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.
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.
Detractors fall back on the claim that the Harper government was “odious,” as if invective were a suitable replacement for analysis. Trudeau, on the contrary, was media savvy and therefore street smart. His victory was, according to these lights, plainly deserved and his party platform unassailable. The truth is that Trudeau’s electoral triumph had nothing to do with substance, intellectual capacity or fitness for the job of prime minister, for Trudeau can boast of none of these qualifications. Apart from family name (his father was a former prime minister), a telegenic manner and a carbonated personality—obvious plusses in the current environment—the issue was decided by a series of extraneous factors that coalesced at the same time to constitute something like a perfect storm.
To begin with, Trudeau handily won the female vote for reasons that had nothing to do with his ostensible smarts. But he would not have won much else had the media not mounted a veritable blitzkrieg against Harper; had academia not brainwashed a generation of students and young voters (I've met some of them but could never engage in conversation since they were all too busy chanting); had canny advisors Katie Telford and Gerald Butts not pulled his puppet strings; and, most importantly, had NDP leader Tom Mulcair and his party not flamed out and channeled many of their voters into the Liberal camp, thus effectively unifying the Leftist vote. In short, women, journalists, professors, students, the vast number of the gullible and the Left in general formed the majority that put the mountebank Trudeau into power.
It must be said, too, that the Conservatives ran an uninspired and indeed sodden campaign that was no match for the Liberal strategists, thus inadvertently becoming the latter’s allies in engineering the party’s defeat. Conservatives also suffered from some of Harper’s errors of omission, for example, his failure to defund and privatize our national broadcaster the CBC, essentially the propaganda arm of the Liberal party and a bastion of socialist elitism. (Unsurprisingly, two CBC stalwarts, former editor-in-chief of CBC News Tony Burman, and former host of CBC current affairs programs CounterSpin and On the Map Avi Lewis, better known as Leftist diva Naomi Klein’s husband, joined the Al Jazeera network.)
Harper also neglected to abolish Canada’s Star Chamber judiciary, the misnamed Human Rights Commissions (now rebadged as Social Justice Tribunals), which pronounced on social issues in favor of offended grievance mongers without allowing for the defendant’s presumption of innocence or provision of witnesses. Harper would likely have lost anyway, but he might have gone out trailing clouds of glory rather than lugging the shadow of electoral ignominy.
In any event, the upshot was that all the conditions required for installing a Liberal government had been waived. It’s going to be Brigadoon, Canada for at least the next four years, at which time Canadians may hopefully—if doubtfully—awaken from the barren seductions of magical thinking.
What all this serves to prove is that the Qoheleth was right, the race is not to the swift. But in the case we are discussing now, the race went to a slow-witted pretender whose lack of prior accomplishment, educational truancy (he failed to complete the two university degrees for which he had enrolled) and “smoke and mirrors” manipulativeness gave him a commanding lead. But he was certainly humble, confessing that he could not recite pi to the 19th decibel. Additionally, as we’ve seen, a sequence of fortuitous events and the support of powerful backers enabled him to breast the tape first.
The bottom line, then, is not hard to discern. Despite his intellectual deficiencies—or perhaps because of them—Trudeau’s glibness and piliated cockiness were distinct advantages in a milieu typified by media mendacity and public dumbification. With few exceptions, retardation has become one of the essential ingredients for electoral success in our increasingly degenerate age.
(Photo atop article of Obama and Trudeau meeting in the Oval Office on March 10, 2016: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)