[guest post by JVW]
U.S. News and World Report has an interesting article on how the Trudeau campaign team and the candidate managed the revelations from a couple of weeks ago that the Prime Minister of Canada has had quite an affinity for appearing in blackface throughout early adulthood. The author, David Ljunggren (I believe the first “g” is silent, but the second “g” is pronounced twice, once hard and once soft, or perhaps vice-versa), takes us to the scene as P.M. Trudeau and his brain trust were preparing to fly from Halifax to Winnipeg when they learned that Time magazine was about to drop a bombshell:
While some aides prepared a contrite message for Trudeau to deliver to the media, the 47-year-old prime minister began calling as many Liberal legislators and cabinet ministers from ethnic minorities as he could, hoping to beat the news on Twitter. One was Omar Alghabra, a Liberal parliamentarian of Syrian descent, who said that Trudeau’s heads-up came with profuse apologies.
Still on the plane, Trudeau called a nationally televised media conference at which he not only apologized repeatedly but also admitted to another incident of donning dark make-up.
As admirable as it might be to own up to one’s faults and get out ahead of the story, I can’t help but feel more than a bit of contempt for the idea that the Prime Minstrel’s first order of business was to dial up his political allies of significant pigmentation and — I’m going to take a wild guess here — remind them that any default overreactions they might have would do long-lasting damage to their political party. Had it been the Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer who was pictured in archaic racist garb, it’s hard to believe the Liberal Party’s minority commissars quickly offering absolution. The article mentions with bare-suppressed irony that the Liberals were about to launch a campaign theme accusing the Conservatives of — what else? — racism:
But the crisis meant the Liberals had to temporarily toss their general-election play book to the side. It had called for an aggressive campaign that painted the Conservative Party of Canada as a haven for racist, anti-gay and anti-abortion candidates while stressing measures to make life more affordable for Canadians.
That approach, the aides who spoke to Reuters said, had been intended to help the Liberals get around another obstacle: voter distrust after Canada’s ethics watchdog formally reprimanded Trudeau and his top officials in August for inappropriately interfering in a corporate corruption case.
A winning strategy in these stupid days no doubt, right up until pictures of Jolson Trudeau singing “Mammy” emerged.
The October 21 election in Canada is shaping up to be a nail-biter. Even the Liberal Party’s staunchest supporters, including of course the dominant media, seem to believe that the best case scenario for the Liberals is to maintain a small majority, perhaps even requiring a coalition government to maintain power. But it’s equally likely that Mr. Scheer could usher in a new Conservative government in Ottawa, especially if woke young progressives disillusioned with the P.M.’s entitled white privilege stay home on election day.
I don’t think Canada, North America, the Commonwealth, the Western Hemisphere, NATO, or the Anglosphere will suffer grievous harm if Justin Trudeau is sent packing. Over at the Washington Post, Canadian writer J. J. McCullough marvels how the political scion managed to make it so far without any sort of thorough vetting of his background, a concept that brings back painful memories to those of us in the U.S. who were around eleven years ago and experienced the exact same phenomenon.
Here’s hoping our friends in the Great White North are treated to a fresh start.