Patrick Brown, the erstwhile leader of the provincial ‘Conservative’ party, and I use those square quotes advisedly, has decreed that there are to be no ‘social conservative’ raised at the upcoming convention. Now, that might seem ambiguous, for any issue is by definition ‘social’, but here, in politico-speak, deviating from normal and logical English, it means any issue pertaining to life, family and sexual issues, a triad of the three most important and fundamental topics facing us, which are now verboten, at least in the fearful, hesitant and wavering mind of Brown.
Why so? The answer may be gleaned from the fact that Trudeau has quite brazenly also made these issues forbidden, by simply decreeing that anyone who holds any pro-life view, even Rachel Harder, hardly pro-life, who support a woman’s ‘right to choose’, be cast into the outer darkness. Any, even incremental, conditions limiting in any way access to abortion (and contraception) services is off-limits to the Liberal party, making one a political and social pariah, unclean and to be shunned. Add to that any opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’, or, indeed, any hint that sodomy and lesbianism are in way, even remotely, disordered and not conducive to human flourishing. Perish, perish the very thought.
What explains this Conservative submissive fear and Liberal arrogant insouciance? Why are these issues no longer fit for public discourse? Even the vaunted Andrew Scheer, the newly minted leader of the federal Conservatives, does not want to raise the ‘abortion question’. In fact, he is found toasting ales with feminists, even declaring himself ‘absolutely’ one in a rather sad attempt at solidarity. His responses in that linked interview, such as it was, were all vague, talking with marbles in his mouth, curiously compliant to the assertive woman across the table from him, fearful of offending her, of saying the ‘wrong’ thing, of treading where he dare not go. I don’t find myself inspired by him, for some vague reason.
Why can’t Mr. Scheer, like the smirking Mr. Trudeau (and, dare I add, Mr. Trump down south, with all of his imperfections, but to far better purpose and effect, dismantling the evils of Obamacare, and nary a care who cares) just say what he really thinks and holds dear? Why cannot conservatives, upholding family and life issues, all that is sane, good and true, be as assertive as the ‘liberals’, asserting mantra-esque the in-sanity of feminist, abortion, homosexual and transgender rights?
The answer to the question at one level is rather simple, and has been said by others more eloquently and forcefully than I: The Liberals in Canada, and the Democrats in the United States, or more properly the broad mindset that informs them both, have won the culture war, capturing the minds (as well as the hearts) of a majority of Canadians and Americans out there, at least those of a certain age.
To be particular: Their ethos has been drilled into the minds of anyone under fifty, through the media and university, the primary means by which the modern intellect is ‘informed’, for want of a better word. We are all to some extent complicit, not least in sending ourselves and our children through the modern educational establishment, from kindgergarten to bachelor of arts, all along the way, two decades of subtle and not-so-subtle indoctrination. Yet people still trot off to the modern university somehow, someway, expecting an education. Do we want our future leaders to sound like Justin Trudeau, whose cramped, vague and incoherent mind seems to think that ‘feminism’ and ‘gender equality’ will save the world? I would be more on his side if he were touting ‘femininity’ and ‘gender equitability’, but I have a sinking feeling that he knows not the difference enough to disagree.
We have all been infected, even if we have fought it off by might and main and grace, and most have been entirely subsumed, with the intellectual virus of universal tolerance, of feminist ‘values’, of a milky porridge of virtue-signaling slogans incoherently mashed together in unformed brains, all of us told to keep quiet to ‘get along’. A false irenicism, as Pius XII warned, has seeped deep into our souls, making us sadly pussilanimous, as Aristotle put it, scared to make a stir, to stand up, to resist this anti-culture by doing something bold and daring, to adopt the true Catholic sense of magnanimity, greatness of soul, of mind, of will, of passion.
To paraphrase Chesterton said, only a living thing can swim against the tide. And it is high tide that our leaders here in Canada take a page from Trump, to begin speaking as insouciantly as Trudeau, but, with greater certainty in the truth than our benighted Prime Minister, with more profound clarity, with boldness and the parrhesia of which Saint Paul speaks.
I wonder, oh, how I wonder, what that would look like?