The Race Is Not Always to the Swift of Mind

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

—Ecclesiastes, 9:11.

My article “How Smart Is Justin Trudeau,” posted here, in which I argued that the Canadian PM is a posturing showboat whose credentials can only be described as risible, provoked a robust response. Most of my correspondents and commenters were (and are) aware that Trudeau is an intellectual nonentity who relies on a combination of superficial charm and media adulation, much like Barack Obama (Trudeau has been called “Obama North”), in order to sway a credulous electorate.

Naturally, there have been a number of dissenters, who reacted by praising Trudeau for having won the election, as if this were evidence of high intelligence, as well as approving of his legislative record. Much of the commentary struck me as malingering at approximately the same level as Trudeau’s embarrassing ineptitude.

It should be noted that Canada has been moving “progressively” leftward and that Conservative governments are really anomalies in a culturally socialist landscape. Indeed, Canada tends to elect only one Conservative government per generation. The Conservative party has managed to maintain an electoral presence owing chiefly to a voter split among the country’s two major socialist parties, the welfare-state Liberals and the quasi-Marxist New Democratic Party.

A typical example of the anti-Conservative pro-statist mindset is provided by a number of my respondents. One, for example, censures a positive comment about Geert Wilders in the course of our discussion with a vibrantly eloquent “Yuck!” Another dismisses former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s legacy of a balanced budget as “all smoke and mirrors”—an error of fact since the Harper government successfully ran a temporary deficit to ride out the collapse in the global economy on a scale we had not seen in 80 years, but balanced the budget by early 2015.

Yet another skeptic claims that defeating the “odious” Harper government is an accomplishment in itself. He is thrilled by the gender equalizing of the Cabinet, the augmentation of entitlement and social programs, the reinstatement of tax credits for labor-sponsored funds, a costly inquiry into missing Aboriginal women (which will reveal what we already know about systemic native poverty and violence), the substantial increase of Syrian refugee immigration, the restoration of “rights to appeal for immigration decisions” (presumably the right for Muslim women to wear the niqab during citizenship swearing-in ceremonies and the reluctance to extradite jihadists or defund problematic Islamic organizations), and the doubling of funds for the (bloated and sybaritic) Canada Council for the Arts. I would consider each of these innovations or restitutions as a form of political abuse: in other words, a waste of public monies, a policy infatuation with the cultural trends and sophistries of the day, and the endangering of national security.