In his new autobiography, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau takes pain to distance himself from his father. He really didn’t have to do this, though – it’s always been obvious that he is everything Trudeau Père was not.
Mr. Trudeau is warm and nice and fuzzy. He doesn’t have an intellectual bone in his body. He’s somewhere between flower power and New Age. He’s often at a loss for words.
When he lets loose, he says things like the situation in Ukraine is “even more worrying now that Russia lost at hockey.” Or he professes his admiration for China because “their basic dictatorship is allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.” Or he cracks juvenile jokes about those “whipping out our CF-18s to show how big they are” – as Canada considered whether to join the military coalition in Iraq.
Mr. Trudeau was practically absent from that discussion himself, although it was arguably the country’s most important debate of the year. He subcontracted the job of explaining the Liberal position to MP Marc Garneau, while Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Official Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair of the New Democrats were at the forefront, making strong and rational arguments.
Is Mr. Trudeau a born leader? Certainly not. If he became prime minister, could he grow in the function of leader? Unfortunately, leadership is something he doesn’t much value. “I am a teacher,” he told The Globe and Mail recently. “I believe in sort of sharing in a discussion and coming out with insights on both sides.”How well do you think his ideas about "sharing" and "coming out with insights" would work with the like of Putin and the Grandiose Ayatollah? About as well as that unfortunate encounter between Bambi and Godzilla, I'd say.
Obama's disastrous run in the U.S. is a cautionary of what happens when someone with a wafer thin C.V. whose greatest strength is in "community organizing" is elevated to a position that's way beyond his capacity to function with anything but the teensiest degree of competence--and that's being charitable. Justin Trudeau's resume is markedly thinner and less impressive--no Ivy League universities; no experience out on the hustings of community organizing. At most, a stint as a part-time drama teacher (a job for which he happened to be exceptionally well-suited, considering his oft-displayed propensity for over-the-top theatrics). And no intellectual heft to speak of--his noggin is filled with the "insights" one gleans from Star Wars movies and the oeuvre of Stephen King, two of his pop culture faves.
He's the touchy-feely candidate. The Kumbaya candidate. The pass-the-tasty-samosas-imam candidate. He will tell you that, in his desire to connect with people and lead by consensus, he's as far away from the Harper style of leadership as it's possible to be--a statement that may play well with his besotted and often poorly informed base, but that, when you consider the way he clamped down on all opposition to abortion in his caucus, points to his having a taste and a facility for the very authoritarianism he claims to disdain.
Harpers' purported authoritarianism has been hyped to the skies by a media with a distinct left-wing bias and a Harper Derangement Syndrome that charts on a continuum from "mild" to "apoplectic". But it seems clear that Trudeau fils's authoritarianism is something to take note of, because it's something he learned from his old Papa, whose leadership style was top-down, arrogant, and authoritarian verging on the totalitarian. For all of Justin's fuzzy-wuzziness--the gift of his ditzy Mama--one can't help but detect glimmers of the old man in the young whippersnapper. And that should give us all at least as much pause about "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau" as all that flaccid flower power stuff.
|Justin gets his authoritarian streak from Dad...|
|...and his flower power bent from Mom.|