Justin Trudeau Brings Breck Girl Authoritarianism To America's Hat
A warning for the next pandemic-like event.
Justin Trudeau is the kind of fifty year old man who writes Taylor Swift lyrics in birthday cards. That’s part of the problem. It’s almost impossible to view such a soft, well-coiffed, non-threatening cinnamon-topped pumpkin spice latte of a creature who owns a closet full of more fetching Halloween outfits than Bonnie McMurray as an intimidating globalist authoritarian bent on crushing anyone who opposes his favored pandemic policies. But that’s exactly what he is, and what he’s doing, and it should serve as a warning as we Americans (hopefully) are finally closer to the end than the beginning of this Covid authoritarianism: when the number of people defying remaining policies shrink, the state becomes all the more bent on crushing those who slip through their grasp — even to the point of invoking never before used emergency powers.
The defenders of such an authoritarian measure argue that this will impact very few people. But one could also say that about this:
New York City fired 1,430 municipal workers after they refused to get fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or submit proof of their shots, City Hall confirmed Monday. That figure represents less than 1 percent of the city’s 370,000-person workforce.
As this Tweeter observes, this ought to be a revelatory amount about the bureaucratic power of the state to do what it wants when deploying emergency methods in extralegal and sometimes very frightening ways.
Freedom is real, we tell ourselves, not an illusion. But that belief can only be maintained in a nation where your political views and the peaceful protest in favor of them do not result in you being branded a terrorist, your property stolen, and even your insurance taken away.
And there is a conceivable world where that is just the beginning. A YouGov poll last month found a majority of Democrats in support of confining the unvaccinated to their homes. In December, a majority of Democrats polled by Ipsos said that it should be legal to deny health care to the unvaccinated. A Rasmussen poll last month showed that nearly a third of Democrats supported unvaccinated parents losing custody of their kids — and one out of ten Independents agreed.
One hopes this last step would be so immediately unpopular if ever put into practice, that the state would never do such a thing. But in truth, isn’t this what they’re doing already with their maintained levels of mandates for children combined with the indoctrination agenda of schools both public and private? They’re even charging you for the privilege along the way.
The problem is the people who want to get around this policy, arranged and constructed by the best and brightest for their own betterment, by using the excuse of that “freedom”, as if they were supposed to take it literally. David Harsanyi writes:
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recently set out to explain why the word “freedom” has become a “useful rallying cry” for protesters in the trucking convoy. Freedom, it added, “has become common among far-right groups, experts say.” …
Take Gary Mason, a national affairs columnist at the Globe and Mail, who contends that truck-protest supporters such as Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre “have weaponized” the word “freedom” — a “word that gets bandied about a lot these days, but has mostly been co-opted by the alt-right, both here and in the U.S.”
The problem isn’t merely that Mason insinuates that anyone using the rhetoric of liberty is on the “far right,” or that he doesn’t seem to comprehend the difference between negative and positive liberties. Mason takes the authoritarian position — shared by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who says that protesting truckers hold “unacceptable views” — that speech is no longer a genuine liberty if it is used for allegedly “selfish, malicious purposes.”
Freedom isn’t contingent on Mason’s notions of selflessness, nor does it need to be sanctioned by the expert class to be enjoyed. You may disagree with them or their tactics, but truckers who oppose the state’s compelling individuals to inject themselves with a pharmaceutical are by definition protesting for personal “freedom.”
CNN correspondents will derisively note that while concerns regarding Covid mandates may have sparked the Canadian trucker protests, they have now “devolved” into “anger” over “too many government restrictions and they want their freedom back, whatever that means.” This reminds me of the habit journalists have of placing the phrase “religious liberty” between quotation marks to insinuate that the idea is either misleading or a loaded term (never do we see the same done for “social justice” or “women’s rights” or any other similarly debatable phrases).
They know well what it means. They simply don’t appreciate the freedom in question.
The question that I have is: if the above poll numbers are accurate in the wake of this pandemic, if they truly demonstrate the lessons that a major portion of a major party have taken from it, what will the policy response of the state look like for the next one?
If not based on a similar experience to Covid, the next terrifying, state-empowering event, whether real or media hyped, will build on this suspicion of freedom and faith in the state. For as many skeptics as it has created of government and health authorities and complicit media, for as much of a backlash that has followed and will follow politically, there are also those Americans who have taken the opposite lesson and will hold on to it til their knuckles turn white: that the only thing they got wrong was not being harsher from the beginning to effectively eradicate all those who question their power.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Transom to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.