stay tuned.
In Greece, meanwhile, where tribal politics were the norm until the country became the epicentre of Europe’s debt crisis, Alexis Tsipras, who shot to power in 2015 in a challenge to the EU over austerity and Greece’s EU membership, was ejected from office this year, leaving the conservative New Democracy party back in power.
And in Sweden, a far-right surge rocked this beacon of liberal democracy where Social Democrats managed to cobble together a government – but just. And for the first time in decades they are no longer the most popular party as the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats took over. And over in Denmark, the Social Democrats managed a return to power this year as well, though by adopting policies of its anti-immigrant rival.
In Eastern Europe, this strong shift to the right has long been underway where socialist parties have been losing power and influence as populist leaders such as Victor Orban of Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland have solidified their power by appealing to Christian tradition and portraying opponents as supporters of communism. And in Romania, the leftist Social Democrat Party finally collapsed in November, six months after former party leader and national strongman Liviu Dragnea was jailed for corruption, signifying Romania’s swing to the Right which, arguably, began with the executions of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife in a Bucharest courtyard thirty years ago this month.
Will the EU survive? The late Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky thought not. He always said the European Union was a project forced into existence by stealth, and that its history has been a lesson in deceit in which its membership was not privy to the real agenda they were paying to support. “The Soviet Union was governed by 15 unelected people, who appointed each other and who were not accountable to anyone,” Bukovsky said. “The European Union is governed by two dozen people, who appoint each other and are not accountable to anyone.”
Nor is this swing to the Right and its appetite for nationalism and a return to ‘normalcy’ following the excesses of leftist social engineering across the West –restricted to Europe, the seat of Christendom.
On the eve of a new decade, this pronounced shift to the Right is still underway halfway around the world in Hong Kong where March 30 of this year marked the last day of normalcy. The next day saw something different when a few thousand people marched through rain to protest a proposal that would have allowed extradition to China: “With extradition to the mainland, Hong Kong becomes a dark prison,” they chanted. Within six months, Hong Kong was a place of huge protest marches, street battles and an unapologetic police response of tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and live fire. Yet after the bill was withdrawn this fall, the anger, if anything, became even more palpable and the protests look set to continue into 2020.
Meanwhile, in South America, Venezuela continued to implode under the tyranny of its socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. And in Bolivia, President Evo Morales resigned in November amid reported voting irregularities in a disputed election that roiled the South American nation. In power for nearly 14 years, Morales has been a leftist icon and the last survivor of Latin America’s leftist “pink tide” of two decades ago, though his resignation was predicted to send shockwaves across the continent at a time when riots are plaguing Chile and left-leaning leaders have returned to power in Mexico and Argentina.
In North America
In the U.S. meanwhile, populism has also been burgeoning, and becoming ever stronger, despite the intense media backlash against President Donald Trump.
On the cusp of 2020, Trump is currently running against the clock with the spectrum of impeachment hanging over his head – not for any actual high crimes, for which there is no evidence, but for stirring up the muck in the Washington swamp, a.k.a., the “Deep State”. This while the Democrats are running on a parallel track trying to keep a step ahead of corruption charges and the growing stench now threatening to send more than a few of them, possibly including Democrat politicians such as Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton along with a laundry list of bureaucrats from the FBI, the NSA and the CIA, to jail, in the event they are ever charged.
Lagging far behind, almost to the point of incoherence and increasing irrelevance, is Canada, whose prime minister has been embarrassing his fellow countrymen repeatedly this year while imposing policies that, regardless of one’s political beliefs, are proving very harmful to this country.
Indeed, given the scandals and political fiascos of 2019, it’s reasonable to predict that history will not be kind to Canada which, under the Trudeau government will go down as the year the True North further transformed itself into a totalitarian- country where freedom of thought and belief are no longer tolerated. All in the name of freedom of thought and belief. And being nice.
Consider the facts in light of Trudeau’s ideology du jour which is climate change, brought to you most recently by a 16-year-old Swedish activist who, predictably, became TIME magazine’s Person of the Year by justifying all kinds of painful and pointless deprivations “to save the planet.” Why? Because according to Greta Thunberg, the world may have as little as eight years to avoid planetary catastrophe, all caused by human beings simply existing.
Well, the world may be in a bad state these days but it has nothing to do with failing to save the environment and everything to do with calling wrong ‘right’ and vice ‘virtue’, as Father Longenecker states above. This is why this form of groupthink has gotten stronger than ever in 2019, meaning that anyone disagreeing with any aspect of leftist dogma is doomed to punishment. Take Don Cherry who was fired from Coach’s Corner for calling out Canadians for ignoring the annual poppy drive for war veterans. And for having words put into his mouth he never thought, let alone said. Anyone familiar with Canadian hockey knows that for years, Cherry has been talking occasionally outside the lines of political correctness. So when the opportunity to remove him came along, it was Don Gone.
Here’s my question: who among the motormouths at the NHL will ever again tell us about the Baby Jesus at Christmas as Cherry never failed to do? We all know the answer to that one.
Now take the case of Catholic trustee Michael Del Grande who found himself attacked recently by the homosexual and transgender lobby and its allies in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) for publicly defending his vote against enshrining gender ideology in the board’s code of conduct. Then, just before Christmas, trustee Markus de Domenico requested a special board meeting to discuss whether Del Grande violated the board’s code of conduct and needs to apologize for referring to gender ideology as “evil.” This was just the latest development in a relentless campaign against Del Grande who, along with three others, voted in November against including “gender ideology” and “gender expression” as well as “family and marital status,” as protected grounds against discrimination in the code of conduct, which governs staff and students.
“This ideology is destroying the lives and bodies of countless children” who are deceived into believing they need to ‘transition’ to the opposite sex, which could involve hormone therapy and mutilation, countered Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life in defense of Del Grande.
Despite Fonseca’s robust defense, however, how likely is it now that – after all the mendacious politicking about cleaning up sex-ed in the Toronto School boards – this will ever happen?
Not without massive prayer it won’t!
A Laundry List of Shame
Add to that the recurring shame that has come to Canada over such incidents as the SNC-Lavalin scandal wherein the prime minister, already found guilty twice for ethics violations, appeared to illegally interfere with his own justice minister by pressuring her inappropriately to save the Quebec-based engineering firm from a trial that could damage the Liberals’ political future in Quebec. He then shut down all possibility of a separate investigation.
This was followed by the Black Face fiasco, about which much has already been written. Yet these shaming incidents have been relatively superficial compared to the real damage being done under the radar by Trudeau’s cult-like obsession with climate change which has produced carbon taxes harmful to struggling families, and small and large businesses. While driving investment away from Canada, it has also rationalized the failure to build a much-needed pipeline to transport western oil to viable markets outside Canada, impoverishing Saskatchewan and Alberta to the point of vexation, all because of a destructive ideology that taxes humans simply for being alive and breathing.
Which, of course, Leftism is all about, is it not? Reducing the human population one way or another by abortion, as well as euthanasia, which Trudeau vowed to expand recently via his new justice minister, David Lametti, to include teenagers and incompetent people said to have made “a previous request.” All the while promoting it like it was a good thing, rather than the radical evil it actually is. And which last year alone was responsible for about 1.46% of all deaths in Canada, representing a 78% increase over the previous year in Ontario alone and an additional increase of 50% in Alberta. This while drawing in Canadian bishops who, according to LifeSite News, were consulted on and agreed to secret guidelines by Catholic health sponsors that allow third-party euthanasia assessments of medically frail patients in Catholic health care facilities. This while sending millions of Canadian taxpayer dollars to fund abortion worldwide via the UN.
And this while the Trudeau Liberals enforce their will in implementing all aspects of gender theory into Canadian schools and culture — from outlawing “conversion therapy” for gender dysphoria and “same-sex” attractions to ensuring all this is taught in grade schools across Canada, regardless of how many Canadians voted for political candidates such as Doug Ford who promised and then reneged on changing the much-hated Ontario sex-ed program to accord with parents’ wishes that their children not be exposed to inappropriate “information” at too young an age.
All this too, despite the fact that the Trudeau government is still being allowed to drain the very life out of this country – with only 33 percent of the vote in October’s election – while vehemently supporting every new bit of destructive social engineering as if it was “good” and also “mandatory.”
All of which also means that as the rest of the world pushes to free itself from the godless totalitarian ideologies that have sickened, enslaved and impoverished so many nations and peoples over the past century, Canada’s Liberals are still embracing them, like it was 2015.
In 2020, however, Canada may be facing much harder times as the upheaval that took root this year in the rest of the world continues to move in the opposite direction to Trudeau’s. Prompting this question: will 2020 be the year when the Lord’s invoice for the moral consequences of Canada’s progressive proclivities posing as “enlightenment” finally comes due?