It was bound to happen eventually. The time is at hand when the Canadian conservative movement must confront the issue of white privilege.
So far we've had one major clusterkludge on the Sun News Network and one loaded question directed at John Tory, which, surprise surprise, he didn't answer very well. In both cases, there was an attempt to deny the existence of white privilege, and in both cases the right (such as it was) fell victim to one of the oldest tricks in the social justice warrior handbook: make your opponent look like an utter dumbass by causing them to explain away a concept that they don't and can't understand very well. Perhaps I can be of assistance in making sure this doesn't happen again.
First of all, you may have noticed that the very concept of privilege is a colossal logic bomb specifically designed to confuse the hell out of privileged people so that they lose the debate before it even starts. White privilege exists, so we are told, and the reason we know privilege exists is because white people aren't aware of it. Because white people are not subject to racism they have a much easier time of it than non-privileged people, so they would of course have no frame of reference. Then, when they are called out on their privilege, they will naturally say, "Sorry, I don't see it." Denying privilege exists is proof that privilege exists!
If denying the existence of privilege is just going to encourage the social justice warriors and make us look (and feel) stupid, then what we need to do is stop sounding like irrationally positive Liberals who pretend things couldn't be better and say: Yes, privilege exists. There is a power imbalance and society is divided into those with power and those without. If you're having trouble doing this, just remember that in this province, we have been governed for quite some time now by Liberals who have never hesitated to exercise their privileges at our expense.
Now that we have admitted that society is composed of warring factions, we have two courses of action. We can get overwhelmed with guilt at how awful it is that there is a power differential and start falling over ourselves to tell everyone how sorry we are about it all, or we can start exposing the social justice warriors for the immense hypocrites they are by showing how they are out to steal our privilege for their very own.
In case you can't tell which one of these two paths I prefer, let's examine the consequences of each one. Path A, the path where we all feel terrible and give up everything of our own free will, is a nice and comfortable path, and the social justice warriors would really prefer you took it. They say, and some of them actually believe, that if you acknowledge your own privilege, nothing will happen to you. (This is, of course, a nicer way of saying, 'Your money or your life'!) Path A is the path taken by lots of world leaders, and when you are on this path you bankrupt yourself and others doing whatever the social justice warriors want so as to avoid conflicts and because looking like you don't care about inequality is a bad way to stay in power.
Prospective mayor John Tory has, in his earlier incarnations, tried to win over the social justice warriors by giving them almost everything they wanted, but stubbornly refusing to budge on this or that issue, which always ended up being his downfall. That's the problem with the social justice warriors: they know that they can get everything they want by pushing the guilt button, so they don't settle for half measures.
Ah, but for those rare moments where the John Torys of the world decide to plant their flags, the social justice warriors need to set an example so that all the little people will not plant their flags as well. The social justice warriors do not like having to do this at all. Oh, the indignity! The dirty slog of politics! Why oh why do these conservatives force us to make attack ads and tithe our union brothers and sisters?
At this point, instead of capitulating or going back to pretending the problem doesn't exist, I recommend that conservatives do something that's so insane that it just might work. You see, when the social justice warriors get off their high horses and start using morally ambiguous tactics, they have crossed a threshold. They are now trying to impose their agenda by force. So: if they are willing to leave their saintly principles by the wayside now, what's to stop them from doing the same once they have attained real power? What's to stop them from tilting the playing field in their favour? What's to stop them from becoming- gasp- privileged themselves???? Not a damn thing.
So what should conservatives do, then? It's easy: Point their fingers and draw attention to the fact that the high-minded social justice warriors are no different from anyone else. They are people, and people are self-interested. They do not want equity: they want supremacy. They do not want an end to privilege: they wish to have it for themselves. They do not want social justice at all, but a license to kill.
An example of this would be to make the case that your opponent is not a spoiled manchild who is "in over his head", but a bloodthirsty revolutionary enamored with his own destiny who will not hesitate to brutalize everyone who dares oppose him. By saying these completely true things, the CPC would be giving Canadians a reason to believe they are "better off" with Harper, instead of just saying so and hoping they'll believe it. Because Canadians are no different from the social justice warriors or from Trudeau or from anyone. We're all people, and we're all driven by the desire to protect ourselves and the people who look the most like us (which is a pretty good explanation for white privilege in and of itself, but that's neither here nor there) and while it's fine to dream, the song isn't quite true: Heaven is not a place on Earth.
And the social justice warriors, incredibly enough, acknowledge this fact. Why, they ask themselves, can we dream of all kinds of fantasy worlds yet we have not been able to imagine one where oppression does not exist? I have never yet heard a better argument for the correctness of the conservative worldview. The reason why we cannot imagine a world without oppression is because one cannot exist, and will never exist, because privilege is part of who we are.
Indeed, privilege is so integral to society and to all of our lived experiences that no conservative should have a reason to deny that it exists!