Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Conversation Piece

Progressives who read this blog may or may not be surprised to learn that we conservatives circulate stories about our encounters with various progressive politicians, like ghost stories around a campfire or discussions about the one that got away.

Here's a story we tell about Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and person who likes to talk about having "conversations" with others.

There is a certain venerable veteran of many a campaign, currently residing in a particular midtown Toronto riding who encountered Ms. Wynne at a multipartisan event. As it was a multipartisan event, this wise abbot wore his Conservative Party of Canada colours proudly, with the blue C prominently displayed.

In the seasoned master's version of the tale, Ms. Wynne, upon spying the logo, wrinkled her nose in disgust and said, "How can you support that fascist?" That fascist, of course, was the Prime Minister of Canada. And thus, as you can well imagine, the opportunity for a "conversation" was lost, because the woman who is currently our Premier did not have the tact to muzzle her own hatred for the leader of the CPC while speaking to one of his ardent supporters.

So let it be made absolutely, perfectly clear; When progressives, and most people, talk about having conversations with others, they're not talking about having conversations with conservatives. Because we disagree with the progressive consensus, our views are extremist and can be safely ignored. What we say is not to be taken seriously.

When progressives relate to conservatives, if at all, it is to characterize them either as bumbling fools with kooky, hopelessly naive views, or dangerous ideologues who want to roll back all progress. We are like Disney villains, comic relief and threat at the same time.

That, of course, was Jim Carrey mocking Charlton Heston. But you could really substitute any conservative in there, from Mitt Romney to David Cameron to Sarah Palin. 

Now, if these progressives were interested in having "conversations" with us, then they would try to listen to what we said and have something resembling a give and take, because that's what a conversation is. But that doesn't happen, because they are not actually interested in having a conversation with us. Our proper place is either as a punch line, or as monsters under the bed. Sure, we're occasionally interesting to have around, and we might even be useful from time to time whenever we have an idea that can be stolen, but that's as far as it goes.

And it's very important that we remain in that role, because attacking conservatives is socially acceptable. If there weren't any conservatives to make fun of or demonize, then not only would progressives have no outlet for their hateful impulses, but they would have to turn the critical lens back on themselves and realize all the ways their progressive projects are falling way, way short.

For Kathleen Wynne to stay Premier of Ontario, she doesn't have to have a conversation with us. She just has to have "conversations" with Horwath. Horwath can claim legitimacy and hold up the table scraps that Wynne throws her as proof of concessions, and they can both point and laugh at Tim Hudak for rejecting the entire farce.

For my part, I can count on the finger of one hand the number of progressives, or anyone who wasn't already inclined in a conservative manner for that matter, who I've met that were really interested in having a conversation where we exchanged views and learned from one another and treated each other with mutual respect. My views are the basis for humour, or they are threatening, and even in the rare cases that I am able to have something resembling an exchange of views, the fact that I don't grasp the manifest superiority of the progressive position on every single issue is visibly annoying to them.

Because we know it doesn't apply to us, Wynne's call for a "conversation" is disingenuous. Everyone else looks at it and feels touched, but we're not fooled.

And so there will be no "conversation", just the same old communication breakdown that has always existed. Not because we don't want one, but because the people who say they want one aren't really interested in having one. They are just interested in getting what they want.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stuck In The Middle With You

As it is with us on the right, there are two basic types of progressives- those for whom the goal is a more equal society- the Principled Progressives, analogous to Principled Conservatives- and those for whom power is the only goal.

The first group are the workers who are deeply committed to ideals. They truly believe that it is possible to create a world where poverty, racism, and oppression are no more. And the other group are the ones who pay lip service to these same goals while profiting off the labour of the na├»ve fools who truly believe.

When lefties look at something like the drama unfolding in Ottawa over the so-called "backbench revolution", they don't quite know what to do with themselves. On the one hand, the prospect of Harper's MP's rising up in rebellion and causing a caucus split thrills them. On the other hand, their progressive ideals (in theory) make it all but impossible to disagree with Harper for cracking down on his party's pro-life faction.

How can any honest progressive not at least nod their heads in agreement when Harper says he isn't going to reopen the abortion debate? These progressives may loathe Harper, but for them their convictions come first. So when Harper is right (for them, on this one issue), he's right.

And yet the other group of progressives have no trouble criticizing Harper for being a dictator and stoking fears of the hidden agenda at the same time. Because for them, anything that embarrasses Harper is a good thing.

Now here's the thing. When the federal NDP has problems with its own caucus- such as Lise St. Denis and Claude Patry quitting for the Liberals and the Bloc, or Bruce Hyer sitting as an independent- these are not stories. (Did you go, "Oh yeah! Lise St. Denis! Bruce Hyer! I totally forgot about them!" when you read that?)

The NDP is, by and large, made up of Principled Progressives who decry the direction the party is taking, long and loud. But they are still progressives, so you'll find plenty of headlines about how the NDP is doing fine despite these little bumps in the road. Even though Brad Trost, Mark Warawa, and Stephen Woodworth are still members of the CPC caucus, somehow the narrative is that that CPC is less united than the NDP.

The idea of Harper's majority ripped apart by loose-lipped pro-lifers -factual or not- is just too good to let go of. Harper-as-dissent-squelcher is nowhere near as good, but people will buy that in a pinch if they have to. And while those Principled Progressives may nod their heads in support of Harper violently squelching dissent on the question of abortion, those nods is all Harper is like to get from them. Because whether he's pro-life or not, Harper is still a conservative of some measure and is therefore always fair game, even if it's an obvious damned if you do, damned if you don't. You just don't get any points from the left for meeting them halfway.

Harper will go down in history as the most hated PM of all time, regardless of what he does between now and the time when he is no longer PM. It will be like Thatcher in the UK. That will be his epitaph, as written by the overwhelmingly progressive consensus that is Canada.

The other big political news story of the week was, of course, Rob Ford. And while Ford is nowhere near as disciplined as Harper is, that doesn't mean media outlets like the Toronto Star aren't trying just as hard to put him underground.

Yeah, yeah. Ford causes a lot of problems for himself. But somehow- as Bob Hepburn himself admits in today's Star- lots of people agree with Ford when he paints himself as the victim of a conspiracy.

And do you know why that is? Because even though Ford is the architect of his own misery, and the Star is just doing its job as a paper, that does not change the fact that the Star loathes Ford, and all conservatives, so much, that the idea of the Star trying maliciously to destroy Ford is entirely plausible.

It is just possible- only just- that the Star wants to see all conservatives buried, and that Ford makes it easy for them to do so in his case, and that Harper makes it more difficult for them to do so in his case. Mealy-mouthed denials from the Star's editorial board will not convince that they are innocent in all this. The hilarious thing is- if the Star was honest about their desire to destroy Ford, more Torontonians would be likely to support them!

The Star hates conservatives. Progressives hate Harper. Nothing is going to change that. If Harper or Ford say 2 + 2 = 4, the Star and all the rest of the progressives are going to check their figures.

Now for the obligatory segueway into provincial politics. The big story in that arena this week was that the NDP and Liberals came together to cut auto insurance rates and stave off an election for another few months or years. Yippee skip. Meanwhile, the PC Party of Ontario trumpeted their policy papers for the 897th time and proclaimed loudly that they are the only party serious about bold ideas.

Does anyone remember why the Ontario PC's started out with these white papers in the first place? Because in the last election, everyone criticized them for having a half-baked platform with no serious ideas and taking the electorate for a bunch of fools. Now, a year and a half later, Hudak has all these serious ideas, and nobody wants to hear them. All anyone wants to hear about is cooperation, smiles, sunshine, "working together", "conversations", an end to "divisive politics", and kumbaya, and Hudak is "too aggressive" and "too negative."

Kathleen Wynne is looked at as the Great Conciliator even though an auto insurance rate cut is not going to do diddly squat when it comes to the deficit or the economy. During the 2011 election, however, Dalton McGuinty framed himself as the steady hand on the till on the economy whereas the PC's weren't that serious, and everyone seemed to buy that with a minimum of grumbling.

So, here is the takeaway from all three of these examples. Whatever the Liberals and other progressives are putting out is right, and anything conservatives put out is wrong. You can have a disciplined PM or an undisciplined mayor, bold ideas or Changebook, abortions or no abortions, good economies or bad ones, and it all amounts to the same thing in the end. And Canadians know it. Any excuse to dislike conservatives will do.

In the event that Liberals become supremely useless, Canadians will elect conservatives, but they will spend every waking moment disliking whatever they do. And when Liberals are elected, Canadians will spend every waking moment trying to avoid the realization that things are not getting any better. And so it will go, until we have Justin Trudeau as our Prime Minister, either implementing the Hugo Chavez method, or a continuation of Harper's policies, or both, or neither, and being praised by everyone for doing whatever he's doing.

Decades before I was born, Tory leader Robert Stanfield was whining about how he could have walked on water, and the headlines would read "Stanfield can't swim." Even back in that primitive era, our forefathers had grasped that the playing field wasn't exactly level, but they decided to do the honourable thing and wait for the Liberals to combust instead of taking control. Then, as now, the Liberals do what they do, and we do what we do, and the results are what the results are.

Now, if everyone is happy with this state of affairs- with waking up every single morning to Toronto Star headlines and the endless progressive grind in all its forms- then I guess I have nothing to complain about. I guess Kathleen Wynne is right, and it's all about smiles, sunshine, positivity, and having conversations.

I guess she's right about writing off conservative opposition as passive-aggressive whining, too. She would kind of have to be.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Collective Bargaining

So I finally got around to watching that new OPSEU video- the one that is supposedly an attack on Tim Hudak.

The last time these people put together an anti-PC Party video, it was a $20,000 exercise in surrealism that nobody but me even paid attention to, so that's what I was expecting this time around. Funny thing is- this one isn't an attack on the PC's. It's an attack on their own members, but we'll get to that in a minute.

First, I want to establish that these videos that attack conservatives are the work of people who have never even spoken to or seen a conservative before, and that's why watching them is so jarring. They are not willing to examine the basic assumptions conservatives make and understand them on an intellectual level before tearing them apart. And because they aren't willing to think about our ideas, there is no reason to believe that they would accept anything Tim Hudak or any conservative would say. They, like all progressives, just don't like conservatives and believe that whatever we say is wrong before we've said it.

In this way, those on the left are fundamentally conservative in their own thinking. They are unwilling to accept anything conservatives have to say and want to keep their minds completely pure of anything that we say that might influence them. They are also fundamentally insecure in their own thinking, in that they are unwilling to engage people like me in debate. For my part, since I started my recent series of posts analyzing the way the far left thinks, not one of them has tried to challenge my assumptions about them. Ever since I tried looking at what these people actually believe, I feel a lot more confident about debating them. I feel a lot more confident that I can poke holes in their arguments. But they don't want me to poke holes in their arguments. There's nothing I can teach them and there's nothing worthwhile I have to contribute, and most importantly, they don't want me to challenge their illusions.

Ask yourselves: When's the last time you sat down with a dyed-in-the-wool leftist and just had a conversation with them? When's the last time one of them tried to initiate a conversation with you?

With this video, OPSEU is trying to fight an enemy that they don't understand, and that they don't want to understand.

Now let's talk about the video itself. In it, a taxicab passenger tries and fails to argue the point that he doesn't have to pay a fare if he doesn't want to. He thinks he can get the titular "free ride" and ends up getting hauled off to jail because of it. Then, union boss Warren "Smokey" Thomas shows up, giving the camera the side-eye and talking to his union members about their collective agreements and the sacrifices that have been made to establish them, and how as union members, they should not expect to enjoy the benefits of those collective agreements without paying union dues.

So, not only does this video not even attack Tim Hudak, it totally misses the point of the PC union proposal. We're trying to make sure that union members aren't bullied by their leadership into paying for causes they don't believe in. And how does OPSEU react to such a suggestion? They create a video that tries to bully their membership into paying for causes they don't believe in. If we hadn't had proof that union bosses intimidate their members before (which we did), we can now point to this video as proof.

If they understood that we had a problem with union bullying, then they wouldn't have created a video that deliberately took an aggressive tone against their own people who might have been considering voting PC. Or maybe they did understand and they deliberately chose to go down that path. They either imagined the PC proposal to be something other than what it was, or deliberately misrepresented it as something other than what it was. It's impossible to tell. Either way, they didn't consider our proposal before rejecting it outright.

Now think about how those on the left expect the government to listen to them and to change their ways. But why should the government listen to them? Why, for example, should Harper pay heed to people who so obviously despise him? What is the point? What is to be achieved? What is the benefit of entering into a dialogue with these people?

I am willing to take the time to think carefully about ideas people on the left have. They aren't willing to do the same. When I tell people about what I've discovered these past few months, they say, "Mr. J., there's no reason why you should associate yourself with these people or trouble yourself with their crazy ideas. They're nuts. Leave them alone." Well, yes. But what I am trying to do here is a proof of concept, and I plan to keep right on doing it.

Because those on the left are unwilling to think about my ideas the way I'm thinking about theirs, and because they associate me with their caricatures of what they imagine conservatives to be all about, we can be sure that they are to blame for the breakdown in communication. It is their basic unwillingness to be satisfied that is the problem. It is their fault

They do not understand that I, and conservatives like me who are willing to entertain their wacky notions, to actually think about them, before throwing them out, are the best deal they are going to get.

It's a better deal than they are willing to give us.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

So, Reader's Digest is referring to the Second Coming of Trudeau. This is not a joke.



Yep. The thin red line between "saviour of the Liberal Party" and "actual son-of-God Saviour" has disappeared. Get used to it, because this will be happening a lot in the next few years. They are going to make this man into the literal embodiment of divinity. And Canadians are going to swallow it, hook, line, and sinker.
And you all know it. You don't even do a good job of hiding it. I know and you know and he knows that this country and everything and everyone in it is his birthright. It is completely and utterly inexorable.
Why do we pretend to have a democracy? Why don't we just stop pretending to be more advanced than places that are ruled by kings and generalissimos? Why stretch out this incredibly boring story that everyone knows the end to already? The Liberals are having a pretend leadership race, which will lead to a pretend election, which will lead to a pretend administration in which we all close our eyes and pretend that we have returned to the glory days. 
A few months ago, Liberals in Ontario chose between smiles and sunshine and hard solutions. They knew what had to be done to fix the province, and collectively decided not to do it. In a collective failure of nerve, they convinced themselves that we could just blow off Ontario's woes with relentless positivity. Deliberately, purposefully, they took the easy way out and justified it after the fact.
Under Prime Minister Trudeau II, the second of his line, we can expect the same type of head-in-the-sand Chavez-esque denial that pervades left-wing cults of personality everywhere. We know Justin has no plan for the economy or for anything else and no policy to speak of. But Canadians don't want policy or plans. Plans involve work. Plans involve sacrifice. Vague assurances about "bringing Canadians together" and "restoring our reputation abroad" go down easy. If people remain poor, that's the fault of rich people who just won't get with the program and give up their wealth. And if Justin continues any of Harper's policies, his people will have absolutely no problem with that. As a country, we will convince ourselves that we've never had it so good. We must, because the alternative is to admit we're screwed.
A Trudeau victory will spell the end of the concept of the Canadian voter as rational, policy-literate, and honest. We are dealing with people who will allow themselves to be swept up in the return of Trudeaumania. They are saying to political people, "Treat us like idiots." And they most certainly will be treated like idiots, and their disappointed whining after the fact when they realized they got duped again will be ignored, as well it should.
These are the same people who proclaimed the CPC guilty as soon as the robocalls story broke, decided that our voting system is "antiquated" the moment it produced a CPC government, whip themselves up into furors over the federal deficit while ignoring the provincial one in (insert province here), praise Obama for doing the same things Bush did, endorse Scandinavian socialism without having a clue what that actually looks like, and clutch their pearls for fear of the big bad scary Republicans who proved back in October that they couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat. These are your rational voters. 
I can only hope that this will finally do it. The election of an unready and unsteady twit who led a dead party back to the heights of power simply because he was born into the right family, paper thin resume be damned. This will finally convince conservatives that the conversation with voters is not worth having. It has to. What else could do it?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Today I was reading another litany of sins committed by The Powers That Be against the Virtuous Poor, and all of the things that need to happen to remedy these crimes, most of which involved vast sums of tax dollars being transferred into someone else's pocket by the government. And I was feeling all guilty. 

Then I thought to myself, "You know what? If we gave into all of their demands, they'd just invent new reasons to complain!"

Then, for some reason, I started blasting Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Socialismo O Muerte

I come before you today to bury Hugo Chavez, not to praise him. But let us strip away for one moment Chavez's odious politics, if that is possible, and look at the man for who he was.

Here is a guy who essentially imposed his own vision of the way things should work on everybody, with such complete ruthlessness and fury that everything was swept before him. To his defenders, here, in some form, was authentic "people's power," long talked about but seldom seen.

Do not try to convince these people that Chavez overstepped in any way, shape, or form. For them, whatever Chavez may have done is of no consequence next to the sins of the "neo-liberal consensus" and "laissez-faire capitalism" that is in much clearer evidence everywhere.

For you see, not even Hugo Chavez can really create a capitalism-free zone. Like the patriarchy, like racism, the evils of capitalism cannot be truly killed, even by a full-on Bolivarian revolution with all the trimmings. The demon must be resurrected a thousand times only to be killed again and again. You can point to the fact that much of Venezuela is still incredibly poor, but this is not due to any failing on Chavez's part. Chavez himself blamed this on "food hoarding"  by rich people and nobody seems to really have a problem with that explanation. After all, the people of Venezuela continued to re-elect Chavez in elections that even Jean Chretien praised as "normal."

Each and every person on the left subscribes to the Guillotine Doctrine, which Chavez practiced in one of its purest forms. The Liberals water it down a lot, and the NDP water it down less, and so on and so forth. But if you look at Chavez's example, there really is no reason why they should water it down at all.

Why, for example, should the Liberals be seized with pangs of conscience over the power plant or the deficit or ORNGE or any of the messes they made? Why should they seek after solutions proposed by Sandra Pupatello and the rest of the "neo-liberal consensus"? They had no reason to do so. The people are behind them, as this poll by Forum Research makes clear.

The right can be shamed into awkward silence by memories of the Mike Harris government, whereas defenders of Chavez have no reason to feel shamed at all. Chavez himself felt no reason to apologize for anything he did, and neither did Chretien, Trudeau, Obama, Wynne, and all the rest of them. The Occupy Movement occasions clucks of sympathy from the Governor of the Bank of Canada. The Red Squares and Idle No More are treated as discussion partners in a conversation that's only going to go one way.

These people have liberated themselves from any semblance of shame. They have crossed over into a world where what they say is always right by virtue of the fact that it's them saying it. We are not ever going to enjoy that level of trust, as the Rob Fords and Danielle Smiths and Tom Flanagans of the world find out too late. When they fall, it's all the way.

This is your "neo-liberal consensus" that dominates everything, that supposedly prevents progress.

People believe there is a conspiracy by rich people to oppress them, and they believe they have the world coming to them. The left dangles the false promise of a perfectly equal world before them every election, and more often than not, it works. The demon is killed one thousand times and brought back to life again and again.

And we have nothing comparable. We can't convince people that the government is not really concerned with helping them. And so long as we can't, people like Chavez are going to enjoy the status they do, in life and in death.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Too Sweeeeet

This has got to be the greatest Toronto Star mistake since I noticed this back in 2011.

Aha! The NWO does exist, and it's in power at Queen's Park!

Oh, and how come Wynne's talking about releasing more documents? I thought Chiarelli said all the documents had been released before? It's a total swerve!