It is only just that we award credit to those to whom credit is due and a certain amount of credit is due to Justin Trudeau. It is less than a month since the Shiny Pony became Canada’s shiny new Prime Minister and he is already living down to our lowest expectations. It is too early, perhaps, to declare him to be our worst Prime Minister ever. It will take him longer than this to break his father’s record in that respect. He is well on the way to getting there, however.
On November 4th, David Johnson, who as Governor General is the Queen’s Canadian viceroy, swore in Trudeau and the thirty people selected to be the Crown Ministers who, along with the Prime Minister, will make up the Cabinet. Fifteen of these were men and fifteen were women because the new Prime Minister had decided it was important that the Cabinet have an equal number of penises and vaginas. “Gender balanced” was the way he described it. At one time it was understood that people have sexes and words have genders, but no longer.
Now, if a Prime Minister were to submit to the Crown a list of choices for Ministerial appointments that consisted entirely of men, he would, of course, be denounced as sexist. Let’s think about that for a moment. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that the word sexist actually means something and is not just a verbal weapon used by liberals, progressives, and social justice warriors – a rather dubious assumption - what is it about a list of appointees that consists solely of men that would make it sexist?
Those who are capable of intelligent and sane thought would answer that it is the fact that those on the list were chosen on the basis of their sex, or, to put it a bit more precisely, that sex was a criterion in the selecting of those who would be on the list. If this, however, is what makes a list that contains only men sexist, then Justin Trudeau’s “gender balanced” Cabinet is also sexist, because sex is just as much a criterion for selection in the one as it is in the other.
This conclusion can be avoided by saying that it is not the use of sex as a criterion of selection, per se, that would make an all-male Cabinet sexist, but rather the fact that it is men who are chosen, but to say this would be a more overt admission of misandry than most progressives, except perhaps the most radical of feminists, are usually comfortable with because they like to operate under the delusion that they are morally and intellectually superior to other people. Similarly, American anti-racist liberals are unlikely to admit that in the fall of 2008, Barack Obama became the first person to be elected President of the United States on the grounds of his skin colour, and that they were the ones to so choose him on those grounds.
When asked why he choose a “gender balanced” Cabinet, Justin Trudeau answered “because it’s 2015”. While it is good to know that our Prime Minister is capable of reading the date on a calendar, showing a level of intellectual achievement of which he had previously given no indication, what is implied in his answer is the idea that in 2015 we have attained some sort of enlightenment that previous generations lacked so that of course we now know that it is absolutely vital for the health of our country that half of its Cabinet Ministers – at least – be women. Almost a century ago Owen Barfield and C. S. Lewis coined a term for this way of thinking. They called it “chronological snobbery” and if there were an award for the most chronological snobbish remark of the year, “because it’s 2015” would certainly deserve to win it. Ironically, however, Mr. Trudeau’s chronological snobbery is itself clearly behind the times. It is indeed, 2015, the year in which the most recent quantum leap forward in the socially progressive enlightenment of mankind took place. I refer, of course, to the apogynosis of Bruce into Caitlyn Jenner. The earth-shattering consequences of this event are still unfolding in school divisions across North America as tough decisions have to be made about who should be allowed to enter which washroom or locker room, a question which was not a significant puzzler up until now. Even feminist icon Germaine Greer has come under the wrath of the next generation of more-enlightened-than-thou social justice warriors who recently circulated a petition to have her invitation to lecture at Cardiff University revoked on the grounds of her “transphobia”. Yet Mr. Trudeau’s choices for lady Cabinet Ministers are all cis female to the best of my knowledge. That is so 2014!
Now given the events of this weekend perhaps it is time we questioned whether the kind of attitude that comes out in expressions like “because it is 2015” is really what we want in our leaders. Friday, November 13th, proved to be a very unlucky day indeed for the residents of Paris when, on that evening, ISIS launched a multipronged terrorist attack on their city that has left 129 dead, so far, and almost 400 wounded. At least one of those who carried out this act of jihad on behalf of the Islamic State had entered Europe claiming to be a Syrian refugee.
One of the first things Justin Trudeau did after winning the federal election last month was to announce that he would be withdrawing our bombers from the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, but Trudeau is doing it for all the wrong reasons. Throughout the entirety of his political career he has demonstrated a sappy and juvenile naivety about terrorism, Islam, geopolitics, war, and all things military. In a speech this March, explaining his opposition to the previous government’s intention of expanding Canada’s military efforts against ISIS into Syria, he gave as one of his reasons that such a mission “could very well result in Assad consolidating his grip on power in Syria.” As obnoxious as the previous government’s hawkishness could be, at times, at least Stephen Harper could tell the difference between an enemy of Canada and of all Western civilization, like ISIS, and a regime that, however unpleasant it may be, is no enemy. A month ago, just before the election, Trudeau said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “irresponsible and harmful” in the Middle East, when, in fact, Putin has demonstrated far better sense with regards to that region than any other world leader. In his election campaign Trudeau promised to bring 25, 000 “Syrian refugees” into Canada by the end of the year and a representative of his office told the press, this weekend, that the Paris attack has not altered his intention to follow through on this. Why let a small thing like a terrorist attack ruin a perfectly bad idea?
What the attack on Paris is telling us, if we have the ears to hear, is that if Justin Trudeau is a man of 2015, what the countries of the West do not need, is the leadership of men of 2015. What we rather need is the leadership of men of 732. Whether there are any of that vintage yet to be found remains to be seen.
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